Media Tips

April 26, 2016 Media Tips


Watercolors, ink, and paper-cut artwork created by students in grades K-6 will be displayed at the Edison Pyramid Art Show at Clermont Elementary on Tuesday, April 26, beginning at 5:30 p.m.  Franconia Elementary students, taught by art teacher Tara Austin, are excited to show what they have learned to families and members of the community, who are invited to view the results of art education in FCPS.  Artwork by students who attend Bush Hill, Cameron, Clermont, Mount Eagle, and Rose Hill Elementaries, Twain Middle, and Edison High will also be on display.  Contact Franconia principal Terri Edmunds-Heard at 703-822-2200 or or event liaison Tara Austin at

After weeks of preparation from their civics and math teachers, eighth grade students from Rocky Run Middle are headed to Finance Park where they will have the opportunity to put their newly-learned skills to the test on April 27, 28, and 29. Finance Park is a mini-city where students are able to leave behind their lives as middle schoolers and take on a real-life scenario, complete with a career, salary, credit score, debt, a family, and financial obligations. This experience helps students grasp the implications of their financial decisions as they work toward a balanced budget by the end of their visit, and allows them to experience the challenges of making real-life financial decisions that will lay the foundation for how they approach their financial responsibilities in the future. Contact interim principal Dan Meier at 703-802-7700 or or event liaison Lenore Ale at

World renowned classical pianist Awadagin Pratt will perform at Woodburn Elementary School for the Fine and Communicative Arts on Thursday, April 28, at 3 p.m. Pratt has performed at the White House, on Sesame Street, and with nearly every major orchestra in the country. His appearance is supported by a partnership with the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra; Jordan Kitt’s music has provided a grand piano for the performance.  Pratt’s visit will focus on the importance of commitment, practicing, and not giving up as building blocks to success.  This performance is not open to the public. Contact principal Bridget Chapin at 703-641-8200 or or event liaison Jonathan Kettler at

The 2015-16 season of the Beyond the Page Theatre Company of West Potomac High is based on the theme, Art That Matters, including its spring musical Starlight Express, opening Thursday, April 28, with a 5 p.m. performance. Directed and choreographed by Philip Lee Clark, Starlight Express highlights the importance of never giving up while delving into the imagination of a young boy and his toy trains, each one racing to become the fastest engine in the world. Other performances are Friday, April 29, at 7 p.m.; Saturday, April 30, at 1 and 7 p.m.; and Thursday, May 5, at 5 p.m.  Admission is $12.  Contact principal Alex Case at 703-718-2500 or or event liaison Philip Clark at

The Westfield High theater arts department will present its spring musical Footloose, Friday, April 29, and Saturday, April 30, at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, May 1, at 2 p.m. Set in the 1980s, Footloose follows the streetwise Ren McCormack as he is uprooted from his fast-paced Chicago life to live in the Midwestern conservative town of Bomont. Bomont is under the tight reigns of Reverend Shaw, who forbids dancing and rock music. However, Shaw's sassy and headstrong daughter, Ariel, is always looking for ways to break her father's rules, especially when it comes to sneaking out to see her domineering and jealous boyfriend, Chuck. Ren and Ariel meet and together, with the help of their classmates, they initiate a movement to dissolve the rules in hopes of having a senior prom. With music and lyrics by Tom Snow and Dean Pitchford, and book by Walter Bobbie and Dean Pitchford, Footloose is a spirted musical that conveys how teen rebellion can lead to hope and triumph. To purchase tickets and for more information, visit  All seating is reserved.  Contact principal Tony Copeland at 703-488-6300 or or  event liaison Susie Pike at

Lorton Station Elementary will host its annual Kindergarten Poetry Tea on Friday, April 29, at 9:20 a.m.  Kindergarten students select poems to read and recite as part of this celebration of the different genres of poetry during April, National Poetry Month. Some of the readings and recitations are student created and some are poems that have been read in classrooms throughout the year. Each class is set up with a podium and microphone for students to take turns reading their chosen poems. Students dress up in their Sunday best for this event to perform before their parents, teachers, and classmates, who make up the audience.   After the recitations, a spring cookie exchange is held among parents.  Contact principal Joanne Jackson at 571-642-6000 or or event liaison Anita Boyd at

