Henrico County VA
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Moving on up

Henrico witnesses a boom in high-end housing
Henrico County has seen a surge in the high-end housing market, with about 100 homes priced at more than $750,000 being bought or built in the last year, specifically in the Three Chopt and Tuckahoe magisterial districts.

HHHunt, a home developer based in Henrico, sold multiple homes in its new Ellington Woods community for more than $1 million recently, a trend that George Moore, vice president of development for HHHunt Communities, believes isn’t going to stop any time soon.

“When you talk about higher-priced homes, these areas are very desirable,” Moore said. “The schools in this area of Henrico County are ranked some of the highest in the state of Virginia; there is quality development, and people are looking for attractive communities with landscaping, high end amenities and the nearby services.” > Read more.

Henrico’s Top Teachers – Nancy Staples

ESL Welcome Center; Holladay ES, ESL
When students who speak limited English – or none at all – arrive in Henrico County with their families, many facets of life are new and challenging. Nancy Staples works to ease that transition for children and their parents alike.

Staples plays critical roles in the way Henrico’s public school system screens, places and educates its 3,000 English as a Second Language students and their families.

All ESL students are screened at the county’s ESL Welcome Center at Tucker High School to determine their level of English proficiency and proper placement. They receive ratings from 1 (not at all proficient) to 5 (highly proficient). > Read more.

Henrico’s Top Teachers – Robert Meister

Tucker H.S., English
If it weren't for a brief fling with meteorology in college, Robert Meister might never have figured out that he wanted to teach literature.

After a freshman year spent majoring in computer science, he switched to the study of weather for a semester. Part way through that semester, he had what he calls a strange thought: "I don’t have a mathematical relationship with the weather, I have a literary relationship with the weather."

From then on, he majored in English. "I really loved literature and its connections to art, theatre, dance, and music," he says. "I thought that maybe I could help students make those same connections and appreciate the world in a new and exciting way." > Read more.

Henrico’s Top Teachers – Bev Lanier

Varina H.S., Director, Center for Communications
Bev Lanier was two years removed from college with a degree in English and a strong desire to teach. But despite sending applications to a number of local school systems, she’d heard nothing back. So one August afternoon, she picked up the phone and called Henrico County’s Central Office to ask if there were any vacant positions.

“The person told me to hold on, and then somebody got back on the phone and asked if I could come in three hours for an interview. Of course I said yes.”

The only problems: Lanier had nothing formal to wear and didn’t own a car. She borrowed her sister’s car, drove to Carytown and bought a dress in time for the interview. > Read more.

Henrico’s Top Teachers – Amy El-Khouri

Deep Run H.S., Choral Director
Amy El-Khouri’s passion for singing and music began early in her childhood when she sang for church choirs, played piano and even ran rehearsals in high school when her teacher was absent. At 37 years old she has transformed her passion into an impactful career that allows her to use her talents and be surrounded by what she loves as the choral director at Deep Run High School.

“Music and choir was the place I felt most connected,” said El-Khouri. “I had some really fantastic music teachers that helped me grow and gave me confidence, and I wanted to give that to other people. If you’ve been performing long enough, you realize teaching is just a different type of performance.” > Read more.

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Community

Glen Allen student to perform at Carnegie Hall

Thanks to a first-place win in The American Protege International Vocal Competition 2014, Glen Allen High School student Matija Tomas will travel to New York City to perform at Carnegie Hall in December.

At the first-place winners recital in Weill Hall, Matija will perform Giacomo Puccini’s opera aria, “Chi il bel sogna di doretta.” She will perform with other vocalists from around the world and have the opportunity to win other awards and scholarships.

Locally, Thomas has performed with Richmond’s renowned Glorious Christmas Nights, Christian Youth Theatre, and WEAG’s Urban Gospel Youth Choir. > Read more.

Gayton Baptist Church dedicates new outreach center


The John Rolfe YMCA and Gayton Baptist Church have partnered in an effort to bring greater health and wellness opportunities to the community.

Through this partnership, the John Rolfe Y will run Youth Winter Sports programs, including basketball and indoor soccer, in Gayton’s newly renovated $5.5 million outreach center that features a new gymnasium, youth and teen space, social space with café, meeting space and full service commercial kitchen. > Read more.

Henricus Historical Park to host Publick Day Sept. 20

Henricus Historical Park will commemorate its anniversary during Publick Day, a signature annual event that celebrates the establishment of the second successful English settlement in the New World. In September 1611, Sir Thomas Dale, along with soldiers, tradesmen and farmers, ventured from Jamestown to create the Citie of Henricus. Leaders of Henricus developed the first English hospital, chartered the first college in North America, established tobacco as the first cash crop in Virginia, and created a place where Pocahontas lived and met John Rolfe.

Publick Day will take place Saturday, Sept. 20, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free and parking is $5 per vehicle. > Read more.

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Entertainment

Extras sought for AMC’s ‘TURN’

Paid extras are being sought to appear in the AMC television series TURN: Washington's Spies, which will begin filming its second season in the Richmond area at the end of September and continue through February.

No experience is required, but producers say that extras must have flexible availability, reliable transportation and a positive attitude.

Arvold Casting is holding an open call on Sunday, Sept. 21 and is seeking men, women and children who are Caucasian, African American and Native American, with thin to average builds and who can realistically portray people living in Revolutionary War times. Long hair is a plus but not a must. > Read more.

Weekend Top 10


TGIF! Celebrate the weekend at Oak Hall Baptist Church’s Community Block Party on Saturday. Learn more about ballroom dancing, art and Colonial times. Or take the kids to Generation Z Games for water play or Southern Season to cook up a Disney-theme meal. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

Weekend Top 10


Check out these three B’s in Henrico this weekend: books, bluegrass and “Born Yesterday.” Other activities to participate in – and feel good about – are the 15th annual James River Regional Cleanup and the 5th annual Richmond Out of the Darkness Community Walk. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

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Southern Season, 2250 Staples Mill Rd., will continue its Kid Chef Series at 2 p.m. Families with children ages 6-9 will make a Disney-themed meal. The menu includes Peter Pan’s… Full text

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Henrico's Top Teachers