GHS-JMU Partnership Thriving

Students at Goochland High School have the opportunity to take several college level courses, perhaps the most unique of which is the result of our partnership with James Madison University. During the 2015-16 school year we are hosting two JMU courses that pair a member of our high school faculty with a university professor within a co-designed and co-taught structure. The courses deliver 4-year college level rigor to juniors and seniors.

Monday, December 7, 2015 – Dr. David Dillard, History Professor & Graduate Program Director at James Madison University, facilitates a lively discussion in Mr. Patrick Brook’s “Civil War America” class, one of two JMU courses currently offered at Goochland High School

Athletic events for the week of December 7, 2015

Monday, Dec. 7:

1.  The scholastic bowl team travels to Prince Edward for their matches with PE &  Bluestone at 5:30.

Tuesday, Dec. 8:

1.  The JV & varsity boys basketball teams travel to Cumberland for their games at 5:30 & 7:00.

2.  The JV & varsity girls basketball teams host Cumberland at 5:30 & 7:00.  Cost for the games is $6:00.

Wednesday, Dec. 9:

1.  The JV & varsity girls basketball teams travel to Colonial Heights for their games at 5:45 & 7:30.

Thursday, Dec. 10:

1.  JV wrestling team travels to Trinity for their matches at 6:00.

Friday, Dec. 11:

1.  The JV & varsity boys basketball teams travel to Prince Edward for their games at 5:30 & 7:00.

2.  The JV & varsity girls basketball teams host Prince Edward at 5:30 & 7:00.  Cost for the games is $6.00

3.  The girls & boys swim team travel to the Farmville YMCA to the on Prince Edward & Appomattox at 7:00.

Saturday, Dec. 12:

1.  The girls & boys swim team travel to the Ashland YMCA to take on Patrick Henry at 6:05 (this is a change)

Volunteer Background Check Clarification

One of the hallmarks of  our tremendous County is the presence of an army of community volunteers. These selfless people give their energy, time and unique skill sets to the greater mission of inspiring and maximizing the potential of our students.

We feel it’s important to remind everyone of our stance on the issue of requiring volunteers to submit to a background check.

The Code of Virginia requires that:

As a condition of employment, school boards of the Commonwealth shall require any applicant who is offered or accepts employment after July 1, 1989, whether full-time or part-time, permanent, or temporary, to submit to fingerprinting and to provide personal descriptive information to be forwarded along with the applicant’s fingerprints through the Central Criminal records Exchange to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for the purpose of obtaining criminal history record information regarding such applicant. (Code Reference)


Let’s be clear. School Boards in Virginia are required by law to do a background check on anyone who’s going to work in the school division – no matter what capacity or how long they plan to work. Hourly tutors doing remediation for a week, evening custodians, substitute teachers – doesn’t matter. If we’re going to employ them for even one hour, the law says they need to be fingerprinted.

In Goochland, we have chosen to closely follow the guidelines for employees as we consider our volunteers. We have flexibility, but have chosen only to exercise it in very unique circumstances.

The guidelines we use include two simple questions:

  • Will the volunteer ever be unsupervised with children?
  • Will the volunteer be regularly spending time with children?

If the answer is “yes” to either question, we require a background check. Like the Code, we don’t not attempt to draw lines among people – those we know/don’t know, those our friends know/don’t know, those who seem trustworthy/seem suspicious, those with whom we’ve worked before/those who we’ve never met.

That’s a fruitless exercise and a very slippery slope. We all know people we trust explicitly and would never suggest they are a danger to your children. Our commitment is to ensure every parent that we will not give any adult access to their children, unsupervised or repeated, without ensuring that adult has completed the background check – the same one required by law of our employees.

We believe it’s our obligation to confidently look our community in the eyes and say we are doing all we can to ensure your children are safe at school.

It can be awkward to require those who have been volunteering in past years without the background check and doing inspiring work in our schools to submit to a fingerprint check. Those are often individuals who are well-known to be powerful positive influences in our community. It seems to be an affront to the selfless and generous spirit those people have poured out when we ask them to go through a criminal background check. It’s as though we think they might be criminals.

