Honoring 20 who make a difference

Teachers are a special breed. They are driven by a love of learning and a desire to impact young lives.

They spend countless hours devising lesson plans, working individually with students before and after school. They volunteer their time to assist with school activities and often spend their own money for supplies or rewards for a job well done. They make personal sacrifices of time, money and sometimes family to do what they do.

In return, they seek nothing more than the smile of a student whose imagination has been captivated; a hug from a student who needs one in return; or the words of thanks from a student whose mind has grasped a challenging topic.

But we believe they also deserve our thanks and recognition.

This is our first annual “Henrico’s Top Teachers” issue – our way of saying “thank you” to 20 of the finest teachers in our county. Last year, we asked for your nominations of teachers whose efforts go above and beyond the call of duty, and we were overwhelmed with more than 120. Paring their ranks to just 20 was no easy task.

We thank each reader who took the time to nominate a worthy candidate. We know each teacher would appreciate the kind words we received. It’s clear that many teachers in Henrico County have made a long-lasting impact on their students and students’ parents and other relatives.

We’re proud to present profiles of these preschool, elementary school, middle school and high school teachers, who were selected for inclusion in this issue based on their professional successes and their personal touches. Each one has, in his or her own unique way, touched hundreds of lives and helped mold the future of Henrico County.

“There are so many teachers out there who are so worthy,” one of our ‘Top Teachers’ told us, upon learning of her selection. “It’s just nice to know that somebody has noticed.”

Judging from the nominations we received, in fact, many people have noticed. This issue has been an exciting journey for us – and we’re already anxious for next year’s issue.

A special thanks is due to Martin’s, which graciously provided gift cards for each teacher, and to the Richmond Flying Squirrels, who provided tickets to their Teacher Appreciation Night at The Diamond in June for each teacher and their families. Teachers will be recognized at the game, and one will have an opportunity to throw out the first pitch at the game.

Henrico teachers should be proud of what they do for the youngsters in our community. We certainly are.
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RVA Polar Plunge raises $40k for Special Olympics


More than 300 participants took the plunge for charity Feb. 25 at The Shops at Willow Lawn, raising $40,000 for the Special Olympics of Virginia as part of the 2017 RVA Polar Plunge Fest. Participants jumped into frigid water as part of the event, having raised money through donations leading up to the event.

“At Special Olympics Virginia, our vision is to inspire the first unified generation; a generation of people who respectfully include each other in the school, in the workplace, in the community,” said Rick Jeffrey, Special Olympics Virginia President. “Plunging this past Saturday included people with intellectual disabilities and those without; people of all ages, genders, races and religions; students and teachers; doctors and lawyers; military and law enforcement; one for all; all for one." > Read more.

Fundraiser bags more than $50k


CancerLINC's 11th annual "It’s in the Bag" event raised more than $50,000. The event, presented by Virginia Cancer Institute, was held at The Westin Richmond in Henrico Feb. 2 and was attended by more than 200 people.

“It's in the Bag” included handbag designer Thaddeus DuBois and his family from Syracuse, Ind. DuBois brought four handcrafted handbags, which were auctioned off and raised more than $4,000. Three autographed handbags from “Sex and the City” star Sarah Jessica Parker also brought funds. > Read more.

A date with states


Above, Varina’s Andre Watkins drives to the basket during the Blue Devils’ 52-51 win against Hampton in the Group 5A third-place game at Hermitage High School Feb. 25. Below, Tyrese Jenkins drives to the basket during the game. The Blue Devils (21-6 on the season), who earlier last month defeated Hermitage, 53-34, to earn a spot in the 5A state tournament, next will face Albemarle in that tournament. It is the program’s first trip to the state tournament since 2001 and first under fourth-year coach Andrew Lacey, who has turned around a team that was 6-14 during his first season. > Read more.

Future public servants observe lawmaking firsthand


For the past two months, they showed up every day at the state Capitol, dressed in matching blazers and carrying pen and paper at the ready – the next generation of public servants carefully observing their superiors.

These young adults are known as pages. They are middle school and high school students from around Virginia who assist in everyday tasks at the General Assembly to experience firsthand how the legislative process works.

The program dates as far back as 1850, when the one page who worked was paid $2 a day. > Read more.

CRLC seeks donations for Malvern Hill Farm


The Capital Region Land Conservancy (CRLC) is seeking to raise $100,000 in 30 days to cover due diligence and closing costs associated with the historic Malvern Hill Farm. These include boundary survey, Phase I ESA, title search and insurance, recording fees, taxes, and legal work as well as a Section 106 review.

CRLC is scheduled to close on the purchase of the property May 31, and is asking community members to help support the site's acquisition. All donations will help CRLC leverage $1 million in matching funds. > Read more.
Community

Villa’s Flagler Housing wins national NAEH award


St. Joseph's Villa’s Flagler Housing & Homeless Services was one of three entities to earn the National Alliance to End Homelessness' Champion of Change Award. The awards were presented Nov. 17 during a ceremony at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.

NAEH annually recognizes proven programs and significant achievements in ending child and family homelessness.

Flagler completed its transition from an on-campus shelter to the community-based model of rapid rehousing in 2013, and it was one of the nation's first rapid re-housing service providers to be certified by NAEH. > Read more.

RIR’s Christmas tree lighting rescheduled for Dec. 12


Richmond International Raceway's 13th annual Community Christmas tree lighting has been rescheduled from Dec. 6 to Monday, Dec. 12, at 6:30 p.m., due to inclement weather expected on the original date.

Entertainment Dec. 12 will be provided by the Laburnum Elementary School choir and the Henrico High School Mighty Marching Warriors band. Tree decorations crafted by students from Laburnum Elementary School and L. Douglas Wilder Middle School will be on display. Hot chocolate and cookies will be supplied by the Henrico High School football boosters. > Read more.
Entertainment

Weekend Top 10


Given the warm weather lately, Saturday’s RVA Polar Plunge Winter Fest, benefiting Special Olympics Virginia, might actually be enjoyable! Other weekend events you’re sure to enjoy include the 14th annual Richmond Kids Expo at the Richmond Raceway Complex, the Richmond Symphony and The Taters in concert at The Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen, and the Richmond Ballet Minds in Motion Team XXL performing at the Henrico Theatre. This is also the last weekend to check out HATTheatre’s production of “Bill W. and Dr. Bob.” For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

 

March 2017
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The Bad to the Bone Blues Bash returns to the Henrico Theatre from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. with three new bands. Headlining the event is the acclaimed Forrest McDonald Band, winners of the 2015 and 2016 River City Blues Society International Blues Challenge. McDonald has released a dozen albums and has recorded with music giants such as Bob Seger, Bobby Womack, Eddie Van Halen, Steve Perry and Ray Charles. Also performing are Andrew Alli and the Mainline and the Urban-Hill Band, lead by blues guitarists and vocalists Paul Urban and Lathan “Pudgee” Hill. Tickets are $15 to $17 for adults and $10 for kids 12 and younger. Doors open at 3:30 p.m. For details, call 678-438-9879 or visit https://bluesbash2.eventbrite.com. Full text

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