Boyce Elementary Earns Governor’s Award For Educational Excellence

DSC_1350Governor Timothy M. Kaine today announced that 153 Virginia public schools have earned the 2010 Governor’s Award for Educational Excellence. The award is the highest honor under the Virginia Index of Performance (VIP) incentive program created by the Board of Education in 2007 to advance Governor Kaine’s “competence to excellence” agenda promoting advanced learning and achievement.

To qualify for the Governor’s Award for Educational Excellence, schools and school divisions must meet all state and federal achievement benchmarks for at least two consecutive years and achieve applicable excellence goals for elementary reading, enrollment in Algebra I by grade 8, enrollment in college-level courses, high school graduation, attainment of advanced diplomas, increased attainment of career and industry certifications, and participation in the Virginia Preschool Initiative. Schools and school divisions also earn bonus points for other performance measures, including the Governor’s Nutrition and Physical Activity Scorecard.

There are two other awards for Virginia schools: the Board of Education’s Excellence Award, the second-tier honor in the VIP program, and the Board of Education Competence to Excellence Award, the third tier.

Michael F. Murphy, Superintendent of Schools, said of Boyce’s achievement, “This award recognizes the monumental hard work of teachers and staff under the expert leadership of Principal Susan Catlett.   While all our schools are excellent, today Boyce students and parents shine.”

The full list of 153 schools earning the Governor’s Award for Educational Excellence:

  • Albemarle County: Baker-Butler Elementary, Hollymead Elementary, Meriwether Lewis Elementary and Virginia L. Murray Elementary
  • Amherst County: Elon Elementary
  • Arlington County: Arlington Science Focus School, Arlington Traditional and McKinley Elementary
  • Bedford County: Forest Elementary and Otter River Elementary
  • Botetourt County: Cloverdale Elementary
  • Bristol: Stonewall Jackson Elementary
  • Buckingham County: Buckingham Primary
  • Charlotte County: J. Murray Jeffress Elementary
  • Charlottesville: Greenbrier Elementary
  • Chesapeake: Deep Creek Central Elementary and Norfolk Highlands Primary
  • Chesterfield County: Bettie Weaver Elementary, Bon Air Elementary, Elizabeth Scott Elementary, Evergreen Elementary, Midlothian High, Midlothian Middle, Robious Elementary, Swift Creek Elementary, Swift Creek Middle, W.W. Gordon Elementary, Winterpock Elementary and Woolridge Elementary
  • Clarke County: Boyce Elementary
  • Danville: Woodrow Wilson Elementary
  • Dinwiddie County: Midway Elementary
  • Fairfax County: Archer Elementary, Carson Middle, Cherry Run Elementary, Chesterbrook Elementary, Churchill Road Elementary, Clermont Elementary, Cooper Middle, Fairhill Elementary, Flint Hill Elementary, Forestville Elementary, Fox Mill Elementary, Franklin Middle, Frost Middle, Greenbriar West Elementary, Haycock Elementary, Hunt Valley Elementary, Langley High, Madison High, Mantua Elementary, McLean High, Navy Elementary, Oak Hill Elementary, Oakton High, Rocky Run Middle, Sangster Elementary, Shrevewood Elementary, Springfield Estates Elementary, Sunrise Valley Elementary, Thoreau Middle, Vienna Elementary, Virginia Run Elementary, Waples Mill Elementary, West Springfield Elementary, Westbriar Elementary, Willow Springs Elementary and Wolftrap Elementary
  • Floyd County: Willis Elementary
  • Franklin County: Boones Mill Elementary, Burnt Chimney Elementary, Callaway Elementary, Glade Hill Elementary and Lee M. Waid Elementary
  • Gloucester County: Thomas C. Walker Elementary
  • Goochland County: Goochland Elementary
  • Hanover County: Chickahominy Middle, Cool Spring Elementary, Kersey Creek Elementary, Mechanicsville Elementary, Oak Knoll Middle, Pearson’s Corner Elementary, Pole Green Elementary and Washington-Henry Elementary
  • Henrico County: Colonial Trail Elementary, Echo Lake Elementary, Gayton Elementary, Greenwood Elementary, Jackson Davis Elementary, Maybeury Elementary, Nuckols Farm Elementary, Pocahontas Middle, Rivers Edge Elementary, Shady Grove Elementary, Short Pump Elementary, Short Pump Middle and Tuckahoe Elementary
  • Henry County: Sanville Elementary
  • Lee County: Rose Hill Elementary and St. Charles Elementary
  • Loudoun County: Ashburn Elementary, Belmont Ridge Middle, Belmont Station Elementary, Eagle Ridge Middle, Lincoln Elementary, Lowes Island Elementary, Pinebrook Elementary, Sanders Corner Elementary and Waterford Elementary
  • Lynchburg: Bedford Hills Elementary
  • Mecklenburg County: LaCrosse Elementary
  • Newport News: Hilton Elementary
  • Norfolk: Larchmont Elementary and Mary Calcott Elementary
  • Northumberland County: Northumberland Elementary
  • Nottoway County: Burkeville Elementary
  • Patrick County: Patrick Springs Elementary
  • Portsmouth: Churchland Elementary
  • Prince William County: Bristow Run Elementary, Old Bridge Elementary, Springwoods Elementary and Swans Creek Elementary
  • Richmond: Bellevue Elementary and Fairfield Court Elementary
  • Roanoke: Crystal Spring Elementary and Highland Park Elementary
  • Roanoke County: Cave Spring Elementary, Clearbrook Elementary and Hidden Valley High
  • Rockingham County: Pleasant Valley Elementary
  • Russell County: Belfast Elk Garden Elementary
  • Salem: Andrew Lewis Middle
  • Scott County: Duffield-Pattonsville Primary, Fort Blackmore Primary, Hilton Elementary and Shoemaker Elementary
  • Spotsylvania County: Lee Hill Elementary
  • Tazewell County: Abb’s Valley-Boissevain Elementary
  • Virginia Beach: Creeds Elementary, Kemps Landing Magnet, Old Donation Center, Red Mill Elementary, Thoroughgood Elementary and Trantwood Elementary
  • Washington County: Greendale Elementary and Watauga Elementary
  • Waynesboro: Westwood Hills Elementary
  • West Point: West Point High
  • Williamsburg-James City County: Clara Byrd Baker Elementary and Matoaka Elementary
  • Wise County: Coeburn Primary and Powell Valley Primary
  • York County: Seaford Elementary


