In A Hurry To Start A Career Helping Animals

By Tiffany Ford

Maeve Davis is graduating from CCHS and Mountain Vista Governor’s School with an Associates degree in science, a certificate in general education, and a career studies certificate from Allied Health.

I had the honor of talking to Maeve about her experiences and what she’s excited about now that she has graduated.

TF: What did you love about high school?
MD: One of the best parts of high school was getting into Governor’s School. It gave me the opportunity to meet people with varied interests all focused on math, technology and science, which was really exciting. My friends who go to CCHS were one of the best parts of my high school experience .We studied together, worked on projects together, laughed together.

TF: How did the Governor’s School/dual enrollment program work for you?
MD: Gov school classes are held at LFCC. I chose to take the AP classes to earn college credits. I’ve already taken a lot of the core classes that first-year college students take, so I can begin with junior-level classes. I’ll still have to stay on campus with other first years, but I can focus more on my field of study and graduate or transfer into a Master’s program much earlier.

TF: What do students need to know about dual enrollment? 
MD: I think there’s a negative connotation about community college that did not reflect my experience. LFCC is a great school. Campus grounds are amazing and well kept. The professors were always very nice and willing to help. It is an amazing opportunity to expand your education and to lessen the burden of college costs. If you can begin to chip away at it early, you can lessen the burden, whether it be financial, educational, or social later in life. The program is not for everyone; I did have to take a couple of extra classes to get my Associates degree but it was worth it.

TF: So, what happens next for you?
MD: I’ll be attending Virginia Tech this fall — hopefully — they haven’t made an announcement yet. I’m majoring in animal and poultry sciences with a possible dual minor in biology and history. I’m considering veterinary work specializing in marine or livestock. Which seems like a wide field, but I’ve worked with farm animals all my life, and I’m very comfortable with them. And there’s something so exciting about marine life. So I may work at a marine rehabilitation center or study environmental impacts on marine life.

TF: What would you say drives you?
MD: I have always known I wanted to be a vet. When you’re younger, you don’t think about money or things like that; so, for me, it was always just to get the learning done so I could help people and animals faster. Growing up, that hasn’t changed. But I’m more aware of the cost now. For me, getting into Governor’s School was like getting into college. When I opened that letter, that was my “I got into Tech” moment. For me it is: The sooner I get into school and get my degree, the sooner I can start helping animals and, in turn, 
helping people.

You Will Be Successful In All Your Endeavors

By Mark Viti, Valedictorian, CCHS Class of 2020

First off, I want us all to take the time to thank the family and friends who made this moment possible. From our parents helping with kindergarten reading assignments to our siblings driving us to practice, our families have supported our growth and achievement. We also must take a moment to celebrate the teachers, administrators, and staff who guided us to be both better students and people. They’ve worked extremely hard to make our goals possible, and their dedication to our learning should motivate us to become the best we can be in the years to come. Please take the time to reach out to your teachers, and thank them for the profound impact they had in all of our lives.

And now, having shown gratitude to those who supported our success, we come to the Class of 2020. 

Like many of you, I recently returned to the high school to drop off my Chromebook and some textbooks. Sitting in the drop off line, I couldn’t help but relive many of my sweetest high school memories. I once again looked upon the student lot with its empty white spots we used to fill with both cars and excited chatter. My eyes wandered through the windows of the cafeteria and past the tables we would share before the first bell as timid underclassmen. I saw the main hall and stairs, now silent save for the memory of laughter. I watched as the cars of my classmates inched forward towards dropoff, just in the same way they used to inch forward in the lunch line. The weight of nostalgia was almost like wearing my backpack again.

It seemed impossible that joy could be found in those dismal circumstances. And yet, in the heart of such melancholy, something miraculous happened. A few sorrowful eyes met again for the first time in months. A few cautious waves and smiles ran through the line. Soon, genuine laughter was spreading.

It seems to me like there is nothing more contagious than positivity. As I sat in my car, I realized I had experienced another miracle during my time at Clarke. As many of you know, I transferred to the High School freshman year. I thought it was going to be impossible to make friends and fit in. However, I was received with what can only be described as a miraculous outpouring of kindness and compassion. I truly cannot thank you all enough for the miracle you all performed for me.

Reminiscing about our time in high school, I started thinking of all the other miracles we’ve already made happen; all of the odds we’ve already beat.  At one point, we’ve all thought something was impossible. Remember trying to pass all those SOLs? Getting IB diplomas? What about winning District Championships? Getting jobs? What about winning state titles or applying to college or even graduating? Think about the most challenging obstacle you’ve faced. Remember how we thought some miracle would have to save us; how we pleaded for a snow day to save us from a hard test? Then remember how we probably were not saved, how we had to face our monsters head on.

