2023 Outstanding Student Athletes recognized at the Partlow Insurance Sports Breakfast
Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival® President, Sharen Gromling, is pleased to announce the area’s top high school and college student-athletes. Students are chosen each year to represent their school during the Partlow Insurance Sports Breakfast which takes place during the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival® on Saturday morning, May 6, 2023, at 8:00 am inside the Tolley Dental Zone at James R. Wilkins, Jr. Athletics & Events Center on the campus of Shenandoah University.
The 2023 outstanding local student-athletes include:
Andrew Link, James Wood
Andrew has earned both his academic and varsity letters at James Wood. He has earned two for football, two for basketball and will earn his fourth letter this season in track and field. Honors include being Team Captain for basketball and track. Andrew earned All-State Honors in 2021 for both the 110 meter and 300 meter hurdles and in 2022 for 300 meter hurdles. He earned a district championship in the 300m hurdles in 2021 and 2022 and in the 110m hurdles in 2022. He also earned a regional championship for 300m hurdles in 2022 and 55m hurdles in 2023. He is 3rd all-time at James Wood in both the 55m and 300m hurdles. Andrew earned the “Most Outstanding Sprinter/Hurdler” award by his coaches in 2021 and 2022. He has been a two-year starter for basketball and earned the “Coaches Award” for basketball in 2023. He played Tight End, Wide Receiver, and Linebacker for varsity football. Andrew was also awarded “Senior Player of the Game” for football in 2022 and earned the Sportsmanship award. Andrew is an Eagle Scout and member of the National Honor Society. Andrew has a 4.15 GPA and plans to attend the United States Coast Guard Academy where he will continue running track.
Jamie Mae Kelly – Skyline High School
Jamie Mae Kelly is from Front Royal, Virginia and attends Skyline High School. Over her four-year high school career, Jamie has earned 12 varsity letters (4 volleyball/4 basketball/4 softball). In volleyball, Jamie was Team Captain her junior and senior seasons. During her junior season she was Second Team All-District. Her senior season Jamie was First Team All-District, Second Team All-Region, and First Team NV Daily All-Area team while also being voted Skyline Volleyball MVP. As a three-time team MVP basketball player, Jamie was Second Team All-District as a freshman, First Team All-District and Second Team All-Region in both her sophomore and junior seasons, before exploding into First Team All-District and First-Team All-Region her senior season. Jamie was on the Strasburg Holiday Classic All-Tournament Team during both her junior and senior years, as well as First Team NV Daily All-Area team both her junior and season seasons. Jamie reached a career milestone this past season when she scored her 1000th career point and leaves the Hawks as their second all-time leading scorer. Currently in her senior softball season, Jamie Kelly earned both Second Team All-District and Second Team All-Region her sophomore and junior seasons and was awarded First-Team NV Daily All-Area as a junior shortstop/pitcher. Jamie has a 3.52 GPA and has signed to play collegiate softball for Potomac State College next season.
Sara Waller – Warren County High School
Sara has earned 11 Varsity letters for Warren County High School, playing 4 years of Varsity Volleyball and Softball, and 3 years of Varsity Basketball. Sara has been named 2nd team All-District and 2nd team All-Region for her sophomore and junior years in Softball and junior year in basketball. Sara has been a 4-year starter and 2-year team captain on the varsity volleyball team where she earned 2nd team All-District and All-Region honors as a sophomore and 1st team All-District and All-Region honors as a junior. During the 2022 season, Sara helped lead her team to a Region 3B Championship and State Semi-Final appearance. During this run, Sara was named 1st team All-District, 1st team All-Region along with Region 3B Player of the Year and 1st team All-State for Class 3. Sara was also named the 2022 Northern Virginia Daily Player of the Year. Sara is ranked 5th in her graduating class with a 4.19 GPA. She is the Senior Class Vice-President, the National Honor Society Historian, and the Vice President of Hospitality for the Warren County High School DECA program which competes at the National level. Sara intends to continue her volleyball career in college while studying Marine Biology.
