Director's Update

Welcome to the 2013-2014 school year. As I enter my second year as your Director, I am delighted that our fabulous PTSA has offered me some space in this internationally known publication to provide our community updates on current and emergent topics relevant to our school. In combination with our enhanced website and itslearning platform, we aim to ensure that the complementary parts of our great school remain well-oiled and well-informed. Thank you for your patience as we work through the implementation phase of these enhancements. I think you’ll find these tools to be useful and contemporary.

(click to read more about the gift from Class of 2011 and the upcoming education program planning process)

If you have been on-site recently, you have no doubt seen hundreds of smiling and energetic faces that come with the start of a new academic year. On Sept. 3, we welcomed 727 students including 193 freshmen from 12 school districts in the Richmond region. By lunch it appeared that the stress associated with a new school had been lifted from the freshies, and upper classmen had successfully claimed their new statures and spaces! Typically, we have a late bus or two on the first few days of school, and this year proved no different. Please know that the transportation directors in your locales are working hard to make sure that busses run on schedule. Outside of transportation, all ran smoothly. Thank you for your support from home.

You may notice a new architectural piece in front of our school on the Lombardy Street side. This work is the gift of the class of 2011 and includes a masonry base and bronze plaque recognizing our school’s namesake. Moving forward we plan to engage former MWHS students from the 1960s, 70s, and 80s to develop the resources necessary to commission a rendering of Maggie L. Walker to be placed on top of the base. In addition, we have captured several artifacts from our facility’s early period including yearbooks, class pictures, trophies, etc. dating to the 1940s. Our PTSA graciously funded two beautiful trophy cases in which many of the artifacts are displayed on our third floor. When you have a chance, please take a look. I think you’ll agree that the representations of our facility’s history enrich our school’s climate.

Looking forward, we know that our future is linked to the partnerships we enjoy with those that populate our school community, including talented and diverse students, staff, parents, alumni, and volunteers who are committed to high standards, high expectations, and to advancing the mission of our school. Our mission calls on us to empower students for success in a rapidly changing global society. Not only will they partner in such a society as professionals, but more immediately, success in college will challenge students to lead, participate, and contribute in collegiate communities that are rich in cultural and international perspectives. The years ahead are really about what we can do together to ensure that our students (your children) continue to be equipped for success in the future.

To this end, we have engaged in our first “organic” planning process that will guide our work into the future. Our process is grounded in Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) approved standards for gifted education and in international standards of educational quality (Council of International Schools). Our performance against these standards shows our program to be exceptionally strong; thus, we only anticipate adjustments (rather than changes) to our program.

Thank you for all that you contribute to make our school a national and international leader. If I can be of service to you in the future, please do not hesitate to call, email or stop in for a visit.


Jeff McGee