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Work Woes

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By Michael Oberschneider, Psy.D.

Dr. Mike,

I’m a manager at a large tech company and my boss has directed me to fire someone on my team, but as a Christian, I just can’t do it. It’s true that the employee on my team keeps messing things up and is doing a really bad job. I put him on a performance plan that hasn’t changed anything, but it feels wrong to fire someone when they’re trying to do their very best. The employee in question is also the single bread winner of his family, and he has three young children. I guess it’s true that I do complain to my husband about this employee all the time, and he’s gotten sick of it, and last week we had a stupid fight over my not being able to do what I’m supposed to do at work. Augh! I don’t want to upset my boss, my husband or my employee, but I don’t know how to make everyone happy. Your help is appreciated.

Concerned in Loudoun … Continue Reading

Concerned Parents

February 1, 2017 Ask Dr. Mike, Columns Comments Off on Concerned Parents
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By Michael Oberschneider, Psy.D.
Dr. Mike,
Our 15-year-old son is out of control and we don’t know what to do anymore. He smokes pot and drinks, disobeys us left and right, is truant from school often, comes home whenever he wants to and screams at us when we try to correct him. He used to be an amazing kid and athlete, but he quit all sports and he’s no longer himself. We’ve tried therapy, but he refused to go. The crazy thing is that we have no idea why he changed. His problems started in freshman year of high school and have gotten worse this academic year. We are very worried about him and we are also very worried about his younger siblings who are very upset their brother. My husband wants to send our son to military academy, but I am worried that he would hate us if we did that and that he would also probably do something crazy like run away or attempt suicide. The suicide of that freshman boy at Stone Bridge High School last month has really freaked us out. We don’t want that to be our boy and we don’t know what to do. We know we need to act fast and hope you can respond to this letter.
Concerned Parents
… Continue Reading

Six Tips To a New Year and a New You in 2017

January 4, 2017 Ask Dr. Mike, Columns Comments Off on Six Tips To a New Year and a New You in 2017
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By Michael Oberschenider, Psy.D.

Research has shown that as many as 45 percent of us make New Year’s resolutions, but only about eight percent are actually successful in achieving them. And it seems that age is a factor: about 39 percent of people in their twenties achieve their goals. Inasmuch as old habits are hard to break, and new ones are hard to maintain, I offer the following tips to help you succeed: … Continue Reading

Support Group Help Needed

November 30, 2016 Ask Dr. Mike, Columns Comments Off on Support Group Help Needed
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Dr. Mike,
My son was diagnosed with ADHD two years ago, and his pediatrician at that time recommended we try a social skills group for his “immaturity” and “impulsivity.” We did that, and our experience was horrible. The kids in the group had much bigger problems than my son and a couple of them actually had Autism and not ADHD. One child couldn’t control himself and hit my son and that was our last group with them. I think the group made things worse because my son was very self-conscious and anxious afterwards. Fast forward two years later, and my son is still socially immature and impulsive and now his fourth grade teacher is recommending a social skills group for him. Ugh! The place we went to two years ago is supposed to be the best social skills group practice in our area, so now what? Thank you for your guidance.
Concerned Parent
… Continue Reading

Wrongfully Willed?

November 2, 2016 Ask Dr. Mike, Columns Comments Off on Wrongfully Willed?
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Dr. Mike,
I am approaching the one-year anniversary of my dad’s death, and I’m still very angry with him for how he left his remaining money to my older brother, my younger brother and me. My husband and I have two daughters and my older brother has two sons. My younger brother is single and doesn’t have any children. My father had $900,000 when he passed away, and he left my older brother $800,000, which included trust funds for my brother’s two sons’ colleges. My younger brother and me got the remaining $50,000 each.

I was assuming that my dad would just split the family’s inheritance equally. Our parents paid for our colleges, they gave my older brother and me money for our weddings, and they were pretty much always even steven with us as adults. So, imagine how shocked my younger brother and I were to learn that that because in the Will I am “wealthy” and because my younger brother doesn’t have children, my dad decided to give the majority of his inheritance to my older brother and his children to make things “fair.” … Continue Reading

