Front Royal Women’s Resource Center (FRWRC) Now Accepting Applications for 2019 DARE TO DREAM GRANTS (Take classes, start a business, purchase a computer, learn a new skill, train for a profession, start a non-profit, anything you can dream…) Grants up to $1,000 are awarded each year to Warren County women to help make their dreams come true. The Dare to Dream grants are available to women living in Warren County, ages 18 years and older, not currently enrolled in high school.
Application deadline is January 18, 2019. Recipients will be announced in March 2019.
Applications are available at Samuel’s Public Library and The Front Royal Women’s Resource Center at 27 Cloud Street, Front Royal. Applications are also available on the website: www.frwrc.org or by calling or emailing the office at 540-636-7007, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nicole Wanzer’s Fresh Perspective for North River District
Write-in Candidate Aims to Bring Change and Community Focus.
In a recent in the Royal Examiner’s studio, Nicole Wanzer shared her perspective and reasons for running as a write-in candidate for the North River District’s Board of Supervisors. Going up against Rich Jamieson, who was initially running unopposed, Wanzer speaks passionately about her desire to serve her community.
Wanzer’s decision to enter the race wasn’t driven by personal ambitions but by the numerous conversations she had with her neighbors. She emphasized the importance of competition in elections and believed everyone should work hard to earn their position.
Her love for the community is evident. She speaks of its beauty, safety, and the close-knit nature of its residents. However, she also believes there’s always room for improvement. Her aim is to help those in need, especially considering the evolving nature of the district, with newer residents coming in with more financial power.
Wanzer didn’t shy away from discussing broader issues either. She highlighted ongoing concerns like the library dispute and the need for more transparency, especially after recent scandals surrounding funds. A significant challenge she identified was the influx of wealthier residents from Northern Virginia, leading to a potential imbalance in the housing market and straining the original inhabitants of Warren County.
The essence of her campaign is to focus on local needs, avoiding getting sidetracked by national disputes and media narratives. Wanzer emphasized the importance of unity and understanding, as she believes true governance can only happen from the middle ground, as echoed by former leaders like Reagan. She hopes to work towards a more unified, service-driven approach to public service.
Nicole Wanzer offers a refreshing perspective for the North River District. Grounded in community values, she seeks to ensure the well-being of all residents, balancing the needs of the long-standing community members with the aspirations of newcomers. As she ventures into the political arena, Wanzer hopes to be a voice of reason, understanding, and service.
A Tale of Two Visions: Butler’s Achievements vs. Cline’s Commitments
Butler and Cline: Two Distinct Visions for a Safer Warren County.
In a riveting forum, Warren County citizens gathered to hear from two stalwart contenders, Mark Butler and Crystal Cline, both vying for the coveted position of Warren County Sheriff. With a term lasting four years, the stakes are high, and the commitment deeper.
Crystal Cline, having served the Front Royal Police Department for over two decades, began with a heartfelt thank-you to the chamber for facilitating the forum and the community for their presence. She reminisced about her deep roots in Warren County, highlighting her involvement ranging from the Mom’s Club to coaching the traveling volleyball team. Cline’s main thrust was the need to restore leadership and integrity to the role of sheriff. She voiced concerns over the dissolution of the Animal Control Division and the pressing need for dedicated School Resource Officers (SROs). Most poignantly, she discussed the department’s retention issue and the imperative of a full staff. Addressing Sheriff Butler’s claim about a massive drug bust, Cline firmly stated that such an incident hadn’t transpired in Warren County and stressed the significance of integrity in leadership.
On the flip side, Sheriff Mark Butler, the incumbent, recounted the tumultuous period four years ago when Warren County grappled with a major scandal. He emphasized the changes he had championed during his tenure, such as attaining the accreditation that was lost in 2019, introducing community policing, and enhancing safety – all while lessening the taxpayer’s burden. One of his crowning achievements, he mentioned, was the confiscation of 77,000 fentanyl pills last year, which he tied to a broader narrative on the devastating drug epidemic. Butler concluded by affirming the commitment of his department to the Constitution and the rights it guarantees to the citizens.
As November 7th approaches, the air in Warren County is thick with anticipation. With two distinctly passionate perspectives on the table, the choice voters make will significantly shape the future of the county’s law enforcement.
