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A View Inside 2017-18

Sealston STEM Team

Sealston STEM Team Wins Sportsmanship Award at Lego Competition
The Sealston STEM Club, under the leadership of STEM sponsor Sierra Hoskins, was awarded the prestigious Judge’s Award at the 2017 VA/DC FIRST LEGO League Championship Tournament held in Washington DC. The Judge’s Award was given to the Sealston Elementary STEM team for outstanding sportsmanship and showing of core values which focused on “coopertition”. At the December 11 School Board Meeting Ms. Hoskins noted, “I cannot put into words how proud all of these kids have made me as their STEM sponsor. They went to competition and gave it absolutely everything they had, plus some. They helped the other teams, they gave parts to the other teams, they cheered all the other teams on, they cheered each other on. That’s what it’s really all about at the end of the day. They earned everything that they received this year. They’re super proud of themselves. I’m proud of them as well.”

Officer Spuchesi and K9 Comet

VDGIF K-9 Officer Visits KGMS Outdoor Club

Senior Conservation Police Officer Frank Spuchesi is not only a conservation police officer (formerly known as game wardens), but he is also one of only four K-9 officers in the entire state. Officer Spuchesi and his four legged partner, Comet, came by to visit KGMS recently to speak to the outdoor club. Officer Spuchesi is one of the two founders of the King George Outdoor Club and he enjoys speaking to youth about his job, his partner Comet, and the outdoors.During his recent visit, Officer Spuchesi asked the young members of the KGMS Outdoor Club how many of them were going to be hunting this season. After watching a number of hands go up, he began asking the students questions regarding local hunting laws, ethics related hunting questions, and hunting safety questions. The entire article is linked here as a pdf.

Students in Hunter Education Class
Mark Fike Shines Bright With Hunter Education Safety Course

Veteran teacher Mark Fike, has taught English and Science in King George County Schools since 1997. Mark is also an avid outdoorsman and enjoys spending time hunting deer, waterfowl, turkey, and small game. His passion for hunting started as a young boy as he tagged along with his father in the King George County woodlands and fields hunting squirrels.

Mr. Fike began teaching a Hunter Education Class three years ago with the help of colleague and World History teacher, Mr. Michael Woods, because he wanted the youth to be able to learn to be safe while enjoying our traditions. The entire article is linked here as a pdf.

Rotary Club Presenting Grant Awards
KGCS Benefit from Dahlgren Rotary Grant Funds

School budgets are increasingly under scrutiny in deciding how to best maximize funding that builds capacity for leadership, learning and resources. Unfunded school initiatives, state mandates and out of pocket expenses for teachers present funding challenges for schools. Over the past five years, King George County Schools has benefitted from the generosity of the Dahlgren Rotary Club through their district and club grants, totaling over $20,000. Rotary Club member, Chuck Davidson, has had a key role in awarding KGCS staff with grant funds. “We don’t have a lot of people knocking on our door for grants,” commented Mr. Davidson. “The Dahlgren Club decided early on to focus on education and literacy. We work with schools to help meet those needs.” The entire article is linked here as a pdf.

Ainsley's Angels Runners
KGCS Leaders Shine Bright Helping Others
Michele Tritt has worked as a Speech Language Pathologist with King George County Schools for 13 years. Michele, an avid marathon and distance runner, also has a gigantic heart that reaches out to runners of all abilities. Her passion for inclusion, her vision to start an Ainsley’s Angels Running chapter in Fredericksburg and her determination to move forward has fueled others to reach out and share their legs with other runners.

King George High School principal, Dr. Jesse Boyd, was challenged to run with Ainsley’s Angels in the Labor Day weekend Va Beach Rock & Roll Half Marathon after hearing there was an extra race bib. Though it had been some time some time since he ran a half marathon, Jesse was looking forward to being part of this noble cause. His training included pushing his own children in a stroller to help simulate the experience beforehand. After completing the half marathon, Jesse noted, “When I arrived for the race at the break of dawn I was anxious given this was my first race with a rider. However, when Mickie, my rider, pressed play on his bluetooth speaker and woke up all of Virginia Beach, I knew I was in good company.” The entire article is linked here as a pdf.  Click here to view the Shine Bright video on the KGCS Facebook page.

