FRONT ROYAL, VA – Local business owner Neal Jacob is a finalist to win a new Sprinter Cargo Van from Mercedes-Benz and Inc. Magazine, and he needs your votes to help him win the grand prize.
Jacob, of Front Royal, owner of Neal Sharpens, LLC, was perusing Facebook one night when an ad caught his eye. Like most people, Jacob tends to scroll right past the ads, but this one was different. This one said that he could win a Sprinter Cargo Van. “I knew I wasn’t going to win unless I entered,” Jacob said, “so I created an entry and sent it in.” The contest entry involved answering three short essay questions. Jacob also recorded a video to prove his business’s need for the Sprinter Van. “I thought the selection period was over when I received both a phone call and an email informing me that I’m a finalist. I was driving when the notification popped up on my smartwatch and I had to find a place to stop.”
Out of the thousands of entries submitted to Inc. Magazine, Jacob is one of four finalists. The grand prize winner will be determined by a combination of votes from the public and also members of the Inc. 5000. Jacob needs your support. You can vote for him by visiting https://contests.inc.com/mbvans. You may submit an unlimited number of votes per day, beginning Monday, September 16th, and ending Friday, October 12th.
“The Van Built for Business” is a contest sponsored by Inc. Magazine and Mercedes-Benz. It’s designed to give small businesses a hand in growing their businesses and serving the community. Jacob and the other finalists will attend the Inc. 5000 Conference in Phoenix, AZ, where the winner of the Sprinter will be announced on October 12.
Neal Sharpens, LLC provides sharpening services to the Northern Shenandoah Valley and the surrounding area. Neal Sharpens, LLC is a member of the Front Royal/Warren County Chamber of Commerce and the Shenandoah County Chamber of Commerce. You can connect with Neal Sharpens, LLC on the web, or on Facebook. Call or text 540-252-0077, or email email@example.com.
Winchester catholic school receives Virginia Champion Employer Award
ARLINGTON, VA – Yesterday, Sacred Heart Academy in Winchester, Virginia, a school of the Catholic Diocese of Arlington, received the “Champion Employer Award” from the Virginia Division of Rehabilitative Services. The award, given at an intimate ceremony with school faculty and some teachers, honors area employers for their outstanding commitment to hiring and supporting people with disabilities in the workplace.
“Although this is quite an honor for the Academy, the true ‘winners’ of this award are the employees themselves,” said Erica Palaza. “We have been blessed with three thoughtful, energetic and dependable employees. They are not only dedicated to their work, but they bring joy to those who work with them.”
The achievements at Sacred Heart Academy (grades pre-K – 8) reflect a long-standing commitment to inclusivity in the schools of the Catholic Diocese of Arlington, an effort that Bishop Michael F. Burbidge, Diocese of Arlington, is building upon.
Bishop Burbidge has articulated a vision for inclusion programs in all of the 41 Catholic high schools and elementary schools in the Diocese. Thanks to the wonderful work of Catholic educators throughout the Diocese, and with the support of charitable organizations like Porto Charities and KOVAR, students with unique learning challenges and gifts are already part of inclusion programs in more than one-third (14 of 41) of diocesan schools. Through these programs, students with special needs are fully integrated into the classroom and larger school community.
“Inclusive education is a growing priority across the Catholic schools of the Diocese of Arlington,” said Dr. Joseph Vorbach, Superintendent of Schools for the Diocese. “With Bishop Burbidge’s vision and support, schools are initiating new programs and expanding existing ones that benefit not only the students with intellectual disabilities, but also entire school communities as everyone becomes more acutely aware of individual differences and challenges.”
For more information on Sacred Heart Academy, visit here.
Additional funds approved to cover empty superintendent position
It’s going to cost Warren County Public Schools (WCPS) $3,250 a month in extra stipends to cover the superintendent position vacated last month by Greg Drescher, who was put on paid administrative leave after he was indicted along with more than a dozen other local individuals in the Front Royal-Warren County Economic Development Authority (EDA) financial scandal.
The Warren County School Board during its Wednesday, October 16 meeting approved the appointment of Melody Sheppard, currently WCPS assistant superintendent for administration, as interim superintendent effective January 1, 2020, until a new superintendent is hired next year.
In addition to Sheppard’s normal pay, School Board members also approved a $1,750 per month stipend that Sheppard will start receiving this month for taking on the superintendent duties. The stipend will continue until a new superintendent is hired.
At the same time, Drescher still continues to pull in a paycheck on his six-figure salary until the end of the year.
Extra compensation also was granted for two other WCPS employees who are stepping in to help with some of Sheppard’s current duties.
Board members approved a $750 stipend per month for both Greg Livesay, WCPS director of facilities, and George Smith, Jr., WCPS director of personnel, who will be assuming additional temporary responsibilities over the next several months until a new superintendent is employed.
Livesay will take on responsibilities including but not limited to oversight of custodial services and regular site inspections; procurement for the custodial services company for the 2020-2021 school year; coordinator of the A. S. Rhodes Elementary School renovation project; and contact person for the school grounds maintenance, Sheppard said.
Smith will assume responsibilities for oversight of the transportation department, coordinator of use of facilities, and coordinator of Freedom of Information Act requests, among other duties, according to Sheppard.
Members voted unanimously to approve Sheppard’s appointment and monthly stipend, as well as the monthly stipend for both Livesay and Smith.
Regarding the search for a new WCPS superintendent, the process is now officially under way.
