2008 – 2009 Awards and Achievements
- Three Charlottesville City elementary schools were recognized under a new incentive program for schools and school divisions created by the Board of Education to advance Governor Kaine’s “competence to excellence” agenda. Greenbrier Elementary School was one of only 89 schools to earn the highest honor, the Governor’s Award for Educational Excellence. Burnley-Moran and Venable Elementary are among 475 schools that earned the Board of Education’s VIP Excellence Award, the second-tier honor.
- For the second time in three years, the Virginia High School League awarded the Group AA Wachovia Cup to Charlottesville High School. Winners of the Wachovia Cup were determined by a point system based on performance in VHSL state competitions. Schools earned academic activity points for outstanding participation in scholastic bowl, creative writing, theatre, forensics, debate, newspaper, yearbook and magazine.
- Many CHS students were highly ranked on international language tests. These exams are given once a year and students compete against other students on a national level. On the National Spanish Exam, Indu Chelliah was in the 99th percentile. She shared 1st place in the nation with one other student. Monica Matsumoto was in the 98th percentile. She shared second place in the nation with four other students. Flora Thomson-DeVeaux is in the 96th percentile and shared fourth place in the nation with one other student. In French III-A, Robin Burns placed second in Virginia and fourth in the nation; Mollie Michie placed third in Virginia and fifth in the nation. For Latin III-A, Anna Bninski and Maria O'Neil received gold medals and summa cum laude certificates. In addition, CHS submitted seven nominations to the Foreign Language Governor's Schools; all were invited or selected as an alternate.
- Venable student Katelyn Davis won third place in the 2nd Grade category of the Reading Rainbow Young Writers and Illustrators Contest. Her story, Mexican Boy, was posted on the PBS website.
- A team of 25 students at Charlottesville High School scored 1543 out of 2000 possible points, finishing third in the state and 43rd out of 748 teams in the world (top 5.5%) in the 49th Knowledge Master Open academic competition.
- Two CHS seniors, Lee Dallas and Tess Goodman, received Achievement in Writing Awards from the National Council of Teachers of English.
- Simon Wiener was runner-up for Champion Speaker in Student Congress at the Patriot Games Invitational Tournament, which included sixty schools from across the country.
- Ten CHS Students were winners in the Virginia Piedmont Regional Science Fair, including five first place awards. Eighteen students from Buford Middle School were winners, with five first place awards.
- The CHS Scholastic Bowl Team captured the State AA Championship for the fourth consecutive year. The team finished the competition undefeated. The team also won the Jefferson District Tournament title.
- The Forensics and Debate teams, coached by Mike Evans and Dorothy Carney, were recognized for their accomplishments. The debate team won the Broad Run Invitational Tournament and the Catholic Forensics League Championships. The forensics team won the regional VHSL championship and placed third in the state championships. The team had three state champions and four runners-up.
- The Forensics team placed third in the State AA competition. The individual placements were: Selima Dougadir, 2nd in Prose Interpretation; Lee Dallas, 3rd in Prose Interpretation; Elizabeth Hylton, 3rd in Impromptu Speaking and Tess Goodman, 4th in Impromptu Speaking.
- Six National Merit Scholarship students in the Class of 2008 were finalists and awarded NM Scholarships: Emma Curry, Tess Goodman, Michael Strickland, Tyler Teisberg, Kai Tao and Simon Wiener.
- Seven of the division’s nine schools made Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) by meeting or exceeding NCLB federal requirements, based on data released by the Virginia Department of Education. Pass rate benchmarks have been raised annually since the program was put in place. NCLB requires that 100 percent of public school students in the U.S. meet the NCLB standards by the year 2014.
- There were 3 first place winners from CHS at the Virginia Piedmont Regional Science Fair in March. Buford students won five first place awards, three second place awards, five third place awards and six honorable mentions.
- Greenbrier Elementary School was named a Title I Distinguished School for the fourth consecutive year.
- Nearly 100 Buford seventh graders traveled to JMU for Virginia History Day. They competed against 21 Virginia counties or cities, including public and private schools. Grace Paine won first place for the individual website category. Seven students placed in four categories and advanced to state competition.
- The CHS Pop Quiz Team captured the Virginia High School League State AA Scholastic Bowl Championship for the fourth consecutive year. The team finished the competition undefeated.
- CHS dominated the Young Writers Competition sponsored by the Second Street Gallery. Anna Bninski took first place in prose, Melina Schoppa captured second place and Helen Alston won third place. In the poetry category Indu Chelliah earned first place, Jo Blount earned second place and Erik Szaloki-Johnson won an honorable mention.
