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Small Community-Based Schools Threatened with Closure

April 15, 2014 by Andrea Gaines News, Schools 4 comments
Save Lincoln Elementary sign

Facing budget shortfalls of more than $38 million, the Loudoun County School Board is exploring ways to cut costs for the 2015 school year.

On the possible chopping block are the Lincoln, Hillsboro, Aldie, Hamilton and Banneker Elementary schools. Closing these schools would trim $2 million of the Loudoun County Public School System in 2015.

LCPS ranks as one of fastest growing school systems in the county and the fastest in Virginia. The system includes thirteen high schools, fourteen middle schools, 1 intermediate school, and over fifty elementary schools. Approximately one-half of the elementary schools in the county were built in the last 10 years. … Continue Reading

The Other ‘B’ Word

April 1, 2014 by Blue Ridge Leader News, Schools, Uncategorized Be the first to comment
Lunde new

By Mary Rose Lunde

We all heard growing up never to call someone names, and yet the adjectives we use to describe people have turned to the worst. As I walk around Potomac Falls I hear people call their friends names that little children have now taken to calling others. It’s not right to call anyone names, yet alone the name I, myself have been called a few times. Yes, I’m talking about the other “b” word, bossy. But should the word bossy be banned? When the COO of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg, and the CEO of the Girl Scouts of America, Anna Maria Chavez, stated their opinion to the public last month, it sparked a nationwide debate.

Growing up, my parents taught me that I shouldn’t be a follower, but instead to always voice my thoughts. No matter what, I should stand up for something I believe in, despite what others may believe. I often enjoyed taking leadership roles and thus may have been seen as bossing other people around. But, did I deserve to be negatively labeled “bossy?” In my opinion, no. If you called a little boy bossy, he would more than likely take it as a compliment; however, if you called a little girl bossy, she may reform back into a shell just to be accepted by her peers, forgetting that being a leader sometimes involves giving others orders. … Continue Reading

Loudoun Students Win VA Mock Trial State Championship – Head to Nationals

April 1, 2014 by Blue Ridge Leader News, Schools Be the first to comment
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Two local homeschool students were part of the Virginia High School Mock Trial State Championship team. Logan Kirkpatrick from Waterford and Cooper Millhouse from Purcellville joined four other teammates to win a third consecutive title for the ETHOS-C4 Mock Trial Team.  Kirkpatrick and Millhouse were also awarded individual awards for Outstanding Attorney and Outstanding Witness respectively.

ETHOS-C4, a collection of homeschooled students from Northern Virginia, defeated Ad Fontes Academy from Centerville, and other schools from Oakton, Arlington, and Fairfax. Under the direction of coaches and Patrick Henry graduates Tim Snyder and Mackenzi Siebert, the team will now represent Virginia at the National High School Mock Trial Competition in Madison, WI, May 8-10. Kirkpatrick said, “I could not imagine a team of more amazing students or brilliant coaches. I am so excited to share new memories, and hopefully trophies, with them at Nationals.” … Continue Reading

The Stress of Success

March 4, 2014 by Blue Ridge Leader Schools Be the first to comment
Lunde new

By Mary Rose Lunde

Stress is something everyone has to deal with. I’ve never once met someone who has never had a bad day, been so stressed out that they’ve snapped at someone or broke down after a long day. Suffice to say, walking down the halls of my high school I see countless people freaking out about all the “stuff” they have to get done or worry about. This “stuff” can include: homework, studying (for any sort of assessment), sports, grades of any sort, drama (whether related to family, friends or teams) and anything else that can add to a person’s worry. In all cases, stress is central in most high school student’s daily lives. It’s the thing that can bring the strongest person to tears.

