FCPS Cares - April 2021

By Department of Human Resources
April 05, 2021

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

Rahul Nooniwal, Energy Zone Food Services Center

"Rahul came to Rocky Run and gave a tour of the kitchen to the students in our Autism Program. Rahul shared the process of breakfast and lunch, including arrival of the food and each step along the way. The students learned how food is prepared, how it is cooked, about the food serving lines, and about the purchasing of food. The kids enjoyed learning and asked lots of questions. Thank you so much for giving our students this experience!  The teachers learned a lot too!"

- Christine Sciabica, Rocky Run MS

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Region 1

Brian Hollingsworth, Herndon MS

"Mr. Hollingsworth has consistently gone above and beyond to help students achieve in Science. While there are many examples throughout the school year, one in particular was earlier this month, when Mr. Hollingsworth was going through his grade book and asking students what they would like to retake or retry to improve their grades. He encouraged students and offered reteach opportunities during his office hours. My daughter went to his office hours because she did not do well on a quiz. Mr. Hollingsworth knew my daughter by name and by need and provided a differentiated version of the lesson that resonated with her. After the reteach, she retook the quiz and performed very well. More importantly, she felt more confident knowing the material and appreciative for his support of her academic success.  Thank you, Mr. Hollingsworth!!"

- a Herndon MS parent

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Region 2

Bernie DeLeo, Marshall HS

"I'd like to recognize Mr. DeLeo, the theater teacher at Marshall High School. He is an amazing teacher and supporter of our students every year, but this year he has gone above and beyond. Many schools were not able to do any real performances, but Mr. DeLeo figured out a way to safely put together 4 (!!) productions -- an improv play in the fall, a 3-part radio play, a show for VHSL competition, and a musical that's currently in production and will be streamed in mid-May. He even conceived and co-wrote the improv play. His creative problem-solving, resilience and seemingly endless energy have kept these kids engaged and connected to each other, both when at home and now back in the classroom. You should see the schedule he's put together to safely film the pieces of the musical, working around days students are in-person and other activities. And at the end of the day, these students have gotten to do things that wouldn't have happened in a normal year, like video editing, filming, radio/audio-only performance, and improv -- not to mention the added tech that goes with being remote. In addition, he has found time to reach out to parents like me and let us know how our student is doing, and encourage their love for theater. He is truly an asset to FCPS and deserves a standing ovation!"

- a Marshall HS parent

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Region 3

Izza McDonald, Fort Hunt ES

"Hero of the Week Goes to Izza McDonald!!! On Friday morning, Izza stopped traffic when she saw one of our students fall off their bike in the street on the way to school. She helped him get safely out of the road and then to school, kept him safe, and helped clean up his scrapes. THEN...she saved the upstairs folks by capturing a hornet in one of the pods and releasing it outside. What a Friday for Izza and that was all before 10 am! THANK YOU, IZZA!!"

- Tracy Hutchison, Fort Hunt ES

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Region 4

Tina Perez, Mountain View HS

"The administration works had to make Mountain View campus look like one cohesive team. In all actuality, the ALC and AIM programs belong to Nontraditional School Programs, while the high school reports to Region 4. Tina Perez has worked very hard to make the ALC and AIM staff feel like they are part of the high school. This week in particular, she worked to coordinate 2 orders of school spirit wear so everyone can have the same swag on campus. Her mindfulness and work to ensure that we are one team is priceless and has such a positive impact on staff morale."

- Kimberly Taylor, Mountain View HS

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Region 5

Patty Smalley, Olde Creek ES

"Patty Smalley is a staple of the Olde Creek community. She has worked at Olde Creek for several years, as a teacher and now our incredible librarian since 2012. This year she has gone above and beyond! While many of our students remained virtual, and the physical OC library was closed, she immediately has thought of ways to get books into our students’ hands. She quickly got a curbside check out in motion and has checked out countless books to families. She offers her time each Monday from 12-3 and 4-6! She even creates “mystery grab bags” for families that were not able to check them out online for students to get age-appropriate books. When she noticed that not all books were being picked up during curbside check out, she contacted families to drop them off at homes. Families are so grateful for all her efforts. She has created a socially distant Book Walk outside for students to access during recess or when families stop by for curbside check out! Each page of a book is displayed on a yard sign so students can walk and read a book as they’re outside. She changes the book walk book monthly. On top of all of these efforts, Patty also facilitates the News Crew and daily Morning Announcements. Each morning, the OC staff has a new morning announcement video prepped and ready for our students to view. While the students film their portion of the news show, Patty is the genius behind splicing the video parts together each evening so it’s ready at 7 AM the next morning. Each week in our weekly school newsletter, we ask families to submit shout-outs to any staff members they’d like. Patty has received the most shout-outs of all staff. We are beyond lucky to have Patty at our school. She goes above and beyond to do what’s best for the students and instills a love in reading in us all!"

- Alison Butler, Olde Creek ES

"Library Curbside Check-out: Thank you Mrs. Smalley for everything you are doing to support the library curbside check-out program. It makes my son SO happy to be able to check out new books from OCES each week."

- an Olde Creek ES parent

"Ms. Smalley did a wonderful job reinventing the OC News Crew for the pandemic, allowing the kids to be able to participate this year from their homes. She came up with a script that is easy to use and she has been very understanding and flexible with [student] as she has learned to prioritize her time when doing her News Crew duties. Also, Ms. Smalley as Olde Creek's awesome librarian has enabled kids to continue to take books out of the library every week and even included a recommended book for [student] with her latest books that she picked up. SO thoughtful!"

- an Olde Creek ES parent

"Big thanks to Mrs. Smalley and everyone else working behind the scenes for the library curbside pickup! We enjoy having new books to read each week!!"

- an Olde Creek ES parent

"She has gone above and beyond to make sure our OC community has access to wonderful books! We are so grateful for her."

- an Olde Creek ES parent

"Mrs. Smalley has done an OUTSTANDING job with the News Show this year!!! She was just brilliant with how she was able to set it up all virtually - it all worked so perfectly !!! She really went above and beyond to make sure the kids could still have their news show and all the kids in the news crew were able to have so much fun with it. It really meant a lot to still have this to look forward to during the shutdown and she made a lot of kids happy during a difficult time. Her efforts, time, thoughtfulness, and ingenuity are so very appreciated!!!!"

- an Olde Creek ES parent

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Other FCPS Cares of the Month Recipients

Megan Babcock, Jacqueline Balough, Sandra Coleman, Kimberly Cox, Claudia Dieguez, Karen Felschow, Denisse Gordon, Leslie McAndrew, Cathy McCormick, Julie Moore, Marcia Salgado Campos, Vickie Sands, Angela Santizo, Pamela Sutey, Beverly Taylor, and Patricia Fausser, Lake Braddock SS

"The Lake Braddock SS administrative assistants and office assistants team has welcomed me from my very first day! These ladies are truly helpful, supportive, and always available to answer questions about how things work here at Lake Braddock!  Thank you so much to Julie, Leslie, Marcia, Claudia, Kimberly, Denisse, Megan, Karen, Cathy, Vickie, Sandra, Jacqueline, Angela, Beverly, Patricia and Pamela."  

- Karyn Ousley, Lake Braddock SS

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Samita Arora, Oak Hill ES

"We love Mrs. Samita! She has been amazing working with our boys and we can’t thank her enough for her patience and guidance!"

- an Oak Hill ES parent

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Deborah Metzker, Frost MS

"Deb Metzker wears three 'hats' at our school. As of this week, she is wrapping up a year of virtual after-school clubs, she has submitted the yearbook for publishing, and she is kicking off SOLs in her role as testing coordinator. She is everywhere at once! Huge thanks to Deb for working so hard and for everything she does for the staff and students at Frost!"

- Danielle Powers, Frost MS

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Cortney Sisson, Andrea Keller, Leslie Dupertuis, and Marian Schultz, Colvin Run ES

"FCPS has been named a Best Community for Music Education by NAMM Foundation this month. I am taking this opportunity to commend our school for its outstanding commitment and support of music education, and also to recognize our music teachers at CRES for their good work. These teachers are Mrs. Sisson for the strings, Mrs. Dupertuis for the band, Mrs. Keller and Dr. Shultz for the chorus and general music education. They dedicate their time and have been teaching music at Colvin Run for 10-15 years. They teach students the value of hard work and responsibility. They teach students to listen and appreciate differences. They encourage students to do their best.

All my children have benefited from CRES music programs and the older ones are still enjoying making music after high school till today. A special 'Thank-you' to FCPS and our school."

- a Colvin Run ES parent

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Felecia Allen, Colvin Run ES

"Ms. Allen is one of the best School Counselors my children have ever had. She is kind and friendly. She is helpful and supportive. She is a good listener and an encourager. She exemplifies what FCPS Cares is about and should be recognized for her work."

- a Colvin Run ES parent

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Katie Boxer, Willow Oaks

"I've had the pleasure of knowing Katie as a special education teacher and now as a Behavior Intervention teacher. She is a bundle of knowledge and experience and is always ready to help students and teachers. She has worked collaboratively with our school, supporting some of our neediest students. She has helped develop strategies, behavior goals, and positive reinforcement systems to help our students achieve success. In addition, she has been a strong coach to our teachers who often need strategies or ideas to support various behaviors. We are so appreciative of her support and dedication to our students and staff."

- Kanchana Iyer, Eagle View ES

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Patricia Hansen and Joan Andrade, Colvin Run ES

"Mrs. Hansen and Mrs. Andrade team-teach my son’s 6th grade class this year.

They did an excellent job providing a calm and positive learning environment for students during distance learning. Now teaching in person, they both continue to work diligently to keep students engaged, set high expectations and goals for them, answer their questions, and make each student feel respected and important. They really show the effort, dedication, and passion for what they do. We are fortunate to have so many teachers who commit to teaching excellence like Mrs. Hansen and Mrs. Andrade in our local school community."

- a Colvin Run ES parent

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Tony Mossburg, Eagle View ES

"Mr. Mossburg is a CRT and works mainly with our Comprehensive Services Site (Special Education program). Tony is exceptional in building relationships with students and families over the past several years. Tony has a unique way of getting across to students and helping them calm down when in crisis. His approachable demeanor brings a sense of comfort to students who often go through many challenges during the school day. Tony has worked hard to teach character traits through the Positivity Project using lessons and activities.

He is a great mentor to students throughout the building. As incentives for positive behavior, Tony has planned and developed a garden for students to work on as a reward for making good choices. He's developed partnerships with Merrifield Garden center and the Home Depot to help develop this project. He is an invaluable member of the Eagle View staff. Thank you for your hard work and dedication!"

- Kanchana Iyer, Eagle View ES

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Matt Longworth, Eagle View ES

"Matt Longworth has been a PE teacher at Eagle View for many years. Matt has a great rapport with students and has been a mentor in many ways, including being a patrol sponsor. A year ago, Matt was the one positive link for one of our struggling students. His mentorship helped the student make the transition to school successful each day. During virtual learning, Matt created his alter-ego, 'Mr. Strongworth,' which enticed student engagement and got our students moving. Matt continues to be a wonderful part of the specialist team here at Eagle View. Thanks Matt!"

- Kanchana Iyer, Eagle View ES

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Wendi Carroll, Stenwood ES

"Mrs. Carroll is a truly remarkable educator! She a ray of sunshine in the classroom and went above and beyond during virtual learning to connect with her students on a daily basis, using technology to the greatest extent possible to teach and relate to her students. Our family is so grateful for her tireless efforts to support her students. Mrs. Carroll is an extraordinary educator. Thank you Mrs. Carroll! You are incredible!"

- a Stenwood ES parent

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Patrick Ward, Lake Braddock SS

"During our 20 years as parents of FCPS students, we have encountered many teachers. It seems that FCPS has saved the BEST for last: Mr. Ward. He is a continuous inspiration to students as well as a beacon of support and resilience in these challenging times. His encouragement and engagement make his lessons not just a positive educational experience - they build an intellectual foundation that will last a lifetime. After leaving FCPS, we and our student will forever fondly remember Mr. Ward, since he has done so much more than just teach the curriculum."

- a Lake Braddock SS parent

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Kimberly O'Connor, West Springfield ES

"Ms. O'Connor clearly loves her job and her students, and WSES is so lucky to have her! Her positive attitude and professionalism make her a pleasure to work with, both for parents and students. She's currently leading a weekly in-person, small-group session that my child is in, and he is enjoying it immensely. She has developed a custom curriculum for this group, blending aspects of at least two curricula to create one tailored to these students' needs. From the invitation to have our child participate in the group to the weekly recaps, she has clearly communicated with the parents, and my son is having a great experience and learning a lot about himself and others. WSES is very lucky to have such a great school counselor!"

- a West Springfield ES parent

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Brie Broesicke, Stenwood ES

"Mrs. Broesicke is a truly extraordinary educator! She brings a passion and a love of learning to the classroom every single day. Her energy is contagious, and she is loved by all of her 3rd graders. Her classroom is filled with laughter, fun and a great deal of learning. She has an incredible way of relating to her students and helping them understand really big concepts. Our family is ever so grateful having Mrs. Broesicke teaching our 3rd grade son this year. He is having an amazing year despite its challenges and he LOVES his teachers! Thank you, Mrs. Broesicke. You are amazing!!!"

- a Stenwood ES parent

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Abby Taylor,  Centre Ridge ES

"You are a great teacher. Thank you for sharing your beautiful knowledge with the little students ️"

- a Centre Ridge ES parent

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Jennifer Quinn, West Springfield ES

"Mrs. Quinn has such a great attitude and is such a professional! Her love of learning and of her students is clear, and she has done an excellent job fostering a sense of community in the virtual classroom and then making it a smooth transition to in-person learning. She cares about her students, and her passion for language arts, social studies, and science shines through.

She is such an asset to WSES!"

- a West Springfield ES parent

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Katelyn Kovalesky, West Springfield ES

"Ms. Kovalesky has done a wonderful job of leading kindergarten students through nearly a whole year of virtual learning and making them feel like part of a community, as well as fostering their learning. WSES is so lucky to have her!"

- a West Springfield ES parent

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Antonella Luciano Doherty, Lake Braddock SS

"Antonella Luciano Doherty is a part of the classroom monitor team. The monitor team was put in place to support teachers virtually and students in the building. Antonella has gone beyond the monitor role in that she has been a wonderful and reliable support during testing season. She has helped with WIDA and PSAT testing and is always thinking one step ahead. We appreciate her support and dedication to the students and to the staff of Lake Braddock SS."

- Karyn Ousley, Lake Braddock SS

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Natalie Mabile, Chesterbrook ES

"Ms. Mabile connects with her students like I have never seen. She holds her standards high and is able to figure out how to motivate a diversity of students to meet those expectations. She goes above and beyond, like a true professional role model. I am so grateful my son has been fortunate enough to be in her class."

- a Chesterbrook ES parent

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Holley Remer, Chesterbrook ES

"Ms. Remer always goes above and beyond to make everybody feel welcome and comfortable. She is truly extraordinary."

- a Chesterbrook ES parent

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Luann Hanley, Waples Mill ES

"Ms. Hanley has maneuvered the 2020-21 school year with such grace and enthusiasm. She is a gifted educator who has made our student feel welcomed, respected, and part of the Waples Mill ES Community. Our student was hesitant to begin 1st grade, but has fallen back in love with school. Every day our student comes home bursting with stories of everything Ms. Hanley taught during the day. She encourages student centered learning with her curriculum.

Our student comes home prideful of their work and of their learning. We are beyond grateful for Ms. Hanley."

- a Waples Mill ES parent

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Daniel Gray, Forte Center

"Dan Gray is a ray of sunshine!  He is always courteous and helpful.

Every day that we see Dan when he delivers Pony Mail is a great start to the day. His positive and supportive manner is appreciated by the entire office staff!"

- Teresa Khuluki, Wolftrap ES

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Kwan McKnight, Flint Hill ES

"Mr. McKnight helps to get my son's day off to a great start many mornings.

We walk to school.  My kindergartner looks forward to seeing Mr. McKnight waiting by the side entrance where walkers enter.  When Mr. McKnight sees my son, he begins to pretend to do stretches.  This is because each morning they race a short distance from the corner of the building to the door.  My son always wins these races.  :) It might not sound like a huge thing, but adding a little silliness in the mornings has my son entering the school building with a big smile on his face.

Thank you."

- a Flint Hill ES parent

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Kelly McMillan, Lake Braddock SS

"Ms. McMillan is very understanding and cares for every one of her students.

She makes a comfortable environment for students every class. She lets students know that they are welcomed and that they belong. She is always cheerful and friendly."

