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Christendom College promises change in wake of sexual assault allegations

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The main entrance to Christendom College near Front Royal, Virginia – Photo/Roger Bianchini

WARREN COUNTY – Christendom College has responded with a promise of change, after initially sending mixed messages in reaction to a Catholic blogger’s post citing a campus environment of sexual segregation leading to off-campus sexual encounters that sometimes evolve into sexual assaults and rape of female dating partners by male students.

In Simcha Fisher’s blog titled “Are Women Safe in Christendom’s bubble? Part 1” the private, Catholic college teaching a strict conservative brand of the faith was initially cited by two former female students for, first creating an unrealistically sterile atmosphere of sexual segregation, then failing due diligence in investigating reports of the occasionally dire consequences of that atmosphere. The women, one named and one unnamed, said their allegations of sexual violence by student boyfriends off campus were essentially swept under the rug by the college administration with minimal consequences for the alleged male perpetrators; and little in the way of support for them as victims of sexual violence.

According to blog author Simcha Fisher and her husband Damien, an initial response from Christendom College President Timothy O’Donnell alleged “misleading information and serious inaccuracies” in their story, but then went on to apologize to past victims of such incidents within the Christendom student body. The Fishers stand by their posts and told Royal Examiner on January 29, “Any accusation of inaccuracy has yet to be detailed to us by anyone at the school, though we still await their call … We have still yet to hear from the college despite numerous honest attempts to speak to them, and any statements otherwise from the school are simply untrue.”

‘We will do better’

Christendom College President Timothy O’Donnell – Photo/Christendom website

About a week after the initial response from the college president, in a January 24 post on the school’s website under the all-caps headline “WE WILL DO BETTER,” CHRISTENDOM COLLEGE EXTENDS SUPPORT TO VICTIMS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT AND HARASSMENT,” Christendom Executive Vice-President Kenneth Ferguson expanded on O’Donnell’s initial apology, offering to meet with student victims, past and present, and thanking the Fishers for shedding light on the problem. O’Donnell even added to the apology portion of his initial response – “We have failed some of our students,” he stated.

College Vice-President Ferguson then suggested a path forward, saying, “We invite these victims to come forward and be heard. We value their insight on concrete ways we can make this campus as safe as possible for women. And we ask, if possible, for their forgiveness. I want to extend my gratitude to Mr. and Mrs. Fisher for giving these women a platform to share their voices with us.” In the post under the “News” category on the school’s website, Ferguson also offered that meetings with victims include a  “certified trauma counselor” and any “support personnel” those victims wished to have accompany them.

“I am grateful to each woman who has come forward with her story,” Christendom President O’Donnell continued, “We need to hear you and your experience. Disclosing abuse and its aftermath is painful and difficult, and it takes a tremendous amount of courage. To those students who have been harmed, I am deeply sorry. We will do better.”

Contacted January 30 about follow-up questions regarding the Fisher report, the administrative reaction and any potential policy review in the wake of the sexual assault issue surfacing, Christendom Director of Public Relations Zachary Smith said the school administration had no additional comment at this time, but would expand on its response in the future.

A past culture of silence …
For some the administrative apologies come late, particularly from school President O’Donnell. Simcha Fisher reports that some alumni, though no numbers are offered, have called for O’Donnell’s resignation as college president in the wake of the attention garnered by her two blog posts on Christendom’s past failures to appropriately deal with sexual violence by and against members of the student body. Adele Chapline Smith, Christendom College Class of 2012, was the identified victim of an alleged October 2009 rape by a fellow Christendom student that raised the specter “Are Women Safe in Christendom’s bubble?” Smith is one of those voices seeking positive movement forward, though she believes that movement cannot occur under O’Donnell’s stewardship of the school.

