Great Dreams Need Great Teachers: Denise Rapp

After 32 years of service with Virginia Beach City Public Schools, first-grade teacher Denise Rapp is retiring. For Rosemont Forest Principal Greg Furlich, Rapp’s retirement is bittersweet.

“I love Mrs. Rapp. I’m sad she’s retiring. She’s a wonderful teacher and person,” he said.

Furlich is not the only one who thinks Rapp is terrific. Parent Colette Benko contacted the Great Dreams Need Great Teachers campaign to share her praise for the teacher she sees making a difference in the lives of children.

“Mrs. Rapp has been teaching for 30+ years and she’s just been amazing! She loves to teach and you can see and feel how much love she has for what she does!” wrote Benko in her email to

You can also see and feel how much love her students have for Rapp when you visit her classroom. They were overjoyed to see her recognized in a surprise Great Dreams Need Great Teachers presentation by Sean Walker and Kathleen Starr, elementary school directors in the Department of School Leadership.

Walker read Benko’s email to the first-grade class: “Each morning I witness all her former students coming to her for hugs and not only does she give them a hug, she tells them to have a great day. Her past students know they can always count on her.”

Benko noted that Rapp comes in early and stays late “to make sure she has everything ready for the kids to come in and learn.”

“She’s been a blessing to my family and so many others!” concluded Benko.

As part of the surprise visit, Rapp received a gift from Great Dreams Need Great Teachers campaign sponsor iFly. She selected a pass for free iFly flights – to add a little more adventure to the start of her retirement years.

Read more from Benko’s letter about Rapp on the Great Dreams Need Great Teachers website.


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