Denise Maples

Position: General Assistant

School: Woodstock Elementary School

School District: Virginia Beach City Public Schools

City, State: Virginia Beach, Virginia

About the Nominee: Charlene "Denise" Maples was nominated by her colleague, Amy Dirks.

Denise Maples is an amazing, whimsical Woodstock woodchuck, who wears many hats at her school! Her primary position is general assistant for the Reading team; she works with six groups of struggling readers each day. In addition, Ms. Maples helps out in the clinic, monitors school reading materials, coordinates the Helping Hands committee and Beach Bags program, manages the school store and is the school's Virginia Beach Education Association (VBEA) representative. She initiates projects at Woodstock Elementary that unite faculty, including making a quilt for a terminally ill teacher, wearing red for Heart Day, designing and making costumes for Literacy Nights, etc. Ms. Maples is exemplary in every way, and she has been a LifeChanger for all of the students and staff at Woodstock Elementary!

Posted in LifeChanger of the Year Nominees 2016-2017 and tagged .


  1. Denise is one of the hardest working people that I have ever known. She spends most of her day teaching reading skills to various groups of students. She is the facilitator of the Helping Hands committee and the Beach Bags program. Denise runs our school store in the mornings and helps with the clinic, the cafeteria, and daycare buses throughout the day. She helps prepare for Literacy Night and many other events sponsored by our school. Denise designs creative bulletin boards, Literacy night costumes, makes quilts for sick co-workers, and helps staff members in times of crisis. She is one amazing Life Changer at Woodstock Elementary School. We are so lucky to have her as part of our staff.

  2. I am a 30 year teaching veteran in Virginia Beach. Although I am retired now, I returned to teaching in a part time position at Woodstock last year. Denise was one of the first staff members I met. She made me feel so welcomed and included right away. I wasn’t sure at first what her position was because she was so involved in every area of the school. I am especially impressed with what she does for the students in need. She uses any and all resources available for the good of the students. Beach Bags is one of her passions. This program provides food for our students on the weekends insuring that they don’t go hungry when away from school. She always has a kind, encouraging word and a smile on her face. The world would be a nicer place if everyone had a heart like Denise!

  3. I am a new member of the Literacy team this year & in my short time at Woodstock I realize how valuable Denise is & how deserving she is of this award. I highly recommend her!

  4. Denise Maples is an amazing teacher! I have the privilege of being a former student of hers and now my students get to work with her. She is a true gem in our community. I highly recommend her!

  5. I do believe angels walk among us and that Denise Maples is a shining example. There is no one in need that gets overlooked by her. There is no challenge she is not willing to accept if it will benefit someone else. She has done so much for Woodstock School and the community at large while raising two great sons. Denise uses her talents (she’s an outstanding photographer) and her passion to make this world so much better. She is highly deserving of this award!

  6. Denise is the true pulse of our school. She always has a smile and positive words to share with others, no matter how busy she is. There is nothing that she would not do if asked to do it. She inspires so many teachers and staff. More importantly she inspires students to do their very best at all times. She raises everyone up!

  7. I haven’t had the pleasure of working with Mrs. Maples yet, but I did meet her one day in the cafeteria and she was so wonderful! Hope to get to do more with her!

  8. Mrs.Maples is a true blessing to Woodstock! Every morning I look forward to seeing her greeting all of the Students,Parents and Teachers with a beautiful smile. Her love for reading has made so many of Woodstock students want to read with a smile She deserves this award!

  9. Denise’s compassion drives her passion for her students, job, and community. In 21 years at Woodstock, I’ve never heard her say, “I’m going to work.” It’s always been, “I’m going to school.” She volunteered for 3 years before she was hired there. She gives assignment and opportunity 100%.

  10. I was the Reading Specialist at Woodstock Elementary for 5 1/2 years and Denise was my assistant. I call her my assistant, but honestly she ran the reading department. She had been at Woodstock from many years prior to me coming on board. She showed me the ropes in the reading department. There is no way that department could have run as smoothly as it did had she not been there with me. I could always count on Denise for anything. She worked with student groups, individual students and assisted teachers in their classrooms. She also ran the student bookstore where all the students would walk by in the mornings as they entered the school expecting to see her and receive her morning greetings. She is also very active in her community and her church and is devoted to her husband and sons each and every day. She is an overall Lifechanger to all who have the honor of meeting her. She would definitely wear this title well and 110% deserves this honor.

  11. What a lucky school to have Denise on board. She gives so much of herself. She is an asset to the school and the students.

  12. When you took this job I never imagined you would still be doing it forever. You love the school, the children and staff. It is your mission to have served Woodstock. All the extra things you do make you a irreplaceable member of the team.

  13. Denise gives so much of herself to make others see the positive and joy in their own lives. She is so deserving of this honor.

  14. Denise has an enthusiastic personality that brightens the life of anyone she is around. She is certainly a go-getter and an asset to any project. We LOVE you Ms. Denise! Let your LIGHT shine brightly!

  15. Denise is a role model for every one of us at Woodstock! We are so very fortunate to have her working with our students and with us!

  16. Denise is much deserving of this award. She not only touches the lives of our Woodstock students every day, she changes their lives for the better.

  17. Denise Maples is very deserving of this award. She has been a part of all 3 of my children’s lives as they passed through Woodstock. My oldest is 22 and my youngest finished her last year at Woodstock last year. She always has a smile on her face and friendly words to speak about everyone she comes in contact with.

  18. She is amazing! I love working with her and know that I can count on her to be there for a student, a family or co-worker! She is a great friend!

  19. Denise is such an humble servant. She is constantly busy looking for new ideas and strategies to help her struggling readers. She is also involved in many other projects such as Beach Bags that no one knows about. Denise is truly deserving of this award.

  20. Denise is an amazing person. I have been blessed to work with her for 8 years and watch her put students first every minute of every school day. She is always willing to lend a hand and a kind word. Denise has a beautiful attitude. She deserves this award.

  21. Denise Maples is one of the kindest, hard working, and generous people I’ve ever known. My family and I had recently moved into a new home and had just begun demo for renovations. Shortly after moving in, I found out the cancer, I thought I was free of, returned. When I was going through the difficult time, she gathered friends and her husband to come to my house and paint, pull up old carpet, scrape off wallpaper, and so much more. She listened when I struggled. She fed my family. She changed my life forever. She gives that love and positive energy to all those around her. It was a pleasure to work with her, and an honor to call her friend.

  22. Denise Maples is a wonderful teacher’ assistant who has devoted hours of her time to making a difference in the lives of so many students! As a retired teacher with 27 years of experience, I highly recommend her!

  23. Denise is the most deserving person I can think of for this award. She has changed the lives of so many of our families with her kind and generous spirit.

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