Boys Home staff and students are excited to announce Lorraine “Susie” Keller’s five-year work anniversary. She serves as a full-time teacher and student testing coordinator. Susie is passionate about education and has worked in the field for many years. Prior to Boys Home, she worked in the Alleghany County Public School System for over twenty-five years. Susie was asked about what motivated her to choose education as a career path. She stated, “In 7th grade, my teacher Mrs. Diane Laws, inspired me to want to be an educator. She was my mentor, role model and someone I admired. I saw that she changed the lives of her students, built individual bonds and gave them every opportunity to learn.”
Susie was also asked what she enjoys most about her current position. She stated, “I have built a great rapport with my students. We may not agree on everything, but we respect each other’s opinions. My philosophy for my classroom is ‘we are all in this together and we will succeed together.’ I am thankful for the opportunity to work with such a supportive administrator, great co-workers and an excellent work environment at the Boys Home School. I am excited to see how much we will learn together as the school year continues.” Susie is known for her outgoing personality and bright smile around the Boys Home community. She helps to live the Boys Home vision of a community that inspires young men to positively impact those around them. Congratulations, Susie!
Boys Home of Virginia is hosting its 2023 Quilt Raffle. Don’t miss an opportunity to win such a beautiful piece of art! As in previous years, this quilt was made and donated by Phyllis Gibson of Waterford Township, MI. A lovely Trip Around the World quilt pattern done in neutral beige, brown and black colorways will accent any queen-sized bed in your home!
Tickets are $5.00 each or 10 tickets for $45.00. The drawing will take place on Friday, May 12, 2023. All proceeds benefit Boys Home of Virginia. To purchase tickets, cut out and mail in the attached form, visit www.boyshomeofva.org or call Melinda at (540) 965-7707. Best of luck winning this unique quilt!
Boys Home students pose with Library Media Teacher Darilyn McGraw from Mountain View Elementary School.
Boys Home has received over 3,000 books, games, posters and educational resources from Mountain View Elementary School. At the beginning of each school year, teachers sort through materials from the previous year. Items they are not using often get stored in the school’s library. Library Media Teacher Darilyn McGraw wanted to make sure the items were used to benefit other children. The school already had a connection to Boys Home through Mr. Howard Nicely, the school’s gym teacher. His wife, Renada Nicely, is a driving instructor at Boys Home.
Darilyn stated, “The principals and I discussed ways to save the books and other items from being put in storage or discarded. What better way to reutilize the books and items than by giving them to another school in our community? I am delighted that our donation will help more students be successful!” Boys Home is grateful for the donation and looks forward to finding a use for the items with the students we serve daily. Mountain View Elementary School matches the vision of Boys Home, and that is to be a community that positively impacts those around them. Thank you, Mountain View Elementary School, for your kindness to the students at Boys Home of Virginia.
The current playground at Boys Home was installed in 1958, and leaders there are hoping for an upgrade.
Chris Doyle, Executive Director of the Boys Home of Virginia, along with Laura Robertson from the Development Department, joins us on Here @ Home to talk about the necessary upgrades and why they’re important.
The current structure has one slide and two swings. Boys Home typically has 40-60 students who live on campus full-time. Many of the students suffered trauma and adversity before arriving. An expanded playground would have benefits to the student population. Donations to build a new playground can be online at boyshomeofva.org; click on the “Donate” button with Paypal – add “Playground Project” in the special instructions for donations.
Boys Home of Virginia is pleased to announce that Terry Messerich has joined the staff as a houseparent. She has spent time in New York and California but has lived in Virginia for the last 25 years. Terry began working with youth through the Alleghany and Rockbridge County School Systems as a substitute teacher and a teaching assistant. It was during her time at Alleghany that she first encountered Boys Home students.
“No matter the behavioral challenges a child is experiencing, they still need love,” Terry said when asked the main lesson she has taken away as a houseparent. She commented that it is important to adjust to the personalities and needs of each student and to recognize when they do well. Terry also said that she works to encourage students to “figure out what they want to do next,” not necessarily stress themselves with thinking too far ahead for their plans. In the future, she looks forward to seeing where students go in life and helping each of them discover themselves. Boys Home is proud to have staff like Terry who meets students where they are and always encourages them to be their authentic selves.