We don’t. Just as we don’t suspect the exemplary candidates to whom we offer jobs in our division to be criminals either. But as the law requires that we screen all employees, we extend that same level of precaution to all adults who will have repeated or unsupervised access to your children. No matter who they are.

Not because we suspect they need it, but because we want every parent to rest easy that we aren’t making that kind of subjective judgement call when it comes to the safety and wellbeing of their children.

We would never want to offend anyone, especially our wonderful volunteers. It’s even more important to us that every parent, after they put their children on a bus or drop them off at the school doors, goes into the day will absolute certainty that their children are safe.

Your child’s safety is non-negotiable.

Athletic Events for the week of November 30, 2015

Monday, 11/30:

1.  The JV & varsity boys basketball teams kick off the season by hosting Powhatan at 5:30 & 7:00.  Cost for the games is $6:00.

2.  The varsity girls basketball will kick off their season by traveling to Blessed Sacrament for their game at 6:00.

Wednesday, 12/2:

1.  The wrestling team will kick off their first season at Randolph-Henry wrestling R-H, Dan River & King & William starting at 4:30.

Thursday, 12/3:

1.  The JV members of the wrestling team will travel to Varina for their matches at 6:00.

Friday, 12/4:

1.  The JV & varsity boys basketball teams travel to Bluestone for their games at 5:30 & 7:00.

  1.  The JV & varsity girls basketball teams host Bluestone at 5:30 & 7:00.  Cost for the games is $6:00.

Saturday, 12/5:

1.  The girls & boys swim teams will travel to Fork Union to kick off their season against FUMA, Fluannva, Orange & Louisa at 1:00.

2015 PTA Reflections Winners Announced

Last week the middle school and elementary PTA groups celebrated the participants and winners in the PTA Reflections Program.  They had an 800% increase in participation over last year!

Here is a beautiful quote from one of the GES judges, which sums up the intent of the program so well…

“All the entries are to be commended.  Any attempt to put one’s creativity out into the world for viewing and judgment by others is a victory!!   My hat is off to all the participants and to you for encouraging this in the kids!  It can only serve to add to their life experience.”

– Janet Melton,  Artist & Library Manager

The following students rose to the challenge and interpreted the PTA Reflections theme “Let Your Imagination Fly” through 5 different arts categories.  These students will move on to the District level of competition.

Goochland Elementary:

Primary Photography:  Colleen Steely (Kindergarten)

Intermediate Literature:  Elena Dewey (3rd grade)

Intermediate Dance Choreography:  Alison Croker (3rd grade)

Intermediate Film Production:  Nathan McGraw (3rd grade)

First Place Entries (highest judges’ score in the division category):

Primary Visual Arts:  Nathaniel Harris (Kindergarten)

Intermediate Visual Arts:  Elena Dewey (3rd grade)

Intermediate Photography:  Maya Jandzinski (5th grade)

Randolph Elementary:

Primary K-2

  • 1st  Luca Gardner
  • 1st Kyranna Stratiou
  • 2nd Lia Melton
Visual Arts
  • 1st Sam Farkas
  • 2nd Cole Fields
  • 3rd Kyranna Stratiou
 Secondary 3-5
  • 1st Caden Gardner
  • 2nd Charlie Darr
  • 1st Graham-Michael Mintz
  • 2nd Graham-Michael Mintz
  • 3rd Maggie Goodman
  • 1st  Graham Michael Mintz
  • 2nd Graham Michael Mintz
  • 3rd Graham Michael Mintz
Visual Arts
  • 1st McKinley Schatz
  • 2nd Kate Davis
  • 3rd  Raegan Kernan

Byrd Elementary:

