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  • Mountain View High School Named a Naval Honor School for the Fifth Consecutive Year

    Posted by Emily Smith on 10/19/2023 5:00:00 PM



    It has been announced, October 2023, that Mountain View High School (MVHS) has been named a Naval Honor School for the fifth consecutive year, 2022-2023.

    The Mountain View High School (MVHS) Marine Corps Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (MCJROTC) program started the 2022-2023 year by hosting week-long Leadership and New Cadet Orientation training Camps in July that were attended by 41 of the 80 cadets that returned to the program as well as half of the 90 newly enrolled cadets.  They also had 20 cadets attend MCJROTC sponsored or academy affiliated summer camps.  They visited the Virginia Military Institute campus and hosted a Marine Corps Birthday Cadet Ball at the Clubs at Quantico.  The Battalion conducted one big SnapRaise fundraiser that raised over $18,000 and received two grants of approximately $5,000 each for both the CyberPatriot and Marksmanship teams.  The Battalion made 14 Color Guard appearances and participated in 27 unit coordinated community service events, three promotion and awards formations, and three recruiting events.  They also competed in three CyberPatriot competitions, three JROTC Leadership and Academic Bowl (JLAB) competitions, 13 Rifle Team competitions, four Drill Competitions, and four Raider Challenge competitions.   

    All three CyberPatriot teams made it into the Platinum Tier and finished the season 106th, 151st, and 154th out of 789 teams in the All Services Division that includes all JROTCs, Civil Air Patrol, and Navy Sea Cadet teams.  They finished 4th, 10th, and 11th among all teams from Virginia.  Both JLAB teams made it to the second round with the Scarlet team missing finals by only two points.  The Marksmanship Team competed shoulder-to-shoulder in the Old Dominion Junior Rifle League (ODJRL) from October to March.  After six-months of competition, they finished 2nd among six high schools and 3rd out of 11 teams that included four from the American Legion.  The Marksmanship Team competed in the Distinguished Division in the Orion National Air Rifle League where they finished the season with a 4-3 record which put them in 18th place out of over 50 teams.  This allowed Mountain View a postseason berth where they were able to win the Marine Corps JROTC Sporter Distinguished Conference Tournament.  The newest members of the Marksmanship Team competed in the Orion Air Rifle New Shooters League.  They finished the season with a 4-4 record which put them in 19th place out of 76 teams.  Additionally, the Marksmanship Team competed in the 2023 American Legion Air Rifle Northern Virginia Championships where they finished 3rd and 7th among 13 teams.  The MCJROTC Civilian Marksmanship Program Air Rifle Competition saw the Battalion’s top four shooters finish 14th out of over 100 MCJROTC teams earning a chance to compete at the JROTC Regional Air Rifle Championships in Anniston, Alabama where they finished 18th out of over 100 JROTC teams from all services.  

    The Wildcat Battalion Drill Team had a top three finish by 18 of the 23 drill elements that competed with 11 of them being first place and the team won 1st place overall at three of its four meets.  Unfortunately, they didn’t make it to nationals because of a 3rd place finish at the Region One Mid-Atlantic Drill Qualifier.  The Wildcat Battalion Raider Challenge Platoon fielded two teams this year that both competed in three of the four competitions.  All seven teams won at least one trophy at each competition and finished in the top half of each to include an overall first place finish at the challenge they hosted.  This is the most successful the Raider Challenge Team has been in the three years since they started competing.  The Physical Fitness element of the Raider Challenge Team earned a trip to Little Rock, Arkansas to compete in the 2023 Marine Corps JROTC National Youth Physical Fitness Competition Championships at Catholic High School.  The female team finished in 5th place overall among seven teams and the male team finished 4th among 15 male teams.  It was an exciting year for all of the Wildcat Battalion cadets and being named a Naval Honor School is a great way to congratulate them on a job well done!

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  • October is Learning Disability Awareness Month

    Posted by Emily Smith on 10/18/2023

    According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), learning disabilities are neurological disorders that affect the brain's ability to store, process, or produce information efficiently, leading to difficulties in acquiring certain skills or performing specific tasks, despite average or above-average intelligence. 

