Herald Notebook for March 7: Prince Edward schools shift schedule

Published 12:21 am Tuesday, March 7, 2023

FARMVILLE – For the second time, Makayla Nelson is a state champion. The Prince Edward County High student won the girls’ long jump at the State Indoor Track Meet this weekend at Liberty University. Makayla won with a jump of 17 feet, 4 inches. She also took third in the girls’ high jump. 

Other Prince Edward County High students also placed at the meet. Freshman Aliyah Rachel came in seventh in the girls’ high jump, while Jamarion Crawley was the state runner up in the boys’ 300-meter dash and finished fourth in the 55-meter dash. Sylvia Hemmer came in fifth in both the boys’ 100-meter and the boys’ 1600-meter run. Overall, the Prince Edward Girls Track Team finished seventh at the state and the Boys Track Team came in 15th. 

Prince Edward schools stay open

For Cumberland, Buckingham and most other schools across the Commonwealth, this Friday is a day off for students. Cumberland County Schools, for example, will close at noon on March 9. Then the schools will be closed for students on Friday, March 10, as teachers have a work day. That’s not the case, however, for Prince Edward County. 

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Prince Edward County Schools announced that instead of a work day, March 10 will be a regular day of school in the district. It will serve as a make up day from when they missed classes due to ice on Feb. 2. 

Chip Jones wins regional award

And now we shift gears to talk about an award of a different kind. Cumberland County Public Schools Superintendent Chip Jones was chosen as Region 8 Superintendent of the Year.  Region 8 is one of eight districts in the Commonwealth of Virginia and includes 12 school divisions in Central and Southside Virginia.

The yearly accreditation and Standards of Learning (SOL) scores highlight the work Jones has done across the district.

When it comes to the SOL test, math scores were up this year, with 58% of district students passing the test this year. Last year, only 33% did that. The same goes for reading, where 59% of students passed, compared to 56% last year.

When it comes to accreditation, each school receives a “quality rating” of Level One, Two or Three when being considered for accreditation. Level One means you meet or exceed the state standards. Level Two means you’re showing improvement, but haven’t quite got there yet. Finally, Level Three means there are issues. 

In Cumberland’s case, most of the ratings for all three schools came in at Level One. 

Jones will now compete against the other regional winners, for the title of Virginia Superintendent of the Year.

Charges handed down in Prince Edward

From Feb. 26 to March 3, the Prince Edward County Sheriff’s Office arrested six people on a number of charges, all in unrelated cases. These arrests only cover the felony cases, as reported by deputies. 

On Feb. 27, deputies arrested and charged 28-year-old Prospect resident Shaquille Branch with malicious wounding. Branch also faces charges of abuse and neglect of children (with) reckless disregard. In the same case, Prospect resident Elmore Hurt Jr. faces charges of assault and battery of a family member. 

On Feb. 28 in an unrelated case, 32-year-old Crewe resident Anthony Tucker was arrested and faces four counts of revocation of suspended sentence and probation. 

Finally, on March 1, 57-year-old Farmville resident Ronald Turbyfill II was arrested and stands accused of grand larceny motor vehicle theft and possession of a Schedule I, Schedule II controlled substance. 

Hampden-Sydney hosts Literacy Day 

Students poured into Hampden-Sydney College from all across Southside last week. The only difference is that these students were a bit younger than those normally attending classes. The college hosted an estimated 1,100 second and third grade students from across the region, as part of Read Across America. 

On Tuesday and Wednesday, the students came into Fleet Gymnasium on the Hampden-Sydney campus, with each receiving a free Dr. Seuss book, signed by Hampden-Sydney athletes. They took part in relay races, jumped around in the inflatables set up for the event and talked with teachers and staff about reading. 

Longwood turns 184

This past Sunday marked an anniversary for Longwood University. The operation turned 184 years old, as it came to be on March 5, 1839. Originally known as the Farmville Female Seminary Association, it was led by Solomon Lea, a Methodist minister who had previously taught at Randolph-Macon College. In the beginning, the FFSA offered classes in English, Latin, Greek, French and piano. 

After the Civil War, on June 5, 1875, the college received a new charter and became Farmville College. More than 50 years later, in 1928, the college bought the nearby estate of the Longwood House, which later became the college’s and then the university’s namesake. As for its current status, Longwood became a university on April 2, 2002, when then-governor Mark Warner signed the legislation approving the change.