District 31’s Destiny: Foreman, Morrison, and Oates Lay Their Cards on the Table
A Night of Passionate Pitches: Who Will Lead the 31st District Forward?
The auditorium was thick with anticipation as three formidable candidates – Steve Foreman, Grace Morrison, and Delores Oates – took to the stage, each presenting their visions for District 31 in the House of Delegates.
Grace Morrison, a compelling independent contender, has deep ties to Warren County, having moved there in 2011. Living atop a picturesque hill with her family, Morrison is firmly grounded in the community. Underscoring her desire to provide genuine representation for District 31, she spoke about the importance of unfettered and unrestricted communication between delegates and the residents. A strong believer in the Virginia Constitution, she vowed to remain transparent and amenable, aiming to serve the people first and foremost.
Democratic hopeful Steve Foreman took the audience on a journey through history, recalling the legacy of America’s representative democracy birthed in the House of Burgesses. With a heart-centered on public education, Foreman is keen to recognize and champion the needs of teachers while also pushing for more competitive school funding. He emphasized the imperative for families to have a strong foundation, advocating for rights that range from fair wages to ensuring safety from gun violence. His commitment to unity, compromise, and the collective good was unmistakable.
Rounding out the trio was Republican nominee Delores Oates. Born and raised in the district, her profound connection to the community was palpable. Having served on the Board of Supervisors, she understands the intricacies of governance firsthand. Oates accentuated the importance of school choice and its potential to raise overall education standards. She also highlighted her commitment to preserving rural values, safeguarding elections, and defending the Second Amendment.
With such diverse perspectives and visions for the future of District 31, the citizens of Warren County face an important decision. As election day approaches, the anticipation grows, promising a pivotal moment for the district’s future.
School Board Reviews Several Division-Wide Policies to Improve WCPS Practices
The Warren County School Board, during an almost four-hour long work session held on Wednesday, September 20, reviewed several division-wide policies in an effort to either craft new policies or update others related to items including class video surveillance, student discipline, drugs and substance abuse, goals for school community relations, and threat assessment teams, among others.
Additionally, the board, during a closed session at the end of the work session/retreat, voted to accept the resignation of Warren County Public Schools (WCPS) Technology Director Timothy Grant, effective Sept. 30. Starting on Oct. 2, WCPS Finance Director Robert Ballentine will resume the additional duties Grant also held as the School Board Clerk, and Doug Stefnoski will take over as WCPS Interim Director of Technology, according to two personnel reports issued by WCPS and presented to the School Board.
Grant told the Royal Examiner that he has taken a job as the new tech director for Frederick County (Va.) Public Schools. “I will miss everyone here,” Grant texted, “but it’s an opportunity for me to grow as a technology administrator.”
During the work session, School Board Chair Kristen Pence, Vice Chair Ralph Rinaldi, and School Board members Andrea Lo, Antoinette Funk, and Melanie Salins discussed numerous policies, bylaws, and regulations. WCPS Superintendent Christopher Ballenger was also present.
The group regularly exchanged ideas and answered questions posed by several parents and educators who attended the public meeting, which was held at Skyline Middle School, where a recent student assault on another student has stoked requests for improved parent notifications, student discipline, and video cameras, among others.
That incident follows the June 12 indictment of former WCPS preschool teacher Kayla Ann Bennett, who taught at Hilda J. Barbour Elementary School. Bennett is charged with two felony counts of Cruelty/Injure a Child and four misdemeanor charges of assault and battery. Bennett’s defense has filed six not-guilty pleas to the charges, and she remains free on an own-recognizance bond.
Some work session particulars
The School Board members discussed how to improve communication with the public during their meetings, particularly for those parents, educators, or other citizens who may not want to speak openly about specific sensitive issues or topics.
For instance, Rinaldi suggested allowing parents, educators, or concerned citizens to sign up to speak to the board during a closed session that could be held at the end of a regular meeting or work session so that certain topics could be shared openly and honestly with the five board members.
Because such a process would make those discussions non-public when School Board meetings are public meetings that get videotaped, other board members said the board would have to check with its attorney to make sure the process would be legal.