    Many famous individuals have demonstrated remarkable achievements despite facing learning disabilities. One such example is Albert Einstein, who struggled with language development as a child but went on to become one of the greatest physicists of all time. Similarly, Thomas Edison, known for his numerous inventions, including the light bulb, had dyslexia. Award-winning actress Whoopi Goldberg has openly discussed her dyslexia, emphasizing the importance of perseverance. These notable figures serve as inspiring examples of how determination and unique talents can triumph over learning challenges, inspiring countless others to pursue their dreams regardless of the obstacles they may encounter.

    October is Learning Disabilities Awareness Month, which shines a spotlight on the importance of understanding and supporting individuals with learning disabilities. It's a time to raise awareness, promote inclusivity, and empower those facing learning challenges to thrive in education and beyond.

    A learning disability can manifest in various ways, and its specific characteristics can vary from person to person. Common signs of learning disabilities may include difficulties with reading, writing, spelling, or math, as well as challenges in organizing thoughts, following instructions, and paying attention. These difficulties can significantly impact an individual's academic performance and daily life. 

    If you suspect your child has a learning disability or to learn more about what resources and support are available you please reach out to your school administrator. You may also reach out to our Parent Teacher Resource Center PTRC at 540-899-6000 or by visiting the PTRC website. Our staff at the PTRC is available to talk with you and connect you with school and community resources. Additionally, you can visit the Virginia Department of Education learning disabilities page to learn about learning disabilities. 

    Through awareness and early intervention, our students with learning disabilities will have an even greater opportunity to lead full and productive lives and make valuable contributions to our society. 

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  • Celebrating the Back-to-School Season

    Posted by Sandra Osborn on 8/18/2023

    This August and September, millions of students across the country will return to their public schools and classrooms for another exciting year of learning and growth. This time of the year signifies the next phase in our children’s educational journey. It’s akin to opening a new chapter in a book filled with exciting new prospects, challenges, and boundless opportunities for students to explore.

    The dawn of each school year presents a blank canvas that gives children opportunities to engage with diverse subjects, stoke their curiosity, and cultivate innovative thinking skills. These early days of school, layered with intrigue and exhilaration, provide more than just academic growth. They also foster social and emotional development. As kids settle into their new routines, they begin to comprehend their responsibilities, attain independence, and nurture empathy and respect for others.

    Each academic year unfurls its unique set of challenges. Our young learners often exhibit remarkable resilience as they adapt to their new grade levels, sometimes even transitioning to a new school. We applaud their adaptability as they navigate these changes, reinforcing their integral role in our communities and our nation's future.

    Supporting the educational journey of our kids requires collaborative effort, as students thrive when their schools, teachers, and education professionals have the support they need. The back-to-school season presents several opportunities for parents and community members to do their part to ensure their local schools truly thrive. 

    Volunteering time to assist with school activities, donating supplies, and actively participating in Parent Nights, PTA meetings, and fundraisers are all ways to show your support. You can also advocate and voice support for policy improvements, increased funding, or other initiatives that can enhance the educational opportunities available to our children.

    As we greet the new academic year, let’s celebrate both the promise of academic excellence and the broader horizons of personal growth and community development our public schools offer. This back-to-school season, we acknowledge the essential role of education in shaping our future and the significance of collective support to make that future bright and rewarding.

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  • African American History Month Staff Feature - Stephanie A. Burchett

