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.


Goochland County Third-Grade Students Celebrate Arbor Day with Dominion Energy’s Project Plant It!

On Friday, April 26, third-graders in all Goochland County schools will gather to celebrate Arbor Day, plant trees and learn about trees at a special outdoor event. The third-grade students are enrolled in Dominion Energy’s environmental education program, Project Plant It!, and have been learning about the benefits of trees to the ecosystem through the educational resources provided by Project Plant It!

The event will take place from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at Goochland Elementary School, located at 3150 River Rd. W., Goochland, VA 23063.  Students will rotate through the following learning stations:

  • Planting a redbud tree seedling with a Dominion Energy forester
  • Tasting food items that come from a tree
  • Playing a game about wildlife that finds shelter in trees
  • Testing knowledge about trees & Arbor Day on iPads
  • Assorted other educational activities

This is a rain-or-shine event. If raining, the learning stations will take place inside the school. Representatives from Dominion Energy and Goochland County Public Schools will be on-site for interviews. For more information about Project Plant It!, visit

About Project Plant It!: Project Plant It! is a free environmental education program developed by Dominion Energy to teach children about trees and the environment. The program began in Spring 2007, making Spring 2019 the 13th observance of this award-winning program. From 2007-2019, Dominion Energy has distributed about 570,000 free tree seedlings to children enrolled in the program.

GCPS Programming Recognized in 2019 VSBA Showcase for Success

Date: April 9, 2019 — FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Mr. Andrew R. Armstrong, Executive Director of Business Operations  |  (804) 332 0965  |  @glndschools

Virginia School Boards Association (VSBA) has released its 23rd annual VSBA Showcases for Success directory, highlighting successful K-12 programs in Virginia’s public schools. Goochland County Public Schools is one of 56 school divisions from across the Commonwealth that has programs featured in the directory. Programs from Goochland County are:

Advance College Academy

Last May, 24 Goochland High School seniors earned an A.S. in Social Sciences, a full three weeks before high school graduation. Innovative dual enrollment programs such as Advance College Academy (ACA), a partnership with Reynolds Community College and Goochland County Public Schools, are increasingly less rare. What sets Goochland’s ACA apart, however, is the inclusive philosophy we apply to applicant selection.  GCPS has not limited the number of students who may elect to challenge themselves in ACA. This allows us to accept eighth-graders who show potential to be ready for college classes rather than only those who are already standouts. This has motivated students to set high goals for themselves and created opportunity for students who are traditionally underrepresented in other rigorous programs.  According to one of our students, “ACA has provided me with the skills to succeed in college, a job, and life in general.”

For more information on ACA, contact Ms. Raye Rector, Assistant Director of Federal Programs and Gifted Services at  or 804.556.5610.  Read more at GCPS Advance College Academy.

Measuring the Effect of Coaching on Deeper Learning in the Classroom

Goochland Middle School was invited by Apple to attend a research workshop in Sunnyvale, CA in December 2017. We returned in December 2018 to report back on a 1-year research initiative to study the evidence of deeper learning in social studies classrooms and the role the technology coach plays in this pursuit. Students experienced a number of amazing lessons and we proved that quality coaching can result in deeper learning experiences for students.

For more information, contact Dr. John G. Hendron, Director of Innovation & Strategy at or 804.556.5623.  Read more at Coaching for Deeper Learning.

The full VSBA Showcases for Success directory is available at  It includes division-wide programs, as well as those at elementary, middle, and high school levels. The focus of the 2019 VSBA Showcases for Success is Career, College and Life Ready, highlighting diverse programs in Virginia’s public schools that aim to prepare students for whatever pathway they choose after their K-12 education.

For more information about the VSBA Showcases for Success, contact Gina Patterson, VSBA executive director, at or 434-295-8722.

About the Virginia School Boards Association Virginia School Boards Association, a voluntary, nonpartisan organization of Virginia school boards, promotes excellence in public education through leadership, advocacy, and services. The Association offers conferences, information, training, and counseling designed to meet the needs of the Commonwealth’s educational leaders.