March 2011
volume 20 • issue 7


VBCPS' nominations for Outstanding Teacher of the Gifted award named

New Faces, Familiar Places

The Transfer “Meet & Greet” Event

TCE progams honored with national recognition

Seatack and Linkhorn Park Elementary School third and fourth graders getting into "spats"

Support the Virginia Beach Education Foundation's upcoming events


We want to hear from you!
The Department of Educational Leadership and Assessment is preparing for the 2011 School Climate Survey for Teachers, Administrators, and Teacher Assistants. This online survey provides an excellent opportunity for school-based staff to provide feedback about the division’s schools. Data from the survey are reported as part of the Annual School Report Card. Schools use the data from the Annual School Report card to help identify areas for improvement. Don’t miss your chance to be heard. Look for the survey invitations to arrive in your email during the week of April 25.

Office of Food Services Dishing Up New Food Items for 2011-2012 School Year
Developing a variety of menus that appeal to students in grades K-12 takes a lot of planning and creativity. In other words, it’s not an easy task. What better way to find out what appeals to the palette of a student in grades K-12 then to have them sample various types of food items that could end up on the menu in our school cafeterias. To accomplish this, staff from the Office of Food Services coordinated a taste-testing event, “What’s New On Our Tray,” on February 17 at Landstown Elementary and Middle schools.

Participation was by invitation only. Both students and their parents were invited to attend this food event, sample as many new food items as possible, and rate each item. Obviously, items that were rated higher than others will be considered as a new food item for the upcoming school year. About 225 students and their families had the opportunity to taste and rate new food items. Attendees to this event also had the opportunity to learn about locally grown foods, sustainability, whole grain products, and food allergies.

“Having students and their parents sample food is an effective way of determining the types of nutritious food that our students would actually be interested in eating for breakfast or lunch. This process takes much of the guess work out of selecting new food items that our students will enjoy,” explained Diana Shockley, procurement specialist and coordinator of this food-tasting event.

Food services staff providing participants with various information about food nutrition and sustainability included (left to right) Angie Culotta, food service program analyst; Lauren Woodard, substitute; and Maureen Morgan, cafeteria assistant, Landstown Elementary. Cafeteria managers Bernadette White, Ocean Lakes Elementary, and Susan Burnett, Linkhorn Elementary, were on hand manning the fresh fruit display at the “What’s New On Our Tray” food-tasting event.

Cox High Celebrates
Cox High School celebrated its "Big Green and Golden 50th Anniversary" the week of March 21 through March 25. The week-long celebration included a bonfire kickoff, visits from Alumni-in-Residence, a "trip back in time," as well as an Alumni Anniversary Party on Thursday, March 24 from 7-10 p.m. at The Virginia Beach Resort and Conference Center. The party featured hors d'oeuvres, live music, and five decades of memories!

Cox High School's 50th Anniversary week and celebration was held the week of March 21-25.

Tallwood High hosts Chinese exchange students
Nine students from China arrived at Tallwood High School on February 14 to begin a 12-day exchange program under the auspices of the Confucius Classroom Network, an international organization fostering greater global awareness of Chinese culture and education through its network of member American schools. The Chinese students’ school in China and Tallwood High are partners within the Confucius Classroom Network.

Tallwood’s Global Studies and World Languages Academy served as hosts to the Chinese students. Together the students visited local attractions, attended classes, and enjoyed afterschool activities such as basketball games. In addition, the Chinese students and their teacher chaperones taught Academy students about the Chinese language, culture and calligraphy. Special field trips were also planned to Washington, D.C., Williamsburg, and other venues so that the Chinese students would have several opportunities to experience American history and culture. During their visit, the Chinese students stayed with host families whose children are Academy students. Plans call for the Tallwood students to make an exchange visit to China later in the year.

Cox High principal Brian Matney appointed to national council
Congratulations to Cox High School principal Brian K. Matney, who was recently appointed by the NASSP (National Association of Secondary School Principals) Board of Directors to serve on the NHS (National Honor Society) national council, founded in 1921. Matney serves as one of five principals from across the U.S. on this body, joining fellow principals from Arkansas, Colorado, New Jersey, and South Carolina, and assistant principals and advisors from Illinois, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Texas.

The council, which is the National Association of Secondary School Principals’ primary advisory group for all National Honor Society and NJHS (National Junior Honor Society) chapters nationwide, also serves as the selection committee for prestigious NHS scholarships granted each spring. Matney’s three-year, at-large term runs through June 30, 2013.

Salem High/Rosemont Forest Elementary Silent Art Auction a big success!
The collaborative Silent Art Auction sponsored by Salem High School Visual and Performing Arts Academy (VPAA) and Rosemont Forest Elementary School was not only a unique event, but it was also a huge success! As you may recall in January, e-Kaleidoscope featured the story of VPAA students traveling to Rosemont Forest to teach a printmaking art lesson to three art classes. According to VPAA art instructor Janet Yousey, it was at this time that she and art teachers Pamela Thompson and Heather Cigeroglu came up with the idea to hold a joint Silent Art Auction showcasing their collective students’ art work. As a result, numerous pieces from the VPAA and Rosemont Forest elementary students were set aside for the special event. The pieces ranged from paintings and mixed media to photography and sculpture, and more.

The auction was held Friday, March 25 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the Salem High Commons area. With more than 150 students, teachers, administrators, parents, and community members in attendance, the event was a resounding hit, raising more than $1,000. All proceeds from the auction were donated to the American Cancer Foundation in memory of local student, Ashley Hewitt.

