Schools

( 1 Vote )

Carol Tracy Carr and Camilla WashingtonIt takes courage to run for elected office and commitment to do the job once elected.

After serving on the Fluvanna School Board since 2009, Vice Chair Camilla Washington (Columbia) decided to not run for re-election. Chair Carol Carr (Rivanna) was appointed in February 2012, then ran for and won the seat in November that same year. Carr also decided to step down.

The Fluvanna Review asked them both to share their experiences as a Board member and their thoughts on the work they did.

Camilla Washington

Why were you interested in running for School Board and what convinced you to do it?

My sons, Nick and Chris, were fifth graders at Central Elementary School when the Columbia District seat became available. I had been an active participant in my children’s education since kindergarten and a member of the Parent Teacher Association at Columbia and Central Elementary. I was approached by several teachers in the division to pursue becoming the School Board candidate. As I began to think about the position, I saw it as an opportunity to represent the constituents in my district and have a voice for all children in the division.

What was the mood of the county and the country when you first ran?
In 2009 the economy was being challenged with high taxes and financial instability. Locally, the high school was in the final stages of construction and there was still quite a bit of conflict in Fluvanna about the need for the facility and the funds that were spent on the building. Add a comment

Read more...

( 0 Votes )

Jane SmithLet’s admit it, when students know that they have a substitute teacher, they assume they have a day off.  That would not be the case for a very special substitute teacher named Jane Smith.

Smith may be the oldest active substitute teacher in Virginia. Subbing for Buckingham County Public Schools for almost 20 years, Smith, at the age of 86, reports to the school division’s classrooms on a fairly consistent basis; she’s a regular at Buckingham Middle School.

Why would an 86-year-old go into the classroom when she could be doing most anything else? Because of her love for children and the joy of teaching.
Originally from Page County, Smith attended Radford University (nee College). Because her husband was a forester, the family moved to a number of locations in Virginia. While living in Charlotte County, Smith taught at Randolph Henry High School – she recalls teaching Gene Dixon, Jr. and Patrick Henry’s great-great grandson – where she also ran the debate team. “Those were wonderful years,” said Smith.

Sadly, those wonderful years ended when Smith and her husband had to deal with the death of their college-aged son at the hands of a drunk driver. “That destroyed our marriage,” said Smith. “My husband was angry and could not get over our son’s death.”

Smith, now a single woman, entered Union Seminary in Richmond to earn a master’s in religious education. “Those four years in Richmond were enriching,” she said. “I went into very depressed areas of the city to assist in feeding the poor. I found out what life was really about. It allowed my life to broaden and see across cultural and economic lines.” Add a comment

Read more...

( 0 Votes )

Percentage of Fluvanna school-aged children not in public school lower than national average

One School Board candidate intimated students are leaving Fluvanna County Public Schools (FCPS) in droves.

Is that true?

Like most things, there are no simple answers.  Multiple factors go into a parent’s choice to homeschool or send a child to private school.

Six Fluvanna families agreed to tell their stories of why they don’t send their children to public schools. While each story is unique, most had two things in common: a dissatisfaction with their public school experience and a desire for more control over what their child learned and how it was taught.

Here are some facts:

FCPS are one of only 22 Virginia districts fully accredited four years in a row.

The FCPS on-time, overall graduation rate in 2017 was 97.4 percent, placing it fourth out of 132 districts. FCPS students categorized as disadvantaged graduated at 98.7 percent; black students graduated at 100 percent.
There are 169 Fluvanna school-aged students going to five private schools in Fluvanna: Fork Union Military Academy (FUMA), Effort Christian School, Open Door Christian School, The Light Academy and Saint Nicholas Learning Center.

There are 228 students who are homeschooled and 55 who have a religious exemption from attending public school.

All told, there are 452 school-aged children in Fluvanna who are either homeschooled or attend a private school in Fluvanna.

Nationally in 2016, 10 percent of school-aged children attended private schools and 3.4 percent were homeschooled – totaling 13.4 percent of children who don’t attend public schools. That’s according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Add a comment

Read more...

( 1 Vote )

Libbey Hartung and Drew WrightHomecoming took over Fluvanna County High School (FCHS) Oct. 16-20 as Flucos prepared for their Homecoming game against Albemarle Oct. 20.

The Student Government Association created a Homecoming-themed spirit week, with days such as “home away from home” and “home run.” Although the sophomore class won a window-decorating competition, the senior class won the overall Spirit Week competition with 792 points.

The Homecoming parade on Oct. 20 featured some outstanding floats as judged by the Fluvanna Education Foundation. The junior class won best class float, Future Farmers of America won best club float, and the Interact Club won best illuminated float.

After the parade, FCHS took on Albemarle in RJ Searcy Stadium. Albemarle proved to be a tough opponent, defeating the Flucos 35-6. Fans were excited to see fireworks shot off after the national anthem and throughout the game. The Homecoming court was announced at halftime with seniors Libbey Hartung and Drew Wright as Homecoming Queen and King.

Capping off the Homecoming weekend was the dance, which took place Oct. 21 in the cafeteria. With a theme of Hawaiian luau, the dance had one of the biggest turnouts in recent years and featured FCHS junior Matthew Snead as the DJ.

Add a comment
( 4 Votes )

CandidatesThe Columbia District seat on the Fluvanna County School Board is up for grabs in the upcoming Nov. 7 election. Andrew Pullen and Linda Staiger are competing for the seat being vacated by Camilla Washington.

Pullen will appear on the ballot. Staiger’s candidacy was originally certified but Registrar Joyce Pace later discovered that Staiger had filed an incorrect financial form. Staiger then submitted the correct form but the State Board of Elections denied her appeal. She is running a write-in campaign.

In an effort to get to know the candidates, the Fluvanna Review asked the following questions.

Tell us about yourself: where you grew up, your education, your family and how long you’ve lived in Fluvanna.

Pullen: I grew up in Fluvanna and graduated from Fluvanna County High School in 2004. I have been a career fireman for 12 years. My wife Sarah and I live in Kents Store with our daughter Emmalyn. 

Staiger: My father was a Navy pilot so when I was little we moved around. When he retired, we finally settled down in beautiful Fluvanna. I was just starting high school and eventually graduated   from high school at Carysbrook. I went on to Virginia Tech for two years; then I worked and later went to the University of Virginia, where I paid my way and graduated cum laude. After I finished medical school at Eastern Virginia Medical School on loans and scholarships, I did training to become an orthopedic surgeon at the University of California in San Francisco. I moved back to Virginia in the mid ’90s to help my family. I practiced surgery in Farmville and then at the University of Virginia. I live on land from my family farm near the village of Palmyra.

What three words best describe you?  

Staiger: Compassionate, determined and problem solver.

Pullen: Passionate, determined and empathetic.

Before your candidacy, how many School Board meetings did you attend? 

Pullen: I’m not sure how many to be exact. I’ve been attending School Board and Board of Supervisors meetings for many years.

Staiger: None. Add a comment

Read more...