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The year was 1854. Jacob Hamblin was a Mormon pioneer sent from Illinois to help settle southern Utah. Hamblin quickly developed a friendship with the Native Americans who lived there. He did business with them regularly and they knew they could trust him to treat them honestly and fairly. He was known as a man of integrity by his new friends because of his consistent actions.

One day he sent his son to obtain blankets from a Native American man, in exchange for a pony. The man offered a pile of blankets after examining the pony, but the son, wanting to prove what a good business man he could be, refused the offer, saying he wanted more. 

The man continued to add blankets to the pile until the son agreed to the trade. However, when the boy returned home, he found his father was not proud of his business skills. The boy had taken more than the pony was worth, and he promptly sent the son to return half the blankets.

The Native American man, when the boy explained sheepishly what he was there to do, laughed. He had known Hamblin would make his son return the extra blankets. 

You see integrity is actionable. It’s not just based on your words, but also your actions. If you want to become trustworthy, you must do things that build trust with others consistently over time. And that is the essence of integrity.

Posted by [email protected]  On Dec 08, 2019 at 2:30 PM
I saw a news segment this morning on NBC12 about a father from Louisa County who had been deployed with the U.S. Army for over a year. Mr. Torbush, an Army Sergeant, was able to surprise his kids who were at Louisa County High School yesterday (Dec. 14, 2019) for a wrestling tournament. His two boys were on the wrestling team and were quite surprised when the coach announced their special visitor. His two daughters also ran out on the mat to greet their dad. It was quite a moving story.

The story made me think of the word honor. In this instance, it's the way we show respect and admiration for someone. The kids honored their mother and father by the way they embraced their dad. In a blog on Honor Lessons by Scott Turansky on, he states that children learn honor from their parents. The way Mom and Dad treat each other, even in disagreements, is an example to children of how they should treat others. 

Mrs. Torbush stated in the news segment how difficult life had become without her husband around, but based on their reunion one could only conclude how diligently she "kept the home fires burning" during his deployment. 

It's in the daily routines and actions where our kids will learn honor. What we instill in our kids every day is what they will eventually instill in theirs.

"It is not the honor that you take with you, but the heritage you leave behind." - Branch Rickey.
Posted by [email protected]  On Dec 15, 2019 at 9:00 PM

The year was 1912 and all the talk in the world, especially in Europe, was about the Titanic, a luxury ship designed to ferry people back and forth across the Atlantic. However, on its maiden voyage, the unsinkable Titanic struck an iceberg just before midnight on April 14, 1912 and would subsequently sink to the bottom of the Atlantic at 2:20 a.m. on April 15. There were 2,224 passengers on board with over 900 crew. However, there were only enough lifeboats to carry about 1100 people. The decision-makers for Titanic irresponsibly decided that because the ship was considered unsinkable, they didn’t need as many. They opted for more deck space rather than keeping the safety of all passengers and crew in mind. That decision cost lives as over 1500 people perished that night.

Of the 900 crew members, 25 of them were engineers responsible for maintaining the inner-workings of the ship including the pumps designed to control any possible flooding. 

As the Titanic was sinking, passengers were being loaded onto the lifeboats by the deck crew. During this time, the engineering crew remained at their posts to work the pumps, controlling the flooding as much as possible. Their actions ensured the power stayed on during the evacuation and allowed the wireless radio system to keep sending distress signals.These men bravely kept at their work as it was their responsibility. They helped save more than 700 people even though it would cost them their own lives.

This story shows how irresponsible decisions can negatively impact not only your own life, but the lives of others. The story also demonstrates how following through on your responsibilities can make a major impact, especially when you are putting the welfare of others above yourself. As we begin a new decade, take time to talk with you teens about their roles and responsibilities within your family structure. Talk to them about how their responsibilities may evolve over time and the importance of following through. Happy New Year and New Decade!

Posted by [email protected]  On Jan 02, 2020 at 1:43 PM
Take a moment with your teenager this week to share and discuss the following quote by John C. Maxwell, leadership coach and author of over 70 books on leadership.

"The greatest day in your life and mine is when we take total responsibility for our attitudes. That's the day we truly grow up."

