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October 30, 2014 Published in From Richmond, Schools

Virginia Schools Lead Nation In Financial Literacy Certification

Working in Support of Education, an educational non-profit, recently announced that 148 Virginia public schools were named Blue Star Schools and 300 Virginia teachers were named Gold Star Teachers for their students performance on the 2013-2014 WISE Financial Literacy Certification test. This national standardized test is administered to students at the end of a course on personal finance. Students passing the test earn the WISE Certified Financially Literate designation, which demonstrates that they are financially capable when they graduate.

“Five years ago, in the depths of the recession, the General Assembly and Board of Education added economics and personal finance to the list of courses students must pass to graduate and challenged school divisions to implement the new requirement with existing staff and resources,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction Steven R. Staples. “The Blue Star and Gold Star awards won by Virginia schools and teachers are a testimony to how divisions — in collaboration with private sector partners — rose to the challenge. Thousands of young people will graduate better prepared for the realities of the 21st century economy because of the outstanding work of these schools and teachers.”

To earn the Blue Star recognition, a school must achieve a 75-percent pass rate on the test and have either a majority of students in a particular grade level take the test or have the students who took the test achieve an average score of 80 percent or higher. To receive the Gold Star Award, a teacher must achieve a 90-percent pass rate in at least one of their classes on the WISE Financial Literacy Certification test during the 2013-2014 school year.

Virginia’s 148 2013-2014 Blue Star schools comprise 52 percent of the 284 schools recognized nationwide. This also represents a doubling in the number of Virginia schools earning the Blue Star designation. The 2012-2013 Blue Star School recognition was given to 71 Virginia schools. Blue Star Schools will be honored and receive a banner for their achievement at WISE’s annual MoneyPower Conference for Financial Literacy in New York City on Nov. 4.

Virginia’s 2013-2014 honorees are as follows:


o   Gold Star Teachers — Beulah Willis-Brown and Amy Creed, T.C. Williams High

Alleghany County

o   Blue Star School — Alleghany High

o   Gold Star Teacher — Kenneth Wright, Alleghany High

Arlington County

o    Gold Star Teacher — Keyona Nwaolu, Yorktown High

Augusta County

o   Blue Star Schools — Buffalo Gap High, Fort Defiance High, Riverheads High, Stuarts Draft High and Wilson Memorial High

o   Gold Star Teachers — Tonya Cleveland, Buffalo Gap High; Doris Gardner and Courtney Skemp, Fort Defiance High; Tim Morris and Dana Painter, Riverheads High; Jimmy Almarode, Melanie Paraska and Theresa Thompson, Stuarts Draft High; and Susan Jones and Jeff Waite, Wilson Memorial High

Bedford County

o   Blue Star Schools — Jefferson Forest High and Liberty High

Botetourt County

o   Blue Star Schools — James River High and Lord Botetourt High

o   Gold Star Teachers — Nancy Clarkson, James River High; and Cindy Boggs, Jon Cook and Julie Conner, Lord Botetourt High


o   Blue Star School — Virginia High

Buchanan County

o   Blue Star School — Council High

Caroline County

o   Gold Star Teacher — Margaret Cutchin, Caroline High


o   Blue Star School — Charlottesville High

o   Gold Star Teacher — Meagan Maynard, Charlottesville High


o   Blue Star Schools — Grassfield High, Great Bridge High, Hickory High, Indian River High, Oscar F. Smith High andWestern Branch High

o   Gold Star Teachers — Amie Beahm, Ashley Gibbs, Laura Beth Meinster, Ashley Phillips, Sharon Smith, Amanda Swanson, David Thaw and Denise Woods, Grassfield High; Allison Auten, Cindy King and Addie Old, Great Bridge High; Cathy Kayser and Joyce Robb-Holmes, Hickory High; Shelley Beeler, Indian River High; Wren Petersen and Al Staggs, Oscar Smith High; and Jeanette Muncie, Lawrence Parker and Tammy Stone, Western Branch High

Chesterfield County

o   Blue Star Schools — James River High, Midlothian High and Thomas Dale High

o   Gold Star Teachers — Alex Addison and Rose Malone, James River High; Steve Hayward, Midlothian High; and Monica Boehling and Tobie Peacock, Monacan High

Colonial Heights

o   Blue Star School — Colonial Heights High

Craig County

o   Blue Star School — Craig County High

o   Gold Star Teachers — Wanda Reynolds and Stephanie Taliaferro, Craig County High

