Henrico County VA
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Henrico’s Top Teachers – Linda Korpics

Echo Lake E.S., second grade
It didn’t take Linda Korpics long to figure out that she wanted to become a teacher.

Just a year or two of being a student.

By the time she was in second grade, Korpics realized how much she enjoyed helping other students “and seeing their happiness when they got the skill I was teaching,” she says. A fifth grade teacher reinforced her interest in the profession – and today Korpics is a second grade teacher marking her 30th year in the classroom.

But even after decades of experience, she says, it’s still a thrill to see children light up with the excitement of learning.

This year, Korpics has a child who has been shuffled from one school setting after another, with the result that she started the year struggling in all subjects. Her guardian told Korpics that the child was not very trusting and has always been reluctant to participate in class. But after months of one-on-one work, Korpics reports, the student has shown daily progress.

“Now her hand is up for every lesson,” she says, “even when it isn’t her reading group.”

Korpics recalls that at the beginning of the year she briefly put her arm around the student, but noticed that she tensed up so she resisted doing it again. Then, a month later, the child came running into the room “and gave me the biggest bear hug you can imagine,” she says.

“I teared up and told her that hug was the best present she could have given me,” says Korpics. “I have been teaching for 29 years and it is moments like those that always mean so much to me and show me why I teach.”  

A fellow teacher at Echo Lake who has observed Korpics at work says, “It gave me chill bumps to see Linda get so excited and overcome by emotion when talking about her students and their successes.”

Korpics’ colleague also noted that she works constantly at developing new and innovative ways to teach, such as creating “books” to accompany the science and social studies curriculum and interactive notebooks to reinforce math concepts.

A parent wrote that he, too, admires the way Korpics is able to customize her teaching methods according to each child’s needs, and that he believes her ability to individualize her teaching methods has been instrumental in his child’s school success -- not to mention whetting his child’s intellectual curiosity outside the classroom.

Korpics’ ability to combine cutting-edge techniques and technology with the experience and passion of a long-time educator, said the parent, help create a learning environment that is unmatched in its effectiveness.

“In an era of 21st-century learning,” wrote the parent, “it is a joy to know that 29 years of experience still counts.”

Among the former students that Korpics has enjoyed hearing from recently is one that was in her second grade class in 1983. “[She wrote] a letter,” says Korpics, “telling me that she is teaching in my old classroom in New York and that she went into teaching because of me.” 

Another former student who is now a senior came to visit Korpics recently and told her that he plans to study physical therapy. Korpics recalled that when she had him in her class, the student struggled in all areas and had behavior issues. “We had many lunches together,” she says, “to strengthen skills and to have discussions on behavior and consequences.”

Her now-grown-up student told Korpics that he had come to thank her.

“It is great to know that I have touched the lives of these kids in such a positive way,” says Korpics.

“[He told me that] I made a difference and that he wants to help others just like I helped him.  

“How awesome is that!”


Community

Varina Ruritans honor students

The Varina Ruritan Club hosted the winners of its 2014 Environmental Essay contest at its monthly meeting March 11 in Varina.

The contest, in its eighth year, was for the first time open to students in grades 3-5 at Varina Elementary School. (It previously was open to Sandston Elementary School students.)

The meeting included the winners, parents of the winners, Varina Elementary principal Mark Tyler and several teachers who were in charge of the contest at the school. > Read more.

Baseball game to benefit Glen Allen Buddy Ball


For the fifth consecutive year, St. Christopher’s and Benedictine will play a varsity baseball game at Glen Allen's RF&P Park as part of a fundraising effort for the River City Buddy Ball program.

The game will take place Saturday, April 12, at 7 p.m., and the teams hope to raise $3,000 through donations, raffles and other efforts. Admission to the game is free, but fans who attend are asked to donate funds for the Glen Allen Youth Athletic Association's Buddy Ball program, which enables disabled children and teens to play baseball. > Read more.

Highland Springs field to be dedicated in honor of longtime coach Spears

The Henrico Division of Recreation and Parks will dedicate the Highland Springs Little League Majors Field in memory and honor of Rev. Robert “Bob” L. Spears, Jr., on April 12 with a ceremony at the field at 8 a.m.

Spears served the league as a coach and volunteer for 30 years and was praised as a pioneer for equality. His “Finish strong” motto embodied ethical perseverance on the field and in life. > Read more.

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Entertainment

Restaurant watch

Find out how your favorite dining establishments fared during their most recent inspections by the Virginia Department of Health. > Read more.

A fun, fuzzy ride

‘Muppets Most Wanted’ worthy of its franchise

Do Muppets sleep? It’s hard to say.

They don’t really eat (or breathe, as far as anyone can tell). And only occasionally do they have visible, functioning legs.

As far as anyone knows, sleeping might be off the table. And that makes it very hard to accuse the Muppets of sleepwalking through their latest feature, Muppets Most Wanted – even if that’s exactly what’s going on.

Jim Henson’s beloved creations were back in a big way after 2011’s The Muppets, with fame and fortune and even an Oscar, a first for the group (“Rainbow Connection” was nominated, yet somehow failed to collect at the ’79 ceremony). > Read more.

Weekend Top 10


There’s no excuse for kids and families to not get out of the house this weekend! The Armour House and Gardens has an “Egg-celent Egg-venture” planned and Reynolds Community College will host the Reynolds Family Palooza. If you’re looking to give back to your community, Dorey Park will host Walk Like MADD and coordinators2inc will present the annual Kids Walk for Kids. And a special event for children with special needs will be on Sunday – the Caring Bunny will be at Virginia Center Commons. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

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Henrico's Top Teachers