Henrico County VA
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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.”
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

New Henrico biscuit shop thrives with grandmother’s recipe

Tix Laxton rises at 4:30 a.m. every day for a biscuit. But he’s not rushing out to any restaurant to get his favorite Southern comfort food; he’s baking his own from scratch and serving them up from his bakery on Lakeside Avenue.

Laxton opened Early Bird Biscuit Co. & Bakery in early July and since then biscuits have been flying out of there.

The self-taught baker draws hungry crowds in with a biscuit of the day like the Old Bay Cheddar, but the buttermilk biscuits are the staple.

“On a Saturday I generally make about 400 biscuits with my two hands,” Laxton said. “I’m constantly making biscuits all day long.” > Read more.

Restaurant watch

Find out how your favorite dining establishments fared during their most recent inspections by the Virginia Department of Health. > Read more.

CAT Theatre announces cast of Sherlock Holmes play

CAT Theatre’s 51st season will open with Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure, which will run from Oct. 24-Nov. 8. Adapted by Steven Dietz, it is based on the original 1899 play by William Gillette and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and was the winner of the 2007 Edgar Award for Best Mystery Play.

The plot follows what seems to be the end of the career of the world’s greatest detective as he is confronted with a case far too tempting to ignore. When the King of Bohemia faces blackmail by famed opera singer Irene Adler, Holmes and his faithful companion, Dr. Watson, find themselves falling into the trap of evil genius Professor Moriarty. As Holmes says, “The game is afoot Watson, and it is a dangerous one!” > Read more.

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Chickahominy YMCA will offer a Hot Spot program on Tai Chi at 10 a.m. in the Group Exercise Studio. Learn gentle, meditative physical movements to increase muscular strength, flexibility, and… Full text

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