Hermitage student earns Civitan scholarship

Pat Robson (left) of the Greater Richmond Civitan Club with Hermitage High School senior and scholarship recipient Samuel Richardson.
Hermitage High School senior Samuel Richardson, who will graduate next month, plans to help pay his way through his four years at University of Virginia. The Greater Richmond Civitan Club helped him get off to a good start, awarding Richardson its $4,000 scholarship Wednesday night at the Civitan Honor Key Awards Banquet at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in downtown Richmond.

Richardson was one of 31 local high school students honored at the banquet but was the only one awarded with the scholarship.

Those who chose the scholarship winner had been impressed with Richardson pledging to put $10,000 of his own money each year to help pay for his tuition, said Pat Robson, secretary of the Greater Richmond Civitan Club and master of ceremonies for the banquet.

“He’s not just riding the family cab,” Robson said.

The pledge fit well with the words of the banquet’s guest speaker, Nora Raum, who works as a part-time newscaster for NPR and attorney. She joked that she should become a used-car saleswoman to “hit the trifecta of jobs with a bad public perception.”

During her speech, Raum spoke about her unusual path through education and preached the importance of avoiding large student loans, adding that it’s better to take eight years to finish college with no debt than to do so in four years with a lot of debt.

Richardson plans to earn his degree at UVA without student loans, Robson said.

Richardson said he felt lucky and blessed after winning the scholarship. He thought his commitment to public service may have set him apart to the other candidates. He plans to spend some time in the Army as an officer after college.

Among many activities, Richardson is an Eagle Scout, plays first chair trombone in his high school marching band and played volleyball and cross country, he said. He has a 4.84 GPA, though he said others at Hermitage had higher GPAs.

He plans to pursue a double major at UVA, with one of his majors being Middle Eastern and South Asian Languages and Literatures.

The Honor Key Awards, which were given to all 31 students, have existed since the World War II era, Robson said. Those honored must have shown excellence in scholarship, sportsmanship and leadership, he said.

Five other Henrico County students – Alexander Althoff (Deep Run HS), Lakshmi Ravindra (Henrico HS), Aubrey Temple (Highland Springs HS), Joseph DiTrapani (J.R. Tucker HS) and Alpha Mansaray (Varina HS) – were among the 31 honored at the banquet.

The Greater Richmond Civitan Club is part of the larger Civitan International, an organization of volunteer service clubs with chapters in 25 countries, Robson said. The club was started in 1917 in Birmingham, Ala., and places a special emphasis on helping people with developmental disabilities.
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HCPS wins national honor for overhaul of Code of Student Conduct, supports


Henrico County Public Schools recently was recognized by the National School Boards Association for a sweeping overhaul of the school division’s approach to student supports. HCPS was one of five large U.S. school systems recognized with a first-place honor in the 2017 Magna Awards, presented Saturday in Denver at the organization’s annual conference. The awards recognize school divisions and leaders “for taking bold and innovative steps to improve the lives of students and their communities,” according to the group.

The award recognizes Henrico Schools’ efforts of the past several years, from re-examining its policies to implementing more support systems. After a two-year conversation with the community through public hearings and other feedback, HCPS adopted a revised Code of Student Conduct for the 2015-16 school year. > Read more.

Environmentalists say budget hurts efforts to protect bay

Environmental groups are outraged at the Trump administration’s proposed funding cuts for Chesapeake Bay cleanup programs.

President Donald Trump’s budget plan, released last week, reduces the budget for the federal Environmental Protection Agency by 31 percent. That includes a $427 million in funding to address regional pollution, such as the Chesapeake Bay protection efforts. The proposed budget would eliminate funding for the EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Program, which received $73 million from the federal government in 2016. > Read more.

Glen Allen ES principal receives REB Award


Melissa Halquist-Pruden, principal of Henrico County’s Glen Allen Elementary School, earned the 2016-17 REB Award for Distinguished Educational Leadership. The Community Foundation presents the award to four principals annually – one each from the school systems of Henrico, Chesterfield and Hanover counties and one from the city of Richmond schools.

The award recognizes principals who go beyond the day-to-day demands of their jobs to create an exceptional educational environment. The award stresses management and communication skills, and the ability to inspire, encourage and advocate for the school. > Read more.

Grant to help Hermitage H.S. upgrade CTE program equipment


Governor Terry McAuliffe announced recently that Henrico County’s Hermitage H.S. will be among 16 high schools and technical centers statewide to receive a grant to upgrade equipment for career and technical education (CTE) programs.

The program gives priority to challenged schools, Governor's STEM Academies and Governor's Health Science Academies. Each school or center will receive $37,500 to purchase new equipment and make other necessary improvements. At Hermitage, the funds will be used for precision machining equipment. > Read more.

Virginia raises a toast to George Washington’s whiskey


George Washington is recognized as the father of our country, but with a bill signed into law by Gov. Terry McAuliffe, Washington also will be recognized under another title – distiller of Virginia’s official liquor.

SB 1261, sponsored by Sen. Adam Ebbin of Alexandria, adds a “state spirit” to the list of the commonwealth’s official emblems and designations and crowns George Washington’s rye whiskey with the title.

The bill, which McAuliffe signed last week, highlights George Washington’s contributions to the culture of Virginia as “a native son of Virginia born on February 22, 1732, in Pope’s Creek”; “the first American president, commander of the Continental Army, and president of the Constitutional Convention”; and “a model statesman ... universally acknowledged as the father of our nation.” > Read more.
Community

Villa’s Flagler Housing wins national NAEH award


St. Joseph's Villa’s Flagler Housing & Homeless Services was one of three entities to earn the National Alliance to End Homelessness' Champion of Change Award. The awards were presented Nov. 17 during a ceremony at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.

NAEH annually recognizes proven programs and significant achievements in ending child and family homelessness.

Flagler completed its transition from an on-campus shelter to the community-based model of rapid rehousing in 2013, and it was one of the nation's first rapid re-housing service providers to be certified by NAEH. > Read more.

RIR’s Christmas tree lighting rescheduled for Dec. 12


Richmond International Raceway's 13th annual Community Christmas tree lighting has been rescheduled from Dec. 6 to Monday, Dec. 12, at 6:30 p.m., due to inclement weather expected on the original date.

Entertainment Dec. 12 will be provided by the Laburnum Elementary School choir and the Henrico High School Mighty Marching Warriors band. Tree decorations crafted by students from Laburnum Elementary School and L. Douglas Wilder Middle School will be on display. Hot chocolate and cookies will be supplied by the Henrico High School football boosters. > Read more.
Entertainment

Metro Diner to open second Henrico location


Metro Diner, a comfort food concept, will open its second Henrico location next month. The company is accepting job applications for its Libbie Place location at 5626 West Broad Street. The diner concept, known for its fried chicken and waffles, meatloaf, and shrimp and grits, will bring 100 new jobs to the region as it plans to open its doors in April.

The 3,500-square-foot diner located in the Libbie Place Shopping Center will seat more than 100 and serve classic comfort food staples with a twist, such as fried chicken and waffles topped with strawberry butter and a stuffed challah bread French toast with strawberry and blueberry compote. > Read more.

 

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