The Bonnie Brae Elementary community will have an opportunity to show its school and community pride starting at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 30, by participating in the international art project, Inside Out.  The project is the dream of French artist JR and is designed as a global platform for people to share their stories and turn their beliefs and identities into a form of public art. Inspired by JR's large-format "pastings," large portraits are affixed to the walls of buildings or onto sidewalks. These photo murals become a monument to the communities they represent. Bonnie Brae's Inside Out project was born from this international creative idea. Portraits of students and community members will be affixed to the school sidewalk as an emblem of pride for the school, community, and—most  importantly—themselves.  Contact principal Kathy Bruce at 703-321-3900 or or event liaison Kristin Bower at

The annual Falls Church High Jaguar 5K Run-Walk and Kids 1 Mile Fun Run is scheduled for Saturday, April 30, starting at 8 a.m.  This is a school community fun and fitness event for people of all ages and abilities, and is open to the public. The course starts at the school and goes through the surrounding neighborhoods. Age category awards and team trophies will be awarded. Registration information can be found at  All proceeds benefit the Falls Church High athletic program.  Contact Jeanne Kelly at

The Hybla Valley Elementary PTO will host a Kids' Fun Day on Saturday, April 30, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Along with community sponsors, every Hybla Valley student will receive a free hot dog and enjoy food, games, music, and fun activities.   Some community partners will provide information about different summer programs available to students, and the Safe Routes to School coordinator will share information and lead an activity for students.  Contact principal Lauren Sheehy at 703-718-7000 or or news liaison Sharon Kotovsky at

Third grade students at Armstrong Elementary have written, produced, and plan to perform an original play based on a published book.  It started with a book third grade teacher Linda Truitt read to her students in November 2015 titled The Red Sweater by author Gregory Lalire.  Under Truitt’s tutelage, the students gained knowledge and skills using Project-Based Learning, working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to the question, “How can you bring purpose and life to characters in a story?” The project focused on student learning goals, content goals, critical and creative thinking and problem solving, collaboration, and peer and self-evaluation. Students were engaged in an extended process of questioning, researching, and applying information. The project featured real-world context, student voice and choice, reflection, critique, and revision. In addition to the play, students produced a number of other products reflecting what they learned. The students will perform their play on Tuesday, May 3, at 2 p.m., and Thursday, May 5, at 6 p.m.  Lalire and illustrator Annette D’Epagnier will be in the audience for one of the performances. Truitt, a veteran teacher with 22 years of experience, believes that the best teaching is not what the students learn from her, but what they learn together along the way. Contact principal Jim Quinn at 703-375-4800 or or event liaison Linda Truitt at

The Hutchison Elementary drama club will present Disney’s Lion King, Jr. on May 5 and 6 at 7 p.m.  The fifth and sixth grade cast members have been meeting twice a week after school since November to work on the performance. Featuring music and lyrics by Tim Rice and Elton John, the performance includes favorite songs such as “Hakuna Matata,” “Circle of Life,” and “Can You Feel the Love Tonight.”  Tickets will be sold at the door along with snacks and souvenirs with proceeds going to the Hutchison drama club.  Contact principal Ray Lonnett at 703-925-8300 or or event liaison Leigh Allen-Hughes at

Fairfax Villa Elementary will celebrate its 50th anniversary with a number of activities on Friday, May 6, beginning at 6:30 p.m.  Current and former students and staff members are welcome to attend the festivities, which include school tours, including the new wing; a display of school yearbooks; video clips of previous student performances; and the burying of a time capsule.  Contact principal Elizabeth Bumbrey at 703-267-2800 or or news liaison Robin Mims at

Lake Anne Elementary students are ready to show what they have learned during the dance unit of their physical education classes at the school’s annual PTA-sponsored dance on Friday, May 6, beginning at 6 p.m.  Students have been learning dances and will perform and compete, based on participation.  Kindergarten students will perform the chicken dance, first graders will do the cupid shuffle, second grade students will perform the Macarena, and third graders will do the electric slide.  Fourth grade students will do the cha cha slide, fifth graders will do the Cotton-Eyed Joe, and sixth graders will perform a Thriller remix. Contact principal Jill Stewart at 703-326-3500 or or news liaison Sue Garrison at

