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Former PTA President Charged with Felony Embezzlement

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The former president of the Creighton’s Corner Elementary School Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) was charged last week after an investigation determined he embezzled $13,000 from the organization.

Russell Sharifi, 41, of Ashburn was indicted on May 15 by a Loudoun County Grand Jury for felony embezzlement. The information came to light in March 2016 after unauthorized charges were discovered in the association’s financial records.

The monies were embezzled between September 2015 and February 2016 during Sharifi’s tenure as the president of the PTA.

LVHS Students Win $120,000 in Technology

LVHS Students Win  $120,000 In Technology

By Amanda Clark
Loudoun Valley High School’s hard work in the Solve for Tomorrow contest has paid off leading them to be one of the five Grand Prize winners out of more than 4,100 contestants. This contest allows public school students from grades 6-12 to use their STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) skills to address a local issue. Loudoun Valley students chose the Washington and Old Dominion Trail that starts just outside of D.C. and runs 45 miles into Purcellville. This trail due to length and location has poor cell reception, is not lit, and is not monitored or patrolled by police. The trail also crosses many roads and given the large number of assaults and pedestrian-cyclist accidents the students felt there was a need for a safety alert system on the trail to enable calling for police or ambulance services. The students designed and created a wireless, solar powered, and weatherproof safety alert system for the trail. This system can relay the call with location information to law enforcement in regards to any crimes or rescue services for accidents. Due to the project’s impact, Loudoun Valley High School was chosen as a Grand Prize Winner by a panel of judges and was honored at an awards luncheon in Washington D.C. on April 27 with the other winners. At this luncheon, the school had the opportunity to meet their Congressional Representatives and discuss their projects.

Loudoun Country Day School 8th Grader To Go to State Level Geography Bee

March 29, 2016 News, Schools Comments Off on Loudoun Country Day School 8th Grader To Go to State Level Geography Bee
Geog Bee

In January, Loudoun Country Day School eighth grader George McCabe won a school-wide Geography Bee, with fourth through eighth grade students competing. Assistant Head and eighth grade civics teacher Tim Beauchemin has organized and led this activity for sixteen years.

George took an exam to determine if he qualified for the state level of the National Geography Bee, to be held on April 1 at Longwood University. The National Geographic Society invites up to 100 of the top-scoring students in each state to compete in the state Bees. … Continue Reading

LVHS Travels To New York For STEM Competition

March 29, 2016 News, Schools Comments Off on LVHS Travels To New York For STEM Competition
Malcolm Miller of Loudoun Valley High School in Purcellville presents the solar powered alert system for nature trails to a panel of judges during the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Finalist Pitch Event in March.

Update: Four Days To Vote For Loudoun Valley High School

Public social media voting for the STEM Competition is open until 11:59 p.m. ET on April 1. To vote for Loudoun Valley High School voters must post or tweet using the school’s dedicated hashtag #SamsungSolveLVHS and #SamsungSolve on Instagram and/or Twitter. Votes are limited one vote per person per day. Multiple votes a day or retweeting and sharing social posts will not count as votes. There have been a total of 49,157 submissions for all 15 National Finalists in the competition (as of 5:00 pm ET Mar 28). The school with the most public votes will be named one of five National Winners and receive about $120,000 in technology for their school. To see Loudoun Valley High School’s progress, check out the public voting leaderboard online: www.samsung.com/us/solvefortomorrow/finalists/#leaderboard
… Continue Reading

The Nature Generation Launches Free Online Environmental Games

March 9, 2016 News, Schools Comments Off on The Nature Generation Launches Free Online Environmental Games
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At a time when the nation needs to inspire our next generation of environmental stewards more than ever, nonprofit The Nature Generation announced the launch of EnviroPlay, a series of online games about the environment, at Loudoun Valley High School in Purcellville last month.

The games engage and challenge K-12 students with questions about water, energy, geology, and other environmental topics, while inspiring them to think about the role they play in the delicate balance of nature.

Teachers, students, eco-clubs, and community organizations are invited to play EnviroPlay at www.NatGen.org/classroomgames. … Continue Reading

Volleyball Tournament March 11

March 6, 2016 News, Schools Comments Off on Volleyball Tournament March 11
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Town of Purcellville Vs Faculty of LVHS and Woodgrove

On Friday March 11, at 7:00 p.m., Woodgrove High School will host a volleyball tournament between the Town of Purcellville’s leadership and the faculty members of both Loudoun Valley High School and Woodgrove High School. Last year, Mayor Kwasi Fraser presented the idea to Tim Brown, a teacher at Woodgrove High School, to promote a sense of community and cooperation, friendly competition, and physical fitness as a lifestyle. The Physical Education departments of both schools as well as the Student Council Association will be supporting this effort, and an award will be given to the winning team. With a goal of developing this into an annual event, funds raised (cost is $5.) will be divided between the two high schools for use with PE efforts. “I look forward to a good work out and a great time with our community,” said Fraser.

