2020-6-15

Margaret C. Conwell

January 03, 1925 - June 14, 2020

Graveside Services

Thursday, June 18, 2020, 2:30 PM

Greensville Memorial Cemetery 

1250 Skippers Rd 
Emporia, Virginia 23847

Mrs. Margaret C. Conwell, 95, of Emporia, widow of Linwood Conwell passed away Sunday, June 14, 2020. She is survived by three sons, Allen Conwell (Vicki), David C. Conwell (Vicky) and Tony Conwell (Susan); six grandchildren, Joe Conwell (Melissa), Jeffrey Conwell, Nic Conwell (Stephanie), Julie Wheeler (Bryan), Jenny C. Phillips (Craig) and Casey Vaughan (Chris); seven great-grandchildren, Chelsea & Cassidy Conwell, Dennis Phillips, Isabel & Emily Vaughan and Benjamin & Madelyn Conwell and a number of nieces and nephews.

A graveside funeral service will be held 2:30 p.m. at Greensville Memorial Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be made to Greensville Volunteer Rescue Squad or to Jarratt Volunteer Fire Department.

Online condolences may be shared with the family at www.owenfh.com.

Governor Northam Announces New Tools for Virginia Workers and Job Seekers

Virginia Career Works Referral Portal will help working Virginians impacted by COVID-19 access comprehensive employment support

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today shared a new suite of technology tools to help Virginians take full advantage of the supportive services available through the Commonwealth’s workforce system. The Virginia Career Works Referral Portal is a statewide platform designed to streamline intake processes across state agencies and connect individuals with training, certification, education, and employment services to help them find a job or advance a career path. The new Virginia Career Works Dashboard is an innovative data visualization tool that makes information about Virginia’s labor market and workforce system more accessible to workers, businesses, and policymakers.

“Workers and families across Virginia are experiencing tremendous financial pain, as well as coping, in many cases, with the devastation of getting sick or losing a loved one to COVID-19,” said Governor Northam. “This ongoing health crisis requires our government systems to respond faster and with more flexibility than ever before. This strategic investment in our workforce technology infrastructure puts the Commonwealth is in a stronger position to help Virginians get back on their feet and overcome these unprecedented challenges.”

Building up Virginia’s workforce development system has long been a priority of the Northam administration. While these tools were in development before the COVID-19 crisis began, the Commonwealth worked to accelerate their rollout to ensure the resources would be available to Virginians who need them during an extremely difficult time.

“The new portal and strategic workforce dashboard embody Governor Northam’s vision for the workforce development system as a whole,” said Chief Workforce Development Advisor Megan Healy. “By making the full spectrum of services accessible through one virtual door, we are bringing every resource to the table to help Virginians recover from the economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis.”

Consistent with the requirements of Executive Order Nineteen, the cloud-based system leverages open-source software supported by the Apache Foundation, expediting development and reducing long-term operational costs.

“This scalable, standards-driven system is an important addition to Virginia’s growing information technology ecosystem,” said Chief Data Officer Carlos Rivero. “In addition to its immediate benefits, this collaboratively built solution provides a future-proofed foundation for continuing development.”

The new technology tools were developed in collaboration with the Chief Workforce Development Advisor, the Commonwealth’s Chief Data Officer, and six state agencies: the Virginia Community College System, the Virginia Employment Commission, the Virginia Department of Education, the Virginia Department of Social Services, the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services, and the Virginia Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired. Technology partners that supported the development and implementation of the Virginia Career Works Referral Portal and Virginia Career Works Dashboard include Qlarion, BrightHive, and PAIRIN.

For more information, please visit the Virginia Career Works Portal here. A guide to navigating the Portal and creating an account can be found here.

Andrew Allen, Emporia Native, and Joseph Lofstedt take the lead at KIPP Halifax College Preparatory School

Halifax, NC –  KIPP ENC is pleased to announce changes in school leadership at KIPP Halifax College Preparatory School. Andrew Allen, former KIPP Gaston Middle School Assistant Principal, will be the Middle School Leader. Joseph Lofstedt, former KIPP Halifax Primary Assistant Principal, will be the Primary School Leader.

