Henrico County VA

McAuliffe awards extended year and year-round school grants to Henrico

Governor Terry McAuliffe has awarded nearly $5.3 million in state year-round and extended school year grants to support the development and implementation of year-round instructional programs in 10 school divisions, including Henrico County.

Henrico County will receive $38,238 in extended year planning grants to support the development of new year-round programs for Brookland Middle and Fairfield Elementary. The Extended School Year Grant Program was created in 2013 by the General Assembly in response to a 2012 Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC) report on the effectiveness of year-round school programs in raising student achievement.

Henrico’s Top Teachers – Nancy Staples

When students who speak limited English – or none at all – arrive in Henrico County with their families, many facets of life are new and challenging. Nancy Staples works to ease that transition for children and their parents alike.

Staples plays critical roles in the way Henrico’s public school system screens, places and educates its 3,000 English as a Second Language students and their families.

All ESL students are screened at the county’s ESL Welcome Center at Tucker High School to determine their level of English proficiency and proper placement. They receive ratings from 1 (not at all proficient) to 5 (highly proficient).

Henrico’s Top Teachers – Robert Meister

If it weren't for a brief fling with meteorology in college, Robert Meister might never have figured out that he wanted to teach literature.

After a freshman year spent majoring in computer science, he switched to the study of weather for a semester. Part way through that semester, he had what he calls a strange thought: "I don’t have a mathematical relationship with the weather, I have a literary relationship with the weather."

From then on, he majored in English. "I really loved literature and its connections to art, theatre, dance, and music," he says. "I thought that maybe I could help students make those same connections and appreciate the world in a new and exciting way."

Henrico’s Top Teachers – Bev Lanier

Bev Lanier was two years removed from college with a degree in English and a strong desire to teach. But despite sending applications to a number of local school systems, she’d heard nothing back. So one August afternoon, she picked up the phone and called Henrico County’s Central Office to ask if there were any vacant positions.

“The person told me to hold on, and then somebody got back on the phone and asked if I could come in three hours for an interview. Of course I said yes.”

The only problems: Lanier had nothing formal to wear and didn’t own a car. She borrowed her sister’s car, drove to Carytown and bought a dress in time for the interview.

Henrico’s Top Teachers – Linda Henderson-Wagstaff

Linda Henderson-Wagstaff never intended to become a teacher, but she's always sought to help children however she could. The latter made the former inevitable.

Henderson-Wagstaff was content as a secretary at the New Bridge Middle School in Eastern Henrico when it opened in 2002 – her latest in a line of office jobs, following a college degree in office management. But the students at New Bridge – who were there because of their problems in traditional school settings – made a quick impact on her.

Henrico’s Top Teachers – Amy El-Khouri

Amy El-Khouri’s passion for singing and music began early in her childhood when she sang for church choirs, played piano and even ran rehearsals in high school when her teacher was absent. At 37 years old she has transformed her passion into an impactful career that allows her to use her talents and be surrounded by what she loves as the choral director at Deep Run High School.

“Music and choir was the place I felt most connected,” said El-Khouri. “I had some really fantastic music teachers that helped me grow and gave me confidence, and I wanted to give that to other people. If you’ve been performing long enough, you realize teaching is just a different type of performance.”

Henrico’s Top Teachers – Skip Stevens

You might say that teaching runs in Lewis “Skip” Stevens’ family. So does athletics. And coaching.

Stevens, a physical education teacher at Holman Middle School, is a product of Henrico County Public Schools whose mother, Penny Stevens, has taught P.E. at Godwin High School during two separate stints. His older sister, Stacy Hilton, is a third-grade teacher at Maude Trevvett Elementary School, and her husband, Eric Hilton, teaches fifth grade there.

And Stevens’ brother, Bucky, teaches business at Byrd Middle School.

Henrico’s Top Teachers – Darla Perry

Darla Perry has been fascinated by the way people communicate since meeting a classmate in high school who had a stuttering problem. Her desire to help those in similar situations, coupled with her love of children, led her to a lengthy and varied career as an educator, which has included time as a consultant, direct care provider and educational trainer, as well as a teacher.

She landed in Henrico County eight years ago when a position at Rivers Edge Elementary School’s Social Integrated Services Program opened. The program is one of a handful of elementary “hubs” in Henrico for students with autism and other developmental disabilities. Perry works with 10 students in kindergarten, first and second grades, helping them to transition from life at home to a new environment in school.

Henrico’s Top Teachers – Dawn Nadeau

In Dawn Nadeau’s free time she gardens, paints and fixes old furniture. As someone drawn to the beauty of watching things grow, adapting along the way and making an impact creatively, it is a reflection of her true passion of teaching children.

"I always knew teaching was something that I wanted to do,” said Nadeau. “My whole family was teachers, and I come from a long line of educators, principals and counselors, which has been a drive for me. I just absolutely love children, and I kept getting pulled towards teaching.”

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Henrico's Top Teachers

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