Goochland County Public Schools Recognized by VDOE for Innovative Practice

Date: June 25, 2020 — FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Dr. Andrew R. Armstrong, Assistant Superintendent of Business Operations  |  (804) 332 0965  |  @glndschools

Last week, the state Board of Education recognized 447 schools and six school divisions for high student achievement, continuous improvement, or innovative practices under the board’s exemplar performance school recognition program. The awards are based on performance and practice during 2018-2019 and prior years.  This year, Goochland County Public Schools was among the only 6 divisions recognized for innovative practices in the Commonwealth.

“I congratulate the principals, teachers, support professionals and students of all of these schools and divisions for the achievement, innovations and hard work recognized by these awards,” Superintendent of Public Instruction James Lane said. “I believe the success of these schools and school divisions will inspire learning communities across the commonwealth as they plan for the reopening of school and prepare to meet the instructional and social-emotional needs of students — especially students most impacted by the closure this spring.”

This is the first year the board has issued the Innovative Practice award, which recognizes innovations implemented over the course of two academic years that improve student outcomes. Goochland County Public Schools earned the award for division-wide innovative practices to develop life-ready students through implementation of the Profile of a Virginia Graduate and the 5 Cs:  critical thinking, creativity, communication, collaboration, and citizenship.  Other divisions recognized for Innovative Practice include Hampton, Newport News, Shenandoah, Greene, and Roanoke schools.

Schools, divisions, and local school boards earn recognition for exemplary innovative practices based on the following criteria:

  • School- or division-wide implementation for two full academic years of a new or creative evidence-based alternative to existing instructional or administrative practices aligned with one of the following priority areas:
    • Closing achievement gaps among vulnerable and/or minority student groups;
    • Developing an integrated STEM approach to learning;
    • Building genuine relationships with families to support overall family well-being and children’s healthy development;
    • Enhancing technology infrastructure to increase student access to connected devices and the internet;
    • Elevating the quality and character of the school environment so that it reflects the positive and support norms, goals, and values of the community;
    • Retaining high-quality teachers; and
  • Developing life-ready students through implementation of the Profile of a Virginia Graduate and the 5 C’s framework (skills in critical thinking, creative thinking, collaboration, communication, and citizenship); and
  • Data provided by school or division demonstrate that the practice is meeting its objectives and is having a significant impact on outcomes for the targeted student population.

Dr. Steve Geyer, Assistant Superintendent of Instruction, commented, “Success in life takes more than traditional academic knowledge – and our Profile of a Goochland Graduate prioritizes skill development like critical thinking, creativity, hard work, and personal responsibility.  Our profile was eighteen months in the making – and I’m proud of the collaboration among our school and community stakeholders who helped bring this important work to life.”

Goochland County Public Schools has been recognized regionally, nationally, and in the Commonwealth for its continued efforts to support student growth, balanced instruction, and student engagement.  The Goochland County School Board approved the Engage 2026 Strategic Plan at its June meeting, affirming its commitment to continued innovation and achievement in GCPS.



Randolph Elementary School Principal Appointed to Administrative Role in Chesterfield County Public Schools


Contact: Dr. Andrew R. Armstrong, Assistant Superintendent of Business Operations | (804) 332 0965 | @glndschools

At their monthly meeting yesterday, June 9, the Goochland County School Board accepted the resignation of Mr. Dan Gardner, principal of Randolph Elementary School.  Mr. Gardner has served as the principal of RES since 2014, having arrived in Goochland after serving as a teacher and administrator in Henrico County Public Schools.

Mr. Gardner will become the new assistant principal of Spring Run Elementary for the 2020-2021 school year.  His resignation from GCPS will be effective June 30.  Mr. Gardner has led Randolph’s community to various distinctions during his tenure as principal, including Randolph’s designation as a fully accredited school and an Apple Distinguished School.  Mr. Gardner’s design and implementation of the “Journey School” created an engaging experience for students with a focus on social emotional well-being.

GCPS will now work  to gather feedback and input from staff, community, and students in preparation for what will be a highly competitive recruitment effort to fill the RES principal position.

Anyone interested in applying to be the next principal of Randolph Elementary School should apply online at








GCPS Celebrates National School Breakfast Week 2020

For immediate release

March 2, 2020 – To encourage more families to take advantage of the healthy choices available for school breakfast, Goochland County Public Schools will celebrate National School Breakfast Week from March 2-6, 2020.

