News & Event
November 10, 2015
(RICHMOND, VA) – At an awards ceremony held Monday evening, The Community Foundation and the R.E.B. Foundation recognized 34 outstanding public school teachers selected as finalists for the 2015 R.E.B. Awards for Teaching Excellence. Considered among the best in their field, these exceptional instructors demonstrate a sincere passion for teaching while also serving as mentors, coaches and champions for their students. Selected from 102 teachers nominated by students, parents and colleagues, 16 winners and 18 finalists will receive cash grants totaling $185,100.
The R.E.B. Awards provide opportunities for area public school teachers to continue their own love of learning as they pursue adventures of a lifetime. For Evette Cartwright, a 5th grade teacher at G.W. Carver Elementary School in Richmond City, an R.E.B. Award of $11,900 will allow her to travel to Jamaica and Hawaii where she will take a deep dive into science topics covered by the 5th grade SOLs, including geology, oceanography and cultural anthropology.
Brian Letourneau, a history teacher at Hanover High School, goes above and beyond to embrace his students’ learning styles by supporting them on their terms – including late night emails, text reminders, and study sessions at Barnes & Noble. With his award of $11,900, Brian will deepen his understanding of our great nation by visiting the American Presidential Libraries and attending a history education workshop at Stanford University. Brian will share his experiences with students through videos, blogs and pictures of each historical site.
Culinary arts teacher at Chesterfield Technical Center, Sarah Jurewicz, engages her students by weaving art, science, math, reading and economics into her baking lessons. One of her students notes, “Ms. Jurewicz inspires me and challenges me in ways that no teacher has before.” With an award of $12,000, Sarah will explore the purity of ingredients and origins of pastry arts within the countries of Austria, Switzerland and Belgium.
Connected by a desire to make their lessons relevant, all of this year’s R.E.B. award recipients will have a chance to collect real-life experiences, stories and artifacts to refuel their passion for teaching and enhance their ability to bring subject matter to life for their students.
Robert Warren Benway - LC Bird High School (CH) $9,000
To visit the top Maker Spaces in the San Francisco Bay area and attend the international Maker Faire in Singapore; and to visit Cambodia to determine how students can build prosthetics to help the victims of land mine accidents.
Polly Lynne Bosse - Kaechele Elementary School (HE) $11,500
To travel to Hawaii, with a stop in Los Angeles, to gain hands-on experiences and create a multimedia journal of sea animals, marine plants, and island culture.
Mary Victoria Carll - Open High School (RI) $11,800
To travel to Peru and Cuba in order to compare a country that has maintained its historical legacy and cultural and linguistic identities in the face of the 21st century against a country that is just now emerging into the global sphere.
Evette Upshaw Cartwright - G.W. Carver Elementary School (RI) $11,900
To travel to Jamaica and Hawaii to explore the oceanic regions of the East and West Coasts and study geophysical flows, specifically the atmosphere and oceans.
Stephanie Gianni Cochrane - Woolridge Elementary School (CH) $8,200
To travel to the Scottish Lowlands, highlands, and islands seeking inspiration within the landscape, architecture and castles, and the cultural tradition of storytelling.
Teresa Ann Cole - Short Pump Middle School (HE) $12,000
To improve research and writing instruction by traveling to England, France, Germany and Italy to study ancestral culture and history.
Mark Evan Dillon - Bailey Bridge Middle School (CH) $7,400
To experience the Lewis and Clark expedition by retracing their journey from St. Louis, up the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, over the Continental Divide, down the Columbia River and to the Pacific Ocean.
Pamela M. Hall - Cosby High School (CH) $12,000
To lead her class in a virtual field trip/math project based learning activity that focuses on challenges faced by the youth in Richmond, Hawaii & Haiti; and to attend a National Geographic photo workshop.
Sarah Frances Jurewicz - Chesterfield Technical Center (CH) $12,000
To explore the purity of ingredients and origins of pastry arts within the countries of Austria, Switzerland, and Belgium.
