The Inside Scoop - for Members Only
Encore Learning small logo - 534x480

Welcome to  The Inside Scoop , our electronic  newsletter  f or members only.
Please  enjoy this issue,  and  share 
your  f eedback by emailing 

Get to Know Your Board of Directors

Kathy LaPier, our co-chair of Membership, is one of our newest board members. We asked Kathy to share a little bit about herself. She writes:

I joined Encore Learning in 2014 shortly after moving to Arlington, VA from New York City. A friend of my daughter's thought I might find the courses that Encore Learning offered to be of interest and I did. That spring I enrolled in 4 courses and have taken anywhere from 4 to 6 courses each spring and fall. I found the instructors to be knowledgeable and interesting and the value for the dollar unbelievable. The courses are one of the "best buys" in town.

In Paris. Photo courtesy Kathy LaPier.

Again through my daughter I met Marjorie Varner, since we all workout at Gold's gym. As a result of that introduction, I organized the annual Community Advisory Council luncheon for two years. Next I joined the Publications Committee and am still active on this committee.

Joining the Board of Directors as Co-chair of the Membership Committee was not a hard decision since I believe in the objectives of the organization and admire the staff and the volunteers who devote a tremendous amount of time making this organization a success.

Let me back up for a minute and provide you with some background about me. The oldest of three sisters, I grew up in a small town on the eastern end of Long Island. My love of fashion led me to the Big Apple, where I pursued an AAS degree in Fashion Design from the Fashion Institute of Technology. I then received my BS in Home Economics from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh. After starting my family, I completed my MS in Education also from SUNY at Plattsburgh. 

In Morocco. Photo courtesy Kathy LaPier.

My first position after college was as Director of the Family Service Program under Cornell University and their Cooperative Extension Program. I later moved to the position of an Extension Agent for Cornell University working in upstate New York.

Upon moving to NJ, I transitioned into the business world as Manager of Consumer Affairs for the Grand Union Company, a regional supermarket chain. Next I joined Kings Super Markets, an upscale supermarket company, as Director of Consumer Affairs. I had my own consulting company for a few years before my final career move to the Colgate-Palmolive Company in New York City as Manager of Global Affairs.

My passion for travel has accelerated since retiring. My most memorable travels have included two safaris in Africa, climbing the Sydney Harbor Bridge with my grandson, snorkeling in the Galapagos with my granddaughter, hiking to the Sun Gate at Machu  Picchu with my daughter, riding a dromedary in the Moroccan desert, and exploring China, Bhutan, Indonesia, Ethiopia, Vietnam, India, Turkey, Argentina, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Europe, Mexico and most recently Russia and The Baltics. Antarctica is on my bucket list.  

In Machu Picchu. Photo courtesy Kathy LaPier.

I love taking advantage of all that DC has to offer. I take frequent junkets to NYC and London to keep current with theatre, art, and friends. I also frequent the beach in South Carolina with my family. While not traveling, I thoroughly enjoy the theatre, foreign movies, reading, yoga, and exploring the world with friends and family.

Introducing Our Newest Club:  Tech Hobbyist 

Are you interested in awakening your inner tech geek? Perhaps you are interested in learning more about 3D printing, Arduino, Raspberry Pi, robotics, or drones? Or just tinkering with some of the latest electronic devices?

As announced at the Course Preview, we're starting a Tech Hobbyist Club. The club is open to all Encore Learning members and no tech experience is required.

The club meets at the Virginia Tech Thinkabit Lab in Falls Church. Meetings will be held on Mondays from 2-4 P.M. There will be one to two meetings per month, depending on club members' interest. The first meeting will be Monday, October 15, 2018.

Steve Shapiro is the club coordinator. If you are interested in joining, please contact the Encore Learning office.

More News and Photos

Members braving the HEAT on September 2 at the Smithsonian garden tour of the National Museum of the American Indian. Photo by Bill Peters.

Staff Corner

Course registration was a revelation this year. Our members continue to astonish us with their zeal for academic stimulation. Over 1200 seats are filled and more registrations are trickling in after the flood. We hit a high-water membership level: over 1000 people are currently members of our wonderful organization. Thank you for your support, whether you are teaching, working on a committee and/or our board, serving as a class aide, or if you have added a donation to your membership or course registration. We work hand-in-hand with our volunteers and appreciate all the feedback and positive reinforcement we receive. 

Our regular office hours resumed on Tuesday, September 4, 2018. We staff the office Monday-Friday from 10 A.M. to 2 P.M, excluding posted holidays which can be found on our website. Please check the online calendar and don't forget to contact us ahead of time if you require a face to face meeting. To reach us, call 703-228-2144.or email

-- Marjorie Varner, Executive Director

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  "Encore Learning Presents" 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. Summer hours begin Memorial Day and run through Labor Day
Welcome New Members

In August 2018, the following 16  new members joined Encore Learning. Please be sure to give these folks a warm welcome.

Mary Bier
Robert Buckman
Teresa Cappuccilli
T. Everitt
Mary Finger
Christine French
Bud Hensgen
Maureen Kenney
John Kosloske
Ann Rosser
Judy Sears
Cynthia Sitcov
Ann Verber
Paul White
Susan Williams
Mary Yeaney

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

Robert Buckman
Najla Drooby
Jim Heegeman
Sandy Heistad
Joyce Husick
Jefferson Residences
Terry Smith

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: .
Teach, Learn, Share, Grow, Explore with Others 50+