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Local business owner seeks your vote to win national contest

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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 contactme@nealsharpens.com.

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Winchester catholic school receives Virginia Champion Employer Award

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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.

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Additional funds approved to cover empty superintendent position

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The Warren County School Board 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. Photo and video by Mark Williams, Royal Examiner.

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.

WCPS Finance Director Robert Ballentine explains procedures for the superintendent search.

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.

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Warren County Habitat for Humanity is set for a new duplex home build in Front Royal

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Stevi Hubbard, Director of Warren County Habitat For Humanity. Ground breaking on the next build, a very nice duplex on Cherrydale & Brown, Front Royal. Photo and video by Mark Williams, Royal Examiner.

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:


About
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.

General Information
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.

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Catholic Charities donates 5,000 lbs of food to help address hunger in Alexandria

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Photo courtesy of Catholic Diocese of Arlington

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.

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‘Cats JV Football wins 2nd straight

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QB Nick Foltz rushed for two touchdowns and passed for a third in win over George Mason Thursday night.

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.

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WCHS DECA students take action

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“Petunia’s Pot”, the perfect outdoor planter

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”.

The desktop organizer, “Coach’s Clutter”.

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Upcoming Events

Oct
18
Fri
10:00 am R-MA Homecoming @ Randolph-Macon Academy
R-MA Homecoming @ Randolph-Macon Academy
Oct 18 @ 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
R-MA Homecoming @ Randolph-Macon Academy
Randolph-Macon Academy will welcome alumni and their families back to campus on Friday and Saturday, October 18th and 19th, during the annual Homecoming weekend. Events that are open to the general public include the Homecoming[...]
1:30 pm The Fundamentals of Acrylic Pain... @ Art in the Valley
The Fundamentals of Acrylic Pain... @ Art in the Valley
Oct 18 @ 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm
The Fundamentals of Acrylic Painting - Fall 2019 @ Art in the Valley
This class will focus on proven approaches for successful acrylic paintings. Subject matter will be the student’s choice. No previous painting experience with acrylics necessary. The class will introduce students to fundamental concepts of color[...]
Oct
19
Sat
10:00 am R-MA Homecoming @ Randolph-Macon Academy
R-MA Homecoming @ Randolph-Macon Academy
Oct 19 @ 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
R-MA Homecoming @ Randolph-Macon Academy
Randolph-Macon Academy will welcome alumni and their families back to campus on Friday and Saturday, October 18th and 19th, during the annual Homecoming weekend. Events that are open to the general public include the Homecoming[...]
10:30 am 2nd Annual Peak Leaf Music & Bre... @ Valley Roots Farm
2nd Annual Peak Leaf Music & Bre... @ Valley Roots Farm
Oct 19 @ 10:30 am – 7:00 pm
2nd Annual Peak Leaf Music & Brewers Festival @ Valley Roots Farm
Join us for the 2nd annual Peak Leaf Music & Brewers Festival! Come party on Saturday, October 19th, 2019, for a day of live music, local brews, local merchants, and local food trucks; all for a[...]
1:00 pm Workshop: An Introduction to Col... @ Art in the Valley
Workshop: An Introduction to Col... @ Art in the Valley
Oct 19 @ 1:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Workshop: An Introduction to Color Theory @ Art in the Valley
This one day workshop will be an introduction to color theory as it applies to image-making. We will talk about primary, secondary and tertiary colors and how to mix them from a simple palette for[...]
5:30 pm 7th Annual Front Royal Zombie Walk @ Bing Crosby Stadium
7th Annual Front Royal Zombie Walk @ Bing Crosby Stadium
Oct 19 @ 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm
7th Annual Front Royal Zombie Walk @ Bing Crosby Stadium
Put on your best zombie costume and practice your best shambling limp, because it’s time for the annual FRONT ROYAL ZOMBIE WALK! The Walk will begin at Bing Crosby Stadium at 6pm sharp. We will[...]
Oct
22
Tue
10:00 am Acrylic Painting: An Individuali... @ Art in the Valley
Acrylic Painting: An Individuali... @ Art in the Valley
Oct 22 @ 10:00 am – 12:30 pm
Acrylic Painting: An Individualized Approach @ Art in the Valley
With an emphasis on individuality and creativity, this acrylic painting class welcomes all skill levels. Some concepts we will explore include various paint application techniques, color theory, and composition. Within these basic parameters, we will[...]
1:30 pm Botanicals in Watercolor I – Fal... @ Art in the Valley
Botanicals in Watercolor I – Fal... @ Art in the Valley
Oct 22 @ 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm
Botanicals in Watercolor I - Fall 2019 @ 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,[...]
Oct
23
Wed
10:30 am Art Class “Fall is Here” @ Art in the Valley
Art Class “Fall is Here” @ Art in the Valley
Oct 23 @ 10:30 am – 12:00 pm
Art Class "Fall is Here" @ Art in the Valley
We are offering classes for children ages 7-12 who would enjoy expressing themselves through art. The students will expand their creative side with drawing, painting and constructing, using various mediums such as acrylic, pastels, watercolor[...]
1:30 pm Botanical Drawing: October 2019 @ Art in the Valley
Botanical Drawing: October 2019 @ Art in the Valley
Oct 23 @ 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm
Botanical Drawing: October 2019 @ Art in the Valley
Learn and practice the art of botanical drawing in pencil with local artist and instructor Elena Maza. This four session course will focus on learning basic drawing skills as applied to botanicals: basic line drawings[...]