Henrico’s Top Teachers – Beverly Brown

Inspiration can come at any time, and in any form. For Beverly Brown, it came in a fourth-grade classroom.

Her teacher that year rewarded the class by reading another chapter from Little House on the Prarie aloud each time students behaved well.

“That made me excited,” Brown recalled. “I went through school with a love of history – reading and history. I wanted to instill that in children.”

Brown has spent a quarter-century in the classroom – including the last 12 years at Echo Lake Elementary – doing just that. She teaches a collaborative class of fourth-graders, working with a number of advanced students.

“Mrs. Brown goes above and beyond to give students the best education possible,” a former student wrote in a nomination letter for Brown. 

While teaching in Amherst, Va. early in her career, Brown began an annual exercise of having her students interview local military veterans, then write essays about them and give presentations about the vets. The idea began because many of her students were unfamiliar with the meaning of Veterans Day, she said.

The assignment took on special meaning after 9/11, when Brown was teaching in Virginia Beach and many of her students’ parents and other relatives were deployed.

When Brown earned a prestigious REB Award for teaching excellence (given to only 15 Richmond-area teachers each year) in 2011, she used the award’s grant money to visit World War II sites in England and France. She took with her that year’s student essays and took pictures of them on a monument at Normandy. The experience helped bring history to life for her class.

Brown works to make lessons interactive and fun for her students. One student recalled how Brown used blow-up dolphins with fake intestines during a lesson about ocean life to help show how a stranded dolphin died. During a lesson about Virginia regions, she made cookies and had students decorate them to illustrate the differences between regions.

“She offers great feedback and always has our back,” the student wrote.

Brown makes a point to attend at least one sporting event or other event in which her students participate outside of school each year.

“I love to do that,” she said. “That’s important to me to let them know that I really care about them, even outside the classroom. I remember when my children were young and how excited they would get when their teacher would come to their baseball games.

“I want to be the kind of teacher that I would want my children and grandchildren to have.”

Staying up to date with technology helps Brown close the generation gap with her students but also provides a valuable lesson for them.

“With me having to keep up with all the things in technology, it’s teaching them that I’m still learning every day and that learning doesn’t stop when you get your report card,” she said.
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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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FETCH a Cure’s 7th annual Bow Tie Open Golf Tournament will take place at The Federal Club in Glen Allen. The morning start time is at 8 a.m. and the afternoon start is at 2 p.m. Cost is $650 for morning teams and $750 for afternoon teams – fee includes carts, meals, snacks, drinks, team photos and awards. The Bow Tie Open is one of FETCH a Cure’s signature events; proceeds benefit the organization’s life-saving mission and programs. For details, visit http://www.fetchacure.org. Full text

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