FCPS Cares - April 2020

By Department of Human Resources
April 08, 2020

To recognize an employee with an FCPS Cares, please visit our submission page.

To view past submissions, please visit our previous submissions page

FCPS Cares of the Month Recipients

Central Office: Kate Adams and Shira Brothers - Special Services - Graham Road Community Building and Willow Oaks 

I want to thank Shira Brothers for arranging to have our parent videos captioned and Kate Adams for captioning them.  I know they are working hard to make sure all students in the DHOH and VI program are being supported and getting access to the instruction that they need. Knowing that parents are having some concerns around behavior, they made sure that the ABA Videos were captioned to be put on the web. Thanks for putting kids and parents first!

- Tina Wilkerson, Willow Oaks

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Region 1: Bertha Sanders, Herndon ES

"I am a full custodial single mother of an outgoing and energetic 5-year-old daughter who attends kindergarten at Hunter Woods Elementary. However, I am writing to nominate Ms. Bertha Sanders, a KG teacher at Herndon Elementary School. I met Ms. Sanders in mid-March at an area store when I was shopping with my child, to prepare for the statewide shut-down. I had recently lost my job and Ms. Sanders offered emotional support during these uncertain times. She also took an interest in my child, who has struggled in her first year of school and is not on track with the rest of her classmates for reading. Ms. Sanders has kept in touch with me and provided me with many tips and guidance on helping to foster my daughter's interest in learning to read and comprehend written words.  She also informed me of Comcast/Xfinity Internet Essentials program for low-income families. It is because of her that my child will now have access to distance-learning online resources being provided by FCPS teachers like Ms. Sanders.  As the sole physical, economic, and emotional support provider for my child I cannot express how much the guidance and support Ms. Sanders has shown to me and my child means. She is not my daughter's teacher, but her care and compassion have really been a bright star in our lives during these difficult times. Her passion for helping all young students gain confidence and interest in learning also shines through. She's not my daughter's teacher, so the fact that she has remained in touch and provided the emotional support and many teaching tips to me over the past month is truly outstanding. Her students are blessed to have her and FCPS and community are blessed to have her.  I nominate Ms. Bertha Sanders of Herndon Elementary School for the CARES award."

- a Hunter Woods ES Parent

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Region 2: Kelly Seibold, Lemon Road ES

"Ms. Seibold has worked continually in the classroom this year to instill the love of reading with her students.  After finishing her class read aloud, Ms. Seibold arranged a skype call with the author and her class.  The students were so engaged and loved the book so much, Kelly decided to order each student a copy of the second book in the Fairday Morrow series. The books arrived after announcing students will not return to the physical building for the remainder of the year. Ms. Seibold delivered the books to each student, while maintaining a safe distance, so students will be able to follow allow with the class read aloud during virtual learning. She has certainly gone above and beyond to demonstrate how much she cares for her students and to nurture their love of learning and reading."

- Vanessa King, Lemon Road ES

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Region 3: Cory Yeager, Fort Hunt ES

"Today and every day since the COVID crisis Cory has been working diligently to keep our school up and connected.  Nothing seems to faze him or alter his calm, cool, collected approach to training, demonstrating or supporting our school community.  A true professional throughout our distance learning experience."

- Nina Michael, Fort Hunt ES

"He answers all my tech questions not matter how small.  He is always there to help and he does it cheerfully.  As we have moved to Distance Learning, he really is the one who has made it possible for our school."

- Maggi Sams, Fort Hunt ES

"Cory is an absolute pleasure to work with! Anytime throughout the school year when I was having trouble with my music speakers, he was always happy and willing to help me out immediately! I cannot thank him enough for what he has done for me and my fellow colleagues at Fort Hunt. He always goes above and beyond everything he does for our community. From producing the daily morning show, to covering classes, and definitely in leading the staff distance learning training, he is an excellent candidate to represent FCPS Cares. Thank you Cory for all that you do."

-  Maddie Magnotti, Fort Hunt ES

"Cory is polite, kind, and caring. Definitely a good example of a gentleman and a professional. He is always there when you need him the most. When we were doing the global classroom project. He was ready to talk with the IT person from the schools in other countries and facilitate the connection with other school overseas (Peru).  While we didn't get to finish the project due to coronavirus shutdown, we greatly appreciated his help in getting it started. He is a great part of our school team."

- Veronica Lindeman, Fort Hunt ES

"Both Cory and Isaac have been phenomenal when tech support is needed during this uncertain time. They have constantly checked with me, regardless of the time of the day. Their patience is sterling and the work they put in under tremendous pressure is heroic.  They are wonderful to have on our team."

- Lasi Gunaratna, Fort Hunt ES

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Region 4: Lupe Fuentes, Cardinal Forest ES

"Lupe is the Parent Liaison at Cardinal Forest Elementary School.  Lupe works with all of the Spanish speaking families at our school.  Before the federal emergency, Lupe spent hours working with teachers to reach out to families at our school.  She did this by arranging and sitting in on parent/ teacher conferences.  She made phone calls and helped translate flyers to help encourage families to attend school events.  She attended equity committee meetings before and after school to become more knowledgeable about how to help spread equity amount our Spanish speaking students and families.  Since we have been working from home Lupe has worked with administrators and teachers to help our Spanish speaking families be included in our distance learning community.  She has helped arrange for students to get computers. She has also spent hours helping students gain an understanding of how to connect to the internet. Cardinal Forest is very lucky to have Mrs. Fuentes working at our school."

- Carla Richter, Cardinal Forest ES

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Region 5: Luc Nguyen, Chantilly HS

"I want to thank Mr. Nguyen for being a teacher who is engaged and genuinely cares about his students.  My son was struggling his senior year and while I am wondering what to do to address it, Mr. Nguyen reached out to me first to see if something was wrong.  He understood the situation and did things a bit differently with my son so he would not be overwhelmed with the work. We kept in communication during the year, while my son had ups and downs, he and I made plans on how to help my son through his struggles. He noticed when my son was doing well and immediately let me know he received a 31/30 on a test.  It gave my son hope and he smiled from ear to ear that day. The year continued with struggles, but Mr. Nguyen simplified the work list to demonstrate the assignments are doable and he can succeed. This is exactly what was needed for his success. While some teachers say "go look at google classroom" Mr. Nguyen does not stop there. He goes above and beyond to help a child succeed. My son is not very technically savvy, and I think blackboard and google classroom overwhelm him, so I am so refreshed to find a teacher that thinks outside of the box. I cannot tell you how much his help means, it makes my son feel he can succeed, and he is important.  I am forever grateful; you have touched our lives and may have influenced his life direction for the positive-- those intermittent sparks of success have kept him going. Thank you so much."