- a Lake Braddock SS student

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Brittany Reiners, Flint Hill ES

"Mrs. Reiners' energy and positive attitude in her Kindergarten classroom is so very appreciated. During online learning (most of the school year) she was so patient with little 5-year-olds who did not want to be stuck on a computer all day. Given such a trying situation, she still tried to make school a positive experience.

Outside of the classroom, Mrs. Reiners tries to make it to each of her students' spring activities at least once. Our son was so excited when he saw his teacher at his soccer game on a Saturday. Her attendance shows that she cares about the whole student, not just their academic performance.

Other parents were amazed at her attendance and a bit envious of her clear dedication to supporting her students in all of their endeavors."

- a Flint Hill ES parent

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Sandra Brennan and Adam Bowen, Sprague Technology Center

"A BIG thank YOU to Ms. Brennan and Mr. Bowen from the digital learning specialist team. This dynamic duo has worked tirelessly since January to produce three new multilingual family podcasts in Spanish, Arabic and Korean.

We appreciate that they are helping to bring FCPS families timely, important information, and resources related to school news. The podcasts are aired every couple of weeks and have helped families navigate and focus on key information. Thanks so much."

- Linda Ferguson, Dunn Loring Center

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Matthew McGinley, Lake Braddock SS

"Thank you for making world history so fun and enjoyable. Thank you for making learning so entertaining."

- a Lake Braddock SS student

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James Linkins, Lake Braddock SS

"Mr. Linkins is a great History teacher. His class is definitely my favorite.

I like his teaching style and I think the class is fun. He is also the only teacher I have had that teaches manners, an important life skill."

- a Lake Braddock SS student

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Robin Houlahan, Lake Braddock SS

"Mrs. Houlahan is really dedicated to creating a class that's fun for everyone. In so many of my classes, I just feel like it's work but I genuinely look forward to going to this class because it doesn't feel like work.  Mrs. Houlahan is also so great at being helpful and understanding. I appreciate her so much. I never feel discouraged or like I can't understand what's going on. I feel like we have great discussions as a class because of the way she facilitates it. I love how we have warm up questions because they are my favorite part of the day, even though they take up a good chunk of time. I feel like most teachers wouldn't do things like that because they would say it takes up too much time, but they really help me connect to other classmates. So I just want to say thank you so much and let you know that I appreciate all the work you do!!"

 

- a Lake Braddock SS student

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Carl Harris, Lake Braddock SS

"Carl Harris arrives to school early every day, so he can meet with a variety of teachers and engage in conversations about equity. He is tireless in pursuing and creating a safe and inclusive environment at Lake Braddock. He's willing to listen and have hard conversations with both teachers and staff in order to make sure we continue to move closer and closer to a caring community."

- Ashley Elliott, Lake Braddock SS

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Melisa Vacca, Lake Braddock SS

"Ms. Vacca helped me so much with Geometry through this year. I'm so grateful that I have her as my Geometry teacher because she makes the content easy to learn! Thank You!"

- a Lake Braddock SS student

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Bill McCabe, Lake Braddock SS

"Mr. McCabe has made learning the history of film interesting and informative for all of our class. He gives us encouragement to give great detail of our writings and work."

- a Lake Braddock SS student

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Krista Murphy, Lake Braddock SS

"Thank you for making me enjoy PE/Health more. You make the class fun and easy and I'm thankful for that."

- a Lake Braddock SS student

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Lindsay Rusnak, Lake Braddock SS

"She is a really great teacher and always comes to class with a smile on her face. She is my favorite teacher this year. She makes me love science."

- a Lake Braddock SS student

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Fauzia Farouq, Lake Braddock SS

"She is a very good teacher who makes it easier to understand what she is teaching."

- a Lake Braddock SS student

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Lindsay Rusnak, Lake Braddock SS

"Ms. Rusnak works so hard in our class. She puts up with so much of the crazy questions and comments we have. I'm so grateful that she is my Bio teacher because she makes the lessons interesting and fun to do!"

- a Lake Braddock SS student

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Scott Poole, Chantilly HS

"Mr. Scott Poole has been an absolute asset as I have entered into a new job.

Where many rush to react, Scott is always thoughtful and intentional with his responses. When he weighs in on a situation, it is guaranteed that his response will make you stop and think. Scott's experience and willingness to give his perspective is truly valuable to both newcomers and veterans. I am infinitely better at doing my job because of him and I am grateful to have Scott Poole as a colleague."

- Tony DiBari, Westfield HS

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Erin Lenart, Fairfax HS

"Ms. Erin Lenart has been an absolute asset as I have entered into a new job.

Whether it is thoughtful, intentional feedback, or bringing humor and humanness to tough situations, Erin always has the perfect response. She is never too busy to take a question or hear a vent, and brings positive energy to every interaction. I am infinitely better at doing my job because of her and grateful to have Erin Lenart as a colleague."

- Tony DiBari, Westfield HS

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Carlyn Floyd, Woodson HS

"Ms. Carlyn Floyd has been an absolute asset as I have entered into a new job.

Whether it is sage advice or bringing levity to difficult situations, Carlyn always has the perfect response to get things going. She is always available and never too busy to take a question or hear a vent. I am infinitely better at doing my job because of her and grateful to have her as a colleague."

- Tony DiBari, Westfield HS

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Heather Molino, Sangster Elementary

"During virtual learning, my daughter discovered YouTube, and unknown to me, she was watching YouTube videos while I thought she was attending her classes. Ms. Molino sent me several emails checking on her and updating me of her participation in class. Today, my daughter is an active participant in the class and enjoys learning. If Ms. MOLINO had not consistently checked in with me those several times in the beginning, my daughter's virtual learning this year would not be much learning at all. Thanks to her concern for each child and consistently working with parents, we were able to check my daughter's behavior in time before it was too late!"

- a Sangster ES parent

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Vijaya Iyappen and Toto Saied, Centre Ridge ES

"Estoy agraciada con ellos por tanto apoya hacia mi hijo y otros alumnos más. Muchas gracias por todo señora: Viji y Toto!"

I am grateful to them so they support my son and other students. Thank you very much for everything, señora Viji and señora Toto!

- a Centre Ridge ES parent

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Sharon Santo Domingo, Centre Ridge ES

"Es una persona noble. Estoy agradecida por el trabajo que hace, no solo de mi hijo también lo digo por los otros alumnos. Muy buena maestra."

She is a noble person. I am grateful for the work she does, not only for my son, but for the other students. Very good teacher.

- a Centre Ridge ES parent

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Shanela Nawaz, Hollin Meadows ES

"I first met Mrs. Nawaz last year (2019-2020) when she came into my classroom as a substitute for my SPED co-teacher (I believe it was her first year subbing). It was immediately apparent that she wasn’t 'just there to sub'. She asked questions, took initiative, and took an interest in how things worked at school. She and I worked together a few times, and she continued to prove herself as someone who truly cared about the job, the kids, and their education.

This year, Mrs. Nawaz was hired to be the in-person monitor in my classroom.

I was very happy to hear that because I knew how competent and capable she was, but I could not possibly have fully guessed how amazing she would be!

Mrs. Nawaz came into the classroom and immediately began setting it up. She had some guidance from others (Shanaz Ali and Becky Smith), but she was mostly going in blind. She worked tirelessly to set up the room in a manner that would support the kids. Although she had limited classroom experience, she naturally anticipated possible issues and navigated through solutions.

Since the return of the kids, she hasn’t failed to shine. She is on top of everything in the class - social distancing, sanitizing, on-task, etc.  She figures out tech problems on a regular basis, but when she can’t she immediately asks for support from our SBTS (Laurie Marichak). She is in tune with the kids’ emotions and lets me know if she feels someone may need some extra support.

In short, Mrs. Nawaz could be teaching this class on her own!"

- Samantha Melton, Hollin Meadows ES

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Poom Kulwatno, Lake Braddock HS

"Poom has been doing an amazing job specifically with one of our students. He is just beginning to learn English, yet Poom has made an amazing connection with him despite the language barrier. She makes math accessible and comprehensible to him, where he has many gaps and previous anxiety. He has grown so much in confidence and excitement about math since he started working with her. She goes above and beyond for all of her students, and invests so much of her time in helping them authentically understand what they're learning. She brings so much energy and joy to all that she does.

She is an incredible teacher and is truly a pleasure to work with!!"

- Rachel Tan, Lake Braddock HS

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Emily Dahl, Camelot ES

"Miss Dahl is a 3rd grade teacher, and she is wonderful during my daughters online learning. Her energy is contagious. She is always engaging. I can hear her during class, and I hear how she constantly keeps the kids excited about learning and coming back to class. We couldn't have asked for a better teacher for our daughter. I want to make sure she gets recognized for all her efforts."

- a Camelot ES parent

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Ree Johnson, Stonecroft Transportation

"Ree consistently goes above and beyond for our students. She greets them each morning and afternoon with a big smile and a warm hello. She provides them with a positive start and end to their school day. She is extremely friendly to everyone and we are so lucky she supports our students at Armstrong!"

- Jim Quinn, Armstrong ES

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Shannon Mueck, Silverbrook ES

"Mrs. Mueck always goes above and beyond to support the entire Silverbrook community. She is always willing to lean in and help in anyway needed. Mrs. Mueck serves as the Special Education Department Chair, Local Screening Chair, and filled in for 90+ days as the acting Assistant Principal. This is all in addition to her own caseload. Mrs. Mueck was instrumental in planning and executing the Return to School (RTS) plan ensuring a tiered, methodical, and orderly RTS. She greeted each returning group of kids with enthusiasm and cheered with parents as kids re-entered their home away from home. Mrs. Mueck has been a true leader in helping not only the Special Education Department but the entire Silverbrook community. Her experience shines through when she speaks in special education meetings and her professionalism and passion is inspiring. So very appreciative for all her hard work and dedication to the Silverbrook Community."

- a Silverbrook ES parent

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Michelle McCarten, Daniels Run ES

"We are a proud Daniels Run Elementary family. Our favorite thing about the school, and what we are most proud of, is the efforts they make to build community and create a strong sense of belonging. One champion of these efforts is Ms. Michelle McCarten, music teacher. The creativity and effort Ms. McCarten exuded to create regular "Karaoke Nights" during this school year are just one example. She created an online environment where students across grade levels, abilities, and backgrounds felt comfortable singing in front of their peers and other audience members. If that was not enough, the environment she created was so positive that fellow students, teachers, and families were beyond supportive to each participant, clapping, cheering, and using the chat to offer encouragement and praise. This is a true testament to her character and to the type of educator Ms. McCarten is. Not only did Ms. McCarten take the time to organize these events, she invited teachers of the student participants, who all attended and supported these brave and talented students after their contract hours. Our daughter, a full time virtual learner, looked forward to logging back in after school for each and every Karaoke Night (and so did we). Joy, laughter, chills, pride, and moments of strong emotion came out of all 3 members of our family each evening we participated. Thank you, Ms. McCarten, for bringing to joy to our world when we needed it most!"

- a Daniels Run ES parent

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Barb Ruffner, Kerry Henry, Krista Giunchi, and Dana Jones, Colvin Run ES

"The office staff at Colvin Run have always been very helpful and considerate to parents and children alike. Recently, I had to enroll my adopted daughter in school and had several questions over the months prior to her coming home.

The staff were always patient in answering my questions and helped make the enrolment process completely smooth and hassle free. Their cheerful smiles and greetings make me feel so welcome each time I have talked to them."

- a Colvin Run ES parent

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Rebecca McDade,  Stratford Landing ES

"Kindergarten is an important milestone in everyone's life, and Mrs. McDade is dedicated to making it a fun, creative, and safe place for children to grow and learn.

Mrs. McDade has been a steady, positive role-model for the children. She quickly adapted to the uncertainties that COVID brought and figured out how to connect with students remotely. It's inspiring to see how a teacher can really influence her students and motivate them to learn. Even though my five year old daughter had never met her teacher in person, she learned to read, write and count to 100...all via a laptop!  It's amazing to see the progress students made, in spite of the barriers that virtual learning brought. Our community is very fortunate to have teachers like Mrs. McDade helping our children thrive no matter the circumstances."

- a Stratford Landing ES parent

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Khristie Greiner, Chantilly HS

"Khristie Greiner consistently goes above and beyond in her daily work with students, parents, faculty, and staff at Chantilly High School. While not able to conduct in person meetings during COVID-19, she continued to have an open door policy, making herself available throughout the day and into the evening. Khristie also instituted Lunch with Mrs. Greiner presentations that occur at least one time each month on Mondays. Topics have included:  Academic Advising for College, Scholarships,  College Exploration, Paying for College, Finding the Right Fit College, etc., and all of them have been well attended by students and parents. Khristie has become a de facto ambassador for Student Services and Chantilly High School as a whole. She is an excellent communicator and sends a well-organized weekly Newsletter/email to the community and often creates them specific to a particular grade level.

Khristie is steadfastly committed to helping students investigate their post-grad goals from applying to selective schools, to pursuing vocational training and/or preparing for the military. She is invested in the success of every student. Khristie also collaborates with school counselors in myriad ways and often attends college planning meetings with students and families. It is hard to believe that Khristie Greiner is only in her second year in FCPS and at Chantilly High School. We are extremely blessed to have her as our College & Career Center Specialist.

Some other remarks from her colleagues:

•             Khristie has not only helped our department coordinate comprehensive college and career programs for the community, but she has also been extremely helpful to me as a counselor working with my students and families. If there is a unique request or area of interest, Khristie will provide me with detailed research to present the family. She is also willing to sit in on post-high school planning meetings to offer additional insight and information. Khristie is a wealth of knowledge who always shares what she knows with a smile, an abundance of enthusiasm, and some very positive energy.

•             Khristie is the type of person you can rely on to take an idea and run with it – and create something FAR BETTER than you ever conceived possible. In addition to her organizational and communication skills, Khristie works tirelessly to support counselors, teachers, other staff, families and students with her boundless energy and enthusiasm. I am always confident when I refer families and students to her for additional support and information, knowing they will be helped and find the confidence in their steps forward. Our department and program is better because of her commitment and expertise.

•             Thank you, Khristie, for all the emails you send our families with the weekly updates. I am always referencing your emails, and it has saved me a ton of research and extra work!!!!!!  I appreciate all that you do.  😊 Our department is lucky to have you!

•             Khristie is always willing to help me research an answer to a question that I have for either a student or family. She is always so kind and generous with her time to our student services team. She is a huge asset to our team!

•             Khristie! You have always been kind and encouraging. I appreciate our friendship. You’ve always been able to support my kids when I didn’t have the answer. It’s encouraging to know that you have such a wealth of information ready for our kids when they need. You’re on top of things, ready to take the lead if needed, a great team player, honest, and kind. I also love how you love our kids, our families, and our CHS community. I truly appreciate having been able to work with you these years. You’re an asset to our team!"

- Robyn Lady, Chantilly HS

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Shirley Johnson, Gatehouse Admin Center

"Shirley is so helpful, kind, and wow, she was great in locating 'way back in the day information.' She went out of her way to make using HR’s computer accessed tools easier to use, and is a lot of fun, happiness, and just a joy. Well done!!!"

- Michael Ross, Gatehouse Admin Center

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Rosemary Nevin, Terra Centre ES

"I could not pick one date to describe how wonderful Ms. Rosemary Nevin is; every single day of this journey has been beautiful, exciting, nurturing and loving. Not only my daughter, but my entire family here in the United States and back in Colombia love her. Terra Centre is the best school a family can find."

- a Terra Centre ES parent 

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Maureen Anderson and Jack Shimizu, Fox Mill ES

"Mrs. Maureen Anderson and Mr. Jack Shimizu, fifth grade teachers at Fox Mill Elementary, exemplify what it means to be an exceptional, caring teachers.

They have created an environment where all the children feel accepted and successful.

Mrs. Anderson is kind, helpful, very organized, clear on expectations, and truly cares about each student. Mr. Shimizu has such a calm and caring presence. He’s so kind and relatable to the kids. Both teachers took the time to listen and get to really know their students. Our 5th grader has thrived in the environment these wonderful teachers have each created separately, but as a team, both online and now in concurrent learning. Mrs. Anderson takes the time to call parents when she has a concern or information she knows we need. She helped me find support that my 5th grader needed, and followed up to be sure everything was going well. I wish so much that my daughter could have experienced Mrs. Anderson and Mr. Shimizu as her teachers in person, but they were able to create a teacher-student connection unlike my kids have ever experienced before. I’m so thankful that my daughter had the supportive learning experience she’s had with them in this difficult year. The memories she will have are nothing but positive, happy ones. Thank you both for the time, effort, and heart you put into your work and how you have helped our kids to shine. You are incredible teachers, and we are so thankful for you."

