Ahead of the Curve
Superintendent's Monthly Report to the School Board
June 20, 2006

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

As you know, graduation exercises for all Virginia Beach Public High Schools were recently held for six days from June 13th through June 18th. More than 50,000 family members, friends and staff attended graduation exercises at the Virginia Beach Convention Center to honor the four thousand, six hundred and twelve (4,612) seniors who earned diplomas this year. I’m happy to report that the Class of 200 6 earned $22,129,535.75 in scholarships—which is a significant increase from the $ 13,630,719 earned by the class of 2005. Congratulations to the Class of 2006 and our best wishes for their continued success!

For the second consecutive year, Virginia Beach Circuit Judge Thomas Shadrick and attorneys Jeffery Breit and John Drescher of the law firm Breit, Drescher & Imprevento sponsored the “Oceans of Success” program designed honor 160 elementary students from 10 schools who improved their academic performance considerably-- from the first to the second half of the academic year. The students were treated to lunch and a day of learning and fun at the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center, where they toured the facility, saw a 3-D movie, and enjoyed a pontoon boat ride.

Two hundred and sixty-six VBCPS employees, who will be retiring from our school system this year, were honored at a dinner on June 9th at the Virginia Beach Convention Center. This year’s retirees’ collective service to the Virginia Beach Public Schools totals 6,200 years! In fact, three of this year’s retirees have each contributed more than 40 years of service to our school system. . .Shirley Barco, Principal at Linkhorn Park Elementary, Jerry Deviney, Assistant Superintendent for High School Education, and Evelyn Miles, Cafeteria Manager at Bayside Middle School. We thank all employees retiring from our system for their contributions to public education, and we wish them well--- as they begin the next chapter of their lives.

And in their usual fine tradition, many of our students and staff were engaged in collaborative activities with those in our community right up to the last day of school! At Rosemont Forest Elementary, Mrs. Pierce’s first grade class hosted a tea party for some of the ladies from Our Lady of Perpetual Help Nursing home. As you can see, a good time was had by all!

Several congratulations are in order this evening. . . .

Congratulations to one hundred and sixty First Colonial High School students who were recently recognized as model citizens for earning the American Citizenship Award from the National Association of Secondary School Principals. The award is designed to pay tribute to students who consistently exhibit the kinds of behaviors that are desirable in our schools and our community.

Congratulations to Austin K., a student at Windsor Woods Elementary, for receiving an honorable mention for his cachet design in the Jamestown 400th Commemorative Stamp and Cachet Historic Art Contest!

Kudos to Jaimarie E., a third grade student at Parkway Elementary, who was the Virginia winner in the “Create a Comic” contest sponsored by Target and Marvel Comic Books!

Hats off to Dr. Brian Matney, Principal of Cox High School, for being selected as the 2006 Outstanding High School Principal of Virginia by the Virginia Association of Secondary School Principals!

Congratulations to 2006 National WordMasters Challenge top scorers from our school system. WordMasters annually recognizes the top 12 teams in the nation and we have recognized the teams and individuals who placed first and second tonight during the recognition portion of our meeting. In addition, I’d like to congratulate New Castle Elementary Fourth Graders who placed third in the nation in the WordMasters Challenge for the Fourth Grade, Blue division. They competed against 719 teams consisting of 36,610 students. The team is coached by Fourth Grade Teacher Debbie Field.

Kudos to students and staff at Linkhorn Park Elementary School for being honored as one of 48 finalists for the Intel and Scholastic Schools of Distinction Awards. They were selected as a finalist in the Science Achievement category!

Congratulations are also in order for Plaza and Windsor Oaks Elementary Schools for earning distinction as “Title I Distinguished Schools”! The schools were cited for raising the academic achievement of economically disadvantaged students while exceeding federal objectives and state accreditation standards. Well done!

Congratulations to students at the Advanced Technology Center for participating and winning awards at the State Leadership SkillsUSA Conference in Richmond. The students earned 14 of the top 5 places, including four gold medal winners who are now eligible for the National Competition.

As we wrap up the final superintendent’s report of my tenure as superintendent, I’d like to take this opportunity to say a few words about some very special administrators who will be leaving Virginia Beach City Public Schools this month. The first of these is Laynee Timlin. As Director of Community Relations Laynee has worked hard to forge and sustain meaningful collaboration with the community. As Director of Community Relations Laynee has worked hard to forge and sustain meaningful collaboration with the community. The quality of her work has proved an example to others throughout the state and nation and we know this because other school divisions regularly contact Virginia Beach for advice and information on how we work to meaningfully engage the community in public education. Laynee’s enthusiasm for community engagement and sharing the good news of the school division is exemplified by her work on this very report each month. Her able leadership in gathering the information, compiling stories, collecting photos, and liberally offering ‘kudos’ and ‘hats off’ to students and staff is second to none. Laynee’s professionalism, leadership, and passion for engaging the community will be greatly missed. As she moves on to a new opportunity in her career, the seeds she’s planted will continue to grow and flourish, and I offer the sincere thanks and appreciation of the entire school division.

Mr. Jerry Deviney, who is now serving as the Assistant Superintendent for High School Education, has served this school system for 40 years. Mr. Deviney is a former English and Social Studies teacher who began his administrative career as an assistant principal of the former Independence Junior High. He has been supervisor of student activities and is credited with starting the school division’s student activities program, which has gained national acclaim for building strong student leaders. Mr. Deviney has also served our district as an instructional area director, the Director of Secondary Education, and Principal of Bayside, Green Run and Ocean Lakes High Schools. Please join me in thanking Mr. Deviney for his years of service.

Ms. Vicki Lucente has served our district for 11 years, first as an auditor and then as our chief financial officer. Under Ms. Lucente’s leadership, the district has consistently been awarded the coveted Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Association of School Business Officials and the Government Finance Officer’s Distinguished Budget Presentation for the past 8 years. She has been instrumental in centralizing vending accounts for school vending products and in using data to target our Wellness Program dollars. In addition, she is responsible for the development of the Cardio4Life Program and for improving our materials and equipment cycles as well as our bus replacement cycles, and our travel reimbursement scales. Please join me in thanking Ms. Lucente for her valuable service to the Virginia Beach City Public Schools.

Mr. Chairman, this concludes my report.

Last Modified on June 28, 2006
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