JULY 18, 2000

Mr. Chairman, members of the Board and citizens of our community, my report this evening highlights a few events taking place in our school division as well as many noteworthy honors and achievements received by our staff and students.

I’m pleased to report that the Class of 2000 has been awarded nearly 12 million dollars in scholarships as reported by graduating seniors to each of our high school guidance offices.

Seatack Elementary kicks off their year round school year on Monday July 31st with a flag raising ceremony at 1:00 pm. The flag, donated by Mr. and Mrs. Ablowich, was one that had previously flown over the Capital Building in Richmond.

Twenty-two graduates of the VBCPS, who are on the staff of the Student Activities’ Leadership Workshop, have been actively preparing for this year’s student leaders’ training which will be held at Va. Wesleyan from July 24 – 26 for middle schoolers, and the week of July 31 for high school students. Approximately 124 students are registered for these dynamic leadership training opportunities. The skills that they gain from these events will equip them with the knowledge and tools to implement successful student activities programs when they return to their respective schools in the fall.

Employees with questions about the new compensation plan have been offered the opportunity to communicate their concerns through our 24-hour automated hotline, which will be in operation through July 21st. To date, we have received 110 calls, the majority of them involving the need for assistance in computing salaries.

Congratulations are in order this evening. For Ralph Mizelle, former principal of Glenwood Elementary. He was named Elementary Principal of the Year by the Virginia Beach Association for Elementary School Principals (VBAESP). Mr. Mizelle recently retired after a 34-year career in education.

Congratulations are also in order for Geoffrey Timlin, Assistant Principal at Thalia Elementary, for being named Assistant Principal of the Year by the VBAESP. Mr. Timlin is a 15-year veteran of our school division with leadership experience at Woodstock, Bayside, and Thalia Elementary Schools.

Hats Off to Bernard Morgan, Principal at Tallwood High School, who has been named Secondary Principal of the Year by the Virginia Beach Association of Secondary School Principals (VBASSP). Mr. Morgan has served as principal at Seatack Elementary, Bayside and Lynnhaven Junior High Schools and Bayside High School, prior to his current tenure at Tallwood High.

And finally, congratulations to Richard Ponti, Assistant Principal at Kempsville High School for being named Secondary Assistant Principal of the Year by the VBASSP. Mr. Ponti has served our schools in a variety of capacities for the past 23 years.

My appreciation and sincere congratulations to these outstanding administrators, who serve as shining examples of leadership for the staff and students of our system!

The Selection Committee for Foreign Languages Teacher of the Year for the Virginia Beach City Public Schools has chosen Tom Markham, Spanish teacher at Kemps Landing Magnet School, the 2000 Outstanding Foreign Languages Teacher of the Year. In addition, French and Spanish teacher at Kempsville Middle School, Tammy Quirola (Kwi-ro-la) was named the 2000 Outstanding Foreign Languages "Rookie" Teacher of the Year. Congratulations to Mr. Markham and Ms. Quirola (Kwi-ro-la) for receiving these honors.

Virginia Beach Central Academy tenth-grader Brooks D. was recently notified that he is a national prize winner – capturing third place – in the secondary educational division of the Office Proficiency Assessment and Certification (OPAC) National Keyboarding Challenge 2000, the Fastest Typist in the Nation contest, sponsored by Professional Secretaries International.

According to Mrs. Margaret Pack, Brooks’ keyboarding teacher, "Brooks is phenomenal at the keyboard. He types faster and more accurately than any student I’ve seen in my life. For this competition he keyed 112 net words per minute (in five minutes) with a 98.9 percent accuracy rate." Congratulations to Brooks!

The National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA) has awarded a total of 13 awards to the Department of Media and Communications Development for a variety of print, mixed media, and electronic media projects submitted for judging for the 1999-2000 Publications and Electronic Media Contest. The department garnered two prestigious Golden Achievement Awards as well as two Awards of Excellence. NSPRA sponsors an annual competition, and this year received a total of 1,241 entries from school divisions across the country. The Department of Media and Communications’ previous record of wins was nine awards achieved in the 1998-99 competition. My congratulations to our Department of Media and Communications for the fine job they do in promoting our school division and for bringing national attention to the Virginia Beach City Public Schools through these awards.

Cox High School has been named one of the three state winners of the 2000 Wachovia Cup for yearlong excellence in Virginia High School League’s athletic activities. This is the sixth time Cox has earned this distinction during the 11 years that the award has been presented. Cox High can take great pride upon being recognized as the Group AAA school with the best overall performance in VHSL state-level athletic programs, especially for receiving this exceptional distinction for the sixth time.

And, finally, in preparation for the smooth start of a new school year, we encourage all parents and guardians to register their children for school by August 15, if they have not already done so. All of our schools are gearing up for the 2000-2001 school year and prompt registration can only assist our efforts. Enrollment numbers greatly influence our planning --from numbers of classrooms and teachers/staff needed, to cafeteria logistics and transportation issues.

Members of the School Board, this concludes my report for this evening.