Superintendentís Report

May 16, 2000

Good evening. My report again is a litany of good news stories about Virginia Beach students and staff members. We are little more than a month away from the close of school and this is the time of year when many of our teachers and students are honored for their achievements and when many outstanding special events take place.

Let me begin, then, with one of my favorite events of the year....the naming of the Virginia Beach Schools Citywide Teacher of the Year. I had the special privilege, along with Assistant Superintendent Betsy Taylor, of going out to Christopher Farms Elementary School on May 4th to make a surprise visit to the third-grade classroom of Marilyn Jernigan to tell her she was the 2001 Teacher of the Year for Virginia Beach. Marilyn will be honored by the School Board at our next meeting, but I wanted to publicly congratulate her at the earliest opportunity.

In the same vein, let me congratulate middle school science coordinator Jenny Sue Flannagan and Ann Zingraff-Newton, math analysis teacher at Ocean Lakes High School. Jenny Sue and Ann were recently named 1999 Presidential Awardees for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching in Secondary Education. Our congratulations to both for this prestigious honor. You will be hearing more about their awards at our next meeting when they will be recognized formally by the School Board.

Our congratulations also to Nancy Davenport, Principal of Kingston Elementary School, who has been selected to serve a 2-year term on the Virginia Association of Elementary School Principals Board of Directors. As a Board member she will be actively involved in providing direction for the VAESPís efforts to address issues critical to improving education for the public school children in Virginia. Well done!

Iím not sure how many of you might have seen the December issue of RU, the magazine of Radford University, but it recently came to my attention. Congratulations to Lillian Donnally, principal at Open Campus High School, for the honor of being the subject of a feature article, Clearing Paths to Success. Lillian is cited for her record of opening "pathways for struggling students and blazing a trail for educators" and the Virginia Beach schools" alternative education program receives well-deserved recognition as well.

The magazine also profiles five more of our Virginia Beach administrators with very complimentary write-ups --congratulations to Weeta Bell-Phillips, principal at Kempsville Middle School; Pat Griffin, principal of Princess Anne High School; Carolyn Keen, evening administrator at Open Campus High School and Administrative Intern at Kellam High School; Sheila Magula, associate superintendent, Department of Curriculum and Instruction; and Don Stowers, assistant superintendent, High School Education.

Also, the Spring 2000 Longwood College Alumni Magazine features an in-depth profile of Gay Kampfmueller.

Our congratulations to all these fine administrators, and our thanks for a job well done.

Last Thursday, May 11th, marked the seventh annual Technical and Career Education End of the Year Awards Ceremony. I want to congratulate first of all, TCE Director Pat Konopnicki and his entire staff for hosting this event and celebrating student and staff achievement in such a festive manner. Awards ranged from mini-grant presentations to Rufus Beamer Excellence Award winners to the TCE teacher and student of the year awards. Allow me the opportunity to briefly mention a few of these outstanding award winners and offer congratulations to all:

Next, the Rufus Beamer individual and group award winners:

* Honorable Mention went to Barbara Whaley and Wilda Stephenson at Salem High School for Showcasing the Workplace, a marketing campaign and presentation about the cooperative education program.

* The group award goes to a team from First Colonial High School and the Tech Center for their Patriot Radio Theater project. Team members include Elaine Hutcheson, Jolene Scholl, Mary Beth Hackworth, and Sue S. from First Colonial, Bill M. from the Tech Center, and Charlie Hackworth of Hackworth Reprographics.

* The individual award goes to Bob Shanks, an electricity teacher at the Tech Center, for Holiday Lights at the Beach. Not only has Bob won the local competition, but he has also been named the regional winner. He now moves on to the state competition. Our best wishes for success at the state level.

Now, the student and teacher of the year awards:

* The 1999-2000 Technical and Career Education Student of the Year is Sherill A., a Work and Family Studies student at Green Run High School.

* The 1999-2000 Technical and Career Education Teacher of the Year is Bob Shanks...Bob was cited as the Rufus Beamer award winner, for his services to seven Habitat for Humanity houses and local churches as well as for his help in providing handicapped ramps during scouting projects.

Again, let me congratulate all these fine winners.

Future Problem Solving team members from Virginia Beach made an impressive showing at the 2000 Virginia Future Problem Solving State Championship Bowl. Congratulations to the Future Problem Solving team of ninth graders--Grace H., Allison M., Brandon S., and Daniel Y. -- who won first place in the intermediate division (grades 7-9) against 35 other teams from around the state. This team will be representing the Commonwealth of Virginia at the 2000 International Future Problem Solving Conference next month at the University of Georgia. The team also won first place in the Presentation of Action Plan Skit competition. Brandon Stewart won the 2000 Virginia Eagle Award for outstanding logical and analytical thinking as well as insightful reasoning. Carolyn Stamm is the Future Problem Solving coach for these students from Princess Anne High School and Ocean Lakes High School. Congratulations to them all, and good luck at the international level!

Congratulations to Annabel Oakes, a senior at Kempsville High School for her "2000 Excellence in Psychology Award" from the American Psychological Association. Amanda was nominated for this award by her AP psychology teacher, Kevin Denson based on her exemplary achievement and effort in the study of psychology. Well done!

Congratulations to Melissa Knight, a gifted resource teacher at Providence Elementary School, and her fifth-grade math class. Students J.C. A., Beth C., Katie D., Ariel K., Ralph N., and Will W. created "shape-it up" designs from a puzzle first published in the February issue of AIMS magazine. Their designs based on the puzzle were subsequently published in the most recent May/June issue of AIMS.

The results of the National Latin Exam have arrived. Two hundred and eleven (211) Kemps Landing Magnet School students took part in this exam. Of those participants, 129 (61 percent) received awards, including 10 gold meals and 30 silver medals. Individual honors will be presented at the schoolís awards assembly. Congratulations to all these classics scholars!

Four Virginia Beach elementary schools -- Hermitage, Kempsville, Glenwood, and Thoroughgood -- received the Outstanding Achievement Award for their respective student councilsí contributions to the school this year at the recent Virginia Student Council Associationís annual convention in Richmond. Only 26 elementary schools in the state were so recognized for their service and leadership. In addition, Ocean Lakes High School was one of only 13 secondary schools in Virginia earning this prestigious award which was sponsored by the Virginia Association of Secondary School Principals. Congratulations to all!

Finally...let me leave you with a reminder once more about the upcoming Stars, Musical Bars, and Bands concert slated for June 1 at the GTE Amphitheater. I encourage everyone to attend this outstanding family event which features our middle and high school band students in a 1000-plus person band concert. All funds raised from the concert will go to support our music department and the Virginia Beach Schools Education Foundation. Weíre also making a concerted effort to receive recognition by the Guinness Book of Records for setting a world record for staging the largest student band concert.

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