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Staff Bio’s

 

Administrative Team

Ryan Stein feels lucky to be a part of the Greenwood family and firmly believes that nothing great can be accomplished without enthusiasm. For the past 15 years, 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 the R.E.B. Award for Teaching Excellence (2010), Virginia’s Super Teacher Award (2011) and featured on the Rachael Ray Show as a top five national educator (2012). Recently, Stein received the Chris Corallo, Distinguished Leadership Award (2017), in his first year as principal at Greenwood Elementary School, was a finalist for the R.E.B. Leadership Award for Excellence (2020), and recognized Greenwood by The Virginia Board of Education as a 2020 Board of Education Highest Achievement Award recipient.  Stein conducts college and teaching workshops throughout Virginia sharing his enthusiasm and innovative ideas on how to differentiate, engage, educate, and inspire students.  He has created music album, Ryan Stein Presents History MVP, containing 20 songs filled with the social studies content. Recently, he has written a book with Jen Berdux titled Lifeline 65: How Small Connections and Big Enthusiasm Can Change Education.  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 (6) and Bexley Anne (5).  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 serving 30 years with Henrico County Public Schools, and going strong!  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 at Skipwith Elementary School, where she taught third and fourth grade. 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. As the current Associate Principal at Greenwood, she is dedicated to unleashing the immeasurable potential of our students, through building trusting relationships with them and their families. She believes ALL children should experience success, feel valued and celebrated in our school community. Mrs. Jackson aspires to give voice to those who are muted by fear, uncertainty, doubt, or insecurity. She aspires 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; work collaboratively with Greenwood teachers and staff to create the most positive and inclusive learning environment for all students.

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. Most recently, he earned a Master’s Degree in Administration and Supervision from UVA’s Curry School of Education.  Prior to joining the Greenwood family in 2019, he served 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 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 helping our team push the educational experience forward for every student, teacher, and family, as we rise above these unprecedented challenges!

Ms. Holly Guelig,  our school counselor, is excited to start her 8th 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 an HCPS Social and Emotional Learning Content Developer, and has served in various leadership roles within her field. She has 12 years of experience working in counseling, behavioral, and mental health services. 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.

Mrs. Jacquelyn Simien-Jones aka “Mrs. Jae” is grateful to be entering her third year as Financial Secretary at the “Wood”.  Mrs. Jae was born and raised in Lake Charles, Louisiana. She is very proud to be a Louisianian from the Bayou.  With that being said, being a Greenwood GATOR is in Mrs. Jae’s DNA.  She loves the New Orleans Saints and believes strongly in FAMILY, hugs and sweet tea. Mrs. Jae’s favorite word is SPARKLE.  She says, “it is her word for LOVE”.  Mrs. Jae is always spreading SPARKLE everywhere she goes.  Mrs. Jae has been married to her wonderful husband Terrence for 26 years, they have two grown daughters’ (Ashley and Andrea).  She has five adorable granddaughters’ (Kamryn, Kaidyn, Kendall, Kenzee and Khloe) whom she calls her “Grandbugs”.  Mrs. Jae is eagerly awaiting the arrival of her first grandson (Jalen) aka Junebug in November  She also has 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 her Grandbugs, 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 20-21 school year.  GO GATORS!!!

Mrs. Anita Sikka, is excited to start her first year as Registrar at Greenwood Elementary School. She was born and brought up in India. She attained Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Delhi University and later earned Masters in Personnel Management and Industrial Relations from Pune, India. Mrs. Anita has worked in Banking and financial sector for 8 years into loan recoveries (Collections) in India. After moving to USA, she earned her second bachelor’s in human resource management from University of Maryland University College. In 2015, Mrs. Anita started working as a Substitute teacher and became an Instructional Assistant at different schools in HCPS. On personal front, Mrs. Anita is happily married and a mother of two beautiful kids aged 15 and 11. She is extremely happy to be a part of Greenwood family and would like to spread positivity and happiness in every little way possible. 

Mrs. Jennifer Chenault, our school nurse,  is excited to begin her year at Greenwood Elementary and being a SAFE Gator! She lives in Hanover with her husband Chris, her 2nd grade son, Eli, and her dog Randolph. Mrs. Chenault is a former VCU Medical nurse who transitioned to a rheumatology clinic and then to school nurse in 2017. She loves helping kids to make safe and healthy choices. She is a strong believer in preventative health and works hard to keep kids healthy and in class to make their brains grow! She enjoys spending time reading, with her family swimming, and being the loudest Mom at her son’s baseball games.  Mrs. Chenault is always there for anyone who needs her and looks forward to being part of the Greenwood Family!