The Rose Hill Elementary players will perform What a Knight!, a musical adventure featuring a castle full of colorful characters, including precocious princesses, a talking dragon, and Merlin and his magic mirror, on Friday, May 6, at 7 p.m. and Saturday, May 7, at 1 and 7 p.m.  at Edison High. When young squire Watt Cobblers is expelled from knight school, he reluctantly becomes Merlin's new apprentice. But trouble is never far away, and soon Camelot castle collapses into chaos. Merlin has lost Excalibur, King Arthur's daughters have been kidnapped, and his brave knights have turned into chickens. Watt and his newfound friends Dusty Dragon and wayward Princess Alice set off on the biggest quest of their lives. Tickets are $5 for adults, $3 for children ($1 for children at the matinee). Contact principal Elizabeth Obester at 703-313-4200 or or event liaison Lisa Weiner at

Girl Scouts from Troop 3827, who are fifth grader students at Willow Springs Elementary, are hosting a symposium and dance party to raise awareness of Williams Syndrome on Saturday, May 7, while working on their Bronze Award.  The symposium, which begins at 10 a.m., will include presentations from individuals and groups offering information about Williams Syndrome, ultimately to provide an increased understanding of those with the genetic condition that is characterized by medical problems such as cardiovascular disease, developmental delays, and learning disabilities. People with Williams Syndrome can also possess striking verbal abilities, highly social personalities, and an affinity for music.   Registration is $20 for adults, $10 for educators or students, and $50 for a family of four; all proceeds will be donated to the Williams Syndrome Association.  Online registration is available.  Contact principal Dylan Taylor at 703-679-6000 or or news liaison Sarah Lennon at

Oakton High’s performing arts department will present The Phantom of the Opera on May 12, 13, and 14, at 7 p.m.  Deformed since birth, a bitter man known only as the Phantom lives in the sewers underneath the Paris Opera House. He falls in love with the obscure chorus singer Christine, and privately tutors her while terrorizing the rest of the opera house and demanding Christine be given lead roles.  Tickets are $12 in advance, $15 at the door.  Contact principal John Banbury at 703-319-2700 or or event liaison Vanessa Gelinas at

Fifth graders in Christina Botten’s class at Deer Park Elementary welcomed a visitor from the White House Situation Room during April as part of the Month of the Military Child.  U.S. Department of State foreign service officer and former Air Force officer Todd Macler shared his experiences working for the government and his life in the military.  Macler is in the midst of a two-year assignment in the Situation Room, after which he will return to his job at the State Department.  Students asked questions, such as which subjects in school helped him most in his jobs.  He replied that history was helpful, but he also said that doing well in school was the biggest advantage.  He was also asked if he ever worked with the President, to which he answered that he had taken papers into his office.  Macler has met a number of famous people as part of his job, his favorites being astronaut Buzz Aldrin and First Lady Michelle Obama.  Students in Botten’s class who belong to military families have been sharing with the class what it is like to be part of a military family.  All the students will be writing letters to anyone they know that serves in the military or who works for a government agency to thank them for supporting the country. Contact principal Carol Larsen at 703-802-5000 or or news liaison Becky Hawryluk at

Two Forestville Elementary Odyssey of the Mind teams are heading to the World Finals.  At the state finals, the team that competed in Problem 5: Furs, Fins, Feathers, and Friends, in division 2 won first place, qualifying them to compete in the World Finals. Heading to Iowa are the team’s six members, Kimberly Purdy, Julia Fremberg, Khushi Sankar, Karma Kassem, Cayla Kassem, and Miky Kassem, all sixth grade students. The Forestville Problem 5, division 1 team placed third in its category.  Contact principal Todd Franklin at 703-404-6000 or or news liaison Tara Dutton at

