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NEWSLETTER Winter

VIEWS: 13 PAGES: 9

									   March 22, 2010                                         www.cgs.k12.va.us                                            Volume 12, Issue 2


        Commonwealth Governor’s
          School Regional Office
       12301 Spotswood Furnace Rd
                                      W inter N ewsletter
         Fredericksburg, VA 22407
              (540) 548-1278
                                      D I R E C T O R ’S C O R N E R
             (Spotsylvania Sites)     BY   D R . D A VI D B A K E R
          Riverbend High School
       12301 Spotswood Furnace Rd               As we emerge from a brutal winter, a       draft of the CG S budget, which consists en-
         Fredericksburg, VA 22407     new challenge is facing citizens across the          tirely of state funds, includes the reallocation of
               (540) 548-4051         Commonwealth of Virginia. Severe budget              money to help the local school districts pay for
                                      cuts at both the state and local levels will leave   services such as shuttle buses and the purchase
         Spotsylvania High School
                                      state agencies with severe funding reductions.       and maintenance of new desktop computers.
          6975 Courthouse Road
                                      Public education will be one of the hardest hit      This attempt to assist the participating school
          Spotsylvania, VA 22553
              (540) 582-3882          institutions. The Commonwealth G overnor’s           districts is intended to be a temporary solution
                                      School stakeholders are following the budget         until the economy begins to turn around.
               (Stafford Sites)                                                                       In the meantime, life goes on at CG S.
                                      process very closely to determine how CG S
        Colonial Forge High School
                                      will be impacted by these unprecedented cuts         Teachers and students are working hard in
          550 Courthouse Road
                                      to local school districts.                           preparation for the Advanced Placement Ex-
           Stafford, VA 22405
                                                Although the G eneral Assembly has         ams. Seniors are beginning to hear back from
              (540) 658-6115
                                      finalized a state budget, all of the details have    their colleges of choice. Prospective CG S stu-
        North Stafford High School
                                      not been revealed to local school boards and         dents are taking tests, creating portfolios, and
         839 Garrisonville Road                                                            preparing for an interview in hopes of being
                                      local school districts are still waiting for local
           Stafford, VA 22554                                                              accepted to the program. The PTO continues
              (540) 658-6150
                                      governing bodies to approve a budget. Based
                                      on the information currently available, CG S         to work vigorously, sponsoring successful pro-
           Stafford High School       will lose between 4 and 7 percent of its fund-       grams like the College Forum and the Snow
          33 Stafford Indian Lane     ing from the state. Local reductions to ser-         Ball Dance.
            Stafford, VA 22405        vices provided to CG S by the participating                     Despite the anticipated budget reduc-
                                      school districts have yet to be determined.          tions, I am confident CG S will endure this
                                      Fortunately the reduction at the state level will    difficult time and continue to provide gifted
       Upcoming Events                not pose an undue hardship on the program;           and highly motivated high
                                      however, the anticipated loss of funding to          school students a challeng-
   Check the CGS website for          local school districts could be devastating.         ing, differentiated, and
                                                To assist the local school districts       interdisciplinary academic
      latest information!                                                                  program of study using
                                      (King G eorge, Spotsylvania, and Stafford), I
                                      am recommending the creation of a new                non-traditional activities
April 12, 7:00 p.m.                   budget line item entitled Assistance to Local        supported by state-of-the
  CGS PTO Meeting, Rappahannock       Divisions to help pay for services historically      art technology.
  Regional Library, Room 2            paid for by the local school districts. The first
April 15, 3:00 p.m.
  CGS Governing Board Meeting,        C G S P T O B Y O L IV I A N E A S O N
  Spotsylvania School Board Office
                                               As we begin to wind down the 2009-           garner good advice and have many of their
May 10, 7:00 p.m.                     2010 year, we can honestly say, what a year           questions answered. If you were not able to
  CGS PTO Meeting, Rappahannock       it’s shaping up to be – record snowfall and           join us that evening, please mark your calen-
  Regional Library, Theatre Room      days off from school. Luckily, no rain, sleet         dars for next year at this time so you too can
May 18, 4:00 p.m.                     or even snow could stop the great momentum            get some clarity in what can seem like a
  CGS Family Picnic, Fredericksburg   of our very active PTO. We have weathered             daunting process, “college applications.”
  Old Mill Park                       the storms and had a very successful College                   Our infamous ‘Snow Ball’ dance was
May 23, 5:00— 9:00 p.m.               Forum at the University of Mary Washing-              not to be cancelled – the CGS students had a
  CGS Senior Banquet, Expo Center     ton. Juniors, sophomores, and even one or             great time on Saturday, March 19th at the
                                      two freshmen came out to hear the tips, ad-           Eagles Lodge. They enjoyed dancing, laugh-
                                      vice, and information that the admission              ing, singing, and of course, eating. I don’t
                                      counselors from some of the finest institu-           recall seeing one wallflower.
     www.cgs.k12.va.us                tions had to offer. I know many were able to                                          Cont’d on page 6
Page 2

