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March 2023 Newsletter

The Inside Scoop
Welcome to The Inside Scoop, our electronic newsletter. Please enjoy this issue and share your feedback by email. We always look forward to hearing from you. This is the March 2023 edition of The Inside Scoop.
We Mourn The Loss of Barbara Spangler
Encore Learning Board President Barbara Spangler passed away on March 23 after a brief hospitalization. Our community mourns her loss and her presence will be greatly missed.
Barbara joined Encore Learning in 2013 and soon became a familiar face to all in classes, events and clubs. She joined the Board in 2017, serving as Vice President, Chair/Co-chair of Academic Programs Committee and as Encore Learning President from July 1, 2022 until her passing.
You can find her obituary from the Washington Post here. We will share additional tributes to Barb in the coming month.
The Spring Semester Is in Full Swing!
We are hearing extremely positive feedback already about our spring semester! Make sure you follow our Facebook page to see photos from our virtual and in-person classes, as well as other happenings from Encore Learning.
There’s still time to register for many courses that begin in April. Maybe now’s the time to challenge yourself to learn something completely new! Take a look at the Spring Calendar View to see all of the classes starting in April.
You can also always view upcoming Encore Learning Special Events here.
Arlington Philharmonic Concert Celebrates Spring
The March 5 reception and performance of the Arlington Philharmonic was nothing short of an amazing event. In fact, the Philharmonic reported that this free concert had the largest attendance ever with over 300 people coming to hear Violinist Irina Muressanu, Cellist Eric Kutz and the Philharmonic, conducted by Maestro Scott Wood.
The pre-concert reception was hosted by Encore Learning and Arlington 55+/ Alliance for Arlington Senior Programs. Each organization had an information table and Encore Learning provided refreshments. Thank you to Richard Juhnke, Anne Werner and Barbara Spangler for volunteering to share information about Encore Learning with guests.
Violinist Irina Muresanu
Maestro Scott Wood
Encore Learning Table
We Value Safe Learning Experiences
We value the importance of safe learning experiences for all – students, class aides and instructors alike – both virtually and in-person. If you think that someone is having trouble following our Civility Policy, please email We’re here to help. Our Civility Policy is outlined below:
Civility Policy: Encore Learning subscribes to a policy of civility in all communications: verbal and nonverbal, one-on-one and in group settings. Civility is a behavioral norm that is respectful and courteous. It includes consideration of others’ concerns, backgrounds, and feelings.
It is expected that all members, staff, and instructors will be mindful of and abide by acceptable norms of behavior and respectful language. Examples inconsistent with this policy for the instructional environment, whether online or in-person, include the following: argumentative discussion, usurping authority from instructor, degrading phrases and words and dominating discussion with long or too many questions. Instructors and Class Aides will be provided guides and training, as necessary, to manage improper behavior.
All of Encore Learning’s policies may be found here.
Fall Courses – Seeking Legal Experts and RPCV
The Academic Programs Committee is busy planning courses for the Fall 2023 term. With the rich array of experience of our members, we are asking if you (or anyone you know) could help with two courses.
Legal Hot Spots – We are looking for a member familiar with contemporary court cases to help the committee put together a 5- or 6-week series of speakers looking at the arguments behind high-profile (or little known, but should-be-known) cases going before the courts now or in the recent past.
Peace Corps Experiences – The committee hopes to pull together a multi-speaker course featuring Returned Peace Corps Volunteers to share stories about the work done in their Peace Corps assignments. If you are a Peace Corps veteran willing to share your story, please let us know. We are interested in recent and long ago stories.
If you can help with either of these planning efforts, please send an email to Academic Programs Committee Co-chairs Deborah Spero ( or Jeanne LaBella (
New Members – Join Us on April 12
Have you joined us over the past year?
Please join us on Wednesday, April 12 for a New Member Coffee! The event is from 10:30 AM until 12:00 Noon in the Bluemont Room, Arlington Central Library.
This is a great opportunity to meet other members, Encore Learning leadership and learn more ways that your membership can add value to your life.
For more information, checkout the event page.
Click the links to learn more and forward to friends. If you’d like to host a Special Event at your senior living community, email
Club News
Travel Club
A few of the amazing photos from Carol and Gerry Fuller that were shared with us from their trip to Sicily.
The April 21 presentation will be by Bill Mugg. Bill will be presenting some of the more interesting aspects of the trip he and his wife Ellen took to Paris and Provence in October 2022. The “core” of this trip was a Hiking/Cuisine tour with Backroads.
Note: For the April 21st meeting ONLY, the Travel Club presentation will start at 3:00 PM rather than the normal time of 2:30 PM.
If you would like to be placed on the email list for the Travel Club, send an email to The Travel Club typically meets on the 3rd Friday each month at 2:30 PM on Zoom.
Celebrating Award Winner sheri stroud
Earlier this year, the Breakfast Club recognized member sheri stroud for having won an award for the excellent video she produced for our 20th
Anniversary Celebration. The Accolade Global Film Competition selected Encore Learning, 20 years and Growing as an award winner in its 2022
Accolade is an international awards competition, which allows filmmakers from around the world to enter new films. Talented award winners have gone on to win Oscars, Emmys, Tellys, and other awards.
You can learn more about sheri by viewing a recent Zoom presentation she did for NOVA BNC where she talks about the movies with which she’s been involved with over the years.
The Breakfast Club members congratulated sheri for her achievement and
expressed appreciation for her work on behalf of Encore Learning. The photo is from that breakfast, showing sheri and her award.
