Charlotte Jones Blaylock ’51 (right) and her freshman roommate, Ann Norfleet Taylor

Freshman roommates still close 71 years later

More than 70 years after becoming close friends when rooming together during their freshman year, Charlotte Jones Blaylock ’51 and Ann Norfleet Taylor still keep in touch. Since sharing a triple room in White House Hall in 1947-48—and numerous double dates—they have remained close through visits, phone calls and at least one minireunion, a vacation get-together with eight other Longwood friends at a rented beach house in Florida, where they roomed together again. (Blaylock has attended several other mini-reunions with Longwood friends.) Taylor, a lifelong Virginia Beach resident, attended Blaylock’s second wedding and 80th birthday party, and Blaylock, a Salem native who has lived in the Baltimore area since 1960, attended the wedding of Taylor’s daughter. “Mom and Ann are really good buddies. It’s amazing they’ve stayed in touch so well,” said Blaylock’s son, Frank Greenbaum. “They must have really hit it off.” 


Dr. Betty Weaver ’67 , M.A. ’73, retired in January 2017 after 17 years as school administrator at New Life Christian Academy in Farmville. She previously was CEO of the South Central Private Industry Council (1983-2000), a job-training planner with the Virginia Employment Commission (197883), a social worker for Prince Edward County (1973-78) and a teacher at Prince Edward Academy (1967-73). An ordained minister who has published three inspirational books and preached in more than 50 churches, she has a Doctor of Ministry degree from Trinity Seminary in Indiana and a Master of Divinity from United Theological Seminary in South Carolina. She remains associate pastor at New Life Church (which runs the academy), where she oversees the local missions program. Weaver, a lifelong Farmville resident, celebrated her retirement with a trip to Niagara Falls in July 2017 and earlier this year visited Ireland and Oregon.

Margaret “Peggy” Jones Crews ’69, M.S. ’80, is the coordinator of Kids Kollege, a summer enrichment program in South Boston sponsored by the Parsons-Bruce Art Association. Crews retired in 2008 after teaching history, English and writing at Cluster Springs Elementary in Halifax County for 39 years. She is a coauthor of An Architectural History of Halifax County, Virginia, published in 2016.


Dr. MaryKate Morse ’70, professor of leadership and spiritual formation at Portland Seminary at George Fox University, was selected to present the 2018 Beane Lecture at William Penn University in April. Morse has taught for 30 years at Portland Seminary, where she is the lead mentor in the Doctor of Ministry for Leadership and Spiritual Formation Program. She has held several administrative positions at the university, including seminary associate dean and university director of strategic planning. A Quaker minister who has planted two churches and written two books (see Page 36), she speaks at conferences and retreats in the U.S. and internationally, in addition to serving as a church consultant and a coach for pastors. She has a doctorate from Gonzaga University and two master’s degrees from what is now Portland Seminary, a multidenominational Christian seminary with Quaker roots.

Cindy Jamison Fulks ’71, an artist who lives in LaGrange, Georgia, has a current exhibition at Studio 114 at the LaGrange Art Museum. The LaGrange Landscape Series Exhibition, which opened April 13 and runs through Aug. 30, features 10 of her oil paintings. Fulks’ works can be found in Chick-fil-A’s corporate office in Atlanta, the Ritz-Carlton Reynolds plantation near Atlanta, WellStar West Georgia Hospital in LaGrange, and private homes and businesses. In addition to her art career, she has sold real estate for many years. Previously she taught school and had a calligraphy business.

 Betty Knott Spiers

Mary Knott Branzelle ’89 (left) and her sister, Betty Knott Spiers ’88, with their mother, Virginia Sutherland Knott ’54

3rd-generation alumna named top teacher for Dinwiddie schools

Betty Knott Spiers ’88, a third generation alumna and one of three siblings to attend Longwood, is her school system’s top teacher. Spiers, an instructional technology resource teacher (ITRT) at Dinwiddie County High School, was honored in May as the Dinwiddie Public School Division Teacher of the Year for 2019. Her mother, Virginia Sutherland Knott ’54, and both of her late grandmothers, Maude Clay Sutherland ’56 and Mary Virginia Thrift ’21, also taught in Dinwiddie. In Spiers’ senior year at Longwood, her sister, Mary Knott Branzelle ’89, and one of her brothers, Raymond Knott ’91, also were on campus, during which time all three lived in Curry. Spiers, who has a master’s from Virginia Tech, has taught in her native Dinwiddie County for 28 years. She has been an ITRT the past 15 years, after spending the first half of her career as an elementary teacher. 


Timothy Hale ’87 (left), Tom DeWitt ’80 and Col. Jason Craft ’89

2 alumni speak at defense meeting

An April meeting of the Small and Emerging Contractors Advisory Forum (SECAF) held at Tysons Corner was a minireunion of Longwood ROTC alumni. The keynote speakers were Col. Jason Craft ’89 and Timothy Hale ’87, a retired Army lieutenant colonel. They were introduced by Tom DeWitt ’80, president and CEO of SNVC, who taught both in the ROTC program. In the meeting, which focused on the Department of Defense’s modernization process, Craft, director of Army aviation programs and assistant secretary of the Army for acquisitions, logistics and technology, recounted his experiences as program manager of the Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle, the Army’s primary vehicle for carrying soldiers into combat. Hale, product director for acquisitions, logistics and technology enterprise systems and services, spoke on the future of Army business systems and their migration to a cloud-based data center. 