- a Fox Mill ES parent 

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Nicoleta Abott, West Springfield HS

"Mrs. Abott is one of the most important people in the lives of students in the ELD program. She is one of the people who knows that a student needs help and does everything she can to see him grow academically. I have no words to describe the wonderful times we had in her class.  More than 'a common classroom,' it is a place where you feel as a family around a person who will always be there supporting you. Her interest in the well-being of her students is unique. If there was an award for the best teacher in the world, I'm sure she would be the one to win it! Your ELD students greatly appreciate your work and effort!"

- a West Springfield HS student 

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Sara Manzano, Mount Vernon Woods ES

"Not only is Sara tremendously good at her job as a building supervisor, she regularly goes above and beyond to help our students and staff. She often volunteers to interpret for families, cover lunches when we are short handed, and has even helped out in our CARES room - and always with a smile! We are lucky to have her at 'The Woods.'"

- Kat Ngo, Mount Vernon Woods ES 

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Les Gray, Colvin Run ES

"My daughter is attending school virtually this year and Mr. Gray is her math teacher. She has always been struggling with math and never really enjoyed math class until now. Mr. Gray uses humor to help make learning math fun and easy to understand. He also ensures that his students feel like their questions are important. This helps encourage students like my daughter to speak up and participate in class. Mr. Gray is compassionate, and he will go the extra mile to help his students succeed. Thank you, Mr. Gray!"

- a Colvin Run ES family

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Haemin Shin, Willow Springs ES

"Mrs. Shin goes above and beyond to make sure all the remote work is set up for them to do autonomously at home and at school, which actually requires her to do so much prep work ahead of time for their class work. She always remains so enthusiastic during class, but helps them learn for themselves. She is amazing!"

- a Willow Springs ES parent

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Ryan Benson, Glasgow MS

"This is to acknowledge Ryan Benson, Math Teacher at Glasgow Middle School.

When our daughter started at Glasgow this year, it was her first year in public school after being at a Montessori School for eight years. In addition to helping our daughter integrate into middle school math, Mr. Benson also helped us understand how the grading system worked and what options we had for our daughter in math. Given we had no test records for our daughter, Mr. Benson made sure he evaluated her abilities so she could be placed in the appropriate class. She has done very well this year, not only in math, but in other classes, and part of that success was directly related to Mr. Benson.

Given he is also her Panther Time teacher, he made sure she was getting all the information she needed in her first year. We've truly appreciated his dedication to making sure every kid is successful!"

- Glasgow MS parents

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Kelli Allen, Franconia ES

"I am so pleased with Ms. Allen! She always goes above and beyond, and my daughter has excelled in her Kindergarten class! She has learned so much! I was so nervous at the beginning of the year since it was all virtual, but she’s really put in all her effort and it truly shows! We love you Ms. Allen!"

- a  Franconia ES parent

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Jennifer Iverson, Lake Braddock SS

"Ms. Iverson is my son's World History 10th grade teacher. She is not just teaching, she also spends time to talk to her students to make sure about their emotions and feelings from time to time. Then she contacts parents so we are on the same page. She is working hard to inform parents what our children learn in class by sending out emails on weekends. I greatly appreciate her dedicated work to our children, parents, and our school."

- a Lake Braddock SS parent

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Ashley Smith, Woodley Hills ES

"I am so lucky that I have the opportunity to work with such a fantastic teacher like Ms. Smith. A few weeks ago, Ms. Smith received a new student to her classroom, from another school program. This student had some difficulties in their previous school setting, and Ms. Smith was proactive in setting up her classroom to help ensure student success on day one! Not only is she one of the most positive teachers I have worked with, she is also one of the kindest! Anyone who spends even 5 minutes in her classroom can see the amount of time and effort she has spent creating a positive and safe learning environment, building rapport with her students, and planning individualized and engaging lessons. Her new student is still adjusting to their change in setting, and as such, has had some challenging days. Ms. Smith's calm demeanor, high expectations, clearly defined limits and expectations, use of visual supports, and kindness have helped to calm this student and redirect them back to work. The student is more communicative and engaged in their learning already, and it has only been a few weeks! It is such a joy to visit her classroom and watch her teach. Ms. Smith, even though there may be tough moments, there are so many fewer ones because of all of your hard work. KEEP IT UP!! :) "

- Heather Padgett, Willow Oaks

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Hollie McLaughlin, Kailah Nelson, Melissa Cerami, Erin Gibson, Lisa English, and Anne LeMay, Halley ES

"My daughter started attending Halley ES at the very end of January 2020 in their preschool special education program. She has some speech and social/emotional behavioral delays which were improving when COVID hit about 5 weeks into her participation at Halley. She has since made remarkable progress and I owe my daughter’s positive progression during that uncertain time to Anne LeMay and Lisa English and their genuine care and love and knowledge of what is important for children to understand, even when grownups are still figuring it out...

A virtual hug, as well as story time and playground mayhem, all do a mind and body good!

My daughter has since been attending “mainstream” Kindergarten at Halley. She has the same teachers, Ms. Hollie and Mrs. Cerami, as my other daughter did 2 years ago. Adding to that are Kailah Nelson and Erin Gibson. Two plus years ago, my oldest daughter entered into Kindergarten with Mrs. Cerami. She was already reading at an advanced level though this was not the case with her younger sister. Presently, however, my daughter , “the younger sister,” has mastered her sight words and more! She even helps me with story time at bedtime.

Mrs. Cerami, Ms. Hollie, Ms. Nelson, Ms. Gibson, Ms. LeMay and Ms. English ALL amaze me with their knowledge and positivity and authenticity. They should each, together and individually, be recognized as those from whom teaching comes from the heart.

Takeaway: Awesome!"

- a Halley ES parent

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Ileana Garcia, Dunn Loring Center

"Thank you, Ileana, for all the work you do behind the scenes to help students, teachers, and families. We appreciate how you go out of your way to meet the needs of students and their families, even when those needs are things like groceries and emotional support. This support has been all the more essential during the pandemic and goes a long way to help our families feel loved and cared for."

- Jude Welling Barrows, Interagency Schools

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Megan Lawhorne, Lees Corner ES

"Mrs. Lawhorne is a great a teacher and support to kids and parents. She is extremely professional and hardworking. During this pandemic, she went above and beyond to help kids feel connected. My daughter is very happy and learning a lot without my support in her virtual class. We feel lucky to have her in these testing times. Thanks, Mrs. Lawhorne!!"

- a Lees Corner ES parent

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Priscila Stevao, Virginia Hills Center

"Ms. Stevao works wonders with my youngest child. He is speech delayed and shy and she has helped him bloom. Oh the fun growth. He's talking more and more and having so much more fun. Ms. Stevao goes above and beyond helping him learn with her imaginative and thorough curriculum, but also because she has the warm personality that children respond to so nicely. She's fabulous and every school district needs 1000 of her. Truly, you should pay her a million dollars. She's worth it."

- a Mount Eagle ES parent

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Bryanna Gutierrez, Lake Braddock SS

"Bryanna Gutierrez is fantastic! She has been an amazing person to work with!

With her energy, students never get bored when she is around! She always has an interesting conversation to connect with students! She not only has an interesting conversation, but she also supports her virtual teacher to the fullest! From asking what she can do, to providing support with her knowledge of vast science, to helping the kids with science homework, Bryanna is a thoughtful person! Her key strong point is her flexibility to assist others.

Whenever another monitor needs assistance, she will go out of her way to assist with the issues! She even takes the effort of writing important information in the weekly team meetings. Bryanna has become a strong pillar to the Lake Braddock Classroom Monitor family, and we thank her for it!"

- Haider Humadi, Lake Braddock SS

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Jackie Patterson, Laurel Ridge ES

"Ms. Patterson has been an outstanding teacher, especially during this year’s unique online instruction model. My child began kindergarten this year and has been with Ms. Patterson for almost the entire time. Because of this year’s circumstances, I have often had occasion to hear the direct interactions between Ms. Patterson and her class (including my child), and I have been overwhelmed with comfort by hearing just how much she obviously cares about her students (including, but not limited to my child). I am frequently touched by her palpable empathy for, focus on, and connection to her students, and my child has learned so much this year from Ms. Patterson.

Thank you, Ms. Patterson, for being a stellar teacher and caring for our kids when they are with you!"

- a Laurel Ridge ES parent

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Erica Hosken, Lake Braddock SS

"Erica is one of the most helpful Classroom Monitors I have ever worked with!

Helping others is what Erica is known for. From volunteering outside of school, to volunteering inside of school, there isn’t a day when Erica doesn’t help. Just recently, when we received multiple 4 day a week students, Erica was on top of creating the seating chart for each student.

She not only took the time to do such a tedious task, but she also took the initiative to remember all her students' names from her own classroom to our VLL (Virtual Learning Lab) students. Erica is an amazing addition to Lake Braddock Family, and we are all happy that she is here!"

- Haider Humadi, Lake Braddock SS

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Aaron Curtis, Forte Center

"To prepare for our renovation, our school is in the process of removing 25 plus years of various obsolete books, equipment, furniture from classrooms, the library, etc. Aaron has done an superlative job of communicating with our administration and picking up these items in a quick and timely manner.

Efficient and professional, his team does an excellent job and always with a smile. Aaron and his team are a big reason why we are on time and prepared for our renovation. Huge thanks to Aaron!"

- Danielle Powers, Frost MS

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Becky Baenig, Gatehouse Admin Center

"Ms. Becky Baenig has been a fantastic leader of Region 5. In a time of frequent change, uncertain directives, and difficult decision making, Becky has been a source of clarity and stability. Whether it is her weekly communications full of both information and celebration on Mondays, or her consistent office hours on Friday that provide both guidance and levity, Becky has been a source of strength to leadership as a whole and to me specifically. The Region 5 Leadership, FCPS, and I are incredibly fortunate to have Becky Baenig as a colleague and resource."

- Tony DiBari, Westfield HS

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Natividad Ramos, Maurice Leake, and Jordan Jackson, Forte Center

"To prepare for renovation, our school cleaned out a huge amount of obsolete books and equipment. Natividad Ramos, Maurice Leake, and Jordan Jackson from the Forte Center made sure we had the large oversized Gaylord boxes that we needed (13 in total!), replacing and removing them in a timely manner so we could be ready on time and without the stress of emptying and moving classrooms and the library. And they did it with a smile. We could not have done this huge job without them. Thanks to you all!"

- Danielle Powers, Frost MS

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Emily Dahl, Camelot ES

"Ms. Dahl is my daughter's 3rd Grade main teacher at Camelot ES. We have spent most of this year virtual (until 4/16) with Ms. Dahl, and we hear and see every day how much effort she puts into her class. She has to corral them to and from each learning application and different work activities. She makes really good classwork assignments to reinforce learnings for the week.

She gives the kids goals to work toward and she even created a Willy Wonka golden ticket and a goody bag for each kid in the class, and dropped them off at each house so that they can tie their readings into a final goal of getting to watch the movie as a final reward. She keeps them engaged and focused even virtually. We can hear and see how hard she works for her kids.

It has certainly been a crazy, tough year for all, and Ms. Dahl goes above and beyond for our kids.  We appreciate her so much."

- a Camelot ES parent

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Beth Beil, Terra Centre ES

"It feels like just one week dedicated to Teacher Appreciation isn’t enough this year! Thank you, Mrs. Beil, for your calmness and support this year. You were one of the few constants for our daughter during such a different academic (and emotional) year!"

- a Terra Centre ES parent

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Aaron Curtis, Nati Ramos, and Rick Madigan, Forte Center

"Taking this opportunity to thank you every step of the way -  from my inquiries about bookcases, to you providing me measurements so that our office could identify how many we could use, to the work order being set up for delivery today. The delivery process was as smooth as silk with Nati Ramos and Rick Madigan moving them in so carefully and diligently.  A transition of furniture to make our office more user friendly for the staff, families and community we serve.  The entire process, to include Nati and Rick was true professionalism at the forefront.

You manage such an integral part of the FCPS division and as a “recipient” of it, we here at the Parent Resource Center can’t thank you enough!  😊

Thank you for ALL you and your awesome staff do for us, and for FCPS as a whole!"

- Rita Berlin, Dunn Loring Center

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Emily Dahl, Camelot ES

"I want to recognize Ms. Dahl, my child's 3rd grade teacher, for her exceptional efforts in providing a high level of virtual instruction to 3rd graders, and for outstanding coordination of their return to school. She is dedicated and gifted, and I hope that you will recognize her significant contributions!"

- a Camelot ES parent

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Josette Kearney, McNair ES

"I am trying to express the contribution and efforts taken by Ms. Kearney.

We appreciate you for all the simple and hard things you did for him. Your advice and belief in students has really pushed forward and given needed confidence. You are a fantastic mentor. We greatly appreciate your dedication and commitment to your students."

- a McNair ES parent

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Maura Keaney, Kings Glen ES

"Embracing the asynchronous Mondays, Kings Glen offered a multitude of clubs for students, one being History Makers. Maura embraced the students' interest while allowing for deeper learning to occur. On Monday, April 19th, the Governor of Virginia announced 5 news state historical highway makers addressing individuals of significance to African American history. Three of the five historical markers were named by students at Kings Glen who were part of the History Hunters Club! As Maura included in her tweet about this, "Who said deeper learning can't happen during COVID?" Maura's leadership, passion and advocacy has surely inspired these children more than we will ever know! Thank you Maura!"

- a Kings Glen ES parent

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Sarah Erbes, Eagle View ES

"Ms. Erbes has been incredible with her kindergartners. I have been watching her teach our kid while school was all virtual. She is very patient and very good with all the kids. Our kid has nothing but good things to say about Ms. Erbes. The fact that he looked forward to getting on the laptop to do his virtual school because of his teacher said a lot to me. When school went to a hybrid model, all he can talk about is how nice she is and how much fun he has."

- an Eagle View ES parent

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Dave Jagels, Gatehouse Admin Center

"While I have only been working directly under Mr. Dave Jagels for about 2 months, he has already had an enormous impact. Dave has served as the calm voice of reason while working through a variety of new experiences, and always provides time and space to think through issues. He has provided incredibly thoughtful feedback when I have come to him with actions and/or questions, and truly makes people feel like equal thought partners. Additionally, Dave is incredibly accessible and makes himself available whenever needed, despite (what I imagine) is an incredibly full schedule with people pulling on him in multiple directions. Not to overstate, but I truly don't know how I would be able to pull off a new principalship without having Dave Jagels as a support.

The Westfield Community, FCPS, and I are truly a better place because of the work that Dave does."

- Tony DiBari, Westfield HS

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Jan Bonner, Min Han, Susan Savage, Linda Chang, Mary Espinoza, Amanda Redman and Steve Campbell, Willow Oaks Admin Center

"Shout out to the ISD Finance Team: Not only are each and every one extremely knowledgeable and finance savvy, but each has the ability and willingness to pass on that knowledge. We are encouraged to reach out any time (and we sure do) and are NEVER made to feel bad about our questions, no matter how many times we ask the same ones. The meetings Jan Bonner and her team put together are always chock-full of timely material and well-presented. In fact, the time goes by quickly, and at the end of the meeting, it's hard to believe it's over. Imagine that -- a finance meeting that keeps the attendees engaged. Thank you, ISD Finance, for assisting us in navigating our way through the finance portion of our jobs."

-  Jennifer Sharp, Willow Oaks Admin Center

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Tracy Tashima, Hunt Valley ES

"Ms. Tashima has been one of the best teachers our son has ever had the pleasure of knowing. She crushed 100% virtual teaching, hybrid teaching, and in-person teaching. We could not have asked for a better teacher for our son.

She is so patient, communicative, and caring. We are so thankful for her and appreciate everything she does!"

-  a Hunt Valley ES parent

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Kellie Kirstein, Lewis HS

"My high school senior was struggling with virtual learning and carrying a full course load. Mrs. Kirstein took the time to listen to my child’s concerns, identify options, and then made the selected option happen. Thanks to her, my child is set up for success and will graduate with his class on time! Mrs. Kirstein is a pleasure to work with, and she is truly passionate about her job!  Big thank you to Mrs. Kellie Kirstein!"

-  a Lewis HS parent

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Elizabeth Donohue, Providence ES

"I would like to recognize my co-worker, Beth Donohue. She is the person responsible for attendance and transportation. Her work is flawless! She has created an efficient way to arrange when the students go different ways at dismissal. Recently, with the constant changes, she has worked tirelessly to accommodate every student's transportation needs. The staff are released from their duties at a convenient time thanks to her awesome job. She organized the picture days for the students in a most efficient and safe way, and the event was a success. Every student, virtual and in-person, got their picture taken, also in a very efficient way. I am happy to work with this individual who is both a hard and creative worker."

