Fluvanna Faces

Where do you live?
My husband and I live at Lake Monticello.
How long have you lived here? What brought you here?
We have lived here for 20 years. My husband’s job brought us here. I was born in Weymouth, England. I came over to the U.S. in 1986 and became a citizen in 2009.
Tell us about your work.
I have worked at Jefferson Pharmacy for six years as a technician/manager. I am now a part owner of the pharmacy.
What are your thoughts on Fluvanna’s community?
We love living here at Lake Monticello and wanted our kids to grow up in a rural community.
Tell us about your family.
I have been married for 28 years to my husband, Kevin, and have two boys, James who is 25 years old and Alex who is 21. James lives in Hampton and works for UPS. Alex, like his father, joined the Marine Corps and now lives in Georgia.
Tell us about a hobby you have.
In my free time, I enjoy helping with special events to benefit Fluvanna’s Meals on Wheels and the Chamber of Commerce. My hobbies include reading, walking, and playing tennis when possible.
Describe one of the biggest highlights of your life.
The biggest highlights of my life have been the births of my two children.
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Phyllis MontelleseWhere do you live?
I live with my husband, Tom Pratley, on Central Plains Road in a wonderful 100-year-old farmhouse on 12 acres of what was the original homestead of a much larger farm.
How long have you lived in Fluvanna? What brought you here?
We moved here in 2008, pursuing our dream to own a small farm and for me to work in a more rural setting as a family doc. We looked in this area because, at that time, my son, Eric, and his family lived at Lake Monticello. Unfortunately they subsequently moved to Delaware, but we are here to stay.
Tell us about your work.
I am a family physician and am currently employed by Sentara, Martha Jefferson. I have boards in family medicine, sports medicine and geriatric medicine. My office is at Spring Creek Family Medicine in Zion Crossroads.
After years as faculty in Pittsburgh, I thoroughly enjoy returning to full-time patient care. The majority of my practice is providing care for adults of all ages, including well into their 90s. As a family physician, I continue to care for children as well, but the largest need in the community is for geriatrics.
At home, I help my husband run our small farm. He does most of the day-to-day work, but I help when I can with weeding, planting, and harvesting in our market garden. In addition we raise Boer goats. I find I am learning a great deal about the health care of goats, including delivering kids. Kidding time is exciting and exhausting.
Tell us about your family.
Tom and I met in 2001 and married in 2003. He used to work as a surveyor. Other than farming, he is a Fluvanna County representative to the Thomas Jefferson soil and water district.
I have two adult children: Eric, 33, and Julia, 30.
Eric is a software engineer. Julia continues to live in Pittsburgh. She has a degree in biology and I am always looking for a job to bring her to Virginia.
I also have two wonderful grandchildren (Ethan, 7, and Talia, 4) who, sadly, live in Delaware.
Tell us about a hobby you have.
Other than gardening and goat care, I love to knit and read mostly novels.
Describe one of the highlights of your life.
The biggest was the birth of my children; then, having the opportunity to watch them develop and grow. Another was getting accepted to medical school – especially to my first choice.
Describe one of the biggest surprises of your life.
I grew up in New York City. After attending medical school in Rochester, New York, and residency in Massachusetts and working for 22 years in Pittsburgh, Tom and I own a farm in Virginia!
And then, one of my former residents in family medicine in Pittsburgh just happened to call Martha Jefferson to inquire about opportunities in the Charlottesville area to be closer to his family. To his and my surprise, it was to work with me! It has been a wonderful reunion to again work together now as peers.
Describe one of the tragedies/struggles of your life.
I have had three surgeries on my spine. The last one was much more extensive and took a very long time to recover from. I continue to require intermittent physical therapy. I find my limitations to be a source of frustration daily.
Describe a dream you have for your future.
I wish to be as healthy, alert and active as many of my 90-year-old patients. I wish for Tom and I to have many more years together. And, like most moms, I want to see my children be happy and successful as adults. Otherwise, I am living my dream right now.
