Supported by 49 years of practiced excellence in music, education and administration, Patricia Thornton Hayes retired in 2005 after spending her career within the Virginia Beach, Norfolk and Portsmouth Public School Districts. At the inception of her career in 1956, she was a director of music at Clendenin High School within Kanawha County Schools in Charleston, West Virginia, for one year before relocating to Virginia, where she was a director of music at several schools throughout Virginia Beach and Norfolk including Shelton Park Elementary School, Campostella Heights Elementary School, Suburban Park Elementary School and Bayview Elementary School.
After a brief stint as a teacher of music and special education at Mount Zion Elementary School in Suffolk, Virginia, from 1970 to 1971, Ms. Hayes became a director of music at Meadowbrooke and Lakeview Elementary School in Norfolk from 1972 to 1973. From there, she commenced her long tenure as a director of choral and orchestra within Portsmouth City Schools, a position she held for 23 years between 1973 and 1996. She concluded her career as a specialist of music at the Portsmouth Diagnostic Center in 2005.
Drawing upon a Bachelor of Music from West Virginia University Institute of Technology and Master of Education in special education from Old Dominion University, Ms. Hayes found that she was interested in music from when she was a very young girl. Believing that music can be utilized for the greater good throughout the world, she is an advocate for the inclusion of specialized music programs in schools. She notes that music is just as important as sports and other disciplines because it can be leveraged in every aspect of an individual’s life. Teaching general music to children throughout her career, she succeeded at motivating students to love music. Ms. Hayes held programs and performances at every school in which she taught.
Alongside her primary career responsibilities, Ms. Hayes was a judge for the Doris Sahr Memorial Piano Competition and director of music programs and festivals for the City of Chesapeake, Virginia. She also spent time playing the organ at churches, weddings and various receptions. Affiliated with the historic St. Luke’s Church, she has volunteered with the Beazley Foundation, Inc., since 2003 and is an active member of the Tidewater Community Band, the Portsmouth Concert Association and the Charleston Light Opera Guild.
Excited to celebrate her 60th wedding anniversary with her husband, Raymond S. Hayes, this upcoming November, Ms. Hayes is the proud mother of two children, Rhett and Amber. She also has twin granddaughters, one of whom has played violin all throughout high school. She is immensely proud of her children and grandchildren and cites their achievements as the highlights of her career.
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