Excellent Educators is a WAVY-TV 10 initiative to celebrate local teachers who have gone above and beyond for their students and communities during the coronavirus pandemic. These Excellent Educators were nominated by their school divisions. Congratulations to these educators for all of their hard work and accomplishments!
Name: Katie Pittman
Division: Northampton County Public Schools
Position: Special education teacher at Kiptopeke Elementary School
What the school division said about this Excellent Educator: Katie Pittman has done an incredible job keeping our virtual students “connected” with the school. Pittman has been instrumental in providing support to our most at-risk students, including students with disabilities, economically disadvantaged, and English language learners. With 50% of our school’s students having no internet access, she has spent countless hours visiting families to deliver learning materials, making phone calls to check in, and recruiting other staff members to join in on keeping our students connected to school.
Pittman’s greatest strength is her ability to focus on the social-emotional and mental health needs of students. She was one of the first staff members to go to the aid of a student’s family during the tragic loss of a parent. Under her guidance, staff created a banner of condolences for the family, which included messages of love and support, which was displayed at the family’s home. Her support to the family has continued as she visits the student’s classroom daily to provide air hugs and encouraging words throughout the school day.
To encourage one of our virtual English language learners to read, Pittman delivered brownie ingredients to the family’s home and challenged the student to follow the directions to make one of his favorite treats. It was a great success and was documented by family to share with her. The student was proud of his accomplishment and gained confidence in his ability to read.
When our schools were closed due to inclement weather, Pittman traveled to Norfolk to participate in the Farmers to Families food distribution and helped to deliver boxes of food to more than 25 families in need on the Eastern Shore.
Virtual learning has been a doubting task for many students. Pittman was able to motivate one of her students with disabilities by providing him with materials for STEM learning. The student was given a Legos kit to build a model car. His family was elated about his enthusiasm about the task. The student’s success was shared with teachers and school administrators during one of his virtual classroom lessons.
Pittman has been committed to bridging the gap between virtual and hybrid learning. She is a warm, caring, giving, and selfless teacher who has inspired other staff members to step outside of the box and become vested in truly educating the whole child and all children. This inspiration has led to our school developing an outreach team, consisting of teachers and staff whose mission is to provide students and families with the resources needed to improve social emotional well-being and keep families connected to school.