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Schools

Chick-fil-A Giving Free Sandwich in Exchange for School Supply Donations

Road delineator posts erected in the drive-through lane at the Chick-fil-A restaurant in Woodbridge forces drivers to circle the building before they can enter the lane to order food from their vehicles.

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. – Through the month of August, participating Chick-fil-A restaurants in Prince William County will give a free chicken sandwich to each guest who donates $5 or more of school supplies for students-in-need.

No receipt is necessary. Simply bring $5 worth of supplies to the restaurant and receive your sandwich.

All supplies will go to students in Prince William county Public Schools (PWCS). Chick-fil-A is an official PWCS business partner with a representative serving on the board of SPARK, the Education Foundation for Prince William County Public Schools.

For information on SPARK or business partnerships, contact the Office of Community and Business Engagement at 703.791.8002.

Forest Park High School Holding New Student Orientation

(Photo: Prince William County Public Schools)

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. – On August 16 at Forest Park High School, the Office of Student Services will host its annual Back to School Symposium, “Strengthening Connections: Illuminating the Journey to Student Success.”

The program is designed for school counselors, school social workers, school nurses, school psychologists, attendance officers, and teachers from the educational component of SACC.

The program will provide effective services, interventions and strategies for working with students and families. The keynote presenter is Corban Addison, author of “A Walk in the Sun,” the story of the quest to understand human trafficking.

Registration and breakfast begin at 7:30 a.m. There will be three breakout sessions provided.

Reduced School Lunch Applications Online

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. – Parents of Prince William County Public School students wishing to apply for free and reduced-price meals can complete and submit their application online. The process can help families avoid delays they may encounter by mailing in an application, and will ensure that applications are complete because applicants will be prompted to submit all of the necessary information required.

To apply online, go to pwcs.menus.schoolfusion.us, click on the “Meal Applications” button on the left side of the page and select the English or Spanish version. All information transmitted will be kept confidential and made available only to the Office of School Food and Nutrition Services.

Parents still have the option of completing the traditional paper application. Families with students who were registered in Prince William County Public Schools by the end of July 2013 will receive an application packet in the mail. Families with students who registered after that date will need to secure an application from their local school.

Applications may also be obtained at the Kelly Leadership Center located at 14715 Bristow Road in Manassas.

If you have questions regarding the application process, contact the Office of School Food and Nutrition Services at 703.791.7314.

School Quality Concerns Tackled at Manassas Council Meeting

MANASSAS, Va. – On Monday, the Manassas City Council took the usual weekly meeting on the road to Baldwin Elementary School to address citizens concerns.

About 40 area residents turned out to listen to the state of the school system, town renovations and other council business. Representatives from several town offices attended the meeting and answered questions along with the City Councilmen.

Clearly, the most popular topic of the evening: the state of the school system. Parents posed questions on everything from the safety of the aging Baldwin school to the readiness of students moving from the five elementary schools into Mayfield Middle School.

Dr. Catherine Magouryk began the question and answer session by giving the audience a rundown of the many activities going on within the school system including the expansion of Osborn High School by 2014, the new Baldwin Elementary School ball fields and magnet building planned for 2016, the repair of the track and parking lot at Metz Elementary, and new leadership at almost every school in the district.

“All of the staff is excited to welcome students back in the fall,” Magouryk said. “Staff members have been working all summer to prepare for the upcoming year.”

Dorothy Adkins began the question and answer session of the meeting by voicing her family’s concerns with long-term substitute teachers who do not meet the needs of the students.

Adkins has two boys at Baldwin Elementary and her younger child spent half of his Kindergarten year with a substitute. Her older son has special needs and requires an aid during the school day.

“Our house is on the market. We love the City of Manassas, but the decline of the city schools has forced our family to seek a new location,” Adkins told the council.

Mayor Hal Parrish answered Adkins comments by urging parents to talk to school personnel about their concerns. Magouryk said she has “complete confidence” in the school system and would trust her grandson’s education to Baldwin Elementary.

