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Rehearsal for South Pacific production

TheatreCHS presents “South Pacific” this week

Poster of "South Pacific" theater productionCharlottesville High School will present “South Pacific” February 22-25 at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Performing Arts Center (MLK PAC). Tickets are $5 for students and $10 for adults. Times are 7:30pm Thursday-Saturday and 3:00pm on Sunday. Click here to order tickets online.  

This  award-winning Rodgers and Hammerstein  musical first appeared on Broadway in 1949 and re-emerged in a 2008 Broadway revival.

Rehearsal for South Pacific production
Cast members polish their lines in rehearsal before opening night.

In an interview with C-VILLE Weekly previewing the play, CHS drama teacher and director David Becker said, “It’s probably one of the most lush, most memorable scores of musical theater written during the golden age…What I was really interested in doing with the show was finding a way to bridge then with now.”  For more comments from Becker along with several members of the cast, read the complete C-VILLE Weekly article here.

Theatre CHS has won numerous Virginia High School League awards. Student leadership in directing, costuming, poster design, and more is a hallmark of the program.  For more information, call 245-2410.


Find photos, videos, and more by visiting @TheatreCHS on Twitter.


Ribbon-cutting! Photo courtesy CFA Institute.

CHS/CFA Institute Finance Academy

On February 13, Charlottesville High School was pleased to host a ribbon-cutting to celebrate a new partnership, the CHS/CFA Institute Finance Academy. The aim is to support financial education and cultivate interest and awareness of the investment profession for students at CHS.

The  CHS/CFA Institute Finance Academy will impact three programs at CHS:

Student Investment Group

In 2015, a self-started team of students called the Student Investment Group was established by student Lucas Higgins ’18. The club went on to excel in college-sponsored investment competitions hosted by both UVA and the Wharton School of Business at Penn. Furthermore, Lucas raised $25,000 to establish an investment fund for the club to manage. So far, the group has given $2,500 to the local nonprofit City Schoolyard Garden.

Economics and Personal Finance Classes

To fulfill state graduation requirements, all CHS students must take a course in  economics and personal finance. These classes are taught by Meagan Maynard, Deb Tewksbury, and Yumeca Webb, all of whom have been nationally honored as Gold Star Teachers by the Working in Support of Education group. The award recognizes that these teachers’ classes have extremely high rates of success in passing the Financial Literacy Certification Test. Relatedly, CHS has repeatedly earned the Blue Start School award for this program’s success.


AVID, which stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination, is a national program that helps underrepresented students build a bridge to higher education. In Charlottesville, the AVID program starts with a school-wide emphasis for fifth- and sixth-graders at Walker Upper Elementary School and continues with the process of applying to be part of a cohort at Buford Middle School and Charlottesville High School. From CHS, we have sent first-generation college students to colleges and universities in Virginia and beyond, including UVA, George Mason, and Howard University. As part of their program, AVID students benefit from partnerships with the UVA School of Medicine, the Tom-Tom Founders Festival, and, most recently, Project SERVE with CFA Institute. These partnerships offer opportunities to develop research experience, leadership abilities, and professional presentation and pitch skills.

New classroom to support AVID and the Student Investment Group made possible by CFA Institute. Photo courtesy CFA Institute.
New classroom to support AVID and the Student Investment Group made possible by CFA Institute. Photo courtesy CFA Institute.

Modern Workspace

One of the first concrete steps of this partnership was the renovation of the classroom that hosts AVID seniors and the Student Investment Group. The environment is modeled after college classrooms and modern corporate offices and includes room for collaboration, flexible workspaces, and new technology.

About CFA Institute

Headquartered here in Charlottesville, CFA Institute is the global association of investment professionals that sets the standard for professional excellence and credentials. The organization is a champion for ethical behavior in investment markets and a respected source of knowledge in the global financial community. Our aim is to create an environment where investors’ interests come first, markets function at their best, and economies grow. There are more than 150,000 CFA charterholders worldwide in 165+ countries and territories. CFA Institute has eight offices worldwide and there are 149 local member societies. For more information, visit


Science Bowl Team 2018

CHS BACON Club Highlights

Science Bowl Team 2018
Science Bowl team Jamie Nachbar, Stephen Newman, Clara Stelow, and Peter Manto win $500 for placing second in the state tournament. Manto is a 10th grader who found out he was on the team the night before the event.

The CHS BACON Club (Best All-around Club of Nerds), has had a busy winter full of activity,  achievements, and awards.

Most recently, the BACON Science Bowl team upset powerhouse Langley High School in the state Science Bowl tournament and finished in second place. BACON advisor Dr. Matt Shields called the victory “truly bonkers.”

