Comptroller Franchot tours Wye River Upper School
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.”
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.
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.