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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 20, 2017

6. Student, Employee and Public Awards and Recognitions
6A. VHSL Forensics Champions

Our first recognition is for the state forensics champions, but it has nothing to do with the tv show, CSI. Forensics competitions refer to competitive public speaking. Let’s meet the three state champions from Kellam High School:

Tiffany Chin Loy, Group 6A state champion in prose interpretation. Tiffany won for reading the dramatic prose “Out of My Mind,” the story about a brilliant young child who is incapable of speaking or walking until one day she speaks for the first time ever and forever changes perceptions about disabilities.

The state’s 6A champions in humorous duo interpretation are Emily German and Daniel Telfer. This duo performed the comedy called “The Least Offensive Play in the Whole Darn World,” a one-act play about a fictitious company called Big Corporation Inc. that develops a product called “Script Cleaner 5000.” This is the second consecutive year that Emily and Daniel have won the state championship in this category.

Please join me in congratulating these 2017 state forensics champions!

6B. VHSL Debate Champions
Let’s now meet the 2017 Virginia High School League Group 6A state debate champions: the team from First Colonial High School!


  • Dylon Schulte and
  • Caleb Knox


  • Katelyn Monostori. She is the 6A State Individual Champion in Lincoln-Douglas Debate


  • Sydney Cherry, the 6A Student Congress State Champion.
  • Keri Cuthriell, State Semi-Finalist in Policy Debate
  • Emma Jacobs
  • Reagan Hines
  • Golnar Mostashari
  • Jacob Wasinger, State Semi-Finalist in Lincoln Douglas Debate


  • Katie Hall
  • Lucas Anderton, 6A VHSL State Runner-Up in Student Congress Debate
  • James Byng, 6A VHSL Policy Debate Champion for the second consecutive year
  • Tommy Cerja, 6A VHSL Policy Debate Champion for the second consecutive year
  • Isabel Mastrangeli, the 6A VHSL Top Speaker in Policy Debate; and
  • Social studies instructor/ Debate Team Coach Aaron Pratt

Standing before you is one impressive group because they are not only the 2017 state debate champions. This is the team’s third Virginia High School League title in debate these past four years. They won the title in 2014, 2015 and 2017. These students not only have to be eloquent speakers, quick thinkers and team players, they must also do a lot of preparation researching bills, policies and laws.

Congratulations to our three-time state debate champions: the team from First Colonial High School.

6C. VHSL Outdoor State Track Champion
In March, we met our next honoree who is the nation’s top triple jumper and the state long jump champion. Now, he has added three more state titles. Please welcome Landstown High School senior Hasani Knight.

Competing at the 2017 Outdoor Track Championships, Hasani won:

  • first place in the long jump with a jump of 24 feet, 3 inches;
  • first place in the 100-meter dash, running that event in 10.78 seconds; and
  • first place in the triple jump, with a jump of 51 feet, 3.25 inches. This, by the way, is a new state record.

Hasani is one of the most decorated track athletes in Beach District history and will attend the University of Miami on a full athletic track scholarship.


6D. Future Business Leaders of America
Our next honorees could be the next founders. Please welcome students who earned top spots at the 2017 Future Business Leaders of America statewide competition.

First place in Coding and Programming: Angelos Angelopoulous from Landstown High School. Angelos had to develop an applications program to manage the general operations of a company. This entailed ensuring appropriate identifiers for variables, avoiding run-time errors which prevent a browser from working and providing intuitive user navigation. Excellent job!

First place in the Help Desk event: Harmoney White, from Princess Anne High School. Since Help Desk staff members are the ones who pick up phones to help callers experiencing technology problems, this event required participants to be versed in a wide arrange of topics ranging from operating systems to network connection issues to protection against viruses or other attacks. Congratulations!

First place in Introduction to Business Procedures: Joshua Cole Faggert from Ocean Lakes High School. This event includes tasks such as conducting needs assessments for software equipment; interpreting license agreements and legal mandates; and implementing expense control strategies. Great job!