“From the bottom of my heart, I would like to thank Christendom College and Mr. Ken Ferguson for an excellent first step in repairing the damage done to the women of Christendom and their families under the O’Donnell administration …I am disheartened that this was not their initial response, but I am open to further dialogue with the college and am eager to hear how the administration plans to implement these changes,” Smith stated in Fisher’s second blog on the matter. “I forgive Dr. Timothy O’Donnell for 25 years of negligence toward those women in the Christendom community who suffered sexual assaults … It is my firm belief that Dr. O’Donnell should step down from his position as President of the college, and that Christendom College should implement Title IX regulations to ensure a safe and transparent environment for all current and prospective students.”

As a private school not receiving federal funds, Christendom College is not subject to Title IX regulations. According to its official website, Title IX is a federal civil rights law dating to 1972 that prohibits sexual discrimination at educational institutions that receive federal money. While most famous for improving campus athletic opportunities for women, there are 10 areas addressed by the law, the other nine are: “Access to Higher Education, Career Education, Education for Pregnant and Parenting Students, Employment, Learning Environment, Math and Science, Sexual Harassment, Standardized Testing and Technology.” Due to Title IX, schools receiving federal funding must legally respond to and record reports of “a hostile educational environment based on sexual designation” the website states.

… absent Title IX
In Simcha Fisher’s “Are Women Safe in Christendom’s bubble? Part 1” blog post, Adele Smith traces the history of her experience with the Christendom College administration in the wake of what she described as an off-campus rape that scarred her emotionally, spiritually and academically.

Only over a year-and-a-half later in 2011 did she begin to turn a corner in the realization of the full extent of her situation. She traced that turning point to her and her brother staying on after attending a party hosted by a Theology teacher identified as Eric Jenislawski following a debate society meeting. Talking about her troubles at school she confided in the teacher about what had happened to her.

“I’m so sorry you were raped,” she reported Jenislawski telling her. Fisher then writes of Smith’s reaction, “At first she didn’t want to allow that word, and grew defensive, blaming herself for the assault … But Jenislawski was the first one who made her feel like the rape wasn’t her fault. He encouraged her to get counseling and to tell the school administration what had happened.”

Soon after, Smith reported the rape, as well as some subsequent physical and psychological harassment by her ex-boyfriend on campus. She was promised the school would conduct a “complete and careful investigation.”

Some time later, based on her report of the alleged rape and her ex’s ongoing harassment on campus, the college acted on her allegations – but it wasn’t the action she and her family had hoped for. The school explained that her former boyfriend would be charged with harassing Smith “after a prior incident.” That prior incident is not specified as an alleged rape.

Harassment …
Fisher’s blog quotes the report to the alleged perpetrator: “We have reports that indicate that you have violated the Code of Student Conduct by harassing another student and causing emotional harm. The reports indicate that Adele Smith indicated, after a prior incident with you, that she no longer wanted a relationship with you. Then on November 24, 2009, you sat next to her on a bench and made unwanted contact with her by placing your hand on her knee. Furthermore, it is alleged that you continued to harass her by trying to provoke her to slap you, hit you or kiss you … Therefore, you are being charged with violating the Code of Student Conduct”.

Following a July 2011 disciplinary conference that violation was deemed “Harassment”. The perpetrator’s punishment was cited as not living on campus for a semester and refraining from further contact with Adele Smith. Fisher reports that barred from living on campus, Smith’s accused rapist “was taken under the wing of one of (the school’s) founders and professors, William Marshner,” whose house he lived in that semester.

… and ‘teaching tool’
Smith told Fisher that during her senior year she was alerted that Marshner was talking about her situation regarding the alleged date rape in his moral theology class, “using thinly veiled language.” Simcha Fisher wrote of Marshner’s use of Smith’s situation as a “teaching tool”: “The teacher gave the class a hypothetical example of a young man and woman who were dating and decided to go off campus to Skyline Drive. In the example, they decide to fornicate, but then the young woman regrets her choice, and decides to claim the young man attacked her.

“In what world is this okay?” Smith asks. “It was my story. Everyone knew.” Smith complained to the school, and she says they gave Marshner “a slap on the wrist.”

