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Ryan Sawyers, Prince William County School Board Chairman, resigns

2:30 p.m. Prince William Democratic Committee issues statement

“Like most other people, we were surprised by Mr. Sawyers’ resignation this morning. We wish him well and hope he resolves the personal and professional concerns that caused him to come to this decision. It is our hope that his replacement is someone who shares our community values and will work with the other members of the School Board to place our children and their education first.”

11:45 a.m. School division issues statement

“School Board Chairman Ryan Sawyers surprised PWCS Wednesday by posting announcement of his resignation on his personal Facebook page. He attributes the action to personal and professional reasons.

Under PWCS policies and the Virginia Code, Vice Chairman and Occoquan District Representative, Lillie Jessie, will perform the duties of the Chair, until the School Board appoints an Interim Chairman. Those duties are presiding over Board meetings, signing legal documents, as authorized by the Board, and leading agenda-setting meetings.

The Board Clerk is accepting applications for the interim position from any county resident who is a qualified voter. Since the School Board Chairman is elected at-large, applicants can come from any magisterial district. Interested candidates must submit their resumés to the Clerk of the School Board by March 17.

The Virginia Code requires the School Board to appoint an Interim Chairman within 45 days, otherwise the Circuit Court will make the appointment. The interim appointee will then perform all duties of the Chair, until the position is filled in a special vote, as part of the general election in November 2018.”

10:20 a.m. Gray announces his bid for chairman 

John Gray, a Lake Ridge-based CPA announces his bid to run for School Board Chairman when and if a special election is called. 

From an email: 

Uriah: I am announcing my intention to run for the Chair of the Prince William County School Board in the Special Election to be held in the near future.    

As Chair I will lead the Board to focus on addressing class size reductions, improving SOL scores, increasing teacher pay, improving ACT & SAT scores, fixing underperforming schools in low-income areas, putting resources into disabled children’s education, creatively expanding new school construction to increase student capacity at lower costs, getting to zero-based budgeting, and reducing costs by cutting overstaffed positions in the Kelly Leadership Center.  

Presently and bluntly, the School Board is in chaos. The School Board internally is in disarray within its ranks. It needs NEW, cohesive, decisive and non-political leadership. I have “lived, worked and played”  in PWC for thirty years now. I know our community and our County. Our four children graduated from PWC schools. I am a military veteran, having served in the USMC in 1969 to 1973. I am a Vietnam veteran. I am a self-employed CPA who business is located in Lake Ridge since 1989. I know the County Budget, I know the School Board budget. I know [Prince William County].”

Gray ran for the Occoquan District School Board seat in 2015 against Lilly Jessie. 

10:10 a.m. Prince William GOP: ‘Today is an answer to prayer for many Prince William residents ‘

Dottie Miller, Chairman of the Prince William County Republican Committee, today made the following statement on the resignation of Prince William School Board Chair Ryan Sawyers:

“Today, we’re pleased that Democrat Ryan Sawyers has resigned from the School Board. Since Ryan was sworn in as chairman of the Prince William School Board on December 11, 2015, he has engaged in controversy after controversy. Whether it be school-naming fights, disrespect of Gil Trenum’s military service, law suit after law suit, or teacher intimidation and retaliation, Ryan Sawyers has been more partisan bully than education leader or consensus builder. Ryan Sawyers’ disastrous leadership is an example of what happens when overly-partisan Democrats are given responsibility of local governance. His leadership was so poor that it resulted in an historic bipartisan censure over ethics. Multiple Prince William leaders and residents have urged Sawyers to resign for more than a year; today is an answer to prayer for many Prince William residents who simply believe our children deserve better. Republicans, Democrats, and Independents want a School Board that is more focused on our students than their own political career. Hopefully now we can restore our School Board to a responsible governing board that is focused on education.”

9:30 a.m. 

The Prince William County School Board may request to hold a special election to replace Sawyers. 

The special election must be approved by a Circuit Court judge and cannot fall within 60 days of the upcoming June 12 Primary Election, said Matt Wilson, at the Prince William County Voter Registrar’s office.

9:20 a.m. 

The Prince William County Republican Committee will meet within the hour to discuss Sawyers resignation and the next steps. Multiple sources tell me Gainesville District School Board Member Alyson Satterwhite is being encouraged to seek the Chairman’s seat. 

“Alyson Satterwhite will make a great Chairman when elected,” said Willie Deutsch, the Coles District Representative on the School Board.

Satterwhite could not be reached for comment. 

