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Staff Bios

Every Student, Every Family, Every Employee, Every Day. ONEGreenwood!

 

Administrative Team                                                                                                                                                                                     

Mr. Ryan Stein feels lucky to be apart of the Greenwood family and firmly believes that nothing great can be accomplished without enthusiasm. For the past 12 years, Stein has experiences as a Principal, Associate Principal, Resource Teacher, Instructional Technology Resource Teacher, a head varsity basketball coach, and eight years of hands-on teaching in grades 3 through 5 in diverse communities.  Stein has been recognized by Henrico County Public Schools, the State of Virginia and on a national scale as an elite educator and as a pioneer for student engagement, innovation and achievement.  He has been awarded Virginia’s Super Teacher Award (2011) and featured on the Rachael Ray Show as a top five national educator (2011). Recently, Stein received the Chris Corallo, Distinguished Leadership Award, in his first year as principal at Greenwood Elementary School. He conducts college and teaching workshops throughout Virginia sharing his enthusiasm and innovative ideas on how to differentiate, engage, educate, and inspire students.  Stein, Randolph Macon graduate in 2004, received his master’s degree in Administration and Supervision from Liberty University. Most importantly, Stein married the love of his life in 2011, Kimberly, and they have two children Bryce Alexander (3) and Bexley Anne (2).  As a student, teacher, administrator and father, Mr. Ryan Stein has a true passion for making a difference in the lives of children and feels lucky to be a part of the Greenwood community!

Ms. Katie Taylor is delighted to join the Gator family as the new Associate Principal.  She began her teaching career in her hometown of Dinwiddie County.  Five years ago she began teaching in Henrico at Highland Springs Elementary.  Ms. Taylor most recently was the Resource Teacher at Glen Allen Elementary and a Summer Academy Coordinator for the past two summers.  She is a graduate of Radford University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Interdisciplinary Studies and the University of Richmond with a Master of Education degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies.  When Ms. Taylor is not working with children, she enjoys spending time with her friends and family as well as her dog Beau.  Ms. Taylor is excited to join the Greenwood Family and is passionate about going above and beyond to meet the needs of our students this school year. 

Mrs. Lesha Jackson, our resource teacher, is a 25 year veteran of Henrico County Public Schools and has enthusiastically served our Greenwood families since the doors of the school opened in 2004. A native of New Jersey, she attended the University of Virginia after graduating high school and now calls Richmond her home. She is passionate about children and enjoys helping them develop academically, socially and emotionally. She is married and has two children of her own, Zatyra (17) and Zelgin (15), both who attend Glen Allen HS. She loves the beach, working out at the gym and singing! She is excited about this coming school year and the endless promise and possibilities for the success of our Greenwood students. It’s going to be a groovy year!

 

Ms. Holly Guelig, our school counselor, is going into her 5th year at Greenwood Elementary School, which she proudly refers to as her “second family.” She was born in Florida, but raised in Marietta, Georgia and Fredericksburg, Virginia. Ms. Guelig graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University (GO RAMS!!) with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and a Master of Education degree in School Counseling. Additionally, she is a National Certified Counselor and holds a license in School Counseling. Her background includes working at a behavioral and mental health hospital with children and teens, and volunteering with Comfort Zone Camp as a healing circle leader for children who have lost a caregiver. When not at school, she enjoys staying healthy and fit through CrossFit, Olympic Weightlifting, and spending time in her kayak. She is an older sister and a dog mom to her Pug, Nibbler. Ms. Guelig loves being the school counselor for her Gator family, and is excited for another awesome school year with her students!

Ms. Debbie Taylor is getting in the groove for a great Greenwood school year!  She is a product of HCPS and attended Henrico County-St.Mary’s School of Nursing.  She has been an LPN for over 40 years with a background in pediatrics and orthopaedics.  Mrs. Taylor loves serving the gators, making sure they are safe, healthy and hugged.  She has been married to her perfect partner, Kenny for 33 years and counting.  She has two grown children, Ryan, an entrepreneur and Tracy, a boat salesperson.  She also has a son-in-love, Josh, who is a licensed captain. Mrs. Taylor loves children because they are so open, honest and real.  Children keep her on her toes and smiling.  Let’s go Gators and make it a far-out year!

 

Office Professionals

Mrs. Jacquelyn Simien-Jones aka “Mrs. Jae” is so elated to be the financial secretary for Greenwood Elementary School and totally PUMPED to become a Gator.  Mrs. Jae was born and raised in Lake Charles, Louisiana.  She is very proud to be a Louisianian.  So, she will fit right in here at Greenwood with all the baby gators running around.  She loves NFL – New Orleans Saints and believes strongly in family, hugs and sweet tea.  Mrs. Jae has been married to her wonderful husband Terrence for 23 years, they have two grown daughters’ (Ashley and Andrea) and five adorable granddaughters’ (Kamryn, Kaidyn, Kendall, Kenzee and Khloe) whom she calls her little ladybugs; along with three Chihuahuas (Chi Chi, Lu Lu, and NOLA).  Mrs. Jae loves a celebration, and every holiday is her favorite holiday.  She is an eclectic music lover (Christmas) being her favorite.  Her favorite things in life are pjs, ladybugs, seahorses, baking, crafting and anything creative.  Give her a budget and watch her make it happen.  Mrs. Jae is looking forward to building a great relationship with the Greenwood Community.  GO GATORS!!!

Mrs. Rita Fandel is excited to join the Greenwood Gator community!  She has 18 years experience with Henrico County Schools as a School Registrar and as Attendance Secretary.  Mrs. Fandel is married to her husband George for the past 34 years. They have 3 grown daughters all products of Henrico County schools. Plus, two precious Granddaughters, Peyton & Addison. We can’t forget the Family dog, Sammy.  In her free time Mrs. Fandel enjoys, crafting, gardening, reading a good mystery, and playing in the Bell Choir at church.