- a Chantilly HS Parent

Maria Alva, Fort Hunt ES

"Maria is a very caring person not only about her students, but also about the well being of the teachers . She knew that I am a widow and she took the time to call and text me to be sure I'm OK. During this quarantine time she always was available to help me sometimes with a kind word or some other times with her  knowledge about technology. Furthermore, she offered to be my backup person during my first Live class and she helped me with the chat. Priceless. She is the motor of her first grade team. She is the one that has all the ideas to make their classes more appealing to the little ones. Also she will soon finish her Doctorate degree. We are very proud of this fantastic Fox."- Veronica Lindeman, Fort Hunt ES

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Tim Slayter & Fort Hunt Staff, Students & Families, Fort Hunt ES

"I am fortunate to be part of the Fort Hunt ES Family. I am thankful to everyone, from our administration, office staff, teachers, counselors, students and families. Each and every one of you stepped up to this unprecedented challenge. You all are superheroes and I am blessed to be part of this family."

- Lasi Gunaratna, Fort Hunt ES

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Jayne Rhodes, Lake Braddock SS

"Ever since the stay at home orders were put in place, Ms. Rhodes has gone above and beyond to stay in touch with both the students and parents; adapting the curriculum to the new distance learning protocol. Despite the initial challenges with Blackboard, she kept rolling forward. As a parent of a 9th grader with some special education needs, I'm trying to juggle work and family  - while establishing whatever structure I can. I really have appreciated her consistent communication and swift response to my questions --- and her support in terms of making sure my son has the best possible outcome despite his learning challenges. She should really be commended"

- Cathleen Fort, Lake Braddock SS

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Kirsten Maloney & AAP Staff, Willow Oaks

"Kirsten Maloney and the entire Advanced Academic Programs (AAP) office staff has been AMAZING during distance learning -- from #CCTatHome to Level IV Screening... they've been there for us as staff, students, and communities. I really appreciate all of their hard work!"

- Mary Keane, Kings Park Elementary

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Michelle Crabill, Kings Park ES

'Michelle has been an AMAZING collaborator and resource during this time of distance learning. She is hard-working and unfailingly positive with parents, students, and staff. She always finds a way to make things work -- and to make this challenging work go smoothly for our hard-working teachers.'

 - Mary Keane, Kings Park ES

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Michelle Yang, Centreville ES

"Ms Yang is great! She is always available to answer to all questions we have.  In this unprecedented time she was missing the kids so much that she drove to the house of each one to give a treat and a virtual hug! She really is the best!"

- a Centreville ES Parent

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Laura Adler Woodlawn ES

"Ms. Adler was instrumental in helping our school distribute laptops to students, provide professional development to our staff on Blackboard Collaborate and individually coaching teachers to help us get up and running with Distance Learning.  She was working 24/7 with a "Can Do" attitude and positive spirit!  We could not have done this with out her!"

- Laura Elliott, Ellen Glaser & Ryan McGuin, Woodlawn ES

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Suzanne Van der Eijk, Madison HS

"Suzanne offered guidance to our entire staff on how to create Black Board Collaborative Shells which would enable our students to learn synchronously beginning April 20th.  She has created numerous you tube tutorials to help and hold virtual office hours weekly to support our staff. The ability of Madison to serve our students has been enabled and facilitated by  the caring and support of our entire technology team, where Suzanne has been a shining light.  She includes cute memes on her email signatures that are timely and relative to the content - which makes me smile.  Many thanks and much appreciation!"

- Vicki Eisenbeiser, Madison HS

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Elizabeth Landrith, Glen Forest ES

"Elizabeth has been such a team player throughout our distance learning. She has stepped up to be our teams Tech Point of Contact and has spent hours helping teachers and students troubleshoot technical issues. It hasn't been an easy task, but always remains patient and willing to help. She has also been a great contributor to our team and triad when it comes to planning and delivering interesting lessons. Thanks for what you do Elizabeth!"

- Rachel Pipitone, Glen Forest ES

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Karen Miller & Nate Poumade, Robinson SS

"Robinson Secondary School based Technology Specialist/Web Curators, Karen Miller & Nate Poumade have devoted numerous amounts of time and effort to help all of us transition over to distance learning.  They are knowledgeable, thorough and patient, and deserve a special "Thank you"."

- Joanie Murphy, Robinson SS

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Adele Halterman, Chantilly HS

"Adele is a great addition to the STEP program.  Since distance learning has started she has been willing to learn and use all new technology.  She has found curriculum for our students and is following up with them throughout the week.  She has been encouraging and there for the students during this difficult time."

- Kirsten Hassan, Chantilly HS

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Oscar Melendez, Sprague Technology Center

"Oscar assisted me over the course of a week with several issues that I was having getting set up to work at home.  He patiently guided me through accessing my desktop remotely through VPN and he assisted me in updating software.  Most importantly, several times that week, he talked to me by phone each time I had an issue. I really appreciate the time and patience that he took in assisting me."

- Robin Noonan-Price, Sprague Technology Center

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Laura Connelly, Cherry Run ES

"We are so grateful for Laura Connelly during this distance learning situation.  She stepped up and began sending (optional) classwork on Google Classroom within days of school being canceled in mid-March. Prior to spring break, she even solicited feedback on the “electronic” curriculum.  From there, she made minor adjustments but maintained the same platform, amount and type of work which has been so appreciated with all of the FCPS blackboard hiccups that occurred the last few weeks. She has been consistent from the beginning which allowed us to get into a routine with our daughter early on and maintain that routine with little disruption.  We are so grateful for Laura going over and beyond to provide an appropriate amount of work and feedback to the students during this time. Laura Connelly has been exceptional, and I just thought you all should know what a great job she has done and continues to do in this 'new normal'!"

- a Cherry Run ES Parent

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Lyndsie Galizio, South County MS

"Ms. Galizio is the SBTS at our school and to say that she has gone above and beyond to prepare our staff for Distance Learning is an understatement. She has work tirelessly and given so much of her time even on weekends to serve our students and staff. Her selfless dedication to her profession and to our school is total evidence that Ms. Galizio cares. Thank you, Lyndsie!!"

- Kathy Reese, South County MS 

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Katy Harvey, Cherry Run ES

"Katy is our school’s SBTS who has worked tirelessly day and night over the last 5 weeks. She has done numerous trainings, met with teams a countless amount of times, made herself available via email, cell, and even FB messenger. Katy is a part-time employee who has worked more hours in the last month than some teachers. She is also a mom of three, two elementary students and one toddler. While doing all of this, Katy has stayed patient and calm for all staff who have reached out for her help without one complaint or note of stress or exhaustion. She deserves much more than this award for more reasons than I can list. Thank you so much for all of your work Katy."