First place in the Introduction to Information Technology event: Tyler Pringle from Landstown High School. This event required participants to demonstrate knowledge of common programming functions, networking concepts and electronic communication.

First place in Networking Concepts: John Sarmiento from Landstown High School and the Advanced Technology Center. This event required John to take on the responsibilities of an IT network administrator to access and configure networks and automate tasks for users. Well done!

First place in mobile applications: The team of Isabel Bennet and Alexander Smith, both from First Colonial High School, and Cameron Treon from Salem High School. All three take classes at the Advanced Technology Center. This team created a mobile application that would allow a platform for a digital yard sale. The app also had the capability for users to interact and comment on items. Excellent idea!

First place in website design: The team of Salem High School students Erica He and Katelyn Delaney, students at Salem High School and the ATC. This event required them to design an entertainment website for a city of approximately 200,000 people. It had to include compatibility over multiple platforms, site interactivity functions and adhere to copyright law.

Congratulations, students!

6E. Family, Career & Community Leaders of America
Next, we recognize two students who won first place awards at the recent Family, Career and Community Leaders of America statewide competition.

Please welcome Plaza Middle School student Abby Marcus. Abby competed through her Teen Living class offered by the school division’s Technical and Career Education Center. She won in the “Focus on Children” category for preparing three reading and writing stations for a second grade class at Woodstock Elementary School. Those stations included:

  • one where students wrote poems in Dr. Seuss style;
  • a second station where they read Cat in the Hat books; and
  • a third station where students came up with rhyming words and wrote a Dr. Seuss-style story.

Abby was the only sixth grader competing in a category for sixth through ninth-grade students—and she won! Congratulations, Abby.

Tiara Colon, Green Run High School student who takes classes at the Technical and Career Education Center. Tiara won first place in Early Childhood Education. In this category, students had to come prepared with a handful of activities that could work with preschool students in a variety of subjects—everything from math to music to physical fitness based on the theme “The Five Senses.” When the event started, competitors were given a scenario and only had 20 minutes to prepare a lesson plan using their pre-planned activities. Tiara’s original book based on the theme and her music instrument that she used with her activity were a hit with the judges!

Congratulations to both of you!

6F. National Energy Education Development Award
Our final two recognitions are for energy efficiency.

For 37 years, the National Energy Education Development project has organized a nationwide awards competition that invites schools across America to submit entries developed by students that show innovative use of energy efficiency or new energy technologies. We are proud to announce that the winner of the statewide award for secondary schools in Virginia is Landstown High School! Representing the school this evening are:

  • Students Nathan White and Nash Euman, who were the student team directors;
  • Austin Muniz who was on the planning team; and
  • Dr. James Barger, engineering department chair and robotics technology instructor, who led the students on this project.

Landstown designed a project in the area of green technology called “Connecting STEM to the Environment,” where students designed and installed an environmentally-friendly planting area around the school’s solar array. Their project not only involved creating a plot plan using AutoCAD engineering software, they also used Google Earth satellite imagery to determine optimal locations for sustainable plants and shrubs. They also designed an interactive website that schools can use to research solar energy.
Congratulations on your statewide award!

6F. Energy Star Awards
For our final recognition, the School Board is honored to recognize staff members from School Plant for their work in the ENERGY STAR program, which resulted in Virginia Beach City Public Schools being honored as a 2017 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year Award recipient.

Please welcome:

  • Jim Morris, assistant director of environmental energy;
  • John Hasher, energy manager; and
  • Susan Albert, financial assistant.

ENERGY STAR is an EPA program that helps businesses and individuals save money and protect the climate through energy efficiency. The school division earned the award being the largest owner of ENERGY STAR-rated buildings in Hampton Roads and also for reducing its energy use by 27 percent, even though building space has increased during that time.

Well done, School Plant! Thank you for all that you do for our schools and our environment.

Last Modified on Monday, April 23, 2018