“Our team went undefeated through the early brackets which landed them in the semi-finals against Langley,” said Dr. Shields,  “Already the best showing that BACON had ever had, the team was happy with what was looking like a third place medal. But they put Langley on the ropes early in the match and just kept swinging. A few brilliant moves and a hail Mary at the buzzer left Langley stunned and sent our team to the finals. Their only defeat of the day was against TJ in the final round.” (Dr. Shields happily admits that his degrees are in engineering, not sports metaphors.)

Other recent accomplishments include:

CHS Zero Robotics team competes in the final round of the international competition sponsored by NASA and MIT.
CHS Zero Robotics team competes in the final round of the international competition sponsored by NASA and MIT.

The Zero Robotics team finished individual competition first in the world (yes, the world!) and travelled to MIT in Boston for the finals. The team wrote computer code for robots on the International Space Station and, while at MIT, got to watch the robots execute the programmed maneuvers via live feed from space. Read more here.

Members of the BACON Club competing in the 2018 First Tech Challenge.
Members of the BACON Club competing in the 2018 First Tech Challenge.

The First Tech Challenge team finished second at a regional tournament in Lynchburg and has qualified for the state tournament on February 24th in Richmond.

BACON successfully launched a weather balloon approximately 100,000 feet and recovered it. See the video here. Another launch is being planned for the spring. Meanwhile, the club is going even bigger by partnering with UVA and Twiggs Space Labs to launch a satellite into space.

BACON team at the regional Science Olympiad competition where they placed 5th.
BACON team at the regional Science Olympiad competition where they placed 5th.

BACON hosted and competed in the Virginia Science Olympiad Regional Tournament, which brought about 40 schools from all over the state. BACON finished 5th in the all-day competition and qualified for states at UVA on April 14.

Testing the new Phantom 4 drone!
Testing the new Phantom 4 drone!

The latest gadgets in the Sigma Lab include a new Oculus Rift virtual reality headset and a Phantom 4 drone. Don’t be surprised if you see the drone flying over CHS sometime soon. They have been testing it, and the high definition video it captures is impressive!

Members of BACON are also giving back to our Cville Schools community by participating in various outreach efforts including teaching elementary kids about robots, helping Walker Upper Elementary students with their own VR headset, and volunteering at our iSTEM Nights.

What a weekend for CHS!

Pick your favorite CHS accomplishment from the  weekend (and yes, “all of the above” is an acceptable answer):

  1. AVID students earning $10,000 to support community service projects. Thanks, CFA Institute!
  2. BACON earning 2nd in Virginia in Science Bowl at Jefferson Lab. BACON was second only to the perennial champ, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. BACON (Best All-around Club of Nerds) team members were Jamie Nachbar, Stephen Newman, Clara Stelow, and Peter Manto. Read more about other recent BACON accomplishments here.
  3. Four track & wrestling boys winning Jeff District events (and boys’ track winning 2nd overall). Congratulations to our district champs: Mathieson Haworth (both 300 & 500m), Isaac Kenner (wrestling, 152 lbs), Isaac Vik (1000m), and Joe Von Storch (long jump).
  4. CHS alum and JMU football record-setter Rashard Davis ’12 winning a Super Bowl ring!

Congratulations to all! What a nice glimpse of the good things going on at Charlottesville High School!

Wondering why there’s no fine arts on this list? Click here for recent highlights.

CHS students attending the Womens Global Initiative at UVA.

CHS Winter 2018 Highlights

Student Aleena Haidari and alum Kibirti Majuto earned an opportunity to ride on a float in the New Year’s Day 2018 Rose Parade in Pasadena, California after winning an essay contest about social justice. The float, titled “Keeping the Promise,” honored Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and other social justice advocates. Each  student also received a $5,000 grant to be used for community projects  or furthering their education.

Student Investment club makes donation to City Schoolyard Garden at December School Board Meeting.
Student Investment Club leaders present City Schoolyard Garden representatives with a $1350 donation at the December School Board meeting.

At the December School Board meeting, members of the Student Investment Club donated $1,350 of their earnings to City Schoolyard Garden.

Extra, extra read all about it! The Knight Time Review student newspaper now has a new website. Click here to see the latest edition.

Jonah Weissman — along with several U.Va. students — was awarded a scholarship from the SANS Institute for scoring in the top 100 of a cybersecurity program being tested in Virginia.

Image of magazine that features a poem published by Ian Klickner.Student Ian Clickner’s poem, “Rap del fauno,” was published in Albricias, a student journal of the Sociedad Honoraria Hispánica, an honor society for students enrolled in Spanish and/or Portuguese.

CHS student Jacob Floyd presented his Veteran’s History Project at the “Human Side of War” presentation at Cityspace. The project is part of an annual assignment in which students interview veterans and create videos or podcasts for history teacher Matt Deegan’s classes.

