Henrico’s Top Teachers – Wendy Gilmartin

As a third-grade teacher, Wendy Gilmartin focuses on community and wants her students to leave each day wanting to come back the next.

Gilmartin, a local native and Virginia Tech alumna, has been teaching in the region for a total of 28 years – 17 in Hanover and the most recent 11 in Henrico.

Her favorite thing about teaching third-graders is their continued interest in learning new things.

“The kids at this age are still excited about learning, they still have that love for coming to school and they love their teachers,” Gilmartin said. “The kids are still like sponges, which is great; they love to learn and go to school.”

Gilmartin said she always knew she wanted to be a teacher when she was younger.

“When I was in elementary school I loved school so much I would line up my stuffed animals on my bed and teach them stuff,” Gilmartin said. “One teacher I had in particular inspired me; I was out of school for two weeks due to an illness and when I came back she had everything ready for me and had been concerned about me. I just thought, Wow, I want to be a caring teacher just like her.”

Gilmartin, along with one of her fellow teachers, leads Echo Lake’s “Green Team,” which is a group of students who promote recycling on school grounds.

“We have a school garden that we work on where kids are planting different vegetables and getting the chance to see how they grow,” Gilmartin said. “The students that are chosen for ‘Green Team’ are students that might not always be chosen for other things or have leadership roles. So, we hope that the ‘Green Team’ will make them feel really important and special that they have this role. We work on recycling things in our cafeteria and all of our classrooms have recycling bins that our “Green Team” members are responsible for and they make sure that they are put in the hallway to be collected.”

Gilmartin makes it a priority and goes the extra mile to start each school year with creating a sense of community in her classroom.

“Every summer my family goes to Maine and we stay near Pebble Beach. I always gather huge rocks and it takes me about a week to carry four to five rocks from the beach because they are pretty big. I bring them back to my set of 25 students and each of us will paint a positive message on a rock for the hope garden that we have at our school. Just little things like that; and we start the year off by talking about how we are a team,. We work together and we want each other to do really well.”

Those who nominated Gilmartin said she is her students’ biggest advocate and makes sure to give each student what they need to be successful.

“Wendy Gilmartin has impacted so many students throughout her career,” a nominator wrote. “The guidance and mentorship she offers to her kids throughout the day, in addition to her students in her 'Green Team' after school program each month, is admirable.”
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Business in brief

Henrico-based nonprofit Commonwealth Autism recently received the Standards for Excellence Institute’s Seal of Excellence for successfully completing its accreditation program. Commonwealth Autism voluntarily opened itself to analysis by a peer review team during the last 18 months that examined the organization’s compliance with the “Standards for Excellence: An Ethics and Accountability Code for the Nonprofit Sector.” These standards cover areas such as: mission, strategy and evaluation; leadership – board, staff and volunteers; legal compliance and ethics; finance and operations; resource development; and public awareness, engagement and advocacy. Commonwealth Autism was one of six organizations in the Richmond region to be recognized and the first in the region to achieve full accreditation. In addition to this accreditation, Commonwealth Autism is recognized as an Accredited Charity with the Richmond Better Business Bureau and holds accreditation from the Code of Ethics for Behavioral Organizations (COEBO). > Read more.

Purify Infrared Sauna opens at GreenGate

Purify Infrared Sauna recently opened its second Henrico location at GreenGate Shopping Center in Short Pump.

Owner Mary Woodbridge opened her first Purify location on Patterson Avenue in July 2015. The new store is located at 301 Maltby Boulevard, Suite C, west of Short Pump Town Center. > Read more.

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.

Henrico Business Bulletin Board

October 2017

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LuLaRoe & Friends’ LuLaPalooza will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 14-15 at Richmond Raceway. There will be giveaways and lots of products to see. Admission is free. For details, visit http://tinyurl.com/LuLaRoeLuLaPalooza. Full text

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Henrico's Top Teachers

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