Media Tips

Media Tips are listed in chronological order.      December 17, 2014

Cunningham Park Elementary received top honors in Northern Virginia for keeping students healthy and active in the national Fire Up Your Feet challenge.  The program, sponsored by National PTA, FCPS Safe Routes to School, and Kaiser Permanente, challenged students to stay active in school and at home for a month.   As the Northern Virginia winner of the challenge, Cunningham Park will receive a $1,200 prize to be used to purchase physical education equipment that will supplement and enrich the curriculum.  Contact principal Katie Le at 703-255-5600 or or news liaison Meg Brinkhuis at

Select second grade students at Deer Park Elementary participate in the S.T.A.R. (Students Thinking and Reading) program, pairing up with an adult volunteer.  The students take part in a weekly lesson that includes high frequency word work, a new book, a re-read, a word study game, and a read-aloud component.  The trained volunteers commit to the 20-week program to provide consistency for their S.T.A.R. student.  Deer Park’s business partner, American Systems, makes a generous donation each year for new materials for the S.T.A.R. program.  Now in its 13th year, the S.T.A.R. program was developed out of the desire of American Systems employees to be actively involved with a school-based reading program.  The program gives students an additional opportunity to read with a fluent adult in a one-on-one setting.  American Systems employees, community members, school staff, and parents volunteer to work with students in the program.  Contact principal Carol Larsen at 703-802-5000 or or news liaison Becky Hawryluk at

Dogwood Elementary sixth grade students volunteered their time to help third and fourth grade students during the Hour of Code, a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify code and show that anyone can learn the basics. The sixth grade students have been working once a week before school to learn programming and decided to lend a hand to the younger students who were learning coding for the first time.  In the beginning, the sixth graders were a little nervous but once they found out that they knew more about coding than they thought they did, they relaxed.  The third and fourth graders will be meeting once a month to continue building on their coding experience, and the sixth grade mentors will be back to help.  Contact principal Mie Devers at 703-262-3100 or or news liaison Linda Martin at

The FCPS advanced academics program recently offered a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) training for teachers interested in learning more about hands-on science through an overview of the JASON Project's Infinite Potential. To learn more about potential and kinetic energy in a creative and inventive way, the teachers, including some from Dogwood Elementary, were invited to construct a Rube Goldberg machine, a deliberately over-engineered machine that performs a very simple task in a very complex fashion, usually including a chain reaction.  By collaborating, teachers learned more about forms of energy, simple machines, and other important science concepts.  Now they are equipped with engaging methods to bring back to the classroom for their students to try. Contact principal Mie Devers at 703-262-3100 or or news liaison Linda Martin at

Edison High recently earned the National Forensics League's 2013-14 Leading Chapter Award for the state of Virginia and will receive the award at the National District Tournament in 2015. According to the National Forensics League, the award honors team members and the team’s coach, Stacy Kiggins, who has impacted the lives of several hundred students, who “have been taught communication, analysis, leadership, and social skills” under her tutelage.   Contact principal Pamela Brumfield at 703-924-8000 or  or event liaison Stacey Kiggins at

Students and parents from Forest Edge Elementary recently shared their hobbies during a hobby fair.  Students had the opportunity to see people pursuing their favorite activities like quilting, building rocket ships, radio controlled cars, music, fossil collecting, and portraying historical characters. Students enjoyed a sing along with a pianist as she played a song from the movie Frozen. After a brief presentation, students had a chance to ask questions about the presenters’ hobbies.  Contact principal Kim Price at 703-925-8000 or or news liaison Jaya Neelakantan at

The Forest Edge Elementary Student Council Association (SCA) organized a December food drive in support of F.I.S.H. (Friendly, Instant, Sympathetic Help),  a volunteer organization dedicated to helping people meet emergencies and short-term needs.  The SCA set up a box in the front hall, put up posters to encourage donations, and made announcements on the morning TV news show. Students donated canned goods and non-perishable food items to help less fortunate families. Contact principal Kim Price at 703-925-8000 or or news liaison Jaya Neelakantan at

For a glimpse of boys eagerly reading early in the morning, stop by Franconia Elementary to see the Guys Read book club in action.  Librarian Diane Gawalt established and hosts the club, open to boys in grades 5 and 6.  Club members meet in the library before school to enjoy book conversations about The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger.   Boys made their own origami Yodas at the first meeting and look forward to more origami-themed activities. Gawalt started the book club in response to parent requests for academic clubs specifically for boys. Word is spreading about the club and their books, as students not in the club are checking out books in the series being read by club members.  Contact principal Terri Edmunds-Heard at 703-822-2200 or or event liaison Diane Gawalt at .

