In addition to the first total eclipse in 99 years, Monday, August 21 marks the start of the Goochland school.
As is its custom, our school division gets the ball rolling with an annual convocation, this year held on August 14, to bring every member of “team Goochland” together for an energizing pep rally. The buzz of excitement battled with the strains “Stayin’ Alive” as people greeted old friends and met new ones filing into the high school auditorium.
The joy of the day was perhaps best illustrated by James Hopkins, principal of Byrd Elementary School, who did a happy dance to greet the members of the BES team. Smiles, hugs, and laughter was the order of the day.
Following the presentation of the colors by the GHS Marine Junior ROTC color guard and pledge of allegiance complete with the unofficial last two words “play ball,” Dr. Stephen Geyer took the microphone. He welcomed an amazing team to an incredible school community. “This is an amazing place for our students and an amazing place to work,” he said.
Out school board, said Geyer, is an active and integral part of our team. Their partnership with our board of supervisors allows students and teachers alike to take risks and thrive.
School Board Chair Person Beth Hardy District 4 gave a special welcome to the highly talented group of educators who teach our children. Collaboration among students, teaches, staff, and leadership team makes GCPS a great place to work as it provides the best preparation for all students wherever their life’s journey may take them.
“Your unparalleled dedication is humbling,” Hardy said. “The magic in the school day happens in the classroom. The magic is you and what you bring every day. Thank you and have an amazing year.”
Dr. John Herndon, Director of Innovation and Strategy, discussed the G21 Awards made possible by the Goochland Education Foundation (goochlandedu.org) to encourage deeper learning. GHS career and technical education and physical education won the gold ($300) for designing, building and using an archery range.
Fourth grade teachers at Randolph Elementary School won silver ($200) for improving the nature trails around the school.
Collaboration between a librarian and counselor at Goochland Elementary won Bronze ($100) for a project using Scratch software to combine core values and coding.
Service awards presented. Team Goochland has a gracious plenty of folks who are here year in and year out. Bryan Gordon and Priscilla Garrant with 30 years of service and Josie Gray with 35 years in our schools were praised with a thundering standing ovation.
Last year’s teacher of the year Joe Beasely exhorted his colleagues to make every second of their time with students count, celebrate the milestones achieved by the GCPS winning team, and cheer each other on to bigger victories.
This year’s teacher of the year, Jennifer Gates, reminded other teachers “to never lose sight of who you are and your decision to become an educator. “It takes grit—passion and perseverance—to reach success.
Guest speaker Dr. John Almarode of James Madison University contended that a teacher’s belief system is far more important to the success of a student than the transfer of a particular body of information. “Do you hose them down with information and pray that something sticks? Or are they better off for having spent a few hours with you?” he asked.
|Dr. John Almarode offered insights about successful teaching|
Goochland Superintendent of Schools Dr. Jeremy Raley said that the convocation filled about two hours celebrating the accomplishments of the past year and setting the tone for that about to start. “I’ve had a chance to see all of the amazing things you do for our kids every day to help them succeed. Our core value of optimism is not just a word on a page, it’s who we are,” he said.
“On Monday, they’re coming and they count on us to make appositive impact in their life and say ‘I believe in you’. It doesn’t matter what’s on your badge, we’re all one team. We are a very successful school division, but there are still kids we have not reached. By letting them know that we believe they can, they will succeed.”
|The band provided a rousing conclusion to Convocation 2017|
Go team Goochland! We look forward to seeing what new heights of accomplishment you reach in the coming school year.