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Parent Connection celebrates the Class of 2015
Principals offer helpful advice as seniors head out into the world

Dr. Alexander Grunsfeld photo

As graduation ceremonies begin this week, we celebrate with the Class of 2015 and their families. This is a milestone to be sure and the end of a journey that started much earlier than students' senior year. Parent Connection asked a few principals who had the pleasure teaching, leading and loving these students along the way to share some advice with the Class of 2015.

Mrs. Elizabeth Bianchi, Dey Elementary School:

"To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment." -Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Congratulations! You are now crossing the threshold from high school to the real world. You have experienced ups and downs and hopefully have discovered who you really are and the adult you want to become. Being true to yourself and following your own moral compass will open the gateway to your dreams so those dreams become your reality. Now, the possibilities are endless and yours to embrace. Go for it!

Mr. Doug Daughtry, Kempsville Meadows Elementary School:

You've gained a lot of knowledge in your years with VBCPS, but there's always more to learn - stay teachable and put into practice what you know to be true and fitting for the circumstance!

Mr. Tim Sullivan, Williams Elementary School:

Work Hard and Be Nice!!! I'm not sure what the key to success is, but I can tell you I have always met with success when I worked hard and was a nice person. Any time I was unsuccessful, I either did not work very hard or I wasn't very nice.

Mr. Joe Burnsworth, Plaza Middle School:

It is essential to establish a good work ethic early. The organization skills and study habits that you learned in the 12 years preceding graduation will serve you well. Stay focused on your goals, get the work done first and there will be plenty of opportunity for fun and celebration along the way.

Mr. Carey Manugo, Independence Middle School:

Before you walk across the stage to receive your diploma, take a moment to reflect upon the love and hard work of those people who stood behind you to help get you this point!

Dr. Patti Jenkins, Kempsville Middle School:

Your parents and family members have given you wings, not so you will remain on the ground, but so you may soar. Your world will be redefined by your new independence; though, you must recall that your foundation has been influenced by many individuals. Hold onto the lessons from those who have soared before you...and have a safe and wonderful journey.

Dr. Brian Matney, Landstown High School:

Graduates, as you go out into the world and seek to do great things, always remember what one of my standout teachers taught me while I was a student here in VBCPS. That is, we daily all "warm by fires we did not build and drink from wells we did not dig." We certainly owe a debt of gratitude to those who have gone before us and situated us for success.

Dr. Nancy Farrell, First Colonial High School:

Continue all through life to be educated and to learn, to treat our country with respect and love and to take good care of yourselves. I hope you find joy, happiness and success in your lives. So start by aiming high, be ambitious, seize opportunities, and embrace and challenge the unknown. Graduates, have fun choosing your own way. We have complete faith in you.

Mr. David Swanger, Technical and Career Education Center:

We are extremely proud of each and every student, especially those who dedicated themselves to completing a Tech Center program of study. On behalf of the Tech Center teachers, staff and administration, I thank and congratulate all of you for making this school year the finest in Tech Center history. You leave us with industry certifications and hands-on experiences which will make you highly sought after in the workplace. So whether you are heading to college or joining the workforce, we wish you the very best in all of your endeavors and expect nothing less than great things from you.

Do you have words of wisdom or advice you would like to share with the Class of 2015? Visit the school division's Facebook page to leave a comment, or tweet us @vbschools. Be sure to use #vbcpsgrad in your message. And remember, you can watch graduation ceremonies live online at vbschools.com. Replays of the graduations will also be available the day following each ceremony.

Read More

Are you as involved in your child’s education as you would like to be? See what new research shows about parent engagement in our schools.

Whether it is helping a child with homework, volunteering at a school event or simply working with teachers when an issue arises, parents are taking an active role in our schools. A recent survey shows that levels of parent involvement are increasing. But, there is always room for the school division to create new opportunities for parents and the community to become in engaged. We wanted to know how satisfied parents are with current opportunities and what barriers may be keeping them from being more involved. The school division recently worked with the local research firm Issues and Answers to survey parents about their involvement and communication needs. You can learn more about the survey and see the results here.


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Last Modified on Wednesday, June 17, 2015