Week of November 25, 2014


The Thirteenth Annual Night of the Dragon - an exciting evening of live and silent auctions, delicious food and spirits, beautiful music, and enjoyable conversation - will be held on February 21 at the Hilton Hotel and Spa in Short Pump! This event directly benefits the students at MLWGS. Night of the Dragon provides major funding for: 

■ Parent Teacher Student Association
■ Academic Boosters
■ Athletic Boosters
■ Drama Boosters
■ Music Boosters
■ Visual Arts Boosters
■ The Governor's School Foundation

This event features a huge variety of items to auction and donations are actively being solicited now by all of the sponsoring groups.   Great donations include dinners at favorite local restaurants, tours of local attractions, vacation home stays, and unique behind the scenes experiences.  Can't think of anything to donate? How about redeeming credit card points for gift cards and donating the gift cards to the auction!

Donation forms are available on the event website - www.nightofthedragon.com - just print out a form and return it to the auction box in Valenta Williams' office off the Bluestone Lobby. The deadline for donations to be included in this year's event is December 12.  Questions?  Email karenakens@gmail.com


The MLWGS Foundation needs volunteers on Wednesday, December 3, at 9:00 am to help in preparing our second Annual Fund mailing. Please come for a couple hours in the Seond floor Boardroom. It is a great way to help the Foundation and have some lively conversation with other parents and volunteers!

No RSVP is necessary, but for questions or to be added to the Foundation's volunteer list for future bulk mailings, please contact Eva Boegner.


Calling all night owls!  Freshman parents are needed to chaperone the Freshman Lock In on December 12th from 11pm until 6am the next morning.  Please use the following link to sign up to help:   http://www.signupgenius.com/go/20f0949abab2ba13-winter.  Thank you!  Tammy Brickley (Freshman Class Parent Representative)

The PTSA freshman class email distribution list was created using the directory.  However, many email addresses are not listed.  If you would like to provide your information, you may contact Tammy Brickley at tcbrickley@hotmail.com.  Thank you!


The Annual Fund Campaign supports classroom instructional enhancements like providing the English classes with an internet subscription to vocabulary.com. The Foundation also provided funding for the purchase of copies of Lee Smith's book Guests on Earth.  This award-winning author will be visiting the school in March. Please consider contributing the annual fund.


The December 2, 2014, 5:30PM MLWGS PTSA program on Academic Balance: Dual Enrollment, AP, Honors, and Plus with Mr. Karl Zweernick has been RESCHEDULED to February 2, 2015, 5:30pm.  

Mark the calendars now for the upcoming PTSA program Mental Wellness: Anxiety, Depression, Sleep, and Exercise with Dr. Michael Southam-Gerow on January 21, 2015, 8am!


Last Saturday, the chess team hosted the third annual Maggie Walker scholastic tournament.  There was an enormous turnout with 79 competitors, making it the biggest scholastic tournament in Richmond this year.  In the K-12 sections, the Maggie Walker chess team placed first, with two of our players, Matthew Normansell (’17, Henrico) and Jeffrey Song (’17, Henrico) winning all of their games.  Yang Zhang (’16, Henrico) placed 3rd with a score of 3/4 and Santosh Dasari (’18, Chesterfield) finished 7th in the section with 2.5/4 points.  David Normansell (’16, Henrico), Trey Johnson (’18, Richmond), and Vishnu Pulavarthi (’17, Henrico) all scored 2/4.  The captain, Isaac Steincamp (’15, Chesterfield) was also elected into the Virginia Scholastic Chess Association (VSCA) Board of Directors, making him the youngest director in VSCA history!


Congratulations to this fall’s scholarship nominees! The following students were nominated by Maggie Walker for scholarships this fall, some through tough selection processes by the MLWGS scholarship committee. Many of these students are in the midst of competing in regional, state, and national competitions for these scholarships. MLWGS is proud to have these students represent the school:

  • University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Morehead-Cain Scholarship: Helen Li
  • North Carolina State University, Park Scholarship: Bennett Bowers
  • Washington University in St. Louis, Danforth ScholarshipAfnan Enayet, Galen Green, Evrosina Isaac,  Anna Kuno, Helen Li, Caroline O’Brien
  • Boston University, Trustee Scholarship: Bennett Bowers, Evrosina Isaac, Caroline O’Brien, Nivetha Saravanan, Gwyneth Sholar, Pranay Vissa, Lisa Wang
  • Notre Dame, Hesburgh-Yusko Scholarship: Blaise Barsanti and Samantha Schwartzkopf
  • Davidson College, Belk Scholarship: Margaret Graham and Andrew Leffler
  • Duke/UNC-Chapel Hill, Robertson Scholarship (interview recipients): Connor Wood and Elena Zhou
  • University of Virginia, Jefferson Scholarship: Raleigh Browne and Connor Wood
  • Prudential Spirit of Community Award: Utkarsha Bhave
  • Harry F. Byrd Leadership Award: Pranay Vissa
  • Comcast Leaders & Achievers Award: Benjamin Wong
  • Virginia Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizen Award: Galen Green
  • Interfaith Council of Greater Richmond Brotherhood/Sisterhood Award: Michael Thompson
  • US Senate Youth Program: Elena Palazzolo
  • Lexus Scholars Weekly Winner: Joseph Boyle


For the second year in a row, Naomi Vickers (‘17) [not in directory] is the winner of MLWGS  school-wide Poetry Out Loud National Recitation Competition. Naomi will represent MLWGS in February at the regional competition. Mary-Dryden Maio (‘18, Richmond) came in as a close second, and James Tyler (’15, Henrico) was third. In all, nine winners from classroom competitions participated. Coordinated by Ms. Surat, the competition proceeds through regional, state , and national levels. At the national level a student may win a $20,000 scholarship. Special thanks are due to English Department Chair, Lisa Williams and English teachers John Piersol and Kerry Sheppard who served as judges with Ms. Surat.