                                                The Film is the Thing!
         On January 13, CGS juniors welcomed Mr. Rick Seyford, an instructor in film studies from the Summer Residential
Governor’s School for Humanities, to CGS. Mr. Seyford conducted a lesson in film study for all CGS sites on broadcast,
(plus some interested non-CGS students) then led a hands-on workshop for interested students.
         When he stepped into the classroom, he brought more with him than his unique personality and teaching skills. Mr.
Seyford also brought the magic of “Bollywood,” the Indian version of the classic American film musical. While displaying a
recent Indian box-office hit, Mr. Seyford paused periodically to explain the plotline and cinematographic decisions imbedded
in the bursts of song and dance typical, he explained, in this genre of Indian film.
         After the film lesson was over, the physically active instruction commenced. Students—from Riverbend HS as well as
CGS— took turns filming with camcorders as Mr. Seyford guided their focus with his numerous years as a film critic and his
invaluable experience from being on set.
         Personally, as a CGS senior, I don't think that I have been taught like that ever before, and my only regret is that am
not going to be able to come back next year to do it again. I realize now that Mr. Seyford was able to invite us into an entirely
new universe. You can really tell when an expert comes in and knows the answers to questions. Regardless of whatever prior
experience students brought with them to the film workshop, all were able to contribute and enrich their understanding of the
world of film.
         Non-CGS students also benefited from Seyford’s visit. Riverbend junior Sarah Keith says:

                  “I really enjoyed Mr. Seyford's workshop. I signed up as a writer looking to learn more about the way
         that films are made, and discovered a level of depth I could never have appreciated before. We learned about
         colors and the way they contrast with each other, and the significance. We learned about different filming tech-
         niques and how to shoot a scene, all the nuts and bolts of film creating. We viewed photographs demonstrating
         the types of qualities all good films and pictures should have, and then went out and applied them, taking our
         own pictures and reviewing them in front of the group. This workshop was immensely fun and interesting, and
         opened my eyes to the refinement of filmmaking.”

         Here is further evidence of the value that CGS adds to the total educational experience of the region.

                                                                            by Travis Wakeman, 12th grade, Riverbend High School



                                                      The Commonwealth
                                                       Governor's School
                                                     2010 Governing Board
                                                 Mr. Ray Lora, Chair, Spotsylvania
                                             Mrs. Meg Bohmke, Vice Chair, Stafford
                                                 Mrs. Renee Parker, King George
                                        Dr. Jerry Hill, Exec Superintendent, Spotsylvania
                                            Dr. David Sawyer, Superintendent, Stafford
                                        Dr. Candace Brown, Superintendent, King George
                                             Mrs. Donna Welch, Clerk of the Board




                Are you getting the most recent
                      CGS information?
                 Please send your updated e-mail addresses to
                  Mr. Bill Warrick at wrwarrick@gmail.com
                              so he can provide
                 CGS information to you in a timely manner!
                                                                                                                                          Page 3


