NNPS salutes graduating MVPs


Posted: June 7, 2018
Youth Development at NNPS

A commitment to Youth Development is an essential Core Belief of Newport News Public Schools. Our goal of graduating students who are College, Career, and Citizen-Ready depends greatly on our efforts to empower students to serve as resources for their peers, teachers and school staff, and the community. Our school division is fortunate to have thousands of students who promote a positive school culture and who continually model and inspire greatness while demonstrating exemplary spirit in our schools. Today, Newport News Public Schools salutes graduating seniors from each of our high schools who have made an extraordinary contribution to the culture and success of their school community. Please join us in recognizing the 2018 Newport News Public Schools Student MVPs (Most Valuable Players). Download MVP poster (pdf).

An Achievable Dream

Cassietta Broadhead Cassietta Broadhead
Cassietta is a member of the Youth Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Project (YADAPP) where she contributed to creating plans for a substance abuse free school and community. Along with her participation in Youth Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Project (YADAPP), Cassietta has demonstrated her strong desire to advocate for justice and equality for herself and her peers. She led the National Walk Out Day with determination and grace to show her respect and empathy for those that were lost in the tragic event. Cassietta will major in Mathematics at Virginia Tech.
Takira Fitzgerald Takira Fitzgerald
Takira served as a member of the City-Wide Student Council Association Executive Board, President of the National Honor Society, Senior Class Fundraising Officer, and Captain of the high energy Heritage High School Dance Line. Takira was also an active member of the Youth Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Project (YADAPP) and ASCEND. An aspiring teacher, Takira has worked as a SPARK Summer Intern, and served in the community by reading to elementary school students, and teaching dance to pre-school students at her dance school. Takira will study Interdisciplinary Liberal Studies at James Madison University.
Rashid Jones-Normal Rashid Jones-Normal
Rashid has been a model student since he walked through the doors of An Achievable Dream. As a member of Varsity Soccer and Chess Club, he has always been willing to set the example as to how to be a good team player. Rashid encourages his peers to make better choices and leads by example to foster and maintain a positive school culture. Rashid will major in English at Virginia Commonwealth University.
Jada Lewis Jada Lewis
Jada Lewis was elected Senior Class President and is a member of the National Honor Society and the Varsity Soccer Team at Heritage High School, ASCEND, and the Delta Débutantes. Jada's demonstrated leadership contributed greatly to the success of the senior class events this year. Jada will major in Business Management at Virginia Commonwealth University.
Daisha Smith Daisha Smith
When not on the sidelines cheering for Heritage's varsity teams, Daisha was busy at her home school showing her pride in being involved in various clubs and activities at An Achievable Dream. Along with cheering, Daisha is a part of the Yearbook committee and makes it her duty to make sure the most memorable experiences are captured for her peers to have for a lifetime. Daisha's leadership skills where quickly recognized by staff members, and she was asked to work in the school's front office providing assistance to every staff member in the school. Daisha will begin her studies in Social Work at Norfolk State University.

Denbigh High School

Craig Edwards Craig Edwards
As a member of Project Inclusion Craig took the lead in helping to maintain a positive culture in the building. He was also a member of the Book Club, Future Business Leaders of America, the Principal's Advisory Group on Education, Teens Against Violence, and Yearbook. Craig was also a member of the Varsity Soccer and Wrestling teams. Craig will serve as a member of the Marine Corps Reserves.
Chanaya Vega-Russis Chanaya Vega-Russis
Chanaya took advantage of every opportunity to be involved. If there was a need, and she was asked, she filled it. Chanaya was a member of Future Business Leaders of America, the Principal's Advisory Group on Education, Project Inclusion, Student Council Association and Teens Against Violence. She also served on the Morning Show for two years and represented Denbigh on the Varsity Field Hockey and Swimming teams. Chanaya will attend Thomas Nelson Community College.
Joshua Silva Joshua Silva
Josh has been a leader on the field, in the community, and in the classroom. A member of the City-Wide Student Council Association Executive Board, Josh was also a member of the Academic Team, Bowling Club, Cross Country track team, Baseball, JROTC, National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta Math Honor Society and the Student Council Association. Josh was instrumental in organizing the first ever division-wide "Kickin It To Violence" Volleyball tournament in recognition of National Violence Prevention Week. Josh will attend the Virginia Military Institute.
Lawren Williams Lawren Williams
Red, white and blue flows through Lawren's veins! When she wasn't playing on the Varsity Volleyball, Softball, or Basketball teams, she could be found on the sidelines cheering on other teams. A student who consistently led by example, Lawren also sang in the choir and volunteered in the attendance office. Lawren will attend Norfolk State University.
Justina Wolfe Justina Wolfe
Recognized by students and staff as a true Denbigh Patriot, Justina was a member of National Honor Society, Student Council Association and Teens Against Violence. She was also a member of the Varsity Soccer and Field Hockey teams. Justina also spent many hours volunteering with the Wounded Warriors Project. Justina will begin her military career in the Marine Corps.

