Henrico County VA

Kindergartners offer thoughts on Thanksgiving

In preparation for Thanksgiving, the Citizen asked several Sandston Elementary School classes to answer questions about the holiday. Their responses appear here. (Special thanks to the school, Henrico County Public Schools and the teachers and administrators at Sandston E.S. for their assistance in this effort.)

Henrico’s Top Teachers – Brandon McFarling

An avid guitarist from the age of 15, Brandon McFarling originally thought he might go into musical theater as a career. Not only did he enjoy playing in a band as a teenager, but he was able to use his musical talents to academic advantage. One notable high school teacher, Sharon Conner Hayden, allowed him to perform a song about Catcher in the Rye instead of submitting a paper – and gave him an A on the assignment.

It wasn't until he worked for the Boys and Girls Club in Martinsville that he began to consider teaching. Not only were the young children at the Club excited about learning – which sparked his interest in ways to make learning fun – but he also saw that he could influence young boys in particular.

Deep Run marathon dance raises record $254,221

The eighth annual Deep Run Marathon Dance may have exhausted the hundreds of high school students who participated, but it provided an invigorating boost to 12 charities. The 27-hour Deep Run High School event raised $254,221, bringing its eight-year fundraising total to $1.36 million. The amount is a new one-year record for the dance. The Deep Run Marathon Dance ranks no. 2 nationally in fundraising for such events.

Participating students checked in on Friday night, March 14 and left 27 hours later. The participants take breaks and have the option to sleep for two hours.

HCPS assistant principal named to national “20 to Watch” list

Byrd Middle School Assistant Principal Jennifer Maddux recently was named to the national “20 to Watch” list of prominent education technology leaders by the National School Board Association (NSBA). The annual award goes to educators who “inspire colleagues to incorporate innovative technology solutions” and increase efficiency, according to the NSBA.

The organization said Maddux has “brought life and energy” to Byrd. The judges cited her experience as an instructional technology resource teacher, which equipped her to create a suite of online resources and coach teachers in creating engaging, student-centered instruction.

Henrico students honored by Interfaith Council

On Feb. 27, the Interfaith Council of Greater Richmond (ICGR) recognized more than 50 Richmond metropolitan area high school students at the 47th Annual Brotherhood Sisterhood Youth Awards.

Held at River Road Baptist Church, the event featured keynote speaker Dr. Jamelle S. Wilson, superintendent of Hanover County Schools, and honored 18 Henrico students for their efforts to improve human relations and inter-group understanding and demonstrate caring for others.

HEF awards grants to 9 Henrico schools

Sandston Elementary School will soon have an engineering program for kindergartners and will teach classes in video game creation, thanks to two grants totaling $1,228 from the Henrico Education Foundation. The school was one of nine public schools in the county to receive a grant from HEF recently. In total, HEF awarded $18,612 to Henrico public schools for winter 2014.

Mehfoud Elementary will use its $225 grant to bring a practicing artist to help students with a mural of U.S. Indian tribes. Godwin High School will use its $2,700 grant to get 3D printer technology to create science and math research models.

Henrico County student wins regional spelling bee

Fifth-grader and Henrico County Public Schools spelling champion Tejas Muthusamy won the 40th Annual Richmond Times-Dispatch Regional Spelling Bee Saturday. Muthusamy, of Rivers Edge Elementary, bested champions representing 30 central Virginia school divisions. He now advances to the Scripps National Spelling Bee May 27-29 at National Harbor near Washington DC.

Muthusamy, 11, was one of the youngest participants in the regional contest, which includes students in grades 5-8.

To win, Muthusamy correctly spelled the word “brigand,” which Merriam-Webster defines as “one who lives by plunder usually as a member of a band.”

Deep Run’s marathon dance returns for eighth year

In its first seven years, Deep Run High School’s Marathon Dance has become a Henrico County phenomenon, as well as a fundraising juggernaut.

Last year, the student-run function broke the $1 million mark in funds raised for community groups since the dance’s 2007 inception. It now ranks No. 2 nationally in fundraising for such events. Hundreds of participating students check in on a Friday night and dance for charity, leaving 27 hours later. The participants take breaks and have the option to sleep for two hours.

HCPS art students win regional awards

Students in Henrico County Public Schools (HCPS) are kicking off “Youth Art Month” in March with stellar performances in the Scholastic Art Awards regional competition. HCPS students won 316 awards in the competition, eclipsing the division’s 2012-13 total of 169. Henrico students had more awards than any other school system in the region, which includes 60 Virginia counties and cities.

Two HCPS students – both from Henrico High School – were nominees for the Gold Key American Visions award for best in show.

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