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Vansville Elementary says sad farewell

Howard County Tims

The Vansville Elementary School community is saddened by the loss of former Principal Thomas Smith.

Smith opened Vansville Elementary in 2008 and served as principal until 2018. On Saturday, Dec. 1, the school held a remembrance day in his honor.

Current and former students read letters, sang songs and danced to commemorate his major contributions to the school and the community.

Fifth-grade student Sabrina Lodhi wrote: “Mr. Smith, something makes us think about you. Mr. Smith, what made you so far? Something that never keeps us apart…Hmmm maybe something like your beautiful heart. You love us and you should know that we love you, too. You wouldn’t want us sad a bit, you wanted our happiness to completely fit…So look at the ray that has shown today, and know that …that’s Mr. Smith watching over what we have done, his beautiful heart will never be gone! We love you, Mr. Smith! Mr. Smith will be missed by all that love him.”

This lovely poem sums up the legacy of Thomas Smith to Vansville Elementary School and to the community.

It’s that time of year again when we may expect a (hopefully light) snowfall.

Prince George’s County regulations call for off-street parking whenever snow is expected. Of course, we should never park in a snow emergency route.

If off-street parking is not available, park on the even numbered side of the street.

Some streets in our community are very narrow. If cars are parked on both sides of the street, it is often impossible for snow plows to get through. The county schedule for plowing is for primary and collector roads to be plowed as the snow is falling. Residential roads are plowed after the snow fall ends. Secondary residential roads are plowed first and cul-de-sacs are plowed last.

Other snowfall-related requirements include clearing the sidewalls in front of your house as well as clearing driveways and mailboxes after plowing is complete. For more information, go to the Maryland Department of Transportation website

Our newly elected District 1 County Council member Thomas E. (Tom) Dernoga was sworn into office on Dec. 3, 2018.

In an email to constituents, Dernoga described that he is looking forward to his term and encouraged residents to reach out to him or his staff with suggestions and concerns regarding matters affecting our district. Dernoga has served in this County Council previously and is familiar with our community.

We wish Dernoga the best, and look forward to working together with him and his staff. His office can be contacted at 301-952-3887 or

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