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Staff Bio’s

 

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 14 years, he has built a school of excellence on the foundation of fun and love with 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 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.  Stein conducts college and teaching workshops throughout Virginia sharing his enthusiasm and innovative ideas on how to differentiate, engage, educate, and inspire students. He developed a comprehensive teaching tool that has been implemented in hundreds of schools called History MVP. He also has created music album, Ryan Stein Presents History MVP, containing 20 songs filled with the social studies content. Recently, he has written a book, Lifeline 65: How Small Connections and Big Enthusiasm Can Change Education providing innovative strategies on how to build a culture of excellence through authentic connection. 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 (4) and Bexley Anne (3).  As a student, teacher, administrator and father, Mr. Ryan Stein has a true passion for making a difference in the lives of children.

Mrs. Lesha Jackson is so proud to be a 29-year educator in Henrico County. She attended the University of Virginia for her Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Master of Teaching degree in Education (PrKG-8). Her passion for working with children began as a third, and later, fourth grade teacher at Skipwith Elementary School. She began her role in leadership in 2004, when transferring from Skipwith to Greenwood Elementary School, as Resource Teacher. She obtained her administration endorsement in 2006, at Virginia Commonwealth University. This year, Mrs. Jackson is excited to continue in her leadership capacity as the Associate Principal at Greenwood. She believes in children and aims to unleash the immeasurable potential they hold through building trusting relationships. All children can and should experience success and feel welcomed, valued, and celebrated in our school community.  Mrs. Jackson teaches to give voice to those who are muted by fear, uncertainty, doubt, or insecurity. She teaches to give sight to those who can’t see a path for their future and those who underestimate their contribution to our school family. Mrs. Jackson’s plan for this year is simple; strive to be her BEST self each and every day for our students, staff and families. 

Mr. Jordan Truda  is a lifelong Henrico resident who grew up in Glen Allen.  He graduated from Hermitage High School in 2007. From there, he attended Virginia Commonwealth University, earning a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Teaching, with minors in Psychology and Religious Studies.  He spent the past six years as a classroom teacher at Broad Rock Elementary, in south Richmond. There, he worked with students of diverse abilities, languages, and backgrounds. He is currently continuing his studies at the University of Virignia’s Curry School of Education, where he will earn a Master’s Degree in Administration and Supervision.  He is thankful for the love and support from his wife, Becky, who is a fellow HCPS eductator. Together, they are having a blast on the adventure that is raising their daughter, Carrie Anne. He believes that education is about building relationships, growing alongside fellow learners, and recognizing every experience is a learning experience. Jordan’s vision for students is that they will come to believe in their own incredible abilities, and value the contributions of others.  He became an educator because he was lucky enough to have teachers who inspired him; from Mrs. Ives at GAES, to Mr. Donahue at HHS. They showed him how passion and creativity can make learning come alive. This year, Jordan is looking forward to getting to know the Greenwood community, and supporting its students and staff to push learning to new heights!

Ms. Holly Guelig, our school counselor, is excited to start her 7th year at Greenwood Elementary School, which she proudly refers to as her “second family.” She is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master’s degree in Counselor Education. Additionally, she holds a license in School Counseling, is working on her National Board Certification, and has served in several leadership roles in her field. She has 12 years of experience working in counseling, behavioral, and mental health services, specializing in children and teen support. Since 2011, she has volunteered with Comfort Zone Camp, a camp for children who have lost a caregiver. Ms. Guelig loves helping her Gators grow into strong, healthy, and thoughtful learners, and strives to be a game-changer for her students. Her vision for Greenwood is to provide a comprehensive, developmental, data-driven school counseling program that enhances student potential and academic achievement. Her plan for this year is to work in strategic partnerships with educators, families, and with the community to facilitate a support-system that ensures all Greenwood students are prepared with the skills and knowledge to be lifeready. 

Mr. Danny Jones graduated from Randolph-Macon College with a Degree in History and received his teaching license from University of Richmond. Mr. Jones has his Masters Degree in Teaching and Learning – Leadership from Liberty University where he was able to grow more knowledgeable about educating students to become future leaders within their communities. He has taught in Henrico County for the past 8 years. His first two years were as an Instructional Assistant and then the last 6 years he taught first grade. Teaching in first grade is where he found a passion for using more STEAM and digital learning lessons to enhance the students learning experience. Those experiences led him to the role as the Innovative Learning Coach this year at Greenwood. Mr. Danny Jones’ vision for the 2019 school year involves providing the students at Greenwood Elementary engaging and explorative learning opportunities that allows them to learn using their life ready skills!

Mrs. Jacquelyn Simien-Jones aka “Mrs. Jae” is so very HONORED to be a GATOR!  She is very grateful to be going into her third year as the financial secretary for Greenwood Elementary.  Mrs. Jae was born and raised in Lake Charles, Louisiana. She is very proud to be a Louisianian and is going home this summer to visit some real GATORS.  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 25 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 ladybugs, GATORS, pjs, seahorses, baking, crafting and anything creative. Give her a budget and watch her make it happen. “You already know,” Mrs. Jae is looking forward to being Optimistic for everyone at the “WOOD” for this 19-20 school year.  GO GATORS!!!

Mrs. Rita Fandel is our school registrar and attendance secretary and is delighted to begin her 21st year with Henrico County Schools. This is her third year as a Greenwood Gator and excited to make this year the best one yet. She graduated from Suburban Hospital School of Nursing back in 1978! Plus, she attended Montgomery Community College and Salisbury State University. She has worked in Nursing Homes, Hospitals and Doctor offices; however, once she started her family she was blessed to stay home. Volunteering, being active and involved in her children’s school opened the door to becoming an employee.  She believes that together we can all make a difference in the life of a child and their family. Her ambition for the 2019-2020 school year is to make our families and students feel welcomed. Plus, continue to keep our gators accountable and on track!   When not at school Mrs. Fandel is active with her family, especially her three Grandchildren, Peyton, Addison and Jacob. She also enjoys playing in her church Bell Choir. 