Dating in the Christendom ‘bubble’
Smith cited a culture of “strict segregation of males and females” on the Christendom campus and a ban on any open displays of affection, including holding hands. Life in this socio-religious environment denying ANY expression of adolescent or post-adolescent emotional connection of a potentially sexual nature – the Christendom “bubble” referenced in the blog’s title – inevitably leads couples who have formed emotional bonds to go off campus, Smith said.

“It’s just a natural human need to connect with someone you’re in a relationship with. Just to hold hands, they’d go off campus for a date; and by ‘off campus,’ it could in be in the woods, or in a field down the road. There are not a lot of options if you don’t have a car,” Smith told Fisher.

“So you end up having couples potentially isolate themselves. They should be able to express themselves romantically in a public setting, which is a safer setting to learn how to navigate as a couple. Instead, you’re put into remote, isolated areas where things can get out of hand.”

And that is precisely what Adele Smith says happened to her, and apparently an unknown number of female Christendom College students over the years. Smith pinpoints what she describes as rape at the hands of her then boyfriend and fellow Christendom student to Friday, October 2, 2009, on Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park, about thirty minutes away from the college campus.

Fisher’s report on Smith’s experience points to a written exchange between her father Scott Smith and Christendom President O’Donnell after the investigation was concluded. O’Donnell appears to justify the “harassment” finding based on the fact the alleged rape took place off campus.

“The alleged assault of Adele did not take place on campus. Rather, the incident apparently occurred in a national park several miles away from Christendom’s campus,” Fisher quotes from O’Donnell’s letter to Scott Smith. “Moreover, both Adele and Mr. [redacted] are adults — meaning that Christendom faculty and staff have inherently limited options for enforcing standards of appropriate (or even prudent) conduct, especially when students leave the confines of campus.”

Adele Smith also believes the fact that there was no stated prohibition against rape in the student handbook at the time was a factor (a reference was added in 2013). She noted that students are punished if they are found on campus intoxicated, even if their drinking took place off campus.
“We care if you drink off campus, but not if you rape off campus,” Smith said of her perception of the administrative attitude she encountered in 2011.

Exclusion from the ‘bubble’
In Part 2 of her blog report, Simcha Fisher cited the denial of Adele Smith from membership on Christendom College’s official alumni page on Facebook, observing that Smith’s former campus boyfriend and alleged rapist is, however, a member. While some alumni had been added to the group during the timeframe Smith was denied membership, Simcha Fisher reported that, “Several alumni say they have been removed from the group without explanation after they shared Smith’s story.”

Simcha Fisher then traced several posts on the alumni site illustrating an agenda of presenting the allowed membership’s alma mater in the best possible light, under the ongoing stewardship of current college officials. Assistant Director of Alumni and Donor Relations Vince Christe is cited as moderator of the alumni Facebook page.

In her second post on the issue, Simcha Fisher shared a post on the alumni site from a female member citing “the recent controversy that has broken out regarding campus policies and procedures regarding sexual assault.” The woman then suggested a counter-initiative:
“It is my belief, and has been my experience, that the culture of Christendom College promotes the dignity, inherent worth, freedom, and safety of all women on campus, in the community, and the world at large. This page is for the collecting the personal testimonies of female alumni and students who know first hand the ways in which Christendom culture, faculty, staff, and community members do this.”

Simcha Fisher reported that the subsequent “positive testimonies” titled “A Letter about Christendom College Culture” were e-mailed to her, citing the school as a “pocket of fresh air offering an oasis away from the sewage of the culture at large.”

Some female alumni and their supporters might counter that some of that cultural “sewage” has leaked onto campus. – And if so, perhaps it flowed a shorter distance than the secular world at large. Court filings in a civil suit surrounding the case of then Human Life International President Father Thomas Euteneuer indicate the “rock star” of the “pro-life” movement began sexually-abusive exorcisms on a woman he had installed as his secretary on the Shenandoah Shores Road HLI campus in 2008, culminating with Euteneuer’s removal from HLI’s own institutional “bubble” in 2011 and return to his home diocese in Florida by his bishop; and an apology for “lapses in judgment” issued by the priest.