-  Monica P. Tatis-Phan, Providence ES

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Jeanette Burpoe and Jennifer Gesell, Oak Hill ES

"Mrs. Burpoe and Mrs. Gesell are very gifted, patient, kind, fun and compassionate teachers. They find creative ways to meet their students where they are and help them to grow and learn. Our son has absolutely thrived with their help this year. With their instruction and support, he has developed an intrinsic desire to learn, in addition to very concrete advances in language and other skills. He can't wait to go to school every day! We are so grateful that they are his teachers; we couldn't ask for a better team!"

-  an Oak Hill ES parent

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Katharine Boehm, Kent Gardens ES

"Because of her devotion and encouragement, my daughter loves her French immersion program."

-  a Kent Gardens ES parent

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Aileen Flaherty, Camelot ES

"Ms. Flaherty has been the principal at my kid's school for the last 8 years, and through all this time, she has led the school community with a professionalism and work ethic that has resulted in a well-run and well-liked school. But through the last year, she has been a superhero working to operationalize all the various plans. She has been unflappable, and has always kept the kids and families in mind - driving for flexibility to ensure they are all taken care of during this difficult time. I wanted to thank her for her tremendous effort and all that she does to keep our community strong."

-  a Terraset ES parent

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Kathleen Dore, Terraset ES

"I have had the extreme pleasure of having Ms. Dore as my daughter's first and second grade teacher. My first exchanges with Ms. Dore were when my daughter entered first grade, and we spoke about her strengths and weaknesses, along with her anxieties with me being gone 4 days a week to attend nursing school in Winchester. Ms. Dore sent me weekly emails, updating me on my daughter's progress. My daughter thrived in her class and absolutely adored her. As I entered the workforce as an RN, Ms. Dore helped my daughter adjust to our family changes, especially having a mom who walked right into a pandemic. We kept in touch over the summer and were over the moon to find out Ms. Dore was my daughter's second grade teacher! Words cannot describe how wonderful she truly is. She really takes the time to know and understand the students, even with all this virtual circus that has been going on. She notices differences in my daughter's behavior, even in the slightest bit, and will reach out to me immediately so we can talk about it. She is so considerate of my crazy nightshift schedule, and is incredibly accommodating. She takes the time to work one on one with the students and has even worked with me to help my daughter understand work at home the way she would teach it in class. She gives so much of herself to her students and their parents, it should be standard for her to be recognized every single day of the week. Terraset Elementary is so lucky to have a teacher like her. And we will be forever grateful to have known such an amazing woman."

-  a Terraset ES parent

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Emily Dahl, Camelot ES

"For this entire year, Ms. Dahl has lead my daughter's 3rd grade classroom with a positive energy that engages the kids - even through the screen. She is organized, even-tempered, caring, and above all, has rolled with all the various changes and challenges that have been asked with a professionalism well beyond her years as a teacher. I want to extend my thanks to Ms. Dahl for all she does for her class and my daughter!"

-  a Camelot ES parent

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Kelly Tatian and Charles Grausz, Oakton HS

"Kelly and Charles have been key this school year for our daughter to be able to pass this school year. They have been in constant communication with me, which they don't have to be doing, but I know they want to help out our daughter, and they know what a difficult year she's had. They have both been so understanding and have provided different options on how to improve and what can be done to help her with her school work. Thank you for your patience and understanding! You guys rock!"

-  a Woodson HS parent

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Julia Varona, Woodson HS

"Ms. Varona has worked tirelessly all year teaching high school Spanish virtually, concurrently, and in-person. One of the really special things about her is how she includes caregivers with regular communication. Her emails are always friendly and welcoming. As the parent of a new high schooler, I have really appreciated getting to 'know' her via her emails and the window it gives me into how I can support my student during this difficult year."

-  a Woodson HS parent

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Anne Rupert, Robinson SS

"My daughter has been a member of the Robinson Orchestra program under the direction of Anne Rupert since 7th grade. Orchestra has always been her favorite part of the school day, and participating in the program has provided her with challenging musical opportunities, close friendships, and lots of wonderful memories. As a senior this year, one of the most difficult impacts of the pandemic was accepting the fact that she would not have a senior year with orchestra - no concerts, no spring trip, and no senior solo.

Orchestra is not a class that lends itself to a virtual environment, but Mrs. Rupert went above and beyond to help her students continue to grow and learn as musicians, even from behind the computer screen. When students were finally allowed to attend school in-person again in March, orchestra class was the main reason my daughter wanted to go back. She was so excited to be able to play her instrument again, surrounded by her peers! Mrs. Rupert is also preparing the students for a concert at the end of the year. She has spent a lot of time and effort coordinating rehearsal times and spaces for practices that will occur outside of normal school hours, which will culminate in a performance for families in the field house. The most exciting thing about this is that my daughter will be able to play a senior solo with the orchestra! I'm sure that it will be the highlight of her senior year, and as a parent, I am so thankful to Mrs. Rupert for making this happen. She is an amazing teacher, a talented musician, a hard worker, and most importantly of all, she cares about her students, and will do everything she can to help them flourish. Mrs. Rupert has been a positive influence on my daughter throughout her 6 years at Robinson, and we will forever be grateful for her."

-  a Robinson SS parent

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Jameka Mensah, Annandale Terrace ES

"Mrs. Mensah always has a lot of patience with the kids. I appreciate all the teachers who are literally working 2 jobs during this pandemic. One, teaching directly to kids who are in the class, and simultaneously teaching kids who are online. It takes a lot of effort, patience, hard work, dedication, planning, and execution to do their job. With this submission, I want to thank all the school staff and teachers for their excellent, excellent work. Mrs. Mensah is very accommodating to all kids, listening to each and every one, and giving turns to each and every one, and connecting everyday discussions to learning for the kids. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!"

-  an Annandale Terrace ES parent

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Ruth Rodriguez, Lewis HS

"Ms. Rodriguez has been an amazing asset to my son and our family. She goes above and beyond to help guide our son with his path in school. She has helped us out with any problems we have or just asking questions. We are so thankful for everything she has done for our son this year. She has made our transition into HS a better experience. She cares! Thank you."

-  a Lewis HS parent

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Mary Kay Folk, Cooper MS

"Mary Kay is unbelievably skilled at effectively communicating with both students and parents. She is always positive, caring and clear! In particular, I witnessed her making an individual plan for a student to catch up on work that he had missed. She eased the student's concerns, lowered his stress level, and ultimately helped him to be successful in Honors 8th grade English class.

This is not the first time I have seen her individually touch base with her students to make sure they are reaching their full potential in her class.

She consistently takes the time to check in with her students and their parents and it is so appreciated.  Mary Kay is an amazing English teacher!"

-  Jill Donnelly, Cooper MS 

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Gina Silva, White Oaks ES

"We appreciate Mrs. Silva so much!"

-  a White Oaks ES parent 

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Ralph DiBacco, White Oaks ES

"My daughter has an amazing teacher!"

-  a White Oaks ES parent 

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Ray Lonnett, Gatehouse Admin. Center

"Thank you, Ray, for continuing to support the GMU/FCPS iLEAD team, and the SIIP Network Improvement Community, with your Championship of this valuable work of embedding continuous improvement and the methods and tool of Improvement Science into the school improvement process. Your guidance and stewardship is so valuable."

-  Claire Silva, Willow Oaks Admin Center 

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Robyn Ridpath, Fairview ES

"Robyn Ridpath is the best of the best! This has been the end of a long week, of a long month, of a long year, of a long academic year, of a long pandemic.

And Ms. Ridpath has remained steadfast and dedicated the entire time! She has never once given up. She has never once lost her temper or lost her motivation. This woman is a godsend and we are fortunate to have her at Fairview!"

-  a Fairview ES parent 

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Michael Hale, Sprague Technology Center

"I would like to recognize Michael Hale, TSSpec, at Sprague Technology Center. He has been most helpful and very responsive to emails that I have sent to him. He is always very willing to provide information requested in the most timely manner. He also has a very pleasant demeanor. You are truly a great role model for IT.

Thanks, Michael!!!"

-  Janet Montgomery, Woodson IT 

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Michele Neville, Garfield ES

"Michele goes out of her way to engage her students, tuning into their individual interests and finding ways to help students make connections to what they are learning in the classroom. She makes individualized instruction seem effortless and most importantly, my child walks away from their virtual meetings feeling empowered, valued, and cared for. A prime example of her creativity and dedication is when she hand made a special bag with my student's pet gerbils imprinted on it, and used it to deliver specific learning supplies to our home. This act built a bridge beyond the confines of BBCU and even the school building. Thank you, FCPS, for hiring and acknowledging how amazing staff members like Michele Neville are."

-  a Garfield ES parent

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Serine Belkacemi, Lake Braddock SS

"Serine has been a pleasure to work with this unique school year. As a classroom monitor here at LB, she works with two different virtual teachers, and she assists whenever and wherever we need coverage. Sometimes she doesn't even know her schedule until that morning. She is always willing and ready to go where we need her that day! Mrs. B, as students refer to her, has done an excellent job helping the in-person students. Serine is a wonderful addition to our Lake Braddock family this year!"

-  Kimberly Cox, Lake Braddock SS

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Haider Humadi, Lake Braddock SS

"Haider has been an exceptional addition to our Lake Braddock family. As a classroom monitor, he assists his virtual teacher perfectly in the classroom with the in-person students. He definitely has become more of a co-teacher to those students. He loves what he does and is always willing to help in any place! He is always happy to come to work, and we love having him here as a Bruin this year!"

-  Kimberly Cox, Lake Braddock SS

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Tim Harazin, Karen Cogan, Jeannine Carter, Phyllis Callaman, Imran Ali, Aaron Curtis, Rob Besceglia, and Ronnie Presley, Forte Center

"With the ingenuity and support of the Forte Center team, 5,472 Grow At Home kits were packaged and delivered to students across the county! The team had to devise a way to deliver soil, green bean seeds, and educational packets to 88 schools and centers in an effort to provide hands-on learning experiences to students. Talk about a team effort! The staff at Forte Center even figured out a way to minimize waste by using reusable bins to make the deliveries!

Get2Green would like to extend our deep gratitude to the Forte Center team for their contributions to the success of the Grow At Home program, funded by a grant from Dominion Energy. Thank you all for your support in purchasing, receiving, packing, and delivering the kits - you made Grow at Home possible!"

-  Donna Volkmann, Ali Culhane and Morgan Maloney, Get2Green

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Karen Hemmerdinger, Robinson SS

"Ms. Hemmerdinger has been very eager to communicate and sends frequent emails to collaborate with parents to help each child succeed. I hope more teachers will follow in her footsteps. More children would succeed and feel less like a 'number' and more like a person, which is just what this society needs right now."

-  a Robinson SS parent

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Jennifer Shroff, Hollin Meadows ES 

"Mrs. Shroff is amazing! The children and staff love her because she is one of the kindest and fairest teachers. No matter what is going on, she always takes time to do the simple things like smile and acknowledge you with warm sincerity. She definitely contributes to making our school culture more caring. I always love teaching with her because she doesn’t hesitate to participate and inject some fun and humor into the children’s learning.

It’s always nice to hear when other teachers, parents and students recognize someone special like Mrs. Shroff."

-  Tené McBee, Hollin Meadows ES 

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Ricky Madigan, Forte Center

"To prepare for renovation, our school cleaned out a lot of obsolete books and equipment - so much that we filled 13 extra large Gaylord boxes over a two month period. Rick visited our school multiple times to pick-up full boxes and bring more for us. We couldn't have been ready for renovation in time without the help of Rick and others from the warehouse who made sure we had our obsolete materials removed on time. Huge thanks to Rick and the Forte team!"

-  Danielle Powers, Frost MS

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Jeanette Wolff, Newington Forest ES

"So Ms. Wolff is my daughter's 4th grade teacher at NFES and she is amazing - the kindest, most consistent and knowledgeable teacher, with such selfless care. Our girl has had a lot of challenges, and Ms. Wolff has been with her all year on her and her goals, to help her learn and grow.  Thank you, Ms. Wolff!" 

-  a Newington Forest ES parent

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Nicholas Calamito, Robinson SS

"Mr. Calamito is my daughter's English teacher this year (2020-21). Despite the numerous challenges with virtual learning and the pandemic, he has worked hard to form a meaningful connection with his students and help them feel understood during these bizarre times. I absolutely appreciate his genuine care for the students' well-being first. Mr. Calamito is the teacher my daughter needed this year, and I'm grateful!"

-  a Robinson SS parent

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Patricia Hansen, Colvin Run ES

"My son came to Colvin Run as an English learner a few years ago. He is now in Mrs. Hansen's class. I am very grateful to all the teachers and school staff for taking good care of him. I especially want to thank Mrs. Hansen for her patience and help. In the last month of in-person learning, I saw big changes and improvement in my son. Mrs. Hansen took the time to read novels and recite vocabulary words with him. She tried all kinds of ways to help improve his English ability and help him like school. A whole-heartedly thank-you from the parents to Mrs. Hansen. We really appreciate you."

-  a Colvin Run ES parent

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Lorraine Fetterolf, Mount Vernon HS

"Today I went into the registration office at MVHS. Lorraine went out of her way to help me and to put my mind at ease about the employee transfer process. She has been in constant contact with me all day with the documents needed, and has been very responsive. I appreciate her kindness and willingness to go the extra mile."

-  Lorri Hallenbeck, Riverside ES

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Catherine Koelliker, Westgate ES

"Catherine is a great teacher! She will go above and beyond when supporting her student's needs. Additionally, Catherine is dedicated to being a mentor.

She is willing to take an hour, at the least, out of her week to meet and answer questions; and if she doesn't have the answer, she will go to all lengths to find the answer. She is also always able to put a smile on everyone and anyone's face! Catherine is juggling between being a special education teacher, Local Screening Chair, and mentor, and still gives each position her all."

- Megan Amelio, Westgate ES

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Julie McDonald, Westgate ES

"Julie has made my transition into Westgate smooth and comforting -- even in the virtual setting. At the beginning of the school year, Julie guided me in making our schedules. She even helped with my 2nd graders' schedule and doesn't even support that grade. On top of her own daily stressors, Julie took on more responsibility by becoming a CT lead and mentor. She is willing to take time to share her expertise and collaborate with others."

- Megan Amelio, Westgate ES

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Alicia Hawks, Julianna Horneman, and Sheri Kiley, Fort Hunt ES

"I’d like to give a big shout out of appreciation to Alicia, Juliana, and Sheri for their amazing work with my first graders! I appreciate their support of student enrichment and interventions this year. It truly takes a village, and I am so grateful for their dedication to our students!"

- Nicole Cancilla, Fort Hunt ES

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Samantha Melton, Hollin Meadows ES

"Ms. Melton has been such an amazing teacher and partner throughout this challenging school year, both for my 4th grader and for me! Even though technology has been a challenge, she is (amazingly!) always on top of what my student is up to, and has proactively reached out to check in at times when her class engagement is not the norm. She's gone above and beyond to help with learning strategies, even calling in the math specialist to do an assessment.

It feels like she really 'gets' who my kid is and is invested in her success.

Her feedback was key to our many family conversations about whether to continue with virtual or go back to in-person, and I truly trust her take on things."

- a Hollin Meadows ES parent

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Shelly Pennow, Hayfield SS

"Ms. Pennow has been such a great teacher for my daughter's first year of Spanish at Hayfield. She's engaging and fun, but also challenges the students to participate. With a virtual setting, I've heard my daughter get more confident through class participation. I know it could have been easy to relax that requirement in this setting, but it's such an important part of learning a language. My daughter even said she looks forward to tests in Ms. Pennow's class - that's a first!"

- a Hayfield SS parent

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David Foss, Keene Mill ES

"Mr. Foss is an phenomenal teacher. There is not a specific date that I will refer to, but to the entire school year (2020-2021). Mr. Foss has gone above and beyond helping our daughter navigate through this difficult year. He has always been there to answer her questions until she understands either the concept or lesson. His explanations in math are amazing. One of his gifts as a teacher is to make the student feel comfortable, and our daughter has so appreciated that trait that he brings to class EVERY DAY. Another attribute that has helped our daughter is the practical way Mr. Foss teaches. When concepts are explained, they are described so she can understand what is being taught. We are so grateful that she has had the opportunity and privilege of being one of Mr. Foss students. We are so appreciative for all that he has done for her throughout this past year."

- a Keene Mill ES parent

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Jordan Jones, Great Falls ES

"Jordan has gone above and beyond to make all of her students feel welcome. She has participated in different school awareness days for different disabilities. But she doesn’t stop there, she takes the time to explain things to her class. She lets them know it’s ok to be different and that we all have different abilities. As a Special Educator and Mother of a Special Needs FCPS student, this means the world to me. We need more inclusive Educators like Jordan. Great Falls Elementary is so lucky to have her and I am honored to work with her."

