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PLP Alumni News
The board members, alumni, and staff at the Sorensen Institute would like to express our deepest sympathies to the family of Elizabeth Davis, who recently lost her battle against Hodgkin's disease.
A graduate of the Political Leaders Program Class of Fall 1994, Beth had been a determined and sincere advocate for quality public education in Virginia ever since she started as a kindergarten teacher in Pulaski County in 1973. We can all be proud of the work and creativity she lent the efforts to improve our schools. The Commonwealth was fortunate to have her. She will be missed. Thank you, Beth.
Governor Tim Kaine recently announced that he signed legislation creating the New College Institute in Martinsville. The Sorensen Institute is proud to report that Governor Kaine also appointed two of our folks to the New College Board of Directors: Elizabeth Haskell, a member of our Southside Regional Board, and Kimble Reynolds, a graduate of the Political Leaders Program Class of 1997.
Click here to read a recent Roanoke Times article about the New College.
Barbara Pryor of Amherst, a graduate of the first Political Leaders Program class (Spring 2004) recently announced that she will run as an Independent against Republican incumbent Bob Goodlatte in the Sixth U.S. Congressional District.
Pryor joins two other Independents who will stand against the Congressman. Goodlatte will face no Democratic challenger for the fourth straight election.
Congratulations to Cathleen Grzesiek (shown left), a graduate of the Political Leaders Program Class of 2005, who recently welcomed a new baby girl into the world!
Caroline Mary Grzesiek arrived last Friday, June 9, 2006 at 3:57 p.m. She weighed 7lbs 8oz and was 19 1/4 inches long. Both mommy and baby and doing great, just getting some well-needed rest.
Congratulations are due Vickie Williams, a graduate of the Political Leaders Program Class of 2005. At a recent gathering of the Virginia Chapter of the Association for Conflict Resolution, Vickie, who works with the State Board of Elections, presented a new "train-the-trainer" course in the Samoan Circle technique. This is a tool used to facilitate mediation in a group facing a particularly polarizing issue.
Vickie co-developed this course, which has been approved by the Virginia Supreme Court as a Continuing Mediation Education Credit. Vickie serves on the Board of Directors for the Virginia Chapter of the ACR and is also a Certified Mediator for the Virginia Supreme Court.
Way to go Vick!
John Lawrence of Lynchburg, a member of the Political Leaders Program Class of 2006, was interviewed for a recent National Public Radio story about Jim Webb's bid for the Democratic nomination to run against George Allen for U.S. Senate in November. Webb is running against Harris Miller for the nomination. The primary election will be held across Virginia tomorrow, Tuesday, June 13.
Delegate Jennifer McClellan of Richmond recently joined Governor Tim Kaine for her first bill signing ceremony.
McClellan is a graduate of the Political Leaders Program Class of 2001, the Candidate Training Program Class of 2005, and a member of the Sorensen State Board.
Sorensen's Coy Barefoot interviewed Delegate McClellan this past Tuesday on his radio program. They discussed movement towards a compromise on the state budget as well as the new Virginia Civil Rights Memorial.
The Reverend C. Douglas Smith, a graduate of the Political Leaders Program Class of 2005, was interviewed for an article about the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy, for which he serves as Executive Director. The article appeared today in the Lynchburg News & Advance.
Doug was also recognized recently by his alma mater, James Madison University, as a graduate who is helping to change the world.
Mary Loose DeViney, a graduate of the Political Leaders Program Class of 2005, was interviewed for a recent article in the Richmond Times-Dispatch about businesses in Charlottesville. Mary is the Vice President of Tuel Jewelers, which her family has owned and operated since 1945.