Henrico County VA

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

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

Brews and bites done right

Urban Tavern’s big, bold themes impress

The Urban Tavern opened in August, replacing the former Shackelford’s space at 10498 Ridgefield Parkway in Short Pump. Because of local and longtime devotion to Shackleford’s, Urban Tavern has some big shoes to fill.

Without any background information, I headed to the restaurant for dinner on a Wednesday night, two months after its opening.

On a perfect fall evening, four out of eight outdoor tables were taken, giving the impression that the restaurant was busier than it was. On the inside, a couple tables were taken, and a few folks were seated at the bar. > Read more.

A terrible, horrible movie. . . that’s actually pretty good

‘Alexander’ provides uncomplicated family fun
It’s not surprising in the least that Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day doesn’t much resemble the book it’s based upon.

Judith Viorst’s 1972 picture book isn’t exactly overflowing with movie-worthy material. Boy has bad day. Boy is informed that everyone has bad days sometimes. Then, the back cover.

In the film, the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad-ness is blown up to more extreme size. Alexander Cooper (Ed Oxenbould) has a bum day every day, while the rest of his family (Steve Carell, Jennifer Garner, Dylan Minnette, Kerris Dorsey) exist in a constant bubble of perfection and cheery optimism – to the point that the family is so wrapped up in their own success that Alexander’s being ignored.

So on the eve of his 12th birthday, Alexander makes a wish: just once, he’d like his family to see things from his perspective; to experience the crushing disappointment of one of those no good, very bad days. Once he has blown out the candle on his pre-birthday ice cream sundae, his family’s fate is sealed: one full day of crippling disasters for all of them. > Read more.

Deep Run HS plans fall musical

Tickets for Deep Run High School’s fall musical production – Aida – will go on sale Nov. 3. The Elton John-Tim Rice pop opera, inspired by Verdi’s classic opera, tells the story of enslaved Nubian princess Aida, who falls for captain of the guard Radames, who is betrothed to the Egyptian princess.

Performances will be held Nov. 13-15 at 7 p.m. each day. > Read more.

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The Short Pump Ruritan Club's 24th Annual Craft Show will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Short Pump Middle School, 4701 Pouncey Tract Rd., Glen Allen. More… Full text

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