As Teacher Appreciation Week draws to a close, I wanted to take one more opportunity to thank our amazing teachers for their tireless dedication and commitment to the students of the Goochland County Public Schools. Thank you for ALL that you do!
Author: Jeremy Raley
On Tuesday May 7, our school division honored several employees during our annual Celebration of Excellence. At this event, we recognized the teachers of the year for each of our five schools, our team of the year, employee of the year, and volunteer of the year. We also announced our 2019 Teacher of the Year, Ms. Cindy Shelton-Eide from Goochland High School.
Teachers of the Year
- Cheryl Johnston, Byrd Elementary
- Sara DeLong, Goochland Elementary
- Stacey Wilson, Randolph Elementary
- Glenn Hecker, Goochland Middle
- Cindy Shelton-Eide, Goochland High
Division Teacher of the Year
- Cindy Shelton-Eide, Goochland High
Employee of the Year
- Connie Brice, Custodian, Byrd Elementary
Team of the Year
- Anne Keo and Christina Whitfield, Instructional Coaches
Rookie of the Year
- Anne Desmarais, Teacher, Goochland High
Volunteer of the Year
- Susan Doczi, Goochland High
- Cheri Wolff, Byrd Elementary
- Beverly Cooley, Goochland High
- Edith Flaig, Goochland High
Take a few moments to view some highlights of this event.
As we celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week, I want to take this time to thank every member of Team Goochland for the work that they do for the students whom they serve each and every day! In the fast-paced, hectic world in which we live, we often do not stop and reflect on the critically important work that we are doing.
As educators, we all are provided with the opportunity to impact the lives of the students who enter our classrooms, board our buses, eat in our cafeterias, feel safe in our facilities, and benefit from the many different services we offer. The experiences and lessons that that our team provides our children in your multiple roles serve as the foundation for the future success of our county, state, nation, and world. Their tireless efforts allow us to fulfill our division’s mission to maximize the potential of every learner.
Our school division continues to be seen as a model for excellence across the Commonwealth, and Goochland County Public Schools shines bright because of the contributions of every one of our employees! When I’m visiting classrooms, talking with students, or scrolling through Twitter, I continue to be amazed by the experiences and opportunities that they are providing to our students on a daily basis! They are truly exceptional!
For the past three weeks, I have had the pleasure of meeting with many of our seniors as they are finishing their high school career and preparing for graduation. During my sessions with seniors, I ask them to tell me about something that sticks out as a positive memory during their time with our school division. They’ve told me how our teachers have inspired them, have believed in them, have supported them, have coached them, and have helped them to accomplish things that they never believed that they would have been able to accomplish. The work that our team is doing is having a significant positive difference in the hearts and minds of our students.
During this Teacher Appreciation Week, I invite you to take a moment to share your appreciation for our teachers, our instructional support personnel, and our operations team for their efforts. Please take a moment to send an email, write a thank you card, or just simply thank one of our employees in person for all that they do to make Goochland County Public Schools great!
Today, the Goochland County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved its 2019-2020 budget, a budget that provides our school division with the personnel, facilities, and resources that will move our school division forward on our journey to maximize the potential of every learner. The initiatives outlined in this proposed budget align with our strategic plan and are aimed at maintaining our position as a leader in the Commonwealth.
Thank you to all of our school division staff and our School Board who have dedicated many hours to the development and finalization of this year’s budget process. I also want to sincerely thank the Goochland County Board of Supervisors for their ongoing support, investment, and recognition of the importance of preparing our students for making a positive impact in our ever changing world.
