Proud of our Rappahannock County student-athletes

We can all be proud of what our student-athletes of Rappahannock County High School have accomplished. I was in Richmond last Saturday to see our volleyball team win its first-ever state championship, a grand finale to a perfect season, a 27-0 record. I am so happy that the six seniors on the team got to take home the championship trophy in their final game. Thank you, Kayla Brown, Julia Estes, Kayla Robey, Brianna Settle, Jessica Thorne and Ellie Young for all the joy you gave us fans, RCHS alumni in particular.

And we can be proud that we have the state boys cross country champion Gavin Jenkins, and happy for him that he achieved this in his last race as a senior. The perfect way to end one’s high school athletic career.  And we can be proud that our varsity football team won a record six games this season. Three cheers for coach Kemp Pullen and the team.

And not just athletics: Our Theatre group won the 1A East Regional One-Act Play Competition last Saturday, too.

I have been following RCHS athletics and other activities since my return to the county in 2012. I am proud to call myself an alumnus. And I am proud that despite being a small school, without some of the resources of larger communities, RCHS turns out graduates that go on to attend some of our finest colleges and universities, especially my University of Virginia. And proud of the progress we have made as a community. There are people, whose grandparents or great-grandparents had very little education, who go on to higher education and professional careers.

This was not always so. When I was growing up, there was not the value placed on education that we have now. Students were more likely to drop out before graduating than attend college. Yes, we had some dedicated teachers; I owe my love of learning to them. But now it’s parents, it’s our county government, our whole community, who are on the same page regarding the importance of education, not just for earning a living, but for being a positive, contributing citizen.

Patrick Alther