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Education briefs for Monday, April 9

Education briefs for Monday, April 9
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Stoney urged to act on school facilities

RICHMOND — The leaders behind the Richmond school facilities measure recently signed by Gov. Ralph Northam are calling on Mayor Levar Stoney to take action on a facilities plan.

At a press conference Friday in front of City Hall, Paul Goldman, Marty Jewell of the Richmond Crusade for Voters and Corrina Beall of the Sierra Club Virginia Chapter touted the bill’s passage through the General Assembly and demanded action from the mayor, an opponent of the bill.

“You say it can’t be done,” said Goldman, speaking to Stoney, who was not at the press conference. “Well, show us the proof.”

He added: “The law says you’ve got to try.”

The bill, Senate Bill 750, requires Stoney to present a fully funded facilities plan to the City Council by Jan. 1. It takes effect July 1.

Richmond student wins art contest

RICHMOND — A Richmond middle school student has won the Virginia Lottery Thank a Teacher Art Contest.

Cleo Scott, a seventh-grader at Albert H. Hill Middle School, won the inaugural art contest at the middle school level. Scott received a $150 gift card and $1,000 for Hill’s art department.

W&M grad to lead Air and Space Museum

WILLIAMSBURG — A College of William & Mary alumna has been named the first woman to lead the National Air and Space Museum.

Ellen Stofan was tapped as the director of the Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. Her appointment is effective April 30. The previous director, Jack Dailey, retired in January.

Ex-superintendent of Virginia wins award

RICHMOND — A former Virginia public schools chief has received an award for her professional achievements.

Jo Lynne Stancil DeMary has been awarded the Pi Beta Phi Fraternity for Women’s Carolyn Helman Lichtenberg Crest Award. The award is presented annually.

Stancil DeMary was the first woman to serve as Virginia’s superintendent of public instruction.

UR to host event to benefit P.R. artists

RICHMOND — The University of Richmond will host a fundraising event April 25 for Puerto Rican artists impacted by Hurricane Maria.

“Pa’lante Puerto Rico” will take place April 25 from 5:30-7 p.m. in the courtyard of the Carole Weinstein International Center on the university’s campus. It will include Puerto Rico-inspired food, live music and salsa demonstrations. The free event is open to the public.

Speaker to discuss Lincoln, Jews in U.S.

RICHMOND — Virginia Commonwealth University will host a lecture this week focused on Abraham Lincoln’s relationship with American Jews.

Jonathan Sarna, the co-author of “Lincoln and the Jews: A History,” will give a lecture Wednesday at 7 p.m. in room 303 of the James Branch Cabell Library, 901 Park Ave. The book explores Lincoln’s relationship with Jewish people and how it affected his path to the presidency and his policy decision.

The lecture is free and open to the public, but the university requests registration.

UR plant researcher receives two grants

RICHMOND — A University of Richmond professor has received two grants for her plant research.

UR biology professor Carrie Wu, an evolutionary ecologist who researches how the local environment shapes the genetic structure of plant populations, was awarded grants from the Virginia Native Plant Society and the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory, respectively.

Fairfax to be keynote speaker at NSU

NORFOLK — Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax will give this year’s keynote speech at Norfolk State University’s commencement.

Fairfax will speak at NSU’s Commencement Ceremony at 9 a.m. on May 5 at the William “Dick” Price Football Stadium. In November, Fairfax became the second African-American to be elected to statewide office. NSU will confer 387 undergraduate degrees, 127 master’s degrees and one doctoral degree.

Warner to speak at W&M commencement

WILLIAMSBURG — Sen. Mark Warner will be the College of William & Mary’s commencement speaker this spring.

The Virginia Democrat will give the address May 12, The Daily Press reported.

During the ceremony, the NASA mathematician who inspired “Hidden Figures,” Katherine Johnson, will be honored and receive an honorary doctorate of science degree from W&M President Taylor Reveley. According to a news release, health issues will prevent Johnson from attending but she will provide videotaped remarks. The university’s first three black residential students, Lynn Briley, Karen Ely and Janet Brown Strafer, will also receive honorary doctorates.

Retired police may be used in county schools

MANASSAS — Virginia’s second-largest county is considering a plan to use retired police officers for security at its grade schools.

Prince William Board of County Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart, a Republican running for U.S. Senate, said his county would be the first in Virginia to take advantage of a law in Virginia allowing the program.

At a board meeting Tuesday, Police Chief Barry Barnard recommended a pilot program that would hire five retired officers to work in county elementary schools. The retired officers would work for the school system, not the police.

Hackers try to change grades at high school

VIENNA — A search warrant says hackers attempted to change grades at a Northern Virginia high school.

According to the warrant filed in Fairfax County, the attack began in November when emails were sent from a known Oakton High School Honor Council account with a link that it purported would take readers to news about the organization, The Washington Post reported. The link caused a reader’s computer to download a “key logger” program that steals information such as passwords by recording keystrokes. Fairfax County police said the investigation was ongoing.

— From staff and wire reports

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