Yet, each person has a different amount of stress in their daily lives. Just as every student is different, the way a person deals with stress is too. … Continue Reading

Courage Has a Complicated Definition

February 5, 2014 by Blue Ridge Leader Schools 1 comment
Lunde new

By Mary Rose Lunde

Courage is the most valued trait a person can have, but what really is courage? “I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand.” This famous quote written in Harper Lee’s “To Kill A Mockingbird” teaches readers the ideals of courage. It is not in fact a man with a gun but far much more. Having read this as a freshman in English, I was baffled at first about the true meaning of this quote. I only now realize, as I’m about to head off into a new adventure, college, that if I am to succeed I need to have real courage. … Continue Reading

Mulch Day Coming to Woodgrove

February 1, 2014 by Contributor News, Schools Be the first to comment
Woodgrove

The Woodgrove Wolverine Athletic Booster Club (WWABC) would like to announce that March 22 is Mulch Day at Woodgrove. You can order your spring mulch now online at www.gotmulch.org. Double Shredded Hardwood Mulch (three cubic feet bags) is available at $4.50/bag for one-39 bags and $4.00/ bag for 40 or more bags. Free Delivery by Wolverine athletes on orders of 10 bags or more within a 10 mile radius of Woodgrove High School. Or you can pick up your mulch at Woodgrove on Saturday, March 22 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. All monies raised will go towards the Woodgrove Athletics End of Year Celebration, Scholarships, and supporting the mission of the WWABC.

Homeschoolers Compete in Spelling Bee

January 29, 2014 by Blue Ridge Leader Schools 1 comment
luke

The 2014 Loudoun Homeschool Spelling Bee was held on Januart 18 at the Purcellville Library. The junior bee was open to first through fourth graders, and the senior bee was for fifth through eighth graders. A total of 18 students competed.

The junior bee first place winners were Ethan Maher (first grade), Ethan Gonzalez (second grade), Samantha Stock (third grade) and Cayla Marino (fourth grade).

The senior bee first place winners were Kaitlyn Maher (fifth grade), Melissa Turner (sixth grade), Nino DeBarros (seventh grade), and Luke Thornburgh (eighth grade). These spellers will advance to the next level of the Scripps competition which is the Loudoun County Regional Bee. … Continue Reading

Packages of Thanks from Potomac Falls

January 8, 2014 by Blue Ridge Leader News, Schools Be the first to comment
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By Mary Rose Lunde

“There are so many ways to be brave in this world. Sometimes bravery involves laying down your life for something bigger than you or for someone else.”
This quote, from the novel “Allegiant” by Veronica Roth, depicts the assumption of bravery. But bravery is much more. Consider the bravery of a student being bullied by another student. Aren’t they considered brave? Isn’t bravery just another form of deception in pretty packaging?

True bravery resides in everyone, it is only those that allow it to show that deserve the honor of being called brave. These brave heroes are soldiers. They lay their lives down to protect the innocent and leave the familiarity of home for the sake of others. And how do we honor these brave soldiers, who risk their lives for us on a daily basis? Easy, we send them addressed care packages from home that show our appreciation. … Continue Reading

Grove Homeroom Best for First Quarter at Woodgrove

December 21, 2013 by Contributor Schools Be the first to comment
Woodgrove

The Woodgrove High School Student Council Association continued rewarding Wolverines that deserve it during the past month.

Under the new leadership of sophomore David Fischer, the Wolverine Spirit Plate committee got going in full swing for the year. Fischer heads up the group that makes recommendations on what events should be used as class competitions and then tackles the painstakingly slow task of crunching through all the collected results once the homeroom tallies come in. … Continue Reading

LCPS Retains Attorney To Investigate Bullying By Principal

November 6, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader News, Schools Be the first to comment
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In late October, the Loudoun Education Association, representing 3,400 school employees, requested that the Loudoun County Public School system investigate allegations that Loudoun Valley High School’s principal had bullied teachers and pressured them to inflate grades. A group of more than 300 LVHS parents have joined a FaceBook page discussing the issue.

