School System to Hold

Seven 'Summer Chats'

Arlington residents have the chance to speak informally with School Superintendent Robert G. Smith in a series of "Summer Chats."

Arlingtonians will be able to cover school-related issues and ask questions of the superintendent in small, informal gatherings. Among the topics to be discussed this summer are the 2005-11 Strategic Plan and student achievement. This summer, an additional chat specifically for interested Arlington County seniors has been scheduled for Aug. 3.

Smith, with at least one other representative of the school system, will attend all of the seven chats that have been scheduled.

The dates, times and locations for the chats are listed below. Those wishing to attend are asked to call the telephone number listed for the date they wish to attend to reserve spaces so that the hosts can make preparations. Space is limited, so community members are asked to reserve their spots as soon as possible.

* Chat No. 1: 7-9 p.m. Monday, home of Katy Kampmann and Jeff Coupe, 3820 S. 13th St., 22204, 703-920-5069.

* Chat No. 2: 7-9 p.m. Tuesday, home of Martha Herrmann, 3524 N. Dickerson St., 22207, 703-237-7557.

* Chat No. 3: 7-9 p.m. July 25, home of Bill and Jane Ashley Heavey, 964 N. Harrison St., 22205, 703-237-2532.

* Chat No. 4: 7-9 p.m. July 27, 802 N. Irving St., 22201, 703-527-7467

* Chat No. 5: 10 a.m.-noon July 30, home of Rosa and Ricardo Gutierrez, 1206 S. Buchannan St., 22204, 703-671-4218 (Spanish interpretation available).

* Chat No. 6: 7-9 p.m. Aug. 1, Langston Community Center, 2121 N. Culpeper St., 22207, 703-228-6005.

* Chat No. 7: 10:45-11:45 a.m. Aug. 3, Langston-Brown Senior Program, 2121 N. Culpeper St., 22207, 703-228-6005 (Spanish interpretation available).

Gibson Is New Principal

At John Adams Elementary

Mary Jean Gibson will become the new principal at John Adams Elementary School effective Monday, Alexandria Superintendent Rebecca L. Perry has announced. Gibson replaces Gayle Upson, who has accepted the position of federal and state program administrator for Alexandria City public schools.

Gibson has 18 years of educational experience at the elementary level and has been an assistant principal in the Arlington public school system since 1997. She is a graduate of the College of William and Mary and earned a master's degree in educational leadership and human development from George Mason University. Before joining the Arlington schools in 1988, she taught first grade in Manassas. She lives in Alexandria.

Business Seminar Set

On U.S. Patent Office

The Alexandria Small Business Development Center and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office will present a seminar, "How to Do Business With the USPTO," from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. July 28.

This session will acquaint business owners with opportunities to provide goods and services to the Patent and Trademark Office. Participants will better understand the types of purchases that the office makes, specific programs and upcoming marketing opportunities and the procurement process. Contact information will also be made available.

The seminar will be held at the Patent and Trademark Office's Madison Auditorium, south entrance, 600 Dulany St., Alexandria. Walking directions from the King Street Metro station and driving and parking directions may be obtained from the Alexandria Small Business Development Center at 703-778-1292, Ext. 222.

The seminar is free, but advance registration is required. To register, send an e-mail to with "PTO Seminar" in the subject line. Include the name of the attendee, the business name, address, telephone number and e-mail address. A photo ID may be required for entry to the building. For more information, contact Gloria Flanagan at 703-778-1292, Ext. 222.

Foster and Danforth

To Chair School Boards

David M. Foster was elected unanimously to serve as chair of the Arlington School Board for the 2005-2006 school year. His term as chair begins immediately and expires June 30. Mary Hynes was elected unanimously to serve as vice chairman of the board for the upcoming year, filling the role previously held by Foster.

In Alexandria, the School Board has elected Mollie Danforth as its chairman and Sally Ann Baynard as its vice chairman for the 2005-06 school year.

African American Festival

Is July 23 at Market Square

Alexandria's African American Heritage and Cultural Festival is scheduled for 1-7 p.m. July 23 at Market Square, 301 King St., in Old Town. Admission is free, and the festival will be held rain or shine.

The festival will feature traditional African American dancers, instrumentalists, soloists and performing arts groups as well as displays showcasing traditional arts, crafts, paintings and souvenirs.

African American foods will be available for purchase. The city's Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities and the African American Heritage and Cultural Festival Committee are co-sponsoring the festival.

For more information on the festival, call the city's special- events hotline at 703-883-4686.