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Love of learning leads to Monongahela resident Justin Tatar's success

Justin Tatar of Monongahela is shown with his wife, Jennifer, and their children, Jacob, Elizabeth, and Isabella in the fall of 2012. Submitted photo

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By Miranda Startare
Tuesday, March 5, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

When Justin Tatar left California University of Pennsylvania in 1999 with a marketing degree, his heart never left the world of academia.

Perhaps it was that love of learning that led him to his career in higher education.

Tatar, a lifelong resident of Monongahela, was recently promoted to assistant dean of Community College of Allegheny County, Washington County Center in Washington, Pa.

After joining the college in October 2009 as admissions director, Tatar held the position of interim assistant dean from June until his promotion to assistant dean in December.

The world of higher education never left him, according to Tatar, who remembers watching the admissions department employees giving tours at Cal U while he was an undergraduate.

“I would watch them tour the students around and think, I want to be part of that,” he said.

After obtaining his master's degree in business in 2003, Tatar was able to realize that dream when he accepted a position at Triangle Tech as a high school representative.

For two years, Tatar traveled throughout western Pennsylvania giving presentations to high school students and prospective Triangle Tech students.

While his recent promotion has been keeping him busy, Tatar is also pursuing his doctoral degree in administration leadership studies at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

His love for higher learning, which has paved the way for his career success, is only eclipsed by his love of family.

A 1994 Ringgold High School graduate, he has chosen to grow his family tree and stay rooted in the Valley, along with his wife Jennifer, son Jacob, 7, daughters Isabella,4, Elizabeth, 3, and another daughter due this month. He is the son of Andrew and Donna Tatar of Monongahela.

It is the love and support of family that has been a constant in his life, according to Tatar, who will be running a half marathon in Pittsburgh to help raise money and awareness for a cause close to his family's heart.

He is supporting the Prader-Willi Syndrome Association USA (PWSUSA), which helps families with a child suffering from Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS).

His five-year-old nephew, Ryan Mottillo of Monongahela, has been diagnosed with PWS – a complicated syndrome resulting in developmental problems and the leading genetic cause of morbid obesity in children.

Tatar has raised $1,000 and hopes to reach his goal of $1,250.

Anyone interested in donating can contact Tatar through Facebook.

Tatar, who lives a “pay it forward” life, also coaches Ringgold Little League and is a den leader for Cub Scouts Troop 1446 in Monongahela with his son, Jacob.

With baby number four soon to be welcomed into his family, he will be busier than ever.

It won't likely slow him down, though, as he maintains his philosophy of moving forward and helping others.

“God has placed people in my life to guide and teach me,” according to Tatar, who has benefitted professionally and personally from various people throughout his life and career.

In turn, his success and life of involvement certainly touches many others in a positive way.

For Tatar, his family and career are still growing, and his serendipitous life continues to unfold.

Miranda Startare is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.

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