School Board honors retiring Principal James Barlow

School Board honors retiring Principal James Barlow

Announces teachers of the year

By Ruthann Carr


After 15 years at Fluvanna County Public Schools, high school Principal James Barlow is retiring.

At its meeting Wednesday (May 9) the School Board honored Barlow and nine other retiring staff: Jayne Clowater, James Stovall, Sharon Silling, Craig Dye, Lynn Jenkins, Sandra Clore, Monica Johnson, Barbara Black and KW Breeden.

The Board also recognized teachers and support staff of the year.


  • West Central Primary – Patti Freimuth
  • Central Elementary – Elizabeth Ward
  • Carysbrook Elementary – Debra Kretsos
  • Fluvanna Middle School – Brandy Abel
  • Fluvanna High School – Michael Strickler

Support staff:

  • West Central Primary – Lisa Agee
  • Central Elementary – Patrice Rush
  • Carysbrook Elementary – Chuck Taylor
  • Fluvanna Middle School – Darryl Buggs
  • Fluvanna High School – Robin Trainum-Grubbs

During Executive Director Brenda Gilliam’s report on the budget, she said numbers were on track as the fiscal year was wrapping up.

“I’m feeling pretty good about where we are,” Gilliam said. “The final average daily membership count is up slightly from the projection, which means we might get more money because of it.”

The General Assembly had not passed a budget as of the meeting, so no final decisions could be made about next year’s budget.

Chair Perrie Johnson (Fork Union) said she was happy that more money was “going toward education” in the next budget.

Board member Andrew Pullen (Columbia) said the number one email complaint he receives is about bullying. He encouraged the school to develop a program that speaks to that problem.

Superintendent Chuck Winkler said each school handles the topic in its own way. All have programs during bullying prevention month. Others, such as the middle school, developed their own programs. Shirley Stewart (Rivanna) suggested each school report to the Board about the programs in place.

Johnson proposed the Board have a day-long seminar prior to school beginning Aug. 9, during which the Board would review the budget line-by-line, set strategic priorities and goals, and conduct an overview of testing.

“I’d like to go in with the idea of we are going to reduce testing, not just have you tell us why you’re testing,” Johnson said.

Both Pullen and Brenda Pace (Palmyra) said they wanted to find out more about MAP testing. Stewart said she wanted to find out what testing looks like, including how many hours students and teachers spend on tests.

“I don’t want to go into it with our mind made up that we’ll test less,” she said.

The Board set the seminar for July 31.

The high school forensics team placed first in the state in their division. The Board recognized the members of the team and their Coach Craig Edgerton. Forensics team members: Caroline Fields, Sydney Forren, Delaney Hammond, Jason Hamshar, Allie Hanson, Hollyn Pleasants, Simon Skinner, Alex Pellicane, Lauren Shelton, Danielle Sumner, Lily Dobrin, Hailey Donald, Trinity Haynes, Paul Nazari, Jordyn Palmer, Emily Sprouse, Cameron Taylor, Mia Gonzalez, Same Hagen, Alex Logan, Kate Moncure, Ziara Pagan, Sydney Small, Madison Stafford, Corban Van Ornum and Kyera Watkins.

Pullen read an email he received from a parent of a Central student. Her son had broken his arm, but wanted to go to school the next day. She said the school nurse texted a picture of her son at school so she’d know he was doing okay, and checked to see if she could give him Tylenol because he was feeling some pain. His teacher also called. She said the staff went above and beyond to make sure her son’s needs were met.

The email ended with: “It’s a blessing feeling the overwhelming sense of security in sending your child to school in this crazy world.”

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