SVGS Robotics Team Competes Well and Recognized for “Gracious Professionalism”

The SVGS robotics team a.k.a as the Governators were immensely successful at our first event of the 2019 season at Deep Run High School in Glen Allen, VA.  We successfully climbed to the tallest finishing position, scored hatch panels, and played a tough defense.

At the end of qualifications, we were ranked 16/38. Our students forged friendships with members of other teams, collaborated and competed ferociously, and persisted even when matches didn’t go our way. We were graciously selected for an elimination tournament alliance, but unfortunately had to leave the event early due to poor weather conditions at home.

While we were disappointed we couldn’t continue, we didn’t leave empty-handed. We were thrilled to learn we had been chosen by the judges for the “Gracious Professionalism Award.” A description can be found below, pasted from



  • Celebrates outstanding demonstration of FIRST Core Values such as continuous Gracious Professionalism and working together both on and off the playing field.


Definition of Gracious Professionalism

  • Gracious Professionalism is part of the ethos of FIRST. It’s a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community.
  • With Gracious Professionalism, fierce competition and mutual gain are not separate notions. Gracious professionals learn and compete like crazy, but treat one another with respect and kindness in the process. They avoid treating anyone like losers. No chest thumping tough talk, but no sticky-sweet platitudes either. Knowledge, competition, and empathy are comfortably blended.



  • The team exemplifies the FIRST Core Values in relationships with other teams and by their demonstrated Gracious Professionalism.
  • The team consistently demonstrates Gracious Professionalism and a positive attitude both on and off the field.


If the team worked with another FIRST Robotics Competition team pre-season – they can describe the following:

  • How the collaboration was conducted during the off-season and during the build season
  • How the teams divided up tasks fairly and equitably
  • How the process of communication flowed from one team to the other
  • How working together as a group was beneficial over working independently
  • The financial impacts of working together vs working independently​​


FIRST is an international organization that provides real-world engineering challenges for students of all ages. Shenandoah Valley Governor’s School participates in the highest level, the FIRST Robotics Competition. Students have six weeks to design, construct, code, and test a robot to compete in a game that changes annually. Through their experience with FIRST, students learn to creatively design, problem-solve, and troubleshoot, all operating under the philosophy of gracious professionalism. FIRST has often been advertised to students as “the hardest fun you’ll ever have.” The SVGS team, #3361 (aka “The Governators”), was formed in 2010. We can be found on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @Governators3361, or on our website at

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