Henrico County VA

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.
Community

Lions Club donates backpacks to elementary school

The Richmond West Breakfast Lions Club (based in western Henrico) recently donated 59 backpacks to the Westover Hills Elementary School on Jahnke Road.

Above, club members display some of the backpacks prior to their distribution. > Read more.

Glen Allen student to perform at Carnegie Hall

Thanks to a first-place win in The American Protege International Vocal Competition 2014, Glen Allen High School student Matija Tomas will travel to New York City to perform at Carnegie Hall in December.

At the first-place winners recital in Weill Hall, Matija will perform Giacomo Puccini’s opera aria, “Chi il bel sogna di doretta.” She will perform with other vocalists from around the world and have the opportunity to win other awards and scholarships.

Locally, Thomas has performed with Richmond’s renowned Glorious Christmas Nights, Christian Youth Theatre, and WEAG’s Urban Gospel Youth Choir. > Read more.

Gayton Baptist Church dedicates new outreach center


The John Rolfe YMCA and Gayton Baptist Church have partnered in an effort to bring greater health and wellness opportunities to the community.

Through this partnership, the John Rolfe Y will run Youth Winter Sports programs, including basketball and indoor soccer, in Gayton’s newly renovated $5.5 million outreach center that features a new gymnasium, youth and teen space, social space with café, meeting space and full service commercial kitchen. > Read more.

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Entertainment

Weekend Top 10


For our Top 10 calendar events this weekend, click here! > Read more.

Brews and bites done right

Urban Tavern’s big, bold themes impress

The Urban Tavern opened in August, replacing the former Shackelford’s space at 10498 Ridgefield Parkway in Short Pump. Because of local and longtime devotion to Shackleford’s, Urban Tavern has some big shoes to fill.

Without any background information, I headed to the restaurant for dinner on a Wednesday night, two months after its opening.

On a perfect fall evening, four out of eight outdoor tables were taken, giving the impression that the restaurant was busier than it was. On the inside, a couple tables were taken, and a few folks were seated at the bar. > Read more.

A terrible, horrible movie. . . that’s actually pretty good

‘Alexander’ provides uncomplicated family fun
It’s not surprising in the least that Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day doesn’t much resemble the book it’s based upon.

Judith Viorst’s 1972 picture book isn’t exactly overflowing with movie-worthy material. Boy has bad day. Boy is informed that everyone has bad days sometimes. Then, the back cover.

In the film, the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad-ness is blown up to more extreme size. Alexander Cooper (Ed Oxenbould) has a bum day every day, while the rest of his family (Steve Carell, Jennifer Garner, Dylan Minnette, Kerris Dorsey) exist in a constant bubble of perfection and cheery optimism – to the point that the family is so wrapped up in their own success that Alexander’s being ignored.

So on the eve of his 12th birthday, Alexander makes a wish: just once, he’d like his family to see things from his perspective; to experience the crushing disappointment of one of those no good, very bad days. Once he has blown out the candle on his pre-birthday ice cream sundae, his family’s fate is sealed: one full day of crippling disasters for all of them. > Read more.

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