Media Tips

Media Tips are listed in chronological order.      October 15, 2014

Fort Belvoir Elementary will host its fifth annual Family STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) Day on Saturday, October 18, at 10 a.m.    Students and families from Fort Belvoir and neighboring elementary schools will take part in hands-on science and technology-related activities and demonstrations for a variety of age groups.  Volunteers from Marymount University will provide a number of hands-on STEM activities, including showing students how to make a lava lamp and discussing color collision, vanishing water, density divers, and the pumpkin life cycle. Fairfax Water employees will demonstrate water runoff and talk about waste water management, plus provide a make and take activity. Naval Research Center employees will provide robot demonstrations and guide students in making their own Bristlebot (hexbug), and students who have built SeaPerch Robots will give demonstrations of their creations for attendees.   Space and science-themed movies will be shown in a dome theater, and employees from NASA will help students build and launch Stomp Rockets. Students will be able to work in the school’s gardens and learn about Fort Belvoir’s math garden project.  Mount Vernon High students will provide a robot demonstration for the younger students.  There will be astronomy demonstrations, hands-on STEM activities, and 3-D printer demonstrations using Google SketchUp.  Contact principal Theresa Carhart at 703-781-2700 or or event liaison Nancy Rowland at

The West Springfield High choirs and the Dietrich Bonhoeffer Gymnasium choir of Eppelheim, Germany, will perform a concert on Tuesday, October 21, at 7 p.m. at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Annandale.  The exchange program has been ongoing with FCPS since 2002, when the German musicians came to Annandale High for school performances, impromptu concerts, and visits to national landmarks.  West Springfield High choral director Dustin Brandt directed the Annandale High choir in Germany in 2013 and, after learning about the program, pursued the opportunity for a similar exchange program at West Springfield High.  During the October 21 concert, musical selections from the German choir will include German and Austrian music from Brahms, Bach, and Schubert; the American choirs will feature traditional and contemporary American music including songs from Southern Harmony, music by Aaron Copland, and a modern take on Bach. The two groups will combine to sing “The Little Jazz Mass” by British composer and former King’s Singer Bob Chicott, accompanied by piano and drums.  Contact principal Mike Mukai at 703-913-3800 or or event liaison Dustin Brandt at

Carson Middle will recognize Wednesday, October 22, as Unity Day, an opportunity for students to take a stand against bullying.  Everyone will be encouraged to wear orange, and there will be assemblies throughout the day.  Educator Keith Deltano will speak to students, using comedy to show why students bully and encouraging the audience to seriously contemplate how they view one another.  His anti-bullying message is designed to inspire acceptance and get students to make new friends by reaching out while inspiring positive behavior. Deltano will present a parent session during the evening.  Contact principal Augie Frattali at 703-925-3600 or or news liaison Tracy Bromberg at

The Herndon Middle theater program has created an original one act play about the history of the town of Herndon, titled  Herndon Town. Playwright Kristen LePine of Mary Washington University was commissioned to work with the advanced eighth grade theater class this fall. Through research, writing, rehearsing, and revising, the class has discovered the origins of Herndon from its beginnings to modern times. The Herndon Historic Society was asked to consult on the project. Free public performances are planned for Thursday, October 23, at 3 and 7 p.m. with a community discussion following the 7 p.m. show. The cast and crew will then travel to Norfolk on Friday, October 24, to enter the play in an adjudicated festival at the annual Virginia Theatre Association Conference. Contact principal Justine Klena at 703-904-4800 or or event liaison Scott Pafumi at

Rocky Run Middle students and their parents will kick off the eighth year of the school’s Parent Teen Book Club on Thursday, October 23. The five titles to be discussed include We Beat the Streets, Matched, Wonder, Fever 1793, and Chasing Lincoln’s Killer. Students and parents first read their books together and then meet to discuss the books. The book selections change with each session. Additional Parent Teen Book Club sessions are scheduled for January and April. Refreshments are provided by the Rocky Run PTA. More than 125 students and parents have signed up to participate in this year’s club.  Contact principal Anthony Terrell at 703-802-7700 or or event liaison Anna Slevin at


Fox Mill Elementary students, teachers, and families will participate in their ninth annual Walk for the Homeless on Friday, October 24, at 3:30 p.m.   The walk, which will take place on school grounds, is organized by the Fox Mill Elementary PTA; all proceeds benefit Cornerstones (formerly Reston Interfaith). Most members of the homeless community are families and many work full time: close to 60 percent of homeless persons are in families, more than 75 percent of children in homeless families are under the age of 11, and nearly 60 percent of adults in homeless families work.  Fox Mill students have been provided with age-appropriate awareness lessons about what it means to be homeless.  Student Council officers visited the Embry Rucker Community Shelter and bought back information to share with their classmates.  Students who join the Walk to End Homelessness will be wearing specially designed T-shirts for the event. Contact interim principal Tim Stanley at 703-262-2700 or or news liaison Audrey Kirtland at

