Celebrating Excellence in Education: Honoring Our Teachers of the Year
Fayette County Public Schools (FCPS) announced its 2022-23 Teachers of the Year at a special event on May 16 as the district celebrated the remarkable achievements of outstanding educators. Congratulations to Hallie Piatt of Wellington Elementary and José Fedriani-Costa from Bryan Station Middle School!
This is the first year of the new recognition program established as part of the district’s strategic plan, A New Way Forward. The competition began with a Teacher of the Year nominated from each school, and then one exceptional teacher from the elementary level and one from the secondary level were named overall district winners. This multi-year program will expand to include celebrations of employees who serve in other roles throughout the district.
“Our fifth strategic priority is Organizational Health and Innovation, and establishing a robust employee recognition program is a critical component of building a culture in Fayette County Public Schools that celebrates the unwavering dedication, passion, and commitment that the members of Team FCPS demonstrate each day,” said Superintendent Demetrus Liggins.
Primary Teacher of the Year
Piatt is a fourth grade teacher at Wellington. In her nomination, peers called her “a true guiding light throughout the challenges presented by the pandemic and the subsequent recovery period.”
Known for her infectious warmth and welcoming demeanor, Piatt fosters an environment where colleagues and students feel valued and supported. She not only provides a nurturing space as a team leader for first-year teachers to thrive but also leads the social committee, orchestrating special activities and outings that foster a sense of camaraderie among the staff. Her dedication to building up students and staff members alike has earned her this prestigious honor and solidifies her status as an exceptional role model.
Teaching is a second career for Piatt, who holds a communication degree and initially went to work in the banking industry. “I had always wanted to be a teacher,” she said. “I love learning and I love people. Building relationships is the best part of it. I just love seeing kids grow.”
Piatt has worked in FCPS since 2014 and has taught in fourth and fifth grade classrooms at Dixie Magnet Elementary, Booker T. Washington Elementary, and Wellington Elementary. She is pursuing her administrative degree.
Secondary Teacher of the Year
Known for his deep understanding and support of his fellow educators, Fedriani actively engages in various school and district committees, embracing additional responsibilities and leadership opportunities. Peers noted that his infectious, positive spirit and joyous demeanor serve as a source of inspiration, and his commitment to building strong relationships resonates with students, creating an inclusive and supportive learning environment. Throughout the pandemic, Fedriani went the extra mile, reaching out to students and families to provide much-needed engagement and emotional support.
With more than 27 years of experience in education, Fedriani began his teaching journey with stints in Spain, England, and Scotland. For the past five years, he has been an invaluable member of the BSMS community, teaching high school Spanish to sixth graders in the dual language immersion program and mentoring visiting teachers.
"I chose to become a teacher because I was impressed by the educators who influenced my own life,” Fedriani said. “Education is a tool to our future. Every youngster deserves a chance to realize their potential, and education is the way for them to get the future they desire. Teaching is not always just about content – it is focused on people. You deliver the content by understanding and supporting students and sharing experiences."
Posted May 18, 2023