Support CCHS Robotics and Win a $100 Exxon Gift Card

Win a $100 Exxon Gift Card ! Tickets are $5.00 each or 5 for $10.00 Drawing will be held October 26th To purchase tickets contact Ed Novak at CCHS Or any CCHS Robotics Team Member. Also available at Red Apple Deli.

Proceeds will benefit Clarke County High School’s FIRST Robotics Team ROBOGENESIS In their 2013 competition.

Clarke County Eagles Football Fundraiser at Jane’s Lunch

Clarke County Football Moms are at it again! They have searched far and wide for the perfect fundraiser for the team, and here it is: On September 22, 2012, from 1- 8 p.m. at Jane’s Lunch, the Clarke County Eagle Football team will be serving a variety of delicious entrées to the families of Clarke to raise money for the Eagles. This fundraiser is sponsored by the football Moms, and all proceeds will be used to offset the expenses of pre-game snacks and meals that not all students are able to provide or families can afford. Mitzi Myers at Jane’s lunch has been so gracious by opening her doors and her heart to the team. “Both my children graduated from CCHS and I’ve been involved with the team since then. My doors have been open to them since 2007.”  Her restaurant is filled with pictures of the past and current of the team, which signifies her continued loyalty and commitment to the Eagles.

The pricing is $10.00 per adult and $5.00 per child.

Please contact Stephanie Dulaney at, to purchase advance tickets. Also, the tickets will be on sale at Jane’s Lunch. A table will also be set up at the Clarke County Football league games this Saturday.

Please come and enjoy a warm meal while supporting the Eagle’s and witnessing the boys exhibit their serving skills.

Go Eagles!

Clarke County Athletic Hall of Fame Inducts Three New Members

Three former athletes became the newest members of Clarke County’s Athletic Hall of Fame Friday night.  They were honored at a pre-game reception sponsored by the Bank of Clarke County and inducted during the halftime ceremony of the Clarke County/Stonewall Jackson football game.  The Hall was begun in 1990, and the honorees comprising the newest class were:

Mike Riley with CCHS Principal Jeff Jackson. Photo credit Iva Longerbeam

Mike Riley, Class of 1979 —  Riley was a standout four-sport athlete, earning honors in football, basketball, baseball, and track.  He lettered in varsity football his sophomore, junior, and senior years, and helped lead his team to many victories.  He started as a defensive back all three years.  His nine interceptions his junior year led the Northwestern District. During his senior year, he was selected as one of the team’s captains and the Eagles had one of their best seasons in years. They went undefeated with Riley as quarterback and play caller and had only fifteen points scored on them their first six games until they met Handley High in game seven.  After an extremely tough back and forth game, Handley squeaked by with a 24-21 victory.  The team finished the season 8-2.  Riley was selected All-Area second team as quarterback.  He lettered in basketball his sophomore, junior, and senior years and played as a forward.  He was selected Unsung Hero for the team his senior year.  His freshman year he participated in track as a high jumper and pole vaulter, earning a letter, but switched to baseball his last three years at CCHS.  Riley started all three years as a pitcher and outfielder, taking the MVP award his junior year and Unsung Hero Award his senior year.

Tim Tomblin with CCHS Principal Jeff Jackson. Photo credit Iva Longerbeam

Tim Tomblin, Class of 2001 – Tomblin was an outstanding cross country and track runner    for all four years of his high school career.  His freshman year in cross country he placed ninth at the District meet while his team finished in second place, twelfth place at the Region B meet, with his team third place, and was the second place runner on the team that took third place at States, their best finish ever.  As a sophomore, he did even better, with a third place at the District meet as his team finished in second place.  His strong races at both Regionals and States helped his team to second place at both Region B and Single A championships.  His junior year was his strongest year yet, as he took second at Districts, second at Regionals, and fifth place at States.  Clarke County was finally at the top of the podium as the team won Districts, placed second at Region B, and took the school’s first State championship in boys’ cross country.  His senior year he again was All-District with a ninth place finish and All-Region B, finishing fifth.  The team placed fourth at States.

