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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UMFS has urgent need for foster parents


UMFS officials say they have a desperate need for more foster families in the Richmond region and Central Virginia, especially those who would receive teenagers currently in the foster care system.

In recent years throughout the state, the number of children entering the foster care system has grown. > Read more.

VSP issues warning about automated traffic ticket email scam

Virginia State Police officials are warning Virginians about an email scam that tells people they are receiving an “automated traffic ticket” from the agency. State Police do not use or issue digital or automated traffic tickets or summonses, however. Anyone receiving such an email should delete it and not click on any links provided in the email, police said. > Read more.

READ Center offers free classes, training to low-literate people


One in six adults in Metro Richmond has literacy issues, and the READ Center in Henrico County is working to address the issue.

Next week – Sept. 24-30 – is Adult Education and Family Literacy Week, a time during which the READ Center is shining a light on its efforts to help some of the 35,000 adults in the region for whom reading, writing and basic math remain an elusive target. > Read more.

Play Day RVA planned for Sept. 21


The Richmond region will celebrate Play Day RVA Thursday, Sept. 21, with activities throughout the area to celebrate the opportunities that exist to play in the community. Dozens of employers, local governments, schools and community organizations will participate by hosting events that integrate playful activities into daily life and spread awareness of the value of active living. > Read more.

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September 2017
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The Modlin Center for the Arts at the University of Richmond will screen National Theatre Live’s “Angels in America, Part One: Millennium Approaches” at 3 p.m. in Camp Concert Hall, Booker Hall of Music. “Part Two: Perestroika” will take place at 3 p.m. Oct. 1. The play takes place in America in the mid-1980s. Amid the AIDS crisis and a conservative Reagan administration, New Yorkers grapple with life and death, love and sex, heaven and hell. NT Live brings the best of British theatre direct from the stages of London to cinemas around the world. Tickets are $14. For details, call 289-8980 or visit http://www.modlin.richmond.edu. Full text

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