J. Michael Danielson (B ’93) received the Meritorious Service Award and Melodie Farnan Repass (AS ’16) received the 2020 Civilian of the Year Award from the Winchester Police Department.
Matt Conner (C ’97) and Stephen Gregory Smith started the podcast “The Conner & Smith Show;” learn more and find out where you can listen to their podcast here.
An adapted version of Jonathan Noyalas’ (AS ’01) recently released book “Slavery and Freedom in the Shenandoah Valley during the Civil War Era” was posted on Emerging Civil War. The article was published on May 5, 2021, and is called “‘By His Aid was that Flag Preserved’: The Shenandoah Valley’s African Americans’ Support for the Union War Effort.” (Pictured to the left.)
Sharon Hickman Barker (AS ’04, EL ’15) was named principal of William Perry Elementary School in Waynesboro, Virginia.
Reed Gillespie (AS ’04) was named principal of Albemarle County Public Schools’ first fully virtual school.
Patrick D. McCoy (C ’05) interviewed legendary organist Diane Bish during her 80th birthday celebration. The interview was streamed live on McCoy’s virtual show “Across the Arts,” in partnership with arts management firm JEJ Artists, on May 20, 2021.
Robert Larson (C ’08) earned the Transformative Teaching Award from Shenandoah Conservatory for his excellence and impact in educating and inspiring students. (Pictured to the right.)
Charles Harbaugh, IV (B ’09, ’11) was named executive director of Access Independence in Winchester, Virginia.
Ashley Landes (AS ’15) attended the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley’s Field Day on May 15, 2021, to speak about the wetlands.
Albert Orndorff (AS ’15) will retire as the assistant superintendent for administration for Frederick County Public Schools (VA) on July 1, 2021.
Taylor Wagner Powers (AS ’15) signed with Blue Buddha Entertainment as a country music singer.
Kayla Buechner Thompson (AS ’15, HP ’18) and Brandon Thompson (AS ’16) welcomed their son, Colton Joseph, on April 13, 2021. Kayla works as a pelvic floor physical therapist for the US Department of Veterans Affairs in Richmond, Virginia, and Brandon works as a Safe Haven Security Technician. (Pictured to the left.)
Luke McKenzie (AS ’16) was appointed to the dual role of director of the Office of Emergency Management and county coordinator for Mineral County in Keyser, West Virginia.
Hidayah Martínez-Jaka (AS ’18) was recently sworn in as president of the Student American Veterinary Medical Association.
Kayla O’Connell (AS ’19, HP ’20) was recognized by Catoctin High School for her professionalism and treatment of a seriously injured football player in March 2021.
Opal Rhodes Ritchie (D ’45) passed away on May 3, 2021. Her career included time at Madison College, now James Madison University; the Pratt Clinic, as a private secretary to John Lee Pratt of Chatham Manor; and the National Park Service. Opal was a member of the Women’s Club of Fredericksburg, Soroptimist International of Fredericksburg, Member Emeritus of the Fredericksburg Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary, Elks 875 Women’s Auxiliary and the Presbyterian Church. She is survived by her sons, grandchildren and her siblings.
Mary Paugh Fox (C ’48) passed away on Feb. 6, 2021.
Sandra Kay Renner Montgomery-Aker (AS ’71, HP ’77) passed away on Nov. 19, 2020. She started her career in respiratory care in Winchester, Virginia, and eventually retired from the National Institute of Health in Rockville, Maryland in 2011. Sandra was in the Winchester/Frederick/Clark Republican Women’s Club for many years and attended Emmanuel Baptist Church. She is survived by her mother, siblings, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and extended family.
Lt. Colonel Billy D. Smith (AS ’77) passed away on April 21, 2021. He served in the United States Air Force and the National Guard and was a member of the St. Joseph Catholic Church and Knights of Columbus. Billy is survived by his wife, children, step-children, 17 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
Frederick Panton (HP ’82) passed away on May 8, 2021. He retired after 26 years of service as a police officer for the City of Suffolk. Fred is survived by his wife, mother and son.
Alice Eleanor Gollan (C ’91) passed away on April 30, 2021. She played the cello, piano, harpsichord, pipe organ, trumpet, electric keyboard and drums. Alice was a long-standing member of the then University of Miami Civic Chorale, the Miami Lyric Opera chorus, a gospel choir in Winchester, Virginia, and she performed with the Reston Chorale at the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. She was also a composer and her music was performed in recitals, theatres and clubs. She developed the Family Music Makers program in Boston, Massachusetts, and she spearheaded the development of an improvisation and comedy class for people with Parkinson’s Disease in partnership with Northwestern Medicine Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Center at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and The Second City in Chicago, Illinois. She is survived by her daughter, grandson, sister and extended family.
Anita Taylor Coulthard (C ’01) passed away on March 14, 2021. She worked as the coordinator of visual and performing arts at Emory & Henry (E&H) College for 30 years; she was also the resident organist and accompanied the concert choir at E&H. She is survived by her husband, son, grandchildren and extended family.
Deborah Lynn Olsen (AS ’01) passed away on Jan. 6, 2020. She used her degree in psychology to provide counseling to troubled souls. She is survived by her children and siblings.