The principal in question, Sue Ross, indirectly addressed the issue during an announcement at LVHS. Ross was hired as principal at the school eight years ago.

LVHS Parent Teacher Organization President Karen Dillon is organizing a meeting anticipated to occur during the week of November 4, indicating on the group’s FaceBook page that the “ invitation will be extended to LVHS administration, all teachers, all parents and any children who would like to come. This meeting is not to answer all kinds of questions, it is to get information regarding the investigation.” … Continue Reading

Middleburg Charter School Application Moves Forward

October 2, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader News, Schools Be the first to comment
LCPS_Seal

The Loudoun County School Board voted Sept. 10 to initiate an application for conversion of Middleburg Elementary School to a charter school. The School Board will review the application under the policy and regulations they had amended previously to incorporate recent changes to Virginia charter school law. Those changes allow for local school board initiated charter applications that bypass review by the Virginia Board of Education.

The School Board was clear that this initiation of action does not guarantee that the application will be approved. The board also said that considering the application under the new school board initiated option was justified by the lengthy history of effort from Middleburg community members and student parents in working to resolve the problem of falling enrollment that was undermining the viability of the community school. … Continue Reading

First BLAST (STEM) Session Held at UVA

August 7, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader News, Schools Be the first to comment
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The initial BLAST (Building Leaders for Advancing Science and Technology) Session was held at UVA-Charlottesville Campus for three days, July 7-10. Eighty ninth and tenth grade students from Southwest, Southern Piedmont, Charlottesville and greater Richmond areas attended and had the opportunity to live in university dorms, eat in a university dining hall and participate in scientific and technical activities in university classrooms and labs. The purpose of this STEM program (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) is to introduce students to STEM early in their careers.

The activities included robotics, small engineering projects and “Gee-Whiz” demonstrations of various scientific and technical capabilities in University facilities in the School of Engineering. In addition, a number of technology professionals including university professors, a former astronaut and technology industry officials participated in the program. The objective of the Session was to provide the students with a firsthand introduction to what the students might experience if they choose Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) as a profession. … Continue Reading

New Leader at Middleburg Academy

August 3, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader News, Schools Be the first to comment
Middleburg Academy Colley Bell Aug13

Middleburg Academy welcomed Colley W. Bell III as its new head of school on July 1.

“We are excited to draw upon Mr. Bell’s lifelong love of independent schools and his demonstrated leadership qualities,” said Michael S. Hoover, chairman of Middleburg Academy’s Board of Trustees. “Everyone we’ve spoken to who has worked with Colley invariably describes him as an engaging and motivating figure, one who succeeds at getting people to accomplish challenging things.” … Continue Reading

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Sustainable Planet

Pungent Curry

9 Apr 2014

noerpel

The latest version of the IPCC report is published and once again it will go unread by the great masses of climate science deniers and unreported by the media. So it might be useful to revisit the fundamental physical realities …

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Ask Dr. Mike

Understanding Teen Suicide

1 Apr 2014

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By Michael Oberschneider, Psy.D. Northern Virginia has recently experienced several teen suicides. Last month, two Langley High School students took their own lives just a day apart from one another, and this month it appears two students at Woodson High …

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Virginia Gardening

Spring Is Coming

4 Mar 2014

springiscoming

By Donna Williamson March is an in-between month – some cold and the return of glorious warmth now and then. One way to bring some delight inside is forcing spring-blooming branches. You can cut branches of forsythia, cherry, crabapple, kerria, …

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Sushi's Corner

An Easter Swim

1 Apr 2014

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I felt like a silly nim “cow” poop with these Easter bows in our hair. Okay Nelly, maybe you didn’t because you’re a girl. But me, a Mighty Cairn Terrier male? – PLEASE! Pleasing Mrs. B for Easter pictures was …

