Week of February 9, 2016


College Kick Off for Juniors and parents will be held TODAY, February 9 from 12:45 – 2:45 p.m. in the MLWGS auditorium. Admissions representatives from University of Pittsburg, University of Richmond, University of Virginia, University of South Carolina, and Washington and Lee will discuss:

  • The College Search and Campus Visit
  • How Colleges Select Their Potential Freshman Class
  • The Application Process
  • Honors and Specialty Programs
  • The Role of Interview and Recommendations
  • Financial Aid Overview

Junior attendance is required; parents are strongly encouraged to attend. A parent “meet and greet” sponsored by the PTSA will follow this program from 2:45 - 3:15 p.m.


Maggie L Walker Governor’s School BLOOD DRIVE
THIS FRIDAY, February 12, 2016
9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Rooms 104 and 105

We are hoping to get some parent donors to help us reach our goal of 30+ units!
  • Please sign-up for an appointment time to donate with Mr. Blanton.
  • All students age 16 and 17 must have a signed parental consent form to donate. Please fill out completely in ink. (Nothing in pencil will be accepted.)
  • You must be at least 16 years old and weigh 110 lbs. to donate.
  • Bring a valid I.D. Eat and hydrate prior to donating.


PSAT Score Reports are being distributed to students this week during lunch-time assemblies.  During the assemblies, Counselors are outlining the new PSAT scoring system and opportunities for test preparation through the Khan Academy.  Please contact your student’s counselor if you have any questions.

Course Scheduling Forms are being distributed this week to all returning students during lunch-time assemblies.  Counselors and teachers will be working with students on selecting courses for next year.  The PTSA will hold a program on Thursday, February 11 at 5:30 for parents.  Counselors, Department Chairs, and Administrators will discuss the course registration process, advanced and elective course options, and Advanced Placement and Dual Enrollment classes.

Intent to Return Forms were due on Monday February 8.  All students who wish to return to Maggie Walker need to submit a form to Ms. Zona Hicks (zhicks@gsgis.k12.va.us) in the counseling office as soon as possible if they haven’t already done so.

Parent Teacher Conferences will be held on February 18 from 4 -7 p.m.  Dr. McGee will be sending out a Powerannouncement this week with links to Signup Genius for conference registration.  The links will appear in the parent Powerschool portal later this week.


Maggie Walker’s “We the People” team won its 18th  state crown in the "We the People" civics and constitutional knowledge hearings in Williamsburg on Friday, January 29.  Run by the Center for Civic Education and James Madison’s Montpelier, this year’s competition brought together teams from across the state to focus on their understanding of the Constitution and current and past events surrounding the United States Government. Students are divided into units and prepare a four-minute presentation on their focus area then participate in simulated Congressional hearings on the topic.

Last year, two teams from Virginia attended the national finals – Maggie Walker placed second nationally while Douglas Freeman High School placed third nationally.  MLWGS will go on to the national hearings April 29 – May 3, 2016, in Washington, DC where students will compete for their third national title (2003, 2011).

Team Sponsor and Teacher: Mr. Sam Ulmschneider

Team Members: Jacob Adams, Zachary Bampton, Nathan Berry, Marina Blough, Virginia Chambers, Cecilia D’Arville, Fionnuala Finn, Sunita Ganesh, Caroline Hanes, Elizabeth Hayes, Robert Hicks, Anthony Holten, Matthew Ladoscsi, John Li, Claire Mendelson, John Metz, Ben Milburn-Town, Tess Monks, Zoe Nelson, Reshini Premaratne, Claire Schweiker, Stephen Smith, Derrick Wang, Jake Zaslav

Saturday, February 27, Short Pump Hilton, 6-11 p.m.

Go to www.nightofthedragon.com/tickets to purchase tickets, drink tickets, and Heads or Tails Raffle tickets online.

Event tickets are $60 per person and must be purchased in advance no later than February 10, 2016. All tickets include reserved table seating. If you want to sit with friends, we will gladly attempt to accommodate your seating preference. Just let us know in the comment section. For ticket information or other questions, please contact Amy Patina at abpatina@comcast.net.

The catalog will be online in mid-February but here are a few of the Deluxe offerings:   

  • Wolf Gourmet Kitchen Appliances – Redoing your kitchen, or you want to upgrade your old appliances, enjoy perfect toasting, perfect smoothies and perfect baking with the Wolf Gourmet Toaster, Blender and Convection Countertop oven.
  • A collection for the Jeffersonian – 19th Century UVA colored lithograph, Jefferson Whiskey, and Virginia Architecture book.
  • John Barber Print - Amazing "Buying Oysters at Drum Point" John Barber Limited Edition Print, Artist Proof, 1984.
  • And the coveted Parking Passes and Graduation seating!

Corporate Sponsorship opportunities are still available! With four levels of sponsorship - $500, $1000, $2500 and $5000 – businesses of all sizes have an opportunity to reach the wider MLWGS community while giving back to the school.

To learn more about how your business can become a corporate sponsor, please contact Laura Lewis in the Governor's School Foundation at 354-1566, or Laura.Lewis@GovernorsSchoolFoundation.org no later than Friday, January 29.


