Henrico County VA
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Henrico’s Top Teachers – E. Scott Broderick

Ridge E.S., fourth grade
As a self-professed “career switcher,” E. Scott Broderick spent years in a variety of sales and management positions.

But even before he followed his heart to teaching, as he puts it, he always found ways to be involved with children, whether through volunteer work or his hobby: performing as an amateur magician at local libraries.

Although he recalls no “light bulb moments” of inspiration to be a teacher, he does have fond memories of all his elementary teachers – from the first grade teacher who was also a neighbor and the second grade teacher who instilled a love of music to later teachers who taught him to love reading and writing.

What’s more, he admits that teaching is probably in his blood, since his father (who went on to become a principal and superintendent) was his physical education teacher while he was growing up.

Today, as a fourth grade teacher, he finds the toughest classroom challenge is engagement, which he describes as “finding fun ways to get your point across so that it will be understood and retained by everyone.”

A long-time Ridge Elementary parent who has had a child in his class calls Broderick’s teaching style “amazing” and says he excels at getting his point across and at engaging his students through conversation.

Not only does he display genuine interest in what interests students, wrote the parent in her nomination, but he also taps that knowledge in ways that inspire them to succeed.

“Mr. Broderick is never one to be comfortable with his technique,” she said. “He is always looking for new strategies and technologies to make sure that each child is reached.”

Her own child learned from Broderick how to use creative writing to express herself, said the parent, and also acquired a love of Virginia history that has enhanced the education of the entire family.

“We often take day trips,” said the mother, “to places she has discovered through her learning in school.”

The student’s mother also observed as Broderick’s patience and firmness with a difficult classmate of her daughter’s turned that student around. Although the boy’s behavior was “erratic” and a source of frequent disturbances, she said, “[Broderick] held the bar high and yet taught the child that he had the ability to reach it.

“Mr. Broderick learned what interested him and used it to motivate the child to learn. I saw this boy develop and grow with every visit I made as a volunteer in class.”

Not only does he inspire youth, added the parent, but Broderick also serves as a mentor to fellow teachers and future educators through volunteering as a lead teacher for VCU practicum students, serving as a representative for county and state professional organizations, and participating in mentor-buddy programs.

Over the years, he has also served on committees charged with such tasks as framing the science curriculum, reviewing discovery science and social studies scope and sequence, writing curriculum for fifth grade social studies and developing a fourth grade pacing guide. In addition, he has served as a team leader and as sponsor of the safety patrol, and participated on the school-wide Title I committee and the principal’s advisory committee.

To top it off, she added, Broderick attends every school event and often helps with PTA programs, from emceeing auctions and talent shows to performing in skits and magic shows.

And what does Broderick receive in return?

Like any teacher, he enjoys seeing the “ah-ha” moments when students make a connection -- shifting from a blank stare at hearing “400 yards” to the glimmer of understanding when he explains the distance as four football fields long. “It’s rewarding to see it sink in,” says Broderick.

Another teaching moment that never fails to warm his heart, he says, is when students grasp the concept that “work ethic is tied to success – and then apply it in class.”

Finally, as the parent of a new kindergartner who enjoys seeing his daughter go eagerly off to school, he especially likes to hear from a parent that their child enjoys coming to school.

“Teaching is its own reward,” says Broderick. “It is important not only to like kids, but also to like making a difference in their lives.

“There is a distinction.”
Community

Celebrating 106 years

Former Sandston resident Mildred Taylor celebrated her 106th birthday Aug. 9. Taylor, who now lives in Powhatan, is still a member of Sandston Baptist Church. She was visited the day after her birthday by several members of the church, who played for her a recording of the entire church membership singing happy birthday to her during worship. > Read more.

YMCA breaks ground for aquatic center

YMCA officials gathered last week to break ground on the new Tommy J. West Aquatic Center at the Shady Grove Family YMCA on Nuckols Road. The center, which will featured 7,600 square feet of competitive and recreational space, including water slides, play areas for children and warmer water for those with physical limitations, is the fourth phase of a $4 million expansion at the facility. West was president and CEO of Capital Interior Contractors and a founding member of the Central Virginia Region of the Virginia Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors. > Read more.

Rotary donates to ‘Bright Beginnings’

The Sandston Rotary Club recently donated $1,000 to the Sandston YMCA for its Bright Beginnings program, which helps provide children in need with school supplies for the new school year. > Read more.

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Entertainment

Weekend Top 10


Enjoy the final days of summer with comedian Guy Torry, the Sam’s Club National BBQ Tour or mystery writer Mary Miley Theobald at Twin Hickory Library. Another great way to welcome the beginning of fall is to check out the UR Spider Football season opener with man’s best friend. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

Bottoms up

Short Pump brewery offers more than just beer
I am still (happily) thinking about my entire experience at Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery last week. Knowing nothing about this new brewery out of Denver, I was leery of brew-pub in the heart of Short Pump Town Center – this is not what I’d usually think of as a perfect fit, and yet, it was.

The restaurant and craft brewery opened in early June and features 10 beers made by female brewmaster Becky Hammond (pictured). This is the restaurant’s second location in Virginia; the first is in Arlington. Behind glass walls, customers watched the beer brewing in massive steel barrels. For our up-and-coming beer region, it makes sense that Short Pump would jump on board.

As I walked up to the back of the mall near the comedy club, I was taken aback by what I saw: at the top of the stairs was an overflowing restaurant with outdoor seating, large umbrellas and dangling outdoor lights. > Read more.

Cultural Arts Center announces 2014 fall class schedule

The Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen is now registering participants for its fall 2014 schedule of classes.

The center will offer more than 100 classes for children and adults, covering topicssuch as culinary arts, fiber arts, visual and performance arts and more. Instruction is structured to appeal to a wide range of abilities, from beginners to experts of all ages. Class sizes are kept small to ensure maximum benefit for participants with generally no more than 15 students. > Read more.

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Richmond Volleyball Club will host the 17th Annual Virginia Volleyball Showcase on Aug. 29-30 at the Richmond Volleyball Club in Henrico.

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Henrico's Top Teachers