Henrico’s Top Teachers – Marissa Vest

Marissa Vest has been teaching chemistry at Freeman High School for the past five years and has made an impact on her students by making the topic fun and bringing science to life. 

Vest graduated from Penn State University with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and then obtained her master’s in education from the University of Richmond. Vest always thought she would be a research scientist but stumbled into substitute teaching when she lived in North Carolina and has never looked back.

“I loved it!,” she said. “I really enjoy teaching problem-solving strategies and encouraging students to think critically on their own.  I also love getting students really excited about chemistry, a traditionally unpopular subject.”

Vest said that one of her favorite parts about teaching at Freeman is the science department and how well everyone works together as a team

“I have a lot of energy and try to grab student interest with fun demos and labs before diving into difficult curriculum,” she said. “Yelling and running around the room helps, too and I think a blend of humor and hard work sets my classroom apart from some other chemistry labs and classes.”

Vest’s efforts to make the curriculum interesting don’t go unnoticed.

“Ms. Vest truly makes sure that her chemistry students understand every single lesson,” wrote one faculty member in a nomination letter. “She makes an effort to let her students know that she is there if they ever need extra help; she is there morning, study hall, and afternoon. But she doesn’t batter it into her students; she is very light-hearted, and she keeps her lessons interesting and upbeat.”

Wrote a student nominator: “I’ve always hated science. I’ve hated it since the first day I ever learned about science. But she’s truly made me understand chemistry, and not only understand it, but enjoy it. I look forward to her class every day and she’s made me want to take AP chemistry next year just so that I can have her again and so that I can get a better understanding of chemistry, because I know she will help me obtain all of that knowledge.”

Outside of teaching Vest brings her same upbeat energy to everything she does and can be found running, hiking, and snowboarding in her free time. She also has two children, and she enjoys taking them to the James River Park System.  
Bail Bonds Chesterfield VA

McShin Academy expanding to St. Joseph’s Villa


Two Lakeside-area nonprofits are partnering to create what is believed to be the first recovery high school in Virginia.

The McShin Academy will be a joint effort of the McShin Foundation (a recovery community organization based at Hatcher Memorial Baptist Church in Lakeside) and St. Joseph's Villa (a 183-year-old nonprofit on Brook Road that provides a variety of services for children with special needs). > Read more.

Reynolds CC dedicates student center


Reynolds Community College recently celebrated the dedication of the Jerry and Mary Owen Student Center, named for longtime supporters of the college who have made numerous investments in it.

Jerry Owen served on the Reynolds College Board from 1984 to 1988, and he and his wife support the college’s scholarship fund and created an endowment for the Reynolds Middle College, which helps students earn a high school equivalency and transition into a degree or workforce credential program. > Read more.

Capital One sponsors ‘Coders Experience’


Capital One hosted its “Coders Experience” event in Richmond and a number of other state locations Oct. 14. The events attracted hundreds of middle school girls, who learned how to create their own mobile apps, hone problem-solving skills and gain software development knowledge. A second day of Coders Experience events will take place Oct. 21. More than 500 Capital One volunteers are participating in the 10 events. > Read more.

Hermitage band member named All-American


The U.S. Army All-American Bowl Presented by American Family Insurance Selection Tour will visit Hermitage H.S. Oct. 19 to recognize Truman Chancy as a 2018 U.S. Army All-American. Hermitage High School will honor Chancy before his classmates, bandmates, family and friends at the high school’s band room during band practice, and he will be presented with his honorary All-American Marching Band jacket. > Read more.

Crime Stoppers’ Crime of the Week: Oct. 16, 2017


This week, Metro Richmond Crime Stoppers is asking for the public to assist the Richmond Police Department in the identification of wayward artists that were using buildings as their canvas.

In the early morning hours of Sept. 14, four people were recorded on security cameras vandalizing multiple properties in the area of the 2500 blocks of West Main Street and Floyd Avenue. The suspects (pictured) were walking north on Robinson Street and spray painting the properties as they meandered along. > Read more.

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October 2017
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North Park Library will screen “The Witches” (1990, PG, 81 minutes) from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. A boy stumbles upon a convention of witches with his grandmother. Based on the Roald Dahl book. Suggested for ages 9 and older. For details, call 501-1970 or visit http://www.henricolibrary.org. Full text

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