Susan Sorensen



Students at The Village School, an all-girls private middle school. Photo: Amanda Maglione

It takes a Village

It took two men with a vision to create an all-girls village On the Tuesday before winter break, a spirited debate has broken out in Jamie Knorr’s sixth-grade history class at Village School, the all-girls middle school he and Proal Heartwell founded two decades ago. A few of Knorr’s students have just delivered their soliloquy, […]

John Whitlow and his band Scuffletown will play their mix of roots, jazz, bluegrass and rock at Dance for Life, a posthumous tribute to Marty Whitlow. Photo: Martyn Kyle

For a good time: Local trio Scuffletown still brings the fun

The only reminder of a once-thriving Orange County town is a sign: Scuffletown Road. And while the place may be gone, it’s certainly not forgotten, thanks to John Whitlow, Marc Carraway and Vaughan Mairs, the guys who make up Scuffletown, a high-energy acoustic trio. “During the Depression, Scuffletown was a lively, blue collar place that […]

Burley Middle School Choral Director Craig Jennings has assembled a community-wide group of young women to perform at Winter Songs, a concert to unite and inspire in the wake of recent events. Photo: Michael Johnson.

A girl thing: Area choirs gather to heal and empower

Craig Jennings didn’t know Hannah Graham. But last fall, “after she disappeared under the eyes of cameras on the Downtown Mall, I couldn’t stop thinking about what her family was going through,” said Jennings, the choral director at Burley Middle School. That feeling grew stronger as days turned into weeks, and Jennings watched his students […]

Photo: Jen Fariello

Getting her goat

It’s been almost a year since Lucy the goat came to live with 8-year-old Emma van der Linde. Lucy wasn’t even 24 hours old when she arrived—and she was very sick. But a nearby farmer knew the van der Linde’s “were suckers for any animal in need, so they contacted us,” said Emma’s mother, Erin. […]

Photo: Melody Robbins

Quality counts: Alice Marshall was ‘born to decorate’

It came as no surprise when Alice Marshall, co-owner of The Second Yard, a purveyor of decorator fabrics and home furnishings, told us that her first design memory was re-arranging dollhouse furniture. “I was born loving to decorate,” she said. “I didn’t care much about the dolls,” only about creating beautiful spaces for them to […]

Landscape architect Pete O'Shea is inspired by people and places that have a story. Photo: Robert Radifera

The long and winding road: Siteworks Studio’s Pete O’Shea opens up about how he got here

Landscape architect Pete O’Shea spent his youth playing in the fields, orchards, and woods of his Central Massachusetts neighborhood, where “we didn’t really know that what we were exploring daily was this incredibly dynamic landscape of glacial topography, dwindling agriculture, and second growth forests laced with old stone walls, boulders, ponds, and streams,” he said. […]

Photo: Jen Fariello

A horse, of course

Shortly after she learned to talk, Molly Streit announced that she wanted to take horseback riding lessons. “I made the rule that she couldn’t ride until she was 5,” her mother, Meghan, said. “The day after she turned 5, she took her first lesson.” Molly is now 7 years old, and has been riding her […]

Madison Gildersleeve-Price, Maggie Matthews, and Elly and Abby Haden were among the members of an Albemarle High School Destination Imagination team that took fifth place in last spring's global competition. Photo: Steph Haden

World domination: Local Destination Imagination team goes global

They call themselves the Smartie-Nerds (a mash-up of the two candy names), and after placing fifth in the world at last spring’s Destination Imagination global competition at the University of Tennessee, nobody’s going to argue with them. “Them” is Madison Gildersleeve-Price, Abby and Elly Haden, Teresa Li, Maggie Matthews, Sarah Trotter, and Stacy Vitko, an […]

Designers Chloe Ball (left) and Kathleen Conroy. Photo: Brianna Larocco

Two, and two together: Kenny Ball Design’s tag team

When we asked designer Chloe Ball to answer a few questions for us this month, she said, “I’m one of two who make a team.” So we talked to Chloe and her partner, Kathleen Conroy, and they enlightened us about the Medici family’s Pitti Palace, tinsel on Christmas trees, and Sister Parish. Have you ever […]

All photos: Aaron Watson

At first sight: An elegant, easy-going day to remember

Candice Cloos said she met Patrick Haney the old-fashioned way: “in a dive bar.” Truth be told, she was trying to disentangle herself from a conversation with another man, when she noticed Patrick and shouted, “There you are!” “Without missing a beat, he played along that we knew each other, and we spent the next […]

All photos: Laura Gordon

A little romance: How sweet this celebration is

Although they didn’t know it at the time, Katie Castillo and William Deibler spent their high school years in houses just a few miles away from each other. But it wasn’t until Katie had graduated from the University of Virginia and moved back home that mutual friends introduced her to William. A few months into […]

"We wanted everything to be elegant, but not fussy, almost like a casual but stylish garden party," Rachel Stinson said. Photo: April Bennett

Vintage day: Two wine families come together for one marriage

Ask Rachel Stinson about the early days of her courtship with Nathan Vrooman, and she says, “We were covered in sticky grape juice for the first three months of our relationship.” Not surprising, considering the pair had moved to Charlottesville to help their parents start vineyards and wineries (her: Stinson, him: Ankida Ridge), and met […]

Ian Redshaw surprised Allie McGrath by stoping the Dreams Come True Parade At Walt Disney World to ask her, "Will you make all my dreams come true and marry me?"

Making marry: The happiest day on earth

Tavola cook Ian Redshaw fell in love with Allie McGrath when they were both students at The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. The pair dated for six years, and last spring Ian decided it was time to propose. When asked why, he said simply, “She’s my everything.” And to make that […]