BRMS Bee Winners

March 2, 2016 News, Schools Comments Off on BRMS Bee Winners
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Students at Blue Ridge Middle School recently demonstrated their knowledge of both world geography and spelling, competing in two different school-wide bees. Both competitions began at the classroom level, with students participating in preliminary qualifying rounds. Once classroom winners were identified, the finalist competed against one another to determine the school champions. … Continue Reading

Students Discuss Loan Debt with Senators Warner and Kaine

February 3, 2016 Schools Comments Off on Students Discuss Loan Debt with Senators Warner and Kaine
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Student leaders from 20 Virginia colleges recently traveled to Capitol Hill to discuss their challenges paying for college and the impact of rising student loan obligations during a roundtable conversation organized by U.S. Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA). The students represented a diverse cross-section of Virginia’s public and private, two- and four-year colleges and universities.

An estimated 60 percent of Virginia college students graduate with student debt, and the average debt load in Virginia now tops $26,000 per graduate. Nationwide, Americans owe more than $1.3 trillion in student loan debt, outstripping credit cards and auto loans as the country’s leading source of non-mortgage debt, according to the Federal Reserve. … Continue Reading

Valley Principal Assures No Threat to School

January 18, 2016 News, Public Safety, Schools Comments Off on Valley Principal Assures No Threat to School
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This evening, Loudoun Valley High School Principal Sue Ross sent an e-mail to Loudoun Valley families discussing a rumored threat to the school. Below is her message.

Good evening, this is Sue Ross, principal at Loudoun Valley. During the last few hours there have been numerous posts on social media saying that it is unsafe to attend Loudoun Valley tomorrow. Nothing could be further from the truth. Emotions ran high Friday at our school after the death of a student Thursday. Out of frustration, a student may have said something irresponsible that was overheard by other students. To their credit, these students reported these words to the administration immediately. The student was questioned and it was determined that there was no threat whatsoever. There was, and is, no credible threat to student and staff safety at Loudoun Valley. Purely as a precaution — and let me stress this — purely as a precaution, there will be extra law enforcement officers at Loudoun Valley tomorrow. Last Thursday, I asked our students to be responsible and mature when using social media and they responded beautifully. I would renew that request tonight knowing you will respond in the responsible manner I’ve come to expect of you. Thank you.

Middleburg Academy Model UN Club Travels To D.C.

January 7, 2016 Schools Comments Off on Middleburg Academy Model UN Club Travels To D.C.
MIDDLEBURGACADEMY

By Matt LaMotte

Middleburg Academy launched its first Model UN Club program this fall. The group plans to participate in Model UN competitions hosted by colleges and universities like Georgetown and the University of Virginia. After several preparatory meetings with Faculty Advisor, Matt LaMotte, and Student Assistant, Saki Vellanki, 15 students travelled to the Pan American Health Organization building near George Washington University and attended a Model UN Training Conference. Hosted by the United Nation’s Global Classrooms organization, the students were immersed in a day-long series of discussions, debates, caucuses, and speeches, culminating in a resolution recommending adoption of a global vaccination program. Ranging from 8th graders to juniors, the students came away with a much clearer idea about what the UN does and how the UN works Vis a’ Vis parliamentary procedures, negotiations, and international relations.

The team came home with a “Global Classrooms DC Distinguished Global Education” Certificate. Plans are to attend a full-blown, high school level Model UN conference in the spring.

Tolbert Environmental Achievement Award Goes to Tuscarora High School

December 2, 2015 News, Schools Comments Off on Tolbert Environmental Achievement Award Goes to Tuscarora High School
Leesburg

The Leesburg Environmental Advisory Commission announced Tuscarora High School as the winner of the 2015 John W. Tolbert, Jr. Environmental Achievement Award.  This award program recognizes students, community groups, and individuals who conduct or participate in activities that benefit the Town’s environment.  The Leesburg Town Council will present the award at the December 8 council meeting.

The EAC chose Tuscarora High School as this year’s award recipient for its innovative environmental science program that has helped spur several initiatives in sustainability. One example of the school’s efforts is the reuse of excess printed paper to create notepads, eliminating the need to purchase new paper notepads. A second initiative has been to aid the plight of the monarch butterflies with a garden waystation to help sustain the butterfly migration. In a third initiative, Tuscarora High School has implemented a new lunchroom recycling program developed and run by the Environmental Sciences classes. … Continue Reading

Students Create Posters for Breast Cancer Awareness

December 2, 2015 News, Schools Comments Off on Students Create Posters for Breast Cancer Awareness
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Forty sixth-graders from the Blue Ridge Middle School have partnered with the Loudon Breast Health Network to help spread awareness of breast cancer issues by creating posters illustrating insights in the following eight categories: Surviving Cancer Metaphor; Character Traits of Survivors; Empathy and Celebration; Journey Through Illness; How to Support Survivors; Awareness and Prevention; Message of Hope and Combination.