- Heather Zahory, Great Falls ES 

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Vera Lukas, Glasgow MS

"She cares so much about her students. She reaches out to the parents and children if she sees there are problems. Mrs. Lukas helps her students after class hours on what they are struggling with. She doesn't want to give a failing grade to the student. She has great communication with the student and/or parents to see what is going on and what work needs to be done to improve. Mrs. Lukas loves teaching Spanish, and goes above and beyond for her students success in learning the language. Thank You Mrs. Lukas!"

- a Glasgow MS parent

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Stephen Alexander, Colvin Run ES

"Mr. Alexander is a wonderful, truly dedicated teacher. We are so fortunate that our child is in his class during this most challenging year. He makes learning so much fun - definitely a feat during virtual learning - and has also taught students independence and responsibility. Every week, Mr. Alexander provides thorough updates for parents. We are so thankful that he is a CRES teacher. Thank you!"

- a Colvin Run ES parent

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Patricia Hansen, Colvin Run ES

"Mrs. Hansen is a fabulous 6th grade teacher, providing both academic and emotional growth this year - an amazing task during this mostly virtual year. She has instilled confidence in our child, and well prepares her students for middle school. We are so fortunate to have her at CRES."

- a Colvin Run ES parent

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Tawanya Scarboro, Colvin Run ES

"Mrs. Scarboro is a caring and truly dedicated Kindergarten teacher. She was fundamental in piloting the in person experience for students this year. She has done a fabulous job teaching the children this year, both virtually and in person. CRES is so fortunate to benefit from her leadership and true dedication."

- a Colvin Run ES parent

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Jim Jenkins, Lorton Center

"Jim Jenkins supports the Office of Transportation Services as a Functional Applications Specialist. I am impressed with the knowledge Jim possesses with many different projects. I can count on Jim to know how technical components operate, and he is able to analyze a problem, diagnose the issue and resolve the matter. If he gets stumped (rarely) he researches the market to learn more about the product. With his positive upbeat attitude, he is an asset to our team."

- Francine Furby, Lorton Center

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Christie Pagan, Lorton Center

"Christie Pagan, Financial Analyst II, has been extremely responsive with tasks and questions assigned to her. Many times, she is focused on her daily finance duties (numbers floating feverishly) and has to quickly shift towards a different focus. She does it with care, patience, and precision. When asked to produce reports, graphs, and complete formal requests, I can always count on the task to be completed professionally and in a timely manner, even when there is little time to complete it. Christie is fairly new (2 1/2 years) in her position and has trained staff and taken on new responsibilities without complaint. I am truly thankful to have her in this position and on my team, supporting and guiding our budget. I would not be able to do it without her. Thank you for a continuous job well done."

- Francine Furby, Lorton Center

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Kate Hebert and Andrea Sanchez, Daniels Run ES

"The VAAP collection this year has been a significant addition on teachers' plates due to some students being virtual and still requiring the VAAP assessment. Both Kate and Andrea have worked diligently teaching, collecting, uploading, and checking the VAAP evidence. They took time outside contracted hours to plan the collection, coach parents, and make sure all evidence was graded and documented correctly. We are thankful for all of their efforts in completing the VAAP assessments with their students!"

- Lauren Hein, Daniels Run ES

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Dawn Reese, Sangster ES

"Mrs. Reese volunteered her time to host two after school family paint nights organized by Sangster PTA. This was a huge hit with over 189 virtual participants! This is a perfect example of a Specials Teacher going above and beyond to connect with students and their families."

- a Sangster ES parent

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Maide Alas Aguilar, Gatehouse Admin Center

"I am a special education teacher. On 4/19/21, I had the pleasure of working with Ms. Aguilar during a Re-evaluation and Eligibility meeting. The family involved required Spanish translation, and Ms. Aguilar provided those services. In addition, for portions of the meeting, the parent attended virtually while in a car. This was a challenging meeting. Ms. Aguilar went above and beyond any experience I have had with a translator. She asked me beforehand for any pertinent documents so that she would be prepared. She was early to the meeting. She was very professional. She asked the attendees to be succinct and take timely pauses to allow for the most accurate translation. She was very patient with the family and made sure that their needs were kept front and center, and that she honored what the parent wanted to get across. I felt that the way she advocated for the parent was extraordinary. I believe Ms. Aguilar is an asset to FCPS, and would be thrilled to work with her again."

- Nicole Ingegneri, Keene Mill ES

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Sara Field, Sangster ES

"Ms. Sara Field has been a Godsend this year! She is an amazingly organized and effective teacher, even during this most challenging year! She is extremely patient, kind, and dedicated to all of her (wow) 26 virtual and concurrent 5th grade AAP students. Ms. Field is always encouraging her students (and us parents) to have a 'Growth Mindset' and has continually both reassured us and proven that she is able to meet our child's needs to feel safe, loved, and capable - especially this year. Ms. Field sends a beautiful, detailed newsletter each week, and follows up with individual notes and calls, so I am aware of my child's progress. She also has an incredible sense of humor, and it shines through in her discussions with students and communication home. In fact, one of her e-mails made me smile so much, my virtual teacher stopped class to ask me why I was smiling so big! This warmed my heart so, and will be forever part of my memories of this year and featured my child's baby book (if I ever get to it). I cannot thank Ms. Field enough for her kindness, humor, and ability to effectively teach my child, create incredible classroom connections, and help him be a more confident and happy human being. A sincere thank you. Wishing you well!"

- a Sangster ES parent

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Emilie Fox, Colvin Run ES

"Mrs. Fox was part of a program for certain ESOL students to come into school for a few Mondays for a half day. My daughter, who is an English learner, was part of this program, and absolutely enjoyed her time with Mrs. Fox. She enjoyed being shown around the school, the games, and other activities. Thank you, Mrs. Fox, for participating in the program and making my daughter feel so welcome."

- a Colvin Run ES parent

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Michelle Weaver, Lake Braddock SS

The following is an email sent to Michelle's supervisor, me, informing me of something she did that was above and beyond the scope of her job. She did it for everyone in the department - all 16 teachers. 

"I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate Michelle. I just got done talking with her and realized that she is doing all of the paperwork for us teachers for the 4 day students. That is an amazing amount of work that she has taken off of our plates! I feel very lucky to have her as our department chair and thought you should know."

- Lance Jackson, Lake Braddock SS

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Sedrick Winston, Rocky Run MS

"Officer Winston did a mini lesson with the students in our Autism Program. He answered questions about being a police officer and what they do, and he brought the students to his police cruiser. He explained to the students what all the different parts of the car are for. The kids loved their time with Officer Winston and he was so patient and kind with them."

- Christine Sciabica, Rocky Run MS

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Alisa Waggoner, Wakefield Forest ES

"Mrs. Waggoner's detail and dedication into her lesson planning is astounding. This year has been challenging in so many ways for everyone. Her constant optimism and enthusiasm for Music is contagious. Mrs. Waggoner is always looking for fun and educational ways to engage the students in Music. Not only are the students gaining music knowledge, but they are learning about other cultures/communities through a music lens."

- Fallon Hansen, Wakefield Forest ES

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Shannon Lopynski, Longfellow MS

"Ms. Lopynski has gone above and beyond all year in supporting our daughter. Her understanding and caring are genuine, and she has helped not only our daughter, but us as well. She's been an invaluable support throughout a difficult year. We are so very grateful for her."

- a Longfellow MS parent

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Lindsey Knoll, Westgate ES

"Lindsey Knoll is an incredible new teacher. She is actively anti-racist, and prioritizes social-emotional learning and development in her classroom every day. This year, she has taken on motherhood in the midst of a pandemic -- all while being the best colleague there is! She is thoughtful in her content and planning, generous in sharing her resources, and beyond kind to all staff members. Lindsey is exactly the kind of teacher every student deserves and every parent wishes for."

- Maya Cash, Westgate ES

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Jim Bochert, Yixin Wilson, Jorge Del Carpio Vasquez, and Amanda Cadolino, Gatehouse Admin Center

"Much appreciation to Jim, Yixin, Jorge, and Amanda for their work in pulling together the data I requested. Data was needed for a critical project with a very quick turnaround. This team worked over the weekend and in the evenings to help make sure the data was accurate, complete, and then refined as adjustments to the request were made. Thank you to this team for their support and responsiveness – both for this project and in all my requests!"

- Ellie Stack, Willow Oaks Admin Center

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Natashi Anthony, Sheila Weaver, Kirstin Stamper, 

"Natashi, Sheila, and Kirsten did not hesitate to volunteer when a call for help was sent out at the end of the day yesterday. Their responsiveness, thoroughness, and professionalism are greatly appreciated. Their teamwork was essential in providing the critical information required for a project with a looming deadline. The information they provided will help ensure the right packets are received by the right students (Student Success). I could not do the work that I needed to do without the incredible support provided by these three awesome administrative assistants."

- Ellie Stack, Willow Oaks Admin Center

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Lauren Grimm, Colvin Run ES

"Ms. Grimm is a wonderful, kind, and engaging art teacher. She has been so welcoming to my adopted daughter who started school end of January. Thank you so much for all you are doing."

- a Colvin Run ES parent

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Kerry Hunt, Colvin Run ES

"My daughter is a fully virtual student this year, and I have the opportunity to listen into her classes quite often. I have watched her grow in confidence, participate actively and thoroughly enjoy her school day. It is tough to keep the students engaged in a virtual environment, and I so appreciate Mrs. Hunt's calm, organized and engaging way of conducting her classes. Thank you for everything you are doing."

- a Colvin Run ES parent

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Lauren Zortman, Colvin Run ES

"My daughter was recently adopted and is in Ms. Zortman's class. She is an English learner and academically behind. Ms. Zortman has been so kind and helpful to her and us in working on a separate academic plan and making sure my daughter is settling in well. Thank you Ms. Zortman for everything you are doing for our daughter. We have seen her confidence grow and she absolutely loves going to school."

- a Colvin Run ES parent

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Laura Johnson, Colvin Run ES

"My daughter is an ESOL student under Mrs. Johnson. From the time she started school in late January, Mrs. Johnson has been extremely kind, helpful, and responsive to all her and our needs. I have seen my daughter gain confidence and participate more in her classes. Thank you for everything you are doing."

- a Colvin Run ES parent

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Kurt Soderstrom, Colvin Run ES

"We adopted our daughter, and she is academically behind her grade. Mr. Soderstrom has been so helpful in getting her whatever support she needs. My husband and I truly appreciate how responsive he is to our questions and concerns."

- a Colvin Run ES parent

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Kenneth Junge, Colvin Run ES

"We adopted our daughter, and she is academically behind her grade. Mr. Junge has been so helpful in getting her whatever support she needs. My husband and I truly appreciate how responsive he is to our questions and concerns."

- a Colvin Run ES parent

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Phillip Boatwright, Gatehouse Admin Center

"Today and several days last week and the week before, I have called Mr. Boatwright for assistance in ordering through Focus. He has been super helpful, professional, and responsive to all of my requests. He does his job well by supporting the schools with their needs. I truly appreciate him walking me through step by step on what I needed done. Thanks, Mr. Boatwright! The county is lucky to have such a knowledgeable, kind, professional individual as Mr. Boatwright."

- Linda Layton, Rose Hill ES

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Caitlin Zayas, Lake Braddock SS

"Caitlin is the definition of a dedicated teacher. She consistently goes far above what is expected to help her students thrive academically, grow socially, and cope emotionally. The patience and flexibility she exhibits daily are inspiring. All of her students (past and present) are very fortunate to have her on their side. She does right by them even when that task is filled with obstacles. Caitlin embodies what we want all teachers to strive for at Lake Braddock."

- Tracey Butler-Johnson, Lake Braddock SS

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Susan Ellis, Sprague Technology Center

"Susan went above and beyond answering my call for assistance when I called into the IT Help Desk. Extremely humble, compassionate, helpful, personal, and professional. Sharing out about experiences we are all going thru kept 'the real thing real.'  IT is truly phenomenal at all times, but truly the 'backbone' especially during these times. Major kudos to Susan on so many levels!!!"

- Rita Berlin, Dunn Loring Center

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Dina Dooley, West Potomac HS

"Dina is always a safe, humorous, and positive person for all of our students and treats them as her own. A student who has received quite a bit of support from our school community made custom masks for Dina and delivered them this morning, unprompted, because of Dina's kindness, snacks, and compliments. Dina has been at West Potomac and in the area for quite some time and models for everyone who meets her how we take care of our students and believe in kids at West Potomac."

- Mike Henrich, West Potomac HS

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Tarik Kilgore, Riverside ES

"Tarik has been a technology superhero this year with my classroom. It doesn't matter what he is in the middle of, he will stop what he is doing and help our classroom with issues. With students coming back this week, he has made several trips to the classroom to make sure that we are set up for success. Not only does he help with technology, but he also has formed lasting relationships with the staff and students. We are so lucky to have him!"

- Lorri Hallenbeck, Riverside ES

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Kerrissa Watson, Lorton Center

"Kerrissa has consistently gone above and beyond ALL year. She is a delight to work with! Kerrissa responds quickly, professionally, and with constant grace. I am so incredibly grateful for her hard work, positive attitude, and support she has provided to Kings Glen with all of our transportation needs!"

- Christine Ritter, Kings Glen ES

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Jacqueline Patterson, Laurel Ridge ES

"Ms. Patterson has made this year an amazing year for her students. She's so vibrant and engaging and knows how to get the best from her students. She has really helped students to progress and to feel included and valued. Thank you!"

- a Laurel Ridge ES parent

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Dave Poach, Bob Battani, and Kevin Mahan, Westfield HS

"Every day I am amazed at our wonderful security team at Westfield High School. This year our team is a little short-staffed but that has not stopped the support of the security team here. These gentlemen are always willing to give a helping hand. They are so quick to respond to your needs and then they do it all with a positive approach. This year they have helped tremendously with our in-person learners returning to the building and finding their way around. They have helped with our Monday testing and getting students safely in and out of the building. Through all the challenges of this school year, these gentlemen make each every day that I work with them just a little better."

- Sonya Williams, Westfield HS

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Lauren Breza, Carson MS

"Miss Breza has been a warm glow all year. In this challenging year of virtual schooling, Miss Breza has remained positive and encouraging, even when things aren’t going well. Having never seen many of her students in person, and recognizing the need for connection, she drove over to hand-deliver valentines to her students. She is a fantastic educator and person."

- a Carson MS parent

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Melissa Walsh, Westgate ES

"Mrs. Walsh is a natural teacher. She is engaging, charismatic, understanding, firm, but loving and flexible. I have had the chance to watch her teach my son and even I get excited about the way she teaches. Thank you Mrs. Walsh for keeping our kids going and interested in learning during such difficult times."

- a Westgate ES parent

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Tanya Rodman and Anthony Noel, Groveton ES

"Groveton's outstanding PE teachers, Anthony Noel and Tanya Rodman have provided fantastic Adapted PE service support for some of our Tigers. This year’s teaching experience has been challenging and each teacher brings unique traits and characteristics to our team. Individually they are incredible support for students during both concurrent and in-person learning but collectively they are a dynamite teaching system. Prior to the year starting, we met and formed our team. They've met to plan, collaborated for supporting students’ IEP goals, and ran trials of what a special education PE class in a virtual environment might look like and how it would function. They’ve been willing to take instructional risks and been incredibly supportive when some of mine failed. Instead of shutting down new ideas, they continued collaboration. Tanya Rodman led the charge for our general education planning. She attended all of the health and physical education sessions to ensure we had questions answered. Tanya’s initiative led to our PE team’s knowledge of district-level protocols, expectations, and resources from the general education HPE department. Tanya’s creativity and consideration for special education students’ service are evident in her request from the PTA Big Wheels funding- thank you and shout out to the awesome Groveton PTA! Tanya knows how to use departmental resources and connections to find out what other schools have tried and specifics about their implementation. Additionally, Tanya enthusiastically emailed within the HPE department to get free helmets so our students can safely ride their brand-new Big Wheels. Anthony Noel is our team cheerleader. It’s difficult to put into words how much this means to our PE team but it does, especially this year. COVID has changed many people’s personalities; however, Anthony is not one of them. He is collaborative, flexible, and always willing to help (no matter what is needed).  Anthony is my “go-to” when I’ve been thinking about something challenging and need support. Moreover, kids just naturally love him! Some schools are somewhat inclusive of itinerant special education support service but the Groveton PE team has truly included me and welcomed me into their PE Tiger family. I believe this has been a critical factor to our team’s success and ability to provide APE service in multiple instructional mediums during a year-long pandemic. Additionally, I really appreciate the Groveton administration team for being so welcoming. It is under their leadership we have thrived and that says everything about them as administrators. I value their guidance and thank them."