Students from Glasgow Middle participated in two days of science, technology, engineering, and math while attending the X-STEM conference at the DC Convention Center. Students heard from a number of experts, including an inventor, astrophysicist, laser scientist, marine scientist, test pilot, biomedical engineer, visual artist and mathematician, paleontologist, astronaut, and quantum physicist. The students particularly liked learning about sharks from one of the presenters.   During the second day, students heard presentations on how to build a guitar and enjoy STEM through music and how to build, program, and compete using robots.  They also saw a $10,000 laser printer in action.  Contact principal Shawn DeRose at 703-813-8700 or or news liaison Anntoinette Lee at

Cadets from the Herndon High Navy Junior ROTC recently hosted a drill meet for area JROTC units.  Upper classmen spent months planning and coordinating details while freshmen and first-year cadets practiced after school to compete in this annual event. Active duty Marines from Helicopter Marine Squadron One (HMX 1), who are responsible for helicopter transport of the President of the U.S.,  served as judges for the 11 teams from Navy, Marine, and Army JROTC units from Virginia and Maryland schools.   Each participating school fielded a team that performed armed drill, unarmed drill, color guard, and uniform inspection.   The Marines judged each event to exacting standards and high levels of military bearing.  The final event was a Drill Knock Out in which Marines call out drill commands while cadets with drill rifles are required to respond immediately without flaw.  Any mistake or delay results in the cadet being eliminated from the competition until the best of the best remain; three top cadets won medals in this competition. Trophies were presented to the overall best school and best in each drill category. The cadet with the most impressive command voice also won a medal.   Herndon High’s Navy Junior ROTC is open to any student interested in leadership experiences, teamwork, and high-level competition.  There is no military commitment.  Contact event liaison David Adler at 703-755-5710 or

Irving Middle student Jessica Nasr, hosted by the Rotary Club of West Springfield, won first place in the district essay contest sponsored by Rotary International, District 7610.  Three students from Whitman Middle won top prizes in the Mount Vernon Rotary Club contest. The essay challenged students to write about what they should do before they  think, say, or do something, based on the Rotarians' Four Way Test. Whitman student Shannel Fraser won first place,  Renee Starego won second place, and Shertal St. Luce won third place. They will be honored at a dinner on May 11.  Contact Whitman principal Roger Vanderhye at 703-660-2400 or or event liaison Peggy White at

The Longfellow Middle Model United Nations (Model UN) club participated in the WashMUN, a conference hosted by Washington-Lee High in Arlington.  Topics ranged from developing a global response to epidemics to resolving the Ivory smuggling problem in Africa.   Awards included:  in the World Health Organization committee, honorable mention to Maya Pandey and Aditya Khera with a special endorsement of honors in eloquence; in the Special Political and Decolonization committee, honorable mention to Samanvita Kolachana and Jessica Opsahl-Ong and honorable mention to  Jack Lannin and Nico Martinelli; in the Social, Cultural and Humanitarian committee, verbal commendation to Max Ellis and Daniel Kalish; in the committee focused on the Haitian Revolution, verbal commendation with a special endorsement of honors in eloquence to Rohan Mani; in the committee of Mount Olympus, verbal commendation to Tyler Jarrett and honorable mention with a special endorsement of honors in diplomacy to Karen Song; in the UN Security Council, honorable mention to Noor Scavotto and Outstanding Delegate award with a special endorsement for honors in diplomacy to Da Hyun Kang. There was also a joint committee whose central focus was Russia of the future that had experienced a revival of Communism.  As part of the committee, honorable mentions went to Jake Shue and Ryan Shue;  Angeli Mittal received the Best Delegate award. Contact principal Carole Kihm at 703-533-2600 or or news liaison Michelle Padgett at

Two Louise Archer Elementary fourth grade students—Adriana Maya and Lydia Plante—were invited to the sixth White House Science Fair, hosted by President Obama.  The science fair, part of the Educate to Innovate campaign, is designed to ensure all students have the tools they need to be innovators and problem-solvers.  Both of the students were invited as part of the Share Your Science Fair Story public call. Contact principal Michelle Makrigiorgios at 703-937-6200 or or news liaison Kathy Cutri at

