Media Tips

Media Tips are listed in chronological order.      October 22, 2014


Vocal music students from Centreville High, Langley High, Madison High, and West Potomac High will perform in the Anti-Defamation League Concert Against Hate with the National Symphony Orchestra on Monday, October 27, at 8:30 p.m.  The concert, now in its 20th year, honors individuals who have battled intolerance, injustice, and extremism by telling the stories of their acts of courage and compassion when confronted with hatred and bigotry.  Tickets are required for the event, which will take place at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall in Washington, D.C.  Contact West Potomac event liaison Ernest Johnson at

The National Junior Honor Society at Herndon Middle is sponsoring a canned food drive to help families in need, beginning Monday, October 27.  Non-perishable food items will be collected until November 13 with donations going to LINK Against Hunger, a local charity that provides emergency food to people in need.  Contact principal Justine Klena at 703-904-4800 or or event liaison Kaitlin Konicki at

The Lake Anne (Elementary) Dad Squad—LADS—is preparing Lake Anne Dad’s Day, scheduled for Monday, October 27, when dads and father figures stop by the school to help in the classroom or have lunch with their child.  Traditionally, fathers tend to be less spontaneous about dropping by school to help, so this day was designed to make them feel welcome and extend a special invitation to visit.  Now in its ninth year, LADS attracts approximately 100 dads, granddads, uncles, brothers, and male relatives—representing 25 percent of the students—to school for the day.  Contact principal Brendan Menuey at 703-326-3500 or or news liaison Sue Garrison at

Rocky Run Middle's after-school Table Tennis Club will host table tennis champion and coach Lu Zhongxing on Monday, October 27, for a demonstration and training. Coach Lu graduated from Chinese sports and athletic institutes, and served on the world champion Chinese National Table Tennis Team from 1973 to 1978. He has been a professional table tennis player for more than 30 years. Coach Lu has been training young table tennis athletes for over 14 years as the owner and head coach at the Northern Virginia Table Tennis Center in Chantilly. He will be assisted in the table tennis demonstration by Eric Li and Jie Lu, both of whom are nationally-ranked table tennis players and FCPS students. Contact principal Anthony Terrell at 703-802-7700 or or event liaison David Quinn at

A group of teachers from Northern Ireland and Wales are scheduled to visit Glasgow Middle to learn about teacher leadership on Tuesday, October 28, beginning at 8 a.m.  The United Kingdom teachers will be observing classes and also learning about the programs and unique offerings at Glasgow, including AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination), special education programs, English for speakers of other languages, positive behavior intervention support program (PBIS), the Middle Years International Baccalaureate Program, instructional coaching, the advanced academic program, student rights and responsibilities, and intervention.  Contact principal Penny Gros at 703-813-8700 or or event liaison Adrianna Riccio at

In the spirit of the season, participants in the mentor program at Herndon Middle will enjoy a pumpkin painting party on Wednesday, October 29, at 2:50 p.m.  Students and staff members who take part in the mentor program will also be able to catch up with each other.  The program offers academic support and tutoring as well as socialization for students who are identified by teachers for extra help.  Contact principal Justine Klena at 703-904-4800 or or event liaison Rachel White at

Westfield High will host its annual Haunted House and Carnival on Wednesday, October 29, and Thursday, October 30, at 6 p.m.  Westfield theater students design the haunted house and run the events with support from the theater boosters.  Beware—the haunted house may be too scary for younger children, but there will be face painting and monster make-up along with games.  Children in costume will get a special treat.  The cost is $6 for all attractions and $3 for the carnival only.  Contact event liaison Susan Pike at