The Sigma Lab recently got a brand new 3D printer.
A new 3D printer was an exciting special delivery for the Sigma Lab.

The CHS BACON Club launched a giant weather balloon attached to a transmitter that was built with a laser cutter and 3D printers. Designed to be reusable, the balloon was expected to reach 100,000 feet and travel 70 mph during its one hour flight. See video of the launch here. And, speaking of 3D printers, the lab has a new one!

CHS Zero Robotics Team
Members of the CHS Zero Robotics Team gather in the Sigma Lab. Photo courtesy Sarah Cramer Shields

The CHS Zero Robotics team will travel to MIT on January 11 for the final round of the 2017 Zero Robotics contest sponsored by NASA and MIT.  During the finals, CHS students’ code will control small robots aboard the International Space Station. Astonauts aboard the ISS will judge the final round of robot maneuvers while the teams watch via a live video feed.

Students used the Sigma Lab to create their blueprints for benches they are building.
Students used the Sigma Lab to create blueprints for benches they are building.

The Sigma Lab has had a variety of cross-curricular activity. Besides the typical engineering and robotics projects, the Garden-to-Market classes and the art classes have been using the lab to help them build benches and bird houses to go around CHS. Also, educators from Shanghai recently toured the lab to learn more about creating their own STEM curriculum in China.

AVID students participate in a panel discussion on the teenage brain at the Curry School of Education.
AVID students participate in a panel discussion on the teenage brain at the Curry School of Education.

The AVID program was honored to host Emerging Leaders as part of the Global Leadership Initiative. AVID students also participated in a panel discussion on the teenage brain at the UVA Curry School of Education.

CHS students attending the Womens Global Initiative at UVA.
CHS students attending the Women’s Global Initiative at UVA.

A group of female CHS students attended the Women’s Global Leadership Forum, hosted by U.Va  as part of its bicentennial celebrations. Women from the university and around the world gathered to discuss “The Role of Women in 21st Century Democracy.”


CHS alum Kendall Ballard earned  her second all-region recognition for Ohio University.  Read more here.

CHS boys varsity basketball team playing regular season game against Monticello High. Photo courtesy Scrimmage Play

Both the girls and boys varsity basketball teams competed in 2017 Daily Progress Holiday  Hoops tournament in December. The girls finished third after defeating Western Albemarle in the final game.  The boys, also competing for third place against Western, eventually fell to the Warriors.  Players Nick Motley, Jessica Antwi and TC Younger were selected for the all-tournament teams.

Jess Antwi was featured in Scrimmage Play’s First Off the Floor to discuss CHS’ girls varsity basketball regular season win over rival Monticello High.

AJ Stouffer named 2017 Central Virginia Golfer of the Year. Photo courtesy Andrew Shurtleff/TheDaily Progress
AJ Stouffer named 2017 Central Virginia Golfer of the Year. Photo courtesy Andrew Shurtleff/TheDaily Progress

CHS golfer AJ Stouffer has been named the 2017 Central Virginia Golfer of the Year. Read about his accomplishments here.

The CHS softball facility continues to see improvement. Last winter, new dugouts were erected and this year a new infield is being installed. A special thank you to the City of Charlottesville and Parks and Recreation for aiding us in this process.

Parents and players on Senior Night game versus Monticello High. Photo courtesy of Scrimmage Play.

In CHS football, Ben Casarez was featured in Scrimmage Play’s First Off the Field to discuss CHS’ exciting win over Monticello High.  The game completed a 5-0 record at home for the Black Knights and secured a place in the regional play-offs in Salem, VA.  Player Sam Neale has committed to play football for Washington and Lee University and Rakeem Davis will play for James Madison University.


Marching band in the London New Year's Day Parade.
The CHS Marching Band performs in the London 2018 New Year’s Day Parade.

The CHS Marching Band traveled to London to march in the 2018 Lord Mayor of London’s New Year’s Day Parade. There were over half a million spectators in the streets, and it was broadcast around the world to more than 250 million people. The band presented a beautiful violin to the Lord Mayor painted by CHS alum Vail Prior.

Charlotte MacDonald receives $1,000 scholarship from VMBCCB.
Charlotte MacDonald receives $1,000 scholarship from VMBCCB.

Charlotte MacDonald was the first recipient of a $1000 scholarship from The Virginia Marching Band Cooperative Control Board.

The annual CHS Symphony Choir Concert and Fine Arts  showcase will be held on January 31 at 7:30 p.m. at the MLK-PAC.

CHS theater students celebrate their success at the Virginia Theatre Association State High School Festival.

