Roanoke teacher in contention for statewide Teacher of the Year honors

Education-News1Eight educators today learned of their selection as 2015 Virginia Regional Teachers of the Year during surprise classroom visits and announcements made by their division superintendents — and in the case of a Chesterfield County chemistry teacher — Governor Terry McAuliffe and Superintendent of Public Instruction Steven R. Staples.  “At the heart of Virginia’s national and international reputation for excellent and innovative public schools are thousands of smart and dedicated teachers who are epitomized by the eight recognized today as best of the best,” McAuliffe said after announcing the selection of James River High chemistry teacher Tara L. Brunyansky as the 2015 Region I Teacher of Year.

The other seven 2015 Regional Teachers of the Year announced are as follows:

  • Bevin K. Reinen, a first-grade teacher at Three Oaks Elementary in Virginia Beach (Region 2)
  • Jennifer H. Worrell, a fourth-grade language arts teacher at Petsworth Elementary in Gloucester County (Region 3)
  • Jaclyn M. Roller, an agricultural education teacher at Signal Knob Middle in Shenandoah County (Region 4)
  • Gerin E. Martin, an early childhood special education teacher at Hutcherson Early Learning Program in Lynchburg (Region 5)
  • Matthew T. Newton, a grades 3-5 special education teacher at Fishburn Park Elementary in Roanoke (Region 6)
  • Mark T. Merz, a pre-kindergarten teacher at Oak Point Elementary in Smyth County (Region 7)
  • Kelly S. Jones, a World History and Sociology teacher at Greensville County High in Greensville County (Region 8)

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Macaroni Kid is sponsoring an Anti-bullying event

wfir-linkMacaroni Kid-Roanoke is taking part in the organization’s “Do Something Great Day” by sponsoring an anti-bullying awareness event at the Star City Skate Center on Saturday from 10 to 1. WFIR’s Gene Marrano has more:

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New outdoor adventure company coming to Roanoke

WFIR---local-businessIts being billed as Roanoke’s first full-service oufitter for outdoor recreation activities. Roanoke Mountain Adventures will open in Wasena next spring … providing guides, tours and equipment for mountain biking, cycling, kayaking and other activities. Jim Revercomb and his son James will operate Roanoke Mountain Adventures – James had been running a similar venture in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Pete Eshelman is director of outdoor branding for the Roanoke Regional Partnership… he worked with the Revercombs on the project and spoke to WFIR’s Gene Marrano:

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New exhibits make their debut at Taubman Museum

Beg Borrow

from Taubman exhibit “Beg, Borrow, Steal”

Between now and October 11th four new exhibits make their debut at the Taubman Museum of Art. Those new exhibitions include “Between Two Worlds”, which was curated by former Taubman Museum executive director David Mickenberg. WFIR’s Gene Marrano spoke with Amy Moorefield from the Taubman:

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Click below for more from Amy Moorefield at the Taubman, speaking with WFIR’s Gene Marrano:

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So what happens next to those schools “Accredited with Warning”?

Education-News1Any school that doesn’t meet the SOL pass rates and becomes Accredited with Warning goes through through an academic review.  A team will pay especially close attention to whether those schools have adapted what they teach to meet the newer and more rigorous state standards — and recommend ways to improve that school’s performance. WFIR’s Evan Jones has the story.

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One suspect in custody, second one sought for snatching 83-year-old’s purse

Traci Plessinger (photo from Roanoke Police)

Traci Jo Plessinger (Photo from Roanoke Police)

From Roanoke City Police: On September 13, 2014 at 11:43 a.m. Roanoke Police were dispatched to the 1400 block of Towne Square Boulevard NW, the Sam’s Club, to investigate a report of a woman found injured in the parking lot. The victim, an 83-year-old woman from Roanoke, was transported to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital for treatment of minor injuries. Further investigation determined the victim was putting groceries into her vehicle when a woman grabbed her purse from the victim’s shopping cart, and then got into the passenger seat of a waiting pick-up truck. The victim, attempting to retrieve her purse, grabbed on to a portion of the pick-up truck and was dragged a short distance before falling to the parking lot. The suspect vehicle drove away. Detectives retrieved video surveillance, developed several leads and were able to determine the identity of the suspects. On September 15th, officers took Dallas Michelle Robson, age 35, of Roanoke into custody and charged her with larceny and possession of heroin. Heroin use was one of the factors that motivated the crime. The victim’s credit card and checks were used to obtain merchandise from various stores and attempts were made to obtain money in Roanoke City, Roanoke County, and Vinton. Officers are attempting to locate the second suspect, Traci Jo Plessinger, age 49, of Copper Hill. At this time detectives believe Plessinger is the one who took the purse from the victim’s shopping cart.

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Floyd author Neil Sagebiel writes about controversial 1969 Ryder Cup

drawinthedunes-coverHis first book on the 1955 U.S. Open was well-recieved by the golf world … now Floyd writer Neil Sagebiel is looking for success again with “Draw in the Dunes.” Its about the 1969 Ryder Cup tournament. WFIR’s Gene Marrano has more:

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Click below to here more from author Neil Sagebiel:

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Number of fully accredited schools declines; see where your school stands

Education-News1More rigorous SOL tests led to an increase in schools that did not earn full accreditation this year. The state’s Department of Education reports 68% percent of schools are fully accredited, compared with 77% and 93% two years ago. All Roanoke County, Salem City and Craig County public schools remain fully accredited. In Roanoke City, seven elementary and four middle schools are accredited with warning, but William Fleming High School is now fully accredited once again after several years of troubles.

Click here to see every school’s accreditation status

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Ethics reform in the mix for state lawmakers

General-AssemblyThe General Assembly convenes this week for a special session where the focus is on the Medicaid expansion issue…but ethics reform is sure to be on some lawmaker’s minds. WFIR’s Gene Marrano has this report:

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Roanoke County Library officials say so far, so good for Sunday hours

Roanoke County Public LibraryIt’s too early to know if there is any longer-term trend, but Sunday library activity in Roanoke County increased a lot from week one to week two. Library officials expect that growth to continue as more people become aware of the Sunday hours, especially now that schools are back. WFIR’s Evan Jones has the story.

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The South County and Vinton branches are open Sundays 1:00-5:00 pm.

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