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Middle school English teacher is CCPS Teacher of the Year

Pictured left to right: Brian McGill (Tomahawk Creek Middle), J.P. Gates (Greenfield Elementary) and Kathryn "Katy" Clarke (Bird High).

Brian McGill, who teaches English at Tomahawk Creek Middle School, is the 2024 Chesterfield County Teacher of the Year. He has taught in Chesterfield County Public Schools since 2008, first at Carver Middle and since 2020 at Tomahawk Creek Middle. Previously, he taught in schools in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York.

Every Chesterfield County school annually selects its Teacher of the Year. Chesterfield County Public Schools selects from those honorees an Elementary School Teacher of the Year, a Middle School Teacher of the Year and a High School Teacher of the Year, then chooses the districtwide Teacher of the Year from those three honorees. Each year, Chesterfield County Public Schools leaders notify the top three Teachers of the Year of their selection by sweeping into their classrooms with balloons, banners and big excitement. Here are the top 2024 teachers for Chesterfield County Public Schools:

In letters presented to the district’s top three Teachers of the Year, Superintendent Mervin Daugherty wrote, “In every school and at every level, certain teachers stand out. These teachers demonstrate care and compassion, stress the importance of rigor and relationships and do the extra things necessary to help move our students toward success. They are committed to being game changers. You are one of our teaching superstars.”

Congratulations to the Teachers of the Year from every Chesterfield County school:

Elementary schools

  • Bellwood: Briannah Ortega
  • Bensley: Victoria Travis
  • Beulah: Frances “Mandy” Willis
  • Bon Air: Melissa Lehman
  • Chalkley: Tess Aylor
  • Chester Early Childhood Learning Academy: Julie Gray
  • Chesterfield Virtual School: Suzanne Stines
  • Marguerite Christian: Megan Colpo
  • Clover Hill: Kathy Loppacker
  • Crenshaw: Maria Castillo
  • Crestwood: Anna Wampler
  • Curtis: Dylan Robeson
  • Davis: Greta Harris
  • Ecoff: Kelly Smith
  • Enon: Christi Brubaker
  • Ettrick: Michelle Dorchak
  • Evergreen: Angela Cross
  • Falling Creek: Elizabeth Metzfield
  • Gates: Jessica Dolan
  • Gordon: DeShonna Smith
  • Grange Hall: Sarah Palmatier
  • Greenfield: J.P. Gates
  • Harrowgate: Bridget Annunziata
  • Hening: Isabel Rubinos
  • Hopkins: Kelly Mattei
  • Jacobs Road: Lauren Jamison
  • Matoaca: Molly Osterbind
  • Moseley: Christa Godfrey
  • Old Hundred: Stephanie Smith
  • Providence: Michelle Scheer
  • Reams Road: James “Zak” Devore
  • Robious: Tayler Cross
  • Salem Church: Brooke Gallion
  • Elizabeth Scott: Elise Hughes
  • Alberta Smith: Jenna Toth
  • Spring Run: Steven Kaminski
  • Swift Creek: Kelly Scanlon
  • Watkins: Dianna Yolango
  • Bettie Weaver: Megan Fishell
  • Wells: Jared Robles
  • Winterpock: Harley Fore
  • Woolridge: Stephanie Schunder

Middle schools

  • Bailey Bridge: Reeshida Smith
  • Carver: Alexis Wood
  • Elizabeth Davis: Kevin Heise
  • Falling Creek: Jessica King
  • Manchester: Nicole Boyd
  • Matoaca: Elissa Hughes
  • Midlothian: Christopher King
  • Providence: Sheridan Summer
  • Robious: Jessica Martin
  • Salem Church: Monika Halligan
  • Swift Creek: Tomas Lengel
  • Tomahawk Creek: Brian McGill

High schools

  • Bird: Kathryn “Katy” Clarke
  • Carver College and Career Academy: Katie Marsh
  • CCPSOnline: Sara Noblin
  • Chesterfield Career and Technical Center @ Courthouse: Will Willis
  • Chesterfield Career and Technical Center @ Hull: Ashley Harwood
  • Clover Hill: Dan Waidelich
  • Cosby: Bobby Herting
  • Thomas Dale: Kimberly Leggette
  • James River: Serena “Maria” Manning
  • Manchester: Ashley Patrick
  • Matoaca: Leah Mineo
  • Meadowbrook: Bessie Laws
  • Midlothian: Elizabeth “Betsy” Marshall
  • Monacan: Julie Coleman

Celebrating Black History Month 

February is Black History Month. Throughout the month, we'll share history, achievements and activities that highlight and honor the influence of African Americans in our community and nation.

Gordon Elementary is sweet on pickleball

Gordon Elementary students swing into the week with lively games of pickleball on Mondays. The nation's fastest growing sport is a fun way to exercise and build community, says PE teacher Anthony Johns. Check out this video about pickleball at Gordon Elementary.

