May 15, 2001

Mr. Chairman, members of the Board, my report this evening highlights a few of the many activities, events, and accomplishments that have occurred recently throughout our school system.

Our elementary schools held Kindergarten registration and orientation for the 2001-2002 school year on May 2. This event offered our future students and their parents tours of the schools, classroom visitations, an explanation of our Kindergarten program, an opportunity to meet staff, participation in storytime and snack, and a school bus ride. We encourage parents to register their children who will have reached their fifth birthday on or before September 30, as soon as possible.

Brandon Middle School was recently awarded a $4,000 grant by the Virginia Environmental Endowment to establish an Outdoor Classroom on the school's grounds. These funds will be used to plant butterfly gardens, construct outdoor learning centers and animal habitats. In April, 53 volunteers devoted time and energy to the planting of flower gardens, trees and shrubs, and the construction of student work areas, including amphitheater-style seating.

On April 17, the Virginia Canals and Navigation Society made a formal presentation of the The Great Dismal Atlas at Kellam High School. This presentation represents the society's donation of two copies of the atlas to each of our middle and high schools libraries. Special thanks to the Sociey for their generous donation to our schools.

Our school division's annual volunteer of the year recognition dinner was held on Thursday, April 19 at Salem Middle School. At that time, we paid tribute to 85 outstanding people who chose to share their time and talents with our students and staff during the past school year. These individuals are representative of the 14,000 + volunteers who donate nearly 500,000 hours of service to our schools annually. Our active partnership with the Virginia Beach Council of PTAs greatly contributes to the coordination and management of volunteer programs. We are truly appreciative of the many dedicated individuals who volunteer their service to support public education in Virginia Beach and we invite you to visit our website to learn more about them.

Students of the Circle K Club at Virginia Wesleyan were recently honored by Volunteer Hampton Roads for their partnership with Bettie F. Williams Elementary school. Students from the college regularly volunteer their time to tutor Williams' students.

Several congratulations are in order this evening. . .

Six Virginia Beach students were award winners in the 4th Elie Wiesel Writing Competition recently sponsored by the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater. Virginia Beach winners were Chris R., Great Neck Middle; Charlotte H. and Porsche F., Virginia Beach Middle; Helena O. and Kristy H., Princess Anne High School; and Edward C., Salem High School. In addition, two of our teachers, Lois Erikson, Gifted Resource Teacher at Independence Middle, and Suzanne Forehand, an 8th grade English teacher at Plaza Middle have received Teacher awards for Excellence in Holocaust/Tolerance Education from the Federation for designing curriculum that promotes values along with learning. These students and teachers were honored at a recognition event on April 18.

First Colonial High School 11th grader, Jamie L. was recently recognized by the Attorney General's Office during their May the Month for Children celebration. Jamie, who was nominated by FC's PTSA, was recognized for her volunteerism with the SPCA and Equi-Kids Therapeutic Riding Program. Congratulations to Jamie!

Congratulations to three school division bus drivers, Sandra Van-Eck, Mike Powell, and Jan McElliot who won first, second, and third place, respectively, in the division's Bus Roadeo held recently. These individuals went on to compete this past Saturday in the First Annual Regional Bus Roadeo held at Glenwood Elementary. The Bus Roadeo is a competition that highlights driving skills and ability. Twenty-five contestants from nine school divisions participated in this regional event.

Hats off to José H., a 9th grader at First Colonial High School, who has recently served as a page for the General Assembly in Richmond. José was one of four students from Virginia Beach to be selected as a page this year. José has had the opportunity to gain valuable experience and support his strong interest in minority involvement in government.

Kudos to Chef Skip Ailstock at the Technical and Career Education Center for winning the regional Creating Excellence Award for our Area 2 Region. Skip's background as an instructor at Johnson and Wales University and his 28 years of experience in the food and beverage industry have been invaluable in transforming the culinary arts classroom at the Technical Center into a "Culinary Café" with restaurant appeal. Skip will be honored by the Virginia Department of Education at a luncheon on June 18.

Congratulations to Tyronne F., an advertising and design student at the Technical and Career Education Center who was awarded a first place by the Virginia Department of Education for his design-the design that will begin to be used to produce the seal on all technical and career education diplomas throughout the state. Tyronne's design was selected from a field of 578 entries.

Hats off to Charles Johnson, a US Government teacher at Salem High School, who received the Community Awareness Award from the American Legion Virginia Beach Post 110. Mr. Johnson was nominated for this honor by one of his students, --quite a tribute!

Congratulations to Kim Creamer, Marketing instructor at Classroom on the Mall, for being named as one of the Outstanding Professional Women of Hampton Roads for 2001. In addition Kim received recognition as winner of the Eastern Area Marketing Education Teacher of the Year and is now one of 3 finalists for Virginia Marketing Educator of the Year.

I am pleased to announce that Princess Anne High principal Pat Griffin is the recipient of a professional state-wide award. She was selected by the Virginia Association of Educational Office Professionals (VAEOP) as the 2001 VAEOP Administrator of the Year. As Virginia Beach City Public Schools' 2000 VAEOP Administrator of the Year, Pat went on to win the state title. We are proud of the accomplishments and the positive recognition she brings to Virginia Beach City Public Schools.

Finally, congratulations to the Ocean Lakes High School JETS (Junior Engineering Technical Society) Team who finished first in the state TEAMS (Tests of Engineering Aptitude Mathematics and Science) Competition at Old Dominion University. Team members were Laine C., Jacob E., Ryan H., Adam K., Zachary K., Nicholas T., and Darrell W. This team also ranked 14th nationally within their division.

Mr. Chairman, that concludes my report.