Depending on what the attorney says, the board decided it may or may not hold a separate meeting sometime before its Wednesday, October 4, regular meeting. It would be an open meeting beginning at 5:30 p.m. that follows the normal community participation process, and then starting at 7 p.m., people who have signed up or who are in the audience and want to speak to board members privately could do so during a closed session.
“I mean, we’ll try it, and we’ll figure out what’s wrong with the plan immediately and go from there,” Pence said.
The discussion about school discipline policy was prompted by resident Virginia Cram, whose son attends Skyline Middle School and was recently assaulted and had his jaw broken by another student during gym class.
Cram asked the board what they had done since she spoke to them about her son’s assault during the board’s September 6 meeting. Cram and others think that the principal should be fired for what they say was improper handling of the situation, but the School Board does not have that authority, the superintendent does. And WCPS personnel issues are private.
In response to Cram’s question, Pence said that for the past two weeks, the attorney has been looking through the policies that the board has in place to try to provide members with feedback on how to move forward with any changes or new policies.
Additionally, she said that several School Board members also visited Skyline Middle School to observe students and faculty and to have separate conversations with teachers and administrators “to try to get better background information” on what the discipline problems are at the school.
“But to be quite honest with you,” Pence told the small audience, “this is where our discussion is going to happen because we can’t have that discussion outside of the public.”
Pence and Rinaldi, who visited the school together earlier this week, reported that they saw good teacher coverage in the hallways to stop students from running or correct inappropriate behaviors.
“Typical kids in the lunchroom, a little bit of handsy-ness with each other, same thing they would do at the food court in the mall. And they were corrected. I saw an assistant principal go up there and correct a couple of kids in the lunchroom,” added Rinaldi. “Typical middle school behavior. I walked into every bathroom, there was nothing going on in there.
“I saw some non-participation in PE, which I didn’t care for. I’m a former PE teacher,” he said. “So, with all that being said, I didn’t see kids sneaking under the bleachers. I looked under the bleachers. I didn’t see anything going on there. So my impression was, yeah, there’s a few things that need to be tightened up.”
Lo also visited the school and said she basically saw the same things. Some of the poor behaviors she witnessed sparked questions for her, she said, such as: What are the next steps? Is there more that I’m not seeing? Should there be more that I’m not seeing?
Lo also said that she talked to about ten teachers and five other people who were either administrators or office staff.
“A couple of themes that I saw was that teachers have seen improvement since the start of the year. My guess would be since all eyes are on Skyline Middle School, perhaps some of that has even gone since our last meeting,” Lo said. “I did see administrators who told me that this was the second day that they were handling tardy passes in a different way and recording those differently. And the feedback that I received was that there were fewer people in the halls today than there had been last week.”
Salins, who homeschools her own children, said her experience was quite different when she visited the school last week.
“I saw very different things when I was here. I didn’t see the principal at all,” she said. “I saw teachers trying their very, very best to get what I will not consider as normal middle school behavior under control. I mean, I coached inside of middle schools, and I have a middle schooler. I don’t see a teacher being told that a student is going to F her up and then a whole host of other threats and then being just sent back to class. I don’t find that to be acceptable. I still didn’t see the principal during any of that. The random slapping, cussing teachers; the teachers were absolutely out in the halls doing their best, telling kids not to do this, not to do that. But I saw a lot of eye rolls” from students.
Pence said that “all eyes are on Skyline Middle School right now.”
“Everyone is painfully aware of the concerns that have been brought up here,” Pence said. “And so from a board standpoint, our job now is to, one, make sure that our policies are appropriate, are the policies that we need, and then from there, we need to make sure that they’re enforced because the policies are not going to be useful in having if we’re not going to follow them.”
“As a start, we know that we have discipline policies in place, and are they being enforced in our schools? Are disciplines handed out according to the student code of conduct?” he wrote.
Other important takeaways from the meeting, Ballenger said, were suggestions to look into possibly increasing the presence of adults at Skyline Middle with central office staff. He also said they will continue to look into and address concerns and provide support.
