Henrico County VA
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School system honors top teachers at awards ceremony

Two of Henrico County's finest educators were named the 2011 Gilman Teacher of the Year and First-Year Teacher of the Year at an awards ceremony last week. Gail C. Wood of Hermitage High School and Ashley Ciara Sweatt of Fair Oaks Elementary School were among the 114 teachers honored for their dedication in the classroom.
Gail Wood

Wood, who teaches French and Spanish at Hermitage High School, was named the school division's 2011 Gilman Teacher of the Year. Finalists for the award were Sally M. Austin of Pemberton Elementary School; Mindy Fennemore Dobrinski of Holman Middle School; Marcelle Armstrong Hicks of Varina Elementary School; and Alisa Smith of Harvie Elementary School.
Ashley Sweatt

Sweatt, the 2011 First-Year Teacher of the Year, teaches third-grade at Fair Oaks Elementary School. Finalists for the award were Lauren Bew of Twin Hickory Elementary School; Elizabeth Foster of Carver Elementary School; and Lindsey Pantele of Glen Allen High School.

The Henrico Education Foundation supported the event, and Herff Jones Inc. donated a $1,000 cash award for the Gilman Teacher of the Year winner and $500 for each of the four finalists.

In addition, Beth Reed, an autism teacher at Mehfoud Elementary School, was named the Christie Award winner for 2011. The Christie Award recognizes a member of Exceptional Education and Support Services whose contribution to HCPS has been exemplary in service of children and their families.


Community

Garden tails

The threat of bad weather didn’t keep visitors away from Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden July 10 for the facility’s weekly Flowers After 5 event (which pairs music and food with a chance to stroll the garden) and its monthly Fidos After 5 (which allows dog owners to bring their pets with them to enjoy the evening). > Read more.

Western Henrico Rotary helps fund Midwives For Haiti Jeep


Thanks in part to a $10,000 gift from the Western Henrico Rotary Club, another bright pink Jeep modified to travel extremely rough terrain has been delivered to Midwives For Haiti so that more pregnant women in the quake-ravaged country will have access to prenatal care and a greater chance of surviving childbirth.

The funds were raised at the annual casino night held in February, club president Adam Cherry said. The Rotary Club also helped purchase the Virginia-based charity’s first pink jeep three years ago. > Read more.

Agencies combine on new entry point to Chickahominy


Canoeing and kayaking enthusiasts soon will have a new access point to the Chickahominy River. VDOT, the James River Association and Henrico County Parks and Recreation are teaming up to establish a new site in Eastern Henrico.

The James River Association negotiated the deal with VDOT to procure official access to the area located just east of I-295 on North Airport Road in Sandston. The site includes a park-and-ride commuter lot bordering the Chickahominy River and has been an unofficial launch site used by paddlers for years. > Read more.

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Entertainment

Weekend Top 10


Take in a show at several locations this weekend! West End Comedy will provide laughs at HATTheatre; the production of “Pump Boys and Dinettes” will close Sunday; and the youth theatre company CharacterWorks will present “Footloose” at The Steward School. Another show perfect for the kids – “Despicable Me 2” is playing at the Eastern Henrico Recreation Center tonight. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

Is there an Echo in here?

‘Earth to Echo’ aims to become this generation’s ‘ET’
It’s no secret that all found-footage genre movies are the same. Grab a couple of characters, give one of them a camera, and expose them to something supernatural that’s content to lurk just off-screen until the last five minutes. Everything else will just fall into place.

But that formula isn’t particularly family friendly, if only because that thing waiting a few feet to the left of the cast is usually plotting their violent doom.

That’s what sets Earth to Echo apart from the pack. It, too, follows a group of characters armed with a camera and a tendency to encounter unknown life forms. But all those familiar parts have been rearranged just enough to make it suitable for a much younger audience. > Read more.

Weekend Top 10


An eclectic array of events are taking place this weekend throughout the county. In the West End, we have the Richmond Wedding Expo, the Under the Stars Family Film Series and Henrico Theatre Company’s production of “Pump Boys and Dinettes.” In the eastern part of the county, we have a blood drive at the Eastern Henrico Recreation Center, Gallmeyer Farm’s annual Sweet Corn Festival and an origami workshop at Fairfield Library. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

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Calendar

CharacterWorks, Inc. will present “Footloose” at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. July 25-27 at The Robins Theatre at Steward School, 11600 Gayton Rd. Tickets are $13 to $17. CharacterWorks is… Full text

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Henrico's Top Teachers