Henrico’s Top Teachers – Vonita Giddings

Vonita Giddings has been teaching in one capacity or another since educating her dolls as a child. Her students these days are a bit more receptive to her instruction, however.

Giddings, a biology teacher at Henrico High School since 2006, also taught previously at Virginia State University for six years and at Fairfield Middle School for three years. Her love of biology has been a lifetime affair.

“I think it’s an innate interest,” she said. “I was the one who was trying to figure out how to save the little bird or bring little animals home. I see biology in everything, in everything. It can be there when I’m just hanging out with my kids, watching a cartoon – just about anything.”

By showing her students that same view of biology – one that encompasses all aspects of life – she is able to engage them in the topic.

“Because I’m excited when I teach, I think it makes them excited,” she said. “I want [biology] to be something that’s applicable to their lives.”

Giddings considers her classroom to be one without walls, and she encourages students to attend events and activities in the community that involve science.

“If you only see biology as a class, then it’s pretty boring,” she said. “But if you see it as life, and you see it all around you and can see it in everything that you do, then it becomes a lot more exciting.”

Several of her students have taken that to heart, competing (and winning first- and second-place honors) in the Metro Richmond science fair and the Richmond Joint Engineering Council’s annual competition recently.

Giddings concedes that science and STEM disciplines in general face an uphill battle for students’ interest, but she isn’t fazed.

“Students being able to go out and see what is going on helps them to want to be a part of STEM.”

Parents and students have taken note of Giddings’ message.

“They do experiments in the classroom and have meaningful assignments,” a parent wrote in nominating Giddings. “Not only this, but my daughter understands why she is doing the assignments. Ms. Giddings also seems to have a terrific manner with the students. She’s clear and firm in her expectations and also easy-going and approachable.”
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Henrico Master Gardener training program accepting applications through Oct. 27

The Henrico County Office of Virginia Cooperative Extension is accepting applications for its next volunteer Master Gardener training program, which provides instruction in all aspects of horticulture.

Applications for the 2018 training program will be accepted through Friday, Oct. 27. Classes will be held from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays from Jan. 16 through March 22. > Read more.

Henrico Schools to host Oct. 30 job fair

Henrico Schools will host a job fair Oct. 30.

The event, to be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Fairfield branch library, is designed to attract potential full-time and substitute registered nurses, instructional assistants, bus drivers and school nutrition workers. > Read more.

Henrico Police to participate in ‘Tip a Cop’ Oct. 21

Henrico County Police Division and the Virginia Division of Capitol Police are participating in “Tip-A-Cop” to Support the Special Olympics Saturday, Oct. 21.

From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. that day at Red Robin, 11784 West Broad Street, members of the two agencies will be working for tips as a donation to the Special Olympics. > Read more.

Participants sought for ‘Walk to End Alzheimer’s’

The Richmond Walk to End Alzheimer’s will be held Saturday, Nov. 4, at Markel Plaza in Innsbrook, and the Alzheimer's Association of Greater Richmond is seeking participants.

The event, one of three walks the association will hold in its service area this year (the Middle Peninsula-Northern Neck walk was held Oct. 7 and the Fredericksburg walk Oct. 14) raises money to help the association fight the disease, which affects more than 26,000 people in the metro Richmond region. > Read more.

Fairfield meeting Oct. 25 to focus on cybersecurity

Henrico County Board of Supervisors Vice Chairman and Fairfield District Supervisor Frank J. Thornton will hold a constituent meeting Wednesday, Oct. 25 to discuss cybersecurity.

Thornton also has invited candidates who will be seeking election to local offices on Tuesday, Nov. 7 to introduce themselves. > Read more.

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October 2017

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Create a spooky black wreath for your door or wall while listening to Halloween tunes at Fairfield Library from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. For adults. Registration is required. For details, call 501-1930 or visit http://www.henricolibrary.org. Full text

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Henrico's Top Teachers

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