Busy weekday mornings make it a challenge for many families to find time for a healthy breakfast at home, and U.S. Department of Agriculture data show that more and more students are starting their day with a nutritious breakfast in their school cafeterias. The USDA School Breakfast Program currently serves more than 14 million students every day. Studies show that students who eat school breakfast are more likely to:

    • Reach higher levels of achievement in reading and math.
    • Score higher on standardized tests.
    • Have better concentration and memory.
    • Be more alert.
    • Maintain a healthy weight.

School nutrition professionals and students will be encouraged to show their enthusiasm for school breakfast from March 2-6 as the district celebrates with giveaways of school supplies and stickers with each breakfast meal and more.  Don’t forget the breakfast kiosks at GMS & RES along with the “second chance” breakfast served between 2nd and 3rd block at GHS.

National School Breakfast Week helps us educate parents and students about all the healthy, great tasting, and appealing choices we offer.

GCPS serves over 450 breakfast meals daily through the federally funded School Breakfast Program. School nutrition professionals in Goochland County Public Schools prepare breakfast and lunches every day that meet federal nutrition standards – limiting fat, calories and sodium – while encouraging students to choose from the fruits, vegetables and whole grains offered with school meals.

For more information about school meals, visit

National School Breakfast Week was launched in 1989 to raise awareness of the availability of the School Breakfast Program, a federally assisted meal program operating in public and non-profit private schools and residential child care institutions since 1975.

Goochland County Public Schools Holds First Annual “All Star Week”

Date: February 17, 2020 — FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Dr. Andrew R. Armstrong, Assistant Superintendent of Business Operations  | (804) 332 0965  | @glndschools

Goochland County Public Schools First Annual “All Star Week”

In recognition of the work performed by all division staff, including all instructional and classified staff, Goochland County Public Schools has designated the week of February 18 as All Star Week.  

All Star Week was developed to provide a boost of recognition for school staff at the middle of the school year, when August convocation is far in the past, and the next significant break and teacher appreciation week are months away.  The Goochland County Public Schools team continues to perform great work on behalf of our students and our community at every level- from classrooms, to buses, schools, and offices throughout our division.

Division staff has worked to receive multiple generous donations from partners in the community that will supplement other division activities this week to recognize our staff.  Highlights include:

  • Special themed dress days for staff.
  • Opportunities for staff to purchase Goochland gear at our team store at discounted rates.
  • Daily drawings by Dr Raley on InformaCast broadcast division-wide  and on Facebook live for several prizes.
  • Grand prize Friday drawing for a set of new tires, to include install and balancing.
  • Special treats for everyone on Tuesday and Friday.

Please see the flyer for more details.   We hope to show our appreciation for our staff this week at a time of year when it is most needed and rarely given.  


All Goochland Schools Recognized as Apple Distinguished Schools for Innovation with Technology

Today all students in grades K through 12 in Goochland County Public Schools use iPad and MacBook Air in a one-to-one learning environment.  Once again, Goochland’s schools have been recognized as Apple Distinguished Schools. Byrd Elementary, Goochland Elementary, Randolph Elementary, Goochland Middle, and Goochland High School have all been designated as Apple Distinguished Schools for 2019-2021.

Schools receiving this designation have an established one-to-one program, distinguished by innovative use of technology in the hands of students to promote engaging learning experiences. Distinguished schools have faculty that demonstrate proficiency with technology, and school leaders articulate a vision for how technology can promote student success, with results toward established instructional goals.

All five schools created teams during the 2018-19 school year to author original multitouch, multimedia books that showcase their journey with 1:1 devices in the hands of students. These books became part of the application process to be recognized as an Apple Distinguished School. (To see a preview of these books, visit the school division’s instructional technology blog at

According to Apple’s website (, there are fewer than 500 Apple Distinguished Schools worldwide, and the program is represented by schools in over thirty countries. “More than anything else, this recognizes the hard work and dedication of our teachers, our administrators, our technology department, and our school board to provide the support students need for their future work and civic engagement,” says superintendent Dr. Jeremy Raley.

“The app environment, the quality of hardware, and the mobility of iPad is a great match toward our goals with deeper learning here in Goochland,” remarks director of innovation and strategy, Dr. John Hendron. “And in high school, students continue their technology journey with a MacBook that provides portability and all-day battery life. Students are able to use industry-leading  tools in our specialty programs such as digital graphics, digital imaging, and computer-aided design.”

