Media Tips

Media Tips are listed in chronological order.       November 19, 2014

The Frost Middle MentorWorks program will hold its 2014-15 kick off with a special Thanksgiving event on Monday, November 24. This is an opportunity for mentors and mentees in the program to meet each other and for students to learn from other supportive adults. Participants will play Thanksgiving-themed games (a hands-free donut eating contest, thank-you cards crafts) and a have a traditional Thanksgiving feast to celebrate the start of the mentoring year. The Frost Middle MentorWorks program consists of 86 mentors and mentees. Students who were referred by staff members, parents, or are self-referred are matched with a staff member who meets with him or her each week to listen, support, encourage, advise, and problem-solve.  The program also provides optional monthly program events that are open to all mentors and mentees to build a sense of community, support, engagement, and connectivity in their school environment.  Contact principal Eric McCann at 703-426-5700 or or news liaison Amy Smith at


Woodburn Elementary is hosting a cultural arts assembly, sponsored by the Kennedy Center, on Wednesday, November 26, for all students in grades 4-6. The assembly, titled the Science Behind Music, examines the solid science behind every note of music. Cellist Yvonne Caruthers will explore the science and music behind sound waves, overtones, endangered species, the water cycle, and brain activity in a fast-paced, multimedia program. Contact principal Bridget Chapin at 703-641-8200 or or news liaison Kathleen Gannon at

Girl Scout Troop 2732 from Canterbury Woods Elementary partnered with Dental Associates of Fairfax to collect Halloween candy to send to Operation Gratitude, an organization that sends care packages to the women and men serving in the military overseas. The troop collected over 300 pounds of candy by asking students to donate their extra candy after Halloween, then sorted, boxed, and delivered it to the Dental Associates office which generously agreed to ship it to the Operation Gratitude collection facility in California.  Contact principal Barbara Messinger at 703-764-5600 or or news liaison Janette Hershey at

Dogwood Elementary, in conjunction with the Children's Science Center Mobile Labs, recently hosted Family Science Night. Students were able to participate in hands-on science activities, including robotics, fingerprinting, magnets, and understanding aerodynamics. School business partners from Lockheed Martin Corporation, teachers, and parents manned the stations to help students learn while having fun. Special education teacher Mark MacDicken performed his creation, Professor Probius, during Family Science Night.  Professor Probius brings science to life in an effort to engage students in learning via theatrical science experiments, unique costumes, and antics. Contact principal Mie Devers at 703-262-3100 or or news liaison Linda Martin at

Edison Academy recently entered into a formal partnership agreement with Wheat’s Landscaping, Inc., to benefit students in the Landscape Design and Turf Management and Small Engine Repair  programs. The partnership agreement was signed in the school’s courtyard, where together students and Wheat’s employees have worked to turn what some called “the jungle” into an outdoor learning environment. Wheat’s Landscaping has partnered with Edison Academy to provide workforce development initiatives for students, including a paid internship each summer to an 18 year old student who wishes to work in their business and also provides support for instruction throughout the school year. Wheat’s employees conduct guest lectures on special topics such as installation of irrigation systems and landscape design principles, and they offer multiple in-the-field experiences throughout the school year for students. First-year students are planning a visit to Wheat’s facilities for an introduction to the landscaping industry and, in the spring, Wheat’s will host the students at one of their job sites in Maryland. Guest lecturers from Wheat’s are planning to come in monthly to work with students in the classroom. Wheat’s employees will also work with students on SkillsUSA competitions. Contact academy administrator Shawn Heilemann at 703-924-8100 or or news liaison Genie Williford at

Fairhill Elementary held its annual Pumpkin Pie Run recently, offering 1K and 3K races for all ages.  Many, but not all, of the students who participated are members of Fairhill Flyers, an after-school running program.  One of the perks of competing is that each participant got a slice of pie after they finish the race.  Contact event liaisons Phil Peevy at or Dylan Forshay at

Sixth grade students from Greenbriar East Elementary recently attended the Kids World Film Festival (KWFF) at the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington, D.C. KWFF is a combination film festival and media literacy program where students from around the metro region are able to watch short films that promote cultural understanding, tolerance, and unity. Greenbriar East students participated in a screening and discussion of a carefully curated program of short films from around the world. Several days prior to the festival, a documentary and filmmaker from Women in Film and Video of Washington, D.C., visited Greenbriar East sixth graders to share her professional insight into media production and introduce concepts of media literacy. These media literacy sessions help hone critical thinking skills so students consider how and why messages are created through media.  Contact principal Linda Cohen at 703-633-6400 or or event liaison Della Kidd at

Students at Gunston Elementary and their family members participated in the second annual STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) Night recently. The evening focused on integrating the four disciplines through a variety of activities. This year, students were able to explore space concepts through an inflatable planetarium, built engineering structures using limited supplies, confirmed scientific hypotheses through science experiments, and challenged each other in mathematical tasks and games. Contact principal JoVon Rogers at 703-541-3600 or  or news liaison Lynn Warner at