Concerned Parent

October 6, 2016 Ask Dr. Mike, Columns Comments Off on Concerned Parent
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By Michael Oberschenider Psy.D.
Dr. Mike,
We recently signed our four-year-old daughter up for gymnastics. It wasn’t cheap, but her friends from the neighborhood do it, and she has been begging us to go. It turned out to be a horrible disaster. From the first lesson, she was frustrated, she couldn’t pick up the instructions, and it was a battle to get her to go every time. My husband took the hard line that our daughter had to continue because she made a commitment and because we couldn’t get our money back. I initially shared his position, but he never went to a single practice to see what I saw, and I couldn’t continue to drag my kid out of the car crying only to peel her off of me to enter a room and an activity she was miserable in for two hours a week over and over. I made the executive decision to pull our daughter, and my husband has been furious with me ever since. His unbending hard line position is that our society is all about immediate gratification these days and that commitment and perseverance means nothing to the youth of today; and that we are spoiling our kids by giving in to their every whim. What do you think?
Concerned Parent in Loudoun County
… Continue Reading

New Book Helps Balance Children’s Screen-Time and Play Time

September 7, 2016 Ask Dr. Mike, Columns Comments Off on New Book Helps Balance Children’s Screen-Time and Play Time
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By Amanda Clark
Michael Oberschneider, a clinical psychologist and founder/director of Ashburn Psychological Psychiatric Services, has just released a book titled Ollie Outside. This book addresses the very timely and important topic of screen- and media-time management for children. Ollie Outside is a story about a boy who wants to spend time with others, but everyone around him is preoccupied with some sort of technology. Ollie is resourceful and active and loves the outdoors, so he turns his moments of upset into action to solve his problem. At the end of the book, Ollie and his family come together to learn the valuable lesson of managing technology better, and putting their relationships first. “This is a very timely and relevant message for young children to hear in today’s technology-focused society,” says Oberschneider. … Continue Reading

Pokémon GO: A Fun New Gaming App or an Accidental Treatment?

July 20, 2016 Ask Dr. Mike, Columns Comments Off on Pokémon GO: A Fun New Gaming App or an Accidental Treatment?
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Penicillin was accidently discovered in 1928 when scientist Alexander Fleming returned to his lab from vacation to notice that a strange fungus growing on a culture had killed off the neighboring bacteria. After WWII, psychiatrist and researcher, Dr. John Cade, also accidently discovered the extremely positive affects of lithium for mood disturbances that revolutionized the treatment for what we now know as Bipolar Disorder. Some of the other amazing medical discoveries that were found by accident include, Nitrous Oxide, the Pap Smear, the Pace Maker and even Viagra. … Continue Reading

Unmotivated Teen

July 6, 2016 Ask Dr. Mike, Columns Comments Off on Unmotivated Teen
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– By Michael Oberschneider, Psy.D.

Dr. Mike,
At our insistence, our 17-year-old son is going to get a summer job. Well, that’s what he agreed to, but we are two weeks into the summer and guess what … he doesn’t have a job yet. He’s applied to two places online (so he says) but no phone calls, no interviews and no job yet! Any advice on how to motivate a mopey teen that just wants to play video games and hang out all summer?
-Concerned Parent

Dear Concerned Parent:
While you “agreed” for your son to get a job this summer, finding a job doesn’t seem to be a priority for him. I recommend that you sit down with him for a talk on the topic. First, be proactive and positive in your message; sharing with him that a job will put money in his pocket, will give him a sense of purpose and accomplishment, and will increase his social skills and independence, is a lot better than negatively telling him to get out of the house and get to work.

Second, your son needs to find a job because the job isn’t going to find him, so I think you need to manage things more as parents. Yes, he can keep applying to larger companies online and wait, and wait and wait. Or, he can go on foot to fill out applications. The Ashburn Patch posted that it had 20 part-time jobs in Ashburn last week alone, and there are many help wanted signs hanging up in storefronts and restaurants throughout Loudoun County.

Why don’t you make getting a job a positive parent-child moment where you drive around together to hunt out help wanted signs in nearby shopping centers; you could go fill out a bunch of applications and have lunch together. And keep in mind, the more applications your son fills out, the sooner he will be hired. Wishing you both a fun a productive summer.

