Pittsylvania County Schools: 
A Great Place to Learn and Work!

PCS Logo


P.O. Box 232 • 39 Bank Street, SE 
Chatham, Virginia 24531  
Telephone:  (434) 432-2761 • 1-888-440-6520
Fax: (434) 432-9560


Superintendent's Weekly Wrap-Up




Superintendent's Weekly Wrap-Up

School Year 2016-2017


September 23, 2016

Virginia School Boards Association (VSBA) President, Bill Kidd, wrote this message in this month’s VSBA Newsletter. “I received this some years ago and think it has an appropriate message for us all. The following is the philosophy of Charles Shultz, the creator of the “Peanuts” comic strip. You don’t have to actually answer the questions. Just read straight through and you’ll get the point.


  1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.

  2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.

  3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America Pageant.

  4. Name ten people who have won a Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.

  5. Name the last half-dozen Academy Award winners for best actor and actress.

  6. Name the last decade’s worth of World Series winners.

How did you do?

The point is -- few of us remember the headlines of yesterday. These are no second-rate achievers. They are the best in their fields. But the applause dies. Awards tarnish. Achievements are forgotten. Accolades and certificates fade.

Here’s another quiz.

  1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.

  2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.

  3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.

  4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special.

  5. Think of five people with whom you enjoy spending time.


The lesson: The people who make a difference in our lives are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards. They are the ones who care. We have all been impacted favorably by people who have changed our lives.”

Many of these individuals worked in the schools we attended. They were our school division's teachers, aides, administrative assistants, coaches, transportation staff, cafeteria staff, maintenance staff, custodians, administrators, therapists, and cafeteria workers. Noted educational researcher, John Hattie, said, “Know thy impact.” We have a unique opportunity, and I believe it is one only surpassed by that of parents, to positively impact the lives of students.

Employee of the Week:
Please join in recognizing Ms. Jennifer Motley, librarian at John L. Hurt, Jr. Elementary, on her selection as Employee of the Week for Pittsylvania County Schools. Please click on the following link to find out what employees do to make this A Great Place to Learn and Work! http://www.pcs.k12.va.us/staff/employee-of-week/

In the Schools:
Chatham High School sophomore, Logan Mills, finished 4th in Creed Public Speaking and 1st in Safe Equipment/Tractor Operation at the FFA Eastern Regional (The Big E) Competition (20 states) held in West Springfield, MA, on Friday, September 16, 2016, and Saturday, September 17, 2016.


In the Schools:
On September 18, 2016, Gretna Elementary School celebrated its 20th Anniversary. Speakers included: Mr. Calvin Doss, School Board Chairman, Ms. Teresa Petty, Assistant Superintendent for Instruction, Ms. Abigail Kendrick, former student, Ms. Stephanie Miller, former student, Mr. Michael Mayhew, former student, Ms. Sonja Scott, with the Peace Crane Project, Ms. Paula Cocke, and Ms. Amy Emond. Ms. Carol Moorefield, Gretna Elementary students, and former Gretna Elementary students Ms. Lacey Shelton and Mr. Jacob Shelton provided the music for the event.

Each teacher’s classroom door was decorated as well as the school, and refreshments were provided by local restaurants and churches. The school and school division thank the program committee for planning this activity: Ms. McKenzie Baugh, Ms. Patricia Cocke, Ms. Paula Cocke, Ms. Amy Emond, Ms. Nancy Merricks, Ms. Martha Lecik, Ms. Doborah Moran, Ms. Ellen Toler, Ms. Sonja Scott, and Ms. Brenda Velarde.

W!SE, Financial Literacy Certification:
Congratulations to Dan River High School, Gretna High School and Tunstall High School for being listed as 2015-2016 Blue Star Schools. To earn this award, a high school must test more than ten students, must have achieved an 80% passing rate on the W!SE (Working in Support of Education) Financial Literacy Certification Test and have EITHER a majority of students in a given grade level take the Test OR have the students who took it achieve an average score of 85% or higher.

State Accreditation Information:
On September 14, 2016, the Virginia Department of Education released school accreditation information based on Standards of Learning (SOL) assessments administered in 2015-2016. Across the Commonwealth, eighty-one percent of Virginia public schools are fully accredited. This is a three percent increase over 2015-2016 when 78 percent of schools met the State’s top accountability rating.

Seventeen of eighteen (94%) of Pittsylvania County Schools earned Fully Accredited status based on scores received on SOL tests given last year. Congratulations!

School Board Recognitions:
At the September 13, 2016, School Board meeting, the Board recognized nineteen students who earned perfect scores on Standards of Learning assessments taken during 2015-2016 as follows:  Hyrum Tonks, Gretna Elementary School, Katelyn Geistel, Southside Elementary School, Taylor Dodson, Tunstall Middle School, Reese Bowles, Tunstall Middle School, Shaniya Green, Tunstall Middle School, Sophia Strange, Tunstall Middle School, Andrew Walker, Tunstall Middle School, Clay Hardy, Tunstall High School, LaMiracle Carter, Chatham Middle School, Mia Davis, Chatham Middle School, Xavier Kelley, Chatham Middle School, Aaliyah White, Chatham Middle School, Da’nasia Wooding, Chatham Middle School, Adrianna Zuniga, Chatham Middle School, Jacob Coates, Dan River Middle School, Kristopher Owens, Gretna Middle School, Herman Witcher, Gretna Middle School, Lisa King, Gretna High School, and Jontay Stone, Gretna High School.

The School Board recognized Savannah Childers, a senior at Tunstall High School, for placing 3rd in the State FFA Dairy Handlers’ Career Development Event.