Mason Square Spring Programming on The Plaza
George Mason University – Mason Square (former Arlington Campus) hosts dynamic weekly programming and ongoing special events, open to the Mason and greater Arlington community. 
This season they welcome back yoga and fitness sessions, and our popular Tiny Stage music series. Zumba classes, craft sessions, and lecture series showcasing the best of Mason Square personalities round out their most exciting and diverse programming season to date. The series continues for 8-weeks.
The Plaza website has current information, photos, and a way for visitors to sign up for the Plaza’s exclusive newsletter. Come to class early or stay after class and join in the activities, or play a game with a new friend. Learn more at their website here:
Community Events
Have you checked out events at the Virtual Center For Active Adults lately?
They offer another way to connect with your peers with a wide variety of virtual programming. Looking at the April calendar of events, we see they have everything from virtual fitness and health classes to music-themed classes to travel classes. There are even opportunities to practice your Spanish and Mandarin!
You can see a calendar view of all their events here. As you peruse the calendar of events, you may notice that they included the March 2 Arlington Philharmonic Preview event with Maestro Scott Wood event that we co-sponsored!
Did You Miss an Encore Learning Presents Event?
Do you want to watch a past Encore Learning Presents event? Or maybe you participated in the live event and liked it so much, you want to watch it.
You can and here’s how. Go to the Encore Learning Special Events page. If you scroll down a bit, you will see View “Encore Learning Presents” on YouTube. Or you can save this bookmark in your browser for the Special Events Playlist. You will see a menu of events that we recorded and posted. You can watch them and forward links to your friends who are interested. 
Please note that not all events are recorded; posting decisions are made on a case by case basis. Our most recent Encore Learning Presents on March 27 featuring Claire Guthrie Gastañaga and Viola Baskerville on Women’s Firsts and Futures: What Lived Experience Teaches is now available on YouTube.
Staff Corner
March has been so busy for the Encore Learning staff as we launched the spring semester. There have been occasions where I am reminded about how important it is to be flexible. An instructor is late, a classroom changes, some equipment is needed, or maybe the instructor is ill and the class needs to be virtual. These last minute occurrences happen and are no big deal for us, we take these in stride and resolve with the least amount of delay or distraction. We do hope that you remember to save your Zoom class login information, it’s the same login every week for the class.
Some things are really hard though, and that includes losing our dear President Barbara Spangler. I had some wonderful time with her the week before she became very ill. She was a fantastic leader to work with. Barb was so kind and appreciated by the whole staff and our multitude of volunteers; we cherish our time with her. Barb became active with Encore Learning promptly after retirement from federal service. She was key to bringing me to Encore Learning in April 2019 as she was on the interview committee. I knew I would enjoy working with her from the start but I did not realize how fortunate I would be to work closely with her over the almost the next fours years. She will be missed by everyone at Encore Learning.
One of our March highlights was the Arlington Philharmonic concert on March 5. It was a joy to see so many members that day and share the gift of music. I enjoyed the concert seated with Barb and Steve Spangler and we cherished being together with so many members that day. We welcome hearing from you with your appreciations of Barb.
Enjoy the ever changing spring days and thank you to all of our volunteer instructors, Class Aides, and committee members who make our work a continuous joy.
Lora Pollari-Welbes
Executive Director
Welcome To Our New Members
During February 2023, we welcomed many new members and look forward to having them become active participants in Encore Learning. Please introduce yourself to them if you meet them in a class, club or event.
  • Jesse Aronson
  • Megan Baldrige
  • John Boris
  • Michele Creedon
  • Lucy Dailey
  • Patricia Dangelo
  • Suzanne Ehrenhalt
  • Cathie Fagerstrom
  • Fred Fagerstrom
  • Alphonse Galdes
  • Gary Gortenburg
  • Ruth Hazzard
  • Lynda Hill
  • Honee Hult
  • Barbara Kanninen
  • Allan Kellum
  • Barbara Klein
  • Barry Krissoff
  • Rebecca Kulok
  • Mitchell Luxenberg
  • Jean Lynn
  • Fran Miller
  • Glenn Morrison
  • Bill Mulokey
  • Terry Myers
  • Kathryn Nelson
  • James Newton
  • Faye Pritchard
  • Anne Purcell
  • Ellen Raphaeli
  • Teresa Ressegue
  • Joan Sterne
  • Kathryn West
  • Nancy White
THANK YOU to Lawrence Anderson, John Benton, Dianne Daily, Liz Hoefer, Mary Lovering, Hope Powers, John Sea, Barbara Seaman, Deb Spero and Nancy White for referring friends and family to Encore Learning. Thank you to the Membership Committee for their efforts to spread the word about Encore Learning. If you’d like to bring Encore Learning into your community (residential building or neighborhood) to share information about membership, let us know. Tell a friend about Encore Learning so you can see your name here!
Encore Learning is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Any donation is a charitable contribution deductible from income tax to the full extent permitted by law. Members, friends and organizations wishing to support Encore Learning may direct contributions to our General Fund to support our sustainability, to the Arthur W. Gosling Youth Scholarship Fund or the John T. Sprott Scholarship Fund. If you would like to discuss tax benefits of charitable giving and charitable remainder trusts, please view our Donate page or contact the office.
We hope you enjoyed this edition of The Inside Scoop. If you would like to submit an article or share some photos of members participating in Encore Learning activities, please email us at
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