At their April 18, 2017 meeting, the Goochland County School Board approved the award of a contract to Cooperative Strategies, LLC for a Long-Term Demographic and Educational Facilities Planning Study. This study will allow our school division to conduct a thorough analysis of anticipated student enrollment as well as an assessment of our school capacities. This assessment will allow our school division to create a long term, fiscally-responsible plan for the best use of our current facilities and will also provide the information needed to best plan for any future construction that may be needed. The development of this long-term plan for our community has implications for many different stakeholders. As such, this study will involve a community steering committee with public presentations at both School Board and Board of Supervisors meetings.

For the past several months, we have had conversations with representatives from Goochland County administration to plan for the future needs of our community and to make well-planned and fiscally-responsible decisions regarding capital projects.  At their meeting on May 2, 2017, the Goochland County Board of Supervisors appropriated the funds necessary for us to complete this important study, allowing us to be poised to provide our students with the facilities that will support our instructional objectives well into the future.   

We are very thankful for the Supervisor’s support of this project!  In order to begin this process, our school division has formed a steering committee of community stakeholders to assist in the transparent and collaborative development of a this comprehensive facilities master plan.  The Steering Committee will be charged with ensuring that equity and fairness is maintained throughout the planning process. The committee may also review and confirm decisions at critical junctures, and assist in resolving conflicting recommendations prior to submittal of a facility master plan for approval.  Experts from Cooperative Strategies, an educational facilities planning firm, will facilitate the process.

There will be several Steering Committee meetings, with the first meeting being held on June 7th at 6:00 p.m. in Classroom 143 at Goochland High School.  This meeting is open to the public and all are invited to attend.  At this initial meeting, steering committee members will review data and information and will be engaged in work that is facilitated by our the team from Cooperative Strategies.  This in attendance who are not on the steering committee will be able to see and hear the presentations and the work of the committee, but will not be able to participate.  There will be several opportunities for participation from the public as a whole in future settings including a  Community Dialogue that will focus on receiving input on facility options that are created as a part of this Steering Committee process.  

I’ll be sure to let you know more about this project as it evolves in the coming months.

Jeremy Raley, Superintendent


This spring Goochland County Public Schools leadership answered the call to “Shadow a Student”, with twelve senior leaders taking a day to walk in the steps of our students throughout the division. The “Shadow a Student Challenge” was developed by the School Retool initiative, a professional development fellowship that “helps school leaders redesign their school culture” toward cultures of deeper learning through creating a community of change (

GCPS leaders, including Superintendent Dr. Jeremy Raley, Assistant Superintendent for Instruction Dr. Steve Geyer, and members of senior leadership from operations, instructional technology, finance, CTE, and exceptional education were paired with a student for a day as partners and observers. Staff members rode the bus to school with students, ate lunch, sat in on classes, and discussed the student experience.

Mrs. Debbie White, Director of Finance, spent the day at the Goochland Elementary Preschool Program. “After boarding the bus at Byrd Elementary at 7:45, I spent the day watching the teaching staff work tirelessly to engage each child with their very unique needs and observing how much they cared about each child. The adults were quick to cover for each other whenever it was needed to meet those needs. It is difficult to comprehend just how much work is done for our students unless you walk in their shoes”, she said.

Mr. Andy Armstrong, Executive Director of Business Operations, described his day at Randolph Elementary. “In my 13 years as an administrator, I have spent a lot of time making 30 minute observations, meeting with staff, talking about teaching, and engaging with students, but nothing compares to seeing things from the student perspective the way I did as a shadow”.


Above:  Lydia, partner student for Mr. Armstrong at Randolph Elementary

GCPS leaders who participated in the Shadow a Student challenge debriefed about their experiences and continue to integrate their observations into planning for continued deeper learning in Goochland classrooms as defined by School Retool: mastering rigorous academic content, learning how to think critically and solve problems, working collaboratively, communicating effectively, directing one’s own learning, and developing an academic mindset — a belief in one’s ability to grow.












Today our first grade classes from across the school division got the opportunity to visit Goochland Tech.  Their morning included a firsthand “look” at our heavy equipment program (one of two in Virginia), health occupations, carpentry, and culinary arts – an opportunity that included much more than just looking.

Students helped make nutritious smoothies, work with professional tools, and even hop into the driver’s seat of a backhoe.  The best part: our first graders got the opportunity to learn directly from our high school students.

As you might imagine, it was an amazing morning for all!


As we begin to close another successful year and prepare for the upcoming summer break, I wanted to take this opportunity to thank our amazing employees for the the countless hours of dedicated service that they provide to our students and our community.  Teacher Appreciation Week allows us to pause for a moment and say “thank you” for all of the time, effort, and energy that they put forth to ensure that our students are provided with an exceptional experience every day.  Their sacrifice to their own families and personal time on behalf of our students is noticed and appreciated!  They are truly inspiring our next generation!

