Media Tips

June 17, 2015 Media Tips

Students from Lynbrook Elementary, Lake Braddock Secondary, Springfield Estates Elementary, Twain Middle, Key Middle, and Lee High will participate in a bridge-a-thon from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, June 21, as part of the Longest Day efforts to raise money for Alzheimer's research. This event will be at Beth El Hebrew Congregation in Alexandria, and parents and teachers are welcome to attend. There's no charge to play and a pizza lunch will be provided. The event is the culmination of the school year for Sunrise Bridge, a year-round, intergenerational enrichment program for FCPS students with a service learning component. Sunrise Bridge will meet over the summer on Tuesdays from 6 to 8 p.m. Parents and teachers are invited to learn alongside the students. Contact Laura Wells at or Caithlin Allen at

Students at Deer Park Elementary had lunch on the lawn for earning a certain amount of behavior stars while in the lunchroom in May.  Deer Park has adopted a program called Five Star Dining, developed to be compatible with the philosophy and strategies of Responsive Classroom.  The goal is for students to be responsible for their own behavior and supportive of their peers while following the rules.  Each class can earn five stars per day for good behavior while traveling from the  classroom to cafeteria; displaying good manners in the food line and at the table; following clean up procedures; and lining up for dismissal in an orderly fashion.   A schoolwide daily goal is set and announced on the morning news. After reaching this goal for a total of 20 days, there is a schoolwide celebration, such as lunch on the lawn.  The SCA decides on the celebrations. Contact principal Carol Larsen at 703-802-5000 or or news liaison Becky Hawryluk at  

Thanks to a Virginia Association for the Gifted grant, 24 sixth grade Advanced Academics students at Dogwood Elementary were able to design an energy makerspace, which they then shared with over 100 second grade students.   Second grade students participated in workshops representing six forms of energy.  Each workshop was designed and delivered by sixth grade students after learning about energy via the JASON Project.  Working in teams, they selected a topic of interest, like elastic energy, gravitational energy, or thermal energy, then researched and designed their activity.  The teams had to stay within a budget, so they created a list of supplies and a proposed budget spreadsheet which they presented for approval.  The sixth grade students were pleasantly surprised to see the second grade students fully engaged in learning from them through such activities as creating a solar oven, a catapult, and a magnetic racetrack.    Contact principal Mie Devers at 703-262-3100 or or news liaison Linda Martin at

At Forest Edge Elementary, fourth grade students from Kathie Pfeffer-Hahn's class recently shared what they have learned in math during the 2014-15 school year with parents.  By using examples, diagrams, and visuals, the students shared their knowledge about specific math-related topics and some used games or quizzes on their topics. Presentations covered fractions, how to solve word problems, properties, area and perimeter, place value, multiplication strategies, and how to measure angles and solids. While parents were eager to ask questions and test their knowledge, students were very enthusiastic to share what they had learned. Contact principal Kim Price at 703-925-8000 or or news liaison Jaya Neelakantan at

The first grade parents and students, with the planning and help of science resource teacher Anne Rosenbaum, replaced the benches in the outdoor learning space in the Haycock-Longfellow Park next to Haycock Elementary.  The group submitted plans to the Fairfax County Park Authority for approval and the materials were purchased and installed over several weekends during the past month.  The newly refurbished outdoor learning space in the woods will be used in the fall by Haycock students.   Contact principal Kelly Sheers at 703-531-4000 or or news liaison Debbie Callsen at

Students in grades 3-6 at Haycock Elementary learned about monarch butterflies in Spanish class, how the population of monarchs has been decreasing, and that the insect is under review as an endangered species.  Through a program called Journey North, students from Haycock and other schools in the United States and Canada created symbolic butterflies and sent them to students in Mexico. The students who received the letters and butterflies are located next to the oyamel forest, where the monarchs migrate every fall to spend the winter.  Haycock’s letters, written in Spanish, described their school and the part of Virginia where monarchs live in the summer.  This spring, as live monarchs migrated back to the U.S., Haycock students received letters as well as the returning symbolic monarchs from the students in Mexico.  During Spanish class, the letters were translated and maps were used to locate where the symbolic monarchs originated. Students were able to practice their Spanish while learning an environmental lesson. Haycock raises, tags, and releases more than 100 live monarch butterflies each year. Contact principal Kelly Sheers at 703-531-4000 or or news liaison Deborah Callsen at