Mrs. Debbie Taylor our school nurse, is grateful to begin her 27th year with Henrico County Public Schools.  She grew up in Henrico and attended Seven Pines, Fairfield and Varina. Her nursing education was also obtained through Henrico County Public Schools/St. Mary’s School of Practical Nursing.  Students first with their safety and well-being are her top priority. Gators are encouraged to always do their best and to remain in class unless they need to go home due to illness or injury.  Her husband of 35 years is her best friend and son Ryan, daughter Tracy and son-in-love, Josh, are all her pride and joy! Mrs. Taylor enjoys cooking, hiking, reading and eating chocolate. She looks forward to welcoming all students to the house and letting them know that we are all family.  Great success this school year for ALL the Greenwood gators.

 

Preschool 

Ms. Tarsha Ashford is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University where she earned her Master’s of Education in Early Childhood Special Education.  She spent 2 ½ years working with individuals impacted by Autism Spectrum disorders at The Faison School before becoming a special educator for Henrico County Public Schools.  Mrs. Ashford was a Longdale Tiger for 9 years before turning into a Greenwood Gator! She believes that all children can learn and it’s up to the teacher to figure out each student’s learning style.  It is Mrs. Ashford’s vision that all educators will have an understanding of behavioral challenges based on environmental differences, compassion for those who learn at a slower rate, and consideration for the level of frustration felt when communication skills are lacking in order for ALL children to participate in inclusive settings.  She anxiously awaits a new school year at Greenwood!

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, who has been teaching Exceptional Education in Henrico County for 17 years. 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 developmental delays.   She believes that communication is the key to learning and strives to create a language-rich, developmentally appropriate classroom where children learn through play. Ms. Courtney loves working with her preschoolers, helping them learn to interact with one another as members of a community. Her plan for this year is to create a welcoming, safe, and loving classroom in which students can make progress on their goals and have fun doing it!

Mrs. Tracy Seay is a lifelong resident of Henrico County. She graduated from Hermitage High School in 1999 and then attended JSRCC. She has years of experience working with children in different settings, providing childcare for almost ten years. She also has five children of her own (3 of which attend Greenwood). She joined Greenwood in 2017 working In the cafeteria.  She then became part of our Intervention team this past school year, working with students K-5. Her love for the students, building relationships and watching them grow academically is what she enjoys the most. She plans on making this year a year of academic gains as well as fostering lasting student connections. 

Ms. Katherine Miller is excited to be starting her fourth year as an early childhood special education teacher and her second year as a Greenwood Gator! She was born and raised in Richmond and is a proud product of Henrico County Public Schools. Ms. Katherine graduated from VCU in 2013 with a B.S. in Psychology and again in 2015 with a Master of Education in Early Childhood Special Education degree. After graduating she worked at Greenwood as an instructional assistant in the preschool autism classroom (the same classroom that she now teaches in!) before leaving to teach pre-K in Hampton, VA. Having the opportunity to come back and teach in her old classroom has been a wonderful experience. Working in the preschool autism classroom is her dream job and she can’t wait to have new adventures with her students this year! She believes that students do their best work when they feel loved and accepted and her educational philosophy is rooted in building meaningful relationships with her students in a safe and respectful environment. This year she is excited to collaborate with the rest of the amazing preschool team and watch her students shine.

Mrs. Lauren Dean is excited to start her third year as a Greenwood Gator as an instructional assistant in the preschool autism classroom. She has over fifteen years experience working with preschool age children and holds a degree in Early Childhood Education from Harford Community College. Mrs. Dean is married to her wonderful husband Rob and they have two daughters Abby(6) who will be a first grader this year at Greenwood and Breanna(4) who will soon get to join as a kindergator. Mrs. Dean believes in building strong relationships and finding out how you can help students achieve their goals because what works for some students may not work for all. She finds such joy working with the preschoolers and their families. Mrs. Dean is excited for the upcoming school year and to meet her new class and feels honored to be apart of the Greenwood family especially the preschool team.

Ms. Kim Carr is originally from Pennsylvania.  She graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education.  After moving to Virginia, she worked as a Pre-K teacher at Rainbow Station for 6 years. She worked at Lakeside Elementary as an Instructional Assistant in a kindergarten room for 2 years, and I have been here at Greenwood for 11 years.  Her educational philosophy is that engagement is key to educating any child of any ability. Without engaging a child, there is no motivation, and there is no learning. Her vision involves becoming the best Instructional Assistant that she can possibly be.  She plans to utilize all educational opportunities available to her, as well as simply observing the teachers and instructional assistants that she is fortunate to work with at Greenwood. She works with kids because she has always loved learning, and she wants to pass that love on.  She started working with children with special needs because she has a sister with Down’s Syndrome, and watching her learn and grow has been especially rewarding. On the personal side, she’s been married for 23 years to her amazingly patient husband, Tom. She has 4 fantastic daughters, and 3 gorgeous granddaughters.  She also has one crazy cat named Picasso. She is a very lucky person, and is really looking forward to the upcoming year at Greenwood.

Mrs. Teresa Jones is excited about entering her 4th year as the Early Learning 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 an 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 starting her 14th year of teaching in a PreK classroom – 5 years at Glen Lea Elementary, 4 years at New Bridge Learning Center, and going into her 4th year at Greenwood Elementary.  She is happily married to her amazing husband Warren, to whom she’s been married to for 32 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 believes that all children can learn when given the proper resources. This year she looks forward to another fabulous year in the “Preschool Family” at Greenwood and preparing her class for a smooth transition into kindergarten.  She will strive to make each child feel safe and develops to the best of their abilities because they were nurtured, supported, and encouraged by her.

Ms. Ashley Barnes is excited to be entering her 4th year as the Early Learning Preschool instructional assistant. She attended Care Courses and received her CDA in Early Childhood Education. For the past four years Miss Barnes has been working with preschool aged children to help them better their skills academically, and, socially and emotionally. Miss Barnes attended Greenwood as a student, and is very happy to be able to be back and working with some of the teachers that she learned from growing up. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her family, playing with her dog, going to the movies and shopping. She believes that all children learn and grow socially and academically by being able to work together and have hands on learning experiences. This year Miss Barnes is super excited to meet her 4th group of preschoolers, and help them strive to be ready and prepared for Kindergarten. She will work hard to make sure that each child receives the love, care, and attention that they need in order to be successful not only in preschool but moving up to kindergarten as well.

