It is an honor to represent the many exceptional elementary mathematics teachers in North Carolina by accepting the Presidential Award. Conferred by the President of the United States, this award communicates the importance of effective teaching at the elementary level and validates our efforts to provide children with the best possible educational foundation for achieving in the elementary grades and beyond. Teaching is my passion, and I am grateful to be recognized for what I love to do. 

Kayonna Pitchford Fayetteville, NC | K-6, Mathematics, 2014

Kayonna Pitchford has been an educator for 20 years, teaching students in third through fifth grade. For two years she was an instructional coach at Elizabeth Cashwell Elementary School and also taught at Stoney Point Elementary School. Currently, she is an Assistant Professor at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke. Kayonna supports teachers through leading professional development, selecting educational materials, assisting with lesson planning, monitoring instruction, and presenting model lessons. She shares and promotes a strong belief in building a solid mathematical foundation through the use of manipulatives, worthwhile tasks, reasoning, and cooperative learning.  Kayonna's fondness for teaching mathematics is evident in her work providing professional development and instructional materials to elementary mathematics teachers in her district and across the state for more than 15 years, impacting the education of countless students. Kayonna has a B.S. in elementary education from UNC-Greensboro, a M.Ed. in elementary education from Fayetteville State University, and a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction from North Carolina State University. She is completing an add-on licensure program for school administration at UNC-Wilmington. She is a National Board Certified Middle Childhood Generalist. She is certified in elementary education and as a curriculum-instructional specialist.