Henrico’s Top Teachers – Marissa Vest

Marissa Vest has been teaching chemistry at Freeman High School for the past five years and has made an impact on her students by making the topic fun and bringing science to life. 

Vest graduated from Penn State University with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and then obtained her master’s in education from the University of Richmond. Vest always thought she would be a research scientist but stumbled into substitute teaching when she lived in North Carolina and has never looked back.

“I loved it!,” she said. “I really enjoy teaching problem-solving strategies and encouraging students to think critically on their own.  I also love getting students really excited about chemistry, a traditionally unpopular subject.”

Vest said that one of her favorite parts about teaching at Freeman is the science department and how well everyone works together as a team

“I have a lot of energy and try to grab student interest with fun demos and labs before diving into difficult curriculum,” she said. “Yelling and running around the room helps, too and I think a blend of humor and hard work sets my classroom apart from some other chemistry labs and classes.”

Vest’s efforts to make the curriculum interesting don’t go unnoticed.

“Ms. Vest truly makes sure that her chemistry students understand every single lesson,” wrote one faculty member in a nomination letter. “She makes an effort to let her students know that she is there if they ever need extra help; she is there morning, study hall, and afternoon. But she doesn’t batter it into her students; she is very light-hearted, and she keeps her lessons interesting and upbeat.”

Wrote a student nominator: “I’ve always hated science. I’ve hated it since the first day I ever learned about science. But she’s truly made me understand chemistry, and not only understand it, but enjoy it. I look forward to her class every day and she’s made me want to take AP chemistry next year just so that I can have her again and so that I can get a better understanding of chemistry, because I know she will help me obtain all of that knowledge.”

Outside of teaching Vest brings her same upbeat energy to everything she does and can be found running, hiking, and snowboarding in her free time. She also has two children, and she enjoys taking them to the James River Park System.  
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New GRASP scholarships to aide winners with college debt and costs


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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


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Network of Enterprising Women to award scholarships to local HS grads

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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.

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Jamie McLean Band will perform at 8 p.m. at The Tin Pan, 8982 Quioccasin Rd. For the last five years, Jamie McLean has been relentlessly touring and recording with Jamie McLean Band. The band, which also features Brian Griffin on drums and Ben Mars on bass, has released five albums: “Sunday Morning” (2011), “Time Of My Life” (2011), “Completely” (2010), “American Heartache” (2008) and “This Time Around” (2006). They have toured with Blues Traveler, Drive by Truckers, Gov’t Mule, Aaron Neville, The Black Crowes and many others. Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. For details, call 447-8189 or visit http://www.tinpanrva.com. Full text

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