At the end of the evening few questions were answered and parents felt little confidence in the answers given by the Council and Dr. Magouryk.

“I have heard the same comments from the council before,” said Dorothy Adkins. “It’s hard to have faith in a school system that I had to sue to get my son the daily support he needs.”

Osbourn Park Teacher Headed to Library of Congress

Experiencing the thrill of seeing original historical documents and artifacts—called primary sources—and exploring with experts the millions of digitized documents maintained in the Library of Congress are two reasons that compelled Osbourn Park Social Studies Teacher Jennifer Buffa to successfully seek entry into one of the summer institutes offered by the Library of Congress.

She is one of those selected from a pool of over 500 applicants for a weeklong program on teaching with primary sources.

Buffa will take back to her colleagues and students new strategies to make history come alive. Details are provided in a news release from the Library of Congress.

Participants in the program will learn effective practices for using primary sources in the classroom while enjoying access to millions of digitized records on the library’s website.

Buffa will be encouraged to take back to the classroom what she learns at the training once it’s complete.

-Information from Prince William County Public Schools and Library of Congress

Top Grads at Freedom High School Volunteers

WOODBRIDGE, Va. – Freedom High School in Woodbridge recently featured their 2013 valedictorian and salutatorian.

More in a press release from the school:

Sumaia Tabassum, Valedictorian

Sumaia Tabassum is generous with her knowledge and her time. A wise manager of her schedule and priorities, Tabassum managed to tutor other students in math and was still able to complete her high school career with a GPA of 4.525. This year, she acted as Student Ambassador to rising freshmen and was an official speaker about transitioning to high school. She is also a dedicated volunteer at Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center, Leesylvania State Park, and at the Biotechnical Lab at Northern Virginia Community College. Sumaia Tabassum is graduating first in her class with a Grade Point Average of 4.525

Extracurricular Activities:

Future Business Leaders of America

Today’s Students Tomorrow’s Teachers

Ladies of Quality

Student Ambassador

Academic Honors:

National Honor Society, president

AP Scholar with Honors

Summa cum Laude

Center for Environmental and Natural Sciences Honors Medal

Community Involvement:

Math tutor

Sentara Potomac Hospital volunteer

Leesylvania State Park volunteer

Biotechnical Lab at Northern Virginia Community College volunteer

College Plans:

This fall Tabassum will attend the College of William and Mary on a full scholarship.

Tejan

Tejan

Aminatta Tejan Kamara, Salutatorian

Aminatta Kamara is a student with many varied interests. She attended Freedom High School’s Center for Environmental and Natural Sciences specialty program, is a dedicated hospital volunteer, a force to be reckoned with in forensics, and a spirited cheerleader. She completed her high school career with a grade point average of 4.291.

Extracurricular Activities:

Cheerleading, MVP award winner

Forensics, District and Regional award winner

2013 Virginia State Forensics

Academic Honors:

National Honor Society, treasurer

Summa cum Laude

Science Fair Winner, Chemistry

Regional Science Fair Participant, Chemistry

Center for Environmental and Natural Sciences Honors Medal

AP Scholar with Distinction Award

Community Involvement:

Junior Auxiliary at Sentara Medical Center

College Plans:

This fall Kamara will head to Williamsburg to attend the College of William and Mary.

 

Top Woodbridge Senior High Grads Hail from Lake Ridge Schools

LAKE RIDGE, Va. – Woodbridge Senior High School had to valedtictorians this year, as well as a salutatorian.

The school recently provided the three students:

Co-Valedictorian, Caroline Flood

The lesson Caroline Flood learned in high school and wants to share with others is “Procrastinating in sending college applications is never a good idea.” Humor aside, Caroline is a dedicated student who hopes to carry on the family tradition with a career in medicine.

