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by ARLnow.com — February 11, 2013 at 7:25 pm 3,500 28 Comments

Katy Prebble (photo via Bishop O'Connell High School)Bishop O’Connell High School President Katy Prebble has announced that she will resign at the end of the school year, after three years on the job.

Parents and students at the private Catholic institution, in Arlington’s East Falls Church neighborhood, were informed of the resignation this afternoon. Prebble is leaving to take another job outside of the Catholic Diocese of Arlington, diocese spokesman Michael Donohue told ARLnow.com.

Student comments about Bishop O'Connell President Katy Prebble's resignation (via Twitter)Prebble, a 1974 Catholic University graduate, joined O’Connell in 2010 after serving as president of a college preparatory school in Georgia. Barry Breen, O’Connell’s president before Prebble, resigned after five years.

The diocese says it will begin a search for a new president “soon,” although a final decision has not yet been made about whether to keep the current leadership structure of the school, which includes both a president and a school principal.

On Twitter, Bishop O’Connell students seemed pleased with Prebble’s resignation. One called it “a graduation present to the Class of 2013.”

Another said the resignation was “better late than never,” while referencing a controversial decision last year to fire John Harrison, a beloved social studies teacher.

Prebble sent the following letter to parents at 3:15 p.m. today (Monday).

Dear Bishop O’Connell Community,

I write to you today to inform you that I will be leaving Bishop O’Connell in June 2013. It has been my distinct privilege to serve as the school’s president since July 2010. The 1,200 students who grace the halls of our school every day are a remarkable and diverse group of young men and women eager to establish themselves as the leaders of tomorrow. I will miss them dearly as well as the dedicated faculty and staff who work incredibly hard to guide them through these wonderful and exciting high school years.

With the completion of the renovation of our athletic fields and two new chemistry labs, as well as the plans to complete several more labs this summer, Bishop O’Connell is strategically positioned to offer a first class facility for students for years to come.

I am enthusiastic about our work with our new Strategic Plan and our initial efforts to create a Facility Master Site Plan. The next few months will be busy as we work diligently to strengthen our Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) program and plan the addition of our second engineering course. Our STEM curriculum continues to grow, and O’Connell is set to become one of only two private high schools in the greater Washington DC area to offer a Project Lead the Way school curriculum in engineering.

I have been inspired by O’Connell’s spirit and traditions and am a better person for being guided by the IHM Sisters. Many of you may know that years ago Mother Teresa visited O’Connell and spoke to our students. Her message of love and compassion continues to fill the heart of our community. I will faithfully serve our community over the next few months and wish only the best for O’Connell. It is always a great day to be a Knight.

Faithfully yours,

Katy Prebble

In a letter, Diocese of Arlington Superintendent of Schools Sister Bernadette McManigal said Prebble “has served the school, the Diocese and Catholic Education well.”

A long list of accomplishments are directly attributable to Katy’s leadership. The most visible examples include remodeled science labs, the addition of a global studies program, attractive and safe athletic fields, dual enrollment courses with Marymount, new seats in the school auditorium and the addition of pre-engineering courses in the curriculum. An impressive list! Katy was tireless in her zeal for the students and faculty at Bishop O’Connell High School.

Bishop Paul S. Loverde joins me in thanking Katy for her service and in wishing her well in her next endeavors. We will miss her.

by ARLnow.com — February 11, 2013 at 4:45 pm 23 Comments

On Thursday, the Arlington School Board unanimously approved the conceptual design of the new elementary school to be built on the Williamsburg Middle School campus in north Arlington.

The 93,578 square foot school will include 28 classrooms, a gymnasium, library, art room, media center, innovation lab, dining room and green roofs. It has a projected capacity of 630 students, to help address the capacity crunch at Arlington Public Schools.

The school will cost about $35 million to build, with construction slated to start in January 2014 and wrap up in time for the start of the school year in the summer of 2015.

The Williamsburg elementary school is one of five elementary school building projects approved in the latest APS capital improvement plan. On Feb. 21, the School Board is expected to vote on the conceptual design for an addition to Ashlawn Elementary School.