- Melanie Manikas, Cherry Run ES

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Brian LaChance, Keene Mill ES

"Brian is our SBTS Keene Mill Elementary School. Despite having a wife and two young children of his own, he has put in countless hours teaching and videoing outstanding lessons for the teachers at Keene Mill about how to use Blackboard Collaborate and many, many other programs and computer skills. Through it all he has had a positive attitude and has shown a genuine concern for our capabilities as we transition into Distance Learning."

- Debbie Cannon, Keene Mill ES

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Allison Bieber, Columbia ES

"Allison, a first grade teacher, went above and beyond by making an inspirational music video of all the Columbia staff for our community.  She gave the teachers choices of songs to pick, posted the song with words and dance moves, organized video sessions of the different groups/grade level staff and helped us with our parts on top of preparing for her virtual classroom.  Then she spent hours and days editing to make it come together. She was able to post it after our first unsuccessful week of Distance Learning.  It was AWESOME! I know I cried after viewing it the first time. View it on YouTube by searching CES Cougars - We're All in This Together !!!"

- Michele Del Signore, Columbia ES

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Sean Chitsaz, Laurel Hill ES

"Sean goes above and beyond to support our school and our tech needs during virtual learning. Sean is easily accessible to answer every little question. He has led our staff through many trainings to support our virtual classrooms with quick turn arounds and effectively responding to the ever changing situation. While still helping get everything live virtually, he also reaches out to teams to offer additional support with virtual teaching and resources. Thank you Sean for your dedication and countless hours of prep work! We all appreciate your calmness and support through these uncharted waters!"

- Marissa Williamson, Laurel Hill ES

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Johanna M. McCray, Fairview ES

"Ms. McCray followed up and made sure that my daughter received all the LD links and that she had all the tools for on-line instruction.  She e-mailed me after hours to make sure that we both knew the expectations.  She is professional, kind, and works well with all children to include my daughter. Distance learning has been hard for my daughter and she makes our lives easy.  She went above and beyond the call of duty.   She is a five star teacher."

- a Fairview ES Parent

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Francisco Rodriguez, Sandburg MS

"Mr. Rodriguez went above and beyond to contact parents at home, help them loan a laptop from school, and checking in on students! He’s an inspiration!"

- Delia Dragan, Sandburg MS

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Kristen Stump, Tiffany Haffner, and Arlyncia Pina, Franconia ES

"Kristen Stump, Tiffany Haffner, and Arlyncia Pina (the Third Grade team at
FES) have been a force of hard work, caring, and inspiration since the closing of school. From the first day of school closure, they immediately took the initiative to reach out to their students.  They have been an AMAZING source of comfort, information, and support to their students and families since then. They have also inspired and assisted their colleagues in every aspect of distance learning. They have availed themselves of the latest technology, developed it for use in virtual learning, and shared their knowledge and resources with their colleagues. They have worked long hours tirelessly to ensure that their students and colleagues are cared for and educated during this uncertain time. They are inspirational in their dedication, professionalism, and in the boundless, selfless kindness they extend to all around them. We are so lucky to be able to share this educational journey with these amazing ladies!"

- Claire Branson, Franconia ES

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Mark Tierney, Waynewood ES

"Mr.Tierney has proved to be the most amazing SBTS . He has always supported our teachers but even more so during the past few months.  He wore many hats during the month of March as he helped teachers prepare for and navigate distance learning. He is always available to help and no ask is to big.  His positive attitude is contagious!  We are so grateful for him at Waynewood!"

- Melissa Sullivan, Waynewood ES

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Tonya Wassenberg, Laurel Ridge ES

"Tonya has worked countless hours and has been unbelievably humble about it. She has dedicated so much time to supporting her students, families and staff throughout this extraordinary closure. Tonya has been quick to turn, what seems, complex information to digestible and manageable information for her staff.  She has listened to her teachers, her families, and has always selflessly given her time to support the Laurel Ridge Community."

- Jean Wyche , Laurel Ridge ES

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Maria Gospodinoff, South Lakes HS

"Maria is our parent liaison and has been going above and beyond since the school closure. Maria has contacted families about internet access, community resources, assisted our food pantry on reaching families, delivered food bags to the families in some cases, made 3-way with faculty calls for translation assistance, and responded at a moment’s notice to our calls. Maria has been remarkable during this time and represents the epitome of FCPS Cares!"

- Chrissy Kelley, South Lakes HS

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Sandra Chetelat, Bren Mar Park ES

"Our Parent Liaison, Sandra, has been going over and beyond with our families who are in need. She has distributed food, gift cards, toys, books and school supplies for some of our families. She has been making phone calls to all families and families have been reaching out to her as she has made herself very accessible. Kudos to Sandra for bringing hope to our community during a time like this!"

- Jenny Lim, Bren Mar Park ES

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Nitin Bhatia, Sprague Technology Center

"Nitin is a member of the IT FASTeam and Blackboard Collaborate is one of many applications he supports. He helped FCPS in our quick transition to use Collaborate at a moment's notice. He prepared training documents and provided support to teachers as they prepared to use another software for Distance Learning. His calm voice and ability to work quickly was a major reason our students were able to learn. The IT FASTeam is lucky to have Nitin!"

- Nicole Mooney, Sprague Technology Center

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Lina Beardall, Greenbriar East ES

"Seeing  need for her ELL students, Lina has jumped feet first in trying to help students connect online. She personally helped one of her 1st graders learn how to use their older siblings computer to get to Google Classroom at home. She is also working on creating instructions for our parents in their native language so that they can help their children access Google Apps."

- Lori Purvis, Sprague Technology Center

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Jimmy Bochert, Sprague Technology Center

"Jimmy has worked tirelessly to setup and help with getting Mifi's to students. It has been a huge undertaking since distance learning began. I can't think him enough for all of the hard work he has put forth in ensuring our students are able to connect online."

- Lori Purvis, Sprague Technology Center

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Esteban Lopez, Sprague Technology Center

"Esteban personally delivered Mifi's that students needed to the school I support. I can't think him enough for all of the hard work he has put forth in ensuring our students are able to connect online."

- Lori Purvis, Sprague Technology Center

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Olivia Tomaselli, Greenbriar East ES

"Olivia went above and beyond helping a student who was having laptop problems at home. Not having an email address, she reached out to the student's sister and inquired if the student was doing OK and if she was able to join the online sessions. Hearing that the student was having laptop issues Olivia offered to help the student get another laptop. She came to the school, picked up a different computer and took it to the student's home. She definitely cares about her students!"

- Lori Purvis, Sprague Technology Center

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Amber Diaz, Herndon ES

"I wanted to share how proud I am of the teachers that work at Herndon. In the past month, I know we all have done many things to show we care about our students, but Amber Diaz went above and beyond today. One of our students had not been in touch with us in a few weeks. This student doesn’t have a lot of support at home. After making multiple attempts to check-in, Amber realized that this student needed extra support to access their learning. So, she drove to the child’s apartment complex and met them outside (6 feet apart, of course). She taught them how to log on, so that they could connect virtually with all of their teachers and classmates during the week. What a gracious, thoughtful and caring thing to do!"

