School news for Feb. 28

RCPS Winter Sports Awards

The RCPS Winter Sports Awards Ceremony was held this past Monday night. While all the coaches acknowledged the hard work and dedication of each of the athletes, the following students were recognized during the awards ceremony:

Edgar Gonzalez was awarded the wrestling MVP award following his third place finish in States competition. By Holly Jenkins

Wrestling Edgar Gonzalez (MVP) and Matthew Sisk (Iron Man)

JP Basketball B Team — Andrew Deal (Coaches Award) and Jeremiah Phillips (Coaches Award)

JP Girls Basketball — Abigail Atkins (MVP)

JP Boys Basketball — Luke Martz (Coaches Award) and Sam PerDieu (Most Improved)

JV Boys Basketball — Tyler Stringfellow (Most Improved) and Matthew Pullen (Outstanding Player)

JV Girls Basketball — Sarabeth Ellis (MVP) and Olivia Scheulen (Coaches Award)

Varsity Boys Basketball — Chad Ellis (Offensive Player of the Year) and Grant Lillard (Defensive Player of the Year)

Varsity Girls Basketball — Olivia Atkins (MVP) and Mackinsie Clark (Coaches Award)

Scholastic — Agustin Garcia (Most Improved) and Lauren Petty (Most Valuable Player)

— Holly Jenkins

RCES ‘life ready’

Over the past five months, Rappahannock County Elementary School 6th and 7th grade students have been visited by fifteen separate community members who have spoken about different career opportunities after high school.

As stated in a recent mandate from the Virginia Department of Education entitled Profile of a Graduate, students should possess specific knowledge, skills, and attributes that would prepare them to be “life ready” by the time they graduate.

One of several members of the community to speak to RCES students about career opportunities was Rappahannock County Administrator Garrey Curry, who for several decades has served in the Government and Public Administration sector. By Holly Jenkins

One particular focus of the mandate states that schools must encourage career exploration opportunities in 16 specific career fields. These career clusters include Agriculture/Food/Natural Resources, Arts/AV Technology/Communications, Business Management & Administration, Education & Training, Finance, Government & Public Administration, Health Science, Hospitality & Tourism, Human Services, Information Technology, Law/Public Safety/Corrections/Security, Manufacturing, Marketing, Science/Technology/Engineering/Mathematics, and Transportation/Distribution/ Logistics.

In light of this new life-ready focus, a Profile of a Graduate (POG) team was created to ensure that Rappahannock County Public Schools were meeting the new state requirements for graduates. This team created a unique opportunity for students to interact with community members to learn about their respective career fields.

In this joint venture between RCPS and 4-H, each month three speakers representing one of the 16 career clusters visited with the students and shared insights into their careers. During each 15 minute presentation, students heard about personal experiences as well as industry standards for educational requirements, average salary range, and job options in each field. In addition, there was a five minute period following each career cluster presentation which allowed for students to ask questions.

Seventh grade Science Teacher Elaine McCabe and 7th grade English Teacher Julie Ruth both agreed that these interactions between professionals and students were extremely beneficial.

DeeDee Slewka speaks to RCES students about her career in the Arts, Audio/Visual Technology and Communication sector. By Holly Jenkins

According to McCabe, “the personal interaction between the presenters and students allowed students to make an authentic connection between the careers and the real world.” Ruth added, “Students enjoyed seeing a diverse group of adults telling their stories and how they chose their paths in life. This program helped students begin to think about the careers that may be of interest to them.”

Indeed, many of the students enjoyed this approach to career exploration. Seventh grader Sam PerDieu felt this personalized approach was helpful. As he explained, “we got to meet people in each of the career clusters and hear their stories which made learning about the careers more interesting.”

Fellow student McKenna Torosian agreed: We were able “to learn more about what goes on behind the scenes in each of the speaker’s careers.”

