Henrico's Top Teachers - 2017

Henrico’s Top Teachers – Stephanie Poxon

Henrico HS, Center for the Arts director
Dr. Stephanie Poxon wears a lot of hats as director for the Center for the Arts at Henrico High School. First and foremost, she’s a director and administrator, but she’s also a teacher, cheerleader, coach, the staff pianist, the stage production manager and even sometimes the nurse and janitor.

The Florida native got her bachelor’s degree in musical education from the University of Central Florida, master’s degree in music from the University of Florida and doctorate in musicology from the Catholic University of America.

Henrico’s Top Teachers – Rita Yarema

Rita Yarema seemed likely to become a teacher anyway – her father, aunt, grandmother and cousin all were or are – but when her young sister suffered a massive stroke that paralyzed her, the decision solidified itself in her mind.

Yarema saw how her sister's special education teachers worked with her diligently to help her re-learn how to do almost everything she'd been able to do previously. The experience convinced her that she, too, wanted to work with special needs students as a teacher.

Henrico’s Top Teachers – Rebekah Goemaat

If Rebekah Goemaat seems to bring the perspective of a social worker inside her classroom at Quioccasin Middle School, there's a good reason for it.

She once was one.

Henrico’s Top Teachers – Nicole Williams

To the students who call her their teacher, there’s just something different about Nicole Williams.

"You can trust her with anything you tell her," one wrote in a nomination letter.

Henrico’s Top Teachers – Katie Clark

Originally from Gainesville, Katie Clark moved to Henrico to be surrounded by all of the locally owned businesses, history and diversity that Henrico and the Richmond area have to offer.

She graduated from James Madison University and found her calling in early childhood special education. She’s spent her 12-year teaching career entirely in Henrico County.

Henrico’s Top Teachers – Danny Nicholas

Danny Nicholas was about the same age as his current middle school students – and having a rough go of it – when he experienced first-hand the positive impact that a caring teacher can have on a troubled adolescent.

"My parents had just gotten divorced," Nicholas recalls, "and I had a lot of anger issues that resulted from so many new changes."

Henrico’s Top Teachers – Wendy Gilmartin

As a third-grade teacher, Wendy Gilmartin focuses on community and wants her students to leave each day wanting to come back the next.

Gilmartin, a local native and Virginia Tech alumna, has been teaching in the region for a total of 28 years – 17 in Hanover and the most recent 11 in Henrico.

Henrico’s Top Teachers – Maria Mitchell

Maria Mitchell pulls no punches when she talks to parents of the seventh-graders who take her physical science course at Moody Middle School.

"I tell parents I am one of the hardest teachers at Moody," she said, matter-of-factly.

Henrico’s Top Teachers – Molly Guerrant

Because she has always loved children, Molly Guerrant grew up knowing her career would involve working with kids.

At first, she assumed that she would become a classroom teacher. But while she was student teaching, Guerrant discovered that what she liked best was talking with students, encouraging them, and helping them with problems.

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