The civil suit was filed by Euteneuer’s victim in 2012, the year Adele Smith graduated from Christendom College.

A chapel and statue near the south entrance to the Shenandoah Shores Road school – Photo/Roger Bianchini

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Virginia State Police urging motorists to drive safe and make it to the holiday table this Thanksgiving

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As Virginians take to the roads this Thanksgiving to celebrate the holiday with family and friends, Virginia State Police is urging motorists to put down their phones and buckle up so everyone makes it safely to the holiday table.

With the onset of the 2019 winter holiday season, state police is proud to support the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Highway Safety Office and AAA Mid-Atlantic with its new traffic safety campaign aimed at heightening awareness of the deadly dangers of distracted driving. Earlier this month, Virginia State Police Superintendent, Col. Gary T. Settle, and Trooper-Trainees of the 131st Basic Academy Session signed a banner to pledge their support to the “Don’t Drive Intoxicated. Don’t Drive Intexticated” campaign and its life-saving messaging.

Buckle Up, Phone Down – Don’t Drive Intexticated. Photos courtesy of Virginia State Police

“The choices you make as a vehicle driver impact not only you and your passengers, but everyone else you happen to be sharing the road with at that given moment,” said Settle. “Avoid distractions, ensure everyone in your vehicle is buckled up, comply with speed limits and never drive drunk. If we drive like every car is filled with our friends and family, we can make sure there are no empty chairs at the Thanksgiving table this year.”

To further prevent traffic deaths and injuries during the Thanksgiving holiday, the Virginia State Police will once again be participating in Operation C.A.R.E., an acronym for the Crash Awareness and Reduction Effort. As part of the state-sponsored, national program, state police will be increasing its visibility and traffic enforcement efforts during the five-day statistical counting period, Nov. 27, 2019 through Dec. 1, 2019.

The 2018 Thanksgiving Holiday C.A.R.E. initiative resulted in troopers citing 599 individuals who failed to obey the law and buckle up, as well as issuing 199 citations for child safety seat violations on Virginia’s highways statewide. In addition, state police cited 7,629 speeders and 2,192 reckless drivers. A total of 102 drunken drivers were taken off Virginia’s roadways and arrested by state troopers.

There were 12 traffic fatalities during the 2018 five-day Thanksgiving statistical counting period and 14 traffic fatalities during the same period in 2017.*

With increased patrols, Virginia State Police also reminds drivers of Virginia’s “Move Over” law, which requires motorists to move over when approaching an emergency vehicle stopped alongside the road. If unable to move over, drivers are required to cautiously pass the emergency vehicle. The law also applies to workers in vehicles equipped with amber lights.

*Source: Virginia Highway Safety Office, Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles

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The Down Home Comfort Bakery: Down home comfort with all natural ingredients

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On November 6, the Warren County High School DECA Chapter conducted a “Job Shadowing Day” with local businesses in Front Royal. Twenty-six students shadowed owners, managers, and employees in twelve locally owned businesses. During this week, “Global Entrepreneurship Week”, we will be spotlighting some of our successful local business entrepreneurs.

Businesses participating in this job shadowing activity included:

  • Blake & Co.
  • C & C Frozen Treats
  • Down Home Comfort Bakery
  • Jack Evans Chevrolet
  • Main Street Daily Grind
  • National Media Services
  • Ramsey Hardware
  • Royal Auto Works
  • Royal Comfort Shoe Center
  • Truss’D
  • United Bank
  • White Pickett Fence

Down Home Comfort Bakery Owners, Maureen & Keith Menefee

Maureen Menefee decided to open her business, Down Home Comfort Bakery, along with her husband Keith, because she loved baking and creating her own recipes. When Mrs. Menefee was in school, her teacher had given her a book that offered hints about creating a business, and she claims to have always had an interest in creating her own business.

Down Home Comfort Bakery is located at 120-A East Main Street, in Front Royal, Virginia. The Menefees’ goal is to keep building their business, but they want to stay local and focus on customer service while reaching more people. They offer homemade goods and are most known for their pies and cinnamon buns, known as “Sticky buns.” While participating in a job shadowing activity at the bakery, I was impressed to see how much love and care the Menefees worked into their goods. You could just tell they had a passion for what they were doing.

