Connect with us

Local News

WCPS educator completes successful first year teaching 4th graders; plans to move on



Alexis Stiles, who last August started her first year of teaching at the age of 19, this month successfully completed school year 2018-2019 for Warren County Public Schools (WCPS) as a 4th grade teacher at A.S. Rhodes Elementary School.

Teacher Alexis Stiles says her time at Rhodes ES has been “such a wonderful ride.” Photo by Kim Riley

“My first full year of teaching has been such a wonderful ride,” Stiles told the Royal Examiner. “I have loved taking on the responsibility of my own classroom. I know some people had doubts in my capabilities of becoming a teacher at such a young age, but I think looking back on the year, it has gone really well.”

Her boss agrees.

“Miss Stiles had a successful first year of teaching,” said Lori Layman, principal at A.S. Rhodes Elementary School. “She consistently asked for and used feedback to help her grow. Her students enjoyed her class and learned so much from her this year.”

Even the higher-up boss concurs.

“I only heard good things about Miss Stiles so I would say she has been a successful first-year teacher,” said Greg Drescher, superintendent of WCPS.

Stiles, a Front Royal, VA, native who will turn 20 on Aug. 26, said she’s learned a few things this school year that she can share with other first-year teachers.

“My biggest advice to new teachers is it is okay for things to not work out as you planned,” she explained. “Things may not go the way you wanted them to, but that is what will make you stronger as a teacher.”

She said new teachers also should be flexible and learn to adapt. “No matter what, make sure you are putting your kids first.”

Stiles (left) gets students ready to work on their math. Photo by Kim Riley

Stiles works one-on-one with student Raegan Harris. Photo by Kim Riley

Stiles added that she’s also learned she has areas to improve upon. But that doesn’t faze her because she’s confident her strengths will grow as the years progress.

At the same time, Stiles also realized she couldn’t have had a great school year without support from Principal Layman and the fourth-grade teaching team, Faith Falkenstein and Rebecca Foerster.

“Being in a smaller school, Mrs. Layman has a lot on her plate, but despite that, she still always made time to answer all my questions and lend me a helping hand if I asked for one,” Stiles said. “I have loved working with my fourth-grade team this year as well. Mrs. Falkenstein and Ms. Foerster have been so supportive towards me which has made this school year such a pleasure.”
While taking on classroom duties, Stiles also continued coursework this past year toward her master’s degree in business administration. She plans to finish her college classes in November, as well as those needed to earn her professional teaching license.

“I have one class and three state tests left until turning my provisional license into a professional license,” she said. “Down the road, I plan to get my doctorate degree in leadership administration with a long-term goal of becoming a principal. I do plan to teach for several years to fully understand the field before I would like to move up.”

With an eye on eventually earning a principalship, Stiles acknowledged that she has taken a 4th-grade teaching position at Greenwood Mill Elementary School in Frederick County for the 2019-2020 school year.

“I have absolutely loved my time at A.S. Rhodes Elementary School as that was where I went to school as a kid, but I know moving the move early in my career is what is best for me,” Stiles said.

Her new school in Winchester, Va., also is closer to both her residence and East Coast Gymnastics and Cheer, where she holds a competitive coaching position.

Stiles (left), her students, and teaching assistant Samantha Morrison (right) welcome the end of the school year. Photo by Kim Riley

Students gather around Miss Stiles (center), who accepted a new teaching position in another school district for school year 2019-2020. Photo by Kim Riley

Despite Stiles’ departure from WCPS, Superintendent Drescher said the county does have a good retention rate for first-year teachers.

“Once a teacher gets four or five years of experience is when we typically start losing them to other school districts,” said Drescher.

Principal Layman said the Rhodes faculty and students are sad to see Stiles leave.

“We wish her the best at her new school and in her gymnastics coaching career,” said Layman. “Her enthusiasm, determination and kindness will always be remembered by her students and colleagues.”

New 19-year-old WCPS teacher takes on 4th grade at A.S. Rhodes

Share the News:

Local News

Virginia State Police investigating serious crash in Shenandoah County



Photo courtesy of Virginia State Police.

Virginia State Police Trooper M.T. Brill is investigating a two-vehicle crash in Shenandoah County. The crash occurred August 20, 2019 at 7:30 a.m. on Route 55 at 4 tenths of a mile east of Route 623 (Back Road).

A 1998 Dodge Dakota was traveling east on Rt. 55 when the driver lost control, crossed the center-line and collided head on with a 2002 Chevy Tahoe.

The driver of the Dodge, Joshua C. Haggerty, 35, of Upshur, WV., suffered serious injuries and was transported to Winchester Medical Center. Haggerty was not wearing a seat-belt.