Dr. Mike,
Our 4-year-old daughter can’t get enough of her princess costumes and fancy dresses, and she wants to wear them everywhere. From summer camp, to birthday parties and to bed, she wants to be Belle, or Anna or Elsa, or Snow White or Rapunzel or Sophia the First, etc. It’s not a big deal most of the time, but sometimes it’s not appropriate, like when she ruined one of her favorite costumes on the playground last week. Every time my husband or I try to redirect her or explain why she can’t wear her costumes or dress up at certain times, she has humungous temper tantrums. Everything is princess and all of the time. Any thoughts on how to turn a princess back into a normal little girl?
-Concerned Parent

Concerned Parent,
Actually, at 4 years of age, your daughter’s desire to be a princess is very normal, but I understand your frustration. Setting limits with children isn’t always an easy thing to do, especially when a child is very passionate about something and “no” is hard to accept. Perhaps you could start by agreeing with your daughter on the types of places where it’s “okay” for her to celebrate her princess self and places where it’s “not okay.” For the places where it’s not okay, I recommend coming up with an action plan. For instance, your daughter and you could agree to have a costume or two on hand, and she could dress up either before or after a “not okay” event or activity. Planning ahead of time and getting your daughter involved and excited should help (e.g., you could help her pick out her costume and fold it nicely to keep in the trunk of the car if you are going somewhere). You could also come up with princess alternatives with your daughter where she could take her Barbie or a doll or a princess storybook in tow. She could also watch a downloaded princess movie or movie clips on an iPad or phone when it isn’t possible for her to dress up.

As frustrating as your princess conflicts can be at times with your daughter, take comfort in knowing that this is a phase that will pass. And remember to enjoy this precious time with your daughter because these sorts of moments go by fast.

Michael Oberschneider “Dr. Mike” is the founder and director of Ashburn Psychological and Psychiatric Services. He has been featured on Good Morning America, CNN and other popular media spots as a mental health expert. He has received the Washingtonian Magazine “Top Therapist” honor for his work with children and teens. Go to AshburnPsych.com or call 703 723-2999.

Living in Debt

June 1, 2016 Ask Dr. Mike, Columns Comments Off on Living in Debt
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Dr. Mike,
My husband has issues with money that are hurting our relationship and family. He makes a lot of money, but he spends more than he makes and we are in debt. He can’t just have a luxury car, oh no, he has to have the newest and nicest one in the neighborhood. He can’t just have any old golf club membership, he has to have the most expensive one that oh, by the way he only goes to about 10 times a year. His bonus last year was his highest of all time but he spent it before the check even cleared the bank. We have no savings to our name, tons of credit card debt and spoiled kids, but every time I bring our finances up to him he tells me that he “works hard” or he “deserves it” or “chill out” and I “worry too much.” I love him to death but can’t keep living like this. Got a few ideas for us?
Concerned in Loudoun
… Continue Reading

Concerned Parent

April 6, 2016 Ask Dr. Mike, Columns Comments Off on Concerned Parent
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By Michael Oberschneider, Psy.D.

Dr. Mike,
We are concerned about some habits our nine year old son demonstrates and would love some advice from you.  We are unsure whether it’s anxiety, nervousness, or just nervous/an excess of energy.  A few years ago he began biting his fingernails and does that very frequently now.  Along with that habit he seems to pick up other tics that he’ll demonstrate for a few weeks and then they’ll dissipate which will be followed by another one a few weeks/months later.  Some of these tics have been scrunching up his eyes/face and tapping his hands onto his legs.  My husband and I try not to draw attention to them as we don’t want him to feel badly about something he can’t seem to help but we are unsure how to help him.  Thanks for any advice and suggestions you might have.  
A concerned parent
… Continue Reading

Am I an Enabler?

March 2, 2016 Ask Dr. Mike, Columns Comments Off on Am I an Enabler?
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Dr. Mike,
My husband thinks that I’m harming our son for life because of the way I parent. Our son is 12 years old and he was diagnosed with ADHD in the 1st grade. My husband calls me “the enabler” because I admittedly double or triple check things for our son, give him constant reminders, and stay up late with him to get homework and projects done. My husband’s approach to parenting our son is to leave him alone to fail. My husband’s favorite line to me these days is “how will he ever learn how to do things for himself if you are always doing everything for him?” Our son isn’t doing great at school these days already so I cannot agree to the hard knocks approach to parenting my husband believes in so much. Can you give me some advice on how to get through to my husband that being hands-on is a must when parenting a child with ADHD? Your input is appreciated.
Concerned Parent
… Continue Reading