Some residents in nearby McLean have expressed concern about traffic impacts from the new school.

by ARLnow.com — February 11, 2013 at 3:10 pm 48 Comments

Wilson Tavern expansion (photo courtesy @dylanbarlett)

Wilson Tavern (2403 Wilson Blvd) is expanding. The Courthouse-area watering hole has closed temporarily as a result of the construction.

The restaurant is expanding about 35-40 feet — into an empty, adjacent space — and adding 20-25 seats as a result. The larger space will also allow Wilson Tavern to expand its food menu, according to owner Reese Gardner, who also owns The Mighty Pint and Irish Whiskey Public House in D.C.

Interior work is expected to wrap up tomorrow, and Gardner is hoping to reopen by 4:00 p.m., in time for the Clarendon/Courthouse Mardi Gras parade. Wilson Tavern is planning a Mardi Gras party tomorrow night, and a Valentine’s Day party on Thursday night.

When it first opened in 2011, replacing the former Kitty O’Shea’s, Wilson Tavern emphasized its chef-created food menu. Thanks in part to the small space and high overhead costs, the restaurant struggled to return a profit. Several months after it opened, Gardner bought Wilson Tavern from the original owner and in May 2012 relaunched it — without a chef — as a more alcohol-centric bar. Now, he says, the expansion is allowing him to invest more in food.

Wilson Tavern’s drink options will remain the same after the expansion. The bar has 10 beers on tap, including 5 Flying Dog drafts, and serves 16 ounce cocktails, which Gardner credits with helping him attract a younger, fun-loving demographic.

Photo courtesy @dylanbarlett

by ARLnow.com — February 11, 2013 at 2:00 pm 1,870 47 Comments

Pope Benedict XVI (photo via Wikipedia)Today, Pope Benedict XVI announced that he would resign the papal office at the end of the month.

The Pope said his age and declining energy level is preventing him from carrying out the duties of the office. The announcement surprised many local Catholics, including leaders of local parishes.

“With the startling news that Pope Benedict is resigning at the end of the month, we pray for the church and its leaders to seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit in choosing a new Pope,” Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Church, at 2700 19th Street S., said on its Facebook page.

This afternoon, the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Arlington also commented on the Pope’s announcement.

In a statement, Bishop Paul S. Loverde said Catholics are “deeply grateful for his eight years of faithful and selfless service.”

As I reflect on the life and ministry of Pope Benedict XVI, I am unfailingly impressed by his serenity; a quiet, peaceful yet certain manner of speaking and acting. This serenity is rooted in his deep faith in the Lord Jesus, a faith that underlies hope and leads to love of God and neighbor. His decision to resign the Petrine Ministry on February 28th reflects this spirit of serenity.

Certainly, we are deeply grateful for his eight years of faithful and selfless service so evident in his homilies, encyclicals and addresses; in his numerous trips around the world, including his visit to our country in 2008; and his sensitive and pastoral concern for the faithful world-wide.

Thinking of the welfare of the Church which he loves so dearly and is serving so faithfully, our Holy Father is confident that his stepping aside for the election of a new pope truly will benefit the Church and allow him to continue his ministry of prayer for the Church.

I urge my brothers and sisters in the Church and beyond to pray for the welfare of Pope Benedict XVI and also to ask the Holy Spirit, Who inspired the Pope’s decision, to guide the Cardinals in the upcoming Conclave to elect a new Vicar of Christ and successor to St. Peter. With a similar serenity of spirit, let us pray for and support the Holy Father each day as he moves forward into a new chapter in his journey of faith. We remain confident about the future, recalling Christ’s words: “Behold, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (cf. Mt 28:20).

Photo via Wikipedia

by ARLnow.com — February 11, 2013 at 1:00 pm 1,230 7 Comments

US Airways jetliner on approach to Reagan National AirportIf someone you know is scheduled to fly into Reagan National Airport this afternoon, they might be facing significant delays.

