Superintendent's Report
December 17, 2002


Mr. Chairman, members of the Board, citizens of our community, my report this evening features some of the many activities our students and staff have been engaged in and a few well-deserved accolades.

On December 11th, a reception honoring 78 employees who have served our school division for 30 years was held at Larkspur Middle School. Among this experienced group were 41 teachers, 8 administrators, 5 Office Associates, 5 Guidance counselors, 4 bus drivers, 4 maintenance staff, a nurse, a custodian, a bookkeeper, and a cafeteria manager. Those in attendance received praise and thanks from Dr. Jenney, Mr. Edwards, and Ms. Smith. Attendees received a commemorative clock for their years of service.

On November 20th, we dedicated the new Woodstock Elementary School, which opened six weeks ahead of schedule. Invited guests had the opportunity to tour the totally new facility with a self-guided walking tour. Woodstock represents the 6th version of the elementary prototype. The $10.1 million, 80,840 square foot facility actually opened for students and staff on November 18th.

Seventy-five members of the administration, faculty, and staff of Holland Elementary participated in the first annual "Holland Hits the Streets" Family and Community Fair on November 2nd. Educational exhibits, food, games, entertainment and an opportunity to connect parents, students, partners, and staff in an informal setting will contribute to efforts to build strong relationships between school and community. As many as 300 Holland families enjoyed interacting with staff during this Saturday event.

On Saturday, December 7th, the SOLympics was held for the third, fourth, and fifth grade students and community of Seatack Elementary. This innovative academic activity enabled students to participate in four- 45 minute sessions consisting of Science, Social Studies, Math, and Language Arts activities...to better prepare them for upcoming SOL testing in the Spring.

The sixth annual Permanent Art Collection reception was held on December 10, 2002 at the School Administration Building to honor the students of VBCPS who donated artwork to the permanent collection. Currently there are about 500 student-designed pieces on display in the school administration building. This year an additional 86 works of art, representing all grade levels, have been displayed. A recognition ceremony was held during the reception and each participating student artist was given a certificate of appreciation for donating artwork. In addition, several art educators were also recognized for sharing their talents at events such as the Education Foundation art auction, and our system's Tapestry of Knowledge publications.

Lynnhaven Middle School hosted a "We the People" Mock Congressional Hearing last Saturday. Marion Broglie, an eighth grade social studies teacher at Lynnhaven Middle, designed the mock hearing, which focused on the United States Constitution. One hundred and ten eighth graders were grouped and judged on interactive debates. Several notable politicians participated in and judged the hearing debates.

Many of our schools are in the holiday spirit. . .
For the third consecutive year, Landstown High students and staff are partnering with Operation Blessing International, a local non-profit organization, to provide more than 1,600 baskets of food to those in need in our community. During the past two years, this community service effort has resulted in approximately 35 tons of food and the distribution of more than 3,200 food baskets during the winter holidays.

On the evening of December 12th, the staff at Point O' View elementary boarded two school buses and traveled to five neighborhoods that the school serves-- to carol to students and parents. This is the 9th year for this holiday tradition that is well received by more than 400 Point O' View families and is supported by the school's Partners in Education.

Several congratulations are in order this evening. . .

Ocean Lakes Elementary School Volunteer and now Permanent Substitute Denise Mowry and her daughter, Michelle, an Ocean Lakes High senior, recently received a Shining Star Award from WAVY TV 10 for their volunteer work at Ocean Lakes Elementary. Teacher Sandi Hankinson nominated them for the extraordinary work and countless volunteer hours they devote to the children at Ocean Lakes.

Hats off to Principal Carolyn Garrett who recently received the James D. Mullins Leadership Award and was named the Virginia Beach Reading Council's 2003 Administrator of the Year by the Council.

Congratulations to First grader, Laura Brooks, at Malibu Elementary who was recently awarded $2,500.00 for her entry in the Code Red Rover Sweepstakes, sponsored by Lowe's Home Safety Council. Half of Laura's winnings were donated to her school. In addition, Mr. Thompson, Lowe's manager, assisted Laura and her classmates in constructing a project, donating goggles, hammers, and the wood needed for the construction.

Kudos to Salem High Teacher, Charles Johnson, who was recently awarded the Certificate of Honor by the Great Teacher Recognition Program for Excellence in Teaching from Saint Vincent's College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. A freshman at the college named Mr. Johnson --when asked to identify the teacher who had the most positive influence on his personal and intellectual development.

Finally, congratulations to the students who participated in the Tech Center's house building project-a project supported by our Education Foundation. The house that students built recently sold for $173,000, yielding a profit of more than $50,000 for Education Foundation projects. In addition, our Education Foundation recently received a pledge of $30,000 from the Wachovia Foundation, Incorporated. To support the Building Futures Grants for projects initiated by educators in our system.

Mr. Chairman, this concludes my report.