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Hampton City Schools announces top students in the class of 2018 at Kecoughtan High School

Congratulations to Kecoughtan High School students Shannon Hepp and Claire Nelson.  Hepp has been named the valedictorian and Nelson has been named the salutatorian for the class of 2018.

Shannon Hepp
Shannon Hepp
4.66 GPA, 1500 SAT, 34 ACT
University of Virginia

Hepp’s activities include Girl Scouts, Ecology Club (president), French Club (president), girls varsity tennis team, Stock Market Game Team, SOL prep tutoring for students in kindergarten through fifth grade, math and computer science competitions, National Honor Society, National Math Honor Society, Science Honor Society, Social Studies Honor Society, English Honor Society and French Honor Society. She has also participated in an internship at NASA Langley Research Center and has volunteered at many community events and fundraisers.

She was accepted to the University of Virginia, Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech.  She plans to attend the University of Virginia and major in chemical engineering.  After college, Hepp plans to purse an accelerated masters program before beginning a career utilizing chemical engineering to provide further innovation in solar energy generation, water purification and/or pollution remediation methods.

Fondest high school memory:
“I’ll never forget crowding around a tiny desk with my friends to play card games at the end of the school year, relieved we’d finished taking all our AP exams.”

A tradition at your school you will miss:
“I will miss attending our exuberant pep rallies and participating in the competition between class levels for the spirit jug.”

An achievement you are most proud of:
“I am most proud of organizing and completing a 90+ hour service project that involved cultivating a straw-bale garden at a local church to support their free weekly meal to the public, which was created to address food insecurity in the local community.  Additionally, I taught classes there to encourage individuals to begin straw-bale gardening in their homes as well.  I was awarded the President’s Volunteer Service award and the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor earned in Girl Scouting, for this project.”

I am proud to be an HCS graduate because:
“HCS offers a multitude of opportunities to its students, including dual-enrolled classes, allowing me to gain enough credits to graduate from Thomas Nelson with an AS degree with a specialization in computer science, in conjunction with high school graduation.”

If you could thank a teacher who had the greatest impact on you, who would it be and why?
“Mrs. Joan Ehlers is one of the greatest and most impactful teachers I have ever had.  Not only did she take time out of her schedule after school hours to interview me and write a glowing letter of recommendation, but she always has words of wisdom to offer when I am faced with an important decision, and her support and positivity over the years has truly been inspiring and unwavering.  She helped guide my career interests both within and outside of the classroom, spending her own time and money to ensure we had amazing learning opportunities available to us.  I will always remember how much she has done for me, and I truly couldn’t ask for a better teacher or mentor.  I am so very grateful to Mrs. Ehlers for everything she has done for us as students in both school and life, and I wish I could do more to show her how thankful I am.”

Claire Nelson
Claire Nelson
4.64 GPA, 1550 SAT, 34 ACT
Yale University

Nelson’s activities include participation in symphonic band, marching band, Youth-in-Government (president), Model General Assembly, Conference on National Affairs, Model Judiciary Program and Christopher Newport University Kecoughtan Math Contest Team.  She is also a member of the National Honor Society, English Honor Society, Tri-M Honor Society, Rho Kappa Honor Society, French Honor Society, Science Honor Society and Mu Alpha Theta Honor Society. She is an active member of her church and has participated in a mentorship program through the Governor’s School for Science and Technology with the director of the Hampton University Museum.

Nelson was accepted to Yale University, University of Pennsylvania, Columbia University, Rice University, Emory University (both Emory College and Oxford College of Emory University), University of Richmond and University of Virginia.  She will be attending Yale University to major in archaeological studies.  After college, Nelson plans to attend graduate school and law school and work in the area of archaeological fieldwork, lobbying for historical preservation.

Fondest high school memory:
“My most cherished memory of high school is from senior year when I performed my piccolo solo on the fifty-yard line during our marching band show.”

A tradition at your school you will miss:
“Each year I looked forward to Spirit Week during band camp in the summer for marching band.”

An achievement you are most proud of:
“With only 15 seconds left, I am extremely proud of my articulate rebuttal in front of the Virginia Supreme Court in my second of three times I have competed in the Model Judiciary Program and made it to the Supreme Court level.”

I am proud to be an HCS graduate because:
“Through some of my fantastic teachers, I have been fortunate to participate in exceptional opportunities that have enriched my education.”

If you could thank a teacher who had the greatest impact on you, who would it be and why?
“I want to thank Mr. Nicholas Conty, my band director since the sixth grade.  He has supported me throughout all of my endeavors in both middle and high school and always encouraged me to achieve my full potential, do my best, and keep a positive attitude and outlook.

