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Spotsylvania County Public Schools’ Cougar Zone School Based Enterprise is one of 18 career and technical education programs and partnerships recognized by the Virginia Department of Education and the Virginia Community College System through the agencies’ annual Creating Excellence Awards program.

The Creating Excellence Awards program promotes best practices in career and technical education by recognizing exemplary contributions of individuals and organizations that improve the quality of career and technical education by raising academic achievement and technical skills attainment; strengthening connections between secondary and postsecondary education; preparing students for successful transitions to postsecondary education and training and careers; and creating partnerships with businesses, industries and other stakeholders that support relevant CTE programs and enhance Virginia’s workforce and economy.


Shannon Teri of James Monroe High School was the winner of the essay contest sponsored by the Optimist Club of Fredericksburg, in conjunction with Optimist International. “Is Optimism the Key to Achieving the Dreams you iMagine?” was the topic of the contest.

After winning at the club level, Teri advanced and won the Capital Virginia District contest, where she was awarded a scholarship.

The Optimist Club of Fredericksburg has been supporting the youth of Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania and Stafford for 44 years. Carrying the motto “Bringing Out the Best in Youth, in our Communities, and in Ourselves,” Optimists conduct positive service projects that reach more than six million young people each year. To learn more about Optimist International, call 314/371-6000; or visit


Help TAGGED, Talented Ambitious Gifted Groomed Empowered Directed, support the talented, ambitious and gifted youth in foster care as they head off to college in the fall. TAGGED will sponsor a stuff-a-trunk tailgate for college bound youth in foster care at 701 Kenmore Ave., on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

With touchless drop-off, simply drive up, pop open your trunk and a TAGGED volunteer will collect your donations. The TAGGED stuff-a-trunk program is designed to help college-bound youth in the foster care system in the state of Virginia with basic needs such as items for their dorm, food, personal hygiene supplies and books. Its goal is to support at least 10 students each year with the proper supplies they need to be successful at college.

TAGGED is a certified 501(c)(3) organization committed to changing the trajectory of talented, ambitious and gifted youth in the foster care system. TAGGED works to groom, empower and direct them with life enhancing tools and extracurricular activities to help them realize and reach the highest levels of themselves.

Make a tax-deductible donation at or


The Dahlgren Lions Club will host the Dirty Lion Mud Run on Sept. 19 in King George County.

The adult race will be held at 7 a.m. and the kids’ race at 9 a.m. Visit Arsenal Events at to register.

For additional information, contact Lion Mark Cawthon at 540/226-9928.

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Allen Watkins, a CTE teacher at Colonial Forge High School in Stafford County, is one of 46 public school educators who will receive the prestigious California Casualty Award for Teaching Excellence at the NEA Foundation’s Salute to Excellence in Education Gala in February.

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