MWHS is welcomed into the Super Bowl High School Honor Roll community celebrating schools that have contributed to Super Bowl history. Quoting Roger Goodell, Commissioner; “As we mark our 50th Super Bowl this season, we are celebrating the players and coaches of the past 49 Super Bowls and their high schools and communities that have positively impacted our great game. Nearly 3,000 players and head coaches, and more than 2,000 high schools will be recognized this season.”

As a member of this special group, a commemorative Golden Football produced by Wilson is being sent to the high school of every player or head coach who was on an active roster in a Super Bowl. Maggie Walker’s Golden Football is in honor of Willie Lanier, a member of the Class of 1963 from Maggie Walker High School.


Maggie Walker’s 19th annual Model United Nations conference, GSMUN, will take place on March 11-12, 2016.  The event, consisting of 22 independent committees, expects to bring in delegates from 30+ schools across Virginia and Maryland.  Over 600 middle and high school students will debate policy issues ranging from the role of the aristocracy in 14th century Japan to the ethics of modern stem-cell research. 

GSMUN strives to promote awareness of international issues in our community.  Headed by a student Secretariat, GSMUN is also dedicated to raising money for global charities.  Model United Nations students from all grade levels participate in school fundraisers, culminating in conference donations and merchandise sales during the weekend of GSMUN.  This year, GSMUN XIX will raise money for One Hundred Pounds of Hope, an organization that provides education and emergency relief to the people of Cambodia.  Already, the students have coordinated three bake sales, candy gram sales, and a benefit concert featuring international cuisine and student performers. 

The theme of this year’s conference is Wake the Nations.  Much of the current leadership team has participated in Model UN all four years at Maggie Walker, and several even attended GSMUN as middle schoolers.  If you have any questions or would like to volunteer at the event, contact John Metz (gsmun.secgen@gmail.com) or Mr. Smith (msmith@gsgis.k12.va.us) for more details!


As part of the study and practice that the MLWGS mindfulness committee is engaging in this spring, students in 6th and 7th block study halls will have the opportunity to participate in a pilot test of a four-session mindfulness program taught by Ms. DeGroat.

Mindfulness is the practice of bringing full attention to what’s happening in the present moment without judgment.  Among other benefits, it can be a powerful way to reduce stress and improve focus and productivity. This particular pilot teaches the Koru Mindfulness program, a mindfulness program developed by Holly Rogers, M.D., and Margaret Maytan, M.D., and offered to undergraduate and graduate students at Duke University.

Since this pilot test will provide valuable feedback which will be of benefit to MLWGS in planning additional related programs, approval has been granted for students to earn five to twelve community service hours for participating. This opportunity to earn community service for participation only applies to pilot sessions and not to regular programs that may be offered in future school years.

A maximum of 14 students may sign up for each series.  A minimum of four students is necessary to hold the sessions. There will be nothing to read or watch for homework, but students will be expected to…
  • Commit to attend all four 75-minute sessions (see specific dates below) during their study block.
  • Practice the skills learned each week, keeping a brief log of their practice.
  • Complete brief pre and post-program surveys.

Specific dates for the two series are as follows:
  • Mindful Monday sessions from 1:50-3:05pm (7th block) on the following dates:
    • Monday, Feb. 22
    • Monday, Feb. 29
    • Monday, March 7
    • Monday, March 14
  • Tune-in Tuesday sessions from 12:25-1:40pm (6th block) on the following dates:
    • Tuesday, March 1
    • Tuesday, March 8
    • Tuesday, March 15
    • Tuesday, March 22

Interested students should see Ms. DeGroat in the library by Thursday, Feb. 18th to sign up, or sign up online at http://bit.ly/korupilot.


When Russian language teacher Michael White traveled to Austin, Texas last month for the American Association of Teachers of Slavic and Eastern European Languages (AATSEEL) annual conference, it was the first conference he had attended in many years.   As he writes below, Mr. White returned to Maggie Walker with new ideas for his classroom and connections to his peers.

“Teachers are most motivated, productive and effective when we receive the support we need to be the kinds of active, engaged learners we want our students to be. That is why I am so grateful to the [Governor's School] Foundation for generously supporting my travel to and participation in the annual conference of AATSEEL, the American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages, in Austin, Texas, on January 7-10, 2016.

In Austin I learned things that will help me become a better teacher. I discovered and learned about ways to use technology in the classroom more effectively; ways to explore the benefits of the flipped classroom to make my class meetings more efficient; and new textbooks and online media that might serve my students better than materials we are currently using.

In addition to the absorption of ideas and content, I also enjoyed and benefited from making professional connections with K-12 teachers and college professors from all over the United States and several foreign countries. As the only teacher of Russian at this school (and, as far as I can tell, the only one within about 90 miles), I often feel isolated and disconnected from my peers. In Austin I networked with colleagues, shared experiences and ideas, and made connections that I expect to enrich my career, our Russian program, and opportunities I can offer to our students in the coming months and years.

It had been years since I had attended a professional conference; cost was certainly a factor. Please accept my sincere thanks for your generous support of this trip, without which these experiences would not have been possible.”

