Superintendent's Report: April 25, 2000

The "good" news is the Division is growing.

Let me begin with congratulations to Lynnhaven Elementary School for winning the Superintendentís Quality Award for third quarter. According to principal Linda Hayes, the school was cited for creating a plan for staff development of best practices using quality tools and the "cadre" concept out of the Accelerated School Model from Stanford University -- all with the purpose of increasing student achievement and proficiency on the SOL tests. Well done to all Lynnhaven staff members who have been working on this project for two years.

Congratulations also to Cooke Elementary School which won an Excellence in Reading Award at the State Reading Conference in Richmond on March 18, 2000. Principal Greg Anderson reports that only two elementary schools in Hampton Roads won awards. The other school was Old Donation Center. Our congratulations to ODC as well.

Congratulations to the Department of Media and Communications Development on the continued success of the school division website. Under the direction of Nancy Soscia, the promoter of our website, we have accrued nearly 4,000,000 hits since its debut in 1998. Let me take this opportunity also to thank several people who are instrumental in the siteís professional look and its incredible success. Iíd like to thank Bill Stobo of Video Services who is a talented videographics designer. Heís the man who gets all the information onto the site. He is ably assisted by two high school seniors, Ryan H. and Jason R., who spend hours of their time in creating the graphics and information on the website. Both of these young men are graphic design students from the Technical and Career Education Center and provide daily technical support for the site. Our thanks to you all for helping make the site the award-winning venue that it is! TO SHOW OUR APPRECIATION WE WOULD LIKE TO PRESENT BILL, RYAN AND JASON WITH PLACQUES.

Next let me congratulate the many winners the school division had at two science fair events:

The first was the Tidewater Physics Olympics held at Ocean Lakes High School on Saturday, March 18th. This year marked the twelfth annual event and Virginia Beach students again did quite well. The event was jointly planned by Old Dominion University, Tidewater Community College, and physics teachers of the competing schools. Ocean Lakes physics teacher Jim Cook along with professors from ODU and TCC organized the three-hour event. Nearly 400 students from area high and middle schools participated. Ocean Lakes High School took first and second-place honors, while Larkspur Middle School teams finished first and third.

The second event was the Tidewater Science Fair 2000 held also on March 18th. Students from the Ocean Lakes Math/Science Magnet Program did extremely well, receiving many first, second, and third place awards as well as numerous honorable mentions. Congratulations to the following first place winners, William D. and Aisha D., as well as special award winners Lindsay C., Aisha D.i, William D., Matthew G., Bethany G., Pavan G., and Michael M.. Kudos also to their teachers, Mark Clemente who teaches magnet, AP, and organic chemistry, and Heather Green, who teaches magnet chemistry and regular chemistry. The following students were awarded second or third place, or received honorable mention: Natalie S., Matthew G., Michael M., Ryan H., William D., Robert R., Allison M., Pavan G., all of Ocean Lakes; and Justin B., Christopher B., and Rafael S., from Kempsville High School under the leadership of teacher Karen Shinn.

While I am highlighting some of our outstanding high school scholars, let me continue with congratulations to our National Merit scholars for this year. The following students have received notification that they earned the designation of National Merit Scholar: Justin W. B., Kempsville High School; Aisha D., Ocean Lakes High School/Math-Science Magnet Program; Michael E., Cox High School; Lara M., Princess Anne High School, International Baccalaureate Program; Stefan N. M., Kempsville High School; Jon S., Cox High School; and, Alan W., Kempsville High School. Again, our congratulations to these outstanding scholars and best wishes for their continued success as lifelong learners.

High praise for teacher Marcella Rust from Kemps Landing Magnet School for being named the recipient of the 2000 Award for Excellence in Holocaust Education by the Holocaust Commission of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater. The award is given annually to encourage and recognize teachers who have incorporated the critical lessons of the Holocaust into their curricula. The Commission stresses the importance of helping students understand the connections between the lessons of history and the moral decisions they make in their own lives, lessons that impart values of personal accountability, justice and moral courage. As part of the award, Ms. Rust has the opportunity of participating in the Facing History and Ourselves Summer Institute held in Boston and at Bard College in New York, with tuition and transportation underwritten by the Holocaust Commission. The award was presented to Ms. Rust by Nobel Peace Prize winner and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel at a special ceremony held April 2nd at Beth El Synagogue in Norfolk.

