Week of June 9, 2015

Thank you from the Governor’s School Foundation

The Governor's School Foundation would like to offer thanks to all the parents, alumni, alumni parents, and local businesses who supported the Foundation this year.  The donated funds helped the Foundation in its mission of enriching the educational experience of MLWGS students, providing training for teachers, and acquiring new technology for the MLWGS facility.  These enhancements don’t happen without continued support.

The Governor’s Schools Foundation would also like to thank all those generous folks who gave of their time to serve on a committee, make calls at a phonathon, prepare food for a function, or reach out to the wider Richmond community.  Once again, the Governor’s School Foundation can’t do it without you!

So far this year, the Foundation's Annual Fund Campaign has raised $350,309 for the school. Overall current parent participation stands at 53%, and the parent participation by class is:

• Seniors: 45%
• Juniors: 48%
• Sophomores: 60%
• Freshmen: 56%

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.

MLWGS Class of 2015 Baccalaureate
Seniors and their Family Invited!

The MLWGS Class of 2015 Baccalaureate will be held on Thursday, June 11, 2015, 6:30 p.m., at Congregation Beth Ahabah, 1111 W. Franklin St., Richmond, VA 23220.  Seniors and their family are invited to take a moment to reflect on their years at MLWGS and look forward to their future with speakers Rabbi Dovid Asher, Keneseth Beth Israel; Mister Vijay Ramnarain, Hindu Center of Virginia; Father Matt Kiehl, and Imam Ammar Amonette, Islamic Center of Virginia. 

The ceremony ends at 7:30pm and is followed by the Faculty Lounge Lizards at the Dogwood Dell!

MLWGS Class of 2015 Baccalaureate
Only 2 More Volunteers Needed!

The MLWGS Class of 2015 Baccalaureate will be held on Thursday, June 11, 2015, 6:30 p.m., at Congregation Beth Ahabah, 1111 W. Franklin St., Richmond, VA 23220. A few volunteers are needed to make this event special for the MLWGS graduates.  Please arrive no later than 5:45 p.m. and check in with the Volunteer Coordinator located in the downstairs assembly room.  Thank you in advance for the willingness to help!!!  Questions? Contact Samantha at sdmier@verizon.net.

Interested in volunteering in the DRAGON’S LAIR?

The Dragon’s Lair store is looking for parents, grandparents, or family friends interested in volunteering in the Dragon’s Lair store in the
2015-2016 school year.  The store is open during lunch (approximately 11:30-12:30) on Tuesdays and Fridays weekly.  We are also considering opening the store one morning a month starting approximately 30 minutes before the bell until approximately 30 minutes after the bell.  These morning openings will offer accessibility to those who are unable to take time in the middle of the day to visit the store.  Additionally, the store is open for special events such as Fall Festival, Freshmen Registration, etc. 

If you are interested in any of these opportunities, please email shannon.adee@comcast.net to place your name on the volunteer interest list.  Please include name, phone number, preferred email address, and available time slots.  Please note that you do not have to be available for every week.  For example: You may volunteer at lunch on the 1st Tuesday of the month or the 2nd and 4th Friday of the month.  Whatever time you are able to give is appreciated. 


Senior Exams:
Monday-Wednesday, June 8 – 10
Check with students about which exams he or she will be required to take.  All exams and any outstanding coursework need to be completed by June 10 in order for a student to walk at graduation.  Note that June 10 is also an early dismissal day.

Senior “Check Out” Forms &
Senior Financial Obligations: 
Due on or before Wednesday, June 10
The “check out” form will be given to students after APs are over.  Each student is responsible for collecting the required signatures and returning the form to the School Counseling Office by Wednesday, June 10.  Outstanding MLWGS obligations must be paid to Mrs. Crystal Charity in the main office prior to 3:00 p.m. on June 11 NOTE:  All teachers’ signatures need to be obtained before going to Mrs. Charity because she takes all monies from each student for all obligations (lost or damaged book fines, etc.) and writes one receipt for him/her.

Seniors who have unpaid financial obligations and/or who have not returned the check-out form will not be allowed to participate in the graduation ceremony.  Any outstanding VCU library fines must be paid directly to the VCU library.  If the latter applies to your student, a paid receipt from the VCU library should be turned in to Mrs. Zona Hicks in the School Counseling Office to clear the account. 

