- Last Updated on Sunday, 09 October 2016 14:33
- Published on Sunday, 09 October 2016 14:33
- Hits: 200
Thirty seniors and their families attended the annual Washington & Lee High School senior night on September 22, 2016. Sponsored by the W&L Guidance Department, the families were introduced to a myriad of activities and resources that will be offered to seniors in the upcoming months. Each student received a packet with a calendar of upcoming events, an Opportunity book, SAT and ACT information, an updated transcript form, GRASP information, FAFSA data, a student survey, and a military ASVAB data sheet. Guest speakers included Stefanie Payne, W&L Registrar who spoke about college searches and visits; Sue Straughan, GRASP advisor and Sarahbeth Vernon, College Advisor, who presented a program on FAFSA, Scholarships, Ms. Payne; ASVAB, Patricia Eddings, counselor; FAFSA Saturday, Carmen Crisco, counselor; and Ms. Vernon and Mrs. Straughan spoke about the upcoming College Rocks program. Patty Kelly Long, Home & PR Specialist at the school board office, brought additional information on the College Rocks program for the families. Carmen Crisco also reminded students and parents that College Application Week will be November 14-November 18 at Washington & Lee High School. The W&L guidance department works throughout the year in offering students information on college and career planning. The College Rocks program begins October 6 through, November 10, every Thursday from 3:30 pm to 5:15 pm. For additional information contact the W&L guidance department at 804-493-8015.
Patty Kelly Long
Westmoreland County Public Schools
- Last Updated on Thursday, 29 September 2016 14:32
- Published on Thursday, 29 September 2016 14:32
- Hits: 357
A U.S. Army soldier serving in Iraq sent an inspiring letter last week to Washington & Lee High School's struggling football team.
Travis Seager, a former wide receiver for the W&L Eagles and a 2011 graduate of the Montross high school, urged W&L players to make a renewed commitment to football and to life.
"Travis was a run through a brick wall kind of kid when he was here," said W&L Athletic Director Malcolm Lewis. "He was a tough, tough kid who caught everything that was thrown at him." Lewis said Seager's letter was shared with players on this year's Eagles team in the hope that it would encourage and inspire them.
"Life has a way of teaching you things even when you don't realize it," Seager's letter said. "Everything we have gone through and been a part of up until now has been preparation for the moment you are living in currently. Everything we do today is an investment for something we will deal with later. And, football is no different."
"It is 120 degrees here in Iraq. Flight operations take place directly under the sun in full combat gear. There are no breaks. There are no days off. We continue because we know we can. We push aircraft out, we launch them and bring them back. We do it because there is an entire nation of people who depend on us to do our job. We do it when we are tired, annoyed, sick and fed-up. We do it when we don't like it because people depend on us," Seager wrote.
"No one made you join the team," Seager declared. "You volunteered, just like I did, to become part of something bigger. You donned responsibilities and commitment willingly. You chose to wear the uniform and represent an institution that was here before you and will be around long after you leave. But that doesn't make you small, it makes you men. Men find something they believe in and commit. Even when they are tired, sore and uncomfortable, they commit."
"But what you have to realize is that the feeling you get in your chest when you want to slow down and give up isn't just from football. It's everywhere. It's in class when you don't feel like studying. It’s in Iraq when you don't feel like going out to the wire," Seager's letter said. "But we keep going because we made a commitment."
"We keep going because there is a lesson to be learned even if we don't see it until years down the road. That's what makes you men. Commitment is the difference between 4th and 1 and 1st and 10," Seager said. "And, between tyranny and democracy."
"Football wasn't your first teacher and it damn sure won't be your last," Seager wrote. "But if you are willing to commit, I promise you'll learn more than you ever expected. Football is a game. Life is not. Both require dedication. So, step up men. Commit."
Lewis said he hoped the letter would provide a shot in the arm for the young Eagles team this year, who have opened the season with a 1-3 record.
"They are just inexperienced. They will get there. And something like this can only help them understand how important the team is," Lewis said.
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 August 2016 14:56
- Published on Wednesday, 24 August 2016 14:56
- Hits: 548
The Westmoreland County Board of Supervisors and the Westmoreland School Board are steadily proceeding toward the building of a new Washington & Lee High School and sports complex in Montross. But the cost of the project remains a question.
"I have been going to all of the meetings, but I have yet to hear a price," said Westmoreland Supervisor Woody Hynson. "We are waiting to see what the school board comes up with."