Extracurricular Activities:

Varsity Crew

Norseman

Class of 2013 Treasurer

Younglife

Academic Achievements and Honors:

Spanish Honor Society

National Honor Society

AP Scholar with Distinction

Pre-AP English 10 Student of the Year

Principle of Engineering Student of the Year

AP Statistics Student of the Year

Summa cum Laude

Community Involvement:

Girl Scouts

Church Nursery Volunteer

Confirmation Retreat Volunteer

Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center, Emergency Room Volunteer

PWCS Schools Attended:

Lake Ridge Elementary School

Lake Ridge Middle School

College Plans:

Caroline will attend the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. She is considering a math/science-related major, most likely chemistry.

 

Passos

Passos

Co-Valedictorian, Christian Passos 

Extracurricular Activities:

Varsity Swim Team, Captain

Varsity Crew Team

Scholastic Bowl Team

Academic Achievements and Honors:

National Honor Society

AP Scholar with Distinction

Principal’s Honor Roll

AP Chemistry Student of the Year

University of Virginia Rodman Scholar

Community Involvement:

Recreational Soccer, Team captain

Swim Coach, Ridgewood Barracudas

PWCS Schools Attended:

Lake Ridge Elementary School

Lake Ridge Middle School

College Plans:

Passos will attend the University of Virginia as a Rodman Scholar. His intends to pursue a degree in biomedical engineering

Salutatorian, Christopher Scheller 

Scheller

Scheller

Christopher Scheller’s grandfather inspired him to pursue a career in the financial services industry. As a present, he bought Christopher some stock in a company four years ago, and since then, Christopher has been trading stocks and mutual funds and has become the family investing advisor.

Extracurricular Activities:

Varsity Swim Team, Captain

Varsity Tennis Team, Captain

Academic Achievements and Honors:

National French Honor Society: Vice-President

National Honor Society

Advanced Placement Scholars Program

Project Lead the Way Program

Summa cum Laude

Pamplin College of Business Freshmen Merit Scholarship

President’s Award for Educational Excellence

Governor’s Early College Scholars Program

Scholar Athlete Award

Outstanding AP Government Student

Outstanding Civil Engineering and Architecture Student

Outstanding AP US History Student Award

AP Scholar with Distinction Award

Academic Letter

Outstanding Pre-AP French III Student

Outstanding Health and PE I Student

Community Involvement:

Usher, Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church

Swim Coach, Ridgewood Barracudas

French Tutor

PWCS Schools Attended:

Antietam Elementary School

Lake Ridge Middle School

College Plans:

Scheller will attend the Pamplin School of Business at Virginia Tech to study finance.

Rising 6th Grade Students Need Tdap

(Photo: Prince William County Public Schools)

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. – School officials in Prince William County say get the shot.

In a press release, rising 6th graders and their parents were told they must have a Tdap booster shot — which prevents against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis.

More in the press release:

Parents are reminded that students entering sixth grade in Prince William County Public Schools this fall must present proof that they have had a tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (Tdap) booster shot within the past five years. By state law, without proof of this immunization, children will not be able to enroll in school for the 2013–14 school year.

If the last Tdap booster shot was administered more than five years from the beginning of the upcoming school year, this immunization must be administered over the summer. The booster shot may be listed as T, Td, Dtap, and/or Tdap. Parents are urged to call their child’s doctor or local health department if they have questions.

Shots may be obtained from a doctor, military clinic, or the Prince William County Health Department. Documentation should be taken to your child’s middle school or Central Registration.

The Prince William County Health District may be reached at the following locations and telephone numbers: 9301 Lee Avenue, Manassas, VA 20110, 703.792.6300, and 4001 Prince William Parkway, Ste. 101, Woodbridge, VA 22191, 703-792-7300.

Elementary School Police Officer Plan Moves Ahead

Dumfries Elementary School [Photo: Uriah Kiser / Potomac Local News]

DUMFRIES, Va. – Dumfries officials will vote on whether or not to install a Police School Resource Officer, or SRO, at Dumfries Elementary School.

