Newsletter 2022 Issue 7
Executive Director
Gina G. Patterson
What’s in it for me? Top 10 reasons the VSBA Annual Convention is a must-attend event

By now you have most likely heard about an upcoming event November 16 – 18 at the Williamsburg Lodge. Whether you are a new or veteran board member, school administrator or division staff member, there truly is something for everyone at this premier education event.

If you have registered for the Annual Convention – great! This article can help you plan and think about your conference experience. If you haven’t registered yet, this will serve as a friendly reminder to do so. Below are a few of the reasons the conference is a valuable investment of your time: 

  • Networking: There will be over 1,000 attendees sharing their ideas, challenges, stories, and tips during these packed three days. 
  • Camaraderie: Build camaraderie with your division’s board members, superintendents, and clerk as you learn new ideas and continue to strengthen vital relationships with your team.
  • Excellent professional development: You can attend more than 50-education sessions in several different learning tracks.
  • Special events: Three General Sessions, two receptions, in-depth General Assembly Session and other special events expand networking and learning opportunities.
  • Premier Exhibit Show: The convention features one of the state’s largest education-related trade exhibitions. More than 70 exhibitors are on-hand to share their products and services.
  • Outstanding speakers: Acclaimed, inspirational speakers share their stories and keys to success.
  • See students in action: This is an outstanding opportunity to see Virginia’s schoolchildren in action by enjoying the student performing groups at the Opening and Closing General Sessions, viewing the student artwork and displays on the Event Mobi App.
  • Head home inspired: The wealth of knowledge gained at the VSBA Annual Convention will help you succeed and be ready to lead your division with a refreshed sense of optimism.
  • Stay Connected: Attendees can view their schedule of events just at the click of a finger by using the VSBA Annual Convention Event Mobi App. View announcements that are sent out, customize your schedule, and much more on Event Mobi. 
  • Can’t Get the Time Away: No worries at all, the Annual Convention is available virtually as well. Attendees will be able to enjoy streamed sessions through event mobi, view contest and competition winners, view all of the general sessions, and more; but the best part is you never have to leave your desk. 
  • Education Foundation Event: Whether you would like to start your own education foundation in your school division or expand your existing one, we have a separate workshop for interested attendees. Attendees in this session will learn how to start your own education foundation in a pre-session before the workshop begins, and during the workshop sessions will include how to expand your foundation team, classroom grants, legislative issues, and more. 
  • Have a Student School Board Representative? At the Annual Convention there is a session just for them. In this session, students will be able to expand their knowledge and network with their peers. As a perk of attending, students are able to attend the Opening General Session at the convention and network with other attendees at the convention. 

These are just a few of the reasons the VSBA Annual Convention is a valuable investment of your time. More information about this event can be found at 

We look forward to seeing you in November!

School Board News Podcast - Episode 44: A Conversation on the VSBA Task Force on School Infrastructure
In this episode of the VSBA: School Board News Podcast, Executive Director Gina Patterson is joined by Task Force Co-Chairs David Woodard and Dr. Gregory Hutchins, Jr. as they discuss best practices for assisting school boards in advocating for improved infrastructures of school divisions across the commonwealth.
Celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month,
September 15-October 15!
Every year from September 15 to October 15, Americans celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month by appreciating the community’s history, heritage, and contributions of the ancestors of American citizens who came from Mexico, Spain, the Caribbean, and South- and Central America. Visit the resources below for more information and ideas on how to participate:

J.T. Kessler, Director of Government Relations
Preparing for 2023 with Fall Advocacy
There is no better way to prepare your delegation for the 2023 session of the Virginia General Assembly than to participate in the annual VSBA Take Your Legislator to School Month. There are many benefits from participating in VSBA Take Your Legislator to School Month, including developing closer relationships between school divisions, local communities, and our elected officials, as well as creating opportunities for productive dialogue so that educational and political leaders can work together to ensure that we provide the best possible education for our students. In addition, when legislators visit your schools as part of VSBA Take Your Legislator to School Month, local students will have the opportunity to interact with elected officials and learn about the important roles and responsibilities of Virginia General Assembly members. Almost like a field trip that is coming to your school, a visit by your local legislator creates many different “teachable moments.”
Please click here  to view the 2022 Take Your Legislator to School Month Guide where you will find resources to plan and execute a successful event, including tips and suggestions for the event, a sample invitation, a sample press release, and tips for meetings with legislators. You will also find a video announcement from VSBA President Teddy D. Martin, II. In addition to the guide, you may wish to view the 2023 VSBA Legislative Priorities as you plan your event. The priorities can be accessed by clicking here.
Thank you so much for all your advocacy efforts and your commitment to public schools in the Commonwealth. If there is anything I can do to assist you, please contact me at [email protected].
2022 Virginia Congressional Elections Guide

