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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Public comment sought for plan to reduce impacts of natural disasters

The joint Hazard Mitigation Technical Advisory Committee for the Richmond and Crater regions is seeking public comment on the draft update of the Richmond-Crater Multi-Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan.

Hazard mitigation is the effort to reduce loss of life and property by lessening the potential impact of future disasters. The 26 localities of the Richmond and Crater regions maintain the plan to collaboratively identify vulnerabilities associated with natural disasters and develop long-term strategies to reduce or eliminate long-term risks. > Read more.

Democrat VanValkenburg kicks off Gen. Assembly campaign


Senior students at Glen Allen High School will get a personal touch when studying elections with their AP government teacher.

That teacher, Schuyler VanValkenburg, recently announced his intention to seek the Democratic nomination for the 72nd District seat in the House of Delegates. If he earns the nomination, he will run against Del. Jimmie Massie, R-Henrico, who has been unopposed for 10 years.

VanValkenburg, a 2004 University of Richmond alumnus who majored in history, is running for office for the first time. Although he has lived in Richmond since he began his undergraduate studies, aside from one year spent in Seattle, he said he never felt it was his time to run. > Read more.

Construction begins on JA Finance Park at Libbie Mill


School and business leaders from around the region, including (pictured, from left) Simon Hodges of Dominion Resources, Daphne Swanso(president of Junior Achievement of Central Virginia) and Henrico County Manager John Vithoulkas, gathered at Libbie Mill Library Feb. 23 for the Junior Achievement Finance Park construction kickoff. > Read more.

Assembly poised to OK state budget on Friday


Finishing a day early, House and Senate negotiators agreed on a budget Wednesday that includes employee pay raises and more money for K-12 education and mental health.

The negotiators presented their budget to their fellow lawmakers in time for the required 48-hour review, which could be completed by Friday night with a chance to adjourn their 2017 session before Saturday’s target date.

Republican leaders in the House and Senate praised the spending plan’s conservative fiscal policies. > Read more.

Section of Charles City Road to close beginning Feb. 26


A section of Charles City Road, from Lewis Road to South Airport Drive, will be closed beginning Sunday, Feb. 26 as part of a project to widen and improve the road.

The Henrico County Department of Public Works expects the closure to last for a few weeks.

Westbound traffic on Charles City will be detoured around the work zone by way of South Airport, Seven Hills Boulevard and Laburnum Avenue. > 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.

 

February 2017
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Mothers Against Drunk Driving will present its annual Walk Like MADD 5k Dash/Walk from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Dorey Park, 2999 Darbytown Rd. Walk Like MADD honors those killed or injured in impaired driving crashes. Funds raised support victim services and educational events in Virginia. Check-in starts at 8 a.m. For details, call 353-7121 x5153 or visit http://www.walklikemadd.org/richmond. Full text

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