Three SCPS Programs Featured in Showcase Publication
Showcase Features the Big Give, EMT Class, & Summer Arts Academy
Cameron  Yeakle in Jazz Band


Woodstock, VA
 – The Virginia School Boards Association has released its 18th annual VSBA Showcases for Success directory, highlighting successful K-12 programs in Virginia’s public schools. Shenandoah County Public Schools is one of 62 school divisions from across the Commonwealth that has programs featured in the directory. 

 The Big Give
 at Peter Muhlenberg Middle School

Started in 2009, the Big Give is Peter Muhlenberg Middle School’s annual community service event with hundreds of students, Grades 6 through 8, completing a variety of community service projects at PMMS and throughout Shenandoah County.   It provides a real-life, authentic way for students to understand the civics standard of effective citizenship and to give back to their community.  Over the past four years, students have taken the lead in organizing events (including Bake Sale, Lacrosse Exhibition, T-shirt sale) to raise money for community organizations (library, Breast Cancer research and Shenandoah National Park).  Students served those living in nursing homes, worked to feed the hungry, remembered the military and those affected by natural disasters,  supported literacy, raised funds for charity and took care of animals and the environment. 

Photos courtesy of Jennifer Haas Jones

Big Give
PMMS art students and their teacher made butterflies to sell to benefit the Shenandoah County Animal Shelter. 

BIg GIve
PMMS students (from left) Issac Rhodes (yellow shirt), Kyle Conner, and Daniel Rosenberger  are pre-fabricating parts for a make-and-take composter workshop hosted by Friends of the North Fork. Proceeds went to the Friends of the North Fork.  
PMMS BIg GIve   PMMS students Daryen Stanley (on left) and Bailey Lloyd planted shrubs outside Peter Muhlenberg Middle school in Woodstock, VA.  Other groups of students picked up litter along roads and streets.

 Emergency Medical Technician Program Offered to Secondary Students in Shenandoah County Public Schools
The class that “began as a vision,” said Bill Streett, Deputy Chief Training Officer for Shenandoah County Fire and Rescue, became reality last fall.  Students from all three of the county’s high schools may enroll in the class, which is taught during the school day at Stonewall Jackson High School, two days a week in three-hour blocks.   The course is a combination of textbooks and hands-on training.  Students also shadow a Fire and Rescue mentor.   Students are required to pull duty one day per week at a local station and meet with their EMT mentor.

 Upon successful completion of the course and a two-part certification test, students may receive their Emergency Medical Technician Certification

The class has multiple benefits:  provides students a gateway into health care and possible health employment opportunity; credits earned will transfer to community college; and successful students are able to volunteer for local fire and rescue. 

Photos are courtesy of Bill Streett, Jr. Deputy Chief Training Officer for Shenandoah         County Fire & Rescue.  

 EMT Class
Students immobilize a “victim” of a suspected neck / back injury who is standing.  Pictured from l to r:  Felicia Vandine, Victoria Marston (playing the role of the victim) and Colton Davis. Not pictured behind the backboard is Carston Shtanko maintaining control of the cervical spine.
EMT Class
 Victoria Marston plays  the role of the “victim” as students practice spinal immobilization .
EMT Class   Students are taking vital signs as part of a patient assessment simulation.  Pictured from l to r :  Jeremy Lonas, Carston Shtanko (the victim) and Dana Copp.


Summer Arts Academy
The Summer Arts Academy was an amazing week of studying the fine arts.   Students in Grades 5-12 participated in Jazz Band, Show Choir, Visual Arts, Improv Theatre, or Musical Performance. Shenandoah County teachers were instructors for each component.  Improvement was evident throughout the week as students practiced songs, perfected dramatic performances, or created masterpieces.  A culminating performance was held at the end of the week for the community.  The Summer Arts Academy was a rewarding and fulfilling summer experience for students and teachers! 

Research has linked involvement in the arts to gains in academic areas, critical thinking, confidence, and teamwork. College Board (2010) data shows that students taking arts or music courses for four years scored higher on each of the SAT’s [sections] compared to their counterparts."    A summer art experience might be the spark that ignites an artistic path that just might improve an SAT score.

Photos courtesy of Herb Wilburn

Summer Arts Academy
Jeff Guenther gives helping hand to North Fork Middle Schooler LuLu Funkhouser in the Visual Arts class. 

Cameron Yeakle is reflected in his tuba as he practiced with the Jazz Band.

 Summer Arts Electric Guitar
Justin Halterman, a student at Stonewall Jackson HS, added the distinctive sound of the bass guitar to the Jazz Band.
Summer Arts Academy Staff---
Stacey Leitzel, Director

Heather Hess & Sean Dufy--Administrators

Improv Theatre with Trish Diachenko 

Musical Performance with Kylene Robinson, Marianne Houff and Chad Kimble

Visual Arts with Jeff Guenther

Show Choir with Dr. Lynn Atkins and Rob Yeakle

Jazz Band with Sarah Golden and Robert Curry

The full VSBA Showcases for Success directory is available at It includes division-wide programs, as well as those at elementary, middle, and high school levels. This year’s theme was the VSBA’s tagline, “Leadership – Advocacy – Support."   As shown in the directory, the emphasis on leadership, advocacy, and support is found at every level of the educational process. 

For more information about the VSBA Showcases for Success, contact Gina Patterson, VSBA executive director, at or 434-295-8722. 

About the Virginia School Boards Association
Virginia School Boards Association, a voluntary, nonpartisan organization of Virginia school boards, promotes excellence in public education through advocacy, training and services. The Association offers conferences, information, training, and counseling designed to meet the needs of the Commonwealth’s educational leaders.