The Blue Ridge Virtual Governor's School will create a collaborative learning community for academically motivated high school students that emphasizes service, leadership and the development of skills necessary for success in the 21st century, with an instructional focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

BRVGS Address:

14455 James Madison Hwy. Palmyra, Va 22963

Blog Index
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Fluvanna Students Experience the "Wonders of Wildlife," thanks to BRVGS Senior

Fluvanna County’s Central Elementary School looked like a scene from a nature documentary recently, thanks to Fluvanna High School senior Devon Burger.  As part of her BRVGS senior project about wildlife in Virginia, Devon sponsored and arranged for two “Wonders of Wildlife” (“WoW”) programs from The Wildlife Center of Virginia for CES students.  Chapin Hardy of the Wildlife Center talked to students about the mission of the Center to help rehabilitate wounded Virginia wildlife, and introduced students to a box turtle, a broad winged hawk and an opossum.  The students had many questions, and were clearly fascinated and engaged by the presentation and the animals.

According to Devon, she wanted to bring this program to CES because, “I believe it is important for children to learn about wildlife because they live with animals everyday... I hope that wildlife education will encourage them to respect the animals and protect our environment.”

Devon put together a GoFundMe campaign and a Thanksgiving Day “Turkey Trot” race to raise the money for the wildlife programs.  Fundraising was not easy, but Devon notes that “With a lot of help from the community and my dad, who helped me run a Turkey Trot 5k to fund the event, I raised more than I needed for the first WoW day. I learned that you just have to be willing to ask for help.”  

Despite the difficulties of fundraising, Devon feels that the event was completely worth the effort.  “I personally learned a lot more about wild animals and the children were so receptive!​  I know they were grateful about the WoW day, because at the end of the presentation one little girl hugged and thanked me​. In that moment, I knew that the program made a difference.”   One of the best parts of the experience was “... seeing the kid's faces when the animals were pulled out of the cages.”  It sounds like making the program happen made a difference for Devon as well.

To see more pictures of the WoW day at CES, click on Wow Day at CES.   For more information on the Wildlife Center of Virginia, click on



Senior Jackie Tremain Signs Softball Letter of Intent with JMU 

Goochland Schools Photo

“I learned that when someone says you can't do something, it's really just a challenge,” said BRVGS student Jackie Tremain. She recently signed a letter of intent to play D1 softball with James Madison University (JMU) next year, which has been her dream.

To achieve her softball goal, she’s had to overcome obstacles. “I had numerous coaches tell me I was too short, being only 5'3”,  to ever play at a division 1 level. I also had numerous coaches tell me that I didn't throw hard enough. Although I couldn't do much about my height I learned to work with it. I learned to move the ball around instead of blow it past people.” Jackie is a pitcher, who has played softball for 12 years and pitched for the last 10.

She said time management, as well as balancing athletics and academics have been her biggest challenges. “I just have to make sure I have my priorities straight. School comes first and softball second. Softball can only last so long but my education is what is going to make me successful for the rest of my life.” But Jackie also noted how these two areas of her life enhance each other. “Playing softball has taught me to work well with others on a team, which helps during team Blue Ridge [Governor’s School] projects. Softball has also built my confidence which is a huge component in presenting Blue Ridge projects.”

Although both of her parents went to JMU, Jackie said they didn’t influence her decision to choose JMU. But she did emphasize the impact of their support in her life. “I would not be where I am today without my parents. They push me to never be satisfied with where I am. They are the main reason I have reached any of my goals and the main reason I will reach any of my future goals. They are the reason I have never given up and they are the reason I strive to be a better person.”

Jackie, a senior at Goochland High School,  is the daughter of Dena and Theodore Tremain of Manakin-Sabot. Currently a senior at Goochland High School, Jackie will be majoring in kinesiology and plans to be a sports medicine doctor and orthopedic surgeon.



World History Website Contest Is Under Way!

