Healthy Communities Healthy Youth Council presents several Local Hero awards to Prince William County School employees, student
Posted on 01/24/2019
Group picture of HCHY Local Heros award recipientsThe Prince William County Healthy Communities Healthy Youth (HCHY) Council recently held its Local Heroes award breakfast and recognized several PWCS employees and students. Ali Krieger, graduate of Forest Park High School, Olympian and World Cup Women’s soccer star, provided inspirational remarks after being escorted into the venue by the Hylton High School Marching Bulldawgs.

“I am impressed and motivated by all of you working so hard to make such a positive impact on our beautiful community,” Krieger said of the award-winners.

The HCHY Local Hero award recipients were nominated by community members for exhibiting the four qualities of educating, communicating, empowering, and serving the community in support of building the Developmental Assets in the youth of Prince William County.

Gary Wortham, attendance officer and head football coach at Woodbridge High School, was recognized for his work to reduce truancy and for encouraging his athletes to positively contribute to the community.

Denyse Carroll, robotics specialist, was honored for her work mentoring robotics teams across the school division.

Jeffery Foy, track coach at Potomac High School and school bus driver, was recognized for his work with ACTION in Community Through Service, or ACTS, and assisting students with college applications.

Lyric Lucas, a third-grade student at Piney Branch Elementary School, was also recognized for initiating and organizing a garden club to feed the community and non-profits. This year she was awarded an acre of land at Birmingham Green in Manassas to grow more veggies.

Maria McDonald, principal at PACE West, won a Local Hero award for championing a positive environment for youth, their parents and the community at PACE West. PACE West is a nontraditional school serving students with special needs in kindergarten through 12th grade.

Graham Park Middle School, in collaboration with the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Prince William County Chapter, Inc, and the Potomac Health Foundation, was recognized for its Responding and Protecting, or RAP, afterschool club. RAP educates parents and students on wellness, stress management and mental health issues.

A local hero award was also presented to Aisha Skipper, teacher of students with autism, and Teresa Stubbs, teacher assistant, for creating The Squad at Stonewall Jackson High School. The Squad fosters a supportive and inclusive school culture enabling students with special needs to experience a full social life in high school. Members cheer on fellow students at sporting events and attend homecoming celebrations.

Tracy Hannigan, deputy director, Prince William County Parks & Recreation Services, and co-chair of HCHY, presented special awards of recognition to Carolyn Custard, director of students services for PWCS and HCHY co-chair, and Debbie Bishop, PWCS professional development and program specialist, for their support of HCHY and the annual Local Hero Awards.