- CHS Senior Emily Perrin was voted the Daily Progress 2008 Player of the Year for her “unprecedented success” on the Girls Soccer team. In the 2007-08 season, Emily scored 36 goals, made 5 assists and 7 hat tricks (3 goals or more in a game). She holds four first place rankings in VHSL records and two second place rankings.
CHS Girls and Boys basketball teams had a fantastic showing in the 2007 Daily Progress/NBC 29 Holiday Classic. The girls placed third and the boys won the tournament. On the girls' side, Jo Blount was selected to the all-academic team and Shontae Payne and Shelita Brown were both selected to the all-tournament team. Additionally, Shontae won the three-point contest hitting 16/25 three pointers in the final round. On the boys' side, Omari Minor was selected to the all-academic team and Kevin Leatherwood was selected to the all- tournament team. Maurice Jackson was selected as the boy’s tournament MVP. Based on their outstanding performances, Shelita Brown and Kevin Leatherwood were selected as the Athletes of the week on CVAsports.com.
- CHS girls swim team won the Jefferson District and Region 2 championships. Freshman Dania Jazouli was named District Swimmer of the Year and Coach Ron Price was named Swimming District Coach of the Year.
- Shalita Brown and Kevin Leatherwood were named Jefferson District Basketball Players of the Year and Coaches Chuck Wood (Wrestling) and Mitch Minor (Boys Basketball) were named District Coaches of the Year.
- CHS Boys Varsity Basketball team earned the regular season Jefferson District Title.
- The CHS Wrestling team placed sixth in the District tournament. Shadrick Ntenda won first place in the 152-pound weight class. Eight team members advanced to the Region II tournament. Chuck Wood was named Coach of the Year.
- The CHS Girls Jr. Varsity Basketball team beat Western to win the JV championship. The CHS Boys 9th Grade Basketball team beat Monticello for the 9th grade Championship. The CHS Boys JV Basketball team won second place in the District.
- The CHS Sideline Cheerleading Team won the first ABC 16 Cheer Championship by getting the most online votes.
- The girls basketball team won the Region II Championship and the boys placed second, to the top ranked team in the State. At the Region II selection meeting the following athletes earned all-region status: Shalita Brown, 1st team all-region; Shawntae Payne, 1st team all-region and Kevin Leatherwood, 1st team all-region.
- Charlottesville City Schools, The First Tee of Charlottesville and SNL Financial partnered to participate in The First Tee National School Program, which promotes character development and life-enhancing values through the game of golf for grades K-8.
- The CHS girls soccer team won the Jefferson District tournament championship and State ¼ finals after winning the regular season. Emily Perrin was District Player of the Year and 1st team all Region; Kelly Short and Monica Matsumoto were 2nd team all Region.
- The girls track team was led by Christen Rhodes who placed in four events, including a Region Championship in the triple jump. The boy’s track team was led by the Region II champion 4x100 relay team, consisting of Josh Hill, EJ Eubanks, LaCorie Steppe and Aaron Moody.
- The CHS cast of "How to Eat Like a Child" won first place in the regional competition and second place in the VHSL AA State Theatre Festival. Actor Michael Turner was awarded one of eight outstanding actor awards for Virginia. The play was entirely directed by CHS senior Rebecca Willingham, who competed against the faculty of other schools.
- Walker Upper Elementary and Buford Middle Schools were both named Grand Champions at the Musicale Festival in Williamsburg, VA on May 2. The achievement of Walker students is particularly impressive since—in winning the middle school and jazz band divisions--the 5th and 6th grade students from Walker compete against middle schools with 6th-8th graders. The 75-member Buford Orchestra made a clean sweep of the orchestra awards--garnering a Superior Rating, First Place in its class, and Outstanding Soloists honor, in addition to the highest score of all orchestras. This is the eighth consecutive year that the Buford Orchestra has participated and received the top awards for orchestra.
- The CHS band program achieved “Virginia Honor Band” status for the 26th year. CHS is one of only two band programs in the Commonwealth with that achievement. Both the symphonic band and wind ensemble have earned superior ratings.
- Charlottesville High School earned the prestigious "Blue Ribbon School" designation this year. The Virginia Music Educators Association bestows this honor on schools at which all of the top musical ensembles earn a "Superior" rating at their respective District Concert Festivals. Congratulations to all of our musicians and their excellent directors: Laura Thomas, Vince Tornello and Will Cooke.