"We have seen concepts and we have seen drawings," said Supervisor Russ Culver. "[The Westmoreland County School Board] are moving along with it, but we haven't seen the cost yet."
Culver said Northumberland's new high school cost $43 million and King George's high school had a price tag of $52 million."Whatever the school board finally comes up with will probably be greater than what we can afford," said Hynson. "They are working on it, but the final decision will be up to the board of supervisors."
"We are in the early stages of laying out the site for sports complex and high school for the board of supervisors’ initial review," said Westmoreland County Administrator Norm Risavi. "Our engineers will be preparing an additional environmental review of the property required by the financing agency. I hope to have this initial information for the board of supervisors in late October or early November."
"We are also meeting with some state agencies related to possible grants to assist with outdoor recreation and road assistance to reduce the overall local cost," Risavi said. "Unfortunately this takes time to gather the information and obtain their input on items their programs would participate."
Risavi said the board of supervisors is trying to time the new school construction with the expiration of much of the existing school debt to minimize the impact of having to increase taxes to pay for this project. "The school administration and county staff have been working to provide the information to the consulting engineers and architects to complete various reports required to move forward," Risavi said.
Culver said it is important to keep the price of the school reasonable, because state law requires the county to pay Colonial Beach funding equal to 18 percent of the cost of the new high school to offset tax dollars used for the project that have been paid by Colonial Beach taxpayers.
"We will be looking for ways to reduce the costs," Culver said. "One way might be to use funding from grants to pay for the construction of park the sports complex. It we build sports facilities that are available for public use, we might be able to use grant funding to pay for those."
"I am 100 percent for that idea," said W&L Athletic Director Malcolm Lewis. "We don't need specific fields for sports like baseball and softball, we could share fields with the Little League, for example. We have been doing some of that anyway."
"For some of the sports fields, and some of the roads and infrastructure, there may be some other sources of money available," said Hynson. "But there are no gift horses out there that I know of. In the end, the majority of the cost is going to be up to us."
School Board Member Patricia Lewis said, "My hope is that the new school will be a facility that will bring the community together; ball fields and walking trails, as well as multipurpose rooms and an auditorium for the arts; a meeting place for generations, with cutting edge secondary education at the core, but also adult wellness and enrichment potential as well."
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 August 2016 14:55
- Published on Wednesday, 24 August 2016 14:55
- Hits: 562
Paul Mountjoy of Kinsale, a well-known journalist who was recently elected president of the Montross Tea Party, died suddenly last week of a heart attack. Mountjoy was a former editor and columnist at the Washington Times.
A big, gregarious guy who loved to tell a funny story and loved to hear one, Mountjoy was seen frequently bouncing around Westmoreland County in his old SUV with his dog, Dogbert, at his side.
Mountjoy was a determined journalist and had served as a reporter and columnist for the Westmoreland News and more recently was the publisher of the Northern Neck Free Press. He was also noted for frequently helping the less fortunate.
"Paul had a powerful way of helping people, sometimes without them even knowing he was helping," said Darlene Nichols of Warsaw, a co-worker at the Free Press. "If Paul was your friend, you had a friend for life."
"I just can't believe he is gone," said Nichols. "The world is going to be a sadder place without Paul."
Mountjoy died Thursday after he suffered a heart attack in Oak Grove. Fire and rescue officials were on the scene almost immediately, but he had already passed.
Mountjoy, 62, was a health and science columnist for the Washington Times. After moving to Westmoreland, he frequently covered the police and courts for the News and frequently often wrote columns about seniors and their health problems.
He was known for making homemade peanut brittle as well as his penchant for helping those in need, including animals. He recently had talked about taking a cross country campaign trip with his dog and had been shopping for a recreation vehicle he could use for the trip.
He is survived by his son, Craig of Colonial Beach, his brother and three grandchildren.
A celebration of his life will be held at Coles Point Marina on Sept. 13 at 6:30 p.m. The Welch Funeral Home is handling funeral arrangements.
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 August 2016 11:05
- Published on Wednesday, 17 August 2016 11:05
- Hits: 627
Photo by Richard Leggitt
Westmoreland Supervisor Larry Roberson, right, of Colonial Beach was in RIo de Janiero, Brazil, last week
attending the Olympics. Roberson and his brother, George, left, have attended every Olympics games since
Atlanta in 1996.
