Henrico County VA
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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

Varina Ruritans honor students

The Varina Ruritan Club hosted the winners of its 2014 Environmental Essay contest at its monthly meeting March 11 in Varina.

The contest, in its eighth year, was for the first time open to students in grades 3-5 at Varina Elementary School. (It previously was open to Sandston Elementary School students.)

The meeting included the winners, parents of the winners, Varina Elementary principal Mark Tyler and several teachers who were in charge of the contest at the school. > Read more.

Baseball game to benefit Glen Allen Buddy Ball


For the fifth consecutive year, St. Christopher’s and Benedictine will play a varsity baseball game at Glen Allen's RF&P Park as part of a fundraising effort for the River City Buddy Ball program.

The game will take place Saturday, April 12, at 7 p.m., and the teams hope to raise $3,000 through donations, raffles and other efforts. Admission to the game is free, but fans who attend are asked to donate funds for the Glen Allen Youth Athletic Association's Buddy Ball program, which enables disabled children and teens to play baseball. > Read more.

Highland Springs field to be dedicated in honor of longtime coach Spears

The Henrico Division of Recreation and Parks will dedicate the Highland Springs Little League Majors Field in memory and honor of Rev. Robert “Bob” L. Spears, Jr., on April 12 with a ceremony at the field at 8 a.m.

Spears served the league as a coach and volunteer for 30 years and was praised as a pioneer for equality. His “Finish strong” motto embodied ethical perseverance on the field and in life. > Read more.

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Entertainment

A fun, fuzzy ride

‘Muppets Most Wanted’ worthy of its franchise

Do Muppets sleep? It’s hard to say.

They don’t really eat (or breathe, as far as anyone can tell). And only occasionally do they have visible, functioning legs.

As far as anyone knows, sleeping might be off the table. And that makes it very hard to accuse the Muppets of sleepwalking through their latest feature, Muppets Most Wanted – even if that’s exactly what’s going on.

Jim Henson’s beloved creations were back in a big way after 2011’s The Muppets, with fame and fortune and even an Oscar, a first for the group (“Rainbow Connection” was nominated, yet somehow failed to collect at the ’79 ceremony). > Read more.

Weekend Top 10


There’s no excuse for kids and families to not get out of the house this weekend! The Armour House and Gardens has an “Egg-celent Egg-venture” planned and Reynolds Community College will host the Reynolds Family Palooza. If you’re looking to give back to your community, Dorey Park will host Walk Like MADD and coordinators2inc will present the annual Kids Walk for Kids. And a special event for children with special needs will be on Sunday – the Caring Bunny will be at Virginia Center Commons. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

A new meaning for fried chicken

Is it heresy to say – in this bastion-of-tradition capital of the Old South – that it's time for Southern fried chicken to take a step back and make way for a new fried chicken king?

Count me among the new believers bowing to Bonchon Chicken's delectable double-fried bliss. Hand-brushed with signature garlic soy or hot sauce, flash-fried once and then again, the decadent drums and wings take "crisp" to a new level. If you're eating with a crowd and everyone bites in at once, be warned: you might need ear plugs to handle the din. > Read more.

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