Chesterfield Schools educators receive 2018 R.E.B Awards for Teaching Excellence

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. – In a regional ceremony last week, five Chesterfield County teachers were recognized with the 2018 R.E.B. Award for Teaching Excellence.

Through a partnership between The Community Foundation and the R.E.B. Foundation, these awards celebrate excellence in public education.

“These awards recognize our outstanding teachers who go above and beyond every day, and provide them with grant funding for professional development that will broaden their teaching experiences and help create even more authentic learning opportunities in the classroom,” School Board Chair John Erbach says.

Seven other teachers were recognized as finalists for the award. In total, the twelve teachers will receive $60,000 in professional development grants.

Since the program began in 1988, $3.5 million has been awarded to over 800 public school instructors.

Chesterfield County’s 12 teachers were selected from around 100 nominations from the community.

Below are the Chesterfield County winners of the 2018 R.E.B. Awards, along with a short description of how they plan to use the grant money:

Crystal Barker, Bird High


She will use her award to expand her knowledge and experiences in outdoor and underwater exploration activities related to the physical education curriculum and outdoor initiative, through training and traveling to Alaska and Florida. She will assess real world access for people with disabilities in outdoor adventure activities, including biking, fishing, nature exploration, scuba diving, snorkeling, and environmental adventures.

Shannon Costelo, James River High


She plans to explore the cultural landscapes of New York City and Jerusalem, two world cities that have shaped the past but continue to shape the future of both regional and global decision making. She plans to bring this field work back to both her AP Human Geography and AP World classes and share it at both national and regional conferences on how to incorporate fieldwork into the geography and history class.

Lauren Serpa, Spring Run Elementary


Laura will attend a one-week comedy improv intensive in Chicago, then travel to Ireland and the Netherlands to learn about the culture and musical styles performed there. She will finish by completing two courses at VCU to complete her Orff certification.

Gina Hackett, Bird High


She will explore the ancient culture, cuisine, archaeology, and theater in Athens and Santorini, Greece with a focus on bringing the community and hospitality back to the classroom, county, and nation.

Christine Henry, Marguerite Christian Elementary


Christine will use the REB grant to retrace the footsteps of my grandmother who was born in Romania, a nurse in Dresden, a refugee, and American immigrant. Traveling to Canada and Europe will provide opportunities to experience the route of her adventurous soul and grant me a greater global awareness that will surpass average research. As she connects students with opportunities that involve them in their learning, she will use lessons gained to broaden their social and academic awareness.

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