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Education

Shady Grove Elementary School kindergarten teacher named HCPS Teacher of the Year

Henrico County Public Schools employs more than 4,000 teachers, but only one is honored each year with the school division’s Teacher of the Year Award. This year’s recipient is Crissy Lynn, a kindergarten teacher at Shady Grove Elementary School.

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Henrico County Public Schools employs more than 4,000 teachers, but only one is honored each year with the school division’s Teacher of the Year Award. This year’s recipient is Crissy Lynn, a kindergarten teacher at Shady Grove Elementary School. She was selected for the honor from among five finalists across the division.

“For me, this is a reward for living out my passion every single day,” Lynn said at a surprise announcement Monday at Shady Grove. “I don’t do it for awards, I don’t do it for the money, I do it to create lifelong learners, because that’s what I am myself. My heart of hearts is right here in the kindergarten classroom, starting these students off with a love of learning — loving school, wanting to learn, wanting to know more, wanting to answer questions and ask questions.

“I vividly remember playing school every afternoon using my sister and best friends as my students. I had all the things that I thought made a great teacher — a chalkboard, textbooks handed down from my own teachers, a place to teach, ‘teacher clothes’ and a passion for learning. That passion is still burning strong in my heart 18 years later.

“This is also a huge win for elementary education because we are the foundation. We start these kids from the get-go and get them to middle school and beyond.”

In addition to her work in the classroom, Lynn is a longtime mentor for student teachers and new teachers. In 2017 and 2020, she was a finalist for the Community Foundation’s REB Award for Teaching Excellence and was a Henrico Citizen “Top Teacher” in 2019. She served as Shady Grove’s lead kindergarten teacher in 2020-21. Lynn has been the school’s faculty PTA representative since 2006 and chairs the safety committee. She has also served as chair of the school’s committees on hospitality, literacy and adoption of a British-inspired “house” system. Lynn is also sponsor of a school club devoted to tie-dye and has taught after-school classes in sewing and watercolor.

Lynn grew up in Henrico County and attended Lakeside Elementary School and George Moody Middle School. She earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Longwood University and a master’s degree in library science from Old Dominion University. Lynn was a student teacher at Shady Grove and Brookland Middle School before joining the Shady Grove faculty in 2005 as a kindergarten teacher.

The Henrico Education Foundation will host a banquet at the Greater Richmond Convention Center in May to recognize the Teacher of the Year honorees from all HCPS schools, including the 2023 divisionwide Teacher of the Year finalists: Laurie Morris, a math teacher at George Moody School; Erica Hall, a third grade teacher at Laburnum Elementary School; Lisa Dingman, an English-as-a-second-language teacher at Quioccasin Middle School; and Rebekah Wright, a kindergarten teacher at Henry Ward Elementary School.

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Trevor Dickerson is the Editor and Co-Founder of RVAHub.

Education

Henrico students set to showcase their skills to employers at Career Rodeo Skills Challenge

As at a traditional rodeo, the HCPS participants will wear numbers as they show off their skills, to make it easier for spectators to identify them. After past editions of the Career Rodeo Skills Challenge, employers requested resumes and interviews from hundreds of students.

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Henrico County Public Schools students will demonstrate their skills for potential employers at the 2023 Career and Technical Education Career Rodeo Skills Challenge, to be held Feb. 23 at the Richmond Raceway Complex.

This year’s event will provide a new crop of students the chance to launch their careers, and employers the opportunity to fill critical positions with skilled employees.

The event will enable students to show what they’ve learned in the school division’s career and technical education programs, to form connections and lay the groundwork for employment. Students from HCPS’ Advanced Career Education — or ACE – centers will solve work-based challenges in front of potential employers, who can request resumes and even interview students on the spot.

As at a traditional rodeo, the HCPS participants will wear numbers as they show off their skills, to make it easier for spectators to identify them. After past editions of the Career Rodeo Skills Challenge, employers requested resumes and interviews from hundreds of students.

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Education

Nominate an incredible HCPS educator for the 2023 REB Award for Teaching Excellence

Central Virginia recipients of the REB Awards for Teaching Excellence have earned graduate degrees, climbed mountains, studied the effects of climate change, traced their ancestors and met peers from around the world — all to reignite their own passion for learning and to pass it on to their students. Each of their REB journeys started with a nomination.

