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School of Excellence Academy: Staff

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Chris Panayiotou
Director
Photo Currently Unavailable Chris attended High School and College in England where he earned school colors in Track, Soccer and Rugby.  At age 16, Chris attended Solihull College of Technology where the team won 4 state, 3 Regional and 1 national championship.  Chris went on to get his Teaching Certificate in Physical Education and a BA degree in Sports and Leisure management.  Chris served as a State Instructor in Wi.  Chris has worked UW Madison and IU Men's Soccer Camp for over 15 years, along with 10 years of Working for MLS Camps.  He holds a USSF National “C” license, a NSCAA National license, a National Youth license, FA Preliminary License and a UEFA "B".  He has coached in the Club for 20 years. He served as the 1998 Rush Select Girls l Team Head Coach.
John Allison
Administrative Director
Academy Coach
Photo Currently Unavailable

As a native of Charlottesville, John playing with Augusta FC and SOCA while attending Wilson Memorial High School where he was captain for 4 consecutive years.  John obtained his Bachelors Degree in Business Administration from Roanoke College where he played intramural soccer with his Fraternity club team.  John began working for Virginia Rush in 2011 and has overseen the Administrative duties of the Competitive, Advance and School of Excellence programs.  John has coached in the Virginia Rush Competitive program for 3 years and currently holds his US Soccer "E" Coaching License.

Sonny Landry
Academy Coach
Photo Currently Unavailable Sonny Landry attended First Colonial High School and is an alumnus with the Virginia Rush. He played four years at the Virginia Military Institute, where he captained for three years. Came back to work with the Virginia Rush as a staff coach, and then as the founding School of Excellence Director (Fall 2012-Fall 2013). Sonny has coached with the club's competitive program for four years. Sonny served as the VYSA South East ODP Youth Academy Assistant Coach (Fall 2012, Fall 2013) and currently serves as the '99B Assistant Coach. He holds a USSF 'C' License and National Youth License.
Leanna Hedges
Academy Coach
Photo Currently Unavailable Leanna Hedges grew up in a transit military family and made Virginia Beach home in 2006. She has been coaching with Virginia Rush since 2010 and has experience with coaching U6-U12 athletes in both the School of Excellence and competitive teams. Leanna holds a National Pass “D” License and National Youth License. Off the field Leanna is a teacher with VBCPS and has a Masters in Special Education and Educational Specialist Degree in School Leadership.

Justin Naramore
Academy Coach

Photo Currently Unavailable Justin played for Williamsburg Soccer Club. He also appeared in 2003-2004 State Championship for Tabb High School where he later graduated. Justin then went on to play for division III Virginia Wesleyan College where he appeared in the NCAA playoffs 3 out of 4 years with a sweet 16 appearance in 2007 and won an ODAC Championship in 2008. Justin received his Bachelor of Arts in Recreation and Leisure Studies with an Emphasis in Leadership. He currently hold his F license for coaching and has been with Virginia Rush and the School of Excellence program for 6 seasons.
Danielle Watson
Academy Coach
Photo Currently Unavailable Danielle attended Salem High School and is an alumnus with Virginia Rush.  Danielle obtained her Bachelors Degree in Psychology and Sport Administration and her Master's Degree in Corporate Communication from Radford University. While Danielle attended Radford University, Danielle played intramural soccer for four consecutive years and continues to leisurely play soccer with her Co-Ed teams.  Danielle currently holds her F license for coaching and has helped out the School of Excellence coaches the past two seasons.
Zaher Shihata
Academy Coach
Photo Currently Unavailable Bio Coming Soon
Patrick Thompson
Academy Coach
Photo Currently Unavailable Bio Coming Soon
Chris Whiteside
Academy Coach
Photo Currently Unavailable Chris attended Cox High School where he won the State Championship his senior year.  At age 16, his Virginia Rush team won the State Championship.  Chris played for the Virginia Rush Acadmey where we played in the inaugural United States Soccer Development Academy (USSDA).  Chris played college soccer at Hampden-Sydney where he was a four year starter and in 2010, earned All-Conference honors, as well as Hampden-Syndey's MVP.  Sophmore year, Chris helped H-SC reach the Conference Finals for only the second time in schools history where he became the only player in Hampden-Sydney history to score a goal in the finals.  Chris also played for the inaugal Virginia Beach City FC team this past summer 2014.  Chris currently holds his "F" license and is going into his second year coaching for School of Excellence.
 


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