Excitement was in the air as Westmoreland County Public Schools held its annual Opening Day Convocation August 23, 2017. From the pulsating beats of the Washington & Lee High School Marching Eagles Band’s drumline to the rousing rendition of the national anthem, this year’s returning and new teachers and staff felt the synergy everywhere.
Featuring guest speakers, Dr. Dietra Trent, Virginia’s Secretary of Education, and the WMLCPS District Teacher of the Year, Nancy Ristau; the 2017 -2018 school year got off to a very strong start.
Superintendent, Dr. Michael Perry, welcomed Dr. Trent, School Board members, teachers, paraprofessionals, administration, bus drivers, cafeteria workers, custodians, the general public, county administrators, and retired teachers to the yearly celebration. Ralph Fallin, WMLCPS School Board Chair, thanked all present for the outstanding job they do every day in making our schools’ successful.
Continuing with the positive vibes, Dr. Michael Perry then presented this year’s principals who are a diverse and exciting group of educators. Washington & Lee High School welcomes Principal, Roger Coleman and Assistant Principal, Jarvis Bailey; Montross Middle School promoted William “Eddie” Bowen to Principal and he is supported by Assistant Principal, Christie Douglas. They will be joining Cople and Washington District Elementary School Principals Leslie Steele and Sandy Herdle, respectively. Dan Steyer is returning as WDE Assistant Principal.
The principals introduced their new teachers, each one enhancing their summaries with a little more flair at each name. Ms. Steele introduced Kevin Cunningham as Cople’s new school counselor. Other Cople staff includes Leanna Bell, Sped; Sarah Gordon, second grade; Sue Swift, third grade, and Wanda Reynolds, fifth grade.
Ms. Sandy Herdle presented her new WDE teachers, Kylie Laubach, kindergarten; Bethany Bojorquez, kindergarten; Christy Ann Stewart, first grade; Patricia Sudduth, first grade; Shannon Henry, second grade; Sarah Oley, fourth grade; Nicole Bays, fourth grade; Taylor Wood, fifth grade; Tory Yeatman, Sped; and Alexandra Fedorko-Hale, Sped.
Montross Middle School’s principal Eddie Bowen proceeded with the announcements of his new staff; Christie Douglas, Assistant Principal, Natalie Minard, Math; Laurie Crossman, CTE-STEM; I’asha Murphy, CTE-STEM; Sarahbeth Vernon, Sped; Elizabeth Johnson, Sped; Tyler Keesee, PE; Nicholas Davault, English; Aaron Sova, History; Angela Dixon, English; and Lorna Stiefvater, Librarian.
Finishing the teacher announcements with feeling was W&L principal, Roger Coleman, who brought his piano W&L accompanist, Kelly Wright, to add flourish to each introduction. Those announced were Jarvis Bailey, Assistant Principal; Caroline Lacey, school counselor; Jeanice Reed, Math; Anmaa Stone, Sped, Joseph Taylor, Sped; Nicholas Hall, English, and Andres Lopez Torres, CTE.
James Cook, Assistant Superintendent, then introduced new support staff positions. School Resource Officer for MMS, William England; and Instructional Technology Specialist, John Cottom. Bus drivers include Juanita Brooks, Kris Johnson, Lisa McCoy, Satonya Wilson, and Robert Moss. Transportation aides will be Jean Hickman and Debra Wilson. Food service workers are Linda Hackett, manager, MMS; Christine Young, MMS, Ingrid Ashton, MMS; Delphene Weldon, assistant manager from WDE to Cople, Ophelia Triplett, WDES, and Annie Jones, WDES, and Angle Hicks, manager, from MMS to W&L.