Kemps Landing Magnet School celebrates Black History Month with numerous activities
Students at Kemps Landing Magnet School (KLMS) celebrated Black History Month with a wide variety of activities and programs. Coordinators for Black History Month – administrative office associate Crystal Brooks, special education assistant Jared Fritzinger, and guidance director Denise Schmitter – created a schedule of events combining a speakers’ series with numerous opportunities for hands-on learning. Among the events students participated in was a tour of the Princess Anne County Training School/Union Kempsville High School Museum located in the Renaissance Academy. The speakers’ series featured Dr. Michael Hucles, professor of African-American History at Old Dominion University. He spoke about the African American students known as the “Norfolk 17” who were the first black students to integrate Norfolk schools as well as the Massive Resistance Campaign carried out in Virginia. The students also enjoyed music and a jazz lesson from the Jae Sinnett Trio. In addition, KLMS was honored to host School Board member Dr. Todd Davidson who joined the students and staff in celebrating “mustache day” as part of the school’s spirit week. Staff members celebrated by wearing Black History Month sweatshirts on Fridays, and a culminating activity for staff was a special luncheon featuring “soul food” dishes. The entire school ended the month-long celebration with a special performance by the talented Landstown Middle School Step Team.

The Landstown Middle School Step Team gave a rousing performance for KLMS in honor of Black History Month. KLMS principal Charles Foster and School Board member Dr. Todd Davidson sport their “Spirit Week” mustaches!

Larkspur Middle “runs” a great fundraiser
Larkspur Middle School held its first Family 5K Fun Run Walk at the school on Saturday, February 26 at 9 a.m. More than 176 participants wound their way through the residential neighborhood surrounding the school. All told, the runners raised $900 that was donated to H20 for Life, which is the clean water initiative that is part of the Running the Sahara expedition. Co-founded by Hollywood actor Matt Damon, H2O Africa is creating widespread public awareness of the water crisis on the African continent and is also gathering support for clean water programs in critical areas, including communities along the Running the Sahara route.

The winner of Larkspur’s 5K race was Jonathan B., a seventh grader at Corporate Landing Middle School with a time of 22:48. The second place winner was Mark A., a Larkspur seventh grader with a time of 24:14. The event drew a variety of sponsors, including Harris Teeter, Sonic, American Reprographics Company, Yo’ Mamma Yogurt, Cinema Café, the Sheriff’s Office, the Larkspur PTA, Z-Coil, Subway at Kempsville Marketplace, Dragon Karate and the Virginia Beach Police Department's Fourth Precinct.

In addition to the Fun Run, Larkspur has sponsored several other fundraising projects including the first Larkspur's Got Talent show, to support this cause.

National Junior Honor Society Members Madison M., Savannah P., and Dana C., who volunteered at the race, are pictured with the Harris Teeter Dragon. Eighth-grade teachers Marilyn McCandlish and Cindy Turnbull volunteered to register the race participants.
Runners wait at the starting line to begin. Larkspur Middle office manager Jeannie Glendon completes the race.
Dorothy Dunakin, a teacher assistant, crosses the finish line. Seventh grader Mark A. comes in second in the race.

Black History Month at Woodstock Elementary
Woodstock Elementary School celebrated Black History Month with activities to help fifth graders learn about the Underground Railroad. Staff set up numerous “stations” that students had the opportunity to visit during their physical education, art, music, and library periods. Each station contributed to telling the story of the Underground Railroad and the importance of such historical figures as Harriet Tubman. For example, gifted resource teacher Cherie Brogan and music teacher Sheree Novick told the story of Harriet Tubman through song and drama. One of the songs featured was the “Drinkin’ Gourd.”

Norfolk State University students volunteered to work in the gym with Woodstock fifth graders as they traveled through “The Underground Railroad." Gifted resource teacher Cherie Brogan (left) and music teacher Sheree Novick (right) use song and drama to tell the story of the Underground Railroad.
Patty Agolini, library media specialist, reads Barefoot Escape on the Underground Railroad to Woodstock fifth graders.

Point O’ View Elementary School makes reading “lucky”
Point O’ View Elementary School celebrated Reading Month in February in a big way! Families signed a pledge to read together each evening during Reading Month. Their names were then placed in a drawing to be one of six lucky winners selected to receive a basket of books and other goodies to celebrate their love of reading! The Point O’ View Prize Patrol comprising principal Ed Timlin; assistant principal Pam Pastros; a team of teachers; the school’s mascot, Midnight the Panther; library media specialist Kellee Kraft, and one of the school’s “news” anchors from its in-house TV station, WPOV, visited the winning families to let them know of their good fortune.

Pictured are the six “lucky” families selected as winners who received a visit from the POV Prize Patrol!

Middle School League sponsors philanthropic project
On Saturday, March 19 thirteen middle schools participated in the culmination of the Virginia Beach Middle School League’s Community Outreach Program. Spearheaded by student activities coordinators John Fox (Virginia Beach Middle), Ellen Hundley (Lynnhaven Middle) and Jessica Bowman (Plaza Middle), middle school students, for the second year, took on a citywide philanthropy project to help community members in need. Rather than donate money as they did in last year’s initiative, the middle schools decided to provide items that the charities requested. As a result, they consulted the charities they were supporting – Seton House, PIN (People in Need) Ministries, and Judeo Christian Outreach Center (JCOC) – to find out what items they most needed to help their clientele. As it turned out, all three charities requested travel-sized toiletry items in addition to socks (PIN) and gently used clothing (Seton House and JCOC).

All donations were boxed up for easy delivery. The representative from JCOC is extremely pleased to be part of the philanthropic initiative!

This unique philanthropic project generated thousands of items. The “official” donation was made at Salem Middle School when Virginia Beach Middle principal and chair of the Middle School League Rita Simpson formally presented the items to representatives of each of the charities.