The driver of the Chevy, a 48-year-old female, of Strasburg, Va. was seriously injured in the crash and was flown to INOVA Fairfax Hospital. The female was wearing a seat-belt.

Haggerty was charged with reckless driving and failure to wear a seat-belt.

The crash remains under investigation.

Share the News:
Continue Reading

Local News

Pvt Jeffrey Collins – Revolutionary War Patriot Honored



On August 20, 2019, the Colonel James Wood II, Chapter of the Virginia Society, Sons of the American Revolution honored Pvt Jeffrey Collins in a grave marking ceremony at the Lewin-Lawson Cemetery in Browntown, Virginia.

Jeffrey Collins was born on February 14, 1756 and lived in the Browntown Road, Gooney Manor area of the County. He married Jemima Arterburn on August 25, 1789 in Woodstock, Virginia.

Collins served as a Private in the Virginia Militia during the Revolutionary War. In March 1777, he volunteered for Captain Michael Rader’s Company. The company marched to Fort Pitt and then on to Wheeling where the unit fought Indians. His company remained to guard the fort at Wheeling until his discharge on March 26, 1778.

The Sons of the American Revolution strive to ensure that the patriots who gave us the United States of America are not forgotten and to promote patriotism in support of our country and its modern day heroes and to support teaching the history and values of the American Revolution and our constitutional freedoms.

Share the News:
Continue Reading

Local News

Gainesville: University Boulevard Lane Closure the Week of August 26th



GAINESVILLE – The right lane of southbound University Boulevard is scheduled to be closed between Route 29 and I-66 from 9 a.m. Monday, August 26, to noon on Friday, August 30. The closure is needed so that construction crews can install curbs and gutters and pave the entrance to the new University Boulevard (Gainesville) Park and Ride Lot.

The first portion of the lot will open this October with more than 960 parking spaces available for carpooling, vanpools, and commuter bus service during construction of the Transform 66 Project. When fully completed in late 2022, the facility will provide over 2,000 park and ride spaces with access to and from the I-66 Express Lanes from University Boulevard.

All work is weather dependent and will be rescheduled if inclement conditions occur.

Learn more about the I-66 Outside the Beltway Project and sign up for project updates and lane closure alerts at

Share the News:
Continue Reading

Local News

FRIBA promotes Town with ‘Cardinal’ ornaments, annual Taste of the Town



George McIntyre and Arline Link walked us through the process of how the cardinals are made.

There’s a fun new project in town featuring the beautiful Virginia state bird: the cardinal.

The Front Royal Independent Business Alliance (FRIBA) members with the assistance of American Business Alliance are partnering to help stimulate local business growth in town, and they are doing so with cute, kiln fired clay cardinals. The goal of their partnership is to continue to create unity within the community by celebrating the anniversary of the “Virginia is for Lovers” campaign. With the 50th anniversary of the campaign coming up, FRIBA wants to celebrate by creating clay Christmas ornaments in the shape of cardinals and invite the community to paint them for an $8 donation. The cardinals will be used to help fund community love letters to bring the community together and spread the love.

Arline Link with Explore Art and Clay at the Kiln Doctor and George and Karen McIntyre from The Apple House introduced us to the project.

Link also wants to spread the word about the Taste of the Town event. A family focused, non-alcoholic community event hosted on September 27 from 6-9 P.M. on East Main Street, Taste of the Town promises to bring the best culinary aspects of Downtown Front Royal to light. East Main Street will be closed off for the event and the night will promise hours of family friendly fun.

In addition, on August 22 at the Open House Middle of Main there will be another community event showing a series of films featuring the history behind the Save Your Town project.

To learn more about Cookie Cutter Cardinals you can contact Arline Link at the Explore Art and Clay at the Kiln Doctor, (540) 636-6016.

Watch Arline Link and George McIntyre walked us through the process of how the cardinals are made in this video:

Share the News:
Continue Reading

Local News

Invitation to bid: WCPS A.S. Rhodes Elementary School Renovation



A. S. Rhodes Elementary School

You are invited to bid on a general contract for Warren County Public Schools, A.S. Rhodes Elementary School Renovation for the Warren County School Board. This project generally consists of approximately 21,070 SF of renovations, including but not limited to new mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems. All bids shall be on a lump sum basis.

Bids shall be received until 2:00 P.M. local prevailing time on Thursday, September 19, 2019, to the attention of Melody Sheppard, Assistant Superintendent for Administration, in the Board Room of the Warren County Public School Administration Building, 210 N. Commerce Avenue, Front Royal, VA 22630, at which time they will be opened publicly and read aloud. Bids received after this time will not be accepted. All interested parties are invited to attend.