The CHS Theater department came home with a host of awards from the Virginia Theatre Association State High School Festival. The CHS one-act play earned finalist (top 6 in VA), the improv team earned second, and the tech Olympics team placed third. Additionally, there were many individual award recipients and  several college call-backs.  Plans are now underway for CHS Theatre’s next productions, South Pacific and The Tempest.

2017-18 CHS Orchestra, photo credit: CHSO alum parent Michael Bailey




Tours for Potential Venable Students

Ven-Bldg_edVenable will be offering tours to parents on the dates listed below.  All tours take place at 9:15 a.m. and last approximately 30-45 minutes. We limit the number of participants on each tour to ensure that everyone can hear and ask questions.  Please call Ms. Lawson in the Venable office to register – 434-245-2418.

Upcoming Dates:

  • January 19
  • February 23
  • March 16
  • April 13

Parents should plan to arrive in the front office a few minutes early to sign in and receive visitors’ passes.  Please allot time for parking as there are typically few spots available on site and many of the neighborhood streets do not permit non-resident parking during the day.

Unfortunately, requests for tours at other dates and times cannot be honored due to the disruption to classes.

If you are an out-of-division family who would like to apply for a space at Venable next year, we begin accepting applications in April.  Click here for information about the application process. 

Ms. Velvet Coleman and friends have lunch at Jackson-Via.

Family engagement facilitator making connections

Ms. Velvet Coleman and friends have lunch at Jackson-Via.
Ms. Velvet Coleman and friends have lunch at Jackson-Via.

Family engagement facilitator Ms. Velvet Coleman provides support to families of students grades pre-K – 2nd who attend our six elementary schools.

Recently featured in Charlottesville Tomorrow, Ms. Coleman can be seen throughout the city in schools, homes, community centers, and even bus stops connecting with students and their families.

At the January school board meeting, she shared an impressive overview of her efforts during her first six months on the job.

“I’m so thrilled that we have you.” said school board vice-chair Sherry Kraft, commending Coleman for her work to build connections between school and home.

For more information about family engagement services at Cville Schools, visit this link.



Walker and Buford Highlights Winter 2018

Congratulations to our 2017 Geography Bee school champs: fifth grade Walker student Elias Garcia and Buford seventh grader Aidan Peters (repeat winner)!

Minds in Motion team performing on stage at The Paramount.
Minds and Motion Team XXL performing on stage at The Paramount Theater.

Our Minds in Motion Team XXL just gave a lively performance at TEDxCharlottesville at The Paramount Theater of Charlottesville. In partnership with the Richmond Ballet, Minds In Motion provides our Walker and Buford  students a weekly opportunity to learn about dance, dedication, and performance.

Walker teacher Cynthia Schibert is named Teacher of the Month by Monticello Media.

Walker teacher Ms. Cynthia Scheiber was selected as Monticello Media’s Teacher of the Month for October. She won a Papa John’s Pizza party for all of her students and gifts from Cityspa Day Spa and Albemarle Dental Associates. She was honored all month on local radio stations. Congratulations!

Buford boys shaking the hands of the Hampden-Sydney College president.

A group of Buford Middle School boys went on a college tour to Hampden-Sydney College.  While there, they got to visit with school president Larry Stimpert.

During Buford Career Day, students heard presentations from a variety of community businesses and organizations including the Charlottesville Fire Department,  Peacock Auto Repair, and the CATEC nursing program.

Student art for auction.
Middle school artwork up for auction at the annual City Schoolyard Garden Cultivar event.

Many Buford artists had their work up for auction at the City Schoolyard Garden’s annual Cultivar Youth Gallery Night and Benefit at Mas Tapas.

The Buford Band played a concert to honor veterans at James Monroe’s Highland in observance of Veteran’s Day. The program included the University of Virginia Army ROTC cadets and a living timeline of veterans from the American Revolution to Desert Storm.

Students practice for the production "Pinocchio."
Rehearsing for Pinocchio, Stage Left Productions actors practice their lines after school.

Stage Left Productions is currently practicing for their upcoming play, Pinocchio, that will be presented on January 19 at 6:30 p.m. at Walker School.

UVA Engineering professor Greg Lewin and his first-year students visited Buford for a day of science and engineering demos. See a sample of the demos here.

A Walker student makes a water carrier in the engineering lab.
A Walker student makes a water carrier in the engineering lab using cardboard, plastic wrap, string, and a stapler.

After reading the book, A Long Way to Water by Linda Sue Park, students at Walker  worked to determine the most effective way to carry water long distances.

Walker Peace Squad visits Crown Theater to see the movie "Wonder."
Walker Peace Squad visits the Violet Crown Theater to see the movie Wonder.

New Peace Squad students attended a showing of  Wonder. “This movie was a perfect way to celebrate this great group of students who ‘Choose Kind’ on a daily basis!” said adviser Charlotte Geddy.