Why I have a digital portfolio…
A major initiative for this school district has been the development and implementation of Compass to 2015: A Strategic Plan for Student Success. A strategy in the strategic plan is the intent to engage students in the task of building digital portfolios. Research shows that this technological, reflective instructional practice is beneficial to students who often appreciate the creativity and innovation required to accomplish the task. As superintendent, I have asked that teachers to be trained in supervising the production of these portfolios so they can guide their students appropriately in producing such work products. As I reflected on this initiative, I felt it only fair that I try my hand at this, too. So I have taken the time to share presentations to key audiences; my monthly superintendent’s report to the School Board; photos of my travels in the schools; and of course, my biography.
If there is something you would like to see added to this page, please email me with your suggestion at email@example.com. Check back often as this page will be updated on a regular basis. And thanks for visiting!
Superintendent’s Spotlight Award
Recognizing employees for their positive contributions to the school division is important. In support of this, the Superintendent’s Spotlight Award was created to honor those employees who go far beyond what is expected of them each and every day and consistently meet and exceed job performance standards. To thank these exemplary employees, I personally visit every one of the award winners at his or her workplace to offer congratulations in addition to a special plaque and “spotlight” pin. Take a look at these outstanding employees featured in the employee newsletter Kaleidoscope:
• March 2008
• September 2008
• February 2009
• September 2009
• February 2010
• June 2010
• September 2010
• February 2011
• June 2011
• February/March 2012
- Superintendent Dr. James G. Merrill assumed the superintendency of Virginia Beach City Public Schools (VBCPS), the largest school division in Hampton Roads and third largest in the state, in July 2006. Since that time, his overriding mission has been to ensure that all students will graduate with the skills they need to succeed as 21st Century learners, workers, and citizens.
- During his tenure in Virginia Beach, Dr. Merrill has spearheaded the creation and implementation of Compass to 2015: A Strategic Plan for Student Success, which focuses on a single goal – all VBCPS students will be academically proficient, effective communicators and collaborators, globally aware, independent and responsible learners and citizens as well as critical and creative thinkers, innovators and problem solvers.
- He has also strategically developed and sustained a three-quarter billion dollar operating budget in the face of difficult economic times as well as facilitated a long-range plan for improving school facilities.
- At the Virginia Association of School Superintendents' (VASS) annual conference in Roanoke on May 8, 2012, Superintendent Dr. James G. Merrill was named the Virginia Superintendent of the Year.
- Superintendent Dr. James G. Merrill was among the 37 new members sworn in and installed to the Governing Board of the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) during a recent ceremony and reception at the board's regular meeting in Washington, D.C. on July 19, 2012.
- Dr. Merrill is a 39-year veteran educator. He was a Morehead Scholar at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he earned his bachelor’s degree in education in secondary English. He then earned a master’s degree in educational administration from Appalachian State University and his doctoral degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Dr. Merrill and his wife Elizabeth have one son, Barrett.
- Dr. Merrill’s Curriculum Vitae