He was also a standout athlete in track.  His freshman year he took third in both the 1600 and 800 in Districts while his team won their first Shenandoah District championship, and he finished sixth in the 1600 at Regionals. As a sophomore, he won both the 1600 and 800 at Districts and ran a leg on the first place 4 x 4 team while his team was again District champions. He followed that up with a  third in the 1600 and fifth in the 800 at Regionals.  He placed sixth in both at the State meet.  As a junior he was second in both the 1600 and 800 at Districts, third in the 800 and fourth in the 1600 at Regionals, and fifth in the 800 and sixth in the 1600 at States.  His final season as a CCHS athlete saw him again take second in both the 1600 and 800 in Districts, fourth in both at Regionals, and eighth in the 800 at States, closing out as one of the most successful middle distance runners as a CCHS athlete.  His outstanding athletic contributions were recognized as he was awarded the senior sportsmanship award.

Kyle VanSice Tim with CCHS Principal Jeff Jackson. Photo credit Iva Longerbeam

Kyle VanSice, Class of 2002 – VanSice participated in  both wrestling and baseball.  During his freshman and sophomore years in baseball this centerfielder was leadoff hitter on a team coached by Chris Parker.  The team won the Bull Run District Championship and made it to State semifinals.  However, VanSice’s primary focus was wrestling.  His freshman year was the first year wrestling returned to Clarke County after a long hiatus.  Coached first by Mike Smith his freshman year and then by his father, John VanSice, the rest of his career, he repeatedly demonstrated mental toughness in facing countless opponents.  During his sophomore year he finished as Bull Run District champion and State runner-up.  He took it one step further his junior year as Bull Run District, Region B, and  State “A” champion.  He repeated all three championships his senior year, and finished with an overall record of 124 – 26, a school record that stood until 2011, and finished with an outstanding State meet record of 11-1, all in the 125-pound weight class.  He was the school’s first member of the “Century Club”, signifying 100 career wins, and was named Single A “State Wrestler of the Year” in 2002 by VA Wrestling Round-Up.  He was his team’s top wrestler for 2000, 2001, and 2002.  The school coaches awarded him the “Bud Miley Dedication Award” at the end of his senior year for his outstanding leadership and contributions to the athletic program.

First Row (seated): Rudy Telek, Nancy Merriman, Bonnie Dodson, Betty Levi, Marty Reardon Proffitt, Haskell Jenkins, Nancy Digges Specht, Kyle VanSice, Tim Tomblin Row 2: Don Specht, Ernie Turner, LaJuan Gaither Curry, Charles Kackley, Donnie Fuller, Walter Barr, Bobby Lloyd, Bobby Barr Row 3: Jim Hartung, Gary Lichliter, Kenny Peffer, Dave Childs, Gary Elsea, Jesse Longerbeam, Dave Hall, Terry Hayton, Harlan Combs Back Row: Charlie Ramsburg, Gene Strother, Bob Fiddler, George Bowman, Dwayne Dillow, Travis Nowlin, Ken Stickley, Charlie Lutman. Photo credit Iva Longerbeam


Eagles Bounce Back Against Generals

#21 Nick Helmut looks for a hole in the defense. Photo credit Phil Butterfass

The Eagles stepped onto their home turf Friday night with something to prove. After a thumping at the hands of the Wildcats last week, coaches stressed focus and told players not to let the loss to Warren County beat them mentally as they faced Stonewall Jackson. 343 rushing yards and 5 touchdowns later, the Eagles showed their focus on the field and walked away with a resounding rebound victory, defeating the Generals 35-7.

Defensive Coordinator Casey Childs told the team after the game, “You didn’t let them get back in the game, you stayed focused especially in the second half, and that’s what good teams do. You bounced back and played well.”

