Henrico County VA

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

Lions Club donates backpacks to elementary school

The Richmond West Breakfast Lions Club (based in western Henrico) recently donated 59 backpacks to the Westover Hills Elementary School on Jahnke Road.

Above, club members display some of the backpacks prior to their distribution. > Read more.

Glen Allen student to perform at Carnegie Hall

Thanks to a first-place win in The American Protege International Vocal Competition 2014, Glen Allen High School student Matija Tomas will travel to New York City to perform at Carnegie Hall in December.

At the first-place winners recital in Weill Hall, Matija will perform Giacomo Puccini’s opera aria, “Chi il bel sogna di doretta.” She will perform with other vocalists from around the world and have the opportunity to win other awards and scholarships.

Locally, Thomas has performed with Richmond’s renowned Glorious Christmas Nights, Christian Youth Theatre, and WEAG’s Urban Gospel Youth Choir. > Read more.

Gayton Baptist Church dedicates new outreach center


The John Rolfe YMCA and Gayton Baptist Church have partnered in an effort to bring greater health and wellness opportunities to the community.

Through this partnership, the John Rolfe Y will run Youth Winter Sports programs, including basketball and indoor soccer, in Gayton’s newly renovated $5.5 million outreach center that features a new gymnasium, youth and teen space, social space with café, meeting space and full service commercial kitchen. > Read more.

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Entertainment

Brews and bites done right

Urban Tavern’s big, bold themes impress

The Urban Tavern opened in August, replacing the former Shackelford’s space at 10498 Ridgefield Parkway in Short Pump. Because of local and longtime devotion to Shackleford’s, Urban Tavern has some big shoes to fill.

Without any background information, I headed to the restaurant for dinner on a Wednesday night, two months after its opening.

On a perfect fall evening, four out of eight outdoor tables were taken, giving the impression that the restaurant was busier than it was. On the inside, a couple tables were taken, and a few folks were seated at the bar. > Read more.

A terrible, horrible movie. . . that’s actually pretty good

‘Alexander’ provides uncomplicated family fun
It’s not surprising in the least that Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day doesn’t much resemble the book it’s based upon.

Judith Viorst’s 1972 picture book isn’t exactly overflowing with movie-worthy material. Boy has bad day. Boy is informed that everyone has bad days sometimes. Then, the back cover.

In the film, the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad-ness is blown up to more extreme size. Alexander Cooper (Ed Oxenbould) has a bum day every day, while the rest of his family (Steve Carell, Jennifer Garner, Dylan Minnette, Kerris Dorsey) exist in a constant bubble of perfection and cheery optimism – to the point that the family is so wrapped up in their own success that Alexander’s being ignored.

So on the eve of his 12th birthday, Alexander makes a wish: just once, he’d like his family to see things from his perspective; to experience the crushing disappointment of one of those no good, very bad days. Once he has blown out the candle on his pre-birthday ice cream sundae, his family’s fate is sealed: one full day of crippling disasters for all of them. > Read more.

Deep Run HS plans fall musical

Tickets for Deep Run High School’s fall musical production – Aida – will go on sale Nov. 3. The Elton John-Tim Rice pop opera, inspired by Verdi’s classic opera, tells the story of enslaved Nubian princess Aida, who falls for captain of the guard Radames, who is betrothed to the Egyptian princess.

Performances will be held Nov. 13-15 at 7 p.m. each day. > Read more.

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Henrico's Top Teachers