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.


Goochland High School Senior Develops Scholarship and Music Festival in Memory of Classmate

Laura Grace Snow was a member of the GHS Class of 2019 who battled Juvenile Batten Disease from 3rd Grade until her death in February of 2018.  Despite losing her sight during Elementary School, life was never dark for Laura Grace.  During all of those years she maintained a positive outlook on life that was infectious to everyone with whom she came into contact.

Laura Grace had a profound love for music and never missed an opportunity to perform at school talent shows.  Her favorite artist was Taylor Swift and she could sing along to almost every song.  During Middle School Laura Grace and her family got the opportunity to meet another of her favorite singers, Carrie Underwood, through the Make a Wish Foundation.

Goochland High School Senior, Savannah Slater, has been friends with Laura Grace since they were toddlers playing at Hidden Rock Park while their older brothers played baseball.  Savannah has created a scholarship in memory of Laura Grace as her GHS senior project.  She has worked with the Guidance Department, Laura Grace’s Family, and GRASP Representatives to develop this scholarship designed to open the eyes of her fellow students to the needs of individuals with disabilities.

Savannah has chosen to generate funds for this scholarship by creating the Laura Grace Snow Memorial Music Festival.  The Laura Grace Snow Memorial Music Festival will take place on Saturday, March 2nd in the Goochland High School Auditorium beginning at 6 p.m.  Doors will open at 5pm for dinner and to purchase raffle tickets.

The Festival will include stage performances by fellow students, community choirs, and local musicians.  Commemorative T-Shirts will be available for purchase at the festival as well as raffle tickets for some creative gift baskets donated by community members.  Dinner may be purchased from the All-Night-Graduation Committee at the indoor concession stand.

Goochland High Football Earns All-State Honors, Bill Dudley Foundation Scholarship

P R E S S   R E L E A S E

Date: December 27, 2018 — FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Dr. Andrew R. Armstrong, Executive Director of Business Operations  |@glndschools|

The Goochland High School football team, led by first year head coach Alex Fruth, compiled a 14-1 record and a trip to the VHSL Class 2 state finals. The team received numerous accolades, including several players named to the VHSL Class 2 All-State Football Teams.

The All-State First Team included 6 Goochland High players. Center Justin Hawk, offensive lineman Connor Duncan, defensive lineman Jamal Carter, linebacker Sam Brooks, defensive back Devin McCray, and defensive all-purpose player Kindrick Braxton were all named to the First Team.  Kicker Jacob Hayward was named to the All-State Second Team.  A total of 32 players were chosen to each All-State team from across the Commonwealth.  Each All-State selection committee is composed of eight football coaches, representing each of the four VHSL regions.

Goochland senior Sam Brooks was recognized as the 2018 winner of the Bill Dudley Foundation Scholarship, awarded at the Dudley Award ceremony sponsored by the Touchdown Club of Richmond.  The Bill Dudley Foundation Scholarship is awarded to the top scholar football player in the Metro Richmond area.  Sam was honored with the top collegiate football players in the Commonwealth at the Dudley Award ceremony.

Pictured: Sam Brooks receives the 2019 Bill Dudley Foundation Scholarship

The $5000 scholarship goes to the player that best distinguishes himself in the areas of academic performance, extracurricular activities, community service, and athletic performance.  Sam is the second Bulldog selected for the prestigious award in the past four years. Current Richmond Spider Reid Chenault won the award in 2015.

Spanish-English Help Night 2019

P R E S S   R E L E A S E

Date: December 26, 2018 — FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

Goochland High Students Work to Coordinate Spanish-English Help Night

In an ongoing project in the Advanced College Academy Spanish 202 classes, Humanos de Goochland (, Goochland High students determined that the population of both Goochland County and nearby neighbors includes a significant Hispanic population. Of that population, many are Spanish-speaking and have limited English proficiency.

Students worked with professionals in the community and have coordinated Spanish-English Help Night, or Noche de Ayuda: Español-Inglés.  This event is scheduled to take place at Goochland High School in the cafeteria from 5:15 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 10.

The event is open to the entire community and will provide information for any person with limited English proficiency related to school services, procedures, and materials. Visitors can also connect with professionals, learn about employment opportunities, and learn how to ask specific questions on various topics.  Volunteer interpretation services and materials will be available related to medicine and health care, finances and banking, home utility services, child care, community recreational activities, and faith-based organizations.

Dinner has been donated and will be served to participants and guests from 5:15 until 6:00.

Students are still seeking volunteers, preferably with Spanish language skills, in any community organization.  Contact Ms. Olivia Exum, GHS teacher facilitator, at or contact Morgan Butler, GHS student, Spanish National Honor Society president, and project leader, at for more information.





Randolph Elementary “Space Tamales” are Lego Robotics State Champions

P R E S S   R E L E A S E

Date: December 4, 2018 — FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

The Randolph Elementary School Lego Robotics Team, the “Space Tamales”, took home first place at this weekend’s state championship competition for the First Lego League.  The competition took place in Harrisonburg, Virginia.

The team’s innovation was the Space Tamale Blanket, a design that used hydrogen rich recyclables such as styrofoam and polyethylene to protect astronauts from galactic cosmic rays.  The team’s work also led to the development of applications that could protect pilots and flight attendants.