Town halls focus on proposed budget and priorities

Superintendent Mervin B. Daugherty proposed his FY 2025 budget during a Jan. 23 work session. You can view that presentation here; watch a video of the School Board work session here; and review budget details here (including how to contact elected leaders).

The $913.7 million budget reflects commitment to continued educational excellence and addresses three sets of priorities:

  • Compensation and required increases: Providing a 4% salary increase to employees and allowing for increased costs for services and state-mandated increases 
  • Maintaining service levels: Continuing the quality education and support services our community values
  • Additional needs: Addressing other needed items for schools based on final state revenue numbers

Public meetings throughout January and February offer opportunities to learn about the FY 2025 budget and speak up about your priorities. Here are remaining town halls and School Board work sessions:

  • A budget town hall will take place at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 5 at Thomas Dale High (3626 W. Hundred Road), which is in the Bermuda District.
  • The School Board will hold a second work session on the budget at 4 p.m. Feb. 6 in the Public Meeting Room.
  • A budget town hall will take place at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 7 at Midlothian Middle (13501 Midlothian Turnpike), which is in the Midlothian District.
  • On Feb. 13 in the Public Meeting Room, the School Board will hold a third work session on the budget at 4 p.m., then will hold a public hearing on the budget at the start of a 6:30 p.m. business meeting.
  • The School Board will meet to adopt the budget at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 22 in the Public Meeting Room.

Budget work sessions and public hearings are livestreamed at and shown on Comcast channel 98 and Verizon channel 28.

Time is running out to submit student art

Today is the deadline for students to create artwork that may be featured in a new headquarters being built for Chesterfield County Public Schools. All students in Chesterfield County Public Schools (from prekindergarten through 12th grade) are encouraged to create an original work of visual art in a medium of their choice that expresses the contest theme of “Better Together.” Designs will be judged on the creative use and communication of the theme. Only two-dimensional works, please. Entries are due by 11:59 p.m. Feb. 2. There are two ways to submit artwork: 

We’re hiring for high-needs schools

Chesterfield County Public Schools is holding a virtual job fair seeking teachers for high-needs schools. Candidates must apply by Feb. 11 to be considered for an interview. CCPS high-needs schools are Bellwood Elementary, Chalkley Elementary, Ettrick Elementary, Falling Creek Elementary, Hopkins Elementary, Carver Middle, Falling Creek Middle, Matoaca Middle, Salem Church Middle, Bird High and Meadowbrook High. Applications will be reviewed, and qualifying teachers will be invited to a virtual interview Feb. 12-16. Questions? Call 804-748-1984 or email

Space remains in adult education classes

There is still time to register for adult education classes offered by Chesterfield County Public Schools. One opportunity that is starting soon is Medical Assistant 1, which begins Feb. 12. The class costs $775 and meets 6-9 p.m. on Mondays and Thursdays through May 23. You can register online for this class and other classes, including additional workforce training courses, enrichment classes, GED assistance and English language skills. The school system's website offers details about adult education. Questions? Call 804-768-6140.

Resources for grandparents who are raising children

Chesterfield County Public Schools will join other organizations on Feb. 20 to offer information for grandparents and other relatives who are raising children during a Kinship Program and Resource Fair. This flyer provides details in English and in Spanish.

Dates that may be useful

February is Black History Month, Career and Technical Education Month and VSBA School Board Appreciation Month. Other commemorations and celebrations include:

  • Feb. 5-9 is National School Counseling Week.
  • Feb. 11 is International Day of Women and Girls in Science.
  • Feb. 11-17 is Virginia Kindness Week. 
  • Feb. 11-17 is Future Business Leaders of America Week.
  • Feb. 14 is Crossing Guard Appreciation Day.
  • Feb. 15 is School Resource Officer Appreciation Day.
  • Feb. 15 is Digital Learning Day.
  • Feb. 17 is PTA Founders’ Day.
  • Feb. 18-24 is Engineers Week.
  • Feb. 19 is Presidents Day.
  • Feb. 22 is School Bus Driver Appreciation Day.
  • Feb. 22 is Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day.
  • Feb. 26-March 1 is Public Schools Week.
  • Feb. 29 is Leap Day.

Seeking feedback

Chesterfield County Public Schools seeks feedback on its use of funds from the American Rescue Plan Act Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief fund. Please click here to submit comments or ideas.

Chesterfield Virtual School is open to grades K-8 

Registration for the Chesterfield Virtual School opens Feb. 5 for Chesterfield County students in grades K-8. As Virginia’s first virtual school, the Chesterfield Virtual School provides the opportunity to learn with teachers from across the country and students from all over Chesterfield County. This creates a powerful and unique tapestry of diversity.

The Chesterfield Virtual School works for students who are self-sufficient and self-driven. School days begin at 7:45 a.m. with morning meetings. Before students are dismissed for the day at 2:15 p.m., teachers cover all core academic subjects. After-school clubs offer additional connections for students. The Chesterfield Virtual School also offers gifted instruction, honors classes, special education and ESL. 

