RCPS Division Newsletter
RCES Hosts Special Guests
U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) Administrator Cindy Long traveled to Rappahannock County for National School Lunch Week on Friday morning, October 13, to visit Rappahannock County Elementary School. RCPS is a recent recipient of FNS’ Healthy Meal Incentive Initiative grant for small and rural school food authorities. The HMI grant was established to improve the nutritional quality of school meals through food systems transformation, school food authority recognition and technical assistance, and the generation and sharing of innovative ideas and tested practices. Additional guests from the USDA joined Administrator Long: Dr. Patty Bennett (Regional Administrator, Mid-Atlantic Region), Erin Kesler (Senior Administrative Specialist, Office of the Administrator), and Julena Campbell (Director, Regional communications & Partnerships, Mid-Atlantic Region). Special guests from the VDOE School Nutrition program included Bee Thorp (VDOE SNP Farm to School Specialist) and Callie Nickles (VDOE SNP Training and Marketing Specialist). Additionally, RCPS welcomed Tannia Talento, Regional Director, from the office of Senator Mark Warner. Rappahannock County’s Assistant Administrator Bonnie Jewell, Board of Supervisors Debbie Donehey (Chair) and Keir Whitson (Vice-Chair), and School Board Vice-Chair Larry Grove were present to welcome the guests to Rappahannock.
The special guests had an opportunity to tour the picturesque courtyard and see the school garden while learning how RCES will incorporate student-grown herbs and veggies into school meals and how the grant funding will further improve these efforts. Farm to Table students Bentley Broen and Jason Williams shared valuable insight on how the students take pride in their gardens and the care that is given to the plants daily. After touring the gardens, Administrator Cindy Long joined the cafeteria staff to serve scratch-based pizza to the 3rd-grade students in the lunch line. Once everyone was served, she had an opportunity to visit with the kids, hear the students’ perspectives on school meals, and speak with the cafe staff. The special guests enjoyed dining in the cafeteria and eating the delicious school lunch, including scratch-based pizza, fresh veggies, and locally sourced apples from Thornton River Orchard & Market.
Photos by Holly Jenkins
Championship Ring Ceremony
Our State Champions, the Rappahannock County Girls Varsity Basketball team, were honored during a special championship ring ceremony on October 30th. The first ceremony of its kind in the school's history, the student-athletes were presented with a ring to celebrate their hard work, dedication, and triumphant season. Following the presentation of rings, everyone enjoyed an exquisite array of food prepared by Gail Czekaj with assistance from Tasha White, Katherine Todd, Kathy Atkins, and Tatyana Yates.
Virginia High School League Class 1 State Champions: Abigail Atkins, Brookelyn Atkins, Joley Beard, Shelby Clem, Alaynna Compton, Chloe Jenkins, Savannah Loving, Carmen Pond, Taylor Pullen, Summer Shackelford, and Dakota Stringfellow
Coaches: Jeff Atkins (Head Coach), Kayla Robey (Assistant Coach), Henry Shackelford (JV Head Coach), and Melissa Loving (JV Assistant Coach)
Athletic Director: Courtney Atkins
Photos by Holly Jenkins
RCES Panthers of the Month
Congratulations to our Jr. Panthers of the Month, pictured on “Dress As Your Favorite Book Character Day.” This month’s students were selected by their teachers for demonstrating good citizenship and leadership amongst their peers. The students will be treated to a special recognition luncheon with Ms. Wissinger and Ms. Lowe-Barton.
Join us in congratulating our remarkable Jr. Panthers of the Month!
PreK- Colton MacArthur, Isaiah Bremmerman
Kindergarten- Maddie Opseth, Bransen Wolfe, Cullen Jenkins, Harper Horton
1st- Abigail Dodson, Savannah Pullen, Cobie Triolo
2nd- Zella Lopiano, Blake Trollinger, Randy Downes
3rd- Hailey Jenkins, Heath Jenkins, Emma Smith, Allison Baldwin
4th- Paisley Reha, Christopher Creel, Peyton Graves
5th- Shawn Jenkins, Angel Lemus Lopez, Noah Lehmer
6th- William Frelk, Harper Jenkins, Elsie Matthews
7th- Alayna Frelk, Reed Morey, Rose Grimsley
Photo by Holly Jenkins
A Look Back at the Month in Pictures
RCES students, dressed in their favorite storybook character costumes, enjoyed a fun Trunk-or-Treat on October 27th. Thank you to Katherine Todd for organizing this fantastic event and all the volunteers who set up trunks full of goodies. The students had a blast! Photo by Holly Jenkins
RCHS kicked off this year's PRIDE (Positive Relationships Inspire a Drive for Excellence) clubs with fun games and a Halloween costume contest on October 31st. Students broke into their selected clubs and competed in a Spooky Club Challenge to see which group could complete a series of silly activities first. There were lots of laughs shared throughout the event. Photo by Holly Jenkins
Panther Stadium roared with applause on Senior Night as seniors from football, band cheer, and golf were honored at the football game on October 6th. Volleyball was recognized at their home game on October 17th. Photo by Holly Jenkins
During the School Board Meeting on October 10th, the RCES Theater Arts class performed a one-act sneak peek of "The Corpse Bride." This class, taught by Ms. Beth Seeley, was featured in Principal Wissinger's RCES Remarkable Spotlight, along with the new Jr. Panthers of the Month recognition. Congratulations to the theater students for their outstanding performance and to Ms. Grady's 7th Grade Art class for their fantastic set design! Photo by Holly Jenkins