Visual Arts: (K – 2nd Category)
  • 1st Place – Miranda Slayton  (2nd)
  • 2nd Place – Hailey Slayton  (2nd)
  • 3rd Place – Natalie Wiener   (1st)
Honorable Mention – Lucy Taylor (K) Honorable Mention –  Jake Potter (K) Photography:  (3rd – 5th Grade category)
  • 1st Place – Tyler Black  (5th)
  • 2nd Place – Olivia Thompson – Neisz  (3rd)
Dance:  K – (2nd Category)
  • 1st Place – Ailey Black
Literature: (3rd – 5th category)
  • 1st Place – Baraka Ganyuma
Literature:  (K – 2nd category)
  • 1st Place – Jalia Ganyuma

Goochland Middle:

  • First place, Madeline Gore, 7th, “Riding the Cyclone”
  • Ssecond place, Jessie Steadman, 8th, “Get Up and Dream Out Loud”
  • Third place, Mitchell Davis, 6th, “If I Won a Million Dollars”
Visual arts
  • First place, Jessie Steadman, 8th, “Forced Thoughts”
  • Second place, Bayleigh Allen, 6th,“Book and Butterflies”
  • Third place, Lorena Maier, 6th, “Imagine, Create, Inspire”
  • First place, Jessie Steadman, 8th, “Ignite Your Imagination,”
  • Second place, 6th, Makayla Nash, “Bee”
  • Third place, , Austin Payne, 8 “Wall Art”
Film Production
  • First Place, Sabina Rucker, 8th,Tell Your World
  • Second Place, Austin Payne, 8th, Flying Imagination
Visual Arts
  • First place, Jessie Steadman, 8 “Forced Thoughts,”
  • Second place, Bayleigh Allen, 6th, “Book and Butterflies”
  • Third place, Lorena Maier, 6th, “Imagine, Create, Inspire”
  • First place, Kiersten Hamlin and Tanara Johnson, 6, “Imaginative

If you can’t make it to the State Championship Volleyball Game on Saturday at 1:00: Watch it on the NFHS Network




Forward this notice to your coaches, athletes, parents, & fans now so they don’t miss the action


Catch the Virginia Volleyball Championships Tomorrow and Saturday

Live on the NFHS Network

Can’t be there? You can still catch all of the action LIVE
on the NFHS Network starting this Friday and Saturday.
Friday’s Matches start 1pm ET
Saturday’s Matches start 11am ET
Games will also be available for viewing on demand.

  Watch Volleyball

GHS Robotics Students Interact with Leading Engineers in Chicago

Samantha Haynes, a GHS freshman and robotics team member, and Logan Monk, a GHS Senior and the student robotics leader, are in Chicago this week attending Rockwell’s 2015 Automation Fair, the largest engineering conference of this type in North America in which over 25,000 engineers will attend from all over the globe. What an incredible opportunity!

GHS robotics team members Logan Monk and Samantha Haynes meet the president of Rockwell international in Chicago.

Library Book Fairs Bring Smiles

Our library media specialists wear many hats: teacher, literacy expert, technology coach, research specialist …

Sometimes the hat is a goofy one that compliments a friendly monster costume.

Our students and families tell us each year how much they enjoy the book fairs our schools host. The events bring energy, excitement, and smile after smile.

We’d like to extend a heartfelt thank you to our library media specialists and their teams for the tremendous amount of work that goes into hosting a book fair – in preparation, during, and following. Thank you, also, to our families for supporting these great events!

Robotics Teams Excel in the Region

Congratulations to the six Goochland robotics teams that competed at L C Bird  HS in Chesterfield last weekend!

  • BES- first place, Project Design Award;
  • GMS- first place, Core Values – “Dumpster Divers”
  • GMS – first place, Robot Design Award – “Clean Up Crew”

The award-winning GMS Dumpster Divers robotics team!

And, the GMS Dumpster Divers are going to the state competition at JMU the first weekend in December!  We celebrate the work of these exemplary coaches: Anne Moore, Carly Dachelet, Lisa Brown, Nate Potter, Candice Labbott, and Sherrill Kauffman.

Volleyball wins the 2A East & will host on Tuesday, November 17

The volleyball team beat Stuarts Draft Saturday night 3-0 (25-17, 25-11 & 25-9) in the finals of the 2A East Volleyball Tournament.  They will host Glenvar High School on Tuesday, November 17 at 7:00 in the VHSL State Volleyball Tournament semi-final game.  Admission for the game is $10.00.

