FRONT ROYAL — Two outgoing members of the Warren County School Board and retiring Warren County Public Schools (WCPS) Superintendent Greg Drescher on Wednesday night received a formal goodbye from their School Board colleagues.
The School Board held a reception for the retiring public servants prior to their regular December 4 meeting at the government center and then during the meeting presented them with gifts and official resolutions recognizing the time they’ve worked for Warren County.
The last day for Drescher and the expiring terms for School Board members Donna McEathron and C. Douglas Rosen all fall on December 31.
Drescher, who has been the WCPS superintendent for five years following a 37-year career in education, on September 6 announced his retirement in a press release in which he cited his wife’s “serious health issues” as being a primary factor in his decision to leave WCPS early.
Shortly thereafter, the School Board during its regular October 2 meeting unanimously voted to put Drescher on paid administrative leave until his retirement 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. Those charges were all later dismissed when the presiding judge ruled there was no legal precedent making unintentional negligence a criminal offense in Virginia.
Drescher simultaneously was superintendent of schools and a member of the EDA Board of Directors. He served 12 years on the EDA board and was board chairman in 2017-2018 during the height of what has been shown to be when the financial scandal started to unravel. He resigned completely from the EDA board in March.
Meanwhile, both School Board terms for McEathron and Rosen are up at the end of the year and neither of them sought reelection during the November special elections.
The School Board noted during the presentations portion of its Wednesday meeting that since it was the final regular meeting for Drescher, Donna McEathron and Rosen, the board members wished to recognize their service to the citizens and students of Warren County.
A resolution in recognition and appreciation of their service was prepared for each of them and then adopted by the School Board. Chairwoman Bower read out loud each resolution to those in attendance at the meeting. Drescher received a standing ovation from the crowd following presentation of his resolution and gift.
Congratulations to Warren County High School Seniors – Class of 2022
Royal Examiner presents the Warren County High School Class of 2022. Congratulations to these wonderful seniors on their hard work and deserved accomplishments! We wish you the best in your next big endeavors. Photos courtesy of Victor O’Neill Studios and Tolliver Studios, LLC.
If your Warren County senior is not listed, please send in their Name and Senior Picture to email@example.com.
160 years later – Jackson’s Valley Campaign strategies and the Battle of Front Royal’s unique part in that campaign are recalled
A small crowd of historical buffs joined by an honor guard of reenactors presenting the colors of the United States, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the Southern Confederacy gathered early Monday evening, May 23, at the Warren Rifles Museum in Historic Downtown Front Royal. They gathered NOT to celebrate a fight to preserve slavery as an American socio-economic institution, but rather to acknowledge the sacrifice of soldiers on both sides and the Psychological Warfare (PsyWar) strategies employed during Confederate General “Stonewall” Jackson’s Valley Campaign before there was a term to describe such strategies.
It was a joint celebration of the military genius of the Valley Campaign 160 years past, the Battle of Front Royal in which Jackson’s forces defeated an outnumbered Union force as part of that campaign, and of Jackson’s life that would end on May 10, 1863, as a result of a friendly fire incident at Chancellorsville the following year.
Royal Examiner columnist and U.S. Army retired Lt. Col. John Paul Morgan was the featured speaker, expanding on his commentary titled “PsyWar in the Valley,” published here in acknowledgment of the 160th anniversary of Confederate General Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson’s “Valley Campaign” of 1862.
Morgan pointed to radical strategies of troop movements and deployment, security from even Jackson’s own commanders on his battle plans, and disinformation on what numerical force he had in the Shenandoah Valley.
That latter aspect created in part by the first two was crucial, as Union leaders believed Jackson’s actual force of about 16,000 was 60,000 or more, threatening the Union capital from the west in 1862 as the Union Army was poised to take the Confederate capital of Richmond with a vastly larger force than Richmond was defended by.
That Union leadership misperception led them to pull key forces from the planned Richmond offensive to the defense of Washington D.C. Those Lee-Jackson developed strategies leading to troop movements to protect the Union capital from a phantom force created one of the greatest military-strategic shifts of wartime history, Morgan asserted of strategies still studied in military schools and training to this day.
It was this advanced strategical plan developed between Confederate Commanding General Robert E. Lee and General “Stonewall” Jackson, playing to concerns and psychological tendencies of the opposing side’s leadership, that was the focus of Morgan’s presentation.
Watch the presentation on a unique aspect of military history in this exclusive Royal Examiner video.
Blue Ridge Wildlife Center Patient of the Week: Common Snapping Turtle
Shooting Turtles is a Crime.
This Snapping turtle patient was brought to the Center after being found with multiple gunshots.
To make matters worse, this is a gravid female (carrying eggs); you can see the eggs in the x-ray below. These adult breeding animals are especially important from a population survival standpoint.
Snapping turtles are a protected species in Virginia. Unfortunately, we see intentional human-caused trauma, including gunshots, every year in this species. Luckily, these gunshot wounds were fresh and only into the bone of the carapace (upper shell). She does not appear to have damaged internal organs. The steel pellets were removed, the wounds cleaned, and pain medications and antibiotics provided.
Now, after about a week in care, this turtle was released back to her found location! We hope she will continue to thrive, lay her eggs, and avoid the world’s most dangerous species—humans.
