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Weekly updates for the Citizens of Rapp

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Division Newsletters
Panther Pride
Food for Thought
Virginia Piedmont Regional Science Fair
Cistern Project
Each Kindness Becomes a Helping Hand (Program 1)
RCES Character Building in Action ( Program 2)
Cool, Kind Kids! (Program 3)
Expert Woodturner Turned Writer
Happenings on November 11, 2014
Headwaters, a True Foundation of Support
Local Foods Week Celebrated
RCHS Career and Technical Education Career Fair
The Road to Success!
Weekly updates for the Citizens of Rapp
What's happening in our reading classrooms?
Youth Mental Health First Aid
Changes at RCHS
Environmental Science Teacher Extends the Walls of the Classroom
Rapp Students Rock National Spanish Exam!

Rappahannock County Public Schools is pleased to offer a weekly update to the citizens of Rappahannock County, an update we will refer to as our “Panther Pride”.

New Teacher Orientation has a New Direction at RCPS

                Rappahannock County Schools has redesigned its mentor program for this year. Typically, new teachers each have a mentor who is their “go-to” person for everything from ordering school supplies to effective instructional strategies to the location of the nearest restroom. This program has been beneficial to RCPS in welcoming new teachers to the school system’s procedures and instructional methods, but a piece of the puzzle had been missing—the orientation to the very uniquely beautiful and diverse environment outside the school walls.

                “In order to acclimate new teachers to Rappahannock County, said Carol Johnson, Executive Director to the Superintendent, at the August 12 regular School Board meeting, the mentorship program at Rappahannock County Schools was redesigned to incorporate a system to not only connect new teachers to instructional help, but to make network connections in the community.” She continued to explain that two new teacher orientation coordinators were hired: Elaine Frank, seventh grade science teacher at Rappahannock County Elementary School, and Karen Sanborn, eighth grade physical science teacher at Rappahannock County High School. Mentors will be using the state adopted program, The 21st Mentor’s Handbook: Creating a Culture for Learning. Adding to the mentee support model, these ladies hope to enrich the new teachers’ first impressions of their new surroundings by sharing the culture and their personal heritage of living in Rappahannock County.

                On August 4th and 5th, Frank and Sanborn led orientation activities at the schools. These activities included breakfast, training, paperwork, school building tours, a wonderful lunch at Thornton River Grille thanks to Headwaters, more paperwork, more training, and a bus tour of the county—which spared no mountainous bus route. This school year, the new teacher orientation coordinators’ roles will be to not only provide instructional and school support, but to ensure that each new teacher feels at home in the Rappahannock Community Family. 

Our “panthers” and “cubs” returned to school for the 2014-2015 school year to greet these new faces at Rappahannock Elementary and High School. The school division reviewed applications from all over the United States to locate highly qualified candidates who possessed the characteristics best matched to each position’s duties and the unique culture of Rappahannock County. The following snippets, courtesy of our human resources department, were prepared to help the community get to know these new members of our public schools.

Crystal Smith: A native to the county, Crystal “Leake” Smith returns to the school division after a 7 year hiatus. In the interim, Mrs. Smith continued to teach as she owned and operated Leap Start Preschool. Crystal graduated from James Madison University with a BS in Interdisciplinary Liberal Studies and Education. She taught Kindergarten in Fauquier County for one year before coming to Rappahannock Elementary in 2004 to teach fourth grade and Kindergarten. Crystal currently resides with her family in Sperryville and rejoins the RCES family as a third grade teacher for the upcoming school year.

Alice Stricker: A twenty-one year veteran to the teaching profession, Mrs. Strickler comes to RCES from Page County, where she currently resides with her family. Alice earned her BA in Elementary Education from Shepherd College in West Virginia and her Master’s in Middle School Math from Walden University. She has taught third through eighth grade math at Luray Elementary, Middle and High Schools. Alice is joining the RCES faculty as a sixth grade math and reading teacher for this school year.

Sarah Evans: Miss Evans is a graduate of Liberty University with a BS in Elementary Education. She completed her student teaching in Lynchburg, VA and served as a long term substitute in Fauquier County at Claude Thompson Elementary School. Sarah will be serving as a fifth grade science teacher this year and resides in Bealeton.

Amy Grady: Mrs. Grady will join the RCES faculty as the new art teacher. She is coming to us from Massachusetts and will be residing in Culpeper. Amy earned her BS in Art Education at Temple University in PA and her Master’s in Education at Lesley University in MA. She has taught art in Cambridge Public schools in MA for the past 10 years and holds an endorsement in Visual Art for grades PreK through 12.

Brian Raciborski: Mr. Raciborski is joining the music department at Rappahannock County Public Schools as the Middle School Band Director. Brian is a graduate of Shenandoah University with a Bachelor’s Degree in music. He did his student teaching in Frederick and Loudon counties and has also taught private music lessons in Rappahannock County before formally joining our faculty. Brian currently resides in Woodstock.

Brandon Burley: Mr. Burley is coming to us from Powhatan County Public Schools, where he worked for 4 years in their middle and high schools. He will join the RCHS faculty as a Special Education teacher. Brandon is a graduate of Liberty University with a Master’s Degree in Special Education. He has coached basketball and softball in the past and hopes to join the coaching staff for RCPS.   Brandon will be residing with his wife in Luray.

Eric Doyle: A resident of Jeffersonton, Mr. Doyle began his teaching career as a math teacher in Fauquier County. He has worked as an adjunct professor for Germanna Community College, Assistant Principal at Kettle Run School in Fauquier County and Principal at Manassas Park High School before returning to his passion as a math teacher at RCHS.   Eric attended Eastern Illinois University, Everett University and George Mason University where he earned degrees in Education, Business and Administration.

We look forward to an outstanding year for these new faculty members and encourage the community to join us in welcoming them to the county!

-          Dr. Donna Matthews, Superintendent

6 Schoolhouse Road | Washington, VA 22747