- Jennifer Woodard, Groveton ES

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Susan Roberts and Abbey Knoll, Dranesville ES

"I attended an IEP meeting for a student transitioning to Kindergarten next year. This is a stressful time for the family, with a lot of decisions to make. Both Abbey and Sue, preschool teachers, carefully and compassionately discussed services and placement choices with the parents. They listened to the parents' questions and clarified the rationale for what was being proposed. They honored the parents' concerns and allowed them time to process the information presented. It is all about trust, and Sue and Abbey earn the trust of their families with interactions just like this one."

- Susan Nixon, Willow Oaks Admin Center

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Kasey Cook, Haycock ES

"Ms. Cook has done an extraordinary job this year. While teaching virtually she was able to make a connection and has gotten to know my child's personality, strengths, and weaknesses to a T, including the subtle nuances. She worked to provide a classroom with clear expectations, structure, and guidance so that my child always knew exactly what was expected and what she needed to do. This alone deserves recognition. She holds breakfast bunch before, yes before, class hours that my child loves. Upon reading a poem that my child wrote (had some dark undertones) Ms. Cook took the time to reach out to her directly to make sure that she was doing ok and let her that if she needed any support that she was there for her. When the world or national events that were confusing and extremely concerning occurred, Ms. Cook always addressed them in her class in a straightforward way yet empathetic manner. Allowed the children to voice their thoughts and opinions. This helped my child to further understand and be able to process the events that have occurred in a way that made sense. She made it easier for us to have a dialogue at home about these happenings. Not only was Ms. Cook able to educate her kids this year on the required school topics she also was able to help my child learn how to navigate a difficult time period and come out stronger, smarter, and more resilient. How she did this all while teaching virtually is something that truly needs to be recognized and applauded. We are forever indebted."

- a Haycock ES parent

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Colleen Hughes, Westgate ES

"Ms. Hughes was my daughter's 4th-grade teacher in Westgate Elementary school. I was really impressed with Ms. Hughes's sincerity and hard work to encourage and teach her students how to succeed in school. She expects nothing but the very best from her students and she ensures students understand the work needed to succeed in her AAP class. My daughter progressed very well as a student and as a good citizen having Ms. Hughes as her teacher."

- a Westgate ES parent

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Travis Tucker, Lake Braddock SS

"I have been blessed this school year to work alongside our brand new Dean of Students, Mr. Travis Tucker. Travis is the other half of my brain. He is logistical, datasheet-driven, detail-oriented, and reflective. I've gotten to know him pretty well, as we collaborate on a variety of committees and projects. I'm inspired by Travis's enthusiasm, kindness, and charisma. He really knows how to make you feel like such an integral part of the team; always posing questions, asking for feedback, and assuming nothing but positive intentions. His job can be stressful and overwhelming at times, yet Travis possesses the ability to deal with adversity and brings an upbeat attitude to any environment. He is a caring and giving person who always wants the best outcome, especially for our “at-home” students. Travis is a communicator, maintains order, and works to keep students as well as staff, on task. As Dean, Travis wears many different hats. (To name a few) he coordinates, leads and/or facilitates our strategies for success Monday intervention program, attendance committee, and bridging bruins. Additionally, Travis supports our HS math department as an instructional support team member, the Assessment Committee, and Bruin Pride. The time Travis dedicates to supporting students and staff, in addition to creating, monitoring and troubleshooting spreadsheets/data extend well beyond contract hours. Travis is an outstanding person to work with. He is a hard worker, cares about the students, and always gets the job done, flawlessly. He consistently models and teaches students the core values we promote within our school vision. Through his actions, students learn how important it is to be respectful, responsible, and compassionate and to have integrity and a commitment to be the very best version of themselves. We are so lucky to have him at Lake Braddock!"

- Amy Soos, Lake Braddock SS

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Erika Holloway, Annandale Terrace ES

"Our family moved to Annandale Terrace ES in the middle of the school year in January 2021. Ms. Erika Holloway reached out to us to help our 2nd grader access and navigate the new school system. Ms. Holloway also went over and beyond to make sure our son is appropriately placed in reading and math levels so that he may be challenged. Ms. Holloway truly cares about each and every one of her students evident in our teacher/parent interactions, my child's excitement to join class, and open communication channels to stay engaged in our child's progress. Her dedication to teaching and helping her students succeed is unmatched and I feel very fortunate to have Ms. Holloway teach my child this year. Thank you Ms. Erika Holloway for all your hard work and dedication to your students despite current challenges."

- an Annandale Terrace ES parent

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Jeri Dunphy, Robinson SS

"I am an elementary ESOL teacher. Several of the students that I work with have siblings who are in middle school. Over this extremely tough school year, there have been multiple occasions when I have reached out to Jeri for guidance. She is a wonderful ESOL teacher at the feeder middle school. I am consistently amazed and touched that Jeri always drops everything to quickly help assist me with every question I ask. Jeri has a heart of gold and goes the extra mile to make sure that our students and their families are supported. She has taught me that it really does take a village to support students and their families. I am forever grateful for Jeri’s positive energy, kindness, and compassion for children."

- Jamie Amrhein, Fairview ES

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Tabitha Reber, Hayfield SS

"Tabitha is the absolute best thinking partner. She often shares an idea that sparks new thinking for me. Together we can turn it into action that impacts our schools. Recently her graphic representations of her thinking and planning in Google Draw have given me the frames for my own thinking and planning - roles, planning for professional learning, and even communication within Schoology. I’m better at my job because of my partnership with Tabitha and her willingness to share and think through so much with me!"

- Margaret Sisler, Westfield HS

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Dolores Malloy, Robinson SS

"Ms. Malloy manages my daughter's 504 plan. In the process of renewing her plan, she has been so patient and helpful with me. She asked all the teachers for feedback and offered to help me to reach out to specific teachers. She also provided guidance for course selection. I really appreciate her help! Thank you!"

- a Robinson SS parent

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Steve Snyder, Robinson SS

"I wrote Mr. Snyder an email regarding my daughter's performance in his class. He called me and discussed the situation with me. I was moved by his understanding of kids with different learning abilities and willingness to help them reach their potentials."

- a Robinson SS parent

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Aggie Buckley, Beth Donohue, Monica Tatis-Phan, Jill Urban, and Barb King, Providence ES

"Since Secretaries Day is this week, we are writing this FCPS Cares in honor of all the secretaries at Providence Elementary School. Although all that you do and how much you all are appreciated cannot be said in words (without writing a book!), we created this OFFICE Acronym to try to do justice to just how wonderful you all are and how much all of you are appreciated.

O - Outstanding: all of you go above and beyond every day attending to your assigned tasks as well as answering dozens of phone calls and questions and so much more...!

F - Friendly: You all are often the first point of contact that visitors have with Providence. All of you are a welcoming reflection of the community of PES.

F - Flexible:  Whether it is your assigned job or not, you see what needs to be done and do it. A typical day may throw many curve balls your way. All of you adjust accordingly so that business continues as normal.

I - Innovative: All of you have a strong familiarity with the school and the students, staff, and families who are a part of Providence. If you see a need you all come to the rescue, often in very creative ways!

C - Providence ES is a very caring community and this is partly because of all of YOU. You care about the students, the staff, and the families at our school day after day. All someone needs to do to experience this is to walk into the PES office or call the school.

E - Efficient: You all know the tips and tricks of your trade and all of you work together, in tandem, seemingly seamlessly, to ensure that every day is another successful day at Providence.

Aggie, Beth, Jill, Monica, and Barb, thank you all for everything you do. All of you are appreciated and we don't think PES could get through a day without all of YOU!"

- Social Committee, Providence ES

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Katie Messinger, Centre Ridge ES

"She goes above and beyond for all of the kids all of the time! She is the reason my son went from below reading level to above-level reading."

- a Centre Ridge ES parent

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Alyssa Gray, Robinson SS

"My son always says that he hates English. He has difficulty with the subject at times because he is autistic and he can struggle with nuances of language. He hates that, unlike math, there is often not a single right answer. Assignments can seem so subjective and frustrate him. This year he has talked frequently about English. He says that Ms. Gray makes it interesting. He says that because she is also his case manager and knows all about him that he usually isn’t as stressed in her class because she understands his struggles. It’s great for him to have a class to look forward to at the end of the day."

- a Robinson SS parent

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Stephanie Wright, Robinson SS

"My son would occasionally receive a ram-o-gram from Ms. Wright while school was virtual. He LOVED the recognition and would talk all about what his class had been studying and how he had earned getting the card sent to him. He tried to downplay it because it wasn’t “cool” to care, but he refused to throw them out so they’d sit on the counter forever. When I threatened to get rid of it, he put it up in his room. This little extra connection has helped my son enjoy the class despite COVID craziness."

- a Robinson SS parent

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Jesse Riley, Robinson SS

"Mr. Riley not only works to build relationships of trust within the school day but follows up after hours with an email or phone call to check in with me and make sure my son’s needs are being met. My son did not want to take this class but says that because Mr. Riley is the teacher it is a good class. When my son feels that teachers truly care about him as a person he is more willing to want to do well and to be in school."

- a Robinson SS parent

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Ana Arias, Ismaela Marquez, Emelia Gyamfi, and Dorothy Acheampomaa, Fort Hunt ES

"HUGE shout out to Ana, Maria, Emelia, and Dorothy for the quick clean-up following our classroom clean-up need this week. The clean-up was labor-intensive and the crew worked all day to get it ready for the class to return the very next day. THANK YOU!!!!!!"

- Tracy Hutchison, Riverside ES

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Kely Dobarco, Emily Jones, and Brennan McQuillen, Fort Hunt ES

"HUGE thank you to Kely, Emily, and Brennan for quickly helping to manage the cause of the classroom clean-up need this week!! Foxtastic work everyone!!!"

- Tracy Hutchison, Fort Hunt ES

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Rosa Dobarco, Fort Hunt ES

"Shout out to Rosa! For all the “I want to add just ONE more student!” ……at least 20 times 😉 We appreciate all you have done with the ever-changing schedules, additions, and phone calls (nearly 300!) You are amazing!!!  ---- The First Grade Team."

- Ashley Paz, Fort Hunt ES

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Ashley Paz, Fort Hunt ES

"Major kudos to Ashley Paz for working to bring some normalcy to First Grade. She crunched the numbers and used some creative thinking to bring back nearly every in-person student full-time. Thank you, Ashley! Your First Grade teammates: Allison, Nicole, and Maria."

- Tracy Hutchison, Fort Hunt ES

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Shelley Deemer, Kent Gardens ES

"Ms. Deemer is our daughter's mentor at school and has gone above and beyond to support our child. When I confided in Ms. Deemer that our daughter was nervous about playing a team sport for the first time, Ms. Deemer arranged to have a virtual meetup and chat with "A" and gave words of encouragement.  "A" has been so excited about having time with Ms. Deemer at school. It's every parent's dream to see their child excited about a teacher, want to go to school, and feel they have a support network. Ms. Deemer gave "A" a special tour of the school which was so special for her as we're new and it was "A's" first time really exploring. "A," asks every day when will she get to be with Ms. Deemer again. Wednesdays can't come quickly enough. It's very uplifting and inspiring. With every interaction with Ms. Deemer it's clear that this is a teacher who truly loves her work. Her joyful manner is inspiring. She is most deserving of FCPS' attention and accolades. Please give her your highest award!"

- a Kent Gardes ES parent

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Diane Leipzig, Scott Reeder, Melinda Milliron, and the entire staff, Canterbury Woods ES

"Despite challenges unique to Canterbury Woods' programs, staffing, capacity limits, and percent choosing in-person learning for this spring, Dr. Leipzig and her team, as well as the teachers, custodial staff, lunch staff, and everyone else working at the school, made it possible for all in-person students to return 4 days a week starting 4/20 and 4/27. In order to do this, the team has updated student records; arranged to bus those needing it; moved around the entire school (again, after of course configuring it for 6 feet of distancing before); re-done lunch, recess, and specials schedules (again, after doing them for the early intervention program and again for hybrid concurrent); rearranged interpretive and other special services, some of which are unique to Canterbury. I wish I could share with them the light in my children's eyes when they speak about 4 days of in-person school. It's the tiny things, like no longer carrying heavy backpacks because their supplies can stay in the classroom. It's the medium things, like getting to move away from Google slides towards handwritten work in the primary grades. It's the huge things, like having their teachers physically with them during almost all instruction and extra time with friends. It's being able to finally engage in an eye-to-eye, full-being relationship with all or almost all classmates and teachers. They have fully learned the value of in-person in this strange year, and none of our family takes lightly the doubling of that in-person school time for the rest of the year."

- a Canterbury Woods ES, Parent

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Jacqueline Watts, Irving MS

"Jacque Watts is one of the best educators we have at Irving and quite possibly in FCPS! Other staff members at Irving, i.e. those that have won the teacher of the year award, get a lot of recognition for the jobs they do as educators, which is rightly so. Jacque, however, does not and that needs to change. This year Jacque is working from home. But, that has not stopped Jacque in terms of providing exemplary instruction for her students. It has also not stopped Jacque from being a high-level contributor to the Civics Team. In fact, the Civics Department would suggest that Jacque’s planning/preparation and ideas; as well as her willingness to share what she does, have put all of us in a position to be better and more effective educators this year. For example, Jacque created the curriculum that we used at Irving MS this year for Finance Park. On the day's in-person staff, were at Irving preparing for the return of students, Jacque was at home working hard to adapt/modify the Finance Park curriculum. By doing this adapting/modifying, Jacque created lessons that better met the needs of the students at Irving. Jacque also saved the in-person Civics staff valuable time in terms of preparing for the newness of Finance Park while also navigating the challenges of concurrent instruction. Additionally, the new performance assessment that is about to start in Civics was also modified/adapted by Jacque. Again, Jacque’s willingness to re-create and then “share” her hard work is going to save the rest of the in-person Civics Staff valuable time in terms of planning/preparing. It will also help put the kids in a position to be more successful as they learn about the jury system in the United States. In closing, a few of the Civics Department Staff have worked in different states as educators and in many different positions over the years. Jacque is one of the best educators and colleagues the Civics Department has been fortunate to be around. The Civics Department are all better educators because of Jacque. More importantly, the kids and the rest of the staff at Irving are better because of Jacque Watts as well."

- Jeremy Horvat, Irving MS

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Rachael Kresslein, Riverside ES

"Rachael is a new addition to Riverside elementary and a delight to work with. Rachael is dedicated to her students, her team, collaboration, and growth  Rachael is reflective and thorough in her thoughts and intentions. Rachael plans then delivers her instruction in a creative way; following up with considerations on her pedagogy. Her best practices grow continuously due to her reflections and actions. Her optimism, great attitude, and uninterrupted efforts keep her students engaged and her team entrusting in her. We are elated to have her as a welcomed member of our school community."

- Tara Kilbansky, Riverside ES

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Tanya Shuford, Luther Jackson MS

"I had many questions about my current 6th grader entering middle school. I spoke with Mrs. Shuford and she took the time to answer all of my questions and I am very grateful to her for that. She has a very welcoming nature and I am so thankful for her emails, her time, and her graciousness. She truly cares about students. Thanks, Mrs. Shuford!"

- a Luther Jackson MS parent

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Maureen Buckland, Centre Ridge ES

"This wonderful teacher drops off library books for my daughter and I am very grateful."

- A Centre Ridge ES parent

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Courtney Litwiller, Herndon ES

"Courtney and I have worked together for a few years with the adaptive P.E. students at Herndon Elementary School. I am continually impressed with her efforts to put the students' needs first. She spends time carefully planning interesting and engaging activities that address individual student needs. She constantly advocates for her students and their abilities to access the curriculum. She cooperates with the administration, technology, and the Physical Education staff to create the best program for her students. During this COVID experience, I've noticed how exemplary her attitude, willingness, and enthusiasm is at a time when it would be easy to have one's work ethic deterred."

- Eric Johnson, Herndon ES

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Flor Aguirre Mejia and Vilma Lizama, South County HS

"I would like to recognize the custodial staff and building supervisors at South County High School, specifically Ms. Flor Aguirre Mejia and Ms. Vilma Lizama. Due to COVID, I have not had the opportunity to clean out our booster's closet and it was filled with so many expired items. While I was cleaning it out, Ms. Aguirre Mejia approached me to help and offered to bring me a flatbread and a large trash bin. She continuously checked on me to offer help. Ms. Aguirre Mejia and Ms. Lizama returned and proceeded to take away the multitude of items without hesitation. They anticipated my needs and helped without being asked and with a smile. Every time I am at school, they are smiling and happy to help. Their never-ending positive attitude does a lot to boost everyone's spirits (students, parents, and staff) and I am truly grateful!"