Posted by [email protected]  On Jan 12, 2020 at 4:59 PM
As I was researching for today's blog, I came across the blog below that provides both perspective and strategies to take more responsibility for your life and essentially your future.

Posted by [email protected]  On Jan 19, 2020 at 3:57 PM

This month our character focus is on Initiative which means we seize the opportunity to independently act or take charge. This includes creating new ideas, anticipating the needs of others, and seeking leadership opportunities.

We generally think of initiative as recognizing and doing what needs to be done before being asked. And that's true. But initiative is so much more. Initiative believes in the possibilities of opportunity; it sees opportunity where others see barriers. Initiative means going the extra mile.

The following story is a great example of how taking initiative can change the course of one’s life and the lives of others.

The year was 1949. Dorothy Johnson Vaughan became the first African American supervisor at the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (the predecessor of NASA) when she was promoted to manager of the West Area Computers. This work group was made up mostly of African American female mathematicians who worked at the Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. Vaughan’s title opened the door for her to collaborate with other well-known computer operators and gave her access to see future plans of the organization. 

In 1958, the NACA officially became NASA. During that time, Vaughan realized that NASA was going to move into machine computing with computer programming. They began bringing in large computers from IBM. Seeing that these computers would likely replace her and her team of mathematicians, she took the initiative to learn FORTRAN programming language. She not only taught herself this complex language, but she also took the time to teach her team.

In 1961 she officially became supervisor of the digital programming center and brought her team with her. She made such significant contributions to the space program through her work on the Scout Launch Vehicle Program and the launch of John Glenn into orbit. Had Dorothy Vaughan not taken the initiative to teach herself and others this new language, she and her team would have been fired. The Scout Launch Vehicle Program may have taken longer to get off the ground. It may have taken NASA longer to get man into orbit. Her initiative changed the course of her life, her team, and essentially that of the NASA space program.

Vaughan’s work and the work of Mary Jackson and Katherine Johnson were featured in the 2016 movie Hidden Figures

What can we learn from Vaughan’s story? She saw an opportunity and seized the moment by taking initiative. She saw possibilities where others may have seen barriers and she went the extra mile to affect change. As I mentioned earlier, there are four and half months until the end of the school year. I know I’m stating the obvious, but seniors this is your final four and half months of high school. As you all work toward the end of the year, think about where you can take more initiative either in school or in life. See the possibilities, work to overcome your barriers, and go the extra mile to set yourself up for success.

Reflect on this quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson.

“Unless you try to do something beyond what you have mastered, you will never grow.” 

Posted by [email protected]  On Feb 01, 2020 at 3:57 PM

 I had the pleasure of meeting Michael Jordan in 1985 at UNC basketball school. I believe his journey in basketball and in life speaks to the very essence of confidence, our character trait of the month for March.

The year was 1978, Michael Jordan tried out for his high school’s varsity basketball team, but at 5’11 he was told he was too short to play at that level as a sophomore and remained on junior varsity. He worked constantly on his game to improve his skills and during his JV season would score 40 or more points in several games.

Over the next summer, he would grow four inches. He spent countless hours working on his basketball skills. The next two years of high school he would average over 25 points per game, over 12 rebounds, and 6 assists per game. He was named a high school All-American and played in the annual McDonald’s All-American game where he scored 30 points.

He was highly recruited by several major universities with prominent basketball programs such as Duke, Syracuse, and Virginia, but ultimately landed at North Carolina.

He had a phenomenal freshmen year. He would hit the game winning shot against Georgetown in the national championship game and was named ACC Freshman of the Year. The work he put in to honing his skills is what gave him the confidence to take that monumental shot against Georgetown. Jordan later described this shot as the major turning point in his basketball career.

Never being satisfied, Jordan continued to put in the work to get stronger and more consistent in overall skills. The next two years, he was selected to the NCAA All-America First Team. He would be honored with the Naismith and Wooden awards in 1984, his last year of college basketball.

That same spring Jordan was selected as the third pick in the NBA draft by the Chicago Bulls. He would go on to a storied career in the NBA winning 6 NBA titles with the Bulls and several Player of the Year awards. He is arguably the greatest player of all-time or GOAT for short.