Police Chief Rebecca Edwards on Tuesday asked town officials to place a memorandum of understanding with the town police department and Prince William County Public Schools on the consent agenda for the Aug. 7 meeting of the Dumfries Town Council. If it’s approved, Dumfries Elementary School will be the first and only elementary school in Prince William with a dedicated police officer offering protection to students and staff. The officer would be stationed at the school in time for the start of the upcoming school year. 

Town officials in February cleared the way for police officials to explore the requirements of adding a police school resource officer. The newly created position within the Dumfries Police Department comes after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn. where 20 children and six adults were shot and killed last December. It was the second deadliest school shooting following a shooting at Virginia Tech in 2007.

SROs are common in middle and high schools in Prince William County, but a lack of funds have prevented them from being as common at the grade-school level.

Dumfries’ SRO will be provided a computer workstation, to access to data and school records, and will investigate “any criminal incident involving the student population,” according to an agreement between the town and school division.

The implementation of the SRO was expected to cost town taxpayers as much as $100,000 to implement the specialized police officer. The memorandum of understanding that details the duties of the officer states the position will remain in place for one year after the agreement is signed.

Dumfries Elementary School houses more than 500 students as is the only elementary school in the town.

 

Top Grad Follows Parents to USC

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. — Patriot High School valedictorian Nolan Uribe hopes to become an engineer, like both of his parents, and will study at the University of Southern California on Presidential and Navy Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) Scholarships.

In addition to his high grade point average, Uribe was active in swim team, cross country, track, chess club, debate, and science club. His academic honors include chemistry and math student of the year, induction to the National Honor Society and National Society of High School Scholars, and being named a National Merit Scholar and National Hispanic Scholar.

Willett

Willett

In the community, Uribe was a leader and member of Holy Trinity Church’s youth group, a Patrol Leader for Boy Scouts of America, and a House of Mercy Volunteer, in addition to volunteering with summer work camp.

Kari C. Willett is Patriot salutatorian, and plans to extend her love of gymnastics to a career in exercise science at the University of Wisconsin LaCrosse, which she will attend on academic scholarship.

Willett was on varsity gymnastics, as well as a member of the Principal’s Advisory Council and Patriot Singers Chorus. Willett also extended her love of gymnastics to the community, coaching for the Special Olympics, as well as being a member of the Capital Gymnastics National Training Center Club Team.

Willett also serves as the assistant to the Choir Director at Linton Hall School, as well as serving as church lector and coordinator for her church’s alter servers.

Academic Honors for Willett include National Honor Society and National English Honor Society, where she held offices, Youth Salute, several student of the year awards, a National Merit Commendation, and All-County, All-District, and All-Virginia Choir seats.

Miller Steps Down From Northern Virginia Community College Board

After two four-year terms on the NOVA Board as one of three members representing Fairfax County, David Miller is stepping down. For the past two years, he has served as Board Chair. His last meeting was on May 20.

First appointed by then-Braddock District Supervisor and now Board of Supervisors Chair Sharon Bulova, Miller says he has enjoyed working with President Robert Templin, Jr. during his service on the Board and is pleased with the steady progress NOVA has made over those years.

“The growth of this College measured by both the quantity of students served and the quality of the programs offered has been phenomenal,” said Miller. “In the 2012-2013 academic year, NOVA awarded more associate degrees than any other two-year college in the country. At the same time, NOVA is the only Virginia institution of higher education with eight consecutive Outstanding Faculty Awards. That is more than UVA or the College of William and Mary.”

Miller, a former U.S. Army Infantry Officer, said his priorities were on active duty military, veterans and their families, as well as individuals with special needs.

“I am pleased that we have veterans advisors at each of our campuses and that for the fourth straight year NOVA has been named a ‘Military Friendly School’ by G.I. Jobs magazine.”

As the father of two autistic boys, Miller said that he has a special interest and place in his heart for young people with disabilities. “NOVA is committed to ensuring that all students have an opportunity to pursue a college education regardless of a disability, and NOVA can anticipate increasing numbers of students with disabilities because of our open admissions policy.”

