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Fairfield Middle’s Nichole Gross named top Henrico teacher

Nichole Gross, a teacher at Fairfield Middle School, displays her 2018 Gilman Teacher of the Year Award at a ceremony Tuesday evening. With Gross are, at left, Michelle “Micky” Ogburn, Henrico School Board chair and the Board representative from the Three Chopt District; Patrick Kinlaw, Henrico Schools superintendent; and Beverly Cocke, School Board representative from the Brookland District. (PHOTO: Henrico County Schools)

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. — Fairfield Middle School eighth-grade teacher Nichole Gross has won the Gilman Teacher of the Year Award as Henrico County’s top teacher.

Gross joined the Fairfield faculty in 2008 after working in corporate IT.

“I’m grateful for all of you and what you do,” Gross told those in attendance at Tuesday night’s award ceremony. “I’m grateful for my mom, who when I acted up, made me read a novel and write a five-page essay. I’m thankful for the grandmother I never got to meet, who was an English teacher. I’m thankful for my grandfather who raised my dad to read a newspaper every single day. In my household, literacy was always at the forefront. And I’m thankful now to be able to give other kids the same opportunity that I have a passion for.”

Nichole Gross, a teacher at Fairfield Middle School, accepts the 2018 Gilman Teacher of the Year Award from Patrick Kinlaw, Henrico County Public Schools superintendent. (PHOTO: Henrico Schools)

Amber Hornbarger, a fourth-grade teacher at Glen Lea Elementary School, was named Henrico’s First-Year Teacher of the Year. As a child, Hornbarger attended Springfield Park Elementary School, Hungary Creek Middle School and J.R. Tucker High School in Henrico.

“My roots are here and I plan to stay in the county,” Hornbarger said. “This honor is confirmation that I’ve entered the right career, but I know this is my first year and I still have so much to learn and explore. I absolutely love what I do, the staff I work with and my supportive administration and specialists. My students thrive because of the incredible foundation that Henrico County schools provide.”

Amber Hornbarger, a fourth-grade teacher at Glen Lea Elementary School, accepts the award for Henrico Schools’ 2018 First-Year Teacher of the Year. (PHOTO: Henrico Schools)

Winners of the Chris Corallo Distinguished Leadership Award were:

  • Tuckahoe Middle School exceptional education teacher Earl Estes
  • Hungary Creek Middle School principal  Robbi Moose
  • Henrico assistant director of instructional technology Kourtney Bostain