Josette Keelor is community engagement editor for the Northern Virginia Daily. She manages lifestyle, community and entertainment news as well as the Daily's Virtual Newsroom, which is an online section where community news, events and photos are uploaded by the public for publication in the Daily as well as on nvdaily.com.
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The first day of classes at area private schools brought increased enrollment and excitement for a new school year.
Nearly 1,000 students are expected to be at Central High School's first football game of the season. None of them are football players, but they all plan to flood the field at halftime to perform for a crowd that hasn't seen anything like this at Central High in the last five years.
The results of the 2013-14 Standards of Learning tests released Wednesday by the Virginia Department of Education indicate improvements and trouble spots for area schools.
Teachers and administrators for Shenandoah County Public Schools have some last minute preparations to finish before the 2014-15 school begins next Tuesday.
The first in a series of morning "cafes" will educate area residents about Medicare benefits.
FRONT ROYAL -- Monday's first day of school might have started with fog and uncertainty, but moods quickly brightened for Warren County children, parents and teachers.
WOODSTOCK -- Education has been a part of agriculture teacher Jaclyn (Roller) Ryan's life since she was born. At Friday afternoon's Shenandoah County Public Schools convocation, she said she followed her father and grandparents into a career in education.
Anticipating Monday's start of public schools in Warren County, town and county authorities have reminded area motorists to pay particular attention near schools, bus stops and residential neighborhoods.
The last are county fair of summer begins in Woodstock Friday. Expect livestock shows, carnival rides, free nightly music and lots of new surprises. This weekend, also expect two area music and barbecue festivals and a Saturday boat race like no other.
Four screenings of Robin Williams' movies at The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Winchester this week will benefit area residents in crisis.
FRONT ROYAL -- Jozie Palmer seems like any other happy 5-year-old girl. She plays with her younger brother Scott Jr., or S.J. for short; she loves Walt Disney's "Frozen" and "Tangled," and she's preparing to start kindergarten this fall.
Area children showing livestock at the Shenandoah County Fair might be young but they bring years of experience to help them lock horns with the competition.
Changes at this year's Shenandoah County Fair make fair organizers hopeful of greater attendance and community participation.
WINCHESTER -- College freshmen who moved into residence halls at Shenandoah University during Tuesday's Move-in Day breezed through their first big steps on campus. Helped by about 300 volunteers, new students and their parents unpacked cars within minutes, allowing for a long line of other cars to quickly take their place alongside greetings of "welcome home."
WINCHESTER -- Twins Madison and Damon were a little nervous on their first day of kindergarten Monday, but their father Stephen Moore said he was probably even more nervous than they were.
The Warren County School Board hopes to break ground on construction of a new middle school by next March or April.
As Frederick County students prepare to start the 2014-15 academic year Monday, school officials have prepared changes for the coming year.
WOODSTOCK -- As Shenandoah County Public Schools prepare for a new school year, overcrowding was an important topic of discussion at a Thursday night School Board meeting.
WOODSTOCK -- Shenandoah County Public Schools has decided to pursue the option of buying a new chiller for W.W. Robinson Elementary Middle School in Woodstock.
This weekend, follow the yellow brick road to three days of fun around the valley that includes theater, outdoor music, county fairs and festivals.
As families prepare children for the new school year, school districts remind of vaccines required through the Lord Fairfax Health District.
Agricultural education isn't what it used to be. Nearly 30 years ago when Sherry Heishman started teaching agriculture at Central High School in Woodstock, a lot more of her students were raised on farms, and they looked to her for a different kind of education than today's students do.
Changes in nationwide Standards of Learning requirements have allowed for fewer standardized tests at the public school level beginning this fall. Administrators in the Northern Shenandoah Valley say the reduction of SOL tests has long been anticipated and will free schools to focus more on other ways of measuring student success.
Cheryl Brindle's first-ever online math course won her Lord Fairfax Community College's first ever Blackboard Catalyst Award for Exemplary Course Design. But that doesn't mean she won't change it up before the upcoming fall semester.
WOODSTOCK -- Tuesday morning at a Shenandoah County Board of Supervisors meeting, representatives from the public school system informed the board of the need for a replacement chiller at W.W. Robinson Elementary School in Woodstock.
Every year Brad Dellinger and his friends from Edinburg buy matching hats to wear at the Route 11 Yard Crawl. It adds to the experience and, according to Dellinger, helps lighten the mood when visitors to the more than 40 miles of yard sales become agitated with long waits or slow traffic.
This weekend, enjoy a monster truck show at the Warren County Fair and monster yard sales in Frederick and Shenandoah counties, watch the Little League World Series in Winchester or join a boat race at Riverfest in Warren County. Scattered with handfuls of musical and family-oriented events this weekend, the valley will offer a fun time for all ages.
Health care visits should be easier now for patients and medical staff since Valley Health's launch of a new EpicCare database across the Northern Shenandoah Valley; however, the health care system has faced unexpected trials.
BERRYVILLE -- Snoopy might have a famous name, but the 2-year-old Chihuahua mix wants anything other than fame or excitement.
Area families who used to make the drive to Charlottesville for outpatient pediatric cardiology care now have more options closer to home.
WOODSTOCK -- When the new school year begins later this month, some students in Shenandoah and Warren counties will have more than the usual summer vacation stories to tell their friends and teachers.
Woodstock author Chastity Harris gave in to the voices 3 1/2 years ago when they became too loud to ignore.
• First Friday -- Special gallery events, musicians playing in restaurants and cafes, and many shops open later. Information: 667-5166.
This Sunday, the Shenandoah County Tourism office will present Gardens, Galleries and Grapes, an all-day countywide event that will stretch from Strasburg south to New Market.
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