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Issue 132

Friday, September 16, 2022

Prince William County

Dear Neighbors,

The main purpose of the Chair's Calendar section in The Wheeler Report has always been to help you stay informed and learn new things about Prince William County. I am grateful to be able to participate in so many wonderful celebrations and recognitions throughout the County and they are some of the best parts of serving you as your Chair. 

This issue's Chair's Calendar is particularly full of many great articles. I encourage you to read them because they feature so much information about great places, events, and organizations along with highlighting and celebrating what is happening in our County. Prince William County is a vibrant and exciting place to live.

In Service,

Chair Ann Wheeler

Chair's Calendar

Award Winning Restaurant

Friday, September 9, Chair Wheeler, and some members of her staff, enjoyed lunch at the Montclair Family Restaurant in Dumfries. For the last five years it has received an InsideNoVa Best of Prince William award, this year winning the Best Family Restaurant and Best Waiter/Waitress awards. 

Helping Those Who Serve

Saturday, September 10, Chair Wheeler, attended the Willing Warriors 5th annual Warrior Bike Ride held on the grounds of Farm Brewery at Broad Run. All proceeds go directly to the Warrior Retreat at Bull Run (issue 92) which provides cost-free retreat stays and non-medical services that positively affect the recovery of wounded, ill, and injured service members and disabled Veterans. 

Many wounded warriors and their families participated in this event. In fact, the event itself helps wounded warriors who bike ride for rehabilitative reconditioning. Chair Wheeler met with Willing Warriors Founder Shirley Dominic and Board Member Shaun Anderson (pictured top left corner). PWC Department of Public Works Director, and bike enthusiast, Thomas Smith (pictured center) participated in the ride.  

Celebrating the Arts

Sunday, September 11, Chair Wheeler was part of the annual Arts Alive! (issue 124) at the Hylton Performing Arts Center. Chair Wheeler had the honor of introducing 3 performances, the Quinn Winds (an ensemble group of the Prince William Community Band), the Manassas Chorale, and the Bull Run Cloggers. Chair Wheeler also had the chance to speak with PWC Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism Art Specialist Herb Williams (pictured far left)

I-66 New Lanes Open

Monday, September 12, Chair Wheeler participated in the Opening Event for the western segment of the new 66 Express Lanes Outside the Beltway, which is part of the Transform 66 Outside the Beltway Project (issue 124). . This nine-mile stretch spans from Route 29 (Lee Highway) in Gainesville to Route 28 in Centreville, and will provide travel benefits to I-66 travelers now and ahead of completion of the remaining 66 Express Lanes. 

More Details

Initially, all motorists can use the I-66 Express Lanes for FREE to get familiar with the new capacity, entry points, and exits. I-66 travelers can use E-ZPass in their vehicles to pay once tolling on the I-66 Express Lanes begins. After the initial opening period, tolling and HOV-2+ rules will begin, with information displayed on roadway signs.

When the remaining portion of the I-66 Express Lanes opens in December 2022, drivers will need to have three or more occupants to qualify as an HOV and travel the express lanes for free. Travelers who plan to carpool will need an E-ZPass Flex set to HOV mode to travel toll-free. More information on where to get an E-ZPass can be found at or by calling 877-762-7824. Information on other toll payment methods for the 66 Express Lanes can be found at

Celebrating a Reopening

Monday, September 12, Chair Wheeler participated in the ribbon cutting ceremony for the reopening of the Bull Run Library. The extensive  renovations include a state-of-the art Makerspace (issue 90), additional study room, updated children and young adult areas, new dedicated tween area, open floor plan, and new furniture. See the ribbon cutting and get a peek inside in the video below.

“Prince William County emphasizes and supports lifelong learning opportunities in the community, including efforts to eliminate barriers to participating in learning opportunities. The staff, resources, and information made available through Prince William Public Library system help the community with educational opportunities for all ages and workforce readiness. We embrace the evolving trend of public libraries.”

Ann Wheeler

Chair At-Large Board of County Supervisors

Tech in PWC

Monday, September 12, National Video Games Day, Chair Wheeler toured Virginia Serious Gaming Institute (VSGI) and met with members of its team. Gaming is often thought of as an entertainment medium, but it has applications in many other aspects of our lives from medical training to technical certifications. Information Communications Technology sector is one of the County’s six key target industries (issue 117).

