Students from a private performing arts school in Reston recently took home prizes at the 2019 Junior Theater Festival.
The festival, which ran from Jan. 18-20 in Atlanta, celebrated student-driven musical theater programs. In addition to watching students’ performances, the more than 6,600 students and educators were able to partake in interactive workshops led by Broadway and West End professionals.
The Lopez Studios Inc. Performing Arts Preparatory School (11425 S. Isaac Newton Square) won a Freddie G Award for Excellence in Ensemble Work.
Three students from Lopez Studios — Jillian Felder, Victoria Felder and Marisa Lopez — received call-backs for future Broadway Junior shoots that will be taped this summer in New York City. The shoots will be “how-to” choreography videos for soon-to-be-released Broadway Junior musicals.
Marisa Lopez and Marcus Pennisi were some of the students named to the Junior Theater Festival All-Stars. They performed in the All-Stars song during the festival’s closing ceremony.
Students from the school also performed “Seusical Jr.” — the musical version for kids based on the books by Dr. Seuss.
This isn’t the first time Lopez Studios has won awards at Junior Theater Festivals. Students from the school have won awards or made it to the final call-back every year of the festival going back to 2014.
López Studios brings home the “Excellence in Ensemble Award” for 4 Consecutive years and 3 consecutive years under the direction of Michael Fowle! We could not be prouder! Continuing the Lopez Legacy! Congratulations!
— Lopez Studios, Inc. (@LopezStudiosInc) January 22, 2019
Photo by James Barker Photography
Primrose Schools, a private preschool franchise, expanded its reach with a newly opened location in Reston.
The school announced on Instagram last Monday (Jan. 28) that the Reston location officially opened. Neighboring the North Hills tennis courts and pools, Primrose School of Reston takes the former site of the North Village KinderCare at 1309 N. Village Road.
The new facility is part of a franchise that has more than 400 schools in 29 states and is accredited through AdvancED. The Reston one is the 16th Primrose School in Virginia, with nearby ones in Chantilly and Ashburn. The schools in the D.C. area provide year-round full and part-time education for infants and children as young as six weeks old, according to the website.
The school, which is owned by Rina Patel and Beau and Urvi Athia, was originally expected to open in the fall, Reston Now previously reported.
Earlier last month, the Reston location faced criticism concerning the size and color of its red plastic fire truck.
Reston Association’s Design Review Board ultimately OK’d the playground equipment, along with signs for the school.
Reston Association’s Design Review Board approved minor changes to the size and number of windows for previously approved architectural designs for the Tall Oaks Village Center redevelopment on Tuesday night.
The redevelopment plans to transform the village center (12022 North Shore Drive) into a mostly residential neighborhood by adding 156 residential units, which include 42 two-over-two multi-family units, 44 single units and 70 multi-family units in two residential buildings. Nearly 8,500 square feet of retail and 5,800 square feet of office space are also slated for the site.
On Dec. 19. Stanley Martin Homes officially purchased the residential portion of the property from Jefferson Apartment Group. Currently, Stanley Martin is completing the site plan and brought “small changes” to abide by the county’s zoning to the Design Review Board.
Richard Newlon, the board’s chairman, said he was concerned about replacing some of the larger windows with smaller ones. “It’s not going to have the same architectural drama we thought we were getting before,” he said. “We’re always looking for good design and stuff that is a little bit different and a little bit progressive.”
Ultimately, the board approved the changes.
During the nearly three-hour-long meeting on Jan. 15, the Design Review Board also approved stream restoration with a year-long timeline for the Colvin Run Stream.
Tree clearing is set to begin for the stream restoration on Feb. 4, with an estimated completion of the work sometime in the summer. Planting will then follow in the fall.
The board also OK’d playground equipment and signs at the Primrose School of Reston (1309 N. Village Road).
An affected party — who did not show up to the meeting — had previously raised a concern about the size and color of a red plastic fire truck in the school’s playground.
“Reston is pretty much known for the lack of vibrant color in all of its playgrounds. It’s always supposed to be natural looks — greens and browns,” Newlon said. “I personally have never seen a green or brown fire engine.”