BRVGS 9th grade World History students have recently completed their first semester website projects, in which teams of researchers from different schools feature the most important technological developments from different historical periods and regions of the world.  These sites are now available for the public to review and rate over the holidays.  Visitors can find a link to the sites at:

Visitors to the sites are invited to rate them for appearance, content and overall quality.  The sites are grouped into two groups: 1 set of websites is from Fluvanna, Goochland, Greene and Nelson (FGLN), and Orange, Greene and Madison (OGM).

The review forms for the two groups can be reached by clicking on the links below:

FGLN Website Review Form

OGM Website Review Form

Reviewers can only vote once for FGLN sites and once for OGM sites.  Thanks to all who participate - your feedback is an important part of the learning process for our students! 


Tuso Named National Merit Scholarship Commended Student

Congratulations to BRVGS senior Stephen Tuso on being named  a Commended Student in the 2015 National Merit Scholarship Program. Stephen is a student at Nelson County High School, and is the son of Denise and Mike Tuso of Afton.

About 34,000 Commended Students throughout the nation are being recognized for their exceptional academic promise.  Although, they will not continue in the 2015 competition for National Merit Scholarship awards, Commended Students placed among the top five percent of more than 1.5 million students who entered the 2015 competition by taking the 2013 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.



2014 TEDxCharlottesville Event Inspires BRVGS Students

“Amazing” and “inspiring” are the descriptions that BRVGS students repeatedly give after spending November 14, 2014 soaking up “Ideas Worth Spreading” at the 2nd annual TEDxCharlottesville Reflexions program.

“TEDx was absolutely amazing and mind-blowing! I learned so much about so many topics ranging from how to cross the Sahara on camels to the NSA’s breach of Americans’ 4th amendment rights,” remarked Emily Butterworth. She added that it gave her inspiration for her current senior project. “...if a Western Albemarle County senior can create a test strip to detect date-rape drugs in a drink, then I can definitely create news broadcasts for my school.”

The TEDx event combines video, live speakers, and performers to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. The local independently-organized TEDx program is part of the TED nonprofit organization (Technology, Entertainment, Design), started in California 25 years ago to support world-changing ideas with multiple initiatives. TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Al Gore, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Nandan Nilekani, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Isabel Allende and UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

One of the students’ favorite speakers of the day was Peter Agelasto. “He discussed a mind-blowing phenomenon: that everything around us - nature, man-made objects, and even our minds - is constantly recording and one day humans will develop the technology needed to play back all these recordings,” explained Shannon Blow.

Christopher Tomasello enjoyed hearing Dr. John Herr, cell biologist, talk about new developments in cancer research. “He described how a newly discovered protein is only expressed in some tumorous cells and developed egg cells...and how a new drug could be used [to attack that specific protein] to fight off cancers,” Christopher said. 

Students also noted the talk by Dr. Greg Fairchild, a UVa Darden Business School professor who discussed empowering underserved populations, and the performance by John D’Earth, jazz musician and composer. Other speakers included author Dean King, celebrated landscape designer Thomas Woltz, and Ghislaine Maxwell, founder of the non-profit TerraMar Project organized to protect the ocean commons.


BRVGS students expressed appreciation to Director Marc Carraway for the opportunity to attend TEDxCharlottesville. The positive impact was not lost on Michael Phillips. “It was full of people and ideas that have the ability to change the world, and they were all truly inspired me to do good in the world, and I wish everyone was able to experience such an event.”

Kara Fincham walked away with a favorite quote from the Holistic Life Foundation talk: “You never know what fruits will bloom from the seeds that you plant.”

The program touched Abby Whitlock, as well. “I absolutely loved it! It was one of the most inspiring things I have experienced in my entire life.”

More information about TEDxCharlottesville can be obtained by visiting the website  

BRVGS students from Louisa County gather on the Downtown Mall following the day-long TEDxCharlottesville program on November 14, 2014.