Superintendent presents “State-of-the-Schools” to business and community leaders
Posted on 10/26/2018
Business and Community partners in attendance at the 2018 Superintendent's Business BreakfastSuperintendent Steve Walts presented a "State of the Schools" keynote at the 2018 Superintendent's Business Breakfast highlighting recent Prince William County Public Schools (PWCS) achievements and focus areas including Career and Technical Education, Special Education, and the School Division's Strategic Plan.

Interim School Board Chairman Dr. Babur Lateef also spoke. He thanked the more than 200 business and community partners in attendance for their continued contributions to education in PWCS.

SPARK, the School Division's education Foundation, relies on the generous support and donations from corporate and community partners to fund programs and initiatives. In the past year, more than $6.5 million in donations, both monetary and in-kind, have been provided to SPARK. In 2017-2018, more than $86,000 was awarded to teachers and students through SPARK's Innovative Grants Program that enables great ideas to become realities.

Many of the Innovative Grant recipients were on hand at the Breakfast to share their funded projects and how students are benefiting. Showcased were: Battlefield High School's Real-World Graphics initiative; Cedar Point Elementary School's Tech Lab; Coles Elementary School's Rap Like a Boss; McAuliffe Elementary's Teaching Code project; PWCS Instructional Technology Team's EdTech Podcast project; River Oak Elementary's ESOL Blending Learning project; Stonewall Middle School's Level Up with Literacy project; and Sudley Elementary School's Game Lab Collection.

Business partners also have been instrumental in the growth and success of Robotics in PWCS. Robotics students from Ashland Elementary (VEX IQ), Osbourn Park High School (FRC), Parkside Middle School (VEX), Rockledge Elementary School (FLL), and Stonewall Jackson High School (SeaPerch) demonstrated their STEM skills for guests in attendance.

The 2018 Business Partners of the Year were honored for their continued contributions to and support of opportunities for students. The partnership winners are Assistance League of Northern Virginia and Loch Lomond and Yorkshire Elementary Schools; IBS Millwork and the Office of Career and Technical Education; and MGTA-VSGI and Stonewall Middle School. The 2018 Community Partner of the Year award recipient is the Prince William County Service Authority, paired with Penn Elementary School. (See video below on SPARK award winners.)

AlphaBEST Education, Inc., Amazon Web Services, Dominion Energy, Kaiser Permanente , Lockheed Martin, Micron, Moseley Architects, Prince William Education Association, and Youth for Tomorrow were Foundation Sponsors for the 2018 Superintendent's Business Breakfast. Other sponsors included Apple Federal Credit Union, Bookworm Central, Compton and Duling, L.C., Northern Virginia Community College, Novant Health UVA Health System, Prince William County Service Authority, and Stantec.

State and local officials attended the breakfast, as did School Board Vice Chairman Lillie Jessie (Occoquan), and School Board members Diane Raulston (Neabsco), Alyson Satterwhite (Gainesville), and Loree Williams (Woodbridge).

Alex Romano, a senior at Forest Park High School and the Governor's School @ Innovation Park, was emcee for the event. Hylton High School Air Force JROTC cadets, under direction of Lamont A. Eubanks, MSgt, USAF (retired), presented the Colors, and the Battlefield High School Strings Ensemble, under the direction of Zachary Saunders, provided musical entertainment for guests as they arrived.