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Amy V. Smith's Money Talks

What Baseball Can Teach You About Financial Planning

1 Apr 2014

Amy Smith-BRL

Spring training is a tradition that baseball teams and baseball fans look forward to every year. No matter how they did last year, teams in spring training are full of hope that a new season will bring a fresh start. …

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Go Take a Hike

Blandy Experimental Farm

6 Jun 2012

Molly

By Molly Pinson Simoneau It’s no secret that I love a challenging hike. I’ve written here about hiking sections of the Appalachian Trail and Shenandoah National Park. I’ve taken vacations with my family to Colorado where I’ve attempted to conquer a “fourteener” (a summit that is higher than 14,000 feet), …

(2 comments)

Real Estate Ticker

A Buying Opportunity?

6 Nov 2013

Carl Fischer headshot

By Carl Fischer As a direct result of the uncertainty that has arisen from national and regional politics, with its unsettling effect on the Northern Virginia area, for the past two months there has been a market slowdown which has …

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From the Farm

From the Farm

5 Jul 2012

From the Farm

When the heat index reaches 110 degrees, as it has been doing recently, I try to keep in the shade, or stay indoors. But my lavender, about halfway from full bloom, seems to thrive in it. Hot and dry, I …

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Events

April 2014
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: Art Gallery Reception for Featured Artists -- Abstract painter Evelyn Lopez de Guzman and contemporary painter Sandra Iafrate

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April 12, 2014N/A

Meet Evelyn and Sandra and other gallery artists during a free, open to the public reception for this month's Featured Artists' exhibit "Living Color,” showcasing two accomplished painters Evelyn Lopez de Guzman and Sandra Iafrate, in a vivid and dynamic presentation of color, shape and our surroundings.

Evelyn Lopez de Guzman’s vibrant paintings awaken the viewer to connect with nature and the modern world through an interplay of shape, color, and textural materials.

Sandra Iafrate’s combination of realistic and surrealist interpretation of flowers, foliage and landscapes on spacious canvases convey a sense of movement and playfulness.

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Easter at "The Park"

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April 19, 2014

Morven Park
17263 Southern Planter Lane
Leesburg, Virginia 20176
7037772414

Celebrate Easter at historic Morven Park with crafts for kids, an egg hunt in the formal gardens plus a traditional egg roll on the Davis Mansion lawn. Have a family photo taken with the Easter Bunny. Children should bring a basket for the hunt and a large spoon for the egg roll. $10/participating child (ages 2-12), $3/adult. Register at www.MorvenPark.org.

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VAL's Pals Kids Club

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April 30, 2014

Village at Leesburg Shopping Center
1601 Village Market Blvd #100
Leesburg, Virginia 20175
USA

Join Inova Loudoun Hospital as the present their Beamer the Dog Program.

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SCOUTING FOR BRICKS

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May 4, 2014

Heritage High School
520 Evergreen Mill Road
Leesburg, VA 20175
USA
7032205202

Scouting for Bricks is an exhibit showing the Love for everything LEGO® . Come see amazing LEGO® creations by Fans of LEGO®, LEGO® trains, Mindstorms robots. We will also have live Star Wars Stormtroopers and an interactive play area with over 100,000 LEGO bricks. Scouting for Bricks is fun for the Whole Family! Visit us at www.ScoutingForBricks.com.

Recent Comments

View From the Ridge

Rural Loudoun Is Different, and We Say Dark Skies Do Matter

4 Mar 2014

viewfromridge

In February of this year a sell out crowd gathered at the county public seat in Leesburg to provide feedback to the Loudoun County Planning Commission on the idea of adding additional sports lights to the upper athletic fields at Franklin Park. Franklin Park includes a really wonderful performing arts …

(3 comments)

Editorial

Steady and Nobull

4 Mar 2014

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Park and Ride Lots for Western Loudoun

4 Mar 2014

Jim_Burton_cropped

In 2003, the county purchased 22 commuter buses to serve a growing demand for bus service to Washington D.C. The demand has grown exponentially ever since. The county now owns or leases 65 large commuter buses (with plush seats and on board restrooms) and more are being added every year. The buses are often filled to standing room only as …