This wildlife crime has been reported, and our Conservation Police Officers are investigating. If you see someone commit a wildlife crime, please report it as soon as possible. In Virginia, it can be reported to our Department of Wildlife Resources at WildCrime@dwr.virginia.gov, or you can contact them by phone at 1-800-237-5712.
Looking for an easy way to help native wildlife? Become a monthly BRWC donor! For as little as $5/month, you can provide year-round, sustainable support that helps us fulfill our mission.
Lifeguards sought to allow Community Pool to Open on schedule Memorial Day weekend; Splash Pad opens May 28
Claude A Stokes, Jr. Community Swimming Pool 2022 Opening:
Due to insufficient staffing, the Claude A Stokes, Jr. Community Swimming Pool is unable to open as scheduled on Memorial Day weekend, Saturday, May 28, 2022 through Monday, May 30, 2022. The pool is scheduled to open for its regular season, Monday, June 6, 2022. We will continue our efforts to obtain more staff and reevaluate the season opening prior to that date.
If you are interested in applying for a lifeguard position, please contact us at 540-635-1021 or visit www.warrencountyva.net/employment-opportunities to complete an application online.
Please continue to check the Warren County website and the Warren County Parks and Recreation Department’s Facebook page for any additional updates, as we will send out more information in June.
Warren County Splash Pad 2022 Opening:
The Warren County Parks and Recreation Department is delighted to announce the Warren County Splash Pad at Dr. Saul Seide Memorial Gardens Memorial Park will open for the 2022 season, on Saturday, May 28, 2022. Please review the rules and regulations posted at the site before using the Splash Pad.
The Splash Pad is located behind the Raymond E. Santmyers Youth Center at 200 East 8th Street, in the Dr. Saul Seide Memorial Gardens Park.
The Splash Pad will be open for water fun from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily (weather permitting). Please check the Warren County website and the Warren County Parks and Recreation Department’s Facebook page for any additional updates.
For additional information please contact the Parks and Recreation Administrative Office at (540) 635-7750.
Warren County High School: Spring Concert
On Sunday, May 22, 2022, the Warren County Music Department presented its Spring Concert, featuring the Jazz Band and High School Symphonic Band. David Dingess, Band Director, conducted both bands and played drums on a few pieces.
Dingess said, ” I want to thank the seniors for their work, dedication, and understanding during difficult times that in a way robbed us of this special time together, but they made the most of it. Thank you.”
He continued his thanks for the administration’s support throughout the year and the custodial staff who helped keep the building clean and in good shape for events like today. He also included the Band Boosters for their hard work and financial support. A special thanks to Ken and Donna Evans for their efforts in assisting with the fundraising for new marching uniforms.
Dingess ended his thanks with, “I would especially like to thank my wife for all her help and support. Without her, I would not be able to do what I do.” (Sounds like true love.)
Members of the Jazz Band include:
Heath Coe, Brady Donahue, Jim Farris, Daniel Flores, Andrew Grant, Kathleen Grant, Matthew Grant, Jaula Hodges, Trestyn Muterspaw, Margaret Plosh, Mason Polk, Katrina Richi, and Ward Sebastian.
Performance selections included:
Chattanooga Choo-Choo, My Funny Valentine, Moondance, a solo drum performance Drum Corp on Parade, Pratt (by James Riggs II), El Gato Gordo, Over the Rainbow, and Rock This Town.
Members of the High School Symphonic Band include:
Jason Becker, Kaydria Bennett, Morgan Brown, Heath Coe, James Crowell, Brady Donahue, Jim Farris, Daniel Flores, Andrew Grant, Kathleen Grant, Matthew Grant, Jayla Hodges, Devin Inlow-Mercier, Avayda Kemp, Arthur Kresge, Nicodemus Kozhenevsky, Savannah Mitchell, Trestyn Muterspaw, Connor Payne, Abigail Plosch, Margaret Plosch, Mason Polk, Katrina Riehl, James Riggs II, Sebastian Ward, and Tristan Wright.
Performance selections included:
Courage March, a solo performance of Yellow After The Rain, Mitchell Peters (by James Riggs II), Wyndham Variations, Legend of Knife River, Ludlows, a solo piano solo by Margaret Plosch, and Maelstrom.
Wine & Crafts Festival returns from 2-year COVID break into a Spring heatwave
On a steamy Saturday, May 21st, Front Royal welcomed the annual Chamber of Commerce sponsored Wine & Craft Festival back after a two-year absence due to COVID-19 pandemic precautions.
An impressive array of booths highlighting that two-pronged theme stretched up and down East Main and Chester Streets in the town’s Historic Downtown Business District to the delight of a throng of hearty “winers” and arts and crafts fans of all ages.
A live musical accompaniment was kicked off by Leesburg-based Jumptown, with frontman Michael Gauvreau leading the band through an impressive array of Soul, Rhythm & Blues, and Blues tunes that kept the crowd on its collective “good foot.” Mandatory Fun would be a later musical theme.
And if you didn’t want to risk mixing wine with the Weather Alert heat soaring into the mid-90s, there were also a variety of concessions and cooling liquids of the non-alcoholic variety available as well. So, if you missed it, or even if you didn’t but want a little reminder of the good time you had in the comfort of your air-conditioned abode, relax and take a visual tour of the Wine & Crafts Festival 2022 below.