Rocky Run Middle will hold its annual SCA sponsored Spirit Pep Rally on Friday, October 24, at 2 p.m. to determine which of the school’s eight teams has the most spirit. There will be competitive games between the teams including students and teachers vying in Rocky Run’s own version of “Minute to Win It,” and a team relay. Additional points will be awarded to the team which demonstrates the most team spirit in a photo. Rocky Run’s mascot, Rocky the Ram, is expected to make his first appearance of the year and the school’s new SCA officers will be presented to the student body. Last year’s winning team was the seventh grade Capitals.  Contact principal Anthony Terrell at 703-802-7700 or or event liaison Laura Hornberger at

Westgate Elementary will hold its Fall Festival, a celebration of the season, on Friday, October 24, beginning at 6 p.m.  Sponsored by the PTA and open to the entire Westgate community, students will be able to trick-or-treat throughout the library as well as play games, enjoy a moon bounce, and participate in a cake walk.  Students from nearby middle and high schools will serve as volunteers at the festival.  Contact principal Julie Easa at 703-610-5700 or or event liaison Kathy Timmons at

Glen Forest Elementary is gearing up for Glen Forest on the Go, its second annual community fun run and fundraiser, on Saturday, October 25, beginning at 7:45 a.m.  Parents, teachers, and members of the community will be on hand to cheer on students who complete their laps around the school while earning sponsorship money.  The day is designed to help students feel empowered to create change and build stronger relationships with the broader community while feeling good about raising funds to support their learning.  Contact principal Cindy Choate at 703-578-8000 or or news liaison Margaret Maurizi at

Franklin Sherman Elementary preschool and preschool autism classes recently visited the Burke Nursery and Pumpkin Patch for a pumpkin-based lesson.  Students explored pumpkins, rode on slides, listened to a story inside a teepee, enjoyed a hayride, and interacted with different farm animals.  Contact principal Kathleen Quigley at 703-506-7900 or or news liaison Jamie Leitch at


Franklin Sherman Elementary’s Monster Mash Dash, a 5K race and 1-mile fun run, will be held  Sunday, October 26, at 8 a.m.  Conducted in partnership with Potomac River Running, the event is open to children and adults of all ages. At the conclusion of the 5K race, a fun run is held near the school. Local businesses and corporations provide generous sponsorships for the race. Contact principal Kathleen Quigley at 703-506-7900 or or event liaison Kristie Helfrich at


During a unit on ants, Deer Park Elementary kindergarten students in Lindsey Gross’s class recently simulated how ants work together in a colony. The students learned that ants are social insects that live and work together and help each other to survive. Cotton balls, representing food, were placed throughout the room and the students acted like ants, seeking out the food and returning to the other ants to show them where the food was. Each child brought one crumb to the storage area and, by working together, they collected a large pile of food for their colony. This lesson also tied into the C.A.R.E.S. components of cooperation, assertion, responsibility, empathy, and self-control.  Contact principal Carol Larsen at 703-802-5000 or or news liaison Becky Hawryluk at


Bucky, the Deer Park Elementary mascot, made a surprise appearance at a pep rally recently to kick off the school’s annual Team Challenge Day. This year, Bucky got a face lift courtesy of Deer Park’s PTA. To help celebrate the school’s 20th anniversary, Bucky will make 20 appearances in the school throughout the year. Students were excited to find out that he may show up at recess, in the lunch room, or in classrooms. Bucky also plans to take part in the Westfield High homecoming parade along with Deer Park’s SCA officers. Contact principal Carol Larsen at 703-802-5000 or or news liaison Becky Hawryluk at


Monica Brown, a student in the level 4 Dance class at Fairfax Academy, recently auditioned for the Rockettes in New York City.  Brown participated in two full days of auditions; after making it through 4-5 cuts, she was one of only 35 dancers who made it to the final round.  Because she is under the age of 18, Brown was not eligible for a contract with the famed dance troupe, but took part in this audition to better prepare for an audition once she is over 18. Brown said that she was surprised that most of the dancers who she auditioned with were previous Rockettes who were re-auditioning for a contract, or were much older than her. Brown is a senior at Chantilly High School.  Contact academy administrator Diego Wilson at 703-219-2226 or or news liaison Erin Bloom at