- Melissa Keebaugh, Herndon ES

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Mary Bermingham, Key MS

"Mary, has been  amazing. Mary was ready to jump in with both feet when the current department chair was expected to leave. She was ready to put the work in, she shadowed the department chair and attended trainings in order to become more familiar with all the expectations that come with the job. I am sure, Mary had no idea what March 13, 2020 and beyond would mean for the job as an interim dept chair. I just wanted to let you know, she has really stepped up to the plate to get things done and stay positive through it all. She has been a huge support to the Key team and Key families, especially working through all of the transition IEPs by teleconference. I think it is always important to recognize people when they are awesome and Mary has been that and then some."

- Wanda Holloway, Virginia Hills Center

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Mark Stevens, Glasgow MS

"Dr. Stevens quickly embraced the new norms of teaching via distance learning and provided engaging sessions to students during the down time when nothing else was happening, providing some sense of normality and connection to school work. His detailed instructions and effective communication with parents put him in a special league of teachers who demonstrated to kids how to be resilient, agile and continue to be productive in difficult times. I plan to give him a huge warm hug when I finally meet him in person."

- a Glasgow MS Parent

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Chrissy Spaulding, Justice HS

"Thank you Chrissy for the many hours of patiently waiting outside the school in mask and gloves for students and staff to retrieve items they need for distance learning. Thank you for keeping us all safe and 6 feet apart and yet making us feel welcomed and cared for."

- Jewel Orem, Justice HS

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Veeda Ranjber and Jocelyn Cable, Lake Braddock SS

"Congratulations to you and Lake Braddock’s SGA for your recent recognition as a National Gold Council of Excellence. Leadership training is essential for students to achieve their full potential and to serve as catalysts for positive change in their school and community.  The efforts of SGA students set a positive course for others to follow, build an environment of caring, give every student a chance to be heard, and foster a safe and inviting culture for all young people.  The wise counsel and caring instruction provided by both of you sets the stage for the many meaningful activities completed by SGA – homecoming to happy happy days, and blood drives to spirit weeks.  Your efforts provide boundless possibilities for students and pave the way for rewarding opportunities in life.  Thank you for serving as Lake Braddock’s SGA sponsors."

- Pat Ward, Lake Braddock SS

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Karen Baxter, Lynbrook ES

"Since schools have been closed, Karen Baxter has worked relentlessly to learn, prepare, communicate, and teach her colleagues the latest technology for virtual learning.  She has spent countless hours creating links for each teacher and redoing them as soon as they needed to be changed.  Karen has delivered each wave of change with positivity and assurance that we will do what it takes to help our students continue to learn even though our building is closed.  Not only does Karen's positivity shine through her emails, but she does not hesitate to offer multiple teaching sessions to make sure all staff can attend, especial those who are juggling family at home.  In addition, she offers her time to help staff understand unfamiliar technology and spends extra hours putting together videos of teachers for our virtual news show.  Karen deserves to be recognized for going above and beyond during such a critical time."

- Elizabeth Caruso, Lynbrook ES

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Brian Sladki, Craig Coraggio, Karen Patel, Michael Woodring, & Liz Smith, Aldrin ES

"I just wanted to extend my appreciation for the 5th grade teachers at Aldrin Elementary.  They have worked tirelessly through the changes and hiccups in distance learning for my son and his peers.  Their hard work is evident in all of materials they have put together for their students, making this complicated situation as simple to follow and aesthetically pleasing so that both kids and parents understand and know where to go.  They have worked so hard and I want to recognize them for their awesomeness! Thank you so much!!"

- an Aldrin ES Parent

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Linda Chang, Willow Oaks

"I was working on creating meaningful packets for students who didn't have internet access and was so absorbed that I forgot to fill in time sheets for 3 weeks. Then when I went to fill them in I kept messing them up over and over and over. I had things in the wrong boxes - too late - all kinds of problems. Then the system wouldn't let us in - or I messed that up too. Linda was so patient with me. Not once did any email seem cranky or like I was an idiot. I just felt like she would help no matter how bad I was messing things up. Then the next day, I got an email saying she had fixed everything for me and all I needed to do was this weeks. My stress over this was gone. I was actually thinking "well, I messed it up...my fault if I don't get paid". I just wanted to say thank you to her. I'm definitely going to stop by to hug her when this virus thing is done!"

- Melissa Farrace, Kilmer MS

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Misty Edwards, Sprague Technology Center

"I wanted to express how grateful and impressed I am with our new TSSPec, Misty Edwards.  She is responsive, resourceful, organized, works efficiently, and just the best all around.  I’m so sad that we are not able to be “in person” with her during the weeks since we have been out of the building. She has lots of potential!"

-  Julie Easa, Bailey's ES

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Krista Murphy, Lake Braddock SS

"Krista has been invaluable to our 10th grade team in our new "virtual" environment.  Her Driver Education assignments were virtual before we needed them to be!! I'm lucky as we've transitioned into a new phase of teaching that I can lean on the things she's already put in place to help me help my students navigate the "new" phase of education.!! Thanks Krista!!"

- Bob Digby, Lake Braddock SS

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Jason Covey, Willow Oaks

"Throughout the implementation of distance learning, Jason has been an incredible support.  He clearly answers all of my questions within minutes, researches concerns and gets back to me quickly, and checks in to see if the provided resources are helpful.  Our school truly appreciates the effort and support Jason has provided!  THANK YOU, Jason, for all that you continue to do for our school!!"

- Beth Levy, Eagle View ES

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Daniel Smith  & Lindsey Kearns, Lake Braddock SS

"Daniel and Lindsey have both been busting their butts for weeks now and I think last night’s virtual Principal Coffee was a showcase of all the hard work they both have put in. It was clear the majority of the parents were truly appreciative and grateful for the opportunity to connect with them and the school.

I think the forum was better than an in-person event because:

1.     The participation was more than most principal's coffees. (At its height more than 150 people were participating).

2.     Even though the participants were far apart it seemed to be more intimate because the families were able to see Daniel and Lindsey sincerely answering all of the parent questions from their homes.  I felt really proud to work at Lake Braddock last night. From everything our teachers are doing to Daniel and Lindsey putting themselves out there and doing what’s best for our students and their families."

- Lance Jackson, Lake Braddock SS

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Bob Digby, Lake Braddock SS

"Mr. Bob Digby has been a coach, teacher, and mentor for over 30 years at Lake Braddock.  He has been and continues to lead and impress the entire Burke community with his dedication and passion.  This week he was able to conduct two Partner's for Safe Teen Driving presentations, virtually, for over 60 students and families and delivered each with high quality and professionalism.  His desire for the successes of his students in unparalleled.  It's a pleasure to have the opportunity to know and work with a person that possesses the work ethic, pride, and grace he displays each day."

