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Richmond teacher wins $30,000 in nationwide CIA competition

A Richmond teacher is $30,000 richer after winning a nationwide competition held by the CIA.
Published: Apr. 20, 2022 at 4:32 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - A Richmond teacher is $30,000 richer after winning a nationwide competition held by the CIA.

Rhonda Hawley, a teacher at Linwood Holton Elementary, was entirely surprised when she was presented with the check in her classroom. Her school principal kept it a secret until the last minute as Hawley jumped in the air out of excitement.

“I cannot believe we won. I am still in shock and so completely excited,” said Hawley. “We were wondering since we had not heard anything in a while, but for this to happen is just incredible.”

Hawley is one of three teachers to be the winner of ‘The Central Intelligence Agency Mission Possible Makerspace Nation Competition.’ It is part of the CIA’s ongoing efforts to strengthen STEAM - classes related to science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics.

Hawley submitted a video to the competition showing what a normal day in her classroom looked like, along with plans on what they would do with the money should they win.

“We don’t have a set of computers for STEAM. The kids would have to bring their classrooms down every single day - so that is number one. I really want to get a classroom set,” said Hawley. “Maybe we could even do 3D printers; it’s all in the air.”

Now it is a possibility. The money will be dedicated to enhancing Hawley’s classroom and school with the latest technology.

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