A summary of the highlights of this approved budget follows:
Goal 1: Prepared for Life through Deeper Learning
- 1 English teacher at Goochland High School
- 1 math teacher at Goochland Middle School
- 1 division-wide mental health counselor
- Increasing one school counselor contract at Goochland High School from 11 months to 12 months
- Maintaining administrative intern and assistant athletic director stipends at Goochland High School, Dean of Students stipend at Goochland Middle School, adding a division-wide lead school nurse stipend and senior project advisor stipend at GHS
- Additional funding for dual enrollment, Advance College Academy, and Maggie Walker tuition
- Increase funding for instructional materials and supplies at each school
- Additional funding for Career and Technical Education and Robotics
- Funding to support students taking online, virtual courses
- Assistance to provide equitable field trip experiences for all preschool through fifth grade students
- Summer enrichment camp experiences for students
- Funding for additional classroom software
- Initiatives to support students in alternative education settings
Goal 2: Improved School Climate – Attract and retain quality teachers and staff
This approved budget also included the funding that aligns with the goal of our approved compensation plan (Policy GA-R) to establish the Goochland County Public Schools as the leader in overall compensation among competitive regional school divisions. This approved funding recognizes the significant contributions that all members of Team Goochland to contribute to the excellence of GCPS! Through this budget, we we able to complete the third step in a three- year process to revise the salary scales for all job classifications. Additionally, this budget includes a 3% salary increase for all employees. In addition to salary improvements, many employees (depending on what plan is chosen) will experience a decrease in out of pocket costs for health insurance. The final health insurance premiums, approved by our School Board can be found here.
Goal 3 – Safe Schools with Effective Management
- Increasing staffing in the central office Finance Department
- Funding for software needed for division-wide operations
- Additional funding for utilities and the maintenance of facilities
Capital Improvement Plan
The Board of Supervisors also appropriated $1,450,000 for Capital Improvement Projects in 2019-2020. A half million dollars of this appropriation is a set-aside for future construction of a 650 seat Goochland Elementary School and preschool center planned for construction beginning in 2022. Funding for the purchase of new school buses and the capital needs of other school facilities was included in the Board’s approval of their 5 year capital planning document.
This approved operational budget and capital improvement plan provides the resources to support our journey toward continued excellence as we ensure that we are providing ALL of our students with the knowledge, skills, and opportunities that are so crucial for students to become successful members of a modern global community.
Can you believe that we are now three quarters of the way through this school year? With just nine weeks of school left before summer vacation, the last quarter of the year will fly by! As we transition into the final phase of our year, I wanted to take moment to highlight some of the work that we are doing to maximize the potential of our students as we prepare them to be career ready in an ever-changing global economy.
Last week, we hosted over 57 leaders from business, industry, and high education at our fifth Business and Education Roundtable event. This event is designed to engage in collaborative dialogue to determine what skills and talents our students will need now and in the future to be prepared for the ever-change job market. The highlight of the event was the viewing of a video that highlights the many programs that we offer at Goochland High School including our career and technical education offerings, Advance College Academy (ACA), and Blue Ridge Virtual Governor’s School.
The students who were featured in the video mingled with our guest during this event as perspectives on career readiness were shared. I was so impressed with our scholars! The business leaders were, too, as one of our students walked away from the event with three job offers! Take a moment to read a summary of this event as featured in Goochland on My Mind.
Dr. Hendron, our Director of Innovation and Strategy, and I recently took our 360 degree camera to Goochland Tech to highlight the breadth of programs that we offer in our career and technical education program. We had the opportunity to interview Mr. Bruce Watson, our Director of Career and Technical Education, and even had the chance to watch our students in our Heavy Equipment Operator program in action on the dig site. Check it out! As you watch the video, be sure to use your mouse or your fingers to pan around and see all around.
Our desire to engage students in authentic learning experiences continues next week as every senior at Goochland High School will participate in mock interviews. Students will have first hand experience with the process of conducting a job interview with a focus on sharing their academic experience through a digital portfolio, professional dress, and communication skills during the interview process. Students will be provided feedback that they can use in future settings. I am very excited about providing our students with this meaningful experience!
Team Goochland is successful because of the many contributions of our staff, our families, and our community! Thanks you for everything that you do to support our students in their academic journey! 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). I’m looking forward to seeing you at the many events that will be taking place this Spring!