The posters were presented at LBHN’s Annual Survivor Tea held at the Carver Center in Purcellville on Nov. 14 and at a ceremony help on November 20 at BRMS. Breast cancer survivors selected first-place, second-place and third-place winners. The children’s efforts were directed by the teacher of their art class, Ms. Liz O’Neil. LHBN intends to exhibit the posters in other venues both in Loudon and elsewhere.

Middleburg Academy Names New Board of Trustee Members

December 2, 2015 Schools Comments Off on Middleburg Academy Names New Board of Trustee Members
middleburgacademyboardmembers

Middleburg Academy has named Mary Looney and Rachel Kahler to its Board of Trustees.

Mary Looney was raised over the mountain near Boyce where she attended Powhatan School 1st through 8th grade and attended Notre Dame Academy from 1979-1980 as a five day boarder. She finished high school at Garrison Forest, an all-girls’school in Maryland. She then went on to graduate from Keene State, NH with a BS Degree in Business Management with a minor in Communications and Political Science. She has worked as a special events coordinator at both a hotel and on political campaigns. In 1990 she worked for Marymount High School, a small catholic high school in Richmond.

Rachel Kahler has been an advocate of small independent schools since experiencing their unique benefit first hand at the Woodward School for girls in Quincy, MA as an eighth grader. She moved to Virginia in high school and graduated from the University of South Carolina.

Her daughter Tori is credited with finding Middleburg Academy and the family has been all in since their first visit in June of 2013.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Columns

A Habitable Planet

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“At the moments when we are able to separate ourselves from our daily concerns and ponder deeply, most of us have encountered fundamental questions of our existence as human beings. Where do we come from? What happened before humans appeared …

Choose Joy, Don’t Go Negative

Lunde new

Sometimes life is pleasant and it is easy to smile, other times it is not. The real question is how do you react and live your life when you are going through trials? What do you do when you feel …

Character Outlives Us All

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“Brains are like muscles, you can rent them by the hour, but at the end of the day all you have left is your character.” This statement was uttered by Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, a phrase his father used …

Foxridge Park

Just Like Nothing (Else) On Earth- Foxridge Park-1

You know, I can still taste those sausages: The first early-spring bratwurst cooked over an open flame in a beautiful setting among good friends; nothing so surprising, really, in recalling a good meal in classic context. The thing is, though …

Planning for Life Disclosure and Other Family Issues in Estate Planning

Smith0035

What do we tell the kids? Questions of how much and what type of information to give the children often arise during consultation. The answers depend on the circumstances of each family – the ages and maturity of the children …

A Look Into What Is Learned in High School English

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By Mary Rose Lunde English is the arguably the most important subject for a student in high school to learn. The most successful people in the world have one thing in common — being able to communicate effectively. This is …

Editorial

Grief and Greed

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By Matthew Parse What would drive a single individual to cause so much emotional stress and financial burden on hundreds, if not, thousands of families? What would drive the Town …

Op-ed

Oh No, It’s the Christians!

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By Nicholas Reid In the hours and days following every massacre perpetrated by radical Muslims, there is one unifying theme across most news coverage of the massacre, wherever it may …

Dear Editor

Isn’t Loudoun Better Than This?

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More than forty years I have watched a rising tide of development flowing from the east across Loudoun. Once it was thought the western mountains would be spared the flood. …

View From the Ridge

An Open Letter to the Citizens of Purcellville

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Mark Your Calendar, They’ve Asked for Our Input So Let’s Give It To Them By Steady and Nobull The Purcellville Planning Commission has tentatively scheduled a series of public input …

Student News

Four Scouts Achieve Eagle Scout Rank

3 Feb 2016

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Joel Gicker, Kyle Siecker, Sam Soltis and David Watson achieved the rank of Eagle Scout at a Court of Honor conducted at Blue Ridge Bible Church in Purcellville on January 9. The four Eagles are members of Troop 711 of …

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8th Grade Writers Honored At Blue Ridge Middle School

2 Jul 2015

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Sixty-seven Blue Ridge Middle School eighth graders have been honored for their writing during the 2014-2015 school year. Many students had their writing selected for publication by Creative Communication, a program for student writers, while others won county-wide writing contests. …

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Ben Kellogg Achieves Eagle Scout

1 Jul 2015

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Benjamin Robert Kellogg achieved the rank of Eagle Scout at a Court of Honor conducted at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Purcellville on March 29. Friends, family and troop leaders attended the celebration, including his parents, Robert and Deirdre Kellogg. …

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Calendar

May 2016
M T W T F S S
25 26 27

Hamilton Town Hall

28 29

CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG at Franklin Park Arts Center

30

Lobster Day with Chef Seb at North Gate Vineyard

CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG at Franklin Park Arts Center

1

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

Spring Wine Glass Painting with Penny

2

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

3

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

4

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

5

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

6

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

TGIF @ North Gate Vineyard!