Optimistic about the future of NOVA, Miller sees three trends on the horizon.

“First, I foresee a new, expanding and mutually beneficial relationship between NOVA and George Mason University with both institutions working collaboratively to make post-secondary education more affordable. A second trend is the expansion of innovative programs like our SySTEMic Solutions program that involves an active collaboration with area private sector companies like Micron. NOVA is positioned to create a sustainable workforce pipeline that by the year 2015 will have more than 3,000 students preparing for careers in science, technology, engineering, math and the health sector.”

Finally, the third trend Miller sees is a more active relationship between NOVA and the federal government, particularly in cybersecurity training. “Given our proximity to Washington, such partnerships are an attractive opportunity not shared by most other community colleges.”

As he departs after eight years, Miller said he appreciates the opportunity to have served the people of Fairfax County on the College Board and congratulates the NOVA faculty, staff and students for all they have accomplished. “My advice is not to let up and keep on pushing for excellence,” he said.

Woodbridge High School’s Carol Rethmel Retires after 14 Years as Choral Director

WOODBRIDGE, Va. – Woodbridge Senior High School’s Choral Department presented their annual Spring Show last month.

Aside from the spectacular costumes and choreography, the Choral Department showed off their talented vocalists as they sang hit songs from Guys and Dolls, Beauty and the Beast, All That Jazz, Les Misérables and Hairspray.

“I’ve been doing choir since I was in elementary school, both in school and privately, but that was my first solo. I’ve been in small group solos, but never alone. Everyone was really excited and happy to do it, which made it so much fun! I’m going to try talking the new teacher into letting me set up an acapella group!” Junior Casey Wallace, a soloist in a Hairspray Medley.

Much like Wallace, joining the WSHS Choral Department came with new experiences for Junior Luis Herrera.

“This is my first year taking choir class, but definitely not my last. I’ve taken several music classes but choir is my favorite. The class is worth it because I had the chance to perform with not just the guys in Men’s choir, but everyone in the Choral Department as well. My favorite part of the show was having the chance to perform with, and meet, such wonderful and talented people,” Herrera said.

For seniors, including Corinna Champlin, the Spring Show was their last chance to perform on a high school stage.

“It was amazing, as always. I love performing and this show was one of my favorites. It was a little sad, but I’m glad my last performance went so well. I plan to enjoy music and performing when I can, but as of right now I’m planning to go to nursing school,” Champlin said.

Carol Rethmel completed her fourteenth year as Choral Director teaching at WSHS, and this was her final show with her students.

“I think before the curtain opened Friday when we did our motivational speech and we all stood together as one big family – which is what they (the Choral Department) refer to themselves as – was my proudest moment. I can’t imagine not continuing with music,” Rethmel said.

Two of Rethmel’s former students, Kara Hollis and Kelli Hutchinson, who graduated in 2011, coordinated a very moving video in honor of Rethmel’s retirement. To end the memorable evening, a conglomeration of WSHS alumni participated in the video, which was presented at the end of the evening.

Sophomore Patrick Kelly takes singing very seriously, as he was selected to attend the Governor’s School for Fine Arts Summer Program this year.

“I will be participating in the Visual and Performing Arts Section at Radford University, with a concentration in Vocal Arts. The courses include: vocal lessons, group and private, sight-singing and music theory. Many social events are scheduled as well, providing an opportunity to work with other students and faculty throughout the state with common interest. This experience will combine hard work and personal growth to create life enriching memories,” Kelly said.

Neighbors Give Extra Help to High School’s Vandalized Fireworks Stand

LAKE RIDGE, Va. – Volunteers at Woodbridge Senior High School are trying to bounce back after someone vandalized their fireworks stand.

The Woodbridge Viking Band Boosters raise funds for their yearly programs like marching band, drumline, and indoor guard, just to name a few, with money from an annual fireworks stand that is set up each summer in the school’s parking lot.