Ms. Jan Wheeler is an Early Childhood Exceptional Education teacher with more than 25 years experience.  She attended Ashland College in Ashland Ohio, and earned a degree in Exceptional Education.  Ms. Wheeler has taught students of all ages, and is especially fond of preschoolers. For the past 20 years, Ms. Wheeler has worked with preschool children.  Currently she is on an evaluation team which is responsible for the evaluations and placement of preschool children referred to Henrico County Public Schools. Ms. Wheeler believes in all children and takes great pride in building connections with families. 

 

Kindergarten

Mr. Dennis Beck is pumped to be joining the staff at Greenwood Elementary and being a part of the Kindergarten Team! He is originally from Scranton, Pennsylvania and graduated with a BA in Early Childhood/Elementary Education from Temple University in Philadelphia. He then taught first grade for four years for Spotsylvania County Schools. After completing his Master’s degree in Multicultural/Multilingual Education from George Mason University, he served as an ESOL specialist for students in K-2nd grade for three years. He then spent eight months in Madrid, Spain, where he was a language assistant for two public schools. Mr. Beck is excited to be back in the United States and to work with the fresh, young minds that the new kindergarteners will bring to Greenwood Elementary! He wants to make his first year with this school the best one yet!

Ms. Kayla Compton is delighted to start her third year of teaching here at Greenwood Elementary School and cannot wait to see what this year has in store! She has lived in Virginia her whole life, but recently became a resident of Richmond and is excited to get to know the area! Ms. Compton graduated from Christopher Newport University where she received her Master’s of Art in Teaching and her undergraduate Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in childhood studies. During her Graduate year Ms. Compton had the opportunity to study abroad in San Pedro Belize and educate students in a local elementary school. Ms. Compton strives to make her classroom a positive and upbeat place for her students to grow and learn! She feels that students learn the best when they are in a positive learning environment where they feel welcomed, comfortable, and safe with each other! In her free time you may find Ms. Compton laying on the beach or searching for puppies to play with! She has adopted two cuddly and mischievous kittens (Mack and Maya) that make each day more interesting than the last. She looks forward to a fun-packed year in Kindergarten! 

Ms. Katie Hall is excited to be transitioning to the Kindergarten Team this year!  She grew up in western Hanover County and 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. She taught first grade for the past three years, but she is excited for the new experiences that come with teaching kindergarten! Ms. Hall fully embraces the growth mindset perspective, believing that all children will learn — and develop a love of learning! — by challenging themselves and building a confident inner voice.  In her room, there is a saying: ‘when you make mistakes, your brain grows!’ She hopes to show every child that missteps should be embraced and celebrated, not feared. Ms. Hall teaches to help every student feel loved and welcome, and know that school is a place to feel safe and free to explore, ask questions, make mistakes, and express themselves. Ms. Hall is thrilled to be able to welcome so many students to Greenwood and make their first year as part of the Greenwood Family a memorable one!

Mrs. Robin Milwit Is looking forward to molding new little minds as she begins her 8th year as one of Greenwood’s kindergarten teachers. Mrs. Milwit was born and raised in Western PA and attended Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) where she received both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Elementary and Adult Education. During her undergraduate work she was fortunate to have participated in a life-changing internship at Family Communications, Inc.,where she worked with her role model, Mister Rogers. Working with him helped Mrs. Milwit find her “why.”  She understands the importance of connecting with as many Greenwood Gators as possible and incorporates social and emotional learning into the classroom every day. Mrs. Milwit aims to develop the next generation of innovators and creative thinkers, by teaching children the importance of building relationships, encouraging students to be unapologetically curious and unafraid to make mistakes and take risks, while modeling curiosity, and a great love for learning. Mrs. Milwit believes that Greenwood is a great place to empower students to be dreamers, effective contributors in their classrooms today, and in their communities tomorrow.  Mrs. Milwit lives in Glen Allen with her husband, Kyle, her son, Zack (16), her daughter, Cammie (13), and her new puppy, Milo. She looks forward to a fantastic 2019-2020 school year!

Miss Kaitlyn Thompson- Kaitlyn is so pumped to be joining the Greenwood Gator Family! She has just moved to Richmond from Fredericksburg, Virginia. Kaitlyn received a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education with a minor in French at Liberty University. Kaitlyn spent a summer in college volunteering in schools and programs in Niger, West Africa. Kaitlyn has enjoyed teaching many grades at Parkside Elementary in Spotsylvania County. In her seven years of teaching she taught Kindergarten, second, and third grade. She is excited to be going back to Kindergarten! She believes all students deserve to learn in an environment where they feel loved, encouraged, and a part of the team. Kaitlyn’s goal this year is to connect with her students and foster relationships conducive to making them life-long learners. She hopes to instill a love for books, exploring, and learning in her students. Kaitlyn is so honored to be a part of the Kindergator team and can’t wait for a year of unforgettable memories and growth!

 

1st Grade

Ms. Sarah Peña is excited to start her seventh year teaching first graders. Her favorite part of Greenwood is the amazing global experience from the diversity of the student body- in interests, talents, cultures and perspectives. She attended Syracuse University where she studied public policy with a concentration in urban education. Her undergraduate work and time spent volunteering with the early-literacy nonprofit Jumpstart for Young Children inspired her to pursue a full-time career in teaching. Ms. Peña earned her Master of Arts in Teaching degree from Brown University. She has worked with students in grades K-5 from London to Durham, NC, but first graders are always her favorite. Her teaching philosophy is rooted in her fervent belief that every child can learn. She believes it is the responsibility of a teacher to help all students realize their fullest potential. Ms. Peña knows teaching is a privilege and seeks to honor that by celebrating each child’s unique contributions to the class community. She aims to cultivate a positive school experience anchored in respect, kindness, and inclusion for all students and families. She is inspired daily by the endless curiosity and creativity that the Greenwood Gators exude and looks forward to all they’ll learn together in the 2019-2020 school year. 

