Superintendent’s Weekly Check-in, October 19

Superintendent Matthew HaasDear Colleagues:

A thought for next week: “One book, one pen, one child, and one teacher can change the world.” — Malala Yousafzai

Good morning, everyone!

Wednesday afternoon, Jay Thomas and I were on our way back from Hampton after making a presentation about the “Profile of a Virginia Graduate” at the VDOE School Counselor Summit that morning. We made a stop in Richmond to meet up with Melisa Larson and Beth White, two terrific teachers from Western Albemarle High School, who were on a field trip with their students at the Virginia Holocaust Museum. They were there to hear Christian Picciolini, American musician and author, who is the co-founder of a nonprofit peace advocacy organization called Life After Hate. The talk was followed by self-guided tours with the students. I was so impressed with the ease and gravitas with which Melisa and Beth coached students through the exhibits at the museum. And it was clear to me from the kinds of questions that were asked that the students had been well-prepared for the experience and its impact.

I started Monday morning with a visit with Latishia Wilson and Angie Brill at Stony Point Elementary School. I had a lot of fun walking with Latishia. We stopped by the library, and Julia McGill and a student named Carter demonstrated a lunchbox makey-makey activity for me, and pretty soon I was playing a piano … made from celery? That was pretty crazy. Keren Heckathorn was doing a math vocabulary Kahoot! with her students. I love kahoots; they’re always fun! Students in Sheller Bolton and Margaret Maupin’s class were getting set to run their own toy factory, and they were busy studying the concept of volume in preparation for creating boxes to ship toys. I greatly appreciated the positive and energetic tone of Stony Point as students put the same effort into running laps in the gym for Wayne Flint as they did recognizing words with Tara Pyle. Our students and teachers really are a treasure for Albemarle County, aren’t they?

One final note: This summer, I read The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas, at Maureen Jensen’s recommendation. This is the one book being read and studied in our region as part of the Cville OneBook project. Their motto is “OneBook can make a difference.” Maureen has 20 copies of the novel, a #1 New York Times Bestseller available for ACPS employees. Please email if you would like a copy. Thanks, Maureen!

Just checking in,


Matthew S. Haas, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools

Your mission and my mission every day is to establish a community of learners and learning, through relationships, relevance and rigor, one student at a time.