Newsroom Archive for 03/13, 2012


HSLP 2011 Alumna Congratulated by Gov. McDonnell
Mar 13 2012 - 4:42pm

High School Leaders Program 2011 alumna Dana Raphael spent her free time time during the most recent legislative session lobbying the General Assembly for the passage of HB 1063.  HB 1063 proposed allowing localities to decide the start of their school year and was based on a policy project drafted by Dana and her HSLP classmates, Aejoo Hong, Anna Carson, and Nitin Nainani.  Although HB 1063 passed the House of Delegates with a vote of 76 to 23, the most support ever garnered by a bill of this nature, it failed in the Senate Education and Health committee on March 1st with a vote of 6 to 9.   

Despite this less-than-desired outcome, Dana's hard work did not go unnoticed.  She was kind enough to share the following letter she received from Gov. Bob McDonnell recognizing her efforts.  We are very proud of Dana and her work!
"Dear Dana,
I very much appreciate your testimony and dedication in support of the passage of House Bill 1063.  As with my entire "Opportunity to Learn" K-12 legislative agenda, this legislation was aimed at a policy that puts students first.  I believe the repeal of this law would allow communities and parents to decide what is best for their students.
I have heard from several of my staff and legislators that you are an excellent speaker and an incredible young lady.  The School Start-Date initiative paper you and your colleagues wrote as part of the Sorensen Institute High School Leaders program was very helpful to my staff as they met with legislators and prepared testimony for the House Education and Senate Education and Health committees.
While the outcome of the legislation on the Senate was not favorable, I believe we made a significant step forward with the passage through the House of Delegates.  I hope that you will be encouraged by your experience and continue to actively engage in public policy and the legislative process.
Best wishes on your future success as you continue in your studies.  I know you will do great things.
Robert F. McDonnell"


Featured Alumni

  • Chuck Smith.jpg

    Chuck Smith

    Political Leaders Program

    Class of 2005

    Chuck is a self-employed attorney and current candidate for Virginia Beach City Council. He is a a former Marine and U.S. Navy JAG Officer (Retired). From 2006 to 2008, Chuck served as Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia Beach.