June 19, 2001

Mr. Chairman, members of the Board, my report this evening is filled with accolades for the students and staff of our division. We close the official school year with much to be proud of as a school system. I'd like to share a few of our many successes with you this evening.

Congratulations to John Nelson, CISCO Academy Instructor at the Technical and Career Education Center, for collaborating with CISCO Systems to win the Partnership Award in the Creating Excellence Awards Program sponsored by the Virginia Council for Career and Technical Education. The Creating Excellence Program recognizes outstanding teaching practices and business partnerships. Our partnership with Cisco Systems provides online curriculum that is always current, discounted materials, and other support. Students receiving this instruction have installed at least 112 drops in our schools, a resource valued at approximately $11,200.

Hats off to Dr. Lou Tonelson, Principal at Kempsville High School who has the distinction and honor of being named as the 2001 Outstanding High School Principal of Virginia by the Virginia Association of Secondary School Principals (VASSP). Lou is recognized by the VASSP for excelling in seven critical areas.

Congratulations to our Office of Business Services for qualifying for a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officer's Association. This distinction is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting and its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management.

Kudos to Tonya Rickman-Rogers, Computer Resource Specialist at White Oaks Elementary, who was recently named WHRO Technology Teacher of the Year. This award recognizes outstanding educators who have effectively increased the use of technology in their classrooms and their schools.

Congratulations to the staff and students at Trantwood Elementary School for being named a 2000-2001 Blue Ribbon School by the US Department of Education. Trantwood Elementary was selected for this honor for their focus on extending learning activities beyond the classroom, their active parental involvement, dedicated faculty and staff who volunteer for co-curricular activities during evenings and weekends, and their extensive involvement in community projects.

Hats off to Annmarie Stark, teacher at Indian Lakes Elementary School, who is one of only three elementary teachers in the state to be a finalist in the National Science Foundation's 2001 Presidential Awards for Mathematics and Science teaching. Ms. Stark was selected based on her outstanding performance in the classroom as well as her contributions to science education.

Fourth grade students in Michelle Giardina's gifted resource class at Shelton Park Elementary placed 3rd in the region in the spring session of The Stock Market Game. Students acted as their own stockbrokers, buying selling and trading their stocks on a weekly basis. During a 10 week time when the Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted to some all time recent lows, this team of 4th graders realized a profit of $23,112.60! Quite remarkable in such a volatile market!

Congratulations to the Ocean Lakes High School Math Team who continued their winning streak at the Virginia Wesleyan College High School Math Contest by capturing the top 5 places and the highest team score. Each of the winners was awarded a VWC scholarship--the total --$10,000. This competition was open to all high schools in the Hampton Roads area.

Hats off to the winners of the "School of the Future" Competition sponsored by our partner HBA Architecture. "School of the Future" is a design competition that was offered to all of our high school students as individuals or teams. First Place winners were from Kempsville High School-- their entry was titled "Radical but Realistic" and included plans for digital cameras in classrooms, a speaker series, and a key card to check out library books and confirm attendance.

The entry "Evolution Design, Inc." from Princess Anne High School placed second and the third place team was from Cox High School with an entry entitled "Raspberries". Students were invited to submit their ideas for original designs for school buildings, innovative educational tools, or novel uses for existing ones, and new methods to teach everyday subjects.

One hundred teams from six of our high schools participated in this event this year. HBA awarded $3,000 to Virginia Beach students along with an opportunity to feel great pride in their accomplishments.

Five hundred business, military, and community leaders and school staff attended our annual Partners in Education Appreciation Breakfast on May 24th at the Pavillion. Eleven partnerships were recognized for their best practices in school/community relationships. Our division is grateful for the expanded material, financial, and human resources offered by our 1,200 partners.

Five of our elementary schools experienced outstanding success in the national language arts competition, Wordmasters Challenge, entered by over 250,000 students annually. The WordMasters Challenge requires students to exercise critical thinking skills, to use words to complete analogies, and to demonstrate reasoning ability.

Third grade students from Providence Elementary , supervised by Melissa Knight, placed 6th in the Nation in the Blue Division. Providence fifth graders placed fifth in the nation in the Gold Division.

Two teams of fourth graders from Ocean Lakes Elementary, supervised by Kippy Sinclair-Belec, placed second nationwide in the Blue Division.

Old Donation Center 4th graders placed fourth in the nation in the Gold Division, and third in the nation in the Blue Division, and ODC fifth graders placed 4th in the nation in the Gold Division. Fourth graders from NewCastle Elementary placed 4th in the nation in the Blue Division. Congratulations to all Wordmasters Challenge winning teams!

Kudos to Bayside High School's Women's Choir who won first place in the high school division and the Grand Champion Award at the Orlando All-Star Music Festival in Florida. The "Darlin' Marlins" as they are called, are directed by Ms. Sheila McWaters-Wilkes.

Mr. Chairman, that concludes my report for this evening.