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Missy Powell-Riedl of Burbank Elementary School is named 2023 Cox Education Hero

In a surprise visit on Monday, May 15, 2023, Missy Powell-Riedl, kindergarten teacher at Burbank Elementary School, was presented with the 2023 Cox Education Hero award and a $1,000 grant for classroom supplies. She was one of 10 teachers selected from 65 nominations from across the state and the only recipient in the Hampton Roads area.

Angelique LeBlanc, Cox public relations manager, presented Powell-Riedl with the award.

Kathryn Pepe, Powell-Reidl’s coworker nominated her for the award and submitted the following, “Mrs. Powell-Reidl has many gifts and superpowers as an educator, community participant, and team leader. She completely absorbs herself with student achievement, technological excellence, as well as environmental mindfulness. She has created an outdoor learning space for the whole school to enjoy and thrives on supporting other/all teachers when needed. Academic superiority is at the forefront of her teaching/learning model. Her school/home connection is supported by weekly newsletters and the use of social media to share student success. Mrs. Powell-Reidl has often been asked to pilot programs for Hampton City Schools in the areas of language arts, science, and technological future programs.”

The nomination letter shared that Powell-Reidl participates in inclusion models for children with diverse and special needs. Outside of school she is often asked to participate in International Baccalaureate operations based on her expertise of this model of academics. Powell-Reidl has set up a recycling program school wide and teaches students through hands-on activities. In the garden children learn about life cycles of butterflies, frogs, and composting.

“Teachers have the power to ignite minds and shape futures, and when their dedication is recognized through awards and grants, their impact knows no bounds,” said Burbank principal Dr. Heidi Brezinski. “Ms. Powell-Riedl, a teacher who is definitely making a difference in the futures of Burbank Bulldogs, is unlocking endless possibilities to nurture and empower young people, which is investing positively in our community.”