Emma Ahrens – Sherando High School
Emma Ahrens has earned 10 varsity letters at Sherando (4 cross country/2 indoor track/3 outdoor track/1 band). She is a five-time state qualifier, and two time state medalist in cross country and the indoor 3200m. She is also a national qualifier in the indoor 3200m and 5000m. Emma earned Winchester Star and Northern Virginia Daily honors in each of her seasons between freshman and senior year. She also plays two instruments in multiple bands at Sherando and is active in Student Council and National Honors Society. Emma has a 4.25 GPA and has committed to run cross country and track for Concordia University Wisconsin in the fall.
Christopher LeBlanc- Clarke County High School
Christopher LeBlanc has earned 6 Varsity letters, 4 from Soccer and 2 from football. Due to covid his freshman year he was a 3-year starter at the midfield/attacking positions from his sophomore year to senior. In his sophomore season from 2020-21 he earned 1st team All-District, and Region. His junior season from 2021-22 he won the Class 2 state championship and earned 1st team All-District, Region, and all Area by the Winchester Star. He also earned 2nd team All-State. For his current senior season, he is expected to perform well again and make a deep run into states. During his 2021-22 junior season in football, he earned 1st team All-District, Region, and Area by the Winchester Star for punting and kicking. His senior year from 2022-23 he earned 1st team All-District, Region, Area by the Winchester Star, and 2nd team state, for punting. He earned 2nd team All-District, Region, Area by the Winchester Star, and state for kicking. Chris was also a member of the Screamin’ Eagles Marching Band from his 8th-10th grade years and was a section leader starting his freshman year. He has also been a member of DECA since his junior year. Christopher has a 3.889 GPA and has signed a letter of intent with Shenandoah University to play football.
Emerson Fusco – Handley High School
Emerson Fusco has earned 7 varsity letters at John Handley High School. He was a 3-year starter in Football as a Defensive Back and Running Back. He earned All-District and All-Region Honors his junior and senior years and was All-Area for the Winchester Star both seasons. On the hardwood for the Judges, Fusco was a 4-year starter. He was All-District and All-Region and was the Northwestern District Player of the Year his junior and senior years. Additionally, he was voted the Region 4C Player of the Year his senior season and garnered All-State Honors. He also scored the 2nd most points all time at Handley, scoring 43 points in a playoff game vs Sherando. He was also the Winchester Star Player of the Year his junior year (has not been released to date for 2022-23). He has a 3.4 GPA and will play college basketball next year.
Nicholas Hayden- Millbrook High School
Nicholas Hayden is a senior cross country/track and field athlete from Millbrook High School. Nicholas has earned state titles in the 800m outdoor and 1000m indoor races. He also has five district titles and two region titles between track and cross country. He holds Millbrook High School records in the 500m, 800m, 1000m, 5000m, and 4x400m relay. He was the 2022 Winchester Start Track and Field Athlete of the Year. Nicholas is a member of Millbrook’s Chapter of the National Honor Society and Future Business Leaders of America. Nicholas has a 4.465 GPA and will attend and run track for Columbia University, majoring in Finance.
Kailyn Allanson – Legacy Christian Academy
Kailyn Allanson is a senior at Legacy Christian Academy. She has played Varsity Volleyball for 4 years and was a part of the 2022 National Championship team. Kailyn has a GPA of 3.18. She will attend Arizona State University to study Criminal Justice.
Miles Moore – Shenandoah University
Miles Moore from Richmond, Virginia graduated from Manchester High School. He is currently a senior at Shenandoah University and ran all 4 years for the Hornets while playing football 2 of those years. He has set numerous records at Shenandoah breaking the 100 meter dash, indoor 200 meters dash, outdoor 200 dash, 4x100m relay, and the 4x200m relay records. Miles is a 6-time Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) champion. He received USTFCCCA All-American in March for the Indoor 200 meters placing 8th at the NCAA Championships. Miles earned USTFCCCA All-Region, All-ODAC, and VaSID All-State. Miles intends to use final year of eligibility to run at Mount St. Mary University receiving his master’s degree in Sports Management.