 

 

 

PK Team                                                                                                                                                                                                            

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Ms. Tarsha Ashford was born and raised in Mathews County, VA, a very small town where many of her family members currently reside.  Mathews County still has no traffic lights!  She moved to Richmond, VA to further her education at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU).  Tarsha’s experience working with children having exceptional needs began at The Faison School for Autism in 2003.  She later became an early childhood special education teacher for Henrico County, starting off as a Longdale Tiger and moving on to become a Greenwood Gator!  In June, 2006, Tarsha traveled to the U.S. Virgin Islands Frenchman’s Reef and Morning Star Beach Resort in St. Thomas, where she married one of her favorite people, Robert. Tarsha is the mother of 4 amazing kids and a 12-year old puppy, Prophet.  Tarsha loves traveling, trying different restaurants, riding roller coasters, and if it is raining…….binge watching television and movies.

Ms. Michelle Plunkett was born and raised in Chatham, Va.  She attended Danville Community College and received a Certificate in Social Work/Childcare in May 2000. Michelle moved to Richmond, Va in June 2000 so that her daughter (Shapre) with Cerebral Palsy could receive more services.  She started in Henrico County Public School in February 2005 as a Para-professional  at Longdale Elementary School and currently has the same position at Greenwood.  Michelle attended J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College from  2012-2014 and received an Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education.  In her spare time, Michelle enjoys playing bingo, traveling, and shopping.

Ms. Courtney Gibbons Plowcha is an Early Childhood Special Education and Reverse Inclusion Preschool teacher here at Greenwood Elementary School. She has been teaching Exceptional Education in Henrico County for 15 years.  This is her 9th year at Greenwood. Ms. Courtney received her Undergraduate Degree in Speech Communication and Psychology from West Virginia Wesleyan College then made the switch to teaching 4 years later. She received her Master’s Degree in Education from VCU with endorsements in Early Childhood Special Education, Intellectual Disabilities, and Multiple Disabilities. Ms. Courtney takes a holistic approach to education and is passionate about the positive impact early intervention has on the lives of children with special needs. Ms. Courtney has been married for almost a decade to her husband, Mike, who works at Deep Run High School as the Technology Specialist. They have a 3-year-old daughter, so Ms. Courtney has gotten extra practice on her preschool teaching skills lately! When she isn’t teaching, Ms. Courtney enjoys being outside, reading, listening to music, and spending time with her family.

Ms. Kim Carr is a graduate of the Indiana University of Pennsylvania, with a bachelor’s in Elementary Education.  She has been fortunate to be involved in education for the past 27 years.  Kim has an extremely patient husband named Tom, to whom she has been married for almost 22 years.  She has 4 beautiful daughters named Sophia, Sara, Kristi, and Amanda.  She is also  proud to be called “Grammy” by 3 gorgeous granddaughters, Lily, Adalyn, and Mandy.  Kim enjoys reading, yoga, and NASCAR.  She has been at Greenwood for 9 years, and looks forward to many more with the Greenwood family.  Go Gators!

Ms. Brittany Axselle grew up on a farm in Beaverdam, VA, a small town in Hanover County.  She graduated from Shenandoah University with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education in 2011 and earned a Master of Science in Early Childhood Special Education from Old Dominion University in 2016.  Brittany began working at Greenwood in January 2013 as an instructional assistant and began teaching in the preschool autism class the following September.  Brittany is married to her high school sweetheart, John.  They have one son, Jax, that was born in May 2017. Brittany enjoys spending time with family, reading, and watching the Florida Gators play football.

 

Ms. Mary Calvaneso has been an Instructional Assistant with Henrico County for over 10 years. She has 5 children and 11 grandchildren with number 12 due in August. Ms. Calvaneso belongs to a bunko group and a book club and enjoys them both. She loves to read and also likes to watch t.v. For daily exercise , she goes for two mile walks with her husband, sometimes longer. Ms. Valvaneso loves kids and is very happy to be working with little ones!

Ms. Teresa Jones is the Federal Programs Preschool teacher at Greenwood.  She was born in Germany and as an Army “brat” spent most of her childhood traveling with her family, including four international tours.  She received a BS in accounting from Paine College in Augusta, GA and a MBA in finance from Atlanta University (currently known as Clark-Atlanta University).  She spent 12 years in the corporate sector and 2 years as a third party auditor.  Leaving Corporate America, she spent 9 years as a substitute teacher in Georgia and with HCPS.  Shortly after moving to Glen Allen VA, she went back to school and obtained a Master of Teaching (PK-6th grade endorsement) from VCU in 2005.   She is excited to begin her 12th year of teaching in a PreK classroom – 5 years at Glen Lea Elementary, 4 years at New Bridge Learning Center, and going into her 3rd year at Greenwood Elementary.  She was Glen Lea’s New Teacher of the Year in 2007 and New Bridge’s first Teacher of the Year in 2012.  She is happily married to her amazing husband Warren, to whom she’s been married to going on 30 years.  They have two adult children and two active grandsons.  In her spare time, she loves spending time with her family, traveling to visit with extended family (9 siblings and her mom), and finding some quiet time with her husband.  Mrs. Jones is looking forwarded to another fabulous year in PreK – “Grooving in PK”.

Ms. Ashley Barnes works at Greenwood Elementary as an Instructional Assistant with the Preschool class. She attended Greenwood in 4th and 5th grade and is proud to say that this will be her 3rd year working alongside some of the teachers who taught when she attended.  Ashley is 21 years old. Her favorite things to do are go to the beach and soak up the sun, and she also enjoys quality time with her friends and family. She is an animal lover, except when it comes to reptiles.  Ashley’s favorite colors are red, green, turquoise, and purple. She loves the winter and fall. But the most important thing for Ashley is making a difference in children’s lives by being the best educator and care provider she can be.

Ms. Jan Wheeler was born and raised in Buffalo New York.  She attended Ashland College in Ohio, and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Special Education.  She has been working in the field of education ever since.  Jan is married and has 3 children.  She also has a golden retriever named Ginger whom she is very fond of.  In her spare time, Jan enjoys hiking and being with friends.  Her favorite place is a camp in the Adirondacks where she spent many summers.  Jan will be based at Greenwood again this year.  However, most of her time will be spent at Jackson Davis, and Crestview Elementary where she will serve on the preschool evaluation team for both the Central West and West zones.  She will be at Greenwood whenever possible, and will always consider herself a “Gator”.