Pictured left to right: Stephanie Kane, Research Coordinator, James Casey, Director, and Assistant Professor Computer Game Design, and Jacob Enfield, Associate Research Professor

Learn More

VSGI is a George Mason University public-private partnership in serious game design, which is the process of creating entertaining digital games that are also educational or skill-enhancing by using design, aesthetic, and technical elements. The recently founded VSGI provides a new gateway to simulation, modeling and game design, applied-research and company formation, and will help foster entrepreneurship within the industry.

The only one of its kind on the east coast, VSGI is in PWC’s Innovation Park, a collaborative epicenter of corporate and university-research and technology that provides a core blend of teaching, research, faculty, and administrative offices in George Mason’s Science and Technology Campus. VSGI offers a residency program for newly formed startup company targeted toward the game technology or simulation markets

Medical Center Ribbon Cutting

Thursday, September 15, Chair Wheeler participated in the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new state-of-the-art Kaiser Permanente Canton Hill Medical Center (issue 109) in Woodbridge. The 241,357-square-foot center is Kaiser's seventh major “hub” in the region and was a capital investment of more than $200 million and will provide more than 50 high-paying jobs in PWC.

Next Meeting

Tuesday, September 20

2:00 pm and 7:30 pm

For Public Comment Time options visit SpeakUp! Prince WilliamRemote speakers must sign-up by 5:00 pm on Monday, September 19. In-person speakers can sign up at the meeting.

View the Agenda
Register to Speak Remotely

Presentation at the Tuesday, September 13, BOCS Meeting

The PWC Department of Economic Development and Office of the Commonwealth Attorney were presented their Virginia Association of Counties (VACo) 2022 Achievement Awards (issue 131) by the VACo Coordinator of Programs and Development, Karie Walker.

"In 2003 we established the Achievement Award program to recognize counties that have adopted innovative approaches to providing public services and identifying programs that can serve as models for other counties to emulate."

Karie Walker

VACO Coordinator of Programs and Development

Pictured left to right: Department of Economic Development Executive Director Christina Winn and VACo Coordinator of Programs and Development Karie Walker

Pictured left to right: Senior Assistant Commonwealth Attorney Marcia Payne, Staff Commonwealth Attorney Thomas Scartz, and VACo Coordinator of Programs and Development Karie Walker


Conceived in the depths of the Great Depression, when acting separately meant failing alone, VACo sprang from an initiative by the counties and was formally established in 1934. Since the 2003 establishment of the Achievement Awards PWC:

  • Has earned 26 awards. 
  • Is ranked 4th among the counties in total awards.
  • Has received an award every year for the last nine years.
  • Received sixteen awards during the last nine years.
  • Earned the top honor of Best Achievement Award in 2020.

County News

The Courageous Four Honored

The PWC Historical Commission and Office of Historic Preservation recently sponsored the unveiling and dedicated a historical marker outside of Fannie W. Fitzgerald Elementary School in Woodbridge recognizing the Courageous Four. In 1964, Zella Brown, Maxine Coleman, Fannie W. Fitzgerald and Mary Porter, known as the Courageous Four, were the first African American teachers to integrate PWC Schools.

These trailblazers paved the way for the integration almost 10 years after the United States Supreme Court ruled that segregated schools were unconstitutional in Brown v. Board of Education. Their actions mark an important chapter in the history of the struggle for equality in education. You can learn more about the Courageous Four in the video below and on the Historic Preservation webpage here

Planning Commission Vote

The PWC Planning Commission passed a resolution this week recommending that the Board of County Supervisors adopt Comprehensive Plan Amendment #CPA2021-00004, PW Digital Gateway (issue 129).  The proposed change would target 1,321 acres as technology/flex, 807 acres as parks and open space, 440 acres as environmental resource protection overlay and 9.6 acres as county historic registered site. This project is concurrently being processed with the Data Center Opportunity Zone Overlay District Comprehensive Review and the Pathway to 2040: Comprehensive Plan Update. The Board will be voting on the amendment in the near future. 

