Henrico’s Top Teachers – Judith Fitzpatrick

Judith Fitzpatrick is a 10-year, fourth-grade teaching veteran at Short Pump Elementary who has a unique teaching philosophy centered upon the individuality of each student. She works to have students discover what types of learners they are.

Fitzpatrick grew up in Washington state and graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in sociology. Upon graduation she traveled with her military-based husband and taught in Washington, Berlin, Germany and Korea, but she stayed primarily focused on her family and raising her four sons.

“My different life experiences and different people I’ve met from living and teaching in different countries, and raising my children, has influenced my teaching style and what I wanted to do in the classroom,” said Fitzpatrick. “Something I really believe is it’s not what you teach, it’s who you teach, which is the individual.”

After taking a 19-year hiatus from teaching, she started working at Short Pump Elementary School and has been there ever since.

Fitzpatrick’s classroom lessons incorporate 21st century learning activities, critical thinking, problem-based learning, technology and her most favorite, outdoor experiences.

“All my students know their own learning style, so if they’re having trouble, they won’t think, ‘I’m dumb’ or ‘I can’t do it,’” she said. “Instead, they can pinpoint why they aren’t understanding it.

“Now they know themselves better and the type of learner and student they are. Our goal should be to help all kids be exposed to this so they know themselves and different ways to learn.”

Fitzpatrick combines her interest in cultures, science and nature to create a hands-on experience in the classroom that pushes her students to grow. In 2014, she was one of two recipients for the Conservation Education Teacher of the Year award for her dedication to instilling a sense of environmental stewardship in her students and the community.

“Mrs. Fitzpatrick is one of Henrico County’s top teachers because she encourages students to take challenges, and she will teach the students problem-based learning,” wrote one parent in a nomination letter. “Mrs. Fitzpatrick encouraged and motivated my daughter to do well in the school and also challenged her to do new projects, such as the pumpkin composting project.”

In September 2013, collaborative efforts between groups of passionate students from Fitzpatrick’s classroom led to the creation of The Stinger Trail, a nature and fitness trail on the school grounds that is accessible to all members of the community and encourages outdoor learning and community projects.
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New GRASP scholarships to aide winners with college debt and costs

Fifteen Henrico County Public Schools students recently received a “2+2” scholarship from the non-profit organization GRASP (GReat Aspirations Scholarship Program, Inc.). In total, the newly created scholarships will help 71 students receive their baccalaureate degrees from a Virginia college or university with lower costs and less student debt.

The scholarship awards each winner $1,000 for his or her first year at a community college to cover the costs not covered by financial aid, such as books and computers. > Read more.

Long & Foster’s Innsbrook, Short Pump offices participate in community service day event

Thousands of real estate agents and employees with Long & Foster Real Estate, including those at the Innsbrook and Short Pump offices in Glen Allen, Virginia, took part in the company’s 20th annual Community Service Day June 7.

The Innsbrook and Short Pump offices chose to volunteer with Housing Families First on June 7. The organization’s mission provides families experiencing homelessness with what they need to move to a stable housing situation. > Read more.

Network of Enterprising Women to award scholarships to local HS grads

Three recent Henrico County high school graduates are among the 10 local students who will receive scholarships from the Network of Enterprising Women during the organization's monthly luncheon July 6. > Read more.

Crime Stoppers’ Crime of the Week – June 26, 2017

Richmond detectives need the public’s help to identify the vehicle and suspects in the shooting incident of a 7-year-old boy and an adult male. Can you help Crime Stoppers solve this latest shooting?

The shooting occurred in the 1500 block of North 22nd Street in the Fairmount neighborhood of the city. Officers arrived and found the two victims near a bus stop. > Read more.

Richmond Montessori School earns VAIS reaccreditation

Richmond Montessori School, an independent Montessori school for children ages 2 to 14, recently earned reaccreditation from the Virginia Association of Independent Schools. The VAIS accreditation program is one of only a few recognized at the national level through the National Association of Independent School's Commission on Accreditation and is also recognized and approved by the Virginia Board of Education through the Virginia Council for Private Education. > Read more.

Henrico Business Bulletin Board

June 2017

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The second annual Innsbrook Taste of Virginia will start at 3:30 p.m. at the Innsbrook Pavilion, 4901 Lakebrook Dr. Taste of Virginia is a family-friendly food festival showcasing delicious dishes from local restaurants, each competing for the honorary “Taste of Virginia” title, as well as awards for other significant categories. Each restaurant competitor will be providing a $3 sample plate of their signature dish from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., as well as additional menu items for purchase during the festival. Enjoy live music by Whiskey Rebellion, Soul Expressions and The Silver Bullets. There will also be an artisan market with craft vendors and local businesses, a Kid’s Zone with moon bounces and corn hole, and the evening will conclude with fireworks. Proceeds support the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Rain date is July 2. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the gate. For details, visit http://tinyurl.com/InnsbrookTOVA. Full text

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Henrico's Top Teachers

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