But in the end, we’ve all made it, because here’s the secret: miracles don’t happen by chance. Hours of studying, of practice, of hard work enabled us to persevere. We haven’t been lucky all these years to get to this point: we’ve made it happen. Impossible is what we do; we work our own miracles. So hold onto the memories of the hard falls, the late nights, and the grueling practices. Cherish those impossible challenges as they are: the markers of our success. 

Driving off from the high school that last time, I was smiling, knowing just how lucky I was to have been a part of a group of miracle workers. The good news is we are not finished. That’s the thing about miracles, they overcome the impossible.

We may be six feet apart or separated by hundreds of miles, but we will always make extraordinary things happen. 2020 may be a terrible year to some, but to us, it’s just another chance to show off our incredible powers. 

Good luck Class of 2020! You will be successful in all your endeavors.

Clarke County High School Class of 2020

Emmie Jo Aiello

 Jennifer Alfaro

 Wade Clinton Anderson

 Elba Lilian Andrade Zamora

 Bradley Michael Atwell

 Brady Alan Atwell

 Anthony Alexander Avelar

 Grayson Wyatt Aylestock

 Alexander Caesare Bacci

 Madeleine Anne Baldwin

 Santiago Andres Barajas-Castillo

 Nicholas Ivan Beatty

 Joshua Aaron Mejia Beiler

 Karly Alexis Bell

 Taryn Martina Booth

 Gabrielle Brigitte Boukaia

 Emily Sara Bowen

 Elaina Diane Bowman

 Karl C Bue

 Zachary Orion Cahall

 Julia Kathleen Callender

 Collin Reid Carper-Walther

 Kendra Elizabeth Carter

 Rachel M Cascio

 Charles Derek Chapman

 Reena Chasman

 Colby Benjamin Childs

 Liam Micheal Thomas Clarke

 Faith Marie Compton

 Phillipa Lauren Coutts

 Reid Carl Cox

 Katherine Marie Crandall

 Mya Ashanti Creswell

 Mack Thomas Crider

 Jayleen Marie Cruz

 Kellan Jonathan Dalton

 Clara Davidson

 Cody Alexander Davis

 Maeve Elizabeth Davis

 Julia Kristen DiLandro

 Huntley Hope Dillon

 Gabriel A Douglas

 Thomas Anthony Douglas

 Alexis Grace Drosselmeyer

 Jonathan Carlyle Augus Dulaney

 David Alan Dunsmore Jr

 Michael Brian Edwards

 Chloe Mae Eichenlaub

 Terra Lee-Ann Enos

 Volkan Ergen

 Barbara Lynn Fairbanks

 Jessica Lynn Fikac

 Rebecca Marie Forbes

 Madison Paige Fuller

 Joseph Millard Gay

 Jonathan Reece Genda

 Lauren Marie Gibson

 Noah Anthony Gibson

 Llulisa Lisbet Gonzalez

 Jacob William Goode

 Lily Grace Graham

 Erica Christine Grim

 Bradley Christopher Grubb

 Whitney Nichole Grubbs

 Austin Blake Harris

 Hayden Wyatt Hartsell

 Abigail Grace Heavner

 Luke Dawson Hinderer

 Asa James Hinton

 Brady Calvin Holmes

 Alexandra Marie Hooks

 Rebecca Melissa Housey

 Amber Lee Huff

 Briona Alexis Jackson

 Izaac Raijon Jackson

 Reagan Annika Johnson

 Isadora Audra Johnston

 Daniel Stuart Jones

 Wesley Watson Keister

 Mitchell Dale Keplinger

 Dakota Lyle Kimble

 John Carr Kizer

 Joseph Charles LaMalfa

 Rebekah Lynn Langley

 Rhett Kendal Lawson

 Luke Daniel Leso

 Elizabeth Erin Leta

 Jordan Lee Long

 Marina Lynn Longerbeam

 Daniel Francis Lyman

 Bryce James Manahan

 Riley Elizabeth Marasco

 Travis Alan Martin

 Kyren James Martinez

 Mary Drew Mason-Hill

 Brandon James Mayo

 Isobel Sarah McDiarmid

 Jaron Cole McFarland

 Abigail Rain McGillicuddy

 Carol Ann Beatrice Meadows

 Ryan Timothy Miller

 Arianna Jaye Montgomery

 Tayron Konta Neal

 Malika Amber Nedjar

 Brooke Lawson Northcraft

 Melody Autumn Norton

 Anessa Emajin O’Neil

 Aislin Brooke Ogata

 Nicholas Hunter Orndorff

 Raegan Elizabeth Owens

 Elizabeth Anna Pelish

 Mekenzi Holiday Pierce

 Alexandra Holland Pledgie

 Roy Elwood Potts

 Dana Nicole Ramey

 Kiley Marie Ramey

 Odalis Janeth Ramirez-Ruiz

 Christian Xavier Rehe

 Kyle Thomas Reid

 Logan Matthew Reid

 Kevin Resendiz Rojo

 Camryn Dawn Reshetar

 Mackenzie Raine Rice

