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Announcing the 2019 R.E.B. Awards recipients

The Community Foundation and the R.E.B. Foundation are pleased to recognize 28 outstanding public school teachers selected as finalists for the 2019 R.E.B. Awards for Teaching Excellence. Considered among the best in their field, these instructors demonstrate a sincere passion for teaching while also serving as mentors, coaches and champions for their students. Selected from 129 nominees submitted by students, parents and colleagues, 19 winners and 9 finalists will receive cash grants totaling $210,000.

On November 11, the region celebrated these educators at an awards ceremony at the Virginia Museum of History and Culture, where the winners were announced. The First Lady of Virginia, Pamela Northam, spoke words of encouragement and congratulations, along with local nonprofit leader Damon Jiggetts, who delivered the keynote address.

The R.E.B. Awards provide opportunities for area public school teachers to continue their own love of learning as they pursue adventures of a lifetime. Connected by a desire to make their lessons relevant, all 2019 awardees will have the chance to collect real-life experiences, stories and artifacts to renew their passion for teaching and enhance their ability to bring subject matter to life for their students.


John Barclay, Franklin Military Academy (RI)$12,000
To chase Global Solar Phenomena including the Aurora Borealis in Iceland and Solar Eclipses in Africa, Southern Asia and the Southern Pacific Ocean.

Caroline BareHanover High School (HA): $11,900
To study the Transatlantic Slavery Triangle through the prisms of history, memory and reconciliation in relation to Richmond, England and Ghana.

Caitlyn CarpenterGlen Allen High School (HE)$9,000
To travel the United States to visit mentorship models for youth and gain insights into the collective understanding of historically marginalized communities.

Mandelia Fisher, Chimborazo Elementary School (RI): $10,300
To attend the National Conference for Creating Trauma-Sensitive Schools in Atlanta and explore the architecture, culture and cuisines of New York, Egypt and Singapore.

Nicole Fleming, Miles Jerome Jones Elementary School (RI): $11,200
To make text-to-self connections through children's literature by traveling to New York, Alabama and California.

Amy Gregory, Chickahominy Middle School (HA): $12,000
To discover and explore geographical features and biomes across the United States and Canada.

Amanda Hach, Glen Allen High School (HE): $9,000
To cultivate empathy and community by visiting historically significant and culturally relevant sites relating to the African American experience in the United States.

Adam Hawkins, Chesterfield Technical Center (CH): $12,000
To travel the country in an RV visiting technical centers that offer work-based learning, with a focus on the culinary industry.

John Holland, John B. Cary Elementary School (RI): $11,500
To understand the life and work of Leonardo da Vinci as an example of STEAM in action by visiting Portugal, Spain, France and Italy.

Kimberly Jackson, Echo Lake Elementary School (HE): $9,000
To study the animals of the Galapagos, the Islands’ intricate ecosystem, and the importance of reducing the environmental footprint on the Islands.

Heather Leise, Atlee High School (HA): $11,900
To compare and contrast benevolent dictators of the past and present by traveling to Singapore and the former states of Yugoslavia.

Christopher Morris, Swift Creek Middle School (CH): $10,000
To explore the music and sounds of Spain.

Elizabeth O'Shea, L.C. Bird High School (CH): $9,000
To explore the western front of World War II Europe.

Rachael Pifer, Robious Middle School (CH): $11,700
To obtain the Children's Yoga Teacher Certification with an emphasis on making yoga and mindfulness inclusive and accessible to children of diverse abilities.

Kathryn Regan, J.A. Chalkley Elementary School (CH): $11,500
To engage in immersive and authentic experiences in Mexico and southern Europe.

Beth Sawyer, Evergreen Elementary (CH): $11,500
To expand knowledge of learning through play by observing innovative play and outdoor-based instructional programs in China and Switzerland.

Natasha Thomas, Southampton Elementary School (RI): $11,300
To embark on the African-American experience through the lens of Black artistry in Los Angeles, and to make heritage connections in South Africa.

Timothy Towslee, Glen Allen High School (HE): $10,800
To obtain certification as an outdoor ethics master educator and to apply these skills by backpacking through the Alaskan wilderness.

Denise Yancey, William Fox Elementary School (RI): $8,300
To experience Spanish immersion in Panama and to observe the ecosystems and biodiversity of Panama, Costa Rica and Mexico.


All finalists not chosen for a professional development grant will receive a $750 unrestricted cash grant in recognition of their achievements in the classroom.

About the R.E.B. Awards for Teaching Excellence

The awards program, which is a partnership between the Community Foundation for a greater Richmond and the R.E.B. Foundation, recognizes excellence in public education by awarding cash grants to outstanding public school teachers from the City of Richmond, the counties of Chesterfield, Henrico, and Hanover, and the Department of Correctional Education. Since its inception in 1988, the program has awarded nearly $4 million to over 800 public school instructors as recognition for their outstanding classroom performance.


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