Media Tips

Media Tips are listed in chronological order. March 25, 2015


Deer Park Elementary’s resident Filter Fairy, a character developed by school-based technology specialist (SBTS) Betsy Whiting to raise awareness about taking care of technology equipment, appears once a month on the school’s morning news. According to Whiting, she wanted a fun and memorable way to remind staff members to clean their projector filters, rather than sending e-mails. She donned wings and antennae and appeared on the morning news with cleaning tips. The staff and students enjoyed this so much that the Filter Fairy’s advice has evolved into a monthly feature on how to take care of all the school’s equipment, such as mobile labs, laptops, and SMART Boards®.  Contact principal Carol Larsen at 703-802-5000 or or event liaison Betsy Whiting at

Edison High senior Jasmine Purcell is a recipient of the President’s Volunteer Service Award and is being recognized for her numerous volunteer efforts in the community.  Purcell has been an organizer and volunteer for Inova Health System, a volunteer at D.C. Central Kitchen and the Salvation Army in Harrisonburg, and manager of the Edison High varsity volleyball team.  She has also helped distribute holiday food baskets through her church as part of its youth ministry. The award, which was accompanied by a letter from President Obama, recognizes Americans who have volunteered significant amounts of time serving their communities.  Contact principal Pamela Brumfield at 703-924-8000 or or news liaison Iris Rivera at


At Forest Edge Elementary, third grade students in Amy Reynolds’ class celebrated Women’s History Month with a special research assignment on historically significant woman.  Students did online research using different methods; their subjects ranged from Hatsheput to Hillary Clinton. They then used their research to create a PowerPoint presentation that included information about the person, what made her famous, her contributions to society, plus pictures and timelines. Students delivered their presentations before the class using a SMART Board®. After each presentation, all students were given the opportunity to ask questions about these historically significant women.  Contact principal Kim Price at 703-925-8000 or or news liaison Jaya Neelakantan at

Third grade students in Chandra Williams’ class at Forest Edge Elementary learned about three-dimensional figures in a fun way. After a unit on 3D planes, students were given a handful of marshmallows and toothpicks. They were then asked to model 3D shapes like a rectangular prism, square prism, cube, and pyramid using the marshmallows and toothpicks. After constructing the figures, students had to identify and record the number of edges, faces, and vertices in each shape. Contact principal Kim Price at 703-925-8000 or or news liaison Jaya Neelakantan at

As part of their celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, students in Ashley Sambol’s third grade class at Forestville Elementary wrote about how they would catch a leprechaun.  Ideas ranged from creating traps of iron and metal bars, a shoebox, popsicle sticks, a pressure plate, carpet, mouse traps, a net, a cape, a clear box, glue, and gas that will make him fall asleep; and attracting him with fake gold, Lucky Charms cereal,  chocolate coins, gold coins, pizza, and the promise of food.  In most cases, the leprechaun’s fate was not good and ranged from throwing him in a dumpster,  selling him to a museum, being eaten by a pet dog, being sent to jail, and holding him prisoner for 10 years.  Two students said they would let him go but only after getting candy and gold from him. Contact principal Todd Franklin at 703-404-6000 or or event liaison Ashley Sambol at

Students at Key Center celebrated Cherry Blossom Festival season with a special art activity, a collaborative effort between several teachers and a parent volunteer.   Students made cherry blossom trees with colored popcorn.  During the activity, teachers shared information about the cherry trees, the festival, and a little bit of the history behind both these topics.  Contact principal Ann Smith at 703-313-4000 or or news liaison Dianne Hardbower at .

Robinson Secondary ninth grade students in Jeff Stevens’ biology class became chromosomes and acted out the stages of mitosis and meiosis. Students found their sister chromatids and formed bonds at their centromeres by locking arms. Students lined themselves along the cells’ equators and spindle fibers (other students) pulled them apart. They learned that cells have to divide evenly and had some initial mutations before they were able to go through the process seamlessly. Contact principal Matt Eline at 703-426-2100 or or news liaison Ashley Faaborg at .

Students in Leslie Houston’s Read 180 class at Whitman Middle recently created identity rocks as a culminating activity for a lesson on self-image and self-esteem. After completing a reading titled “Identity Crisis,” students were asked to write one positive word about each classmate on an index card. They then collected the index cards and each decorated a rock highlighting the words. The students were pleasantly surprised by the positive things their peers said about them. This lesson is particularly relevant to middle school students because it helps build a positive self-image. The identity rocks will stay in Houston’s classroom for the rest of the school year, but students will take them home in June. She hopes the students will keep the rocks throughout high school as a positive reminder.  Contact principal Jean Bell at 703-660-2400 or or event liaison Leslie Houston at


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Webpage Curator

Mary Shaw

Last Updated

March 25, 2015