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Hanover School Board reflects on program success

Posted on Wednesday, August 10, 2016 at 1:34 pm

The Hanover Regional Governor’s School for Career and Technical Advancement (HRGS-CTA) received much praise during a presentation at the Aug. 9 Hanover School Board Meeting. This summer marked the first session of the HRGS-CTA, a residential program seeing attendance from 38 high school students from 22 school divisions.

This program was held July 3 through 22 at the University of Richmond, where gifted Career and Technical Education (CTE) participants received instruction in work place readiness and entrepreneurial skills. HRGS-CTA gave these students hands-on opportunities to complete group projects, visit business leaders and hear guest speakers.

In 2014 Delegate Chris Peace R-97th, introduced the legislation which led to a $100,000 planning grant from the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE). Applicants were accepted from high school students in the Regions 1 and 3 school divisions who are interested in pursuing CTE careers.

HRGS-CTA director and former Patrick Henry High School teacher Les Cook led the presentation with HRGS-CTA project coordinator, Justin Roernink. The seven students who participated in the program from Hanover County also gave their testimonials of HRGS-CTA’s success.

Atlee High School student Madison Tunstall described how her experience attending HRGS-CTA helped her gain confidence to network and speak with strangers. Tunstall said that she encountered a recent social interaction with someone that led to an additional meeting and tour of a veteran’s hospital.

“I don’t think I could have been this comfortable taking this step if I hadn’t learned these skills that I learned at HRGS-CTA,” Tunstall said.

Lee-Davis High School student Jonathon Banton explained how attending HRGS-CTA allowed him to “realize what kind of businesses actually go on in Hanover County.”

“The Hanover Regional Governor’s School was definitely one of the best camps I’ve been to, and I highly recommend it to anybody enrolled in CTE classes,” Banton said.

One aspect of the HRGS-CTA program was for students to work in groups to create a business. Patrick Henry High School student Maya Baker shared that during her experience, diversity was highly valued in group work.

“If a group was all engineers, would have been very technical, but would have lacked in business areas and marketing and in the final presentation as a whole,” Baker said.

“Dividing up all of the CTE fields and placing them in separate groups allowed everyone to find a specialized goal. Personally I found that by collaborating, I gained a new perspective and gained a new level of respect for my team members.”

The School Board approved a Virginia Public School Authority (VPSA) resolution request that the Hanover Board of Supervisors “issue general obligation bonds.” VPSA has set a tentative late October time frame to sell its School Financing Bonds Series 2016. According to information provided at the meeting and on the Hanover County School Board’s website, the approved Capital Improvement Plan for fiscal year 17 includes “capital projects to be funded with VPSA bonds.”

“The debt funded projects include roof replacements, HVAC repair and upgrades, auditorium renovation, and facility improvements in the amount of $10 million.” The recommendation for the School Board and Board of Supervisors request the total VPSA funding of $10.7 million is “consistent with the approved FY2017 Capital Improvement Plan and will enable the reimbursement of the county treasury for all previously expended funds.”

The School Board also approved a 5 cent increase to the regular school lunch price for the 2016-2017 school year, which will bring the price from $2.70 to $2.75. The acceptance of this increase is required under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act acknowledges the requirement in establishing the prices for paid reimbursable meals. The paid student lunch calculation is affected by the weighted average price from the previous year in a required 5 cent price increase for the regular lunch for the 2016-2017 school year. The amount of federal revenue for the program could be impacted if a district does not implement the price increase.

Natalie Miller can be reached at