W. Neal Roseberry, the board’s vice chair and architect member, was the only member to vote against approving the playground equipment’s appearance.
Images via Reston Association/YouTube
Giving Back to Emergency Responders — Firefighters from Station 25 presented a certificate to a Reston woman who adopted a fire hydrant in her neighborhood. The woman was involved in a serious motorcycle crash in 1994 and credits emergency crews including fire units with saving her life, and she has loved and supported them ever since. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue]
Guinea Pigs on Twitter Thanks to Local Students — At Ideaventions Academy, a specialized STEM school in Reston, students have built a computer and are using censors to get classroom pets to tweet out randomized messages. You can follow along @PepperNCaramel. [WUSA]
County Map Shows Youth Crash Locations — A map released Thursday by Fairfax County plots the locations of all 1,840 vehicle crashes involving youth drivers (ages 15-20) in 2016. In Reston, locations including Sunrise Valley Drive, the intersection of Wiehle Avenue and Sunset Hills Road, and the intersection of Reston Parkway and Route 7 had the most incidents. [Fairfax County]
Another Capital BikeShare Station Opens — An 11-dock Capital BikeShare location has opened on Town Center Parkway near Sunset Hills Road, at the RTC West complex. [Capital BikeShare/Twitter]
Map courtesy Fairfax County
More Info Released on Herndon Tornado — After detailed analysis, the National Weather Service says a tornado that touched down in Herndon on April 6 was one of seven in the area during that storm. It is now estimated the tornado first came to ground near the Dulles Greene and Capstone apartment complexes in Herndon and lasted about five minutes. It downed numerous trees, including one that was thrown into the window of an apartment building. [National Weather Service]
Reston Islamic School Spotlighted by NPR — Al Fatih Academy (12300 Pinecrest Road) was the subject of a segment on today’s Morning Edition on NPR. The academy’s goal is “to cultivate and nurture a thriving American Muslim identity that balances religious, academic and cultural knowledge and imparts the importance of civic involvement and charitable work.” [NPR]
Local College Student Fighting Pollution — Reston’s Elizabeth Merin, a junior biosystems engineering major at Virginia Tech, is part of a group of students working to scrutinize emissions at the Radford Army Ammunition Plant in Blacksburg, as well as pollution in the New River Valley. The students have started a chapter of the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, calling their group Citizens for Arsenal Accountability. [Roanoke Times]
Herndon Farmers Market Now Open, Rain and All — The opening day of the Herndon Farmers Market, which goes through 12:30 p.m. today, is on despite this morning’s rainy weather. It will take place each Thursday into November, in front of the caboose on Lynn Street. [Reston Now/Twitter]
Early Education Teachers Sought — Bright Horizons will host an on-site interviewing session Tuesday at its Vienna location as it looks for early childhood teachers and associate teachers for its centers throughout Fairfax County. Dinner will be provided for event attendees. [Bright Horizons/Eventbrite]
Public Art Organization Has New Image — As it celebrates its 10th anniversary, The Initiative for Public Art Reston has been re-branded. Now known simply as Public Art Reston, the nonprofit has unveiled its new website and logo. The organization seeks to inspire an ongoing commitment to public art and create a new generation of artworks in Reston. [Public Art Reston]
Construction on Metro to Detour Some Traffic — Again this weekend, work in the median of the Dulles Airport Access Road will result in eastbound traffic being detoured onto the Dulles Toll Road. The work will be done from about 9 p.m. Saturday to 5 a.m. Sunday, as crews set several large precast concrete elements at the Silver Line’s future Herndon and Reston Town Center stations. [Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project]
‘Community Matters Reston’ Plans First Meeting — A new volunteer organization promoting community-building initiatives and outreach has scheduled its first public meeting. Community Matters Reston will meet Monday from 6:30-8 p.m. at Sunset Hills Montessori School (11180 Ridge Heights Road). The organization is also selling decals featuring its logo, designed by Dana Scheurer, with all proceeds going to Cornerstones. The group’s goal is to “promote two of the founding principles of Bob Simon’s neighborhood: fostering and celebrating diversity, and offering a helping hand to those who need it.” [Community Matters Reston/Facebook]
Kensington Senior Development LLC is working with Fairfax County on an application to put an assisted-living facility at 11501 Sunrise Valley Drive, the current home of Good Beginnings School. Miaoling Lin, the school’s administrator, says the site is expected to operate as a school through at least the end of 2018.