Their bakery continues to do things in the community; not just to grow more as a local business, but to reach out and support other businesses on Main Street. Some of the events they attend include: the Festival of Leaves, charities, donations, and baked goods sold in local businesses. There was only one question that took a minute for Mrs. Menefee to answer, and that was, “If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?” Mrs. Menefee responded, “make sure it’s really what you aspire to do and stay true to yourself.”

My overall experience was very inspiring because I am currently enrolled in an entrepreneurship course. I plan to create my own business when the opportunity rolls around later in life, so job shadowing at Down Home Comfort Bakery gave me a strong idea of where and how to start.

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Habitat for Humanity of Warren County seeking Executive Director

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Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities, and hope. Our local affiliate, Habitat for Humanity of Warren County, partners with families in our community to help them build strength, stability, and self-reliance through shelter. Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage.

We are seeking a dynamic, passionate professional to lead these efforts. The ideal Executive Director candidate is a person who thrives in a dynamic environment and wants to combine professional achievement with a passion for enriching the lives of others.

RESPONSIBILITIES

The Executive Director is a strong and visionary leader who works in partnership with the Board of Directors to develop goals and execute strategies that support Habitat’s mission.

  • Leadership
    • Build a spirit of teamwork – engaging staff, Board, Habitat homeowners, donors, and volunteers to achieve organizational goals.
    • Serve as the face of Habitat throughout the Warren County community. Work with local governments, professional organizations, economic development groups, and other non- profit organizations to coordinate Habitat’s activities.
    • Cultivate a strong, diverse, inclusive and highly engaged Board of Directors.
    • Support the Board and various committees with timely and accurate information. Assist Board Chair in agenda setting, attend all required Board and committee meetings, and provide reports of all affiliate activities to the Board.
    • Uphold organizational values; cultivate an environment of ethics, respect, and integrity.
  • Fundraising
    • Develop and implement a development strategy for fundraising, including grants, donations, and events.
    • Promote the mission of Habitat by encouraging participation by donors, both individual and institutional.
    • Oversee branding and marketing strategies. Utilize traditional and digital marketing and communications to support Habitat’s message and brand.
  • Operational Management
    • With the Board, develop and implement financial and operational priorities.
    • Ensure that programs and services continue to be maintained at the highest level.
    • Maintain a positive working environment that motivates and encourages staff to fully support the mission of the organization.
    • Oversee financial reporting and accounting, human resources, technology support, and management of the affiliate’s office space and ReStore facilities.
    • Exercise discretion with highly sensitive and confidential information.
  • Program Management
    • Work with the site selection committee to identify and investigate potential locations for new projects, and present new projects to the Board for approval. Work with the land committee and construction staff to prepare and manage the project through all necessary design and entitlement activities.
    • Oversee the construction management effort on new projects, ensuring that projects are completed on time and within budget, utilizing volunteer labor and donated materials as much as possible.
    • Facilitate development of minor repair projects, including A Brush with Kindness and Critical Home Repair programs.
    • Ensure a fair and accurate partner family selection process in accordance with all applicable Fair Housing Law and support the Homeowner Readiness Curriculum.

QUALIFICATIONS

The ideal candidate will have the following characteristics:

  • Education
    • Significant related experience may substitute for a higher degree.
  • Experience
    • Experience working with a Board of Directors.
    • History of creating and implementing comprehensive strategic fundraising plans.
    • Ability to motivate a team (both volunteer and staff) to achieve high expectations.
    • Demonstrated human resources management knowledge and skills.
    • An understanding of real estate development and construction operations is a plus.
  • Communications
    • Outstanding presentation and communication skills, with the ability to create and sustain effective working relationships with internal and external stakeholders.
    • Ability to serve as an effective and inspiring spokesperson, advocate, relationship builder and fundraiser.
    • Ability to make presentations and to comfortably interact with diverse audiences including donors, Board members, nonprofit and community groups.
    • Experience leading multi-platform marketing and social media campaigns that foster positive stakeholder, donor, client and community relationships.
  • Skills
    • Excellent analytical and organizational skills.
    • The capacity to oversee complex and diverse operations and effectively perform and complete multiple duties and assignments concurrently.
    • Proficiency with software tools such as Microsoft Office and donor databases.
  • Passion
    • A strong sense of personal faith.
    • Strong commitment to community service.
    • Understanding of and willingness to support and promote the mission and principles of Habitat for Humanity International.
    • Ability to work a flexible schedule to accommodate fundraising, volunteer, and external events and meetings.

