Henrico’s Top Teachers – Elizabeth Clark

Elizabeth Clark decided she wanted to become a science teacher in seventh grade. She traces her motivation to the influence of some excellent teachers she had as a youngster – and also to some who were less than stellar.

“I had some absolutely wonderful teachers that I really looked up to and still keep in touch with today,” she said, “and some terrible teachers who made me want to go into the field too, thinking, ‘Boy, I’ve got to be able to do it better than you can and make science fun.’”

You might say she’s been successful. Clark, who teaches math and science to gifted fourth- and fifth-grade students at Maude Trevvett Elementary School, was one of 102 teachers nationwide last year to earn the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, which includes a $10,000 reward from the National Science Foundation.

She and the other teachers were honored by President Obama during a White House ceremony earlier this month, culminating a four-day event in Washington, D.C.

“I was ecstatic,” Clark said, recalling her emotion when she learned she was a winner. “I kind of jumped around my house.

“But the recognition and the emails I’ve gotten from my [former] students is almost worth more than the award. I’ve gotten so many emails from former students saying they’re passionate about science, math, education, because of the small part I’ve played in their lives.”

Clark (whose last name was Miller when she won the award) has been teaching for 14 years, including 10 in Henrico, with stops at Brookland Middle and Three Chopt Elementary before arriving at Trevvett two years ago. Science, in particular, always has been a passion of hers.

“Science is all around you,” she said. “When I was a kid, I’d play outside and investigate. You get to play with cool stuff!”

She’s brought that passion into her classroom, where she is able to act on her desire to help youngsters, and particularly young girls, develop an interest in science – in part because of her unrealized childhood goal of becoming an astronaut.

“I had no clue how to go about that in the third and fourth grade,” she said. “Now, I’m wanting to be able to help kids find their passions and get there. It helps me feel that I can get a little closer to that crazy dream that I had.”

She enjoys teaching elementary students, she said, because she finds they become excited about science, math and engineering more easily than middle-school students.

After an earthquake occurred in Central Virginia several years ago, Clark was able to use computers and interactive technology in her classroom to pull up the U.S. Geological Survey website and show her students exactly what happened and where.

“Things like that make bringing that type of experience into my classroom so much easier,” she said.
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State Police urge motorists to #MoveOver during Memorial Day weekend

Memorial Day signifies the official start of summer, and Virginia State Police officials are urging motorists to "do what’s right when they see lights" and move over.

The “Move Over” law is a lifesaving law intended to protect public safety professionals and highway workers who help to maintain the safety of the Commonwealth’s roads. State Police are using the #MoveOver hashtag on social media to promote the law. > Read more.

Henrico to hold June 8 open house on Route 5 Corridor/Marion Hill study

The Henrico County Planning Department will hold an open house Thursday, June 8 for residents and other members of the public to provide input for a study of the Route 5 Corridor/Marion Hill areas.

The open house will be held from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Varina Area Library, 1875 New Market Road. The meeting’s informal structure will allow the public to attend at their convenience and to ask questions and discuss the study one on one with Planning staff. > Read more.

Henrico real estate staying strong despite low inventory

The Henrico real estate market has been relatively strong for the past month, despite a lower amount of inventory, according to data from Long and Foster Real Estate.

In the past month, 408 homes have been sold in Henrico, which is 2 percent less than were sold in the same timeframe in 2016.

Last year the median sale prices for Henrico homes was $219,975, whereas this month it's up to $232,500, a 6 percent increase. Which means half of the homes in Henrico are priced above $232,500 and half are priced below. > Read more.

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.
> Read more.

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.
> Read more.

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John Mayall will perform at 8 p.m. at The Tin Pan, 8982 Quioccasin Rd. Mayall, OBE (Order of the British Empire) is an English blues singer, guitarist, organist and songwriter, whose musical career spans over 50 years. He will be performing with a full band for this show. Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $65 in advance and $70 at the door. For details, call 447-8189 or visit http://www.tinpanrva.com. Full text

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