Erik Siegfried Leise - Atlee High School (HA) $11,800
To visit Moscow, St. Petersburg and Paris to compare and contrast the Art Deco Movement and the Russian Constructivist Movement of the Early Modernist Period.
Brian Matthew Letourneau - Hanover High School (HA) $11,900
To create engaging U.S. history instructional materials based on information gleaned from the libraries of recent American presidents, a history education workshop at Stanford, and the International Society for Technology in Education conference.
Lauren Melton Lineweaver - Falling Creek Elementary School (CH) $8,100
To travel within the United States to experience cultural and historical landmarks which celebrate our country’s rich history.
Kelly Ann Pace - Atlee High School (HA) $10,800
To find writing inspiration by completing a street photography course and traveling to five U.S. cities, taking photographs of people and places in each location.
Kristen Mae Reynolds - Clover Hill Elementary School (CH) $9,200
To explore practical applications of student leadership by attending the Leader in Me Leadership Symposium; and to expand knowledge of global partnership/service leadership by touring Heifer International Global Village and working in Haitian communities.
Dawn Chentil Sherwood - Highland Springs High School (HE) $12,000
To travel to Antarctica and Rapa Nui (Easter Island) to photograph wildlife and learn about the effects of climate change and sustainability issues.
Joy Marie Siegel - Shady Grove Elementary School (HE) $12,000
To research historical and current points of view of the English, Irish, Northern Irish, and Scottish about colonization, independence, and cultural adaptations through on-site visits, conversation and dance.
All finalists not chosen for a professional development grant will receive a $750 unrestricted cash grant in recognition of their achievements in the classroom.
Learn how to nominate your favorite teacher
Ever wonder how you might honor a teacher who has inspired, equipped, or encouraged you to succeed? Take a few moments to nominate an outstanding public school teacher for an R.E.B. Award for Teaching Excellence and a chance to win a grant award of up to $12,000.
Through a nomination process, approximately 15 exceptional public school 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. Award recipients have earned graduate degrees, climbed mountains, traced their ancestors and met peers from around the world - all to kindle their own passion for learning and to pass it on to their students.
“What the REB Award process did for me was reignite an excitement and energy for both my teaching and learning. The REB Award rejuvenated my focus and drive for education, and that effect flooded over into the successes of so many students I get to work with every year,” said Karl Lippa, 2013 REB Award Winner.
The program is based on the belief that a positive educational experience at the elementary, middle and high school levels helps children form positive life-long habits toward learning and discipline. Nominations are welcomed for public school teachers from the City of Richmond and Counties of Chesterfield, Hanover, Henrico and the Department of Juvenile Justice in these localities.
Richmond Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Bedden interviewed a recent REB Award winner Tiffany Floyd who plans to travel to Finland this winter. You can check out their interview here:
Interested in learning more about the REB Award process? Learn more and nominate a teacher:
Nominate a Teacher
In its thirteenth year, the Stettinius Fund for Nonprofit Leadership honored three nonprofit leaders with grants totaling over $26,000. Christopher Beach, Executive Director, Relationship Foundation of Virginia; Honesty Liller, CEO, The McShin Foundation, and Todd Martin, Deputy Scout Executive, Boy Scouts of America, Heart of Virginia Council have been selected to pursue professional development opportunities of their own design. The Stettinius awards program was established by Cadmus Communications Corporation on the occasion of Wallace Stettinius’ retirement from the Cadmus Board of Directors. Since its inception in 2003, the Fund has recognized and supported outstanding professionals who provide effective organizational leadership within the local charitable sector.
Deeply entrenched in TCF’s community grantmaking and leadership work is a commitment to build a strong and sustainable network of local nonprofits. We do this by offering nonprofits access to resources, capacity building grants, civic engagement opportunities, nonprofit directory and professional development. The Stettinius awards program has been a large part of our commitment for leadership development, and starting next year these funds will be used to enhance the Emerging Nonprofit Leaders Program.