Although this week is recognized by the National Education Association (NEA) and national PTA as Teacher Appreciation Week, our school division is successful due to the contributions of each and every one of our employees.  The impact that our school division makes in the lives of students and their families does not happen in isolation.  Collectively, each of us plays a significant role in ensuring that students are provided with first class experiences that will enable them to make a positive impact in our community now and in the future.

We have had a great year together!  During my rookie year as Superintendent, I have had the pleasure of seeing them in action.  During my time riding school buses, serving meals, shadowing and talking to students, and visiting classrooms, I have witnessed the positive relationships they are building with students, their desire to innovate, and the optimism that they share when supporting and encouraging ALL of our students.

It is truly a pleasure to have the opportunity to serve our community with them as we continually strive to maximize the potential of every one of our scholars.  Together, we have had a very rewarding and successful school year.  The next few weeks will be crazy as we work toward closing the year.  It’s natural that as we work to complete final reports, grades, and other activities, stress levels naturally rise.  During this frenzy, I ask our awesome team to please take a moment to pause and reflect on the positive impact that they are making on your students.  I ask that they do not ever underestimate the difference that they are making in in the lives of our children.  Never forget why we do what we do!

Thank you for making Goochland great!

We are excited to welcome May to Goochland County!  It is a great time to be outside in our beautiful community.  Come out and see our baseball, softball, soccer, tennis, and track teams in action at both the middle and high schools as they compete for another season of district and regional championships.

In our division, this is a time to celebrate and reflect on our accomplishments for the 2016-2017 school year as we count down to only four weeks left in the school year.  Our first “Celebration of Excellence” held on Tuesday was a great success.  We recognized the best of our employees who do the work every day to make GCPS a division of distinction in the Commonwealth.  Check out our Facebook page for details and pictures from the evening, including our Teacher of the Year Mrs. Jennifer Gates and each school nominee, our Employee of the Year Ms. Nikki Harris, our Team of the Year from the Preschool Program, and our five retirees who have served over 125 years in GCPS.

We will continue to celebrate our successes in the weeks ahead.  Our biggest celebration, of course, will take place at the Goochland High School Class of 2017 Commencement at the John Paul Jones Arena on the campus of the University of Virginia on Sunday, June 4 at 3:00.  Seniors, let’s finish your GHS experience strong as we prepare to send you off into your next chapter in only 4 weeks!

Be on the lookout for communication from your child’s school about upcoming events such as field days, concerts, and end of the year ceremonies.  SOL testing is taking place in all schools this month, and AP testing has begun at the high school.  Please be sure your child gets plenty of rest and a good meal before coming in for testing each day.

Congratulations to Mrs. Anne Moore, CTE teacher at Goochland Middle School.  Mrs. Moore was selected as a winner of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching in 2016, and has just been selected as one of only 10 PAEMST winners nationwide to be selected as a National STEM Ambassador!  Read about it here:  Thank you Mrs. Moore for representing GCPS!

Our Goochland County School Board will meet this Tuesday, May 9, beginning with a policy workshop at 5:30 and open meeting at 6:30.

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  I look forward to seeing you at GCPS events in the near future!


On Tuesday, May 2, Goochland County Public Schools held its first “Night of Excellence” at the Goochland High cafeteria to recognize 2017 retirees, Teacher of the Year, and for the first time, the Employee and Team of the Year.  The Night of Excellence featured food prepared and served by Goochland High Culinary Arts students and GCPS Food Service, and music was provided by the Goochland High School Jazz Ensemble.  

The Goochland Education Foundation joined Superintendent Dr. Jeremy Raley in presenting awards to all of the evening’s distinguished recipients:

  • Mr. Neil Burch, Goochland High Teacher of the Year
  • Mrs. Jennifer Gates, Randolph Elementary Teacher of the Year
  • Ms. Katie Gill, Goochland Middle Teacher of the Year
  • Mrs. Sarah Smith, Goochland Elementary Teacher of the Year
  • Mrs. Rachel Wiggins, Byrd Elementary Teacher of the Year

Mrs. Jennifer Gates, 4th grade teacher at Randolph Elementary School, was selected as the Goochland County Public Schools 2017 Teacher of the Year.  

Jennifer Gates is joined by Dr. Raley (L) and Mr. Quarles of GEF

Dr. Raley (L) joins Mrs. Gates and Mr. Quarles

The GCPS Employee of the Year is Randolph Elementary Custodian Ms. Nikki Harris.  The GCPS Team of the Year is the Preschool Team, which includes the ECSE and Head Start staff, located at Goochland Elementary.

 Goochland Public Schools retirees Mr. John Dacey, GHS teacher;  Mr. Forrest Henley, Transportation;  Mrs. Martha Wunsh, BES nurse; Ms. Delores Johnson, Custodian; and Mrs. Alva Allen, Secretary account for 130 years of experience in public education, with 125 of those years in Goochland County Public Schools.