Superintendent's Report
March 18, 2003


Mr. Chairman, members of the Board, citizens of our community, my report this evening provides a brief look at a few recent school division activities and several accomplishments of our students and staff .

The Month of March is recognized as Youth Art Appreciation Month and Music in the Schools Month. Our annual citywide Art Exhibits have been on display at Lynnhaven Mall, The Contemporary Art Center of Virginia, and the Central Library. All City chorus performances were held at Plaza Middle School on March 15th, where over 200 of our elementary students performed. All City band concerts were also "conducted" last weekend.

On February 26th, our system sponsored its eighth annual Career Connection: Transition to the Future at Landstown High School. Virginia Beach City Public School middle and high school students were invited to participate in the annual career and job fair sponsored by the division. More than 165 career and community agency representatives offered information about more than 91 careers and occupations. Career strands represented included business and marketing; fine arts; health and human services; engineering and technology; and several public service organizations, including the military, and police and fire departments. In addition, such career fields as tourism and hospitality, the marine industry, landscape services, and financial services were also represented. Students and their parents were invited to ask questions about the careers of interest to them. They had the opportunity to speak with the representatives in order to make informed career decisions and/or transition connections to post-secondary opportunities.

On February 27th, our partnership with the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) was celebrated at a ceremony to recognize outstanding American History teachers and students. This year, four teachers were recognized for their outstanding performance in teaching American History. . . Richard Byrne, First Colonial High, David Bisset, Tallwood High School, Lisa Kopacz, Landstown High School, and Larry Eakin, Cox High. Eleven high school students, one from each of our high schools, were named Outstanding American History students and three of our elementary students were recognized for their winning fourth grade essays on "What the Flag of the United States of America Means to Me." A reception to honor these recipients followed the formal award presentations.

The Advanced Technology Center was recently featured in a national publication of the Association for Technical and Career Education, Techniques. The magazine's March 2003 edition highlighted the construction of 21st century schools -- an article entitled "Advancing the Concept of Technology Education" devoted several pages to our Advanced Technology Center.

Kempsville Meadows Elementary School fifth graders in Mr. Jack Mangosing's class created a Living Museum in the commons area of the school. The students, supported by Gifted Resource Specialist, Bonita Williams, researched famous Virginians and actually portrayed them by dressing as a famous Virginian and recording information about that particular individual. As students and parents toured this living museum, they could play recordings to learn more about the famous Virginian they were viewing. Some of those featured were George Washington, Stonewall Jackson, Thomas Jefferson, and Pochahontas.

More than one hundred Ocean Lakes High School students recently participated in the 6th annual "Dolphin Plunge" to raise funds for the Make a Wish Foundation. The event, sponsored by the school's SCA, was held on February 15th at the oceanfront. Ocean Lakes High SCA raised more than $3,000 through their efforts to plunge into the Atlantic!

The Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) Awards Breakfast was held on Monday, March 10 at the Founder's Inn. C-CAP is a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote and provide career opportunities for youth through culinary arts education and apprenticeship. Twenty-two students participated in the final culinary "star search" which was held at Johnson & Wales University. Students prepared Poulet Chasseur with Chateau Potatoes, Crepes Sucrees with Crème Patissiere and Sauce au Chocolate from memory, within a two-hour time limit, judged by top chefs in Tidewater. Eight Virginia Beach Work and Family Studies Culinary Arts students received $53,740 in scholarships. Dominique Stretcher, Green Run High, was awarded a $1500 Scholarship, Matthew Salsberry, Tallwood High, received a $2000 Scholarship, Nicole Roux, Kempsville High, a $4000 Scholarship, John Cody, Ocean Lakes High, earned a $4000 Scholarship and the $500 Virginia Beach Food Services Association scholarship, John Waldy, Cox High, received an $8000 Scholarship, Derek Grunewald, Tallwood High, was awarded a $3000 Culinary Institute of America Scholarship, and a $3000 C-CAP Scholarship, Alan Heckman, Virginia Beach Career & Technical Education Center, received a $4000 Culinary Institute of America Scholarship,and a $4000 C-CAP Scholarship, David Francis, Virginia Beach Career & Technical Education Center, was awarded a $23,340 Sullivan University Scholarship. Congratulations!

Several additional congratulations are also in order this evening. . .

Kudos to the Cox High School Boys and Girls Swimming and Diving Teams! For the first time Beach teams from the same school have won the Eastern Region Championships in Swimming and Diving at the regional competition held at Old Dominion University. The teams are coached by Teacher/Coach Joe Gentry.

Results are in for the Get it Together High School Safety Challenge sponsored by Drive Smart Hampton Roads. Three of our schools were awarded a combined $1,750 for their participation in the Seat Belt Challenge. Congratulations to Ocean Lakes High, who placed second in "highest seat belt usage" category with a score of 95.39%. Kellam High and First Colonial High placed first and second, respectively, in the category of "most improved seat belt usage".

Congratulations to our Department of Business and Finance for garnering the Meritorious Budget Award for our 2002-03 annual budget. This recognition is awarded by the Association of School Business Officials (ASBO) International. This prestigious honor is presented to organizations that meet the highest standards of school budgeting.

Hats off to Kempsville High School senior, Julia Abramova, who was recently the feature of an article in the VICA Skills USA Champions magazine. Julia was elected the National President for Skills USA and in that role has traveled extensively, met with business leaders, and has spoken at numerous events such as the Association for Manufacturing Technology's annual meeting in New York. Julia speaks Russian and French fluently and has plans for a career in international relations in the future.

Congratulations to City-wide Gifted Teachers of the Year, Marie Madel, GRT at Bayside Elementary, and Lisa Walker, GRT at Tallwood High School, who will represent Virginia Beach as our nominees for the Virginia Association for the Gifted's 2002 Outstanding Teacher of the Gifted Award. Ms. Madel's work as a classroom teacher and a math lead teacher at the Old Donation Center as well as her work as an elementary gifted resource teacher have earned her the trust of student and parents and the respect of her teaching colleagues and administrators. Ms. Walker has consistently put the intellectual, talent, and affective potential of students first, as she aligns resources, curriculum, instruction, and her energy to meet the needs of students.

Finally, kudos to The Department of Human Resources for receiving recognition from the Virginia Beach Human Rights Commission. HR received an award in the category of public enterprise, for their efforts to promote cultural diversity and their work toward diversifying the staff of our school system. The Commission annually recognizes individuals and organizations for the development, advocacy, and promotion of human rights programs in our community.

Mr. Chairman, this concludes my report for this evening.