                                                Summer Enrichment Opportunities
         This past summer I got an amazing opportunity to participate in two Governor's School programs. The first was the
Fredericksburg Regional Governor's School Mentorship Program. In this program I was able to shadow two doctors over a
two week period. The first was Dr. Bradford Lynn King, a General Surgeon, and the second was Dr. Michael E. Cohen, a
Neurologist and a specialist in Internal Medicine. I was able to watch various minor surgeries and medical diagnoses that were
invaluable to me. I saw the surgical removal of sebaceous cysts, basil cell cancer, Melanoma, an external hemorrhoid by Dr.
King. A few days later I was with Dr. Cohen as he diagnosed and evaluated many patients. Many had disorders like Tourette
syndrome, headaches, Parkinson’s disease, dementia, vertigo, and hormonal seizures. This camp helped to confirm in my
mind that I would like to be some form of doctor when I get older. The camp probably saved me years of worrying if I was
making the right decision, so it is always a good thing to get out there and see what you like.
         The second program I attended was the Summer Residential Governor's School for Mathematics, Science, and Tech-
nology. Through this program I was able to attend a class that was entirely about genetics. The topics we explored in the
class included karyotyping of chromosomes, DNA electrophoresis of Lambda DNA, transformation of E. coli, DNA extrac-
tion, and lab activities on plasmids and recombinant DNA, restriction fragment length polymorphisms(RFLP's), mitochon-
drial DNA, probes, PCR (polymerase chain reaction), mutations, DNA sequencing, and microarrays. These were all things
that I hadn't done before but ended up enjoying immensely. There was a healthy amount of freedom that was given to every-
one when classes were over and as a result I became really close with everyone at this camp. We were always having fun in
one way or another. We went on exciting field trips to the Virginia Tech Bioinformatics Center, the Virginia Tech Virtual
Reality Cave, and the University of Virginia Medical School Genetics Department. We also visited the Chemistry and Biol-
ogy buildings at UVA and the Carillion Biomedical Institute for a lecture on “Prenatal Testing”. I feel I had some of the best
times of my life in these camps. Today still I have fond memories of it and talk to the friends I made there all the time. I en-
courage everyone try and do some type of academic program during the summer. They keep your brain fresh and can help
you find other students who enjoy the same academic subjects as yourself.
                                                                               By Sean Hamlin, 11th grade, Brooke Point High School



                                            Twelfth Night at the Blackfriar’s Theater
          On Thursday March, 18th, I had the pleasure of traveling to Staunton, Virginia to see the Blackfriar’s performance of Twelfth Night
with the Virginia Commonwealth Governor’s School. After an approximately two hour bus ride, governor’s school seniors arrived at the
theatre—the only recreation of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in the world. The entire stage area was made of wood—wooden seats, wooden
columns, wooden balconies—and we truly felt the Bard’s spirit burning in our hearts (or maybe it was just the fear of sitting in a gigantic fire
hazard?). Before the show, we learned that Black Friar’s rehearsed its performance of Twelfth Night for only two days before opening night—
just as Shakespeare’s actors would have done during the English Renaissance. Needless to say, we were in for a truly authentic Shakespear-
ian experience.
          The performance itself was preceded by musical performances from players in the Blackfriar’s company. Most notably, a touching
rendition of the Academy Award winning song Falling Slowly flowed seamlessly into the play’s famous first lines: “If music be the food of
love, play on.” From there, the comedic rollercoaster began, with every actor delivering a fantastic performance. The drunks, Sir Toby and
Sir Andrew, and the prudish head servant, Malvolio, left the audience roaring with laugher (need I mention the yellow stockings and gar-
ters?). However, Feste the Fool stole the show for me, personally. His intriguingly subdued interpretation of the Jester really brought mean-
ing to the character and to the play as a whole. As we learned in our English classes: play close attention to Shakespeare’s fools, for they
impart true wisdom to the audience. In the end, the story of mistaken identities unwinds and the play’s true lovers vow to marry. The en-
dearing final moments between Orsino and Viola received an audible “aaawwww” from the audience, leaving us with warmed hearts.
          The field experience, over all, was a fantastic treat for the governor school seniors. Some students, for the first time, actually had
                                                                 the chance to hear and see Shakespeare’s work instead of reading the play itself.
                                                                 Shakespeare wrote his plays for audiences to view—not read. As a result, we
                                                                 all left with a better understanding of Shakespeare’s themes of love. On the
                                                                 bus ride back to Spotsylvania, I overheard many discussions regarding the
                                                                 performance, such as “Blackfriar’s minimalistic take on Twelfth Night really
                                                                 helped emphasize the actor’s actions, thus allowing the audience to better un-
                                                                 derstand Shakespeare’s message,” and “the music really added another dimen-
                                                                 sion to the impact of the play as a whole,” and “Orsino was absolutely gor-
                                                                 geous!” The Blackfriar theatre company had all of us talking, and such discus-
                                                                 sions represent the importance of intellectually-stimulating field experiences in
                                                                 the governor’s school program. Overall, the students had an amazing time
                                                                 witnessing a fantastically-performed Shakespearian production.
                                                                 The most exciting moment, however, would have to be the tee-shirt of Top Ten
                                                                 Shakespearian Pickup Lines found in the theatre’s gift shop. Now that was truly
                                                                 comedic!
                                                                                              By William Hutto, 12th grade, Massaponax High School
Page 4

