Karen Robinson Grindley is Dreher's 2019-2020 Teacher of the Year
Congratulations to our 2019-2020 Teacher of the Year at Dreher, Karen Robinson-Grindley, selected by her peers from among a most worthy group of candidates. Ms. Robinson-Grindley is shown inthe photo on the left, along with Principal Jeanne Stiglbauer and 2018-2019 Teacher of the Year, Courtney Holden.
Ms. Robinson-Grindley has been teaching math for seventeen years and arrived at Dreher at the start of the 2013-2014 school year. She received her Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from the University of the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica and earned her Masters in Education, Leadership at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia.
At Dreher Ms. Robinson-Grindley has taught Algebra I and II at the College-Prep level, Algebra II Honors, Discrete Math, and Pre-Calculus Honors. She serves as chair of the Math Department.
In her biography for this honor, Ms. Robinson-Grindley stated,
"My greatest contributions and accomplishments will always be about my students’ success. Success comes in different forms and depending on the group that I am teaching, it could possibly be 100% passage rate in Algebra 1CP to a student being able to pass his/her first test or a student having an A in math for the very first time. I have experienced it all. I have long realized that teaching takes more than just my content knowledge, I have to teach students character building and moral values. One of the biggest opportunity I have as a teacher is to inspire students, to accomplish their goals or set goals some may never imagine they would accomplish. Each year as I enter the classroom, I look forward to inspiring students who will represent our future."
Candace Jacobs is Dreher's 2019-2020 Classified Employee of the Year
Dreher’s newest Classified Employee of the Year, nominated by her peers, is Candace Jacobs. Ms. Jacobs has been a faithful employee of Dreher for twelve years. For the past eight, she has served as an instructional assistant in a self-contained classroom of students with moderate intellectual disabilities. Her lead teacher, Rebecca Smith-Hill, says of Ms. Jacobs: “(she) is like my right hand in my classroom. She does anything I ask of her, cheerfully, and she has incredible rapport with our students.”
At any given time of day, a visitor to Dreher likely would see Ms. Jacobs accompanying her students around the building. She brings them to general education and PE classes, the cafeteria, the Media Center, the nurse’s room and the bus stop. That same visitor likely would overhear Ms. Jacobs conversing with her charges. She speaks to them with kindness, respect, and enthusiasm. She transforms their trips around the school into opportunities to explain, direct, and teach. For example, she helps students care for the flowers and plants in the main office and lobby. Our receptionist, Carol Sharpe, observes this interaction between Ms. Jacobs and her students and remarks, “I have watched her with the students as they make their way around the building and have been how loving she is, as well as patient, in guiding them.”
Ms. Jacobs truly lives her motto, “People will forget what you said and what you did, but never forget how you made them feel.” Ms. Jacobs says of her co-workers and students, “My goal each day…is to leave them feeling important, appreciated and most importantly supported.”
In addition to devoting her time and talents to her students, Ms. Jacobs also manages two businesses “in her spare time” and recently earned her real estate license.