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2512 George Mason Drive • P.O. Box 6038 Virginia Beach, Virginia 23456-0038   757.263.1000 • 757.263.1240 TDD

School Board Recognitions
June 21, 2016

6. Student, Employee and Public Awards and Recognitions
6A. Daughters of the American Revolution Stamp Contest

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. As a courtesy to this evening’s honorees, we kindly ask parents and guests to remain seated until all awards are completed. We promise that you’ll be impressed!

“Celebrate America” was the theme of this year’s Stamp Design contest sponsored by the Daughters of the American Revolution and we are proud to announce that three Brookwood Elementary School students were named state winners.

Desiree Rose. Desiree was the first place winner in grade 3, group 2 AND was also the Eastern division winner. Her winning entry is on the tv screen.
Unfortunately, honorees Jaidyn Jackson and Jasmine Thomas, was unable to join us this evening.

Please join me in congratulating these talented and patriotic young artists. Congratulations students!

6B. Tennis Champions – Robert Levin and Cox HS tennis
In tennis, our student athletes won not just one but two state championships this year. Let’s meet our first champion: the unbeatable Robert Levin from Princess Anne High School.

Robert is the first tennis player from South Hampton Roads to win the boys’ state singles championship in a whopping 26 years! Nice way finish an undefeated season—not to mention that he is a 3-time singles champion and a 4-time conference doubles champion. What’s next? He’s off to continue his studies and play tennis at Carnegie Mellon University.

Please join me in congratulating this unstoppable student-athlete!

That’s not the only tennis champion. Let’s welcome the 2016 girls’ 6A state tennis championship team from Cox High School:

Zoe Fraser
Phoebe Large
Maddie Linn
Olivia McNulty
Arya Nair
Jordan Sim
Segolene Voirin
Sarah Whited
Captains: Seimi Park and Hunter Sim
Assistant Coach John Fraser
And Coach Joanne Lee

When you think of girls’ tennis, think of Cox High School. This is the school’s fourth state title since 2005. To win this year, the team played 5 hours and 43 minutes on one of the hottest days of the year—and they played against some pretty tough opponents. In the end, they rallied as a team with three singles and two doubles wins. This is the youngest team ever to win the championship and they did it while still maintaining academic excellence.

Let’s hear it for the state champions from Cox High School!

6C. Debate Champions
Let’s now meet state debate champions.

At the recent Virginia High School League Debate Championships, Sydney Cherry from First Colonial High School competed in Congressional debate where students emulate members of the United States Congress by debating bills and resolutions. Students must research as many of the bills and resolutions as possible and be ready to speak on both sides of every legislation. Sydney was named Outstanding Senator in Group 6A.

The duo of Thomas Cerja and James Byng from First Colonial High School emerged as the first place winners in Policy in Group 6A. Policy debate is a form of debate competition in whichteams of two advocate—for or against—a resolution that calls for policy change by the United States government. With this win, Thomas made history by winning two state championships in two different disciplines. In 2014, he and sister Cecilia won in Public Forum debate while he was a freshman. It is the first time in VHSL’s 100-year history this feat has been accomplished. James is also a two-time state champion. He won titles this year in both debate and forensics and is the first Virginia Beach Public Schools student to achieve this feat.

Congratulations to our state debate champions!

6D. Forensics Champions
Our next recognition is for the state and regional Forensics Champions, but it has nothing to do with the tv show, CSI. Forensics competitions refer to competitive public speaking. First, let’s meet students who won individual titles at the state competition.

  • Chyna McCoy from Salem High School won in Poetry Interpretation for Group 5A.
  • Erin Metzger from Kellam High School won first place in Prose Interpretation in Group 6A—something she has achieved the past 3 consecutive years.
  • James Byng from First Colonial won first Place in Group 6A, Impromptu Speaking, adding to his title as debate champion.
  • Emily German and Daniel Telfer from Kellam High School won first place in Humorous Duo. This dynamic duo was undefeated all season.

We also are proud to recognize the team from Kellam High School:

  • Kenny Diedrich
  • Abbey Dyer
  • Alexis Kubica
  • Emily Jensen
  • Ajeya Hawkins
  • Garrette Kellam
  • Tiffany Chin Loy
  • Victoria Morgan
  • Alberto Ozaeta
  • Conner Shields

These next three students are already on stage: Emily German, Erin Metzger and Daniel Telfer

Last but certainly not least: Coach Angie Evans

The team has won first place at regionals for four consecutive years and second place at the state level for three consecutive years.

For their ability to speak clearly, think quickly, clarify arguments, provide examples, maintain persuasive speech and carry themselves in a professional manner, please join me in congratulating these state champions!