Two teams from Marshall Academy will compete in the 2014 Maryland Cyber Challenge, scheduled for Thursday, October 30, in Baltimore.  Members of the Raid 50 team are Michael Bailey, Joseph Kelly, Ramon Enrique Martinez-Diaz, Jacob Walters, and Joshua Shepard.  Members of the Dream team are Quiana Dang, David Randazzo, Marcus Phoon, Christopher May, John Barberis, and Sean Anderson. Teams will compete to “harden” computer systems against intrusions, identify vulnerabilities, and apply security patches.  During the finals, high school teams will evaluate and protect systems, then face a live “Red Team” that will test their computer defense skills.  Teams will then shift from defense to offense in a capture-the-flag exercise where they are required to break into systems to “plant flags” and then protect those systems from other teams.  Contact academy administrator Jeff McFarland at 703-714-5582 or or news liaison Shelli Farquharson at

Eighth grade students at Rocky Run Middle will participate in a mock election on Thursday, October 30. This event, which has been organized by civics teachers, provides students with first-hand experience on the voting process and enrichment of the political process curriculum. Students are expected to register in advance, bring valid identification, and research the candidates and issues appearing on the ballot on November 4. Students will then get to compare their results with the general election results.  Contact principal Anthony Terrell at 703-802-7700 or or event liaison Lenore Ale at

The McLean High Theatre Company presents the musical The Addams Family, in a special Halloween performance on Friday, October 31, at 11 p.m., preceded by a costume contest at 10:30 p.m.  This original story features  Wednesday Addams, the ultimate princess of darkness, who has grown up and fallen in love with a sweet, smart young man from a respectable family–a man her parents have never met. Wednesday confides in her father and begs him not to tell her mother, so Gomez Addams must do something he’s never done before–keep a secret from his beloved wife, Morticia. Everything will change for the whole family on the fateful night they host a dinner for Wednesday’s  boyfriend and his parents. Additional evening performances will be held at 7 p.m. on November 1, 7, and 8; matinees are scheduled for 2 p.m. on November 2 and 9. All seats are reserved and can be purchased at  Contact

Belvedere Elementary has recently initiated the PTA-sponsored WATCH D.O.G.S.® (Dads Of Great Students) program that encourages dads and other male father figures (grandparents, uncles, stepfathers, etc.) to spend an entire day volunteering at their child's school. The program has a two-fold purpose: to provide positive male role models for the students, demonstrating by their presence that education is important, and to provide an extra set of eyes and ears to enhance school security and reduce bullying.  A total of 65 man-days of volunteering have been pledged by members of the Belvedere WATCH D.O.G.S. Teachers work with the volunteers to plan activities that involve interaction with the students, such as working one-on-one or in small groups; reading; using flashcards; helping with homework; refereeing games; helping with kiss-and-ride and in the cafeteria, gym, or playground. Contact principal Cecilia Vanderhye at 703-916-6800 or or event liaison Ed Bellem at

At Dogwood Elementary, the music teacher and math teacher have teamed up to teach children more about patterns and numbers but in a new way: through a Knitting Club. Boys and girls in the club enjoy learning the relaxing art of knitting. Not only is it a useful craft, but it helps them improve their understanding of patterns and they meet new friends.  Some of the items created by the students will be donated to a local homeless shelter this year. Contact principal Mie Devers at 703-262-3100 or or news liaison Linda Martin at

Franklin Sherman Elementary is teaming up with the Food Bus, Inc., to bridge the gap between the school and local food pantries, beginning in late October and running throughout the school year. In the cafeteria, students will collect unused and unopened food left over from school lunches.  The food will be placed in a special food collection site or, if it needs refrigeration, into a refrigerator at Franklin Sherman.  Employees from the Food Bus will then deliver the food to a partnering local food pantry.  Contact principal Kathy Quigley at 703-506-7900 or or news liaison Jamie Leitch at

The 47-member Frost Middle men’s chorus recently collaborated with the U.S. Army Men’s Chorus to learn a Nigerian Christmas song, “Betelehemu.”  Army chorus members taught the music and worked with the students on their musical skills, then performed for them.  There was a question and answer session with Army chorus members, including information on where the group performed and what path each member took to get to where he is today.  Contact principal Eric McCann at 703-426-5700 or or news liaison Amy Smith at