Drawings and specifications may be examined at the Office of the Architect/Engineer, the Warren County School Board office, and at the following locations:

Valley Construction News
426 W. Campbell Avenue
Roanoke, VA 24016

Alex Gugliada | The Blue Book Bldg. & Construction Network
800 E. Main Street
Jefferson Valley, NY 10535

Builders’ Exchange, Inc.
3207 Hermitage Rd.
Richmond, VA 23227

DODGE Data & Analytics
3315 Central Avenue
Hot Springs, AR 71913

30 Technology Parkway South | Suite 100
Norcross, GA 30092-2912

Construction Journal
400 SW 7th Street
Stuart, FL 34994

Plans and specifications can be obtained via download from ShareFile upon receipt of a nonrefundable check in the amount of $25.00. Contact for ShareFile access. Upon receipt of check and valid email address, OWPR will provide a password with instructions on accessing and downloading plans and specifications. Hard copies of plans and specifications can be obtained from OWPR upon receipt of a nonrefundable check in the amount of $400.00. Plans and specifications can be shipped for additional charge. Contact OWPR for further details.

Bids shall be accompanied by a bid guarantee of not less than 5% of the amount of the bid, which may be a certified check or cashier’s check, or a bid bond of 5% of the amount of the bid, made payable to Warren County School Board. A performance bond, payment bond and a material and labor bond will be required and the cost shall be included in the bid price.

Bidders are required under Title 54.1, Chapter 11, Code of Virginia (1950), as amended, to be licensed as a “Class A Contractor” before submitting a bid of one hundred twenty thousand ($120,000) dollars or more; or to be licensed as a “Class B Contractor” before submitting a bid of ten thousand ($10,000) dollars or more but less than one hundred twenty thousand ($120,000) dollars; or be licensed as a “Class C Contractor” before submitting a bid of no more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000). Each Bidder will be required to give their State Registration Number on their proposal. All non-resident contractors and subcontractors bidding the work described herein shall register with the Department of Labor and Industry under the provisions of Section 40.1-30 of the Code of Virginia.

The Owner reserves the right to waive irregularities and to reject any or all bids.

A pre-bid conference will be held on September 12, 2019 beginning at 2:00 P.M. at the Warren County Public School Administration Building, 210 N. Commerce Avenue, Front Royal, VA 22630 with a tour of the school afterwards. The school is located at 224 W. Strasburg Rd., Front Royal, VA 22630. This will provide an opportunity to answer questions and explain any items requiring further clarification.

Bids shall be binding for a period of sixty (60) days from the date on which bids are opened.

Share the News:
Continue Reading

Local News

Lucky Star Reunion packs Front Royal Brewing Co. with memories of times past



Above, co-owner Trevor Lipton invokes the sense of family The Lucky Star Lounge achieved during its fondly-remembered East Main Street lifetime; below, members of that family record and celebrate the moment. Royal Examiner Photos/Roger Bianchini

As former Lucky Star Lounge co-owner and oft-bartender Trevor Lipton said Saturday evening, August 17 at the Front Royal Brewing Company in introducing the newest incarnation of the first and last band to play at his establishment, this reunion was more than a reuniting of former clientele and staff of a fondly-remembered eating, drinking and entertainment establishment, and more like an extended family reunion.

And to the backdrop of headliner AfterSHOCK, formerly known as The Shockers, formerly known as EyeSoar – happily reunited with guitarist Pat Flowers and often guest singer Renee Flowers – the evening had exactly THAT feel, as old friends and acquaintances embraced and reminisced about good times, lost times, and times to come wherever and whenever they might be encountered.

The Lucky Star spanned a nine-year period between 2005 and 2013, at 205A East Main Street, not far from the site of the Front Royal Brewing Company-hosted reunion event – and a shout out to the staff for its handling of the large, occasionally-demanding and hungry, and thirsty on a steamy night, crowd. The entrees, appetizers and home-brewed craft beers kept the enthusiastic crowd fueled for more.

Faces past and present, above a projected video collage; below Lorena Lipton, left, greets old friends Terry, Alison and Ruth back for a hug down memory lane…

Thank you to Lucky Star founding partners Trevor and Lorena Lipton; absent out west but fondly-remembered co-owners Patrick and Shawn Patterson; Star “spiritual advisor” Roxanne Bauserman, family and friends; past and future Zombie Walkers; and everyone else for the memories and opportunity to reunite and fondly recall the bonding characteristics of a true English and early Americana-style pub and eatery – the kind where revolutions, or at least minor rebellions, are planned.

…As did Ludie and Laura

Above, AfterSHOCK launches the musical memories of The Lucky Star’s tradition of nightly live musical entertainment; below, Reno Vaughan takes the helm in helping Uncle Dewey Vaughan front the band.

We are family – the years haven’t lessened the bond former Lucky Star patrons, owners and employees feel.

