The Front Royal Women’s Resource Center presents: WomanGathering – 7 PM, Virtual via Zoom Webinar with guest Dawn Devine, the Executive Director for the Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum.
Topic: Why Children are our most valuable resource.
Click here to register and attend.
McFadden bows out of mayoral race, throws support to Vice-Mayor Lori Cockrell
Front Royal Town Councilman Joe McFadden has announced, through a media release from the Warren County Republican Committee, that he is withdrawing from his mayoral campaign.
In a recent release sent by GOP spokesman Steven Kurtz, McFadden wrote, “I have realized that I simply do not have the time required to collect signatures or run a campaign to get elected to the position of Mayor of Front Royal. I also understand that the level of time commitment needed to be Mayor may be more than I would be able to accommodate at this point in my life. When I announced I was running, I asked that you all vet the very best candidate. I’ve been working behind the scenes to do that very thing too.”
McFadden indicated that he and Vice-Mayor Lori Cockrell “had a long discussion after which we agreed that Lori would take my place and run for Mayor.”
McFadden stated in the release, “Over the past several months, I’ve come to the firm conclusion that Lori is in fact the best choice for the WCRC endorsement and for all Front Royal citizens.”
Contacted by telephone, McFadden told Royal Examiner that he remained committed to serving the citizens but felt he could best serve his constituents by supporting Cockrell in her run. He acknowledged that while the town council and mayoral races are supposed to be nonpartisan, he felt the Warren County Republican Committee would endorse Cockrell’s bid for mayor.
McFadden pointed out in the release that Cockrell “has my full committed support. I hope she will also garner the committee’s support as she collects signatures and campaigns to be the Mayor of Front Royal.”
Royal Examiner reached out to Cockrell, who replied via email, “After much prayer and following a long discussion with many family members and friends, I have decided to seek the endorsement of my party for a term as Mayor of the Town of Front Royal.
In the coming weeks, I plan to meet with the citizens of Front Royal on their doorstep and seek their advice on the direction of the town government over the next two years. Based on those discussions, I intend to propose a series of goals the town could achieve if I am fortunate enough to be elected Mayor. If elected, I will work closely with the council in both settings and achieve those goals. I greatly appreciate Councilman McFadden’s support of my candidacy.”
Mayor Chris Holloway was elected to serve a four-year term from January 2019 to December 2022. He previously served as Councilman from 2008 to 2010 and as Vice Mayor from 2010 to 2012. He indicated earlier this year that he would not launch a mayoral campaign.
In addition to Cockrell throwing her hat into the ring, councilman Gary Gillespie announced his bid for the mayor’s seat earlier this spring.
Holly Marie Bradshaw (1977 – 2022)
Holly Marie Bradshaw, 44, of Front Royal, Virginia, passed away on Thursday, May 19, 2022, in the comfort of her home.
A graveside service date and time will be posted in the upcoming days.
Holly was born on November 8, 1977, in Maryland to her mother, Mary Jane Jones. Holly enjoyed knitting, crafting, and making beautiful art. She was deeply loved by her family.
Surviving Holly is her loving husband of 10 years, Phillip Bradshaw; her mother, Mary Jones; her brother, Matt Slemmer; her sister in law, Michelle Bradshaw; her niece, Audrey Bakker; her father in law, George Bradshaw; her mother in law, Matilde Bradshaw; and numerous extended family members.
Strasburg Councilman John Massoud announces candidacy for State Senate
John Massoud recently announced his candidacy for the newly created 1st state senate District, which encompasses Shenandoah, Clarke County, Frederick County, Warren County, and Winchester City.
“After some deliberation and prayers from friends and family, we have decided to run for State Senate,” said Massoud.
“As State Senator, I will be the 21st conservative vote in bringing down Senator Louise Lucas’s Liberal “Brick Wall ” stonewalling Governor Youngkin and Speaker Gilbert’s legislation. I will vote to cut the gas tax, end the grocery tax, restore our constitutional right to bear arms and repeal red flag, support pro-life legislation to end taxpayer-funded abortion and late-term abortion in Virginia, and pass pro parent common-sense policies to put a stop to masking and woke bureaucrats shoving liberal nonsense down our kids’ throats. I will also ensure that ALL Virginian’s religious freedoms are respected and oppose so-called COVID mandates that only mean more government and less liberty.”
