A Lot to Celebrate!

With our three day President’s Day weekend upon us and only a little over three months of school remaining in the 2016-2017 school year, this is a great time to reflect on the recent progress and accomplishments of our students and staff.

This past Tuesday’s School Board meeting featured several recognitions of the great work of our division.  Our students continue to amaze me!  At Goochland Middle School, Caroline Webb was recognized for earning the  Prudential Spirit of Community Award and Ashley Thompson was designated the Be Strong representative for bullying prevention for Virginia.  Also making an appearance from GMS were the Tiger Trackers robotics team, who competed at the state Lego Robotics competition and have incorporated environmental awareness and cross-curricular connections into their collaboration this year.  Mr. Frago’s students from his Modern Smarts after school club even brought in the “augmented reality sandbox” to give our School Board an up close, hands-on experience with this incredible example of deeper learning, collaboration, and student-led work.

School Board Members view the A R Sandbox

Also recognized at the February School Board meeting were two of our outstanding staff members, Goochland Middle School teacher Anne Moore, whose partnership with VCU in environmental education was cited in the VCU annual report, and Goochland High School teacher and head football coach Joe Fowler, who was recognized for his work in the classroom with the W!SE Blue Star distinction for success on the financial literacy assessment and for his work on the field, which earned him the Division 1A, 2A, and Private School Coach of the Year.  Thank you Mrs. Moore and Mr. Fowler for your dedication to our students!  

February is a month of important recognitions in schools nationwide.  We recognized our school counselors earlier this month for National School Counselor’s Week for their tireless work with all of our students.  Our school counselors connect with every child, every year and cover everything from scheduling and course requests to crisis situations to college applications and much more.  We also recognized our School Board and Diane Bennett, our School Board Clerk, as part of the Virginia School Board Association School Board and Board Clerk Appreciation activities.  The five members of our School Board are deeply committed to ensuring that GCPS continues to distinguish itself as an innovative and responsible division.  Their thoughtful support of our work in teaching and learning confirms that.  Thank you Goochland County School Board!

February is also Career and Technical Education month.  The highlight of our CTE recognition took place last Saturday at our annual Conundrum Day, where students and teachers from across the district spent their weekend morning working to solve complex problems with limited resources with teamwork.  Students at Goochland High School will be celebrating National FFA Week next week and will be visited by the leadership of the Virginia FFA.

With spring sports tryouts just around the corner we want to celebrate the accomplishments of our winter teams who had another banner season.  GHS swim sent several individuals and teams to the state finals this week in Christiansburg.  Both boys and girls basketball teams had a successful year and Bryan Herrera was our first wrestler to advance to the state finals.  In a GHS sports moment more important than results, senior basketball player Jack Twombly, with the support of Coach A.J. Nash and his teammates, raised over $3,100 for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network in honor of his mother, Joan, who passed away last November.  Jack’s work makes us all proud here in Goochland!

In fine arts, I had a chance to attend the sold out production of Willy Wonka at Goochland Middle School and was beyond impressed with the skills of our cast and crew and the professional, first-rate job of GHS student director Tevin Davis.  Congratulations to all of our student athletes and performers for a great winter.

Please take a look at my latest blog entries at http://leadership.goochlandschools.org/ for details about our 2017-2018 operating budget and 2017-2018 school calendar.  You can also find details about the many events taking place this month to celebrate Black History Month in all of our schools.  Don’t forget that Monday, February 20 is a student holiday and professional day with parent conferences beginning at 4 p.m.  Students should not report to school.

Continue to stay up to date with our division’s events by liking our Facebook page and following us on Twitter (@glndschools) and Instagram (@goochlandschools).  Stay current with all of the great things happening in our schools at our division leadership blog at http://leadership.goochlandschools.org.  We are looking forward to seeing you at GCPS events in the near future. Have a great weekend!

Jeremy Raley, Superintendent


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