Week of September 20, 2017


The Maggie Walker Athletic Boosters Club has formed several committees and is looking for additional volunteers to serve on the committees. The committees will be making recommendations for consideration by the Athletic Boosters Board. The committees and the Board will be working with Activities Director Paige Hawkins. Serving on one of the committees is a great way for parents to get involved at the school and support our student-athletes. Brief descriptions of the committees are provided below. Please contact Athletic Boosters President Rich Schweiker at dukeschweikers@aol.com to your express interest in serving on one of the committees or to get more information.

Facilities Assessment - Assess both off-site and on-site facilities for each sport.

Regional School Board Funding Assessment - Assess to what extent the increased funding from the Regional School Board is sufficiently covering Athletic Department operating expenses.

Equipment Assessment - Assess current equipment needs of all teams.

Membership - Consider ways to promote involvement and increase membership.

Athlete Recognition - Consider ways to improve the recognition of our student-athletes.

Advocacy - Advocate for athletic interests within and outside the school.

Governance - Review organizational documents and recommend changes; and develop plan and process for recruitment and training of new officers and directors.


Come to room 111 at lunch on Thursday, September 21, to learn more about the exciting world of Dragon Chess! All are welcome, no chess experience required.


PTSA Advocacy invites all interested parents to a meeting September 26 from 7:00-8:30 PM in room 153 to hear how Maggie Walker is funded by the state and the localities who send students to this school. As a “stand-alone school district” learn about the board that oversees Maggie Walker, and the complexities of maintaining an all-inclusive curriculum, building and grounds for gifted high school students from 12 localities. Hear the differences between a comprehensive high school and a program, and how the three full day Governor’s Schools (MLWGS , Appomattox Regional, and Thomas Jefferson Science and Technology) are trying to provide the best possible well-rounded high school experience for your talented student. Understand how the school can lose or gain funding and how parents can speak up. Learn about our annual MLWGS Legislative Breakfast and Capital Day; both activities provide an opportunity for our students to interact with senators and delegates at school and on Capital Square.


Underclass Yearbook portraits will be shot by Strawbridge Studios at school on Wednesday and Thursday, September 20-21. Freshmen, Sophomores and Juniors will travel to the Black Box with their English classes.

So if they have English on an odd day, they’ll be photographed on Wednesday; if even, on Thursday. Those wishing to order pictures must visit Ms. Bowman in Attendance or Mr. White in Room 330 to pick up an order form. All orders must be prepaid and brought to the photographer on the appropriate Picture Day. (Makeups will be on Nov. 2.) Please contact Michael White at mwhite@gsgis.k12.va.us if you have questions.


This Thursday, September 21 is Back to School Night. The evening program begins at 6:30pm in the auditorium. Please allow extra time for parking. Student schedules, maps and information were sent home with students on Tuesday, September 19.


Don't hide our pride. The Dragon's Lair is stocked and ready with your spirit gear. Visit us on Tuesdays and Fridays during lunch and for special events. Can't wait? Visit our online store:mlwgsdragons.ourspiritgear.com. Clubs and sports teams: let us help you design and market your spirit items.

The Maggie Walker Library will be hosting monthly Transcribe-a-thons this year in partnership with the Library of Virginia’s Transcribe project, a crowdsourced transcription project “documenting over 400 years of Virginia history, people, and culture.”

This is the perfect opportunity for students to dive into the Library of Virginia’s collections AND earn community service hours right here at MLWGS. “From peace to wartime, court records to letters home, and conspiracies to political statements, there will be something for everyone.”

If you’re interested, mark your calendars AND stop by the MW Library to reserve your spot for a training session with Sonya Coleman, Digital Collections Specialist for the Library of Virginia, on Thursday, September 21, from 3:45pm to 4:45pm.

She’ll give an overview of Transcribe, the types of historical documents in need of transcription, and tips for transcription, then participants will dive into the archives and start decoding documents. She’ll also have free LVA bling!

In October through May of this school year, Ms. DeGroat will host a Transcribe-a-thon in the library after school on the second Wednesday of each month (October through May) from 3:30-5pm. There will also be an opportunity to transcribe at designated tables in the library during lunch the next day.

For enthusiastic volunteers, LVA holds similar events each month hosted by HandsOnRVA, and volunteers with a Transcribe account can decode documents from home too.

If you have questions, stop by the library or email Ms. DeGroat at wdegroat@gsgis.k12.va.us.


The Yearbook staff would LOVE to see your pictures-- of summer fun, jobs, community service, hobbies, or anything else you've been up to.

Please go to http://www.hjeshare.com/eShare/?code=MLWGS and upload your pictures.

Questions? Email Mr. White at mwhite@gsgis.k12.va.us.

We look forward to seeing how you spend your time!


Come one; come all to the 21st annual MLWGS Fall Festival! It is an international event sponsored by the PTSA to directly showcase and financially support MLWGS student organizations! Held on the front steps and lawn of the school facing Lombardy Street, the Fall Festival offers a wide variety of activities, entertainment, and food.

