The Inside Scoop - for Members Only
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Welcome to our tenth edition of 
The Inside Scoop , our electronic 
newsletter  f or members only. 
Please  enjoy this issue,  and  share 
your  f eedback by emailing 

Have you Registered for Courses Yet?

We have eleven great courses that begin in April with seats still available - to register or view details, just click on the title.

165.31         Composers on Composers
202.31         Estate Planning
385.31         Historians' Christianity, Part 3
487.31        Human Rights
554.31         Writing A Memoir
622.31         Large Hadron Collider
636.31        Internet of Things
640.31        Technology Safety
763.31         China's Younger Generation
765.31        Economics: That Dismal Science

Get to know your Board of Directors

We're fortunate to have so many dedicated members serving on our  Board of Directors. This month, we asked our Co-Chairs of the Publications Committee, Millie Lawson and Jill Neuville, to tell us a little about themselves.

From Millie:

It's a tale of two cities; Arlington, VA and Charleston, SC. I grew up in Arlington, graduating from Wakefield High School. After doing my undergraduate work in history and political science at George Washington University, I lived briefly in the Jacksonville area and then moved (courtesy of the US Navy) to Charleston.

Millie and Jill at our 2017 Annual Meeting

In Charleston, I taught government and later completed a graduate degree at The Citadel where I also worked with freshmen as a teaching assistant and edited a textbook. While living there, I served as a docent for the Historic Charleston Foundation House Tours and worked as a volunteer with the committee that first brought the Spoleto Festival to Charleston. The reward for all the envelope stuffing was sitting in the Dock Street Theatre listening to an up and coming young cellist named Yo Yo Ma. Charleston is where my son, also a Wakefield graduate, was born.

After three back to back tours in Charleston I returned to a very different Arlington than the one I left (think railyards and dives turned into Crystal City). I completed additional work at Catholic University with the intention of becoming a marriage and family therapist. Volunteering for a project for the County Council of PTAs reconnected me to the Arlington Public Schools where I enjoyed a career working as a counselor and school psychologist, retiring in 2011 as the director of counseling services and administrator for special education at Williamsburg Middle School.

I joined Encore Learning in 2012 as an opportunity to rekindle earlier interests (foreign policy and history) but not related to my work and to explore outside my areas of knowledge and experience (Large Hadron Collider was an amazing course). I served as a class aide and when the invitation to join the Board as Publications Co-Chair came in 2016, I was pleased to accept.

In my spare time, I am an avid reader and a music lover. I also serve on the Board of Trustees of the Wakefield Education Foundation. I was the Foundation contact for the Scholars of the Class of 2012 and helped compile and co-edit Integration of Wakefield High School, a publication supporting our commitment to preserving and sharing the history of Wakefield.Currently, I serve on the Wakefield scholarship review committee for NOVA and Career and Technical Training applicants, work on the archives and give guided tours of the "new" building to alumni and other interested groups.

From Jill:

1. How long have you been an Encore Learning Member?

I've been a member of Encore Learning since I retired in 2004.

Photo courtesy Jill Neuville.

2. What made you decide to join the  Board?

I was invited to join the Board by a member of the Nominating Committee and I then interviewed one of the co-chairs to find out about the position. As a long-time copy editor, I had some awareness of the magnitude of the position and was concerned that it would consume most of my "free" time - although the co-chair, who shall remain nameless, assured me that she only spent 40 hours a year, it turned out that the learning curve was steeper than I anticipated and it was more like 80 hours the first year. I probably wouldn't have accepted had I known. Now, however, as a Board member I enjoy seeing the bigger picture and how all the parts fit together to make the organization run.

3. What is  your favorite thing about Encore Learning, so far?

I have two favorite things about Encore Learning: the quality of the courses and seeing the catalog come together at the conclusion of each process. There is a great deal of satisfaction in knowing that I had a piece of that happening.

4. Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan. I lived in the top floor apartment of a private club on Lake St. Clair - my father was the manager of the club. I spent my childhood summers at my grandparents' cottage on Lake Huron. More than anything, I miss that direct experience of the water - swimming and sailing in the summer, ice skating in the winter, seeing the water outside of my bedroom window at all times of the year.