Coach Parker with the offense during a timeout. Photo credit Phil Butterfass

Coach Parker was also satisfied with his team’s turn-around,”I thought we played well, and I was really impressed with the way we came out, especially in the second half. As a coaching staff that’s what we wanted to see.”

From the opening kickoff, the Eagles powered over Stonewall’s defense mounting an 11 play 69 yard drive for the first points of the game on a 1- yard touchdown run by #21 Nick Helmut. #20 Macson McGuian made his debut as kicker with the PAT and set the Eagles lead to 7.

The Generals mounted their own offensive effort and burned through the rest of the first quarter with an 11 play drive, but a botched snap and two penalties backed them up to their own 37 and they were forced to punt the ball away.

#9 Sean McDonald. Photo credit Pam Lettie

The Eagles ground attack would burn through 7:33 on their next scoring drive ending in another 1 yard touchdown run, this time by #5 Davey Hardesty marking his first of 3 TDs on the night. A bad snap on the PAT resulted in a scrambling two-point conversion pushing the Eagle lead to 15.

Ball control would kill any hopes of a comeback for the Generals. Stonewall coughed-up the ball on the Eagle’s 47 yard line and 7 plays later Davey Hardesty punched in his second score of the night.

However, the Generals were not going down without a fight.

With :50 left in the first half the General’s would catch Clarke County’s special teams off guard snapping up the kickoff and tearing down the sidelines for a 75 yard return to the Eagle 37. As time expired on the clock, the Generals would add their only points of the game taking the score at the half to 21-7.

#5 Davey Hardesty had 179 yards rushing on the night. Photo credit Phil Butterfass

The second half of the game belonged entirely to the Eagles as they held the Generals offense to only two first downs. Clarke County would add two more touchdowns to the board, one of which came on a 76 yard break away run from #5 Davey Hardesty.

Hardesty ended the game with 23 carries for 179 yards on the night with 3 touchdowns. #21 Nick Helmut had 10 carries for 66 yards and one touchdown and QB #9 Sean McDonald had 11 carries for 83 yards  with one touchdown and and was 1 for 4 with 18 yards passing on the night.

The Eagles have a bye next week and will face arch-rival Strasburg at home in two weeks.


Schools to Participate in Youth Risk Behaviors Survey

Clarke County Public Schools will partner with the Virginia Department of Health’s Lord Fairfax Health District and other school divisions in the Lord Fairfax Planning District (Clarke, Frederick, Warren, Shenandoah, and Page Counties and the City of Winchester) to administer the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Youth Risk Behavior Survey to all eighth and 11th grade students September 18 – 20, 2012 during one of their regular class periods. School officials say the survey is voluntary and completing the survey should take approximately 30 minutes and that there is no physical test or exam involved.

Superintendent Michael F. Murphy said, “Our division decided to participate in the Youth Risk Behavior Survey because there is strong evidence that healthy students learn better. To improve academic achievement and help ensure that students do not engage in behaviors that put their health at-risk, it is critical to implement quality health programs, policies and activities based on data regarding the health-risk behaviors in which students are engaged. The data gathered through this survey will help local public health officials and our schools identify areas of concern so that they can be addressed in the future.”

The survey is designed to provide baseline data on six types of health risk behaviors that contribute to the leading causes of death and disability among young adults, including: behaviors that contribute to unintentional injuries and violence; sexual behaviors that contribute to unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases; alcohol and other drug use; tobacco use; unhealthy dietary behaviors; and inadequate physical activity. The survey also will assess the prevalence of obesity and asthma among youth in the region.

The results will be used by the Lord Fairfax Health District to identify factors that may affect the health of the area’s youth. The results also will provide the data needed to access certain sources of funding in order to improve health, education, and prevention programs in our community.

School officials said that the survey will be administered in a manner designed to protect student privacy. Students will complete the self-administered questionnaire by recording their responses directly in a computer-scannable booklet, on an answer sheet or on a survey booklet which contains no personal identifiers.