- Joe Soos, Lake Braddock SS

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Amanda Ehinger, McNair ES

"I would like to share with you the enjoyment I have had working with my colleague, Amanda Ehinger.  She has been a phenomenal teacher to her students, including their families.  She has shown professionalism, support, patience, and kindness towards the difficult situations that have appeared over the year; especially, since this is her first year working with a special education teacher and students.  She continues with her strong work ethic, even during this new, unknown, distant learning time.  Ms. Ehinger keeps me in the loop with Kindergarten happenings, as well as including me as a K team member towards her everyday work family. This virtual work environment hasn’t altered her spirit, her perspective, or her obligation, whatsoever! She is a special teacher, and I'm thankful to work with her."

- Adrienne Rafat, McNair ES

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Jessica Trexler, Stonecroft Transportation  

"Jessica has been instrumental in training the Area 3 staff, and many others in the Office of Transportation, how to utilize Google Classroom in order to maintain communication with all the drivers and attendants.  Jessica took the initiative to learn the structure of Google classroom, and train the rest of the staff, to ensure all employees of OTS are connected.  Thank you for being a silver lining in this pandemic!"

- Tina Hunt, Stonecroft Transportation

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Kim Shaw, Orange Hunt ES

"Our daughter is a first grade student in Mrs. Shaw's class at Orange Hunt Elementary School.  Last night, Mrs. Shaw drove throughout the community putting signs (that she purchased) in each students' yard that said, "My Teacher Misses Me."  It was such an amazing surprise for our daughter to receive during the school closure.  Mrs. Shaw has always been a devoted teacher to her students, but this goes above and beyond.  It really made everyone in our family smile.  My daughter said, "I wish Mrs. Shaw could go with me to second grade."  She exemplifies the teacher you want and hope for your child to have!"

- Orange Hunt ES Parents

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Rachel Cotton, Fort Belvoir Upper ES

"In my opinion, compassion is a difficult thing to teach someone to have, either someone inherently possesses this quality or not.  Rachel Cotton is compassionate, caring and thoughtful because that is who she is.  She is the type of educator that would teach anywhere in the world because she wants to change the world through education.  I simply appreciate all that she does for our students and school and everything that she is a human being as well."

- Kimberly Bokini, Fort Belvoir Upper ES

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Melissa Alexander, Fort Belvoir Upper ES

"I would like to recognize Melissa Alexander for her commitment and hard work. She is just awesome!  She is always willing to collaborate and find materials that would be beneficial for all of our students.  I appreciate her soooo much!  She has to relocate with her family, unfortunately, and will be missed tremendously."

- Kimberly Bokini, Fort Belvoir Upper ES

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Melvina Banks-Michie, Fort Belvoir Upper ES

"I would like to recognize Mrs. Melvina Banks-Michie for her continued flexibility and patience with me and the families that I case manage.  She is always willing to correspond with a family in need if I am unavailable at the moment.  She cares deeply about all of her students regardless if they are special needs or not."

- Kimberly Bokini, Fort Belvoir Upper ES

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Brian Rever, White Oaks ES

"Just before the school closure, I wanted to recognize Brian for his efforts.
I am technologically challenged and frequently ask him for help. With a smile, he is always willing to stop what he is doing and lend a hand. Earlier this month I had a sudden room change for an IEP meeting. As he was entering the school I asked him (in a bit of a panic) to help me unlock the meeting room and quickly help me figure out how to work the technology. Within minutes he was on the job and helped contribute to a successful meeting. Since the school closure, he has been unbelievably helpful and supportive to our entire staff! Going above and beyond to help support WOES through this stressful and challenging time. Again - he does it all with a smile and a positive attitude (along with some cheesy 80's music)."

- Deborah Webb, White Oaks ES

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Allen Dickens, Woodson HS

"Mr. Dickens has been very helpful in communicating with my child during the school closure.   I had an issue with a typo in my email address and he found my work email and wrote me and I was able to update my address in blackboard. His notes are very helpful and help keep anxiety about school lower for my child.  Many thanks for the wonderful support my child and family has received and we look forward to thanking Mr. Dickens in person someday."

- a Woodson HS Parent

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Stephanie Karnis, Woodson HS

"Ms. Karnis was very prompt and offered great solutions to minimize the worry my child had on a missing an English assignment.  She broke down what he needed to do and made sure to acknowledge efforts to date.  She replied very quickly and helped my child feel more secure and less worry, which is much appreciated.   My child never liked to read for pleasure much and this year but with Ms. Karnis I have seen him discuss and think about books in a way he never did in the past.  Great job Ms. Karnis."

- a Woodson HS Parent

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Julie Robinson, Willow Oaks

"Ms. Robinson was very proactive in reaching out to ensure my child was well through this trying time.   She set up a counselors corner for the students in CSS and was very supportive and offered good ideas on keeping well during this time."

- a Woodson HS Parent

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Bryna Erickson, Lake Braddock SS

"Throughout this school year of teaching our freshman daughter, Ms. Erickson has maintained not only a sense of professionalism, but more importantly, a sense of care and love for her calling - educating students.  Our daughter, who lives with a chronic medical condition requiring 24-hour care, as well as multiple learning disabilities, entered Algebra 1 with fear and trepidation after many years of struggling through math and going through years of private tutoring.  Ms. Erickson has been able to truly instill (dare I say?) a semi-enjoyment in the very subject our daughter spent years crying over. As if that alone was not enough, Ms. Erickson has been incredible with communications with me regarding medically-related issues or concerns with our daughter.  She went above and beyond trying to help find resources for our daughter's emotional well-being during a challenging health time, and Ms. Erickson did all of this with care, sensitivity, and a spirit of love and spunk!  It can be scary to send your child who is still only a year into a major medical diagnosis to such a large school from a much smaller one; it is scary to send your child with learning disabilities and a major fear of math into a high school algebra class...however, Ms. Erickson has proven to embody the Bruin spirit.  As we are now working through distance learning, she has maintained an open door with her students, obviously missing them yet demonstrating their importance through the check-ins and emails.  Her priority is first and foremost for her students' well-being, and that has made all the difference (along with great communication to parents as well)! Thank you to Ms. Erickson, who has truly made our daughter's first year in public school such a valuable and lovely experience!"