Culpeper County

o   Blue Star Schools — Culpeper County High and Eastern View High

o   Gold Star Teachers  — Ashley Crago, Beth Lane and Mariellen Withers, Culpeper County High; and Michael Baird, Kevin Baker, Greg Hatfield and David Heatwole, Eastern View High


o   Blue Star Schools — Galileo Magnet High and George Washington High

o   Gold Star Teacher — Joyce Culley, Galileo Magnet High

Dickenson County

o   Blue Star School — Haysi High

Fairfax County

o   Blue Star Schools — Annandale High, Centreville High, Chantilly High, Edison High, George C. Marshall High, Hayfield Secondary, James Madison High, Lake Braddock Secondary, Langley High, McLean High, Mount Vernon High, Oakton High, Robert E. Lee High, Robinson Secondary, South Lakes High, West Potomac High, West Springfield High, Westfield High and W.T. Woodson High

o   Gold Star Teachers — Monica Bentley, Meghan Saladino and Helen Silberminz, Annandale High; Catherine Casares, Janice Findley, Melissa Guerro, Janet Johnston, Scott Loube and Marcella Setness, Chantilly High; Jessica Callanan, Edison High; Bonnie Kelly, Robin Schaffler, Natalie Shoults and Melanie West, Fairfax High; Mindy Straley, George C. Marshall High; John Finneman, Sharon Paul and LaTrease Rich, Hayfield Secondary; Brian Day and Kathy Thomas, Herndon High; Mary Ann Barton, Dana Dingell, James Miller and Walter Wallmark, James Madison High; Linda Alvarez, Beth Caldwell and Tom McLarney, Lake Braddock Secondary; John Santosuosso and Austin Whitehorne, Langley High; John Dowling, Janet Hohenberger and Sara Wheeler, McLean High; Pete Sienkiewicz and John Wiley, Mount Vernon High; Michael Greene, Oakton High; Lynn Rankin and Terence Ryan, Robert E. Lee High; Aryan Bahrambeigi, Genevieve Boulanger, Douglas Rome and Sue Shepard, Robinson Secondary; Stephen Brown, Jen Dixon, Mindy Koeninger, Selwyn Lawrence, Diane McKendry, Jonathan McNamara, South Lakes High; Donald Beeby and Daryl Mackey, West Potomac High; Craig Brown, Kelly Krek and Suzanne Zortman, West Springfield High; Cathy Cespedes, Sonja Clelland, Rhonda Dumont, Cheryl Edwards and Anthony Whitten, Westfield High; and Craig Dodd and Daryl Richards, W.T. Woodson High

Fauquier County

o   Blue Star Schools — Fauquier High and Kettle Run High

o   Gold Star Teachers — Karen Pattie, Liberty High; Gail Bowman and Karen Chipman, Fauquier High; and Malinda Pilla, Kettle Run High

Fluvanna County

o   Blue Star School — Fluvanna County High

o   Gold Star Teacher — Amy Hartwell, Fluvanna County High

Franklin County

o   Gold Star Teachers — Dianne Hughes and Jay Taylor, Franklin County High

Frederick County

o   Blue Star Schools — James Wood High, Millbrook High and Sherando High

o   Gold Star Teachers — Melissa McDonald and Rachel Reed, James Wood High; Mary Duvall and Scott Mankins, Millbrook High; Molly Chapman, Tammy Crawford and Amy Strosnider, Sherando High

Giles County

o   Blue Star School — Narrows High

Goochland County

o   Blue Star School — Goochland High

o   Gold Star Teachers — Joe Fowler and Sarah Voyack, Goochland High

Greensville County

o   Blue Star School — Greensville County High

o   Gold Star Teacher  — Courtney Moseley, Greensville County High

Halifax County

o   Blue Star School — Halifax County High

o   Gold Star Teacher — Scottie Clowdis, Halifax County High


o   Blue Star School — Kecoughtan High

o   Gold Star Teachers — Mona Dozier, Kay Hodson and Tasha Williams-Brown, Kecoughtan High

