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Style · March 26, 2014

Faces of Fauquier: She leads literacy campaign

Photo/Cassandra Brown
Ginger Hilleary has served a decade as the Literacy Volunteers of Fauquier County executive director.
The success stories make it all worthwhile. When someone walks up to you and says, “I got this job because you helped me with interview skills,” that is just life affirming for us who work here. You need to learn how to read in this society; it’s vital. Communication is how we interact with others and if you don’t have that, your opportunities are limited.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Staff Journalist
She remains enthusiastic about teaching adults critical communication skills.

For 10 years, Virginia “Ginger” Hilleary has designed classes, written grant proposals, raised funds and taught numerous programs as executive director of Literacy Volunteers of Fauquier County.

Founded in 1986, the local literacy program offers free classes in English as a Second Language, basic reading, writing and GED credentials for adults, computer literacy classes, help with job searches and more.

“The success stories make it all worthwhile,” Mrs. Hilleary said. “When someone walks up to you and says, ‘I got this job because you helped me with interview skills,’ that is just life-affirming for us who work here.”

She has designed workshops such as “Resume Writing 101” and “Dress for Success” offered at the county library branches and throughout the community.

In February, Mrs. Hilleary received the seventh annual Nancy Jiranek Award from the Virginia Literacy Foundation for her continued contributions to the cause.

She enjoys the small town atmosphere of Warrenton and calls it a great place to raise children.

• Age
I’ll never see 50 again.

• Home
Town of Warrenton

• Work
Ten years as executive director of Literacy Volunteers of Fauquier County. I work with the program manager. Design classes, grant writing and fundraising, teach a GED class. Co-owner of an interior design business, “Buffets & Tuffets.”

• Why you do the job?
Because we have success stories. The success stories make it all worthwhile. When someone walks up to you and says, “I got this job because you helped me with interview skills,” that is just life affirming for us who work here. You need to learn how to read in this society; it’s vital. Communication is how we interact with others and if you don’t have that, your opportunities are limited.

• Family
Husband, Dan; Daughter, Jennifer, and son, Peter.

• Education
Bachelor’s degree, international politics, Georgetown University, 1980. Certificate in early childhood education from George Mason University.

• Civic involvement
Serves on the board of the Fauquier Community Food Bank and on the workplace board of directors for the Social Services Department of Fauquier County.

• How long have you lived in Fauquier?
25 years, since 1989.

• Why do you live here?
I love living here. It’s a small town that’s growing. It has been a wonderful place to raise my children, and I couldn’t imagine raising them anywhere else. Great community.

• How do you describe this county?
Great place to raise your family. Friendly people. Everything is here: shopping, schools, entertainment.

• What would you change about Fauquier?

For my husband’s sake, I wish there was less traffic and better transportation resources for commuters into Washington, D.C.

• What do you do for fun?

Refinish and restore furniture. I have done interior design work for 30 years for friends and clients as co-owner of “Buffets & Tuffets.”

• What’s your favorite place in Fauquier?
McMahon’s Irish Pub and Restaurant.

• What will Fauquier be like in 10 years?
I think we will have more traffic lights. I hope it doesn’t happen, but I think we will get more commercial stores and restaurants. But, I hope we can keep our independent shops.

• Favorite TV show?
“House of Cards,” “Downton Abbey” and “Vampire Diaries”

• Favorite movie?
“The Monuments Men”

• Favorite book?
“To Kill a Mockingbird”

• Favorite vacation spot?
Anywhere warm and historic.

• Favorite food?
Anything pasta.

• What is the best advice you have ever received? From whom?
“Choose your battles.”
“If you do a job twice, it will become yours.” My mother told me that.
“Find the person who can say yes.” My father, who is an attorney, always said that.

• Who’s your hero and why?
My parents, because they gave me a set of values and the courage to try things. My husband, because he gave me confidence to tackle the world.

• What would you do if you won $1 million in the lottery?
I would quit my job and give $250,000 to literacy volunteers so they wouldn’t have to struggle. Give each of my nephews $10,000 to start their college education. Give $50,000 to each of my children. I would use the rest to take a vacation and take retirement. The rest? We’ll see who is nice to me.

>> Suggest a “Faces of Fauquier” profile subject

Do you know someone who lives in Fauquier County you would like to see in Faces of Fauquier? E-mail Cassandra Brown at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or Editor Lou Emerson at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Previous Faces of Fauquier:

• Farmers with groundhog problems call Rod Kirkpatrick.


• Horses “retire” to work with Jeanne Blackwell.

• Remington cattle farmer Doug Linton loves his home and work.

• Sports central to Robert Glascock’s life’s work.

• For Richard Mast, company ownership started with his summer work as a teenager.

• Bernice Simpson knows northern Fauquier back roads and the people who live along them.

• Eddie Payne has logged 38 years as a volunteer firefighter in Marshall.


• Stephanie Layton turns her lifelong passion for dance into her livelihood.


• Shawn LaRue matches children and adoptive families.


• Biker and psychology major Clif Stroud makes music in a big way.

• Becky Crouch greets lots of visitors.

• She helped blaze trail to equality for black teachers.


• Family and food come first for Marshall pizzeria employee.

• Rural “closeness” of Fauquier appeals to Kansas native

• A “spoke” in the wheel of preservation.

• His job dovetails with passion for hunting

• Veteran educator sees the potential in every child.

• His passions: Fixing cars and helping people


• Habitat ReStore volunteer appreciates Fauquier’s diversity.


• Dad’s example led to new career at Fauquier Hospital.

• He lives and works in a beautiful place.

• The Goldvein firehouse ranks as his favorite place.


• Pretty things everywhere she looks.

• Through scouting, he encourages girls to explore.

• One day, he might run the company.


• FISH volunteer likes to help others.

• She sees the community’s generosity.

• Cop patrols while most people sleep.


• Pastor a constant in Calverton.


• She keeps the courthouse spotless.


• He loves working working outdoors at the park.


• She sees “everyone” at Carousel

• Library assistant works in a “fun place"

• Hat lady sets up shop in Old Town Warrenton

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Visiting10165MD · March 28, 2014 at 3:27 pm
I like what you said, if you won the $1 Million Lottery, my sentiments
are with you, from a former teacher.
Silii · March 27, 2014 at 7:03 am
This is an excellent article about a dedicated person and an extremely important issue. Clearly, the importance is demonstrated in the quote. Whoever wrote and proofed the quote could use Ginger's services. Using "you're," the contraction for "you are" makes the last part of the quote read, "...if you don't have that, you are opportunities are limited." Really? How about using the possessive "your." Shame on the Fauquier Times.
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