Mrs. Kaitlin Johnson is thrilled to be joining the Greenwood Elementary family! This will be her seventh year teaching first grade. She attended East Carolina University and graduated with her degree in Elementary Education with an endorsement in Child Development and Family Relations. During her first year of teaching, she began attending the University of Richmond and graduated with a Masters Degree in Curriculum and Instruction with an endorsement in Gifted Education. Her philosophy of education is that all children are unique and must have a stimulating educational environment where they can grow academically, socially, and emotionally. She is passionate about Project Based Learning, providing discovery learning opportunities, and incorporating STEM in her classroom. Her favorite part of teaching first grade is watching students find their love for reading and watching their imaginations run wild! She is so excited to meet her class of Gators and is looking forward to everything they will experience together this year. 

Mrs. Meredyth Rutman is starting her eighteenth year of teaching and is proud to say that she has been a Greenwood Gator since the school first opened in 2004.  She graduated from Virginia Tech with a Masters Degree in Curriculum and Instruction. During her collegiate years, Mrs. Rutman had the opportunity to study abroad in Italy, where she learned about the Reggio Emilia teaching approach.  This style of teaching focuses on the importance of meeting the needs of every child, in a way that is meaningful and engaging. Mrs. Rutman fully embraces this mindset and strives to make her classroom a place of love, acceptance and growth, where the academic, social and emotional needs of every child are nurtured and cultivated.  She is very excited about the upcoming school year and feels so thankful to be a part of this amazing Family! Greenwood is a not just a school…it’s so much more than that…it’s a place where magic happens!

Ms. Lyndsey Smith is starting her 6th year of teaching. 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.  She enjoys teaching first grade because she loves to see children find their love for reading. She loves creating fun and engaging STEAM and project based lessons. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family and her two dogs. She is a huge VCU basketball fan and attends as many games as possible with her dad.  She enjoys reading and spending time exploring the city. She is looking forward to another great school year with her first grade gators!!

 

2nd Grade

Ms. Laurie Casey is excited to begin her nineteenth year of teaching in Henrico County! This  will be her twelfth at Greenwood! She has experience teaching second through fifth grade.  Ms. Casey earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from Radford University in 1998.  She believes that every child comes to school with special gifts and talents to share. She strives to foster a lifelong love of learning and a collaborative environment in her classroom.  She is often found with a book in her hand at home and hopes to instill that love of reading in her students. Ms. Casey cannot wait to welcome her new Gators and experience a year of growth and many successes!

 

Ms. Donna Kouri is happy to join the Second Grade Team at Greenwood Elementary. She enjoys building a learning community with her class every year. Ms. Kouri knows how important it is for all students to feel safe in their learning environment; knowing mistakes made are also a step in gaining knowledge. Working with elementary students for 35 years has allowed her the opportunity to realize one of the true gifts of education in our public schools is how a diversity of students can come together, think, learn, and collaborate with one another to learn and grow as young stewards and citizens. She is confident the 2019-2020 school year will be a great experience!

 

Mrs. Cindy Leigh is so proud to be a 30-year educator in Henrico County.  She 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 taught 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades. Mrs. Leigh is a cancer survivor, an experience that has inspired her teaching philosophy:  to challenge all students to set high goals and seek to reach for those goals every day. Mrs. Leigh’s vision is to create an environment where students feel positive toward life and work together as a family of learners.  Because she believes every child is capable of achieving great things, she will bring each of her students to the realization that having a positive growth mindset opens their world to success! She is excited to meet her students and get them started on their second grade journey!

Mrs. Karen Martin is excited to begin her fourteenth year of teaching in Henrico County as well as her fourteenth year at Greenwood!  She graduated from the University of Virginia (WAHOOWA!) with a B.A. in Sociology and earned her Master’s Degree in Counseling from Virginia Commonwealth University.   She worked for the Virginia Department for the Blind and Visually Impaired for fourteen years before following her dream to become a teacher by returning to school at the University of Richmond to earn her teaching certificate.   Mrs. Martin believes that every child can be successful and deserves to be welcomed, valued and challenged to meet their individual potential.  She passionately believes that reading is important, and the love of reading is equally important! Her vision for this year is for students to communicate and collaborate as they work to build trusting relationships and discover their individual and collective potential.  Mrs. Martin is excited for this school year and is ready to help her students navigate the exciting journey through second grade!

Mrs. Emily Thompson is a proud product of Henrico County Public Schools. She received her Bachelors in Environmental Science at the University of Virginia. After graduation, she moved to Key Largo, Florida where she held her dream job as a marine mammal trainer working with dolphins! Five years later, she and her husband relocated back to the Richmond area to be closer to family, and Mrs. Thompson attended the University of Richmond to earn her Teacher Licensure. She is thrilled to be currently living her dream job in her second year as a second-grade teacher at Greenwood Elementary, and she looks forward to challenging each of her students to engage in lifelong discovery and learning opportunities. She believes that by encouraging each student to grapple with real-world applications to each subject and by promoting positive moral values, her students will be leaders to make the environment and the world a better place in the future. She can not wait to meet her 2019-2020 scholars and set the stage to experience learning as a lifelong event!

 

3rd Grade

Ms. Tricia Conlon is thrilled to be starting her sixth year teaching and second year as a Gator! Ms. Conlon attended High Point University in North Carolina where she began her teaching career in third grade. She is a firm believer in hands-on learning along with allowing students to make the classroom their home which involves choosing where they learn each day. When students feel like they are heard and have a hand in their learning they are more likely to be excited and ready to face difficult tasks. Ms. Conlon is excited for the 2019-2020 year and is ready to make some magic with her third graders! 

 

 

Mrs. Nicolle Farrar graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology and Master of Teaching Degree in Teaching Early Childhood Education.  Mrs. Farrar has been a Greenwood Gator since it opened. She has taught kindergarten, first, second and is currently teaching third grade. She is eager to begin her 24th year of teaching.  Mrs. Farrar teaches with the hope of motivating and inspiring students to think for themselves in a safe and welcoming environment that encourages risk taking. Mrs. Farrar believes every student can grow academically, socially, and emotionally when they feel loved and respected.  She is looking forward to fostering a classroom where her students communicate and collaborate as they encounter the daily challenges of the third grade curriculum. Mrs. Farrar is ready for the 2019-2020 school year that is sure to be filled with enthusiasm towards learning!