©2018 HAMPTON CITY SCHOOLS All rights reserved - One Franklin Street, Hampton Virginia 23669 - 757-727-2000

HCS does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age or other protected classes in its programs and activities and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Robbin G. Ruth, Executive Director, Human Resources, One Franklin Street, Hampton, VA 23669 757-727-2000. 

As stated in School Board Policy AC, Hampton City Schools (“HCS”) does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender, age, disability or other protected class in its programs, activities and employment practices and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups.  HCS also prohibits retaliation under School Board Policy GBAH for the purpose of interfering with a person’s rights and/or privileges under federal civil rights laws, which can include: (i) raising concerns with Division personnel about a civil rights violation; (ii) asserting a right or advocating for the rights of a student or employee under federal civil rights laws; or (iii) participating in a complaint investigation or related proceedings. 

All individuals are encouraged to promptly report any incident they believe to be discrimination, harassment or retaliation in violation of HCS School Board Policy.  All reports should be made to the HCS Compliance Officer, who also serves as the HCS Executive Director of Human Resources.  Upon receiving a report of alleged discrimination, harassment or retaliation, the Compliance Officer shall promptly authorize an investigation into the complaint, determine whether the alleged act occurred, and determine whether any action must be taken to end or prevent further harassment, discrimination, or retaliation.  For more information about this process, please review School Board Policy GBAB-R.    

Should you have any questions about these procedures or the contents of this notice, please contact Hampton City Schools Compliance Officer at: One Franklin Street, Hampton, VA  23669 or (757) 727-2300.  



Hampton City Schools (HCS) is committed to making its website accessible for all, including individuals with disabilities, and strives to ensure accessibility currently and as new technologies emerge.  The division welcomes questions and feedback on the site’s accessibility at each development phase.  By clicking on “Contact” at the upper right of the main webpage, all users are able to “Help Resolve a Concern,” “Share a Story,” “Provide Feedback,” and “Ask a Question.”  Additionally, the Contact Us page provides direct email access to HCS Webmaster Vickie Carper,


HCS’s computer systems and networks include all of the computer hardware, operating system software, application software, stored text, data files, electronic mail (email), local databases, externally accessed databases, CD-ROM, optical media, clip art, digital images, digitized information, communications technologies, and new available technologies.

Please note that some pages on the HCS website contain links to third-party sites.  HCS is not responsible for the content, facts, opinions or accessibility of third-party sites.


The majority of pages in our site are available in HTML format that can be deciphered by screen readers. Some documents are in Portable Document Format (PDF), which require Adobe Acrobat Reader to view.

  • To download this free program, visit the Adobe website.
  • To read PDF documents with a screen reader, please link to the Access Adobe website, which provides useful tools and resources.

Also, many popular browsers contain built-in accessibility tools, and there are other plug-ins that make websites more accessible.

The HCS website is designed and monitored by HCS Webmaster Vickie Carper, who serves as the gatekeeper for website content and accessibility.   The Webmaster is under the direction of the Executive Director of Public Relations and Marketing, supervised by the Director of Graphics.
Web visitors using assistive technology who may have trouble accessing information on the website may contact the HCS Webmaster,, the Executive Director of Public Relations and Marketing, and/or the Director of Graphics,

When submitting a question or concern via email, “accessibility” should be included in the subject line.  Every reasonable attempt will be made to address the user’s concern within twenty-four hours.  To assist HCS in responding appropriately, all inquiries should include the following information:

  • A description of the accessibility concern or question;
  • The webpage address of the requested material;
  • The format in which the user prefers to receive the material;
  • The user’s contact information, including preferred method of contact.


HCS monitors all technology resource activity and requires all employees, students and individuals with access to HCS computer systems and networks to annually read and sign an Acceptable Use Policy.  See School Board Policy IIBEA for Students; School Board Policy GBBB for Employees.

Our continuing goal is for the HCS website to be accessible to individuals with disabilities in compliance with the requirements of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and that statute's implementing regulations at 34 C.F.R. Part 104, and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and that statute's implementing regulations at 28 C.F.R. Part 35.

Good faith efforts are being made to ensure that our website complies with web accessibility standards. In addition to the federal regulations above, we are actively working to conform to level AA of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0.
Prior to posting new website content, the HCS Webmaster determines if the proposed content meets the criteria of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).  Periodically the HCS Webmaster checks the website with a recognized website checker such as 508 Checker and WAVE.  If the audit identifies issues of concern or content errors that impede accessibility to any user, the concerns/errors are evaluated and remedied within a six-week period.


HCS’s website and computer systems and networks are provided on an “as available” basis.  HCS makes no warranties, expressed or implied, without limitation, regarding the fitness for a particular purpose regarding any service provided by the system and any information contained or software used therein.  The division uses hardware and software provided by third-party technology vendors.  Therefore, the division does not warrant that the functions or services performed by, or that the information or software on the system, will meet the user’s requirements.