Superintendent's Report
March 16, 2004

Mr. Chairman, members of the Board, citizens of our community, I’m pleased to share brief highlights of some recent events in our district and a few of the accomplishments of our students and staff.

Students at the Technical and Career Education Center recently toured STIHL Inc. as part of their coursework for the prototype two-year technical course, Outdoor Power Equipment. This workforce development partnership with STIHL supports the course’s curriculum through donations of power equipment and technical expertise. Upon completion of this coursework, students will have had experience with practical skills such as servicing, repairing, and rebuilding of engines as well as the major technical aspects of the field such as hydraulics, electricity, engineering, and business management.

Sixteen Virginia Beach students earned scholarships and professional culinary knife kits at the eleventh regional C-CAP (Careers through Culinary Arts Program) Annual Recognition Breakfast held on March 4th at the Norfolk Airport Hilton. The event was the culmination of a week of culinary competitions – where the students, dressed in chef’s toques and white aprons, prepared sophisticated French cuisine and presented their creations to a panel of judges, hoping to tempt their palates and earn rewards for their culinary skills. Tech Center student Matthew Graessle was awarded a $25,000 scholarship to Sullivan University and Kempsville High’s Daniel Bagby earned a $4,500 in scholarships. The C-CAP competition was created and developed by former chef and businessman Richard Grausman. Mr. Grausman was on hand to present our region’s upcoming chefs with their awards.

Barnes and Noble Booksellers recently hosted a book signing for the VBCPS authors and artists featured in our third volume of A Tapestry of Knowledge. Selected authors read passages from their articles and discussed them with attendees. All volumes of A Tapestry of Knowledge are available for purchase on the school division’s website at

Approximately 150 career and community agencies offered information about more than 100 careers and occupations at our ninth annual Career Connection: Transition to the Future event which was held at the Advanced Technology Center on March 11th. Students had opportunites to talk with professionals in the field, obtain literature on careers of interest to them, and explore options for their futures. Our annual Career Connection is coordinated by staff in the Office of Employment Transition and the Office of Technical and Career Education.

Our Office of Organizational Development reports that, as of March 15th, 1,042 employees are CANT compliant. CANT stands for the Child Abuse and Neglect Training that is now required by the Virginia Department of Education for individuals who hold teaching licenses. Staff has had the opportunity to obtain a CANT training certificate by attending face to face training sessions or completing the session on-line.

The Daughters of the American Revolution recognized 10 of our high school students as Outstanding American History students during a recent ceremony to honor excellence in American History. Four elementary students were also recognized for their exemplary essays on the Flag of the United States and four outstanding Teachers of American History were also honored.

Shelton Park Elementary has received a $10,000 grant from the Boeing Corporation to promote teacher excellence in the areas of math and science. The school qualified for this grant for the third consecutive year, in part due to their 82 percent military dependent student population.

Several congratulations are in order this evening. . .

Hats off to Kate Shellnutt, an Ocean Lakes High senior, who recently won the Harry F. Byrd Leadership Award. This $7,000 award is given to one student from each of the 11 congressional districts in Virginia. Kate is the recipient from the 2nd district and was presented the award at a ceremony on February 5th in Richmond.

Kudos to Camilla Walck, teacher at Princess Anne High, who was selected to receive a 2004 RadioShack National Teacher Award. The award recognizes outstanding math, science, and technology teachers for their work in high school classrooms.

Congratulations to Meg Koach, a senior at Ocean Lakes High School, who has been named to the National Field Hockey Coaches Association’s “High School National Academic Squad”. Meg served as Field Hockey Team Captain and earned 1st Team All- Beach honors, in addition to maintaining a 4.13 GPA while enrolled in Ocean Lakes High’s Mathematics and Science Academy.

Hats off to Shelton Park Elementary, who, for the first time in the school’s 50 year history, has achieved 100 percent PTA membership! A very “color”ful school wide celebration was held on March 8th to celebrate this accomplishment!

VBCPS grads continue to excel. . . sports enthusiasts might have noted that John Gilchrist, a 2002 Salem High graduate, led the University of Maryland to an ACC championship and was named the tournament MVP. Congratulations!

And finally, I’m pleased to announce that The American Association of School Administrators and Sodexho School Services have recently recognized VBCPS as a leader among the nation’s best education systems in promoting academic achievement through school and community partnerships. Our district was one of only 33 in the nation to receive a 2004 National Civic Star Award. The award is designed to honor school/community partnerships that enrich the education process and our “Building Futures House Construction Project” was the community collaboration recognized. To date, more than 600 students and their instructors at the Technical and Career Education Center have worked with nearly 100 area businesses to build four homes in our community. A fifth house is now under construction. Primary community partners in this successful project are the Virginia Beach Public Schools Education Foundation and VB Contractors. Congratulations!

Mr. Chairman, this concludes my report.