- Lake Braddock SS Parent

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Leslie Lewis, Steve Upthegrove, Ananth Kandalai, South County HS

"The South County HS Tech Cadre team would like to recognize our fantastic SBTS Leslie Lewis and our steadfast TSPEC team of Steve Upthegrove and Ananth Kandalai for their outstanding service to the South County staff.  Ms. Lewis has demonstrated the highest level of resilience and optimism as we continue our journey into Distance Learning at SCHS. She has guided us and listened to our feedback to create a comfortable learning space for ALL staff members.  Leslie has always “kept it real” with us. As teachers we appreciate her honesty and thoughtfulness as we try to plan instruction for our classes. Our TSPEC team of Steve and Ananth have kept not only our staff members laptops and student computers running during this time but have also participated in supporting the SCHS pyramid hardware needs. Additionally, Steve and Ananth have answered our many Request IT’s tickets in a timely manner. On behalf of the SCHS Tech Cadre, thank YOU Leslie for “being 100” with us and thank YOU Steve and Ananth for being there for our staff daily. Respectfully submitted by the 2020 South County Tech Cadre team."

- Lisa K Muir and South County HS Tech Cadre Team, South County HS

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Bryna Erickson, Lake Braddock SS

"Mrs. Erickson is the best Algebra 2 HN teacher I could have. Before every test she gives each student a piece of candy, which has always helped me to focus, and I look forward to all of our tests. During Quizzes, my class sometimes gets to listen to music from Mrs. Erickson’s computer, and it has always helped me to stress less. During every lesson she teaches, she always makes it fun, and shares personal experiences with the class that has always helped me to remember the content in the lesson."

- a Lake Braddock SS Student

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Diane Springer, Woodson HS

"Ms. Springer cares. She is invested in helping each student she has to better themselves. She is open to all points of view. She is more than an English teacher--she is a mentor, life coach, and friend to many of her students. It is clear the tremendous effort and time that she invests in her classes, and it is obvious the love she has for her job and her students."

- a Woodson HS Student

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Denise Forrest, Willow Oaks

"Denise is an amazing team member.  She offered to help with a task last week and went above and beyond in completing the task.  Not only did she complete the task quickly, she also took the next step for me which doubled her workload, helped me immensely, and assisted all of OSEI in supporting our customers!!  Denise, your support is extremely appreciated!! Thank you!!"

- Ellie Stack, Willow Oaks

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Kevin Lawton, Sprague Technology Center
 
"Kevin Lawton has demonstrated outstanding service when handling our multiple requests for Learn360 assistance and Copyright questions on behalf of our teachers. We would like to thank him for his support in supporting our staff in the Distance learning platform. Kevin is generous with his time and his knowledge on both subject matters is level of EXPERT. On behalf of the Librarians at South County, thank YOU Kevin for going above and beyond for our teachers and helping us with these issues."

- Lisa Muir and Emily Strong, South County HS

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Deborah McCoy, Newington Forest ES

"With the closing of Blackboard Monday, teachers were asked to put together an alternative assignment very quickly.  Miss McCoy and her teammates were able to put together a wonderful video lesson for their 2nd grade classes in a quick turn around.  It was professional, well executed, and very charismatic for the students.  My son was very engaged and excited to have a video, lesson, and materials to do for her.  She has been extremely professional, kind, and caring to the students through this and we wanted to let her and her teammates know how much their 2nd grade community appreciates it."

 
- a Newington Forest ES Parent

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Brian Sladki, Aldrin ES

"Brian Sladki has demonstrated leadership and an exceptional work ethic his entire time at Aldrin, but all the more now that he and his peers have been faced with the unique challenge of building a distance learning program in the face of COVID 19. Under his guidance the 5th grade team put together a stellar set of materials that are cohesive and easy to follow. Despite the disastrous challenges of Blackboard, they have managed to make our students feel the same love and support that they always received within the building. Brian was the sun on this team of shining stars and we are so grateful to them all for going above and beyond."

- an Aldrin ES Parent

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Marialys Gruneiro, Riverside ES

"Throughout the school year, Mrs. Gruneiro has gone ABOVE and BEYOND that of an educator.  Her passion for teaching literally radiates through her and is so visible.  She cares not only about my daughter, but children in general. She loves her job and shows through watching my daughter grow and learn. There aren't enough thank yous."

- a Riverside ES Parent

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Scott Gustaveson, Justice HS

"Scott is an amazing teacher.  He cares and connects with our students wonderfully and he is a joy to work with. Day in and day out he makes sure our kids have fun learning by coming up with different ways in presenting materials. He worked so hard in planning a field trip so our kids could connect art to what they were studying. Before he arrives in the class I get asked at least 4 times from students if he’s going to be in which shows how much students care about him. Scott is always prepared for the day and flexible when things in our schedule just don't Jive with our students. I’m grateful to work with such an amazing person."

- Jocelyn Ayala, Justice HS

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Shannon Johnson. Kilmer MS

"Shannon is the lead CAT B teacher at Kilmer Middle School.  Even though Shannon has her own case load and the teachers at her school to help she is always willing to take the time to help me out when I ask. She takes time out of her busy day and schedule to share materials with me and answer any types of questions I might have.  Shannon is truly an amazing teacher, person and colleague.  She embodies and represents a teacher who puts every students best interest ahead of anything else."

- Lauren Morlando, Key MS

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Ashley Ytzen, Lake Braddock SS

"During our transition to distance learning, Ashley has been an invaluable resource, making the time to do one-on-one tutorial sessions with colleagues to help them learn new technologies.  No matter what you ask for help with, her answer is a "yes" and a smile. She is an awesome colleague and educator."

- Jenny Iverson, Lake Braddock SS

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Ivert Cuellar Valverde, Patrick Reilly, Silverbrook ES

"Amidst the challenges of today, both Patrick and Ivert have demonstrated a significant level of professionalism and commitment to our school community.  They have readily made themselves available through several means (BBCU, email, cell phone call and text) to support us. Kudos to Patrick and Ivert for a job well done!  It has been reassuring to know that we have them to rely on."

Carmen Pangelinan, Silverbrook ES

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Scott Dreier, Nick See, Semuel Hackett, Sprague Technology Center

"I want to thank our TSPECS for putting themselves on the front lines to get our students the technology they need to be prepared for distance learning. In addition, this is long overdue but thank you for all you do for us on a daily basis...answering our questions, putting patches/fixes on our computers...we could not make it without you."

- Tre Fava, Lake Braddock SS

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Carin Frank, Stacy Delaney, Lake Braddock SS

"I just want to thank Carin and Stacy for their tireless work and efforts to keep us in the know.  They have been stretched thin working all hours to keep the school up to date.  Thank you for all you do on the daily but what you have done for us."

- Tre Fava, Lake Braddock SS

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Joan Brown, Woodson HS

"Joan has done an amazing job as our SBTS at Woodson.  She has been answering emails non-stop, offering trainings at a moment's notice, and has kept a smile on her face through this whole transition to online learning."