Ella Drury – Mountain View Christian Academy
Ella Drury has been a student of Mountain View Christian Academy for the last four years. She is a member of the graduating class of 2023 and is President of the Academy’s Student Government Association. During her high school career, she has been an SGO and National Honor Society member for two years and a member of Mountain View’s Drama department for all four. She played varsity volleyball her junior and senior year as a middle hitter. She is also a part of the Academy’s Chapel Worship team, where she sings and plays guitar. Ella has a GPA of 3.7. After high school Ella plans to stay in her hometown of beautiful Winchester, VA to work and save money until she feels secure enough to move to New York City, where she will begin a career in acting.
Tickets to the Partlow Insurance Sports Breakfast are available at www.thebloom.com/events.
Shenandoah University recognizes outstanding achievements with Spring 2023 Dean’s List
Shenandoah University, a nationally recognized educational institution based in Winchester, Virginia, has recently announced the impressive accomplishments of 943 students who have earned a spot on the Spring 2023 Dean’s List. This distinction reflects the dedication, hard work, and academic excellence of students from various degree programs in Front Royal, Linden, and Lake Frederick. The university takes pride in recognizing these students for their outstanding achievements.
The Spring 2023 Dean’s List at Shenandoah University comprises an impressive group of students who have demonstrated exemplary academic performance. Among them are:
- Caleb Reedy – Front Royal, VA
- Valerie Cameron – Front Royal, VA
- Allison Smoot – Front Royal, VA
- Callista Mayberry – Front Royal, VA
- Aaliyah Chunn – Front Royal, VA
- Jasmine Sharp – Front Royal, VA
- Isabelle Grupac – Linden, VA
- Hannah Frost – Front Royal, VA
- David Kelly – Front Royal, VA
- Asia James – Lake Frederick, VA
- Brennan Komelasky – Front Royal, VA
- Laura Brown – Front Royal, VA
- Erika Gallagher – Front Royal, VA
- Audrey Bratcher – Linden, VA
- Crismeli Sandoval – Front Royal, VA
- Megan Vardiman – Linden, VA
- Mariah Barber – Linden, VA
- Margaret Plosch – Front Royal, VA
- Cody Crawford – Linden, VA
These students have displayed a remarkable commitment to their studies, earning them a place of distinction on the Dean’s List. Their academic achievements are a testament to their dedication and hard work throughout the semester.
To qualify for the Dean’s List, students enrolled in baccalaureate degree programs at Shenandoah University must complete a minimum of 12 semester hours and achieve a remarkable semester GPA of 3.50 or higher. This accomplishment is a reflection of the student’s academic excellence and sets them apart as exemplary scholars within the university community.
Established in 1875, Shenandoah University has become a leading educational institution known for its blend of professional career experiences and comprehensive education. With over 4,000 students enrolled in more than 200 areas of study across six different schools, Shenandoah University fosters a close-knit community that thrives on creative energy and intellectual challenges. The university’s dedicated faculty members provide personalized attention and mentorship, contributing to numerous nationally ranked programs and exceptional learning opportunities for students.
Shenandoah University takes pride in its innovative partnerships and programs at both local and global levels, allowing students to gain valuable real-world experience and expand their horizons beyond the classroom. By empowering students like Caleb Reedy, Valerie Cameron, Allison Smoot, Callista Mayberry, Aaliyah Chunn, Jasmine Sharp, Isabelle Grupac, Hannah Frost, David Kelly, Asia James, Brennan Komelasky, Laura Brown, Erika Gallagher, Audrey Bratcher, Crismeli Sandoval, Megan Vardiman, Mariah Barber, Margaret Plosch, and Cody Crawford, the university prepares them to excel in their chosen fields and make meaningful contributions to society.
Shenandoah University celebrates the remarkable achievements of the 943 students who have earned a place on the Spring 2023 Dean’s List. The university recognizes their dedication, hard work, and academic excellence. Congratulations to all the students for their outstanding accomplishments and for setting a high standard of academic achievement at Shenandoah University.