                                      College Forum at Mary Washington
          High school students of all ages attended Fredericksburg’s 10th Annual College Forum on the night of Thursday,
March 4th. The event, courtesy of CGS’ PTO and the University of Mary Washington’s Office of Admissions, hosted admis-
sions officers from Georgetown University, James Madison University, the University of Virginia, and our very own Univer-
sity of Mary Washington. They spoke in Dodd Auditorium of George Washington Hall with the students about “navigating
the selective college admissions process”, giving advice on what and what not to do.
          Several topics were discussed throughout the evening, leading the students from finding the college that is just right to
finding financial aid. The first step was to discover the perfect college: not too big and not too small, with tasty food and a
sense of home. The second step was to visit campuses to get a feel of the college community. The next step was the admissions
process. A popular subject was the McEssay, a silly but effective comparison that one of the admissions professionals used to
compare common admissions essays with McDonald’s unchanging Big Mac. The last step was finding scholarships and finan-
cial aid. The entire evening was packed full of helpful information, and many walked away satisfied.
          “It was great information!” exclaimed Alisha Bhagat, a sophomore at the Stafford site, “I definitely learned a lot, es-
pecially about the essay and the overall admissions process. I feel very informed now!”

                                                                                   By Stephanie Le, 10th grade, Stafford High School




                                                             Poetry Day
         The seniors with the Commonwealth Governors School participated in the annual poetry day held at Stafford High
School. Seniors were required to write a poem to present to their peers at poetry day. The students were allowed to write about
anything. The topic’s students chose ranged from professing their deepest love for someone to military and political statements
and anxieties about the future. The students enjoyed snacks that were provided by their peers, as they watched dramatic read-
ings of their classmate’s poems. Each site took turns reading one of their site's poems before passing the mike off to another
site. Several school officials came and viewed the spirited readings and were quite impressed by the Governors School Stu-
dents' creativity and speaking abilities. The seniors thoroughly enjoyed discovering that they were poets and just had did not
know it. We are looking forward to many more poetry days to come.
                                                                              By Caldwell Locks, 12th grade, Riverbend High School


                                                       Math Competition
         Two teams represented CGS at Battlefield High School’s Math Competition on Saturday, March 6, 2010. One team
represented Spotsylvania County CGS sites, while the other team represented the Stafford County CGS sites. Each team
competed in four rounds; the last three counting toward each team’s ranking. Each round consisted of three parts: a toss up
round, followed by a directed team round, and then another toss up round. Individuals could not confer during toss up
rounds and received ten points for a correct answer and lost five points for an incorrect answer. In the directed team round
individuals could confer with teammates. Teams earned ten points for each correct answer and could not lose points during
this round. Both teams placed second in their division, with four teams in each division. Derek Oesterheld, David Specht,
Shasta Rizzi, Dean Makovsky, and Mark Brandao competed for Spotsylvania County and Chris Cai, Kristen Asmus, Chris
Voss and Julia Colopy competed for the combined Stafford and King George Counties. Those underlined were elected by
their respective team to receive an award for the most outstanding performance for their respective teams.

