STARBASE Victory is a 501(C)3 nonprofit funded through a unique partnership between Portsmouth Public Schools (PPS) and the community. Our students, every 4th, 5th, 6th grader, have opportunities to be engaged in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) to learn and prepare for a better future! Our mission is to provide innovative and experiential STEM learning opportunities for all students. Our success is clearly defined in over 20 years of positive outcomes. We hope you will use this website as a resource to discover the many ways you can assist us.

Wholeheartedly endorsed by the Portsmouth Public School System, STARBASE Victory is the only public/private STARBASE partnership in the United States. Our program is an innovative result of STARBASE programs originally conceived as a community relations project for the Department of Defense. The first STARBASE program was created in 1989 with a grant from the Kellogg Foundation at Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Michigan. Eventually, there were over 40 federally funded STARBASE programs operating throughout the United States and Puerto Rico before budget cuts impacted their funding. These early STARBASE programs proved to be innovative and effective in addressing poor preparation to: increases math, science and focusing skills while decreasing drug use.

When the only federal program in Hampton Roads (a Norfolk program begun in 1996) was no longer sponsored, Executive Director Bill Hayden founded STARBASE Victory. STARBASE has been serving Portsmouth since 2002. Today, over 3600 students experience STARBASE during the school year and a full schedule of summer camps brings many of them back for extended curriculum.

The STARBASE Victory program…

  • Provides STEM education to ALL fourth, fifth and sixth graders in the Portsmouth Public School system.  Students are transported from their neighborhood schools for a four-day experience in the STARBASE facility.
  • Encourages participation in class by giving every student a “team jersey” (a program TShirt) and a unique STARBASE call sign.  Mission logs emphasize reading and writing skills, while hands-on projects (like making and launching their own rocket) create learning moments for life.
  • Instills critical thinking by employing an experienced-based curriculum that incorporates the state Standards of Learning (SOLs).
  • Introduces career skills such as goal setting teamwork and interest in “marketable” technologies.
  • The comprehensive curriculum is continually updated and improved by dedicated teachers with masters degrees.

Introduction with Nadarius Clark

Breakfast and Tour


Board of Directors

Dr. Aliecia McClain, Chair
Asst Dean, College of Science, Eng’g & Technology

Laura Nelson, Vice Chair
Former Coordinator of Science, Portsmouth Public Schools

Robert Fogel, Treasurer
Norfolk Naval Shipyard (Retired)

Bill Hayden, Secretary

Lisa Downey-Hood, Exec Director
Norfolk Naval Shipyard (Retired)

Dr. Peter Agbakpe
Dean of Engineering, Science and Math, TCC

Gary Artybridge
Mgr, Educ Outreach & Corp Citizenship NNS

Lakeesha “Klu” Atkinson
School Board Member, Portsmouth City Schools

Lisa Bishop
Mgr, Workers Comp, Port of Virginia

Dr. Elie Bracy
Superintendent, Portsmouth Public Schools

Adena Conwell
Operations Director, CISHR

Andrew Effiong
Director of IT, Rivers Casino

Barry Fallon
Director, Material Logistics & Transportation

Dr. Johnny Garcia
Founder/CEO. SimiS

Dr. Joanna Garner
Ex Dir. The Centr for Educational Partnerships, ODU

Rob Hogan
Retired VP, Newport News Shipbuilding

RADM Mark Hugel, USN (Ret)
President, ASNE VP, CACI

Jessica Johnson
Virginia Modeling & Simulation Center

Dan Lewandowski
Coordinator of Science, PPS

Laura Lewin
Branch Manager, TowneBank Portsmouth Blvd

Dr. Bill McConnell
Asst Prof of Education. Virginia Wesleyan University

Fred Pasquine
President, Fairlead Integrated

Nahla Saleh
Mgr Workforce Development, Portsmouth Econ Dev Office

Board Advisors

Geoff Hemphill
Partner, Woods, Rogers, VanDeventer & Black

Toni Fogel
Marketing Director

Givita Walker
Lead Instructor, STARBASE Victory