Employee Recognition

  • It is the policy of Richmond Public Schools to recognize employees who perform their duties in a meritorious manner or who demonstrate dedication and commitment through long and continued service. Recognition is given on a division-wide basis, but individual schools and departments also provide commendations.

    R.E.B. Awards for Teaching Excellence
    The R.E.B. award recognizes excellence in public education by awarding private cash grants to outstanding public school teachers from the City of Richmond and the surrounding counties. The Community Foundation and R.E.B. Foundation have partnered to present this award annually.



    RPS Teacher of the Year
    Each school nominates an outstanding teacher to become Richmond Public Schools’ "Teacher of the Year." Teachers are nominated based on the contributions they make to students, the school division and the community. The annual selection is based on "peer review."


    R.E.B. Awards for Teaching Excellence

    The awards program, which is a partnership between The Community Foundation Serving Richmond and Central Virginia and the R.E.B. Foundation, recognizes excellence in public education by awarding cash grants to outstanding public school teachers from the City of Richmond, the counties of Chesterfield, Henrico, and Hanover, and the Department of Correctional Education. Since its inception in 1988, the program has awarded $3.5 million to over 800 public school instructors as recognition for their outstanding classroom performance.

    2018 R.E.B. News: Public School Principals Recognized for Effective Leadership

    November 14, 2017;

    The Community Foundation and R.E.B. Foundation announce recipients of 2017 R.E.B. Awards for Teaching Excellence

    30 finalists recognized with cash grants totaling $180,800

    (RICHMOND, VA) – The Community Foundation and the R.E.B. Foundation recognize 30 outstanding public school teachers selected as finalists for the 2017 R.E.B. Awards for Teaching Excellence. Considered among the best in their field, these exceptional instructors demonstrate a sincere passion for teaching while also serving as mentors, coaches and champions for their students. Selected from 112 nominations submitted by students, parents and colleagues, 16 winners and 14 finalists will receive cash grants totaling $180,800.

    The R.E.B. Awards provide opportunities for area public school teachers to continue their own love of learning as they pursue adventures of a lifetime.  For Minh Jergens, an 6th grade history teacher at Bailey Bridge Middle School in Chesterfield, an R.E.B. Award of $10,000 will allow her to return to her home country of Vietnam, which she left to come to the United States with her father at the age of 9. While there, she will visit war sites to deepen her understanding of this chapter of American history that affected millions of lives, including her own.

    Christine Muse, the lead teacher at Richmond Career Education and Employment Academy, is driven to expose her students with significant cognitive disabilities to activities and experiences that will help prepare them for fully independent lives beyond the classroom. With her award of $9,500, Christine will research entrepreneurial opportunities for her students by visiting a business that employs individuals with intellectual disabilities in North Carolina, traveling to Grenada to explore an emerging program of the Grenada Downs Syndrome Association, and attending the 2018 World Downs Syndrome Congress in Glasgow, Scotland. 

    Connected by a desire to make their lessons relevant, all the 2017 awardees will have a chance to collect real-life experiences, stories and artifacts to refuel their passion for teaching and enhance their ability to bring subject matter to life for their students.


    Tiana Addai-Mensah                      Miles Jerome Jones Elementary School (RI)                        $12,000

    To visit libraries across the globe with the purpose of exchanging ideas to elevate students’ love of reading for pleasure.

    Helena Agnew                                  Cosby High School (CH)                                                              $12,000

    To study Native American crafts at the Taos Art School in New Mexico by taking classes taught by renowned Hopi, Navajo and Acoma artists.

    Heather Andre                                 Cosby High School (CH)                                                              $12,000

    To travel to Italy and England, where a cappella music originated, to gain a greater appreciation for and understanding of how to teach and perform this popular style of choral music.

    Karen Barber-Olajuwon                George Mason Elementary School (RI)                                 $12,000

    To attend workshops in the U.S. and Barbados that promote the art of poetry writing, the use of poetry as an instructional tool, and poetry as a constructive outlet for traumatic experiences.

    Alicia Broughton                             Laurel Meadow Elementary School (HA)                             $10,500

    To explore the ancient civilizations and architecture of Greece and Rome to make relevant elementary STEM connections; and to attend the 2018 ISTE conference in Chicago, Illinois.

    Michaela Dismann                          Chesterfield Career and Technical Center (CH)                  $12,000

    To gain perspectives from former students and experts at rural colleges, universities and places of rural employment to encourage student interest in large animal veterinary careers; and to gain hands-on experience with stockmanship at a Wyoming Working Ranch.

    Jerome Fleming                               Short Pump Middle School (HE)                                               $10,300

    To explore America’s historic cities and create a photo/video diary of each city to illustrate the culture and history that has made America into the diverse nation it is today.

    Eliza Gemmill                                    South Anna Elementary School (HA)                                     $8,500

    To participate in conferences, tours and interviews to learn how companies encourage innovation and how educators can connect business frameworks and philosophies to educational strategies.

    Jennifer Gradwell                            Chesterfield Juvenile Detention Home School (CH)               $11,400

    To explore the connections between poverty, education and students’ hope for the future in Niger, Uganda, and Kenya; and to gain perspective through stories of resilience in parts of Africa with the lowest literacy rates in the world.

    Minh Jurgens                                    Bailey Bridge Middle School (CH)                                            $10,000

    To visit war sites in Vietnam to deepen the understanding of a chapter in American history that impacted millions of lives.

    Jonathan Lauder                              Mills E. Godwin High School (HE)                                            $6,500

    To explore the ideas of the Enlightenment and the social and political revolutions brought to the western world by traveling to Paris, Vienna, Munich, and Philadelphia.

    Christine Muse                 Richmond Career Education and Employment Academy (RI)               $9,500

    To study entrepreneurial opportunities for people with disabilities by visiting and networking with other organizations in North Carolina, Scotland, and Grenada.

    Lindsey Pantele                                Glen Allen High School (HE)                                                      $12,000

    To study the Heroic and Classical Greek, Renaissance, and Modern literary periods through visits to several European cities.

    Todd Ritter                                        Henrico High School (HE)                                                           $10,600

    To participate in Commedia Dell’arte and mask-making workshops in Florence, Italy and to visit several theatres spanning from ancient Rome to modern day.

    Frenishee Smith                               J.E. B. Stuart Elementary School (RI)                                     $9,000

    To visit schools across the country that use innovative ways to engage students living in poverty; and to attend The International Conference on Urban Education in Nassau, Bahamas.

    Gregory Townsend                         Douglas Freeman High School (HE)                                        $12,000

    To explore the culture, archaeology, and geology of Central and South America while learning the Spanish language in an immersive setting.


    All finalists not chosen for a professional development grant will receive a $750 unrestricted cash grant in recognition of their achievements in the classroom.