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2512 George Mason Drive • P.O. Box 6038 Virginia Beach, Virginia 23456-0038   757.263.1000 • 757.263.1240 TDD

School Board Recognitions
May 3, 2016

6. Student, Employee and Public Awards and Recognitions
6A. National Scholastic Arts Silver Medalist

Our first recognition is for a student who produced an art piece titled “All the Things I’ve Seen,” which received national recognition. Let’s welcome: Salem High School senior Savannah Pendino.

Savannah, who aspires to work in digital illustration and animation, won a silver medal in the 2016 National Scholastic Arts and Writing Awards, a competition that has been in place for 93 years and champions the expressive vision, ingenuity and talent of students in grade 7 through 12. Today, the awards are presented by the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers and juried by visual and literary professionals to provide students opportunities for recognition, exhibition, publication and scholarships. Over 300,000 works of art and writing are submitted each year from across the United States. Previous winners have included the art world’s greatest names such as Andy Warhol, and others in creative fields such as Robert Redford, John Lithgow and Zac Posen. That’s good company to be in.

So remember her name: Savannah Pendino, a 2016 Scholastic Arts and Writing Awards national medalist! Congratulations!

6B. NJROTC Nationals
Our next recognition is for Green Run’s Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps, better known as NJROTC, and comprised of students from Green Run High School and Green Run Collegiate. Let’s welcome cadets:

  • Eric Alexander
  • Akira Anderson
  • Sierra Burnett
  • Abigail Cameron
  • Ashleigh Campau
  • Eric Cowell
  • Jerwin Dela-Cruz
  • Diego Demontalvo
  • Heaven Dendy
  • Mark Domoe (not in attendance)
  • Kwantay Ewell
  • Jeffrey Flavin
  • Tyana Freeman
  • Derriona Harrell
  • Dylan Hausmann
  • Megan Horton
  • Zachary Horton
  • Destiny Johnson
  • Roy Latham
  • Britney Lovick
  • Mark Mani
  • Luis Marin
  • Christopher Martin
  • Marquis McCants
  • Austin Moore
  • Alexander Navarette
  • Annie Nimley
  • Jaylen Parker
  • Francis Perez
  • Emanual Quarry
  • Shania Sanderson
  • Jaden Sindt
  • Kendissa Storrod
  • Jamal Strayhorn
  • Elixie-Angel Talabong
  • Mason Tarkenton
  • Justin Tendilla
  • Gerard Tenorio

They are led by instructors:
1st Sargeant Felix Robles and
U.S. Navy Retired Commander Curtis Brown

Competing against the nation’s top NJROTC units, Green Run’s NJROTC earned second place in the entire country in the 2016 NJROTC Nationals!

The two-day annual competition tests teams in academic, athletic and drill competitions. In addition to placing second in the entire country, Green Run also won:

  • First place in: Unarmed Exhibition Drill and Uniform Personnel Inspection;
  • Second place in Overall Athletics;
  • Third place in Team Academics, Armed Basic Drill and Team Pushups; and
  • Fourth place in Team Curl-ups.

Not to mention that cadet Eric Alexander earned first in academics, which tests students on their knowledge of maritime history, leadership, nautical science, naval ships, ships, ranks, current events and protocols. Fellow cadet Dylan Hausman completed 163 pushups to earn first place in that category.
But you just don’t get to sign up to go to nationals. Green Run earned the right to compete by first winning the Area Five Championship in December, which included schools from Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C.
Please join me in congratulating one of the nation’s best, the NJROTC unit from Green Run.

6C. National School to Watch – Princess Anne Middle School
Keep your eye on Princess Anne Middle School. They were just named a 2016 National School to Watch. Accepting the award are:

  • Assistant Principal Briana Jennings
  • And Principal Dr. Alex Bergren

Princess Anne Middle School is one of 11 middle schools in Virginia selected to receive the honor this year, joining 33 other schools in the Commonwealth to have achieved this designation. This national distinction, which is awarded by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform, identifies exemplary schools across the nation that excel in the following four domains: academic excellence, developmental responsiveness, social equity and organizational structure. Although it is not difficult to find middle schools that excel in one or more of the four areas, according to the National Forum (which is an alliance of national associations, educators, researchers and foundations), it is extremely difficult to find schools that excel in all four.