A Pledge to Excellence: Warren County Sheriff’s Office earns prestigious state accreditation
The Warren County Sheriff’s Office has proudly announced that they have joined the top 100 law enforcement agencies across the Commonwealth in gaining state accreditation. This achievement is significant, as state accreditation is the best measure of a law enforcement agency’s compliance with professional standards. These standards are determined by the Virginia Law Enforcement Professional Standards Commission, comprised of Virginia sheriffs and police chiefs chosen for their professional expertise and knowledge.
The accreditation process involves a thorough review of every facet of the agency’s organization, management, operations, and administration, thereby ensuring that agency resources are used in alignment with agency goals and objectives and that any internal deficiencies and inefficiencies are promptly addressed before they become public problems.
The Virginia Sheriffs’ Association, the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police, and the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) jointly form the Virginia Law Enforcement Professional Standards Commission. Active Sheriffs and Chiefs of Police, who are members of the Commission, set professional standards and oversee the accreditation process. The DCJS manages the daily operations of the Commission.
Accreditation offers a range of benefits, including enhanced community understanding of the law enforcement agency and its role in the community. It also boosts public confidence in the agency’s policies and practices, fosters cooperation with other law enforcement agencies and branches of the criminal justice system, and ensures a uniform and efficient delivery of law enforcement services to the community.
For officers within the agency, accreditation ensures the availability of written policies and procedures at all times, provides objective measures to gauge the effectiveness of the agency’s programs and services, and increases employees’ confidence in the effectiveness and efficiency of their own agency.
In essence, accreditation is a coveted award that symbolizes professionalism, excellence, and competence in law enforcement. The employees of Warren County Sheriff’s Office now take pride in their agency, knowing it represents the very best in law enforcement.
Accredited Agencies in our area include:
- Berryville Police Department
- Clarke County Sheriff’s Office
- Page County Sheriff’s Office
- Winchester City Sheriff’s Office
- Winchester Police Department
- Woodstock Police Department
Experience the hidden wonder of Middletown’s Ogdens Cave: Exclusive access granted by DCR for one day only
The Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) is set to provide a unique opportunity to the public during Virginia Cave Week from June 4-10. On Tuesday, June 6, between 2-7 p.m., the public will be allowed to tour Ogdens Cave Natural Area Preserve. Normally sealed off due to the delicate species living inside, this one-off event promises an adventure to remember.
Virginia Natural Heritage Program speleologists and cavers, part of DCR, will guide the tours inside the preserve, which will include a short exploration of the cave. Each tour will last up to one hour, giving visitors a glimpse into a fascinating, often unseen world.
Attendees need to prepare adequately for the trip. The department will provide helmets and headlamps, but visitors are advised to wear sturdy shoes or boots with treads, long pants, a light jacket or rugged shirt with long sleeves, and gloves. This is due to the cave temperature maintaining a steady 54 degrees.
For those interested in taking part in this rare opportunity, RSVP by emailing Meredith Weberg at email@example.com by Monday, June 5. Specific driving directions will be provided to attendees.
Blue Ridge Wildlife Center Patient of the Week: Groundhog(s)
These two infant groundhogs serve as a reminder of why you should never trap and relocate adult animals, especially during the Spring and Summer months!
Multiple adult groundhogs were trapped and relocated from a location. Unfortunately, days later, these two baby groundhogs were found out of their burrow, severely emaciated and weak after being without their mother for days.
Relocating animals also can spread disease, causing further suffering to the animals that already exist in the areas these animals are relocated to.
Relocated animals no longer know where to find food or shelter and can find themselves attacked or injured by present animals defending their territory or limited food sources.
Many people think the only option for wildlife conflict is to either relocate the animal or have it euthanized, but there’s a third option—exclusion!
There are many ways to humanely exclude animals from your yard or property that allow the parents to take their babies with them, preventing orphans and the negative consequences of relocation!
If you’re having a problem with a wild animal in your yard or on your property, please give us a call FIRST before taking matters into your own hands. Keeping babies with their parents is always in their best interest!
These two are slowly going through a refeeding protocol and have now begun to eat some solid foods on their own.
Trapping and relocating wildlife is not only illegal in Virginia and most other localities, but it’s also inhumane and unethical.
Relocating an animal causes situations like these, where orphans who otherwise would’ve grown up with their natural parents now have to be cared for in a rehabilitation setting. Many more orphans are never found and are left to die from starvation or the elements slowly.
