Send announcements to The Loudoun Connection, 7913 Westpark Drive, McLean, VA 22102, e-mail to 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.

Gregory J. Sagstetter of Sterling was named, by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors, as its undergraduate student representative for the 2006-2007 academic year. He will serve as a liaison between Virginia Tech's student population and the board.

The student representative is appointed to a one-year term and sits on a committee of the governing board and serve as an ex-officio member on the Commission of Student Affairs. Student representatives are nonvoting members and are required to maintain contact with university administrators as well as Tech students.

Sagstetter, an undergraduate student in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, will be graduating in the spring of 2007 with a dual degree in philosophy and political science, along with a minor in African American studies. As an undergraduate, Sagstetter is actively involved with The Virginia Tech Office of Judicial Affairs, and serves as an associate justice with the Virginia Tech Honor System. He is also a peer educator for the women's resource center, a college ambassador, the treasurer of the Virginia Tech Student Alliance and a mentor with the Virginia Tech Leadership Experience for Achievement Development (LEAD).

Christina Vu of Ashburn, a rising senior majoring in management in the Pamplin College of Business, has received the John W. Hansen Memorial Scholarship.

This merit-based scholarship is awarded annually to an undergraduate student enrolled in the Pamplin College of Business.

Victoria Wilson of Potomac Falls, a student majoring in English in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Tech, was recently inducted into the university's chapter of Omicron Delta Kappa Society, the national leadership honor society for college students and recognizes and encourages superior scholarship, leadership, and exemplary character. The society recognizes achievement in scholarship, athletics, campus or community service, social and religious activities, campus government, journalism, speech and mass media, and the creative and performing arts.

Oatlands has hired Carla Johnston as its new head gardener. Johnston, a resident of White Post, Va., has been a landscape gardener and designer for over a decade.

With her background as a landscape gardener and designer at Greystone Gardens in White Post, Va., and Highland Gardens in Boyce, Va., Johnston specializes in garden design, garden installation and garden maintenance. She also developed a curriculum for classes at the State Arboretum of Virginia. Johnston received her bachelorÕs degree at Shepherd University, in Shepherdstown, W.Va. She also earned a landscape design certificate from George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

Cub Scout Bear Den 3, Pack 1152, from Lowes Island Elementary School toured the Loudoun County Solid Waste Management Facility recently to see how a landfill works and to learn about recycling.

While visiting the landfill and the Recycling Drop-off Center, the group learned how recycling of bottles, cans and paper contributes to thousands of new products from pencils to planes. The Scouts also had the opportunity to see 60-ton equipment smash trash in what is known as the "pit," and how "rain coats" are used to keep water out of the buried waste.

Christine Baranowski of Ashburn, a graduate student studying marketing education in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences' School of Education at Virginia Tech, has received the Outstanding Student Teacher in Marketing Education Award.

Recipients of this award have or are completing the student teaching component of their program and who have consistently received high evaluations from university supervisors and who are endorsed by their cooperating teacher.

Ryan Clairmont and Meagan Graydon, both of Ashburn are recipients of the 2006 American Roentgen Ray Society Young Scholar Award, a $1,000-scholarship awarded each year to two high-school seniors from Loudoun County who are interested in pursuing a career in medicine, science or research.

Clairmont is one of the top-10 students in his class with a GPA of 4.23. He has received numerous awards including a USAA Mathematics Award. He is a member of the Math Club and National Honor Society and was named WhoÕs Who Among American High School Students as well as an All-American Scholar. He decided to go into the medical field when he began working as a pharmacy technician at a local CVS Pharmacy. He plans to attend the University of Virginia in Charlottesville and wants to major in biomedical engineering.

Graydon is one of the top-10 students of her class with a GPA of 4.16. She has received numerous awards including the Excellence in Academics Award and the Outstanding Community Service Award. She is a member of the National Youth Leadership Forum on Medicine and a volunteer at Loudoun Hospital. Graydon decided in her fourth-grade colonial fair, where she studied colonial medicine and apothecaries, that she wanted to pursue a career in medicine. She was pointed in that direction even further when a close relative of hers was diagnosed with breast cancer and passed away. She plans to attend the University of Virginia and wants to major in biology and become a pediatric oncologist.

Ashley Castor of Sterling, a student in the College of Natural Resources at Virginia Tech recently received the A.E. Evans Scholarship. The scholarship is awarded to undergraduate students.

The Loudoun Crime Commission presented its third and final Outstanding Loudoun Youth award of the 2005-2006 school year to Michael Cliett, a Belmont Ridge Middle School eighth-grade student, in connection with the Commission's "Cruisin' in the Right Lane" Program.

