Henrico’s Top Teachers – Holly Colby

A career in graphic design was in the cards for Holly Colby when she entered VCU’s School of the Arts as an undergrad, but a service-learning class at John B. Cary Elementary School in Richmond changed that.
“I was really just taking a class to fill up the semester,” Colby recalled, “but I just loved it. I found myself looking forward to it. I guess a lightbulb went on and I was like, ‘Why don’t I become a teacher?’”
So she did, eventually becoming a student teacher at Dumbarton Elementary School after graduating with a master’s degree in 2005. When a permanent substitute position opened at the school, she was hired. Then a kindergarten teaching position opened, and she began the role for which she seemed destined.
“I go to work every day just full of love, full of happiness,” Colby said.
Her class is “the Colby family” and as such, she hosts a “personal share” time each morning to help establish and build strong connections with each child. Students share anything special or interesting that is happening in their lives, and the class celebrates each one together.
For one of Colby’s students, that special attention has paid big dividends.
“When my daughter started kindergarten she was extremely shy,” a mother wrote in a nomination letter. “She would not look at or speak to most other adults unless it was to tell them to ‘go away.’ She wanted to make friends, but wasn’t sure how.
“Within a week Mrs. Colby had her speaking in front of her class, and coming home to tell us about all the friends she had made. We are regularly stopped by people because they want to remark on how much progress she has made. She will look at and speak confidently to other adults and children. She has volunteered to lead the Lord’s prayer in church. These were all things that were unheard of for her before kindergarten.”
For Colby, it’s all about showing her students that she truly cares about them and their education.
“You see the sparkle in their eyes when they complete a task or make progress,” she said. “You need to be invested in them.”
Colby drops a gem or rock into a “gem jar” she keeps on her desk, as a way of celebrating individual accomplishments of her students.
“I’ll go over and tell the kids, ‘This rock right here is for Johnny, and then they’ll all clap,” she said. It makes me very happy to walk in there every day.”
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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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Henrico Business Bulletin Board

May 2017

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Participants can learn about the process of purchasing a home and obtaining a mortgage at a free seminar offered by Virginia Credit Union from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Tuckahoe Library. Mortgage experts will be on hand to answer specific questions. To register, call 323-6800 or visit http://tinyurl.com/VACUworkshop. Full text

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Henrico's Top Teachers

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