Superintendent's Report
October 15, 2002


Mr. Chairman, members of the Board, and our viewing audience. Once again, my report this evening serves to provide a brief snapshot of recent school division activities, events, and accomplishments.
Our Department of Curriculum and Instruction has recently been awarded a $984,161.00 grant from the U.S. Department of Education for a project entitled "You Gotta Have HEART (History Engages, Amazes, Remembers, and Teaches). Project Directors for the grant are Social Studies Coordinators Georgeanne Hribar and Lannah Hughes, who wrote the grant to address teacher education through coursework in American history and pedagogy at Virginia Wesleyan College for 6th, 7th, and 11th grade history teachers. Great job!

Our 86 Teachers of the Year were honored at a recent dinner at Corporate Landing Middle School. "Celebrating with the Stars" was the theme for this year's event, which featured an address by Mark Clemente, 2003 VBCPS Teacher of the Year, and an introduction of the 2003 finalists. Finalists were Ruth Bell, Creeds Elementary, Diane Kesterson, Christopher Farms Elementary, Deborah Ashby, Bettie F. Williams Elementary, Gary Blumenstein, Larkspur Middle, Jody Hargrove, Kempsville Middle, Camilla Walck, Princess Anne High, and Joni Davis, Kempsville Elementary.

Celebrating the profession of teaching and honoring all teachers in our system provided the first context for the introduction of a new communication medium. This resulted in the roll out of "ON DECK", a strategy to communicate to all employees through the closed circuit use of digital video. I'm pleased to report that our initial launch of this communication tool was well received by staff and was extremely successful. We look forward to using closed circuit digital video in the future to communicate important information to staff.

First Colonial High's Legal Studies Academy recently held a Lunch Seminar on fingerprinting and DNA samples and retrievals. This was one of nine seminars scheduled for students to gain hands on opportunities to learn about varying aspects of law enforcement and legal issues.

Several congratulations are in order this evening.
Congratulations to Marilou Allen, First Grade Teacher at Salem Elementary, for receiving the Virginia Congress of Parents and Teachers President's Honor Award. This award was presented to Ms. Allen by the Virginia PTA in recognition of her meritorious service on behalf of children and youth.

Kudos to Teacher Louis Faison, Jr., who was recently named Driver's Education Teacher of the Year by the Virginia Association of Driver's Education and Traffic Safety. A 34-year veteran of our school division, Mr. Faison has been teaching students to drive for the last 29 years.

Hats off to First Colonial High's Resource Officer Thomas A. DeMartini who recently rescued a distressed swimmer while patrolling the oceanfront during a day of rough surf. In addition to serving the safety needs of students and staff at First Colonial High School on a daily basis, Officer DeMartini's heroic efforts have also contributed to the safety of our greater community. We are appreciative of the service and knowledge our resource officers contribute to our schools every day.

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