Media Tips

Media Tips are listed in chronological order.   March 4, 2015

Glasgow Middle is hosting a weeklong iCan Dance program to teach students with disabilities to dance from March 9-13.  The program is offered in partnership with iCan Shine, a nonprofit organization that teaches recreational activities to students with disabilities. The program relies on student volunteers to teach their peers a new skill while opening the door for new friendships.   A culminating performance for friends and family will be held on Friday, March 13.  Contact principal Penny Gros at 703-813-8700 or or event liaison Christine Jones Monaccio at

Deer Park Elementary students, parents, and community members will have the opportunity to experience a variety of cultures during Heritage Night on Friday, March 13, beginning at 5:30 p.m. Heritage Night is the culmination of a week of activities during March 9-13 focused on the diverse cultures that make up Deer Park.   Heritage Night attendees will be able to sample foods from many countries, and students will create and display handmade flags and paper dolls depicting their individual heritages that will be displayed in the school hallways throughout the week. The morning news will feature music and history from a different culture each day. During the week, Deer Park's parent liaison will visit classrooms and share information about her Hispanic background, and classroom teachers have invited parents to share their cultural backgrounds during Heritage Week. In conjunction with Heritage Night, the PTA will show a free movie and the spring book fair will be open late.   Contact principal Carol Larsen at 703-802-5000 or or event liaison Erin Stamp at

It's International Day at Franconia Elementary on Tuesday, March 10, as students, staff members, and families plan to celebrate cultures from around the world.  Beginning at 9 a.m., students will perform songs from different countries, Greek dancing, and a fashion show at an assembly attended by the whole school. Culture-based crafts and an opportunity to write student names in a different language are among the other activities. Artifacts from around the world will be displayed in the library throughout the day and evening. Franconia students speak over 23 different languages and their families come from over 20 countries.  Contact principal Terri Edmunds-Heard at 703-822-2200 or or event liaison Jaya Gopalan at

Author and poet Kalli Dakos will visit Deer Park Elementary on Tuesday, March 10, for a day of literacy and fun. She will hold four grade-level appropriate assemblies, including a workshop for fourth and fifth grade advanced academics students. Using a variety of props and toys, Dakos will use hands-on techniques to entertain students while they discover the innate skills that may help them become writers. Dakos is a former teacher and reading specialist and has written many collections of poems that are based in and around school life, including five International Reading Association – Children’s Book Council children’s choice selections. Her newest book, A Funeral in the Bathroom, reveals the funny and sometimes emotional stories that take place in elementary school bathrooms. Dakos encourages teachers, principals, custodians, administrative assistants, and parents to read, write, and perform poetry along with the students. Contact principal Carol Larsen at 703-802-5000 or or event liaison Lori Shea or

Fairview Elementary will celebrate Caring for Our Buddies Day on Thursday, March 12, beginning at 9:30 a.m.  Students in grades 2-4 will rotate through multisensory activity stations that highlight an awareness of the differences among children. Students will participate in simulations to walk for a moment in another child's proverbial shoes, and appreciate the journey. At the close of the simulations, students will receive a blue heart on which to write an action step: one simple way he or she will encourage or befriend a buddy. The day is designed to help students recognize how everyone has different strengths and weaknesses, and every child is worthy of a friend.  Contact principal Lynn Mayer at 703-503-3700 or

Student artists who attend schools in the McLean Pyramid will have their artwork displayed as part of a Youth Art Month exhibit at McLean Project for the Arts March 12 through April 4 with opening receptions scheduled for Saturday, March 14, at 11 a.m. and Wednesday, March 25, at 4:30 p.m.  Gallery hours are available online.  This exhibition highlights the visual art programs in kindergarten through high school. Included will be paintings, prints, drawings, ceramics, sculpture, and multimedia works created by students who attend from McLean Pyramid schools: McLean High, Longfellow Middle, Chesterbrook Elementary, Franklin Sherman Elementary, Haycock Elementary, Kent Gardens Elementary, and Timber Lane Elementary.  Contact Franklin Sherman principal Kathy Quigley at 703-506-7900 or or event liaison Michelle Gottke at

At Crossfield Elementary, bus drivers are treated to special breakfasts three times during the school year to thank them for getting students to and from school safely each day. The next breakfast is on Friday, March 13, at 9:15 a.m. The breakfasts are one way to include the drivers in the school and make them feel welcome and appreciated. Contact principal Robert Yoshida at 703-295-1100 or or news liaison Bindu Sood at

The sights, sounds, and tastes of the diverse cultures that make up Marshall Road Elementary and its community will be featured during International Night on Friday, March 13, at 6:30 p.m.  The evening will include a cultural display of items and information about different countries including arts and crafts, photographs,  posters, historical information, books, clothing, money, and food samples. Students will model costumes from all around the world and participate in an international parade. There will also be a talent show featuring dancing, short skits, musical performances, and athletic demonstrations.  Contact principal Jennifer Heiges at 703-937-1500 or or

