Stepping Out in Front: Dianna Hyatt
It was not until she got to college-level chemistry that Dianna Hyatt raised her hand in class for the first time. The Beaufort County Early College High School student plans to be a teacher, but before she can teach, she knew she had to get comfortable in front of a crowd. She became an ambassador at the community college as a way to push herself beyond her comfort zone.
The early college high school program lets students get a high school diploma and an associate degree from Beaufort County Community College in five years. By expanding into Washington County, the program is now available to students in all of the counties in BCCC service area.
Normally, it would take a student six years to complete both credentials, so the program can help students accelerate their education. As a bonus to parents, the entire program is free. In the case of Hyatt, she has taken two extra classes each semester and some summer classes, meaning that she will have completed the program in only four years.
The dedicated student wants to have her own students one day. She has already been accepted to East Carolina University. She plans to work in elementary education with first and second graders. Early on, her mother, Deborah Tyson, a teacher at BCECHS, gave her a whiteboard and other toys related to teaching, instilling the passion for the career.
BCECHS can be a great setting for students with Hyatt’s drive because they are integrated into college classes during their junior year. The expectations on them are the same as any other college student.
“By making me do high school and college classes, it’s pushed me to study more, and to get more involved and to do more things,” she admits. “It was stressful, but it helped me.”
Hyatt has built close connections with the college faculty, including her English instructor, Laurie Evans.
“I feel very comfortable here, since I am very shy. This is a small community college, and the teachers want to help you and work with you.”
She is currently writing an essay on censorship for Evans’s class. “She’s helped me with gathering sources,” alluding to a stack of books including The Scarlet Letter, Uncle Tom’s Cabin and the writings of Mark Twain. “She gave me all these books from her own collection.”
It is clear that the collegiate setting has helped the quiet Hyatt find her voice. “You can tell, can’t you?” she states.
She has applied the same dedication that helped her finish the program a year early to her personal life. From raising her hand, to speaking in front of an audience, to taking the helm of a class, Hyatt has pushed herself a little further each time.