Henrico’s Top Teachers – Kathryn Costley

Kathryn Costley turned a career as a social worker into one as a teacher who works with special needs students.

Costley, who is in her first year as a Henrico teacher, works with exceptional education students at Highland Springs High School who have mild to moderate physical or intellectual disabilities. She previously taught special education in Charles City County for more than a decade, following a career switch that occurred unexpectedly.

“I was in a master’s/doctoral program to get my degree in social work and started substitute teaching, fell in love and was offered an emergency teaching certificate,” she said. Fourteen years later, she knows she made the right choice.

The key to connecting with her students and their parents? Making school fun, Costley said – and developing relationships with students and parents alike.

“We have fun every day, so it doesn’t feel like I’m coming to school,” she said. “Everything we do is a lesson, whether it’s conversational skills, a community-based trip or working with general education students.”

Costley gives her cell phone number to parents of all her students and invites them to call or text anytime with input, concerns or questions.

“They may text me in the morning to let me know something,” she said. “The more open I am, as far as my time and availability, I find that the parents tend to be very discretionary in how often they contact me.”

Working with developmentally challenged students hits home for Costley, who grew up in Pennsylvania with an aunt three years older than herself who has Down Syndrome.

“She and I were like sisters [growing up],” Costley said.

Her personal experience and time as a social worker – during which she assessed people coming out of mental health facilities and worked in suicide prevention, among other responsibilities – help her each day in the classroom.

“It really prepared me for a lot of things that a traditional teaching curriculum may not have been able to,” 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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May 2017
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Enjoy an evening of blues and jazz featuring The Lawrence Olds Band at 7 p.m. at The Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen, 2880 Mountain Rd. Based in Richmond, The Lawrence Olds Band is a traditional blues and jazz ensemble performing classic repertoire and original material. The concert is part of CACGA’s 2nd Stage series which highlights a different musical genre on the first Friday of each month. Dinner and beverages will also be available for purchase. Tickets are $15 to $20. For details, call 261-ARTS or visit http://www.artsglenallen.com. Full text

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