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Central Virginia recipients of the REB Awards for Teaching Excellence have earned graduate degrees, climbed mountains, studied the effects of climate change, traced their ancestors and met peers from around the world — all to reignite their own passion for learning and to pass it on to their students. Each of their REB journeys started with a nomination.

Nominate the special Henrico County Public Schools teacher in your life for an REB Award for Teaching Excellence. Nominations are due Feb. 21 at 5 p.m. The annual awards provide a tangible, public way to recognize outstanding HCPS instructors — and give them the means to continue growing. The awards are given by the Community Foundation, and identify, recognize and support teaching excellence in the Richmond area. Honorees receive professional development grants, given to teachers who have distinguished themselves by their inspiring classroom performance. Grants have been increased and range from $5,000 to $15,000.

Through a nomination process, approximately 15 outstanding teachers are selected each year to receive cash grants to support professional development activities. Nominations are invited from parents, students, educators and the community at large. Individuals may nominate only one teacher. Teachers may not be nominated by their principal and may not nominate themselves.

Nominations must be made online. A letter in support of the nomination must be written by another individual and submitted online with the nomination.

Who: The Community Foundation invites nominations from students, parents, colleagues, school staff and administrators (except for the school principal), and members of the community.

When: Nominations and letters of support must be submitted online by Feb. 21 at 5 p.m.

How: Go to henricoschools.us and look under “What’s Trending” for a link with full details, or visit cfrichmond.org/REB. For questions regarding nominations, email Tracie Weston, HCPS’ director of professional learning and leadership, at [email protected].

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Education

Student entrepreneurs win beverage competition with cold brew iced tea product that counteracts negative caffeine side effects

A group of 16 University of Richmond student entrepreneurs will soon rally behind a product created by their classmates. Lume, a cold brew iced tea that delivers “controlled energy”, emerged as the winner of the second annual Bench Top Innovations Great Bake Off.

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A group of 16 University of Richmond student entrepreneurs will soon rally behind a product created by their classmates. Lume, a cold brew iced tea that delivers “controlled energy”, emerged as the winner of the second annual Bench Top Innovations Great Bake Off.

“Bench Top Innovations: Creating & Commercializing Culinary Magic,” is a year-long program where students ideate, develop, and commercialize an innovative and practical food or beverage product. The course is a partnership between UR’s Creativity, Innovation & Entrepreneurship Initiative, the Robins School of Business, the Jepson School of Leadership, and the School of Arts and Sciences.

Students worked in teams and presented their products to a panel of judges that included University leaders and food and beverage investors during a pitch competition last month. At stake — funding for further product development and becoming the sole focus of the class. Next semester, all 16 students will work as one unit to launch and scale their business around the winning product, Lume.

“Lume is a cold brew black iced tea with added caffeine and L-Theanine, a natural amino acid,” said junior Grace Clarke, the drink’s co-creator. They will offer the tea in a variety of flavors, including super berry.

In their pitch, the Lume team highlighted the use of L-Theanine, which occurs naturally in plants, as a component of their product to boost energy and counteract the typical side effects of caffeine, like jitters or trouble sleeping. They have labeled this “controlled energy.”

“We learned that caffeine and L-Theanine were a great balance,” said Clarke.

“The judges chose Lume because they thought it was the product most ready to hit the shelves,” said marketing lecturer Joel Mier, who co-teaches the course with Executive-in-Residence and Health Warrior co-founder Shane Emmett.

This year’s other ideas included several non-dairy options and an orange juice/protein powder mix.

The year-long CIE Benchtop Innovation program is designed to emphasize creativity, inspire innovation, and spark entrepreneurship. The winner of the inaugural competition last year was Absurd Snacks, a roasted bean-based trail mix designed for people with food allergies, which is now available online and at many retailers.

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We need your help. RVAHub is a small, independent publication, and we depend on our readers to help us provide a vital community service. If you enjoy our content, would you consider a donation as small as $5? We would be immensely grateful! Interested in advertising your business, organization, or event? Get the details here.

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