Coaches Sherrill Kaufmann, Randolph Elementary School gifted resource teacher, and Sean DeArras were joined by mentors Ann DeArras and RES teacher Johanna Schmeichel.  Team members include Brogan Boyle, Caroline Lohr, Kyranna Stratiou, Jesus Gonzalez, Edwin Ramirez, Johnny Vega, Armando Baltazar, and Joshua Gaskill.

Coach Sherrill Kaufmann is proud of this accomplishment, the culmination of months of work.  “This has been a labor of love for all of us-coaches, students, and their families.  We are excited to be recognized, but the teamwork, the innovation, and the creativity have been the real reward.”

The Space Tamales have been approached about sharing their project at the national level.









Krystle Demas Recognized as Tech Coach of the Year by VSTE

P R E S S   R E L E A S E

Date: December 3, 2018 — FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

At today’s annual conference of VSTE, the Virginia Society of Technology in Education, Goochland County Public Schools Instructional Technology Coach Mrs. Krystle Demas was recognized as a “tech coach of the year” for 2018.  VSTE is the state’s largest technology and education professional organization and operates as a chapter of the International Society for Technology in Education. VSTE recognized three individuals from among tech coaches in Virginia at its awards program.

Mrs. Demas serves as an Instructional Technology Coach at Randolph and Goochland Elementary Schools and was nominated for her dedication to improvement of student outcomes, support of teachers, and her work to maximize the potential of others through her positivity. She was named Goochland’s employee of the year last spring and was also selected as a presenter at this year’s VSTE conference. Mrs. Demas was part of the team at RES recognized for the G21 Gold Award in August.

“It’s an incredibly humbling experience to be recognized by VSTE as one of the top tech coaches across the state,” said Mrs. Demas. “I feel fortunate to work with a dedicated team in Goochland and with so many incredible teachers across two schools.”

Dr. Jeremy Raley, Superintendent, congratulated Mrs. Demas on her recognition.  “We are so fortunate in Goochland to have Mrs. Demas on our team.  She is a perfect example of the value our staff brings to the experience of our students and how that distinguishes our division.”

Goochland County Public Schools employs 4 full time Instructional Technology Coaches to support teachers and students in creating engaging instructional experiences.







Goochland Middle School Principal Jennifer Rucker Promoted to Coordinator of Professional Development in Chesterfield County Public Schools


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

At their monthly meeting yesterday, October 9, the Goochland County School Board accepted the resignation of Mrs. Jennifer Rucker, principal of Goochland Middle School.  Mrs. Rucker has served as the principal of GMS since 2012, having arrived to Goochland after tenures as a school counseling director in Henrico County Public Schools and assistant principal in Charlottesville City Schools.

Mrs. Rucker will become the new Coordinator of Professional Development for Chesterfield County Public Schools, where she will work with staff to perform a variety of duties, including the implementation of leadership development,  division-wide events, and staffing for the CCPS Department of Professional Development.

Mrs. Rucker has led the transformation of Goochland Middle School, a school that has been recognized as a National School to Watch and Apple Distinguished School, during her tenure.  She is appreciative of the support of the GMS community during her term as principal. “There is nowhere I would have rather been a principal than here at Goochland Middle School. The students, families, teachers, staff, and leaders at GMS and in our division have supported our commitment to deeper learning, a safe school environment, and fulfilling our mission to maximize the potential of every learner.  I am excited for this opportunity to grow in Chesterfield, and wish the best to GCPS!”

Mrs. Rucker will serve as principal of GMS through October 19, at which point Mrs. Amie Potter, current GMS assistant principal, will begin in the role of interim principal.  Mr. Patrick Gordon, current GMS math teacher, will assume the role of interim assistant principal.

GCPS will begin recruiting for the new principal of GMS in the coming weeks.  All GCPS job opportunities can be found at  


GCPS Celebrates Farm to Table and National School Lunch Weeks in October


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

This week Goochland County Public Schools will join divisions across the Commonwealth and the nation to celebrate the work of our School Nutrition Services with “Farm to School” week this week, October 1 through 5, and National School Lunch Week October 15 through 19.

This Thursday, October 4, Goochland Middle and High Schools will serve their locally sourced menu consisting of local beef, chicken, lettuce, broccoli, gala apples, and grapes.  Our Goochland Technical Center Culinary Arts students will be on hand to distribute samples of Virginia foods, and the Center for Rural Culture will have an information table to educate about local foods.

Goochland County Public Schools Nutrition Services works regularly with local and regional vendors to provide healthy and popular options to students.  In the past two years, locally sourced ingredients have been integrated into several regular offerings, the weekly “my way café” has been a popular choice for students who want to customize their meal, and this year’s offering of freshly-made personal pizzas has proven another popular option for students.  Lisa Landrum, Supervisor of GCPS Nutrition Services, is proud of the work of her staff on behalf of the students of Goochland County.  “We are proud to serve our students and extend the innovation and excellence of Goochland County Public Schools into our school nutrition program.  Our staff is committed to providing our students with healthy and delicious meals to fuel them for learning every day.”

You can learn more about GCPS Nutrition Services and see the weekly menu at