Salem Church Middle Principal LaShante’ Knight wins 2021 R.E.B. Award for Distinguished Leadership

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Salem Church Middle Principal LaShante’ Knight has been named Chesterfield County Public Schools’ recipient of the 2021 R.E.B. Award for Distinguished Educational Leadership.  This award recognizes central Virginia principals who go beyond day-to-day demands to create an exceptional educational environment for students and staff members.

Image of Principal LaShante' Knight

Knight began working for Chesterfield County Public Schools in 2016 as the principal of Salem Church Middle School. Prior to working in Chesterfield, she served as a middle school principal for Richmond Public Schools, an assistant principal in Loudoun County, and as a professional development and instructional specialist for school systems in the D.C.-metro area.

During her time as principal at Salem Church Middle, Knight has developed a strong and dedicated team of educators whose high expectations of students has earned the school a full accreditation for the past three years. Under her leadership, the school has partnered with the PTA, faith-based organizations, local businesses, and Communities in Schools of Chesterfield (CIS) to offer a multitude of programs to support and uplift students, including mentoring, weekend food boxes, field trip sponsorships and college visits.

“She consistently displays the burning desire to successfully inspire each of her teachers to collaborate, use ingenuity and reflect upon their practice, all in the name of excellence for student achievement,” Salem Church Middle special education teacher Dr. Lisa Coates said in her nomination letter.

Crestwood Elementary Principal Lindsay Porzio was Chesterfield County Public Schools’ other finalist for the 2021 R.E.B. Award.

These principals were recognized as the division’s nominees for the R.E.B. Awards for Distinguished Educational Leadership:

  • Natalie Bare, Gordon Elementary
  • Kenya Batts, Davis Elementary
  • Giuliana Brink, Gates Elementary
  • Ben Gillikin, Swift Creek Elementary
  • Matt Maher, Evergreen Elementary
  • Katie Matheny, Woolridge Elementary
  • Lindsay Mottley, Old Hundred Elementary
  • Lindsay Porzio, Crestwood Elementary
  • Deborah Weatherford, Watkins Elementary
  • David Altizer, Manchester Middle
  • LaShante’ Knight, Salem Church Middle
  • Christy Ellis, Manchester High

“We applaud all of the Chesterfield principals who were nominated for their exemplary dedication to our students and families,” Superintendent Dr. Merv Daugherty said. “LaShante’ Knight is known for being a servant leader who inspires dedication and excellence in her students, staff and the surrounding community.” 

Knight plans to use the school project funding to create a space that is a learning lab for teachers and a resource center for parents.

The Community Foundation of Richmond and the R.E.B. Foundation oversee the R.E.B. Awards for Distinguished Educational Leadership. One principal from each local school system (Chesterfield, Henrico, Hanover, and Richmond) is honored annually, and each winner receives a $10,000 cash grant for individual use and an additional $20,000 for school projects. Nominations come from members of the school community and the general public.

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