Henrico’s Top Teachers – Skip Stevens

You might say that teaching runs in Lewis “Skip” Stevens’ family. So does athletics. And coaching.

Stevens, a physical education teacher at Holman Middle School, is a product of Henrico County Public Schools whose mother, Penny Stevens, has taught P.E. at Godwin High School during two separate stints. His older sister, Stacy Hilton, is a third-grade teacher at Maude Trevvett Elementary School, and her husband, Eric Hilton, teaches fifth grade there.

And Stevens’ brother, Bucky, teaches business at Byrd Middle School.

Each has coached sports in the county as well, including Skip, the boys’ soccer coach at Holman and varsity boys’ soccer coach at Godwin. His inspiration is his mom.

“She always made sure we were very active and participating in sports and extra curricular activities – and helping others,” Stevens said. “I could always tell how much she cared for her students, and still does. She’s the most unselfish and giving person that I know. She’s the most inspirational person to me.”

Stevens, a Godwin graduate, also credits former Godwin principal John McGinty and former student activities director Bill Browning with serving as strong role models for him.

“They both made a big difference in my life.”

After graduating from James Madison University, Stevens returned to Henrico and began teaching English at Hungary Creek Middle School while coaching soccer there and at the high school level. But when Holman was being planned, Stevens felt called to teach physical education.

“My kids here are amazing,” he said. “They want to be active. They love participating. They can even take the lead in the class and come up with different ideas.”

Stevens is hopeful that by exposing each of his students to a variety of sports and activities, they’ll each find one or several to take with them in the future.

“I love being able to work with them over the course of the year and see them find something that they enjoy, can spend their free time doing and hopefully will stay with them for their whole life,” he said.

His students appreciate his efforts.

"Mr. Stevens has always had my back as a student," one of his former students wrote. "As a Health/PE teacher, he really keeps the students engaged, and everyone loves to learn that they have him as a teacher. He has a positive attitude and was always willing to help when I had an issue, not only with Health/PE, but with any subject that I am having an issue with."

For Stevens, coaching allows him to see his students in a different light.

“I really enjoy the aspect of teaching students in the classroom, but then you get to see a different side of them on the athletic field,” he said. “You really get to know the whole person.”

His outlook, no doubt, makes his mom feel proud.

“If at the end of my teaching career, I’ve become half the teacher and educator that she is, then I’d be ecstatic,” Stevens said.
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Rising country artist Stephanie Quayle will perform at 7 p.m. at the Henrico Theatre in Highland Springs. Quayle is currently celebrating a Top 100 single on the Billboard Country Airplay chart and her first Top 50 record on the Billboard Indicator chart. Fans may recognize her songs “Drinking with Dolly” and “Winnebago.” Tickets are $10. For details, visit http://www.henricolive.com. Full text

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