Bayside Elementary School teacher earns Cox Education Heroes Award
–by Svetla Tomanova
On June 8, Cox Communications’ representatives, Margaret-Hunter Wade and Tiffany Brooks, made a surprise virtual visit to Katherine Pyatt, a Bayside Elementary School (BES) teacher. Surrounded by her cheering first-graders, Pyatt was honored with a Cox Education Hero Award – an award presented annually to teachers who demonstrate dedication to the profession and go above and beyond for their students.
“Educating our youth is a 24-7 job,” said Nneka Chiazor, vice president of government and public affairs, Cox Communications Virginia. “And, today, teachers step into being mentors, cheerleaders, and advocates for their students and families. Our 2022 Cox Education Heroes connect with students in remarkable ways and truly foster environments where our future leaders are thriving.”
When COVID-19 began to sweep across the country in March 2020, Pyatt was at the beginning of her career with the Virginia Beach City Public Schools as a first-grade teacher. Remote instruction effectively became part of everyone’s routine and this fledgling educator was ready to step in.
Although Pyatt was still at the onset of her career, she embraced the new virtual instructions. Despite some of the challenges, she displayed incredible dedication to her students and in the words of her nomination “continuously went above and beyond to provide her students even just a few minutes of normalcy” while simultaneously navigating the new uncharted world of online teaching.
Pyatt was nominated by the community and was one of ten educators that were selected by a panel of Cox Communications’ judges from a pool of 130 nominations. As a Cox Education Hero awardee, Pyatt will receive $1,000 to revamp her classroom – a generous donation that she plans to use for enriching the education of her students.
“I was fortunate to work with wonderful students and their families,” explained Pyatt. “This award will not only help me as an educator but it will make a difference in the lives of so many students now and in the future.”
Pyatt’s students were equally surprised and enthusiastic.
“We are rich,” exclaimed the students bursting with pride.