  • Enrollment for new students begins Feb. 5 and ends April 28.
  • The website offers details about the Chesterfield Virtual School and will include an enrollment form starting Feb. 5.

CCPSOnline registration opens Feb. 5

Students in grades 9-12 can register for CCPSOnline classes starting Feb. 5. With learning available 24/7 in a no-bells, no-limits virtual environment, the flexibility of CCPSOnline classes can help high school students create the schedule they want. Act now to take advantage of this Chesterfield County Public Schools opportunity:

  • CCPSOnline registration for summer 2024 and for the 2024-25 school year begins at 9 a.m. Feb. 5 and ends at 5 p.m. April 28.
  • Students and parents are invited to a virtual info session about CCPSOnline at 6:30 p.m. March 4; click this link to join the discussion. Also, students can talk to their school counselor about how CCPSOnline may fit into their schedule. 
  • The website offers details about CCPSOnline and will include an enrollment form starting Feb. 5.

Families invited to free “Frida Kahlo” opera

Chesterfield County Public Schools families with students in grades K-6 are invited to a free performance of “Frida Kahlo and the Bravest Girl in the World.” The Virginia Opera will present two performances that tell the real-life story of a young girl living in Mexico City and her friendship with famed artist Frida Kahlo, who paints her portrait.

Families can use this form to reserve free seats for

  • 6:30 p.m. Feb. 5 performance at Meadowbrook High
  • 6:30 p.m. Feb. 7 performance at Elizabeth Davis Middle

Questions? Call 804-639-8632.

ADHD is topic of Feb. 7 Coffee & Conversation

A virtual Coffee & Conversation discussion will focus on ADHD. The CCPS Office of Family and Community Engagement will host the free webinar 1-2 p.m. Feb. 7, and Melissa Ackley of Chesterfield Mental Health Prevention Services will be the featured speaker. Click here to register and to see upcoming Coffee & Conversation topics.

High school students invited to Feb. 24 RVA Teen Summit

High school students are invited to attend the RVA Teen Summit on Feb. 24. This is the second year for the event, which is designed to connect central Virginia students and provide a safe space for them to speak out. This flyer provides details. Free and open to CCPS high school students, the summit will take place at the Richmond Convention Center with transportation provided from four hubs. Students can get a permission slip here or at their school’s front office. Completed permission slips are due by Feb. 15 either returned to the front office at your child's school or emailed to

Honoring senior adults who volunteer

The Chesterfield County Senior Volunteer Hall of Fame is accepting nominations through April 5. For more information, email or call 804-768-7878.

Nominations are open for R.E.B. Awards for Teaching Excellence

Nominate outstanding teachers for R.E.B. Awards for Teaching Excellence! The program is accepting nominations through 5 p.m. Feb. 20. About 15 central Virginia teachers are selected each year to receive amazing grants up to $15,000 to support professional development. Award winners have earned graduate degrees, climbed mountains, traced their ancestors and met peers from around the world — all to continue their love for learning and to pass it on to their students. Details can be found on the foundation’s website.

Students can apply by Feb. 11 for I’m Determined event

The 2024 I'm Determined Youth and Family Summit is a three-day event sponsored by the Virginia Department of Education and the Partnership for People With Disabilities at Virginia Commonwealth University. Youth with disabilities meet to network and discuss issues of importance. Youth ages 14-18 and families will learn about three key components of self-determination: competence, autonomy and relatedness. Students who would like to be considered for attendance at this summer event can submit this application by Feb. 11. Parents will attend separate sessions built specifically for them.

Resources for families of students in special education

  • Guide to special education: Available from the Virginia Department of Education is the Virginia Family's Guide to Special Education. The department developed this new guide to help those involved in special education, whether as families, teachers, school administrators, advocates or students. Meeting the needs of children with disabilities requires an understanding of rights and responsibilities, which include the child’s rights and the school’s responsibilities to meet their needs. This guide includes a description of the special education process and what is required during each step of that process. The guide is currently available in English; translations will soon be available in Spanish, Arabic, Amharic, Urdu and Vietnamese.

Neurodiversity speaker series starts in February

Families and educators who support neurodivergent youth are always looking for trusted, helpful and practical resources to support neurodiversity. The Neurodiversity Speaker Series includes free, virtual events (Feb. 7, March 26, May 9, Aug. 29 and Sept. 24) crafted with their specific needs in mind. Go online for details and registration information. The series is presented by the Parent Venture, Children’s Health Council, Compass High School, REEL2E and the RILEY Project, with funding from the Educating All Learners Alliance.

Free dental cleanings on Feb. 3

Glowing Smiles Dentistry is offering free cleanings, fluoride and sealants for children from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Feb. 3. The dental office is located in Suite 120 at 9097 Atlee Station Road in Hanover County.