Mr. Allen is a native of Emporia, Virginia, a graduate of Norfolk State University, and the University in Norfolk, in Norfolk Virginia. He spent many years volunteering in his community utilizing his abilities as a musician and speaker and has a passion for positively influencing youth, in particular, young men.  He has worked at KIPP Gaston College Preparatory (GCP) at the middle school level for more than 15 years in various capacities. Andrew is eager to work with the amazing families at KIPP Halifax and the entire KIPP ENC region.

Mr. Lofstedt grew up in New York, studied Early Childhood and Primary Education in Scranton, PA and earned his Masters degree from The University of Houston. Since moving to North Carolina, he has been a founding 1st and 3rd grade teacher at Gaston College Preparatory Primary School. In 2017, he transitioned to KIPP Halifax College Preparatory as the Assistant Principal. Joe looks forward to continuing to work with Cubs, families and staff in the upcoming school year. 

The mission of KIPP ENC is to empower all of our students with the skills, knowledge and character necessary to succeed in the colleges of their choice, strengthen their community, and fight for social justice.

First Virtual Graduation

By Quentin R. Johnson, Ph.D.

Southside Virginia Community College will celebrate its 2020 graduates during the institution’s first ever virtual graduation ceremony. The event will recognize the excellence of our students and honor faculty and staff commitments in support of student success. Students, parents, families, and community members can tune in from the convenience of their own homes beginning Saturday morning, June 20 at 9:30 a.m. The prerecorded video can be viewed at any time after its release on the college’s website (southside.edu), through its FaceBook page, and on YouTube.

It has been a year of firsts at SVCC. The 2020 graduating class completed their programs during the first world-wide pandemic in modern times. The virtual graduation ceremony honoring their accomplishments is my first commencement as the college’s President. In addition, SVCC itself is celebrating an anniversary marking its first 50 years of providing educational services to the community. As a commemoration of this anniversary, a time capsule, which will include a copy of the unique 2020 commencement ceremony, will be placed at a campus location.

I am very proud of SVCC’s students, faculty, and staff. They have really pulled together during the past semester’s unusual journey. Although the COVID-19 pandemic has changed many aspects of our lives, it has not altered the excitement and enthusiasm we feel about what our graduates have accomplished.

Serving as Faculty Marshal, Dr. Lisa Jordan, Professor of History and Political Science, will open the virtual ceremony. Dr. Michelle Edmonds, Dean of Nursing, Allied Health and Natural Science, will sing the national anthem. Speakers will include Mr. J. Wesley Shepherd, Chairperson of the Local Board and representatives from our college community.

Dr. Keith Harkins, Vice-President of Workforce and Interim Vice-President of Academic Affairs, will have the privilege of bestowing special honors and commendations. Munimah Fulani will receive the Florence Daniel Riepe Kalbacker Leadership and Community Service Award, which is presented annually to a student who embodies the ideals and spirit requisite for community advancement. Harkins will also acknowledge members of the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society, an organization of scholars that encourages high-achievement among community college students. Other honorees include participants in the Women in Search of Excellence (WISE) Mentoring Program, the Make-It-Happen Program providing support for minority male students, the Student Ambassador Program encouraging emerging student leaders, and the Dual Enrollment partnership with public school systems permitting students to earn high school and college credit at the same time.

The highlight of the ceremony, of course, will be the more than 870 graduates who make up the Class of 2020. Submitted photographs will be displayed as their names are announced. Dr. Dixie Dalton, Dean of Humanities, Social Sciences and Business, Dr. Chad Patton, Dean of Career and Occupational Technology and Dr. Michele Edmonds, Dean of Nursing, Allied Health and Natural Sciences will recognize the individual graduates.

I am so very proud of SVCC’s graduates. They have risen to the occasion and surpassed expectations. Many grappled with and overcame tremendous obstacles to earn their degrees, certificates, and diplomas. A graduation ceremony acknowledges these many accomplishments, and I encourage each student to move forward with a commitment to be change agents that help make our communities, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and this world a better place. Go forth and make a contribution, make a difference. The future belongs to you. 

Dr. Quentin R. Johnson is president of Southside Virginia Community College, an institution of higher learning that provides a wide variety of education opportunities to a diverse student population within a service area that spans ten counties and the City of Emporia. He can be reached via email at quentin.johnson@southside.edu.

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