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.
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Henrico-based Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care will host a lecture by Marjorie Thompson at 5:30 p.m. at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, 6000 Grove Ave. Noted author of “Soul Feast,” Thompson will speak on “Grounded in Compassion: Fostering Spiritual Practice in an Age of Terror and Twitter.” A Q&A with Thompson and a reception will follow. This 50th Anniversary event is free and open to the public. For details, call 282-8332 or visit http://www.vipcare.org or Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care on Facebook. Full text

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