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 August 2016 10:16
- Published on Wednesday, 17 August 2016 10:16
- Hits: 508
For years some citizens of Westmoreland County have complained they have had to drive as many as 40 miles round trip to cast their ballots on Election Day. Thanks to the Westmoreland Board of Supervisors that will no longer be the situation.
Last week the board voted unanimously to add two new polling places beginning with this fall's elections.
"There has been a long distance for people to travel for both of those polling places," said Westmoreland General Registrar Kris Hicks. "We are trying to make it more convenient for people."
The two new polling places will be added in District 2 and District 3, Hicks said. The additional voting location for District 2 will be at the Currioman Baptist Church at 2383 Zacata Road, and the new polling place for District 3 will be located at the Family Life Center of the Oak Grove Baptist Church at 8096 Leedstown Road.
"We want to encourage people to get out and vote and we want to make it easy for them to vote," Supervisor Russ Culver told a large crowd that turned out last week for the polling place vote.
"We would like to express our appreciation to the board," said District 3 resident Odell Johnson. "Thanks to you, we do not now have to travel up to 40 miles to vote."
"It has been a long time coming," said Butch Foutch, a resident of Ebbtide Beach.
"Anytime you can make voting easier, we should do it," said Supervisor Woody Hynson and Supervisor Dorothy Tape expressed her appreciation to the crowd that turned out for the vote. "Your presence means a lot."
At the meeting, the supervisors also voted to approve a resolution of service for Thomas Bondurant, the county attorney who is leaving his post after 11 years advising the board, to accept an appointment as a district court judge in Henrico County.
"I have enjoyed every minute of my service," said Bondurant. "And for that reason, I hate to leave."
Board members expressed similar sentiments. "He's been a friend," said Board Chairman Daryl Fisher. "You need sound counsel and he has done a great job."
"Tom has worked for the board and also the planning commission," said Culver. "It's good to have someone you can deal with on a serious matter but also keeps his sense of humor."
The resolution the board passed, noted "Mr. Bondurant has dedicated himself to an honorable career and has acted in all matters with honesty and integrity by maintaining fairness and a balanced approach in all transactions of the Westmoreland County government."
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 August 2016 10:05
- Published on Wednesday, 10 August 2016 10:05
- Hits: 432
Law enforcement joined with citizens from the area last week to celebrate National Night Out in Westmoreland County and Colonial Beach as part of an effort to promote police and community relationships that have been strained recently in some parts of the country.
The two separate events were very successful, as families and children joined officers from the Westmoreland County, Colonial Beach and the Virginia State Police to renew, build and strengthen ties at that are essential to the community.
"The outpouring of support we have seen since Dallas and Baton Rouge has been great," said Colonial Beach Police Chief Danny Plott as he and his officers, along with members of the Colonial Beach Rescue Squad talked with interested citizens at the Colonial Beach Town Hall.
"Colonial Beach has been doing this for years," said Westmoreland County Sheriff C.O. Balderson. "This is our first year. Having so many people come out is heartfelt and greatly appreciated.”
"National Night Out is a great occasion to express the importance of law enforcement and community partnerships," said Balderson. “I want to thank those who attended as well as all of the agencies represented at this event. The fellowship and comradery shared throughout the evening is a true testament to the importance of law enforcement and communities working together."
In addition to the Westmoreland sheriff's officers and the Virginia State Police, talking with those who attended the Westmoreland County event at Stan's Skateland in Montross were officers from the Virginia Conservation Police, the Virginia Marine Police, the Virginia Parks Police and the Westmoreland Volunteer Department.
There was plenty of free food and drinks at both locations as well as law enforcement and rescue vehicles. Westmoreland County had a "Dunk the Detective" booth with a long line of youngsters lining up to participate. The Colonial Beach Rescue Squad demonstrated a CPR machine, which was especially intriguing to seniors.
At both locations there were games and activities for children and helpful brochures and safety information for parents. There were boats, motorcycles and various law enforcement vehicles, and Westmoreland County displayed the large black MRAP that it uses for special emergency situations.
"Any time you can have the citizens and the police get together in any kind of social situation that is a plus," said Plott. "We wanted Colonial Beach to know we are here to serve."
"A lot of the time when we interact with the public, it is in times of stress," said Westmoreland sheriff's Sgt. Greg Keyser. "This way they can come out and see what we do and how we do it.
"It is a good time to interact with everybody and answer questions," said Westmoreland Senior Detective William Lenko. "Today has been absolutely great, no question about it."