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The Family and Children's Trust Fund hosted a conference and award ceremony and recognized Linda Johnson, Alexandria/Arlington Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Program, Stop Child Abuse Now (SCAN) of Northern Virginia, Alexandria. Ms. Johnson has volunteered with the CASA program since 1999, devoting over 2,500 hours working with foster parents, social workers, family members and school personnel to facilitate communication on her CASA children's cases.

Amtrak Police Officer Rodney C. Chambers received the Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor from Vice President Dick Cheney in Washington, DC, July 14. Officer Chambers is a resident of Mount Vernon. The Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor Act was enacted in May 2001 by the 107th Congress, and officially created and designated the Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor as the highest national award for valor by a public safety officer. The Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor is awarded by the President of the United States based upon recommendation by the Attorney General.

Mary Chappell of Alexandria is one of thirty scholarship candidates from across the United States who is heading to Louisville, Ky. next week on an all expense paid trip to the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) national convention, July 2 -8. On Thursday, July 7, at the NFB’s closing banquet, Chappell will find out how much money she will be receiving from America’s largest consumer organization of blind people. The money will help defray the cost of attending the University of Pennsylvania where Chappell is pursuing a master’s in positive psychology. Last year, the NFB handed out $120,000 worth of scholarships ranging in value from $3,000 to $12,000.

Jesse Geneson of Alexandria, an 11th grade student at the Thomas Jefferson School of Science and Technology, was a Gold Prize Winner in the prestigious 2004-05 USA Mathematical Talent Search (USAMTS). Geneson's score of 100 points (of out 100) places him in the top 1% of students nationwide that participated in the contest.

Alexandria attorney Gerald A. Schwartz of the Law Office of Gerald A. Schwartz has been elected president-elect of the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association (WTLA) 2005-2006 Board of Governors. Schwartz received his B.S. in pharmacy with honors drom Northeastern University School of Pharmacology and has a law degree from Washington College of Law at American University. He serves on the Board of the Virginia College of Trial Advocacy. He is active in numerous professional organizations including the American Society for Pharmacy Law.

Also, Alexandria attorney Thomas J. Curcio of the Law Office of Thomas J. Curcio was elected to the VTLA Board of Governors for 2005-2006.

Marine Corps 2nd Lt. Heather A. Ichord of Alexandria recently graduated from the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis with a bachelor of science degree in ocean engineering. Ichord is a 2001 graduate of Thomas Jefferson High School.

Robert Zachary St.Clair has been selected to receive the Dean's Excellence Scholarship for academic merit from Coastal Carolina University in Conway, S.C. St. Clair, a rising junior, is a business marketing major and a 2003 graduate of West Potomac High School. He is the son of Robert and Kelly St. Clair and grandson of Bob and Ruth St. Clair of Mt. Vernon.

Andrew Norberg, former 2003/2004 West Potomac High School Band Drum Major and local Boy Scout Troop 996 Eagle Scout, was promoted to third class cadet May 18 and will spend the summer at sea aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Eagle, the Coast Guard Academy's training ship. Cadet Norberg, is the son of Joe and Anne Norberg of Alexandria. He is a 2004 graduate of West Potomac High School and is majoring in Marine Sciences at the United States Coast Guard Academy.