“We want to make sure that disciplines are handed out according to the student code of conduct at all schools and see if there are any teachers that would like to volunteer to have cameras installed in their classroom,” added Ballenger, noting that the board also reviewed updates to the camera policy and members were provided policy revisions and updates from Sands Anderson as part of the policy revision and update.
Following the board’s closed session, he said members approved the personnel report, the personnel report addendum, the team leader supplements, and added a supplement for a technology supervisor to Grade 37.
The Crossroads of Career Change: Navigating the Maze of New Beginnings and Skill Enhancement
The Pandemic’s Wake Leaves Professionals Rethinking Careers and Skill Sets: What You Should Know.
In a world thrown into disarray by the pandemic, many find themselves reconsidering career trajectories and life goals. Job dissatisfaction seems to have reached an all-time high, with layoffs, furloughs, and “The Great Resignation” leaving an indelible impact on the workforce. But before making a seismic shift in your professional life, it’s crucial to weigh all factors carefully.
The process of career change is often romanticized, but the reality can be grueling, especially for those who have spent years in one industry and are contemplating a total pivot. It takes not only a strong resolve but also a financial cushion. Entering a new field like cabinetmaking or accountancy may require going back to school, which in turn requires a serious financial commitment.
If you’re fortunate enough to have a financial safety net—whether it’s substantial savings or a supportive partner—this transition becomes more feasible. But for most, it might involve finding a part-time job to make ends meet or even taking out loans and applying for grants. Financial planning becomes as crucial as the decision to change careers itself.
However, a career change isn’t the only route to job satisfaction. Upskilling—acquiring new and relevant skills—is a less drastic step that can breathe new life into your current role. Short-term training courses or certifications can lead to new responsibilities or even promotions. This can be particularly beneficial for those who are generally satisfied with their current field but seek advancement or a fresh challenge.
If the dilemma of whether to switch careers or upskill has you in a quandary, it might be wise to consult a career counselor. These professionals can help clarify your strengths, challenges, and interests. They can offer invaluable insights into educational pathways and career types that might suit you best, thereby helping you avoid long-term repercussions that could affect your quality of life.
Whether you decide to switch careers or enhance your skill set in your current role, the journey ahead will require careful planning, resilience, and a deep understanding of your professional aspirations. With proper financial planning and guidance, the road less traveled could make all the difference in your career satisfaction and overall well-being.
Gravy Mastery: Perfecting the Heart of the Feast
No More Gravy Fiascos: Tips to Achieve the Perfect Consistency and Flavor.
Gravy – the luscious, velvety accompaniment that can elevate a meal from good to grand. However, achieving the perfect homemade gravy can sometimes feel akin to culinary alchemy. Whether it’s the consistency, flavor, or those dreaded lumps, something always seems amiss. Fear not, for we bring you tried and tested solutions to common gravy conundrums, ensuring your next pour is nothing short of perfection.
The allure of homemade gravy lies in its potential for perfection. With just the right touch, it can accentuate the flavors of your dish, binding together the diverse elements of a meal. Here’s a breakdown of common challenges and their solutions:
- Consistency Matters:
- Too Thin? Patience might be your best ally. Allow the gravy to simmer until the liquid reduces. Alternatively, a slurry made by dissolving 1-1/2 tablespoons of flour or 1 tablespoon of cornstarch in cold water, then stirred into your gravy, can work wonders in thickening it.
- Too Thick? A simple fix involves thinning with a bit of water or stock. For white gravies, milk can do the trick.
- The Dreaded Lumps: A frequent error made by many is adding flour or cornstarch directly to a hot mix, which almost always guarantees lumps. Should this mishap occur, don’t despair. A sieve or a fine mesh strainer can be your saving grace. Just strain the gravy to achieve that desired smooth texture.
- Flavor Fixes: A taste test is crucial before serving. If your gravy seems a bit bland:
- Sprinkle some salt and pepper.
- Enhance richness by adding more pan drippings from your roast.
- A dash of red wine can add depth.
- Bouillon crystals can also boost the flavor but remember – these often contain salt, so adjust accordingly.
Gravy, when made well, is more than just a side – it’s a statement. With these tips in your culinary arsenal, gone are the days of gravy woes. Whether it’s a Sunday roast or a festive family dinner, let your gravy shine, assuring your spot as the host with the most!