Michael's nomination came from Maria O'Brien, eighth-grade guidance counselor at Belmont Ridge Middle School, who described Michael as a young man dedicated to his school, his family, and his community. He is responsible, self-directed, motivated, compassionate and unaffected by peer pressures. His energy and enthusiasm for helping others and improving himself is infectious, according to O'Brien.

Kristen Claeys of Sterling, a student in the Department of Art and Art History in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies at Virginia Tech, has been named a recipient of the Derek Myers Endowed Scholarship, given annually to a student based on academic achievement.

Keep Loudoun Beautiful sponsored its annual essay and poster contest in the elementary schools with themes of recycling, composting, ecology, beautification and clean up. One essay and one poster winner from each participating school were chosen in two age groups, kindergarten-second grade and third-fifth grades.

Essay winners were Belmont Station, Molly McCabe; Cool Spring, Bridgitte Lieu and Kaitlyn Lease; Evergreen Mill, Troy Sweeney and Grace Wu; Leesburg, Brittany McCullock; Lovettsville, Ben Hughes; Lucketts, Thomas Enright; Middleburg, Hannah All; Mountain View, Courtney Powell-Schollian; Newton-Lee, Makenzie Conklin and J.W. Tolbert, Gia Ferrara. Each essay winner won a gift certificate from Books A Million bookstore in Leesburg.

Poster winners were Algonkian, Caroline Dunn; Catoctin, Bruce Martinez and Michael Rexrode; Cool Spring, Janelly Ariza-Castro and Melissa Meyers; Emerick, Kathy Bui and Grace Redding; Evergreen Mill, Nicole Balavage and Preston Womack; Hillsboro, Taileigh Testerman Hough; Lincoln, Jonathan Connor Barrett and Brianna Tyler; Leesburg, Brianna McLaine and Caileigh McLaine; Lovettsville, Joseph Keim and Indigo McLaughlin; Lucketts, Jenna Knoell; Middleburg, Grant Chungo and Henry Feil; Mountain View, James McCray and Abby Taylor; Newton-Lee, Anna Ngai and Aliya Qureshi; Sugarland, Katerina Banks and Lucia Caraballo and J.W. Tolbert, Matthew Kim and Tyler Frank. Each poster winner had their posters framed and returned to them.

All winners will receive a KLB T-shirt and all participating students will receive KLB pencils. All winning essays and posters will be displayed over the summer on the Web site

Gary Fry of Sterling a student majoring in building construction in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies at Virginia Tech, was recently awarded the Hazel-Pruitt Scholarship, which is awarded to students based upon merit and financial need.

Loudoun County Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Services announces the hiring of Steve Sawyer as parks division manager. He joined the department effective May 8, after retiring as a captain with the U.S. Coast Guard.

Sawyer earned a bachelor of science degree in outdoor recreation from Bowling Green State University and a master's degree in instructional systems from Florida State University. During his 28 years with the Coast Guard, he was assigned to several operational command cadre billets where he had overall responsibility for facilities and unit morale programs including all recreational activities for multiple shore and afloat units across the country.

Allison Jarnagin of Sterling, a student in the Department of Art and Art History in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies at Vriginia Tech, has been named a recipient of the Derek Myers Endowed Scholarship, which is given annually to a student based on academic achievement.

The Loudoun Volunteer Services Board has selected the 2006 Student Volunteer Scholarship recipients. Through the Student Scholarship Program, graduating seniors in each Loudoun County public school and the C.S. Monroe Technology Center, as well as private school and home-schooled seniors, are eligible for at least a $500 scholarship. The program is funded each year by donations from Loudoun County businesses, civic groups and individuals.

The award recipients are selected based on their volunteer service to the Loudoun Community. The 2006 Student Volunteer Scholarship recipients are:

* Broad Run High School, Mackenzie Dickson and Katherine Peterson.

* C.S. Monroe Technology Center, Ashley Jones (Stone Bridge High School).

* Dominion High School, Natasha Amirhadji and Megan Meidlinger.

* Heritage High School, Christie Cerimele, Caitlin Krueger and Brittany Rose.

* Home-schooled, Joshua Brown.

* Loudoun County High School, Andrew Cypher, Christina Dawson, Bianca Garramone and Victoria Stevens.

* Loudoun Valley High School, Philip Harper, Kevin Hayba and Jacqueline Lewis.

* Park View High School, Laura Jones.

* Potomac Falls High School, Catherine Krips and Jeong "Evan" Oh.

* Stone Bridge High School, Jennifer Borman and Melissa Muir.

For the second year in a row, Loudoun Volunteer Services was able to award a $4,000 scholarship to an overall, outstanding Loudoun County student who demonstrated exceptional community service above and beyond the call of duty. This year's scholarship has been awarded to Kevin Hayba, who mentors children with special needs at Mountain View Elementary School.

Renae Smith, daughter of Lt. Col. John and Jana Smith of Sterling, is majoring in political science at Grove City College (Pa.) and was named to the Dean's List for outstanding academic performance during the spring 2006 semester.

