The Mosby Heritage Area Association announced the winners of their 2016 Heritage Hero Awards and its Educator of the Year Award. The Heritage Hero award is given to individuals or groups in the Mosby Heritage Area who have demonstrated stewardship responsibility over many years. The Mosby Heritage Area Educator of the Year Award is given to an educator who effectively incorporates the local historical landscape and its stories into their teaching and community outreach. Hero awards were given to Mary Thomason Morris and Al Van Huyck. The Educator of the Year Award was given to Richard Deardoff.
Mary Thomason Morris is a native of Front Royal and some of her family has lived there for over 250 years. In 1987, she began part-time work at the Handley Archives, the Warren Heritage Society, and the Clarke County Historical Association. Mary set up the original archives at the Warren Heritage Society upon the donation of a large collection and the Warren Heritage Society building their archives addition. In 1990, Mary left Warren Heritage Society and started concentrating on Clarke County Historical Association, as their Archivist. She is the author of “Connections & Partings: Marriages & Deaths from Clarke County Newspapers 1859-1884.” She has co-authored several other works on ancestry and geneology in Clarke County. Mary is the go-to person for any questions about genealogy or family history in Clarke County.
Al Van Huyck, who has lived in Loudoun County since the 1960’s, has a total interest in heritage and environmental protection. A retired International Planner and a former Board member of the Virginia Citizens Planning Association and the Older Americans Humanities Corporation, he was a member of the Loudoun County Planning Commission from 1996 to 2003 and was Chairman when the Revised General Plan was prepared. He was active in preparing the Mountain Overlay District and the River and Stream Corridor Overlay District. He is a member of the Loudoun Chamber of Commerce, the Waterford Foundation, the Friends of Oatlands, and Young Life Loudoun. He is a founder and past President of the Friends of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Most recently, he is the current chair of the Loudoun County Preservation and Conservation Coalition. He has promoted smart growth policies and continued to have a key role in amending the Loudoun County Comprehensive Plan especially in the area of “rural conservation”.
Richard Deardoff is a United States Coast Guard Veteran and has spent four decades teaching US Government, History, and American Civil War History at Fauquier High School and Kettle Run High School, from where he recently retired. Rich has both a Master’s Degree in Administration and Political Science. He is a member of the Civil War Trust, Longstreet Society, and the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation. The Brandy Station Foundation awarded him the Volunteer of the Year in 2007. Rich’s classes were required to participate in local community service projects, often focusing on history or education. His students started the “Save the Waterloo Bridge” Facebook page, which currently has over 2,800 likes since its creation several years ago, and is meant to share its history and advocate for its preservation. Because of Rich’s many efforts, he has twice been named the Fauquier County Teacher of the Year in 2007 and 2008, the Civil War Trust Teacher of the Year in 2011, and the Sons of Confederate Veterans Teacher of the Year in 2011.