Gifted Resource Teacher, Feet Meet Organizer Pete Herzing Honored with Spirit of Prince George Award During 2024 PGCPS Royal Recognitions Reception

May 17, 2024
A new tradition for the Prince George County Public Schools community, nearly two dozen district retirees, award winners, and others were honored during the division’s third annual Royal Recognitions Reception, hosted at Prince George High School on Thursday, May 16, 2024.
The evening also served as an opportunity to give the division's retirees a loving sendoff and celebrate their dedicated service to Prince George County Public Schools.
This year's nearly two dozen retirees combine for over 470 years of service to our division, supporting our students and district operations. The remarks delivered by administrators and building leaders drew laughs, hugs, and a few tears of happiness as they recounted each retiree's impact on them and their campuses.
Members of the Prince George County School Board - Chairman Jill Andrews, Vice-Chair Sherry Taylor, and District 1 Member Michelle Crist - provided each retiree with bags, including a variety of PGCPS gifts, which members of the Prince George High School varsity cheerleading squad assembled.
Royal Recognitions 2024Prince George County School Board Chairman Jill Andrews delivers retiree gifts during the division's Royal Recognitions Reception on Thursday, May 16, 2024. (PGCPS Photo)
The retirees honored during the Royal Recognitions Reception are as follows:
  • Margaret Adams - Teacher - Clements - 30 Years of Service
  • Linda Butler - Food Service Assistant, Middle Road Elementary School - 21.5 Years of Service
  • Brenda Mason - Food Service Manager - Clements Junior High School - 39 Years of Service
  • Jessie Carmichael - Administrative Associate - Prince George High School - 30 Years of Service
  • Barbara Ceney - Office Associate II, Prince George High School - 20 Years of Service
  • Wendy Wyatt - Assistant Principal - Prince George High School - 36 Years of Service
  • Cynthia Hall - Teacher - Prince George High School - 33 Years of Service
  • Vanessa Crokett - Bus Aide, Transportation - 16 Years of Service
  • Ann T. Smiley - Car Driver - Transportation - 9 Years of Service
  • Bonnie Foster - Paraprofessional - Beazley Elementary School - 28 Years of Service
  • Jack Walker - Custodian - Middle Road Elementary School -  15 Years of Service
  • Lisa Gettier - Learning Specialist, Harrison Elementary School - 34 Years of Service
  • Diane Kunkel - Teacher - Harrison Elementary School - 30 Years of Service
  • Dr. Laura Estes - Chief Human Resources Officer - 30 Years of Service
  • Rodney Leary, Jr. - Teacher - Moore Middle School - 27 Years of Service
  • Sherri Smith - Paraprofessional, Moore Middle School - 15 Years of Service
  • Laura Tarnaski - Math Interventionist, Moore Middle School - 32 Years of Service
  • Tammy Shank - Teacher, North Elementary - 19 Years of Service
  • Pamela Stolz - Coordinator of Programs, Crater Detention Center - 23 Years of Service
Following their recognition in March and April, respectively PGCPS' Support Employee and Teacher of the Year Award recipients were also recognized, with South Elementary School office associate Elaina Pepper and Middle Road Elementary School paraprofessional William Mallory (Division Support Employees of the Year) and L.L. Beazley Elementary School special education learning specialist Chelsey Newman (Division Teacher of the Year) each delivering remarks to the audience.
The event was highlighted by the presentation of two division-level recognitions to a pair of district staffers, the Pathfinder Award and the Spirit of Prince George Award.
About The Pathfinder Award: Recognizes one division teacher or administrator who has made significant contributions in the areas of innovation or leadership, providing innovative solutions that enable success among the division's students.
Recipient: Wade Kliebenstein, PGCPS Coordinator of Assessment & Accountability
Wade Kliebenstein serves an essential role for Prince George County Public Schools as the district's coordinator of assessment & accountability, supporting the administration of Virginia Standards of Learning (SOL) testing across the district's schools. 
Kliebenstein began his career in Prince George in 2005 as a social studies teacher at the Prince George Education Center before serving as teacher and technology trainer for 16 more years at both PGEC and N.B. Clements Junior High School. Kliebenstein would transition to his current role as PGCPS’ Assessment and Accountability Coordinator in 2021.
Royal Recognitions

PGCPS Coordinator of Assessment & Accountability Wade Kliebenstein speaks following his recognition as the division’s Pathfinder Award recipient, recognizing his role in support schools through providing data analysis and providing resources and innovative ideas as part of the district’s Virginia Tiered Systems of Supports (VTSS) program. (PGCPS Photo)

Throughout the year, Kliebenstein aids each school through disaggregating their testing data to help teachers and administrators make instructional decisions about remediation. During standardized testing periods, Kliebenstein is actively engaged with each campus, fielding questions and providing resources and support. 
Always committed to expanding his knowledge and skills, Kliebenstein is part of the latest William and Mary Leadership Cohort, a district-supported program that aspiring PGCPS school leaders to participate in the two-year program to earn their Master of Education Degree in Educational Leadership through the College of William and Mary's School of Education. Upon completion of their degree, these aspiring leaders commit three years to Prince George County Public Schools and will be considered for leadership roles in our schools in the future.
Alongside his role as assessment and accountability coordinator, Kliebenstein serves as a Virginia Tiered Systems of Supports (VTSS) division-level coach for N.B. Clements Junior High School and Middle Road Elementary School, and actively volunteers in the schools to support administrative duties wherever needed. 
Spirit of Prince George Award: The Spirit of Prince George Award recognizes one division employee or retiree whose significant contributions of kindness or service to others help build the type of "Hallmark" community that makes students, families, faculty, and staff want to come, stay, and be part of our Prince George community. 
Spirit of Prince George Award Recipient: Pete Herzing, Gifted Resource Teacher, Organizer - PGCPS Feet Meet Benefiting Special Olympics Virginia
Pete Herzing serves as a gifted resource teacher at L.L. Beazley Elementary School, North Elementary School, and Middle Road Elementary School, becoming a fixture of each school's community for students and staff alike. Herzing joined the Prince George County Public Schools family in 2001, serving as a teacher at William A. Walton Elementary School before becoming a gifted resource teacher who supports several of our elementary schools.
Alongside his instructional duties, he also serves as one of the organizers of the district's annual springtime Feet Meet field day event benefiting Special Olympics Virginia. 
Royal RecognitionsPete Herzing receives the Spirit of Prince George Award honoring his years of support of the annual Feet Meet event benefiting Special Olympics Virginia and fostering a positive, inclusive environment for the entire PGCPS community through the event. (PGCPS Photo)
The Feet Meet is a unified track and field meet that sees students with and without disabilities partner and represent their schools in a friendly, uplifting environment surrounded by their classmates, friends, and community. Students participate in unique physical and creative activities through different stations at the Feet Meet event, resulting in an experience that helps spark new friendships, encourages teamwork and collaboration, and inspires leadership and unity. 
In mid-April, the community hosted its fifth Feet Meet event, marking a special milestone in the event's history. Through his hours of volunteering before, during, and after the event, Herzing has demonstrated his commitment to supporting the Special Olympics and fostering an inclusive and supportive environment for all students. 
Herzing's support of the Special Olympics extends to other events, including the popular "Polar Plunge," which sees participants take a cold dip at beaches all to benefit a well-deserving initiative, with a focus on fostering community awareness and engagement about the organization and its cause.
Prince George County Public Schools thanks all of our incredible staff members for their years of service as they prepare for retirement and celebrates our award winners for their exceptional work and embodiment of the district's mission - to engage, encourage, and inspire every child, every day.