Ms. Victoria Riss could not be more excited to join the Greenwood community! She graduated from James Madison University with her Bachelors in Media Arts and Design. Then, she returned home and worked in Washington, D.C. at a nonprofit focused on land conservation. After a year, she decided to return to school which lead her to the University of Virginia, where she earned her Masters of Arts in Teaching and began her career in third grade. Ms. Riss believes children need to know that they are valued for their own unique talents, personalities, and challenges while learning to be accepting of others. She strives to help the students entrusted to her to grow into thoughtful, intellectual, and kind individuals who will be positive, productive community members in the future. She enjoys spending time with family and friends by discovering new hiking trails, traveling to new places, or trying new, local restaurants. Oftentimes she can be found walking her dog, Penny, working out, or practicing mindfulness meditation. She looks forward to helping fuel student curiosity and encouraging students to find answers through exploration in the 2019-2020 school year!

Ms. LeYuani Wilson is a product of Henrico County Public Schools.  She received her bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications from JMU, her Master’s in Education from VCU, and more recently her Gifted Endorsement, also from VCU. Ms. Wilson has enjoyed teaching for 24 years and has taught nine years at Greenwood. She believes in presenting her students with project-based learning opportunities that cultivate their creativity, develop their critical thinking skills and ultimately place them on the path to becoming global citizens. Her vision is to create a classroom environment where students feel comfortable exploring endless possibilities while working collaboratively to achieve success. She enjoys teaching 3rd grade, sharing her unique “tricks”, and building relationships with her students that extend beyond the classroom. Ms. Wilson is excited to meet her new 3rd graders and to provide them with relevant learning opportunities to achieve their goals! Let’s Go, Gators!

Mrs. Leslie Wrighter is a product of Henrico County Public Schools. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from Radford University. She is celebrating her twenty third year of teaching in Henrico and has been a part of Greenwood Elementary since its opening in 2004. She has taught kindergarten, first, and second grade. She is currently teaching third grade. Mrs. Wrighter teaches because she enjoys building relationships and helping students become more confident in themselves. She firmly believes that the best classroom is one filled with laughter. She strives to teach students to embrace differences, learn from mistakes, and to communicate effectively. Mrs. Wrighter is proud to teach at Greenwood and is excited to welcome students back to school!

 

4th Grade

Mrs. Maura Farmer graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with an undergraduate Degree in Psychology and earned a  Master’s Degree in Education with a Reading Specialist Endorsement from Regent University. Mrs. Farmer is thrilled to be beginning her 14th year as a classroom teacher.  She believes that reading is (almost) as important as breathing, and students learn best when they feel safe, respected, and have a voice in the classroom. Mrs. Farmer encourages an inclusive classroom community where students will be inspired to become lifelong learners and avid readers.  She is passionate about project based learning because it requires students to take accountability for their learning, while challenging students to collaborate and think critically. Mrs. Farmer is looking forward to meeting her new gators, and can’t wait for the experiences they will have this year!

Mrs. Mandi Green graduated from Virginia Tech (Go Hokies!) with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Human Development and earned her teaching license through the graduate program at Lynchburg College. She is beginning her eighth year as a classroom teacher with experience in third, fourth, and fifth grade. She believes that school is not only an opportunity to gain knowledge, but also a chance to obtain relationships, life lessons, and meaningful experiences. Mrs. Green envisions her school year to be filled with life ready activities that not only challenge students to think critically, but also to problem solve with their peers and present their ideas in an organized manner. Mrs. Green teaches because she believes that every child deserves to have an educator who will advocate for them to become the best person that he or she can be.

 

Mrs. Lecia Meekins is excited about starting her twenty-ninth year of teaching. She is a graduate of Norfolk State University and earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education. She began her teaching career in Norfolk, Virginia. In 2002, she continued her teaching career in Henrico County. She has taught grades first, third, fourth, and fifth. She believes that all students can learn and be successful. She loves teaching Math because she has  many strategies to unlock the Math secrets that make learning Math fun. Mrs. Meekins enjoys teaching because she thrives on getting “goosebumps” when her students show mastery. Her plan for this year is to motivate her students to meet their greatest potential through communication, collaboration, and hands-on activities.

 

Mrs. Jessica Stone grew up in Rockingham County where she attended public school. She stayed local and attended Bridgewater College and earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education. She fell in love with teaching in 3rd grade and always knew she wanted to be a teacher. This will be Mrs. Stone’s 6th year teaching and 2nd year at Greenwood. Previously, she taught 6th grade at her home middle school. Mrs. Stone believes students should have a learning experience unique to them and will incorporate many learning styles in her classroom. Mrs. Stone is pursuing her Master’s Degree in Technology Education, so her students can expect to be immersed in technology. Her vision this year is to allow students to explore their interests and be able to share with their peers. She wants her students to collaborate, communicate and think critically to be life ready. Mrs. Stone is looking forward to meeting her new gators, and can’t wait to share new experiences together.

Mrs. Carter Turner is a fourth grade teacher at Greenwood Elementary.  She is a James Madison University graduate- Go Dukes! Mrs. Turner 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 12 years. Mrs. Turner believes that all children are unique and have something special they can bring to their own education.  She has a passion for teaching her students the importance of reading. Students need to be encouraged as readers and her goal is to help them set, attain, and celebrate reading goals. Mrs. Turner looks forward to a great year with her fourth graders!

 

5th Grade

Mrs. Kati Baum was born and raised in Upstate New York in the small town of Horseheads.  She came to Virginia in 2002 to attend Radford University, where she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education.  She began her teaching career in Stafford County, but soon made her way to Henrico. In 2009, Mrs. Baum earned her gifted endorsement from UVA.  She is excited to begin her 15th year of teaching, 14 of which have been at Greenwood. Mrs. Baum is proud to be a Greenwood Gator and loves teaching fourth and fifth grade!  She strives to make her classroom a place where her students feel valued and included. Mrs. Baum believes in the importance of making learning meaningful, relevant, hands-on, and fun.  When she isn’t at school, her husband and three young children keep her busy. The two oldest, Lily (6th) and Landon (3rd), are also proud of their Gator heritage. Mrs. Baum is excited for the new school year and is looking forward to getting to know her new Gators!  