 

Kindergarten Team                                                                                                                                                                                       


Mrs. Nicole Barker
, a kindergarten teacher, was born in New Jersey and moved to Virginia in the 4th grade. She received both her undergraduate and graduate degrees from VCU (Go Rams!!). She started her teaching career at Greenwood. This will be Mrs. Barker’s 12th year teaching kindergarten. She believes in creating a positive and caring environment for her students. Mrs. Barker is married to her high school sweetheart and they just celebrated their 9th wedding anniversary. She is the mommy of two, Jackson (4 years old) and Grace (1 year old). She also has two adopted giant Yorkies, Benjamin and Sophie. In her free time she loves to read, cook Italian food, bake with her son and shop. Mrs. Barker is looking forward to a fantastic year with her newest KinderGators!

 

Mrs. Hallie Johnson, a kindergarten teacher, is so excited to start her 7th year at Greenwood with a new batch of KinderGators! Hallie was born and raised right here in Richmond, Virginia. She attended James Madison University for her undergraduate degree in interdisciplinary liberal studies, and her graduate degree in Elementary Education. She believes in educating the whole child and making sure that every child feels safe, secure, and free to make mistakes in her classroom. She currently resides in Henrico County’s west end with her husband, Bradford, and their dog, Fred. In her free time she loves to read and craft! She can’t wait for school and to see what amazing things the 2017-2018 school year will bring! Go Gators!

 

Ms. Robin Milwit is happy to be part of the kindergarten team at Greenwood.  Born and raised in Johnstown, PA, Robin graduated with a Master’s of Education degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.  Having done her internship at Mister Roger’s Neighborhood, Robin learned how valuable it is to take the love of learning and the love of learners and combine them together.  Her first classroom experience was teaching kindergarten at the IUP University School. Following her instructional development and implementation of multiple Microsoft applications to the faculty and staff, she was granted an opportunity as a corporate trainer with a weather company, where she traveled around the nation to give teachers the tools to incorporate weather and technology into their classrooms in meaningful and cross-curricular ways.  From there, Robin accepted a position as a professional development trainer for the largest private software company in the world.  After working for several years in the corporate sector, Robin returned to the classroom where she taught 1st grade in Montgomery County, MD.  Robin’s family relocated to Glen Allen shortly thereafter.  Since then, she has been a part of the Greenwood Gator family as a mom, volunteer, Intervention Specialist and Kindergarten teacher.  This is Robin’s 6th year teaching Kindergarten at Greenwood.  She has two children:  Zack, an 9th grader at Glen Allen High School, and Cammie, a 6th grader at Hungary Creek Middle School.  When Robin is not at school, you can find her teaching fitness classes at American Family Fitness, watching her kids’ extracurricular events, or cheering for her Pittsburgh Steelers!

Mrs. Jean Sferlazza is excited to begin her seventh year at Greenwood Elementary School and is looking forward to another fantastic year in Kindergarten. During her time at Greenwood she has worked as an instructional assistant, interventionist, first grade and kindergarten teacher. After receiving her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Hofstra University, she worked in healthcare management. Realizing that teaching was her true passion, she went on to pursue a Master’s degree in Elementary Education from Dowling College as well as post graduate work in special education. Prior to moving to Virginia, she taught first, third, and fourth grades in Florida. She was also a Read 180 teacher, teaching reading to fourth and fifth grade students. During her time teaching in Florida, she became increasingly interested in teaching reading and completed her Master’s in Reading in June. She lives in Glen Allen with her husband, high school age twin boys and her oldest son who is in college. During her free time she likes to travel, read, and spend time with her family and friends in Florida. Mrs. Sferlazza can’t wait to meet her new kindergarten class and begin a year of fun-filled learning!

Ms. Kayla Compton – bio coming soon….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1st Grade Team                                                                                                                                                                                              

Mrs. Meredyth Rutman has fifteen years teaching experience.  Her first nine years were spent in Kindergarten and the remainder in First Grade.  She grew up in Morris Plains, NJ with her mom, dad and sister.   She graduated from Virginia Tech with a Masters Degree in Curriculum and Instruction.  While at Virginia Tech, Mrs. Rutman had the opportunity to study abroad in Italy.  While she was there, she learned about the Reggio Emilia teaching approach, which focuses the teaching curriculum around the specific needs and interests of the children.  While teaching in Henrico County, Mrs. Rutman traveled to China to learn various teaching approaches and strategies. She also wrote a children’s book entitled, The Couch Potato Classroom, which emphasizes the importance of exercise during the school day to further enhance learning.  The book serves as an exercise “brain break” for both teacher and students. Mrs. Rutman is married to her wonderful husband, Rhett, who is a P.E. Teacher at Rivers Edge Elementary.  She also has two beautiful children, Casey and Tyler.  In her spare time, Mrs. Rutman likes being with her family.  Some of their favorite things to do together are traveling, attending sporting events and playing games together. Mrs. Rutman has been a Greenwood Gator since the school first opened and feels very proud to be a part of such an amazing school and community!  Go GATORS!

Ms. Katie Hall is excited for her second year as a first grade teacher!  She grew up and currently lives on a farm in western Hanover County, which has been in her family for four generations.  She graduated from Randolph-Macon College with a BA in Developmental Psychology and Elementary Education. Ms. Hall has been a part of the Greenwood community since 2011, initially working with the K-2  Exceptional Education team and then as an intervention teacher for four years. In her spare time, she enjoys tracing her genealogy, and she loves searching through old records and visiting historic sites. She is also an avid reader and a huge music fan. She loves spending time with her family and friends, as well as caring for the animals on her family farm!

 

Mrs. Krystina Stansberry is so excited to begin teaching for her 26th year in Henrico County Public Schools!  Her educational journey began as a student in one of the first kindergarten classes ever to be mandated in HCPS. This was at Chamberlayne, and from there she attended Brookland and Moody Middle, and Hermitage High. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from VCU- Go Rams!  She has taught as an interventionist, kindergarten, first, second and third grade teacher at Highland Springs and Montrose. She has been proud to be a Gator since Greenwood opened its doors in 2004. Here she has taught kindergarten and first grade. In addition to her love of teaching and learning from her students, she has served on many county committees, been a Summer Institute Trainer and New Teacher Academy Presenter and has taught at the Math and Science Innovation Center. She was honored to be recognized as Greenwood’s Teacher of the Year for 2009/10 school year. She is the mother to four fabulous children (one son, 24, and three daughters 22, 18, & 15) and has a wonderful, supportive husband! Outside of the busy life of being a teacher, she enjoys preparing new recipes, gardening, reading realistic fiction novels and spending time with her family and friends!  She is looking forward to a groovy new school year!  

