5 educators receive 2018 R.E.B Awards for Teaching Excellence

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The Community Foundation and the R.E.B. Foundation recognized five Chesterfield County teachers with 2018 R.E.B. Awards for Teaching Excellence during a regional ceremony last week. Seven other Chesterfield County teachers were recognized as finalists for the award.

Together, these 12 Chesterfield County teachers will receive $60,000 in professional development grants. The educators were part of nearly 35 outstanding public school teachers from across the region selected as honorees.

“We are so appreciative of community partners such as The Community Foundation and the R.E.B. Foundation for their continued support of our exceptional teachers and schools,” School Board Chair John Erbach said. “These awards recognize our outstanding teachers who go above and beyond every day, and provide them with grant funding for professional development that will broaden their teaching experiences and help create even more authentic learning opportunities in the classroom.”

The awards program, a partnership between The Community Foundation 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 $3.5 million to more than 800 public school instructors as recognition for their outstanding classroom performance.

“Our 12 teachers were selected from a pool of approximately 100 nominations from colleagues, parents and community supporters, and represent one-third of the total honorees announced,” Superintendent Dr. Merv Daugherty said. “These grants reward outstanding teachers for their exceptional work; however, just as importantly, they will help create rich learning experiences within our classrooms.”

These Chesterfield County teachers were 2018 R.E.B. Awards for Teaching Excellence Award winners:

Crystal Barker, Bird High – $11,000
She will use her award to expand her knowledge and experiences in outdoor and underwater exploration activities related to the physical education curriculum and outdoor initiative, through training and traveling to Alaska and Florida. She will assess real world access for people with disabilities in outdoor adventure activities, including biking, fishing, nature exploration, scuba diving, snorkeling, and environmental adventures.

Shannon Costelo, James River High – $8,700
She plans to explore the cultural landscapes of New York City and Jerusalem, two world cities that have shaped the past but continue to shape the future of both regional and global decision making. She plans to bring this field work back to both her AP Human Geography and AP World classes and share it at both national and regional conferences on how to incorporate field work into the geography and history class.

Lauren Serpa, Spring Run Elementary – $11,500
Laura will attend a one week comedy improv intensive in Chicago, then travel to Ireland and the Netherlands to learn about the culture and musical styles performed there. She will finish by completing two courses at VCU to complete her Orff certification.

Gina Hackett, Bird High – $11,400
She will explore the ancient culture, cuisine, archaeology, and theater in Athens and Santorini, Greece with a focus on bringing the community and hospitality back to the classroom, county, and nation.

Christine Henry, Marguerite Christian Elementary – $11,800
will use the REB  grant to retrace the footsteps of my grandmother who was born in Romania, a nurse in Dresden, a refugee, and American immigrant.  Traveling to Canada and Europe will provide opportunities to experience the route of her adventurous soul and grant me a greater global awareness that will surpass average research.  As she connects students with opportunities that involve them in their learning, she will use lessons gained to broaden their social and academic awareness.

Additionally, seven Chesterfield County Public Schools teachers were recognized as finalists and received a $750 unrestricted cash grant in recognition of their achievements in the classroom:

  • Richard Anthony, Thomas Dale High
  • Jaclyn Clark, Cosby High
  • Valerie DeLung, Marguerite Christian Elementary
  • Robert Herting, Cosby High
  • Dana Hutcherson, Career and Technical Center @ Hull
  • Kyle King, Robious Elementary
  • Cody Sigmon, Carver Middle