Issue 21
Saturday, July 11, 2020
Prince William County
Dear Neighbors,

Maybe it's the heat or perhaps a holdover from our youth, but the summer months are often viewed as a slowing down time. That certainly isn't the case this year. Not only are things busy in the county, our office has been busy creating new ways to connect with you, including a new website coming soon!

On Tuesday, there is a BOCS meeting and we have a full agenda. I want to point out item 6-F, which is the Route 28 Bypass Location Project. This project is a significant one and there is a genuine desire to hear residents' opinions. You'll find information on how to comment below.

Speaking of roads, Thursday evening the NVTA adopted their FY 2020-2025 Six Year Program ( Issue 12). While I will cover more details of the funding we received in a future Wheeler Report, I am excited to share Dumfries received $78 million to complete the widening of Route 1. As part of the project, the current southbound lanes will become a local Main Street.

You'll find a range of articles in this issue including information on my recent conversation with U.S. Senator Warner, equity news, COVID-19 updates, two important meetings next week, impressive school business partnerships and a safety advisory.

In Service,
Chair Ann Wheeler
Conversation With The Chair
A Federal Update
If you missed my conversation with U.S. Senator Mark Warner on Tuesday, I encourage you to check it out! In just under 45 minutes we covered many top of mind topics including the economic crisis, the health crisis, racial injustice and the future of schools.
Community Conversation
Acting Police Chief Jarad Phelps and special guest Grealin C. Kimbrough hosted a live virtual open discussion on strengthening community-police relations. You can view a recording of their very interesting dialogue on The Wheeler Connection YouTube Channel.
School Name Changes
After two public input sessions and 775 suggestions, the School Board approved resolutions to rename two schools. Stonewall Jackson High School will be Unity Reed High School and Stonewall Middle School will be Unity Braxton Middle School and the auditorium will be renamed for John G. Miller . Unity was made part of both school names for its meaning.
Spotlight On The Stories Behind The Names
Unity Reed High School
Arthur Reed , a long-time security assistant at Stonewall Jackson High School, was beloved by students and staff. The resolution noted “the name ‘Arthur Reed’ reflects a lifelong legacy and dedication to education in Prince William County, representing leadership, respect, pride, strength, and perseverance.” The resolution also recognized Arthur Reed was the clear favorite of the school's community. 

Unity Braxton Middle School
Celestine Braxton was an educator in our county for 33 years during a period of school racial segregation. She retired in 1983 after teaching at Marsteller and Stonewall Middle Schools. Her husband, Carroll , was a Master Gunnery Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps, and a Congressional Gold Medal Recipient. He is one of 20,000 African-American Marines from 1942-1949, who received basic training at a segregated facility, Camp Montford Point, in Jacksonville, North Carolina. Learn more and hear from Carroll , who turns 96 later this month.

John G Miller Auditorium
John G. Miller retired July 1 after dedicating 20 years to the middle school. Serving as the principal for the last 18 years makes him one of the longest-tenured principals in our county. The resolution noted “the auditorium was Mr. Miller’s favorite place in the school because this was the center of empowering students by celebrating their successes in many ways, including quarterly and yearly awards and musical concerts.”
On June 29 Governor Ralph Northam launched the Virginia Rent and Mortgage Relief Program (RMRP), which will provide $50 million in federal CARES Act funding for households facing eviction or foreclosure due to COVID-19. To identify your local RMRP administering organization and to conduct a self-assessment for eligibility, visit the website or call 211 VIRGINIA by dialing 2-1-1. 
Mortgage, Rent and Utility Payments
There is help available for people who are having difficulty making payments due to COVID-19. Our county Office of Housing and Community Development has started distributing funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to eligible households in Prince William County and the cities of Manassas and Manassas Park through the Emergency Housing Assistance Program (EHAP).
COVID-19 Testing
The county has announced eleven free testing locations from Saturday July 11 through Thursday July 16. Participants must provide their full name, telephone number, and a home or work address in Prince William County, the City of Manassas, and the City of Manassas Park to obtain COVID testing and receive the results. All sites can accommodate drive-thru or walk-up testing.
Small Business Relief
Applications are still being accepted for Round 2 of the Small Business Relief Micro-Grant Program  ( Issue 16 ) providing financial grants of up to $10,000 to qualified county small businesses and non-profits impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Town Of Occoquan Program
The Town of Occoquan has just announced its own Small Business Micro-Grant Program created to provide grants to help Occoquan businesses offset some of the economic impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic. This program is also funded under the CARES Act.
Board Of County Supervisors
The BOCS will meet  July 14 at
2:00 pm and 7:00 pm.

For Public Comment Time options visit 
SpeakUp! Prince William.
Advance sign-up  is required by
5:00 pm on Monday, July 13.
Upcoming School Board Meeting
Back To School Planning
The School Board will hold a hybrid physical/virtual meeting on Wednesday, July 15 at 6 pm , on approving plans for the reopening. The meeting will take place at the Kelly Leadership Center, located at 14715 Bristow Road, Manassas, Virginia. It will be open to the public but subject to specific guidelines . Citizens who want to speak in person or remotely must sign up with the by 5 p.m. Wednesday, July 15.
Citizen Participant Guidelines
  • Comments must be related to reopening of schools
  • Strongly encouraged to wear face coverings
  • Will be provided distanced seating

How To Register To Participate Electronically
  • Submit the registration form
  • You will then receive a confirmation email about joining the webinar
  • Then you need to email to be placed on the list to speak (please include your address and telephone number for the record)

How To Register To Speak In Person
  • Email to be placed on the list to speak (please include your address and telephone number for the record)

To Submit A Written Public Statement

To Watch
  • Go to and clicking on the “Watch Live” link
  • Comcast Channel 18
  • Verizon FIOS Channel 36
School Partners Honored
Businesses Making a Difference
 Each year SPARK, the education foundation for PWCS, identifies business and community partnerships making the most positive impact on academics and student achievement. This year three businesses were given Partnership of the Year awards.
Spotlight On These Great Partnerships
Amazon Web Services (AWS) and River Oaks Elementary
Empowered students to become knowledgeable, engaged citizens, and innovators by establishing the world’s first AWS science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) Lab called the Think Big Space. This space provides students from all over the school division access to learn about augmented reality, artificial intelligence, machine learning, coding, and robotics.

Food Lion Store #1249 and Forest Park High
Provided students the opportunity to understand work-place readiness skills and how they are actualized in the real world. From mock interviews to practice job applications, this partnership aims to help students prepare for their Workplace Readiness Industry Certification. Since the partnership began in 2017, the Workplace Readiness Industry Certification pass rate at Forest Park has increased by 30 percent.

I-66 Express Mobility Partners and PWCS
Sponsoring the Prince William-Manassas Regional Science and Engineering Fair. The sponsorship was part of a more than $30,000 donation to the Division for STEM educational efforts. The partnership aims to strengthen the quality and quantity of student participation in future Science and Engineering Fairs as well as support the growth of STEM education in elementary schools.
Be Safe
Summer Time
NEVER leave children or pets alone in hot vehicles!
Heat can rise in a closed car by up to 20 degrees in just 10 minutes! 
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 470,000 residents.