Mr. Danny Jones is pumped and psyched to be apart of the Greenwood Elementary School Team!  This is Danny’s 5th year teaching 1st grade.  He has lived in the area for 4 years now and has heard of the great things that Greenwood does.  Danny is happy to now be apart of it all! He grew up in Northern Virginia wanting to follow in his mother’s footsteps as an elementary school teacher.  While attending college at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Virginia, Danny played basketball and took teacher prep classes to confirm his interests in teaching.  Danny graduated from Randolph-Macon College in 2011 with a History Degree. Immediately after college he committed himself to Richmond University to get his teaching certificate. Danny is currently taking classes to receive his master’s degree in Teaching and Learning – Leadership from Liberty University. He enjoys teaching, coaching, and learning! Danny loves to play basketball and traveling to different historical sites around Virginia!

Ms. Lyndsey Smith Lyndsey Smith, a first grade teacher, is ecstatic to join the first grade team this year!  She grew up in Henrico and attended Hermitage High School.  She graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University (Go Rams) with a Masters Degree in Elementary Education.  Ms. Smith has spent the past 3 years at Highland Springs Elementary School, but is thrilled to be joining the Greenwood family.  She has previously taught 4th and 1st grade. She enjoys teaching first grade because she loves to see children find their love for reading.  In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, her dog (Kato) and her hedgehog (Sabi). She is a huge VCU basketball fan and attends as many games as possible with her dad.  She enjoys working on projects for her house and doing lots of crafting projects.  She is looking forward to groovin’ into the school year with her first grade gators!!

 

2nd Grade Team                                                                                                                                                                                             

Mrs. Karen Martin, a second grade teacher, grew up in Newport News, Virginia.   She is excited to begin her 12th year of teaching here at Greenwood!  Mrs. Martin earned her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of Virginia and her Master’s in Counseling from Virginia Commonwealth University.  She worked for the Virginia Department for the Blind and Visually Impaired for 14 years before returning to school at the University of Richmond to earn her teaching certificate.  Mrs. Martin is married with two very active boys, Christopher (10) and Benjamin (8).  When not at school, she loves to spend her free time reading a good book, playing with her kids, and spending time with family and friends.  Mrs. Martin is looking forward to this school year and hopes to empower all her students to reach their full potential!

 

Mrs. Leslie Goodman  is proud of being a product of Henrico County Schools.  She attended Chamberlayne Elementary, Brookland Middle, and Henrico High School.  She earned her Bachelor’s Degree from Radford University.  After a few years of teaching, she began working on her Master’s Degree at VCU.  She earned her Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in Instructional Technology.   Prior to working at Greenwood, she worked at Chamberlayne Elementary, teaching kindergarten and 2nd grade.  Being a teacher at the school she attended brought back many fond memories.  She began teaching at Greenwood when the school opened in 2004 and has taught 2nd and 3rd grade.  Creative lessons, that are engaging and interesting, are her favorite lessons to teach.  She is married with two children who attend Hungary Creek, and Glen Allen High.  She enjoys spending time with her family while attending local events, trying out new restaurants, and traveling.

Mrs. Cindy Leigh, a second grade teacher, earned a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from Eastern University, and a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Averett University.  Mrs. Leigh began her teaching career in NJ, before relocating to VA.  She has been teaching for over 30 years, and is entering her 29th year as an Henrico County teacher, where she has taught 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades.  Mrs. Leigh is a cancer survivor, an experience that has inspired her motivation to make the most of every day.  She and her husband Scott have been married for 35 years.  While living in the Dominican Republic, they climbed the highest mountain in the West Indies, Pico Duarte (elevation just over 10,000’!)  Life is exciting with their two adult children, Rachel and Joshua!  As the Greenwood Student Council Association advisor, Mrs. Leigh looks forward to facilitating new and exciting school spirit and community service projects this year.  She is excited to meet her students and get them started on their second grade journey!

Mrs. Leslie Wrighter, a second grade teacher, is a product of Henrico County Public Schools. She attended Longan Elementary School, Tuckahoe Middle School, and Tucker High School. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from Radford University. She is celebrating her twenty first year of teaching and has been a part of Greenwood Elementary since its opening in 2004. She was recognized as Greenwood’s Teacher of the Year in 2008. She is married and has two daughters, Kieran age 13 and Kellie age 10. She spends many hours watching Kieran play softball and Kellie participate in karate. In her spare time, she enjoys laughing with neighbors and taking walks with her daughters and her black lab.

 

Mrs. Kirstin Stacia is thrilled to be a Gator at Greenwood for her first year of teaching in second grade.  She grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where she was a Gateway Gator in high school.  She then earned bachelor’s degrees in Business and French at NC State University.  Kirstin worked in Washington, DC in various consulting roles before earning her MBA at the University of Pittsburgh.  She then moved to Richmond and worked for Circuit City before staying home to raise her three wonderful daughters.  To pursue her career in education, Kirstin earned her Masters in Teaching from Mary Baldwin University and upon graduation began her career in Henrico County as an Interventionist at Donahoe and Pemberton Elementary. Teaching has been a lifelong passion for Kirstin who started teaching gymnastics as a teen.  You can still find her substitute teaching gymnastics at the Tuckahoe YMCA where she has taught for the past sixteen years.  Kirstin plans to be a fan for her students as strongly as she is a fan for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Penguins!

 

3rd Grade Team                                                                                                                                                                                              

Ms. Amanda Green is so excited about starting her fifth year of teaching at Greenwood Elementary this fall! Amanda taught fifth grade her first year of teaching, but ever since then she has been teaching third — which is her favorite! Amanda grew up in Lynchburg, VA and graduated from Virginia Tech (Go Hokies!). She now lives in Hanover with her husband, son, and two dogs. She loves fishing, being outside, spending time with her family, and coaching cheerleading. Amanda is looking forward to a great year, and meeting her fellow Gators!

