"Growing up in East Liverpool, I felt we were all equal because, whether Black or White, we had the same educational opportunities. Race, socio-economic level, and parentage had no bearing on what students could and did achieve in East Liverpool."
Patricia Wyche Post gained a love for learning and a love for the Lord early on from her parents, Magdalene Wyche, who still resides in East End, and the late William McKinley Wyche. Pat and her sister, Shirley, were both ''home schooled" by their mother, long before the movement was popular, learning reading, writing, math and numerous Bible stories and verses before they entered kindergarten.
Post graduated from East Liverpool High School in 1969, as the Salutatorian of her class, and went on to attend Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio, graduating with a teaching degree in American Studies.
Patricia Wyche Post with grandson Trey
Everett High School in Lansing, Mich., recruited her as a teacher, where she taught for three years, including teaching Ervin "Magic" Johnson during his junior year. While teaching in Lansing, she also received her Master's Degree in Reading Specialization. This she used to teach Developmental Reading at the University of Akron, where she pursued a Doctorate degree in Supervision and Instruction as well. After moving to Connecticut, Pat continued using her Master's in Reading to teach at colleges and community colleges in Connecticut, New York, and later on in Virginia. Pat extended her passion for lifelong learning by pursuing an education in entrepreneurship, owning a network marketing business that spanned more than seven states and into Canada, as well as a Subway Sandwich franchise in upstate New York.
Most recently, Pat's educational attainments have included an Adult Education Certification from Virginia Commonwealth University and training as an educational therapist from the National Institute for Learning Development. Since she continues to find learning stimulating, her current endeavor is to earn a license in teaching math.
Wyche states she knew very little about Black History until she entered college. In fact, she states, "Maybe our parents felt prejudice and injustice as they were growing up, but living in East Liverpool, I was oblivious to most racial overtones." After learning some harsh, disturbing facts in college, she explains, "Before, I thought our country was right and good and reasonably fair, but reading Black History angered me. Part of the anger was because I was considered "smart," but I was really ignorant. It was as if public school educators thought if they told us the truth, we couldn't handle it."
This is the third of a series in which The Review will spotlight men and women with ties to the area during the February celebration of Black History Month.
While she realized that, even in East Liverpool, she did have to perform better than Whites in order to be recognized, she accepted that as just a fact of life, not anything to fight or despair about. But, Pat states, "If I did outperform, I found I could and would be recognized. Of that I was confident. I never felt it was hopeless."
Pat has been with the Norfolk Public School System in Norfolk, Va., since 2007, currently serving as Graduation Coach for Maury High School. Pat and her husband, Richard, have 3 children, 3 granddaughters and 3 grandsons.