Virginia529 tuition plan closed for restructuring

RICHMOND — Rest in peace, Prepaid529.

The tuition program from Virginia529 that allowed families to prepay tuition at Virginia public colleges and universities permanently closed last month. Under the program, families could buy up to 10 semesters of undergraduate in-state tuition and mandatory fees at two- and four-year state schools.

Virginia529 closed off the program to new enrollees and will restructure it. Existing Prepaid529 contracts will not be changed.

School for students with dyslexia receives grant

NORTH CHESTERFIELD — A private school for students with dyslexia in Chesterfield County has received a $10,000 grant.

Riverside School got the grant from philanthropist and board of trustees member Louis S. Harris.

The donation will be used to improve the school’s technology in its language fundamentals department.

The donation was made in honor of Carolyn Webb, a longtime Riverside instructor.

GMU approves budget with 1-year tuition freeze

FAIRFAX — George Mason University is freezing tuition.

Joining colleges across the state, the university’s board of visitors last week approved a budget that includes a one-year tuition freeze for all in-state and out-of-state undergraduate students. George Mason is the state’s largest university, enrolling more than 37,000 students.

“This budget, along with the tuition freeze, positions Mason as an even greater investment for our students and their families,” said Mason President Ángel Cabrera.

Tuition for in-state students will remain $12,462, while out-of-state students will still pay $35,922.

Graduate student tuition will go up 3.5 percent, while student fees will climb 3 percent, or $102 per academic year.

Warsaw college names Kennedy as president

RICHMOND — Rappahannock Community College has a new leader.

Glenn DuBois, the chancellor of the Virginia Community College System, announced last week that Shannon L. Kennedy has been hired as the next president of the Warsaw school.

“Shannon has more than two decades of higher education experience with a heavy emphasis in academic affairs and workforce development training,” DuBois said in a statement. “She also offers years of experience as a college’s chief financial officer, finding ways to ensure the college operates efficiently and prioritizes resources toward serving students. We are grateful to add Shannon, and her family, to RCC and the VCCS.”

Kennedy, who will assume the presidency at the beginning of July, currently serves as executive vice president of Cleveland Community College in Shelby, N.C. She will succeed Elizabeth Crowther, who announced last fall that she is retiring at the end of June, after serving in the role for more than 15 years.

Va. teachers make far below national average

RICHMOND — A new analysis found that Virginia teachers make far below the national average.

The National Education Association released its “Rankings and Estimates” report last week. The report showed that Virginia ranks No. 32 in the U.S. in teacher pay, $8,483 below the national average.

“How are we supposed to recruit and retain the very best, most committed educators that our children deserve if we don’t pay them well?” asked VEA President Jim Livingston. “We know teachers aren’t in our schools to get rich, but why should they have to take second and even third jobs to support their families? That’s a disservice to everyone.”

The General Assembly this year approved a 5 percent raise for teachers, but it requires a local match.

The average teacher in the state makes $51,994 a year, according to the report.

Hanover school system names teacher of year

ASHLAND — Hanover County Public Schools has named its teacher of the year.

Mara Lambert, an instructional technology resource teacher at Liberty Middle School, was chosen as this year’s winner.

Lambert, who has spent 23 years in education, has worked for the district since 2016. She is an alumna of California University of Pennsylvania.

UR undergraduates get award for science, math

RICHMOND — Three University of Richmond students have gotten the top award for undergraduates in science and math.

Having three students receive Goldwater scholarships ties UR’s 2007 and 2017 records for the most in a single year.

The scholars are chosen based on academic merit and from a field of 1,200 nominated students.

The recipients are:

  • Adrian Matthews of Arlington, a chemistry major;
  • Lindsey Paul of Leawood, Kan., a double major in health care studies and biochemistry; and
  • Michael Wyatt of Milton, Mass., a physics major.

UR has had 28 Goldwater Scholars since the program’s 1986 inception.

Petersburg calendar on school district’s website

PETERSBURG — Petersburg has a school calendar for next year.

The city School Board on Wednesday approved the calendar for the 2019-20 school year, which will start Sept. 3 and end June 12. The district scheduled three early release days for students on Sept. 23 and June 11-12. Thanksgiving break is Nov. 27-29, while winter break will be Dec. 23-Jan. 3. Spring break is scheduled for April 6-10.

The full calendar is available on the district’s website.

HU band to be in Macy’s Thanksgiving parade

HAMPTON — The Hampton University marching band has made it big time.

The university’s “Marching Force” was chosen to perform in the 2020 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, the first time the band will march in the event. The Hampton band was chosen from more than 100 applicants and will be one of nine bands to perform.

Thanksgiving Day in 2020 is Nov. 26.

3 from UR get Fulbrights to teach English abroad

RICHMOND — Three University of Richmond students have been awarded Fulbright grants to teach English in the Czech Republic, Germany and Tajikistan.

Griffin Trau of Hanover, N.H., will use his Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship grant in the Czech Republic.

Thomas Vanderbeek from Somerset, N.J., will teach English in a German school in the state of Rheinland-Pfalz.

And Emily Landon of Jamestown, R.I., will work with students in Tajikistan.

Planned tuition hike on hold at James Madison

HARRISONBURG — James Madison University is rolling back a planned tuition increase.

The university’s governing board had previously voted to increase tuition by $1,000 for the incoming Class of 2023, but that increase is on hold thanks to new state money intended for tuition freezes.

Freshmen will now pay $7,250 in tuition and fees next year, the same rate sophomores will. Juniors and seniors will pay $6,620.

— From staff reports

Education Reporter

Justin Mattingly covers K-12 schools and higher education. A northern New York native and a Syracuse University alumnus, he's worked at the RTD since 2017. You can follow him on Twitter at @jmattingly306.

Recommended for you

Commenting is limited to Times-Dispatch subscribers. To sign up, click here.
If you’re already a subscriber and need to activate your access or log in, click here.

Load comments

You must be a full digital subscriber to read this article You must be a digital subscriber to view this article.