Stuarts Draft will travel to Marion High School on Tuesday for the other semi-final game.

The VHSL 2A State Championship Game will be held on Saturday, November 21 at the VCU Seigel Center at 1:00.  Admission for the game is $10.00.

Fall Athletic Success and Upcoming Events

Our scholar athletes have achieved tremendous success this fall!


Join us in congratulating the Varsity Volleyball team beat R.E. Lee on Thursday night 3-1 in the semi-finals of Region 2A East Volleyball Tournament!  With the win, GHS will host the finals of the tournament at 5:00 pm on Saturday, November 14.  Admission for the game is $6.00.

Also with the win, the VB Bulldogs will play in the semi-finals of the VHSL State Volleyball Tournament on Tuesday, November 17.  With a win on Saturday, we will host and if we lose on Saturday we will be on the road.


We will host Wilson Memorial tonight in the first round of the Region 2A East Football Playoffs.  We are ranked #1 and Wilson is ranked #16.

With a win on Friday night, we would host the winner of Brunswick/Greensville game next Friday night, November 20 in the second round.

With a win on November 20, we would host again vs. another second round winner on Friday, November 27 in the third round.

And if we win on November 27, we would host again on Saturday, December 5 vs. the second highest ranked team from the West in semi-finals of the VHSL State Playoffs.   This would be a 2:00 game on that Saturday.

Cross Country:

Cross Country Bulldog Austin Bruce will be competing in the VHSL State Cross Country Meet on Saturday at Great Meadow, The Plains, VA.  2A runs at11:30.  The boys’ team won the conference meet and the girls came in second! Both teams competed in the 2A East competition last Wednesday.


Theater is competing in the 2A East Competition this Saturday at Prince Edward at 1:30.


Competition cheer finished 2nd in the conference! Well done!


Athletic events for the week of November 16, 2015

Monday, November 16:

1.  The scholastic bowl team hosts Buckingham & Cumberland at 5:30 in the History wing.

Tuesday, November 17:

1.  The varsity volleyball team will be playing a semi-final game in the VHSL State Volleyball Tournament.  Depending on the outcome of the game with Stuart Draft will determine if we are at home or on the room.  Game time for the VHSL game is 7:00 and the admission to the game is $10.00.  The two teams on the East are Stuart Draft & Goochland.  The two teams on the West are Marion (Southwest VA) and Glenvar (Salem).  Goochland will host Glenvar.

Thursday, November 19:

1.  The JV & varsity boys basketball teams will host Fluvanna in a scrimmage starting at 5:30.

Friday, November 20:  

1. With the win over Wilson Memorial and Greensville’s win over Brunswick, Goochland will host Greensville in Region 2A East Football 2nd round playoffs.  Admission for the game is $7.00.

Saturday, November 21:

1.  VHSL State Volleyball Tournament at VCU’s Siegel Center with the 2A Championship game scheduled for 1:00.  Cost for the games is $10.00.

Volleyball wins at RE Lee…Will host 2A East Finals and Qualifies for States

The varsity volleyball team beat RE Lee tonight 3-1 in the semi-finals of Region 2A East Volleyball Tournament.  The scores were 25-20, 21-25, 25-23 & 25-15.  With the win, GHS will host the finals of the tournament at 5:00 on Saturday, November 14.  Admission for the game is $6.00.

Also with the win, the Bulldogs will play in the semi-finals of the VHSL State Volleyball Tournament on Tuesday, November 17.  With a win on Saturday, we will host and if we lose on Saturday we will be on the road.

Congratulations to the varsity volleyball team!!!!!!!

Chamber Honors Dr. Joseph Turner for School Volunteerism

The Goochland Chamber of Commerce honored Dr. Joseph “Jody” Turner today at their annual Volunteer Recognition Luncheon and Awards Ceremony.