Heritage High School

Terrian Brown Terrian Brown
Terrian served as the Co-Chair of the City-Wide Student Council Association Executive Board and as a member of Project Inclusion, the Principal's Advisory Group, Students Against Destructive Decisions (S.A.D.D.), Youth Alcohol Drug Abuse Prevention Project (YADAPP), Youth Leadership Academy and the Varsity Soccer Team. Terrian led monthly City-Wide Student Council Association meetings to provide an opportunity for all students to lead and get involved in division-wide projects. Terrian plans to attend Old Dominion University where he will major in Philosophy.
Julian Dunston Julian Dunston
Julian has been involved in multiple student organizations over the past 4 years to include the City-Wide Student Council Association Executive Board, Future Business Leaders of America, the Principal's Advisory Group, Poetry Club, Youth Leadership Academy and a member of the Student Assist Help Desk. Julian also led efforts to establish a division-wide Student Wellness Initiative that will be launched in Fall 2018. In the Fall, Julian will attend Virginia Commonwealth University where he will major in Biology.
Urvi Patel Urvi Patel
Urvi has coordinated many student leadership initiatives, including those designed to train middle school leaders. She has been an asset to several organizations, including National Honor Society, Legacy Choir, Youth Alcohol Drug Abuse Prevention Project (YADAPP), Project Inclusion, Girls in Engineering Mathematics and Science (G.E.M.S.), Model United Nations, Students Against Destructive Decisions (S.A.D.D.), the Technology Student Association and Youth Leadership Academy. Urvi will be attending Virginia Tech University majoring in Architecture.
Asia Shell Asia Shell
Asia has received recognition for her commitment to engineering, leadership and community service. She has been a member of several organizations including National Honor Society, Future Business Leaders of America, Youth Alcohol Drug Abuse Prevention Project (YADAPP), Project Inclusion, Girls in Engineering Mathematics and Science (G.E.M.S.), Model United Nations, Students Against Destructive Decisions (S.A.D.D.), Student Council Association and the Student Assist Help Desk. Asia also coordinated and led training for middle school student leaders. Asia will start The Apprentice School in June where she will study Electrical Engineering.
Teonja Tatum Teonja Tatum
Teonja has held numerous leadership positions in several organizations. A member of the City-Wide Student Council Association Executive Board, Teonja also served as President of the Student Council Association and as member of the Varsity Cheerleading Team, DECA, the Newspaper Club, Student Council Association, and the Principal's Advisory Group. Teonja will attend North Carolina A & T State University where she will major in Biology.

Menchville High School

Kylee Baines Kylee Baines
Kylee served as the lead editor and student advisor for The Lion's Roar student newspaper, Vice-President of FBLA, section leader in the Honors/Advanced Guitar Ensemble, lead journalist and public relations consultant for the award-winning Lead2Feed programs, board member of the Student Advisory Group on Education (S.A.G.E), and an active member of both the French Honor Society and National Honor Society. An Early-College Program graduate, Kylee also volunteered with the March of Dimes, the Virginia Living Museum, and Paws for a Cause. Kylee will attend Thomas Nelson Community College before entering Saint Leo University to begin her studies in Homeland Security.
Jeremiah Gaulding Jeremiah Gaulding
Jeremiah's performance in academics, athletics, and service has been outstanding and his list of achievements in every one of those categories is extensive. Jeremiah was elected senior class president and achieved one of the highest levels of leadership in the JROTC Corps - Cadet Lieutenant Colonel, Deputy Group Commander, 2nd in Command. He also served as a member of the City-Wide School Council Association Executive Board. Jeremiah was a formidable cross country and track competitor as well as a member of Model United Nations and National Honor Society. Jeremiah will study Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Virginia Military Institute.
Ian McFadden Ian McFadden
Ian "Shane" McFadden defines what it means to be a Monarch – smart, engaging, athletic, and, most importantly, selfless. Purple and gold through and through, Shane always sacrifices his time and own best needs for the benefit of both his team and peers. He was an active member of the National Honor Society, Model United Nations, the Academic Team, and the German National Honor Society. Shane participated in cross country as well as indoor and outdoor track for four seasons. This year, as captain, Shane led his team to achieve both conference and Peninsula District championship titles. Shane, an aspiring film director, will attend Virginia Commonwealth University.
Siena Naotala Siena Naotala
Siena Naotala demonstrated exemplary leadership skills in all her activities. As a Flight Sergeant in the AFJROTC, she modeled the principles of service to the community. Siena also led as captain of the Varsity Girls' Volleyball Team and served as Student Intern to the Athletic Director, organizing documents and communicating with coaches. Siena exemplified school spirit, and her enthusiasm was contagious. As a valuable member of the Student Council Association, Siena also skillfully planned and organized Homecoming, pep rallies and spirit week events. Siena, an aspiring occupational therapist, will study exercise science at Catawba Valley Community College.
Gabe Odachowski Gabe Odachowski
Gabe Odachowski, an Eagle Scout honor student, served as the lead audio/visual technician at Menchville High School since his sophomore year and also interned at Liberty Baptist Church as an audio/visual specialist. A leader in multiple capacities, he was the lead programmer for Triple Helix Robotics and an assistant engineer for NNPS Channel 47. An active member of the Student Council Association and National Honor Society, he has led and engaged in a multitude of community service projects during his four years at Menchville. Gabe will major in Computer Engineering at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Warwick High School