The survey addresses many sensitive areas of students lives so parents of eighth and 11th grade students may opt-out their children by completing a form that is being sent home prior to the survey being administered. The opt-out form can also be downloaded from the school system’s website here:

No action is required by parents who want their child to participate in the survey.

Copies of the survey are being made available for review at Johnson-Williams Middle School and Clarke County High School.

The middle school survey can be accessed online at:

The high school survey can be accessed online at:

Results from the 2011 survey are available at:

Anyone with additional questions about the Youth Risk Behavior Survey is asked to contact the Lord Fairfax Health District at 540-722-3480.

CCPS to Remember September 11 Attacks

This year marks the 11th anniversary of the attack of September 11, 2001. In remembrance, Clarke County Public Schools will participate in a Division-wide moment of silence to be held on Tuesday, September 11, 2012.

During this brief time we will join with other members of our community and those from around the nation and the world to remember those loved ones who fell in this attack on America. We will also pause to remember their families and the heroes who rose during the aftermath of the tragedy and their continued struggles.

Our school community feels it is important to reaffirm and restate our resolve that no life lost in the September 11 attack should be a life lost in vain. Once again, we reaffirm our belief that the people of the United States of America stand together as a community and as a nation, celebrating democracy in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

In addition to a moment of silence, remembrance activities and/or discussions may be conducted as appropriate.

Eagles Fall to Wildcats

#9 Sean McDonald drops back looking for an open receiver. Photo credit Mike Dowling

The road was not kind to the Eagles as they traveled to Warren County to face the Wildcats. Clarke County came into the game after crushing Berkley Springs in their season opener but in Front Royal they encountered a physical team that dominated them on the field and resoundingly defeated the Eagles 27-9.

The night started on a high note for Clarke County as #5 Davey Hardesty tore through the Wildcats on the opening kickoff returning the ball to the Warren County 11 yard line. The Wildcats defense, undaunted by the special teams breakdown, stood their ground and stopped the Eagles cold  forcing them to settle for a 30-yard field goal and their only lead of the game.

The Warren County defense would set the tone for the rest of the night on the next Eagle possession. With 6:59 left in the first quarter the Wildcats broke through Clarke County’s offensive line and slammed into QB Sean McDonald forcing a fumble. Linebacker Jacob Hill picked it up on the 23 yard line and punched it into the end zone for the first of two Warren County defensive touchdown seizing the lead for the remainder of the game.

The Wildcats defense dominated the Eagle’s offensive line completely controlling the line of scrimmage and shutting down Clarke’s running game so the Eagles turned to their passing offense. The  fierce rush from the Wildcats defensive line continually tore into the backfield and kept QB Sean McDonald on the run all night long. Repeatedly flushed from the pocket and strung out to the sidelines, McDonald  threw 3 interceptions further killing any hopes of turning the tide for the Eagles.

Clarke’s offensive line struggled to hold back the Wildcats’ defense. Photo credit Mike Dowling

The Wildcats would go on to rack up three more touchdowns on the evening including a score set up by a blocked punt that left the Wildcats on the Eagles’ doorstep. Two plays later a 10 yard pass by Warren County QB Tyler Post to Matthew Nicholson added their third TD on the night.

The sole touchdown for Clarke came late in the 4th quarter when McDonald connected with #24 Ben Wallace on a 39 yard pass to set up a 2 yard touchdown run by #5 Davey Hardesty.

The Warren County wall held Clarke County to only 44 yards rushing on the entire night.

Coach Parker said after the  game, “They were physically very strong and we had problems blocking them, they were breaking tackles and you can’t allow that against a strong team. We got beat by a very good team but we are better than the way we played tonight.”

The Eagles drop to 1-1 on the season but are still two weeks away from their first Bull Run District game. Clarke County returns to the Felt next week to face Stonewall. Kickoff is at 7:30 PM.

