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Poquoson in the news...
     Poquoson's water-bound roots, community benefits help provide opportunities for young sailors

Sailing is not like most sports. Along with the equipment and environment required to sail, sailors say it's more of a thinking sport, where tactics, physics and understanding of the weather and conditions outweigh physical prowess. And in Poquoson, there are many hands involved in making the sport accessible to the city's youth.

"Sailing has this image of being a rich person's sport, and maybe there's some truth to that," said Steve Hendrickson, a volunteer coach and president of the Poquoson Sailing Foundation, a nonprofit that supports sailing in the city. "But we really try to make it as affordable and accessible as possible."

The sailing team has existed since 2000, competing with schools throughout the state and the Mid-Atlantic region, including local schools in York, Hampton and Norfolk. But the team has only practiced out of Poquoson since 2011 and was able to move to Messick Point last fall, with the help of the city and the schools.

When Hendrickson presented the idea of creating the summer program, City Manager Randy Wheeler said the city was eager to help and offered the use of city facilities for the classroom portions of the sailing camps.

Wheeler said being able to run the sailing team and summer program through the city rather than a yacht club was a "neat addition to the community" that helped set sailing in Poquoson apart. "There's a lot of mutual support," Wheeler said.
  -[read the full story]-

   Daily Press      Saturday - March 25, 2017

     Memorable day for Poquoson's impressive baseball tandem

It was Jackson Day on the Poquoson High baseball diamond Friday.

Cole Jackson and younger brother Kyle "Pee Wee" Jackson weren't the only reasons the Islanders beat Smithfield 6-0 in their Bay Rivers District game, but they were arguably the biggest ones.

Cole Jackson, a senior right-hander, pitched six shutout innings, allowing just four hits while striking out nine. He also had two hits and scored all three times he reached base.

Sophomore second baseman Pee Wee Jackson reached base on two of three at-bats, including a double, and made two eye-opening contributions defensively. The Jackson brothers are in their second year together in the Poquoson starting lineup — Cole is a four-year starter — and it never gets old.

"It's good to play with him and I know I'm going to miss it," Pee Wee Jackson said of his brother's final prep season.

Cole Jackson said, "It's fun, just like Little League back in the day."

It's was the kind of showing by the Jacksons, and all of the Islanders, that has them thinking they can do big things again.
  -[read the full story]-

   Daily Press      Saturday - March 25, 2017

     Proposed Poquoson school budget requests $195,000 more from city

The proposed Poquoson City Public Schools budget requests $195,000 more from the city to cover costs for teacher raises and more expensive health insurance.

Superintendent Jennifer Parish presented the proposed budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1 at a Tuesday evening School Board meeting and posted a video briefing of the budget on the Poquoson schools website Wednesday afternoon.

The proposed budget totals about $22.29 million. The anticipated cost increase is $811,395, which outpaces an increase in state funding and other cost-saving measures by $195,000, the amount of new money the proposed budget seeks from the city.

Under the proposed budget, all teachers would receive a raise between 2 percent and 3.56 percent, and substitute teachers and nurses would be paid $5 more per hour. Increases to compensation would cost $318,911.

Parish said a major issue she contended with in writing the budget was the increased cost of health insurance premiums, which are expected to go up by 11 percent, costing $223,197. Poquoson schools has covered the cost of premium increases for the past eight years, but Parish said this increase necessitated restructuring of the school system's offerings. By restructuring, she is expecting to save $89,613.

The budget also calls for eliminating 1.5 teaching positions, which would bring the number of teaching positions eliminated since 2010 to 56. Along with retirements and teachers leaving, the schools would save $205,492.
  -[read the full story]-

   Daily Press      Wednesday - March 22, 2017

     Students hone construction, creative, theatrical skills in Odyssey of the Mind

Problem-solving, teamwork, engineering, theatre, art and the use of power tools all come together in the sunroom and garage of Norm Remchuk's Poquoson home.

Those two rooms of his house are almost entirely dedicated to Odyssey of the Mind, an international activity that challenges teams of students to solve problems in creative ways. Remchuk, a coach of three Poquoson teams, said that while Poquoson has a history of competitive success at the regional, state and world levels, that's not what is most important.

"It's all about the kids," he said. "People don't believe kids can do this, but they can do amazing things, given the opportunity."

Odyssey of the Mind incorporates a variety of elements in a competition format that doesn't exactly line up with more familiar school activities, so summing up the activity into a few sentences can be as big a problem as the ones teams face in competition.

"There are a lot of different components to it," said Justin Bias, a senior member of the high school team. "But basically it boils down to the creativity and teamwork aspect, and that really makes it unique."
  -[read the full story]-

   Daily Press      Tuesday - March 21, 2017

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