SALARY

Compensation will be commensurate with qualifications and experience.

WORKING CONDITIONS

General office environment. Work is generally sedentary in nature, but may require standing and walking for up to 10% of the time. The working environment is generally favorable. Lighting and temperature are adequate, and there are no hazardous or unpleasant conditions caused by noise, dust, etc. Work is generally performed within an office environment, with standard office equipment available. Ability to lift 10 lbs.

TO APPLY

To be considered for this position, email a resume and cover letter (in PDF format) to info@warrencountyhabitat.org.


This job description is not intended to be an exhaustive list of all duties, responsibilities, and skills required. Other duties, as assigned or deemed necessary by management, may be required. Management reserves the right to revise this job description at any time. The job description does not constitute a contract for employment, nor does it in any way alter the at-will employment relationship.

Habitat for Humanity of Warren County is an equal opportunity employer.

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WCHS Cross Country teams race in state meet

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Wildcat Senior DJ Staton placed 12th in Class 3 VA State Meet. Photo by Sean Bordner

The WCHS Men’s and Women’s Cross Country team raced in the Class 3 Virginia Cross Country Meet at Green Hill Park, in Salem, Virginia, on Saturday, November 16, 2019. Wildcats’ DJ Staton finished the race in 12th place overall and earning All-State honors. Warren County girls Kiersten Tanner, Ryleigh Breeden, and Leah Webster also competed and placed in the top 50 finishers in the state meet on Saturday.

Kiersten Tanner, a senior at WCHS, competed in her last high school cross country race. “The saying, ‘struggle well’, is a good quote for the State Meet, stated Tanner. “I might not have had the best race like I wanted, but I struggled and I struggled well. I gave it my everything, knowing it was my last race and knowing I worked hard to get there. It was a great experience. I am so blessed to have fun and get the experience one last time. I wouldn’t be where I am in my running career today without my dad and coach, Mike Tanner. He has pushed me and taught me to struggle well. To fight and to be tough.”

Isaac Bragg, WCHS Sports Marketing student, also contributed to this article.

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School board approves two awards for A.S. Rhodes renovations

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A. S. Rhodes Elementary School

The Warren County School Board on Tuesday, November 19, unanimously approved two awards for the 21,070-square-feet of renovations planned for A.S. Rhodes Elementary School that will include new mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems.

The board members voted 4-0, with school board member Donna McEathron absent, to award an almost $3.1 million contract to Lantz Construction Company of Winchester Inc. (LCW) for the renovation of A. S. Rhodes Elementary School.

LCW in September originally submitted a total $5.26 million project bid, which included a $3.38 million base bid to create a secure front entrance to the building; move the main office to the front of the building; make the restrooms ADA-compliant; put in new floors and a new ceiling; and provide ductwork for the HVAC units.

In addition to the base bid, the LCW project bid also included 13 alternate bid items totaling almost $1.9 million for replacing the flat roof system; providing and installing casework and sinks in several classrooms; constructing new columns on the front of the building; and providing and installing six HVAC units, among other items, according to the Winchester, Va.-based company’s bid tabulation sheet.

Melody Sheppard discusses A.S. Rhodes renovation project with the board. Photos and video by Mark Williams, Royal Examiner.

