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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