6E. All-Virginia Honors Music Ensembles
Our final two recognitions are sure to be music to your ears. These students were selected from among their peers throughout the Commonwealth for inclusion in the state’s prestigious musical groups. These are the highest awards possible for state recognition in music. To be selected means that students have distinguished themselves as the top performers in their strand. Let’s meet them:

Members of the All Virginia Band and Orchestra

From Cox High School:

  • Sam Cosenza who plays trumpet

From First Colonial High School:

  • Keely Kinnane string bass player
  • Josh Williams, trumpet player

From Ocean Lakes High School:

  • Will Gervais who plays B-flat Clarinet

From Princess Anne High School:

  • Amy Wang, who plays the viola

From Tallwood High School:

  • Joshua Villa trumpet player

Congratulations, All Virginia Honor Band and Orchestra honorees!

Members of the All Virginia Chorus

From Bayside High School:

  • Melissa Webb

From Cox High School:

  • Kyle Sheehan

From Green Run High School:

  • Mikayla Sanchez

From Landstown High School

  • Kianna McNeil

From Ocean Lakes High School:

  • Emma Hultin
  • Rebekah Wells
  • Amanda Hasty

From Princess Anne High School:

  • Megan Chambers
  • Ginger Johns
  • Grace Westcott
  • Teddy Wansink
  • Alan Pouliquen

From Tallwood High School:

  • Sam Pitz

From the Visual and Performing Arts Academy

  • Georgina Smith
  • Allison McLeod
  • Jazelyn Waddell
  • Patrick Nelson
  • Chandler Deardorff

Congratulations, All Virginia Chorus honorees!

Members of the All Virginia Senior Honors Choir

From the Visual and Performing Arts Academy:

  • Alexa Gajeton
  • Joseph Pazmino
  • Diondre Watson

And three students who were on stage earlier as members of the All Virginia Chorus:

  • Chandler Deardorff
  • Emma Hultin
  • Georgina Smith

Congratulations, All Virginia Senior Honors Choir musicians!

We now recognize Members of the All Virginia Middle School Chorus

From Corporate Landing Middle School:

  • Abigail Dear
  • Jonathon Rebultan
  • Gabrielle Serrano
  • Isaac Martin

From Kemps Landing/Old Donation School

  • Ava Denae Stevenson
  • Lillian Sisti
  • Gabe Barnes
  • Steven Slawson
  • Justin Estanislao

Please join me in congratulating all of these talented musicians!

6G. State Honor Bands and Blue Ribbon Schools
Our final recognition of the evening is to honor our school music departments for receiving an Honor Band Award or Blue Ribbon Distinction for the 2015-2016 school year.

Four high schools earned the distinction of Virginia Honor Band from the Virginia Band and Orchestra Directors Association. Here to accept the plaques on behalf of their respective schools are:

From Cox High School:
Band Director Mike Lane

From Ocean Lakes High School:
Band Director Ryan Rowles

From Princess Anne High School:
Band Director John Boyd; and

From Tallwood High School:
Band Director Tim Rossettini

Bands of these schools received a superior rating at both the State Marching Band Assessment in the fall and the Concert Band Assessment in the spring. Selection as a Virginia Honor Band is the highest honor awarded to a high school band in the Commonwealth.


We are also pleased to recognized Blue Ribbon Schools. In order to qualify, the band, orchestra and chorus at each school must receive three superior ratings at their respective district assessments and participate in Sight-Reading Assessments.

Here to accept the plaques on behalf of the schools are:

  • Corporate Landing Middle School, represented by band director James Reid, orchestra director Lee Anne Stevahn and choral director Mary Letson.
  • Great Neck Middle School represented by band director Heather Smith, orchestra director Robin Sawyer and choral director Lou Ann Meade
  • Kemps Landing/Old Donation School represented by band director Kenneth Poe, orchestra director Paul Baird and choral director DeLena Poe
  • Landston Middle School represented by band director Kassi Gulliford, orchestra director Jeff Bailey and choral director Ashley Adams;
  • Plaza Middle School represented by band director Louis Tarabick and choral director Jennifer Harrison;
  • Princess Anne Middle School represented by band director Terry Privette orchestra director Manny Hernandez, and choral director Meredith Mulcair; and
  • Salem Middle School represented by band director Jo Marie Larkin

Next are the high schools:
Kellam High School band director Cameron Baker, orchestra director Reed Matthews and choral director Carl Copon

Accepting for Ocean Lakes High School are band director Ryan Rowles, orchestra director Kary Sitzler and choral director William Boardman.

Princess Anne band director John Boyd is joined by orchestra director Mary Hughes and choral director David Prescott.

Please join me in congratulating these outstanding teachers and their very successful music programs!

Mr. Chairman that concludes our recognitions for this evening. Guests, thank you for celebrating with us these amazing students!

Last Modified on Monday, April 23, 2018