Chesterfield County teachers won seven of this year’s R.E.B. Awards for Teaching Excellence. The annual awards program, which is 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 in central Virginia.
This year, 102 teachers were nominated by students, parents and colleagues and 34 of those nominees became finalists. From the finalists, 16 winners were chosen to receive grants of $8,100 to $12,000 that will provide learning opportunities during the adventure of a lifetime. The 18 finalists not chosen for a professional development grant will receive $750 grants in recognition of their achievements in the classroom.
At a Nov. 9 awards ceremony, seven of the R.E.B. Awards for Teaching Excellence went to educators within Chesterfield County Public Schools. Here are Chesterfield’s winners and descriptions of how they will use their grants:
Robert Benway, specialty center coordinator for the Governor’s Academy for Engineering Studies at Bird High: $9,000 to visit the top maker spaces in the San Francisco Bay area, attend the Maker Faire in Singapore and visit Cambodia to determine how students can build prosthetics to help survivors of land mine explosions
Stephanie Cochrane, second-grade teacher at Woolridge Elementary: $8,200 to travel to Scotland seeking beauty and inspiration within the majestic landscape, dramatic architecture and castles and rich tradition of storytelling
Mark Dillon, sixth-grade social studies teacher at Bailey Bridge Middle: $7,400 to follow the route of the Lewis and Clark expedition from St. Louis, up the Mississippi and Missouri rivers, over the Continental Divide, down the Columbia River and to the Pacific Ocean
Pamela Hall, math teacher at Cosby High: $12,000 to lead her algebra-functions-data-analysis classes in a virtual trip/project-based learning activity that focuses on challenges faced by young people in Richmond, Hawaii and Haiti
Sarah Jurewicz, baking and pastry arts teacher at the Career and Technical Center @ Hull: $12,000 to explore the purity of ingredients and the origins of pastry arts in Austria, Switzerland and Belgium
Lauren Lineweaver, Falling Creek Elementary’s reading specialist: $8,100 to travel within the United States to photograph cultural and historical landmarks that celebrate the country’s rich history
Kristen Reynolds, third-grade teacher at Clover Hill Elementary: $9,200 to explore practical applications of student leadership by attending the Leader in Me Symposium and to expand knowledge of global partnership/service leadership by touring the Heifer International Global Village and working in Haitian communities
Six of the 18 R.E.B. finalists who will receive $750 grants are from Chesterfield County Public Schools: