Week of October 20, 2015


Have you visited the new on-line version of the MLWGS Jabberwock, the student-produced newspaper?  If you do, you are in for a treat!  An enhancement grant from the Governor's School Foundation helped make this dream a reality.

The Foundation’s grant covered the one-time set-up fees of host organization SNO (School Newspapers Online), as well as multimedia, advertising and form building capabilities.  According to Dr. Janet Spencer, Jabberwock sponsor, “…we are excited about the ability to feature color photographs, update the Sports Center more rapidly, and explore uses of multimedia for journalistic purposes.  This grant will help us attract new readers and improve the scope of our content.”  Follow Jabberwock at http://mlwgsjabberwock.com/.

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.


Great news! The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) recently submitted a budget recommendation of an additional, annual increase of $3.6 million to implement a new funding formula for Virginia's Academic-Year Governor's Schools (AYGS). If this request is incorporated into the state budget, MLWGS will receive a significant increase in state funding in the 2016-2017 school year. This additional funding will help alleviate chronic underfunding issues at MLWGS. The time and effort the staff at VDOE devoted to devising a more equitable funding formula is much appreciated. The critical process of reviewing budget requests is underway. Governor McAuliffe, who has stated that education is his number one budget priority, will present his spending plan in December and the goal is to see this new formula and funding included. Governor McAuliffe needs to hear how important it is to properly fund Academic-Year Governor's Schools.

If you have contacts in the Governor's office or the General Assembly, please e-mail MLWGS PTSA Advocacy volunteers Anne Hayes, annehayes@verizon.net or Laura O'Brien, prable@comcast.net. And, if you haven't done so already, show your support by signing the petition HERE (https://www.change.org/p/gov-mcauliffe-please-fix-funding-for-virginia-s-governor-s-schools)


Friday, October 9, was a beautiful day and hundreds of people from the MLWGS and surrounding community came to enjoy the 2015 Fall Festival! This year was one of the best all-around Fall Festival ever, raising more than $15,000 for MLWGS clubs! Twenty different groups and individuals performed on the fabulous stage lent to us by Henrico Recreation and Parks. The entertainment line-up was one of the best ever, providing the crowds with a wide variety of acts. There were more than 60 different booths, offering a wide variety of activities and food for all! Thank you to everyone who attended and supported our wonderful clubs and organizations! Additional thanks to the 100+ folks who volunteered and/or lent items!

Special recognition should go to all the Fall Festival Committee Members who worked hard to make this years festival a huge success. In particular we would like to thank MLWGS senior parents, most of whom have been on the Committee for the past four years. They are the Kristen Vithoulkas (Committee Chair), Trish Edinboro (Community Outreach), Mary Call (Drinks), Cara Metz (Entertainment), Paula Chambers (Fall Festival Times), Michele Nelson (Security), and Julie Fegler (Support). Their leadership will be missed next year! Mike Normansell (Logistics) is also a senior parent who will still be with the committee next year.

Finally, we would like to thank our Corporate Sponsors:
  • Midlothian Behavioral Health Associates
  • Patient First
  • Virginia Family Physicians
  • Commonwealth Primary Care
  • Laxmi Palace
  • Natural Awakenings
  • Nyfeler Associates
  • Short Pump Dental

Their contributions allowed MLWGS to invest in items such as more tents which improved the look and the organization of the Festival. Special thanks also goes to:
  • Henrico Recreation and Parks
  • Container First Services
  • 1709 Gallery’s InLight Richmond
  • Dan Lee of Optimum Ed
  • Richmond City Police
  • Richmond Flying Squirrels
  • Samantha Mier
  • Karl Van Klein
  • Charles Aldridge
  • Dave Dembicer
  • MLWGS Administration, Security, Maintenance and Cafeteria
  • MLWGS Photography Club
  • Governor’s School Foundation
  • all our many volunteers!

For a slide show of Fall Festival, check out the following link:

Thursday, October 22

The MLWGS Foundation needs volunteer help in preparing a bulk mailing on Thursday, October 22, starting at 9:00 a.m. in the MLWGS Boardroom. If you have a few hours to spare, please join us!

Foundation helpers will be preparing our first Annual Fund Letter mailing. No RSVP necessary, but for questions or to be added to the Foundation's volunteer list for future bulk mailings, please contact Laura Lewis at laura.lewis@governorsschoolfoundation.org.


The October and Mid-October Senior Newsletters are now available on the School Counseling Website. This newsletter contains college-related reminders and a listing of scholarships with approaching deadlines. The latest newsletter was distributed to students in their English classes last week. Scholarship information for seniors is also available on the School Counseling website and in Naviance. Contact your child’s counselor if you would like to view the Naviance scholarship database and need your registration code. Scholarships are still being added to this database on a monthly basis, most with direct links to the applications. Hard-copy applications are scanned and attached to the scholarship description as a PDF. Please note that all deadlines posted on Naviance or in the Newsletter are subject to change as organizations are still sending us updated information for this school year. Check the organization’s website for the most current information. Please contact Rachel Loving in the School Counseling Office with scholarship questions.


Virginia Space Coast Scholars is a NASA-based STEM program for 10th-grade students who are interested in NASA’s space and Earth and airborne science-related missions managed or flown by NASA Wallops Flight Facility. This dynamic (and FREE) program, designed by the Virginia Space Grant Consortium (VSGC), inspires students who possess technical and/or scientific interests and are motivated to learn about the many different opportunities that NASA offers. Additional information and applications can be found at http://vscs.spacegrant.org/. Applications are due by November 8, 2015. 

The Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY) Seminar Program is offering one slot for a sophomore from MLWGS school to attend its state-wide seminar in the spring.  Interested students should submit a 75 to 100-word essay to Ms. Davis describing the most rewarding and challenging aspect of being a leader in our school and community.  The deadline for submission is October 30.  More information about the program is available at www.hoby.org.
The Society of Women Engineers at the University of Virginia invites high school seniors and juniors to apply for a place in our High School Visitation program, taking place Saturday, November 14, 2015. The program gives young women a comprehensive look at engineering fields and at UVA’s engineering curriculum through informative speakers and hands-on design activities. The program is designed to benefit participants with all levels of engineering experience, but it particularly targets those students who are not yet familiar with the field but may be interested in applying to engineering schools or pursuing a STEM career. Applications are available at http://www.virginiaswe.org. Applications are due by October 23. 

Virginia Aerospace Science and Technology Scholars (VASTS) is a NASA-based program for 11th-grade students  who are interested in aerospace-related science, technology, engineering and/or math (STEM). Applications and additional information can be found at http://vasts.spacegrant.org. The application deadline is Nov. 8, 2015. 

Virginia Earth Systems Science Scholars (VESSS) is a NASA-based program for 11th and 12th-grade students who are interested in Earth Systems Science-related science, technology, engineering and/or math (STEM). This course focuses on Earth Systems Science and the NASA mission that help study these topics.  Applications and additional information can be found at https://spacegrant.net/apps/?pk=sss and are due by Nov. 8, 2015. 


The 2015 MLWGS yearbook won first-place in the VHSL judging. Congratulations to Editor-in-Chief Devon Bortz (’16, Richmond), and to current co-Editors-in-Chief (and 2015 editors) Virginia Chambers (’16, Henrico) and Julia Trachtenberg (’16, Chesterfield). Their creativity, diligence and leadership made this award possible, and they have every reason to be proud!