Herndon Elementary has introduced the Kids at Hope program this year in an effort to encourage its students to believe in the tenets promoted by the organization:   I am a kid at hope, I am smart, talented, and capable of success.  The program is designed to inspire, empower, and transform families and organizations that serve youth—including schools, parks and recreation departments, and police and fire departments—along with entire communities to create an environment where all children experience success.  Herndon Elementary encourages students to have dreams for the future and try to reach those goals every day while promoting the belief that all children are capable of success.  The school is basing its Kids at Hope program on the theme Portraits of Hope as a tie-in with FCPS’ Portrait of a Graduate.   The students prepared for the day by creating a picture and word collage of their hope for themselves and their future.  Activities also included making and wearing graduation caps, and each teacher gave their students a descriptor or encouraging word to further instill hope.   Staff members provided further encouragement to students by wearing college shirts and graduation caps.  Contact principal Ann Gwynn at 703-326-3100 or or news liaison Laura Santini at

Students who worked with Hunters Woods Elementary teacher Daniel Cottle two years ago as fourth graders recently reunited as sixth grade students to develop a multimedia project that resulted in the production of a 1940s-era radio show.  The students presented their completed project at the National Association for Gifted Children Convention last weekend in Baltimore.  The project, part of an academic unit on Virginia in the 20th century, was based on several concepts and inspirations.  Students worked to develop an in-depth appreciation of one day in Virginia during World War II, using information gathered from an actual newspaper published on February 3, 1942.  Students read articles about the war and learned how focused the U.S. was on the war; they studied articles and advertisements about domestic consumer products being reimaged for wartime.  They also undertook a series of creative writing projects based on the concept of a radio drama, through which students both read aloud and listened to actual 1940s-era programs.  The students then worked together to prepare a live, on-air performance which combined the disparate elements into a fully staged, one-hour radio program.  Contact principal Emily Cope at 703-262-7400 or

Criminal Justice 3 students from Marshall Academy are interning with the 2015 Fairfax World Police and Fire Games, scheduled to be held next summer at the Fairfax County Government Center.  Student interns are assisting staff with projects, administrative tasks, and database management, in preparation for the games, expected to attract sworn law enforcement and professional firefighters from around the world.   The games will include competition in more than 50 events, including angling, bench press, cross country, decathlon, golf, ice hockey, indoor rowing, mountain bike, orienteering, rugby, skeet, stair race, tennis, volleyball, and wrestling at sites throughout the metropolitan Washington, D.C., area June 26 through July 5, 2015. Contact academy administrator Jeff McFarland at 703-714-5582 or or news liaison Shelli  Farquharson at

Jean-Marie Galing, FCPS art resource teacher, has received the award for Supervisory Division Art Educator of the Year from the Virginia Art Education Association at the organization’s annual conference.  Galing is a former art teacher at Terraset Elementary and started working in the fine arts office on a part-time basis in 2010.  The mission of the Virginia Art education association is to promote, support, and advance visual arts education through professional development, leadership, research, and service.  Contact Jean-Marie Galing at

Terra Centre Elementary recently initiated a Halloween candy buyback program. Students had the opportunity to bring in their extra candy and in exchange receive a healthy goody bag that contained a pencil, book mark, stickers, and a cereal bar. The candy was shipped to Terra Centre parents who are currently on active military duty; local military units; Fisher House, where military and veterans’ families stay at no cost while their family member is receiving treatment; and Operation Gratitude, which sends care packages to members of the U.S. military. Contact principal Greg Brotemarkle at 703-249-1400 or or news liaison Vicky Marketti at

Students and faculty at Terraset Elementary recently collected over 1,200 cans and boxes of non-perishable food items to support the food pantry at Herndon-Reston's FISH (Friendly Instant Sympathetic Help) organization. Led by the school's Student Council Association and Community Service Committee, students in all classrooms gathered donations. Each morning on the school's TV news program, SCA members reported to the audience how the donations were stacking up against last year's total. The week's donations topped last year's total by 100 cans.  Contact principal Lindsay Trout at 703-390-5600 or or news liaison Leslie Sogandares at

West Springfield High Marketing students recently competed at the DECA District Leadership Conference in a variety of events representing a wide range of industries. All competitors took a 50-question comprehensive exam within their event’s specific career cluster in addition to participating in one to two role-play scenarios. Overall winners included Matt Grone, Hanna Haile, Rida Khan, Ben Lowry, Lydia Michael, and Shelby Peterson.  Test winners were Virginia Brown, Matt Grone, Lauren Howl, Rida Khan, Ben Lowry, Collin Mazeika, Lydia Michael, Alex Nunez, and Caleb Plott.  Winners in the individual role play category included Cole Bird, Abbie Bonk, Matt Grone, Hanna Haile, Rida Khan, Ben Lowry, Lydia Michael, Isaiah Moore,  Shelby Peterson, and Sophie Shidlovsky.  Hayfield Secondary DECA students competed at the same event, with overall winners qualifying for the state competition in February.  Hayfield first place winners included Sherine Rehan; Dwayne Leonard; in Business Services Marketing; Trevor Fyfe and Ben Lambert; Essey Abebe; and Rebecca Campora. Contact West Springfield principal Michael Mukai at 703-913-3800 or or news liaison Barbara May, at or Hayfield principal Martin Grimm at 703-924-7400 or or news liaison Ken Halla at



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Mary Shaw

Last Updated

November 19, 2014