Massoud added: “My father moved to America in 1962 after my father was forced to leave because he refused to convert to Islam and renounce his Christian faith. America is the land of promise, but every day radical leftist policies encroach on our religious, social, and personal freedom. I am running because it’s time we stood up and said no to more government, more mandates, and win back Virginia for conservatives. If I am privileged to serve in the State Senate, I will be fighting for our Valley Values in Richmond.
Governor Glenn Youngkin announces the restoration of rights for thousands of Virginians
Governor Glenn Youngkin announced on May 20, 2022, that civil rights have been restored to 3,496 Virginians. The consideration for restoration of rights is coordinated by the Secretary of the Commonwealth, in conjunction with the Department of Corrections, with thorough consideration by the Department of Elections, Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, and the Compensation Board.
“I am encouraged that over 3,400 Virginians will take this critical first step towards vibrant futures as citizens with full civil rights,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin. “Individuals with their rights restored come from every walk of life and are eager to provide for themselves and their families and put the past behind them for a better tomorrow.”
“The restoration of rights process provides a fresh step forward for individuals who have made mistakes but have done their duty to our community and wish to be full and productive citizens of our Commonwealth,” said Secretary Kay Coles James. “I look forward to their successful futures.”
The administration will be restoring rights on an ongoing basis. Individuals looking to have rights restored and meet the criteria should visit www.restore.virginia.gov. Applicants waiting for rights to be restored may check the status of an application online.
School division proposes grading policy changes, relocating LFK students during construction
The superintendent and staff at Warren County Public School (WCPS) earlier this week detailed proposed plans for an updated division-wide grading policy, as well as where to relocate students during upcoming renovations at Leslie Fox Keyser (LFK) Elementary School.
WCPS Superintendent Christopher Ballenger and other division staff provided information and recommendations to Warren County School Board Chair Kristen Pence, Vice-Chair Ralph Rinaldi, and members Antoinette Funk, Andrea Lo, and Melanie Salins during the board’s Wednesday, May 18 work session.
In discussing updates to the grading policy, Ballenger told the board that he has been meeting with three committees of teachers and administrators from elementary, middle, and high schools to revise the current policy, which most recently was updated in January 2018.
Ballenger’s presentation to the School Board included the recommended changes by each of the committees at the respected level, and he said a final draft will be presented to the board for consideration.
“We have been able to put out a decent product that teachers are proud of,” Ballenger said about the draft grading policy document.
One of the “biggest changes,” he said, includes the addition of definitions for several terms, including ‘no credit,’ which is defined as a zero for an assignment in middle or high school.
Ballenger explained that all three committees felt it was important to define what no credit means. “It means that you’re not getting anything,” he said. “We needed to make sure that students, parents, teachers, and everybody understood that no credit means a zero.”
For instance, the proposed high school grading policy states that credit will only be given for assignments that are attempted. No credit will be awarded for any assignments that are not attempted.
At the teacher’s discretion, students may be permitted to make up, retake, and/or correct material in a timely manner as appropriate to the course pacing, and students must schedule a time with the teacher that may fall outside of the course’s normal class time, according to the draft document.
The goal, said Ballenger, is to “make sure students take some responsibility for their grades.”
Pence, who said she appreciated the work that’s gone into drafting an updated grading policy, said: “This is going to be a hard year for some students, but hopefully, this gets them better prepared for the real world and college.”
WCPS is now seeking public input on this and all of the proposed grading policy changes. Click here to read through the draft policy.
Draft grant applications presented
WCPS Director of Elementary Instruction Lisa Rudacille, who is also the principal at E. Wilson Morrison Elementary School, and WCPS Coordinator Title I & Title III Donna Boies presentation to School Board members with details for the school division’s Title I, II, III, and IV draft grant applications.
The Title I-A, II-A, III-A, and IV-A applications seek federal funding to improve basic instructional programs, teacher and principal training and recruiting, support for language instruction for English learners, and to increase the capacity of school divisions to provide all students with access to a well-rounded education, according to the administrators.
