New deans

Front Royal Christian School has announced the promotion of Detra Tutton to dean of instruction and Peter Richardson to dean of students.

Tutton, a native of Front Royal, has more than 18 years of prekindergarten through 12th grade teaching experience. She has a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction with an emphasis on teacher leadership from Regent University and a bachelor’s degree in English and education, with a minor in theatre and speech from Bridgewater College.

Richardson enters his third year at the school. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Bible College with a dual major in Bible/pastoral ministries. In addition to his years of experience as a middle/high school teacher, Richardson has more than 15 years serving as a youth/assistant pastor in rural, suburban and urban areas.

In addition to their educational background and classroom experience, both Tutton and Richardson are certified in the Feuerstein Method, which is based on Feuerstein’s theory of structural cognitive modifiability and supports social-emotional learning.

Further information is available by calling 540-635-6799 or visit

Valley grant

The GO Virginia State Board approved a grant proposal submitted by the Staunton Creative Community Fund and multiple Shenandoah Valley partners on June 23. The proposal will fund virtual acceleration programming, infrastructure build-out and ecosystem builders across the region for an investment total of over $1 million.

The program will target entrepreneurs with scalable business ideas, particularly those focused on Region 8’s traded sectors of food processing, light manufacturing, information technology, cybersecurity, and biomedical and biotechnical. In addition to the customized virtual accelerator programming, the grant will also support dedicated workspace and entrepreneurial ecosystem infrastructure build-out throughout the region, along with the hiring of two dedicated ecosystem builders to support the network and programming. Infrastructure build-out includes the purchase of equipment for many of the partner organizations like Innovault, Valley Makers Association, The Perch, 143 CoWork, Staunton Innovation Hub, Strasburg Coworking, and Warren EDA Coworking.

The December 2018 TEConomy consultant report for Region 8 highlighted four Potential Priority Action Items for building a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem. Startup Shenandoah Valley will address three of the four priority action items: support advancement of integrated accelerators-incubators-coworking entrepreneurial hubs across the region; leverage and support engagement of college and university business schools and professional service providers to assist startup companies from ideation through growth and scale-up; and Catalyze follow-up venture funding to go beyond initial risk capital sources in the region.

Mary Lou Bourne, executive director of James Madison Innovations and chair of GO VA Region 8 Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Advisory Committee, led the grant application effort.

Region 8 represents the Shenandoah Valley and includes the counties of Augusta, Bath, Clarke, Frederick, Highland, Page, Rockbridge, Rockingham, Shenandoah and Warren; and the cities of Buena Vista, Harrisonburg, Lexington, Staunton, Waynesboro and Winchester.

For more information on GO Virginia, visit online at Shenandoah Valley Partnership or Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development. For more information about Startup Shenandoah Valley, e-mail or


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