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Principal’s Message

Greenwood Elementary School
Vision: Be Here! Be You! Belong
Mission Statement: 5 Houses, 1 Family
School’s Core Values: Grateful, Accountable, Trustworthy, Optimistic, and Respectful
2022 – 2023 Theme: Magic Happens Here
Ryan Stein:

Greenwood Family, 

Magic happens here at Greenwood Elementary School.  We have a “mosh pit culture” where we are always hugging, cheering, chanting, laughing, and huddling together. Students lean in, eye sparking, and hands held high. Our hallways and classrooms are full of love, smiles, purpose, significance, and success. We infuse passion, data, relationships, and innovation into our school climate and culture. Voices are heard, respect is earned, and our courage and grit turn innovative ideas into reality. We are givers, leaders, dreamers, uplifters, and warriors that use our 5 core values to build a sense of belonging for all stakeholders. Greenwood is one of the highest achieving schools in the state of Virginia as indicated by the 2020 Board of Education Highest Achievement Award; however, we are so much more than our scores. We seek to create moments and memories that touch our hearts and souls. 

People always ask, “What is the secret to the success at Greenwood.” The answer is simple. The magic comes from the people we hire and surround ourselves with daily. Over the past two years, our teachers have the evidence and artifacts of moving mountains with their arms tied behind their backs, turning darkness into light, and leading with love each and every day. Our teachers posses the magic of igniting a fire in the lives of others and developing an intense curiosity. They understand that every child loves differently, learns differently, and heals differently. They build bridges that develop authentic, meaningful, and long lasting relationships. Our teachers establish a classroom culture of intensity, freedom, correction, and educational rigor inclusive of their student’s differences. Our teachers infuse real life application and meaningful instructional content in an innovative way that creates a love for learning so that our students will leave Greenwood with the skills set to become comfortable in what was an uncomfortable situation. Our students will find new routes to solve complex problems, take creative risks, and challenge the status quo. Our teachers are relentless and remain wildly and unabashedly different as they continue the mindset shift from “required” to “desired.”  We believe that the future president of the United States is in our school, and therefore, we teach every lesson to reach unimaginable heights as we prepare all our students to have the job.  

As your collaborative leader, I promise that I believe in all our students, and I take my job as an educator personally. Greenwood is truly a magical place in my heart as we serve many different culture backgrounds, socioeconomic statuses, and ethnicities. I am very intentional about hiring a diverse staff who can share truths with us and empower us to be better educators for our students. I believe a child’s background does not determine what they will accomplish in education or in life. It is my responsibility to help students discover their power, gifts, and talents and provide opportunities, clubs, competitions, and performances for our students to showcase it. I have courage to act, vision to make it happen, and the innovation and grit to execute. My actions will prove that I support you and your family as I am an educator who sees myself in every student who enters our door. 

Once again I promise to always advocate for our Greenwood school community as I continue to lead with transparency and my heart.  I will not make promises I can not keep, and I will never make an excuse for not reaching our school goals. I will speak the truth, insist upon brilliance, take risks, model what I expect, and empower others to enhance instructional practices. I promise to lead with fire, think outside the box, and always be available for our students, parents, and teachers. I believe in competition, comradery collaboration, communication, consistency, credibility, and connection. I remain passionate about creating unique traditions and empowering student and staff voice. My passion teaching, learning, and leading can be seen exuding from my face when I talk about my students and staff. I am an uplifter that believes every time we help another, love another, serve another, or see another, we make music. Greenwood gives me purpose and passion for life.

My top priorities at Greenwood will remain safety in the building, student achievement, health and wellness of our students and staff, and continued improvement of instruction that supports the development of deeper learning environments and experiences. Our gators will once again be empowered to take risks, held accountable for their own learning, inspired to think critically, and serve outside of the school walls.  We will continue to support the foundation of social and emotional development of our future community leaders as they start the journey to becoming college and career ready. Students will tap into their questions, their own sense of wonder, and empathy towards an audience. Students will be given choice, student ownership, and allowed time for inquiry in order to foster creativity and navigate their own learning. 

For me personally, the valleys the past two years have me understand and comprehend the blessing that we have at our school. I learned much about life during the 1.5 years of loss, isolation, quarantines, and computer screens. I struggled as my students and personal children did not have a choice to attend school in person. During this time, I realized even more that people create magic. Therefore, this year more than ever, I want to do more, be more, grow more, and create more moments for others. My passion for children will flow through our school vision, mission, and community. Nothing will stop us! 

Our passion for creating a magical experience for our school community also runs deep through our PTA. Greenwood’s PTA has been recognized as Virginia’s PTA of Excellence (2018-2022), and Henrico County Public School’s Unit of the Year (2021), Volunteer of the Year (2021), and Innovative Program of the Year (2021).  Our PTA website is loaded with useful information on how to get involved. We are a successful school due to the commitment and support from our PTA. No job is too small, and volunteering is a great way to meet new friends. Please consider committing your time this school year to make a difference for your child. This year more than ever, we must turn towards each other, not away from one another. Together, we can create moments that transcend the present and spill into the future. 

Finally, please continue to follow our school website and social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) for additional highlights throughout the year. If at any time I can be a service to you, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.  It is my goal to make our building inviting for families throughout the school year. I value your feedback and suggestions. No matter what the future holds, we will be ready to educate and love your children while providing an equitable and safe environment for all our Gators. Greenwood Elementary is a champion among schools, and I have so much gratitude for being given the opportunity to serve our community. 

In partnership,

Ryan Stein
Greenwood Elementary School