Chris Beach, Executive Director, Relationship Foundation of Virginia
RFVA has a clear vision – to strengthen relationships for better families. With a grant of $10,000 Chris will obtain an executive certificate in nonprofit leadership from Duke University, apply for the 2018 class of Leadership Metro Richmond, and attend the National Council of Family Relations annual conference.
“In the nonprofit field, funds for continuing education and additional training are very limited. I applied for this award because I knew that this scholarship would allow me to pursue amazing opportunities and strengthen my abilities to lead RFVA and broaden our reach in the community. I am humbled and honored to have been chosen for this award but it is my staff that truly deserves this recognition. They work tirelessly to strengthen and enrich relationships for youth, couples and fathers. It is because of them that I am able to passionately pursue our mission at RFVA.”
Honesty Liller, Executive Director, McShin Foundation
The McShin Foundation is a recovery resource foundation whose mission is to deliver a message of hope to recovering addicts and alcoholics and facilitate their journey to a healthier life. Honesty will use her grant award of $9,100 to participate in Stanford’s Executive Program for Nonprofit Leaders and apply to the Emerging Nonprofit Leaders Program through TCF.
“I am continually striving to be a more effective female leader and role model within our organization and the Richmond community. My journey from drug addiction to helping others has been an amazing, priceless experience. As a high school graduate who bypassed college courses because of drug addiction, I am honored and humbled to have the opportunity to apply for the Executive Program for Nonprofit Leaders at Stanford Graduate School through my Stettinius Award.”
Todd Martin, Deputy Scout Executive, Boy Scouts of America
The Boy Scouts of America is a youth development program that collaborates with community organizations to provide leadership development and character building programs to youth. With a grant of $7,600 Todd will pursue a mini MBA through the University of Richmond and attend the Nonprofit Storytelling Conference.
“I am honored to have been selected to receive a Stettinius Award, not only for the recognition but the grant to apply toward my professional development goals. Pursuing my MBA and attending the Nonprofit Storytelling Conference will give me fresh perspectives into how Scouting locally can improve operations, partner with more organizations and make a greater impact in Central Virginia.”
Learn about our commitment to the local nonprofit sector
(RICHMOND, VA) – The Community Foundation and the R.E.B. Foundation recognize 30 outstanding public school teachers selected as finalists for the 2016 R.E.B. Awards for Teaching Excellence. Considered among the best in their field, these exceptional instructors demonstrate a sincere passion for teaching while also serving as mentors, coaches and champions for their students. Selected from 102 nominations submitted by students, parents and colleagues, 17 winners and 13 finalists will receive cash grants totaling $185,850.
This year’s awards are bittersweet with the recent loss of the program’s benefactor, Rudy Bunzl. Together with his wife Esther, Rudy was a faithful champion for public education and believed that strong teachers are pivotal to its success. The R.E.B. Awards for Teaching Excellence is among their most notable and continuous contributions in philanthropy, distributing $3.4 million in professional development grants to over 740 public school teachers since 1988.
“The Bunzls have touched countless lives through this unique program,” said Sherrie Armstrong, President and CEO of The Community Foundation. “In a profession that is often under-recognized, their vision has made dreams come true. By gifting opportunities of a lifetime through travel or continued education, teachers return to the classroom with innovative ideas and a renewed sense of energy that inspires both their students and fellow educators.”
This year’s recipients will build on the lasting legacy of Rudy and Esther Bunzl. Connected by a desire to make their lessons relevant, all of the 2016 awardees will have a chance to collect real-life experiences, stories and artifacts to refuel their passion for teaching and enhance their ability to bring subject matter to life for their students.
Hanover County Winners
LIST OF 2016 WINNERS
Sarah Anzelmo-Steele, Lucille Brown Middle School (RI)
$11,000 to explore the classic tale, Anne of Green Gables, including a visit to Poland where Anne played a significant role in the Polish Resistance.
Whitney Wells-Cornfield, John M. Grandy Elementary (HA)
$10,500 to explore the rich culture and landscape of New Zealand while capturing images of fractals for use in math and science lessons.