Goochland’s technology department is headed by Peter Martin, who leads a team of five to manage all of the division’s one-to-one devices for staff and students, network, phone infrastructure, school security investment, and student data management. “One of the reasons we use Apple technology in our schools is that we can manage an entire fleet of devices with a small team. As an Apple Distinguished School, we also benefit from being part of a community that shares best practices in using technology and can connect with other schools and education experts to further develop our team.”

Goochland was first recognized as an Apple Distinguished Program in 2015.

Goochland High Student Named Finalist for the VRLTA State Culinary Student of the Year

P R E S S   R E L E A S E

Date: October 8, 2019 — FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Dr. Andrew R. Armstrong, Assistant Superintendent of Business Operations  | (804) 332 0965  | @glndschools

Goochland High senior Jalyn Burns has been named one of three finalists for the Virginia Restaurant, Lodging, and Travel Association (VRLTA) state culinary student of the year.  Jalyn is recognized as a finalist for the “Rising Pineapple Award” for Outstanding Hospitality and Tourism Student of the Year, part of the Ordinary Awards program administered by the VRLTA.  The Ordinary Awards celebrate and honor all of Virginia’s restaurants, lodging establishments and hotels, DMOs, attractions, and more. The Awards are open to both members and non-members of the Association.

Jalyn was nominated for this honor because of her performance at the Virginia State SKILLS USA competition in April, her leadership as president of the Goochland SKILLS chapter, her participation in the NASA HUNCH competition to design meals for the international space station, her work at both Salisbury Country Club and Drive Shack, and her GHS senior project:  a “pop-up” dinner at Goochland Tech to benefit Sickle Cell Anemia research.

Goochland High culinary teacher Mr. David Booth has witnessed Jalyn’s performance in and out of class and her recognition does not surprise him.  “Jalyn exemplifies what hard work and determination can do.  Her efforts over the last four years have produced amazing results, and have propelled both her and the culinary program to new levels.  I am proud of the drive she has shown, and it has inspired me to be a better teacher.”

Jalyn will be honored at the VRLTA Awards dinner on October 10 at the Short Pump Hilton.


Goochland High School Receives National Athletic Trainers’ Association Safe Sports School Award

Date: September 3, 2019 — FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Dr. Andrew R. Armstrong, Assistant Superintendent of Business Operations  | (804) 332 0965  | @glndschools |

Goochland High School is the recipient of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) Safe Sports School award.  The award champions safety and recognizes secondary schools that have met the recommended standards to improve safety in sports and reinforces the importance of providing the best level of care, injury prevention, and treatment.  Ms. Melissa Black, Goochland High School Athletic Trainer, has led the efforts of the Goochland High School staff to achieve this recognition.

“We are honored to receive this recognition from NATA,” said Ms. Black. “I feel strongly that all high schools should have a full-time Athletic Trainer on staff, and I am proud of Goochland County Public Schools for seeing the importance of this 20 years ago when they hired me. The safety of our student-athletes is our top priority.”

“The health and safety of student-athletes is critical as it has both immediate and long-term effects,” said NATA President Tory Lindley, MA, ATC. “NATA created the ‘Safe Sports School Award’ to recognize and champion schools nationwide that are committed to enhancing safety in sports. We are proud to see the list of award recipients grow exponentially each year as schools see the immense value in holding themselves to best practices and policies that ensure a high standard of athlete care.”

In order to achieve Safe Sports School status,  athletic programs must:

  • Create a positive athletic health care administrative system
  • Provide or coordinate pre-participation physical examinations
  • Promote safe and appropriate practice and competition facilities
  • Plan for selection, fit function and proper maintenance of athletic equipment
  • Provide a permanent, appropriately equipped area to evaluate and treat injured     athletes
  • Develop injury and illness prevention strategies, including protocols for environmental conditions
  • Provide or facilitate injury intervention
  • Create and rehearse a venue-specific Emergency Action Plan
  • Provide or facilitate psychosocial consultation and nutritional counseling/education
  • Be sure athletes and parents are educated about the potential benefits and risks in sports as well as their responsibilities 

To apply, schools complete an in-depth questionnaire that assesses adherence to best practice standards and recommendations. For more information about the Safe Sports School Award, please visit

Goochland County Public Schools Recognizes Top Teachers and Staff at the 2019 Evening of Excellence

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Goochland, VA – May 8, 2019

Contact: Dr. Andrew R. Armstrong, Assistant Superintendent of Business Operations  |  (804) 332 0965  |  @glndschools