What will participants learn?  In the words of students who participated in the spring 2014 GCO pilot…

  • Interested in striking the right balance (for you) between privacy and convenience in regard to online tools?
  • Curious about options for developing an online identity that highlights what you’d most like others, like college admissions officers, to notice about you and your talents?
  • Wondering how you might leverage online tools for social good, such as building awareness or coalitions across local, national, or international communities?

Enroll in Global Citizens Online (GCO) 2014-15, a program in which you’ll explore these topics (and more) with a small group of fellow MLWGS sophomores.
  • Where does it happen? ONLINE
    • Read articles and/or watch videos online – sources that intentionally present contrasting perspectives on issues – that will serve as sparks for discussion
    • Participate in lively small group discussions via itslearning
  • When does it happen? On your own schedule over seven weeks, about one hour per week.
  • What does it cover?
    • Personality and Presence (i.e. who – and where – are you online?)
      • December 8-19, 2014
      • Winter break (with optional challenge activity)
    • Privacy and Power
      • January 5-16, 2015
      • Two-week break for first semester exams
    • Connections and Intention
      • February 2-20, 2015
      • Our last week culminates with participants sharing personal strategic plans (no more than two pages long) regarding their online identity

Interested in bringing GCO topics home to discuss with your family? There will be optional weekly dinner table topics provided during the first six weeks of the program.

Sign-up DEADLINE: Friday, December 5, 2014.
Sign-up online, in the MLWGS Library, or by emailing Ms. DeGroat: wdegroat@gsgis.k12.va.us


Robbie Crawford and Brandon Shaw present the Maggie Walker Golf Team's donation check to Kelcey Henderson, of  The First Tee of Richmond and Chesterfield.
On Tuesday, November 18, 2014, MLWGS Team Captains, Robbie Crawford (’12, Hanover) and Brandon Shaw (’12, Henrico) along with their golf coach, Nancy Ramsbottom, presented a check in the amount of $243.00 to the First Tee of Richmond and Chesterfield.  The First Tee provides young people with character-building and life skills lessons using golf as the platform.  Through the First Tee, young people discover how skills essential to success on a golf course can also help them flourish in life.  The funds presented to The First Tee of Richmond and Chesterfield were raised by the Maggie Walker Golf Team during last month's Fall Festival.


Left to right:  Alec Handy (’16, Richmond) viola, Willow Kwak (’18, Henrico) violin, Margaret Graham (’15, Petersburg) violin, Rachel Zhao (’18 Henrico) cello
MLWGS Orchestra students participated in Senior Regional Orchestra at Hanover High School November 14-15. They auditioned to earn their seats and have gained eligibility to audition for All-Virginia Orchestra.


Applications are now available for the Summer Residential Governor’s Schools.  These programs provide opportunities for gifted high school students to explore professional and university environments through mentorships and academic enrichment.   Information and applications can be found at http://www.doe.virginia.gov/instruction/governors_school_programs/summer_residential/ for academic and mentorship programs, andhttp://www.doe.virginia.gov/instruction/foreign_language/language_academies/index.shtml for the foreign language academies.  Please see Ms. Davis for additional information about application process and deadlines.  


After-school Program:
Project ACEe - pre-health focus on medicine, academic skills and prep
Eligibility:  Current Juniors & Seniors
Application Requirements:  Online application with personal statement, official transcript, 1 letter of recommendation from science teacher and 1 letter from guidance counselor - due December 12, 2014.

Non-Residential Summer Programs:
Open to a variety of grade levels, each program focuses on a specific career field, offering hands-on instruction & information about preparing for these fields now.
Dental Career Exploration (9, 10, 11, 12 grade),  


Jaylaan Darius Bell-Colley (’16, Richmond), was recognized by the Professionals Reaching Out to the Community Foundation on Saturday, November 15.  Jaylaan was awarded first runner-up in this year's Beautillion:  "Shaping the Future Through Leadership".  The full story is available HERE.


"Pair of Jacks and the Queen of Hearts":  fiddler Buddy Griffin, Margaret Graham ('15), bass player Jack Bowman, and guitarist Jack Abeel

Comedian Steve Martin awarded the veteran banjo player, Eddie Adcock, his coveted Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass this fall. To commence a year of touring associated with the prize, Eddie and his wife Martha are hosting this year’s Christmas Bluegrass Benefit for the Homeless, which will be held on December 14 in the Station Inn, famed as the leading Bluegrass and Roots venue in Nashville, Tennessee. Adcock asked Maggie L. Walker senior Margaret Graham and her band member, Jack Abeel, to perform at the kick-off event.

Adcock began playing the banjo professionally in the early 1950s and rose to fame when he joined Bill Monroe’s band, the Blue Grass Boys, in 1957. He soon left to accompany the newly formed band, The Country Gentlemen, and stayed with them until the early 1970s. He then left to join Martha and the two have performed together ever since. Adcock has invited Graham and Abeel to guest-play at several of his Virginia concerts over the past three years. The benefit concert promises to bring out some of the best new and legendary Bluegrass talent for the evening.