Spotlight on the Gifted Experience

VBCPS Office of Gifted Programs

2021 E.E. Brickell Scholarship Winner and Finalists-Congratulations!

Lalitha Aiyar, Princess Anne High School, is the winner of the Class of 2021 E.E. Brickell Scholarship in the amount of $6000. The Brickell Scholarship Program is sponsored yearly by the Virginia Beach Rotary Club in tandem with the VBCPS Office of Gifted Programs. The scholarship is awarded to one high school senior for their exceptional academic achievement and school involvement, including exemplary community service.

A member of Mu Alpha Theta (Math Honor Society) and National Honor Society, Lalitha is also the Community Outreach Officer of the Science National Honor Society. She is an AP Scholar with Distinction as well as a member of the Virginian-Pilot Scholastic Achievement Team. She is also the captain of the Princess Anne Scholastic Bowl Team and the WorldQuest team lead. Lalitha is passionate about the environment; she has conducted award-winning research on algal biofuels and engineered a bioplastic bottle out of milk. She also served as the Science Research Director of the Virginia Youth Climate Cooperative, a statewide climate advocacy organization, and has worked directly with state delegates on science-based climate policy. Aside from academics, Lalitha is an avid dancer and especially enjoys helping to teach younger ballet students. She has also volunteered at Nauticus since her freshman year. Lalitha will attend Johns Hopkins University and plans to major in environmental engineering and economics in hopes of pursuing a career in climate policy and


2021 E.E. Brickell Scholarship Finalists

2021 VA Gifted Outstanding Teacher of the Gifted Award Recipients

Congratulations to the 2021 VA Gifted Outstanding Teacher of the Gifted award recipients for Virginia Beach City Public Schools! Both of these amazing educators make a huge impact on their schools and the gifted community in Virginia Beach.

Sun-Siret (Sunny) Betancourt has been a Gifted Resource Teacher in Virginia Beach for ten years and in education for twenty-one years. She works at New Castle Elementary School where she collaborates with cluster teachers, conducts staff development, holds parent workshops and seeks to foster a collaborative environment with grade level, gifted cluster, and Spanish Immersion teachers. Mrs. Betancourt has presented at state and national conferences in addition to leading professional development for the school division.

Heidi Yeager has been a Gifted Resource Teacher in Virginia Beach for five years, and in education for twenty-one years. She works at Kempsville Middle School where she provides opportunities to challenge gifted learners through student-centered learning activities and plans collaboratively with gifted cluster teachers to develop tailored lesson plans that will accommodate the needs of the gifted learners. Mrs. Yeager works to support the academic and social-emotional needs of students through a variety of opportunities including gifted lunches and creating Social and Emotional lessons for the school.