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 has taught 5th grade for 14 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. 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 being inspired by many of her teachers, she knew that she eventually wanted to become a teacher. After high school, she went to University of Virginia. 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 sixth 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, and her vision for the year is to have students become more comfortable with reading and writing and enjoy it! 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 14 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 10 years. The 2019-2020 school year will be his 4th with the Greenwood family. In his spare time, Mr. Taylor enjoys relaxing with his family, celebrating holidays, and watching Nat-Geo Wild. One of his dream vacations is to go on safari in Africa. #5 Houses, 1 Family! #Not just a school…An Experience!

Mr. Brandon Wilson is a fifth grade teacher at Greenwood entering his sixth year in the classroom.  Previously Mr. Wilson earned his degree at Fredonia State University in New York State.  Mr. Wilson grew up in Western New York about an hour south of Buffalo, NY and moved to Richmond with his wife to escape the long winters and pursue their careers in education.  Since being in Richmond Mr. Wilson has worked for Chesterfield County Public Schools as a middle school English teacher for two years and has spent the rest of his career working in Henrico County at the 4th grade level.  Mr. Wilson has a passion for working with students and believes in building a positive atmosphere in the classroom as well as creating a lifelong love for reading. He teaches because of the opportunities it gives him to connect with students and to help them succeed not just in the classroom, but beyond it as well.  When not in the classroom Mr. Wilson enjoys spending time with his wife, going golfing, and of course cheering on the Pittsburgh Steelers! He looks forward to a great 2019-2020 school year and seeing students reach new heights!

 

Exceptional Education and Student Support

Mr. Jake Anderson is excited to start his second year teaching at Greenwood Elementary. He earned his undergraduate and Masters Degree at NC State University.  Mr. Anderson believes that there is greatness in everyone and everyone can succeed. The Jimmy V quote “Don’t give up, Don’t ever give up” helps Mr. Anderson guide not only himself, but also his students. Mr. Anderson teaches to give to help students find something they love and to give them opportunities to be successful. This school year, Mr. Anderson plans to continue to build positive relationships with students and their families and to help make Greenwood a second home. 

 

 

Mrs. Janiece Ross considers herself to be a lifelong learner. She earned her undergraduate degree at Old Dominion University, Masters Degree at Virginia State University, Post Masters Certification at The George Washington University, and has taken courses through VCU and UVA-Wise.  She is excited to start her 19th year teaching at Greenwood! Mrs. Ross’s favorite quote is “The expert at anything was once a beginner”, which is a quote she uses to motivate students to do their best and not give up! Mrs. Ross believes that every student is capable of learning and that it is up to us as partners in education to work together to meet each student where they are, take them to new heights, and foster a love of learning within them.  Her plan for the year is to use her years of experience to impact the families of Greenwood by being a resource and ally to help make this year one of their best yet!

Mrs. Kristina Coates is an Exceptional Education teacher who will spend time at both Greenwood ES and Tuckahoe ES. Ms. Coates is a proud alumni of East Carolina University (Go Pirates!) where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education.  After completing her Master’s of Divinity, she returned to the classroom as an Exceptional Education teacher and completed her Masters in Educational Leadership at Virginia Commonwealth University. The upcoming school year ushers in her 13th year serving students who are differently abled and her 16th year in public education.  Each time Ms. Coates steps into the classroom her goal is to improve her students’ skills so that they can accomplish whatever goal they have set for themselves. She actively engages her students to set personal academic goals, establishes steps to reach them and provides opportunities for students to reflect on their growth throughout the school year.  For the upcoming school year, Ms. Coates plans to bring her experience in reading to support students who need a little extra practice. When she is not in the classroom, she can be found off a two lane road in Louisa, Virginia enjoying the company of her husband and three fur-babies (2 pit mixes and a hound mix). Ms. Coates oversees various ministries within her local church and is beginning her seventh year of classical ballet instruction.  An avid football fan, Ms. Coates can be heard faithfully cheering on her ECU Pirates and Washington Redskins. Ms. Coates is looking forward to her time with students at Greenwood Elementary while watching them spread their wings to fly.

Ms. Lynn Orange (Speech Language Pathologist) has been a Speech Language Pathologist in Henrico County since 2001 and has been at Greenwood Elementary since 2011.  She graduated with both her Bachelor’s of Science and Master’s of Science degrees from James Madison University. Ms. Orange has lived in the Greenwood community for over 25 years. She has three amazing daughters who are all very unique in their own way and one lively grandson who is the joy of her heart. They live with their families all across the country from Manassas, VA, to Fayetteville, AR, to Seattle, WA. In the speech therapy room, Ms. Orange provides a very engaging and safe environment for all of her students to develop their speech and language skills both in a small group setting and in the classroom.  She believes that everyone has their own gifts to share with this world and loves to help each child find their voice to share it. She also believes that good ol’ board games, puzzles, and playing outside are critical in helping to build communication, relationships, cooperative play, problem solving skills, and conflict resolution. Communication is one of the most important skills for success in life and Ms. Orange is excited to help all of her students continue to develop and improve their speech and language skills this school year.

Ms. Shanna Crawford  (Instructional Assistant) was born and raised in Hampton, Virginia. She is the mother of a sixteen year old daughter who is a rising eleventh grader and an eight year old son who is a rising third 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 17 years.  Irene started her helping journey at Adams Elementary and has worked in six different schools, including Greenwood, which is great because she loves Gators!!  She has worked in all grade levels from K-5 and has enjoyed everyone 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 and photographing her garden, reading, or chasing two dogs and a cat, sewing or cooking a great meal for Mike, her husband of over forty years. Irene’s two children, Michael Flannery, lives and works in Seattle Washington and Erin, a travel dialysis Tech, who lives everywhere, are the light of her Life.  Irene is looking forward to welcoming new students and staff to Greenwood.  

Mrs. Michelle Bryant (Psychologist) is so excited to begin her first year as a school psychologist as a Greenwood Gator! She received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Master of Arts in School Psychology from James Madison University. In August of 2020, she will receive her Educational Specialist degree in School Psychology from JMU as well – Go Dukes! She believes that every student, teacher, staff, and family member plays an important role in supporting students and encouraging them to explore their abilities. The school environment is all about growth, and every student has the potential to be a confident, life-long learner. She aims to serve students and families and help create a positive environment where every student can thrive and learn from a wide variety of experiences. She greatly enjoys being a part of the team that helps students strengthen and build their skills. This school year, she is excited to learn about the needs of the Greenwood community and become a friendly, well-known face in the building. 