Describe a fear you have for your future.
Suffering in myself or those I love.
Here’s your chance to sound off. If you could give one public service announcement or word of advice to the public at large, what would it be?
As a family physician, I have way too many to list.

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Mike Feazel with stripers. Photo courtesy Mike Feazel Where do you live?
I live at Lake Monticello.
How long have you lived in
Fluvanna? What brought you here?
We bought here four and a half years ago, and moved here full-time two years later. We started coming down almost 15 years ago to visit our former neighbors, the Seehavers, and fell in love with the idea of living on water. After figuring out we also needed good healthcare and good culture (restaurants, concerts, etc.) it turned out that having Charlottesville nearby made this the absolutely perfect place to live. And so far, it has worked out just that way!
Tell us about your work.
I semi-retired when we moved full-time to Lake Monticello, but I continue to work about halftime as executive editor of a D.C. company that publishes Wall Street Journal-type publications for the telecom industry, TV, Internet, consumer electronics and international trade. Fortunately, I can do almost all of the work from home. Before that I was a broadcaster and worked for newspapers and magazines.
Tell us about your family.
Sue Orr and I have been married 33 wonderful years. Our kids are grown and doing great. Chris works at University of Virginia Medical Center. Molly is a special education teacher in Fairfax County. And Haley just started at her first grownup job in northern Virginia as an environmental scientist.
Tell us about one of your interests.
I have become a dedicated fisherman at the lake, going out for an hour or two most days. I’m very pleased that Lake Monticello is doing a multi-year program to make sure the fish at the lake are healthy. It involves getting the balance of species right, providing cover for baby fish to hide while they grow instead of getting immediately eaten, and starting to feed the fish to help offset the lack of nutrients in the lake. And we have to do it all without hurting swimming or boating in the lake. A tough job, but I think they’ve found the right balance.
Describe one of the highlights of your life.
There’s a million highlights. Especially my kids – but don’t tell them I said that. One thing recently is some work I’ve done with potential Habitat for Humanity families, helping them get their finances in order so they can afford their first house, and watching them teaching their kids to do the same thing. Feeling that the lives of multiple generations might be improved has been very, very satisfying.
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Kelly Belanger HarrisWhere do you live?
Currently I live at Lake Monticello, and at the end of June will be moving to Troy. I grew up in Louisa County and the house we are buying is just a few miles from my family.
How long have you lived in Fluvanna? What brought you here?
I have lived in Fluvanna since January 2014; my husband moved here in July 2013. I lived in Florida for 15 years. When the economy took a nose dive, jobs were very hard to find. When we decided to expand the area into which we were searching for jobs, it made sense to look in an area where we already had family.
Tell us about your work.
My background is eclectic. I’ve been a veterinary assistant, a massage therapist, an assistant innkeeper at a bed and breakfast, a religious and social justice educator, and a congregational consultant (among other things!). My graduate degree is in organizational leadership.
When I came to work for the county, it was as the senior program assistant for the planning and zoning department. When Mary Weaver, longtime clerk to the Board, was offered an amazing opportunity away from the county, I threw my hat into the pool of applicants for the opening for administrative assistant to the county administrator and clerk to the board. I was fortunate to be chosen and here I’ve been since September 2014. The responsibilities for this position are many and varied – a little bit of everything. I love it. I’m busy from the moment I get to work until I leave for the day. I thrive on variety and this position provides it.
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Photo courtesy of Susan ShieldsWhere do you live?
We live out in the Rolling Road area of Fluvanna County.
How long have you lived in Fluvanna? What brought you here?
We have lived in Fluvanna for 14 years. My husband and I were living in Charlottesville and looking for our first home to buy. Our real estate agent told us about Lake Monticello and showed us some houses there. We found a house that we loved and lived at the Lake for our first three years in Fluvanna. Our oldest son was born while living there and I have great memories of us fishing, golfing and going to the parks.
Tell us about your work.
