Week of May 5, 2015

Foundation Supports Music Program

Orchestra teacher Karl von Klein had a problem with the layout of his classroom.  Columns in the music room blocked some students’ views, and they were unable to see the dry erase boards at the front of the classroom. That problem has now been solved, with the installation of two HDTV monitors mounted on those same formerly problematic columns. 

With funding from a Foundation Enhancement Grant, Mr. von Klein was able to purchase not only the HDTVs, but also an iPad Air and Apple TV. The music room is now a high-tech learning space, with capabilities far beyond just the two monitors.  Wireless projection of audio/visual content allows music students to learn in an entirely new way.

For instance, Karl recently wrote to us: “Using the iPad camera as a video recorder…I can now show the students anything the camera sees on the TVs. I can show their parts on the conductor’s score and how it functions with other parts…I don’t have to waste time copying a rhythm to the board; I can show it to the whole class instantly, further preserving valuable rehearsal time.” 

Without generous support of the Governor’s School Foundation, classroom enhancements such as this one would be a dream, not a reality.

Your contributions to the Foundation Annual Fund help bring cutting-edge technology and teaching to MLWGS students.  So far this year, the Annual Fund Campaign has raised $276,732 for the school. Overall current parent participation is 43%, and here is the parent participation by class:

• Seniors: 42%
• Juniors: 38%
• Sophomores: 49%
• Freshmen: 46%


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 vote!

MLWGS (Required) Summer Reading Books

A book, a book.  My kingdom for a [summer reading] book!

It's easy for you and King Richard to get your summer reading books.  The PTSA is taking orders for the MLWGS required summer reading selections.  The titles are available at a discounted, tax-free price - - convenient for families, a benefit to MLWGS, and best of all, those books will get into eager hands before the summer begins (certainly a bonus in getting started on the tale of the whale)!

Order forms will be distributed to rising Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors, and the form is available on this page under "Links", to the right.

Orders are due by Tuesday, May 19.  Please leave them in Valenta Williams’s office off the Bluestone Lobby.  Make checks payable to MLWGS PTSA.  The books will be distributed to students through the English Department.  If you need financial assistance in obtaining any of the required titles, please contact Karl Zweerink at 354-6800, ext. 3210, kzweerink@gsgis.k12.va.us.  For questions or more information, please contact Susan Creasey at creaseys@verizon.net.

Ladies’ Night Out: Salad Days —
Last Chance to Buy Tickets!

Come enjoy your "Salad Days" with MLWGS moms and female faculty and staff at the annual PTSA Ladies’ Night Out. This year’s theme is a Shakespearean expression referring to a youthful time of idealism and innocence!  The evening will feature hearty salads along with bread, desserts, wine, and soft drinks at this event open to all female parents, staff, and friends of MLWGS. Last year 85 women attended this lovely evening, talking and eating with old and new friends.  This year Ladies’ Night Out will take place on Wednesday, May 20 from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. at the home of Mary Michael and Rich Schweiker (parents of Richard and Claire) in historic Windsor Farms. Tickets cost $35. We encourage you to buy tickets for MLWGS teachers too! To purchase your ticket to this PTSA fundraiser, contact Kristin Lyons at clyons1@comcast.net or Yvette Conte at contefamily5@msn.com.


Senior Group Photo
A group photo of seniors in their caps and gowns was taken on Wednesday, April 29.  If you did not get a chance to purchase a copy, it’s not too late.  Lifetouch will link a copy of this photo to the other photos that will be taken at the graduation ceremony.  The cost will still be $15.  Contact Ms. Sheppard (804-354-6800 ext. 3304 or ksheppard@gsgis.k12.va.us) with any questions.

Community Service Hours:  Due by Monday, May 18, 3:30 p.m.
Completion of 140 community service hours is a requirement for graduation (see the MLWGS student handbook).  Students may confirm their community service hours in PowerSchool. Please see Ms. Valenta Williams in room 100 if there are any discrepancies. All seniors must turn in any remaining hours they have earned no later than May 18. 

Music Performance Auditions 
May 19 & 20, 3:20 – 4:30 p.m., 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.


Water. When you've got it, life is good. When you don't...well, just look at the American southwest. Today's moral of the story is STAY HYDRATED, PEOPLE. Your body will thank you, not to mention you can excuse yourself from most classes for a few minutes at a time throughout the day. Keep on top of your water intake with this uberstylish green and black bottle with gleaming steel accents.  All yours for a mere $8 - - priced with the people in mind!

In between trips to the water fountain, stop by The Dragon's Lair Tuesdays and Fridays during lunch and celebrate your economic freedom with our rows upon rows of gifts, accessories and MLWGS apparel.  Shop anytime at our website.  Checks and cold hard cash accepted.  'Murica.


Local author and educator Linda Fisher Thornton discusses ethics and our children with a special introduction from senior Reed Canaan (Henrico), student chair of the Maggie Walker Honor Council. The final PTSA program of the year should last about an hour. 

My Final CHESS Tournament
Written by Isaac Steincamp (’15, Chesterfield)

The MLWGS Chess Team shows their winnings from an eventful weekend in Columbus.
Never in my eleven years of playing chess have I seen a group more motivated to improve than the MLWGS Chess Team. This year I coached the team on Tuesdays after school in Room 111 (we still meet), and throughout the year, each player improved significantly. Furthermore, the members of this club really were passionate about working with younger players in the Greater Richmond area. On top of practices, each of the members of our club made an effort to volunteer at our free chess clinics throughout the year, or our other chess events we ran throughout the year. In my time at Maggie Walker, Chess Club has been the most impressive student run club I’ve seen, and has emerged has a major staple of the Richmond Chess Community.

To read the full post, click HERE.


The Governor’s School Foundation is pleased to congratulate the Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School We the People Team, which placed second in the nation in The Citizen and the Constitution National Finals, which took place Monday, April 27 in Washington, DC. The 2015 competition marks the 9th time MLWGS has finished in the top three since 2003 (2011 and 2003 National Champions). Additionally, Walker’s Unit 1 won the prestigious Magna Carta Award for the highest score in the nation on the Magna Carta question.

The National Finals marked the end of months of study and hard-won first place finishes at the district level and state level for the team.

The Walker We the People team is fortunate to receive support from the Governor’s School Foundation and particular support from corporate sponsors the New Market Foundation, the MeadWestvaco Foundation, Dixon Hughes Goodman LLP, Tailored Touches, and Geoff McDonald and Associates.

The Maggie Walker We the People team is coached by Social Studies teacher and alumnus Sam Ulmschneider '02. Please join us in congratulating Sam and the entire We the People team!