November 9, 2023
Prince George County Public Schools celebrated the start of November and Virginia School Boards Association’s “Take Your Legislator to School Month” by welcoming Virginia House of Delegates member Carrie Coyner (75th District) to tour the division’s facilities and spend time with local students.
VSBA's "Take Your Legislator to School Month" was created by the organization to help build and nurture relationships between public education and the Virginia General Assembly. This initiative allows legislators to observe what is going on in Virginia schools, provides students the chance to meet and interact with an elected official, and allows public school division leaders the opportunity to share their district's goals with legislators and have engaging conversations about public education.
Virginia Delegate Carrie Coyner (back row, middle) joins Ms. Blankenship’s first graders and Middle Road Elementary School principal Chrystal Barnwell (back row, left) for a photo following her visit to the school on Wednesday, November 8, 2023, reading stories and delivering gifts to several classes. (PGCPS Photo)
Del. Coyner began her morning in Prince George County as a guest of the district’s annual community breakfast at Prince George High School. The breakfast, whose origins date back nearly 50 years, serves as an opportunity to thank the individuals, businesses, and organizations who help support the work of their local school division. It also celebrates Prince George County Public Schools' strong partnership with its stakeholders in local business, faith-based and community organizations and government, including state-level General Assembly members and congressional leaders.
Following the breakfast, Del. Coyner was joined by PGCPS District Superintendent Dr. Lisa Pennycuff and District 2 Prince George County School Board member and VSBA Southside Region Chairman Christopher A. Johnson for a tour of Middle Road Elementary School, the district’s newest campus serving over 700 Pre-K through 5th grade students following its February 2023 opening.
During her morning at Middle Road Elementary, Del. Coyner was welcomed by the school’s administrative team, school principal Chrystal Barnwell and assistant principal Melissa Horton, before visiting several classes for reading sessions with students. Ms. Kline’s Pre-K students even offered handmade welcome cards and warm hugs before Del. Coyner departed their class.
Students in Ms. Kline’s Pre-K class give Virginia Delegate Carrie Coyner a hug as her visit to their class concludes on Wednesday, November 8, 2023 at Middle Road Elementary School. She read to students and left educational books as presents for the class to enjoy. (PGCPS Photo)
Before leaving each class, the delegate handed out special coloring and activity books to students containing educational information about Virginia government.
“Our district is proud to welcome our elected officials to spend time with our students and staff and we thank Delegate Coyner for joining us to see how special Prince George County Public Schools is,” Division Superintendent Dr. Lisa Pennycuff said. “Initiatives like the VSBA’s ‘Take Your Legislator to School Month’ is a valuable resource that allows us to connect with our elected officials to discuss public education topics and see first-hand the high-quality instruction our teachers and staff deliver to the children of Prince George County everyday.”
"We are proud to welcome Delegate Carrie Coyner to Prince George County as part of the Virginia School Boards Association's 'Take Your Legislator to School Month,'" VSBA Southside Region Chairman and Prince George County School Board Member Christopher A. Johnson said. "Having Del. Coyner and our local, state, and congressional representatives visit our schools, interact with our faculty and staff, and experience the programs and services offered by our division is essential for our public education advocacy efforts. This unique month-long recognition held each November is an excellent opportunity for our school board, each locality within our region, and districts across the commonwealth to connect with their lawmakers to engage in thoughtful discussions on topics of importance to each school district before their representatives return to Richmond for the upcoming General Assembly session in 2024. We thank everyone who made this collaborative opportunity possible."
(From L to R) Prince George County School Board member and VSBA Southside Region Chair Christopher A. Johnson, Delegate Carrie Coyner, Division Superintendent Dr. Lisa Pennycuff, Middle Road Elementary School Principal Chrystal Barnwell, and District Director of Elementary Instruction Robin Germanos smile in front of Middle Road Elementary School during the delegate's visit to the school on Wednesday, November 8, 2023. (PGCPS Photo)