Superintendent's Report
May 25, 2004


Mr. Chairman, members of the School Board, citizens of our community, I'm happy to share some recent events and accomplishments in my report this evening.

On May 3rd, new teachers and their mentors celebrated a year of partnership at an event that featured Ron Clark as the keynote speaker. Mr. Clark was Disney's American Teacher of the Year in 2001 and is the author of The Essential 55: An Award-Winning Educator's Rules for Discovering the Successful Student in Every Child.

First Colonial High, Lynnhaven Middle, and Linkhorn Park Elementary recently hosted educators from Israel as part of their recent visit to Virginia Beach. They talked with students and staff about education in America and engaged in discussion on topics such as "tolerance in diverse environments". The visit was coordinated by the City's Department of Economic Development and the Virginia Israel Advisory Board.

Dr. Jo Lynn DeMary, State Superintendent for Public Education, recently served as the keynote speaker for the second citywide meeting of our Teacher Forum. Dr. DeMary's address to nearly 100 of our teachers of the year was sponsored by the Teacher Forum Leadership Council and focused on the topic of teacher leadership.

Virginia Beach recently hosted the Virginia School Board Association's Regional Forum which was attended by nearly 100 school board members and administrators from the Tidewater region. A highlight of the evening was the Virginia School Board Association's Regional Art Contest where student artwork from around the region was submitted, then judged. Kudos to two of our students-- Peyton Rack, Old Donation Center, and Stephen Suratos , Salem High School, won first place awards for their creative artwork.

Several additional congratulations are in order this evening. . .

Hats off to the Brandon Middle School Science Team of Nicholas Garcia, Timothy Berry, Shaun Sutherland, and Matthew Samson, who recently placed first at the 2004 Virginia Regional Middle School Science Bowl. The team is coached by Fran Shaneyfelt and Sandy Jackson. In addition to receiving a large trophy, $700 for the school's science department, and a hydrogen model car, the team will now compete in the National Science Bowl in June in Colorado.

Congratulations to Cindy Copperthite, art specialist at Ocean Lakes High, who recently received the Pollie Morison Award for Excellence in Holocaust/Tolerance Education from the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater. Ms Copperthite's Art Foundations class participated in a Holocaust unit of study resulting in 40 pieces of student artwork. . .all reflective of "Man's inhumanity to man". The work of OLHS 11th grader Mallory Williams was selected for a 1st place honor in the United Jewish Federation's Senior Division of the Visual Arts Competition. Chrissy Barton, an eighth grader at Lynnhaven Middle School also placed first in the Junior Poetry Division of the 2004 Elie Wiesel Writing/Visual Arts Competition; and Lynnhaven Middle School teacher Pamela Stark received the Ester Goldman Teacher Award.

Congratulations to Kellie Mason, teacher at Landstown High, who has been awarded the 2004 Outstanding High School Teacher Award by the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia. This award recognizes alumni of UVA for outstanding accomplishments in both school and community. Ms. Mason has been teaching in our system for 11 years.

Hats off to Indian Lakes Elementary third graders Ashley Miller, Brenda Spence, and Jiliane Jorge who place first, second, and third, respectively, in the 2004 Virginia National Aviation Poster Contest sponsored by the Department of Aviation in Richmond. The students' artwork reflected their study of the 100 year anniversary of the Wright Brothers first flight.

Congratulations to Gena Williams, first grade teacher at Kingston Elementary, who was selected as "Sam's Club Teacher of the Year". Mrs. Williams was nominated by a parent of one of her students and was awarded a $1,000 educational grant (during Teacher Appreciation Week) to be used for instructional materials for her classroom.

Hats off to Carl Peake, computer resource specialist at Ocean Lakes Elementary School, who has been named Technology Educator of the Year by the Consortium for Interactive Instruction. Mr. Peake was recognized for providing teacher workshops, developing activities across disciplines, and developing we site standards for our schools. The award was given at The Great Computer Challenge held at Old Dominion University earlier this month.

Kudos to Karen Simmons, Work and Family Studies Teacher at Ocean Lakes High, for receiving an award of Honorable Mention for her entry in the Practical Money Skills for Life Educator Challenge.

Finally, congratulations to VBCPS bus drivers Kelli Westerman, Stacey Conrad, and Cheryl Ruffin for placing in the finals of the Region II Roadeo held in Newport News on May 8th. Kelli placed 4th in the region, Stacey garnered a third place finish, and Cheryl placed first in the region.

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