Last updateThu, 19 Nov 2015 8pm


School Board presents request for $33,667,370 for 2009-10 budget

Two more spending lists also ask for an additional $1M+ 

The King George School Board last week presented its 2009-10 budget request to the Board of Supervisors, asking for $39,722,566, which includes a proposal for $33,667,370 for the School Board’s operating budget.
The total budget request of $39.7M includes $4.7M for debt service and $1.3M for the Cafeteria Fund.  
The School Board’s budget request was presented to the Board of Supervisors last week on March 3.  Superintendent Candace Brown and Chairperson Sherrie Allwine provided an overview of the request.
Brown said the School Board’s budget priorities were threefold, as noted in the slide presentation, to maintain current staff, provide a safe environment and meet the academic needs of all students.  
That would presumably be accomplished with the requested $33,667,370 for the School Board’s operating budget.  
But, not so.  Several additional spending lists were presented to the Board of Supervisors as noted below.
Brown also said the division exceeds requirements for the Standards of Quality (SOQs) in several areas.
Those include no requirement for any assistant principal at Potomac Elementary, since the SOQs call for one half-time assistant principal at an elementary school once the student population reaches 600 students.  Potomac Elementary only has 486 students.
Brown noted that the number of assistant principals at the high school also exceeds the SOQS.  High schools must have one assistant principal for each 600 students.  King George High School has 3 assistant principals with an enrollment of 1,247, which is just over the line for needing 2 assistants.
Secondary guidance was also noted as exceeding SOQ requirements.  That’s likely why Brown had proposed cutting guidance hours.  The School Board has put it on a list to add it back into the budget, if additional funding can be secured from the county.  
ADDITIONAL CRITICAL NEEDS LISTS    School Board Chairperson Sherrie Allwine provided numerous additional spending lists, requesting funding an additional $1,071,637 for items called “Critical Needs.”  The lists are enumerated below.
$376,379 FOR CRITICAL NEEDS     Allwine provided four additional spending lists for “Critical Needs for Safety & Remediation,”  “Critical Instructional Requirements,” “Other Priority” for more guidance hours and for “Head Start.”
The four lists total $376,379.
The Safety & Remediation list is further broken down. 
SAFETY NEEDS    The items on the spending list for safety comes to $124,680 and includes the following:
$25,000 for a part-time physical education teacher at the high school
$16,000 for a physical education paraprofessional (aide) at Sealston Elementary
$16,000 for a physical education paraprofessional at King George Elementary
$5,400 for an after-school hall monitor at the high school, $4,018 for 10 walkie-talkies at King George Elementary
$21,847 to add a custodian at the high school
$21,847 to add a custodian at the middle school (at the old high school)
$14,568 to add a bus paraprofessional
REMEDIATION NEEDS    The items on the spending list for remediation comes to $102,552 and includes the following:
$18,000 for after-school tutoring at the high school
$18,000 for after-school tutoring at the middle school
$57,552 for an activity bus run
$9,000 for supplements for speech teachers
OTHER PRIORITY NEEDS    Allwine also noted another School Board priority was to provide for additional hours for guidance counselors:
$13,393 is the cost for additional hours for guidance.
HEAD START PROGRAM   At all School Board budget meetings, keeping the Head Start program was noted at a cost of $96,668.
For the benefit of the Supervisors, the additional transportation cost for transportation was also provided to bring the total cost to $135,754: 
$96,668 to be paid to the Regional Head Start program
$39,086 for transportation costs
It’s not clear why the Head Start program has been deleted from the proposed School Board budget.  At budget meeting after budget meeting, the School Board has unanimously agreed that Head Start will be put back into the budget, even if they have to delete something else, if they don’t get any additional funding over their current request.
ADDITIONAL CRITICAL INSTRUCTIONAL REQUIREMENTS    Allwine presented another spending list adding up to $727,258, calling this one critical instructional requirements. 
The spending list is enumerated below.
$25,000 for a part-time career/technical education (CTE) teacher at the high school
$75,000 for 1.5 full-time equivalent elective teachers at the middle school
$16,000 for a paraprofessional (aide) for K-1st grade at Potomac Elementary
$2,700 for purchase of a kiln at Potomac Elementary
$50,000 for an additional 1st grade teacher at Sealston Elementary
$150,000 for 3 computer lab teachers, one at each of the elementary schools
$150,000 for 3 science lab teachers, one at each of the elementary schools
$150,000 for 3 reading resource teachers, one at each of the elementary schools
$108,558 for technology hardware
REQUEST FOR LOCAL FUNDING    The School Board is requesting $13,445,008 in county funding from the Board of Supervisors, compared to $10,696,752, as required by the state for local funding from King George.
That comes to a request for $2,748,256 more than the required local effort. 
County Director of Finance/Deputy County Administrator Donita Harper has noted that each penny on the real estate tax equates to $261,970.
The School Board’s request for more local funding than the state requires would equate to a 10.5-cent increase on the real estate tax rate.