On November 8, 2022, voters will select individuals to represent Virginia in the United States House of Representatives for the next two years. To assist you in candidate research, the Virginia School Boards Association is providing a voter guide with resources about the upcoming election. This guide is not intended as an endorsement of any candidate or party but is designed to be a resource for school board members seeking to find out more information on candidates seeking election to the United States House of Representatives.
To view the 2022 Congressional Voter Guide, click here.
Application Process for
Regional Officers
Elections of VSBA Regional Officers take place at the Fall Regional Meetings, virtually before the VSBA Delegates Assembly. In 2015, the VSBA Delegate Assembly voted to change the regional positions from a one-year to a two-year term. For those regions that will be holding an election this year, a nominating committee was formed and announced at your Spring Regional Networking Forum. Those interested in serving as chair or vice-chair of the region should complete the application form and contact the members of the regional nominating committee. The regions below will be looking for nominations for a chair and vice-chair for a two-year term:
  • Eastern Region
  • Southside Region
  • Southwest Region
  • Valley Region
October is VSBA Bullying Prevention Month
In an effort to promote awareness of school bullying, the VSBA Board of Directors has designated the month of October as VSBA Bullying Prevention Month. Childhood bullying is a significant problem nationwide. It can cause school absenteeism, mental and physical stress, poor school performance, poor self-esteem, and in some cases, school violence. Students who experience bullying are at increased risk for depression, anxiety, sleep difficulties, lower academic achievement, and dropping out of school. Bullying can also happen online. Reports of cyberbullying among public school attending students are highest for middle school (33%), followed by high school (30%), combined schools (20%) and primary schools (5%). School board members, superintendents, teachers, and parents play a critical role in creating a climate where bullying is not tolerated. It has been proven when adults and children stand together, bullying ends.

To view the Guide for Bullying Prevention month please click here.

VSBA President Teddy D. Martin, II has created a PSA to encourage participation in VSBA Bullying Prevention Month.
2022 VSBA Media Honor Roll
Reporters and local media outlets play an important role in public education. School division leaders rely on responsible reporting by local media representatives so that our community members receive timely information about division initiatives and programs. Considering the impact that media coverage can have on community attitudes and beliefs, the Media Honor Roll was created to recognize fair and balanced reporting about our schools and Virginia’s public education system.

Each year, in the early Fall, the VSBA Media Honor Roll recognizes media representatives in three categories:  print, radio, and television.

Criteria for honorees include the following: 
  1. Makes the effort to get to know the superintendent and board chair.
  2. Understands the division’s mission and goals.
  3. Reports school news in a manner that is fair, accurate, and balanced.
  4. Gives a high-profile position to good news about schools.
  5. Regularly visits the schools, attends board meetings, etc.
  6. Maintains a policy of “no surprises” by sharing information with school representatives.
Congratulations to this year's honorees:
Alleghany County
The Alleghany Journal
The Recorder

Culpeper County
Culpeper Media Network
Culpeper Star-Exponent

Cumberland County
Laura McFarland, Cumberland Today

Falls Church City
Nicholas Benton, Falls Church News Press
Mark Hand, Patch Website
The Lasso, Meridian High School Student Newspaper

Fredericksburg City
Martin Davis, The Free Lance-Star

Gloucester County
Melanie Slaughter, Gloucester/Mathews Gazette Journal

Henry County
Callie Hietala, The Henry County Enterprise
Cara Cooper, The Martinsville Bulletin

Lexington City
Bruce Young, WDBJ7

Louisa County
Delaney Hall, WRIC8
Katherine Knott, The Daily Progress
David Holtzman, The Central Virginian

