Henrico County VA
Education

Freeman students learn to ‘Drive Smart’


Students signed a banner pledging not to text and drive during a Drive Smart Virginia event at Freeman High School May 26. The event helped show students the dangers of driving while distracted or intoxicated.

Below, Freeman student Rachel Marcus attempts to navigate a path of cones while wearing goggles that simulate the impairment of a 0.15 blood alcohol content level. The goal was to show students how harmful drinking and driving can be.

Henrico’s Top Teachers – Rebecca Morrish

It’s no surprise that Rebecca Morrish’s office is a classroom.

“I always wanted to be a teacher ever since I knew what a teacher was,” she said. “Every year since kindergarten, I pretty much fell in love with my teacher and said ‘I’m going to grow up to be just like you.’”

But it was her geometry teacher in high school in New York, Mrs. Seasley, who inspired her ultimate career path.

Henrico’s Top Teachers – Ann Marie Benson

Ann Marie Benson began her journey at Weinstein JCC as a parent volunteer and has transformed into a 19-year preschool teaching veteran who also serves as the early morning childcare coordinator. At the JCC, she is able to combine her passion for working with children and her faith.

Benson is a graduate of Wilkes University but believes her education will never be complete when it comes to teaching. She learns something new every day from her children, co-workers, workshops, lectures and conferences and continues to take college courses each summer in early childhood education.

Henrico’s Top Teachers – David Savino

David Savino, 38-year teaching veteran at Hermitage High School, created a legacy when he started a 20th Century history class in 1986 that aimed to teach students the story of the 20th (and 21st) centuries and provide them with context for current events. The course is now taught in every high school in the county, viewed as an important supplement to the U.S. history SOL exams, and has remained one of the most sought-after and popular classes at Hermitage High School despite not being required for graduation.

There’s a reason why.

For many of Savino’s students, it’s simply his ability to make history interesting and relatable.

Henrico’s Top Teachers – Erica Whiting

Erica Whiting, 27, followed the family tradition and became a preschool teacher like her mother. Whiting teaches at Glen Lea Elementary School, where she works with eager and energetic preschoolers who are ready to soak up everything.

Whiting graduated from James Madison University in 2011 with a degree in early childhood education and credited her time there with developing her knowledge.

Henrico’s Top Teachers – Robin Ricketts

Rare is the teacher with 30 years of experience who actively embraces the newest forms of technology. Rarer still is the teacher with such credentials who thrives on such advances.

Robin Ricketts, then, is something of a teaching unicorn. As the director of JK-12 technology at the Steward School for the past five years, she has overseen the integration of technology into the course loads of every Steward student. She also teaches technology from junior kindergarten through third grade.

Henrico’s Top Teachers – Kofi Acheampong

As a young teen growing up in Ghana, Kofi Acheampong taught his mother English. Little did he know that the experience would prepare him – in two ways – for his own future.

Acheampong’s family moved to the United States when he was 15, settling in Alexandria. Though the adjustment was a significant one, it was made easier by his proficiency on the soccer field, where he excelled.

“That was my way of making new friends,” he recalled.

Henrico’s Top Teachers – Dalida Ghoussoub

Dalida Ghoussoub didn’t realize 40 years ago when she tutored her neighbor’s epileptic daughter (to help pay for private school tuition expenses) that the experience would shape her future and spark her interest in teaching students who struggle academically.

Now, as an exceptional education teacher at Highland Springs High School, Ghoussoub is in her third year of teaching the Functional Academics program.

Henrico’s Top Teachers – Nick Lapres

Nick Lapres didn’t always expect to become a teacher, but his passion to advocate change, open people’s eyes and invoke communication with young people in order to seek solutions to the world’s problems landed him at Brookland Middle School in 2013 as a U.S. history teacher.

“Teaching allows me to do what I always wanted to do,” Lapres said. “I could have tried to be an author, journalist, podcaster, documentarian, activist, etc. but those weren’t in the cards for me. Teaching is my way of doing it. It is a special profession, but if you’re going to try it you need to be thoughtful about your motivations.”

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The 8th Annual American Legion Post 242 & Battlefield Post 144 Sandston Memorial Day Parade will start at 1 p.m. at Seven Pines Elementary School on Beulah Road and proceed… Full text

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