                                                                              By Dean Makovsky, 10th grade, Courtland High School

                                                English—Senior Class
         The CGS seniors have been very busy this winter! Most of our seniors have completed their college applications, and
some have even received their acceptances! During the winter, we spent much time intensively studying poetry. We brought
all of our CGS seniors together for a poetry-sharing day at Stafford High, and we were treated to an early January visit from
Pulitzer Prize winning poet, Claudia Emerson. We have completed our study of Shakespeare’s comedy, Twelfth Night, and we
are heading off to see the play at the American Shakespeare Center this Thursday, 3/ 18. We followed Twelfth Night with Ar-
thur Miller’s Modern tragedy, Death of a Salesman, and we’ll soon move on to Kate Chopin’s famous novel, The Awakening. If
you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact us. Happy Spring!
                                                                            By Mrs. Winona Siegmund, English, CGS Stafford Site
                                                                                                                              Page 5

                                      Guests Warm Up Winter for Juniors
        CGS juniors have had a great winter in spite of the snow. Professor Brady Anderson from Mary Washing University
spoke to the juniors about Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson before Winter Break. Dr. Anderson’s knowledge and enthusi-
asm truly illuminated some of the critical questions about these important American writers. Mr. Rick Seyford from the sum-
mer residential Governor’s School warmed up the juniors in January with a broadcast on film analysis using clips from the
“Bollywood” genre popular in India—teaching not just about film study, but about the adaptation of the musical form to the
South Asian cultures. Recently, the multicultural experience has continued with a study of the “Roaring Twenties” and Har-
lem Renaissance.

                                                                                    By Dr. Dan Walker, English, CGS Riverbend Site



                                                    Claudia Emerson

         As an aspiring writer, Ms. Emerson’s visit provided me with much-needed encouragement. I saw that it was possible
to write from one’s life and create publishable material that people other than an inner-circle of friends would find interesting.
Her humility was also a source of inspiration. Unlike what one would imagine, she bared her unfinished and unpolished work
to us, ready to take criticism from students half her age but with airs of professionals of twice her experience. Her gesture
made a learning experience possible for both the author and the critics. I enjoyed analyzing her style and comparing it to my
own. One thing that stands out most in my memory of her visit was the fact that she writes without fear of criticism or need
for outright perfection. She is aware of these things, of course, but not (in my opinion) fearful; she writes what she feels, and
does not use a filter until after her thoughts are on paper and she discovers a subsequent desire to publish them. I think this is a
good lesson for anyone who wishes to pursue a literary career: write with passion above precision-that comes later.

                                                                        By Hanna Herdegen, 12th grade, Mountain View High School


                                                          Chemistry
         The junior class will participate in our annual Chem Day to take place on Wednesday, April 14th, at Riverbend High
School. Teachers will perform numerous, varied demonstrations. Students will observe, describe, and be able to explain the
chemistry associated with each demonstration. After eating ice cream made with liquid nitrogen, students will then rotate
through stations where they will perform flaming splint tests for hydrogen, oxygen, and carbon dioxide, participate in a den-
sity challenge, and make a Cartesian diver. Chem Day is a culmination of all the topics we’ve studied this year.

                                                                                     By Mrs. Jennifer Pogue, Math, CGS Stafford Site



                                                 Students Experience Live Theatre

         On December 9, 2009, the Commonwealth Governor’s School freshman class visited the Blackfriars Playhouse in
Staunton, Virginia. The theatre often puts on Shakespearean productions. This time, though, Charles Dickens’ A Christmas
Carol was playing, which fit well with English because we had recently finished reading Romeo and Juliet and were beginning A
Tale of Two Cities by Dickens.
         The Blackfriars trip was thoroughly enjoyable. Students from all sites enjoyed sitting on stage, interacting with the
actors, and asking questions after the show. One student even got to climb up to the balcony on stage. Music and dancing in
the show added to the festive atmosphere and great experience.

