After an exhaustive search the Goochland County Public School division has named Mrs. Jennifer Waggener as Director of Exceptional Education. Mrs. Waggener replaces Debbie Beasley, who is retiring after a 40 year career in education, 27 of which were spent in Goochland.

“We are sad to see Debbie retire officially this year,” superintendent James Lane commented. “We are ecstatic about Mrs. Waggener’s leadership and believe she is the perfect choice!”

Mrs. Waggener has been with the division for 10 years and has worked in every school. She was initially hired as a school psychologist and has most recently been a supervisor of special education.

“I’m deeply honored to take on this new role,” explained Mrs. Waggener. “I’m especially excited to continue supporting and advocating for our students in this new capacity as part of team Goochland!”

Mrs. Waggener and her husband, Chris, live in Chesterfield with their two-year-old twin children, Wilson and Caroline. She begins her new position officially in July.

GES held its annual “Full STEAM Ahead Day” yesterday (science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics).

The entire student body spent the morning collaborating and creating … all in search of the perfect solution to their grade level’s design brief. (Here’s an example of one of the six design briefs undertaken during today’s event: 5th grade design brief.) Some groups created wagons, others catapults (all from household recycled materials and “clean trash”), as they worked to meet the challenges set forth in their project-based assignments.

Thank you to Mrs. Lisa Brown, GES’ Gifted Resource Teacher, and the entire faculty for fostering creativity and critical thinking in this amazing school wide event. Mrs. Brown commented, “This truly is the best day of my year. I am always amazed at what children can imagine and create when the problem is open-ended.”

Grade 2 Catapult Design

Grade 5 “Fourth Little Pig” Home Construction

The YMCA is offering all GCPS employees one month’s free membership and wavier of the joining fee for joining the Y! This is the Y’s way of expressing appreciation for the amazing work you do for our great community.

Just in time to enjoy the incredible pool this summer!

To redeem the offer, simply click the picture below and take the flyer to the YMCA:



Once again, GCPS students have the opportunity to be recognized at September’s Field Day of the Past event for their summer reading efforts. Students can be a part of the fair’s celebration by reading ten (or more) books over the summer, recording their efforts on the Blue Ribbon Reading Log, and returning the completed log to their teacher by September 11, 2015.

This year’s Field Day of the Past event is scheduled for September 18-20, 2015.

Sometimes great things can be accomplished quickly, even immediately. At other times, it takes much longer.

Fifteen months ago (after several months of development and writing) we submitted an application for the Virginia Future Education and Environment Development Grant. We wrote the application focused on the development of a partnership with VCU’s da Vinci Center for Innovation and the possibility of an amazing, creative opportunity for our high school students.

Five months after submission we received notification that our grant was selected and $11,500 was awarded.

Fifteen months later our students in Mr. Bouwen’s Engineering class realized the benefit of the work that began as an idea in December 2013.

Mr. Bouwen’s students worked alongside graduate students at da Vinci to design and prototype a innovative electronic product from start to finish. The students leveraged the division’s technology to collaborate throughout the entire planning process. Next they used clay modeling to determine a design. From there the teams used CAD (computer added drafting) software to develop their ideas and transition them to actual prototypes using 3D printers. VCU’s da Vinci students worked closely with the teams throughout the project, both digitally and in person.

The project’s culminating event took place yesterday, when Mr. Bouwen’s students traveled to the da Vinci Center and presented their products to a panel of VCU students and professors as well as to each other. After each presentation the VCU panel asked questions to make the students think even more deeply about their products. At the end of the last presentation the panel identified the products they believed had the best design and marketability.

The second half of the day included a design challenge developed by the da Vinci students especially for GHS. Finally, the day finished with a walking tour of VCU, the engineering department, and the da Vinci Center’s design studio.

Mr. Bouwen’s commented, “This partnership has been a perfect example of a learning experience built to engage students in critical thinking, problem solving, and real world application. We hope it’s just the beginning of a lasting relationship with the da Vinci Center.