Superintendent's Report
March 20, 2001


Mr. Chairman and members of the Board, my report this evening provides a brief snapshot of recent activities and a few of the latest accomplishments of staff and students.

On March 5th, a delegation of six city officials from North Down, Bangor, Ireland visited Arrowhead and Kempsville Middle Schools as part of a sister city relationship with Virginia Beach. Both schools have established international partnerships with schools in Ireland and have been exchanging letters, pictures, artwork, and curriculum. The visiting delegation also experienced distance learning when they connected with Northern Ireland in our EINSTEIN Lab, marking our first international connection in the lab. Bangor's mayor and a councilor also met with staff from Kemps Landing Magnet, Central Academy and the Center for Effective Learning during visits to those schools in an effort to learn more about our system of education.

Our schools were recognized recently by the United Way at a ceremony highlighting our successful 2000 campaign. Our employees and students raised $386,128, which was $14,370.83 more than last year's total. This was once again the highest level of giving in the history of our schools and offices. Student Keel Clubs were honored for their superb student giving campaigns-this year, students contributed $62,124. Thanks to Debbie Adcock from Curriculum & Instruction for providing liaison work this year.

Strawbridge Elementary School recently received a $500.00 grant from the ExxonMobil Educational Alliance program to support the school's instructional program. Mr. James A. Kinzel, Exxon Territory Manager, and Ms. Del Holland, Manager of the Strawbridge Exxon Station, worked with the principal of Strawbridge Elementary School, to secure the grant, which is one of 3,000 available to schools across the country served by Exxon or Mobil stations. The grants were made possible by funding from the ExxonMobile Foundation.

As usual, we can be proud of the many accomplishments of both students and staff. Several congratulations are in order this evening.

Eighty- three of our students were recently honored by the Virginia Beach Council of PTAs for their outstanding "reflections" entries. This year's theme for the Reflections Program was "I hold in my hand. . . .".

Virginia Beach students swept the District in the Reflections Contest as well. Sixteen of our students placed in all four categories in every age group on the District level. Nine have been selected to move on to the state competition.

Kudos to Hermitage Elementary Fifth Grade teacher, Ray Tranchant, who has created a software "Jeopardy" game that provides a motivational learning activity designed to review elementary science objectives. This innovation was designed for students in grades two through five.

Congratulations to teachers Debbie Lou Hague, First Colonial High School, Micah Wiggins, Tallwood High School, Kathryn Lienau, Green Run High School, and Michelle Dean, Princess Anne High School for being named Outstanding Teachers of American History by the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) at an annual ceremony on February 22nd. This event, the yearly culmination of our long-standing partnership with the DAR, celebrates excellence in American History by recognizing outstanding teachers and students. Ten high school students, one from each of our high schools, were recognized as Outstanding American History students, and three elementary school students were honored for their essays submitted for the "Flag of the United States of America" Contest. This year marked the 24th anniversary of this ceremony sponsored by four chapters of the DAR.

Kudos to Tom Markham, a Spanish teacher at Kemps Landing Magnet School, who is one of eight Virginia Spanish teachers to be awarded a Scholar-in-Residence Fellowship to participate in the Hispanic Studies in Spain program at the Universidad de Valencia during the summer of 2001. This award is granted by the Center for the Liberal Arts at the University of Virginia.

Hats off to twelve students from Mary Jane Fama's second grade class at Point O'View Elementary School whose poetry was chosen to be included in the 2001 edition of Anthology of Poetry by Young Americans.

Congratulations to Tallwood Elementary Principal Linda Tanner who has been chosen by the Virginia Student Council Association (VASA) as the Elementary School Administrator of the Year. Each year the SCA recognizes an administrator who has made an impact on their school's student council. Ms. Tanner will be honored at the VSCA state convention on March 31st.

And finally, as most of you know, congratulations are in order for Coach Bill Cochrane and the Salem High School boys' basketball team, who defeated Gar-Field High to win the state AAA championship at Liberty University on March 17th. This talented team will be recognized at a future Board meeting. We can all be proud of their accomplishments.

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