It’s been an amazing couple of weeks in our school division as we prepare for Monday with our students. During my time in the schools over the past few days, I’ve had the opportunity to talk to many of our professionals about the year ahead.

Please click the image below to hear from our five Teachers of the Year:

The Goochland triathlon was this past weekend and we had a blast.  Amongst many other GCPS employees and Goochland County citizens, the event had participation from Goochland School Board Chairman JD Wright, Sheriff Jim Agnew, Goochland Board of Supervisors Chairman Ken Peterson, Goochland Board of Supervisors Vice-Chairman Manuel Alvarez, and GCPS Assistant Superintendent Pete Gretz, and me!

Here are some pictures from the day!

The Virginia Department of Education will select two student delegates to represent Virginia in the United States Senate Youth Program sponsored by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation.  Each delegate will receive a $5,000 scholarship and an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C., March 8-15, 2014.

Each public and private high school may submit one nominee.  That nominee will take an examination that tests the individual’s knowledge of the United States Constitution and the government, including current government officials.  The administration of the examination must be supervised by a teacher or administrator at the student’s school.  The completed examination will be sent to the Virginia Department of Education where it will be scored.  Two state delegates and two alternates will be selected based on the results of their examinations and information included in their applications.  A panel of judges appointed by the Virginia Department of Education will select the delegates and alternates.  The examination results, outstanding academic ability, and demonstrated qualities of leadership and community service will be considered when selecting the two state delegates and two alternates.

Nominees must be juniors or seniors who have not previously been delegates, and who are serving during the 2013-2014 school year in an elected or selected capacity in a student government or related organization such as: student body or class president, vice-president, secretary or treasurer, representative to the student council or district, and regional or state-level civic or educational organization.

The nominees should possess the following qualities:

  • leadership ability;
  • high scholastic standing and demonstrated ability to achieve;
  • clear speech and logical thought processes;
  • community involvement; and
  • participation in a wide selection of activities on and off campus such as sports, arts, and politics.

Each nominee must be a permanent resident of the United States and currently enrolled in a public or private secondary school located in the state in which either one of his or her parents or guardians legally resides.  Students from Department of Defense (DOD) Education Activity overseas will represent the state(s) of which the parents/guardians are U.S. legal voting residents. Students attending DOD schools in the U.S. or students enrolled through U.S. military bases in local schools will represent the state in which their school is located.  A student attending a school that is located in a state other than the state of legal residence of either of the student’s parents or guardians is not eligible.

Detailed information about the United States Senate Youth Program may be found at  A nomination form is attached, and must be postmarked to the Virginia Department of Education no later than September 27, 2013.  An examination will be mailed to the school counselor or designated contact at the student’s school by October 11, 2013.  The completed examination must be postmarked no later than November 1, 2013, to:

Ms. Christonya B. Brown Virginia Department of Education P. O. Box 2120 Richmond, Virginia 23218-2120

Notification of selected delegates will occur by the end of December 2013.  For further information, please contact Ms. Christonya Brown, coordinator of history and social sciences, by e-mail at or by telephone at (804) 225-2893.

  1. Student Application 2014 United States Senate Youth Program (Word)

As we begin a new school year, I wanted to take a moment to remind our staff and community that background checks are necessary for any volunteer who will:

  1. have repeated exposure to students
  2. be unsupervised with students

The checks are done at our expense and to the degree possible, at your convenience. We truly appreciate the generosity of our great community and we embrace the opportunity to partner with our tremendous group of volunteers.

If you are interested in volunteering in our schools (or you are interested in recruiting an excellent volunteer) please use the application process detailed on this page.


Governor Bob McDonnell recently announced that the Goochland County Public Schools will receive $450,000 in Strategic Compensation Grant funding to provide incentive payments to exemplary teachers.

Read the Grant Here!

Dr. Patricia I. Wright, state superintendent, attended the press release along with Goochland Superintendent, James F. Lane, and school board chair, John D. Wright, and board member, Elizabeth Hardy. “I congratulate Dr. Lane, county teachers, and the Goochland County School Board for their willingness to think outside the box and take advantage of this opportunity,” Wright said. “Goochland’s strategic compensation model provides incentives for teachers to excel in their own classrooms and to collaborate with colleagues on meeting school-level and division-level goals for increased student learning and achievement.”

The only school division in the Metro Richmond area to be awarded the grant funds, Goochland has developed an innovative program of compensation to reward classroom teachers whose efforts enable the division to meet strategic goals. Teachers will be able to receive up to $5,000 in bonus compensation for documented excellence and innovation.

The strategic compensation model does not replace the traditional teacher salary scale. “We intentionally stayed away from any type of program that would foster competition among teachers,” Lane commented. “Ultimately our model is driven by the work we have done to establish our division’s vision and values. We are rewarding teachers for their leadership and extraordinary effort in support of our mission to maximize the potential of every learner.”

McDonnell, speaking at Andrew Lewis Middle School, said, “Teachers who stay late, mentor new colleagues, accept assignments in hard-to-staff schools and whose students consistently do well deserve more than our thanks; they deserve to be rewarded. I congratulate these 13 school divisions for their openness to reform and innovation and their willingness to collaborate with teachers on how best to achieve strategic goals for improving student outcomes.”

The grants, totaling $4.5 million, will provide performance and incentive payments of up to $5,000 for teachers in 13 school divisions who meet goals related to student achievement, professional growth and leadership. McDonnell announced the awards as he began his statewide “This Commonwealth of Opportunity” tour with a stop highlighting implementation of a key piece of his All Students K-12 education reform agenda.

One of the awesome features of blogs is the ability to network and promote the readership of other blogs. Ms. Kelli Bratton, GHS science teacher, has recently written a post about an effort that glows with creativity and engagement.

The Goochland Leadership Enterprise exists to inform and educate interested citizens about specific issues impacting the county and to foster citizens’ involvement in making Goochland an inspiring place to live and work. The first session, which is an orientation, begins on September 19th.

The program consists of fifteen sessions and a Graduation dinner. The majority of meetings are scheduled on Thursday evenings from 7:00 to 8:30 P.M. at various locations around the County with one daytime meeting at the State Capital. The registration fee is the only cost to the participant, which covers materials and meals during Orientation, Day at the  Capital, Dinner with the Supervisors and the Graduation Dinner. Scholarships are available on a need basis. Applications will be accepted beginning July 1st, apply early as the class size is limited so don’t wait!

Sign up today for this fantastic opportunity!

Mr. Newman and GHS staff members welcomed incoming 9th grade students today with the school’s first Freshmen Orientation program. Students interacted with their teachers, learned about the building and expectations, played games, heard from club sponsors and were treated to entertainment.


A highlight was the student panel, held in the auditorium. Veteran Bulldogs fielded questions from the freshman class. Mr. Newman moderated and offered helpful comments about how to be a successful student at Goochland High School.