7

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

The Sprouted Spoon Food Truck at North Gate Vineyard

Nathaniel Davis Live at North Gate Vineyard

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

8

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

Celebrate Mother's Day at North Gate Vineyard!

Mother's Day Brunch at Breaux

9

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

10

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

11

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

12

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

13

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

14

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

Dog Day at Breaux Vineyards

15

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

16

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

17

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

18

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

19

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

Senior Caregiver Training

Hillsboro Ruritan Club Dinner Meeting

20

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

Strawberry Afternoon Tea

21

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

Strawberry Afternoon Tea

22

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

Land Trust of Virginia Annual Garden Party

BRASS EXTRAVAGANZA

Waterford Concert

23

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

24

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

25

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

26

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

27

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

28

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

A Taste of Paris and View of Normandy at Breaux Vineyards

Annie Stokes Live at North Gate Vineyard

29

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

Paella by Carlos at North Gate Vineyard

30

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

31

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

1

It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

2

It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

Free Gardening Lecture

3

It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

4

It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

Yard Sale

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

PAUL REISLER TRIO WITH LEA MORRIS AND MARSHALL KEYS

5

It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

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Lifestyle

Movies in the Park Return to Ida Lee This Summer

25 May 2016

Leesburg01

“101 Dalmatians” kicks off the season on Thursday, May 26. Get the popcorn ready! The Town of Leesburg will once again be hosting Movies in the Park this summer. This free series will feature an evening movie on the third Thursday of each month throughout the summer, hosted at Ida Lee Park.

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New Concert Series Comes to Purcellville

20 May 2016

brianganz150

On Sunday, June 5 at 4:00 p.m., internationally recognized pianist Brian Ganz will present an all-Chopin recital at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church, 711 W. Main Street in Purcellville. The recital will feature several of Frédéric Chopin’s studies for solo piano, including the renowned “Revolutionary” Etude, among other works by the Romantic master. Ganz, who recently moved to Purcellville from Annapolis, …

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Eucharistic Procession To Pass Through Leesburg May 29

20 May 2016

Eucharist

– By Mark Gunderman Each year, Catholics around the world celebrate the Feast of Corpus Christi (Latin for Body of Christ), symbolizing their belief in the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. In the United States, the celebration of Corpus Christi is held on the Sunday after Trinity Sunday. This is a time when Catholics can demonstrate their …

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Around Virginia

Out and About Loudoun and Beyond

The Plains’ charming restaurants, shops and sidewalks.

Five Stone’s Throw Spring and Summer Destinations By Andrea Gaines Bordered by the Potomac River to the north and beautiful mountains to the west – and with easy access to Rt. 95, the Dulles Toll Road and Route 66 – Loudouners have no short list of fun spring places to …

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Update: Remains Located in Shenandoah National Park; Search Efforts Suspended

VSP Photo - 4-21-16 Whiteoak Canyon Trail Entrance VSP

Update: Body preliminarily identified as Nicole K. Mittendorff, 31, of Woodbridge. The physical and digital evidence collected during the course of this investigation includes a note recovered from the car leads investigators to believe there was no foul play involved in her death. ——————– Search efforts in the Shenandoah National …

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Virginia Trooper Shot and Killed at Richmond Bus Terminal

Tpr Dermyer Patrol Car in front of VSP SPHQ

A Virginia State Police trooper has died as a result of his injuries after being shot on March 31 at the Greyhound Bus station in the 2900 block of North Boulevard in Richmond. At approximately 2:40 p.m., Virginia State Police Trooper Chad P. Dermyer approached a male subject just inside …

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Sports

Western Loudon Volleyball Club “Hitmen” Team Finishes Second

3 Feb 2016

westernloudounvolleyballclub

The Western Loudon Volleyball Club U14 boys team, called the “Hitmen,” finished second in a tournament held January 17. This is the first ever boys team for the WLVBC (and only the second boys club in the area). Coach Allan Kotmel led the seven-member team. WLVBC started eight years ago, …

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ODFC West Travel Soccer Program Shines

2 Dec 2015

ODFCsoccerpics

The Old Dominion Football Club West boys and girls middle school travel soccer program scored big the weekend of November 21 and 22.  The girls Quest Premier 22 team took home the championship in the U12 Girls Premier Division of the Hunt Country Classic located in Fauquier County. The boys …

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