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Winter break is here!

Superintendent Merv Daugherty’s winter break video may be the best thing you see today. Huge shoutout to Clover Hill High’s Marching Cavaliers and band director Brianna Gatch!

  • Winter break for students and teachers begins Dec. 22 and continues through Jan. 5. 

  • School offices and school system buildings will remain open to the public Dec. 22, Dec. 27-29 and Jan. 2-5.

  • This is the final family newsletter until Jan. 5. See you in 2024!

moved to new section because I’m giving it a winter break spin

Winter break is a great time for creating art

During winter break, students are encouraged to create art to submit in this local competition:

Chesterfield County Public Schools students are invited to use their creativity to brighten a new headquarters being built for Chesterfield County Public Schools. It’s important that the headquarters show that students are at the center of Chesterfield County Public Schools, and incorporating art by our creative and talented student artists will make that clear.

All students in Chesterfield County Public Schools (from prekindergarten through 12th grade) are encouraged to create an original work of visual art in a medium of their choice that expresses the contest theme of “Better Together.” Designs will be judged on the creative use and communication of the theme. Only two-dimensional works, please. Entries are due by 11:59 p.m. on Feb. 2, 2024.

One overall winner from each level (elementary, middle and high) will be chosen and announced in February. Each winning entry, along with many of the works submitted for this contest, will be used as inspiration and reproduced within the overall interior design of the school system’s new headquarters.

There are two ways to submit artwork:

Music teachers honored for accomplishments

Three teachers from Chesterfield County Public Schools won big awards from the Virginia Music Educators Association.

 Jenny Ryan, Monacan High band director, received the Outstanding Music Educator of the Year Award, which is given to only one Virginia teacher each year. With 30 years of experience as a band director, she supports music education by hosting regional events and serving as secretary for the Virginia Music Educators Association.

 Cathern Hazelwood, James River High choral director, received the VCU Outstanding Music Education Young Alumni Award. A graduate of VCU, she taught elementary music for two years before moving to James River High three years ago.

 David Yohe, Midlothian Middle orchestra teacher, received the Outstanding Music Educator Award from the VCU music education faculty. A two-time VCU graduate and a 31-year teacher in Chesterfield County Public Schools, he continually supports the university by accepting practicum and student teachers and serving as a mentor to new educators.

Celebrating Virginia’s top elementary art teacher

Erika Ogier of Salem Church Elementary was recognized as the 2023 Virginia Elementary Art Educator of the Year by the Virginia Art Education Association. Described as dynamic and innovative, she says she teaches art because she enjoys engaging with students on a creative level, hearing about their experiences and watching them bring those experiences into their art. She has taught since 2016 for Chesterfield County Public Schools.

Virginia’s top tech teacher works at Bettie Weaver Elementary

Heather Russell, who teaches fourth grade at Bettie Weaver Elementary, was named 2023 Teacher of the Year by the Virginia Society for Technology in Education. Citing her work to create a STEM culture, the group recognized her for developing programs and resources that help students and families use technology in innovative and creative ways and for her dedication to always seeking new ways to blend technology into science, social studies and math instruction.

Thomas Dale High baseball field wins Field of the Year 

The baseball field at Thomas Dale High was named Field of the Year by the Virginia Sports Field Managers Association. The statewide award is given to only one K-12 school (either public or private) each year. Students in Bryan Sheetz’s agricultural classes maintain all of the athletic fields at Thomas Dale High. See more photos on the school website, and watch this video to see how students are learning marketable skills while making a meaningful difference at their school.

Financial literacy awards for schools and teachers

Congratulations to the Chesterfield County high schools that were named Blue Star Schools for student performance on the W!se financial literacy certification test:

  • Cosby High

  • James River High

  • Midlothian High

  • Monacan High

Schools earn Blue Star School designation by achieving an 80% passing rate on the W!se financial literacy certification test with at least half the students on a grade level or at least 10% of school enrollment having taken the certification test.

Congratulations to the 29 economics and personal finance teachers who earned the 2022-23 Gold Star Teacher Award:

  • Bird High: Adam Canning

  • Career and Technical Center @ Courthouse: Mary Mayo

  • CCPSOnline: Chad Seay, Janice Skipwith, Kim Leggette, LaTizzia Bragg-Bullock and Samantha Uzzle

  • Clover Hill High: Kyle Miller and Stephanie Mercado

  • Cosby High: David Templeton, Jenna Brown, Mike Shuman and Nichola Woznyj

  • Thomas Dale High: Bill Wright, Felicia Campbell and Towns Josey

  • James River High: Jeffrey Bourassa and Madison Irving

  • Manchester High: Brian Graham, Charlie Krausse and Paul Kline

  • Matoaca High: Kendra Pahl and William De Salvatore

  • Midlothian High: Brett Ridens, Gabriel Taylor and Trish Reese

  • Monacan High: Adrian Murray, Carolyn Manheim and Meredith Shuman

Teachers earn this recognition by achieving a 93% passing rate on the W!se financial literacy certification test in at least one class.

Team Chesterfield is recruiting educators in 13 critical needs areas

Chesterfield County Public Schools invites highly qualified educators in 13 critical needs areas to apply to join Team Chesterfield. Candidates in these areas who apply by Jan. 16 at will be considered for interviews during a Jan. 20 hiring fair: 

  • Library

  • Math

  • Chemistry

  • Biology

  • Earth and space science

  • Middle school science

  • Special education

  • Spanish

  • ESL

  • English

  • Language arts

  • Reading specialists

  • Elementary education

Email if you have questions. Learn more about Chesterfield County Public Schools at

Does your child need school immunizations? 

If your student is not up to date on immunizations, consider adding it to the list for winter break. Ask your healthcare provider which vaccines your child needs, and they'll work with you to schedule them. Learn more at