Principals' Memo #1017-09

Department of Education

October 27, 2009

TO: Principals

FROM: Linda M. Wallinger, Assistant Superintendent for Instruction

SUBJECT: Strong Men and Women - Excellence in Leadership Writing Contest

On behalf of Dominion Virginia Power, the Virginia Department of Education is pleased to announce the Strong Men and Women: Excellence in Leadership writing contest for all high school juniors and seniors in Dominion’s Virginia service area. Students are invited to honor outstanding African Americans by writing a 400-word essay about one of the 223 individuals featured in the Strong Men and Women series. Along with the nine leaders being honored this year, student winners are recognized at a special reception preceding Black History Month.

Dominion is celebrating its twentieth year of hosting this writing contest, which provides an opportunity for students to learn and write about strong leaders or positive role models. Five winners will be chosen from designated geographic regions in Dominion’s service area. Student winners of the writing contest will receive a new laptop computer, and their schools will receive a $1,000 cash award.

Each school may submit two entries. Contest winners will have the opportunity to read their essays to several hundred distinguished educators, community leaders, and the 2009 Strong Men and Women honorees in Richmond on the evening of Thursday, January 21, 2010. Students and school representatives must be present to receive the awards. Arrangements will be made with the winning schools for the student and school representative to attend the January ceremony in Richmond to receive the award. Dominion will provide overnight accommodations for students and school representatives.

The application packet may be downloaded from the Dominion Virginia website at, keyword “strong.” All applications are due November 9, 2009, to Dominion Virginia Power. For questions about the application process, please refer to the website at or call Dominion's community affairs representative at (804) 771-4167.