Original post 9:08 a.m. 

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY — Prince William County School Board Chairman Ryan Sawyers resigned today. 

Sawyers posted this message on Facebook: 


His resignation today caught staff at the county’s school division headquarters by surprise. The school board is set to meet tonight at 7 p.m

Officials there plan to issue a statement later today. Vice Chairman Lillie Jessie told Potomac Local she will serve as chairman at tonight’s meeting.

The Democrat’s resignation comes about a week after he dropped out of his bid for the 1st Congressional seat now held by Republican Rob Wittman.

Sawyers was elected in 2105 and has long been embroiled in multiple lawsuits with school division personnel during his tenure as chairman.

Prior to him dropping out of his congressional race, he called for the resignation of Prince William County School Administrator Dr. Steven Walts after he was involved in a car crash while driving a car owned by the school division last fall. He accused Waltz of not reporting the crash, something Waltz denies. 

We’ll have more as it becomes available. 

Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center doctor examines mind-body connection

Emergency Department physician Dr. Anoop Kumar has dedicated his life to helping people who are sick, scared and hurt.   

“I received my MD in 2007 and completed my training in Emergency Medicine in 2011. I like the clinical diversity of Emergency Medicine. I see young, old, female, male, many critically ill, some not so ill, medical, psychiatric, surgical, and social conditions. If one can bear to look, it’s [the Emergency Department] a window into the soul of society,” says Dr. Kumar.

While his goal is to help and heal the men, women, and children who enter through the doors of Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center, Dr. Kumar has always been concerned with more than physical ailments, saying, “The mind-body connection is real. There’s a lot of research pointing to that.”

That connection plays an integral part in his life, and it’s something he’s especially mindful of as he’s treating some of the region’s sickest patients. While being the answer to a patients’ prayers is a tremendous gift, it also carries with it an enormous amount of responsibility. That’s why Dr. Kumar has organized something for his co-workers at Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center. Every month, he leads a meditation session for the doctors, nurses and staff at the hospital.

Meditation is something he has had in his life since he was a child. “I grew up with meditation,” explains Dr. Kumar. “To start off meditating as a kid isn’t really meditating, it’s just noticing things around you. Noticing your thoughts, noticing your feelings.”

As a child, Anoop Kumar was surrounded by the teachings of Eastern philosophy. He says he came to recognize a common message woven through philosophy, science and spirituality- a message of well-being. It’s that message that helped inspire him to write his first book, “Michelangelo’s Medicine.”

“When I became a physician and completed my training in Emergency Medicine, I saw that all those years of thinking about health, healing and what it means to be human could lend an important context to healthcare,” he explains. “One of the main points I make in the book is the human being is not only a human body. For example, when we learn anatomy, we learn about organs. But organs alone don’t make a human being. We have to include other elements, like emotion, thought, intuition, desire and consciousness.”

Dr. Kumar isn’t a stranger to sharing his knowledge when it comes to the art of meditation. It was just about two years ago when he began corresponding with Deepak Chopra, known worldwide as a pioneer in mind-body medicine. “The statements he made about the mind several decades ago were often ridiculed, but today some of those same principles are taught in top institutions around the world. Interestingly, the period over which his career developed is the same period over which I was privately thinking about the same things.”

Since that time, Dr. Kumar has spoken at three of Chopra’s events. He says it’s been an invaluable experience, and while he’s gleaned a number of lessons from these events, one of the most important is simple: “I’ve learned to keep putting my ideas out there. There are no perfect ideas. If the ideas are good, they become refined and therefore more useful in the heat of the spotlight.”

Dr. Kumar’s latest idea is coming in the shape of a book on anxiety and how poorly managed anxiety and stress contributes to disease. In an effort to keep his healthcare colleagues from heading down that path, Dr. Kumar says he’ll continue offering his month meditation, which he hopes offers not only relief but empowerment to members of the team.

“There’s always a lot more to know, there’s always a lot more to experience,” he says. “And sometimes as we branch out and experience more things, the things that we already know get seen in a new context and new light and changes how we experience our lives.”

If you’re looking for a change or an employer who supports you, head over to We’re looking for qualified candidates to join the team.



