News & Event
Each year, as spring weather takes hold and the school year winds down, the R.E.B Foundation and The Community Foundation are proud to announce the latest recipients of the R.E.B. Awards for Distinguished Educational Leadership. Four principals – one each from Chesterfield, Hanover, Henrico and Richmond Public Schools – are honored with grants of $15,000 in recognition of their demonstrated commitment to creating an exceptional learning environment through creative and engaging opportunities for their students, staff and community. Half of the award is designated for school projects, as outlined by the principal in their written proposal.
Congratulations to the 2017 winners:
Jennifer Rudd, Bellwood Elementary School, Chesterfield
To create a parent resource center within the school.
Caroline Harris, Oak Knoll Middle School, Hanover
To convert the traditional library into a “libratory” that includes designated space for hands-on learning, access to technology and flexible instruction space.
Melissa Halquist-Pruden, Glen Allen Elementary School, Henrico
To enhance the school’s outdoor learning space.
Indira Williams, Ginter Park Elementary School, Richmond
To create innovation stations to engage students in creative STEM activities.
The R.E.B. Awards for Distinguished Educational Leadership was created in 2004 as a complement to the R.E.B. Awards for Teaching Excellence, which has recognized more than 700 public school teachers from the metro Richmond region since 1988.
To learn how to nominate your favorite principal, check out the program overview.
PAST WINNERS (most recent listed first)
Sarah Fraher, Manchester Middle School
Deborah Marks, Clover Hill High School
Stephen Cunningham, Matoaca High School
Brenda Mayo, Cosby High School
Jaime Accashian, Chesterfield Community High School
Bessie Cooper, Bensley Elementary School
Peter Koste, Manchester High School
Joyce Lanier, Evergreen Elementary School
David Sovine, Monacan High School
John Titus, James River High School
Nancy Disharoon, Stonewall Jackson Middle School
Leah Finch, John M. Grandy Elementary School
Rhonda Epling, Pole Green Elementary School
Amy Woodword, Mechanicsville Elementary School
Debbie Arco, Chickahominy Middle School
S. Scott Baker, Chickahominy Middle School
Vincent D’Agostino, Atlee High School
Teresa Keck, Henry Clay Elementary School
Patricia Miller, Gandy Elementary School
Paul Vecchione, Patrick Henry High School
Katina Otey, Ridge Elementary School
Herbert Monroe, Lakeside Elementary School
Sharon Pope, Harry F. Byrd Middle School
Andrew Armstrong, John Rolfe Middle School
Elizabeth Armbruster, Hungary Creek Middle School
Pamela Bell, Jacob Adams Elementary School
Ingrid Grant, Ratcliff Elementary School
Tracie Omohundro, Varina High School
William Parker, Henrico High School
Aaron Spence, Deep Run High School
Kiwana Yates, Carver Elementary School
Rosalind Taylor, Woodville Elementary School
Brenda Phillips, John B. Cary Elementary School
Willie Bell, John Wythe High School
Thomas Beatty, former principal of Thompson Middle School
Beverly Britt, John Marshall High School
J. Austin Brown, Huguenot High School
David Hudson, Linwood Holton Elementary School
Michael Kight, Albert Hill Elementary School
Irene Williams, Fairfield Court Elementary School
Richmond, VA: The Community Foundation is pleased to announce the following individuals as the 2015 recipients of the Stettinius Awards for Nonprofit Leadership – Ryan Ripperton, Avi Hopkins and Mary Dunne Stewart. Now in its 11th year, the awards program seeks to recognize outstanding professionals who provide effective organizational leadership within the charitable sector. After reviewing nominations of many exceptional candidates, the selection committee chose these three individuals to receive $10,000 grants each to pursue professional development activities of their own design.
Since 1992, U-Turn Sports has successfully connected youth from Richmond, VA’s inner-city and suburban neighborhoods for high-performance athletic development, team competition, fellowship events and bible-based guidance. During his 9 years as Executive Director, Avi was an integral part of this mission, growing the organization to benefit over 2,000 Richmond area youth and expanding its physical space into a 150,000 sq. ft. facility. If Avi takes on his next challenge within Richmond’s nonprofit sector, he will have the opportunity to use his Stettinius Award to participate in the Nonprofit Capacity Conference and attend Stanford University’s Nonprofit Management Institute.