- Lee Hedrick, Woodson HS

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Anthony Harris, Danielle Hornbecker, Melanie Porter, Joe Berret, Linda Shannon, Kenya Champ, Meghan Short, Frost MS

"Due to the teamwork and dedication of Anthony, Melanie, Danielle, Joe, Linda, Kenya, and Meghan we are not only surviving this time but continuing to maintain connections  and supporting staff and students. You have made these challenging times way more bearable. Thank you!"

- Laura Reed, Frost MS

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Kristen Eberhardt-Izzo, Ayanna Bundy, Lesley Morgan, Hollin Meadows ES

"In the weeks since FCPS has been closed, I have been impressed and appreciative of the many ways that my daughter and son's teachers have maintained contact with their students and their families, provided information and resources, and demonstrated that they cared about my children and all children they support. Their first day of virtual learning sessions were very successful - they were organized and well prepared, knew the Blackboard Collaborate Ultra tools, were creative and caring when connecting with their students, and much more.  I feel very fortunate that my kids had the opportunity to have these teachers this school year, both in school and virtually.  All three of them exemplify why HMES Cares!"

- a Hollin Meadows ES Parent

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Leydi Uoy, Joni Smith, Erin Snell, Bull Run ES

"Erin, Joni, and Uoy have been part of the team generating content for the Early Childhood Special Education Packets. They have poured countless hours into this endeavor to ensure our littlest of learners have access to distance learning.  Thank you so much for all the energy and creativity you have put into making these learning packets so amazing."

- Kelly Galbraith, Willow Oaks

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Christine Johnson, Dunn Loring Center

"Mrs. Johnson has been part of the team generating content for the Early Childhood Special Education Packets.  She has poured countless hours into this endeavor to ensure our littlest of learners have access to distance learning. Thank you so much for all the energy and creativity you have put into making these learning packets so amazing."

Kelly Galbraith, Willow Oaks

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Jane Dunfee, Mantua ES

"Jane Dunfee, Mantua Elementary School’s SBTS exemplifies the charter of the FCPS Cares recognition program.  During the course of a typical school year Ms. Dunfee’s tireless and competent work with staff, students, administrators, and the SBTS community for the betterment of all involved. In the current virtual learning situation Ms. Dunfee’s CARE for FCPS and Mantua ES has been highlighted by her orchestration of the changing technology, the related staff trainings needed, identification and delivery of student technology needs, determining the best course forward, and serving as a facilitator to administrators and teachers. Highlighted is Ms.Dunfee’s ability to maintain a positive attitude and professional demeanor despite our constant and repeated questions and ongoing requests for assistance. Jane stays online late and gets back on early, providing clear and correct guidance while running multiple back-to-back sessions for teachers, creating links, supporting administrators, and attending her own SBTS meetings. In these ways, and so many more, this virtual learning situation has brought the depth and breadth of Jane Dunfee’s CARE for FCPS and Mantua ES in to clear focus for all involved. She deserves to be recognized celebrated for her efforts beyond the virtual walls of Mantua ES."

- Nick Rousos, Mantua ES 

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Rejane Martinez, Fort Belvoir Upper ES

"Dr. Rejane Martinez has done an awesome job of organizing this virtual platform.  One of the parents that I spoke to stated that she did an outstanding job of providing parents with a colorful, easy to access spreadsheet with all of the hyperlinks he needed to access his child's teachers effortlessly.  You Rock Martinez!"

- Kimberly Bokini, Fort Belvoir Upper ES

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Sarah Olson, Justice HS 

"Sarah, it would seem, has been working around the clock / 24-7 to help us all set up our tech solutions for our classrooms. I am very thankful that she has been able to teach this old dog some new tricks. I sometimes have trouble adapting to new technologies, but Sarah has (1) lead training sessions (2) created training materials (3) checked in with me personally and (4) answered questions with a cheerful attitude. Her attitude is contagious. It's her support that makes it possible for me to be ready to teach my students. And I am sure that the rest of my teammates/teachers at Justice would agree we would have been in a much worse shape without Sarah's help."

- Roger Schellenberg, Justice HS

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Linda Greten, Anna Colaric, Mark Purdy, Anne Buellesbach, Shane Thurston, Dana Calamito, Carrie Bachmann, Lake Braddock SS

"I can't thank my Pre-Algebra CT enough for all their hard work with distance learning. They have come together, worked tirelessly, and contributed to the greater good for what's best for our students more than I could ever imagine. Thank you so much for being so AMAZING, so accommodating and so flexible. I am so lucky to work with such a phenomenal group of educators."

- Maya Nardone, Lake Braddock SS

-------Sarah Olson, Justice HS

"Sarah Olson serves as an SBTS and Instructional Coach at Justice High School and I can't put into words how fortunate we've been to have her serving our students and staff during this time.  She has worked tirelessly to meet the ever-changing needs of teachers by creating 100+ Blackboard Collaborate links, helping teachers with the endless tech resources we now rely on and always being there whenever there's a question.  There's been thousands of questions in the past four weeks. The adaptations that the county and our school have had to make have been understandably extreme but during this time I feel that because of Sarah's work our staff has been able to keep themselves grounded and not overwhelmed. Thank you so much, Sarah."

- Jason Kagarise, Justice HS

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Tina Hunt, Stonecroft Transportation

"One of my students left her laptop on a bus the last day before the closure. Tina went to great lengths to get the laptop from the bus and delivered to her home by actually making two trips to her home. She was highly professional throughout the multiple emails and interactions required between all of the parties involved in the process."

- Paula Gutierrez, Greenbriar East ES
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Jennifer Fulton, Robinson SS

"During this pandemic, connections are so important for everyone, especially students. Mrs. Fulton found a way to connect with her students in a tried, but true way- she sent them a handwritten postcard. As an educator myself, I wanted to recognize her because we tend to hear about the efforts of elementary school teachers, and sometimes we overlook the work of our high school teachers. Thank you Mrs. Fulton!! It was warmly and greatly received and appreciated."

- Anna Wojcik, Fairview ES

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Charity Coates, Hayfield SS

"Ms. Coates is a dedicated and loyal instructional assistant that does not give up in the face of adversity. She serves her students and community with a servant's heart and she has done so for almost two decades as a Hayfield Hawk. With all of the new expectations and requirements placed on FCPS teachers, Ms. Coates has done everything in her power to stay connected with her teachers and students. She can be found many days, motivating her students to keep working, not to give up, and to persevere under any circumstance. Most people talk the talk but cannot walk the walk. This is not true for Ms. Coates. She exemplifies these qualities by sitting in Hayfield's parking lot, dialing into every meeting that is required, while patiently waiting to be given the required technology to connect with her students and teachers. She is a quiet hero who deserves to be recognized for her consistent perseverance, loyalty, and commitment to her students, teachers, and FCPS as a whole."