Martinsville City
Callie Hietala, The Henry County Enterprise
Luis Romero, BTW21 News

New Kent County
Andre Jones, New Kent Charles City Chronicle

Norton City
Kenneth Crowson, The Coalfield Progress

Petersburg City
AJ Nwoko, WWBT12
Zoe Collins Rath, The Progress Index

Powhatan County
Laura McFarland, Powhatan Today

Prince George County
Chris Powell, PGCPS Social Media and Digital Marketing (Publications) Instructor

Radford City
Heather Bell and Sydney Jaxtheimer, WSLS10
Janay Reese, WDBJ7
Matt Gentry, Roanoke Times

Smyth County
Linda Burchette, Smyth County News & Messenger
Stephanie Porter-Nichols, Smyth County News & Messenger

Stafford County
Adele Uphaus-Conner, The Free Lance-Star
Ted Schubel, B101.5 Radio
Drew Wilder, WRC-TV 4

Waynesboro City
Rebecca Barnabi, Augusta Free Press
Bob Stuart, News-Virginian
Patrick Hite, News-Leader
Young leaders are selected each year to represent PWCS students by serving as non-voting representatives on the School Board. This year's student representatives are active in their school community, playing roles in everything from Student Council associations to multicultural clubs, robotics and more. 

Chance Williams, a senior at Forest Park High School, wants to help make sure that all students are both heard and understood. In her second year as a representative, Daania Sharifi, a senior at Gainesville High School, hopes to continue helping students realize that their contributions are critical to the School Division. Christian Daniels, a senior at C.D. Hylton High School, has a passion for using his voice to enact change for the greater good and hopes to do so in this role. In addition to these three student representatives to the School Board, PWCS has a Student Senate, made up one appointed student from each high school.

In each newsletter VSBA will spotlight a recent initiative or best practice taking place in a school division in Virginia. If you have a story you would like to submit for inclusion in the spotlight section of the VSBA newsletter, please email it to Kenita Matthews, APR director of communications, [email protected] with the subject: Division Spotlight and your school division's name. Pictures and a link to the story on your division/school's website should also be included with the submission.

Revised Guidelines for the Uniform Performance Standards and Evaluation Criteria for Superintendents
Registration is now open for the 2022 VSBA Annual Convention!
Join us for the largest and most anticipated VSBA meeting of the year! The Annual Convention is the celebratory end-of-year gathering that you do not want to miss out on! This event is the largest and most anticipated meeting of the year, which brings together over one thousand school board members, superintendents, and school division staff from across the state of Virginia. Attendees will hear from three different general session speakers, choose from over fifty hot topic break-out sessions pertinent to public education issues, have the opportunity to meet with businesses dedicated to serving schools, and much more. We look forward to celebrating with you in November!

Don't forget about these other great events:
2022 Virtual Signs of Success
The Virginia School Boards Association is once again inviting school divisions across the state to participate in the virtual “Signs of Success” at the VSBA Annual Convention in Williamsburg November 16-18. To participate, divisions are asked to create and submit PowerPoint slides illustrating their favorite success story. The success can be large or small- no achievement is insignificant- as long as your division wants to share it and celebrate it with others. Due to spacing restrictions, the signs of success will remain a virtual attraction this year. Presentations will be displayed virtually on the event app as well as on screens throughout the in-person venue.
Please view the attached brochure for details on how to reserve your spot in the VSBA “Signs of Success” exhibit. The Submission deadline is October 17, 2022 and must be filled out at 2022 Signs of Success Entry Form. Limit one entry per division.

We look forward to seeing the great work taking place in your division!
Registration Open for the VSBA Annual 5k Fun Run/Walk
We're looking forward to the 19th Annual VSBA 5K Run/Walk sponsored by Quinn Evans, and co-sponsored by Ascent and DMWPV! The 5K is scheduled to take place Thursday morning of the convention starting at 7:00 am. Awards are presented at the Closing General Session for:
  • Fastest Run (Male and Female Category)
  • Fastest Walk (Male and Female Category)
  • Team Spirit
  • Best Individual Spirit

All registrants for the 5K will receive a free t-shirt for participating! You do not want to miss out, so make sure that you register today!
Thank you to our sponsor, Haney Phinyowattanachip PLLC!
2022 Student Video Contest
The Virginia School Boards Association is once again asking Virginia high school students to create a video that expresses their thoughts and ideas about public education. The theme for the 11th annual competition, is “Rising Above”. Students are invited to submit a 30-second video that conveys the contest theme. The top 3 videos, along with those identified by the judges as honorable mentions, will be posted on VSBA’s YouTube site, and winners will be honored at the VSBA Annual Convention in November.