Looking for an easy way to help native wildlife? Become a monthly BRWC donor! For as little as $5/month, you can provide year-round, sustainable support that helps us fulfill our mission.
Warren County commits to supporting veterans with U.S. Army PaYS partnership
An important ceremony is set to take place on June 7, 2023, at 1:00 p.m., marking a significant partnership between the U.S. Army and the County of Warren. The Army Partnership for Your Success (PaYS) signing ceremony will be held in the Community Room of the Warren County Public Safety Building, located at 200 Skyline Vista Drive, Front Royal, VA 22630. The public is cordially invited to witness this monumental event.
Initiated by Sheriff Mark Butler, an Army veteran himself, this partnership aims to increase the recruitment of qualified personnel for the sheriff’s office. Sheriff Butler’s familiarity with the Army PaYS program led to the establishment of this partnership, which is expected to significantly increase the pool of qualified applicants while guaranteeing interviews for veterans.
In an effort to extend the benefits of this partnership, the Warren County Human Resources Department also expressed its desire to join the Army PaYS program. Following this, on December 6, 2022, the County of Warren was made an official Army PaYS partner with the signing of an agreement by Warren County Administrator Dr. Edwin Daley.
The Army PaYS program is an initiative designed to assist soldiers as they transition into civilian careers after their service. The program connects them with employers who value the skills, discipline, and work ethic that military service members bring to their businesses. The program also encourages business owners to view the Army as a reliable and plentiful source of recruitment.
Since its inception in 2000, the Army PaYS program has partnered with more than 1020 employers, indicating the program’s broad reach and impact. The U.S. Army and the County of Warren’s partnership promise to further extend this impact, opening up more opportunities for veterans and aiding in their smooth transition into civilian life.
A Day of Remembrance: Colonel James Wood II Chapter, Virginia Society Sons of the American Revolution and American Red Cross hold Memorial Day event
The hallowed grounds of Winchester’s National Cemetery reverberated with the echoes of history this Memorial Day. Local citizens, the youth of Cub Scout Den 45, the Colonel James Wood II Chapter of the Virginia Society Sons of the American Revolution (named after Colonel James Wood II, an influential figure in the American Revolution), and the American Red Cross (a humanitarian organization tracing its roots back to 1881) came together to pay homage to the heroes of our past.
This event beautifully encapsulated a tradition that traces its lineage to the era of the Civil War. The roots of this observance trace back to a suggestion by Henry Welles in 1865 in the village of Waterloo, New York, for a day of decorating the graves of the fallen Civil War heroes, which came to be known as Decoration Day.
In keeping with this rich history, ahead of the Memorial Day ceremony on May 29th, flags were placed on the graves at the National Cemetery. Leslie Caliva of the American Red Cross, an organization with a rich history of service, hosted the formal observance. The color guard, led by Commander Brett Osborn, and the honor guard, led by Jim Cordes, presented colors in a show of respect for the fallen.
CJWII Chaplain Thomas Reed, inheriting the historic title of Chaplain, offered an inspiring invocation, while the Pledge of Allegiance was led by Charles Hunter, USA (Ret), from the storied VFW Post 2123. The keynote address was given by Terry Stotler, Chief of Voluntary Services at the Martinsburg Veterans Administration Medical Center, detailing the myriad of services the VA provides to support the veterans in the tri-state area of northwest Virginia, northern West Virginia, and western Maryland.
Following a musket salute fired by the SAR Musket Squad and renditions of ‘God Bless America’ and ‘Taps’ by Charles Hunter, SAR members stood alongside dual members Bryan Buck (Fort Harrison), Dave Cook, and Jim Cordes (Fairfax Resolves), participating in the ceremony and bringing history to life.
As we remember our fallen heroes on this Memorial Day, we recognize the historical journey from Decoration Day to Memorial Day and the nationwide observance it has grown into today. This commemoration at the Winchester National Cemetery symbolizes a steadfast tradition and a tribute to those who sacrificed their lives for our freedom.
Wind: 2mph NNE
UV index: 2