Mindy Dobrinski, Holman Middle School (HE)
$11,000 to explore the diverse climates, cuisines, and cultures of the four corners of the United States.
Alfonso J. Favale, Springfield Park Elementary (HE)
$8,000 to create a series of videos that compare and contrast the cultures, landscapes and ecologies of Alaska and Hawaii.
Tiffany Floyd, James H. Blackwell Elementary School (RI)
$12,000 to travel to Finland during the winter season.
Lisa Grossman, Maude Trevvett Elementary School (HE)
$8,000 to explore of the furthest corners of Virginia – from Williamsburg to the Eastern Shore, Northern Virginia to the Valley, the small towns of Southwestern Virginia and beyond.
Micheal Harvey, Chesterfield Career and Technical Center (CH)
$9,800 to learn about alternative and emerging energy sources through visits to various plants in the United States including the Hoover Dam, Copper Mountain Solar Facility and Kodiak Electrical Company’s wind turbines.
Terry Lautzenheiser, Chesterfield County Technical Center (CH)
$11,000 to study hybrid and heirloom breeding techniques and explore community-supported agriculture by touring community gardens, small farms and markets.
Lisa R. Mitchell, William Fox Elementary School (RI)
$12,000 to travel to Portugal and England to experience and research the food traditions of her ancestors through cooking classes and food workshops.
Robert Motrynczuk, Spring Run Elementary School (CH)
$11,000 to travel to Hawaii and New Zealand to study and experience the math and science of extreme sports by Heli-boarding, Kiteboarding, and Bungee Jumping.
Amy Petersen, Midlothian High School (CH)
$11,000 to journey to Southern France where she will participate in an immersion language course and tour ancient sites related to the Roman expansion in Gaul.
Richard (Paul) Rozecki, Atlee High School (HA)
$8,000 to attend the 2017 Spirit of America Visual Design Retreat and study Pyware and Pygraphics, which will help him design new and innovative band drills.
Tonya Sikkar, South Anna Elementary School (HA)
$11,000 to participate in the MOVE Program, an international program that focuses on movement as a way of life for individuals with disabilities.
Eugene Streett, Cosby High School (CH)
$11,000 to visit Rome, Istanbul and Jerusalem – three cities at the intersection of history and religion.
Kevin Trent, Patrick Henry High School (HA)
$10,800 to explore history and culture of South America by connecting with a former exchange student in Brazil and visiting the family of an Argentine friend in Argentina.
Sara Vogt, Glen Allen High School (HE)
$10,000 to participate in the High School Teacher Program at CERN, The European Organization for Nuclear Research, and to travel to Southeast Asia.
Kyla Zabala, Highland Springs High School (HE)
$10,000 to tour historical theatres to compare current and historical trends by focusing on the lives of several famous poets and playwrights.
Learn more about the R.E.B. Awards for Teaching Excellence
(RICHMOND, VA) – The Community Foundation and the R.E.B. Foundation recognize 30 outstanding public school teachers selected as finalists for the 2017 R.E.B. Awards for Teaching Excellence. Considered among the best in their field, these exceptional instructors demonstrate a sincere passion for teaching while also serving as mentors, coaches and champions for their students. Selected from 112 nominations submitted by students, parents and colleagues, 16 winners and 14 finalists will receive cash grants totaling $180,800.
The R.E.B. Awards provide opportunities for area public school teachers to continue their own love of learning as they pursue adventures of a lifetime. For Minh Jergens, an 6th grade history teacher at Bailey Bridge Middle School in Chesterfield, an R.E.B. Award of $10,000 will allow her to return to her home country of Vietnam, which she left to come to the United States with her father at the age of 9. While there, she will visit war sites to deepen her understanding of this chapter of American history that affected millions of lives, including her own.