During the week of October 16th, RCPS celebrated National Bus Safety Week. On October 18th, the transportation team received a tasty Chic-fil-A breakfast and some RCPS transportation swag to thank them for their dedication and commitment to safety. We are grateful to our bus drivers and transportation staff for working hard to ensure our students arrive safely at school and back home every day! Photo by Holly Jenkins
The Rappahannock County High School Concert Band presented a Fall Concert on October 19th under the direction of Ms. Kalia Page. Attendees enjoyed the masterful musical performance. Photo by Holly Jenkins
Scratch-based meals have been a hit at both schools. Pictured- An RCES student happily shows off the chicken alfredo in the lunch line. Yum! Photo by Holly Jenkins
RCHS photo by Tim Stockdale
RCES photo by Kathy Zehr Rhodes
Check out that smile! Students have been enjoying the "de-stress board station" in the Action Based Learning (ABL) Lab. Since this photo was taken earlier in the month, this board has been completed and students are collaborating on an even larger one now. Photo by Holly Jenkins
On October 4th, the RCHS 8th grade class enjoyed a fun-filled trip to Verdun Adventure Bound as a part of the 8th Grade Academy. While at Verdun, the students experienced a variety of team building activities such as high ropes courses, rock climbing, and group challenges. The exercises helped to build trust and relationships while promoting key problem-solving skills such as communication, collaboration, and flexible thinking. Photo by Dani Pond
On October 10th, the MyFuture program had its kick-off for the 2023-2024 school year. Students in kindergarten through fourth grade are in this year's financial literacy and life skills program. Photo by Holly Jenkins
The EMS and Healthcare Professions class, taught by Ms. Kathryn Waters, visited the Fairfax Fire and Rescue Training Academy and saw the Fairfax County Medevac Helicopter. This experience showed the students countless opportunities within a fire department!
Photo by Kathryn Waters
RCPS has been celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month. Earlier this month, the RCHS cafeteria staff served delicious empanadas, tacos, beans, corn, and a tasty Mexican salad to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. Check out the links below to learn how to make empanadas at home and other tasty Hispanic dishes. A student at RCHS highly recommends the salteñas bolivianas- a "cousin" to empanadas! Thank you to Ms. Bullard for sharing the links. Photo by Holly Jenkins
Empanadas Recipe (video)
Recently, 21 RCHS juniors and seniors toured JMU on a field trip led by Career Coach, Kylee Wiggins. Student tour guides showed off the campus before eating lunch at D-Hall.
Photo shared by Jenny Kapsa
Rappahannock County Elementary School welcomed the PATH Foundation on October 27th during their annual retreat. While touring the school, The PATH Foundation's Board of Directors and staff met with Dr. Grimsley and the Commit to Be Fit team to see first-hand how their grant funding has been used to promote a culture of wellness. The special guests observed the Action Based Learning (ABL) Lab as kindergarten students completed their movement stations. Additionally, they met with Heather Campbell, RCES School Nurse, to see the newly reopened Fit Kids Clinic. Photo by Holly Jenkins
On October 23rd, the RCHS Theater team competed in the district theater competition under the direction of Ms. Beth Seeley. The students performed a one-act play, An Experiment, which earned them an impressive 3rd-place finish with an overall rating of excellent! Additionally, Erica Beck received an award as one of the top actors in the competition!
Photo by Dr. Shannon Grimsley
Students built rubber band cars as part of a engineering project in STEAM on October 1st. In addition to building, testing, and making improvements to their cars, they also reviewed potential and kinetic energy. Photo by Bethany Bostic
Recently, Mr. Stockdale's Dual Enrollment US History class visited Harpers Ferry. Students learned all about abolitionist John Brown's raid on the town back in October of 1859.
Photo by Tim Stockdale
Announcements & Reminders
Fit Kids Clinic
The Fit Kids Clinic is open for students and staff. If your child gets sick at school, it's not always easy to leave work. Telehealth makes it easier. With your consent, our Tele-Health Presenter will use video telehealth technology to connect your child with a provider at Valley Health. In most cases, your child can be diagnosed without leaving school or you having to leave work. Conditions treated include: asthma, allergies, cough, colds, flu, ear aches, sore throats, fever, headaches, head lice, pink eye, and skin irritations. This clinic saves valuable time (for students and parents) and reduces absenteeism. The clinic is available for all students in grades PreK-12 with parental consent. Parents and Guardians- you can find the necessary paperwork HERE.
Behind the Wheel
We are scheduling Behind the Wheel session for RCPS students and non-students. Please click the following link to learn more and to sign-up your student. https://forms.gle/J9WhhcbdTZhbPKer9
Pictured: Our Behind the Wheel Instructors, Ms. Sell and Ms. Fox