 

Instructional Coaches

Mr. Danny Jones (Innovative Learning Coach) 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. 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! 

 

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.

 

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 teacher who has been teaching Exceptional Education in Henrico County for 18 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 is so excited to meet her preschool Gators and their families, and to build a joyful learning community together.

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 (2 of which attend Greenwood). She joined Greenwood in 2017 working In the cafeteria.  She then became part of our Intervention team in 2018-2019 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 fifth year as an early childhood special education teacher and her third 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 fourth year as a Greenwood Gator in the preschool autism classroom. She has over fifteen years experience working with preschool age children and holds a degree in Early Childhood Education. Mrs. Dean is married to her wonderful husband Rob and they have two daughters Abby(7) who will be a second grader this year at Greenwood and Breanna(5) who will be joining the Greenwood family as a kindergator. Mrs. Dean believes in relationships and thinks it’s important to get to know the student you are working with and find out how you can help them achieve their goals because what works for some students may not work for all. She finds joy working with the preschoolers and families. Mrs. Dean is excited for the upcoming school year and truly honored to be a part 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 has been here at Greenwood for 12 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 Syndrome, and watching her learn and grow has been especially rewarding. On the personal side, she’s been married for 25 years to her amazingly patient husband, Tom. She has 4 fantastic daughters, and 3 gorgeous granddaughters.  She also has two crazy cats. 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 5th 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 financial 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 15th year of teaching in a PreK classroom, going into her 5th year at Greenwood Elementary.  She is happily married to her amazing husband Warren, to whom she’s been married for going on 33 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 Barnesis 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.

 

 

Mrs. Jennifer Robinson Hello Gator Families! My name is Jennifer Robinson and I am a Family Advocate for Early Learning Preschool. It is an honor to work with the Greenwood Preschool families. After 13 years as a school secretary, I was ready for a career change. Now, as a Family Advocate, I work side by  side with families to provide resources and support. There is no problem that we can’t together find a solution to better the life of your child.

 

Kindergarten

Mr. Dennis Beck is pumped for his second year 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 ELL 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 very excited to meet a new group of kindergarteners and help them embody the GATOR values! He hopes to make this year the best one yet!

 

Ms. Kayla Compton is delighted to start her fourth 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 within the last three years has become a resident of Richmond and has fell in love! 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 the 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 for a magical year at Greenwood and to welcome another wonderful group of kindergartners!  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 three years before joining the Kindergarten team. 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 9th 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 and daughter, (former Greenwood Gators), Zack and Cammie, and her puppy, Milo. She looks forward to an amazing and unforgettable 2020-2021 school year!

 

Mrs. Emily Thompson is a proud product of Henrico County Public Schools. After graduating from the University of Virginia, 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 Virginia to be closer to family, and Mrs. Thompson completed a teaching graduate program at the University of Richmond. She is thrilled to be currently living her dream job as a Greenwood teacher, and she looks forward to challenging each of her students to engage in lifelong discovery and learning opportunities. She is honored to be joining the Kindergator team this Fall and believes that by encouraging each student’s creativity, inspiring curiosity, and promoting positive moral values, her students will be leaders to make the environment and the world a better place. Mrs. Thompson can not wait to meet her new Gators and welcome them into this amazing Greenwood family!

 

1st Grade

Mrs. Cindy Leigh is so proud to be a 31-year educator in Henrico County. She has been a Greenwood Gator since the school opened in 2004!  Her degrees include a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from Eastern University, and a Masters 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, and now looks forward to teaching 1st grade.  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. Her vision is to create an experience in which 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! Mrs. Leigh is excited to get her students started on their first grade journey!

 

Ms. Sarah Peña  is excited to start her eighth 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 2020-2021 school year!

Mrs. Kaitlin Johnson is in her eighth 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 nineteenth 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 not just a school…it’s so much more than that…it’s a place where magic happens!

Ms. Lyndsey Smith  has been teaching Henrico students for 7 years, her love for Henrico runs deep as a graduate of the County. She received her Masters Degree in Elementary Education from VCU (Go Rams). Ms. Smith’s favorite part about teaching first grade is seeing her students’ love for reading come to life. She loves utilizing the House System to encourage community, independence, and ownership. Her philosophy revolves around equity and inclusion, acting as a facilitator to meet all students’ needs.  Although this year may look a little different, Ms. Smith knows that with a positive outlook and the will to make it great – we will have an amazing year! Let’s Go Gators!