Virginia to Revisit Measurable Objectives for Math

One month after setting annual measurable objectives (AMOs) for mathematics achievement the Virginia Board of Education President David M. Foster indicated that he will ask the board at its September 27 meeting to revisit the standards that were set in July using a methodology approved by the US Department of Education (USED). The methodology was included in Virginia’s Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Flexibility Request, which waived certain No Child Left Behind-era mandates, that was approved by USED on June 29.

“The timeline for reviewing Virginia’s request necessitated both the Board of Education and USED approving a methodology for setting annual objectives for student subgroups before results from the rigorous new mathematics Standards of Learning (SOL) tests were available,” Foster said. “Now that we know the impact of the 2011-2012 tests on the mathematics AMOs, USED, Superintendent of Public Instruction Patricia I. Wright, Secretary of Education Laura Fornash and I agree that the board should revisit the methodology in order to set more aggressive annual goals for raising subgroup achievement and closing achievement gaps.”

In a letter today to Wright, federal Assistant Secretary of Education Deborah S. Delisle acknowledged the state’s decision to revisit the AMOs and applauded Virginia’s commitment to implementing college- and career-ready standards for all students and for being the first state to base its annual measurable objectives on rigorous new standards and assessments. Delisle said Foster’s decision to ask the Board of Education to revisit the AMOs reflects the commonwealth’s “commitment to put into place a system intended to improve the performance of all students and close achievement gaps.”

“Governor McDonnell and the Board of Education are committed to high expectations for all students,” Foster said. “This is evident in our decision not to back away from the commonwealth’s challenging new mathematics standards. And this commitment will inform the board’s review of the federal AMOs next month and the discussion that will begin shortly thereafter about strengthening the commonwealth’s accreditation standards and reaching the board’s goal of proficiency for all students.”

The Board of Education’s accreditation standards do not vary depending on the demographic characteristics of the school. The same achievement levels on SOL tests in English, mathematics, science and history/social science are required for a school to earn a rating of Fully Accredited regardless of the race or ethnicity of the children attending the school.

School Board Gets Updates on IB, AP, AMO, and More

The Clarke County School Board held their first meeting of the new school year in an extensive session that covered several testing issues as well as performance updates and introduced the new student liaison to the board. Below is an overview of the board’s discussions.

PAVAN Update

Art Instructor Kathy Campbell addressed the board with an update on the school’s work towards providing art instructional opportunities for students.  Superintendent Mike Murphy opened the presentation by saying, “As we move forward from the PAVAN discussion we have received some citizen complaints about lack of programming for the arts and I think there is a lack of understanding about the fact that it is the board’s intent to reinvest in our kids with programming for the arts.” He introduced Ms. Campbell who told the board, “I have talked to all but one of the fine arts teachers in the system and we have all come to a consensus idea of having some kind of summer program, a two-week summer program, which would include a two-night arts festival on Friday and Saturday nights after the two-week session. We will have theater productions, improv, music, and possibly have musical groups come in on Saturday night.”

Campbell added, “The teachers that I have talked to think it is very doable and thought it would actually work better than PAVAN without the transportation issues. The application process for PAVAN was quite complicated for the students and I know that may have kept the numbers down.”

In closing, Ms. Campbell said that she thought there could be a large group of students that would be interested in the new approach.

2012 School Board Student Liaison

The Board also welcomed Clarke County High School senior Evan McKay as the student liaison. McKay addressed the board and presented results from the State of Our Nation’s Youth survey which is conducted by The Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans. McKay participated in a panel for the survey and presented some of the information to the board for their consideration. He said the survey found that many students were apprehensive about the prospect of paying for college. It also indicated that students found that despite taking more advanced coursework during high school, a considerable share of college-enrolled students reported they needed remediation classes during college to reinforce the IB and AP high school classes. McKay ended on a brighter note and said that most students felt the schools were doing a better job at teaching. When students were asked nationwide to rate the quality of their schools, today’s high school students gave their schools a grade of an A, reflecting modest improvements over previous years.

