They are strung together over time, living on forever in your memories. First steps, learning to ride a bike, even graduations. But before those moments ever took their forever home in your mind, they played out in real life. And from the day you are handed over the keys, among mountains of moving boxes, there is one constant. The place where all those milestone moments will play out beautifully in real time, at home.
For one local Mom and fellow Blacksburg High School PTSO Member, Heather Cox’s collaboration with a few local businesses played a special part in the milestone moments of an entire 2023 graduating class and their families. Working with local Sponsors Stateson Homes, First Heritage Mortgage and Patrick K. Moore, Attorney at Law, to implement a Senior recognition sign Campaign for every senior at Blacksburg High School. In the two weeks before graduation and lining the entrance to the school, 300 signs made a powerful statement, honoring the achievements of many.
“One thing we loved about the model is that every student is represented who is graduating,” says Cox. “Seeing all of the signs together, it’s a really moving visual, especially for the younger students.”
Starting in Elementary School, Montgomery County Public Schools promotes their “Commit to Graduating Program” from a very young age. Elementary School students are involved in their future by signing a contract reminding them of that commitment to graduate throughout their student careers. According to Cox, this display not only honors the graduates, but serves as a community reminder of the County’s support of education.
The Program, which was implemented, and family funded during COVID, has been embraced by the community. When students were asked if they wanted to reinstate the recognition signs in 2023, the response was overwhelming.
“We reached out to the students, asking if they wanted to have signs again this year and it was a resounding YES,” says Cox. “I mentioned to a fellow PTSO member that I’ve never seen so much agreement than with this effort, which was lovely because it just shows that the signs and this program means a lot to the students and their families.”
Milestone moments are what motivates local homebuilder and sponsor Stateson Homes. Building over 550 homes throughout the New River and Roanoke Valleys in the last ten years, Stateson Homes is always committed to supporting the community and its future. With a brand-new, family friendly community down the road from Blacksburg High School at Westhill, the neighborhood has created a resort lifestyle that also is within steps of Prices Forks Elementary School. Placing value on a location that serves families well, both now and into the future.
“One of the things I loved about working with Stateson Homes was their suggestion to move their logo off of the individual students’ signs,” says Cox. “Stateson Homes wanted the focus of the recognition to be solely on the students.”
In the days following graduation, now the signs are showing up in front yards across Blacksburg, in a city that shows up in its support for its students and its future.
And as for Cox, this last project with the Blacksburg High School PTSO will surely live on. Her two children were part of the graduating class, each with a sign of support all of their own.
“This absolutely has been a milestone moment in our family,” says Cox. “We were able to host their graduation party in our home and our kids’ signs were proudly displayed as well. It was pretty special.”