News & Event
The R.E.B. Awards for Distinguished Educational Leadership seek to recognize public school principals who go beyond the day-to-day demands of their position to create an exceptional educational environment. Every year, four principals are selected for this achievement – one each from the Chesterfield, Hanover, Henrico, and the City of Richmond school districts. They each receive a $10,000 cash grant and an additional $20,000 to support a project of their choosing to benefit the school. New in 2021, a runner-up from each district will also receive a $10,000 award to support their proposed school project.
The following principals were selected as the 2021 winners:
LaShante’ Knight, Salem Church Middle School (Chesterfield)
With her R.E.B. Award, Ms. Knight will create a Learning Lab for Teachers, providing a permanent professional learning space; a Resource Center for Parents where workshops such as Conversational Spanish and English will be offered and career support will be accessible; and a Real-World Connections Amphitheater for Students providing access to virtual field trips, student leadership conferences, and guest speakers.
Lisa Thompson, Washington Henry Elementary School (Hanover)
With her R.E.B. Award, Ms. Thompson will create a sustainable outdoor learning environment that will become a permanent footprint of Washington-Henry Elementary. A student “task force” will design the outdoor classroom plan to share with teachers and families, allowing input and feedback from multiple stakeholders.
Ryan Stein, Greenwood Elementary School (Henrico)
With his R.E.B. Award, Mr. Stein will enact KinderGator Camp, a 5-week summer in-person experience open to all rising 1st graders at Greenwood Elementary School. KinderGator Camp will aim to re-engage young learners to the in-person educational environment, where students will work with master teachers who provide a robust focus on connection, literacy, and social and emotional development.
Latonya Waller, T.C. Boushall Middle School (Richmond)
With her R.E.B. Award, Ms. Waller will create a Next Century School Learning Classroom that will offer a state-of-the-art learning space with augmented reality, video conferencing, and AV production capabilities. The complementary Next Century School Learning Lab will expand the small mobile MakerSpace cart into a full learning lab, designed to be highly interactive with all the materials that support true inquiry-based instruction and problem-based learning.
The following candidates were selected as runners up and will receive a $10,000 award to support their proposed school project:
Lindsay Porzio, Crestwood Elementary School (Chesterfield)
To construct a new greenhouse, pour a concrete slab and walkway to comply with the ADA, and install a safety fence around the area.
Leigh Finch, John M. Gandy Elementary School (Hanover)
To enhance the current House system to include sister school, Henry Clay Elementary School, as they prepare to merge into one school in the coming years. Assigning students to “houses” helps them develop relationships with other students and teachers in different grades.
Leigh Dunavant, Mills E. Godwin High School (Henrico)
To bolster continuous school improvement at Godwin High School, this award will support a partnership with New Pedagogies for Deeper Learning, providing a variety of professional learning opportunities to teachers and resources to conduct an all-faculty book study on Dive into Deep Learning: Tools for Engagement.
Tiawana Giles, George W. Carver Elementary School (Richmond)
To build capacity in science through the purchase of Science Foss Kits for all 4th and 5th grade teachers and science lab coats for teachers, as well as implement parent engagement nights focused on Science.
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 Bare, Hanover 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 Carpenter, Glen 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.
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.
LIST OF 2020 WINNERS
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.
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.
The Community Foundation for a greater Richmond announces several new board officers and members for 2021. New officers include Austin Brockenbrough IV as Chair, Jennifer Hunter as Vice Chair, Michael Beall as Treasurer, and Kristen Hager as Secretary.
Austin Brockenbrough IV is the President and Managing Director of Lowe, Brockenbrough & Company, a Richmond based investment advisory firm serving individuals and institutions, as well as a devoted family man and a genuine community servant. When asked about future priorities for the Foundation in a recent interview, Austin shared that his goal is “not to add new priorities, but rather amplify and accelerate the work that is already underway. If anything, we are working with greater urgency and intention than ever before.” You can read the full Q&A with Austin here.
New members to the Community Foundation board include Tom Barkin, Sheryl Garland, Terrell Harrigan and Dr. Paula Pando. Read more about our new members below.
Tom Barkin, President & CEO, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond
In his role, Tom is responsible for monetary policy, bank supervision, payment services, and the Fed’s National IT organization. He also serves as a voting member in 2021 on the Fed’s chief monetary policy body, the Federal Open Market Committee. Tom is continually “on the ground” in the Fed’s Fifth District, which covers South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, DC, West Virginia and Maryland.
Sheryl Garland, Chief of Health Impact, VCU Health System
Sheryl is responsible for building programs and partnerships to improve the health of populations and communities served by VCU Health System. She is the recipient of several awards, including the American College of Health Care Executives Regent’s Early Career Healthcare Executive Award and the YWCA of Richmond Outstanding Woman of the Year Award in the field of Health/Science.
Sheryl also serves on the boards of the MCV Foundation, University Health Services-Professional Education Programs and the Institute for Public Health Innovation, and she is currently President of the American Heart Association, Mid-Atlantic Affiliate.