Christine Muse, the lead teacher at Richmond Career Education and Employment Academy, is driven to expose her students with significant cognitive disabilities to activities and experiences that will help prepare them for fully independent lives beyond the classroom. With her award of $9,500, Christine will research entrepreneurial opportunities for her students by visiting a business that employs individuals with intellectual disabilities in North Carolina, traveling to Grenada to explore an emerging program of the Grenada Downs Syndrome Association, and attending the 2018 World Downs Syndrome Congress in Glasgow, Scotland.
Connected by a desire to make their lessons relevant, all the 2017 awardees will have a chance to collect real-life experiences, stories and artifacts to refuel their passion for teaching and enhance their ability to bring subject matter to life for their students.
2017 Henrico County Finalists
Tiana Addai-Mensah, Miles Jerome Jones Elementary School (Richmond)
$12,000 to visit libraries across the globe with the purpose of exchanging ideas to elevate students’ love of reading for pleasure.
Helena Agnew, Cosby High School (Chesterfield)
$12,000 to study Native American crafts at the Taos Art School in New Mexico by taking classes taught by renowned Hopi, Navajo and Acoma artists.
Heather Andre, Cosby High School (Chesterfield)
$12,000 to travel to Italy and England, where a cappella music originated, to gain a greater appreciation for and understanding of how to teach and perform this popular style of choral music.
Karen Barber-Olajuwon, George Mason Elementary School (Richmond)
$12,000 to attend workshops in the U.S. and Barbados that promote the art of poetry writing, the use of poetry as an instructional tool, and poetry as a constructive outlet for traumatic experiences.
Alicia Broughton, Laurel Meadow Elementary School (Hanover)
$10,500 to explore the ancient civilizations and architecture of Greece and Rome to make relevant elementary STEM connections; and to attend the 2018 ISTE conference in Chicago, Illinois.
Michaela Dismann, Chesterfield Career and Technical Center (Chesterfield)
$12,000 to gain perspectives from former students and experts at rural colleges, universities and places of rural employment to encourage student interest in large animal veterinary careers; and to gain hands-on experience with stockmanship at a Wyoming Working Ranch.
Jerome Fleming, Short Pump Middle School (Henrico)
$10,300 to explore America’s historic cities and create a photo/video diary of each city to illustrate the culture and history that has made America into the diverse nation it is today.
Eliza Gemmill, South Anna Elementary School (Hanover)
$8,500 to participate in conferences, tours and interviews to learn how companies encourage innovation and how educators can connect business frameworks and philosophies to educational strategies.
Jennifer Gradwell, Chesterfield Juvenile Detention Home School (Chesterfield)
$11,400 to explore the connections between poverty, education and students’ hope for the future in Niger, Uganda, and Kenya; and to gain perspective through stories of resilience in parts of Africa with the lowest literacy rates in the world.
Minh Jurgens, Bailey Bridge Middle School (Chesterfield)
$10,000 to visit war sites in Vietnam to deepen the understanding of a chapter in American history that impacted millions of lives.
Jonathan Lauder, Mills E. Godwin High School (Henrico)
$6,500 to explore the ideas of the Enlightenment and the social and political revolutions brought to the western world by travelling to Paris, Vienna, Munich, and Philadelphia.
Christine Muse, Richmond Career Education and Employment Academy (Richmond)
$9,500 to study entrepreneurial opportunities for people with disabilities by visiting and networking with other organizations in North Carolina, Scotland and Grenada.
Lindsey Pantele, Glen Allen High School (Henrico)
$12,000 to study the Heroic and Classical Greek, Renaissance, and Modern literary periods through visits to several European cities.
Todd Ritter, Henrico High School (Henrico)
$10,600 to participate in Commedia Dell’arte and mask-making workshops in Florence, Italy and to visit several theatres spanning from ancient Rome to modern day.
Frenishee Smith, J.E. B. Stuart Elementary School (Richmond)
$9,000 to visit schools across the country that use innovative ways to engage students living in poverty; and to attend The International Conference on Urban Education in Nassau, Bahamas.
