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Women’s History Month

Making A Difference

A growing number of women have been making a significant difference in Sterling’s neighborhoods. The name of Joyce Trickett, a long-time volunteer with the Good Shepherd Alliance, surfaces to the top. She is slated to be named Loudoun County’s "Volunteer of the Year" this week, officials say.

Trickett is board chairwoman of the Good Shepherd Alliance emergency homeless shelters in Sterling, Ashburn, Leesburg and Lucketts. She also serves on the LINK board in Sterling and co-manages the holiday Food Basket program at Thanksgiving and Christmas. LINK provides emergency food and financial assistance to needy families.

"For many hours each week, Joy volunteers to change the world, one person at a time," Mark Gunderman, vice chairman of the Good Shepherd Alliance board, said Saturday.

Trickett volunteers in the Good Shepherd thrift store in Sterling, assists with grant writing for the organization, works with other nonprofit groups, solicits donations, gathers food to feed the homeless, and coordinates the delivery of furniture and other donations.

She is a deacon at the Dranesville Church of the Brethren in Herndon and a member of the Great Falls Ecumenical Church. She says volunteer work is her passion and her responsibility as a Christian.

<sh>Ellen Fein

<bt>Ellen Fein joined Sterling Middle School as an assistant principal 20 years ago. In 2000, she became principal.

Fein has seen significant changes in the face of education and in Sterling’s demographics during the past two decades. Among the changes was the No Child Left Behind, which provides a snapshot of student achievement by separating the Standards of Learning test scores by ethnicity, limited English proficiency, low income, and special education. The school failed to meet the requirements of No Child Left Behind the first year of testing, but she successfully worked with teachers and students to make the grade. Minorities represented 8 percent of the middle-school student population in 1985, compared to 58.8 percent this year.

She introduced a new reading model in 2000, which required reading instruction in every class, including science and history.

She also initiated the Continuing Caring Program, which focuses on responsibility, respect, trust, family and community.

Fein will be retiring at the end of the school year. Wayde Byard, spokesman for the Loudoun County Public Schools, said she will be remembered for her commitment to helping at-risk students. "She always has a heart for the child who is in trouble."

<sh>Helen Casey

<bt>Helen Casey is chairwoman of the Goose Creek Scenic River Advisory Committee, which maintains the scenic quality of the river. The General Assembly designated Goose Creek as a scenic river in the early 1970s and established a board to protect it.

As chair, she has worked with developers to make sure construction and other changes to the land surrounding the body of water has a 300-foot setback. "That does, in a sense, give a nice view of the creek. It also provides a natural filter of what is coming off … the development."

Casey started as a volunteer advisor in 1988 and rose to chairwoman. When the General Assembly decided to abolish the scenic river boards, she traveled to Richmond and raised a commotion.

She and a representative of the Falls of the James Scenic River Advisory Board in Richmond testified before a legislative committee. She said she argued that the board was not costing the state any money, but it was performing an important function. She and the representative persuaded lawmakers to restore the board, but under the title "committee."

Casey takes a number of concerns about Goose Creek and other issues to the Loudoun Board of Supervisors, which meets twice a month in Leesburg. She said she has been keeping an eye on plans to improve Sterling Boulevard and the proposed interchange of Sterling Boulevard and Route 28. She assists Sterling Foundation volunteers in collecting trash along Sterling Park’s main thoroughfare. She and Helena Syska, planning commissioner from the Sterling district, have worked together on many projects. They convinced the Virginia Department of Transportation to install an oversized Jersey barrier along Route 7 in front of the community.

Casey also has served as chairwoman of the League of Women Voters for eastern Loudoun County, served as a member of the Citizen’s Advisory Committee of Northern Virginia Subregional Transportation Plan, and board secretary to Sterling Citizens for Action Now. In addition, she was a founding member of the Bypass Alternatives Review Committee, and the Virginia Regional Transportation Association. She serves on the Citizens’ Advisory Committee to the Dulles Area Transportation Association.

<sh>Susan Cleveland

<bt>Susan Cleveland is president and victim advocate of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, whose goal is to stop drunken driving, support the victims of violent crime and to prevent underage drinking. She joined the organization in 1989 after her car was hit by a drunken driver. She co-founded the Loudoun chapter and serves as a state representative who attends quarterly MADD meetings in Richmond. She served on the MADD state board for four years, and lobbies in support of DUI legislation.

During her tenure, she also has trained volunteers on how to use the court monitor to track DUI cases. She spearheads the annual volunteer effort to distribute 100,000 red ribbons in the county and 50,000 in the school system.

Cleveland and other MADD volunteers attend Sheriff’s Office road checkpoints, distributing flyers and MADD ribbons to motorists. On Sundays, she works with students in need of community service hours for school credit. They help in the office with data entry, adhere stickers to brochures, assemble information bags, fold letters and make ribbons. She also works with offenders who are ordered to complete alcohol-related community service.

Her husband, Roy Cleveland, updates the MADD Web site. "We are in the process of getting many of the pages translated to Spanish," she added.

Cleveland volunteers every morning from 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. at the MADD office in her home, answering e-mails and writing letters. She said she likes to support the people affected by drunken driving. "There wasn’t anyone to help me when I was there," she recalled. "And if we can prevent one person from drinking and driving, with public awareness, we save their life and other lives."

<sh>Maureen Hein

<bt>Maureen Hein is vice chairman of the Sterling Foundation, which manages the mowing and clean-up of Sterling Boulevard. She met foundation volunteers four years ago when she was providing assistance at the Sterling recycling center at Park View High School.

The foundation had two Styrofoam recycling bins at the time to raise money for the boulevard’s maintenance. While keeping the recycling center tidy, she found herself helping the foundation. A newspaper recycling program has since replaced the Styrofoam project.

Hein’s commitment to the Sterling Foundation mushroomed when members obtained a $70,000 federal grant and worked to raise $150,000 to landscape the boulevard. "That’s when I got passionately involved," she said. The Foundation, under the direction of volunteer landscaper Kate Davidson of Reston, plans to buy and plant trees and shrubs on the median that runs down the middle of the four-lane road. She said she envisions the project, "Main Street in the Making," expanding someday to include sidewalks and lamp lighting.

Hein also volunteers with the Area Agency on Aging, delivering meals to homebound people in need. She also assists with registration at area American Red Cross blood drives.