The map above, from the PW Digital Gateway (page 12), is the PW Digital Gateway Land Use Plan. 

School News

Friday, September 9, School Superintendent Dr. LaTanya McDade (issue 58) issued a statement that effective this year, PWC Schools (PWCS) is fully funding a full-time security assistant at every elementary school including Pennington and Porter Traditional Schools, and The Nokesville School. The security assistant will provide school support ensuring compliance with key security protocols including regular perimeter checks, monitoring entry, and other safety measures.

The new positions are in addition to the seven Community Safety Officers that support elementary schools. Also, last Spring, PWCS hired an external consultant specializing in safety and security, who completed.

PWCS has reviewed and are implementing recommendations from the audit to bolster the safety and security of our school buildings. 

Middle and High Schools

Through an existing Memorandum of Understanding with the PWC Police Department (see MOU), middle and high schools are supported by School Resource Officers, in addition to security assistants, security specialists, and security officers.

You can visit the Risk Management and Security Services webpage to learn more about how PWCS ensures a safe school environment and working conditions are provided for staff and students.

Also in the September 9 statement, Dr. McDade advised PWCS is establishing an Equitable Budgeting Task Force. The group of 25 stakeholders representing parents, students, teachers, principals, and central office staff will be co-led by PWCS Chief Financial officer John Wallingford and Chief Equity Officer Dr. Lucretia Brown (issue 87). The committee will convene to review emerging practices in fiscal adequacy for K-12 school systems and make recommendations to inform the future of budgeting in PWCS.

One of the four key commitments in the PWCS Strategic Plan is  Organizational Coherence, and its key focus is ensuring that all PWCS schools operate in a manner that is both adequate and equitable. Adequacy is like a launchpad where every school has the same base level of support, and equity is delivering resources beyond the baseline that meet the unique needs of individual students and staff.

You can visit the PWSC Equity Statement, Equity and Student Relations, and Office of Equity and Employee Relations webpages to learn more about how PWCS works to provide and equitable environment. 

County Happenings

Annual Fun Fundraiser

Saturday morning, October 8, ACTS is hosting its annual 5K walk/run and family festival fundraiser at Stonebridge at the Potomac Town Center. The race starts at 8:00 am (registration opens at 6:30 am) followed by the festival at 9:00 am with games, music, and activities for the whole family. Race registration is $15 per person/$30 per family and can be submitted here. Same day registration is available from 6:30 am to 8:00 am

ACTS fosters hope, provides relief, and promotes self-sufficiency for Prince William citizens in crisis. In 2021, this event raised over $90,000 that supported the programs and crisis services it offers.

The 5K fundraiser is not possible without the help of volunteers. You can support ACTS by volunteering to help. If you are interested in volunteering for any of the IWalk activities listed below, please complete and submit this form. You can also support the fundraiser by making a donation in support of a team, participant, or the event. 

Support ACTS by volunteering to help with:

  • Run/Walk Set Up (4:30 am to 7:30 am) involves walking the course in advance of the race to set out cones and sponsor signage. 
  • Run/Walk Marshals (7:00 am to 9:00 am) involves staffing the course to direct participants, staffing the breakfast and water stations, and helping the run/walk timer with finisher identification. 
  • Run/Walk Tear Down (9:00 am to 11:30 am) involves helping retrieve the cones and sponsor signs from the run/walk course. 

Spooky Fun

If you are already looking forward to October and all things Halloween, then you'll want to check everything the PWC Parks, Recreation & Tourism is doing to make sure you have some spooky fun next month. Families can enjoy haunted mini golf, spooky archery, campfire ghost stories, spirit trails, and more. There is even an adults only live production murder mystery. You can learn more about the various events and find links to register here


The CDC Community Level Tool dated Thursday, September 15, showed COVID-19 community level for Prince William County, the City of Manassas, and all surrounding counties and cities is low, while the City of Manassas Park was medium. You can check the community levels in other areas here

How to Get Vaccinated (including boosters):

How to get tested:
Ann B. Wheeler was elected Chair At-Large of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors during the 2019 General Election and assumed office on January 1, 2020. Prince William County is located 25 miles south of Washington, D.C., and is the Commonwealth of Virginia’s second-most populous county with approximately 482,000 residents. 
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