June 9, 2023
Quickly becoming a Prince George County Public Schools tradition, dozens of division retirees, award winners, and others were honored during the district's second annual Royal Recognitions Reception, hosted at Prince George High School on Thursday, June 8, 2023.
The yearly two-hour event honored several retirees across the district's schools and departments as they set forth on their life's next journey. While gathered, school principals and department leaders shared stories that brought laughter and smiles from the retirees and attendees alike.
Following their recognition in April and May, respectively, PGCPS' Support Employee and Teacher of the Year Award recipients were also recognized, with Technology Network Technician Edrick Cofield (Division Support Employee of the Year) and David A. Harrison Elementary School Learning Specialist Candace Adair (Division Teacher of the Year) each delivering remarks to the audience.
The event was highlighted by the presentation of two division-level recognitions to a pair of Prince George educators, the Pathfinder Award and the Spirit of Prince George Award.
About The Pathfinder Award:
This award recognizes one division teacher or administrator who has made significant contributions in the areas of innovation or leadership, providing innovative solutions that enable success among the division's students.
Recipient: Chris Scruggs, Principal, David A. Harrison Elementary School for “Bear Pride House System" School Relationship Building Project
David A. Harrison Elementary School’s "Bear Pride House System" is an initiative inspired by the likes of Harry Potter, where students from all grade levels and classes are part of houses - red, green, blue, and yellow - and they participate in collaborative activities aimed at creating a positive climate for students and staff. Comprising approximately 100-125 students and three lead staff members per house, students earn points through acts of good character, academic excellence, school spirit, outstanding performance, teamwork, compassion, and responsibility.
Students and houses can earn Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports, PBIS, reward points for demonstrating "Bear Pride," and positive office referrals when students go above and beyond expectations. Houses are recognized regularly throughout the year, and the house that receives the most points during the school year gets the championship trophy at the end of the year.
"Something that is a foundation of the house system is that we are four teams that share a common foundation and goal, our Harrison Bear Characteristics - Be respectful, Engaged, Act Responsibly, and Safe."
Spirit of Prince George Award:
The Spirit of Prince George Award recognizes one division employee or retiree whose significant contributions of kindness or service to others help build the type of "Hallmark" community that makes students, families, faculty, and staff want to come, stay, and be part of our Prince George community.
Recipient: William "Bill" A. Barnes, Jr., PGCPS Assistant Superintendent for Instruction and Accountability
A fixture of the Prince George community, Bill Barnes has served the educational needs of the local students for decades, the majority of that time spent with Prince George County Public Schools. After graduating from Stony Creek High School and the College of William and Mary, Barnes would spend several years teaching in his hometown of Sussex County before transitioning to Prince George. In 1974, he joined the division as a teacher at Prince George High School before joining the N.B. Clements Jr. High School team as a counselor in 1977. In 2014, he was promoted to the division-level position of director of secondary education.
Five years later, Barnes was appointed as the district's assistant superintendent for instruction and accountability, a role he will be departing as he retires this year after over 50 years in education, with more than four decades of that time serving generations of students in Prince George County. Over the years, Barnes has also served as a bus driver, a football and basketball coach, and a scorekeeper at athletic events in the community.
During their meeting on Monday, June 5, 2023, the Prince George School Board approved a recommendation to name Bill Barnes the division's Assistant Superintendent for Instruction and Accountability-Emeritus, a symbolic gesture to recognize his countless contributions to Prince George County Public Schools.
Bill Barnes is the second Spirit of Prince George Award winner, with PGCPS Superintendent-Emeritus Renee Williams receiving the honor in 2022.
Prince George County Public Schools thanks all of our incredible staff members for their years of service as they prepare for retirement and celebrate our award winners for their exceptional work and embodiment of the district's mission - to engage, encourage, and inspire every child, every day.