Frost Middle students Marlaina Horewitz and Rayna Lifland have advanced to the American Bankers Association national competition, Lights, Camera, Save!  Horewitz and Lifland created a video titled, “This Twin Saved, This Twin Did Not” that was selected by Burke and Herbert Bank as their top entry in the local competition that challenged students aged 13 to 18 to explore creative ways to communicate the importance of saving money.  The Frost students’ video was judged against entries from six schools in the area.  It contrasts the story of one highly successful individual who learned to manage money when young with the story of his brother who struggled financially throughout his life after failing to learn how to save as a teen.  As the winners, Horewitz and Lifland will receive a $200 gift card and their civics teacher, Jason Simoni, will receive a $100 gift card.  West Potomac High students Lozie Goolsby III and McKenzie Beeby each received a $50 gift card for being named runners-up.  Winners in the national competition will be announced during America Saves Week, February 23-28, 2015.  Contact principal Eric McCann at 703-426-5700 or or news liaison Amy Smith at

Four Haycock Elementary students competed at a recent regional First Lego League (FLL) tournament, and qualified for the Virginia-DC FLL state tournament.  Haycock’s RoboScouts team finished in second place overall in the championship category, and also earned a third place trophy for robot performance. The Virginia-DC FLL tournament is the largest robotics tournament in the world, with over 1,000 students competing on over 100 different teams.   The team has been invited to compete in the FLL North America Open at LegoLand in California in spring 2015.  Team members are Andrew Sheng, Charlie Wu, Lizzie Sun, and Zoe Winston. Contact principal Kelly Sheers at 703-531-4000 or or news liaison Debbie Callsen at

Lemon Road Elementary and Marshall High students have formed a partnership called the Homework Club. Lemon Road students wanted additional help with their homework and Marshall  students volunteered to meet with them once a week for an hour and a half at a nearby library. The Lemon Road students are benefiting from the high school students’ expertise and support and the Marshall students are earning service learning hours needed for graduation. Contact Lemon Road news liaison Pamela Huffman at 703-714-6407 or

Two Marshall High teachers and two of their honors government students, Claire Heiden and Patrick Brinza, attended a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) committee hearing in Washington, D.C., last week.  The committee was debating expanding a grant program to public schools and libraries for broadband access.  The group was invited to meet with the chairman before the hearing to tell him about the use of iPads in the classroom, then got to sit in on the hearing.  Contact principal Jeff Litz at 703-714-5400 or or event liaison Jim Robinson at

Students in the Project Opportunity teen parenting program at Mountain View Alternative High were joined by their children at a holiday party featuring Princess Elsa from the popular animated movie  Frozen.  Several charitable organizations banded together to provide the students and their children with a holiday party to remember. Actresses from Princess Parties Virginia donated their time and talent to bring movie princesses to life. Church groups donated holiday gifts for the babies. And their fellow students, working through the student newspaper, provided holiday family portraits at no cost for these needy families.  Contact news liaison Mark Smith at

South County Middle student Lauren Heller has been selected to serve as a page in the Virginia State Senate. An eighth grade student, she will assist senators on the floor and in committee meetings as well as run errands and complete a community service project. Heller’s assignment as a senate page begins during the second week of January 2015.  Contact principal Marsha Manning at 703-690-5500 or or event liaison Jeff Schneider at

During an Ellis Island simulation, seventh grade students at Whitman Middle experienced what immigrants coming to the United States in the late 1800s and early 1900s went through to enter the country.  Students learned that there were many challenges and obstacles that existed in gaining entrance through Ellis Island.  Each student was assigned a country of origin and passed through various stations (including literacy and medical) before their interview and inspection.   The final step was finding out if they would be granted or denied entrance to the U.S.  This experiential learning activity helped history come alive for the Whitman students.  Contact principal Jean Bell at 703-660-2400 or or event liaison Melissa Chesney at

Forty-two students from Whitman Middle, including members of the Young Scholars program, National Junior Honor Society, and Young Men and Young Women of Vision Clubs, recently participated in a peace builders workshop at the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington, D.C. as part of Whitman’s International Baccalaureate (IB)  Middle Years Program.  The students viewed two videos on human rights concerning Missouri and Pakistan before leaving their school.  At the Institute of Peace workshop, students talked about the difference between peace and conflict and were asked to name and discuss notable peace-makers from around the world.  They then each created a drawing illustrating the relationship between conflict and peace and shared their drawings with the group.  Their trip concluded with a walk to the Lincoln and Martin Luther King, Jr., memorials, where they copied quotes representing views on conflict, peace, problem-solving, and conflict resolution.  Once back at Whitman, the students worked in groups to write poems using the knowledge and vocabulary that they experienced during the day.  Contact principal Jean Bell at 703-660-2400 or or event liaison Ibe Crawley at

Woodley Hills Elementary recently hosted Trena Ferrell, education specialist from NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, who facilitated a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) session to kick off Family Math and STEM Night.  Ferrell spoke to students in grades 3-6 who study weather, weather tools, seasonal changes, clouds,  and storms about how she uses math and science at work.  Additionally, she shared her educational background and answered students questions.  Students were able to take home NASA resources and materials.  At the conclusion of the assembly, Ferrell conducted breakout sessions with fifth grade students, who completed tasks connected to the Virginia science Standards of Learning.  Contact principal Sharon Aldredge at 703-799-2000 or or event liaison Valerie Johnson at




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Webpage Curator

Mary Shaw

Last Updated

December 17, 2014