What separated Michael from other players was the level of confidence he developed. He worked constantly on perfecting his skills, growing his knowledge of the game, and enhancing his thought processes. Because he had worked so much on his game, he knew he was going to make the next shot or make the next stop against an opposing player. He learned to turn failures into positives. One of his most notable quotes describes how he thinks, “I have failed over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.” He developed a perspective that his failures were really stepping stones to another level of success and his confidence grew as he overcame his setbacks and failures. 

What we learn from Michael is that confidence is linked to the actions we take in developing and enhancing our skills. Regardless of what skill sets you’re trying to develop, it will take real concerted and consistent efforts on your part to develop that kind of confidence. It will take overcoming setbacks and delaying gratification for better results and ultimately greater success.

Posted by [email protected]  On Mar 01, 2020 at 2:07 PM

We know that you may have many questions about graduation, from requirements to commencement exercises. Last week, Dr. Gill sent out the following information to these questions that we hope will help to ease and address many of your concerns.

Graduation Requirements:

The Superintendent of Public Instruction has shared with us his commitment that students on-track for graduation prior to the closing of schools will graduate. More specific details are included below. In addition, please note that all students, including seniors, are expected to complete all Learn-from-Home assignments for the remainder of the school year. More details regarding these requirements are forthcoming.

The following graduation requirements can be waived:

  • Students currently enrolled in a course for which they need a standard or verified credit in order to graduate;
  • Students who have successfully completed a course required for graduation, but have not earned the associated verified credit;
  • Students who have not completed the student-selected test;
  • Students who are currently enrolled in or have previously completed a course leading to a Career and Technical Education (CTE) credential necessary for a Standard Diploma but have not yet earned the credential.

The Code of Virginia outlines several credit-based graduation requirements. We are working diligently with the Virginia Department of Education to ensure we adhere to the processes necessary to request a waiver to the following requirements:

  • Students who have not completed a United States and Virginia history course;
  • Students who have not completed a fine or performing arts or career and technical education course;
  • Students in the second of sequential courses;
  • Students who have not completed an economics and personal finance course.

The following graduation requirements will require action by the General Assembly in order to be waived:

  • Students who have not completed training in emergency first aid, CPR, and the use of automated external defibrillators, including hands-on practice of the skills necessary to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation; and
  • Students who have not completed a virtual course. (This does not include the Learn-from-Home initiative currently being offered by HCPS.)

If you have concerns about whether or not you/your students are on-track for graduation, please contact your school counselor or administrator who can assist you in reviewing your progress and help you finish strong.  We are eager to work with individual students and families who have concerns about fulfilling graduation requirements.

Graduation Ceremonies:

We are committed to celebrating the accomplishments of our senior class. Our sincere desire is to hold traditional graduation ceremonies for all four high schools. While we cannot predict when the Governor will lift the current restrictions on large gatherings, we are still maintaining our reservation at the VCU Siegel Center for Saturday, June 13.

If this is not possible, we hope to hold ceremonies later in the summer, if permitted. However, if restrictions remain in place longer than anticipated and in-person ceremonies are not possible, our team is already actively exploring all possibilities to honor and recognize our graduates. We will share further details as we know more.

We hope these updates will help to address the many questions and concerns you may have regarding graduation. We will continue to provide you with regular updates regarding graduation and a variety of other topics as they become available. If you have additional questions that were not addressed, please contact your school counselor or administrator. Please also visit the school division’s website for the most up-to-date information.

Keep It Safe!


Posted by [email protected]  On Mar 29, 2020 at 3:53 PM

Attention senior students and parents/guardians: please see the important information below for updates regarding our Senior Awards event. 

Senior Awards provides us with the opportunity to recognize our graduating seniors receiving honors, awards, and scholarships from Lee-Davis High School, alumni and families, universities, and state and national organizations. Seniors are recognized for their many special gifts and talents, from academic distinction to athletic excellence, for personal character, dedication to service, and more. 

As you know, in light of recent events our school buildings remain closed for the duration of the 2019-2020 school year. Due to these unfortunate circumstances, we will be unable to hold our traditional in-house ceremonies. However, we  still want to recognize our seniors’ accomplishments by showcasing their achievements through a Senior Awards program document that will be distributed on Wednesday, May 20th, via Social Media, Schoology, and e-connect messages to our community and students. This document will include a listing of all school-specific senior scholarship and award winners, Hanover Scholars recipients, and other outside scholarships/awards received by the graduating Class of 2020, as reported to us by the May 1st deadline. 

