Henrico’s Top Teachers – Catherine Saydlowski

Catherine Saydlowski’s passion for music and theater began early in her childhood, but she abandoned her dreams of becoming a pop icon and turned to teaching when her mother told her she may need a fallback.

Today, Saydlowski has transformed her passion into a career that allows her to use her talents and bring excitement into her drama and French classes.

Saydlowski graduated from Longwood University with degrees in English and modern languages, with a double concentration in French and Spanish. Certified to teach six subjects (French, Spanish, English, theater arts, journalism and speech communications), Saydlowski – a fan of theater – has a variety of talents that have made her a funny, story-telling teacher who students say “makes everyone smile.”

“Even when you’re having a bad day, once you go to her class, you are always happier and your day is always better,” wrote one student in a nomination letter. “She is so funny and caring and thoughtful. She is nice and makes activity fun. It made me like school and try harder.”

Her first teaching job was at Highland Springs High School in 1994, and she taught there for a few years before making the move to Holman Middle School.

“The most special thing here at Holman Middle School is the attitude,” said Saydlowski. “My students are game for anything. I am happy in the classroom. It’s where I make the most difference. My favorite part about teaching is watching my students experiment with what they have learned – that little jump in their eyes when they get something they have been struggling with, or the smile and laughter when they get an assessment back with high marks or praise.”

Outside of the classroom, Saydlowski can be found writing, singing and reading.

“One of the greatest moments I’ve had as a teacher was after our most recent musical at HMS,” she recalled. “The eighth-grade girls in the play serenaded me with ‘For Good’ from Wicked in front of the audience after the bows. The line says I do believe I have been changed for the better, and because I knew you. . . I have been changed for good. . . but truly it’s the other way around – my students have changed me for good.”
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Business in brief


Henrico-based nonprofit Commonwealth Autism recently received the Standards for Excellence Institute’s Seal of Excellence for successfully completing its accreditation program. Commonwealth Autism voluntarily opened itself to analysis by a peer review team during the last 18 months that examined the organization’s compliance with the “Standards for Excellence: An Ethics and Accountability Code for the Nonprofit Sector.” These standards cover areas such as: mission, strategy and evaluation; leadership – board, staff and volunteers; legal compliance and ethics; finance and operations; resource development; and public awareness, engagement and advocacy. Commonwealth Autism was one of six organizations in the Richmond region to be recognized and the first in the region to achieve full accreditation. In addition to this accreditation, Commonwealth Autism is recognized as an Accredited Charity with the Richmond Better Business Bureau and holds accreditation from the Code of Ethics for Behavioral Organizations (COEBO). > Read more.

Purify Infrared Sauna opens at GreenGate


Purify Infrared Sauna recently opened its second Henrico location at GreenGate Shopping Center in Short Pump.

Owner Mary Woodbridge opened her first Purify location on Patterson Avenue in July 2015. The new store is located at 301 Maltby Boulevard, Suite C, west of Short Pump Town Center. > Read more.

Henrico Master Gardener training program accepting applications through Oct. 27


The Henrico County Office of Virginia Cooperative Extension is accepting applications for its next volunteer Master Gardener training program, which provides instruction in all aspects of horticulture.

Applications for the 2018 training program will be accepted through Friday, Oct. 27. Classes will be held from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays from Jan. 16 through March 22. > Read more.

Henrico Schools to host Oct. 30 job fair


Henrico Schools will host a job fair Oct. 30.

The event, to be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Fairfield branch library, is designed to attract potential full-time and substitute registered nurses, instructional assistants, bus drivers and school nutrition workers. > Read more.

Henrico Police to participate in ‘Tip a Cop’ Oct. 21


Henrico County Police Division and the Virginia Division of Capitol Police are participating in “Tip-A-Cop” to Support the Special Olympics Saturday, Oct. 21.

From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. that day at Red Robin, 11784 West Broad Street, members of the two agencies will be working for tips as a donation to the Special Olympics. > Read more.

Henrico Business Bulletin Board

October 2017
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The Henrico Theatre Company will present “Driving Miss Daisy” Sept. 15 to Oct. 1 at The Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen. Taking place in the deep South in 1948 just prior to the civil rights movement, this is a warmhearted, humorous and affecting study of the unlikely relationship between an aging, crotchety white Southern lady and a proud, soft-spoken black man. All performances are at 8 p.m. except for Sunday matinees which start at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for seniors (55+) and students. For details, call 501-5859 or visit http://www.henrico.us/rec/culturalarts. Full text

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