Overnight on Tuesday, someone went to the fireworks stand, kicked in the door, and when they found no fireworks inside, went to an adjacent trailer, forced open its door, and then stole $2,500 worth of fireworks.

With the damage to the fireworks stand, and from vandals pouring bleach on the fireworks they decided they didn’t want, the total damage topped $7,500.

“They were not just stealing from us, they were stealing from the students at the school, and that’s the most heart-wrenching part about all of this — to know someone out there would do that,” said Woodbridge Senior High School Band Booster President Nancy Ro.

The vandals hit sometime between 9 p.m. Monday and 7 a.m. Tuesday. Since then, volunteer students and parents have picked up the mess, and the community has stepped up to help them out.

After the vandalism, many people that have come to purchase fireworks have donated extra money to help make up for the school’s loss. On Friday, one woman donated $50 and didn’t purchase a single firework. 

“I’m a parent and I know it takes a lot of money to run one of these things, and a bookkeeper so I know the cost of something like this,” said Julie Silverman, of Lake Ridge. 

An area resident since 1987, all of Silverman’s children went to Woodbridge Senior High School, so supporting the band boosters in a time of need was the least she could do.

The volunteers said they hope to sell their remaining fireworks. The stand, at the corner of Old Bridge and Antietam roads in Lake Ridge, will be open this weekend from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday and Tuesday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., and from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday and on Thursday which is July 4.

Stafford Interim Schools Chief Selected

STAFFORD COUNTY, Va. – Dr. Randy Bridges is fairly out and William C. Symons, Jr. is fairly in.

Symons was selected as the interim superintendent for Stafford County Public Schools this week. The selection comes as Bridges announced he would leave the school system to return home to his native North Carolina on July 31.

More in a press release from Stafford schools:

Dr. Symons has over 30 years’ experience as a school administrator in three states, 19 of which included successful service as a superintendent of schools in five districts of varying sizes. His areas of specialization are organizational analysis, leadership, culture building, learning and cognitive sciences. 

He served as superintendent of schools in Charlottesville, Virginia, Johnson City and Alcoa City in Tennessee, and Elizabeth City in North Carolina. He served as associate superintendent in Montgomery County, Virginia, and interim superintendent in Alexandria, Virginia.

He is currently a superintendent search consultant with BWP & Associates. He earned his Doctorate in Education from Virginia Tech, his Master’s degree in Education from the University of Virginia and his Bachelor of Science degree from Virginia Commonwealth University. He will join Stafford County Schools on July 29, 2013.

Symons, whose resume on BWP Associates website lists a South Carolina address, also has experience in Prince William County Public Schools, serving as Personnel Director from 1977 through 1979.

Stafford schools spokeswoman Valerie Cottongim said the division selected Hazard, Young, Attea and Associates to aid with the search for a permanent schools superintendent.

On November 1, 2010, Bridges was selected as Stafford County’s Schools Superintendent after the permanent position went vacant for four years.

Leaders Affirm Need for New Stafford High School at Groundbreaking

STAFFORD COUNTY, Va. – Several local officials, school administrators, students and community members gathered on the future site of the new Stafford High School for the project’s groundbreaking ceremony.

This $66 million dollar Capital Improvement (CIP) project was a heated point of debate in the county for the past several months, as divided supporters lobbied for a renovation to the existing Stafford Senior High School, while others felt that there should be a new school built on the property.

The tension on site was palpable Tuesday afternoon, as the speakers focused on defending the decision to build the new school, versus the details and specifications of the project. This comes after several months of outcry about the decision to spend the funds on a new school, versus a renovation.

When the new building is constructed, the old Stafford Senior High School building, which opened 41-years-ago, will be demolished to make way for parking lots, athletic fields, and a new automotive facility.

Joseph Lewis, Principal of Stafford Senior High School, introduced and congratulated the class of 2016, the first class of students that will graduate from the new facility, while speaking about the design of the project.