 Darian Michael Ritter

 Isaac Benjamin Rojas

 McKenzie Marie Ross

 Orie Cole Royston

 Mary Colleen Russman

 William Peyton Rutherford

 Noelia Anahi Sandoval

 Santiago Santos-Ruiz

 Jenna Page Sardelis

 Kathryn Elizabeth Shoemaker

 Austin Charles Silfies

 Charlotte Anne Smith

 Jacob Brady Smith

 Cody Lee Sowers

 Kaitlyn Mae Spitler

 Derek Adam Sprincis

 Autumn Marie Stevenson

 Emma Grace Suling

 Jackson Patrick Taylor

 Nicholas James Testa

 Josiah Ellis Thomas

 Quinton Elijah Thomas

 Kateri Nevaeh Thorne

 Nicholas Tyler Thorne

 Alma Rosa Tolentino

 Angie Elis Torres

 Hannah Kathryn Trenary

 Chloe Elena Unger

 Madison Lorraine Upperman

 Toma Elizabeth Vasilkov

 David Ruben Ventura

 Johnny Ernesto Villacorta

 Mark Gaetano Viti

 Elizabeth Dolores Wallace

 Jacob Allen Weddle

 Madalyn Miller Welch

 Logan Palmer Welfel

 Sara Michelle Wenzel

 Jarrett David Wiley

 Matthew Stephen Williams

 Samuel John Wolfe

 Jackson Cooper Wolford

 Zoe Ann Zimmerman

 Kassidy Vance Zugelder

Lambert Takes the Helm of Clarke Varsity Softball

By Claire Stuart

There’s been a changing of the guard for the girls’ softball teams at Clarke County High School.  Darren “Fly” Lambert has moved into the top spot as varsity head coach after six years as JV head coach, replacing Susan Grubbs, who retired after 31 years. Lambert coached Eagles JV baseball before coaching JV softball and sees no major differences between coaching boys and coaching girls. Asked whether he expects coaching varsity to differ much from JV, he replied, “Being that this is my first year at the varsity level, I’m expecting it to be different. However, when I coached at the JV level, some would say that it’s just JV, but I never took that stance or that philosophy. Although it was JV, I took it very seriously. Of course, there is more at stake at the varsity level, since wins and losses count more. Ultimately we are playing for a state championship. At the JV level, you can’t do that.”

He went on to explain that Clarke County is part of the Bull Run District, which recently initiated a program where the top two JV teams play for the district championship.  “I think that was implemented last year. We were not involved in that championship, unfortunately.  But in the years I coached at the JV level, I would say that almost every year we were pretty successful. The varsity has always had success, but last year was a down year. They had just 6 wins. We’ll be hoping to improve on last year’s season.”

Lambert doesn’t anticipate making any major changes in the varsity program. “The previous head coach was here over 30 years, and I coached JV under the old coach. I will probably implement the same things, but I’ll bring my own style of coaching to the varsity level. A little different, but not much. I try to instill a fun atmosphere and at the same time provide the fundamentals of softball skills—it’s very
important.  I’ve always used the phrase ‘I’m not a coach, I’m a teacher’ and I am still teaching the fundamentals.” Many of the varsity girls have been playing “since T-ball.” They play fast-pitch, and Lambert says that some strong pitchers can pitch up to 65 miles per hour.  “Coming from 43 feet, that’s pretty fast!” Unlike high-profile sports like football and basketball, a high school softball career isn’t likely to lead to possible fame and fortune. However, Lambert’s team is enthusiastic, and they play for love of the game.  Lambert notes that there are scholarships available. “Any time you play high school sports, there’s always the possibility of going forward at the college level. But it’s a big commitment.” He indicated sophomore Kacie Turner. “I know Kacie has that ambition, to move forward to play in college.” Turner, who pitches and plays outfield and shortstop, affirmed that she hopes for a scholarship. “I intend to play in college.”

