Wednesday Spotlight: Greenfield Elementary Principal Melissa Reams wins Chesterfield’s 2019 R.E.B. Award for Distinguished Leadership

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Greenfield Elementary Principal Melissa Reams has been named Chesterfield County Public Schools’ recipient of the 2020 R.E.B. Award for Distinguished Educational Leadership.

The R.E.B. Awards for Distinguished Educational Leadership recognize central Virginia principals who go beyond day-to-day demands to create an exceptional educational environment for students and staff members.

“[Melissa] exemplifies next level leadership skills, personal relationships with school community, commitment to educational excellence and a contagious positive attitude that has created a family culture within our diverse school,” Greenfield Elementary physical education teacher J.P. Gates said in his nomination letter.

Reams began working for Chesterfield County Public Schools four years ago as the principal of Greenfield Elementary. Prior to working at CCPS, she taught both first and fourth grades, served as a math instructional coach, and then spent four years as an associate principal in Henrico County. Under her leadership, Greenfield Elementary has implemented several new initiatives to nurture and challenge students, including the Bridge Program, Greenfield Gives, and the House System.

Falling Creek Middle Principal Lia Ortiz was Chesterfield County Public Schools’ other finalist for the 2020 R.E.B. Award. Other principals nominated for consideration were:

  • Kenya Batts, Davis Elementary
  • Giuliana Brink, Gates Elementary
  • Julie Buntich, Scott Elementary
  • Brian Campos, Crenshaw Elementary
  • Karen Dubiel, Winterpock Elementary
  • Bruce Fillman, Hening Elementary
  • Lashante Knight, Salem Church Middle
  • John Murray, Matoaca High
  • Lindsay Porzio, Crestwood Elementary
  • Brian Russell, Chesterfield Career and Technical Center
  • Allie Strollo, Clover Hill Elementary
  • Deborah Weatherford, Watkins Elementary

“We applaud all of the Chesterfield principals who were nominated for their dedication to our students and families,” Superintendent Dr. Merv Daugherty said. “Melissa Reams is known for her hard work, transparent communication, and commitment to creating a safe, nurturing learning environment that has fostered a growth mindset at Greenfield Elementary for her students, staff and the surrounding community.”

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 and Hanover counties and the city of Richmond, is honored annually. Each winner receives $7,500 for their own use and $7,500 to use for a school project. Nominations come from members of the school community and the general public.

Reams plans to use the school project funding to work to diversify the school’s book collection.

“We feel that our students have not had the opportunity to see themselves in the literature that they read,” she said. “We want them to be able, regardless of gender, race, or ethnicity, to see themselves as doctors, lawyers, in the military, or teachers. So we’re really going to work to make sure that we spend most of this money on making sure we get those titles for them.”

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