Twombly Turns Tragedy Into Hope

On November 11th, 2016 tragedy struck the Twombly family. Brothers Jack and Will, along with their loving father John lost their beloved mother and wife, as she lost her courageous battle with pancreatic cancer.

Her son, Goochland High School (GHS) Senior Jack Twombly has continued to fight the war against cancer. Twelve weeks later, to the day, Twombly will be taking action to raise awareness and money for pancreatic cancer research.

Every senior at GHS must complete a senior project to walk across the stage at graduation. Projects come in all various shapes and sizes. Twombly’s project has taken the form of a Cancer Awareness week, capped off by Goochland’s second annual “Ballin for a Cure” benefit basketball game on Friday, February 3rd at 7:00pm at Goochland High School.

Twombly says this about how his mother inspired him to action:

“After my Mom passed away from pancreatic cancer in November, we decided upon the idea of getting people to realize how big of an issue cancer is, and wanted to be a part of a big movement. She was a huge inspiration to everyone she knew, and even to some she didn’t, we wanted to honor her with this.”

Indeed, Twombly has made his mother proud. He, along with fellow project organizer A.J. Austin, has organized a color-coded Cancer Awareness week at GHS the week of January 30th through February 3rd, dedicating each day to raising awareness for a different kind of cancer. In just three months since his mother’s passing, Twombly has raised over $800 to fund the purchase of T-Shirts that will be sold to commemorate the event’s purpose of raising awareness and money.

Twombly’s actions off the court are complimented by his eye-popping numbers on the court. He has led the Bulldogs to a 12-5 record, while averaging 15.4 points per game, 11.4 rebounds per game, and 1.5 blocks per game.

This has been a true community effort, with money coming from State Farm Insurance of Goochland, Goochland Pharmacy, Subway of Goochland, Hickory Notch Grill, and Parrish Ford, as well as private donors. GHS is donating half of the ticket sales for the night’s game to the cause, as well. Virginia Commonwealth Basketball head coach, Will Wade, donated a signed ball to be raffled off. Richmond resident and former Vice President for Basketball Operations of the Los Angeles Clippers, Kevin Eastman, arranged to have a Chris Paul signed jersey donated, also to raffle off. Many, many people have contributed to this event, which is just one reason why it is so special.

All proceeds from ticket, raffle, and T-shirt sales will be donated to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. That organization’s mission statement is, “a nationwide network of people dedicated to working together to advance research, support patients, and create hope for those affected by pancreatic cancer.”[1]

Mark your calendar: Friday, February 3rd at 7:00pm in the GHS gymnasium. A community effort, a family, a young man, fighting the war against cancer may be the most hopeful thing of all.

Contact: AJ Nash (Teacher sponsor of the project) Goochland High School anash@glnd.k12.va.us 3250 River Road West Goochland, VA 23063 Phone: 804-556-5322 ext. 4825

[1] https://www.pancan.org/about-us/mission-goals/

Three Goochland High Students Selected to Participate in the 2017 SPARK! Hackathon

Goochland High School students James Deloach, Austin Payne, and Jack Williamson have been selected to attend the 2017 SPARK! Hackathon, to take place on January 28 and 29. James, Austin, and Jack were among over 90 applicants from 16 regional schools to apply for places at this year’s Hackathon.

In partnership with Mozilla, St. Anne’s-Belfield School will host the SPARK! Hackathon, a two-day event of learning and making that is open to high school students throughout the region and offers them a unique opportunity to get connected to industry experts and other students who are passionate about changing the world through technology.

A “Hackathon” is described on the SPARK! Website (www.spark.stab.org) as “an event where people come together to collaborate on creating tech that solve real-world problems”. Mozilla, the free-software community and maker of web browser Firefox, is partnering with SPARK! and sending mentors from across the nation to join the event.

James, Austin, and Jack’s interest in coding, computer science, and engineering was nurtured through their work in Programming and CTE courses offered at Goochland High School.   Mrs. Joanne DiTerlizzi work with all three students in the GHS Introduction to Computer Science class, a preparatory class for students brand new to programming. “James, Austin, and Jack are dedicated, hard working students who make special efforts to help other students in class”, says Mrs. DiTerlizzi. “They are great representatives of GHS at the Hackathon”.

Goochland High School Achieves “W!SE Blue Star School” Status

Goochland High School was awarded “Blue Star School” status for its exceptional performance on the W!SE Financial Literacy Certification test in 2016. The “Blue Star School” distinction is limited only to schools in which over 75% of students pass the W!SE assessment with an average score of over 80%.

The W!SE assessment is a cumulative test administered to all students as part of the Virginia graduation requirement to successfully complete a course in financial literacy that began with the class of 2015. Only 283 high schools nationwide achieved Blue Star status, with only half of Virginia high schools achieving the distinction. Goochland High Economics and Personal Finance teacher Mr. Joe Fowler has led GHS to Blue Star Status, and has also been recognized as a W!SE Gold Star teacher.

Mr. Fowler displays the Blue Star Banner

“Regardless of the path our graduates take after GHS, they are all going to need to be able to manage checking account, credit, and insurance, as well as budget for future needs and goals”, says Mr. Fowler. “The skills they gain through Economics and Personal Finance will be skills that they use every day as adults”.

The requirement that all Virginia high school graduates pass Economics and Personal Finance was implemented in 2009 by the Virginia General Assembly and Board of Education to enhance student preparation for the realities of the 21st century economy.

Goochland Student Athletes and Performers Receive All-State Honors for Fall 2016 Season

The Virginia High School League (VHSL) recently announced Group 2A All-State Teams for the fall 2016 season, and Goochland High School was represented in both the football and girls volleyball selections. Individual performances were also recognized at the state level in theatre and cross country.

The Goochland High girls volleyball team, the undefeated 2015 Group 2A state champion, advanced to the regional semifinals in 2016. Alexis Wiggins, junior, and Casey Spencer, senior, were named to the second team all-state.

The VHSL State Theatre Festival recognized Tevin Davis, senior, as the Group 2A Outstanding Actor for his performance as Captain Hollis in Kaleidoscope. The Goochland theatre ensemble finished fourth in the state festival.

Austin Bruce, senior, placed among the top 10 individual finishers at the VHSL 2A state cross country meet with a time of 16:55.

The Goochland High football team advanced to the state semifinals in 2016. Of the 32 players selected from the state for each of the first and second teams, Goochland High was represented on the first team by senior running back Marcus Burton, junior defensive lineman Ricky Mayfield, senior defensive end Clay Brooks, senior defensive back Calvin Martin, senior offensive lineman Josh Clarke, and senior defender Cordell Mattox.

The excellence recognized across diverse sports and activities is exceptional, said Goochland High Athletic Director Bryan Gordon. “Very few schools do such excellent work in different activities. We are proud to provide quality opportunities for our students to shine on the field, on the stage, and on the floor”.

Goochland County Public Schools have distinguished themselves with a variety of extracurricular and athletic offerings at both the middle and high school levels, where traditional sports such as football, basketball, and baseball compete each year at the same level as swimming, cross country, theatre, scholastic bowl, and tennis, where students and teams have also achieved at the district, region, and state level.

“It is no secret that deeper learning requires more than only what happens in the classroom. Our students learn the value of sportsmanship, teamwork, and collaboration with the guidance of our dedicated coaches and sponsors”, said Dr. Jeremy Raley, Superintendent of Goochland County Public Schools.

Winter activities and sports continue with wrestling, basketball, indoor track, debate, forensics, swimming, band, and chorus.