At FreshySites, marketing is customer service

The fifth part of our Ethos at FreshySites, Service as Marketing, is the natural conclusion to every other aspect of our Ethos – both what we’ve covered so far and what’s to come.
An integral part of any company’s marketing efforts is their brand – that central identity, in conjunction with their mission, that defines their operations and differentiates them from every other industry competitor.
For us, that central aspect of our identity – and therefore our marketing efforts – is our customer service. We’ve said it before, but our best-in-industry customer service and support defines FreshySites and how we operate on a day-to-day level.
Each day, the members of our team dedicate themselves to serving the customer, looking for any way to help them and show them their value, including  asking for more and being ego free.This mindset, while pushing FS forward, also allows our team to grow from within in our members’ pushing themselves to be the best they can be each day.
Because it guides and defines our daily processes, our customer service is the central tenet of our identity, and is therefore, the core of how we market ourselves.
We want to impress upon potential clients – through social media, TV spots, write-ups and more – that in choosing FS, you’re not just choosing a website design/development company.
You’re choosing a whole team of dedicated partners – committed to helping you build and grow your organization or company’s online presence – that will be with you every step of the way, from the day you submit a contact form or call our office to well after your website is live.
Our success can be attributed to a lot of things, but predominantly to our team’s attention to each member of our client family – whether that means turning around proposals in the same day, stopping what we’re doing to answer a client’s support ticket or going the extra mile to include every feature a client wants on their website.
FreshySites is a regionally focused company with national reach and operations, where customer service/support is at the heart of who we are and what we do.
FreshySites is a fast-growing website design firm dedicated to creating beautiful websites, while consistently delivering best-in-industry customer service and support. Founded in 2011, FreshySites has quickly expanded into the largest in-house WordPress web design shop on the East Coast. Our Washington D.C. office was founded in 2012 by Vincent Consumano. With additional offices, we have the team, resources and tools to serve our local – and national – clients through website mockups, creative briefs, revision rounds, and Search Engine Optimization audits. FreshySites is determined to take our regional clients’ online presence to the next level, ultimately helping them to grow and thrive. Explore our website to learn more about us, see our portfolio of work and become a part of our client family today!


Prince William police chief to answer resident questions, discuss concerns

From the Prince William police press release:

Chief Barry Barnard of the Prince William County Police Department will host a “Conversation with the Chief” on Thursday, March 8, 2018 at Potomac View Elementary School located at 14601 Lamar Road in Woodbridge beginning at 7:00 PM. We would like to extend an invitation to those who live in the community and the surrounding area to come out, meet the Chief, and engage in conversation. Chief Barnard will personally answer questions and discuss any topics of concern from residents. This is a wonderful opportunity for the community to get to know their Police Department and ask questions directly to the Chief and other police staff. Members from the Police Department’s Crime Prevention Unit and recruiters will also be on hand to answer questions and provide useful information regarding safety tips, neighborhood watches, and recruitment. The Chief plans to hold additional community engagement conversations at other locations across Prince William County this year. We look forward to seeing you and having a productive discussion.

Beyond road rage, felony charges for Stafford suspects

From the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office press release:

Stafford, VA.  Deputies with the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office arrested two suspects early on Monday morning for brandishing firearms during a road rage incident on Jefferson Davis Highway.

On March 5, 2018 at approximately 12:48 a.m., Deputy A.T. Leckemby responded to a road rage incident on southbound Jefferson Davis Highway. Upon arrival at the Wawa located at 72 Austin Park Drive, deputies learned the victims were driving east on Garrisonville Road when a dark colored vehicle pulled up next to them. The occupants of the vehicle began yelling at them.

On Jefferson Davis Highway in the area of Comfort Inn and Suites, the suspects’ vehicle again approached the victims’ vehicle and the victims observed one of the passengers brandishing a firearm. The suspect’s vehicle pulled in front of the victims’ vehicle with the driver’s side facing northbound. One of the passengers exited the vehicle and punched one of the victims in the face approximately five times.

Shortly after the incident, Deputy G. Motley conducted a felony stop of the suspects’ vehicle at Cambridge Street and Truslow Road. Two firearms matching the description provided by the victims were located in the vehicle. Deputies learned neither suspects had concealed weapons permits.

The suspects were identified as Yovanny Abreu, 25, of Stafford, and Brent Amed Jones, 27, of Ruther Glen. They were incarcerated at Rappahannock Regional Jail on secured bonds. Jones is charged with brandishing a firearm, concealed carry, and assault. Abreu is charged with brandishing a firearm, concealed carry, reckless driving, and stopping on a highway where dangerous.

Another passenger in the vehicle, Cody Allen Lillard, 23, of Stafford County, was charged with public intoxication. He was incarcerated at Rappahannock Regional Jail until no longer impaired.

The incident is still under investigation by the Sheriff’s Office.