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.


Talented MLWGS students in the fine arts were recently honored by having their work selected in this year's Scholastic Art competition.   This is a highly competitive art show which was made more so for MLWGS students this year because they competed in the Southeast Region-at-Large.  Despite this, they had another record setting year of awards, making MLWGS one of the most honored schools in the area and recognizing it as one of the region’s top schools for the Arts.    This success is due to not only talented students, but also excellent faculty and tremendous support from the school administration and the Visual Arts Boosters.

2016 Scholastic Art Awards Summary: 2nd year Southeast Art Region at Large

MLWGS students in the Writing competition earned 17 awards including:

  • 3 Gold Keys
  • 7 Silver Keys
  • 7 Honorable Mentions

MLWGS students in the Arts competition earned 71 awards including:
  • 18 Gold Keys awards, including 2 Gold Key Portfolios 
  • 20 Silver Keys awards, including 3 Silver Key Portfolios
  • 33 Honorable Mentions,  including 5 HM Portfolios
For the complete list of MLWGS Art Winners, click here.

Gold Key winners’ work will move on to the Alliance for Young Artist and Writers national adjudication process, where he/she will be eligible for further recognition and scholarship opportunities.  Adjudication of Gold Key works will take place in New York City and award winners will be announced in March.


The Dragon’s Lair would like to announce the arrival of four new products!  Please stop by the store to see these great items in person.  The Lair is open during lunch on Tuesdays and Fridays as well as the 1s tand 3rd Wednesdays of the month from 8 a.m.-9 a.m.  These Wednesday hours are intended to offer additional convenience for working parents to stop by on the way to work.  We hope to see you at the Lair soon!

  • Power Bank                $15
  • Thumb Drive               $6
  • Crew Socks                $15
  • Baseball Cap – GREEN  $12


Coaches Snagg (center) and Holdren (2nd from right) Inducted into Thomas Jefferson High School Hall of Fame
On Tuesday, February 2, 2016, Coach Jim Holdren and Coach Deborah Snagg were inducted into the Thomas Jefferson High School Hall of Fame.  Each was eloquently acknowledged for outstanding athletic accomplishments. Each received a trophy at the event. Later, plaques with details of their records will be permanently displayed in the halls of Thomas Jefferson High to inspire future generations. Maggie Walker is fortunate to have both of these beloved coaches continuing to work with our student athletes.


GRASP (GReat Aspirations Scholarship Program, Inc.) will hold its Saturdays at the Library FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) event on February 27, 2016 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Richmond Public Main Library, 101 East Franklin Street.  GRASP advisors will provide FREE college financial aid counseling and assistance with completing the FAFSA, by appointment.  Call (804) 527-7743 to schedule your hour-long appointment.  More information is available at the GRASP website,www.grasp4va.org.

Free FAFSA assistance is also available from GRASP advisors at these times/locations:

Henrico County Library Evening Events:  THIS THURSDAY, February 11 at Twin Hickory (5-8 p.m.) – One-hour appointments can be made by calling the particular branch library.

Belmont Library in Richmond: A GRASP Advisor is available Mondays from 6 - 8 p.m. – Appointments can be made by calling GRASP at 527-7743.


 Please “Save the Date” so that you are able to attend the upcoming General PTSA meetings at MLWGS.  These meetings are open to parents of all students, but will be particularly beneficial for parents of Freshman and Sophomores.  The MLWGS Counseling Department will be hosting the events to provide introductory information for parents on a few key topics.  Please know that parents of Juniors will be invited by the Senior Counselors to attend “College Kickoff” prior to the March 16 college overview meeting.

  • THIS THURSDAY, February 11 at 5:30 p.m. in the Commons – Mr. Zweerwink will provide information on AP and Dual Enrollment courses.
  • March 16 at 8:00 a.m. in the Auditorium (this may change) – Dr. Loving and Ms. Deck will provide an overview of the College prep and application process at MLWGS.


From February 8 – February 26 - register for AP exams by visiting www.TotalRegistration.net/AP/471851

Each AP exam costs $92.00.  A fee reduction is available for families that meet federal guidelines but must be approved in advance. Please see Ms. Deck in the School Counseling office by Friday, February 19 to inquire about a fee waiver.  Last day to register for exams is February 26.

February 23 - February 26 – AP Fees and Registration Forms (cash or check made out to MLW Governor’s School) will be collected in the School Counseling Office (see payment schedule below) After this date a late fee of $10 will be charged per student.  Remember, you must present both your registration form and complete payment

  • February 23 -  Seniors - lunch, 6th and 8th block
  • February 24 -  Juniors - lunch, 5th and 7th block
  • February 25 -  Freshmen & Sophomores - lunch, 6 th and 8th block
  • February 26 -  Any remaining students – lunch and all afternoon blocks

  • You may need to arrange transportation for afternoon AP exams.  Exams in the afternoon will not begin prior to 12:00 p.m. and may not be over before 3:30 p.m.  Plan accordingly.
  • Exam pre-administration sessions (Bubblefest) will be held April 13 and 14 in the auditorium during lunch.  You must attend a pre-administration session in order to take AP exams.