Henrico County VA
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Rolfe principal wins REB Award

Andrew Armstrong, principal at Rolfe Middle School, has been named the R.E.B. Distinguished Educational Leadership Award winner for Henrico County. Armstrong is one of four principals in the metro Richmond area selected to receive the annual award. Jodie Brinkmann, principal of Echo Lake Elementary, was named runner-up.

The R.E.B. Awards for Distinguished Leadership seek to recognize principals who go beyond the day-to-day demands of their position to create an exceptional educational environment. Four principals will be publicly recognized, one in each school district of the metropolitan area (i.e. the counties of Chesterfield, Hanover, Henrico and the City of Richmond). Each award will consist of a $7,500 cash grant to the principal and an additional $7,500 for school projects chosen by the principal.

Armstrong received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Richmond followed by a master’s degree in education at Virginia Commonwealth University.

He began his teaching career as a student teacher at Varina High School where he became a Spanish teacher and boys tennis coach. He moved on to teach Spanish at Manchester High School. In 2002, he returned to Varina High School as a teacher and administrative aide. From 2004-07, he served as the assistant principal at the school. In 2007, he was named principal of Rolfe Middle School.

“Making a school or any organization better requires the right people, and I am fortunate to have the team I have working with our kids every day,” says Armstrong. “This recognition is for our teachers, staff, students, and their families.”

Armstrong intends to use the school initiative funds to establish parent resource centers in five of the largest apartment communities in the Rolfe district. Through the centers, he hopes to provide information, tutoring, and special events for the community.

“I am not surprised that Andy Armstrong received this recognition,” says Executive Director of Secondary Education Eric Jones. “He has been dedicated and committed to students, staff and the Rolfe community since becoming principal four years ago. The school has shown consistent growth and progress under his leadership. We are lucky to have such a strong advocate for children in Henrico County Public Schools.”

According to Henrico Superintendent Dr. Patrick Russo, “Andy and Jodie have a passion for their students and want to ensure that every child reaches his or her full potential. Their enthusiasm spreads throughout their schools to faculty and staff which ensures an engaging learning environment.”

Nominations for the award were submitted from the school community and from the public at-large. However, principals may not nominate themselves.

Nominees must be principals who: manage effectively to promote excellence in education; demonstrate leadership and exemplify commitment; inspire their students and are advocates for their school and faculty; encourage team spirit; foster cooperation between the school and the community; maintain dialogue with students, parents, faculty and staff; have been a principal of their school for at least three years.

The Award Selection Committee consisted of the four district superintendents, representatives from the R.E.B. Foundation and The Community Foundation, and one at-large member.
Community

Celebrating 106 years

Former Sandston resident Mildred Taylor celebrated her 106th birthday Aug. 9. Taylor, who now lives in Powhatan, is still a member of Sandston Baptist Church. She was visited the day after her birthday by several members of the church, who played for her a recording of the entire church membership singing happy birthday to her during worship. > Read more.

YMCA breaks ground for aquatic center

YMCA officials gathered last week to break ground on the new Tommy J. West Aquatic Center at the Shady Grove Family YMCA on Nuckols Road. The center, which will featured 7,600 square feet of competitive and recreational space, including water slides, play areas for children and warmer water for those with physical limitations, is the fourth phase of a $4 million expansion at the facility. West was president and CEO of Capital Interior Contractors and a founding member of the Central Virginia Region of the Virginia Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors. > Read more.

Rotary donates to ‘Bright Beginnings’

The Sandston Rotary Club recently donated $1,000 to the Sandston YMCA for its Bright Beginnings program, which helps provide children in need with school supplies for the new school year. > Read more.

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Entertainment

Journey to mediocrity

‘The Hundred-Foot Journey’ fails to capitalize on tasty concept
The Hundred-Foot Journey is a curious little Romeo and Juliet of a film. A family, forced out of their native India, begins a trek across Europe.

The family’s sole mode of transportation sputters and dies in a sleepy little French town, but the town’s food culture is high, and that’s a perfect place for a family of restaurateurs to settle down. There’s only one problem – the family’s rustic “Maison Mumbai” is right across the street (a hundred feet away, if the title didn’t clue you in) from a prestigious French bistro with a Michelin star, run with an iron fist by the dreaded Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren, pictured).

It’s here that a particular Romeo and Juliet story begins to develop, with Hassan (Manish Dayal) on the Indian side and Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon) on the French side. > Read more.

Weekend Top 10


Enjoy the final days of summer with comedian Guy Torry, the Sam’s Club National BBQ Tour or mystery writer Mary Miley Theobald at Twin Hickory Library. Another great way to welcome the beginning of fall is to check out the UR Spider Football season opener with man’s best friend. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

Bottoms up

Short Pump brewery offers more than just beer
I am still (happily) thinking about my entire experience at Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery last week. Knowing nothing about this new brewery out of Denver, I was leery of brew-pub in the heart of Short Pump Town Center – this is not what I’d usually think of as a perfect fit, and yet, it was.

The restaurant and craft brewery opened in early June and features 10 beers made by female brewmaster Becky Hammond (pictured). This is the restaurant’s second location in Virginia; the first is in Arlington. Behind glass walls, customers watched the beer brewing in massive steel barrels. For our up-and-coming beer region, it makes sense that Short Pump would jump on board.

As I walked up to the back of the mall near the comedy club, I was taken aback by what I saw: at the top of the stairs was an overflowing restaurant with outdoor seating, large umbrellas and dangling outdoor lights. > Read more.

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