                                                                                   By Shayli Lesser, 9th grade, Courtland High School
Page 6


                                               English—Sophomore Class
          As the year heads towards summer break, students should start to reflect on what they’ve learned in English during
their 10th grade year. Specifically, they should reflect on what they’ve learned about reading, writing, and speaking. Their self-
reflection will aid them in setting goals for themselves next year. Writing down their successes and their goals will help to keep
each of them focused on becoming a more effective learner.
          We will end the year by studying Macbeth, Brave New W ord, and 1984. I encourage all of the parents to read with their
child. Active discussion of each piece will help your child understand the texts at a deeper level. Their understanding will aide
them in their writing and overall understanding of each piece.
          One of our highlights this year was a trip to the Blackfriar’s theater in Staunton, VA. The students saw a performance
of Much Ado About Nothing. At the end of the show, they had the opportunity to ask questions of the actors. Field experiences
that afford the students the opportunity to really see what they are studying in the classroom bring each student a stronger un-
derstanding of Shakespeare and his theater.
          Please note that your child will have a summer assignment to help him or her begin the junior year. The students will
read Joy Luck Club, The Crucible, and complete a writing assignment. If your child has difficulty with the assignment, please feel
free to contact your home site teacher or me. Encouraging your child to read and write daily will make him or her a better
reader, writer, and thinker. So keep reading and writing.
                                                                            By Mrs. Stephenie Fellinger, English, CGS Spotsylvania Site


CGS PTO cont’d

         The students turned out in record numbers, approximately 387, dressed in elegant and sophisticated attire. Our chair-
person, Gretchen Bailey, and her many volunteers, deserve more than a round of applause for a job well done. From the fan-
tastic decorations, to the scrumptious food, to the really “cool” favor the students received, our Snow Ball committee put on a
classy dance.
         Now as we head into the last few months of this school year, let me encourage you to look forward to next year’s
events and activities. However, they can only happen with your help. We are accepting nominations for next year’s board.
Please consider lending your support and talents to this great organization. The students and teachers truly appreciate all that
we do for them. If you are interested in any position, or know someone who would be a great fit for the job, please don’t hesi-
tate to share his/ her name with me. My contact in-
formation is available on the PTO link on the CGS
website. I hope to hear from many of you soon.                             Commonwealth Governor's School
         Our final two events for this year are a trib-                      Parent Teacher Organization
ute banquet for the seniors in May and a Family Pic-
nic to welcome our new students and to have that last       Olivia Neason, President
hoorah before summer break. I know the seniors are
                                                            Betty Grigg, VP King George
looking forward to ‘culminating’ their year with our
                                                            Mike Smith, VP Spotsylvania
traditional Senior Banquet and the PTO is happy to
                                                            Glynda Calypo, VP Stafford
co-sponsor this event. Please be on the lookout for
                                                            Gretchen Bailey, Secretary
the Family Picnic date also in May and plan to join
us for a day of fun, food, and laughter. I look for-        Doris Dickinson, Treasurer
ward to seeing many of you there so I can say my            Trish Hallier, Membership Chair
thank you’s in person for a wonderful year as Presi-        Mike Smith, Scholarship Chair
dent. Until then, have a safe and happy Spring Break.       Betty Grigg, Throw Me A Parachute
                                                             Bill Warrick, Email Coordinator
                                                             Hope Algayer-Goitia, Joy Leung, Alumni Gathering Chair
                                                             Pat Hannifin, College Forum Chair