 - a South County HS parent

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Tylea Holley, Shrevewood ES

"I wanted to formally honor all that Tylea has done as Assistant Principal of Shrevewood Elementary School and specifically for the Speech Team at Shrevewood. The past year has not been an easy one for anyone, and especially not for speech-language pathologists in terms of navigating how COVID-19 has impacted how we go about doing our daily jobs teaching kids how to communicate while learning virtually or wearing masks. During typical years, while we work closely with our administration team, they are not required to play as vital roles in what we do as they have had to do since March 2020. Tylea was not only tasked with helping us navigate through delivering special education services during a pandemic, but also with keeping us safe while at school. I have known all along that she goes above and beyond what is asked of her, but she has done so much for our speech team here and I would like to recognize her for that."

- Ali Moulton, Shrevewood ES

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Josh DeSmyter, Shrevewood ES

"I wanted to formally honor all that Josh has done as Principal of Shrevewood Elementary School and specifically for the Speech Team at Shrevewood. The past year has not been an easy one for anyone, and especially not for speech-language pathologists in terms of navigating how COVID-19 has impacted how we go about doing our daily jobs teaching kids how to communicate while learning virtually or wearing masks. During typical years, while we work closely with our administration team, they are not required to play as vital roles in what we do as they have had to do since March 2020. Josh was not only tasked with helping us navigate through delivering special education services during a pandemic, but also with keeping us safe while at school. I have known all along that he goes above and beyond what is asked of him, but he has have done so much for our speech team here and I would like to recognize him for that."

- Ali Moulton, Shrevewood ES

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Andrea Hand, Willow Oaks Admin Center

"Andrea Hand presented at the Translating Equity into Practice using Improvement Science Compass Workshop Course session on the use of PDSA (Plan-Do-Study-Act) cycles with teachers throughout the division, sharing small yet might changes they are making to embed POG opportunities into instruction, and ways to improve concurrent instruction. Bravo Andrea!"

- Claire Silva, Willow Oaks Admin Center

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Susan Lemery, Robinson SS

"She has gone above and beyond the whole year and she has helped me so much. It has had a big impact on my grades and she helps push me and she is the best teacher ever!"

- a Robinson SS student

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Deb Sutor, Lees Corner ES

"Ms. Sutor has just been a phenomenal support for our daughter. As with many of us, she has struggled with the ups and downs of pandemic life, and starting back to school two days a week was stressful. Ms. Sutor went out of her way to check on her and then let us know how she was doing throughout the day. We really appreciate it!"

- a Lees Corner ES parent

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Amanda Irons, Lees Corner ES

"Mrs. Irons has just been amazing! She's been handling concurrent instruction like it's nothing AND has a student-teacher. She is so responsive and I appreciate the 1:1 check-ins with the students."

- a Lees Corner ES parent

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Kerry Hamblin, Jefferson Tech HS

"Ms. Hamblin has been a fabulous supporter of my child for the past few years. Recently, she has needed to work with my child on a regular basis and has gone above and beyond in her advocacy and support. Thank you so, so much."

- a Jefferson Tech HS parent

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Rinna Cortes, Eagle View ES

"Rinna Cortes’ work ethic, positive attitude, and passion for her work as our school librarian is contagious. She is reflective of her practice and challenges herself to go outside of her comfort zone to meet her students’ learning needs and interests. Ms. Cortes has positively grown in so many ways this year. She has overcome many obstacles presented in the online and concurrent settings to encourage a love of reading by ensuring that every student has access to books. Thank you Ms. Cortes and Happy School Library Month!!"

- Beth Levy, Eagle View ES

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Brian Feeney, Longfellow MS

"Brian Feeney has been serving the Longfellow community as a substitute teacher for several years now. He has developed great relationships with many staff members and students. He is always willing to fill in wherever he is needed and comes to school with a positive attitude. This year, he was hired as a monitor and then switched to a long-term substitute. We are grateful for his years of service to Longfellow Middle School."

- Kevin Sami, Longfellow MS

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Carmen Jones, Gatehouse Admin Center

"Carmen has repeatedly done an amazing job translating and supporting me while meeting with parents or doing Sociocultural reports. She is very respectful when dealing with difficult parents. I can't say enough about how much I enjoy working with her and how professional she is. Carmen is AMAZING!!!!"

- Lori Klein, Westfield HS

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Sheris Williams, Fredy Sierra Pavon, Nhouthasack Keokhontong and Gina Luhan, Ravensworth ES

"We received notification the school would be able to accept kids for 4 days a week in-person learning! The notification from the school said it was due in large part to the custodial team figuring out lunch spacing. Major kudos to this team for being the heroes for these kids who desperately need to be back in person to school!  I wish I could give them all hugs, but hopefully, this award will suffice!"

- a Ravensworth ES parent

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Jenna Harris-Lightner, Interagency Schools/Foundations

"It is an absolute pleasure working with our Reading Specialist Mrs. Jenna Harris-Lightner. Her professionalism, compassion, and dedication to student achievement/professional development have been a tremendous asset during the challenges we have faced this school year. Jenna always makes the time to share reading/writing best practices, valuable resources, and engaging strategies to support students and staff. She is a team player who makes an impact by working with students hands-on and collaborating with staff to develop ongoing plans to ensure that students' needs are being met and supported. Jenna also takes time out to celebrate students' successes and develops positive relationships with them. She is very much appreciated."

- Angela Bryan, Interagency Schools/Foundations 

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Bailey Katsarelis, Westgate ES 

"Bailey has impressed me with her professionalism, team spirit, knowledge, and can-do attitude from the first week I met her as a new teacher assigned to our third-grade team at Westgate. She stepped into her role in a virtual setting, in a new city, and without getting a chance to even meet her co-workers in person. Despite the many hurdles she could choose to complain about or see negatively, I have never once heard anything but positive, constructive, and helpful comments from her.  Every CLT she has fantastic ideas on how to engage our students and make our lessons better. She seemingly effortlessly comes up with Language Arts lesson plans and materials for our whole 3rd-grade team that are engaging, impactful, and fun for the students. She is always willing to share her time and her expertise and I am blown away that she is a teacher with less than 3 years of experience. She knows her stuff, is a pleasure to work with, and immediately became an integral part of a new team that was all brand new to Westgate this year. It is hard to imagine a teaching professional could care more or conduct themselves more professionally than Bailey. She is so mature and polished that it is shocking that she is so new! I am so grateful she is on my team."

- Summer Baroody, Westgate ES 

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Lisa Campbell, Westgate ES

"Mrs. Campbell plans on retiring after this school year, ending a terrific teaching career spent mostly at Westgate Elementary. Instead of spending the year relaxing, preparing for her time off, she has worked endlessly learning new skills to be the best virtual teacher she could be. She has been such a good role model for her first-grade class, teaching them not to give up and patience when learning new skills. My daughter has been so impressed with how Mrs. Campbell tackles computer problems with persistence and a good attitude. And beyond the computer skills, she is just a wonderful teacher. Her enthusiasm for reading and writing has helped my daughter grow leaps and bounds in both. We feel very lucky to have had this time with Mrs. Campbell."

- a Westgate ES parent

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Meesh Peters, Justice HS

"Meesh Peters has been a welcomed addition as the OTG resource at Justice HS this year. She is beyond dedicated to the community, staff, and most importantly, the students at Justice. Meesh thinks outside of the box to support our students and help them reach their goal of graduating from high school. Recently, Meesh supported a student to complete his requirements for graduation. Her positive attitude, welcoming environment, and relentless pursuit are a huge reason why this student was able to complete his requirements. We are lucky to have Meesh at Justice and grateful for her dedication to our students."

- Katie Vandawalker, Justice HS

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Kent Brown, Kilmer Center

"I would like to nominate Kent Brown as an outstanding special education teacher who always goes above and beyond expectation and set new school standards for teaching. He and his staff worked diligently with my son through the most difficult times during his academic career. My son is autistic, suffering from seizures, OCD, aggressive, and sometimes violent behaviors; however, Kent and his team are able to manage those behaviors to a manageable state, which most teachers would not be able to do. In fact, my son had transferred centers because of those maladaptive behaviors and we are seeing dramatic improvements. If we see more teachers like Kent, I honestly believe FCPS would see tremendous cost savings by keeping students in FCPS rather than sending kids to private school systems. I believe Kent and his team have set the benchmark for providing the best education while keeping kids safe. I hope Kent Brown would be recognized for going above and beyond special education teaching standards. Every day, he exemplifies what special education teaching is all about and not just coming in the class to get a paycheck."

- a Kilmer Center parent

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Lisa Walsh, Cooper MS

"Ms. Walsh has gone above and beyond this entire school year! She is a great communicator and sends out regular progress reports to parents. My child struggles with organization and it has been tremendously helpful to have these regular emails showing what might be missing. Throughout the year, Ms. Walsh has rolled with the various schedule changes and has somehow managed to keep the kids on track to learn the full Algebra I curriculum. It is profoundly appreciated that she has maintained high expectations and fully prepared the students for their future math classes. Thank you, Ms. Walsh!"

- a Cooper MS parent

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Cindy Gagnon, Robinson SS

"My son is a freshman at Robinson and was feeling very anxious about returning to school. Mrs. Gagnon took the time to set up a time after school when she could meet with us and walk my son around his classes. This truly helped ease his anxiety. I appreciate Mrs. Gagnon's willingness to help my son and give up her time."

- a Robinson SS parent

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Maggie Spingler, South County MS

"During some of our most challenging times this year, Maggie has been extremely flexible, supportive, and responsive. Middle school transition is a HUGE step for our rising 7th graders and their families. The collaboration and collective approach she has joined me on has been reassuring not only to me but to my students and their parents as well. Thank you Maggie for your level of professionalism. I am comforted to know that our students are walking into an amazing supportive team at South County Middle School and their transition will run smoothly.  It truly takes a village!"

- Carmen Pangelinan, Silverbrook ES

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Alissa Roth, Westbriar ES

"Mrs. Roth is my 6th-grade son's math teacher. Despite the digital divide of virtual learning, Mrs. Roth has not only taught my child advanced math (I don't know how she does it) but also has inspired him to LOVE math!!! Mrs. Roth has endless energy and a passion for math that is contagious. My son said, after going back to school 2 days in person, "Mrs. Roth has even more energy in person!" I am so thankful for our high-energy, math-loving, super-talented Mrs. Roth."

- a Westbriar ES parent

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Michael Cowles, Westbriar ES

"Mr. Cowles is my 6th-grade son's homeroom, science, and social studies teacher. Despite the digital divide of virtual learning, Mr. Cowles has connected with my child and helped him hone his organizational and problem-solving skills. Now, as he is attending school in-person two days a week, I have to say I miss hearing "morning meeting" streaming from his laptop on those days. I'm fairly certain most adults would benefit from kicking off their day with Mr. Cowles, who is a bit of a modern-day Mister Rogers. He always, and I mean always, starts their day with a calm, warm, and positive vibe. I have seen my son pick up on and model some of Mr. Cowles' impeccable manners and his kind and caring style of communication. I am so thankful for Mr. Cowles."

- a Westbriar ES parent

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Beth Thompson, Westbriar ES

"Mrs. Thompson is my 6th-grade son's language arts teacher. Despite the digital divide of virtual learning, Mrs. Thompson inspired my little guy to read for pleasure and she has helped him discover that he has a passion for writing. Now, as he is attending school in person two days a week, he comes home so excited to tell me about his day and all that he learned from his amazing teachers at Westbriar. Last week he told me that even though things are different this year, he knows that Mrs. Thompson cares about him and that he could go to her for anything he needs. I cannot express how good it feels to know that my child is being nurtured both academically and emotionally/socially. I am so thankful for the kind, patient, and talented Mrs. Thompson."

- a Westbriar ES parent

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Stacey Selman, Hybla Valley ES

"A huge thank you to Stacey Selman at Hybla Valley ES for your kind and articulate instruction. You clearly explained the functions of my job and Covid changes to the SIA position. In the craziest year ever, when every day has unique and time demanding challenges you took the time to pick up the phone or email me step-by-step instructions to help me learn the complexities of the job. I am grateful and I hope one day I am able to pay it forward."

- Sarah McGowen, Lorton Station ES

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Andie Ogden, Westgate ES

"She is an amazing Math Specialist! She works to accommodate all teams and their needs. She works tirelessly to find the best strategies and tools for the whole school to use. She is always positive and encouraging to everyone. She is a team player and always willing to help."

- Lisa Toney, Westgate ES

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Cassie Jones, Westgate ES

"Cassie is an amazing teacher and has a great connection with all her students. They enjoy coming to her class every day and always participate in lessons and activities. She cares and always advocates for the students who need it. She makes sure she is reaching all her students at the level they need to be. She also has great contributions and ideas to her team, she is a great team player."

- Lisa Toney, Westgate ES

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Danyele Magretta, Lake Braddock SS

"Danyele, I am so thankful to have you as my Department Chair. Your passion for the students is incredible and I am thankful our ELL's have you in their lives. You work so hard for your students and family and I know that balance is not easy. Thanks so much for being our leader."

- Erika Hisey, Lake Braddock SS

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Brittany Wade, Eagle View ES

"Brittany Wade is passionate about building a positive learning community and incorporating interesting and innovative learning opportunities that push her students to critically think and problem solve. She constantly reflects on her practice and skillfully collaborates with her colleagues to ensure that she meets the specific academic, emotional, and behavioral needs of each of her students. In the concurrent setting, Ms. Wade is able to connect with her online and in-person students in a way that makes everyone feel valued. Thank you, Ms. Wade, for all that you do!"

- Beth Levy, Eagle View ES

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Nicole Sharpes, Eagle View ES

"Nicole Sharpes, AART, is a relied upon teacher leader. She has led and grown our Local Level IV and Young Scholars Programs by providing excellent support, knowledge, and collaboration to staff and families. Ms. Sharpes is intentional in her approach. She is able to quickly identify areas of need, collaborates and problem-solve, discover and provide resources, and put solutions into action. Ms. Sharpes is incredibly reflective, embodies a growth mindset, and exudes passion for her craft. She is an extremely important part of the Eagle View Community."

- Beth Levy, Eagle View ES

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Andrea Johnston, Halley ES

"Mrs. Johnston has gone above and beyond in supporting families throughout the transition of welcoming additional students back to in-person instruction. She has made numerous phone calls to families to answer questions and invite them to attend 4 days of in-person learning. Most recently, she has exceeded expectations by assisting us in our care room with communicating between the school and families. These situations have been stressful and Mrs. Johnston's positive and helpful spirit has helped us make the situations go smoothly! We are so appreciative of Mrs. Johnston and her consistency and willingness to help out. She goes above and beyond her role as an ESOL teacher and we are so happy that she is part of the Halley family!"

- Lucy Zamora, Paula Johnson, Kerry Peerman, Halley ES

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Andrea Scarbrough-Moussaoui, Lake Braddock SS

"Andrea, I am so blessed to be on your team. Your love for the students is HUGE and I love how you pour yourself out to help them each and every day. The kids adore you and they know that you care about them so deeply. Thank you for advocating for them, fighting alongside them as they work so hard to learn the material, and always welcoming them into your classroom as a safe place. You are such a wonderful example to me."

- Erika Hisey, Lake Braddock SS

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Rachel Tan, Lake Braddock SS

"Rachel, you are fire! I am so honored to work alongside you and learn from you. Your passion for the ESOL students is incredible and it shines through in the work you do planning and preparing for these challenging concurrent lessons! I am so thankful I get to be your co-worker and friend. Keep up the good work. The staff and students recognize your dedication and professionalism, and it is not going unnoticed."

- Erika Hisey, Lake Braddock SS

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Akua Oppong, Westfield HS

"Ms. Oppong works very well with all students, and she has built a very special rapport with one student in particular. This student often needs extra reinforcement, and Ms. Oppong is consistently able to encourage this student to perform to the best of his ability. Thank you, Ms. Oppong, for all that you do for our department and our students."

- Richard Strube, Westfield HS

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Janelle Pace, Newington Forest ES

"I would like to really commend Ms. Pace for not only her tremendous efforts throughout the year, but during a really stressful and awkward time recently, she reminded her students that it was ok to laugh and enjoy themselves. My student came home a lot lighter than he went to school. When I asked him if he had a good day, what was the cause of it all, "Ms. Pace said it was ok to laugh." It's like he's been waiting a year for that permission. Thank you so very much!"