The Festival is open to all- current students, their families, younger siblings, former students and families, neighborhood residents, and friends of the school!

There is no admittance charged for the festival and all the entertainment, provided by our very talented students is free! Tickets are sold to purchase all items for sale- crafts, games, entrees, desserts, drinks, and more!

Be sure to “Like” the Fall Festival Page on Facebook to get the latest information about what is planned and what volunteer opportunities exist (www.facebook.com/MLWGSFallFestival).

Sponsorship needed - Deadline Wednesday, September 27th!
To keep costs down – and keep more money in the coffers of MLWGS student organizations- the MLWGS PTSA is looking for corporate or individual sponsors. The goal this year is $2000. Each year our Fall Festival grows, and with that growth new tables and tents are purchased. Funds from sponsors go to purchasing these items. Gold sponsorship entails a donation of $500 and Silver Sponsors donate $250. Smaller donations are also accepted and greatly appreciated. If you would like to make a donation, please email Kathy Staley at Kathleen.staley@comcast.net.

Volunteers Wanted!
The Festival relies on volunteers to help with the many jobs including set up, booth support, PTSA drink sales, crowd control, ticket sales and counting, and tear down. Parent support is critical to the success of the Festival and students can earn community service hours. Parent volunteers will be needed on October 6 starting at 9 a.m. before the Festival for setup, during the Festival, and afterwards for clean up. The PTSA also needs to borrow some items to help keep the cost down. More information about volunteering and donating items is posted on the Fall Festival Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/MLWGSFallFestival) and will be posted next week in Smoke and Scales.

Pre-Purchase Tickets!
Last year lines to buy tickets were long, but picking up pre-ordered tickets was fast and easy! The Committee strongly encourages everyone to pre-order tickets using the form below! Although we recommend 15-20 tickets per student, just 10 tickets will buy a good meal and pay for a one or two of activities or some yummy treats. Also remember, except for Dragon's Lair, booths only accept tickets and only cash are accepted for tickets the day of the festival!

Ticket Order Form


There's more than one way to keep up with the Governor's School Foundation. You can like our Facebook page to see regular updates, or check our website whenever you're curious about what we're up to. You'll see posts about our alumni, like recent Fulbright recipient Eileen Wang ('12), Spelman College junior Bre'Anna Vinson ('15), and attorney Kate Lipper Garabedian ('99), who is running for office this November. You'll also see posts about the enhancement grants we fund every year, and our events for alumni and parents. We're looking forward to a great year, so we hope you'll stay tuned!


Attention Sophomores!
Virginia Space Coast Scholars (VSCS) is a program focusing on the earth and airborne science, engineering, and technology integral to current missions at NASA Wallops Flight Facility and the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport. This dynamic (and FREE) program, designed by the Virginia Space Grant Consortium (VSGC), inspires students who possess technical and/or scientific interests and are motivated to learn about the many different opportunities that NASA offers. The VSCS program features two key elements: 1.) an on-line science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) learning experience featuring five modules; and 2.) a seven-day residential Summer Academy at NASA Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, VA where selected scholars will learn first-hand from NASA professionals about cutting edge technologies and missions. Please visit http://vscs.spacegrant.org/ for additional information and application. The deadline for student applications is November 12, 2017.

Attention Parents of Juniors and Seniors!
The application for National Honor Society is now available online at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdEgxHPEutVoAC_eh3i1toaTIjL-vpwoMim7wWT8YCXrQNWsA/viewform. Applications must be submitted online by Monday, September 25 at 5:00 pm. Applicants must be juniors or seniors with a 3.5 cumulative, weighted GPA and must be on track in earning community service hours (70 for juniors and 105 for seniors). Members of NHS must commit to earning five additional NHS-related service hours per year of membership above and beyond graduation requirements. Please see the application for additional application instructions/requirements and membership obligations.

Attention Juniors and Seniors!
The Society of Women Engineers at the University of Virginia invites high school juniors and seniors to apply to our High School Visitation program on Saturday, November 18, 2017. The program gives young women a comprehensive look at engineering fields and UVA’s engineering curriculum through informative speakers and hands-on design activities. The program is designed to benefit participants with all levels of engineering experience, but we particularly target those students who are not yet familiar with the field and may be interested in applying to engineering schools or pursuing a STEM career.

To apply, students should complete the HSV Fall 2017 Application which can be found here. This fall session particularly targets high school seniors, but sophomores and juniors can also apply. Students who have previously applied to HSV, are in the targeted grade level, and demonstrate a strong interest in engineering through their essay will receive priority acceptance and priority consideration for an overnight stay.

The attached flier provides more information about the event and instructions on how to apply online through our website.

The application must be completed online by 11:59 pm on Saturday, October 21st, 2017.

