Case Kramer, a senior at Rappahannock County High School, impressed the superintendents, school board members and school staff at the Mountain Vista Governor’s School (MVGS) board meeting on Feb. 21 with his short-notice presentation of his day of snowboarding at Massanutten Ski Resort.
The board meets monthly to review the budget and discuss administrative issues. All the educators, whether the superintendents of the six participating school systems or the school board members, most enjoy the occasional presentation by one of the MVGS students. According to the executive director, Kramer responded positively when she called him the afternoon before the meeting, after she learned that the student she expected to present had bowed out.
Clearly not intimidated by the audience of educational leaders, Kramer delivered his description of the results of his accelerometer measurements with poise and confidence. He shared slides of graphs showing both altitude and speed during his snowboard runs down Massanutten’s black-diamond slopes. It was hard to tell whether the adults were more impressed by the data displays or by his snowboarding prowess.
Kramer fielded several questions, including one about the data set showing “stopping on a dime.” The attendees offered him their genuine appreciation of his willingness to present on such short notice and agreed, after he left the room to return to calculus class, that such presentations remind us of the value of MVGS. As the representatives of Case’s home school system, John Lesinski, board chair, and Kathleen Grove, interim superintendent, beamed with pride.
Rappahannock County Public Schools sends at least four students, juniors and seniors, to MVGS each year. For the 2012-2013 school year, six students are attending. The students enroll in one of two science course tracks: biology or physics. They take four or five classes a year (depending on grade level), attending the school in Warrenton for half the day and Rappahannock County High School for the other half. The MVGS is able to offer a unique set of courses, including advanced-placement physics, calculus, humanities and government classes, and independent research. Rappahannock County Public Schools has participated in MVGS since 2006. The other five participating counties and cities are Culpeper, Fauquier, Frederick, Warren and Winchester.
When asked about his experiences at MVGS, Kramer said: “The two years I have spent at MVGS have truthfully changed my life. I have acquired an exceptional education, public speaking abilities, developed lifelong friendships and have developed relationships that will help me later when I enter the work field. Without Mountain Vista, I would not be receiving the same college opportunities. I am truly blessed to have received such a special opportunity, and I advise anyone who has the same chance to take it.”
Case Kramer has been accepted to the computer engineering schools at Georgia Tech and Purdue; he is awaiting a response from the University of Virginia, Case Western Reserve University and the University of Michigan.