The Holocaust Commission also named several of Ms. Rustís students award winners in the Junior Division for Poetry and Essays in the Elie Wiesel Writing Competition. Among the winners are Joseph L., an eighth-grader who won first place for essays; Larissa W., also an eighth-grader who won first place for poetry. Helena O. and Maggie O. who placed for poetry, and Nelson A. who placed in essay writing. Congratulations to all these award-winning students and to all who entered the competition. Well done.

Seniors Shareese G. of Princess Anne High School and Kurt I. of First Colonial High School were named the cityís outstanding female and male athletes by the Virginia Beach Sports Club at its annual Jamboree held April 10th. Both these fine athletes deserve this honor and recognition as well for their outstanding sports records. Shareese was cited as the stateís leading scorer in basketball last winter. She averaged 25.6 points per game and was named all-district, all-region, and all-state. Kurt was cited for leading the First Colonial baseball team to the state semi-finals last spring as well as for being all-district, all-region, and all-state. In addition, he was named the All-Tidewater Player of the Year.

The Sports Club also named Salem basketball player Rashad S. Athlete of the Year; Salem basketball coach Bill Cochrane Male Coach of the Year; Cox volleyball coach Claire LeBlanc Female Coach of the Year; and Cox golf coach Stuart Holland Sportsman of the Year. Congratulations to all these winners!

Following the same theme of sports awards, I want to recognize Zachary B., a twelfth-grader at Kellam High School. He was named the 1999 Virginia Youth Soccer Association Young Male Referee of the Year by the Virginia Youth Soccer Association, Inc. As such, he was honored at the Virginia Youth Soccer Association 14th Annual Workshop and Awards Luncheon held in January at the Richmond Marriott/Richmond Centre. He has also been invited to attend two Region I tournaments -- as an official -- to be held in June and July. Kellam principal Bruce Biehl cites Zachary for being an outstanding student-athlete who is a "true student leader." Again, our congratulations to Zachary for his dedication and service.

You may remember the name of Paul O., a senior at Princess Anne High School and member of the International Baccalaureate Program. I made mention of Paul and his extraordinary accomplishment of participating in the International Space Olympics that were held in Korlov, Russia, earlier this year in my October Ď99 remarks. As a result of his noteworthy achievement, Paul has also received a special Resolution of Recognition from the Virginia Board of Education. Paul and his teammates were honored at a special award ceremony held at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond in February. Paul, once again, we congratulate you for this honor.

Special citations also to Alisia R., who is the first student at Corporate Landing Middle School to earn her Academic Letter. Alisia accrued the 20 points needed to qualify for this honor through such academic pursuits as making the honor roll and principalís list and being named student of the month. As Communication Skills teacher Sherry Markovitch points out, Alisia has worked diligently to earn this honor. As a result of her experience with the fifth grade SOL test, she entered the Project X-CD program in sixth grade and made honor roll the entire year. She is continuing that fine record in her regular seventh-grade classes this year. As Ms. Markovitch states, "Corporate Landing Middle is proud to recognize Alisia Reese as the first student in our short history to earn her Academic Letter." Well said.

Every year The Prudential Insurance Company of America in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals sponsors The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, a nationwide program honoring young people for outstanding acts of volunteerism. This is the fifth year of the program and more than 20,0000 high school and middle level students were considered for awards. Iím pleased to announce that Annabel O., a senior at Kempsville High School, was recently honored as one of the 226 students nationwide recognized as Distinguished Finalists for their impressive community service. Annabel directs a volunteer childrenís dance company that performs at nursing homes, retirement centers and charity events. She will receive an engraved medallion for this honor. Congratulations to Annabel for her award and her community spirit. She is an inspiration to us all.