Arrivals at DCA are currently delayed an average of two and a half hours due to a low cloud ceiling, according to the FAA. The agency’s website says a “traffic management program (ground stop) is in effect for [air] traffic arriving” at the airport.

One tipster who was scheduled to return to DCA from Orlando today on Jet Blue says he and his fellow passengers were just asked to get off the plane and wait for the flight to be rescheduled.

Update at 1:25 p.m. — Via Twitter, readers are reporting delays and cancellations for departing flights as well.

by ARLnow.com — February 11, 2013 at 11:45 am 689 7 Comments

Bicycles at the Bike to Work Day pit stop in RosslynSecurity-related changes at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall that went into effect this past weekend may impact those who ride their bike through the installation.

JBMHH’s Wright Gate, at Marshall Drive and Meade Street, will now close to visitors at 6:00 p.m., seven days a week. (It still opens at 5:00 a.m.) Previously, visitors were allowed to use the gate until 11:00 p.m.

Now, only Department of Defense ID card holders will be able to access the gate through 11:00 p.m.

Additionally, two JBMHH gate are now officially, permanently closed: Henry Gate, at Route 50 and N. Pershing Drive, and the Henderson Hall Annex Gate, on Southgate Road.

Currently, only two gates are open 24/7 to visitors and DoD personnel: the Henderson Hall Main Gate at the intersection of S. Orme Street and Southgate Road, and the Hatfield Gate, at Washington Blvd and 2nd Street S.

The changes are expected to impact bike commuters, who sometimes commute through Wright Gate and JBMHH as a safer, less traffic-filled way to get home at night.

JBMHH personnel say the changes were necessitated by a money-saving congressional mandate, which required the base to use military police or federal civilian security guards at installation gates. Previously, the gates were patrolled by private security guards.

“This action has resulted in fewer personnel to man the gates,” said JBMHH spokeswoman Leah Rubalcaba.

by ARLnow.com — February 11, 2013 at 10:20 am 860 50 Comments

2121 N. Westmoreland StreetA new cafe is coming to the East Falls Church neighborhood.

Little City Gourmet, described as a “cafe and store,” plans to open at 2121 N. Westmoreland Street on April 15. The cafe plans to have about 16 seats inside and four outdoor seats, according to interior design sketches. It’s also applying for a license to serve beer and wine.

Located on the ground floor of an apartment building, Little City Gourmet is within walking distance of the East Falls Church Metro station and the W&OD Trail, on the same block as One More Page Books.

The cafe is helmed by Rachelle Slotnick, the owner and executive chef of Northwest Fresh Catering in Falls Church. Attempts to reach Slotnick for comment were unsuccessful.

Photo via Google Maps

by ARLnow.com — February 11, 2013 at 9:05 am 2,871 75 Comments

Sunset over Arlington by Mark C. White (photo has been modified from its original version)

Fisette Promises Details on Water Bottle ‘Crusade’ — Arlington County Board member Jay Fisette says he will provide additional details about his “crusade” against single-use water bottles — first announced at the Board’s New Year’s meeting — in April. Fisette did reveal that the anti-bottled water effort would involve a 15-member steering committee. [Sun Gazette]

New Metro Station in Rosslyn? — As part of Metro’s “Momentum” plan to revamp and expand the aging transit system, the agency has proposed building a new station in Rosslyn. Greater Greater Washington expounds upon that plan and examines the possibility of splitting the Blue Line at Rosslyn, building a separate Blue Line station, and running the line separately across the Potomac and into Georgetown. [Greater Greater Washington]

Metro Cell Phone Installation Delayed — Metro’s effort to enable cell phone service in its tunnels has hit a snag: after the contractor performing the work filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. It could be 2016 before riders are able to use their cell phones in Metro tunnels. [Washington Examiner]

Above-Normal Lead Levels Found in Office Building –  The General Service Administration has found above-normal lead levels in an office building in Crystal City. [Washington Business Journal]

Flickr pool photo by Mark C. White.

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