Del. Ken Plum: Two Ladies Named Alice

Del. Ken Plum/File photoMrs. Alice Foltz was my sixth and seventh grade teacher as well as being principal of Grove Hill Elementary School near Shenandoah, Va. She passed away in 2005 at the age of 99.

Mrs. Alice, as she was called to prevent confusion with another Mrs. Foltz who was the fourth grade teacher, was a great source of inspiration to me. She along with many other warm and caring teachers inspired me to become a teacher.

The first half to full hour of Mrs. Alice’s classroom day was always a study hall during which homework assignments and work sheets could be completed while she did her work as principal. As one who completed his assignments quickly, I could have gotten into real problems had Mrs. Foltz not had the foresight to make me the “cafeteria manager.”

My duties in this assigned job were to go to the other six classrooms in the school and pick up the lunch orders and payments for the day. I would total up the number of students who had purchased milk only and the number of students who purchased lunch that included milk, check to make sure the monies collected were correct, and tell the cook, Mrs. Rodabush (who incidentally used the government surplus cheese to make the best macaroni and cheese I have ever eaten), the number of lunches she needed to fix.

It was a rather simple and routine job, but for me it was the greatest thing that could happen. I was trusted to go throughout the school on my own and was given a significant duty. I may have learned more from my school job about confidence, trustworthiness, and responsibility than I did in the classroom. Mrs. Alice knew exactly what I needed!

Imagine my surprise when about a decade ago I met another Alice Foltz! This one was in Centreville and was not related to the Alice Foltz of my youth. My new Alice Foltz is the inspiration and leader behind the Centreville Labor Resource Center that provides counseling and assistance to day laborers in the area.

At a time when a government-supported worker center was closed in 2007 in a nearby community and a tough anti-immigrant ordinance was passed in the next county, Alice as she is called by anyone who knows her, was able to convene a series of open community dialogues to discuss the impact of immigration in Centreville. The success of the Centreville Immigration Forum led to the establishment of a non-profit, non-government center where immigrants can learn English, acquire job-seeking skills, and be matched with private employers who are seeking day laborers.

Alice is a soft-spoken, persistent and strong leader who has accomplished in her community what government programs could not do and what other communities had unsuccessfully attempted. Too bad political leaders have not learned from her approach.

Alice Foltz has my greatest admiration. I am blessed to have known both of them!

Ken Plum represents Reston in Virginia’s House of Delegates

Recent Stories

Hillary Waters Fayle’s work focuses on leaves and humanity (courtesy Tephra ICA) A new exhibit featuring intricate embroidery on leaves is set to open soon at Tephra Institute of Contemporary…

Fairfax County Public Schools (file photo) Fairfax County Public Schools has to adjust its budget outlook for the next two years after a miscalculation led the state to overestimate how…

The Herndon location features infrared sauna workouts (photo courtesy Hotworx) Hotworx, a fitness studio that offers 24/7 infrared workouts, has opened in Woodland Crossing in the Herndon area. Located at…

Morning Notes

Snow on bridge in Reston’s The Glade (photo by Marjorie Copson) Deadline for Feedback on School Calendars Extended — “Thank you to the approximately 23,000 families, staff, students, and community…

The Ravel Dance Studio will re-open for fall classes 2020. The school will offer in person and virtual online instruction. With over 5000 sq. ft. to social distance the school has added air ionization filtration systems, ballet barres, acrylic dividers, hands free bathrooms, strict monitoring and more.

The Ravel Dance Studio will produce a Nutcracker Ballet Hollywood style video through the Reston Community CenterStage. REGISTRATION online begins August 17.

Submit your own Community Post here for just $99.

Chris Green is one of the DMV’s finest fitness instructors. A Lululemon and South Block ambassador, he is a coach and mentor to so many. He embodies grace, positivity and motivation in ways that no one else can. If we could all learn a thing or two from him, the world would be a much better place. He does so much for others, and does so with a smile on his face 99% of the time.

He recently ruptured his Achilles and has an incredibly long and tough journey ahead. As if COVID hadn’t impacted fitness professionals enough, throw this in the mix and it’s a double, even triple whammy. CG is no longer able to work and do what he loves for the time being because of this and we’d love your support.

Read More

Submit your own Community Post here for just $99.


Subscribe to our mailing list