For more information on how to submit video entries, please view the contest materials here. PLEASE NOTE: Only ONE submission per school division will be accepted.

The submission deadline is October 3, 2022. **Each student participant listed must complete a release form**

For questions, please contact Kenita B. Matthews, APR Director of Communications at [email protected].
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VSBA Affiliate Member Profiles
In each issue of the VSBA newsletter, we will feature three VSBA Affiliate Members.
Thank you for your support of the VSBA and Virginia's public education system.
Blue Bird Bus Sales of Virginia
Blue Bird Bus Sales of Virginia has dedicated and knowledgeable Sales Team that specializes in serving our customers with the best school buses.

Greg McCalmon  (804) 544-2282
McGraw-Hill Education
With the accelerated changes in education, brought on by the influence of technology and an increasingly competitive landscape, our services and resources help ignite the learning moments between educators, instructors and students.

Stewart Smith, District Manager, Mid Atlantic  (804) 837-6281
ZMM Architects & Engineers
ZMM Architects & Engineers is an integrated award-winning design firm with offices in Blacksburg, Charleston, and Martinsburg providing professional services throughout West Virginia and Virginia.

Allegra Enochs  (540) 552-2151
Visit for a complete list of VSBA's Affiliate Members.
Thursday, September 22, 2022
OVERVIEW: Now, more than ever, school board member voices need to be heard! The stakes for public education have never been greater and school board members must be prepared to advocate effectively for public schools. Join VSBA at our 2022 Legislative Advocacy Conference to gain valuable insight into issues impacting education in the Commonwealth!
LOCATION: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Charlottesville or Virtual
COST: $215 per registration
Tuesday, September 27, 2022
OVERVIEW: With claims of sexual harassment and sexual misconduct hitting newsstands everywhere, Title IX coordinators and other senior staff need to be confident in their knowledge and enforcement of their divisions’ policies. Participants will learn the basics of Title IX, best practices regarding Title IX policies, and recent case law relating to sexual harassment of students, gender discrimination, employee training requirements, and more!
LOCATION: VSBA Offices in Charlottesville or Virtual
COST: $175 per registration
Tuesday, October 4, 2022
OVERVIEW: Are you prepared to evaluate your Superintendent? Are you familiar with the recently revised performance guidelines? Register now for the Superintendent Evaluation Workshop to learn more about the newly revised Guidelines for Uniform Performance Standards and Evaluation Criteria for Superintendents developed by the Virginia Department of Education.
LOCATION: VSBA Offices in Charlottesville or Virtual
COST: $175 per registration
Thursday, October 20, 2022
OVERVIEW: The Basics of Budgeting for Student Needs is a two-hour session designed to provide school board members and division superintendents with a general understanding of the essential elements of budgeting and allocating division resources in a strategically-focused manner that aligns with and supports the individual needs, goals and aspirations of students.
LOCATION: VSBA Offices in Charlottesville or Virtual
COST:$180 per registration
November 16-18, 2022
OVERVIEW: Join us for the largest and most anticipated VSBA meeting of the year! The Annual Convention is the celebratory end-of-year gathering that you do not want to miss out on! This event is the largest and most anticipated meeting of the year, which brings together over one thousand school board members, superintendents, and school division staff from across the state of Virginia. Attendees will hear from three different general session speakers, choose from over fifty hot topic break-out sessions pertinent to public education issues, have the opportunity to meet with businesses dedicated to serving schools, and much more. We look forward to celebrating with you in November!
LOCATION: Williamsburg Lodge or Virtual
COST: $365 per registration
200 Hansen Road, Charlottesville, VA 22911
Tel: 434-295-8722 Fax: 434-295-8785