Melody Sheppard, the Warren County Public Schools (WCPS) Assistant Superintendent for Administration, told School Board members that the district currently has approximately $3.51 million available for the school’s renovation — $2.27 million from a Warren County Middle School project; $119,915 from WCPS capital improvement funds; and roughly $1.12 million from Warren County capital funding.

“These funds are available to complete the work included in the base bid of the renovation project and to temporarily place modular classrooms on the property to be used as classroom space,” Sheppard said.

Sheppard said WCPS “worked with LCW to value engineer the base bid and have negotiated a cost of $3,096,300,” down from LCW’s original base bid of $3.38 million.

Sheppard also told School Board members that the Warren County Board of Supervisors tonight would consider allotting WCPS another $600,000 for the renovation project that would be used for the new HVAC units.

Following the board’s approval of the contract award to LCW, Sheppard called the forthcoming project “exciting.”

In related action, the School Board members voted 4-0 to award a $102,226 contract to Modular Genius of Joppa, Md., for four temporary modular classrooms that will be placed at A.S. Rhodes Elementary School during the renovation.

Greg Livesay, WCPS maintenance director.

Greg Livesay, WCPS maintenance director, told members that the four modular classrooms will be under one roof with fully ADA-compliant steps and ramps for access, and located on the asphalt play court adjacent to the school’s multi-purpose gymnasium building.

The modular classrooms are set for a January 1, 2020 delivery date, said Livesay, who added that based on the construction schedule, the temporary classrooms would be needed for a period of six months and would be removed before the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year.

It will likely take almost the entire month of January 2020 to then get the classrooms set up, he said, noting that new electrical also must be installed because the gym doesn’t have the additional capacity to serve the modular classrooms.

WCPS on October 11 received four solicited proposals to provide and erect the four modular classrooms as part of the A.S. Rhodes renovation project. The temporary classrooms are needed to create the necessary swing or empty space within the main school building that will allow the general contractor to complete the renovations in two separate phases, said Livesay.

Voting tonight were School Board members Chairwoman Catherine Bower; Arnold Williams, Jr.; C. Douglas Rosen; and James Wells. The next Warren County School Board meeting is scheduled for Wed., December 4 at 7 p.m.

At the Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, November 19, 2019, the board approved all funding requests for the A.S. Rhodes project.

Royal Examiner covered the Tuesday night meeting. Watch the entire video below.

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Truss’D – The “hidden gem” of Front Royal

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On November 6, the Warren County High School DECA Chapter conducted a “Job Shadowing Day” with local businesses in Front Royal. Twenty-six students shadowed owners, managers, and employees in twelve locally owned businesses. During this week, “Global Entrepreneurship Week”, we will be spotlighting some of our successful local business entrepreneurs.

Businesses participating in this job shadowing activity included:

  • Blake & Co.
  • C & C Frozen Treats
  • Down Home Comfort Bakery
  • Jack Evans Chevrolet
  • Main Street Daily Grind
  • National Media Services
  • Ramsey Hardware
  • Royal Auto Works
  • Royal Comfort Shoe Center
  • Truss’D
  • United Bank
  • White Pickett Fence

Meet Katie Teague and Alan Brown, co-owners of Truss’D Restaurant at 117 Main Street in Front Royal. Photo by Levi Catalani, WCHS Marketing student

The owners of the local restaurant Truss’d, on Main Street, started up their business in January of 2019. Being a fairly new business in town, Allan Brown and Katie Teague have made an impact with their food. It started in 2014, when Allan decided to go to culinary school. Alan claims he didn’t know what he wanted to do, but he knew he had an interest in food and business, and that’s what his motivation was for going to school and starting a business.

Alan and Katie run the restaurant by themselves, cooking and serving all of the food.

It’s a lot of hard work, but they work like a dream team to get it all done. They serve brunch items that they say have “a creative American twist.” With five stars on Yelp, Truss’d is considered the “hidden gem” in Front Royal. All of their food is served fresh and prepared to order. Their motto, “food as it should be”, could not be any more appropriate.