    Posted by Stephanie Burchett on 2/21/2023

    Stephanie A. Burchett Headshot

    Stephanie A. Burchett, Assistant Principal at T. Benton Gayle Middle School

    1. Share your background and how you ended up at Stafford County Public Schools.
      • Mrs. Stephanie Burchett is joining the Panther Nation from Spotsylvania County. She has been in education for a decade and has served as a classroom teacher, Instructional Technology Resource Teacher and the Elementary History Liaison. She graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and a minor in Religious studies and received her first Master’s in Criminology from Indiana State University before receiving her Master’s in Elementary Education and her Post-Master’s Certificate in Educational Leadership from the University of Mary Washington where she also served as an adjunct professor for elementary teacher candidates. Mrs. Burchett is the wife of an Army Veteran and a mother of three. 
    2. Why do you feel it is important to share your heritage with the Stafford Schools community?
      • Malcolm X once said, “Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” My family, Spotsylvania natives, believed that education was truly the key to success. My great-grandmother, Rosa Dyson was the first African American licensed teacher in Spotsylvania County. She encouraged all of her children to learn all that they could growing up and ensured that they all either had a trade or went to college. My grandmother, Miriam Dyson Pendleton instilled this same importance in her children and grandchildren. My aunts, Rita Pendleton and Charlene Pendleton Chew, were two of the seven black children that integrated Spotsylvania County public schools in the 1960s. Their tenacity and strength has allowed generations to come in our family to understand the foundation of education and how we will excel.
    3. What are some traditions or practices of your heritage/community that you incorporate into your daily life?
      • Some of the traditions of my heritage or community that I incorporate into my daily life is unconditional love and encouragement. In my family, no matter what the situation was, we always showed and/or told each other that we love each other and encouraged each other to do better. Everyday, I make sure my students know that I love them and I encourage them to make good decisions that will have a positive impact on their future.
    4. Why is it important to be a positive role model for students who have a similar background?
      • It is important to me to be a positive role model for students who have a similar background because it allows them to see what their future can be like. It is important to me that students have someone that they can relate to and can encourage them to get through even some of the toughest times in their lives at their age.
    5. Why is it important for Stafford Schools students to feel represented in their school community?
      • It is important that students feel represented in their community because when they feel a sense of belonging, they are more likely to succeed. It is important that students feel represented and have the ability to imagine themselves in specific roles. I was in 6th grade when I had my first black teacher and in 8th grade before I had my first black administrator, Dr. Deborah Hamilton Frazier, who later became the first black elected to the Spotsylvania County Board of Supervisors in 2020. Seeing Dr. Frazier in her position allowed me to know that this was a path that I could pursue.
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  • African American History Month Staff Feature - Megan Brooks

    Posted by Megan A. Brooks on 2/7/2023

    Megan Brooks Headshot


    Megan A. Brooks, T. Benton Gayle Middle School

    Happy Black History Month! My name is Megan Brooks, I am a teacher of students with Autism at Gayle Middle School and it is an honor to tell you a bit about myself. 


    I am a native of Spotsylvania County and a product of the City of Fredericksburg private school system and the County of Spotsylvania public school system. I am an 80’s baby and very proud to be one.  I am a dance mom and future band mom of my 13 year old son, David. 


    I am in my 6th year of teaching in the Special Education Department, I started out as a paraprofessional at Lee Hill Elementary School, a teacher of ID Moderate and Autism at Brock Elementary School where I was both a classroom teacher and Special Education Team Lead for 2 years, now I am here at Gayle Middle School. 


    I had the awesome opportunity to graduate from the #1 Public (HBCU) Historically Black College and University in the nation: THE North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, located in Greensboro, NC (AGGIE PRIDE!). I graduated with a BA in Liberal Studies with a concentration in African American Studies. It was when my feet were planted there did I begin my journey of acceptance. 


    Growing up in Spotsylvania, I rarely had the opportunity to see people who looked like me outside of my family and my church family and no teachers that I received direct instruction from. I had amazing instructors growing up, but it makes a difference when you have someone who not just empathizes with your experience, but has also experienced what you have. 


    As a parent and a teacher, I wanted to always be able to share my experiences with my son and my bonus children (my students) that my history is “everyone’s history” ; it should not just be subjected to 28 days in the month of February.  I celebrate my Blackness and the contributions that my local ancestors have made  in Spotsylvania County. I also celebrate the individuals who risked their lives to sit down, march, protest, fight in wars, run, walk, escape and die so I could afford the opportunities that I have been blessed with thus far. 


    Here at Gayle, I have been able to shine that light through dance, allowing some students to express themselves in a way that they may not have and having the chance to learn about a history and a culture that has made such an impact on their lives that they didn’t even realize, through music. This class, AFROFLEX, has allowed these students to show their talents to not only their peers, but their family and community. 


    An unspoken tradition that we share as Blacks, paying it forward, passing the torch and pulling our brothers and sisters up. That is how I celebrate, I want students to have a memory that is specific to them, that they will be impacted enough to do the same for others.



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Last Modified on October 19, 2023