September 25, 2001

Mr. Chairman, members of the Board, and citizens of our community, my report this evening provides you with just a brief highlight of the recent activities occurring in our division and several honors recently received by our students and staff.

Like other citizens in our country, Virginia Beach Public School students and staff have developed an increased sense of patriotism and deep compassion for the victims of the September 11th national tragedy.

Fifth grade students in Beverly Wooddell's language arts class at Rosemont Forest Elementary School expressed their feelings by writing letters to the victims and the heroes in New York City and Washington D.C. Their compositions were recently featured on the Pilot On-line and Hampton websites. In addition, Beach students have collected funds, played and sang patriotic music, created red, white, and blue displays, held patriotic assemblies and essay contests, and donated socks and food to the rescue workers.

The Cox High School Band, under the direction of Bryan Wills, performed at the City's ceremony at the amphitheater on the National Day of Prayer and Remembrance.

The Tallwood High School Band, directed by Steve Panoff, contributed to the City's ceremony at Mount Trashmore on September 14th.

The efforts of our students and staff to make a difference in our country's recovery is certainly commendable. Their "proud to be an American essays" reflect the thoughts and feelings of many of us as we unite as a nation and prepare for the future.

Newtown Road and Bettie F. Williams Elemenary Schools will implement the Families and Schools Together (FAST) program as a result of funding received through a state incentive grant. The schools' partnerships with the Virginia Beach Youth Opportunities Office facilitated this Governor's Office of Substance Abuse grant of approximately $360,000 to be awarded over a three year period.

Several congratulations are in order tonight.

Congratulations to Rodney Jones, a security assistant at Kellam High School, who became the first VBCPS teacher assistant to complete studies through the division's Career Enhancement Program and to be hired as a teacher. He signed his contract to work as a special education teacher at Plaza Elementary School on August 14. The Career Enhancement Program encourages eligible teacher assistants to pursue a teaching degree by paying for their course work.

Hats off to Salem Middle School teacher Helen Moyers, who was recently named Wal-Mart Teacher of the Year. Ms. Moyers, a sixth grade teacher, was presented with a $500.00 check for the school. She was nominated for this honor by one of her former students, Angel Cabiad.

Kudos to the cafeteria staff at Plaza Middle School who were presented with nine awards of excellence from our Food Services Department. They were honored for perfect attendance, food flow and sanitation, purchased food cost control, an accident-free workplace, best financial performance, exemplary use of USDA commodities, and employee excellence.

Four Beach students received recognition in the "Nestle Very Best in Youth" national publication. Congratulations to finalists Lauren Collins, a twelfth grader at Salem High School and former Beach student, Andrew McCormick. Featured in the publication, among thirty-four high school students from across the nation, were Princess Anne High School senior, Robert Marx and Sarah Barnes, a senior at Cox High School. Congratulations!

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