Faisal Al Churaikhi of Hayfield Secondary has been selected as the student representative for the Capital Area Peer Tutoring Association (CAPTA), a non-profit organization that works to build community, promote advocacy, and support the development of high school writing centers.  He will be serving as one of two student representatives and will be responsible for communicating with local county writing centers and online outreach programs.  Contact principal Martin Grimm at 703-924-7400 or or news liaison Ken Halla at

Key Center and Springfield Estates Elementary have collaborated during the 2014-15 school year on special activities for their students.  The goal was to introduce special needs students, with a focus on their abilities, learning styles, and personalities, to a general education population.   The students learned together and got to know each other while participating in a variety of activities, including learning what an IEP (individual education program) is and how special needs students establish and achieve their learning goals. Contact Key Center principal Ann Smith at 703-313-4000 or or news liaison Dianne Hardbower at

Each year, as their last visual arts focus project of the year, Lake Anne Elementary sixth grade students create their own graduation caps out of cardboard, under the direction of the art teachers, to prepare for the traditional cap walk.  The caps reflect how they feel about where they have been and where they are going. On the last day of school, they don their caps and walk through the halls one last time. Their Lake Anne family is invited to come out into the hallways and respectfully applaud to wish them smooth sailing into greatness. Contact principal Brendan Menuey at 703-326-3500 or or news liaison Sue Garrison at

Students in Cisco and Cyber Security classes at Marshall Academy, a Governor’s STEM Academy, recently toured the Cisco customer experience center in Herndon.  Cisco’s software engineers and marketing specialists provided a presentation on Cisco’s new virtual conferencing platform developed for healthcare intuitions and emphasized the importance of coding and cyber security for this next generation of digital natives. Additionally, students were quizzed on their networking knowledge and got demonstrations of new bladeservers, routers, and fiber optic interfaces that will power the next generation of 5G cell phones available in 2020.  Contact academy administrator Jeff McFarland at 703-714-5582 or or news liaison Shelli Farquharson at

Marshall Academy ambassadors recently presented their academy ePortfolios to business partners. This has been a year-long project documenting academy students’ SMARTR goals, goal reflections, academy artifacts and photos, student resumés, and transition plans. The project culminated with the presentation to the business community, allowing the students to engage with the professionals to gain more insight on how to use this tool as a career and collegiate resource.  Contact academy administrator Jeff McFarland at 703-714-5582 or or news liaison Shelli Farquharson at

Second grade students at Union Mill Elementary recently performed It’s a Jungle Out There, a lively musical play about King Leo the lion’s search for true happiness.  The students played roles of jungle animals, including fun-loving cheetahs, playful monkeys, laughing hyenas, thoughtful elephants, Stripes the zebra, Spots  the leopard, and King Leo the lion. Second grade teachers Joy Carr, Robin Hottle, Kelly Lawrence, Luci Lex, Grace Masumoto, and Andrea Reeves  along with music teachers Lee Larsen, Ryan Holland, and Sarah McGrath, worked with the students over the past several weeks helping them learn the dialogue, songs, and dances. Parent volunteers refurbished and sewed costumes, created sets, and helped with dress rehearsals. Contact principal Kathy Case at 703-322-8500 or or event liaison Andrea Reeves at

The West Potomac High PTSA is joining with Burke and Herbert Bank to enhance student academic recognition for the 2015-16 school year, with a focus on honor roll students and those students who demonstrate significant growth in individual subject areas.   Bank executives plan to work with the college and career specialist at West Potomac to share their career experiences with students through the AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) program and in lunch-and-learn opportunities.  The bank also will work with West Potomac to enhance financial literacy among the school community.  Contact principal Alex Case at 703-718-2500 or or news liaison Sue Bernstein at

Michael Hunt, a fourth grade teacher at Westbriar Elementary, was selected as the 2015 Exemplary Early Career Teacher in FCPS. The award gives recognition to an FCPS early career teacher who is also a graduate of the George Mason University (GMU) College of Education and Human Development (CEHD).   For the second year, Apple Federal Credit Union Foundation has generously provided $2,500 to the teacher selected.   In 2015, thirteen teachers were nominated. Eligible nominees are currently employed, full-time, FCPS teachers with 1-3 academic years of teaching experience. Nominees must also have been a graduate of a degree or licensure program of GMU’s CEHD. In nominating Hunt, principal Lisa Pilson  wrote, “As the advanced academics lead teacher, he not only disseminates information to his teammates, he truly supports his team and encourages them to develop as educators who strive to meet the often complex needs of the whole child.” Contact Westbriar principal Lisa Pilson at 703-937-1700 or





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Last Updated

June 17, 2015