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2023 R.E.B. Awards for Distinguished Educational Leadership Announced

MARCH 28, 2023 — The R.E.B. Awards for Distinguished Educational Leadership seek to recognize those 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.  Each awardee receives a $10,000 cash grant and an additional $20,000 to support a project of their choosing to benefit their school.  The runners-up from each district receive a $10,000 award to support their proposed school project.

The following principals were selected as the 2023 winners:

Giuliana Brink, O.B. Gates Elementary School (Chesterfield)
With an R.E.B. Award, Ms. Brink will create a space and more opportunities for students to work collaboratively together. She will transform the school's old computer lab into a STEAM & Innovation Learning Lab to re-introduce and integrate Project/Problem Based Learning for all students.



Christopher Martinez, Patrick Henry High School (Hanover)
With an R.E.B. Award, Mr. Martinez will support the continuation of the school's PHamily Peer Mentors program, as well as create a PHamily Wellness space for staff to support their own mental health and wellness. The award will also support expansion of the PHamily Pantry that serves students and families with essential items such as food and clothing.


Karen Castillo-Rose, Henrico High School (Henrico)
With an R.E.B. Award, Ms. Castillo-Rose will bring joy to her school community by creating spaces for mindfulness including labrynth gardens, outdoor play areas, outdoor seating, and spirit swag for students demonstrating positive behaviors. She will also implement Grief Circles in partnership with Full Circle Grief Center, as well as provide social and emotional learning (SEL) support by engaging curriculum writers to create culturally appropriate curriculum.


Ta'Neshia Ford, Virgie Binford Education Center (Richmond)
Ms. Ford will use her R.E.B. Award to enhance the hands-on skills lab where students can practice various job skills and explore entrepreneurial endeavors. She will invest in virtual reality programming to allow students to take virtual field trips, purchase a driving simulator, and help purchase certifications and licenses needed for her students' employment.

The following candidates were selected as runners-up and will receive a $10,000 award to support their proposed school project:

Matthew Stittmatter, Elizabeth Davis Middle School (Chesterfield)
To create a teacher collaboration space, classroom libraries for every classroom, and an outdoor classroom.

Glynda Smith, Beaverdam Elementary School (Hanover)
To enhance the Beaverdam Community Hub by adding playground instruments, sensory boards, bikes and helmets, art easels, mindfulness signs, and an outdoor classroom to be available to students, families and other community members.

Kevin Schatz, Colonial Trail Elementary School (Henrico)
To create a cricket practice facility and an adaptive cricket program.

Shayla Holeman, Overby-Sheppard Elementary School (Richmond)
To enhance the STEM program, Experiential Learning, and the staff wellness room.

To learn more about how you can recognize an outstanding principal for the 2024 awards program, click here.

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