Gregory Townsend, Douglas Freeman High School (Henrico)
$12,000 to explore the culture, archaeology and geology of Central and South America while learning the Spanish language in an immersive setting.
This week, the R.E.B. Foundation and the Community Foundation announce the recipients of the 2018 R.E.B. Awards for Distinguished Educational Leadership. The following four individuals were identified through a nomination process and were selected as winners because of their ability to reach beyond the day-to-day demands of their position to create an exceptional learning environment for their students, teachers and surrounding community. In recognition of their accomplishments as outstanding educational leaders, they will receive cash grants of $15,000 each – half for unrestricted purposes and half for school-based initiatives of their choice.
Edward Maynes, Elizabeth Davis Middle School (Chesterfield)
Edward Maynes did not start out as an educator, but quickly found it to be his passion. As principal of Elizabeth Davis Middle School, Mr. Maynes believes strong relationships lead to student success, involving parents and the community to enhance learning experience. Mr. Maynes also boosts teacher morale by making himself accessible, listening to their needs and encouraging them to take risks. He assisted staff to apply for and receive a significant grant to create a MakerSpace, which allows students to benefit from cutting edge technology. With his R.E.B. Award, Mr. Maynes will make the MakerSpace available to the surrounding community and enhance it with updated technology.
Cheri Beth Fisher, Cold Harbor Elementary School (Hanover)
Cheri Beth Fisher is a product of Hanover County Public Schools and views Cold Harbor Elementary School as a community school. Dr. Fisher believes that literacy should not be defined in terms of reading only, but also through students articulating their thoughts, conversing, reasoning and writing. Dr. Fisher will use her R.E.B. Award to provide ongoing opportunities for students to access places and experiences to enhance their literacy through virtual and on-location experiences. She will purchase virtual reality technology for in-school use, as well as arrange field trips for students who otherwise may not have an opportunity to visit local destinations.
Nicole Henderson, Laburnum Elementary School (Henrico)
Nicole Henderson was tasked with creating a culture change at one of the most challenged schools in Henrico County. She set high expectations for her students and staff and created an environment where they know they can learn. Mrs. Henderson encourages positive behavior and family engagement and it is not uncommon for her to knock on student doors. Community events and weekly update calls to parents are just some of the ways that she connects with families. To avoid the summer slide, Mrs. Henderson will use her R.E.B. Award to make books more accessible to her students and the surrounding community. She will also expand the Toddler Tuesday program to encourage early literacy for families with young children.
J. Austin Brown, Richmond Community High School (Richmond)
Richmond Community High School is a specialty school focused on college prep; however, this school does not seek the highest achievers. J. Austin Brown is looking for students with ‘grit’, ones who will persevere in the face of a challenge. Mr. Brown fosters a family-like environment and encourages students to take the lead. With his R.E.B. Award, Mr. Brown will renovate the school’s greenhouse in partnership with Embrace Richmond and Groundwork RVA. The completed greenhouse will serve as an additional classroom where students will grow native plants and study environmental issues faced by Richmond City.
The R.E.B. Awards for Distinguished Educational Leadership involves an intensive selection process, in which representatives of the school community and the public at-large submit nominations. The nominations are narrowed down by a committee in each school district, and from a pool of eight finalists, winners are selected by a committee that consists of the four school district superintendents, representatives of each of the two foundations and one community member.
The R.E.B. Foundation, in partnership with The Community Foundation, launched the R.E.B. Awards for Distinguished Educational Leadership in September 2004 as a complement to the R.E.B. Awards for Teaching Excellence, which has celebrated outstanding public school teachers for 30 years.
The R.E.B. Awards for Distinguished Leadership seek to recognize principals who go beyond the day-to-day demands of their position to create an exceptional educational environment. Four principals are publicly recognized, one in each school district of the metropolitan area (i.e. the counties of Chesterfield, Hanover, Henrico and the City of Richmond). Each award consists of a $7,500 cash grant to the principal and an additional $7,500 for school projects chosen by the principal.
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