Loudoun County Sheriff's recruits took six of the top-10 academic spots at the 114th session of the Northern Virginia Criminal Justice Academy's Basic Deputy Sheriff School.

Loudoun recruit Deputy Mark McCaffrey received the Directors Award for the Basic Deputy Sheriff in the session. This award is based on the highest overall academic score taken from grades achieved in the academic exams, firearms training and driver training. Deputy Seyem Katie Kim and Deputy Elizabeth Kamps placed second and third respectively.

McCaffrey also took a leadership role in the session holding one of the three vice presidential positions

According to the Sheriff's Office its recruits consistently place in the top five of the academy graduates, which consist of recruits from agencies throughout the Northern Virginia Region

The recruits, who are now state certified in basic law enforcement, are Mark F. McCaffrey, Seyem K. Kim, Elizabeth A. Kamps, Sarah J. Gerlach, Nathan K. Ferguson, Bonnie J. Schmeider, Curtis W. Ulmer, Danial E. Reeves, Brandi L. Johnson, Donovan W. Reid, Dennis M. Mooney, Oscar M. Cesar, Aaron M. Marks, John A. Pierce, John F. Arnold and Robert R. Thomasson.

Madeena Sadozai and Jack Maschler, kindergarten students at Creme de la Creme Elementary School were recently awarded first and third place in a national art contest titled, "How Green Is Our Future?" sponsored by Weekly Reader and Jane Goodall's Roots & Shoots Institute.

The art contest asked students to draw an example of how they would save the earth by concentrating on a problem in their local environment. There were more than 5,000 entries from kindergarten through 12th-graders.

First-place winner Madeena was awarded a $50 check from Weekly Reader and an autographed copy of Jane Goodall's "The Eagle and the Wren." Jack, who won third-place, received an autographed book.

Randall L. Kelley has been named Inova Health System senior vice president and chief executive officer of Inova Loudoun Hospital. He will begin his duties with the hospital Aug. 1.

Kelley has nearly two decades of experience in health care, most recently serving as president and CEO of the 206-bed Gateway Health System in Clarksville, Tenn.

Kelley has a master's of health-care administration degree from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health and a bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan.

Kimberly Lyon, Potomac Falls High School 11th-grader, was awarded second place in the high-school division of the statewide cachet design contest for America's 400th Anniversary, honoring the 1607 founding of Jamestown.

Kathryn L. Yassine, a Park View High School graduate, recently completed her degree in systems engineering with a minor in business from George Mason University's Volgenau School of Information Technology and Engineering (IT&E).

While at school, Yassine received numerous awards and commendations such as first place at the 2006 IEEE Systems and Information Engineering Design Symposium; first place at the 2006 United States Military Academy Capstone Conference; the George Mason Distinguished Academic Achievement Award in Systems Engineering Award; and the George Mason Provost and University Deans Scholarships, to name a few.

Lauren DiRenzo, a junior at Broad Run High School, was one of 80 students from 31 states who were selected from a pool of more than 300 applicants to join this summer's Earthwatch Institute's Student Challenge Awards Program. She will participate in a field-research expedition titled, Salmon of the Pacific Northwest located in the Skagit River Basin of Washington State working with principal investigator Ralph Riley, Ph.D.

Teams of six to eight award winners will spend up to three weeks on one of 11 research projects. The research and other project activities expose students to scientific questions and methodologies. The program aims to expand the potential of high-school students through hands-on learning and to stimulate their curiosity about science and technology.

The Loudoun County Long & Foster $1,000 scholarship recipients are Mackenzie Dickson, a senior at Broad Run High School and Christine Dang, a senior at Parkville High School. In the fall, Dickson plans to attend Brigham Young University where she will major in psychology. Dang, will attend the College of William and Mary where she will pursue her dream of becoming a lawyer.

Guillermo A. Meneses of Ashburn was appointed by Gov. Tim Kaine (D) to serve as a member of the Virginia Workforce Council. Meneses is vice president of communications for the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

J.D. Mitchell of the Loudoun County Department of Building and Development has been elected president of the Virginia Fire Prevention Association (VFPA). Mitchell is field supervisor of the fire protection inspection section of the department's Code Enforcement Division.

The VFPA is a statewide organization of fire inspectors, fire marshals and building inspectors.

Mitchell has been with the Loudoun County government for seven years. Prior to becoming the fire protection inspection field supervisor, Mitchell was a fire protection inspector and fire protection plan reviewer.

Prior to being elected president of the VFPA, Mitchell served on the group's board of directors for three years and helped develop the association's Web site. He has also been active in code development on the state level.

Air Force Airman Monica Garcia 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.

She is the daughter of David R. Rodgers of Leesburg and Madeline Garcia-Rodgers of Reno, Nev.