This morning, our Goochland High School agriculture program and our GCPS food service team was highlighted on Real VA for their collaboration on a farm to school initiative. Take a few moments to check out the excellent work that is taking place to provide fresh, quality produce to our students! Thanks to Danny Allen, our Agriculture Teacher at GHS and Lisa Landrum, our Supervisor of School Nutrition Services for the excellent leadership in making this happen! This is just another example of the awesomeness of the Goochland County Public Schools!
Laura Grace Snow was a member of the GHS Class of 2019. She battled Juvenile Batten Disease from 3rdGrade until her death in February of 2018. Despite losing her sight during Elementary School, life was never dark for Laura Grace. During all of those years she maintained a positive outlook on life that was infectious to everyone with whom she came in contact.
Laura Grace had a profound love for music and never missed an opportunity to perform at school talent shows. Her favorite artist was Taylor Swift and she could sing along to almost every song. During Middle School Laura Grace and her family got the opportunity to meet another of her favorite singers, Carrie Underwood, thru the Make a Wish Foundation.
Goochland High School Senior, Savannah Slater, has been friends with Laura Grace since they were toddlers playing at Hidden Rock Park while their older brothers played baseball. Savannah has used her Senior Project to create a Scholarship in memory of Laura Grace. She has worked with the Guidance Department, Laura Grace’s Family, and GRASP Representatives to develop a scholarship designed to open their fellow students eyes to the needs of individuals with disabilities.
Savannah has chosen to generate funds for this scholarship by creating the Laura Grace Snow Memorial Music Festival. The Festival will include stage performances by fellow students, community choirs, and local musicians. Commemorative T-Shirts will be available for purchase at the Festival as well as raffle tickets for some creative gift baskets donated by community members. Dinner may be purchased from the All-Night-Graduation Committee at the indoor Concession Stand.
Please join us for The Laura Grace Snow Memorial Music Festival on Saturday, March 2nd in the Goochland High School Auditorium beginning at 6pm. Doors will open at 5pm for dinner and to purchase raffle tickets. Come out and enjoy the show.
Please join us for an opportunity to have a conversation about ideas and opportunities to strengthen inclusive, caring, and safe learning environments in our schools. This event is a partnership between the Goochland County Public Schools, our Minority Student Achievement Advisory Committee, and the Goochland Minister’s Conference of Goochland and Vicinity. All are welcome!
Please join us for our 2019 Wellness Night, sponsored by our division’s Teen Mental Health Committee
This year, the excellence of the Goochland County Public Schools has been recognized by many agencies, including the Virginia Department of Education, the Government Finance Officers Association, and Niche.com! We have received multiple recognitions for our academic success, our security initiatives, our strong financial practices, and for meeting the needs of students with disabilities. We are the home of strong extra-curricular programs and can tout many professional accomplishments by our employees. Our school division is seen as a leader both inside and outside of the Commonwealth of Virginia in many ways!
These successes are the result of a supportive community, talented students, and dedicated employees who strive daily to inspire and prepare our students to make a positive impact. This past fall, our school division’s leadership team began the process of developing an overall compensation plan that would continue to position our school division at the top of our competitive market and recognize the many contributions of our talented teammates. After many months of discussion, this compensation plan was approved by the Goochland County School Board at its meeting on Tuesday February 12.
The highlight of the approved plan is the goal set by the Board to become the leader in overall compensation among competitive regional divisions. This bold move affirms our school board’s commitment to recognizing the contributions of our employees through a competitive overall compensation plan that includes salary, benefits, and a collegial, collaborative work environment. The policy also provides clarity to employees on salary placement, movement on the salary scale, salary adjustments, and stipends.
I applaud the Board for their bold leadership and for their commitment to a compensation plan that will allow our division to recruit and hire new teammates, while also retaining our current highly talented employees. Click here to view the approved Compensation Plan.