The sixth annual Rocky Run Middle vs. Franklin Middle March Madness basketball tournament will be held Friday, March 13, from 6 to 9 p.m. in the Chantilly High gym. There will be three games; the first game will feature school staff members facing off, followed by Rocky Run girls vs. Franklin girls, then the boys from each school will take to the court. Tickets are $5 on sale at each school during the week of the game and at the gate. The Rocky Run Dance Team will perform a halftime show. Contact principal Anthony Terrell at 703-802-7700 or or event liaison Amanda Sperling at

Kevin Davis of Canterbury Woods Elementary recently took top honors at his school’s Geography Bee for the third consecutive year. The school bee, which challenges students to answer questions on U.S. and world geography, was the first round in the 27th annual National Geographic Bee. Thousands of schools around the United States and in the five U.S. territories participate in the annual bee. School champions, including Davis, will now take a written test; up to 100 of the top scorers on that test in each state will then be eligible to compete in their state bee on March 27. State winners will be eligible to participate in the national championship rounds in Washington, D.C., May 11-13.  Contact principal Barbara Messinger at

The Madison High Varsity Color Guard placed first in its class at the Atlantic Indoor Association (AIA) competition held recently at South County Secondary. The varsity squad’s performance captured top honors with a score of 70.5, and posted the second highest scholastic score of the day. At the same competition, the Junior Varsity Guard placed second in its class. According to the World Guard International, color guard is a sport of the arts; it brings music to life through performance in a competitive format. Color Guard members must excel in dance and body movement and possess physical agility and athleticism in order to toss flags, rifles, and sabers while performing a dance routine to music. Contact event liaison Todd Morgan at

Dogwood Elementary recently hosted a basketball game pitting staff members against sixth grade students to raise funds for the annual sixth grade field trip. To prepare for the game, students and staff members practiced on a regular schedule to build skills and relationships. The Dogwood community was invited, and Dogwood’s music teachers assembled a spirit band to keep the energy high.  Contact principal Mie Devers at 703-262-3100 or or news liaison Linda Martin at


Falls Church High has recently experienced an explosion of student technology involvement via teams focusing on Cyber Patriot competitions, 3D gaming, and robotics. In particular, the girls at the school have been making headlines in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) clubs and winning awards for their achievements. Falls Church High junior Rachel Albrecht helped establish a new club unique to Falls Church—the GiTech (Girls in Technology) Club. GiTech has been so successful that it has resulted in the creation of the Robotics Club and the 3D Game Design Club. The GiTech Club raises awareness of the importance and value of STEM careers, programs, and opportunities. Members of these clubs are competing in the Cyber Patriot national youth cyber security education program (three teams advanced to the silver division, the second highest division in the competition) and in several local Robotics competitions. Albrecht is the winner of the 2015 NCWIT (National Center for Women and Information Technology) Aspirations in Computing Awards competition and has been recognized for her computing-related aspirations and aptitude in information technology and computing, leadership ability, plans for post-secondary education, and strong academic history. Sandy Kendall, a GiTech Club member, earned recognition as a 2015 runner-up of the NCWIT Aspirations in Computing Awards competition. Albrecht also participates in the Robotics Club and trains local Girl Scouts on Lego NXT robots with classmate Addie DiScipio. The 3D Game Design Club—led by students Rain Zhou and Samantha Tao—has students learning how to create animated games with a focus on art, coding, and music. Local experts meet with club members, who also lead tutorials for other students interested in the development and design of games. Robotics Club members hosted an NXT Sumobot competition in October. In December, Falls Church High students participated in the FIRST Technology Challenge (FTC) competition, with two teams competing in the VEX Robotics Regional Qualifier in January and the all-girls team advancing to the Vex Robotics Virginia State tourney in February. These students are supported by computer science teacher Dan Tra. Contact news liaison Colleen Lally at


At Forest Edge Elementary, students learn about Black History Month in a unique way. Sixth grade students participate in an African American wax museum, an annual event requiring them to research famous African Americans using books and online resources. Students were asked to dress up as their historical figure and provide props to bring authenticity to their character. Using the information they had gathered, students wrote a speech in the first person and presented it to audience members.  They also created posters with pictures of their historical figures.  On the day of the wax museum, students were categorized into authors, athletes, leaders, civil rights activists, inventors, and entertainers. The wax figures began talking when a red button on their hands was activated. Younger students rotated through the room, learning about each historic figure.  Contact principal Kim Price at 703-925-8000 or or news liaison Jaya Neelakantan at