Please join me in congratulating one of the nation’s School to Watch—Princess Anne Middle School.

6D. National Mix It Up School
Our next honoree is Kemps Landing/Old Donation School, which was selected as a National Mix It Up Model School for the sixth consecutive year. Accepting the award are the individuals who played a large role in the generating enthusiasm for this cause:

  • School counselors Denise Schmitter and Stacie Sexton

Before we tell you about award, we first have to share with you a little about “Mix It Up Day at Lunch,” which is held the last Tuesday in October. This day started as a nationwide initiative launched in 2002 to encourage students to embrace each other’s differences and break barriers. On that day, students take the initiative to move out of their comfort zones and connect with someone new over lunch. It’s a simple act with profound implications. Kemps Landing/Old Donation School has not only embraced this day, students plan, publicize and generate enthusiasm for additional activities throughout the year that promote the idea of inclusiveness ranging from mixing up their wardrobes to participating in anti-bullying prevention lessons organized by the school counselors. The result: conversations, laughter and a great time that brings everyone together.

That’s why they are a 2016 National Mix It Up Model School!

6E. Virginia Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (VIAA) Athletic Administrator of the Year
Next, the School Board would like to congratulate one of only four recipients named Athletic Administrator of the Year by the Virginia Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association. Let’s welcome Tallwood High School’s Christine Anderson!

For the past 13 years, Christine has worked hard to make Tallwood a place where players want to play, coaches want to coach, spectators want to watch events and officials feel welcome. As the school’s student activities coordinator, she relishes working behind the scenes to ensure that students and coaches are always the ones in the spotlight. Most days are upwards of 10 to 12 hours busy with activities, graduation, and the calendar for use of school buildings. But this former health and physical education teacher; high school gymnastics and cheer coach; and assistant activities director wouldn’t trade a single minute—not even driving the big yellow bus to get teams to their games.

For everything that she does for students and staff and in the positive manner in which she does it, it’s easy to see why she is one of Virginia’s Athletic Administrators of the Year. Congratulations!

6F. Virginia State Reading Association James D. Mullins Leadership Award
Literacy is the key to happiness. That is something that actually can be found on our next honoree’s curriculum vitae. Let’s welcome the division’s Title I Coordinator Cristina Alsop, selected by Virginia’s State Reading Association to receive the James D. Mullins Leadership Award.

This award recognizes administrators who show exceptional support of reading. For Cristina, who started her career as a classroom teacher, that’s an understatement. In addition to overseeing the success of the Title I program, she allocated funds to support a student home libraries program, which provides a book each quarter to students in kindergarten through fifth grade. She also enabled the purchase of 200 high-interest books for every teacher in the division’s 14 Title I schools. An active user of social media, she is constantly sharing resources with teachers, bringing well-known speakers and engaging teachers in professional organizations. One will also find her at family engagement programs, including providing parent trainings on how to support their children’s literacy. And the list goes on and on….

Congratulations to Cristina Alsop, Virginia’s James D. Mullins Leadership Award recipient!

6G. Best Communities for Music Education
Our last recognition of the evening is to celebrate that Virginia Beach City Public Schools has once again been designated as one of America’s Best Communities for Music Education. Accepting the award this evening are Fine Arts Coordinator John Brewington and Instructional Specialist Holly Sunderland.

Virginia Beach schools have earned this distinction multiple times. According to the National Association of Music Merchants Foundation which presents the awards each year, honorees are selected based on funding, staffing of highly-qualified teachers, commitment to standards and access to music instruction. In Virginia Beach City Public Schools, more than 37,000 students—which is more than half of the students in the division—take some form of music education. This includes music, orchestra, band and chorus. Our students have performed on the national stage at Carnegie Hall and locally throughout our community in events, functions and parades.

Congratulations to our students, staff, parents and community for making Virginia Beach a 2016 Best Community for Music Education.

Last Modified on Friday, January 20, 2017