On the other hand, junior Alissa Hoggatt says she doesn’t intend to play college softball. Senior Kiley Ramey concurs, saying, “It’s mainly for fun at this point for me.” There is some division around the state about a requirement for players to wear face masks. “It is not a requirement by the Virginia High School League (VHSL),” says Lambert, “but a lot of our infielders do wear face masks. I look for the VHSL making it a mandatory rule very soon, at least for pitchers. I don’t know if they would do it for infielders or not. But really, I believe pitchers should wear face masks.” Hoggatt, who plays outfield and first base, says “I wear a face mask in the field.” Turner says she only wears a face mask when she is pitching.Ramey, catcher and shortstop, says “I choose not to wear a face mask.”

The varsity team plays their first game on March 18 against James Wood at home.  Clarke County plays all of their district opponents two times, home and away. Lambert reports that the Bull Run District was just realigned and Madison and Page Counties are now included. “They will be two of our bigger rivals in our district. I would anticipate that those teams are probably two of the best teams in the state of Virginia. Madison was in our district before; Page wasn’t. Seems like at least the last four years we played Page County in the first round of our regionals, so they are our nemesis, to say the least! And now we get to play them twice in our district.”

Rachel Thompson replaces Lambert as JV coach. She works in the Special Education Department at Cooley Elementary while taking on-line classes in criminal psychology in preparation for a law enforcement career. “It’s great to return to where I graduated and played softball and get a coaching job,” she says.

If you have a business you’d like to publicize, you can help the teams and get an advertising banner. Says Lambert, “It’s a fund-raiser for the softball program. Four-by-eight-foot banners will be displayed on the playing field. The price is $200, including production of the banner that will be displayed at 20 games — ten home varsity and ten JV — a pretty good deal!” It looks like an exciting start for the season and Coach Lambert.

Proud Supporters of Clarke Softball
Accurate Accounting & Bookkeeping
Bank of Clarke County
Blue Ridge Insurance
Body Art Tattoo
Blue Ridge Home Inspections
Broy & Son Pump
Cochran’s Lumber
Delta Painting
Grand Home Furnishings
GPRLeah Clowser, Realtor
Local Wood
Lowry’s Crab Shack
Malloy Toyota
Mario’s Pizza
ME Flow
Randy Kelley Poured Walls
Saville’s Service Center
Shenandoah Electrical
Shenandoah Sheds
Shenandoah Valley Orthodontics
Split Ends Salon
Starkey Construction
Suite Office Systems
Temp-A-TronTrick Trucks
TW Perry
Winchester Discount Radio
Yount Hyde & Barbour

A Tribute To John Lyttle

By Judy Melton

Just like the song says, “You don’t know what you’ve got ’till it’s gone.” Heaven surely gained a new saint on the day that Clarke County lost John Lyttle. 

John was that very rare combination of high intellect, deep humility and consistent good works. He could not give enough of himself away to others. Having multiple available options, he chose to live the Sermon on the Mount. He lifted the heaviest of the hand bells in our Voices in Brass group. He sang in the men’s section of our adult church choir. A lay minister, he preached from the pulpit occasionally, served as church moderator, and performed weddings (including one at night, on his own front lawn). My husband Bob often assisted him when he provided background music at the bluegrass concerts at the high school, Berryville yard sales, and the Christmas parades. He led Bible studies for the all-but-forgotten residents at Mary Hardesty House, and took them complete dinners on Thanksgiving. This winter he split and delivered firewood to a woman who had no other source of heat. He also replaced bathroom flooring for a widow with a badly injured hand. In our church he ran the sound system, got rid of pests (bats), lit candles, changed out light bulbs, replaced batteries. In his bearing, he possessed a quiet, reverent joy. On Super Bowl Sunday we worshipped at Berryville Baptist. Prayers were offered, the choir sang,  the sermon was preached. There was a fundraising lunch in the fellowship hall to benefit the youth department. Bob said he saw John drop $40 into the donation basket for an upcoming missions trip. Then he went to his home on Moose Road. He walked through his cluttered garage and into his house to his beloved wife Kim. Sometime that night he climbed the stairs to the bathroom. There he fell, hit his head and died. He had just turned 68. 

We were very surprised when the phone rang at 8am the next day. Bob said, “John who?” He handed the phone to me, his face white. I heard Kim say in a faint mechanical voice, “John died last night.” I blurted out, “John who?” just before it hit me. The rest of the week was a blur.The church was packed, with every program distributed. Several of us stood and gave heartfelt and sometimes amusing tributes. Our little church is trying to soldier on. Our minister is due to retire in April. We were looking forward to changes and new beginnings. But John was supposed to lead the search committee with his calm, measured demeanor. He and I were supposed to sing an arrangement by Bill Gaither. John was supposed to do this, John was supposed to do that. Did we rely on him too much? Probably. There are so many of us whose lives John impacted for good. There are so many needs out there. For those of us who knew him, each act of kindness is a way to honor John’s memory.