(2 comments)

Lifestyle

Sadie’s Race 5K and Fun Run Scheduled for Sunday May 18

9 Apr 2014

sadiestart

Sadie Smile Foundation is putting on the third annual Sadie’s Race/Walk and Kids Fun Run to Benefit Smile Train in Purcellville Sunday, May 18th this year. The race starts at 8:00 a.m. at the train station at 200 N 21st Street in Purcellville. Sign up at Active.com. When Sara Ablard lost her five year-old daughter, Sadie, two years ago, she …

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Dr. Joseph Rogers Dies at Family Farm

1 Apr 2014

Dr. Joseph Megeath Rogers, 90, died on Saturday March 8, 2014 at his Hillbrook Farm near Hamilton following a stroke. Physician, farmer, businessman, rural land conservationist, philanthropist and expert horseman, Dr. Rogers was a tireless advocate and practitioner of country living whose contributions in a broad range of interests were made quietly and with little fanfare. His public persona was …

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Zoldos Presented Citizen of the Year Award

1 Apr 2014

Mayor_Zoldos_Citizen_of_Year_Award

At the biweekly March meeting of the Lovettsville Town Council, Mayor Bobby Zoldos was presented the 2013 Citizen of the Year from the Lovettsville Waterford Ruritans. Presenting the award was Rick Adams, current president along with Board Member Peter Mullally and  Vice President Jeff Boogaard. Adams said, “On behalf of the Lovettsville Waterford Ruritans, we would like to present the …

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Around Virginia

Wolf Won’t Seek Re-election

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Rep. Frank Wolf (R-10th) today announced that he would not seek election to an 18th term in 2014. He released the following statement announcing his decision: “I have decided not to seek re-election to the U.S. Congress in 2014. It has been an honor to serve the people of northern …

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Virginia Can and Should Work Harder to Combat Hunger

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By Congressman Frank Wolf Last year, the USDA reported a record number of Americans are struggling to put food on their tables. Across the nation, 49 million people – including 17 million children and six million seniors – are going hungry, a number that has grown substantially over the last …

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Kaine Statement on Navy Yard Shooting

Kaine

U.S. Senator Tim Kaine released the following statement on today’s shooting at the Washington Navy Yard: “My thoughts and prayers are with everyone impacted by today’s tragic shooting at the Washington Navy Yard. As we learn more about the horrific events that unfolded this morning, my deepest sympathies go out …

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Sports

Nominate Your Hometown Hero

9 Apr 2014

ulll

Upper Loudoun Little League’s Hometown Heroes scholarship closes on April 21, 2014. The application is available online at ULLL.org. The scholarship is open to all graduating seniors who played baseball for ULLL at some point in their growing up years.

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Lady Vikings Give Back

10 Feb 2014

The Loudoun Valley Girls basketball team held an event on Friday, February 7 at LVHS. The Lady Vikings celebrated “Pink Night” by honoring those who are battling breast cancer or have been affected by breast cancer. The event was held in conjunction with an event held at Woodgrove earlier this …

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Letters

Medicaid Expansion Battle Heating Up

4 Mar 2014

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Did you know that there’s a very real possibility that a DC-style budget battle and government shutdown could come to Virginia? The Medicaid expansion battle …

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Endorsing for Profit Businesses?

4 Mar 2014

town of purcellville sign

I recently received an automated email message from the Town of Purcellville soliciting nominations for volunteer award recipients in cooperation with the Purcellville Business Association …

(2 comments)

Another Vote To Overrule Purcellville’s Board of Architectural Review

4 Mar 2014

town of purcellville sign

The Purcellville Town Council, foolishly, in the view of many and perhaps most, has overruled its Board of Architectural Review and approved Mark Nelis’s and …

(3 comments)

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