Guitarist Pat Flowers, aka ‘Keith’ in the foreground light, launches EyeSoar into a Stones-fueled trip down memory lane.

The band takes a shot at its ‘Rumors’ period with the aid of Renee Flowers

The current duo of Lindsay and Stevie, I mean Pat and Renee, take center stage

Wonder where Reno got those pipes, mom, uncle and dad???

Share the News:
Continue Reading

King Cartoons

Front Royal
06:3319:58 EDT
Feels like: 71°F
Wind: 3mph S
Humidity: 90%
Pressure: 29.94"Hg
UV index: 0

Upcoming Events

5:30 pm Medicare Basics Educational Pres... @ Samuels Public Library | White Meeting Room B
Medicare Basics Educational Pres... @ Samuels Public Library | White Meeting Room B
Aug 22 @ 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm
Medicare Basics Educational Presentation @ Samuels Public Library | White Meeting Room B
Come learn the basics of Medicare including: Eligibility, Important Dates, Medicare Coverage, Medicare Parts A,B,C, and D and Supplement Options. No Cost No RSVP required Walk-ins welcome For Educational purposes only For accommodations of persons[...]
8:00 am Safe Driving Class for Seniors @ Front Royal Police Department
Safe Driving Class for Seniors @ Front Royal Police Department
Aug 24 @ 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Safe Driving Class for Seniors @ Front Royal Police Department
Hosted By: Front Royal/Warren County S.A.L.T./TRIAD Are you a senior 50 and over in need of learning current driving trends, traffic laws and just an overall overview of driving safely? If so, AARP provides a[...]
10:00 am Sample an Irish Dance Class @ Jig 'n' Jive Dance Studio
Sample an Irish Dance Class @ Jig 'n' Jive Dance Studio
Aug 24 @ 10:00 am – 10:45 am
Sample an Irish Dance Class @ Jig 'n' Jive Dance Studio
Sample an Irish Dance Class at the Jig ‘n’ Jive Dance Studio. Saturday, August 24th. 10:00 – 10:45am. $2/dancer. Boys and Girls. No experience or registration required.
4:30 pm Front Royal Salvation Army Corps... @ Salvation Army
Front Royal Salvation Army Corps... @ Salvation Army
Aug 24 @ 4:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Front Royal Salvation Army Corps BBQ Cookout @ Salvation Army
The Front Royal Salvation Army Corps will host a BBQ Cookout on Saturday, August 24, 2019, from 4:30 pm to 8:30 pm at 296 South Street, Front Royal. A BBQ chicken meal, including chips and[...]
1:30 pm Botanicals in Watercolor I @ Art in the Valley
Botanicals in Watercolor I @ Art in the Valley
Aug 27 @ 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm
Botanicals in Watercolor I @ Art in the Valley
This four week course with the 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[...]
1:00 pm Substance Abuse and Recovery Summit @ Mountain Home Bed and Breakfast
Substance Abuse and Recovery Summit @ Mountain Home Bed and Breakfast
Aug 29 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Substance Abuse and Recovery Summit @ Mountain Home Bed and Breakfast
The McShin Foundation and RSW (Rappahannock, Shenandoah, and Warren County) Regional Jail would like to invite you to our substance abuse and recovery summit to be held on August 29, 2019, in Front Royal, Virginia.[...]
1:00 pm DJ Skyhigh’s End of Summer Blast @ Warren County Fair
DJ Skyhigh’s End of Summer Blast @ Warren County Fair
Aug 31 @ 1:00 pm – 9:00 pm
DJ Skyhigh's End of Summer Blast @ Warren County Fair
Come join DJ Skyhigh for his end of summer blast. Lisa Bell will be hosting wine tastings (at an additional charge) of over 50 international wines. Wines may also be purchased by the bottle to[...]
1:30 pm Watercolor Landscapes @ Art in the Valley
Watercolor Landscapes @ Art in the Valley
Sep 3 @ 1:30 pm – 4:30 pm
Watercolor Landscapes @ Art in the Valley
This four week course with instructor Elena Maza will focus on learning basic skills to create watercolor landscape paintings: basic composition and use of color and value to create a sense of depth and distance.[...]
1:30 pm Botanical Drawing @ Art in the Valley
Botanical Drawing @ Art in the Valley
Sep 4 @ 1:30 pm – 4:30 pm
Botanical Drawing @ 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[...]
10:00 am SHS Marching Band Mattress Fundr... @ Skyline High School
SHS Marching Band Mattress Fundr... @ Skyline High School
Sep 7 @ 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
SHS Marching Band Mattress Fundraiser @ Skyline High School
Skyline High School Marching Band is having a mattress sale fundraiser on Saturday, September 7, 2019, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Skyline High School (151 Skyline Vista Drive, Front Royal, Virginia). There will[...]