13 Roanoke Region Schools Earn 2014 State VIP Honors

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe and the Virginia Board of Education announced the 2014 Virginia Index of Performance (VIP) awards for advanced learning and Achievement this week. A total of 13 Roanoke Region Schools were recognized for exceeding minimum state and federal accountability standards and achieving excellence goals established by the governor and board. 

Crystal Springs Elementary of Roanoke and Roanoke County’s Cave Spring High and Hidden Valley Middle schools earned 2014 Board of Education Excellence Awards. Botetourt County’s Breckinridge Elementary, Salem’s South Salem Elementary, and Roanoke County’s Cave Spring Elementary, Cave Spring Middle, Clearbrook Elementary, Fort Lewis Elementary, Glenvar Middle, Hidden Valley High, Oak Grove Elementary, and Penn Forest Elementary earned 2014 Board of Education Distinguished Achievement Awards. 

“I am pleased to congratulate Virginia’s teachers, principals, superintendents and other educators whose commitment to innovation and excellence have made the Commonwealth’s schools leaders among our economic competitors,” McAuliffe said in a press release. “The educators and support staff in these award-winning schools — and in all of our public schools — have dedicated their careers to building brighter futures for our young people and providing pathways for success in a 21st Century economy. I look forward to visiting as many of these schools as possible and celebrating their accomplishments.”   

The schools earned 2014 VIP awards based on student achievement and other performance indicators during the 2012-2013 school year.

Find out more about the awards and read the full release >>>

Roanoke Top Ten Best Work Environment in U.S.

Workers are happy in RoanokeSpending 40 hours a week – or more – at your job can take a toll, both mentally and physically. In fact, less than half of workers in the U.S. gave their workplace a positive overall review last year. Fortunately, you may be able to avoid the worker bee syndrome in the Roanoke Region.

According to a recent Gallup survey, the Roanoke metro area has one of the best work environments in the U.S., ranking No. 7. Gallup surveyed hundreds of thousands of Americans in nearly 200 metro areas over the past two years to create the Work Environment Index. The index is based on four factors: “Job satisfaction; whether employees felt they used their strengths at work; how employees were treated by their supervisors; and whether supervisors created an open and trusting work environment.”

The Roanoke metro area came in with a work environment index score of 55.1, falling ahead of Kennewick-Pasco-Richland, Wash. (55.0) and just behind Visalia-Porterville, Calif. (55.3). San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles, Calif. ranked first with a score of 59.1. 

Here is what the finance blog 24/7 Wall St. had to say about Roanoke:

“Unlike other metro areas with highly rated workplaces, supervisors in Roanoke were not as likely to create a trusting work environment. Less than 80% of respondents thought their supervisor did so in 2013, in-line with the average across all metro areas. However, this did not prevent residents from liking their jobs, with 90.5% of survey respondents reporting job satisfaction, among the best job evaluations among all metro areas surveyed. The job climate in Roanoke is also relatively good, with just a 5.4% unemployment rate in December last year, below the national rate of 6.7% that month.”

Check out the full post – with great data analysis – on USAToday.com >>>

2014 Virginia State Open Coming to Ballyhack Golf Club

Roanoke Ballyhack golfThe Virginia State Golf Association has announced that the 2014 Virginia State Open has signed a title sponsor and will be played at the Roanoke Region’s Ballyhack Golf Club. Delta Dental of Virginia will sponsor the Delta Dental State Open of Virginia for the next three years. 

With headquarters in Roanoke, and additional offices in Richmond, Delta Dental of Virginia is a member company of the nation’s largest, most experienced dental benefits carrier, providing dental coverage to more 1.8 million Virginians. Delta Dental of Virginia is also actively engaged in the golf community through programs like The First Tee and the Delta Dental of Virginia Pro-Am benefiting the Boys & Girls Club of Southwest Virginia, making them a perfect title sponsor for the state’s premier golf tournament. 

“We’re absolutely delighted that Delta Dental of Virginia has agreed to serve as this event’s title sponsor over the next three years,” said VSGA President Gib Palmer in a statement released by the VSGA. “We look forward to working with the MAPGA and Delta Dental of Virginia in the coming years in continuing to make the Delta Dental State Open of Virginia the best it can be.”

The state open is jointly managed by the VSGA and the Middle Atlantic Section of The PGA of America and features the best amateur and professional golfers from around the state in a 54-hole stroke play championship. 

“The Delta Dental State Open of Virginia is an event marked on the calendars of PGA professionals and amateurs from the beginning of the season,” said MAPGA President John Madden, the head PGA professional at River Bend Golf and Country Club in Great Falls, Va., in a statement. “The support of Delta Dental and the event’s visit to Ballyhack will enhance the profile of this championship.”

Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains near the Blue Ridge Parkway, and ranked as Golfweek’s No. 15 “Best New Courses” in 2010. Ballyhack will provide a scenic and challenging backdrop to the championship. 

“We’re confident that Ballyhack will help showcase top-quality golf,” added Jonathan Ireland, the director of operations at Ballyhack. “The layout will provide a quality test and continue to add to the Delta Dental State Open of Virginia’s rich tradition.”

The tournament will take place at Ballyhack Golf Club from July 17-19.

Find out more about the Delta Dental State Open of Virginia >>>

Virginia Top 10 in Green Building

Masons Cove ElementaryWhen it comes to green building, Virginia is once again setting the pace with another top 10 ranking in states for LEED green building. After ranking No. 1 in 2012, Virginia ranked 3rd in 2013 in a survey by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), and one building in the Roanoke Region was cited as a big reason why. 

Masons Cove Elementary School in Roanoke County was one of five projects mentioned in the article by Virginia Business as a reason for the state’s high ranking. Among other green initiatives, the school features a solar powered hot water tank, geothermal heating and cooling, and a water filtration system. The building is certified as a Gold LEED building by the USGBC, the second highest rating behind platinum. 

The ranking is based on per-capita square feet of LEED certified space in each state. 

Learn more about Virginia’s ranking and the state of green building in Virginia >>>