Spring 2022 Cooperating Teacher Appreciation: Richmond Public Schools


May 2-6, 2022 is Teacher Appreciation Week! This week we’re sharing our gratitude for the wonderful cooperating teachers throughout Virginia who welcome our students into their classrooms for practicum and student teaching.

Below are messages of thanks from our students who have worked with these fantastic educators!

Richmond Public Schools

Binford Middle School – Kirstie Hein Sadler

Ms. Hein Sadler has been the most wonderful cooperating teacher someone could have. She’s respectful, understanding and overall a wonderful human being. She has been a joy to work with and has inspired me to be a strong and resilient art teacher in the future.

Chimborazo Elementary School – Karly Hartline

Karly Hartline is a VCU Art Education alum who is in her third year of teaching. She has spent all three of those years being Chimborazo Elementary’s beloved art teacher. I remember on our first day of practicum, walking into the office and explaining that I’m there for Karly and being told by the faculty there: “you’re lucky, Ms. Hartline is one of the best teachers around”– and they were right!

Though they have only been at Chimborazo for three years, it’s very obvious what a huge impact they have made on the school and on the students. She supports her students in every way they can; one example that warmed my heart was that there was a student who took interest in “feminine” hobbies and his mother didn’t like that, so, if he manages his behavior well, Ms. Hartline allows him to come into her classroom during recess or class breaks to do makeup, sew, and essentially practice all the hobbies he’s interested in that he can’t do at home! It was such a joy to see this and the other many ways they make sure their students feel happy, safe, and seen. Karly has given me a huge arsenal of tools and advice for teaching, and I cannot begin to express how grateful I am to have had my practicum experience with them!!

Ms. Hartline has been such a joy to work with. She’s guided my practicum partner and I through every little step possible and helped us to become comfortable in the classroom.

G.H. Reid Elementary School – Meredith Hertel

Meredith has been a fantastic partner this spring. Her flexibility and genuine care for her student teacher was extraordinary. She was always willing to provide valuable advice and a warm and welcoming example, which made the spring such a positive experience!

Huguenot High School – Amanda Pigott

Working alongside and learning from Mx.Pigott has been a wonderful and highly motivating experience. Mx.Pigott brings joy and genuine love to their students everyday, and in turn their students excitedly approach the classroom with positivity, humor, and genuine respect. Mx.Pigott has taught me the importance of teaching with kindness, and how something as small as greeting each student as they enter the classroom in morning can make the largest impact. Thank you so much for guiding me and teaching me through this practicum experience!

Huguenot High School – Lauren Bleam

I am appreciative to be working with Ms. Bleam because she took us right in and supports us with all of our decisions in the classroom! She is always there to help and guide us in the right direction when needed! Ms. Bleam has been a great teacher to work with and I have learned so much with my short period of time in her classroom!

John B. Cary Elementary School – Dr. John Holland

I have learned so much about teaching and he has given the space I need to grow. He created a space where I could learn from my mistakes. I was able to evolve and grow with his advice and I am very grateful to be able to learn from him.

Mary Munford Elementary School – Danielle Houdek

Danielle has been so amazingly welcoming to me in her classroom, and has offered me support every step of the way as I have been putting together lessons for students! My experience student teaching has been incredible thanks to her kindness. I greatly appreciate all the incredible advice she has given, and the important lessons she has allowed me to experience when teaching on my own! I’m sad to part ways now, but I know that future student teachers will love working with her as much as I have.

River City Middle School – Frank Chavez

Mr. Chavez is a vcu grad himself, he is an amazing painter and artist. Mr. Chavez is extremely caring when it comes to his students and would do anything for them. He goes above and beyond to look out for their well being.

Anna and I are so grateful to have worked alongside, and learned from Mr.Chavez! MR.C is a positive figure in his students lives, and he taught us the importance of always keeping a smile on your face & teaching with joy!

Thomas Jefferson High School – Stu Harnsberger

I am so appreciative of Stu Harnsberger for providing me with a positive learning experience. I learned so much in my eight weeks student teaching with him at TJ. He was welcoming, patient, supportive, collaborative, and gave helpful feedback. Thank you so much!

William Fox Elementary – Julie Crowder

I am so thankful to have been able to work alongside Julie Crowder at Fox. Her dedication to the school community is unparalleled, proving how art can be healing in times of tragedy. I learned not just the procedural logistics behind being an art educator, but how to advocate for myself, engage and excite the students, and connect with staff. Thank you for everything you do Ms. Crowder!