Photo courtesy Jill Neuville.

5. What else do you do in  your spare time, when you are not volunteering for Encore Learning?

I usually do water aerobics as well as volunteer for Jubilee Jobs where I complete online applications for clients looking for entry-level positions. I'm also a member of the Alumni Board for my college. Currently all of these activities are on hold as I recover from back surgery. I also love to read and take walks to explore different parts of the region. I enjoy theater though don't attend as often as I'd like. I love going to the movies - recent favorites include Lady Bird, The Post and Molly's Game.

6. What's  your favorite food?

My favorite food is Activia Light vanilla yogurt (this is not a paid commercial!). I have some every day as part of my breakfast. I also like breakfast cereals, particularly Weetabix which I have every other day. I don't mind having the occasional cereal/Activia dinner either.

7. Share a favorite book, poem, or piece of music.

My favorite authors are P.D. James and Louise Penny. Both write highly literate mystery stories that are also character studies. I also admire the works of Jane Austen.

8. Who is  your hero?

My mother is my hero. She was a highly intelligent woman who did what all "good" women did in the 50s and early 60s - she was a mother and a housewife. In her 50s after suffering the early death of my father and a disastrous second marriage and divorce she returned to school and obtained her CPA, passing the test on her first attempt. She then got a position as an accountant and worked for a satisfying 10 years. I think that if she had lived in a different era she would have done great things. As it was, in retrospect what I admire is her resilience and emotional toughness, her ability not only to pick herself up but also to find new challenges for herself.

9. Where is  your favorite place in the world to be?

My favorite place is the world to be is the Florida Keys. When I was growing up, my family spent the month of March there, eating the fish my dad caught every day. For a period of years as an adult my family spent Thanksgiving living in a house on a canal and boating and fishing. I love the warmth, the sand, the color of the water, the wildlife. Now I spend part of February on Sanibel Island where I find those memories return. Another favorite place is Whidbey Island in Washington state. I spend part of each summer there living in a cabin in the woods and enjoying family time with my brother, sister-in-law and my partner, Bill.

10. What is one thing you'd like our members to  know about you?

I love to travel and have been to Crete, Cornwall, Provence twice, Paris twice, Switzerland, England, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, Wales, Spain and Portugal as well as a barge trip in Burgundy. My next trip will be to Nova Scotia this fall where we will spend two weeks in a cottage on Cape Breton, hiking and enjoying the local music. I had hoped to go to Brazil this summer for a family wedding but my recovery may preclude that. Travel meets my desire for new experiences and I intend to keep doing so as long as my body and my money hold out!

Another trip takes me to Texas every three months. I am a great-aunt to three adorable children, Chloe, six, Greyson, four, and Latham, one. I so enjoy watching them learn and grow - I want to experience as much of their lives as I can.

Photo courtesy Jill Neuville.

Name Badges are Coming Back!

Our all volunteer Name Badge Task Force is taking on the job of getting new name badges out to all current members. Once you receive it, we ask that you wear it to all Encore Learning activities. Why name badges, you ask? We are bringing back this practice at the request of many of our members.  Here are a few of the main reasons:
  • A name badge personalizes you and invites conversation. It fosters the kind of friendly interaction that many appreciate about Encore Learning.
  • It is easy to forget names. Name badges provide a quick at-a-glance name recall for the next time you meet.
  • Name badges easily identify Encore Learning members in classroom venues, at special events, or when trying to locate your fellow members at a new location.
Special thanks to our dedicated volunteers who are making happen:
Sharon Bisdee, Pat Chatten, and   Steve Spangler. Look for your name badge to arrive via USPS.

More News and Photos

Been anyplace fun lately? We love to share photos of our members out and about together - locally or far away. See below for more details about submitting photos. Here are world travelers Barb and Steve Spangler,  Darlene Mickey and David Permut.

Angkor Wat Cambodia
Angkor Learning!  At Angkor Wat, Cambodia in February 2018.
Photo and pun courtesy Steve Spangler.