    T hank                                                   Kathryn Pittman-Deering, Rosa Gonzalez, Fall Social Chair
           you CG                                            Vacant, Family Picnic Co-Chair
                  S PT O                                     Caroline Scanlon, Olivia Neason, Senior Banquet Co-Chair
        sponso             for                               Gretchen Bailey, Snow Ball Chair
  W inte       ring th                                       Vacant, Teacher Appreciation Chair, CFHS
         r Snow        e                                     Vacant, Teacher Appreciation Chair, NSHS
               ball D a                                      Glynda Calypo, Teacher Appreciation Chair, SHS
                        nce!!                                Caroline Scanlon, Teacher Appreciation Chair, RHS
                                                             Gretchen Bailey, Teacher Appreciation Chair, SpHS
                                                                                                                          Page 7

                                           CGS FIRST Robotics
                                                            Kilroy ended the official season on March 20 with its second top
                                                            8 finish and a second loss in the semi-finals. We attended two
                                                            regionals, in DC and Richmond and won an award for co-
                                                            opertition (having the most close matches) and a judges award for
                                                            dealing successfully with three counties. In addition to our suc-
                                                            cess in competitions, we gained some high profile sponsors as
                                                            well: Kratos Defense(headquartered in CA with offices in King
                                                            George); BAE Systems and Booz, Allen and Hamilton. We are
                                                            in the process of creating a third FTC team at Brooke Point High
                                                            School, and are planning our Tenth Annual FLL Regional at
                                                            Gayle Middle School next year.

                                                            Team Member Thoughts:

                                                                      Being on a FIRST team has been an amazing experience
                                                             for me, and is it certainly one I will never forget. From the plan-
                                                             ning sessions at the beginning of the season, to the hectic late
                                                             nights at the end, you are never bored. Ever! The last three years
have been fantastic, and I can’t imagine what I would have been spending my time doing had I not been coming to the
weekly meetings. The team feels like one big family, and there is never a dull moment (except for scouting at competitions).
          This year in particular has been stunning. Despite the weeks we lost due to Snowmageddon, we powered through
the time we had and managed to get a decent, functioning robot in the crate, a solid animation submitted to Richmond, and
a hopeful outlook on DC and Richmond. And after a few modifications, Kilroy didn’t disappoint, earning a Top 8 rank and
entrance into the semifinals in both competitions. Nothing felt better than seeing the ramp we had worked so hard on func-
tion perfectly in Richmond, even if it was only one time. The two awards we took home from DC (Co-opertition, Judges
Award for having to coordinate three counties), albeit unexpected, were icing on the cake. Jesse Purvis, Riverbend Junior
       I enjoyed both of the Regionals that we attended. In my second year with both FIRST Robotics and the DC Regional,
the competition seemed to be more matured. Not the teams themselves, but the regional as a whole. It seemed to be run bet-
ter and went more smoothly. However, compared to both Richmond and Chesapeake, it wasn’t as regulated which is to be
expected from a younger competition. The DC regional was more exciting and more embodied the spirit and mood of
FIRST than Richmond, which was stricter and more regulated, which was nice because it was more organized, but it seemed
to detract from the overall enjoyment of the competition itself. I thoroughly enjoyed going to both competitions though. We
do not stay in a hotel near the DC Regional, but I like riding the metro every day to get there too. Getting to the competition
was an experience in itself.
       Once we got there the excitement began
right away, getting the robot unpacked and in
working order. We always make changes to it                                CGS FIRST Robotics
right before competition, and we did this year as
well. The delay in starting the matches was                                   2009-10 Sponsors
probably what allowed us to be able to attend all
of our practice matches. When we were still
making repairs to the robot, it was crazy. Every-                             Battelle – Platinum
one was frantically trying to get what tools they
need to work on whatever they are working on,
                                                       Kratos Defense and Security Solutions - Platinum
while others are reaching for the same tools to Stafford Economic Development Authority – Gold
work on another part of the robot. I also got to
participate as the human player for some of our
                                                            CGS Parent Teacher Organization – Silver
matches. This was great because you get to feel                  HDT Engineer Services, Inc. – Silver
the intensity of the matches and the crowd cheer-
ing from every side. It is also great because you
                                                                       Mr. & Mrs. Jerry Oesterheld
get to feel like you contributed, when, really, the
human player doesn’t really do that much. Over-
all, FIRST is a great experience that everyone
should have the opportunity to participate in.                            Thank you for making the
       By T homas Rebbert, 10th grade, Colonial                             FIRST Robotics Team
Forge High School
  Page 8