Dr. Turner is a professor within the Chemistry Department at VCU. He brings his expertise, leadership qualities, and passion for student learning to his volunteer work within the schools. Dr. Turner is an active member of the division’s STEM Advisory Committee (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) and is a fixture at events like our annual summer STEM camp and Conundrum Day. Dr. Turner is also a regular guest instructor in our secondary science department and presenter in our elementary schools. His generosity of time and expertise have provided hundreds of students with opportunities for educational enrichment.

The Chamber’s program for today’s event described Dr. Turner as “a ‘doer,’ someone who gives selflessly of his time, resources, and talents.

November 12, 2015 – Dr. Joseph “Jody” Turner receives recognition as one of Goochland’s 2015 volunteers of the year.

Directions to RE Lee High School in Staunton

From: 3250 River Rd W Goochland, VA 23063-3209 To: 200 N Coalter St Staunton, VA 24401-3662

1 HR 22 MIN | 83.331 MILES


Start out going east on River Rd W/VA-6 toward Bulldog Way. 0.23 miles
Take the 1st left onto Bulldog Way.
  • Goochland Middle School is on the left
0.93 miles
Turn left onto Sandy Hook Rd/US-522 N. Continue to follow US-522 N. 6.23 miles
Merge onto I-64 W via the ramp on the left toward Charlottesville.
  • If you are on Cross County Rd and reach Junction Ln you’ve gone a little too far
71.90 miles
Merge onto I-81 N via EXIT 87 toward Staunton/Winchester. 0.93 miles
Take the US-250 exit, EXIT 222, toward Staunton/Fishersville. 0.22 miles
Merge onto US-250 W toward Staunton/Mary Baldwin Col. 2.38 miles
Turn right onto Greenville Ave/US-11 N/US-250 W.
  • Greenville Ave is 0.1 miles past Village Dr
  • If you are on Richmond Ave and reach US-11 N you’ve gone a little too far
0.11 miles
Stay straight to go onto S Coalter St. 0.41 miles
200 N COALTER ST is on the left.
  • Your destination is just past Pleasant Ter
  • If you reach Sherwood Ave you’ve gone a little too far
0.00 miles

Apple Executives Present GCPS with International Award

For its 1:1 iPad program at Byrd Elementary, Goochland Elementary, Randolph Elementary, and Goochland Middle Schools, Goochland County Public Schools is pleased to announce that it has been recognized as an Apple Distinguished Program for 2015–2017 for its implementation of deeper learning with iPad Mini and iPad Air.

Apple representatives presented the award during last night’s school board meeting. Pictured here, left to right: John Hendron (Dir. Strategy & innovation), Meg Wilson (Apple executive), Lauren Langley (Apple executive), Quentin Ballard (GHS Asst. Principal), Tom DeWeerd (Dir. Technology), James Hopkins (BES Principal), Jennifer Rucker (GMS Principal), Tina McCay (GES Principal)

Nov. 9th – 13th




*Introducing, writing, and doing activities with the letter Oo .  Will talk a little bit about Gg this week too.

**PLEASE SEND IN AN ITEM THAT BEGINS WITH / O/ for Show and Tell this week.

*Tracking words (pointing to words) in sentences at the bottom of the page.

*Learning to read the following TRICK WORDS: go, and, me  Reviewing: see, the, at, up, look, can, come, like, my.

*Reading and writing in our RAZ kids groups and reading groups.


*Working on NUMBER SENSE and doing activities with the numbers 0-10.

*Working ordinal numbers first-fifth.

*Creating even more fun patterns!


*Working in our unit of study on THANKSGIVING.  Our emphasis this week will be on Turkeys. Look for our Turkey Book to come home this week.

*Practicing for our play, A Thanksgiving to Remember.  (Please send in a white shirt to be tie dyed by Friday, November 13th!)


*Doing activities about fall. Our emphasis over the next few weeks will be on fall weather, fall leaves, and animals in fall.

*Going on a Fall Hike on our Nature Trail!

———> Over


*Read your “Book It” books for November.

NOVEMBER CALENDAR ACTIVITY:  Your child will receive a turkey with their name on it, if they can spell November (orally) and identify the numbers 0-10.

