Meet the Administration
Throughout his years in education, Cordell Watkins has learned to encourage and adopt a culture of “Yes!” that invites opportunity and creates value for all stakeholders. Prior to being named Interim Principal at Chimborazo Elementary, Mr. Watkins had the pleasure to work at J.L. Francis Elementary as an Assistant Principal for the past five years. During this time, he led a number of teams in creating systems, processes and procedures that resulted in immediate academic success for our young scholars. In addition to his role as an Assistant Principal, he has had the honor to teach under and learn from a variety of leaders across eight schools within the division since the beginning of his tenure at Richmond Public Schools in 2001. He holds a master’s degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from Virginia Tech University and a bachelor’s of science in education from Old Dominion University.
Ms. Gross is serving in her second year as assistant principal at Chimborazo. She is a former 8th grade IB and collaborative English teacher at Fairfield Middle School in Henrico, VA where she also served as an Administrative Aide and Athletic Director. She was named the Henrico County Public Schools' Gilman Teacher of the Year in 2018. In 2018, she also received an R.E.B. Award for Teaching Excellence by the Community Foundation of Greater Richmond. This award included a $12,000 grant that she used to travel to Ghana, Africa where she explored the history, culture, and landscapes that have influenced world literature.
Ms. Gross's experiences during her 12 years in the classroom have included teaching 6th and 7th grade reading and RtI Tier 2 & 3 reading on 6th, 7th, and 8th grade levels. She has also served as a Mentor Coordinator, overseeing new teachers, and she has also served as a School Committee Leader for the Coalition of Equitable and Inclusive Communities within Henrico County Public Schools.
In 2005, Ms. Gross received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Virginia State University. She earned her Master of Science in Education with a specialization in Reading and Literacy from Capella University in 2016. In August of 2019, Ms. Gross received an endorsement in Administration and Supervision through Longwood University. She holds a postgraduate professional teaching license with endorsements as a Virginia Reading Specialist, Secondary English, and K-12 Administration and Supervision.