Five Educators Honored for Teaching Excellence

Five Hanover Educators Honored for Teaching Excellence
Posted on 11/09/2021
HCPS LogoThree Hanover County Public Schools teachers have received the 2021 R.E.B. Awards for Teaching Excellence and another two were finalists for the esteemed award, which recognizes them as outstanding teachers who demonstrate a sincere passion for teaching while also serving as mentors, coaches, and champions for their students.

Dr. Michael Gill, Superintendent of Schools, announced each winner and finalist of the distinguished award at their school during faculty meetings last week. Combined, the three winners will receive cash grants of $39,300 to travel the world to continue their own learning and bring it back to the classroom. Nominated by students, parents, and colleagues, the educators are among 17 winners from across the Richmond region chosen by the Community Foundation and the R.E.B. Foundation as being considered among the best in their field.

“Our teachers continue to rise to the occasion to serve our students and their families, and I am incredibly proud of the extraordinary efforts of this group of educators on their nomination for this prestigious award. Their passion for and commitment to educating students represents the very best of Hanover County Public Schools,” said Dr. Gill. “The experiences they will encounter thanks to these grants will allow them to provide even greater learning opportunities for our students.”

Lucretia Davis, the orchestra director and strings teacher at Oak Knoll Middle School and Hanover High School, received $12,900 to explore the cultural influence of classical music by visiting iconic cities in Northern Italy, Austria, and Germany.

“Personally, the award helps to propel my educational journey during this insanely straining time in education and our nation. I feel more empowered to pursue my love of teaching as I seek National Board Teacher Certification,” said Davis, who has taught in Hanover for 16 years. “More importantly, for my current, former, and future students, it provides recognition for orchestral training in schools and validation that the performing arts and performing arts educators are extremely impactful.”

Jonathan Frame, who teaches Virginia, U.S., and Advanced Placement European History at Atlee High School, will use the $14,200 he received to travel the U.S. and Europe to create an immersive podcast experience called, “Voices for the Voiceless: the Student Experience.”

“I want to make sure that every one of my students feels heard, loved, and supported,” Frame said. “I value this award because it has the students in mind at all times and is meant to support them.”

Nicole Yeaney, who teaches English to students of other languages at Atlee High School, Chickahominy Middle School, Oak Knoll Middle School, Hanover High School, and The Georgetown School, received $12,200 to travel to Taiwan, Brazil, and Colombia to study the culture and deepen empathy for the culture shock that multilingual learners face.

“To be recognized with an R.E.B. Award means having the opportunity to deepen my empathy for the culture shock that multilingual learners face, and to develop my understanding of the cultures represented in my class by traveling to Taiwan, Brazil, and Colombia,” Yeaney said. “I am really looking forward to meeting the families of my former students. The families of our multilingual learners have so much to be proud of. Their students’ courage and tenacity when headed into unfamiliar environments is truly awe-inspiring. It is with the dedication and collaboration with other teachers in the county that we can continue to empower our outstanding multilingual learners to thrive in our community.”

In addition to the three winners, Justin Blunt of Oak Knoll Middle School and Michele Moore of Battlefield Park Elementary School were chosen as finalists and will receive a $1,000 in recognition of their achievements in the classroom.

“It is an honor to be recognized by my colleagues, individuals that I hold in high regard and respect. Being considered excellent by the Community Foundation and R.E.B. Foundation and the teachers and staff in my building, who I see excel daily, is humbling and very special to me,” said Blunt, an eighth-grade civics and economics teacher who has taught for 19 years. “This is a profession I hold dear and enjoy each day and year after year, being able to connect with and work with my students through the tough days and the joyful ones. Teaching is a passion of mine and where I feel I belong, to be recognized as a REB Finalist helps validate that and it is an honor that I am extremely thankful for!”

Said Moore: “I am humbled by this honor as I teach with so many others who are just as deserving of this honor. Teaching is a challenging profession yet so rewarding. Teachers have the opportunity and duty to leave a legacy for future generations who will lead our world. No other job is as important.”

The awards program, which is a partnership between the Community Foundation for a greater Richmond 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 approximately $4.4 million to over 985 public school instructors as recognition for their outstanding classroom performance.
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