 

 

 

Mrs. Nicolle Farrar, a third grade teacher, is a product of Henrico County Public Schools.  She attended RC Longan, Tuckahoe Middle, and JR Tucker.  She graduated from VCU with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology and a Master of Teaching degree in Early Childhood Education. She is delighted to begin her 22nd year of teaching.  Mrs. Farrar has been teaching at Greenwood since it opened in 2004.  She was Greenwood’s Teacher of the Year in 2007/08.  She is happily married with 2 amazing daughters, Sydney and Addyson.  She loves spending time with her family, going to movies, gardening, and baking.  Mrs. Farrar loves being a Greenwood Gator and is looking forward to an amazing new school year!

 

Mrs. Maura Farmer a 3rd grade teacher, is ecstatic to begin her twelfth year of teaching! Mrs. Farmer has taught 1st, 3rd, and 5th grades.  She is an RVA native, and graduated from VCU in 2006-Go Rams!  In 2014, she graduated from Regent University, and is endorsed as a reading specialist.  Mrs. Farmer considers herself a lifetime learner, and hopes to inspire her students to become lifelong learners and avid readers.  When not at school, Mrs. Farmer enjoys spending time with her husband, Donnie, and two young boys, Landon and Braxton.  She spends her free time reading (everything!), spending time near the water, boating, and watching football.  Mrs. Farmer is excited to be part of the Greenwood Family, and looks forward to working with our gators and their families!

 

Mrs. Donna Kouri, born and raised in Richmond, VA., is a product of Henrico County Public Schools- all twelve years (Kindergarten was not in public schools when she was five years old).  Mrs. Kouri attended Skipwith Elementary, Tuckahoe Middle, and J. R. Tucker High School—Go Tigers, she loves those Tigers!  Mrs. Kouri earned her teaching degree at Radford University.  She is entering her 35th year in education, and she couldn’t be happier! This is her third year with Henrico County Public Schools.  She previously taught and created educational programs for all elementary grades at the MathScience Innovation Center but found that she missed creating her own learning environment with her own students. She loves her students!  When the students described Mrs. Kouri to the librarian, the common statement was, “Mrs. Kouri never gives up on us!”  Mrs. Kouri loves knowing that her students recognize her devotion to them.  Her hobbies are many: reading, sewing, cooking, and drawing.  Mrs. Kouri is looking forward to teaching third grade to another great group of students!

Mrs. LeYuani Wilson is originally from New York City. She is a product of Henrico County schools having attended Pinchbeck Elementary, Byrd Middle, and Douglas Freeman High School. Mrs. Wilson received her bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications from JMU, where she was a dual-sport student athlete. She later worked in television as an Outside Promotions Director. During that time, she created a series of public service commercials entitled “Notebook News Tips” in which she partnered with the four major school districts in our area to feature students sharing important tips with the community. This sparked the recollection of her childhood dreams of becoming a teacher. She then earned her Master’s in Education from VCU, and has been teaching for 22 years. Schools where she has taught include Shady Grove, Springfield Park and seven years at Greenwood. Mrs. Wilson is the proud mother of four wonderful children-2 daughters, Halston and Jantsen, and girl/boy twins, Britton and Braeden. Mrs. Wilson loves to spend her free time traveling and eating out with her husband and children, reading, cheering on her children at their high school and college track meets, and whenever the opportunity presents itself, relaxing by the beach. She’s excited to meet her new third graders and to present them with unique learning opportunities throughout this school year!

 

4th Grade Team                                                                                                                                                                                               

Mrs. Jennifer Wilbur, a fourth grade teacher, comes from a family where education and the arts were big priorities. As a child she grew up attending state conferences and VDOE retreats with dad; and art festivals and gallery openings with mom. A Richmond native, Mrs. Wilbur loves her city and after graduating Summa Cum Laude from JMU, began her teaching career in Churchill where she received the Richmond City Beginning Teacher’s Award. Once married, Mrs. Wilbur and her husband James settled down near historic Ashland Virginia where she taught at Gandy and Henry Clay Elementary Schools. Mrs. Wilbur was awarded the Hanover County Teacher of the Year Award in 1996. Shortly thereafter, she took a 10 year leave of absence to raise her children. She’s now the proud mom of 2 sons –both pursuing medical interests  in college.  Her baby girl is a rising 8th grader at Hungary Creek.  While on “mom-break” she completed her Master’s Degree in TESOL (Teaching English as a Second Language) at Regent University and is also currently an adjunct professor at Reynolds Community College. Mrs. Wilbur loves to stay busy, but in her free time, you can find her traveling and trying new restaurants with her husband or chillaxing with her dog, Chance and her cat, Kitty Woo.

Ms. Laurie Casey, one of the 4th grade teachers is excited about her seventeenth year of teaching! She has been a teacher at Greenwood for 9 years.  Ms. Casey has taught 1st, 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades.  She loves sharing her love of vocabulary and reading with all of her students.  Ms. Casey grew up moving around quite a bit as her father was in the Air Force.  She has lived in the Richmond area for the last 18 years.  She graduated from Radford University with a degree in Elementary Education.  Ms. Casey adores spending time with her two wonderful daughters and their goofy dog.  They all enjoy spending time outdoors and being active.  Ms. Casey is a huge Disney fan and thinks Disney World is indeed the “Happiest Place on Earth” and loves to visit.

 

Mrs. Lecia Meekins a fourth grade teacher, grew up in Baltimore, Maryland and in Petersburg, Virginia. She graduated from Norfolk State University with a BA in Early Childhood Education. After graduation, she began her teaching career in Norfolk Public Schools. She taught grades first, third, and fourth.  In 2001, she moved to Henrico, Virginia where she has continued teaching grades fourth and fifth. She is a proud mother of one son. He will be attending Liberty University to work on his master’s in Sports Management. She is an active member of her church and neighborhood civic league. In her spare time Mrs. Meekins enjoys spending time with her family and riding her motorcycle with her husband Ricky and friends.

