Student working

The Virginia School Boards Association (VSBA) has released its 26th annual VSBA Showcases for Success directory, highlighting successful K-12 programs in Virginia’s public schools. Goochland County Public Schools is one of 32 school divisions from across the Commonwealth that has programs featured in the directory. Programs from GCPS are:

Work-based Learning Partnership 

 Goochland County Public Schools has developed a partnership with Greenswell Growers, a Goochland County business that recently opened a state-of-the-art hydroponics facility that is expected to produce about 3.7 million pounds of leafy greens for distribution across the mid-Atlantic over the next 3 years, all with 95 percent less water consumption and carbon-neutral energy. GCPS’s Work-Based Learning (WBL) program coordinates workplace experiences that are related to a student’s career goals and/or interests, sometimes integrated with instruction, and performed in partnership with local businesses and organizations. GCPS and Greenswell are working together to create engaging coursework that will give each student academic and hands-on experiences meant to prepare them for careers of the future. Greenswell Growers has collaborated with GHS’s Career and Technical Education program to provide curricula that teach students about Controlled Environmental Agriculture, marketing, operations and logistics, mechatronics, and culinary arts. Contact: Bruce Watson, Director of Career and Technical Education,

Youth Mental Health First Aid 

 While almost everyone has the basic first aid skills needed for minor cuts, aches, or pains, the number of people in a community who know first aid for youth mental health or substance abuse is limited. To meet that need, trained Goochland County Public Schools staff members have offered Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) sessions during the 2021-22 school year. Even before the pandemic, mental health challenges were the leading cause of disability and poor life outcomes in young people, with up to 1 in 5 children ages 3 to 17 in the United States with a reported mental, emotional, developmental, or behavioral disorder. The end goal of the program is to increase the number of people in the community who can assist a child or teenager and provide them with the mental health or substance abuse first aid that they need until they can secure professional care. Contact: Dr. Jennifer Waggener, Executive Director of Exceptional Education,

Advance College Academy 

 With annual tuition ranging between $9,000 and $23,000, attending a public, 4-year college in Virginia can add up quickly for students and their families. In Goochland County Public Schools, students can earn up to 60 credit hours before graduation in the division’s Advance College Academy (ACA) – greatly reducing the steep cost of a college degree. ACA is a partnership between GCPS and Reynolds Community College and is open to students with a 3.0-grade-point average or higher who have taken Algebra I by the ninth grade. Courses are taught by certified Goochland High School teachers and include the same content as courses taught on the community college campus. In ACA, students can take rigorous college courses in a supportive environment and can earn an associate degree prior to high school graduation. This opens up options such as graduating early, double majoring, taking a lighter load each semester, or studying abroad. Contact: Dr. Elizabeth Fowler, Advanced Programs and Equity Specialist,

The full VSBA Showcases for Success directory is available at It includes division-wide programs, as well as those at elementary, middle, and high school levels. The focus of the 2022 VSBA Showcases for Success is Virginia Public Schools: Setting the Precedent, highlighting unique program offerings in Virginia’s public schools.

For more information about the VSBA Showcases for Success, contact Gina Patterson, VSBA executive director, at or 434-295-8722.