Ruth E. Carter. Courtesy of Virginia Tech.
Ruth E. Carter. Courtesy of Virginia Tech.

Here is a round-up of education briefs from around Southwest and Southside:

Costume designer Ruth E. Carter will visit Virginia Tech

Academy Award-winning costume designer Ruth E. Carter will visit Virginia Tech to attend “A Conversation with Ruth E. Carter” on Thursday, Jan. 19, at 6 p.m. in the Moss Arts Center. The event is part of a weeklong series celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. at Virginia Tech. The event is free and open to the public. Tickets, and the opportunity to submit a question for discussion, can be found on the MLK Jr. events website.

Her work spans more than 60 television and film projects and includes myriad generation-defining and culturally influencing work such as “Do the Right Thing” (1989), “Malcolm X” (1993), “Amistad” (1997), the television reboot of “Roots” (2016), “Selma” (2014), and “Black Panther” (2018), the film for which Carter received the 2019 Academy Award for Costume Design.

Carter has described her work as “an expression of Afrofuturism, using imagination and technology to create costumes that tell stories about our culture.” She defines Afrofuturism as applying “technology and intertwining it with imagination, self-expression, and an entrepreneurial spirit, promoting a philosophy for Black Americans, Africans, and Indigenous people to believe and create without the limiting construct of slavery and colonialism.”

Some of her work was featured in an exhibit last year at the Taubman Museum of Art in Roanoke; see our background story that includes photos of her costumes.

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Lynchburg schedules sessions about principal search at E.C. Glass

Lynchburg is soliciting feedback about the next principal at E.C. Glass High School.

The school community and members of the public can submit feedback to the E. C. Glass High School Principal Profile Survey through January 20, 2023. There will also be two in-person public engagement sessions held in the Marie Waller Lecture Hall at E. C. Glass. All community members are welcome and encouraged to attend. 

Sessions will be focused on developing a vision for the future of E.C. Glass High School.

Upon completion of the candidate profile, LCS will actively recruit for the principal position beginning at the end of January and plans to make a hiring decision in the spring.

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Virginia Tech innovation campus names finance and administration director

The Virginia Tech Innovation Campus in Northern Virginia has named Feride Daku as its first director of finance and administration. Daku has served Virginia Tech for more than 25 years in financial, managerial, and leadership roles. She was most recently the associate vice provost for business administration, overseeing budget, financial planning and resource allocation for the executive vice president and provost, vice president for diversity and inclusion, and departments in the provost’s office.

She holds a Ph.D. in higher education administration and an MBA from Virginia Tech. She also earned two bachelor’s degrees in finance and agriculture engineering from Tirana Agricultural University in Albania.

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Alleghany Highlands schools name coaches for fall 2023

The Alleghany Highlands School Board has made coaching and extracurricular appointments for fall 2023 when the school system will have a merged system with Covington.

The board appointed Adam Eggleston, band director; Kim Jefferson, cheerleading coach; Jeremy Bartley, cross country coach; Will Fields, varsity football coach; Brian Ellwood, golf coach; Charles Leitch, volleyball coach; and Amanda Sprouse, choir director. 

Fields, who has a strong background in coaching and athletic administration, will also serve as  activities director for AHPS on an interim basis.  

Each person assigned to these positions has experience in public education in the Highlands, having worked in Alleghany County Public Schools, Covington City Public Schools, and Alleghany Highlands Public Schools. AHPS was formed through the July 1, 2022, consolidation of Alleghany County Public Schools, Covington City Public Schools, and Jackson River Technical Center. 

Eggleston is currently in his first year as band director at Alleghany School. 

Jefferson is employed as a bookkeeper at Covington High School. She has worked at CHS since 2005 and served as cheerleading coach at CHS since 2006. She has also served as cheerleading coach at Mountain Gateway Community College.

Bartley teaches at Callaghan Elementary School and Sharon Elementary School. He has been cross country coach at AHS since 2013, and he has helped guide his teams to two recent state championships. 

Fields, who serves as a special education teacher, has been head football coach at AHS since 2020. Last season, he led the Mountaineers to their first winning season in 12 years. He has also coached at Sissonsville High School in West Virginia and at Bath County High School. During his time at Bath County High School, he guided the Chargers to eight Pioneer District championships and three regional titles. 

He will serve as activities director for AHPS on an interim basis until a full-time replacement is found for Bryan Stinespring, who resigned recently to accept a football coaching position at VMI.  The school division has initiated a search for a full-time activities director. Fields has past experience as an athletics director for Bath County High School. 

Ellwood, who was already serving as golf coach at AHS, is a physical education teacher at Clifton  Middle School. He has worked at CMS since 2020.

Leitch teaches health and physical education at Clifton Middle School. He started his career in  1994 as head teacher for alternative education. He has been at CMS since 1995. 

Sprouse has been Alleghany High School’s choir director since 2006. 

Jeter-Watson, Callaghan, Mountain View and Sharon elementary schools will remain open, but in the fall, the joint division will have one middle school, housed in the current Covington High School building, and a single high school, housed in the current Alleghany High School building. The middle school will be called Covington Middle School. The high school will retain the Alleghany High School name. 

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Deadline approaches for scholarships from Community Foundation of the New River Valley

Students are encouraged to apply to scholarships through the Community Foundation of the New River Valley (CFNRV) before its scholarship application closes on January 30. This year, the CFNRV will give out more than $100,000 to New River Valley students, with each scholarship award ranging from $500 – $4,000.  

Students on a variety of educational paths are eligible to apply, whether they are planning to pursue a degree or currently in school at a 2- or 4-year college or university, trade or technical school. Many funds are set up specifically with financial need in mind. In 2022, 40% of scholarship recipients were from lower-income backgrounds. 

Since issuing its first scholarship in 2002, the foundation has awarded $1,190,000 to 939 students. While there are dozens of CFNRV funds set up to fund scholarships each year, applicants only need to submit a single application to the foundation and indicate the scholarships for which they would like to be considered.  

The foundation’s scholarships support a wide variety of students, whether a student is a high school senior, currently attending college or school, or someone returning to school later in life. Recipients may continue to apply for scholarships each year, with many students getting funds annually throughout their schooling to help offset the costs of attending school. 

Students may review scholarship requirements and access the application at Any questions about the application may directed to Laura Pynn at or 540-381-8999. The application is due Monday, January 30, 2023, at 5 p.m. EST.