 

Mrs. Carter Turner a fourth grade teacher, grew up in the Hanover District.  She attended Battlefield Elementary, Stonewall Middle, and Lee-Davis High School.  Mrs. Turner is a JMU graduate- Go Dukes! She received a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Liberal Studies and a Master of Arts in Elementary Education. She has been teaching at Greenwood her entire career of 10 years.  In her spare time, she likes to travel with her husband and their dog, Zoe.  One of her favorite places to visit is Charleston, South Carolina.  She also enjoys reading, going to the gym, and trying out new restaurants.  Mrs. Turner looks forward to a great year with her fourth graders!

 

Sra. Angela Smith, a fourth grade teacher, is the newest member of the Gator Team. Mrs. Smith was born in Colombia and moved to the USA when she was 6 years old. She went through Richmond and Hanover schools. Mrs. Smith attended VCU and received her Master’s Degree in 2008.  She was hired by Richmond to pilot the Spanish Immersion program at William Fox Elementary. She taught kindergarten, second, and fifth grade at Fox for 9 years. Mrs. Smith lives with her husband, two boys, dog, and the occasional bug. Both of her boys love bugs, so the house often has pet slugs, spiders, beetles-really any small creature that is not fast enough for a 6 and 4 year old’s hands. They enjoy the outdoors! Fishing, kayaking, and hiking are some of their specialties. Mrs. Smith is thrilled to be at GES and can’t wait to meet all of you!

 

5th Grade Team                                                                                                                                                                                              

Mrs. C. Edwards is a fifth grade teacher at Greenwood Elementary School. She was born in Richmond, Virginia and attended Richmond Public Schools. She graduated from John Marshall High School.  She attended Radford University receiving two degrees in the Field of Education. A degree in Early Childhood Education and a degree in Upper Elementary.  Her first teaching experience started with Richmond Public Schools.  Later seeking employment with Henrico Public Schools, she taught 3rd and 5th grade at Glen Lea Elementary School and 5th grade at Baker Elementary School.  She taught 5th grade for 12 years at Greenwood Elementary School.  Mrs. C. Edwards loves teaching, and is a very family oriented person.  She loves spending time with her husband and two children, Brittani and Carlton, Jr.  Mrs. C. Edwards and her family loves to travel and to attend her son’s track meets. Their favorite place to visit is Disney World, enjoying all of the major attractions and electrifying parades.     

Mrs. Kati Baum is a fifth grade teacher at Greenwood.  She is originally from Horseheads, which is a small town in upstate New York.  She moved to Virginia after high school to attend Radford University.  Mrs. Baum began her teaching career in 2005, after graduating from Radford with a degree in Elementary Education.  She also received an endorsement in Gifted Education from The University of Virginia.  In her 12 years of teaching, 11 have been at Greenwood.  Prior to working at Greenwood, she lived in Fredericksburg and taught fourth grade in Stafford County, Virginia.  While at Greenwood, she has taught third, fourth, and fifth grades.  When Mrs. Baum is not at school, she enjoys spending time with her family.  She and her husband have three amazing kids: Lily, Landon, and Luke!  Lily and Landon are also Greenwood Gators!!  As a family, they love spending time outside, playing with Legos, and reading.  Currently, they are half way through the Harry Potter series and hope to one day visit Hogwarts.  

Ms. Anne Koenig is a 5th Grade teacher at Greenwood Elementary.  As the child of a career-long Henrico first-grade teacher, she grew up “behind the scenes” of an elementary school classroom. Raised in Rockville, she went through Hanover County Public Schools and graduated from Patrick Henry High School in 2001. After having many teachers that inspired her, she knew that she eventually wanted to become a teacher. After high school, she went to University of Virginia and majored in Foreign Affairs-Politics and Anthropology. After a three-year stint working in sales, marketing, and business management in Falls Church, Virginia and Washington, DC, she moved back to University of Richmond to get her Masters Degree in Education.  After substitute teaching around the county at various schools, Mrs. Koenig taught kindergarten and fifth grade at Highland Springs Elementary for five years. This will be her fourth year at Greenwood Elementary teaching fifth grade. She loves fifth grade because she watches students transition into young adults who are ready for middle school. She also loves the subject matter, especially math and science. When not at school, she loves spending time with her husband and two young sons, Asa and Gus, and little dog, Lilly.

Mr. Charles E. Taylor, Jr., a fifth grade teacher, is a Richmond native, growing up the youngest of five, in North Richmond. After attending Old Dominion University, he started his career in corporate America, most recently as a financial analyst. He has been in the field of education for 12 years, starting as a full-time IA with Henrico County, while completing his degree in education with VCU and Mary Baldwin. He spent one year as a lead exceptional education teacher with Richmond Public Schools, before returning to Henrico County in the same capacity. He has taught 5th grade for the last 8 years. The 2017-2018 school year will be his 2nd with the Greenwood family. In his spare time, Mr. Taylor enjoys relaxing with his wife and two children, celebrating holidays, and watching Nat-Geo Wild. One of his dream vacations is to go on safari in Africa.

 

Exceptional Education                                                                                                                                                                                   

 

Ms. Sheri Price (Ex. Ed Teacher) Exceptional Education Teacher, grew up in Lubbock, Texas and graduated from Coronado High School with Honors. Upon graduation,she relocated to Richmond, Virginia and immediately began working towards her education.  She attended James Madison University where she received her Bachelors of Science Degree in Mass Communications.  After graduating, she began working for WWBT Channel 12 as an assignment Desk Editor dispatching photographers and reporters to various news events, and editing video for the nightly news.  After realizing that  she wanted to spend more quality time with her four year old daughter, she began volunteering more time within her Head Start classroom at Crestview Elementary.   It was there that she found her “faith-driven” love of teaching, encouraging and supporting children from various social and diverse backgrounds.  It was also at Crestview that she was offered an Instructional Assistant position and encouraged to seek a teaching degree by Mr. P.K. Black.  Immediately after making up her mind to go back to school, Henrico County began its first META Cohort. She was selected to participate in the program and attended Virginia Commonwealth University for the next two years. Ms. Price received her teaching certification for Learning Disabilities, K-12, and completed her student teaching at Jackson Davis Elementary.  Thus, began her  journey and love of working with the best students out there-children with special needs!  She worked at Ratcliffe Elementary for 10 years, and is now proud to call Greenwood Elementary home for the past 7 years!  Anyone who knows Ms. Price  knows that she is a “fashionista” who loves being creative with the latest styles from hair to clothing, spending time with her family and daughter who attends Virginia State University, traveling, and relaxing with great music!