2016 Health Summit:
On Tuesday, September 20, 2016, school nurse coordinators, Ms. Peggy Saunders and Ms. Janice Wiles, attended the 2016 Health Summit held at Averett University. The Health Collaborative is working across the Dan River Region to create positive and lasting effects on health behavior and outcomes. Over the past few decades, many cities and counties across the Nation have built communities that are not conducive to healthy living. As a result, the areas have seen dramatic increases in chronic disease and poor health among residents. Our region is not immune to this trend.

The Health Collaborative has recently developed an action plan, Health for All, which focuses on long-term practices established in current policies, systems approaches designed to streamline efforts, and environmental changes with proven track records. The goals for the Health for All action plan are as follows:

  • Goal 1: Active Living – Create equitable access to opportunities to be physically active

  • Goal 2: Healthy Eating – Provide equitable access to local, fresh and healthy food

  • Goal 3: Access to Healthcare – Increase access to healthcare, resources and education for low income, minority and other underserved populations

  • Goal 4: Cross-Cutting Approaches – Local institutions and community organizations encourage healthy living and create policies, programs and environments that support health

Virginia Retirement System (VRS) Update:
The 2016 Member Benefit Profiles (MBPs) for Plan 1 and Plan 2 employees are now available in myVRS. The MBP is a valuable document that can help Plan 1 and Plan 2 employees plan for retirement whether they are just beginning their careers or thinking about retiring. Please go to the MBP Resources page on the VRS website for important information about your VRS plan. You may also view the VRS promotional flyer at http://www.varetire.org/pdf/publications/mbp-flier.pdf. If you wish to receive a copy of your MBP, please contact Mrs. Janet Hancock at janet.hancock@pcs.k12.va.us.

Employees can login or register for myVRS at http://myvrs.varetire.org/.


VRS released a new version of myVRS earlier this year to enhance services and security for members’ personal and financial information. If employees have myVRS accounts in the former system, they will be able to login to the new system with their user name and password. However, they will need to complete an identity authentication process to gain access to the new myVRS site. Employees who do not have a myVRS account will need to register. VRS members are responsible for keeping their contact information (i.e., mail, phone, email) current in myVRS. Contact Mrs. Janet Hancock if you have any questions.

MBPs are currently not available for Hybrid Retirement Plan members. However, these employees can look up their current defined benefit and defined contribution account balances and other information through myVRS. The retirement planner in myVRS allows hybrid employees to estimate potential income and expenses in retirement. In 2017, hybrid members also will have access to the benefit estimator in myVRS.

VRS Retirement Session for Interested Employees

1st session - Looking Ahead-Building Retirement Security

Do you have financial goals? Perhaps you'd like to reduce your debt, start a family or establish a savings plan for a major purchase or retirement. Join us for this half-day seminar, featuring industry professionals who will cover a range of topics including credit and debt management, protecting your finances and retirement planning.

2nd session - Are You on Track? (For Plan 1 and Plan 2 Members only)

This presentation for current Plan 1 and Plan 2 members (hired before January 1, 2014) educates you on your VRS membership and the importance of planning now for your future. Topics include an overview of your VRS benefits and optional programs, purchase of prior service and member resources such as our online self-service tool, myVRS.

To register for a VRS Session, visit our website at http://www.varetire.org/members/education/index.asp

You can register via e-mail-just click on the link provided

Special Needs Students Benefit from Arc Job Placements:
Local employers have partnered with The Arc of Southside to provide employment opportunities for special needs students in Pittsylvania County high schools. The list of participating employers is as follows: Dell Anno’s Pizza – Brosville and Danville (4 employees), Red Lobster, Essel Propack (9 employees), Old Navy, Wendy’s, Sleep Inn, Food Lion – multiple locations, Me’s Burgers, Taco Bell, Sam’s Club, Citi Trends, White Oak School, The Arc of Southside, Old Oak Hardwoods, Allgood Cabinet Shop, and Stratford Conference Center.

Mark Your Calendars:


  • Teachers’ Advisory Council Meeting – Monday, September 26, 2016, @ 2:00 p.m. in the School Board Office conference room

  • Support Staff Advisory Meeting – Tuesday, September 27, 2016, @ 10:00 a.m. in the School Board Office conference room

  • Citizen’s Advisory Council Meeting - Tuesday, September 27, 2016, @ 1:00 p.m. in the School Board Office conference room

  • Twin Springs Elementary School 20th Anniversary – Tuesday, September 27, 2016, Hotdog dinner from 4:30 p.m. to 5:45 p.m., Program @ 6:00 p.m.

  • Grades Entered in PowerTeacher – Wednesday, September 28, 2016, by 5:00 p.m.

  • TestNav Training (ES, MS, HS Counselors) – Thursday, September 29, 2016, 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., ECC Training Center

  • School Board Agenda Planning Meeting – Thursday, September 29, 2016, @ 9:00 a.m.

  • FBA/BIP Training – Thursday, September 29, 2016, 3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m., ECC Training Center

  • Virginia School Safety Survey Due – Friday, September 30, 2016

  • PALS Screening - Grades PK-K, September 21, 2016, through October 19, 2016

  • Character Word of the Month for September – Trustworthiness

  • VSBA Bullying Prevention Month – October 2016

Please send media requests to: http://www.pcs.k12.va.us/media/.  This may be (1) to request media presence on site to cover an upcoming event or (2) to request media coverage (without media on site) of an upcoming event or (3) to report news from a past event.  Thank you for identifying the great things happening in the schools!


This site is supported solely by Pittsylvania County Schools:  www.pcs.k12.va.us  
Last update: Friday, September 30, 2016 09:48 AM