Barbara Clark Cole ’85 taught Art Connection for ages 8-12 in this year’s Kids Kollege, a summer enrichment program in South Boston sponsored by the ParsonsBruce Art Association. Cole, who has a master’s degree from Lynchburg College, is an art teacher at Halifax County Middle School. She also has taught special education and second and third grades, all with the Halifax schools. Cole plays mandolin in a Gospel group, River Creek, and played the organ at her church for 15 years.

Dr. James Burgess ‘92

Dr. James Burgess ‘92

Chemistry professor develops new test to identify those at risk for diabetes

Dr. James Burgess ’92, a professor of medical laboratory science, has been recognized for his work in advancing research and developing personalized patient diagnostics by inclusion in the latest edition of Marquis Who’s Who, a collection of short biographies of notable individuals. Since January 2016, Burgess has chaired Augusta University’s Department of Medical, Laboratory, Imaging and Radiologic Sciences, where he facilitates research and oversees three professional programs. His personal research includes identifying a reliable predictor of children at risk for high cholesterol through the use of electrodes (“a tiny wire smaller than a human hair”), an ongoing project. If successful, the “human sensing platform” for cholesterol and also bloodless glucose screening that Burgess has developed may help predict people who have, or are at risk for, high cholesterol or diabetes. “You’d be able to test by simply touching inside a person’s cheek with a disposable, handheld sensor.” 


Helen Dennis Burgess ’91, a K-5 special education teacher at Brookwood Elementary in Grovetown, Georgia, was recently accepted into the Master of Arts in teaching program at Augusta University, which she will begin this fall. She was a Title I tutor and substitute teacher for the Streetsboro City Schools in Ohio from 2002-15. She is married to Dr. James Burgess ’92 (see Page 47).

Greg Tsigaridas ’94 appeared in the April production of Gaslight by the Waterworks Players, a community theater group in Farmville. A senior computer systems engineer in Longwood’s Information Technology Services, he played the role of Jack Manningham. Tsigaridas, who has worked at Longwood since graduating, has appeared in 15 Waterworks Players productions, beginning with South Pacific in 2012.

Sean Ward ’95 was promoted to director of residential construction for Eagle Construction in March. Ward oversees production for all of Eagle’s residential communities in Richmond’s West End. He has worked for the company since 2005.

Dr. Brenda Toone Palmore ’96 was promoted to vice president for practice management and business development at VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital (CMH) in South Hill in March. She has administrative oversight of the operations side of all CMH physician practices and hospital-based physician services. Palmore, who was born in the hospital, has worked for VCU Health CMH since 1999. She has a doctorate from the Medical University of South Carolina and an MBA from Averett University.


Lindsay Mottley ’01, M.S. ’02, principal of Bettie Weaver Elementary in Chesterfield County, received the Administrator of the Year Award from the Virginia Association of School Librarians in November 2017, recognizing her support of literacy. Mottley was commended for the award by the Virginia House of Delegates in House Resolution No. 89, adopted this February. She began her career as a special education teacher in Hanover County. She has been principal at Bettie Weaver since July 2014. She will transition in January 2019 to founding principal of Old Hundred Elementary in Chesterfield, set to open in September 2019.

Laura Ellis ’02 joined HHHunt Homes, the homebuilding division of HHHunt Corp., as an online sales adviser in March 2017. Ellis, who lives in Hanover County, worked in sales and marketing for Ryan Homes from 2002-17.

Jamie Erickson Orrison ’02 has been the aquatics manager for Prince William County since 2012. She oversees all eight of that county’s aquatic facilities (two waterparks, two indoor recreation centers and four outdoor community swimming pools). She has worked full time for Prince William since 2003. A former competitive swimmer (she swam on Longwood’s club swim team her first two years), she is a lifeguard instructor trainer. She is married to Rob Orrison ’98 (see his latest book on Page 36).

Dr. Avetta White ’02 earned a Ph.D. in higher education from Morgan State University in May. A licensed professional counselor and a national certified counselor, she has worked in the Office of Counseling and Disability Services at the University of the District of Columbia for more than 12 years. She has a master’s degree from Argosy University.

The Rev. Marvin Bowman ’04 was installed as pastor of Bethel Grove Baptist Church, in the Clover area of Halifax County, in March. Bowman also is pastor of Second Baptist Church in Clarksville, a position he has held for eight years, and teaches civics and economics at Halifax County Middle School. His wife, Rose Jones Bowman ’02, M.S. ’04, teaches math in the special education program at Halifax County High School.

Matt Daniel ’04 was named vice president of global services for ABODA by RESIDE, a leader in global housing services, in March. Previously he was senior vice president of sales for Regency Corporate Living and director of supply chain, Americas, for BridgeStreet Global Hospitality. He holds the Certified Corporate Housing Provider certification.