Samuel Brady Samuel Brady
Samuel "Sam" Brady served as the Drum Major for the Warwick Raider Band. He was also a member of the Student Advisory Group on Education (S.A.G.E.) and the International Baccalaureate Student Advisory Board. Sam also enjoyed being a member of the Hispanic Honor Society, National Honor Society, Tennis Team, Noble Teens, and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Sam demonstrated exemplary school spirit by always supporting and encouraging student involvement in Warwick projects and activities. Sam will study Music Education at Christopher Newport University.
Hailey Frazier Hailey Frazier
Hailey consistently demonstrated dedication to serving and improving Warwick. She served as the Student Council Association Secretary, a member of the International Baccalaureate Student Advisory Board, and the Principal's Advisory Group. Hailey was also a member of the Hispanic Honor Society, Science Honor Society, Arts Honor Society, and the National Honor Society. She participated in Noble Teens and Project Inclusion, and ran the school store. Hailey will also work as a SPARK Summer Intern. Hailey will begin her pre-Med studies at Virginia Commonwealth University.
Stella Johnson Stella Johnson
Stella Johnson contributed greatly to the culture at Warwick High School. While participating in the Early College program at Thomas Nelson Community College, Stella managed to stay connected with and cheer on her fellow Raiders. Stella served as the Student Council Association Historian, played on the Varsity Soccer Team and was recognized as the Peninsula District Volleyball Player of the Year. Stella, a member of the National Honor Society, served as a Student Involvement Ambassador and was a member of the Criminal Justice Club. Stella will continue playing Volleyball at the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore.
Abby Keatts Abby Keatts
Abby has been a devoted leader at Warwick. She served as the Student Council Association Vice President, a member of the City-Wide Student Council Association Executive Board and the International Baccalaureate Student Advisory Board. She also was a member of the Hispanic Honor Society, Science Honor Society, National Honor Society, Noble Teens, and the Principal's Advisory Group. A member of the Chorus, and Vocal Ensemble, Abby was selected for the All-State Chorus. For the second year in a row, Abby will work as a SPARK Summer Intern. Abby will attend the University of Virginia.
Josh Russell Josh Russell
Josh, a student involved in numerous activities, could always be counted on to promote school spirit. A student in the International Baccalaureate program, Josh was also a member of the Golf, Lacrosse and Swim teams, the Hispanic Honor Society, the German Club, and Model United Nations. Josh's enthusiasm and outgoing nature inspired fellow Raiders to consistently demonstrate their maroon and gold pride! Josh will attend James Madison University.

Woodside High School

Catherine Burnette Catherine Burnette
Catherine "Catie" Burnette consistently worked within the school and community to better herself and those around her. She served as a member of the City-Wide Student Council Association Executive Board, Student Council Association Vice President, a member of the Varsity Field Hockey and Swim teams, Orchestra, the Seatbelt Safety Club, and Spanish Honor Society. Catie will major in Biology and Sports Medicine at Randolph-Macon College.
Kyshon Copeland Kyshon Copeland
Kyshon served as the Senior Class President, DECA Vice President, and a member of the Seatbelt Safety Club. He was dedicated to his school and worked hard to make all events enjoyable for students. Kyshon will study Biology at Old Dominion University.
Sohila Hassan Sohila Hassan
Sohila's demonstrated leadership resulted in her being selected for the Student's Advisory Group on Education (S.A.G.E), the Principal's Advisory Group, and Chair of the Mayor's Youth Commission. She also served as a member of several student organizations, including Excellence Girl's Club, Key Club, Literary Magazine, Project Inclusion, Student 2 Student, and Youth Volunteer Corps. Her academic performance also earned her membership in Mu Alpha Theta Math Honor Society, National Honor Society, and Spanish Honor Society. Sohila will major in International Government and Politics at George Mason University.
Kennedy Robinson Kennedy Robinson
Kennedy's resourcefulness, creativity, and support for her peers made her an asset to the student body and school as a whole. She served as Student Council Association Treasurer and as a member of National Honor Society, Excellence Girl's Club, and the International Club. Kennedy looks forward to studying Biology at Virginia Commonwealth University.
Grace Schwartz Grace Schwartz
Grace served as the Senior Class Vice President, and the President of the Seatbelt Club. Grace consistently demonstrated exemplary school spirit! She was active in various clubs and contributed greatly to school wide service projects. Grace will major in Biology at Palm Beach State College.

