Week of May 19, 2015

Grandparents’ Day 2015 a Success!

Grandparents' and Special Friends' Day, sponsored by the Governor's School Foundation, was held April 17.  Approximately 125 grandparents and special friends of current students joined us for this opportunity to visit with their grandchildren at MLWGS. After a short presentation by Director Dr. Jeff McGee, Student Ambassadors led the grandparents and special friends on a short tour of the school. A reception with their grandchildren followed. Mary Michael Schweiker and her hard-working team from the Foundation Events Committee organized the event.

So far this year, the Foundation's Annual Fund Campaign has raised $285,070 for the school. Overall current parent participation is 44%, and here is the parent participation by class:

• Seniors: 43%
• Juniors: 39%
• Sophomores: 50%
• Freshmen: 46%

The Governor’s School Foundation’s Annual Fund Campaign supports programs for students, grants for teacher continuing education, and special projects for facilities and equipment. To donate online, please click here.


On May 12, MLWGS seniors Piper Shifflett, Ben Bowers, and Joseph Boyle (all ’15, Hanover) attended a Hanover County School Board meeting to communicate their appreciation for the opportunity to attend Maggie Walker.  The students had a chance to speak to the board and share their experiences, as well as thank them for their support with a small gift.   

Each year, the PTSA coordinates student visits to the various school boards that support MLWGS.  The students are able to use their own words to describe what an impact the school and the staff at Maggie Walker has had on them.  This experience is great for the students and the School Board members look forward to hearing from MLWGS students every year.  If you’d like to learn more about visits and contacts with our district school boards, contact Kristin Lyons, PTSA School Board Visit Coordinator (clyons1@comcast.net). 


The PTSA will be honoring two very special MLWGS volunteers at the MLWGS End-of-Year Volunteer event hosted by the Governor's School Foundation on Tuesday, May 26, 2015.

For each award, the PTSA is seeking nominations for outstanding parent volunteers who offer their time to PTSA, Booster groups, the Foundation, or in any other school-support capacity. 

The MLWGS relies heavily on the support of so many, and there are countless ways for volunteers to get involved. Therefore the PTSA has created two uniquely different awards: The Green Dragon Award for a visible and active member of the volunteer community; and The Dragon’s Lair Award for the person who works behind the scenes, not necessarily in a leadership role.

Any member of the MLWGS community may nominate a volunteer (no more than one nomination per award please). Awards will be determined based upon nominations received. 

Please submit nominations to mew.mailbox@gmail.com no later than Friday, May 22, 2015. Thank you for taking the time to nominate a fellow volunteer!

Costa Rica Trip – Spring Break 2016

Students interested in the spring break 2016 trip to Costa Rica can enroll now at http://www.eftours.com/1713827WP.

Students will spend 9 days exploring the ecology, geology, history, and culture of Costa Rica. In Tortuguero students will discover 11 different habitats, including nesting ground for sea turtles. Then students will enjoy a unique perspective of the rainforest while whitewater rafting and zip-lining in Sarapiqui. The next stop will be the Arenal region, where students will study volcanic geology. The Arenal volcano serves as a watershed for the lake, powers the hot springs, and supports the majestic La Fortuna waterfall. The final destination is Guanacaste, where students can explore Pacific beaches. They will also visit a cloud forest and snorkel in a marine ecosystem. Of course, they will also have some free time to experience local culture.

The cost of the trip is $2635 and that price includes:

  • Air fare
  • Ground transportation
  • Accommodations
  • Meals
  • Full-time tour guides
  • Insurance
  • Activities

For more information contact Mr. David Barnes at dbarnes@gsgis.k12.va.us, or 354-6800 ex 3060, or visit http://www.eftours.com/1713827WP.

