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Send announcements to The Loudoun Connection, 7913 Westpark Drive, McLean, VA 22102, e-mail to loudoun@connectionnewspapers.com or fax to 703-917-0991. Deadline is Friday, two weeks before the event. Photos/artwork encouraged. For more information, call Jennifer Lesinski at 703-917-6454.

At a Court of Honor Ceremony April 6, Boy Scout Troop 966 Scoutmaster Mark Bunney Sr. presented former Scoutmaster Phil W. Jones with the prestigious Scoutmaster Award of Merit. This award is co-sponsored by the Boy Scouts of America and the National Eagle Scout Society, and is presented to Scoutmasters who have been nominated by their troop for distinguished service.

The award recognizes Jones' achievement in developing boy leaders; maintaining positive relations with the troop's chartering organization; developing an extensive outdoor program; fostering a positive image of Scouting in the community; and maintaining a troop operation that attracts and retains Scouts.

Jones served as Scoutmaster of Troop 966 from December 2000 to June 2005. Prior to that, he served both as Assistant Scoutmaster and treasurer, for a total of more than 10 years of service with Troop 966. During Jones' tenure as Scoutmaster, nine Scouts from Troop 966 achieved the rank of Eagle, Boy Scouts' highest rank. Troop 966 is chartered by the Ruritan Club of Sterling.

Army Spec. William B. Troie has been mobilized and activated for a future deployment to an undisclosed overseas location in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the official name given to military operations involving members of the U.S. armed forces and coalition forces participating in efforts to free and secure Iraq. Mission objectives focus on force protection, peacekeeping, stabilization, security and counter-insurgency operations as the Iraqi transitional governing bodies assume full sovereign powers to govern the peoples of Iraq.

Members from all branches of the U.S. military and multinational forces are also assisting in rebuilding Iraq's economic and governmental infrastructure, and training and preparing Iraqi military and security forces to assume full authority and responsibility in defending and preserving Iraq's sovereignty and independence as a democracy.

Troie, a flight operations specialist, is normally assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2-224th Aviation Battalion, Sandston, Va. He has served in the military for five years.

He is the son of Bill Troie of Sterling, and brother of Bart D. Troie of Richmond. The specialist is a 1999 graduate of Potomas Falls High School, Sterling.

The class of 2006 Master Gardener volunteer trainees completed the classroom portion of their training Tuesday, April 4. Now that the 65-hour classroom training is complete, they begin a 75-hour hands-on learning internship. The Master Gardener volunteer interns will be working alongside experienced Master Gardeners at the Extension Master Gardener help desk, the demonstration garden, the Leesburg flower and garden festival, and at various other events and activities throughout the year.

Jesse Burns, senior, Ashburn; Kathryn Hershberger, senior, Sterling; Carrie Ingalls, senior, Sterling; Christine Keyserling, freshman, Potomac Falls; Jessica Kicha, senior, Ashburn; Andrew King, sophomore, Sterling; Ashley Kline, sophomore, Sterling; Bethany Phillips, freshman, Sterling; Angela Roth, senior, Potomac Falls; Brittany Short, junior, Ashburn; Christopher Siepmann, junior, Sterling; Elizabeth White, sophomore, Sterling, were named to the Dean's List at the University of Mary Washington, which recognizes outstanding academic achievement by full-time students who attain a minimum grade-point average of 3.5 out of a possible 4.0. A total of 640 students were named to the Dean's List for the 2005 fall semester.

The University of Mary Washington is a coeducational public institution with its residential campus in Fredericksburg, Va.

High-school seniors Katherine Sloan of South Riding, Melissa O'Hara of Leesburg, Natalie Davis of Sterling and Sebastian Saraceno of Ashburn were named the first Mary Elizabeth Miller Journalism Scholars April 8 at the annual Vintage and Vine Ball for Inova Loudoun Hospital. Alexandra Mannino of Ashburn received an honorable mention.

The scholarship was established in memory of the Loudoun Easterner publisher and Loudoun Healthcare Inc. board of directors secretary, the late Beth Miller. To be eligible, applicants must be a senior from a Loudoun County high school who intends to pursue a degree in journalism, shows extracurricular and community involvement, and financial need.

Stop Child Abuse Now (SCAN) of Northern Virginia honored six individuals at its 4th Annual Allies in Prevention Awards, April 5, including Pamela Brooks, who was appointed a judgeship with the Loudoun County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court one year ago. Her commitment to children in the legal system began 13 years ago as a Guardian ad litem (GAL) in the county while she was in private practice. Brooks has always been an advocate for the children she has represented. As a GAL, she was more involved with her cases than most of her peers. She took the time to meet with children and get to know them before their court date. Now, as a judge, she continues to support the best interests of children and feels her own biggest accomplishment is raising five children, according to the SCAN release. She understands the position of Child Protective Services (CPS) and the reasoning that supports removals or protective orders, earning the respect of CPS and, in turn, fostering better results for the children in her courtroom. Brooks has also worked closely with the Foster Care/Adoption Unit, serving on a panel for prospective foster-care parents and assisting with foster-care training.

The Loudoun Convention and Visitors Association (LCVA) held its 10th annual meeting and 2005 Tourism Awards Luncheon, March 30, at the Washington Dulles Airport Marriott.

