The Manassas Park City Schools board discussed on Tuesday recent accolades within the school division, including those of a high school junior who recently wowed the masses with her oration.
Compliments gushed from school board members and administrators after Ebonee Johnson recited for them her oration on education which earned her a finalist spot at 22nd Annual King Day Celebration at Hylton Memorial Chapel this month.
“I’m so impressed. I’m so terribly impressed,” school board Chairman Michael Wine told Ebonee and her family, who were present at Tuesday’s meeting.
Each year, Manassas Park students trump earlier accomplishments by getting better, school board member Ron Gill said.
Ebonee’s voice rang out, "loud and proud,” during her presentation at the Hylton, resulting in one of the few standing ovations from the crowd, Wine said.
Wine also was honored Tuesday by Manassas Park Superintendent Dr. Bruce McDade who presented him with an academy award from the Virginia School Board Association (VSBA)
The entire school board received the same recognition from the VSBA in October, but Wine was not present at that meeting to receive his award, McDade said.
Wine also was awarded a pen because he earned additional learning credits from the agency.
McDade also announced that February is School Board Member Appreciation Month.
He thanked the board and said their jobs consist of more than just attending meetings, the superintendent said.
Board members are also part of various committees, including the important revenue-sharing committee and the finance committee.
“Clearly, the five of you make a difference in what we do for the children of Manassas Park,” McDade said.
The board, in turn, honored school board clerk Dana Williams with a certificate of recognition for her work.
The recognition is in observance of School Board Clerk Appreciation Week, which is Feb. 12-18.
In other news, Manassas Park staff demonstrated a new and free tool the school division now uses for sending students’ transcripts.
The school division recently began using a program call eTranscripts that allows requested transcripts to be sent electronically, virtually eliminating the need to print, Manassas Park High guidance counselor Cindy Watson and Manassas Park director of accountability and assessment Jon Mamon said Tuesday.
The data is housed at the Virginia Transcript Center, Mamon said. Counselors can send transcripts and attachments to a list of colleges and universities using the system. The system then produces a tracking number for each transcript sent; much like the process used by large parcel shipping companies.
The system even lists the top 10 destinations and recipients of the transcripts sent by Manassas Park, Watson said.
If a certain university isn’t using the system, counselors can send a request to add the university and get a reply from the Virginia Transcript Center within a matter of days, Watson said.
Transcripts can also be sent to the U.S. Armed Forces and even to insurance companies. Families can often get discounts on their insurance polices when a student driver has good grades.
Students eventually will be able to print out their transcripts, but that’s a little ways down the road because the school division doesn’t have an archive yet, Mamon said.
Manassas Park City Schools Financial director Krista Kelly updated the board on the division’s finances Tuesday and said expenditures appear to be right on track.
School board members reviewed FY 2012 expenditures through Dec. 2011 which show, among other things, that $32,788,010 or about 39 percent of the 2012 budget had been spent.
That number includes salary and non-salary expenditures.
Here are some important dates on the school division's calendar for February:
- McDade will present his proposed budget for the school division on Feb. 6 at 7 p.m. in the school board meeting room, upstairs in City Hall.
- There will be a budget work session on Feb. 9 at 7 p.m. in the school board meeting room, upstairs in City Hall.
- There will be a Finance Committee meeting on Feb. 13 at 7 p.m. in the school board meeting room
- There will be a regular school board meeting on Feb. 27 at 7 p.m. in the school board meeting room.