Newport News Public Schools update – January 2024

Basketball season making history with first female coaching a Peninsula District boys team

Warwick Boys Basketball Coach LaTasia Robinson became the first female coach of a boys basketball team in Peninsula District history this season.

Robinson has coached girls and boys for the past 10 years and was promoted to the varsity head coaching job at Warwick from the JV head coaching position in August. She played at Heritage High School, graduating in 2008 as part of the Group AAA state championship team that was the first Newport News girls team to win one, and then at Virginia Union University (VUU).

With her degree in criminal justice from VUU, the Newport News Public Schools (NNPS) alumna worked as a juvenile detention specialist with young men and women at the downtown Newport News facility.

Robinson started coaching girls basketball first with her coach at Heritage, Mike Gardner, and then boys as head coach of Heritage’s JV boys team for two seasons before coming to Warwick as JV head coach last season.

NNPS STEAM Camps earns state recognition as Program that Works

Newport News Public Schools STEAM Camps, in collaboration with the College of William & Mary (W&M), have been recognized as a 2023 “Program that Works” by the Virginia Mathematics and Science Coalition.

Recipients were honored at a Poster Session and Awards Luncheon in November at the Reynolds Community College Workforce Development Conference Center in Richmond.

STEAM Camps are held during the summer at Hines Middle School and serve students in grades 3 through 12. They provide hands-on learning experiences in computer science, emerging technologies and engineering design.

Engineered to spark creativity, promote teamwork and teach real-world problem-solving skills, the program pairs a robust curriculum with diverse mentorship opportunities. Participants include learners from elementary to high school, pre-service teachers from the W&M and NNPS high school interns following STEM career pathways.

Heritage High band invited to perform at parade in Rome

Heritage High School’s marching band has been invited to participate in the prestigious Rome New Year’s Day Parade and Festival on January 1, 2025. The group will be fundraising throughout the next year.

The parade and festival is an important part of Rome’s celebration of the New Year, according to organizers. It will be live-streamed worldwide.

“The students and I are extremely excited to accept the invitation to participate in the 2025 Rome New Year’s Day Parade,” said Jemere Brown, Heritage High band director. “The opportunity to perform in and outside of our community is something our students enjoy.”

To prepare for the performance, the band is practicing music and marching five days a week, according to Brown. They practice marching in parade formation, marching and playing their instruments, learning new music and cardio exercises to build stamina.