                                              PIE (and also some math!)
         This year’s Pi Day—despite its random and inaccurate date—represented a marvelous success. CGS seniors from
every site convened at Riverbend to eat, drink, and be merry with their fellow scholars (and also learn some math). A teacher
from each site led an activity: Kit-Kats and Goldfish demonstrated T-Tests, and students implemented jellybeans in an exam-
ple of Chi-Square Distribution. Continuing in this vein of color and merriment, students studied Chi-Square Tests in relation
to the number of deaths and poverty levels of Titanic passengers. Most importantly, a vast array of pies and cakes and other
vaguely-circular foodstuffs appeared, allowing students to gorge themselves on some much-needed sugar and caffeine. Pi Day
’10 allowed instructors to craftily feed students knowledge under the guise of high-fructose corn syrup and fun—an example
that, hopefully, all future lesson plans will follow.
                                                                       By Victoria Hempfling, 12th grade, Massaponax High School



                                                          Mock Congress
         The decorum and respect shown by students caused the 2010 CGS Mock Congress this past Wednesday to be a com-
plete success. Assuming the identities of House and Senate members, politically-minded students had the perfect venue in
which to express themselves. The experience provided for an enhanced understanding of parliamentary procedure and the
general workings of congressional debate. It took no time at all for students to get in the spirit of things. For each bill, the
speaker of the house and the minority leader recognized those students wishing to make speeches opposing or supporting it.
Even during debate of the very first bill, concerning The Universal National Service Act of 2007, many students already
showed interest in participating. When the floor was open for debate, it was clear that there was not a shortage of enthusiasm.
Many bill debates ran over their allocated time because it seemed like everyone had something to say. No one wanted to let
their views go unheard. Fantastic points were made on each side of every bill in a civilized and dignified way. We made our
way through many different types of legislation, touching on areas of gun control, stem cell research, distracted driving,
among others. The most interesting part of the day came with the debate of The Sanctity of Life Act. Whatever one’s opinion
on the subject may be, it was certainly amazing to see the passion of high school students to debate legislation they felt
strongly about. Various motions were even made to move the bill up in the agenda because students were so anxious to state
their position and reasoning. Overall, the cooperation of the wonderful teachers and students helped to make this year’s mock
congress an incredibly rewarding, interesting, realistic, and most importantly, fun experience.
                                                                              By Jessica Walthall, 10th grade, Riverbend High School


                                                       Social Studies
9th Grade Social Studies
         The 9th-grade AP European History classes have finally shipped old Napoleon off to St. Helena and are in the midst
of dissecting the chaos of the 19th century. We will meet a diverse array of thinkers and doers, including Marx, Bismarck, Ca-
vour, Garibaldi, Freud, Nietzsche, and Darwin. We will destroy the Concert of Europe, unify Germany and Italy, colonize
Africa, and experience revolutionary new ideas in science and philosophy. The surge of nationalism in the late 19th-century
and new technological developments will help bring on Europe’s most destructive conflict to date, the Great War. With the
AP exam looming on May 7, and so many days lost to snow, the pace will be brisk, for we must do the 20th century justice as
well!


12th Grade Social Studies
         Why is the West so much more advanced than Africa? Is globalization beneficial or harmful to the developing world?
What has been the impact of McDonald’s and other fast food companies on the United States and the world? Is Wal-Mart
your friend or enemy? These are the types of questions we will explore this spring in AP Human Geography as we consider
the varying rates and sophistication of agricultural and industrial development around the globe. Our studies will be guided
by the work of Jared Diamond in Guns, Germs, and Steel, which makes a compelling case for the overriding significance of ge-
ography, and by Eric Schlosser’s sobering dissection of the fast-food industry, Fast Food Nation.
                                                                        By Mr. Lawrence Letellier, Social Studies, CGS Riverbend Site




                                                  Newsletter designed and brought to you by Donna M. Welch, CGS Regional Office Manager
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