Watch Dogs Launch Event
Watch D.O.G.S. Volunteer at KGMS
KGMS Associate Principal, Chris Bryant has seen first hand the benefits of having dads volunteer at school. “Five years ago, I started Watch D.O.G.S. at Sealston Elementary after a first grade teacher heard about Watch D.O.G.S. from a conference.” It was obvious that having a positive male role model in school not only builds positive student relationships, but also provides support for school activities and safety. Mr. Bryant was passionate about continuing to involve fathers in Watch D.O.G.S. (Dads of Great Students) when he transitioned to the middle school. The entire article is linked here as a pdf.

Stop the Bleed Class
KGCS Staff Learn the ABCs of Stop the Bleed
On October 12th, over 25 King George County School staff members came together at King George High School to learn how to administer potentially life saving techniques with a free training program called Stop the Bleed. Stop the Bleed launched in 2015 as a national awareness campaign and call to action in response to the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting in 2012. Created by the US Department of Homeland Security in conjunction with FEMA and various other agencies, Stop the Bleed trains bystanders how to apply life saving techniques in case of disaster and high casualty incidents. School nurses, teachers, a librarian, counselors, resource officers, nurses, cafeteria workers, and administrators all actively participated in the life saving course offered by King George County Schools. The entire article is linked here as a pdf

Lowery Becker
Grant Funds to Help Provide Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences
Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences (MWEEs) are multi-day programs that teach students about their local watersheds and the Chesapeake Bay through classroom lessons, field experiences, action projects, and reflection activities. Thanks to grant funds from NOAA B-WET (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Bay Watershed Education and Training), the Friends of the Rappahannock are providing engaging MWEEs for six title counties in our watershed including King George, Middlesex, Essex County, Westmoreland, Richmond County and Lancaster. Education Coordinator for Friends of the Rappahannock, Lowery Becker, will work directly with sixth grade students and staff in all three elementary schools to provide training, support, and resources for the program, “A River Runs Through Us” during the 2017-18 school year. The entire article is linked here as a pdf.

Mark Burns
Room Makeover Out of This World!

Take one foot inside Mark Burns’ astronomy classroom and you’ll feel like you’ve stepped outside of the space shuttle onto the surface of Mars. Mark’s classroom makeover may have started with getting permission to paint his classroom, but was fueled with a fascination and interest in astronomy since his early childhood. From America’s first space station Skylab, to the loss of space shuttle Challenger in 1986, not to mention NASA’s upcoming Mars mission in the 2030s, Mark has always had an intense interest in the development of our nation’s space program and continual discoveries. For Mark, astronomy isn’t a passive experience to view from afar, it’s the final frontier that’s visible inside his classroom. The entire article is linked here as a pdf.

Pari Paluszak
King George Preschool Coordinator Receives Scholarship Award

King George County School’s Coordinator of Preschool and Mandated Services, Pari Paluszak, was one of five outstanding educators awarded the Phyllis Mondak Scholarship Award for contributions to the field of Early Childhood Special Education that have made a significant impact in the lives of young children and their families. Pari was honored at the Virginia Collaborative Early Childhood Birth to Five Conference, held in Roanoke on July 21. Phyllis Mondak is recognized in Virginia for being a leader in educating the importance of quality inclusive placements for preschoolers with disabilities. Her work in special education and commitment to young children and the disabilities community are reflected in the work of King George award recipient, Pari Paluszak. King George County Supervisor of Special Services, Ann Bueche, nominated Pari Paluszak for this distinguished award. The entire article is linked here as a pdf.