Senior Picnic:  Thursday, June 11, 12:00 – 2:00 p.m.
The Senior Picnic is the first official alumni event for the Class of 2015, and it is sponsored by the Governor's School Foundation and Alumni Office. The event will be held at the Carillon Shelter at Byrd Park, and students are asked to sign-up to bring desserts, drinks, paper goods, and chips. The Foundation will be providing the main meal. Any parent who wishes to help serve at this event, please contact class sponsor, Kerry Sheppard, ksheppard@gsgis.k12.va.us, 354-6800 ext.3304.

Baccalaureate Service:  Thursday, June 11, 6:30 p.m.
The Baccalaureate Service will be held at Beth Ahabah (1109 West Franklin Street).  Sponsored by the MLWGS PTSA, the inter-faith service begins promptly at 6:30 p.m. and will last one hour.  Students are not required to attend, but this traditional and memorable event celebrates finishing one chapter in their lives and beginning the next.  Information regarding line-up and parking will be included in the official invitation from the PTSA, which will arrive by mail.  Seniors are reminded to bring both cap and gown for the ceremony.

The Faculty Lounge Lizards at Dogwood Dell
Thursday, June 11, 8:00 p.m.
After the Baccalaureate Service, the entire MLWGS family is invited to hear the fantastic faculty band, The Faculty Lounge Lizards, perform at Dogwood Dell.  It promises to be a great evening of music and a fun way to celebrate the friendships formed during the last four years!  Bring folding chairs or a blanket to sit on.  Additional information will be posted on the MLWGS website.

Graduation Rehearsal:  Monday, June 15, 9:00 a.m.
Altria Theater, 6 N. Laurel Street
Graduation rehearsal is held at the Altria Theater.  Parking for graduation is available at the VCU parking deck for a minimal fee (entrances are on Cherry and Laurel Streets.)   Please adhere to posted street parking signs as ticketing and towing are strictly enforced. Seniors must arrive no later than 8:45 a.m. and report to the downstairs ballroom (enter through the Main Street entrance towards the rear of the building).  Rehearsal will begin at 9:00 a.m. sharp.  ANY STUDENT WHO MISSES REHEARSAL WILL NOT BE PERMITTED TO WALK IN THE ACTUAL GRADUATION CEREMONY, so parents are asked to please work with students to make sure they are on time.  Practice is usually completed by 11:30 a.m. or so; but given that we will take as long as needed to perfect the process, please do not plan anything that requires your student to leave early or be gone by a certain time.  This rehearsal is crucial to the success of the graduation ceremony.


Monday, June 15, 3:00 p.m., Altria Theater, 6 N. Laurel Street
Graduates must arrive at the downstairs ballroom by 2:00 p.m.  For organizational reasons, this area is off limits to parents, relatives, and friends; MLWGS appreciates your understanding.  Cap, gown, and tassel are the most important items for the day, but students are asked to dress appropriately:  dark dress pants, collared shirt and tie for the young men, dresses for the young women. 

Perhaps the most important clothing decision for the day, however, is shoes.  Dress shoes and socks for the boys and low-heeled dress shoes for the girls are the best choices; please, no “flip-flops” or athletic shoes.  Additionally, decorations on mortarboards are absolutely prohibited.  Note:  The “collar” that comes with the graduation gown will not be used.

Doors to the Carpenter Theater will open at 2:15 p.m.  Guests should enter through the front doors and must have a ticket to attend graduation.  Seating is not reserved.  Handicap seating is available in multiple locations; please see one of the ushers at the door upon arrival such seating is needed.  Parking for graduation is available at the VCU parking deck for a minimal fee (entrances are on Cherry and Laurel Streets.)   Please adhere to posted street parking signs as ticketing and towing are strictly enforced.

Photographs during the ceremony are only allowed from seats.   The Altria Theater will not permit the audience to spill into the aisles for this activity, and they enforce this restriction quite seriously.  However, Lifetouch will be taking pictures of each individual student as he/she receives his/her diploma.  This year, a proof picture will be mailed directly to each family and be accessible on-line along with ordering information. 

Last but certainly not least, a brief reception for students and their families will be held immediately after graduation in the downstairs ballroom of Altria Theater.  Graduation activities should conclude by 6:00 p.m.

