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The Potomac Falls High School marching band marched in the Potomac Falls High School homecoming parade on Thursday, Oct. 4. The band performed several musical numbers for the cheering onlookers lining the parade route between Algonkian Elementary and Potomac Falls High School in Sterling. The award-winning Panther marching band recently earned a first-place finish in Division II at the USSBA at the Marching Band Competition held at Westminster, Md., Sept.

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The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office K9 Unit welcomes its newest four-legged member. Gero is a 16-month-old German shepherd from the Republic of Slovakia. Gero is partnered with Sgt. Chris Coderre, who has been with the agency since 1996. Gero will work in the Special Operations Division. Gero and Sgt. Coderre trained over the past four weeks at Castle’s K9 Inc. in Mechanicsburg, Pa. The two were prepared for everyday life on the street and will specialize in patrol and narcotics detection. Gero and Sgt. Coderre will join the four other K9 teams who work within the Special Operations Division of the Sheriff’s Office. Each dog is cross-trained for patrol work and detection work, with three dogs trained in narcotics detection and one in explosive detection.

Send announcements, which are open to the public at no or minimal cost, to The Loudoun Connection, 7913 Westpark Drive, McLean, VA 22102 or e-mail to loudoun@connectionnewspapers.com. Deadline is Friday, two weeks before the event. Photos/artwork encouraged. For more information, call Jennifer Lesinski at 703-917-6454. For additional listings, visit www.connectionnewspapers.com.

Army National Guard Pvt. Robert G. Nicol has graduated from basic combat training at Fort Jackson, Columbia, S.C.

During the nine weeks of training, the soldier studied the Army mission, history, tradition and core values, physical fitness, and received instruction and practice in basic combat skills, military weapons, chemical warfare and bayonet training, drill and ceremony, marching, rifle marksmanship, armed and unarmed combat, map reading, field tactics, military courtesy, military justice system, basic first aid, foot marches, and field training exercises.

He is the son of William Nicol of Woodlea Drive S.W., Leesburg.

Joseph Guzman, deputy assistant secretary for strategic diversity integration, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, was named one of the 100 Most Influential Hispanics by Hispanic Business magazine in its October 2007 issue.

Jennifer Weyman, a 10th-grade student at Broad Run High School in Ashburn, will be attending the upcoming National Congressional Youth Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C., Nov. 13-18. Jennifer will be among 350 top high-school students from across America who will be participating in the conference. Students are selected based upon their outstanding academic achievements and leadership potential. Jennifer was initially selected to participate in the program when she was a middle-school student at Farmwell Station Middle School. She attended the state-level conference that was held in Northern Virginia in 2005. As a former state participant, Jennifer is now eligible to participate at the national-level conference.

Loudoun County Animal Care & Control announces that Animal Control Officer Virginia Girolami has been selected as Animal Control Officer of the Year by the Virginia Animal Control Association (VACA). Kim Miller, chief animal control officer, received a special appreciation award in recognition of her hard work, dedication and years of service to the Virginia Animal Control Association. Girolami received the Jack Kent Roberts Animal Control Officer of the Year Award primarily for her work with the Department’s Companion Animal Resource Effort (CARE) program, provides veterinary care, spay/neuter, shelter and other necessary resources to Loudoun County residents in need. As part of the CARE program, Girolami coordinates the delivery of food items for more than 65 CARE clients each month.

Held Saturday, Sept. 29, on Leesburg’s Town Green, the fifth annual "Fall into the Arts" festival was hosted by Leesburg Crossroads and the Town of Leesburg. The festival included an all-day jazz concert, a juried art exhibit and sale and wine tasting at local art galleries. A panel of art professionals, patrons and sponsors selected these four artists to receive an award in the following categories:

Purchase Award, Town of Leesburg’s permanent collection: Dan Williams, Leesburg, for his painting "Leesburg Restaurant."

Mayor’s Award: Mary Louise Ravese, Waterford, for her photograph "Monarch Cascade."

Digital Arts Award: Farshad Ferdowsi, Leesburg, for his digital photograph "Serenade."

250th Anniversary Award: Mokhtar Youssef, Leesburg, for his wood burning exhibit: "Shining Through."

Leadership Loudoun's board of directors announces that the class of 2008 has been selected. Leadership Loudoun's mission is to develop and engage leaders who will work together to serve the good of Loudoun County Virginia.

In past years Leadership Loudoun participants worked on small group projects, called Community Impact Projects, that were designed to bring about positive change in Loudoun. This year however, instead of asking program participants to come up with an impact project idea, Leadership Loudoun has asked the Loudoun County nonprofit community to submit their ideas. Two community organizations will be chosen and their proposed project will be completed by the Leadership Loudoun Class of 2008.

Air Force Airman Joshua A. Pyo has graduated from basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas.

During the six weeks of training, the airman studied the Air Force mission, organization, and military customs and courtesies; performed drill and ceremony marches, and received physical training, rifle marksmanship, field training exercises, and special training in human relations.

In addition, airmen who complete basic training earn credits toward an associate degree through the Community College of the Air Force.

He is the son of Chong Pyo of Angelique Drive, Ashburn.

Pyo is a 2005 graduate of Stone Bridge High School, Ashburn.

Irene M. de Leon, GRI, SRES of Keller Williams Realty in Sterling was installed as the 2008 president of the Virginia State Chapter in a ceremony held in Williamsburg, Oct. 2.