Christa McAuliffe, Teacher On Board Challenger, Lives On In Micaela Pond's Classroom

01/28/2011 07:00 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Many teachers tell students that the future is in their hands, but one educator has a tale with a unique spark of ambition to go with the aphorism.

On the 25th anniversary of the Challenger shuttle explosion, CNN tells the story of Christa McAuliffe, the teacher astronaut who died in the tragedy, and Micaela Pond, a New Hampshire teacher she inspired. She was McAuliffe's neighbor at the time and went into elementary education because of her accomplishments.

Pond was 17 when the teacher turned astronaut told her she wanted to go to space.

"How is that possible?" she asked at the time. She remembers thinking, "Women don't go up into space, [and] teachers for sure don't go up into space."

Today Pond uses the story as a lesson for her fifth-grade students.