Superintendent's Report
December 19, 2000

Mr. Chairman and members of the Board, my report this evening includes highlights of a few recent events that have taken place in our school system and several student and staff accomplishments that have been awarded for outstanding performance and achievement.

Let me begin by sharing information about Custodial Appreciation Day which was held on December 15 at Princess Anne High School. Over 300 custodians and their principals attended this third annual celebration to honor the contributions of our school system's custodians. For the first time, an entire school custodial staff was recognized. Custodial staffs from Shelton Park Elementary, Plaza Middle, and Ocean Lakes High were named outstanding custodial staff of the year. Dr. Ulysses Van Spiva was the guest speaker for the event, which was sponsored by the Office of Custodial Services in the Department of Administrative Support Services.

On Saturday, December 2, 2000, the Office of Organizational Development hosted an Orientation for the Career Path Enhancement Program (CPEP). Over 100 teacher assistants attended this event held at the NSU/ODU Higher Education Center. Norfolk State College, Old Dominion University, Regent University, Tidewater Community College, and Virginia Wesleyan College were also present to communicate their course offerings to the CPEP participants. Interest in this new program will most likely generate numerous career path opportunities for our teacher assistants.

On December 13, thirty VBCPS educators/authors and seven VBCPS artists were honored at a gala recognition dinner sponsored by our Education Foundation. This event celebrated their contributions to the publication of our school system's second book A Tapestry Of Knowledge, Volume II, Weaving Assessment Strategies into Instruction. This journal of best practices written by teachers for teachers and others interested in public education will be available in January 2001.

The Salem High School Madrigals were chosen to sing at the White House on December 15, when they presented two concerts for invited guests. They are among only 25 high school choirs chosen nationwide for this honor. The madrigal choir consists of 25 students in grades 10-12. Congratulations to choral director Don Krudop and the Salem High School Madrigals for being selected for such a prestigious honor. I've no doubt that they represented our school division honorably.

Congratulations to Larkspur Middle School for being selected as one of Governor Gilmore's Virginia Naturally 2000 schools. This environmental education award was given for Larkspur's outstanding educational efforts in environmental education. Larkspur staff members Skip McLamb, Laura Smart-Dollar, and David Lamb initiated and coordinated environmental projects, that have resulted in the development of two outdoor classrooms. Over the past three years Larkspur staff have written and received over $10,000 in grant and matching funds, coordinated hundreds of volunteer hours, and planned intensive staff development activities. The school was awarded a flag that will fly over their school in recognition of this honor.

Congratulations to Fine Arts Coordinator Dr. Anne Wolcott, for being named Art Educator of the Year for Supervision and Administration by the Virginia Art Education Association. Under the leadership of Dr. Wolcott, our school system has earned an outstanding reputation in our region and our state for excellence in our art program.

Our art program received a first place award from the Virginia Art Education Association for its Youth Art Month notebook which chronicled Youth Art Month activities in March. Robin Murberg, art teacher at Parkway Elementary, was the designer and editor of the VBCPS Youth Art Month Notebook.

In addition, on December 7, we celebrated with a reception the expansion of our art gallery here at the school administration building with 90 new pieces of work, bringing our collection to nearly 400 in total.

Kudos to Carolyn Powell, Technical and Career Education teacher at Kempsville High School who received the 2000 Association of Technical and Career Education's National Trade and Industrial Education Outstanding Teacher Award. Ms. Powell was awarded this recognition on December 7th in California at the San Diego Convention Center.

Congratulations to Kimberly T., a senior at Green Run High School, who is the Eastern Regional winner in Dominion Virginia Power's annual essay contest, entitled "Strong Men & Women-- Excellence in Leadership. Kimberly will be awarded a $500 savings bond and her school; Green Run High receives $750 due to her efforts. Kimberly will be honored at a ceremony in Richmond in January.

Kudos to Student Activities Coordinator Bruce Phelps for earning the designation of Certified Master Athletic Administrator. This distinction was awarded by the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association for completion of the rigorous requirements set forth by their association.

We extend best wishes to Suzanne Buhner, a Special Education teacher at Cooke Elementary, who was recently named Reading Teacher of the Year by the Virginia Beach Reading Council. Ms. Buhner was selected for this honor for her innovative strategies of teaching reading, such as an Audio Books on Cassette Club, the inclusion of guest readers in her program, and student interaction and the creation of "mind movies" to assist students with reading comprehension.

And finally, we were notified just yesterday of the selection of Ocean Lakes High School as one of nine pilot sites across the state for the Department of Education's "on-line testing" program. We will be receiving assistance from the state and a sizable grant to make this a reality.

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