Ryan has served in the nonprofit sector for over 17 years. In his current role as Executive Director of SPARC, he and his team embody their mission of inspiring young people in the Richmond community to reach their full potential through quality training in the performing arts. Over the past 5 years, Ryan has pioneered the implementation LIVE ART, a program that provides arts training and a performance opportunity for children, many with development challenges who don’t otherwise have an opportunity to perform. Ryan will use his award to attend the national conference of Independent Sector in Washington D.C. this year. Additionally, he will attend a SCORRE Conference in Beaver Creek, Colorado and the National Guild for Community Arts Education Conference (NGCAE) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Under Mary’s leadership, Greater Richmond Fit4Kids serves the community as a best practice program focused in childhood obesity prevention. Under her leadership, Fit4Kids has grown from a startup with a plan, to an effective non-profit that serves 4,000 children per year. With her award, Mary plans to participate in the Leadership Quest offered through Leadership Metro Richmond. In 2016, she will attend the Executive Program for Nonprofit Leadership (EPNL) at Stanford University, which includes lectures, discussions and exercises led by Stanford MBA faculty. Mary believes these opportunities will transform her leadership skills and positively impact the productivity for Fit4Kids.
The Stettinius Fund for Nonprofit Leadership was established by Cadmus Communications Corporation to honor Wallace Stettinius’ retirement from the Cadmus Board of Directors. An active board volunteer throughout his business career, Stettinius expanded his scope of volunteer work in his “first” retirement to become a trusted advisor, teacher and mentor to many area nonprofits. Stettinius is a former chairman of The Community Foundation, serving on its board from 1986 - 1995. Since inception, the awards program has supported professional development for 33 rising leaders in the field. The deadline for 2016 nominations will be announced in January.
Learn more about how to apply for the Stettinius Award for Nonprofit Leadership.
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.
Nominate a Principal
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
This week marks one year since I joined The Community Foundation and what a fast-paced and exciting year it has been. As I meet with donors, nonprofits partners and business leaders, I am continually struck by the ways in which our community is evolving. Our work is increasingly influenced by changing demographics, advances in technology, innovations in philanthropy and so much more. What this signals for the Foundation is a need to become as dynamic as the community we serve. To that end, we are deep in planning mode, assessing our current offerings and exploring new opportunities for the future. Our goal is to be the most effective leader and partner we can be in moving this community forward.
One of our top priorities is to prepare nonprofits to lead and serve in an ever-changing environment, thereby ensuring donors' charitable dollars work harder. For 20 years, the Foundation has led or supported initiatives designed to help organizations pursue their missions with greater efficiency and strategic focus. In 2006, we facilitated the creation of the Partnership for Nonprofit Excellence (PNE) as a one-stop resource center focused on supporting strong and effective nonprofits and advancing a vibrant civic engagement network.
Over the past year, The Community Foundation and the Partnership for Nonprofit Excellence engaged in a strategic conversation to explore how PNE could best operate from a position of strength as it planned for future sustainability and success. Together, we have determined that the best way to fulfill our shared goals for strengthening the sector is to restructure. On August 1, the capacity building programs of the former PNE will merge into TCF. HandsOn Greater Richmond will remain a separate organization focused on volunteer engagement and continue its strategic alignment with the Foundation.
This transition allows us to reimagine nonprofit capacity building in the context of our changing landscape. Programs focused on nonprofit leadership development, customized technical assistance, and online tools and information will be scaled to complement other available resources and market demand. HandsOn Greater Richmond will continue to develop meaningful volunteer opportunities for individuals, families, teams and corporate groups in the region. Our staff teams will work with community partners through the end of the year to complete a redesign of both capacity building and civic engagement offerings.
We are excited about the opportunities that this new, reimagined work can provide for community. We are leveraging our strengths in a way that will create more efficiency, effectiveness and better use of financial resources, which is something we all strive for across the nonprofit sector. Thank you for your support and patience during this season of change. We look forward to your continued interest, support and partnership.
(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.
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 more about the R.E.B. Awards for Teaching Excellence
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