Comp­trol­ler Fran­chot tours Wye River Up­per School

Record Observer - - News - By MIKE DAVIS mdavis@kibay­times.com

CENTREVILLE — In Au­gust 2014, the Wye River Up­per School of­fi­cially moved out of Ch­e­sa­peake Col­lege and into the ren­o­vated Mary­land National Guard Ar­mory in Centreville. But with­out the aid of state fund­ing, the school that serves stu­dents with unique learn­ing styles would not have been able to ex­pand.

On Fri­day, May 20, Mar yland Comp­trol­ler Peter Fran­chot, along with lo­cally elected of­fi­cials and mem­bers of WRUS’s board of di­rec­tors, WRUS Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor Chrissy Aull guided the group through­out the build­ing for a tour.

As part of the state Board of Pub­lic Works, Fran­chot ap­proved state fund­ing for the school of about $1.2 mil­lion in 2014 for con­struc­tion, re­pair and ren­o­va­tion of the his­toric build­ing.

“We’ve gone from the mis­sion of National Guard and serv­ing men pre­par­ing to go off to war, and now we’re trans­form­ing kids’ lives,” Aull said. “And the kids are high school kids ... that rep­re­sent dif­fer­ent geo­graphic re­gions.”

Fran­chot pre­sented Aull with a Comp­trol­ler Medal­lion that he gives to Mary­lan­ders who make a dif­fer­ence.

Be­fore the tour be­gan, Fran­chot told the group, which in­cluded three stu­dents, about how his chief of staff when he was in the leg­is­la­ture was dyslexic and went on to be­come a state se­na­tor.

“For you kids, there are great fu­tures for you and I en­cour­age you to take ad­van­tage of the school be­cause so­ci­ety will make ad­just­ments,” he said. “... So I ex­pect you guys to each equal that. It’s more than talk, we need ac­tion. I want you to be some­one that I can point to as a wor­thy in­vest­ment.”

For Samantha Robert­son, a fresh­man, she said at­tend­ing WRUS was one of the bet­ter de­ci­sions she has made. “It’s changed a lot in my life.”

Queen Anne’s County State’s At­tor­ney Lance Richard­son said he drove by the ar­mory many times be­fore the school moved in and said it’s a beau­ti­ful build­ing. “It’s just nice to go by it ev­ery day and see the trans­for­ma­tion from what it was. And we know the work they do is ex­cep­tional in here, and we’re re­ally pleased to have them in town.”

PHOTO BY MIKE DAVIS

Mary­land Comp­trol­ler Peter Fran­chot, left, stops while on a tour of the Wye River Up­per School to talk with art and tech­nol­ogy teacher James Martinez, right, who has been at the school for 14 years. Fran­chot toured the fa­cil­ity on Fri­day, May 20.

PHOTO BY MIKE DAVIS

Mary­land Comp­trol­ler Peter Fran­chot shakes Wye River Up­per School stu­dent Michael Lee’s hand as he passes by him dur­ing his tour of the school on Fri­day, May 20.

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