Youth Development Community Partner MVPs

Newport News Public Schools is fortunate to have community partners who continually invest in our students and schools. These organizations and their employees provide an invaluable service to our school division and contribute greatly to our Youth Development goals of promoting positive school culture, providing opportunities for student empowerment and involvement, leadership, and service opportunities. As community partners, these organizations have expanded, complemented, and supported our youth development efforts. It is with gratitude that we acknowledge the 2018 Newport News Public Schools Youth Development Community Partner MVPs (Most Valuable Partners).

Community KnightsCommunity Knights

Community Knights is an organization which supports local non-profit and public schools through its Grant Initiative Fundraising Team (GIFT) Grant program. Community Knights has awarded 158 GIFT grants in the amount of $406,295 to Newport News Public Schools (NNPS) affiliated organizations and programs, including sports teams, bands, PTA groups, and various student organizations. These grants have funded the purchase of new uniforms, equipment, scholarships, and the fees associated with field trips and participation in national competitions around the country. Community Knights also funded division-wide initiatives, such as leadership training for City-Wide Student Council Association and the Bloom Middle School Girl's Empowerment Conference.

HRCAP - Project Discovery ProgramHRCAP–Project Discovery Program

Project Discovery, an educational college access program, is operated through the Hampton Roads Community Action Program (HRCAP). Project Discovery encourages participants to begin exploring post-secondary options, as early as possible, by experiencing weekly workshops, college visits, field experiences, community service projects and cultural activities. Since September 2012, Project Discovery has served 935 Newport News Public Schools students attending Crittenden and Huntington Middle Schools and Heritage, Warwick, and Woodside High Schools. They have also sponsored 29 free college tours to local institutions in Virginia, such as Hampton University, Virginia Tech, and William & Mary, as well as, those in surrounding states, such as Georgetown, Howard, and North Carolina A&T Universities. Project Discovery has provided more than $70,000 in scholarships and awards. An impressive 91% of Project Discovery participants have enrolled in college.

Newport News ShipbuildingNewport News Shipbuilding

Newport News Shipbuilding has been a long-standing Newport News Public Schools partner which continually sponsors invaluable youth development opportunities. Through the Speakers' Bureau, experienced professionals give engaging presentations during career fairs, which include mock interviews and provide general information, to increase student understanding of careers offered at Newport News Shipbuilding. Employees mentor students in the Girls with Engineering Minds in Shipbuilding (G.E.M.S.) program. In addition to serving on numerous advisory boards, Newport News Shipbuilding participates in a myriad of activities and sponsors the District Egg Drop Competition and the Engineering Career Day for middle and high school students.

Building Better Futures Youth and Gang Violence Prevention InitiativeBuilding Better Futures Youth and Gang Violence Prevention Initiative

Building Better Futures, Youth and Gang Violence Prevention Initiative has been an integral partner in our efforts to promote positive school and community culture. The Outreach Staff, often a visible presence in our schools, has conducted presentations to students and staff to increase gang awareness, informed parents and students of the dangers of social media, and presented joint training with Newport News Public Schools Security. The organization serves as an invaluable resource to school administrators, keeping them informed of community activities that could impact school safety. Building Better Futures made it possible for high school students to connect with regional leaders to address important issues facing our youth. The organization is also a frequent supporter of youth development events and programs.

Youth Volunteer Corps of Hampton RoadsYouth Volunteer Corps of Hampton Roads

Youth Volunteer Corps of Hampton Roads (YVCHR) provides transformative service experiences for Newport News Public Schools (NNPS) students. Since 2010, 702 students have volunteered through YVCHR, serving at events and participating in weekly service opportunities, including those supporting veterans, people with disabilities, and local organizations in need of assistance. YVCHR middle and high school student organizations empower students through involvement in events such as the annual Canstructure Competition, which, this year, motivated students to collect up to 5,000 cans of food, at each school, for the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank. When coordinating large events, such as the Elementary Literacy Nights, Family Forums, and the STAND Together for Youth Resource Fair, many NNPS departments look to YVCHR for reliable trained volunteers.