West Potomac High juniors taking Advanced Placement (AP) U.S. History took a field trip to the Moton Museum in Farmville, the site of the former Robert Russ Moton High School.  Moton High was Prince Edward County's public school for African-American students and was the site of a 1951 student strike against the school's poor conditions, as it held twice as many students as it was designed for and had no gym or cafeteria. Student Barbara Johns convinced the students to go on strike and a suit was filed by the NAACP against the Prince Edward County School Board, which lost in federal district court.    The West Potomac students saw a video about the 1951 strike, toured exhibits, and participated in group activities. Contact principal Alex Case at 703-718-2500 or or event liaison Jeff Feinstein at

A White Oaks Elementary Odyssey of the Mind team has qualified to compete in the World Finals in Iowa May 25-28.  Team members Minah Sisco, Emma Hrabak, Katelyn Sullivan, Virginia Fife, Kasey Petrie, and Reira Erickson created an eight-minute humorous performance, using problem solving from the perspective of three different animals.  Their animals are required to sing and dance, show curiosity, sympathy, frustration, and joy; team members had to write and perform their solution and create their own props, costumes, and set.  Teams are also challenged to solve a spontaneous problem at the competition, requiring them to think on their feet.  Contact principal Ryan Richardson at 703-923-1400 or or news liaison Virginia Kost at


Deer Park Elementary students will be working over the next four weeks in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) Lab to build cars and test them for energy efficiency. Students in Kaitlin Phucas’s class have begun making cars out of consumable and recycled materials such as paper towel rolls, egg cartons, and plastic containers. Over the next four weeks, they will work in groups to make the most aerodynamic car possible and test their cars by rolling them down a 10-foot ramp to see which car goes the furthest. The purpose of the project is to help students learn about how engineers design structures for energy efficiency.  Contact principal Carol Larsen at 703-802-5000 or or event liaison Kaitlin Phucas at

Fairfax Academy Chinese level 2 student Celie Feighery captured third place in the ninth Chinese Bridge Language Contest held at the University of Maryland. The contest, which is divided into middle and high school levels, consisted of two parts, including a short speech and cultural performance. A video of Feighery’s performance is available online.  The competition is sponsored by Hanban (the Office of Chinese Language Council International) and co-sponsored by the Confucius Institute at the University of Maryland and the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China. Contact academy administrator Diego Wilson at 703-219-2226 or or news liaison Erin Bloom at

The Jackson Middle drama department will present The Lion King as its spring musical and, in preparation for the show, drama teacher Stacey Jones invited the original Broadway actress who played Baby Nala, Kajuana Shuford, to talk with members of the cast and crew.  Shuford shared stories about her experiences with production and that she beat out 3,000 other performers to win the part.   She offered advice and enjoyed watching the cast perform her favorite number, “The Circle of Life.”  Contact principal Chad Lehman at 703-204-8100 or or event liaison Stacey Jones at

Annandale High students Sebastian Delgadillo, Shadi Hamadeh-Rojas, and Xavian Henson placed second in the Banking and Financial Systems event at the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) state competition held last weekend.  The Annandale team is now eligible to participate in the FBLA National Leadership Conference this summer in Atlanta.  Contact principal Tim Thomas at 703-642-4100 or or event liaison Al Steppe at

Employees of Hidden Pond Nature Center presented animal talks to the students at Key Center, providing an opportunity for students to meet the animals as well as learn about them.  A wide variety of animals were brought in for the students to meet, and information was shared about their life spans, environment, and impact on nature in the Northern Virginia area.  Students were encouraged to take an up-close look and touch the animals.  The visit was part of a partnership program between FCPS and the Fairfax County Park Authority.  Contact principal Ann Smith at 703-313-4000 or or news liaison Dianne Hardbower at

Four students from Lanier Middle won first place in the 2016 National School Boards Association (NSBA) Innovation Challenge in Boston. Students were given a global problem, and were challenged to come up with an innovative solution. The day before the competition, they were given a twist to their problem and were required to address that change in their solution.  The team presented its solution to the DLR Group team, which sponsored the event, and many school board members from across the nation. As the first place winners, the four Lanier students will receive scholarships from the DLR Group. Contact principal Erin Lenart at 703-934-2400 or

