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November Herndon Elections Approved

May elections nixed, two year terms stay.

Herndon elections will transition into a November election schedule. Herndon Town Council voted to amend the town charter at the Dec. 9 meeting to allow for the elections to be held in November rather than May after four public hearings.

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Langley Principal Leaves for South County

Matthew Ragone created “Saxon Country,” says school family network committee co-chair.

For six years, he was the glue that brought Langley High School (LHS) together. LHS Principal Matthew Ragone has left the school to boost South County High School’s academics as its new principal.

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Karen Garza’s vision: the irresistible force meeting and moving the immovable object of Fairfax County Public Schools?

Karen Garza is a good listener. And once she’s listened, she is, admittedly, not very patient. “If there's a real issue, I don't think it has to be debated for 10 or 15 years,” Garza said in an interview. “Either we're going to do something about it or not.”

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2014 in Herndon: A Year in Review

Rezoning, trail lighting and November elections events of the year.

In the past year, Herndon made sure to make small steps to make the future brighter and easier to plan. Between rezoning downtown for future revitalization and creating more inclusiveness in the community by giving a voice to minority groups, the town is paving its way into the next 20 years.

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View from Texas: Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Karen Garza

“When I hired Karen in 2005,” former Superintendent of Houston Independent School District (HISD) Dr. Abelardo Saavedra said, “the position of chief academic officer had been open several months. I went looking for her. I’d never met her but I’d heard about her. There is a big difference between a mid-sized district and a larger one; the dynamics are completely different. I was taking a risk because she came from a mid-sized one of about 40,000 in Corpus Christi, and ours was much bigger. She adjusted very quickly.”

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2014 in Reston: Metro Comes to Town

Metro brings change on community’s 50th anniversary.

Reston has gone through historic changes in the past year. 2014 brought Phase One of the Metro’s Silver Line and community input to redevelop all of Robert’s Simon’s village center visions on the 50th anniversary of his namesake.

Saving Historic Homes

Residents could live virtually rent-free in exchange for repairing and maintaining homes.

Fairfax County might soon breathe life into historic homes that have fallen into disrepair. If an ordinance adopted by the County Board of Supervisors last month becomes law, the county will be one step closer to establishing a resident curator program.

2015 New Year Remodeling Resolutions

Improving long-term living needs and future home value.

After all the holiday festivities have passed and the ball has dropped to ring in the New Year, many homeowners are inspired to tackle resolutions that relate to their living space. 2015 may be the year you want to remodel your home to allow for the changes occurring in your life.

Fairfax County Public Schools Needing Community’s Help

Superintendent Karen Garza begins and ends her Listening Tour meetings with a plea to those in the room — parents, teachers, employees, unions — to help her achieve what needs to be done for their school system. “I am going to need your help,” she says to audiences who voice concerns about class size, resources for special education, and teacher salaries.

Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Karen Garza Bio

Current Position: Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent

Timeline of Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Karen Garza’s career in education.

1986-1991: Elementary School Teacher, Yoakum, Texas (1,539 students, 38% white and 50% Latino and spends about $8,000 per pupil).

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Widening Continues On U.S. Route 1 in Mount Vernon

Douglas White is the “unofficial mayor” of Accotink Village, he said. He was at the South County Center on Dec. 10 to hear project updates from members of the U.S. Route 1 Improvements project team handling the widening of the major roadway.

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Franconia Nonprofit Koinonia Engages More with Business Community

Mary Tinsley of Alexandria pushed the loaded shopping cart right out the door and into the parking lot where Marcia Reid of Woodbridge was pulling her car around. Mid-morning sun pierced through trees overlooking the parking lot behind Franconia United Methodist Church. Reid was picking up groceries for a Springfield-based client of Koinonia, a local nonprofit outreach organization.

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Burke Church Volunteers Assemble Birth Kits for Haiti

Meg Hanrahan of Burke and Melinda Engelbrektsson of Fairfax Station have each faced life-threatening complications with childbirth. Thanks to the medical resources available to them and “the grace of God,” said Engelbrektsson, they and their children survived. Many women in third world countries including Haiti don’t have the same opportunity.

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Skating Fun for Burke Centre at Fairfax Ice Arena

Michael and Emmett Pellegrino of Burke didn’t have to wait much to see Santa. Just long enough to have their ice skates tied. The Burke Centre Conservancy had rented out Fairfax Ice Arena and asked the jolly old man to make an appearance.

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Burke Church Hosts Hypothermia Prevention Shelter with FACETS

This week, the doors at Burke United Methodist Church (BUMC) swing open a little wider. Each year since 2006, the congregation at BUMC has hosted a hypothermia prevention shelter in its large fellowship hall. The church is one of nearly 30 faith communities in Northern Virginia running shelters in partnership with FACETS, the Fairfax-based nonprofit fighting local poverty.

Editorial: Merry Christmas

A message of peace and joy.

Merry Christmas. It’s a magical time of year, and perhaps Connection Newspapers has over indulged in displaying the many rituals of Christmas on our pages in the past few weeks. In events around the area, a sense of community has infused holiday parades, Christmas tree lightings, menorah lightings, choral performances, singing of carols and other traditional events with warmth and joy.

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Reston Garden Club Hosts Decoration Workshop

Garden club creates holiday decorations for Reston community.

December usually brings a holiday decorations workshop of some kind. The Reston Garden Club, an active community organization, held their decoration workshop at the Walker Nature Center in December on Glade Drive.

End Of the Year Fun in Reston and Herndon

Winter entertainment at various locations in Northern Virginia.

At the end of December and early days of January, residents in the Reston and Herndon area have a variety of local options for fun and entertainment. Some of these include the local art galleries, as well as options at the local community centers and regional parks.

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Crafts Displayed at Herndon Community Center

Volunteers promote turnout at Herndon craft fair.

Herndon Community Center, located at 814 Ferndale Avenue hosted its Annual Arts and Crafts Show Sunday, Dec. 7. The event was well attended, and both staff and volunteers from the Herndon Woman’s Club helped direct visitors to locations where crafts were on display.