 

2nd Grade

Ms. Laurie Casey earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from Radford University in 1998.  She is excited to celebrate her twentieth year of teaching with Henrico County Public Schools.  She has been a proud Greenwood Gator since 2008.  Ms. Casey believes that every child comes to school with special gifts and talents to share and looks forward to helping this year’s Gators discover theirs! She strives to foster a lifelong love of learning in each of her students.  She is often found with a book in her hand at home and strives to instill that love of reading in her students. Ms. Casey is looking forward to welcoming her new Gators to the 2020-2021 school year! She cannot wait to observe the growth and many successes of her students throughout this school year.

 

Ms. Donna Kouri  is thrilled to be teaching second grade again!  Working with children who are as excited about learning as she is makes it the best part of her day. She has been teaching close to four decades. Being a teacher, is Ms. Kouri’s dream job. In fact, working with children allows Ms. Kouri to learn from her students too!  She is looking forward to forging ahead this school year with the unique beginning and cannot wait to see how the school year will end; she knows for sure there will be success at the end of this 2020-2021 school year.  Together with her students, their families, Ms. Kouri, and the Greenwood Elementary community will be successful. There is no doubt this school year will contain new experiences for all us!

 

Mrs. Karen Martin is excited to begin her fifteenth year of teaching in Henrico County and  her fifteenth 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!

 

Miss Kaitlyn Thompson is so excited for her second year at Greenwood and so pumped to join the second grade team! Miss Thompson is starting her ninth year of teaching and has had the privilege of teaching Kindergarten, second grade and third grade. She received a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education with a minor in French at Liberty University. Miss Thompson is so honored to be a part of the Greenwood family. She believes all students deserve to learn in an environment where they feel loved, encouraged, and a part of the team. Miss Thompson’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. Miss Thompson can’t wait for a year of unforgettable memories and growth!

 

3rd Grade

Ms. Tricia Conlon hails from Rehoboth Beach, Delaware and went to college at High Point University in North Carolina. In North Carolina is where Ms. Conlon began her teaching career in 3rd grade (THE BEST GRADE!) and taught for 4 years. This will be Ms. Conlon’s third year as a Gator and a proud member of the Kula family! Ms. Conlon is a firm believer in hands-on learning as well as real life experiences, she incorporates classroom transformations often to help her students prepare for the world ahead of them. When students feel like they are heard and have a hand in their learning, they are more excited to be at school and are able to face difficult tasks. Ms. Conlon is excited for the 2020-2021 school year and to make magic every day with her students!

 

Mrs. Nicolle Farrar graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology and Masters 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 25th 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 2020-2021 school year that is sure to be filled with enthusiasm towards learning!

Ms. Victoria Riss graduated from James Madison University with her Bachelors in Media Arts and Design and attended the University of Virginia where she earned her Masters in Teaching. 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 hiking, traveling, and trying new, local restaurants. Oftentimes she can be found walking her dog, Nance, working out, or practicing mindfulness meditation. She looks forward to helping fuel student curiosity and encouraging students to find answers through exploration in the 2020-2021 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 25 years and has taught ten 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 activities and strategies, 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 fourth 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 15th 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 University. This will be her ninth 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 thirtieth 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 7th year teaching and 3rd 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 13 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!

 

Mr. Troy Bishop (Board Sub) is a local from Henrico County.  He went to Springfield Park Elementary School, Short Pump Elementary School, Short Pump Middle School, Pocahontas Middle School, and finally Deep Run High School all within Henrico County.  After graduating from high school, he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in English at Longwood University.  After working at both Tuckaway Daycare and Shady Grove United Methodist Church’s Children’s Ministries, he went back to school and earned his Teaching Licenses from Old Dominion University.  He spent last year as a “jack of all trades” at Greenwood Elementary School.  He was an Instructional Assistant for 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade, a substitute teacher multiple days for all grades from Kindergarten through 5th grade, and finished the year as Mrs. Turner’s board sub.  He believes in the importance of fostering good relationships with both the students and parents and through those relationships, reaching the academic potential of every child.  He teaches because seeing growth within students is the most satisfying feeling.  As a proud member of the Tatonka House, he looks forward to meeting and working with the 2020-2021 Gators and knows that this school year will be the best to come.

Mrs. Bethany Hagberg (Board Sub) is excited about being back at Greenwood Elementary School.  She is a Special Education Teacher who attended Warren Wilson College, Western Carolina University, and currently the University of California San Diego Extension.  Both of her children attended Greenwood and she has had many roles over the years in the school: Room Parent, Copy Mom, PTA supporter, Substitute, Interventionist, and Special Education Teacher.  In her free time, Mrs. Hagberg is pursuing her Master’s Degree in English as a Second Language and spending time with her family. Mrs. Hagberg believes that all students deserve a loving environment where they are heard, respected, and can flourish. She looks forward to working with students in the classroom again, getting to know each one of them, and helping them grow as they learn.

