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

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

Weekend Top 10


Do the Bunny Hop over to Meadow Farm on Saturday for an introduction to all the farm animals there! An introduction to “Global Sounds” – featuring Japanese, Indonesian, West African, Indian, and Brazilian music and dance performances – can be found at the University of Richmond. The University of Richmond will also host the annual Spider spring game, as well as the inaugural Spiders Easter Egg Hunt. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > 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.

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.

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