- The Buford Middle School Band Program received straight Superior Ratings at the Virginia Band Directors' Association Concert Festival. This marked the 25th consecutive year the Buford Band program was rated Superior at the District Level.
- Twenty-seven CHS Band members--90% of those trying out--were selected by open auditions to the 2008 All District Bands and ten CHS musicians earned placement in the All-Virginia Orchestra and Bands.
- Charlottesville High School art students took first, second and third places in the Virginia Festival of the Book Poster Design Contest (High School Division). This contest was open to all public school and independent schools in Central Virginia. Tarah Williams was the first place winner, Alyssa Smith took second and Christine Fetcho took third.
- The CHS Marching Knights extended its state record to 27 consecutive years of Superior Ratings at the State Marching Band Festival. The band earned straight superior ratings, scoring above the 90th percentile from all five judges.
- CHS seniors Lee Dallas and Tess Goodman received Achievement in Writing Awards from the National Council of Teachers of English. Both submitted a portfolio of writing, which was judged by college and high school English teachers. Only 595 students received this national honor.
Faculty and Staff Highlights
- Rebecca Keese, the Library Media Specialist at Walker Upper Elementary School was the winner of the 2007-2008 Shenandoah Region School Library Media Specialist of the Year Award. She competed with more than 20 school division professionals to receive this annual recognition by the Virginia Educational Media Association.
- The staff at Jackson-Via Elementary School met its goal of conferencing with 100% of the students’ parents by December. They reached another extraordinary goal when 100% of the school’s students were in attendance on January 25.
- Christine Esposito, a 6th grade teacher at Walker Upper Elementary, was a finalist for CBIC’s Red Apple Award for innovative use of technology in teaching. The Charlottesville Business Innovation Council is a local advocacy group for entrepreneurship and technology-based economic development in our region.
- CHS teacher Kathleen Wiesner was a participant in the Japan Fulbright Memorial Fund (JFMF) Teacher Program. She was selected from a national pool of over 1,700 applicants by a panel of educators to earn this honor. This program allows distinguished primary and secondary school educators in the U.S. to travel to Japan for three weeks in an effort to promote greater intercultural understanding between the two nations.
- One teacher from each school received a Golden Apple Award in the award ceremony sponsored by Better Living Building Supply and Better Living Furniture: Char Whetzel from CATEC, John "Brad" Presley from Buford Middle School, Christopher Spencer from Burnley Moran Elementary School, Alvin Edwards from Charlottesville High School, Brian Dublirer from Clark Elementary School, Deborah Telep from Greenbrier Elementary School, Elaine Tucker from Jackson Via Elementary School, Jeanne Machen from Johnson Elementary, Charlene Franck from Venable Elementary School and Christine Esposito from Walker Upper Elementary School.
Community Service Partnership and Award Highlights
- The Charlottesville Festival of Cultures was held in Lee Park on the second Saturday in May. It celebrated the cultural and linguistic diversity in our community through food, music, family activities and other programming.
- Clark Elementary School received a $5840 book grant from First Book-Charlottesville Area to support its active reading program. The award—First Book’s highest award this year—will be used to purchase approximately 2336 new books that students can select for themselves.
- Charlottesville City Schools, in partnership with Charlottesville Abundant Life Ministries (CALM), received a grant from the Virginia Department of Education for $200,000 to fund a 21st Century Community Center at Johnson Elementary School. The award provides for an expanded After-School Tutoring program for 100 students who need additional academic support. Community Center activities include tutoring, enrichment activities, parental involvement and transportation—all geared to improve students’ reading skills and SOL performance.
- For the sixth year, the Boyd C. Tinsley Fund at the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation has awarded a $75,000 grant to the Charlottesville City Schools to support music, tennis and academic tutoring for students. Dave Matthews Band member Boyd Tinsley is a 1982 graduate of the CHS Orchestra Program.
- The “Day in the Life” Program sent UVa. students to Charlottesville City Schools to mentor and tutor local youth.
- Hurricane tracker Michael Black visited Charlottesville as part of the Odyssey 2025 summer science program for teachers and students from City and County Schools. The two Odyssey 2025 classes—Operation: Monster Storms and Resilient Planet—used an award-winning weather science curriculum from the JASON Project, a nonprofit subsidiary of National Geographic Society.The program was sponsored locally by the Public Education Fund of Charlottesville-Albemarle (www.edfundca.org).
- A list of top colleges and universities accepting CHS graduates is on the CHS graduate info page.