By Phyllis Cook
Staff Reporter

Some students are just perfect!

King George High School students earn perfect scores on SOLs
King George Superintendent Dr. Candace Brown last week released the names of King George High School students achieving perfect scores on Standards of Learning (SOL) tests taken during the first semester.  
SOLs are given at the high school twice each year, since the school is on a 4-block system which provides students the ability to earn full-year course credits during each semester.  The rest of the county’s schools take SOLs in the spring.  

Fall 2008 Perfect SOL Scores for End of Course Tests:
• English – Writing:  Christopher Braccini, Margaret Gruen, Phillip Hinkes, Devon Jeffery, Sarah Lundberg, Diana Mendez, Caroline Merryman, Richard Portner, Hollis Pultz, Sloane Salkey, Stephanie Such, Michael Torres.
• English – Reading:  Christopher Braccini, Margaret Gruen, Sarah Lundberg, Daniel Pearson, Hollis Pultz.
• Algebra II:  Kathleen Gilmer, Beth Loudin, Brett Wilson.
• Geometry:  Hunter Josemans, Adam Shelkey.
• VA & US History:  Christopher Braccini, Darren Breton, Jamie Clift, Joshua Cordes, Joseph Embrey, Benjamin Hankins, Crystal Kimbro, Sarah Lundberg, Dylan Manard, Austin Miller, Tyler Nobles, Daniel Pearson, Hollis Pultz.
• World History II:  Alexander Askin, Alexandra Bentz, Christiana Bentz, Tyler Collins, Taylor Coxon, Joseph Durling, Joshua Johnson, Taylor McDermott, Stephanie Merryman.
• Earth Science:  Tasha Barker, Michael Bewick, Katherine Canaday, Sean Collins, Tyler Collins, Tyler Furjes, Christen Green, Margaret James, Travis Kline, Matthew Payne.
• World Geography:  Sean Collins, Brett Wilson.


By Phyllis Cook
Staff Reporter


Devastating house fire

Per David Moody, the Fire Chief:
911 was called shortly after 7:00 PM Monday evening reporting that the car was on fire in the garage.  Fire crews arrived on scene to find the home almost completely engulfed in fire.  Fire crews battled the fire from the outside vs. trying to go inside due to the roof collapse.  

No human casualties, however one dog was lost in the fire but a cat was saved.  One person was treated for smoke inhalation but did not require transport by EMS.  

Some of the challenges that we had that evening were the location, water supply and the wind helping to feed the fire.  

Fire crews responded from King George in addition to crews from Stafford County, Charles County (Fire Boat to supply water from the Potomac River).  We also had a crew from Westmoreland County to back-fill Company 1 and a crew from Charles County back-fill Company 2 in case we received any additional calls.  As far the number of firefighters on-scene, we had a total of approximately 50 firefighters from King George and mutual-aid units that were on-scene.  The fire did in fact start from the garage area of the home, but the cause is still under investigation.

The guiding light

Her hands are the inspiration of beauty and the guiding light of King George County.

   Ida Bertha Hodge’s life-long dream of providing hair care in the form of cosmetology for the residents of her beloved community has lasted for nearly 50 years. In 1962, during the days when the state of Virginia required beauty salons to have licensed operators, Ida Bertha Styling Salon was established in the heart of King George—adjacent to her home.
   Her presence was unique in several respects. Not only was she an accomplished beautician, but also, she became the first licensed African American beautician in King George County—and remained the only one for many years.
   Her salon offers relaxers, permanents, coloring, cutting, sets, treatment for damaged hair, and the “back in the day” hard press and curl. Although clients have come and gone, after 52 years of making the ladies beautiful and on occasion, making the male clients handsome, her business continues to thrive.
   Before embarking on her career in hair care, Hodge realized that she needed a firm foundation built on education. She graduated from Edgehill Training School, before graduating from Apex Beauty College in Richmond, Virginia.
   She received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Cosmetology in 1973 at the National Convention in Denver, Colorado. In order to keep abreast of the latest trends, she attends clinics and workshops related to her vocation. Throughout the years, Hodge has won numerous State and National awards and certificates.
   An ardent believer in sharing her craft with aspiring beauticians, she has also been an instructor for hair coloring classes.  Her vibrant and classy personality transcends into her unique style of fashion. To date, she is known throughout the Virginia Beauticians Association [VSBA] as a fashionable model, and as the lady who can model those hats.
   Hodge has also given back to the community in the form of volunteerism. She is a 50-year member of the Guiding Star Chapter, #216, Order of Eastern Star, Prince Hall Affiliated, King George Chapter of the NAACP, King George County Officer of Elections, King George Democratic Party, Lifetime Member of the Ralph Bunche Alumni Association, Fredericksburg Local Beauticians Association [50 years], Board of Directors for VSBA, National Beauty Culturist League Association, Little Ark Baptist Church [Usher Board, Kitchen Committee, Trustee Board, Choir], and volunteer for nursing homes.
   Her late husband, Lawrence Hodge, Sr. was also an entrepreneur in King George County as the owner of Hodges Welding Service for 45 years and a retiree from NSWC, Dahlgren Laboratory after 36 years of dedicated service.
Hodge is the proud mother of Lawrence Hodge Jr., who served in the United States Air Force and retired from the United States Postal Service. Her daughter Gail is a graduate of Hampton Institute [University] and a Program Analyst, currently supporting the United States Navy as a defense contractor.
   She has seven living siblings: Mageline, Adelle, Alice, Rosie, Benjamin, Eugene and Mary Ann.  Her three deceased siblings are James, Tommy and Sadie.
   Through segregation, to integration, Hodge has been steadfast in her convictions to strangers, friends and family that anything is possible if you strive to achieve and keep the faith in God. And achieve she has; her chosen profession and a life long of lasting friendships. Most recently, she was honored by the NAACP annual banquet that was held at the King George Citizens Center.
   She has always lived by the biblical passage, Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

