Top Teachers: Erin Bourne
Byrd M.S., eighth grade
Erin Bourne is willing to concede that the future employment opportunities of her current algebra students are unlikely to depend upon their abilities to solve quadratic equations on the spot.
But, they may depend upon their abilities to solve problems.
Bourne, who has taught eighth-graders for 11 years at Byrd, does her best to make algebra fun for her students while impressing upon them the importance of understanding the process they use.
“They might not use this specific topic, but what I’m teaching is problem-solving skills and how to use them,” Bourne said.
It’s working; Bourne is a student favorite who earns high marks for her classroom demeanor and willingness to help students who need assistance.
“Every child that has or has had her as a math teacher loves her,” one nominator wrote of Bourne. “She is patient and inspiring. Her knowledge of algebra and trigonometry is above and beyond. She takes algebra and applies it to real life, and therefore the kids seem to appreciate why algebra is essential for life. She is well respected and highly regarded by all of the students in her class.”
Math comes naturally to Bourne, who said she has always loved it but wasn’t sure what she’d end up doing with it. A career fair in college helped sway her toward teaching.
Students appreciate her personality – a mix of excitement and occasional silliness.
“I have been told before by my kids that I’m very funny – they compare me to Jim Carey in my facial expressions,” Bourne said with a laugh. “I’m very enthusiastic – I almost feel like I’m performing when I’m teaching.”
Bourne regularly holds tutoring sessions before school begins to offer extra support for any students who need it. She can relate to those who do.
“The kids would probably be shocked to know that I took algebra twice,” she said. “I got a C the first time in private school, then took it again in ninth grade.”
The fit at Byrd has been a comfortable one for Bourne, who describes the faculty as a supportive family.
“Everyone is supportive, willing to help,” she said. “Every year there’s a new initiative that the county wants us to take on, and those faculty members who have been trained in it are anxious to help others.”
The Richmond West Breakfast Lions Club (based in western Henrico) recently donated 59 backpacks to the Westover Hills Elementary School on Jahnke Road.
Above, club members display some of the backpacks prior to their distribution. > Read more.
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.
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.
Find out how your favorite dining establishments fared during their most recent inspections by the Virginia Department of Health. > Read more.
CAT Theatre’s 51st season will open with Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure, which will run from Oct. 24-Nov. 8. Adapted by Steven Dietz, it is based on the original 1899 play by William Gillette and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and was the winner of the 2007 Edgar Award for Best Mystery Play.
The plot follows what seems to be the end of the career of the world’s greatest detective as he is confronted with a case far too tempting to ignore. When the King of Bohemia faces blackmail by famed opera singer Irene Adler, Holmes and his faithful companion, Dr. Watson, find themselves falling into the trap of evil genius Professor Moriarty. As Holmes says, “The game is afoot Watson, and it is a dangerous one!” > Read more.
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.
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CalendarVCU Medical Center will present the seminar “Sleep from Argh! To Zzzz…” at 5:30 p.m. at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, 1800 Lakeside Ave. Learn about the biology of sleep and… Full text