Speaking of Travel, Charlie Hallahan was the featured speaker at this month's Travel Club meeting. Read the post and see the photos on our website.  The next Travel Club Meeting is Wednesday, April 4th at 2:30pm. Lee Cooper will be giving a presentation on her trip to Africa last year.  Email the office if you're a current member who would like to be added to the Club.

In other Club News, we have a CORRECTION:  Our Non-Fiction book club meets on MONDAYS not Tuesdays as reported in last month's newsletter. 

Staff Corner

Reminder: our office is temporarily located in space on the third floor of the Syphax Center. The construction makes things a little chaotic at times so always call ahead for an appointment. All of our  contact information
remains unchanged.

Connecting Friends with Encore Learning

We're often referred to as the "best kept secret in Arlington." New members join mostly because they hear about Encore Learning from a friend.  When joining online, new members may enter a "Referred by" name. We look forward to thanking you here in the newsletter - see below.

Bring friends to our  "Meet the Speaker" series at Arlington Central Library. These events are open to the public and a great way for prospective members to learn more about us.

Anyone can do it! When you simply like our Facebook page or share our Facebook posts and events to your social network, it's a huge help.

Like us on Facebook

  • Volunteers are always needed. If you'd like to get more involved, please email
  • Check the calendar on our website for our office hours.
Welcome New Members

In February 2018, 57  new members joined Encore Learning. Please be sure to give these folks a warm welcome. 

Patricia Albert
Charles Albert
Bonnie Becker
Allan Bloom
Deborah Brammer
Kay Brown
Ginny Carruthers
Rose Cichy
Hanni Cordes
Mac Cosgrove-Davies
Stuart Davis
Nancy Davis
Helen deThomas
Patricia Dreher
Gregg Forte
Barry Ginsberg
Marge Ginsberg
Carl Gold
Ricki Gold
Nancy Graves
Timothy Green
Marcia Grenell
Sandra Groves
Judy Gunther
Gale Harris
Lin Harris
Bill Harvey
Ginger Hays
Robert Healy
Elizabeth Hoefer
Nancy Hurley
Jacqueline Issa
Susan Lee
Margit Linforth
Shirley Long
Sandra Mason
Martha Mathis
James McCluskey
John McLaughlin
Peter Molberg
Susan Morrison
Clarita Mrena
Patricia Muchmore
Rick Mumford
Charles Murphy
John Pelkey
Margaret Quadrino
Dennis Reeder
Nancy Robins
Jane Robinson
Jonathan Ross
Marilyn Siegel
David Smith
Paula Thiede
Vicki Thomas
Susan Wojcik
Deborah Yaffe

And a huge Thank You to the following members and instructors for referring friends and family:

Ken Avis
Bernice Ball
Melanie Barton
Joan Carter
Anne Chase
Hanni Cordes
Adriana Daulong
Nancy Davis
Stuart Davis
Ellen Dayton
Jeff Dolan
Doug First
Marian Flynn
Gale Harris
Ann Marie Hay
Ginger Hays
Sandy Heisted
Dorothy Labell
Pam Meredith
Charles Murphy
Kathy Murphy
George Quadrino
Natalie Ridgell
Jack Royer
Bruce Schauer
Steve Shapiro
Bob Stone
Rebeca Weinstein

Please email the office with any corrections.

Photos, Photos, Photos...

We all love looking at them and it seems we can never get enough here in the office. Please share your photos of Encore Learning activities with us. The higher the resolution of the photo, the better (1 MB or higher). Shots taken on your mobile phone are great! Just email them to us and if we use your photos, we will make sure to acknowledge you as the photographer. We can't use thumbnails, though, so please check your photo size settings prior to emailing.

Don't Want to Wait for the Next Edition of The Inside Scoop?


Donations are Always Welcome

Encore Learning is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Any donation is a charitable contribution deductible from income tax to the full extent permitted by law. Members, friends and organizations wishing to support Encore Learning may direct contributions to our  General Fund  or to our  Arlington Youth Scholarship .

We hope you enjoyed this edition of  The Inside Scoop . If you would like to submit an article or share some photos of members participating in Encore Learning activities, please email Beth Dowd: .
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