RCPS would like to extend a special thank you to our speakers: Kenner Love (Agriculture and Natural Resources), Jay Monroe (Architecture and Construction), DeeDee Slewka (Arts, Audio/Visual Technology and Communication), Oliver Turner (Business, Management, and Administration), Jimmy Swindler (Education and Training), Toby Waterbury (Finance), Garrey Curry (Government and Public Administration), Dr. Rich Sall (Health Science), Annette Larkin (Hospitality and Tourism), Addie Swindler (Human Services), Dr. Robin Bolt (Information Technology), Lieutenant Janie Philips (Law, Public Safety, Corrections, and Security), Peter Kramer (Manufacturing), Oliver Turner (Marketing, Sales, and Services), Joyce Wenger (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), Odalys Colon Rivera and Sherri Garcia (Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics). In addition, we would like to recognize the Profile of a Graduate team: Jenny Kapsa, Dani Pond, Crystal Smith, Kat Habib, Michelle Griffith, and Lisa Heiser.

— Holly Jenkins

Panthers tough in Bowl

The third Panthers Scholastic Bowl Community Challenge Tournament held last Tuesday was a smashing success, with eight community teams turning out and supporting the Panthers as they prepare to compete in a national tournament this May.

Many present and past teachers, RCHS parents and community members came out to support the team at the single elimination tournament which was preceded by a pancake dinner and bake sale. In the first round of playoffs, Greensmythe defeated the Retired RCHS teachers, PKS (Parents of kids who are smart) defeated the Rapp Democrats, the RCPS Administration defeated Tula’s Turtles, and the Usual Suspects (Griffin Tavern) defeated the RCHS Faculty.

The Rapp Admin team, from left Jimmy Swindler (RCHS Principal), Dr. Tole (former school board member), Ben Temple (RCES Principal), and Dr. Grimsley (Superintendent), take on Scholastic Bowl students. Photo by Lilly Grimsley

In the next round, PKS defeated the RCPS Admin and Griffin beat Greensymthe, leaving two teams standing. At this point, PKS (including Dave Collins, the father of 2009 State Champion player A.J. Collins) lost to the Griffin team, which is successful not only in weekly pub trivia, but took first place at the MVGS Chili Cook Off this year, supporting the Governor’s School.

Ultimately, however, the Griffin team lost handily to the Rapp student team consisting of Lauren Petty, Alec Petty, Bryce Jones, and Gus Garcia. These students as well as two alternates will travel to the National Small Schools Competition Tournament in Chicago in May to compete against 100 other small schools (including some very small schools like RCHS) from across the country.

Donations to help the academic team can be made payable to RCHS and sent to head coach David Naser at the high school. The team thanks the community for the support!

— David Naser

Overnight program

This past weekend, the RCHS 8th Graders and Peer Mentors enjoyed participating in the 3rd annual 8th Grade Academy Overnight trip held at the NOVA 4-H Center.

Students enjoyed dinner at Golden Corral, swimming at the Massanutten Waterpark, spending the night at the NOVA 4-H Educational Center, and a day participating in team building activities. Student evaluations revealed that 100 percent of the participants found this program valuable and would recommend this experience to future 8th graders.

Comments from student evaluations include:

— “There isn’t much time in school to spend together and the overnight allows peer mentors and mentees to bond in a fun environment.”

— “Team building helped me work on patience, teamwork, listening, and friendships skills.”

— The 8th Grade Academy “has helped me get used to the high school and become friends with the older students.”

This opportunity was made possible by the generosity of the FAGUS Foundation and was a collaboration between RCHS and 4-H.

— Dani Pond

Curry to BU Dean’s List

Elizabeth N. Curry, a resident of Washington, has recently been named to the Dean’s List at Boston University for the Fall semester.

Each school and college at Boston University has their own criterion for the Dean’s List, but students generally must attain a 3.5 grade point average (on a 4.0 scale), or be in the top 30 percent of their class, as well as a full course load as a full time student.

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