Snowmageddon III?  Seven Survival Tips for Parents

February 3, 2016 Ask Dr. Mike, Columns Comments Off on Snowmageddon III?  Seven Survival Tips for Parents
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By Michael Oberschneider, Psy.D.
“snOMG,” “snowmageddon,” “snowpocalypse,” and “kaisersnoze” are a few terms to describe what just happened in Northern Virginia. The storm was reported to be the second worst storm on record. And while many children and teens gladly anticipate more snow days, there is a sense of reservation for many parents that it’s over and their children will be returing to school on Monday. … Continue Reading


 

 

 

 

 

Columns

The Holocene Climate

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(Public Input Loudoun County Board of Supervisors, 7 March, 2017) Figure 1 shows the climate variation over the last million years. The low points on the curve correspond to ice ages when glaciers up to a mile thick covered New …

Choosing To Forgive

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By Samuel Moore-Sobel “Truly forgiving is the ability to say, ‘Thank you for giving me that experience.’” James Arthur Ray vaulted into fame on the Oprah Winfrey Show back in the mid-2000’s. Stunned hearing these words while watching The Rise and …

Five Key Retirement Questions

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Beyond asking yourself where you see yourself and even what your lifelong goal are, effective retirement and longevity planning begs some very big questions. Review the points below and consider how housing, transportation and health considerations all play a role …

Work Woes

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By Michael Oberschneider, Psy.D. Dr. Mike, I’m a manager at a large tech company and my boss has directed me to fire someone on my team, but as a Christian, I just can’t do it. It’s true that the employee …

Joy or Suffering

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By Mary Rose Lunde No one likes to suffer. When given the chance, many people would choose to laugh rather than cry, to sit in silence with their friends rather than talk through their feelings, because not even their friends …

Wage Radio

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I will always remember – very fondly – the first time I ever set foot on the property at 711 Wage Drive Southwest in Leesburg, Virginia. It was a warm, sunny July morning in 1997, and I’d driven all the …

Speaking Truth to Power

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“With public sentiment nothing can fail. Without it nothing can succeed.” Abraham Lincoln On Thursday evening, February 23, I requested the Board of Supervisors pass a proclamation resolving to support the March for Science on Earth Day, April 22 [1]. …

Student News

Congratulations, Class of 2016

6 Jul 2016

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Woodgrove High School’s Class Of 2016 Graduation – By Amanda Clark On June 16, Woodgrove’s Class of 2016 was the 5th graduating class to walk the stage and accept their diploma. The ceremony was filled with anticipation as the chorus, …

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Buckland Earns Degree In Medicine

6 Jul 2016

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Molly Buckland, D.O., graduated from the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine with a degree of Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine on May 28. While at WVSOM, Dr. Buckland received the Dr. Roland P. Sharp President’s Award and the James R. …

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Adams Promoted To Lieutenant

6 Jul 2016

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Lt. James Adams, from Sterling and a Potomac Falls Halls Graduate, earned the promotion to the rank of Lieutenant. Adams is a Navy Week and Executive Outreach Planner for the Navy Office of Community Outreach in Millington, Tennessee. U.S. Navy …

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Calendar

March 2017
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
February 27, 2017 February 28, 2017 March 1, 2017 March 2, 2017 March 3, 2017

LAST HAM STANDING COMEDY IMPROV

LAST HAM STANDING COMEDY IMPROV
March 4, 2017

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event
March 5, 2017
March 6, 2017 March 7, 2017 March 8, 2017 March 9, 2017 March 10, 2017 March 11, 2017 March 12, 2017
March 13, 2017 March 14, 2017 March 15, 2017 March 16, 2017 March 17, 2017 March 18, 2017

Wine & Chili Weekend

Wine & Chili Weekend
March 19, 2017

Joshua Carr River Safety Foundation Rummage Sale

Joshua Carr River Safety Foundation Rummage Sale
March 20, 2017 March 21, 2017 March 22, 2017 March 23, 2017 March 24, 2017

March Fourth Friday

March Fourth Friday
March 25, 2017 March 26, 2017

Spring Brunch

Spring Brunch

Spring Brunch

Spring Brunch
March 27, 2017 March 28, 2017 March 29, 2017 March 30, 2017 March 31, 2017 April 1, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”

Nebbiolo Vertical Tasting

Nebbiolo Vertical Tasting

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

Old Time Country Ham and Turkey Dinner

Old Time Country Ham and Turkey Dinner
April 2, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”

GALLERY COFFEEHOUSE: Readers Theater, “One Slight Hitch”

GALLERY COFFEEHOUSE: Readers Theater, “One Slight Hitch”
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Steady and NoBull

Lifestyle

Sterling Library Moving To New Location

25 Mar 2017

Library

Sterling Library’s current location, 120 Enterprise St., Sterling, will close beginning Saturday, March 25, to prepare for the opening of the new Sterling Library on Saturday, April 15. Patrons can return library materials using the drop box at the new location, 22330 S. Sterling Boulevard.