Hanover County

o   Blue Star Schools — Atlee High, Hanover High, Lee Davis High and Patrick Henry High

o   Gold Star Teachers — Jackie Barnes, Shelley Burnside, Laureen Dycus, Hilary Graf, Suzanne Hall, Jennifer Loughnane and Steve Teator, Atlee High


o   Gold Star Teacher — Bethany Everidge, Harrisonburg High

Henrico County

o   Blue Star Schools — Deep Run High, Douglas S. Freeman High, Glen Allen High, Hermitage High and Mills E. Godwin High

o   Gold Star Teachers — Philip Bucska, Edgar Knapp, Patty Rogers and Patricia Stockdale, Deep Run High; Angela Layne and William Seegar, Douglas S. Freeman High; Hunter Edwards and April Eikerenkoetter, Glen Allen High; Cynthia Stone, Hermitage High; Fahryka Elliott, Highland Springs High; Linda Robson, Debbie Ross, Jan Shelton and Hunter Thomas, Mills Godwin High; and Judie Fischer, Tucker High

Henry County

o   Blue Star School — Bassett High

Isle of Wight County

o   Blue Star Schools — Smithfield High and Windsor High

o   Gold Star Teachers — Andrew Roberts, Betty Carter and Teresa Commander, Smithfield High; and Carolyn Smith and Roland Downing, Windsor High

King George County

o   Blue Star School — King George High

o   Gold Star Teachers — Heidi Robison and Sally Shea, King George High

Loudoun County

o   Blue Star Schools — Briar Woods High, Broad Run High, Dominion High, Freedom High, Heritage High, John Champe High, Loudoun County High, Loudoun Valley High, Park View High, Potomac Falls High, Stone Bridge High, Tuscarora High and Woodgrove High

o   Gold Star Teachers — Janet Dewey and Angela Woodward, Briar Woods High; Liz Miller and Martha Somers, Broad Run High; Sara Kittelson, Briana Owens and Robin Wortman, Dominion High; Janice Johnson and Jared Van Acker, Freedom High; Elizabeth DeButts, Heritage High; Tammy Bullock and Patricia Virts, Loudoun County High;Allison Dipippa and Stephen Varmecky, Loudoun Valley High; Jean Anfindsen, Kim Fieser and Allison Whitehouse, Potomac Falls High; Sarah Henkel, Barbara Hochstein and David Palanzi, Stone Bridge High; Laura Lee and Catherine Moore, Tuscarora High; and Kathleen Bohnsack, Kevin Copley and Stephen Schoenfeld, Woodgrove High


o   Blue Star School — E.C. Glass High

o   Gold Star Teachers — Terri O'Hara, E.C. Glass High; and Jessie Hunt, Heritage High

Manassas Park

o   Blue Star School — Manassas Park High

Mathews County

o   Blue Star School — Mathews High

o   Gold Star Teacher — Karen Lloyd, Mathews High

New Kent County

o   Blue Star School — New Kent High

o   Gold Star Teacher — Ryan Parry and Jennifer Rawls, New Kent High

Newport News

o   Blue Star School — Menchville High

o   Gold Star Teachers — Cynthia Earl, Menchville High; and Sharon Green and Jo Ella Lawrence, Woodside High

Nelson County

o   Blue Star School — Nelson County High


o   Gold Star Teachers — Alice Stocks, Granby High; and Somalia Warner, Maury High

Northumberland County

o   Blue Star School — Northumberland High

o   Gold Star Teacher — Rae Edyvane, Northumberland High


o   Blue Star School — John I. Burton High

o   Gold Star Teacher — Kelli Large, John I. Burton High

Orange County

o   Blue Star School — Orange County High

Page County

o   Blue Star Schools — Luray High and Page County High

o   Gold Star Teachers — Stephen Johnson and Patty Secrist, Luray High; and Dianna Alger, Page County High

Pittsylvania County

o   Blue Star Schools — Chatham High, Dan River High, Gretna High and Tunstall High

o   Gold Star Teachers — Jacob Gruse and Willie Sherman, Chatham High; Lori Jones, Heather McDowell and John Wagstaff, Dan River High; Scarlett Brandon, Gretna High; and Anthony Dillow and Kristal Harris, Tunstall High


o   Blue Star School — Poquoson High

o   Gold Star Teachers — Beverly Goodman, Michelle Henderson and Barbara Parsons, Poquoson High

Powhatan County

o   Blue Star School — Powhatan High

o   Gold Star Teachers — Lynne Bradbury, Pat Orange, Sharon Shadrach and Kayla Siwiec, Powhatan High

Prince George County

o   Gold Star Teacher — Anne Roberts, Prince George High

Prince William County

o   Blue Star Schools — Forest Park High and Woodbridge High

o   Gold Star Teachers — Brenda Davis and Don Setliff, Forest Park High; Jennifer Coleman, Kathleen Riddle and Susan Zayas, Osbourn Park High; and James Bailey and Shannon Gunn, Woodbridge Senior High