Mrs. Angela Metz-White is our school social worker and has been serving Greenwood Elementary for five 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, attend sporting events, and be beach bums! Roll tide!

Mrs. Andrea Lewis – is honored to be serving such great schools in Henrico, including Greenwood Elementary! As an occupational therapist, she travels between multiple schools during the week and really enjoys getting to be part of different school communities. Ms. Lewis began working in the county in 2012, after receiving her masters in occupational therapy at VCU. Prior to getting her masters, she worked with students with special needs in a teaching assistant position outside of HCPS, where she became more familiar with the field of OT. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends, getting out in nature, participating at her church, taking yoga, and traveling when she can. Ms. Lewis looks forward to another fantastic school year in Henrico County Public Schools, working alongside a great group of school professionals in order to support the learning and development of our phenomenal students!                   

Mrs. Lori Perkins (Physical Therapist) is a graduate of University of Virginia and earned her Master’s in Physical Therapy from Shenandoah University. She spent 10 years working in Out Patient Orthopedics before entering the school system where she has worked for 15 years. Mrs. Perkins has two children, one active in the US Marines and one heading to college at VCU. Mrs. Perkins believes in the importance of mobility and learning and the inclusion of all students. Mrs. Perkins looks at the student’s strengths to help them participate in the school environment to further encourage success in school and engage with peers and staff. Mrs. Perkins enjoys time with her family and friends which also include outdoor activities and hiking. She looks forward to a great year at Greenwood.

 

Mrs. Jennifer McDowney (Instructional Assistant) is so excited to be starting her second year at Greenwood Elementary. She grew up in Caroline, Virginia and moved to Richmond, Virginia after graduating high school. She is an upcoming graduate of J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College in December 2019, with an Associates degree in Teacher Prep, and then will transfer to Liberty University to complete her Bachelors in Elementary Education. She cannot wait to become a teacher and make a positive impact in the lives of our children. She has been married for 13 years. They have 2 daughters, who are current Gators at Greenwood, and are currently expecting a new “Gator” to arrive in December 2019! Being able to work with the phenomenal teachers and amazing students at Greenwood has been one of the greatest opportunities in her career and life. Go Gators!

Mr. Troy Bishop (Instructional Assistant) is so grateful and excited to be joining the Greenwood family this year. He has worked with children in one form or fashion his entire life.  After graduating from Longwood University with a Bachelor’s Degree in English, he began working at Tuckaway Day Care where he spent seven years being a lead teacher for different ages ranging from 2 through 12. At the same time, he was working in childcare for his church, Shady Grove United Methodist Church where he prepared and lead many camps, Sundays Schools, and mission projects with elementary aged children. Finally realizing that he needed a teacher’s license, he completed Old Dominion University’s Career Switcher program. Having recently obtained a teacher’s license, he is excited to get into the great school system of Henrico County and to be employed at the wonderful Greenwood Elementary. Mr. Bishop believes that students all learn in different and unique ways and hopes to help them reach their potential. He’s excited to get to meet great students as well as their parents. Here’s to a fantastic year at Greenwood!

 

Mrs. Sushma Adur (Instructional Assistant) is very excited to be joining her friends at Greenwood Elementary. She was born in Karnataka state of India. She earned her Bachelor of Engineering in Electrical and Electronics engineering from SJCE, Mysore, India. After getting married, she moved to Hamden, CT. She and her husband moved to Richmond when their daughter was born.She is a proud mother of an 8 year old who is a rising third grader.

Mr. Bill Williams (Instructional Assistant) is in his 14 year teaching and wants to make a difference in the world. He born and raised in Dearborn, Michigan. In 2005, Mr. Williams moved to Virginia with his family. He has three sons and a daughter. All four were honor students and his youngest is a freshman studying creative writing at the University of Iowa. Mr. Williams earned a BA in Economics from the University of Michigan and a MS degree in Elementary Education from the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut. He has worked in Henrico County for the past 12 years as a Mathematics and Reading Interventionist at Colonial Trail and Greenwood Elementary School. 

Mr. David Rahman (Instructional Assistant) was raised in Southeastern North Carolina in a complete beach and farm culture. He graduated from Booker T. Washington High School in the area and came to Richmond as a teenager to study Classical Music and Business Administration at Virginia Union University. Mr. Rahman also studied business and computer programming at J. S. Reynolds community college and received a degree in computer programming in 2002 from ECPI.  Mr. Rahman is driven by the performing arts by freelance acting and playing music professionally on stage. He have appeared on Brown’s Island, June Jubilee, many Kwaanza events, Farmers market festivals, and many schools in the area. Mr. Rahman is driven by the philosophy that nothing can be accomplished and developed without a sound education. He is open to the challenges it takes to help develop all of our children to a level where the desire for knowledge takes precedent in all of their undertakings. His own life would be without purpose if I had never received an education. Mr. Rahman has been with Henrico County for 13 years working in Exceptional Education, and he looks forward to doing big things at Greenwood.

Mr. Barney Cobb (Instructional Assistant) will be returning to Greenwood for his second year. He lead our track team in the morning and worked with many different groups of students. Mr. Cobb enjoys working with children and making a difference in their lives.

 

Resource Team

Ms. Melissa Elkins (PE)- is thrilled to begin her second year of teaching and first year as a Gator! Ms.Elkins graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Exercise Science and attended Virginia State University for Health and Physical Education PreK-12. She completed the first year of her career in Richmond City Public Schools. Ms. Elkins believes that education is more than obtaining knowledge. Education empowers individuals to develop mentally and physically. Her vision is to teach the importance of living a healthy and active lifestyle and create a welcoming environment for students of all athletic abilities. Her plan for the upcoming school year is to motivate her students to meet their greatest potential and make a difference in their lives. She enjoys seeing the students faces light up when they enter the gym. She believes small gestures can make a difference in people, never underestimate the power of a high-five! In her spare time, Ms.Elkins enjoys spending time with her dog Rokko and competes in Olympic weightlifting competitions! She can’t wait to meet all of her students and make new memories! Let’s go Gators!  

