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The Community Foundation and R.E.B. Foundation announce recipients of 2020 R.E.B. Awards for Teaching Excellence

The Community Foundation and the R.E.B. Foundation are pleased to recognize 31 outstanding public-school teachers selected as finalists for the 2020 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 109 nominees submitted by students, parents and colleagues, 18 winners and 13 finalists will receive cash grants totaling $198,450. 

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 2020 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.




Gilbert Carter, Jr.                            Franklin Military Academy (RI)                                 $7,800

To explore the cultural and mathematical foundations of domestic and international botanical gardens.


Ridgely Carter-Minter                   Woodville Elementary School (RI)                          $7,400

To explore the origins of figurative expressions in Casablanca and Granada and incorporate those learnings in a self-published children's book.


Brett Chonko                                   Clover Hill High School (CH)                                      $12,000

To improve knowledge and proficiency of the Spanish language by visiting regions of Argentina and Caribbean that feature difficult, distinct Spanish dialects.


Lisa Cocke                                        Liberty Middle School (HA)                                       $9,400

To visit a community in Ireland that has successfully designed programs that help transition individuals with Autism to post-secondary employment opportunities through immersion and integration.


Erin Daniel                                        Quioccasin Middle School (HE)                                $11,000

To visit some of the healthiest places on earth - Spain and Costa Rica - to bring back new habits and ideas that promote health and wellness.


Keenan Entsminger                       James River High School (CH)                                   $12,000

To trace the footsteps of the 246th Coastal Artillery Unit from the mountains of Virginia to the Islands of the Pacific.


Michael Fetsko                                Mills E. Godwin High School (HE)                            $8,300

To travel to the national parks of Alaska to observe the impact of climate change on the environment and topography.


Alexander Godschalk                    Old Hundred Elementary School (CH)                    $11,300

To explore early forms of theatre by studying Commedia dell’arte and mask-making in Florence, Italy and by engaging in Shakespearean theatre in England and Virginia.


Matthew Gray                                Atlee High School (HA)                                               $11,100

To study strength and conditioning concepts and philosophies of the United States Air Force Academy, the U.S. Olympic organization, and the All Blacks Rugby Team by traveling to Colorado and New Zealand.


Mariah Jezek                                   Cool Spring Elementary School (HA)                       $11,300

To observe Autism therapy practices in North America, Australia, and Europe.


Meredith Jordan                            Manchester Middle School (CH)                              $12,000

To engage in diverse school community populations in Central and South America to help develop multicultural perspectives in the classroom.


Donna Kouri                                     Greenwood Elementary (HE)                                    $11,900

To learn, connect and apply independent sustainable living skills through the combination of basic hands-on skills and modern technology by participating in Folk Schools and visiting National Parks.


Jonathan Metcalf                           Franklin Military Academy (RI)                                $7,900

To immerse in the culture and the extraordinary history of the Basque Country by biking the region in a 3-week trip.


Roy Mitchell, Jr.                              Yvonne B. Miller High School (DJJ)                          $11,800

To learn more about Kente Clothe and the similarities in culture between African American and Hispanic students through travel to Ghana.


Nathan Morrison                            Atlee High School (HA)                                               $12,000

To study the ways European economics, religion, and politics influenced independence movements in the Americas by traveling to Spain, Britain and Chile.


Sarah Peña                                       Greenwood Elementary School (HE)                      $11,700

To foster global citizenship through experiences with art by exploring museums, model schools and multicultural traditions in Dubai, Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York City.


Pamela Plahs                                   Swift Creek Middle School (CH)                               $8,300

To gain a deeper understanding of the Holocaust and to explore the courageous decisions the "Righteous Among the Nations" made to help rescue Jews by traveling to historic sites in Europe.


Arianna Trickey                               Swansboro Elementary School (RI)                         $11,500

To explore and understand how endangered ecosystems across North America, and their inhabitants, adapt to environmental changes.


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 approximately $4.2 million to over 950 public school instructors as recognition for their outstanding classroom performance. 


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