Rappahannock County

o   Blue Star School — Rappahannock High


o   Blue Star Schools — Open High and Richmond Community High

o   Gold Star Teachers — Jan Westbrook, Open High; and Laura McDonough, Richmond Community High


o   Blue Star School — Patrick Henry High

o   Gold Star Teachers — Kim Elliott and Megan Faulring, Patrick Henry High

Rockbridge County

o   Blue Star School — Rockbridge County High

o   Gold Star Teacher — Donna Wallace, Rockbridge County High

Rockingham County

o   Blue Star Schools — Broadway High, East Rockingham High, Spotswood High and Turner Ashby High

o   Gold Star Teacher — Megan Smith, Broadway High; Justin King and Scott Turner, East Rockingham High; Sarah Jane Deacon and Tanya Hulvey, Spotswood High; and Johnnie Anderson and Karen Miller, Turner Ashby High

Russell County

o   Blue Star School — Honaker High

o   Gold Star Teacher — David Bostic and Kim Compton, Honaker High


o   Blue Star School — Salem High

o   Gold Star Teacher — Laura O'Dell, Salem High

Stafford County

o   Blue Star Schools — Colonial Forge High and Mountain View High

o   Gold Star Teachers — Deborah Ingram, Michael Grady and DeShawn Robinson-Chew, Colonial Forge High; LaKisha Brown, Linda Jones, Joanie McGlinn and Ed Simonpietri, Mountain View High; and Tammie Thomas, Stafford High


o   Blue Star School — Robert E. Lee High

o   Gold Star Teacher — Christy Sellers, Robert E. Lee High


o   Blue Star Schools — King’s Fork High and Nansemond River High

o   Gold Star Teachers — Jason Bartholomew and Jessica Smith, Nansemond River High

Tazewell County

o   Blue Star Schools — Graham High, Richlands High and Tazewell High

o   Gold Star Teachers — Michael Blevins, Graham High; and Ronnie Sparks, Richlands High

Virginia Beach

o   Blue Star Schools — Bayside High, First Colonial High, Floyd Kellam High, Frank W. Cox High, Landstown High,Ocean Lakes High, Princess Anne High, Salem High and Tallwood High

o   Gold Star Teachers — Veronica Salcedo, Bayside High; Donna Draeger, Caroline Myers and Debborah Robertson, First Colonial High; Dean Howard and Christine Maloney, Floyd Kellam High; Ana Badolato, Travis Elliott, Abraham Goldstein, Andrew Holston and Stacey Landini, Frank W. Cox High; Sue Hitchings, Vernon King and Rachel Young, Landstown High; James Cartwright and Dorothy Neal, Ocean Lakes High; Jason Barefoot, Shannon Drury and Ineiceola Goodwin, Princess Anne High; Hope Costanza and Vincent Pugh, Salem High; and Cynthia Rinaldi and Sharon Sides, Tallwood High

Warren County

o   Gold Star Teacher — Shawn Rider, Warren County High

Washington County

o   Blue Star Schools — Abingdon High, Holston High and Patrick Henry High

o   Gold Star Teachers — DeDe Whichard, Abingdon High; Samuel Campbell and Joy Munsey, Holston High; Benson Redman, John S. Battle High; and Thomas Larimer, Patrick Henry High


o   Blue Star School — Waynesboro High

o   Gold Star Teachers — Bobbie Gilbert and Marsha Sensabaugh, Waynesboro High

West Point

o   Blue Star School — West Point High

o   Gold Star Teachers — Pam Steele, West Point High

Westmoreland County

o   Blue Star School — Washington and Lee High

o   Gold Star Teacher — Stanley Schoppe, Washington and Lee High

Williamsburg-James City County

o   Blue Star Schools — Jamestown High, Lafayette High and Warhill High

o   Gold Star Teacher — Robin Cornell and Charlotte Stowers, Jamestown High; and Glorya Roberts, Lafayette High


o   Blue Star School — John Handley High

o   Gold Star Teacher — Brad Allen and Beth Bennett, John Handley High

Wise County

o   Blue Star Schools — Central High, Eastside High and Union High

o   Gold Star Teachers — Robin Dotson, Central High, and Kim Mabe, Union High

York County

o   Blue Star Schools — Grafton High, Tabb High and York River Academy

o   Gold Star Teachers — Antoinette Burnett and Gina Mancuso-Sidhu, Grafton High; and Gwendolyn Banks, Adam Brooks and Gordon Chai, Tabb High

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