Tucker, UR graduate honored for career of military service

U.S. Army Major General Gina S. Farrisee lives to serve her country.

Earlier this month, her alma mater rewarded that service.

Farrisee, a 1978 University of Richmond graduate, received an award from the university for her distinguished service during an event at UR's Camp Concert Hall as part of the school's alumni reunion weekend June 4.

After graduating from Henrico's J.R. Tucker High School, Farrisee went on to earn a bachelor of arts degree in sociology from UR and was commissioned in the Adjutant General’s Corps. She continued on to earn her master of science degree in national resource strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, National Defense University.

Farrisee assumed her current position as the commander of the U.S. Army and Human Resource Command at Ft. Knox, Ky., last October.

Her efforts, dedication and skills have been recognized during her time in the service. She has received numerous awards, including the Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service medal, the Meritorious Service Medal with five Oak Leaf Clusters, the Army Commendation Medal with two Oak Clusters, the Army Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service Medal and a host of others.

But though the awards and decorations are meaningful, Farrisee said she believes that true satisfaction comes from her experiences.

“The journey is the reward, not the destination,” she said. “Not a day goes by when I don’t remember the efforts of those who serve our country. Throughout this decade, they have performed magnificently.”

During her acceptance speech, Farrisee reminisced about her years at the university. She thought that many things had changed but said the faculty and staff were still dedicated to the learning experience and that the students still had the passion to immerse themselves in what UR has to offer.

The university's commitment to academics, she said, allowed her to reach the heights she has reached in the military.

"Thirty-three years ago, I graduated with two credentials,” Farrisee said. “I had my diploma in my one hand and my commission in the second.”

Farrisee's father, Robert L. Sgro, was the one who inspired her to join the ROTC. Sgro graduated from the University of Richmond in 1956 and was an Army Reserve officer for about 30 years.

Farrisee stepped out of college and took on several early assignments, spending time in New Mexico and Vaihingen, Germany. Later, she became chief of enlisted management at Fort Bliss, Tex., and commander of the 525th Replacement Company in Fort Lewis, Wash.

A second German term allowed her to take other positions, including chief of strength management and commander of the 575th Personnel Services Company.

In 1995, she returned to Fort Lewis and was assigned as the commander of the 22nd Personal Services Battalion. Farrisee later served as the 61st Adjutant General of the Army for the Human Resources Command.

Her last assignment as director of military personnel management, Army G-1, in Washington, D.C. concluded Oct. 14 after four years.

Farrisee now lives in Burke with her husband, retired Army Colonel David G. Farrisee. The pair met during their college days, when the University of Richmond and Virginia Commonwealth University ROTC combined for activities.

In addition to Farrisee, UR also recognized Allison Marsh Bogdanovic and R. David Shimp, who earned the tenth-year reunion award from the Jepson School of Leadership Studies for their achievements.
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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.

 

March 2017
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The Henrico County Community Author Showcase, a program that connects writers and readers in the community, will begin at 7 p.m. and continue on the second Monday and every Thursday of the month at various libraries. Angela Wood and Natasha Tabon will share their children’s book “The Misadventures of Tood and Taboon: Lost in the Forest” at Twin Hickory Library. For details, visit http://www.henricolibrary.org/authors. Full text

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