Larry “Trey” Deal III ’05, a member of Longwood’s golf team as a student, played golf professionally for several years and now is an account manager with Coca-Cola living in Orange County. He played in tournaments with the Professional Golfers’ Association system in Virginia and the Carolinas.

Christie Ginther Archer, M.S. ’06, was named account executive for Virginia for Troxell Communications, a national leader in educational technology and collaboration solutions, in February. She was a teacher and library media specialist for 10 years in Prince George County, where she lives, then in Brunswick County for five years.

Dr. Laura Hebert ’06, graduate licensure in educational administration, was named principal of Twinsburg High School in Ohio in April and will begin her duties July 30. Hebert has been principal of Lloyd C. Bird High in Chesterfield County since 2011 and taught for 20 years in Virginia and her native Ohio.

Barbara Lenhardt, MBA ’08, assumed the newly created position of general manager and deputy chief of retail at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., in February. She had been director of retail operations at the John F . Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts for nearly six years. Previously she also held retail positions at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

Sara Bonovitch Shell ’08 was promoted to public relations manager for Space Florida in December 2017. She had been public relations coordinator since September 2015 for Space Florida, the state’s aerospace and spaceport development authority, located at the Kennedy Space Center. Before joining the agency, she was a community news reporter with the Sun-Sentinel newspaper in Fort Lauderdale for two years. Shell, who has a master’s degree from Virginia Commonwealth University, is workplace campaign chair for United Way of Brevard.

Emily James Powers ’09 and her husband, Matthew Powers, are the parents of Katherine James Powers, born Nov. 7, 2017. Emily and Matthew were married Nov. 23, 2013. She was previously human resources manager at Parham Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in Richmond; he is a natural gas transportation analyst at Dominion Power in Richmond.

Lindsay Reese ’09, a physician assistant, joined the Harris Family Practice in Laurinburg, North Carolina, earlier this year. Reese, who has a master’s degree from Eastern Virginia Medical School, also has worked as a certified athletic trainer with teenage athletes and at an urgent care facility.

Lauren Wood ’09 was named supervisor of Bensley Recreation Center in Chesterfield County in April. She previously was activities director at Hanover (County) Health & Rehabilitation Center. Before that she worked in Isle of Wight County for seven years, first as a recreation specialist and then as fair and events coordinator.


She Did the Math

Emily Spady ’13, M.S. ’15, a sixth-grade math teacher at Grafton Middle School in Yorktown, was her school’s Math Teacher of the Year for 2017-18. “Emily works tirelessly for all students,” said her mentor-teacher, Bob Nealy, who nominated her for the award. Also during the past school year, Spady was the only teacher from her school chosen by the principal to participate in a division-wide K-12 math restructuring initiative. She is her school’s cheerleading coach and has led her squad to three consecutive Bay Rivers District championships. 


Judy Deichman, M.S. ’10, school librarian at Nottoway Middle School in Crewe, is the recipient of the 2018 American Association of School Librarians’ (AASL) Innovative Reading Grant. Sponsored by Capstone, the $2,500 grant supports the planning and implementation of a unique program for children that encourages reading, especially with struggling readers. Deichman’s program is the Nottoway Book-A-Way Summer Bookmobile. She plans to entice readers with activities and books tied to a weekly theme such as “Minecraft Mania,” “Popsicle Palooza” and “Pamper Your Pets.” AASL award winners were recognized in June during the annual conference of the American Library Association, a division of AASL.

Sara Kidd ’10 was appointed an assistant district attorney in the Charlotte/Mecklenburg (North Carolina) District Attorney’s Office in April. She graduated cum laude from Campbell University School of Law in May 2017 and passed the North Carolina Bar Exam in July that year.

Charlotte Trant ’11 played Bella Manningham in the April production of Gaslight by the Waterworks Players, a community theater group in Farmville. Trant, the music teacher at Buckingham County Elementary and Primary schools, appeared in her third Waterworks show, The Illusion, in June.

Paige Reitz ’13 presented a spoken essay about her personal experience recovering from self-harm at a show in April sponsored by This Is My Brave, a mental health advocacy organization, at the Sterling campus of Northern Virginia Community College. Reitz, who has a master’s degree from the University of Houston, is a social worker living in Leesburg.

Amy Moore ’14 was married May 26 to Justin Wilkins. She is a speech-language pathologist at VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital in South Hill.

Kelsey Pardue ’14 was hired as the girls director of player development for the Virginia Soccer Association in April. She has coached at St. Bonaventure University and on the club level for the Bethesda Soccer Club and the Richmond Kickers. A standout midfielder at Longwood, she played professionally with the Washington Spirit for two years.

Josh Reimers ’15 and Kristen Scampoli ’15 were married Sept. 30, 2017. The couple, who live in Williamsburg, met in the Health and Fitness Center during the spring semester of their freshman year and started dating that summer. He is a physical therapy assistant; she is a registered nurse.


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