It was announced today, November 11, 2014, that Tina McCay, Principal of Goochland Elementary School, is the recipient of Virginia ASCD’s 2014 Impact Award for Region 1. In the announcement made by Laurie McCullough, VASCD‘s Executive Director, Mrs. McCay was commended as follows:

There are many aspects of your professional practice for which we could commend you. You have brought engaging innovations like student engineering and student leadership to the elementary grades at your school, while also showing high achievement and remarkable individual student growth. In addition, your colleagues speak of you as a supportive, inspirational leader who personalizes learning not only for your students, but also for your staff.

On behalf of the entire GCPS community, please join us in congratulating Mrs. McCay!

Mrs. Tina McCay, Region I recipient of VASCD’s 2014 Impact Award, works with two students this week at Goochland Elementary School.

We congratulate Mr. Allen and the Future Farmers of America (FFA) on their recent success at the forestry competition in Powhatan last week. It has been more than 20 years since GHS FFA has competed in any FFA event!  Our neighboring divisions were excited to welcome us back into the field and our students did a tremendous job, coming in 3rd overall!

The students worked to identify 25 different species of trees, 25 different pieces of equipment used in the forestry industry, and calculate both tree value and volume in a given area.  The students had 25 minutes  to complete each station.

We look forward to future success from this stellar team!

Pictured left to right R J Jones, Heath Parrish, Austin Duley, Tara Johnson, Hunter Bailey, Julie Vogal and Chloe Evens

We want to congratulate our Robotics Program and the coaches & sponsors who are so faithfully pursuing the GCPS vision, inspiring the next generation to make a positive impact. This account from coach, Anne Moore, certainly offers evidence of that!

“Yesterday, the four GMS and three GCPS elementary robotics teams traveled to Deep Run HS to compete in the regional VA FIRST robotics competition.  This was a great day for teamwork, creativity, problem solving, and FUN!  We could not be more proud of the manner in which our 36 students represented GCPS!

The stands were filled with team members’ family and friends and the noise level was deafening while the teams worked relentlessly to improve their mission scores. Behind the scenes, teams continued to fine tune their presentations and skits.

We are happy to report that the one GCPS team, Project Prevention, that competed in the Level 2 Division won the Core Values Award.  This award is presented to the team that best represents and embodies the core values of Gracious Professionalism, Teamwork, and Respect!  To us, this is the most important award as these students have developed skills that will continue to mold them into future leaders, as well as their understanding the importance of the saying “There is no I in TEAM!”.”

GMS Team Project Prevention won the Core Values Award!

Goochland County Public Schools join the Virginia Department of Education and the Virginia Academy of School Psychologists (VASP) and the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) in celebrating School Psychology Awareness Week, November 10-14, 2014.  As schools and school divisions continue to strive to achieve excellence in education by ensuring that every student is ready to learn and every teacher is empowered to teach, the contributions of school psychologists are noteworthy.

School psychologists work with students, teachers, administrators, and families to support the academic achievement, positive behavior, social-emotional wellness, and resiliency of all students, especially those who struggle with barriers to learning.  School psychologists help schools and families address some of our biggest challenges in education: improving and individualizing instruction to close the achievement gap; increasing graduation rates and preventing dropouts; creating safe, supportive school climates; and strengthening home-school partnerships.

Three leaders with the Goochland County Public Schools recently completed a two year training and education program targeting the professional learning of school business and finance professionals.  James Lane, Superintendent, Debbie White, Finance Director, and Pete Gretz, Assistant Superintendent, were members of the first training cohort, a partnership between the Virginia Association of School Business Officials (VASBO) and the University of Virginia.

The program covered topics in accounting principles, financial planning and auditing, purchasing and management systems, school law and general leadership. Practitioners from across the commonwealth gathered to learn from experts and university educators and to build a strong collaborative framework of support.

“One of the fundamental goals of our strategic plan is to maximize the efficiency and safety of our operations,” said James Lane, superintendent and cohort member. “We are in an even better position to deliver exemplary support to the operational systems that undergird our mission of maximizing the potential of every learner.”

APPA, the association dedicated to leadership in educational facilities, and the Goochland County Public Schools are proud to announce that Robert Lawrence, Assistant Maintenance Supervisor and HVAC Technician, has received the prestigious Certified Educational Facilities Professional (CEFP) credential. The CEFP is a way to validate the unique knowledge and competency required of an accomplished professional in the educational facilities field.

“Very few K-12 facilities management professional possess this credential,” explained Dr. Peter Gretz, Assistant Superintendent for Business Operations. “In pursuing and passing this extremely rigorous program and examination, Rob has demonstrated a truly exemplary knowledge base and committment to ongoing professional development that will assure GCPS maintains cutting edge relevancy the world of energy and building management and educational stewardship.”

Mr. Lawrence has been instrumental in the development of the division’s capital improvement plan through his active participation in the school board’s facilities and energy conservation committees.

For eligibility requirements and more information visit or contact Christina Hills at

Last week I had the opportunity to spend part of an afternoon with Ms. Casey Rogers’ Chemistry class at Goochland High School. Ms. Rogers has the reputation of bringing science to life every day for her students, and it doesn’t take more than a few minutes in her classroom for that to reputation to be affirmed. She’s energized by both the course content and by her students.

The day I visited I also got to see firsthand the power of community partnership with our schools. Dr. Joseph Turner from VCU’s Chemistry Department co-taught alongside Ms. Rogers that afternoon. He gave of his time and expertise in an effort to enhance the learning experience for our students. Dr. Turner is an active member of our STEM Advisory Committee, as well as a committed volunteer who’s presence is consistent: from our annual S.T.E.M. Camp to Conundrum Day to last month’s outdoor classroom dedication at Goochland Elementary School.

Dr. Turner’s partnership with Ms. Rogers and with GCPS is one of many that helps make our division an exceptional place for students and staff. To Dr. Turner and all of our supportive community volunteers – thank you.

Ms. Rogers sets the stage for the day’s lesson on diffusion.

Dr. Turner conducts a first-person demonstration of the way gas molecules disperse.