No eighth grade at Chester Middle next year
Originally, the School Board had approved a plan that left Chester Middle School’s rising eighth graders in the Chester Middle building this school year with Thomas Dale High School’s ninth grade, which was to be moved to the building to alleviate overcrowding at the high school.
But, at a public hearing, Assistant Superintendent for Instructional Administration Ed Pruden cited several factors for officials to consider, including increased transportation costs and limited student elective choices and extracurricular activities, if the eighth grade were to remain at Chester Middle.
Ultimately, the School Board voted to redistrict Chester Middle’s rising eighth graders, along with their rising seventh- and sixth-grade peers, to Carver and Elizabeth Davis middle schools.
Hats off to Dr. Seuss
Second grade teacher Sarah Glass is pictured above dressed as the Cat in the Hat with her students as Ecoff Elementary celebrated the birthday of Dr. Seuss, participating in “Read across America.” This year’s theme was “Hats Off to Reading,” inviting students and staff to wear their favorite hat.
Remembering Mrs. Gregory
Veteran L.C. Bird High School music teacher and choral director Margaret F. Gregory died suddenly on March 1. In the days that followed her passing, nearly 1,600 people joined a group created in her memory on Facebook, a popular social networking site, and hundreds of messages of love, sorrow and support were shared.
“She definitely was passionate about music and passed that along to all that she met,” Rachel Westra Marsh, a former student, said. “She lit up the room when she walked into it, and beyond teaching music she really did teach everyone that she met about how to live and love life to the fullest.”
Michale Siverio, another former student, said he auditioned for Guys and Dolls when he was a senior in high school. He had been Gregory’s show choir drummer for two years, so his teacher was surprised to see him audition for a musical, he said.
“Mrs. Gregory laughs and says, ‘Do you have anything to sing? No? Sing Happy Birthday then,’” he said. “I get through the song and Mrs. Gregory says, ‘You can sing, Michale.’ I stood there in shock. I return for call backs and get the part of Nathan Detroit. … Mrs. Gregory was with me every step of the way.
“Although it’s cliché, Mrs. Gregory showed me that I can do anything I put my mind to and that I should never take the easy way out.”
Bothe inks professional pack with Kickers
In March, Roger Bothe, a 2006 graduate of Thomas Dale and 2010 graduate of William & Mary, signed a contract to play professional soccer for the Richmond Kickers.
Crowd makes case for libraries, schools
What the crowd at a March 18 Dale District community budget meeting lacked in size it made up in passion, as several speakers offered emotional pleas for programs headed for the chopping block.
Meadowbrook High School Librarian Shelley Murray shared the story of a student who entered ninth grade reading below grade level, but brought his skills to grade level and gained confidence with the help of the school’s reading specialist, who was set to be a part-time teacher in the 2010-2011 school year.
Dale Supervisor Jim Holland said the school cuts were the School Board’s decision, but he would cut areas other than reading teachers. School Board Chairman David Wyman said “this is a tough time” and there are very few dollars.
“Unfortunately, we’re tasked with cutting $42 million,” Wyman said. “We don’t like it, but that’s the way things are.”
Fred Grundeman, a director of Friends of the Chesterfield County Public Library, said: “If reading is so important, why are we closing the library one day a week?” he asked. “That makes no sense to me.”
Frank Cardella, president of the Chesterfield Education Association, asked Holland why, if his priorities