“We spent hours upon hours with staff and students, talking to them about what they feel would be the best learning environment and what would be the best teaching environment,” Lewis said of the design process with the architectural and engineering firm, Grimm & Parker Architects and Hess Construction + Engineering Design.

Dr. Randy Bridges, School Superintendent, pointed out the upcoming challenges for the project.

“Along the way now there’s going to be some bumps – you’re not going to build a brand new $66 million dollar facility on the same site of the existing high school while the same high school is operational, and not have some challenges,” Bridges said.

Both Bridges and Stafford School Board member Meg Bohmke commented on the benefits that this new facility will provide for future Stafford students.

“One of the things I haven’t done enough of during this [planning] process, which I’m going to try and correct now, is to talk about the students. Once this facility is open, and there will be spacious classrooms for them to learn, modern technology for them to exercise their ability to gather information, the opportunity for our teachers to be in workrooms to have collegial conversations to make them better at their skill,” Bridges said.

“Students won’t be able to pass papers under their classrooms anymore, they won’t be able to hear the instruction going on in the classroom next to them. I don’t know how you teachers have survived here for so many years – you obviously have the ability to concentrate because you definitely have had some interruption over the years,” said Bohmke, speaking to a chuckling crowd about the issues students and faculty had with the current high school building.

Picture 1 of 5

An artist’s rendering of the new Stafford High School. [Mary Davidson / Potomac Local News]

Kotlus: College Funding Worries Prince William Graduates

Schools Blog

Finding funds to pay for college is no easy task, whether you have a college savings plan or if a student works through college and takes advantage of options at one of Virginia’s community colleges.

The topic on the minds of some of those who spoke at the Prince William County School Board meeting Wednesday night was financial literacy. As many in the U.S. struggle with credit card debt and mortgages, student loan debt also lands graduates, who’ve just turned their tassles, on a road to financial instability despite doing “the right thing” by going to school.

In fact, on Wednesdsay night, some students came to talk about just that topic. One recent graduate urged the school board to provide more money for scholarships because “Students shouldn’t have to worry about anything but grades.” Another noted her dreams of going to school in New York City encouraged her to look for others to help fund her college dreams because “loans can be a hassle”.

By the time students head off to college many should worry about a lot of things, including making responsible, adult decisions, that will pay off in the long run. For example, those who seek schools of choice just because its in a particular city may not be the best choice for students, according to a list recently released by Forbes.

The financial magazine recently ranked colleges with the best return on investment, noting that families need to approach higher education the same way they’d approach any major financial decision, with planning, logic, and an eye on overall value.

School Lunch Cost Rising 10 Cents in Prince William

The Semper Fi sandwich at Stars and Stripes Cafe and Collectibles in Triangle. [Photo; Stephanie Tipple / Potomac Local News]

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. – The cost of school lunches is going up by 10 cents next year in Prince William County.

School officials said federal rules require uniformity when it comes to the amount of money reimbursed to the school division for student meals.

Starting in September, the cost for school lunch will be:

$2.35 for elementary school students

$2.50 for middle school students

$2.60 for high school students

The new school lunch prices go into effect for the 2013-2014 school year.

School lunch prices differ slightly in neighboring Stafford County differ slightly, as students in kindergarten through 5th grade pay $2.30, and students from 6th to 12th grade pay $2.40 per lunch.

 

Hanna Replaces Williams at Drew Middle School

STAFFORD COUNTY, Va. – Stafford County School officials named Tammara M. Hanna as the new principal of Drew Middle School this week. She replaces outgoing Principal Catherine Williams who will retire at the end of this school year.

Here’s more information about Hanna from Stafford County Public Schools:

Hanna is a 21-year veteran as a public school educator. She has taught in Prince George, Va., Hanover, Chesterfield and Fairfax counties.

She came to Stafford County and A.G. Wright Middle School in 2001 and continued as a teacher, assuming duties as a language arts teacher, team leader, and department chair. She served as principal intern at A.G. Wright Middle School in 2004 and was selected as their assistant principal in 2006.