A parent leadership program for Hispanic parents at Jackson Middle that was piloted during the 2013-14 school year is being fully implemented at the school this year.  The program, developed by Micheline Lavalle of Family and School Partnerships, provided resources and learning opportunities for parents to support their children’s learning at home. It also encouraged parents to make and keep connections with their children and to remain involved in their lives as the students transition to middle school.  Parents learned leadership skills such as positive self-esteem, setting goals, and engagement at home and work, during the program.  As part of the program, participants were encouraged to share their unique stories as immigrants to the U.S. through multimedia production projects, which were exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery’s Hispanic Heritage Day festival in September.  Contact event liaison Micheline Lavalle at

Kings Glen Elementary recently held an archeological dig in a sixth grade classroom. Lisa Rode’s students learned how archaeologists use artifacts to discover cultures and people of the past. The students used a variety of materials to create a shoebox dig site and buried artifacts to represent how the people lived. Then, the students switched dig sites to excavate the artifacts and learn about the people of the other site.  Contact principal Sam Elson at 703-239-4000 or or news liaison Erin Siwert at

Despite the rainy weather, Deer Park Elementary held its annual Team Challenge Day inside and outside of the school. Throughout the day, physical education teachers along with parent volunteers ran games and challenges to teach students how to communicate and work together. Games included toxic waste, where students had to balance a plastic jug on a small platform attached to rope and move it from one spot to another spot; two-person plank walking; and the always-popular parachute. Teams moved through the course of activities in 15 minute rotations. To help foster friendships and classroom community, each grade level or classroom chose a team color to wear. A special addition this year was the inclusion of the Westfield High mentors who were on hand to help students in the lower grades with their activities. For the past five years, Deer Park has partnered with Westfield through its Peer Helping class to provide younger students with positive influences in their lives. Many of the Westfield mentors are Deer Park alumni.  Contact principal Carol Larsen at 703-802-5000 or or news liaison Becky Hawyrluk at

Thirty-two Frost Middle students participated in a recent Model United Nations (Model UN) Conference at the Holton Arms School along with 600 students from a dozen Washington, D.C., metropolitan area schools.  The students discussed and debated topics from nuclear non-proliferation to girls’ access to education as discussed by the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women. The four-hour meet focused on the basics of Model UN, resulting in resolutions passed and a number of awards presented to Frost students, including Verbal Commendations to Aumena Choudhry, Jeremy Kill, and Ishan Kalburge; Honorable Mention to John Leal; Outstanding Delegate to Joy Kim; and Best Delegate to Atharv Gupta and Ethan Phillips. Contact principal Eric McCann at 703-426-5700 or or news liaison Amy Smith at

Students at Lanier Middle will be participating in an international collaboration project on waste management practices with Apeejay School in New Delhi, India.  Students will exchange information on how each country manages domestic and industrial waste in an effort to preserve the environment; the importance of reducing, reusing, and recycling; and the steps taken in each country to reduce and convert waste to other useful purposes.  They will also research scientific literature and prepare a multimedia presentation of their research to an audience of their peers.  The project requires students to present their written work in the form of a scientific paper, to create an electronic multimedia presentation, and to include data in written and graphic formats.  Contact principal Scott Poole at 703-934-2400 or or event liaison Faiza Alam at

Fourth grade students at Waples Mill Elementary recently took a field trip to Riverbend Park along the Potomac River to learn about the Algonquian Native American tribe who inhabited what is now Fairfax County. The students took a nature hike to learn about native plants, practiced shooting a bow at a circular target made of a tree branch, and learned about the many ways Algonquians used antlers, pelts, bones, shells, plants, and trees in their daily lives to provide themselves with food, clothing, and shelter.  Contact principal Linda Thetford at 703-390-7700 or or news liaison Judy Carlson at