I love my job! I am currently a teacher at Effort Christian School and Preschool. All three of my children went to preschool at Effort and I have always wanted to teach there and be a part of something so special. I could feel it when I walked in the door. I work with wonderful people who have a heart for the Lord, a heart for every child at our school, and every day do their very best to serve God, our community, and the kids and families.
Not only do I get to teach and help children prepare for kindergarten, I get to pray with them and share Christ’s unconditional love for them every day. That’s pretty cool!
Tell us about your family.
I have been married to my husband for 15 years. We have three children: two boys and one girl. We spend a lot of time together at the field, traveling to watch my oldest son and his friends compete in baseball. My youngest son is also now playing baseball and my daughter is getting started in playing volleyball. My husband and I both grew up playing sports and it means a lot to us to be able to offer those same opportunities to our kids. We have had the privilege of spending many hours at Carysbrook with Fluvanna Youth Baseball, at Effort with Upward basketball, various camps and programs with our parks and recreation department, and playing and coaching for the Xtreme Organization, and we wouldn’t change a thing.
We are also very blessed to be a part of the family at Calvary Chapel Fluvanna, which has been our church for 12 years.
Tell us about a hobby you have.
I have played volleyball all my life. I started playing in the fourth grade and played all the way through high school and then in college. After graduating from college, I moved to Charlottesville and started playing in the women’s and co-ed leagues, competing in outdoor tournaments and playing on a USA women’s travel team. I met my husband playing volleyball so it has definitely been a very special part of my life.
I also love history, music and reading. And I’m not that good at it yet, but I love to cook and find new recipes.
Describe one of the highlights of your life.
I have many things to be grateful for: my husband and kids, the people that I have had in my life because of my jobs and playing and coaching volleyball, the friends we have made through our time at church and sports, and the years that I was fortunate enough to be able to choose to be a stay-at-home mom.
Describe one of the biggest surprises of your life.
In addition to teaching at Effort, I am also the varsity assistant volleyball coach at Fluvanna County High School.
I had been the head volleyball coach at William Monroe High School and had coached against Coach Christi Harlowe for several seasons before I left teaching and coaching to be a stay-at-home mom. I had always admired her coaching style, dedication and passion for the game of volleyball but never imagined that we would have the opportunity to work together. We stayed in touch over the years and four years ago I accepted a position on her coaching staff. I am so thankful and it has been an absolute blast to coach with her and our other coaches and work with some of the most talented high school volleyball players in Virginia. Last season we went 27-2 and have now won back-to-back conference titles. Go Flucos!
Describe one of the tragedies/struggles of your life.
I lost my mom when I was five months pregnant with my oldest son. I miss her every day. They say that time helps you to heal and overcome pain. I can personally say that time has not healed my pain; I have just had to learn to cope with it. She was an amazing mom and I didn’t quite understand how amazing she was until I became a mom myself and now realize what a challenging and rewarding honor it is to be a mom. My one comfort is that I know that she is in heaven and I will see her again one day.
Describe a dream you have for your future.
I hope that my kids will be healthy and happy and grow into loving, Christ-serving people. I would also love to travel with my husband and look forward to spending more time in Bible studies and serving at my church.
My daughter and I have talked about one day running a small diner-type restaurant that specializes in chili dogs, french fries, milkshakes and organic cookies and muffins. Of course with ‘80s and ‘90s music and décor. What a combination!
Describe a fear you have for your future.
I think most parents have the fear of losing their health and not being able to watch their kids grow up.
Here’s your chance to sound off. If you could give one public service announcement or word of advice to the public at large, what would it be?
Love your kids. Hold onto and cherish your family. Love our great country and pray for our leaders. Be thankful for our military and all of the men and women who serve our country and communities on so many different levels every day of their lives. Thank your children’s teachers and coaches. Keep it simple, be kind and find your peace and happiness.
There is a song that we sing with the kids that has such a special and important message that changed my life forever: No matter who you are, no matter what you’ve done, Jesus loves me, this I know.

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