Music Performance Auditions for Seniors
May 19 & 20, 3:40 – 4:40 p.m. in the Auditorium

Showcasing MLWGS Senior musical talent is an important tradition at Senior Recognition Night and graduation.  For example, vocalists are needed to sing The Star Spangled Banner.  Additional performers or performance groups (instrumental or vocal) are sought for both events.   Students should begin preparing now if they would like to audition.   Any MLWGS senior or group of seniors interested in auditioning must sign up for a time slot by May 15 on the list outside the Forum.  Final decisions will be made by a committee of faculty members and the class officers.  Note: All students intending to perform must be present at auditions and are required to perform their intended piece for graduation or Senior Night.

MLWSGS Students Perform Well in
AATI 2015 National Italian High School contest

This year 140 schools in twenty-one states and Canada participated in the American Associate of Teachers of Italian 2015 National Italian High School Contest Examination. In total, 4,464 students took the exam, which has three levels. Participation across the levels was as follows: Level I - 1,398 students; Level II - 1,625 students; Level III - 1,441 students.

Three MLWGS students ranked in the top 5 nationally in their level.
Raleigh Browne (’15, Hanover) took second place nationally in Level II, receiving a prize of $200. Isabella Ragazzi (’16, Richmond) took fourth place nationally, winning $100.00, and Zoe Nelson (’16, Chesterfield) took fifth place nationally in the country, winning $50.00

In addition, Professor Lucrezia Lindia, president of the SocietĂ  Onoraria Italica, has contributed $1,200 to this contest. Using a lottery system, her committee will select twenty-four students from the Honorable Mention List in each level and they will receive $50 dollars each from Professor Lucrezia Lindia.

The following MLWGS students in Italian I and Italian II earned a place on the Honorable Mention List:

Level I
Brennan Adams
Darby Anderson
Jamie Benson
Emma Bilski
Ryan Buscaglia
Lane Dye
Dolan Edinboro
Shanti Hiremath
Kyle Knachel
Addie Locke
Benjamin Milburn-Town
Tess Monks
John Otero
Michael Patina
Elle Rosenbaum
Madeline Russo
Robin Schwartzkopf

Level II
James Banta
Wynne Barsanti
Devon Bortz
Bailey Dunn
Evan Fisher
Lori Horning
Willa King
Jack Miller
Alexandra Norman
Lyla Rossi
Piper Shifflett
Maria Tahamtani
Abby Watson
Natalie Weinberg

Level III
Blaise Barsanti
Carrie Hamilton
Noah Han

MWGS Hosts RVABikeDrive
Submitted by Jackie O’Neil (’17, Chesterfield)

Do you have old bikes, bike accessories, or bike components that are no longer in use? On Saturday, May 30, Sophomore Jackie O'Neil will be hosting a used bike drive at MLWGS to benefit Bikes for the World, an organization that provides people in need with bikes for transportation to work and school. 

Drop by Maggie Walker’s Student Parking Lot (near the track field fence) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 30, to donate your bike or bike parts, or email rvabikedrive@gmail.com to arrange pickup in the weeks leading up to the event.

An alternate Chesterfield location, BridgingRVA headquarters at 11307 Polo Place (Midlothian) will also be collecting bikes on May 30 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m..

Monetary donations would also be greatly appreciated to cover part of the cost of shipment; donations will be collected at the drive and online.

If you have any questions, are interested in volunteering either at the event or as an advertiser, or if you would like to make an online donation, please email rvabikedrive@gmail.com. You can learn more about the work that Bikes for the World does both in local communities and around the world at http://www.bikesfortheworld.org/.

CONTACT:  Jackie O'Neil at jackieexoneil@gmail.com

Yearbook Social

The Yearbook staff will host the first annual Yearbook Social on Friday, May 29, from 3:30 to 5 p.m., in the Commons and Cafeteria. There will be live music! Free pizza and drinks! The yearbook staff will distribute and sell yearbooks and offer for sale both autograph supplements and special gold and silver Sharpies for yearbook signing. Students will have the opportunity to hang out and sign their friends’ books. It promises to be a memorable event.