Mrs. Amy Coward (Library) 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 16 years.  Mrs. Coward loves that she gets to know every one of our Gators and help them grow to love reading and become life ready lifelong learners.  She enjoys being able to collaborate with and support everyone at Greenwood, whether by helping to find that just right book or other resource, planning stations and lessons to support classroom curriculum, or helping to integrate technology into student learning.  This year, she is excited to see the house system grow as she focuses on diversifying the Greenwood collection and helping students to become collaborators and communicators.

Mrs. Andrea Hobbs (Library) is thrilled to begin her seventh year in the Greenwood library.  She is a true embodiment of a lifelong reader. Her love of books was first discovered at Claremont Elementary School in Arlington, Virginia, where she was a library helper during fourth and fifth grade. Throughout high school, she worked part-time at the Arlington County Public Library. She graduated from Bridgewater College in Virginia with a double major in Business Administration and Economics. Before joining the Greenwood staff, Mrs. Hobbs worked for Read Aloud Virginia, a non-profit that aimed to increase literacy rates in children while nurturing a love of reading. Mrs. Hobbs still delights in reading in her spare time. She also enjoys being active and being a part of the local CrossFit community. She enjoys spending time with her family, which includes her husband and three children. Mrs. Hobbs loves being a part of the Greenwood Library Team and following her passion of encouraging and cultivating the love of reading in young children.

 Mrs. April Barlett (Art)  is beginning her fourth year teaching art at Greenwood and her fifteenth year teaching in Henrico County Public Schools!  She is a native of Richmond and a proud graduate of Open High School and VCU (go Rams!). She earned undergraduate degrees in Crafts and Art Education as well as a graduate degree in Interdisciplinary Studies.  Ms. Barlett is married to a fellow educator and has two active sons who are 9 and 10. Her family loves traveling, visiting all kinds of museums and going to the movies. Among her favorite destinations are Italy, Iceland and Montreal!  Her goal as a teacher is to provide engaging learning opportunities for children to create, collaborate and communicate by integrating art with science, technology, history, literature and math. Students will learn about a diverse group of art and artists from all over the world.  She has a passion for exploring ways art can impact the community in positive ways and loves developing projects that inspire students to make the world a better place! Her plan for the 2019-2020 school year is to integrate more contemporary and local artists into the Greenwood art room!  If you are interested in sharing your talents with our emerging artists, please let her know!   

Mrs. Maria Murphy (Music) is excited to begin her 29th year in Henrico County and her 12th year at Greenwood! She is a native of Hampton, VA. Coming from a large musical family, her love of music started at a very young age. She attended Virginia Commonwealth University and received a bachelors in Music Education.She is also a part time minister of music at Saint James United Methodist Church in Hampton, VA. She believes that every child is valued and can be successful. She strives to instill a love of music to her students. She enjoys spending time with her husband, reading, playing the piano, shopping, and being a wonderful “auntie” to her 10 year old nephew and two nieces, ages 8 and 5. She looks forward to another great year with our Gators!

 

Mrs. Shannon Wakefield (Gifted) is excited to join the Greenwood family for her fourth year as the Gifted Resource Teacher and 11th year teaching. 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 the University of Richmond. In 2017, Mrs. Wakefield achieved National Board Certification as an Exceptional Needs Specialist with a focus in Gifted Education. She believes in every student and helping them find their passion for learning. Perseverance is important in her classroom as students learn it is ok to make mistakes and how to grow from them through problem solving, critical thinking, and collaboration. Mrs. Wakefield loves to see students have a “lightbulb” moment as they accomplish tasks they thought were impossible. This school year she can’t wait to work with new and returning gators on exciting projects!

Mrs. Valerie Anderson (ESL) is entering her 5th year as the ESL teacher at Greenwood and her 15th year in education..She is a graduate of Virginia Tech, received her Masters Degree in Elementary Education from Radford University, then many years later earned her ESL endorsement from Virginia Commonwealth University. She believes all students have the right to an education filled with care, thoughtfulness, and respect. She wants to see all students enjoy their educational experience, feel safe while at school, and feel like a part of a family community. Mrs. Anderson loves learning about different cultures and various parts of the world. Her students teach her about these things! This year, her plan is to build on current relationships with her students and families and the community, as well as create new relationships. Her goal in the classroom is to try more project based learning activities and incorporate more real world lessons into her curriculum this year. She can’t wait to get creative with her students in the 2019-2020 school year! 

Mrs. Jennifer Coleman (Math Coach) is originally from Pennsylvania, but a Virginian at heart. She graduated from Virginia Tech with a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education and a Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction. She moved to Northern Virginia and worked in Fairfax County for her first 5 years as a 4th and 5th grade teacher. She and her husband moved to Richmond where she taught 5th grade for 3 years in Chesterfield and then became a Title 1 Math teacher for 4 years after completing VCU’s Math Specialist program. She now is a district Instructional Math Coach in Henrico where she serves 9 schools including Greenwood Elementary. Her educational philosophy is that all children can succeed with the proper guidance and supports in place.  She believes that teachers need to guide students along a continuum of learning. Her vision is to see Greenwood teachers and students discover a love for math and see its beauty in the world. She believes that the key to better world is through education. Being a teacher creates opportunities for students to see beyond their own community, which in turn opens doors to the whole world. Her hope this year is to see more students find a passion for mathematics.

Mrs. Victoria Vanzura (Reading Coach) is passionate about all things related to literacy. She is originally from Austin, Texas where she has 13 years of experience in education in various roles including classroom teacher, instructional coach, and reading specialist. She received her master’s degree from the University of Texas-Austin in Mentoring, Leadership, and Professional Development in 2015. Victoria has trained teachers nationally for Scholastic Education and internationally for Advanced Reasoning in Education-Project Based Learning Academies. She is currently the vice-president of the Richmond Area Reading Chapter. Victoria is proud to support Henrico County Public Schools as a Division Literacy Coach and thrilled to be serving Greenwood again for the 2019-2020 school year! 

 

Maintenance Team 

Mr. Dane Clark 

Mr. Barrett Poe

Mr. Mike Washington

Mr. Latif Yossif

 

Custodial Team

Mr. Ryan Childrey 

Ms. Jacqueline Thomas

Mr. Winston Cain

Mr. Amir Youssef

Permanent link to this article: https://greenwood.henricoschools.us/staff-bios/