Being very energetic and open minded towards each other and their customers, Alan and Katie began their business within a two to three week “launch” window. An initial hurdle that they had to overcome was when their cooking stove broke down within three weeks of their business opening. Since then, they’ve been serving up brunch every Wednesday – Sunday, 8:00 am – 4:00 pm. They advised entrepreneurs to be very ready for anything and everything, and to remember that customer satisfaction comes first.

They attribute the success of their business towards providing excellent customer service and having their business’s existence help build a “Main Street Community”. Before opening Truss’D, Alan was a mechanic for six years. He stated that “before opening a business, be prepared for anything because something can change just like that”. Some additional advice he gave us was to make sure you are willing to invest your time and money into helping the business succeed.


Levi Catalani, WCHS Marketing student also contributed to this story

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4:00 pm Grounding & Gratitude: A restora... @ Strokes of Creativity
Grounding & Gratitude: A restora... @ Strokes of Creativity
Nov 23 @ 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm
Grounding & Gratitude: A restorative yoga workshop @ Strokes of Creativity
Whether you have family visiting or the stress of a shortened work week, the week of Thanksgiving can be overwhelming. This gentle, all-levels, restorative yoga class is designed to help you calm anxiety and restore[...]
Nov
26
Tue
1:30 pm Botanical Drawing II: Drawing in... @ Art in the Valley
Botanical Drawing II: Drawing in... @ Art in the Valley
Nov 26 @ 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm
Botanical Drawing II: Drawing in Color @ Art in the Valley
Learn and practice the art of botanical drawing in colored pencil with local artist and instructor Elena Maza. This four week course will focus on continuing to build drawing skills as applied to botanicals: students[...]
Nov
27
Wed
1:30 pm Botanicals in Watercolor I @ Art in the Valley
Botanicals in Watercolor I @ Art in the Valley
Nov 27 @ 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm
Botanicals in Watercolor I @ Art in the Valley
This four week course with instructor, Elena Maza, will deal with the basic three-primary color palette, different pigments and how they interact, how to mix all colors from three primary colors, how to apply washes,[...]
Nov
29
Fri
10:00 am Studio Sale & Community Art Walk @ Art in the Valley
Studio Sale & Community Art Walk @ Art in the Valley
Nov 29 @ 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Studio Sale & Community Art Walk @ Art in the Valley
Join us for our Holiday Studio Sale and Community Art Walk on Friday, Nov. 29, and Saturday, Nov. 30, from 10am to 6pm. Enjoy a free hot chocolate or a glass of wine (while supplies[...]
7:00 pm Love Revival Thanksgiving Dinner @ Love Revival Ministry Center
Love Revival Thanksgiving Dinner @ Love Revival Ministry Center
Nov 29 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Love Revival Thanksgiving Dinner @ Love Revival Ministry Center
Free Community Dinner for everyone! Amazing Thanksgiving themed food and fun.
Nov
30
Sat
10:00 am Studio Sale & Community Art Walk @ Art in the Valley
Studio Sale & Community Art Walk @ Art in the Valley
Nov 30 @ 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Studio Sale & Community Art Walk @ Art in the Valley
Join us for our Holiday Studio Sale and Community Art Walk on Friday, Nov. 29, and Saturday, Nov. 30, from 10am to 6pm. Enjoy a free hot chocolate or a glass of wine (while supplies[...]
2:00 pm Chess and More @ Samuels Public Library
Chess and More @ Samuels Public Library
Nov 30 @ 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm
Chess and More @ Samuels Public Library
Meet other kids and teens who enjoy the challenge of a good chess or other board game. For ages 6 and up. Registration begins October 30.
Dec
1
Sun
12:00 pm Outdoor Holiday Celebration @ SPCA Thrift Shop
Outdoor Holiday Celebration @ SPCA Thrift Shop
Dec 1 @ 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Outdoor Holiday Celebration @ SPCA Thrift Shop
The SPCA of Winchester, Frederick, and Clarke is hosting an Outdoor Holiday Celebration on Sunday, December 1st 12-3PM at the SPCA Thrift Shop located at 1944 Abrams Creek in Winchester, VA. You’re invited to the[...]