McKay added that within Clarke County, students seem satisfied with the schools and are particularly pleased with the new high school facility. McKay closed by saying, “On behalf of the student body of Clarke County High School I would like to thank the school board for all you have done.”

IB Test Results

International Baccalaureate (IB) and Advanced Placement (AP) test results were also presented to the board for review. Mr. Thom Potts presented the results from the May 2012 tests for IB diploma candidates. There were only six students who enrolled for the diploma and one student who was re-testing, so the results were based on a pool of 7 students. Potts attributed the small number to the the last vestiges of the elementary acceleration model that combined grades in Clarke County. He indicated that many of this group’s classmates received their IB Diploma the year before, “So we had a year where we had a much smaller group than we typically do.” He pointed out that this year there are 20 students enrolled and 22 for the following year. Based on the group of 7, the district achieved a 71% success rate for students who earned a 4 or better.

Berryville District Board Member Jim Brinkmeier questioned how colleges viewed a score of 4 on a 1 to 7 scale. “Is four good to universities?” Potts said that all schools view the scores differently, but that most would consider a 4 as a respectable result.

AP Test Results

Dr. Jeff Jackson presented AP results. Eighty-one students were enrolled in AP classes last year which included Calculus, Statistics, U.S. Government, and Virtual Virginia courses. For students to be eligible for college credit they must take the AP exam. Of the 81 students that enrolled, only 14 took the test for credit and of those, 12 earned a score of 3 or higher on a 5 point scale. Representative Schutte questioned Jackson why so few elected to take the test. Dr. Jackson put it simply, “We do not pay the cost of taking the test, so we cannot compel them to take it.” The timing of sign-ups and several other factors were also listed as possible contributing factors. Dr. Jackson did point out that AP enrollment has increased dramatically and said that this year there are already 126 students enrolled in AP course.

ACT Results

ACT results were also addressed as an accomplishment in the district. The ACT represents an additional or alternative to the SAT test for college entry, but the ACT is taken by very few college bound graduates. In Clarke, students who did take the ACT scored above the state and national average score. See results here.

AYP versus AMO

Clarke County Public Schools continue to wrestle with the ever changing ramifications of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Waiver. At last night’s meeting, Division Director of Testing (DDOT), Ed Shewbridge gave updates on the replacement accountability measures that are coming down from the Virginia Department of Education. Virginia no longer issues Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) ratings. Now, Annual Measurable Objectives (AMO) will be reported. This approach breaks the student population into sub-groups that will be measured and each will will have an AMO target to meet. Under NCLB all students and all subgroups had to meet 100% proficiency by the year 2014. With AMO, the groups are split into units that will allow different achievement targets. This will help ensure data can be analyzed more effectively to drive curriculum decisions. Also, a large representative group will not have a negative impact on the overall scores for the school or district. New AMO achievement targets are shown below.

Clarke County Exceeds Virginia Averages and Improves on ACT

ACT results were released to public schools on August 22, 2012. ACT results are reported on a scale of 1 to 36 in the subjects of English, Mathematics, Reading and Science. Thirty-one graduating students from the class of 2012 were tested at Clarke County High School (CCHS).

CCPS ACT Scores - 1
CCHS students achieved higher scores in all areas this year as compared to last year with an overall increase of .06 in the Composite score.

CCPS ACT Scores - 2

CCHS students achieved higher averages than the State overall, with a Composite score 0.8 points higher than the state average.

CCPS ACT Scores - 3

The ACT, in collaboration with higher education institutes, has formulated benchmarks that suggest success in college. The benchmarks identify students who are prepared for first year college subjects including English Composition, Algebra, Social Science, and Biology. CCHS students achieved higher averages than the State overall, and are 6 percentage points higher than the state in all four of the core areas measured.