Top Teachers: Lance Teillon
Varina H.S., NJROTC
When Lance Teillon considered his next step post-retirement following 20 years in the U.S. Navy, he didn’t have to look far for ideas. His wife’s occupation – English teacher – provided ample inspiration. “It seemed like a worthwhile and fulfilling second career,” he recalled.
Eighteen years later, it’s safe to say he made the right call.
“I have a constant flow of cadets who have graduated come back to talk to me,” said Teillon, the senior naval science instructor for the Varina High School NJROTC. “I give them a chance to talk to the present cadets – and when they tell them to listen to me, because I do know what I’m talking about, it is satisfying.”
Another gratifying aspect of the job is seeing cadets wear their uniforms with pride, he said, “knowing that the uniform is the same as our sailors who are serving this country.” Teillon also enjoys observing cadets as they “try harder at something than they have ever tried at anything in their lives.”
Often, that effort involves practicing for the competition drill team, which requires cadets to come to school almost two hours early every day to practice.
“There is no other sport or club that requires that level of dedication,” said Teillon, noting that the hard work has resulted in a number of trophies, including one for a fifth-place finish among 62 schools in a four-state area.
The job is not without its challenges, of course. Although he was a classroom teacher in the Navy for five years, his students then existed in an altogether different culture from high school students of today. After all these years, he confesses he is still taken aback by aspects of that culture – in particular, the lack of respect.
“I have reminded my students on more than one occasion that this school doesn’t teach rudeness; it is brought from home,” he said.
“I try very hard to make the kids understand how lucky they are to be given the education they are receiving. I tell the cadets that I feel my job is to get them ready to survive in this world after graduation, and if they can stand on their own two feet in this very difficult world, I feel I’ve done my job.
“It is frustrating when I cannot get through to some, and very satisfying when I can.”
Clearly, he has “gotten through” to countless numbers of students, who praise his skill at developing their potential and his insistence on accepting nothing less than their best efforts.
“He teaches more than just naval science,” wrote one student. “He teaches us ethics and general knowledge above and beyond what is entailed in his job description.
“He treats us as young adults.”
Asked to relate a highlight of the feedback he has had from students and their families, Teillon said, “When you have a parent come into your room after their child has graduated, and with tears in their eyes tell you that they don’t know what their child would have done without you -- or that you were their child’s mentor.”
Now, that’s “worthwhile.”
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.
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.
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.
The Boathouse restaurant will open at Short Pump Town Center in the spring, its third location in the region.
“People have asked us to come to the West End for years,” said owner Kevin Healy. “When the opportunity arose, we knew had to jump on it.”
The new restaurant will be located in a 5,800-square-foot space under the Hyatt House Hotel at the town center and will include a large outdoor patio. > Read more.
Boka Kantina exceeds its strong food truck reputation
Already a fan of Boka fare from outdoor events with the Tako Truck, I was delighted to learn of the new restaurant, and eager to see if its reputation held up after putting down brick-and-mortar roots.
Would the food lose its zest if I wasn’t enjoying it in the great outdoors? Would it seem pedestrian served from an ordinary kitchen instead of a truck?
Would the tacos be less satisfying as an antidote to normal lunch hunger – instead of being ingested to stave off desperate hunger after a long afternoon of crowds, sun, and tedious lines? > Read more.
Original Gravity gets the green light to move forward with relocation, expansion into larger space
A Lakeside home-brewing shop has felt the gravitational pull toward the booming craft beer scene.
Original Gravity, a shop that sells beer and wine kits for homebrewers, has just been given the green light to start work on a microbrewery.
Owner Tony Ammendolia is expanding his 1,000-square-foot shop in Lakeside Town Center to 5,000-square-foot digs a few doors down to add a brewery and expand his supplies.
Ammendolia opened the home-brew supply store in November 2011 and since then he said business has taken off.
“I think I outgrew this place in the first year,” Ammendolia said. “We’ve seen steady growth and I’ve been looking for a place to expand to move the shop to get more square footage.” > Read more.
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CalendarGallmeyer Farms will host its fourth annual Fall Festival from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at The Pumpkin Patch, 4506 Millers Ln. There will be live entertainment, hay rides and… Full text