🥁 “And the Emmy Goes to…” - FCPS Bands Together to Win Award for Student’s Story

By Office of Communication and Community Relations
June 30, 2023

In a moment that embodied Fairfax County Public Schools’ (FCPS) spirit of team collaboration, FCPS Video Producer Mark F. Jones proudly walked up to the stage at the recent Capital Area Emmy Awards Gala to receive his first Emmy. Winning in the category “Video Essayist,” the entry, “To the Beat of His Own Drum,” champions student Michael Gouin’s experience, as a drummer who is deaf, in the Cavaliers marching band at Woodson High School.
FCPS Videographer Mark F Jones and Michael at 2023 Emmys

Mark attended the awards ceremony on June 24 with Michael and his family. Michael’s parents say that Mark and other FCPS staff who were involved in the production “were so kind and made Michael feel so special. What the FCPS team has given Michael is priceless!”

Many staff members across the Office of Communication and Community Relations (OCCR) came together to help produce the award-winning story in a way that stayed true to Michael’s voice and experiences while captivating the competition judges.

Michael’s impactful story was first identified by Allison Calderon, former Woodson band parent and current FCPS employee. Allison shared it with Beth Visioli, OCCR director of Communications. Woodson Principal Carlyn Floyd connected OCCR with Michael’s parents. The story was written by former media outreach specialist Jennifer Sellers, with photography from FCPS Photographer Karen Bolt, before being pitched to the media. FCPS Videographer Mark Jones then created the video essay, which has since been shared by WJLA and syndicated nationally, with support from video team coworkers Jeff Clark and Andrew Vo.

FCPS AV Team at 2023 EmmysIn his Emmy acceptance speech, Mark thanked Michael for sharing his experiences and “showing us how to persevere and see it through.” It was a night of celebration, not only for those personally involved, but for everyone at FCPS who is dedicated to uplifting students."

This includes Woodson Band Director Aaron Morgan, who says, “It’s been great seeing him fulfill his dream of marching with a snare drum. It’s cool to see him get so excited and work really hard at it.” Alice Maggio, an American Sign Language interpreter at Woodson, says she loves it when students who are deaf or hard of hearing get involved in extracurricular activities because, “It gets them involved with a new group of students, and it’s a great opportunity for everyone."

Thank you to the National Capital Chesapeake Bay Chapter of The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for recognizing the importance of Michael’s story. FCPS is committed to the adaptive learning environments and equitable learning opportunities that help Michael and all students pursue their passions. 

FCPS Resources

Services for Students Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

Sign Language Interpreter Accommodations

American Sign Language (ASL) Program and Courses