  1. Wait, I’m confused. Where is Dr. Geyer’s school on this list?

    • Jim Gibson says:

      Why the personal dig at Dr. Geyer, and him alone? There are 3 other schools in the county. Dr. Geyer now oversees 2 campuses – Cooley and Primary. Primary is not an SOL-testing site, as it is only PreK-1.

      • Personal dig? No. If you promote someone, don’t they usually do good to superior work? If so, where is Cooley?

        • Jim Gibson says:

          Well, since he is only the head of both Cooley and Primary campuses this school year (2009-2010), there have not been any statewide assessments yet for the kids under his supervision. You have to also factor in things like socioeconomic status of the students served by the respective schools and the like. Additionally, he is one person; it takes an entire faculty and staff to achieve a recognition such as the one Boyce received. [Redacted text]

  2. Shocked Parent says:

    Let’s give credit where credit is due. People are as good as their leaders. This goes for the country, the Redskins, the church and of course, any school including BOYCE. It is shameful that 2 Elementary schools within the same county (and having the same demographics) produce such different results. Last year, Boyce was able to educate by way of the Standards of Learning 100% of it’s economically disadvantaged cildren (grade 3 reading)as opposed to Cooley at 43%. Our Assistant Superintendent is quoted as saying that most parents don’t care if the school makes AYP-but I’m guessing the parents of the 57% of the ED children who didn’t pass their SOL tests do! But, I guess they don’t really count.

    • Tony Parrott says:

      Congratulations to Boyce! Cooley is under new management and has undergone some changes; with more to come. It would be best to look at year over year data to see it you have specific trends or improvements.
      Not sure you can put all your eggs in one year’s basket. Give it time.

    • Jim Gibson says:

      Well…if you look at the demographics, Boyce and Cooley are different in their SES statistics. Overall, Cooley serves a population that is more disparate than Boyce does given that it is the primary school for the Town of Berryville. Additionally, Cooley for years had two different instructional models in place – multi-age looping and traditional grade structure. Boyce has had only one model of grade structure (the traditional model). Finally, Cooley for several years had tremendous staff turnover, whereas Boyce has been relatively stable. While none of these factors are excuses, they might explain some of the testing results that are seen. Hopefully, under the new leadership and organization, Cooley’s scores will rise and better equal Boyce’s scores.

      • ShockedParent says:

        [Redcated text] You are obivously a student of Shakespaere or a member of the CCPS Adim. It seems that “he protests too much”! And I somehow know you.

        You are obivously, as rumor has it, in direct opposition to Susan Catlett’s mandate for all children to engage in explicit phonics to promote their practice as life long readers. This program, under Susan has made not only Boyce’s success, but their top tier status in the Commonwealth.

        You on the other hand, belive in the Primary/Cooley approach to Whole Language.
        Good for you-bad for kids. As you know, I was so concerned as to my child’d litercy development from Primary that I had him assed at UVA. The results shocked me: MY CHILD IS GIFTED AND BELOW GRADE IN EDUCATION. He graduated from Primary at a middle-school level ( many do), but once assed at UVA-he was really at a 2nd grade level. He cannot spell or decode, as many Primary graduates! We have a support group, if interested.

        • Jim Gibson says:

          Actually, ma’am, I am not a member of “CCPS Adim” nor do I “belive in the Primary/Cooley approach to Whole Language.” My child went to Cooley, and was assessed to be on a much-higher reading level (by a teacher who, thankfully, no longer works for CCPS); upon shifting over to Boyce, was found to be on a much-lower level with some significant gaps but who, after 4 years under Dr. Modlin and now Mrs. Catlett, is now truly reading above his grade level.

          The larger point, which I don’t think you fully grasped, is that Boyce and Cooley/Primary have differences that, though perhaps small, do contribute to a difference in achievement. One must also look at the school climate, staff turnover rates, academic model, etc. All of that factors in to how well a child performs in school, in addition to parental involvement.

          I think what you’re seeing is that the Boyce model has been recognized as a successful model, and perhaps it will be copied at Cooley. Primary is a different animal entirely, as it’s never had to worry about SOL or other mandatory assessments. This is the first year under the new administrative setup for Cooley/Primary, so the scores in May will be interesting.