Old Donation students have been competing throughout this year in the Continental Math League (CML), a national mathematics competition designed to maximize the development of studentsí problem solving techniques. According to sponsor and math teacher Robyn Maus, CML helps students see connections among various mathematical topics: geometry, logic, probability, algebra, number sense, and analysis. In five meets held this year in the very difficult Pythagorean Division, ODC fifth-grade students have consistently placed first in the nation. In addition, five of the competing fifth graders have attained perfect scores and have received special medals from CML for being top finishers in the nation. Our congratulations to ODC students Brenden B., Michael D., Kathy H.), Erin M., and Andrew R.

Just as a brief aside, allow me to read a sample question from one of the math league competitions. Here it is: A dozen cookies and an apple pie cost $7.75. Half a dozen cookies and 2 apple pies cost $11.00. What is the cost of an apple pie?

Iíd like to recognize one of our veteran teachers, Holly Knapp, who is a social studies teacher at Lynnhaven Middle School. She was one of three teachers from across the Commonwealth to be recognized by the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia for a lifetime achievement award given annually by the Curry School of Education Foundation. Ms. Knapp was officially recognized as a 2000 Outstanding Teacher at UVAís Education Awards Day on April 14, 2000. Our congratulations to her for this prestigious award.

I also want to congratulate another of our veteran teachers, Fran Sharer, who teaches journalism at Green Run High School and serves as assistant student activities coordinator. Ms. Sharer was recently awarded her renewal as a Certified Journalism Educator from the Journalism Education Association. She was recognized at a ceremony honoring the certified educators at the spring Journalism Education Association Convention in Anaheim, California, held April 6 - 9. Ms. Sharer was presented with a renewal seal for her certificate and will be included in the next edition of the Certified Journalism Educator/Master Journalism Educator Directory.

Kudos to Kempsville Middle Schoolís Caroline Hester, a sixth-grade science teacher who was nominated by former KMS principal and current First Colonial High School principal Hazel Jessee and a Kempsville Middle parent for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. One of her extraordinary science lessons is "Popcorn Extravaganza" in which she incorporates the SOLs of scientific method and probability along with crucial technology skills and concepts. Students use the internet, conduct investigations, use measurements and percentages as well as create spreadsheets and databases along with a multipage document detailing their research "and itís all about popcorn!" Our congratulations and best wishes as Ms. Hester competes on the national level.

April is a red-letter month for the school districtís purchasing division. Virginia Beach City Public Schools has a no-cost contract with DemandStar.com for the maintenance of an automated bidderís list and an electronic bid board that can be accessed via the school districtís website. Vendors will have the opportunity to electronically register by commodity code for goods and services which they offer. Vendors subscribing to the electronic bidders list are notified by either fax or e-mail whenever a formal sealed bid has been issued for the commodity or service which they provide.

I am pleased to report that the school divisionís Anti-tobacco Use Program, Phase I is underway. On Tuesday, May 2 at Cox High School, in partnership with the Childrenís Hospital of the Kingís Daughters, a six-week smoking cessation pilot program designed especially for teens will begin. We intend to implement similar programs in all our high schools for the 2000-2001 school year in an effort to educate students about the health hazards of tobacco use and to eliminate tobacco use and possession on school property. As the anti-tobacco logo clearly states: tobacco use is a habit we donít support. (Hold up new logo.)

I want to mention several events also that are upcoming: tomorrow, April 26th, The Parent Resource Center is sponsoring an IEP (Individual Education Plan) Workshop for parents of students with disabilities. The workshop will be held at White Oaks Elementary School Library from 6:00 - 8:30 p.m. Parents can call the Resource Center for information.

Let me alert you also to our upcoming Stars, Musical Bars, and Bands concert, scheduled for June 1 at the GTE Amphitheater. The concert is sponsored by the Virginia Beach Schools Education Foundation and will feature more than 1,000 of our middle and high school advanced band students playing together for a Memorial Day concert. Tickets are $5.00, with children 12 and under free. I encourage you all to attend this great event. Last yearís concert was wonderful, and this yearís promises to be even more of an extravaganza.

Oh, by the way, the cost of the pie is

Members of the School Board, that concludes the superintendentís report.