A life fulfilled - Dr. Lillian Parker Wright, an example of high achievement

   Throughout her life, Dr. Lillian Parker Wright has always traveled along the road of academia. Now a retired professor and administrator from Norfolk State University, Dr. Wright continues to inspire everyone around her, including her constituents on the Norfolk Public Schools School Board. Her humble beginnings during the era of segregation while attending the less than favorable environment associated with the King George Training School [KGTS] did not discourage her from her professional destiny—it made her stronger.
   “We knew what we had, and we made the best of what we had,” Dr. Wright said. “I felt that succeeding in education would make it possible to do better.”
Dr. Wright not only graduated with a bachelor’s degree in home economics from Virginia State University, but she was the first KGTS graduate to return to King George as an educator at her high school alma mater, whose name had changed to Ralph Bunche High School. She later received a Masters Degree from Columbia University Teachers College and a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland.
   She was influenced to pursue a career in the field of home economics education by her high school home economics teacher, Ms. Nelson T. Higgenbotham. Higgenbotham bestowed upon her the value of personal preparation, and how it could benefit her later throughout her life. “Home economics prepared students for the world,” Dr. Wright said. “It was more than just cooking and sewing, it dealt with consumer practices that everyone needed to be efficient in. Among the life skills that prepared students for their journey through life, were food preparation, apparel selection, housing decisions and family relations.”
   She and her late husband Dr. William Wright served as examples to their children, Wilhelmina [Mimi] and William II, that academics will forever be the key to their future. “Education is very important in our family, because we know what it can do for you,” Dr. Wright said. “It’s my philosophy that education is your key to freedom. If you want to be free, get your education, otherwise you will be a slave to man.”
Wilhelmina and William excelled in their chosen fields, both professionally and academically. Wilhelmina completed her undergraduate’s degree at Yale before completing Harvard Law School. Among her classmates at Harvard was the First Lady, Michelle Obama. The Governor of Minnesota later appointed her as a judge to the Minnesota Court of Appeals. She also served as a federal district judge and the Assistant U.S. Attorney for the state of Minnesota. In addition, she also worked at the prestigious law firm of Hogan & Hartson during her clerkship.
Wilhelmina’s brother William graduated from Yale before receiving his Masters from the University of Virginia. Currently he works for Morgan Stanley as a managing director, on Wall Street in New York.  Most recently he was honored as being one of Yales most outstanding alumni.
   Dr. Wright’s late husband, William was a well-respected member of the community of college professors. While working at Norfolk State University, he was the assistant Dean for the School of Education and the Head of the Health & Physical Education Department for thirty years.
   Dr. Wright’s siblings, Garnet, Stanley, Leroy and George, and their children have all succeeded in their chosen professions.
Nowadays, Dr. Wright continues to make a positive impression in her community. Among her many accolades while serving on the Virginia School Boards Association [VSBA] and the National School Boards Association [NSBA] are as follows: 2004-2005 Delegate, VSBA General Assembly; 2005 Presenter, VSBA Annual Convention; Member, VSBA Federal Relations Committee; Member VSBA Regional Nominating Committee; Presenter, NSBA/CUBE Convention.
Her community and civic activities include: Trustee, Bank Street Memorial Baptist Church; Treasurer, Campostella Heights Civic League; Member, Virginia    School Boards Association Advisory Board; Delta Sigma Theta.
   After experiencing the growth of political accomplishments in the African American culture for over 70 years Dr. Wright remains cautiously optimistic when it comes to the country’s ability to embrace many cultures. “I never focused on if I would ever see an African American president; however, I felt if the right person, with the right credentials, and the right philosophy ran for President, that person would win,” Dr. Wright said. “Education can prepare you for life’s challenges; however, we live in a society than can block you from your efforts.”

Leonard M. Banks





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