Long hours, tight deadlines and challenges in the classroom are all the norm these days for educators. With that in mind, 13 extraordinary Averett teacher education alumni who face those challenges every day were honored for their commitment to the students of Danville and Pittsylvania County on Saturday, Sept. 17.

Nine teachers from Pittsylvania County Schools and four from Danville Public Schools were recognized by their alma mater during a reception at the home of Averett President Dr. Tiffany Franks and her husband, Joe. This annual tradition follows the Danville Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce’s annual awards event in which educators are honored.

“You’ve chosen the noblest of professions as your life calling, and it is our great joy to come together to honor and celebrate you for distinguishing yourselves,” Franks said. “We are so proud of you and all you have accomplished. You bring pride to your school, your system and your alma mater. You also embody Averett’s mission, and this is exactly what you are doing in your students’ lives and in your schools.”

Each year through a partnership, Averett and the Chamber recognize a teacher from every school within local districts who are nominated from their schools. Then, among those are three Teachers of Excellence awards, in which recipients receive a cash price, provided by Averett. This year, there were 33 Educator of the Year recipients and two Averett alumni were Teachers of Excellence award winners – Sharon Cobb and Elizabeth Page Echols. All of these were recognized at the Chamber’s Annual Awards Ceremony on Wednesday, Sept. 14.

Franks noted that within 30 minutes of Averett, one in three educator of the year award recipients are Averett graduates, and since 2008 over 260 Averett alumni have been recognized.

The alumni Averett celebrated during the reception include:

Karen Chilton ’18
I.W. Taylor Virtual Academy

Sharon Cobb ’76
Chatham Middle School

Jerry Dallas ’00
Tunstall Middle School

Elizabeth Page Echols ’13
Chatham High School

Rachel Lovelace ’05
Gretna Elementary School

Patricia Moore ’88
Dan River High School

Wendy Owen ’12
Chatham Elementary School

Jamesha Petty ’03
Northside Preschool

Tracy Phelps ’99
Twin Springs Elementary School

Sandi Rossman ’05, ’07
Tunstall High School

Sharon Sands ’99
Stony Mill Elementary School

Pamela Seal ’20
Schoolfield Elementary School

Kylie Vater ’21
Galileo Magnet High School

Averett offers a traditional baccalaureate education program with preparation for initial licensure in Virginia with eight possible certifications, as well as five online programs in graduate-level programs through Averett Online offered as a Graduate Certificate or a Master of Education option. Averett’s teacher education program consistently places nearly 100 percent of its graduates in teaching positions.

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