On Tuesday, May 7, Goochland County Public Schools held its third Celebration of Excellence at the Central High School Cultural and Educational Center to recognize 2019 retirees, Teacher of the Year, Employee of the Year, Team of the Year, Rookie of the Year , and Volunteer of the Year.  The Celebration of Excellence featured food prepared and served by Goochland High Culinary Arts students and GCPS Food Service, and plaques were made by our GCPS Career and Technical Education Department.  The Goochland Education Foundation joined Superintendent Dr. Jeremy Raley in presenting awards to the evening’s distinguished recipients:

  • Cindy Shelton-Eide, Goochland High Teacher of the Year
  • Glenn Hecker, Goochland Middle Teacher of the Year
  • Cheryl Johnston, Byrd Elementary Teacher of the Year
  • Stacey Wilson, Randolph Elementary Teacher of the Year
  • Sara DeLong, Goochland Elementary Teacher of the Year

 Ms. Cindy Shelton-Eide, fine arts teacher at Goochland High School, was selected as the Goochland County Public Schools 2019 Teacher of the Year.  She will be considered with teachers from across the Commonwealth for the honor of being the 2019 Mary Bicouvaris Virginia Teacher of the Year.

The GCPS Employee of the Year is Byrd Elementary Head Custodian Ms. Connie Brice, pictured below with family and School Board representative Mrs. Karen Horn.


The GCPS Team of the Year is the GCPS Instructional Coaches, Ms. Anne Keo and Ms. Christina Whitfield.


The Rookie of the Year is Ms. Annie Desmarais, science teacher from Goochland High School.

GCPS Volunteer of the Year is Mrs. Susan Doczi, for her service in all our schools, especially at Goochland High School.

Goochland Public Schools also recognized its 2019 retirees, Ms. Beverly Cooley, Ms. Edie Flaig, and Ms. Cheri Wolff.  These three educators account for decades of service on behalf of students in Goochland County.



Goochland County Public Schools and Special Guests Recognize Goochland CTE and Military Signees

On Friday, May 3, 7th Congressional District Representative Abigail Spanberger and Virginia Delegate John McGuire of the 56th District joined Dr. Jeremy Raley, Superintendent, Mr. Bruce Watson, Director of Career and Technical Education, Mr. Michael Payne and Mrs.  Karen Horn of the Goochland County School Board, and community business and military representatives to recognize Goochland High Class of 2019 seniors who are transitioning directly into the workforce and the military, as well as underclassmen pursuing internship opportunities in the year ahead.

Among the destinations for GHS seniors are Liesfield Construction,  Sargent Corporation, Culinary Institute of America, United States Marine Corps, United States Navy, and United States Air Force.

Representative Spanberger and Delegate McGuire provided remarks and congratulated the students individually as each was recognized. Mr. Bruce Watson and Lt. Col. Kevin Williams, MCJROTC instructor, listed the individual accomplishments of each student.

“We are so proud of our students and excited that they have taken advantage of our great programming here in GCPS,” said Dr. Christopher Collier, principal of Goochland High School.  “This event has grown so much in only its second year due to the work of our staff and the support of our business partners, School Board, and elected officials.”

Goochland High School and Goochland Technical Center have nurtured a growing MCJROTC program and a variety of CTE programs, including heavy equipment, carpentry, nursing, culinary arts, and veterinary technician programs.  Students from among various academic backgrounds participate in GCPS Career and Technical Education programming.

Goochland County Public Schools Hosts SKILLs USA Virginia Competition

On April 9, GCPS hosted the SKILLs USA competition for Utility/Heavy Equipment Operator students at G Tech.  Goochland heavy equipment students competed against a team from P.D. Pruden Tech Center from Suffolk, Virginia, representing the only two heavy equipment programs in the Commonwealth.  This event was the first contest for this CTE area ever conducted by SKILLs USA in Virginia.




Goochland’s team, representing the more established of the two programs involved,  swept the contest, taking the top three awards. Goochland CTE staff assisted in the design and implementation of the challenges for the competition and were proud to host the first contest and showcase Goochland facilities.

“The Heavy Equipment operator program at G Tech has become a model for other schools to emulate,”, said Mr. Bruce Watson, GCPS Director of Career and Technical Education. “Mr. Verrasto has created an exceptional program and one which brings a great deal of pride to our school system and business community. The graduates of this program are highly recruited by the business community to fill the skills gap that exists locally and nationally. We are grateful for the support of our business partners and RAMCA for supporting this competition and our program.

The heavy equipment competition takes place at the state level, with plans to expand to a national level in the future.