Maria Filgueira, a special education teacher at Lees Corner Elementary, received the First Class Award from the FCPS Advisory Committee for Students with Disabilities for her dedication, accomplishments, and inclusion-integration work with special education students.  Filgueria has been instrumental in helping her students achieve a higher quality of life in a supportive educational environment. To help her students integrate and be included with the general education population, she coaches them and provides support; pairs special education students with general education students for field trips, cafeteria lunches, and playground activities; advocates for special education students to be school safety patrols;  and nominates them to be the recipients of achievement awards at the school’s annual awards ceremony.  Contact Bob D’Amato at 703-227-3500 or or news liaison Janet Clark at

The Marshall High Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) program has been named the Fairfax County 2016 Volunteer of the Year by Volunteer Fairfax.  During 2015, Marshall FBLA students prepared and delivered full-day Junior Achievement economic education lessons to three groups of elementary age students in FCPS.  Club members prepared and delivered lessons related to financial literacy, work readiness, and entrepreneurship, including PowerPoint presentations, and developed materials necessary to teach five lessons in each classroom. They took over as teacher and led the experience for students.  In addition to their work with Junior Achievement, two FBLA members organized a community service event, Operation: Pack It Up, coordinating and organizing a drive for care packages for the members of the military, even making cards for the troops.  Elyssa Jeter, senior education director of Junior Achievement, says, “One of my favorite parts of this partnership is the fact that we have been doing this for so long that some of the high school students were actually recipients of the program in elementary school, and were so impacted and inspired that they sought out the business program so that they could give back when it was their ‘turn.’” Rebekah Glasbrenner sponsors the group.  Contact principal Jeff Litz at 703-714-5400 or or news liaison Shelli Farquharson at

The Silverbrook Elementary PTO recently hosted the school’s annual Seahawk STEAM Fair.  Silverbrook students and families explored science, technology, engineering, art, and math by viewing more than 100 STEAM projects designed by students in grades 3-6.  Attendees were able to play engaging math and strategy games and participate in hands-on STEAM activities.  In conjunction with the fair, four fifth grade girls baked and decorated cupcakes using the periodic table to raise money for the lab and took in approximately $300.  Contact principal Melaney Mackin at 703-690-5100 or  or news liaison Mary Anne Haskins at

Terra Centre Elementary is submitting an entry to Evergreen Packaging’s Carton 2 Garden Contest made of approximately 395 empty milk cartons that were collected during school lunches.  The students created a topographic map showing the five regions of Virginia. Seeds from native Virginia plants were started in the milk cartons, corresponding to the region in which they might grow. Papier maché hot air balloons were constructed and native plants or state symbols were painted on them. Hanging from the hot air balloons are more plants in milk carton baskets. The project was a schoolwide effort with different grade levels contributing in various capacities, from planting and watering the seeds, to collecting milk cartons, to arranging the topographic map.  Contact principal Greg Brotemarkle at 703-249-1400 or

A team from West Potomac High took top honors in Virginia for Problem 1:  No-Cycle Recycle, in the Virginia Odyssey of the Mind State Competition, and has qualified to compete in the World Finals in May in Iowa. No-Cycle Recycle required teams to build, ride on, and drive a no-cycle, recycling vehicle that would pick up discarded items, adapt them, then deliver them to places to be reused. Team members are Michael Bell, Mary Bell, Rhys Shallbetter, Kyle Ruffin, Maddie Finn, and Jackie Amacker.  Three West Potomac teams competed in two different problems this year, No-Cycle Recycle and Stack Attack, requiring teams to design, build, and test a structure made only of balsa wood and glue, that will balance and support as much weight as possible twice. A West Potomac team placed third in the state in Stack Attack.  A total of 127 teams from across Virginia competed in the state competition. Contact principal Alex Case at 703-718-2500 or or event liaison Teri Bell at

Victoria Pasquantonio, education editor at PBS NewsHour, visited with U.S. history students at West Potomac High to present a lesson on the 2016 presidential campaign. Students used the information she provided as a springboard for a review activity about significant historical presidential campaigns and elections. West Potomac students also helped Pasquantonio draft a lesson for the PBS NewsHour's website for teachers and students, which can be found online.  Pasquantonio’s visit and the resulting lesson are one example of the ongoing work and collaboration between businesses and schools. Contact principal Alex Case at 703-718-2500 or or event liaison Jeff Feinstein at





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Last Updated

April 26, 2016