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Public School Principals Recognized for Effective Leadership

This week, the R.E.B. Foundation and the Community Foundation announce the recipients of the 2018 R.E.B. Awards for Distinguished Educational Leadership.  The following four individuals were identified through a nomination process and were selected as winners because of their ability to reach beyond the day-to-day demands of their position to create an exceptional learning environment for their students, teachers and surrounding community.  In recognition of their accomplishments as outstanding educational leaders, they will receive cash grants of $15,000 each – half for unrestricted purposes and half for school-based initiatives of their choice.  

The 2018 winners are:

Ed MaynesEdward Maynes, Elizabeth Davis Middle School (Chesterfield)
Edward Maynes did not start out as an educator, but quickly found it to be his passion.  As principal of Elizabeth Davis Middle School, Mr. Maynes believes strong relationships lead to student success, involving parents and the community to enhance learning experience.  Mr. Maynes also boosts teacher morale by making himself accessible, listening to their needs and encouraging them to take risks.  He assisted staff to apply for and receive a significant grant to create a MakerSpace, which allows students to benefit from cutting edge technology. With his R.E.B. Award, Mr. Maynes will make the MakerSpace available to the surrounding community and enhance it with updated technology. 

Cheri Beth FisherCheri Beth Fisher, Cold Harbor Elementary School (Hanover)
Cheri Beth Fisher is a product of Hanover County Public Schools and views Cold Harbor Elementary School as a community school. Dr. Fisher believes that literacy should not be defined in terms of reading only, but also through students articulating their thoughts, conversing, reasoning and writing.  Dr. Fisher will use her R.E.B. Award to provide ongoing opportunities for students to access places and experiences to enhance their literacy through virtual and on-location experiences.  She will purchase virtual reality technology for in-school use, as well as arrange field trips for students who otherwise may not have an opportunity to visit local destinations. 

Nicole HendersonNicole Henderson, Laburnum Elementary School (Henrico)
Nicole Henderson was tasked with creating a culture change at one of the most challenged schools in Henrico County.  She set high expectations for her students and staff and created an environment where they know they can learn.  Mrs. Henderson encourages positive behavior  and family engagement and it is not uncommon for her to knock on student doors.  Community events and weekly update calls to parents are just some of the ways that she connects with families.  To avoid the summer slide, Mrs. Henderson will use her R.E.B. Award to make books more accessible to her students and the surrounding community.  She will also expand the Toddler Tuesday program to encourage early literacy for families with young children.

J. Austin BrownJ. Austin Brown, Richmond Community High School (Richmond)
Richmond Community High School is a specialty school focused on college prep; however, this school does not seek the highest achievers.  J. Austin Brown is looking for students with ‘grit’, ones who will persevere in the face of a challenge.  Mr. Brown fosters a family-like environment and encourages students to take the lead.  With his R.E.B. Award, Mr. Brown will renovate the school’s greenhouse in partnership with Embrace Richmond and Groundwork RVA.  The completed greenhouse will serve as an additional classroom where students will grow native plants and study environmental issues faced by Richmond City. 

The R.E.B. Awards for Distinguished Educational Leadership involves an intensive selection process, in which representatives of the school community and the public at-large submit nominations. The nominations are narrowed down by a committee in each school district, and from a pool of eight finalists, winners are selected by a committee that consists of the four school district superintendents, representatives of each of the two foundations and one community member. 

The R.E.B. Foundation, in partnership with The Community Foundation, launched the R.E.B. Awards for Distinguished Educational Leadership in September 2004 as a complement to the R.E.B. Awards for Teaching Excellence, which has celebrated outstanding public school teachers for 30 years. 



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