Media Tips

Media Tips are listed in chronological order.    January 28, 2015


Me, Myself, and Monday is the name of a new program at Little Run Elementary that begins on Tuesday, February 3, and focuses on expanding the school’s Get Fit Friday.  Students will be encouraged to add or enhance healthy sleeping and eating habits to their daily routines. During February, students will learn about the importance of adding fruits and vegetables to their diet and will be encouraged to keep a chart of the fruits and vegetables they are eating.  Contact principal Sharon Baumgarten at 703-503-3500 or or news liaison Anne Sumser at

The science of how additives affect the size of muffin and how fertilizing a lawn affects algae blooms in the Chesapeake Bay are just two of the science projects to be featured at the Madison High Science Fair on Wednesday, February 4, at 2:30 p.m.  The fair will feature projects developed by approximately 220 honors chemistry and physics students.  The honors course description requires that students develop independent research projects to be judged by an outside source.  Students have created experiments in one of the following 17 categories:  animal science, behavioral and social sciences, biochemistry, cellular and molecular biology, chemistry, computer science, Earth and planetary sciences, electrical and mechanical engineering, materials and bioengineering engineering, energy and transportation, environmental management, environmental sciences, mathematical sciences, medicine and health, microbiology, physics and astronomy, and plant sciences.  Some of the students have done research outside of school, including at local universities such as George Mason University and Georgetown University.  Many of the volunteer judges are Madison High parents of current and past students who are medical doctors, medical research specialists, engineers, and science professionals.  Contact event liaison Michael Rath at

Read and Rock—an evening of new books, climbing the rock wall, and rocking out to music—is planned for Thursday, February 5, at 5 p.m. at Franconia Elementary.  Students in grades 3-6 and their families are welcome to bring their mobile devices to learn how to access digital resources for reading, homework help, and Standards of Learning (SOL) test prep.  There will be rock star guest readers (mystery staff members) for students and workshops for parents: Building a Rock-Solid Reading Life, Parents as Rocking Writing Partners, and Math:  Don’t Miss a Beat.  Contact principal Terri Edmunds-Heard at 703-822-2200 or or event liaison Carolyn Wooster at

Deer Park Elementary students involved in the peer mentoring program will partner with their Westfield High mentors on Friday, February 6, to make cards for residents at Forest Glen Senior Apartments. This activity coincides with National Mentoring Month, which takes place annually in January. The handmade cards will be delivered to the residents, including four senior ladies who live in the apartments and volunteer once a week in Deer Park’s production center. This activity is a way for the 114 mentors and mentees to give back to their community and to embody the unofficial slogan of mentoring: “Being someone who matters to someone who matters.” For the past six years, the partnership program with Westfield High has been successful in building students’ confidence and independence. Westfield High students are selected and trained as mentors through their peer helping class. During their time together, the 57 elementary students each meet with an assigned mentor to play a game, talk, or work together on a creative project. Mentors encourage and model the importance of school and doing one’s best. The goal of the mentoring program is to provide another trusted person in the child’s life to give support and guidance in both personal and academic areas. Contact principal Carol Larsen at 703-802-5000 or or news liaison Becky Hawryluk at

Dogwood Elementary fifth grade students tested building structures to learn more about how dwellings react to an earthquake. To document their process, they used the program Voice Thread to record and reflect on their experiment. Almost immediately, the students were able to make observations and consider redesign possibilities by studying the video material. One group of students thought about the need for a foundation. Another group commented on the importance of a flexible building material that would sway but not fall in an earthquake. Voice Thread helped students to record, observe, and present their experiment to classmates for further analysis and feedback.Contact principal Mie Devers at 703-262-3100 or or news liaison Linda Martin at