The sale of the property to Kensington is contingent upon the plan’s approval by the county, Lin said. Meanwhile, a permit has been filed with Fairfax County for Oak Hill Montessori School to open at the site for a month in April.
“They are in between buildings, and we are shrinking, so we have room for them to use temporarily,” Lin said.
Lin said Good Beginnings will continue to operate at the site through June, after which a school called Mosaic will take over the facility.
Lin said some of the staff of Good Beginnings in Reston will be staying on site with Mosaic and some will be moving to the school’s Loudoun County campus in Stone Ridge. The school has a meeting scheduled for Thursday night to introduce Mosaic to parents interested in staying at the current site after June.
Three students from Reston’s Edlin School swept the top honors at a recent regional chemistry competition.
Rubaiya Emran took first place in the Fairfax/Arlington You Be The Chemist challenge for the second straight year. Her classmates Sydney Gu and Jennifer Cramer took second and third place, respectively. Tommy Qu also represented Edlin at the event, which was held March 4 at Marymount University in Arlington.
“Thanks to the hard work and dedication of our students and parent volunteers, our Edlin community has a lot to celebrate,” said Ryan Epp, the school’s science department director. “These events required months of preparation, organization and tireless effort from our students, parents and volunteers.”
The nationwide, interactive academic competition for students in grades 5-8 is sponsored by the Chemical Education Foundation. Its goal is to promote the real-world applications of scientific education and chemistry concepts.
All three girls will move on to compete at the state level April 29 in Richmond.
Pictured from left are Sydney Gu, Jennifer Cramer and Rubaiya Emran. Photo courtesy Edlin School.
Reston School Profiled for Educational Model — The partnership between Berthold Academy (11480 Sunset Hills Road) and educational startup AltSchool is garnering attention. The goal of the revolutionary program is to modernize the Montessori education experience. [Education Dive]
Public Session Planned on Herndon PD Body Cams — Police officers in Herndon recently evaluated the effectiveness of body cameras during a pilot program. The next step for the department, before full deployment of the program in April, will be a public meeting March 30. [Herndon Police Department]
‘Giver’ on Stage at NextStop Through Sunday — NextStop Theatre Company (269 Sunset Park Drive, Herndon) is performing “The Giver” through this weekend. A reviewer says the production is “acted by an extremely capable cast” and it “not only lives up to the promise of the book, but also adds another layer of depth to the story for those familiar with it already.” [DC Metro Theater Arts]
Ideaventions Academy, a new Reston private school focusing on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) says it will open for the 2015-16 school year with 18 students in grades four through eight.
Crews are putting the finishing touches on the new space at 12340 Pinecrest Rd. Tuition is $24,500 annually.
Ideaventions founders are Juliana and Ryan Heitz, area residents and graduates of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. They said they had an unsuccessful search to find a science enrichment class for their son, so they created their own teaching science center and started Ideaventions as an extracurricular and homeschool science program in 2010.
The Heitzes say Ideaventions is the only elementary/middle school in the country to offer computer science as a core class.
A Ideaventions spokeswoman says 18 students has “filled enrollment for the 2015-2016 academic school year. ” There are 10 students enrolled in the sixth and seventh grade class and eight students enrolled in the fourth/fifth grade class. The school expects enrollment to double next year.
Among the course offerings: computer science, cellular biology, computational design, Android app development and engineering, as well as arts, music, humanities, foreign languages and physical education.
Spokeswoman Emily Helpern says Ideaventions is also partnering with a number of local businesses and organizations. Among them:
- School lunches will be provided by Lokl Gourmet, a natural foods catering company.
- Foreign language classes will be provided by Reston-based Language Stars.
- Fine arts will be taught by teachers from Leesburg-based studio The Art Station.
Photo courtesy of Ideaventions