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Middleburg Gallery Presents Country Pursuits Exhibit

25 Mar 2017

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The Gallery on Madison in Middleburg is presenting an exhibit of Brian Whelan’s (a London Irish painter now settled in Waterford) ) transcriptions of a gallery of paintings by Thomas Gainsborough, ‘Mr. and Mrs. Andrews’ through April 2. The exhibit includes 23 paintings, two masks, two graphics, and nine preparatory drawings.

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Loudoun Workforce Resource Center Presents STEM Career Fair March 28

16 Mar 2017

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Anyone interested in a career in the rapidly growing field of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) is encouraged to attend an upcoming STEM Career Fair in Loudoun. The Loudoun Workforce Resource Center, in partnership with Northern Virginia Community College (NVCC)’s Loudoun campus and NOVA SySTEMic Solutions, is holding a STEM Career Fair Tuesday, March 28, from 1:00 to 4:00 …

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Editorial

Priscilla Nabs Plum Planning Commission Post

Loudoun County Seal Color

Appointment Shocks Many On January 3 Supervisor Tony R. Buffington Jr. (R-Blue Ridge) nominated Tom Priscilla for the Loudoun County Planning Commission to represent the Blue Ridge District. Priscilla was …

Op-ed

Opinion: Terrorism, Debt, and China: Oh My!

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– By Nick Reid world can be a very dangerous place sometimes, especially for a nation state such as the United States. Although danger is always present, the number and …

Metro Money Mess Pushing West

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– By Delegate Dave LaRock (R-33rd) A local paper recently quoted Loudoun Board Chair Phyllis Randall as saying that in her observation “some of the concerns raised by the people …

Dear Editor

Why Williams Gap Road Should Not Be Paved

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Today, most residents of Loudoun County know nothing about Williams Gap, even those living on Williams Gap Road (Route 711). Knowing who “Williams” was, why a gap in the Blue …

Vote No To the Minor Special Exception

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We are a group of Loudoun County citizens who will be adversely affected if the board grants a special exception for the Catesby Farm property at your upcoming meeting. You …

View From the Ridge

Broken Promises, Hidden by a Six-Foot Berm

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By Andrea Gaines On August 9, 1825 at the age of 69, French military officer the Marquis de Lafayette was honored in Leesburg by former President James Monroe. The French-born …

Around Virginia

Virginia Schools Kick Off Statewide Campaign To Encourage Safe Teen Driving

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More teen drivers in Virginia will be involved in traffic crashes between the months of May and August than any other time of the year, statistics show. To help save lives and prevent such crashes during the high-risk warm weather months, Virginia schools are kicking off a statewide teen safety …

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Protecting Free Speech

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By Dave LaRock (R-33) As elected officials and members of the legislature, our most fundamental responsibility is to protect God-given constitutionally protected rights. The First Amendment of the United States Constitution prohibits the government, including governmental public colleges and universities, from infringing on free speech and the free exercise of …

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Walbridge To Run for State Delegate in the 33rd District

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Tia Walbridge announces her run for the District 33 seat in the Virginia House of Delegates. Walbridge is a wife and mother of two daughters and an active member of the Round Hill community. “Like many people in our district, my family has found its prosperity in a Virginia-based small …

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Sports

Vikings Runner-Up at the State Championship 

8 Mar 2017

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The Loudoun Valley Vikings are the boy’s runner-up at the VHSL 4A State Indoor Track and Field Championships at Roanoke College.  During the 2015-2016 school year, the Loudoun County School Board approved Indoor Track and Field as a Tier 2 (self-funded) sport.  The seven boys competing scored 48 points, second …

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WLVBC U14 Boys Finish 3rd at VA Beach Event

23 Feb 2017

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The Western Loudoun Volleyball Club’s U14 Boys Team garnered 3rd place in their first travel tournament of 2017, the Virginia Beach Invitational. This event was held Feb. 18-19 and featured more than 24 teams from the U14 to U18 age group. The team was second on their net on day …

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