Ji Ahn, a resource teacher at Hunters Woods Elementary, was named one of two second place finishers in the Sally Ride-Deloitte 2014-15 Award for Teaching Innovation in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) competition.  Ahn developed a multifaceted program to introduce female students to the engineering design process via hands-on, problem-based design challenges.  She also brought female engineers to Hunters Woods to talk to the girls about their jobs by establishing a guest speaker series.  Ahn earned a $2,500 cash prize and a Sally Ride STEM license for her school that will provide professional development for teachers, eBooks, teacher guides, and technical support.  Contact principal Emily Cope at 703-262-7400 or

In partnership with Key Center, nursing students from George Mason University recently taught lessons on hand washing.   Students completed a worksheet that outlined the proper techniques of hand washing, then moved to the sink to wash their hands with a special soap.   Students were given the task of judging when they felt their hands were properly cleaned.  They then placed them under an ultraviolet light that revealed any dirt and germs still on their hands.  Students and staff members were amazed to see what was still on their hands, and learned how important it is to take plenty of time when washing hands and to do it correctly.  Contact principal Ann Smith at 703-313-4000 or or news liaison Dianne Hardbower at

At Key Center, specials teacher Julia Byrd recently conducted lessons on Black History Month. Students worked to create a quilt to symbolize the students’ unity and equality. Student independence is fostered by allowing them to select their patch’s color, print, text, and artwork.  During the quilt assembly, Byrd emphasized what Martin Luther King, Jr., said about unity and equality for all men and women.  Contact principal Ann Smith at 703-313-4000 or or news liaison Dianne Hardbower at

The Robinson Secondary FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) hosts a wish list drive each year for the ASK Childhood Cancer Foundation, inviting other schools from FBLA’s Northern Virginia region to participate as part of the FBLA Virginia state service project. The theme for this year was One Problem, 100,000 Solutions! as the group closed in on its goal of raising $100,000 in 20 years. An awareness campaign and drive for the Robinson chapter resulted in the collection of gift cards and creation of six get-well banners for cancer patients. Robinson FBLA has collected over $1,200 in wished-for items and the Northern Virginia Region concluded its 19th year with a total of $101,678.21 to help Virginia’s children with cancer.  Contact principal Matt Eline at 703-426-2100 or or news liaison Ashley Faaborg at

Nineteen FCPS students and three student groups will be recognized with Student Peace Awards of Fairfax County at an awards ceremony on Sunday, March 15, at 4 p.m. at Mountain View Alternative High.  The recipients are nominated by their schools for their actions to promote peace or remove the causes of conflict.  Awardees include:  the Cedar Lane Anti-Bullying Committee (Lauren Abell, Kate Auld, Nick Esquela, Daniel Martin, and Meghan Randolph); Allison Harris of Edison High; the Dare to Care Club (Aleesha Yasin and Will Bolton) at Hayfield Secondary; Katie Surana of Herndon High; Nicolas Martin of Lake Braddock Secondary; Shannon Suh of Langley High; Emily Borkowski of Lee High; Grace Rogers of Madison High; Suzie Butterfield of Marshall High; Soobin Wang of McLean High; Nimra Bilal of Mount Vernon High; Assim Marad Shammo of Mountain View Alternative High; Katarina Jones of Oakton High; Hanna Shiferaw of Quander Road; Natalia Micheli of Robinson Secondary; Sakira Coleman of South County High; Lina Wu of South Lakes High; the Peer Mediation Program at Stuart High (Guadalupe Cruz-Basilio, Sadeechya Gurung, Mahnoor Khurshid, Solomie Mesfin, Jess Osafo, and Julia Piviriunite); Reem Mohamed of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology; Wadia Mahzabeen of West Potomac  High; Alex Cady of West Springfield High; and Carolina Sosa of Westfield High.  Additional information about the awards is available online.    For more information, contact Margaret Fisher at

FCPS has named the winners of its quarterly WebStar Awards, presented to three elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school that best demonstrate usefulness of content, clarity of design, frequency of updates, ease of navigation, and adherence to FCPS web policies on their websites.  Winners for the October 2014-January 2015 quarter are:  McLean High, Nick Humbert, curator, and Ellen Reilly, principal; Liberty Middle, Chrystal Ueltschi, curator, and Catherine Cipperly, principal; Bucknell Elementary, Sarah Talley, curator, and Tim Slayter, principal; Kings Glen Elementary, Jodi Denne, curator, and Sam Elson, principal; and North Springfield Elementary, Julianna Fitzpatrick, curator, and Chad McRae, principal.  Contact the FCPS Office of Communication and Community Relations at 571-423-1200.


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Webpage Curator

Mary Shaw

Last Updated

March 4, 2015