The Business Management Virtual Enterprise class at Herndon High was chosen as one of the top five teams in Virginia at a recent Virtual Enterprises International Mid-Atlantic competition held in Virginia Beach. Kathy Thomas’s class created a company called UniversID, wrote a business plan, and then defended their plan before three sets of judges. UniversID is a college identification card with the typical features of letting students into their dorm room or serving as a meal card with an embedded chip that includes a locating feature. When the student enrolls in college, he or she will choose four family members or friends as contacts who will have the ability to search, via an app using a predetermined password, for the college student if he or she is ever lost or missing. The student would be able to use the same feature to locate his or her own ID if the card is missing. This project was inspired in part by the recent case at a Virginia university where a student was missing.  The students plan to attend a trade show at Virginia Wesleyan College in March  to compete with other companies in the virtual world.  Members of the class are Maddy Johnson, Jacob Mills, Kevin McCarter, Austen Katcham, Antonia George, Joel Herrera, Luis Castro, Chris Ellefson, Ana Hidalgo, Claire Sullivan, Aimee Aguilar, Puyush Goel, Brady McClellan, Jacob Moore, Joshua Rodas, and Brian Salmeron.  Contact principal William Bates at 703-810-2200 or or news liaison Laura Waterman at

The Herndon High Robotics First Tech Challenge (FTC) team 519 captured the Inspire Award at the FIRST Eastern Virginia FTC qualifier last weekend. The Inspire Award was given to the team with the best overall score in documentation, presentation, spirit, outreach programs, and robot design and performance. The competition was held at Norfolk State University and included 48 robotics teams competing for awards.  Herndon’s team 519 advances to the state finals on February 28 in Richmond. Physics teacher Shella Condino sponsors the group in collaboration with parents and community members. Contact principal William Bates at 703-810-2200 or or news liaison Laura Waterman at

Students at Hughes Middle recently heard from Anna Deavere Smith—the actress known for her roles in Philadelphia, The American President, The West Wing, and Nurse Jackie—about courage in the face of social injustice.  Smith, who is also an author, playwright, professor, and activist, read from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” and recalled an interview with Congressman John Lewis about his role in the Civil Rights movement. She challenged students to act with courage in their everyday lives.  Contact principal Aimee Monticchio at 703-715-3600 or or news liaison Jyothi Appanaboyana at

Fourth grade students at Mosby Woods Elementary have been studying Jamestown and Colonial times during social studies, and enjoyed a day-long Colonial Day celebration as a culminating activity. Students rotated through different activities of the period, including dancing, calligraphy, games, and candle and pomander ball making. Music teachers helped students learn the Virginia Reel, while the art teachers worked with students on creating Colonial trade signs.  Contact principal Mahri Aste at 703-937-1600 or or news liaison Melissa Cox at

Students at Virginia Run Elementary were treated to a special assembly to kick off the Great Kindness Challenge, a weeklong event to create a culture of kindness. Students were challenged to perform as many kind deeds as possible during a one week period, and could select from a list of 50 suggested ideas or develop their own act of kindness. The Great Kindness Challenge is an initiative of the Kids for Peace Experience. Sixth grade students were recruited to demonstrate acts of kindness and lead the cheering. Contact principal Laraine Edwards at 703-988-8900 or or news liaison Linda Nicklyn at

Adrianna DeLorenzo, a freshman at West Potomac High, will perform at Carnegie Hall in New York City in February as part of the Honors Performance Series, created to showcase accomplished individual high school performers on an international level by allowing them to study under master conductors. DeLorenzo, who is a member of the West Potomac Bella Voce Choir, will join performers from 49 states, several provinces in Canada, and several foreign countries for a special performance under the tutelage of conductor Eph Ehly.  DeLorenzo, a freshman, auditioned in the fall for the Honors Performance Series and was accepted after a review of her application and audition recording by an honors selection board. DeLorenzo has studied music for eight years and has received awards for her vocal and instrumental music skills. A concert will be held on Sunday, February 22, and is open to the public.  Tickets are required. The event is sponsored by Worldstrides.     Contact principal Alex Case at 703-718-2500 or or news liaison Sue Bernstein-Conway at

Second grade students at West Springfield Elementary recently met WUSA9 weekend meteorologist Erica Grow, who discussed staying safe in severe weather.  She spoke about how to prepare for floods, thunderstorms, hurricanes, and tornadoes.  The students heard tips and tricks on what to do when severe weather is approaching.  Grow tapped into the students’ fascination of weather using real photographs and stories.  As the second grade prepares for an upcoming unit on the weather as part of the science curriculum, they will now have a plethora of background knowledge to use when they need it.  Contact principal Erin Jones at 703-912-4400 or or news liaison Trish Moreis-Stiles at



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Mary Shaw

Last Updated

January 28, 2015