During the board’s work session portion of the meeting, WCPS Finance Director Robert Ballentine, who is also clerk of the School Board, provided members with a draft schedule for starting the superintendent search that shows how the process would work.
“It would allow for the search firm to be selected and under contract by year’s end,” Ballentine said.
Ballentine noted that School Board Small Purchasing policy allows for “single or term contracts for professional services without requiring competitive negotiation, provided the aggregate or the sum of all phases is not expected to exceed $60,000.”
The previous superintendent search consulting contract was for $8,500 and the current one should be well under the $60,000 threshold for requiring a formal Request for Proposals (RFP), he said.
However, for transparency purposes — and to allow for the greatest possible competition — Ballentine said it may be advisable to issue an RFP.
The existing RFP for the previous contract could be updated with minimal changes, reviewed by legal counsel, and advertised within a short period of time, he added. Then the RFP could be advertised in local newspapers, as well as on the state procurement webpage, eVA.
The remainder on the timeline, 2020, could be finalized based on the recommendations of the chosen consultant, suggested Ballentine.
If the School Board wants to follow this route and particularly the timeline, he told members it was necessary to authorize staff to begin the process at Wednesday night’s meeting.
And board members gave him the go-ahead to get the ball rolling.
Warren County Habitat for Humanity is set for a new duplex home build in Front Royal
The Warren County Habitat for Humanity is set for a new duplex home build on Cherrydale & Brown in Front Royal. Watch the ground breaking ceremony here on this exclusive Royal Examiner video:
Warren County Habitat for Humanity works in Front Royal & Warren County Virginia helping people to live in safe affordable housing.
Warren County Habitat for Humanity (WCHFH) brings our communities together to build decent, affordable housing – and provide hope – for people in need. WCHFH provides a “hand up” to homeownership through sweat equity, donor generosity, volunteer labor and interest-free mortgages.
Through the work of Habitat, thousands of low-income families have found new hope in the form of affordable housing. Churches, community groups and others have joined together to successfully tackle a significant social problem — decent housing for all. Today, Habitat for Humanity has built more than 175,000 houses, sheltering more than 900,000 people in more than 3,000 communities worldwide.
Catholic Charities donates 5,000 lbs of food to help address hunger in Alexandria
ARLINGTON, VA – On October 16, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington’s St. Lucy Food Project donated 5,000 pounds of non-perishable food to ALIVE! in front of Alexandria’s City Hall. The St. Lucy Food Project and ALIVE! are both members of Hunger Free Alexandria (HFA), a community-based coalition of food providers, faith-based communities, schools, and social service organizations aimed at ending hunger. The donation, made in conjunction with HFA, is part of Catholic Charities’ ongoing efforts to address hunger in Alexandria.
“There is a great deal of need in our communities. Often individuals can find themselves in situations where they no longer know where their next meal will come from,” said Art Bennett, President of CEO, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington. “We make every effort to help people get back on their feet, through food and clothing donations, workforce training and similar service ministries. These services are at the core of our mission and commitment to the community.”
Catholic Charities collects and distributes 1.2 million pounds of food annually to those in need throughout the 21 counties of the Diocese through its St. Lucy Food Project. Some 130,000 pounds of food are distributed locally from its Christ House ministry in Old Town Alexandria. Christ House also offers emergency assistance, a clothing ministry, thrift store and transitional housing and workforce development to homeless men. Catholic Charities has served an evening meal to homeless men and women at Christ House 365 days a year for more than 40 years. ALIVE! has been delivering food to the homebound within the city of Alexandria since 1969.
“Donating this amount of food in one delivery is just an incredible experience,” said Vincent A. Cannava (pictured), Program Director and Food Source Developer, St. Lucy Food Project, Catholic Charities. “What you see is the result of countless parishes across the diocese offering food to those in need. There are a lot of people who will not go to bed hungry as a result of their generosity.”
For additional information on the St. Lucy Project, click here.
‘Cats JV Football wins 2nd straight
The WCHS JV Football team recorded its second straight win of the season on Thursday, October 10, beating George Mason on the road, 26-0. Quarterback Nick Foltz said, “we played hard in the second half, and it worked out in our favor.” The team really came together after their bye week.
Freshman Quarterback Nick Foltz scored two rushing touchdowns in the first and third quarters. He also completed a 35 yard touchdown pass, connecting with Elijah Frame. Frame also had a fumble recovery, along with 5 solo tackles. Sophomore Keyon Mancebo had an interception to end the 1st half.
Starting off the 2nd half, George Mason attempted to trick the ‘Cats with an onside kick, but Gunner Chaffin smothered the attempt. Eighth grader P.J Dellinger completed the ensuing drive with a 10 yard touchdown run. Anna Johnson added the extra point to complete the final score, 26-0.
Isaac Bragg, WCHS Sports Marketing student, contributed to this article.
WCHS DECA students take action
Football helmets are worn by more than 42 million athletes around the globe. The process of making football helmets is overwhelming. After a football helmet has been constructed, the manufacturer checks the helmet to make sure it’s safe and modeled correctly. Each year, high schools around the country send their helmets back to a manufacturer to be “re-conditioned”. That is, these helmets are tested for safety.
Some of the football helmets at WCHS don’t make the cut every year. These rejected helmets are only good for one thing – the landfill. This happens around the country because the rejected helmets cannot be recycled, thus filling up landfills. We decided to turn those helmets into everyday reusable products. The products that we created vary from a teacher supply helmet, to a flower pot, to a soda “guzzler”.