- Rachel Johnson, Hayfield SS

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Scott Gustaveson, Justice HS

"I've worked with Scott throughout the course of this year in his role as a case manager and teacher of the students we have in common.  Throughout this time, he has remained consistent in his commitment in providing assistance, comfort, and being a gentle, yet firm guide to his students. He is a pleasure with whom to work and is reliable in following up with students and providing communication. I want to acknowledge his dedication to the students and staff of Justice."

- Alysha Damratowski, Justice HS

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Rejane Martinez, Ft. Belvoir Upper ES

"ReJane is a dedicated colleague. She has been our team’s saving grace when it comes to sharing data, and sharing her technological skills.  She  began offering technology classes in February, every other Thursday, to whomever needed help and was willing to come in an hour before work began. This was in addition to her other responsibilities required from our work site. For instance, we voted to have committee meetings conducted before work rather than using our planning time.  Even though we are working from home, she is still conducting training sessions in her virtual office!  She is a gem that should be recognized.   She has been working tirelessly, to help this transition to go smoothly, and all she says is, 'This is fun. I enjoy technology.'"

- Grace Fitzgerald, Ft. Belvoir Upper ES

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Jennifer Barry, Sprague Technology Center

"Jennifer has spent hours with technology distribution for distance learning. Thank you for supporting our students!"

Laura Dougherty, South County MS

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Marcia Salgado Campos, Lake Braddock SS

"Our LBSS staff was super busy the week prior to spring break reaching out to their students reminding them that Distance Learning begins on Tuesday April 14th. I reached out to one of our bi-lingual Administrative Assistants, Marcia Salgado, and solicited her help because of her positive relationships with so many of our students and their parents, especially Spanish speaking families. She is a natural; so confident and welcoming.  The week prior to spring break, regardless the time of day or night, Ms. Salgado was relentless in contacting those parents who have not been so easy to reach. She even called me into one phone conversation and translated as I spoke. Ms. Salgado did whatever it took to ensure that parents responded, and clearly understood the expectations and supports we, as staff, needed to communicate on behalf of their child. Thank you, Ms. Salgado for stepping in to help, during this time of need. As you so eloquently indicated to me........team work!"

- Amy Soos, Lake Braddock SS

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John Greenwood, Sprague Technology Center

"John has been indispensable as our school sets up for distance learning. He hasn't seemed "distant" at all, addressing emails quickly and communicating with staff all over the county to get our RequestITs done. For our library, he also helped to quickly set up an Outlook account for students to submit questions to the library. Thanks, John!"

- - Danielle Powers, Frost MS

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Laura Reed, Frost MS

"This is a challenging time for all of us in FCPS as we transition to distance learning. I feel that our school is prepared and ready to go thanks to Laura's leadership. Her calm demeanor and infinite patience is a huge help and a model for us all. Thank you, Laura! I can't imagine getting through this experience without her and the rest of our amazing leadership."

- Danielle Powers, Frost MS

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Richard Waltz, Sprague Technology Center

"Mr. Waltz worked quickly and efficiently to set up an Outlook account for our library in order to field questions from students for distance learning. He communicated several times to make sure he met our needs. I want to thank him for lowering my stress level and providing exemplary service in this unusual time. Thanks, Richard!!"

- Danielle Powers, Frost MS

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Dave Waite, Sprague Technology Center

"On April 7, 2020, I put an IT Ticket in with the IT Service Desk regarding an issue with my laptop.  It stopped connecting to FCPS.edu and FCPS.net which was making things very difficult working from home.  My laptop was running extremely slow.  David Waite called me on my cell number and resolved the issue quickly for me.  The issue was that my laptop had not been updated with the latest version of Lightspeed. David installed that version on my laptop and I am now up and running at top speed.  I just wanted to give kudos to David for a job well done and in a very professional manner as well. Thanks David!!!!"

- Janet Montgomery, Woodson IT

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Jacqueline Bozzelli, White Oaks ES

"Coach Jacki has continued to go above and beyond for the Lake Braddock Golden Girls Dance Team throughout their 2019-2020 season. Most recently she challenged them to compete at Nationals in Orlando, FL. Her attention to detail in organizing this trip was impressive.  Taking 14 girls, 6 chaperones, and one other coach on an airplane to another state without any major issues was incredible. If there were any issues no one had any idea because Coach Jacki handled every obstacle flawlessly. Coach Jacki always encourages and pushes the girls to be their very best. She has given the team opportunities that they would have never imagined. Such as competing at Nationals and finding practice space for them in other schools and dance studios. She fought to make the dance team as important as any other sport. She spent endless hours of her time to devote to this team. Their performances and team bonding reflected this amazing leadership.  Thank you to Coach Jacki for pouring your all into the Lake Braddock Golden Girls Dance Team! You are absolutely amazing!" 

- Monica Bentley, Annandale HS

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Kerrissa Watson, Lorton Center

"More than two weeks into school's Coronavirus closure, a counselee contacted me about leaving his guitar on his School Bus. Kerrissa took it upon herself to go to Bus #33's location, and she found the guitar. However, she even did more by delivering the guitar personally to the student. I cannot thank her enough and for going above and beyond!"

- Lynda Samek-Sith, Lake Braddock SS

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Karl Bittner, Colvin Run ES

"Schools are closed because of the COVID-19, but learning has not stopped, thanks to the 4th-grade team and our classroom teacher Mr. Karl Bittner at Colvin Run Elementary. Mr. Bittner has been in touch with his students via weekly email updates, just like he has done in the past during the school year. Along with his colleagues, Mr. Bittner has put together the 4th Grade Continued Learning Board in a very short time. He provides clear and detailed instructions for students to keep engaged and participate in distance learning actives in subjects like Math, Science, Social Study, Language Arts, Music and more. Mr. Bittner also encourages his students to continue to read, designate outdoor time, do exercises, and talk about their feelings if they have fears about what is happening.  Mr. Bittner is a true hero for his students! We are lucky to have him as our teacher."

- a Colvin Run ES parent

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Meghan Short, Frost MS

"Meghan has been very instrumental in supporting the school Admin and SBTS with the launch of our distance learning site, as well as being present with CLTs to help teachers navigate through these uncharted waters.  Her contributions have been invaluable and we would not be where we are without her!"

- The Frost MS Administration Team

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Mollie Kropp and Kate Adams, Frost MS

"Thank you to Kate and Mollie for all of their hard work to ensure resources to support our deaf and hard of hearing staff and students & their teachers have what they need to be successful during this distance learning experience. I would be on your team again anytime. Thank you for your dedication, time, & knowledge!"

- Laura Reed, Frost MS

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Elizabeth Hurst, Kings Glen ES

"Elizabeth Hurst has been extremely professional and patient with the entire Kings Glen staff while guiding us through the distance learning process.  Her clear concise lessons are very much appreciated.  So glad that she records them, so we can go over the material presented a few times. I'm so glad we have Elizabeth to help us through these trying times."

- Jean Landy, Kings Glen ES