Seniors:  When you arrive for graduation practice and graduation, please enter the rear doors to the theatre.  This entrance will take you directly to the ballroom. Parents/family/friends must enter the theatre through the main doors on N. Laurel Street. 



The time has come for the Maggie L. Walker Governor's School community to bid farewell and best wishes to the Class of 2015!  It has been a truly remarkable four years since these students began their high school journeys as birght-eyed freshmen and now prepare to embark upon the next phase as young adults finding their way in the world.


DRAGONS CLINCH Girls Soccer CHAMPionship

MLWGS Girls Soccer Team (15-5-0), coached by Ian Kelley and assisted by David Hillgrove, clinched the Conference 33 Championship title May 29 with a 4-0 win over Northampton High School. As of this writing they have outscored their opponents 27-0 in postseason play. A win over their second opponent in the Regionals, Clark County High School on June 3, would guarantee them entrance to the State playoffs over graduation weekend.

The team has steadily improved throughout the season and has benefited from added depth brought up from the JV squad for the tournaments. Coach Kelley built the squad off of a strong defense with sophomore Grace Young (’17, Chesterfield) in the goal, Mariah Macon (’15, Richmond) and Divia Kling (’15, Chesterfield) at right and left defense, and co-captains Tessa Guinn (’15, Henrico) and Margaret Graham (’15, Petersburg) sharing duties with Gabi Cao (’18, Chesterfield) at center defense. Scoring has been achieved from players across the squad. Most impressive this season is senior Caroline O'Brien's (’15, Henrico) 20 goals and junior captain Claire Schweiker's (’16, Richmond) school record-breaking 17 assists.

MLWGS Students Receive other Local Recognition

Ben Hazelton Receives Honorable Mention
Richmond Peace Education Essay Contest
The Richmond Peace Education Center has announced the winners for its annual essay contest. Ben Hazelton (’18, Henrico), received Honorable Mention for his entry. Ben is the only ninth grader to win in this very competitive contest for the greater Richmond area. He is a student in Ms. Surat’s World Literature class.  
Follow the link below to read Ben’s essay, “The Inspiration of the Everyday,” as well as those by all the winners including Ben’s:  http://www.rpec.org/programs/youth-programs/peace-essay-contest/

Riley Hammond Receives
1708 Gallery Award
Riley Hammond (15, Richmond), won third place in this year’s Cindy Neuschwander award from 1708 Gallery. She will receive a $1000 scholarship.

This is the second year in a row a MLWGS students has won this honor.  Last year, Ella Konefal (’14) won first prize.

Hailey Akens, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
Woman of the Year
Each year, individuals throughout the Richmond are nominated to participate in a special fundraising competition and initiative for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  This year, MLWGS nominated Hailey Akens (’15, Henrico) as a 2015 candidate.  She participated alongside eight other nominees in an intense ten-week-long fundraising competition, with the titles of Man and Woman of the Year awarded to the man and woman who raised the most funds in this strict ten-week period.  The campaign culminated with a Gala on May 8.

Hailey became the 2015 Woman of the Year, raising an outstanding $20,000.  This campaign served as an opportunity for Hailey to pay tribute to Katie Anderson and all those battling blood cancer before she heads off to Virginia Tech in the fall.  Hailey rallied support throughout the Maggie Walker community, and her story inspired many all over Richmond and beyond! 

It’s ever too early to think about
next year’s Spring break!

Costa Rica Trip – Spring Break 2016

Price includes:

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

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 approximate cost of the trip is $2700.

For more information contact Mr. David Barnes at dbarnes@gsgis.k12.va.us, or 354-6800 ex 3060.

Last issue of the Jabberwock for 2014-15

The final issue of the Jabberwock is available at the link below:

Look for its return, like Smoke and Scales, when school resumes in the fall.


This is your final issue of Smoke and Scales for the 2014-2015 school year.  It has been a pleasure to work with the Maggie L. Walker Governor's School community.  Look for your next edition on Tuesday, September 1, 2015.  Content submission for the 9/1 edition is due Friday, August 28, 2015 by 4 p.m.  Have a great, safe summer!

-Your Smoke and Scales co-editors, Catherine Ingrassia and Nancy Turnage