Opportunities for Juniors and Seniors!
Virginia Aerospace Science and Technology Scholars (VASTS) is an interactive online learning course with a space mission design and human space flight theme, culminating in a one-week residential Summer Academy at NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton for those students who qualify. Offered at no cost to the student, VASTS consists of seven modules and a final project to be completed from November 2017 through May 2018 under the guidance of licensed master educators. Based on success in the online coursework, students may be selected to attend a Summer Academy where they interact with NASA scientists, engineers and technologists to design a human mission to Mars. Additional information and application can be found at http://vsgc.odu.edu/VASTS/. The deadline for student applications is November 12, 2017.

Virginia Earth System Science Scholars (VESSS) is an interactive, on-line Earth System Science Course featuring NASA scientific research and data. The course is offered for dual enrollment college credit (statewide through TNCC) for high school juniors and seniors in the Spring semester 2018. VESSS will have two components. The first component is an online sixteen-week course running from December through April. The second component is a residential NASA Summer Academy at NASA Langley Research Center for students who perform well in the course. Additional information and application can be found at http://vsgc.odu.edu/VESSS/. The deadline for student applications is November 12, 2017.


The September Senior Newsletter is now available on the School Counseling website. This newsletter contains important college and scholarship-related reminders and deadlines. Dr. Loving and Ms. Streitel met with all of the senior English classes this week to discuss important college information including how to request transcripts and recommendation letters, upcoming deadlines, etc., and distributed the first issue of the Senior Newsletter to students.

The In-House Selective Scholarship Application is open in Naviance and is due by midnight on October 1st. Completion of this in-house application will make seniors eligible to be nominated for these specific scholarships by our MLWGS Scholarship Committee. Detailed information about each scholarship can be found on Naviance. Students chosen to be nominated for a scholarship will need to complete all scholarship application requirements by the specific scholarship deadline.

· Washington University St. Louis: Danforth Scholars Program
· VA DAR Good Citizen
· UVA: Jefferson Scholars
· Prudential Spirit of Community Awards
· Harry F. Byrd, Jr. Leadership Award
· Davidson College: Belk Scholars
· Interfaith Council Brother/Sisterhood Award
· Comcast Leaders & Achievers Scholarship Program
· VA Tech: Pamplin Leaders Award
· Virginia Interscholastic Athletic (VIAAA) Awards
· VHSL Scholarships
· Executive Women International Scholarship Program
· Pogue Scholarship (requires an additional application available in March)
· Civitan International Honor Key

A description of all scholarship opportunities sent to MLWGS can be found on Naviance. Please note that this list is not exhaustive- students are still encouraged to do their own scholarship research. See the “Scholarship and Financial Aid” page of the School Counseling website for tips. All deadlines listed in Naviance are subject to change- MLWGS is not always notified of annual date changes; therefore, it is important that students confirm all deadlines on the scholarship organization’s direct website. Please contact Kierstin Streitel in the School Counseling Office with any scholarship questions.

Teacher Recommendation Request forms are due by 3:30pm on September 22nd for any deadlines November 1st or earlier. All other Teacher Recommendation Request forms are due at least two “school” weeks prior to the college/program deadline (winter break not included). Extra forms are in the School Counseling Office.

A Transcript Request form is due to counselors by 3:30pm on October 2nd for any deadlines November 15th or earlier. A Transcript Request Form is due to counselors by 3:30pm on November 15th for any deadlines November 16th or later. Extra forms are in the School Counseling Office.

Students are allowed four excused absences for college visits per year. Students must get and turn back in a pre-approval form to Ms. Bowman in advance. Students should let their teachers know ahead of time that they will be missing class and it is up to them to inquire about and complete any missed work.


Due to overwhelming demand, in-school senior portraits have MOVED to Monday, October 9. New, additional time slots are now available. Seniors wishing to be photographed should sign up outside Room 330. Seniors' time slots from the old October 11 sheet have been preserved, EXCEPT for those who signed up between 12 and 12:30, or after 3:00 p.m. Those seniors have new time slots, so those students should find their names on the brand new list. Seniors who cannot make their assigned time slot may change it or swap with a classmate. See Mr. White mwhite@gsgis.k12.va.us if you have any questions. These free portraits are tux and drape only; additional poses, outfits and backgrounds involve fees.

If you’d rather be photographed for your formal Yearbook portrait at another studio, be sure that your portraits adhere to the following specifications:

a. formal dress (tux or drape)
b. "midnight blue" or other standard, dark blue or black background
c. photo should be head and shoulders, with the bottom of frame hitting mid-chest level. Any size from Strawbridge [2-15/16" x 2-3/16" OR 2-3/16" x 1-5/8" OR 1-15/16" x 1-7/16"] is fine.

Photos from other studios are due no later than Friday, November 17. If we do not have your picture by November 17, you risk exclusion from the senior section. Please give Mr. White a copy of the photo if it is NOT the contracted school photographer. Digital images must be at least 300 dpi and can be emailed tomwhite@gsgis.k12.va.us or delivered on a CD or flash drive to Mr. White. If you email an image, please send a separate email to follow up to make sure we received the email. (We may need to provide a different email address for larger images.)