Virginia Beach City Public Schools

Superintendent's Monthly Report to the School Board

Superintendent's Report
June 16, 2009

Chairman Edwards, Vice Chairman Bellitto, and members of the Board –

As you are aware, this week marks the conclusion of the 2008-2009 school year for our teachers and students, and our high schools are busy preparing for graduation ceremonies at the Virginia Beach Convention Center.  Once again, VBSchools Troop Tube will allow the public to watch live webcasts of graduation ceremonies from each of the division’s eleven traditional high schools. Ceremonies will stream live on vbschools.com courtesy of Cox Communications.  For more information about graduation schedules and video replays visit the VBSchools Troop Tube page on the school division’s website.  Congratulations to our high school seniors and their families and to all of our students and staff for another successful school year.

Last week we learned that six of the division’s high schools were included on Newsweek magazine’s “Top of the Class” list.  According to Newsweek, Princess Anne, Cox, Ocean Lakes, First Colonial, Kempsville, and Kellam high schools rank among the top six percent of public high schools in the country.  This is the fourth consecutive year that Princess Anne, Cox, Ocean Lakes, and First Colonial have appeared on the magazine’s list of top schools.

Through the Virginia Teachers for Tomorrow class, twenty-one high school seniors have been awarded Future Teacher contracts.  Upon graduating from an accredited teacher preparation program and meeting additional placement requirements, these students will be granted a teaching contract with Virginia Beach City Public Schools. School committees evaluated recipients on their teaching internship portfolios, application essays, community service, professionalism, and academic records. Each high school may award up to two Future Teacher contracts to students enrolled in the Virginia Teachers for Tomorrow class.

Earlier today, nearly 200 elementary school students participated in the sixth-annual Oceans of Success celebration at the Virginia Aquarium. The event honors third-, fourth-, and fifth-graders who have greatly improved their academic performance during the school year.  The program is sponsored by retired Chief Circuit Court Judge Thomas Shadrick and attorneys Jeffrey Breit and John Drescher.

Global Studies Academy students recently extended their classroom lessons to national politics.  They met with Representative Glenn Nye to encourage his support of a bipartisan bill addressing violence in Uganda.  They became interested in the issue after speaking with former child soldiers in the war-torn province of Gulu via videoconference and raised over $10,000 to help build a Gulu school.

Congratulations to the second-semester recipients of the Superintendent’s Spotlight Award. Individuals were nominated by their peers for their exemplary contributions to Virginia Beach Schools.  Please join me in congratulating the following eleven recipients: 

At its annual awards luncheon, the Office of Technical and Career Education recognized the following three staff members for their outstanding work this year: 

The Virginia Beach School Nurses Association named Lois Smith, nurse at Cox High School, as the citywide School Nurse of the Year.  In addition to her work in the clinic, Lois coordinates the school’s medical club and organizes a program for seniors about preventative health issues they may encounter in college.

Tallwood High School gifted resource teacher Lisa Walker received a Fulbright-Hays grant to travel this summer with the Russian Federation to several Russian Republics.  She will be a keynote speaker at three schools’ professional development conferences and will meet with future teachers at Kazan State University.

Congratulations to student teams from the Advanced Technology Center, Landstown High School, Corporate Landing Middle School, and Kemps Landing Magnet School for their first-place awards at the Great Computer Challenge held at Old Dominion University.  Additionally, three Virginia Beach educators were presented with the following awards:  

Congratulations to Kempsville Middle School sixth-grader Matthew W.  He earned a “High Honors” award from the Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth for his exceptional performance on the SAT Reading test.

From among more than 1,500 young scientists from 56 countries, Ocean Lakes High School senior Sohini S. was an award winner at the 2009 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair held in Nevada.  She received the American Mathematical Society’s third-place award for her project related to the mathematical modeling of HIV dynamics.  

Lastly this evening, twenty-one schools in the division are recipients of the Pearl School Award for the 2008-2009 school year. To earn this award, elementary, middle, and high schools accumulate points by carrying out educational and service programs that teach environmental concepts. The Pearl School Program was developed by the environmental group Lynnhaven River NOW and acknowledges and encourages good environmental education programs in public and private schools. Congratulations to our award-winning schools.

Mr. Chairman and members of the School Board, this concludes my report for the evening.


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