Last week the RESOURCE Youth Network program of Goochland High School had their end of the year recognition dinner at Hickory Notch Grill. Twenty-three juniors and seniors, with the leadership of Doug Getter, participated in this new grant-funded program focused on preparing students for graduation through college & career readiness training. Each student began the year setting goals for themselves. RESOURCE then developed programs to help these students accomplish their goals. During biweekly lunch meetings students would discuss career and college related topics. They also had the opportunity hear speakers from a variety of post-secondary education options, took part in college tours, and had the chance to participate in both the Youth Leadership Summit and Teen Job Symposium.
Ten students attended eight hours of work readiness training exploring work place ethics, communication, initiative, and motivation. For 13-weeks this spring, twelve students endured a 45 minute bus ride after a full day of school, four days a week, to pursue Certified Nursing Assistant and Medication Aide training. They now have graduated, not only with a Goochland High School diploma, but also with a CNA certification that will allow them immediately to work in hospitals, nursing homes, and home health care organizations. Each student demonstrated a desire to build upon the skills they were learning in school and to work to improve their opportunities for success in the future. I am especially proud of our first year in this new program and Mr. Getter’s exemplary program direction. We look forward to expanding it in the years to come!
I am thrilled to introduce Bruce O. Watson as our newly appointed Director of Career & Technical Education. Mr. Watson brings extensive experience as a classroom teacher, principal, and most recently a division leader in career & technical education, with specific expertise integrating science, technology, engineering and math (seen those before?) innovations into students’ learning opportunities. We look forward to expanding the ability of our students to pursue specific skill certification programs and college/apprenticeship opportunities through Mr. Watson’s leadership. One of his immediate goals is to pursue the establishment of a Governor’s STEM Academy in Goochland. He has already met with our STEM and CTE advisory committees and is eager to roll up his sleeves and push GCPS into exciting new horizons. Please join me in welcoming him to our community.
Members of our Technology Department, Bea Cantor & John Hendron, attended the 2012 ISTE conference in San Diego this week. Keynote speaker, Yong Zhao, challenged attendees to engage students with the subjects and tools that inspire them. Mrs. Cantor reports it was the best keynote presentation she had ever experienced. John had this to say about the conference and the keynote, in particular:
“It reaffirms that the learner is at the center of everything we do. but we have a calling to re-focus our efforts at home on engaging students not with gadgetry but the things they are intrinsically passionate about. We have also seen time and time again that our approach with g21 as a product-based learning model is being endorsed by every major player at the conference.” - John Hendron
ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) is the premier membership association for educators and education leaders engaged in improving learning and teaching by advancing the effective use of technology in PK–12 and teacher education.
The community beautification project on the courtyard at Randolph Elementary has continued. Todd Walton of Tuckahoe Landscaping and his crew have completed the fountain and the team is now looking for colorful pond plant life to add to the pond. Mr. Walton has donated extensive hours of planning and manual labor to make our courtyard project possible. He has maintained continual communication with Luck Stone, STI, and Pete Rose Inc. securing landscaping materials to make this project a reality. In addition, numerous volunteers have contributed to the completion of several murals that depict life cycles of the butterfly, pumpkin, frog, moon phases, and water cycle. We anticipate having concrete poured for our new greenhouse next week. Volunteers just this week painted two stunning murals, representing the life cycle curriculum – here’s an example:
Our partnership with the Science Museum of Virginia continues to strengthen. Dr. Steve Geyer, Assistant Superintendent for Instruction, has been in consistent communication with Chuck English at the Museum and has plans to meet with him next week for a third time since June 1. One particularly exciting development pertains to our upcoming STEM Camp. The Museum has reserved a space and time for our students to participate in a live video link with the underwater science station Aquarius. Exciting opportunity!
Folks, have a fantastic weekend. As you enjoy this beautiful summer, I would love to hear from you.