Please mark Tuesday, November 24th on your calendar!  Our Kindergarten classes will be presenting a short Thanksgiving play in our cafeteria. More information to come home soon.

*Be sure to save and turn in your BOXTOP FOR EDUCATIONS labels!

*Thursday, November 12th  Kindergarten will be saying the pledge of allegiance during our PTA Veterans Day meeting.  Please meet in my room by 6:15 on Thursday night.


I am thankful for such great children and parents,

Mrs. Neiditch

November 2015 ECCHO Award Winners

A new cohort of ECCHO Award winners were recognized at the November 10, 2015 school board meeting. Having been nominated by colleagues, leaders, parents or students, these professionals were selected using a rubric designed to evaluate the scope and impact of the nominee’s display of the division’s core values.

Winners of the November 2015 ECCHO Awards , left to right: Lisa Hobbs, Amanda Steeley, Jacquie Hamilton, Suzanne Taylor, Stephanie Falconer, Amy Trowbridge.

The GCPS ECCHO Awards are an integral part of the Values Based Leadership model implemented throughout the division. We believe that the best way to maximize the potential of a learner, be it a student or an adult, is to create an environment in which the individual can live, work and lead in alignment with core values that resonate deeply as important, even non-negotiable points of conviction.

GCPS has identified five of these values: Excellence, Creativity, Courage, Honor and Optimism (ECCHO). The ECCHO awards highlight exemplary displays of behaviors that reflect an alignment between individual and organizational values.


BES Student Artist Recognized

Congratulations to BES student, Everett Brewer, whose original artwork was chosen by the Longwood Center for the Visual Arts to be displayed as part of the Highlights from the Annual Area Youth Art Month Exhibition.

Everett’s piece, titled “Pumpkin Patch”, will be displayed throughout the fall of 2016 and he will be honored during a special reception at Longwood.

Well done, Everett!

GHS Volleyball Player and Coach of the Year

Please join us in congratulating these exemplary scholar-athletes and coach from Goochland High School. The GHS Volleyball team has a 22-0 record, having beaten every opponent 3-0, every time!  In addition to the all-conference selection awards below, Madelyn Ott was named Player of the Year and GHS Volleyball Coach Jennifer Erixon was Coach of the Year!

2015 Quad Rivers 34 All-Conference Volleyball Selections

  • Madelyn Ott, Middle Hitter, GHS Senior
  • Josie Summitt, Setter, GHS Senior
  • Maddie Parker, Outside Hitter, GHS Senior
  • Alexis Wiggins, Middle Hitter, GHS Sophomore
  • Casey Spencer Libero, GHS Junior

Goochland was the Conference Champion and will advance to play Amelia in the Regional competition.

GHS Volleyball team currently has a 22-0 record!


Athletic events for the week of November 9, 2015

Monday, November 9:

1.  The high school winter athletic teams will start tryouts for swim teams, wrestling team, girls basketball teams & boys basketball right after school.

Tuesday, November 10:

1.  The varsity volleyball team will host Nandua in a quarter final game of Region 2A East Volleyball Tournament 6:00.  Cost for the games is $6.00 and GHS family, senior citizen & athletic team passes do not work for tournament games.

Thursday, November 12:

1.  With a win on Tuesday, the volleyball team will travel to the winner of the Stuart Draft/RE Lee game for a semi-final game in Region 2A East Volleyball Tournament.

Friday, November 13:

1.  The varsity football team will host Wilson Memorial in a first round playoff game in the Region 2A East Football Playoffs at 7:00.  Cost for the game is $7.00 and GHS family, senior citizen & athletic team passes do not work for tournament games.

Saturday, November 14:

1.  Austin Bruce will represent GHS, James River District, QRC 34 & Region 2A East in the VHSL 2A East Cross Country Meet at Great Meadow, The Plains, VA  at 12:30.  Admission to the state cross country meet is $10.00

2.  The championship game of Region 2A East Volleyball Tournament will be held.  Teams  & location of the game will be known after the semi-final games on Thursday.