  • Scholarship recipients (for school-specific scholarships) will be contacted via Schoology around May 20, 2020 and provided with a “Scholarship Recipient Information Form.” This form will request recipient contact information, college/postsecondary mailing address, and other pertinent information needed to process and send their scholarship funds to the appropriate institution.
  • Outside Scholarships:  If a senior has received a scholarship award and/or grant from the college they will attend or from an outside organization not related to L-DHS (e.g. military, businesses, etc.), they must email a copy of the official award letter to their Career Counselor, Mrs. Corbin, via Schoology or at [email protected] confirming the scholarship no later than Friday, May 1 if they want to be acknowledged for it in the Senior Awards Program. Along with the official award letter, please email the dollar amount and the name of the scholarship that you would like to be included in the program.
  • Additionally, we want to recognize seniors that have received their Eagle Scout rank by the Boy Scouts or the Gold Award by the Girl Scouts. In order to do so, they must email Mrs. Corbin, Career Counselor, via Schoology or at [email protected] with official documentation of their achievement by Friday, May 1.

Any Outside Scholarship and/or Award information received after Friday, May 1 will not be included in the Senior Awards Program or in other forms of communication.  Please contact Mrs. Corbin, Career Counselor, at [email protected], with any questions. 

Posted by [email protected]  On Apr 21, 2020 at 5:20 PM

In honor of Hispanic Heritage month, I thought it all too fitting to share a story of respect for the first Hispanic female astronaut in space, Ellen Ochoa.

The year was 1993.  April 8, 1993 to be exact. Ellen Ochoa and four other fellow astronauts would board the Space Shuttle Discovery for a 9-day mission.  Ochoa was a mission specialist aboard the Discovery.  This mission was officially called ATLAS-2: the Atmospheric Laboratory for Applications and Science-2, which was designed to collect data on the relationship between the sun's energy output and Earth's middle atmosphere and how these factors affect the ozone layer.

The crew also made numerous radio contacts to schools around the world using Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment II, called SAREX II, including a brief radio contact with Russian Mir space station, the first ever such contact between Shuttle and Mir using amateur radio equipment.

Ochoa not only made history on April 8, 1993, but she would go on to serve on three other missions logging over 1000 hours in space, over 41 days.  Her last mission was in 2002. 

Ochoa’s paternal grandparents were originally from Sorona, Mexico. A state that borders Arizona and California.  She grew up in La Mesa, California and developed a keen interest in math, science, and music.  After high school, she would graduate from San Diego State University with a degree in physics in 1980. While in college, she played the flute for two years as part of the university marching band and for five years as a member of the university wind ensemble. In 1981 and 1985 respectively, she earned her master’s and doctorate in Electrical Engineering from Stanford.  This is where she began her research work on optical systems.

Her work in optical and computer systems for automated space exploration is what earned her respect and recognition in a field normally dominated by men.  The systems she developed while at Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico and then with a team of researchers at NASA’s Ames Research Division in California, would prove to have important applications for data gathering and evaluating equipment safety.  The work in two of her missions provided valuable data about the damage to the Earth’s ozone layer in the mid-90s. 

Mrs. Ochoa’s contributions to science, and in particular space exploration, garnered her much recognition and respect. Over the course of her career, she has received seven awards from NASA, in addition to the Women in Aerospace Outstanding Achievement Award, the Hispanic Engineer Albert Baez Award for Outstanding Technical Contribution to Humanity, and the Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award. Other awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Exceptional Service Medal, Outstanding Leadership Medal, and four Space Flight Medals. In 1999, she was selected by then President Clinton to serve on the Presidential Commission on the Celebration of Women in American History. 

She currently serves as Director of the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.  In 2018, she was inducted into the International Air and Space Hall of Fame. She also has three schools in the greater Los Angeles area named in her honor. She also has schools named for her in the states of Washington, Texas, and Oklahoma.  Outside of her current research for NASA, she also gives back by traveling the country speaking to a variety of groups, many of whom are students.

Posted by [email protected]  On Sep 13, 2020 at 4:42 PM
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