 

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 16th year of teaching, 15 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 children keep her busy. The two oldest, Lily (7th) and Landon (4th), are also proud of their Gator heritage. Her youngest will also be joining the Gator family as a kindergartener this fall.  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 taught 5th grade for 15 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. 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 seventh 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.,  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 17 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 11 years. The 2020-2021 school year will be his 5th 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 seventh 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 the Richmond area Mr. Wilson has worked for Chesterfield County Public Schools as a middle school English teacher for two years and then transitioned to Henrico County at the fourth grade level for three years and this will be his second at the fifth 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 2020-21 school year and seeing students reach new heights!

 

Exceptional Education and Student Support

Mr. Jake Anderson is excited to start his third 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 help his 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. When not at school, Mr. Anderson enjoys being outside with is wife, 2 year old son, and his new puppy, Leia. Mr. Anderson loves sports and movies especially the Star Wars franchise. He cannot wait to have an amazing school year!

Mrs. Janiece Ross  is ready for the 2020-2021 school year! This will be here 20th year teaching and second full year at Greenwood! Mrs. Ross is a native of Richmond, VA. and graduated from Richmond City Public Schools. She earned her undergraduate degree in Human Services Counseling with a minor in Speech at Old Dominion University, Masters Degree in Special Education at Virginia State University, and Post Masters Certification in Education Leadership at The George Washington University.  Mrs. Ross’s favorite quote is “The expert at anything was once a beginner”. She often quotes it to her students as a reminder to not give up on the hard stuff, because the hard stuff won’t always be hard! She has recently seen this first hand as her daughter has gone from baby steps, to walking, to now running! Along with spending time listening to books on tape, and completing craft projects, she truly enjoys spending time with her husband, their daughter, dog Buddy, and extended family. Her plan for the year is to provide a warm memory and impactful learning and life experience for her students and the families of Greenwood that will be a positive ripple effect in the lives of many and the world!

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 14th year serving students who are differently abled and her 18th 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 eighth year of classical ballet instruction.  An avid football fan, Ms. Coates can be heard faithfully cheering on her ECU Pirates and Washington. 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 (1987) and Master’s of Science (1989) 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 in Virginia, Fayetteville, AR, and 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 an eighteen-year-old daughter who is a freshman at VCU majoring in Interior Design and a son who is a rising fifth grader at Greenwood ES. She attended St. Leo University (SLU) and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. Her experience working with exceptional education began in 2002 while working as a Paraprofessional 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. Ms. Crawford is also a Program leader with the Learning and Discovery Program for the Henrico Education Foundation, Inc. at Greenwood ES. She loves being a Greenwood gator and supporting all the students, staff, administration, and parents of this wonderful school. Ms. Crawford is looking forward to another great school year and continuing to represent as a true GATOR!  

 

Mrs. Irene Hatchett   (Instructional Assistant)  has been helping children throughout Henrico County for over 18 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. Lori Knitter (Psychologist) is the school psychologist serving Greenwood, Echo Lake, and Ratcliffe Elementary Schools. While this is her first year at Greenwood, she has been a school psychologist with Henrico County for 11 years. Mrs. Knitter taught math before returning to James Madison University for graduate degrees in school psychology. She is married to Kevin, and they have 2 awesome daughters and an ancient, spoiled dog. Mrs. Knitter is passionate about making sure that kids have the tools they need to grow socially, emotionally, and academically. She firmly believes that (in the words of author Ross Greene) “kids do well if they can. ”  She has led several PLCs and given professional development seminars on helping to identify and solve kids’ unsolved problems. Mrs. Knitter was the Christie Award nominee for Johnson Elementary School in 2015. In her free time she enjoys reading, canoeing, being outside, and hanging out with her family. Mrs. Knitter’s other passion is being the Feed My Starving Children Coordinator at Gayton Church, which has provided and packed over 2 million meals for hungry kids thus far.