Mrs. Bethany Hagberg (Ex. Ed Teacher) was born in upstate New York, near the Finger Lakes, but grew up in Salem, Virginia.  She went to Warren Wilson College in Asheville, North Carolina and received her Bachelor’s Degree in Global Studies: Intercultural Communications.  After college, she worked for the United States Peace Corps, where she lived in Pumuyacu, Ecuador.  She lived with an indigenous tribe in a village with no water, electricity, or bathrooms. Her many jobs were to teach health, sanitation, english, gardening, best farming practices, and animal production.  It was while in the Peace Corps, she was able to work with a young child with special needs and figured out what she wanted to do with her life.  After leaving Ecuador, she completed the North Carolina NCTEACH program at Western Carolina University and received her teaching license in Special Education K-12.  She then taught the Occupational Course of Study Program at Henderson High School in Hendersonville, NC for 6 years.  Her family moved to Glen Allen, Virginia in 2010 where she stayed home with her two small children. Mrs. Hagberg started volunteering at Greenwood Elementary School when her daughter started kindergarten in 2011.  She started substitute teaching (only at Greenwood Elementary and Virginia Randolph) in 2013.  In 2015, her family sailed to the Bahamas and lived on a 41ft sailboat called Fairchild. In 2016, she started work as an Interventionist at Greenwood. Finally, this year, she is back to working as an Exceptional Education Teacher and is very excited to be at Greenwood.  Mrs. Hagberg, in her spare time, loves to be with her family, run triathlons, practice her spanish, work with adults with disabilities (Hanover Community Club), and travel.

Ms. Lynn Orange (Speech), our Speech Language Pathologist, was born and raised in Damascus, Maryland.  She earned her B.S. and M.S. degrees in Speech Language Pathology from James Madison University.  She spent the first 12 years of her career working mostly in the medical field with stroke patients in various rehabilitation settings.  In September 2001, Ms. Orange joined Henrico County Public Schools where she worked for 10 years at Jacob L. Adams Elementary School.  She was thrilled when she had the opportunity to join the Greenwood Gator family in 2011.  Ms. Orange has lived in the Greenwood Elementary community for over 20 years.  She is the proud mother of three daughters who live all across the country – Kelly in Chesterfield, Virginia, Erica in Seattle, Washington, and Alyssa in Fayetteville, Arkansas. She is thrilled to be expecting her first grandchild in the fall and will soon be putting in many air miles between Richmond and Fayetteville. Ms. Orange is a huge sports fan, especially college football and basketball.  She can be found cheering on her favorite teams, Florida State and Arkansas, every Saturday in the fall.  In her spare time, she also enjoys working in her yard and reading a good book.  Just kidding, there will be no spare time after the grandchild arrives!

Ms. Shanna Crawford  (Instructional Assistant) was born and raised in Hampton, Virginia. She is the mother of a fifteen year old daughter who is a rising tenth grader and a seven year old son who is a rising second grader. She attended St. Leo University (SLU) and earned a Bachelor Degree in Criminal Justice. Shanna’s experience working with exceptional education began in 2002 while working as a Para-professional at Huntington Middle School in Newport News, Virginia. She remained in the middle school setting for ten years until relocating to Henrico County, Virginia to work at Greenwood Elementary School in 2013. In her spare time, she loves to spend time with her kids, fine dining with friends, going to the movies, reading and shopping.  

Mrs. Irene Hatchett (Instructional Assistant) has been helping children throughout Henrico County for over fifteen years as an Instructional Assistant.  Irene started her helping journey at Adams Elementary and has worked at five different schools, including Greenwood, which is great because she loves Gators! She has worked with every grade from K-5 and has enjoyed every one of those experiences.  Building positive relationships with students, helping them grow in confidence, knowledge and joy, is at the core of everything she does.  When not at Greenwood, Irene can be found working in her garden, or reading a book, or chasing after four dogs and a cat, or sewing, or cooking a great meal for her husband of almost forty years, Michael.  Irene’s two children, Michael Flannery, works and lives in Seattle Washington and Erin, well Erin is a travel Dialysis technician and she could be anywhere right now. Irene is looking forward to a fantastic year.   A huge NFL fan, Irene would like to close with, GO Raiders!  

Mrs. Julia Brooks is so excited to be joining the team at Greenwood Elementary. Mrs. Brooks is a Richmond, Virginia native. She received her bachelors degree from VCU in English and her Masters of Teaching in Elementary Education. Mrs. Brooks has two little girls: Molly, 6 and Emily, 4. Mrs. Brooks has worked at Adams Elementary School teaching third, fourth, and fifth grade. Julia loves going to new places with her girls. She has a passion for dogs, makeup, modern art, and music.

 

Resource Team                                                                                                                                                                                             

Rolando Tillman (PE) was born and raised In Glen Cove, Long Island (NY) along with three younger brothers. Growing up he was a very active boy that enjoyed sports and physical activity. Coming from a very large family, competition was always a part of daily life. His brothers, cousins, friends, and Mr. Tillman always created games that they could play in their neighborhood. The Glen Cove Boys and Girls Club helped introduce him to organized sports and the skills needed to be great in a specific sport. Even though he liked to participate in all the activities, Mr. Tillman quickly realized that baseball and basketball would always be his favorites. After graduating from Glen Cove High, Mr. Tillman decided to move away from home and attend Virginia State University. His love for sports, health and recreation helped him earn a Bachelor’s in Health and Physical Education. Mr. Tillman loves being a Physical Education teacher because he can help improve my students’ performance in specific skills and teach them ways they can improve their overall health. Every day he stresses that physical activity is important in helping everyone grow physically, mentally, and socially. You can connect with the Greenwood Physical Education Dept. on Facebook!