Hanna earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Longwood University and a Master’s of Education from Virginia Commonwealth University and is currently a doctoral candidate in the Virginia Commonwealth University’s Educational Leadership program. She and her family live in Stafford County.

New Leadership Appointed to Manassas Schools

MANASSAS, Va. – The Manassas City School Board has announced the appointment of several new principals for the upcoming 2013-2014 school year.

David Rupert — Weems Elementary 

David Rupert, who serves as assistant principal at Baldwin Elementary will become principal Weems Elementary School effective July 1, 2013. He’s been at the school for one year.

“I am excited to return to the school and work with the

Kratzer

Kratzer

students, teachers, and the community”, said Rupert of his new position. A Pennsylvania native, Rupert holds a degree in Elementary Education from Clairion University, and a masters degree in supervision and leadership from California University of Pennsylvania, and has taught with Manassas City Public Schools since 2003 in both elementary and intermediate schools.

Cathy F. Brenner — Osbourn High School

Cathy F. Benner will become Osbourn High School’s new principal. Benner is currently the principal at Falls Church High

Rupert

Rupert

School where she has served since 2008 after a career in education dating back to 1979 in various positions including assistant superintendent for Culpeper County Public Schools and sub-school principal at Centreville High School in Clifton. Benner has also taught as an adjunct professor of School Finance and School Law at George Mason University.

“I believe some really wonderful things will happen in the coming year,” she said.

Benner’s own educational background includes a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Richmond, master’s degrees in curriculum and instruction from George Mason University, and a master’s degree in administration and supervision from Shenandoah University. Benner is currently in the doctoral program at Virginia Tech.

Kenneth Kratzer — Mayfield Intermediate School

Kenneth Kratzer has been named the new principal of Mayfield Intermediate School after serving as an assistant principal there since 2006. Kratzer has been with Manassas City Public Schools since 1991 and holds a bachelor’s degree in Physical Education, and a master’s degree in education leadership from George Mason University, as well as holding several postgraduate licenses.

Kratzer will replace Principal Jeff Abt.

“We will build upon the successes that have been in place under Mr. Abt’s leadership to help Mayfield continue to move forward.”

Angela Burnet — Metz Middle School

Angela Burnett, currently the principal at Weems Elementary School, has been appointed to be the principal at Metz Middle School. Burnett has worked in the New York City and Manassas school districts and was recently recognized as one of eighteen principals in the Washington area who received the 2013 Distinguished Educational Leader award by the Washington Post.

Additionally, this spring, the Ellen DeGeneres Show and online photo-sharing site, Shutterfly, awarded a $50,000 check to Burnett on national television, to be used towards the school-wide uniform effort Weems hopes to implement in the near future.

Burnett has a bachelor’s degree in Finance from Hampton University, a master’s degree in Administration and Supervision (K-12) from the College of New Rochelle, and a Virginia Post Graduate Certificate with endorsements in Elementary Education and Administration and Supervision.

Kara Mills — George C. Round Elementary School 

Kara Mills, the final appointment announced, will begin as principal at George C. Round Elementary School. Mills is currently the assistant principal at Jennie Dean Elementary, where she has worked since 2011.

“I am looking forward to the opportunity to connect with the staff, families, and students so we can accomplish great things”, said Mills. The administrator has experience as an English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) teacher, department supervisor, and broadcast journalist, having worked for ABC and CBS affiliates in Orlando, Fla.

In addition to her journalism degrees, Mills holds a master’s in educational leadership from the University of Central Florida, and teaching certifications in elementary education K-6, English 6-12, ESOL K-12, and Administration and supervision K-12. Mills is currently completing her doctorade in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at the George Washington University.

Serving more than 7,300 students, Manassas City Public Schools’ mission is to provide an innovative, engaging, inspiring and challenging learning environment for all students.

*This story has been corrected. 

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