William Ramos, director of intergovernmental affairs in the Office of the Secretary at the U.S. Department of Commerce, recently spoke to Yamalie Colon’s Spanish for Careers Application class at West Potomac High.  The class studies different careers and instructs students in how to apply the knowledge of Spanish to those careers.  Ramos discussed his current position and his career path while stressing the opportunities available to students once they begin their college careers.  Ramos, who was born in Puerto Rico and raised in Miami, is the former director of the Washington, D.C., office of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, an organization that empowers Latinos to fully participate in the American political process.  Contact principal Alex Case at 703-718-2500 or or event liaison Yamalie Colon at

At West Springfield Elementary, the food bank and recycling program was officially kicked off at a recent Green Magic assembly.  Magician Joe Romano incorporated magic tricks designed to show students why recycling, reusing, and reducing help protect the environment.  His demonstrations showed students that going green can be fun and helped students understand the significance of West Springfield’s recycling efforts.  During the assembly for students in grades 4-6, Romano demonstrated how Styrofoam is not biodegradable.  The PTA sponsored Romano’s appearance. West Springfield’s food bank and recycling program began last year; so far, students and staff members donated more than 500 pounds of food that would have otherwise been thrown away.  Contact principal Erin Jones at 703-912-4400 or or news liaison Trish Moreis-Stiles at

First grade students at West Springfield Elementary held their annual apple math and science day this week.   The students used their five senses to explore the apple, including descriptive language. Students estimated the circumference of the apple and then measured and evaluated their predictions, using math skills. By incorporating science skills, they also predicted whether or not the apple itself would sink or float and then worked through individual components of the apple—including the stem, seeds, core—to predict, experiment, and evaluate their hypothesis. After the experiments were complete, the apples were cut up and turned into apple turnovers and applesauce. The culminating event of the day was to discuss and then write about the experience. Contact principal Erin Jones at 703-912-4400 or or news liaison Trish Moreis-Stiles at

Students and teachers at Whitman Middle concluded National Hispanic Heritage Month by holding a Hispanic Heritage Celebration, where the winner of the school’s Hispanic Heritage Essay Contest was announced.   Whitman student Jayson Ruelas was named the winner of the contest; 43 students submitted essays in which they researched and wrote about an influential Hispanic American.  Musical performances by the orchestra, band, and chorus included “Guantanamera,” performed by the Advanced Women’s Chorus ; “Cha Cha Del Sol,” performed by the Whitman Symphonic Band; and “De Colores,” performed by the Whitman Sinfonia.  The evening was a collaborative effort between the world languages, music, and English departments and is an annual event at Whitman. Contact principal Jean Bell at 703-660-2400 or or event liaison Lesley Mitchell at

Whitman Middle has established an after-school club, Women of Vision, designed to help girls develop a vision for their future careers. Club members learn how to write resumés, handle job interviews, and explore various careers. Women of Vision recently hosted Whitman alumna Cynthia Ferrufino, who works for Freddie Mac.  She discussed how important it is to focus on one’s education while in middle school and high school, and talked about preparing for college,the college application process, and specifically addressed the realities of financing a college education. She also discussed her job seeking strategies and went through the steps she took to find her job. Ferrufino is a graduate of Mount Vernon High and James Madison University.  Women of Vision meets Wednesdays after school. Contact principal Jean Bell at 703-660-2400 or or event liaison Peggy White at

Whitman Middle students in Abaad Behram and Susan Mason’s eighth grade civics classes have been learning about the duties and responsibilities of being a U.S. citizen and ways to become a citizen. The lesson inspired the class to write a song to help them remember key points of the citizenship process. The song, titled “Citizenship Rap,” set to the tune of “Cielito Lindo,” is a fusion of different types of music, including strings and hip-hop elements. After mastering the song and its accompanying music, the students visited other civics classes and performed the song for them as a part of the collaborative learning philosophy at Whitman.  Contact principal Jean Bell at 703-660-2400 or or event liaisons Abaad Behram at or Susan Mason at



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Last Updated

October 22, 2014