Remarkable Woman: Whitney Rinella

CONCORD, Va. (WFXR)— Dr. Whitney Rinella, the principal at Concord Elementary School, is renowned for fostering an atmosphere of joy and happiness, as noted by teachers who remark, “There’s just so much happiness here.” One such teacher, Cindi Bowen, nominated Dr. Rinella and attributes the school’s positive environment directly to her influence.

Bowen expressed, “I love that every day she tells the kids ‘you are so loved.’ One time, a little boy mentioned that she tells them that every day. She truly touches their lives.”

Dr. Rinella’s love for her students, teachers, and the community shines through in her actions. Bowen’s nomination letter reflects this sentiment, stating, “Dr. Rinella treats everyone with respect and kindness. I have witnessed her going above and beyond, from helping clean after events like a color run or field day to comforting students in need.”

Regarding Dr. Rinella’s approach to leadership, Bowen remarked, “I think she finds a lot of joy and gratitude in helping others. She never discourages anyone but celebrates everyone’s victories.”

Dr. Rinella’s dedication extends beyond the school’s walls. She is preparing to run the Boston Marathon in April to raise money to bring the CYCLE Kids program to Concord Elementary. The program combines cycling, nutrition, and emotional education to improve children’s health and academic performance. Her goal is to raise $25,000 which will help to make Concord Elementary the first school in Virginia to have the program.

Speaking about her inspiration for this endeavor, Dr. Rinella shared, “A friend’s quote that resonates with me is ‘live in the world of possibilities.’ When I discovered CYCLE Kids while researching Boston Marathon charities, I knew it was the perfect fit.”

“Since 2004, we have changed the lives of children through the empowering, simple, and fun act of riding a bike. The magic of our program is the innovative combination of cycling, nutrition, and emotional education. Research has shown that school-based interventions, like the CYCLE Kids program, can improve a child’s health and academic performance. A child makes better choices and focuses better in the classroom when physically and emotionally strong.”

CYCLE Kids website

The CYCLE Kids program will have lasting benefits for students, fostering healthy habits and a love for outdoor activities and exercise.

Dr. Rinella emphasized, “This opportunity with the Boston Marathon is not about me. It’s about leaving a positive impact on our school, Concord, and the community.”

Bowen, reflecting on Dr. Rinella’s humility and dedication, added, “She does remarkable things for everyone, yet remains humble.”

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