Students at Glasgow Middle recently hosted a fall community clean up, E-Waste Recycling Day. The event was designed to recycle old electronics, such as computers, microwaves, and cell phones, and was co-sponsored by the Glasgow Middle PTA Panther Care Committee.  Members of the community received fliers about the event and were encouraged to bring their old electronics to the cleanup. NT Recycling provided free recycling and breakdown of electronic components.  Contact principal Penny Gros at 703-813-8700 or or event liaison Randall Miller at



International Walk to School Day was celebrated at Hybla Valley Elementary with several additional activities to help keep students safe as they walked to and from school.  Part of the day was spent with students completing a power walk around the school grounds.  Students also received reflector stickers and learned safety terms with a Safe Travel to School word scramble, introduced as a team challenge for older students. Younger students received a coloring page with pedestrian safety pictures.  The activities were included on Walk to School Day to promote the healthy benefits of walking.  Contact principal Lauren Sheehy at 703-718-7000 or or news liaison Sharon Kotovsky at


Lisa Rode, a sixth grade teacher at Kings Glen Elementary, won a $2,500 grant from the Farmers Insurance Thank a Million Teachers contest. Rode plans to use the money as additional funding for an after-school Robotics Club where the students will use Raspberry Pi and Go Pi Go platforms. Approximately 45 students in grades 4-6 are involved in the Robotics Club this year. Rode was named the winner of the grant as a result of online voting.  Contact principal Sam Elson at 703-239-4000 or or event liaison Lisa Rode at


Key Center and Key Middle are launching their Key-to-Key student assistant program.  Through direct interactions with students with disabilities and classroom instruction, students from Key Middle will gain valuable insight into understanding and increasing their acceptance of people with disabilities.  Key Center students have the opportunity to integrate the social skills they are learning while interacting with peers from their community.  Related services specialists, such as the hearing specialist and school audiologist, conduct training sessions with hands-on learning and PowerPoint presentations to help the Key Middle students learn about their professions and how they work with the Key Center students.  The knowledge gained by the peer helpers empowers them to work with the diverse needs of the Key Center students in their classes. Contact Key Center principal Ann Smith at 703-313-4000 or or news liaison Dianne Hardbower at


During October, students at Key Center have been participating in activities and lessons geared toward fire prevention.  Students went to the grocery store to locate and purchase items, using an adapted grocery list, in order to make baked goods to thank members of the local fire department.   Nine students took a tour of Fire Station 5 in Springfield, participated in a scavenger hunt, and used communication devices to conduct an interview with firefighters. Recently, four firefighters from Station 5 visited Key Center and offered the students a close-up look at the fire engine as well as a demonstration of how quickly a firefighter can put on his gear in preparation for an emergency.  Prior to the visit, students watched a video of a firefighter preparing for an emergency by dressing quickly, then estimated how long it would take the firefighter to get dressed.  During the visit, a student timed the firefighter while he dressed and determined if their estimations were accurate.  They were also able to have a hands-on experience by trying on and touching the gear.  Contact principal Ann Smith at 703-313-4000 or or news liaison Dianne Hardbower at

Students and staff members at South County Middle recently participated in the ninth annual Pink to School Day to commemorate National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  Over the years, the South County Middle community has made it a priority to both spread awareness of breast cancer—through events like Pink to School  Day—as well as fundraise for a cure. To date, the South County community has raised over $75,000 for breast cancer research.  Each of the 1,200 faculty members and students wore pink and formed the word “hope” on the athletic field.  The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department’s ladder truck out of the Woodlawn Station photographed the event for the third year in a row. A drone from Matthew Grimm Photography also photographed the group. Contact principal Marsha Manning at 703-690-5500 or or  event liaison Shawn Gardner at


Whitman Middle hosts an after-school Science Club, sponsored by eighth grade science teacher Peggy White, for students who love science. The club is student driven, which allows students to decide which experiments and projects they would like to explore. Each week, they focus on a specific experiment. Recently, students performed the egg drop experiment, requiring them to design and build a system to protect a raw egg from a drop at the top of a stairwell. Of the seven entries that were created, one design successfully protected the egg.  The Science Club meets on Wednesday afternoons. Contact principal Jean Bell at 703-660-2400 or or event liaison Peggy White at


Students in Eugene Fischer’s Spanish class for fluent speakers at Whitman Middle recently hosted Maria Rozman, a producer for CNN and Whitman parent. Before joining CNN, Rozman was a journalist and news anchor for Telemundo in Denver, a Spanish language television station. She talked to Fischer’s students about careers for students who are bilingual, encouraging them to create an educational plan and to set goals for the things they wish to achieve in life. Rozman gave the students examples of how being bilingual can be an asset to many types of careers.  Contact principal Jean Bell at 703-660-2400 or or news liaison Melanie Adams at


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Webpage Curator

Mary Shaw

Last Updated

October 15, 2014