While no motion was needed on Wednesday from the School Board, Rudacille and Boies said a motion and vote for approval of the grant applications will be requested at the board’s June 1, meeting. They wanted to give board members a chance to go through the draft applications now before making any decision on them next month.
Where will LFK students go?
Division staff pointed out that with the construction of the LFK renovations scheduled to start in January 2023, there are several considerations to make now prior to the start date so that the board can make decisions and parents can be notified. Students will be relocated beginning in August, they said.
“We have to have a plan in place,” said Ballenger, who added that staff is looking at its options and what would be the best choices to ensure consistency for students, as well as accommodating for construction.
For instance, one of the challenges is limited space on the LFK property site that will not allow for modular buildings to be utilized for the duration of the project, which is slated to be completed by August 2024, said Livesay.
Ballenger added that the topography at LFK also poses an issue since the school is on a hill. And it’s not feasible to put a modular unit on the asphalt where it would take up parking spaces. Livesay noted associated additional costs to installing modulars, as well.
LFK Assistant Principal Jessica Vacca agreed with Ballenger’s recommendation to relocate fifth-grade students to Warren County Middle School during specific construction phases. The school’s administrators have experience with such a move because that’s what was done during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic when students had to socially distance themselves.
Having a school with over 530 students, no walls, and no doors made it difficult to keep students at LFK during the pandemic, so the fifth graders went to the middle school. Vacca said that students and parents did well with that strategy.
Relocating pre-kindergarteners is also a consideration, said Hirsch. Some of the options suggested included moving their classes into available spaces at other elementary schools during renovations or to the Riverton United Methodist Church, which has offered class space to WCPS.
Hirsch noted that there are many students with disabilities among the incoming class of preschoolers who will need specific accommodations, as well, and he noted that minimizing their transitions is key.
Smith said there are also bus considerations to make, as well as food service, access to a nurse, ensuring the facility is ADA compliant, that there are sufficient communications available, and green space for outdoor play. “These are just some of the challenges to overcome,” he said.
Rinaldi said he supports the division’s current plan and recommendations and added that there’s always room for adjustments to be made.
Free REVIVE! Opioid Overdose and Naloxone Education Classes
Northwestern Prevention Collaborative, in conjunction with Northwestern Community Services Board, will offer three more free, virtual REVIVE! Training classes before the end of June. These one-hour online classes provide an overview of how to recognize an opioid overdose, respond to an opioid emergency, and administer life-saving naloxone.
Classes will be held on Friday, May 27th, from 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm; Tuesday, June 7th from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm; and Friday, June 24th, from 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm. All attendees will receive two free doses of Narcan by mail. To register for any of these three classes, visit nwprevention.org/revive-training.
Opioids are highly potent, making it relatively easy for accidental overdoses to happen. There has also been an increase of Fentanyl-laced “pressed pills” disguised as prescription medications such as Adderall, Percocet, and Oxycontin. These pressed pills have caused an increase in overdoses throughout the country.
This training is ideal for those who have loved ones who use or have used opioids in the past, as well as those who have personally used or are using opioids. Those who work in public places or businesses where overdoses may occur can be part of the defense against overdoses, and they are also encouraged to attend one of these free classes.
About Northwestern Prevention Collaborative
The Northwestern Prevention Collaborative covers the Lord Fairfax Planning District, encompassing the City of Winchester and the counties of Clarke, Frederick, Page, Shenandoah, and Warren. NPC focuses on education around opioids, marijuana, vaping, and alcohol, with dual goals of preventing young people from misusing drugs and reducing the number of overdose deaths. The Collaborative is a partnership between Page Alliance for Community Action, Family Youth Initiative, Warren Coalition, Northern Shenandoah Valley Substance Abuse Coalition, and the Prevention Department of Northwestern Community Services.
About the Prevention Department at Northwestern Community Services Board
The Prevention Department at Northwestern Community Services Board has a mission to prevent substance misuse and suicide and to promote mental wellness in the Lord Fairfax Planning District. The Department utilizes evidence-based programs, practices and strategies targeting concerns identified by needs assessments and using the Strategic Prevention Framework as its guide. An emphasis is placed on community collaboration and mobilization, enabling groups to be brought together for the benefit of the community. Find more information at nwcsb.com/prevention