Business partners honored for their continued support at Superintendent’s Business Breakfast
Posted on 10/29/2019
Dr. Walts speaking at podium in front of head table ; Business partners honored at Superintendent's Business Breakfast

Superintendent Dr. Steve Walts presented a "State of the Schools" keynote at the 2019 Superintendent's Business Breakfast highlighting recent Prince William County Public School's (PWCS) achievements and focus areas for the current school year. Those areas include on-going technology improvements, such as the introduction of The Hub, and the addition of 53 school counselors as part of the focus on student mental health, among other topics.

School Board Chairman At-Large Babur B. Lateef, M.D., also spoke at the event, thanking those in attendance who represented community and business partners for their continued contributions to education in PWCS.

SPARK, the School Division's education foundation, relies on the generous support and donations of corporate and community partners to fund programs and initiatives. In the past year, more than $6 million in donations, both monetary and in-kind, have been provided to SPARK. In the 2018-19 school year, more than $84,000 was awarded to teachers and students through SPARK's Innovative Grants Program that enables great ideas to become realities.

The 2019 Business Partners of the Year were honored for their continued contributions to and support of opportunities for students. The partnership winners are CroppMetcalfe and the Office of Career and Technical Education; Crossroads Connection and Tyler Elementary School; and The Links, Incorporated, Old Dominion Chapter and Minnieville Elementary School. The 2019 Sharon Henry Partner in Education Award recipient is Bubbles Salon with Ashland Elementary School. (See video below on SPARK award winners.)

Many of the Innovative Grant recipients were on hand at the Breakfast to share their funded projects and how students are benefiting. Showcases included: Battlefield High School's Real-World Graphics initiative; Cedar Point Elementary School's Tech Lab; Coles Elementary School's Rap Like a Boss; McAuliffe Elementary's Teaching Code project; PWCS Instructional Technology Team's EdTech Podcast project; River Oaks Elementary’s ESOL Blending Learning project; Stonewall Middle School's Level Up with Literacy project; and Sudley Elementary School's Game Lab Collection.

Business partners also have been instrumental in the growth and success of robotics in PWCS. Teams of robotics students from Loch Lomond Elementary School (FLL), Gainesville Middle School (VEX), Patriot High School (SeaPerch), Forest Park High School (VEX), and SuperNOVA (FRC) demonstrated their STEM projects for guests as they checked in for the breakfast.

AlphaBEST Education, Inc., Amazon Web Services, Dominion Energy, Kaiser Permanente, Lockheed Martin, Micron Technology , Moseley Architects, Novant Health UVA Health System, Prince William Education Association, and Youth for Tomorrow were Foundation Sponsors for the 2019 Superintendent's Business Breakfast. Other sponsors included Apple Federal Credit Union, Bookworm Central, Compton and Duling, L.C., Northern Virginia Community College, and Sentara Northern Virginia.
State and local officials attended the breakfast, as did School Board Member Alyson Satterwhite (Gainesville).

Mason Simms from Colgan High School, and Maliha Quereshi from Stonewall Jackson High School, acted as emcees for the event. The Potomac High School Navy JROTC, under the direction of Rodney M. Harris, MSgt (retired), presented the Colors. Musical entertainment as guests arrived to the event was provided by the Stonewall Jackson High School Strings Ensemble, under the direction of Jennifer Malechek. Tables featured student artwork provided by Potomac Middle School, as well as Colgan and Patriot High Schools.