Wake Up, It’s Later Than You Think!

As the Crow Flies

Story and illustration by Doug Pifer

March sneaks up on me. I still consider it the beginning of nature’s year when the earliest spring birds and flowers appear. But now there’s a somber side to nature’s awakening, an odd, empty feeling, like waking up to discover I forgot to set the alarm clock. Time has passed while I’ve been snoozing. What did I miss and why is it so quiet? For one thing, migrating grackles and red-winged blackbirds used to pass overhead a week later than they do now. And I used to see many more of them. Titmice, cardinals and mourning doves once serenaded the dawn while robins caroled softly. Just ahead of sunrise as spring advanced, birdsong swelled across the country like a wave. That daily chorus has diminished into a trio or maybe a quartet. Rachel Carson predicted a “Silent Spring” in 1970. In 2020 that day is nearly upon us. Insects once heralded the spring. Today hardly a bee buzzes to greet the earliest daffodil or crocus. Where are the flocks of midges that used to dance in clusters on sunny days? I can’t remember the last time I saw that dark spring butterfly, the mourning cloak, open and close its buff-edged wings in the March sun. Where are the ants when I sit in the grass and where are the first chirping crickets? I miss hearing frogs and toads. As March warms the winter nights, I hear a peep or two instead of a deafening chorus of spring peepers. I’ve lost some of my hearing but it’s not only that. The serenades of toads trilling and frogs clucking from temporary spring pools are fading from memory, like popular songs that are now golden oldies. When I was young, the February story of the groundhog digging out of its burrow to see its shadow became vivid to me when I watched a newly awakened groundhog lumber across a field in search of a mate, weeks before the grass started to turn green.  Mention “Groundhog Day” to most people and they think of a 1993 movie. How many people today would recognize a real groundhog if they saw one? How did we get here?  Too many of us, as a species, believe and act as if we exist outside of the natural world. We cling to the old pioneer ethic of “man against nature.” This outlook has been destructive and self-defeating.  It’s natural for us, as animals, to do what we can to meet our needs. Farming, building, manufacturing and commerce come naturally to us. But we distance ourselves from the negative consequences of these actions. And we talk about “the environment” as if it’s home for our fellow creatures but not for us. We need to realize it’s our environment too. We’re part of, not separate from, nature. It is arrogant and incorrect to think or act as if we have a superior role in the web of life. To repair the harm we’ve done our atmosphere, water and soil requires us to reclaim our natural role as stewards of the earth. This planet is our home and we’re all responsible for its care. Wake up. It’s later than you think.

Holistic Mental Health Therapy Comes to Berryville

By Geo Derick Giordano

The Sanctuary Wellness Center welcomed a new therapist to our community of holistic health practitioners. Terri George, M.ED, LPC joins us after working for three decades in community mental health and psychiatric hospital settings. Ms. George states, “I’ve seen how counseling can help people who are in crisis or are working through personal problems such as past trauma, mental illness, grief, or relationship issues. Blending an integrative approach to wellness in my therapy practice here at the Sanctuary WC in Berryville allows me the opportunity to enhance the benefits of talk therapy and traditional psychiatric medication with holistic strategies that address the body as a whole. It can increase one’s self efficacy, and help us to discover the healing capacity that we all innately possess. A therapist’s role is to ask the right questions, to help you consider and progressively make the changes necessary to enjoy a healthier state of mind, body, spirit and a better quality of life.”As a licensed professional counselor, Terri believes that a variety of approaches are needed for the uniqueness of the individuals she serves. Her particular skill sets include general adult mental health issues and disorders, co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders with a focus on 12-step facilitation, cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness, meditation, tapping and trauma informed recovery. She is looking forward to being certified in equine assisted psychotherapy (EAP) later this year. She explains, “The integrative resources available for me to do my work at the Sanctuary are invaluable and I value the experience, wisdom and insight of a truly diverse group of holistic counselors. Included are Registered Medical Herbalists, and specialists certified in Nutrition, Homeopathy, Energy medicine, Meditation, Yoga, Reiki, Shiatsu, Cranial-sacral, Massage & Music therapies, and Ayurvedic health counseling. These holistic options & classes offered here in Berryville are some of the many strategies that can make a positive difference in our lives.” Ms. George explains, “My hope is to understand and appreciate what’s most important to my clients, to help them establish positive and measurable goals, to prescribe interventions that service those goals and that address the physical aspects, spiritual components and the psychological and mental issues that they identify.” 

To learn more about her, you may go to the website: counseling/#terri-george. To find out about rates, or to schedule a session with Terri, email her at