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Prince William school personnel recognized with HCHY Local Hero Awards

The Prince William County Healthy CommunitiesˑHealthy Youth Council (HCHY) held its annual Local Heroes Awards at the Kelly Leadership Center on February 13.

The Local Heroes exemplify how to support and build leadership skills and self-awareness in our youth so that they might one day be leaders themselves—and serve their communities as role models for those who come after.

The winners of the HCHY Local Hero Awards were selected for inspiring and enduring contributions through school and community activities. HCHY Council co-chairs, Carolyn Custard, director, PWCS Office of Student Services, and Tracy Hannigan, deputy director, Prince William County Parks & Recreation, presented awards.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Steve Walts and County Executive Christopher Martino thanked the HCHY Council for its leadership and congratulated the award winners, stressing the importance of community in shaping young people into responsible and contributing citizens.

Among the many winners were:

Denise McPhail, co-founder of the Creative and Performing Arts Center (CAPAC), cultivates long-lasting relationships with local, state, and national arts and other organizations and provides opportunities for an underrepresented community of theatre professionals, artists, local talent, and audiences. CAPAC this year has provided master classes for approximately 170 Colgan High School students through a partnership to produce an original production, “The Courageous Four,” by Colgan students.

Carol-Anne Volel, a senior at Osbourn Park High School, was recognized for collecting school supplies, toys, and clothing since she was a freshman, to help orphans in Sierra Leone, West Africa.

Damon Broiles, a math remediation teacher at Beville Middle School, worked collaboratively with other teachers to establish a positive reward system to recognize students for their positive actions; is actively involved in supporting STEM activities for girls; assists with PTSO activities; and is an official and coach for various athletic leagues.

Brian Gorham, administrative coordinator, and the PWCS Energy Management Team, were recognized for their work in saving the School Division millions of dollars in energy costs by educating students and staff in energy conservation. With encouragement from the Energy Team, students have spearheaded efforts to reduce energy costs in their schools through creative videos. Energy Team members are Byran Conrad, energy education coordinator, Jennifer Rokasky, energy education coordinator, and Jessica Weimer, data analyst, Operations.

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