Henrico’s Top Teachers – Audra Yerian

Audra Yerian never thought she’d end up teaching, but once she started, there was little doubt about which direction her career in education would head. She’s spent all nine years of it teaching kindergarten in Henrico – first at Jackson Davis Elementary, and for the past two years at Sandston Elementary.

“I absolutely love teaching reading,” Yerian said, explaining why she can’t imagine teaching any other grade level. “I feel like that is my passion. I feel strongly about ensuring that kids leave my room at the age of five or six being able to put a book in their hands and say ‘I can read.’ It’s an incredible thing to be able to empower kids to do.”

Yerian finds satisfaction and a sense of achievement in helping students who possess widely varying academic skill sets in September reach the same end point by June.

“You’ve got some families who are able to spend lots of time with their kids, or the kids may have older brothers and sisters and have been paying attention [to what they’ve learned],” Yerian said. “Then you have some who may be the first child or only child, no sibling influence. Maybe their parents are working two jobs. Some of those kids, when they come to me, don’t even know how to write their names.”

Working individually to help each student is a challenging but rewarding process.

“You cannot just go from zero to 60 in five minutes,” Yerian said. “You build on the structure of the classroom from Day One, teach them how to learn reading and math in small groups, and then together it becomes easier and easier.”

Yerian moved to Sandston E.S. last year, along with a number of other new faces, as part of the school’s designation as Henrico’s 21st Century Model School, an initiative designed to hone students’ skills in research, communication, problem solving, creativity and critical thinking, through the use of a wide range of technology and small group and tiered instruction.

“There’s lots of collaboration,” Yerian said. “[Students] are learning to be leaders by managing the groups they are in. They’re learning to be responsible for their own learning.”

Yerian’s success in the new setting hasn’t gone unnoticed. She was named the Henrico County Public Schools Teacher of the Year by the school system last year.

“I love it here,” she said of Sandston. “I’m glad I came. I hope that [the 21st century approach] catches on and that other schools will get this opportunity.”
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Smither named director of Henrico’s Department of Finance

Henrico County Manager John A. Vithoulkas has appointed Edward N. “Ned” Smither Jr. to serve as director of the Department of Finance, effective July 1.

Smither has served Henrico since 2013 as director of the Accounting Division in Finance. He will succeed Eugene H. Walter, who has delayed his retirement until June 30 to ensure an orderly transition within the department.
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State honors EMS officials this week

There were nearly 1.5 million emergency medical services calls and 4,063 incidents per day in Virginia just last year.

This week, May 21-27, declared as National EMS week by Gov. Terry McAuliffe, recognizes the more than 34,000 EMS personnel and 631 agencies in the state and commends their efforts and commitment to Commonwealth citizens.
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Norfolk man arrested at RIC after TSA catches him with gun

A Norfolk man was arrested at Richmond International Airport May 18 after Transportation Security Administration officers detected a loaded semi-automatic handgun in the traveler’s carry-on bag.

A TSA officer detected the .40 caliber semi-automatic handgun inside the man’s carry-on bag as it passed through the security checkpoint X-ray machine. The handgun was loaded with 13 bullets.
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Police release photo of hoax bomb

Henrico Police have released a photo of the clock that resembled a bomb that led to the arrest of a Richmond woman in Shot Pump earlier this week.

The device, which the woman told police she purchased at a yard sale, was visible in her car at the Whole Foods at West Broad Village May 19, and a passerby called police, fearing it was a real bomb. Police responded as they would have had the device been real, they said, because they weren't sure if it was real or not.
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Henrico school buses with compliance issue to be fixed this summer


The 176 Henrico school buses that have been purchased since March 2011 will be fixed during the summer, Henrico Schools spokesman Andy Jenks told the Citizen. The bus manufacturers will retrofit the buses at no cost to the school division, he said.

The brake interlock device is required on all automatic transmission buses in Virginia that were purchased after March 2011, which is when the device was added to the state Board of Education's requirements for school buses. As many as 4,000 school buses in the state may be affected, according to the Virginia Department of Education.
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May 2017
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The Innsbrook Executives’ Breakfast Series continues at 7:15 a.m. at the Richmond Marriott Short Pump, 4240 Dominion Blvd. Norman Cohen, published author and international businessman, will present “Don’t Cry Foul, Just Strike Them Out.” Cost is $25 to $30. The series continues on the third Thursday of every month. The meeting is open to all – you don’t have to be an executive or work in Innsbrook to attend. For details, visit http://www.innsbrook.com. Full text

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