The following award winners were honored during the awards presentation for their contributions to tourism promotion in Loudoun County: Tourism Employee of the Year, Management and Nonmanagement: Gilbert Charite, Raspberry Falls Golf & Hunt Club, Nonmanagement and Jackie Gosses, Hampton Inn & Suites, Leesburg, Management; Volunteer of the Year: Kate Zurschmeide, Great Country Farms and Robert Gordon, chair, Zoning Ordinance Review Committee; Tourism Event of the Year, 2005 PONY East Zone National Tournament; Tourism Promotion/Campaign of the Year, Dodona Manor Opening Activities; Judy Patterson Tourism Award Ñ LCVA's highest honorÑ Linda Callagy, The Potomac Gallery.

In addition to the competitive awards, the LCVA gave the following awards to those individuals, businesses, and programs that made significant contributions to the LCVA and the tourism industry throughout the year.

LCVA Partner of the Year, Elizabeth Parker, BF Saul Company Hotel Division; LCVA Distinguished Service Award, Virginia Scott-Bey Kage, Loudoun County Department of Economic Development.

Sommer Long, junior, Ashburn and Jared Fausnaught, sophomore, Leesburg are among the 62 students at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg named to the university's President's List for the fall semester of the 2005-06 academic year. The President's List recognizes outstanding academic achievement at the university by full-time students who attain a perfect 4.0 grade-point average.

Jessica Kicha, senior, Ashburn; Jesse Burns, senior, Ashburn; Brittany Short, junior, Ashburn; Ashley Kline, sophomore, Sterling; Carrie Ingalls, senior, Sterling; Andrew King, sophomore, Sterling; Kathryn Hershberger, senior, Sterling; Bethany Phillips, freshman, Sterling; Christine Keyserling, freshman, Potomac Falls; Christopher Siepmann, junior, Sterling; Angela Roth, senior, Potomac Falls; and Elizabeth White, sophomore, Sterling, are among the 640 students at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg named to the university's Dean's List for the fall semester of the 2005-06 academic year. The Dean's List recognizes outstanding academic achievement at the university by full-time students who attain at least a 3.5 grade-point average on a 4.0 scale.

The Collegiate Times, a student-run newspaper at Virginia Tech, won 25 awards from the Virginia Press Association's College Newspaper Contest. Among the winners were Seth Peterson of Sterling, senior, second place, feature photo, and first place, spot news photo; and Allison Jaragin of Sterling, junior, first place, infographics. Both are graduates of Potomac Falls High School.

Amy Loudenback of Ashburn will be one of 33 Special Olympics Virginia athletes and 15 coaches taking part in the first-ever Special Olympics National Summer Games, in Iowa, July 2-7. Loudenback, 32, will compete in aquatics.

One hundred, eighty-six young farmers and their families visited the Loudoun Heritage Farm Museum Wednesday, April 12, for Bunny Bonanza. Visitors met representatives of the Loudoun Department of Animal Care and Control and RABBITWISE.

Members of the Leaps and Squeaks Rabbit and Cavy Club of Northern Virginia were on hand to discuss rabbit care and the 4-H Extension program. The event featured displays, information and live animal demonstrations.

The faculty, staff, council members, and friends of the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center (EMC) recently honored Dr. Jack Howard, a retired veterinarian and longtime friend of the center for his years of distinguished service.

Howard, a resident of Leesburg, helped build the college into the internationally respected facility that it is today an advanced-care equine referral hospital that offers 24-hour emergency care and treats about 2,500 horses a year.

Howard was presented a photograph of him taken at Oatlands in 2005 by Dr. Ken Sullins, who was hired 22 years ago as the Equine Medical Center's first veterinary surgeon and is an award-winning photographer whose work is featured in area galleries.

The photograph was the first of 75 limited edition prints that have been produced in Howard's honor. Copies of the photograph are being sold and the proceeds will benefit the EMC. Call Amy Troppmann, assistant director of development, at 703-771-6843.

Laurence Kaptain has been appointed the next dean of Shenandoah Conservatory. Kaptain will follow Charlotte Collins, who retires from the deanship this summer after 34 years of service.

Kaptain is currently the director of the Schwob School of Music at Columbus State University in Georgia.

Prior to that appointment, he was at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), the University of Missouri systemÕs designated campus for the visual and performing arts.

As a professional musician, he most recently appeared with the New York Philharmonic, Minnesota Orchestra, as well as the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Orpheus, the San Antonio, Boston, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Syracuse, Rochester, New World, Kansas City and St. Louis Symphonies and the Summit Brass, and has been featured with the MET Chamber Players and the Ensemble Sospeso in Carnegie Hall.

Kaptain begins his appointment at Shenandoah University on July 1.

Virginia Tech has named Gregory J. Sagstetter, a resident of Sterling, as the Outstanding Graduating Senior for the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.

Sagstetter is expected to receive his honors baccalaureate dual degree in philosophy and political science along with a minor in African-American studies from the College of Liberal Arts and Human Science's in December of this year. During his time at Virginia Tech, Sagstetter has participated in many extracurricular activities on campus, as well as received multiple honors and awards.

In 2006, Sagstetter was named to the USA Today's 2006 All-USA College Academic Second Team. In addition, Sagstetter is the co-founder of Virginia Tech's Student Alliance for Sound Financial Planning and Investment, as well as the first male peer educator for the Women's Center.

The Outstanding Senior Awards are presented at the Student Honors Day Banquet each spring and are co-sponsored by the Virginia Tech Alumni Association and the senior class.