The Governor's Partnership in Education Award recognizes Virginia's best partnership practices designed to improve student's academic achievement through bold education reform initiatives (involving the private sector) which make a substantial difference in students' lives.

"The Graduate of Merit Program is an excellent example of how partnerships can increase student learning both in and out of the classroom and reinforce the state's uncompromising stand of excellence in education," said Governor Jim Gilmore.

"Parents, educators, and community members must work together to ensure academic achievement for young people.  It is important to recognize and encourage new and innovative private sector and community efforts that reinforce educational achievement and better prepare our children to lead fulfilling lives, have successful careers, and become active and responsible citizens,"
added the governor.

The Horizon Award recognizes a new partnership between a school and community that shows significant commitment by the partners to schools and young people of the area.

The Graduate of Merit Program was nominated for this award by the Economic Education Committee of the former Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce (Currently is the Danville-Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce, Inc.)

(Excerpt reprinted from Star-Tribune, September 6, 2000.)

Pictured (L to R) Mr. James E. McDaniel, Division Superintendent; Dr. Jerry E. Webb, Former Division Superintendent; Mr. John W. Collins, Burlington Industries Distribution Center (Retired); Former Governor Jim Gilmore; Stephanie Berger,  Graduate of Merit -Class of 2000; Everlena Ross, Economic Education Committee, Danville-Pittsylvania County Chamber, Inc.; Dottie Grimes, Guidance Counselor, Gretna High  

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