Amy Coward (Librarian) is a product of Henrico County Public Schools, having graduated from Varina High School.  She earned her bachelor’s degree from VCU and her master’s degree from Longwood.  She has worked in school libraries for over 14 years and would not want to work anywhere else!  When not at Greenwood, she enjoys spending time with her family – her husband (and high school sweetheart) Rob, and sons Wes and Dylan (in 11th and 8th grades).  She loves to watch them play their sports- wrestling, soccer, and running cross country, as well as exploring the world by geocaching with them.  She also spends a lot of time with the youth group at her church. They have done everything from running soccer camps in West Virginia and Toronto, Canada, to helping start a school library on Big Corn Island, Nicaragua!  Of course, Mrs. Coward also loves to read.   Mrs. Coward  is grateful to be a Greenwood Gator for the 5th year.  She loves that she gets to know every one of our Gator students and help them to find great books and learn to navigate the world around them, using online and print resources.  She also loves the teachers and staff at GES and truly enjoys helping them support their curriculum with materials and lessons.

Maria Murphy (Music)   Mrs. Murphy is excited  to begin her 10th year at Greenwood and her 28th year in Henrico County Public Schools. She is a native of Hampton,VA. Coming from a large musical family she was always inspired with music as a young child. She attended Virginia Commonwealth University where she received her bachelor’s degree in music education. She also taught at the School of Education at Richmond Piano for 7 years. In 1998 she released a CD “Passionate Rose” consisting of classical piano music. In addition to her love of teaching music to her students, she is also a part time minister of music at Saint James United Methodist Church in Hampton, VA. She and her husband Mark love to travel each year to Busch Gardens and Tyson’s Corner, VA to go shopping, and a family reunion in NC. She enjoys reading, playing the piano, shopping, and being a wonderful  auntie to her nephew Miles (8) and her nieces Ephie (6) and Miriam (3).

Jessica Jones (Music) Mrs. Jones has been teaching for 12 years, with her last 9 years being in Henrico County. This will be her 7th year at Greenwood. She is from the Richmond area and attended Hanover County Public Schools. She received her bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Longwood University in 2004. Mrs. Jones loves drumming, orff instruments, singing, and all things movement related. She is also the mother to 3 children, Karissa (4), Kal (2), and Landrum (2 months). In her spare time she loves making works of art out of cake and spending time with her family. She will be joining us a little later in the year as she will be spending time at home with her kiddos at the start of the year.      

Mrs. Shannon Wakefield (Gifted), is excited join the Greenwood family for her second year as the Gifted Resource Teacher. She can’t wait to begin her 9th year of teaching- all in Henrico County. She attended JMU (Go Dukes!) where she received her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Elementary Education. Her career began at Fair Oaks where she taught 1st-3rd grade and earned her gifted endorsement through U of R. She is now beginning her 6th year as a Gifted Resource Teacher where she will be serving both Greenwood and Tuckahoe Elementary. Mrs. Wakefield grew up and still lives in Mechanicsville with her husband Kyle and son Oliver, who was born in March 2017.  In her free time she loves to spend time with her family and friends and enjoy the outdoors!

 

Ms. Karen Hues (Technology), our ITRT, is a former Henrico County student.  She attended Longan ES, Gayton ES, Byrd MS, and Godwin High School.  She attended and cheered for basketball and competition at Longwood University from 2002-2006.  After graduating with honors from LU, Karen began teaching 5th grade at Longdale Elementary.  In 2009, she took on the role of Instructional Technology Resource Teacher. She currently works at Greenwood, Longan, Montrose, and Jackson Davis Elementary.  She enjoys helping teachers integrate cutting edge technology resources into their curriculum while helping students to make real world connections to their learning.  Karen loves the Outer Banks of North Carolina and was married to Casey in Pine Island in 2008.  She is a mother to Chloe (8) and Kaylee (4) and enjoys traveling with her family to the beach!

Ms. Valerie Anderson (ESL) was born and raised in Midlothian, VA. After graduating from high school in 1999, she went off to get her undergraduate degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with focus on History and Psychology from Virginia Tech (Go Hokies!). She then went on to get her Masters in Elementary Ed. from Radford University. She began her career in education in 2005 and has since held various positions including being an Interventionist, homebound teacher, and classroom teacher. In 2014 she decided to take the classes needed to get her ESL endorsement and began working at Greenwood in 2015 as the ESL teacher. She has a great passion for working with her ELL students, learning their stories and about their culture. Ms. Anderson loves to travel, loves college football, enjoys dabbling in photography, going to festivals, and checking out the local farmers’ markets. She currently lives in Henrico’s west end with her husband, Jason, and dog, Sampson.

 

Student Support                                                                                                                                                                                                

Ms. Cheryl Eslinger is our school psychologist, serving Greenwood Elementary Gators for 8 years.  She has been a school psychologist for 22 years serving students in grades pre-school through 12th grade.  Ms. Eslinger grew up in a military family and had the opportunity to travel to different countries and states within the United States.  She received her undergraduate degree from George Mason University with a B. A. in Psychology.  Ms. Eslinger attended James Madison University for her graduate degrees and received a Masters of Arts and an Educational Specialist Degree in School Psychology.  One of her roles as a school psychologist is to find out how students learn the best and to assist in problem-solving ways to help students be successful.  Ms. Eslinger’s interest and passion is to encourage building resilient students by identifying their strengths and assets.  She believes that you cannot truly help a student if you do not recognize assets and strengths.  When not at school Ms. Eslinger enjoys always receiving a warm welcome home from her two dogs, gardening, riding her bike and participating in her Bible study group.

Mrs. Angela Metz-White is our school social worker and has been serving Greenwood Elementary for four years. She was born and raised in Columbia, SC. She received a Bachelor’s in Psychology from the University of Alabama. Mrs. White moved to Richmond, Va to attend graduate school at Virginia Commonwealth University where she obtained her Master’s in Social Work. She has experience working in non-profit organizations, counseling young children coping with grief/bereavement, and supporting clients in inpatient psychiatric settings. Mrs. White is married to her best friend, William, who is in the Army. She and her husband have a daughter, Annabeth, who is toddler age. When not serving others through social work, Mrs. White enjoys cheering on the Crimson Tide, tailgating, sewing, watching reality tv, fashion, and swimming. She and her family often travel back south to see extended family and attend sporting events. Roll tide!

 

 

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