 

Mrs. Angela Metz-White is our school social worker and has been serving Greenwood Elementary for six 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 (Occupational Therapist)  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 16 years. Mrs. Perkins has two children, one active in the US Marines and one attending 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. 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. Bobby Brackett is thrilled to be joining the Greenwood community for his first year. He grew up in Lawrenceville, NJ and graduated from The College of New Jersey in 2017. Before coming to Virginia, he earned his Master’s Degree in Business Administration at Wheeling Jesuit University while beginning his college coaching career. Bobby moved to Virginia in the Summer of 2019 to continue to coach college basketball at Randolph Macon College in Ashland. Along with his passion for helping others through the game of basketball, he has helped run numerous youth camps throughout the community each summer.

 

 

Ms. Dominique Dowling is currently in her third year at George Mason University where she is pursuing in Bachelors in Integrative Studies with a Concentration in Liberal Arts for the Teaching Profession. She spent most of her younger years in Henrico County Public Schools and is a proud graduate of Glen Allen High School. She has a passion for working with students and molding young minds to be able to make an impact as they grow older. While at George Mason University she has served as the President and Vice President of the GMU Chapter of the NAACP, the Diversity and Inclusion Committee Co-Chair for Student Government, an ambassador for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, and has sat on multiple committees and taskforces dedicated to anti-racism and inclusion. She is very excited and honor to be working as an Instructional Assistant at Greenwood and to be a helping hand in any way possible! 

 

Resource Team

Ms. Melissa Elkins (PE)is thrilled to begin her third year of teaching and second 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. 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 or hug! 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!  

Mr. Darren Goolsby (PE) is so excited to be back teaching at Greenwood!  This is his 3rd year of teaching for Henrico County Public Schools with his primary school at Chamberlayne Elementary.  Mr. Goolsby is a graduate of Longwood University with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Exercise Science.  His vision is to teach the importance of an active and healthy lifestyle and bring back joy in exercise.  He loves seeing the growth and improvement students make throughout the year and is excited for another awesome year of teaching!  In his spare time, Mr. Goolsby enjoys going to the gym and being active outside.  He also enjoys spending time with friends and family.

 

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 University. She has worked in school libraries for over 17 years, and this is her 8th year at Greenwood.  She is grateful for her husband and two teenage sons, and spends time outside of school reading, geocaching and cheering for her boys’ wrestling teams.  Mrs. Coward believes that every student deserves to see themselves represented in the literature that surrounds them, that they develop empathy by reading about different life experiences than their own, that the library is a place to help them learn to think critically, become knowledgeable researchers, grow as global citizens, collaborate, engineer, create, and make.  Her vision for the library and library time is that it should always be a safe space for students to be themselves, ask questions, pursue passions, and share ideas. She knows that this year will look different than previous years, but will do everything she can to make it an amazing experience for our gators!  Virtual or in person, she can’t wait to help her students fall in love with reading and become lifelong learners.

Mrs. Andrea Hobbs (Library)  is thrilled to begin her eighth 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 and two cats. 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 fifth 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 10 and 11. 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 2020-2012 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. Rachel Crank (Art) is beginning her sixth year teaching art in Henrico County and is so excited to be joining the Greenwood team as the adjunct art teacher!  She grew up in Richmond and was a student herself at Chamberlayne Elementary many years before becoming Chamberlayne’s art teacher.  She is married, has two dogs named Arlo and Birdy and loves to play roller derby in her spare time.  She believes in fostering community in the classroom through inclusivity and open communication.  She has a passion for the environment and current events and believes that art can be used as a tool for change.  Her plan for this school year is to get to know the Gator team and celebrate new relationships and ideas!

 

Mrs. Maria Murphy (Music)  is excited to begin her 31st year in Henrico County and her 13th 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 her 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 nephew and two nieces.

 

Mrs. Amelia Kirchgessner (Music) is so excited to be joining the Greenwood team as the adjunct music teacher! She is a graduate of Henrico County and holds a Bachelors in Music Education from Longwood University. Kirchgessner is also certified in Level One Orff Schulwerk. This will be her third year of teaching and has been at her home school, Chamberlayne Elementary, but she’s ecstatic to be sharing her love for music between two schools. When she is not dancing around the room or playing xylophones with her students, after school hours she loves to to watch tv, spend time with her husband, and play with her two crazy cats!

 

 

Mrs. Shannon Wakefield (Gifted) is thrilled to join the Greenwood family for her fifth year as the Gifted Resource Teacher and 12th 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 loves 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 6th year as the LIEP teacher at Greenwood and her 16th 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. 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 continue to build on current relationships with her students, 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 looks forward to another year of teaching and learning from her students.

 

Maintenance Team 

Mr. Dane Clark 

Mr. Mike Washington

 

Custodial Team

Mr. Amir Youssef

Ms. Jacqueline Thomas

Mr. Mina Faltas 

 

 

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