- a Newington Forest ES parent

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Philip Kipperman, Cooper MS

"Mr. Kipperman is an outstanding teacher who has gone out of his way to break through to students who are learning virtually during this pandemic. He consistently tries to engage all students and has come up with creative ways to encourage student participation. Thank you for all you do, Mr. Kipperman. Job well done!"

- a Cooper MS parent

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Mai Le, Lorton Center

"Mai Le is a wonderful bus attendant! She's so helpful whenever we have a question about a bus rider on Bus 10. At Bailey's, there can be a lot of moving parts so she's patient with our questions. We really appreciate her at Bailey's Primary!"

- Neelima Chirumamilla, Bailey's ES

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Daan Lin, Lorton Center

"Daan does an amazing job as a bus driver and we appreciate all of the communication that he does with us about his bus riders! You can tell that he cares about his bus riders a lot because he's always checking in with us about missing riders or sharing info about new bus riders. He's always so pleasant, patient, and kind with us as we work hard to get our students on the right buses. We appreciate the opportunity to work with him at Bailey's Primary!"

- Neelima Chirumamilla, Bailey's ES

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Stephen Alexander, Colvin Run ES

"Mr. Alexander continues to go above and beyond for our son during this unusual and ever-changing school year. He has managed to make learning engaging and fun while still keeping up a rigorous curriculum. Our son is thrilled to be back in the classroom with Mr. Alexander and we are grateful to have him as his 3rd-grade teacher!"

- a Colvin Run ES parent

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Windy Shepley-Collat, Longfellow MS

"Windy has served the Longfellow MS community as a substitute teacher for the past couple of years. This year, she served as a substitute in our CAT B program early in the year and then signed on to be a Monitor. More recently she accepted a long-term substitute position at Longfellow. Windy is always eager to help and has a positive attitude about any and all assignments. Her reliability, professionalism, and hard work have made her a key contributor to Longfellow's overall RTS success."

- Kevin Sami, Longfellow MS

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Alizay Hashmi, Lake Braddock SS

"Alizay is a valuable addition to Lake Braddock this year!  She is one of our awesome monitors who have stepped up to enable us to give the best opportunities to our students.  Alizay comes in daily not knowing what her assignments/tasks may be for that day!  She always takes on any task with a smile and a positive attitude!  We depend on her daily support here at Lake Braddock, and we are so happy to have her on our team!  Thank you Alizay!"

- Kimberly Cox, Lake Braddock SS

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Ana Karina De Paz, Sideburn Support Center

"I want to nominate Ana Karina De Paz for being a great worker and helper. As we have gone through this pandemic, she has worked hard to clean and disinfect our office spaces to the smallest of locations. She pays attention to details and makes sure that even the keys on our keyboards are disinfected. As the demand for Virex refills has increased she has stayed on top of our requests to refill our bottles and she does this with a great big smile. She says that she loves working with us and is proud of being part of our Stonecroft family. We are very thankful for having Ana work here at Stonecroft and we are truly grateful for her work ethic and dedication. Each one of us from our great leader Pamela Walter to our drivers and attendants truly appreciates how much Ana cares about our wellbeing, comfort, and safety."

- Ricardo Conner, Stonecroft Transportation

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Ricardo Conner, Rachna Suryakant, and Jaime VillamarinPerdomo, Stonecroft Transportation

"I work at Stonecroft, as a temporary custodian. I did not have medical insurance. I want to thank the people that helped me get medical insurance. In the first place, Mr. Ricardo for his kindness and collaboration, and Ms. Rachna and Mr. Jaime for their great help. All the people that work at Stonecroft, are all very kind. I am grateful and happy to work at Stonecroft."

- Ana Karina De Paz, Sideburn Support Center

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Cia Makrigiorgos, Westgate ES

"She works well with her team and others at the school. She is also very caring and attentive to her students. She takes time to understand the needs of her students and makes sure their needs are met every time. She has stepped up as the lead of the equity team and has delivered amazing resources and information for all us, especially in the turbulent times we are in."

- Lisa Toney, Westgate ES

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Daniel Gray, Forte Center

"Daniel is someone everyone enjoys working with. He's cheerful, funny, always engages the office in conversation. Genuinely pleasant to be around. Daniel has a positive attitude."

- Elise Brammer, Westbrier ES

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Lesley Whitney, Westgate ES

"In a "normal" school year Lesley is an incredible member of the Westgate staff. Under her care, the library is in great shape and she has created routines and systems to keep it that way. Lesley supports Westgate in other ways, joining the Green Team and helping a student take care of watering plants each week.  As our library has transitioned away from in-person visits, Lesley adapted our circulation system to curbside checkout. She is currently managing most of that program independently, pulling holds and checking out for students and staff. Monday mornings find Leslie outside, cheerfully providing books to our community in sun, rain, and cold."

- Michelle Scherbenske, Westgate ES

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Robyn Ridpath, Fairview ES

"I wanted to take this opportunity to express my true gratitude to Robyn Ridpath. My son was lucky enough to have her as a first and second-grade teacher. Ms. Ridpath is a phenomenal teacher during “normal” times. Throughout this challenging time of the pandemic, she has gone above and beyond to make this the best experience for her students.  She has shown the patience of a saint. She has met every challenge with innovative and fun plans for her students. Every day she shows up full of joy and positivity. She has spent countless evenings and weekends preparing so her class can run smoothly. In addition to being a wonderful teacher and person, Ms. Ridpath truly loves and cares about every student and they all love her right back! This has been a very difficult year, but I can’t thank Ms. Ridpath enough for making it the best experience it could be. For making sure her students were learning and having fun. For keeping parents informed. For being so positive. For being so patient. For making my son feel special.  For doing whatever it takes! For meeting every challenge with an optimistic outlook! And for being an extraordinary teacher!!! With much love and gratitude."

- a Fairview ES parent

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Kathleen Sokolove, Marshall HS

"Mrs. Sokolove has been an amazing counselor to my 2 high school students, but especially to my Freshman.  Unfortunately, he had to begin his high school career virtually with online learning. He started out ok but was quickly struggling to try and maintain focus in a class for an 80-minute session, keep up with the amount of high school homework, being able to get organized for all of this independently from our home, while managing ADHD. I checked in with Mrs. Sokolove a few months into the school year and she has been very helpful in putting into place interventions to assist with online learning difficulties. She would contact his teachers, reach back out to him for check-ins, and even set up an online tracking form for homework assignments. Given that training for online learning for the counselors was limited, especially to assist students who may have ADHD or other learning impairments, she really went out of her way to be helpful and caring during a difficult time. She has continued to be supportive, especially after we had to navigate a 504 session remotely. He is in a much better place with his school work and also feeling like he has a supportive, friendly face he can go to for help as he navigates high school."

- a Marshall HS parent

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Stacy Kirkpatrick, Chesterbrook ES

"Principal Kirkpatrick has shown incredible dedication to bringing students back for in-person learning as quickly as possible at every opportunity.  In a school with 80% of students electing concurrent hybrid learning, she found the way in a matter of days after FCPS gave the individual schools the ability to do so, for all concurrent hybrid students to return to 4 days a week for the remainder of Q4. Principal Kirkpatrick, her teachers, and staff have been consummate professionals throughout COVID-19, always placing the best interests of their students first. We are grateful to be a part of the CES community with our three children and hope that as FCPS plans for a 5-day-a-week return in the fall, instead of taking the months it took to execute a 2-day-a-week hybrid return, it will allow creative, dynamic, dedicated schools like Chesterbrook, under Principal Kirkpatrick's leadership, to find, announce and implement their own individual way to a full reopening that is in the best interest and safety of both the employees and the students.  Principal Kirkpatrick and the Chesterbrook community have shown they can do it!"

- a Chesterbrook ES parent

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Nicole White, Lake Braddock SS

"Nicole is in her first year as a social worker and is new to Lake Braddock. Our middle school counseling department has continually been impressed by the depth of her knowledge seemingly endless familiarity with the resources that are available to our students. In addition, she shows incredible professionalism. Many of our colleagues in the building have asked how long she has been a school social worker and are shocked that it is her first year. Nicole also works well with our students as well and has developed a great rapport with them in only a short time. Our students and staff are incredibly lucky to have Nicole as our middle school social worker."

- Josh Miles, Lake Braddock SS

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Erik Sorenson, Woodson HS

"Erik has been tutoring both of my kids. As my Junior has struggled he has worked beyond the requested time to ensure he knows the material. He also keeps in regular communication with me. He has kept my boys mentally engaged this year. One son says he gets more from a single hour than 2 weeks of school."

- a Woodson HS parent

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Preeti Jain, Ravensworth ES

"My kindergartener has Mrs. Jain as part of her classroom support and she is just wonderful. My daughter truly enjoys her daily interactions with her. I appreciate her support to the class during a year full of challenges and changes. Thank you, Mrs. Jain!!!"

- a Ravensworth ES parent

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Abby Holzinger, Eagle View ES

"Abby Holzinger has been our School Based Technology Specialist for the past 3 years. Her strong instructional knowledge and her ability to use that knowledge to incorporate PBLs, POG attributes, and integrate technology in daily instruction have been hugely impactful. During this year of virtual learning, Abby has been steadfast in providing training, resources, how-to videos to staff and families. She is readily available to support to ensure that all stakeholders are successful. Her dedication to Eagle View is one of the reasons she is so valued!"

- Kanchana Iyer, Eagle View ES

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Anne van Hilst, Wolftrap ES

"Mrs. van Hilst has done a fantastic job this year teaching our twins' second-grade class at Wolftrap despite the incredibly challenging circumstances we all faced this year. From the very beginning, when she conducted a personalized virtual introduction session with our children (and introduced her pet snake!) to the current move to a 4-day per week in-person schedule, she has been organized, forthright, upbeat, and positive. I have witnessed her demonstrate an incredible amount of patience and empathy with her class as they adapted to their new virtual instruction. Our twins state without reservation that she is the most favorite teacher they've ever had, and that's not an easy achievement in the current circumstances. Thanks to Mrs. van Hilst, our children's progress and experience this year have greatly exceeded our expectations."

- a Wolftrap ES parent

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Elisa Marino, Eagle View ES

"This is Elisa's 4th year at Eagle View as a special education teacher. From the beginning, I noticed her work ethic and dedication to her students. Though there was a lot of learning in her first couple of years, Elisa always pushed through and was committed to learning in order to support her students. She worked to build positive relationships with families. She is a valued member of the Eagle View staff!"

- Kanchana Iyer, Eagle View ES

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Tara Hagy, Lees Corner ES

"Tara Hagy was my son’s 5th-grade teacher. He still talks about her today. She meets each student where they are and then challenges them to be better students and better people. My son had his best year of school so far under her guidance and leadership. Any student and parent who gets Mrs. Hagy are in for a great experience!"

- a Lees Corner ES parent

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Sofia Wainwright, Westfield HS

"Ms. Wainwright is extremely competent, enthusiastic, and caring. She consistently seeks new opportunities to grow, while consistently excelling in those tasks to which she is assigned. She can be relied on to step into any role she is asked to fill and to do so with grace and genuine excitement."

- Richard Strube, Westfield HS 

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Rabia Noorzad, Westfield HS

"Ms. Noorzad is fully committed to the education and well-being of the students in the classroom and is one of the hardest working, most compassionate, and conscientious Instructional Assistants with whom I have had the privilege to work. She consistently prioritizes the safety, dignity, and well-being of each student in her care."

- Richard Strube, Westfield HS 

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Alan Downing, Woodson - IT 

"A huge and well-deserved 'thank you!' to Alan for always being extremely helpful, resourceful, and engaging. Alan is very communicative and willing to help fix and resolve important issues that arise at both the schools I support. Alan is a wealth of knowledge and always a pleasure to talk with. Recently, Alan worked diligently over the spring break holiday to fix issues for teachers and administrators."

- Kate Knizer, Thoreau MS and Wolftrap ES

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Teresa Llano, Ravensworth ES

"Mrs. Llano has been an absolute rock star this year. Despite all the challenges and changes, she has kept a positive outlook. My daughter is engaged and loves going to school. I appreciate Mrs. Llano and all she does for her class and my daughter."

- a Ravensworth ES parent

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Bethany Layton, Sangster ES

"Mrs. Layton always goes above and beyond, especially this year. She continually reaches out to families to gather information and be sure that she is giving every student their best opportunity to learn. She shares pictures of my student engaged while in person and his wonderful submitted poems and flipgrids from his virtual days. She truly cares about her students, their families, and their education."

- a Sangster ES parent

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Karen Ramsey, Riverside ES

"I believe every lead teacher and department chair who oversees special education in the 2020-2021 school year should be recognized for their work. Mrs. Ramsey has ensured to provide the most professional and attention to detail with her work on caseloads, while leading team and IEP meetings, keeping up with the constant changes that are expected to implement an IEP, and notifying the team of the changes as they come. She is always available to her team and general education teachers as needed. We appreciate her commitment to the work at Riverside ES! Thank you Mrs. Ramsey for all that you do!"

- Zulei Culpeper, Riverside ES 

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Benjamin Whelan-Morin, Riverside ES

"Benjamin took lead as the FLE teacher in the middle of a pandemic and uncertainty during the 2020-2021 school year. However, with much patience, a positive attitude, effective organization, and execution he, along with a team of educators, were able to lead and deliver the instruction to all students as we have returned to the building. For that, we would like to thank him for his commitment and dedication to the Riverside community!"

- Zulei Culpeper, Riverside ES 

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Deborah Medkeff, Robinson SS

"She is an inspirational, very caring special education teacher. During these pandemic times, she has visited student homes in a socially distanced car caravan, supplied engaging home materials for students to have hands-on experiences and given thought-provoking and fun lessons for her special education students. She makes school enjoyable!"

- a Robinson SS parent

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Darryl Handy, Shrevewood ES

"Mr. Handy has worked all school year to keep students engaged and building a community despite the many different learning situations. Now that students are returning to in person he’s worked hard to come up with ways to get his students all back in the building and we are appreciative of his time and efforts!"

- a Shrevewood ES parent

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Traci Richardson, Laurel Hill ES

"My first grader comes home from school 4 days a week so happy. She loves her school since it’s in-person. She tells me the worst part of her day is “leaving” Because she doesn’t want the day to end. This first grader sat home for almost a year in virtual learning without a smile on her face. She was sad and depressed and extremely lonely. Her teacher offered 4 days a week in person as soon as they went back to hybrid. She didn’t let the virus keep her from teaching in person. She realized that these young children are craving to learn and she went above and beyond. It has changed the entire household dynamic and I want to give her a special thank you for her efforts. My child is so happy each and every day!"

- a Laurel Hill ES parent

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Mary Kate Maher, Oak View ES

"Miss Maher is such a joy with her students. She has gone above and beyond to form relationships with her students and even through a virtual environment has promoted a positive and welcoming classroom community. We are so thankful for all of her hard work this year."

- an Oak View ES parent

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Taylor Moise, Oak View ES

"Our family would like to thank Ms. Moise for her tireless and positive energy and effort this year!   She has done a great job teaching our twins under very difficult and constantly evolving circumstances. She made a special effort earlier in the year to have personal meetings with our daughters to help them be more comfortable in the online learning environment. She has also been very patient and kind with one of my daughters who sometimes gets emotional and stressed out with the remote learning. We really appreciate her flexibility, positivity, and professionalism during this difficult year!"

- an Oak View ES parent

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Natalie Hill, Lees Corner ES

"Ms. Hill has been so supportive of my child since he has been in band. She is super enthusiastic during class and really cares about the kids. During the 2020-2021 school year I was trying to have my son keep up with practicing his instrument but he was getting tired of the same music. Ms. Hill suggested new books and was very happy that he was continuing even though there were no classes. She is helpful both during the school year and other times when we were in need!"

- a Lees Corner ES parent

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Diane Grabowski, Terra Centre ES

"Mrs. Grabowski has been an amazing teacher throughout virtual and now with concurrent learning. My son was so excited to be able to get back to school and finally meet her when he returned in March - Mrs. Grabowski has gotten my son excited about reading finally when we struggled so much at home. We are so thankful for her!"

- a Terra Centre ES parent

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Jillian Tiwana, Cameron ES

"Ms. Tiwana is an incredibly dedicated teacher. This past year has been difficult for many, especially my son. She has more patience than one would think possible in a year of COVID. I can't thank her enough for all she does for her students, especially mine."

- a Cameron ES parent

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Kristina Mickey, Oak View ES

"Mrs. Mickey has gone over and beyond this school year to make sure her students are performing at pre-pandemic levels. She always has time to answer questions from parents and her students. Mrs. Mickey always finds ways to keep the kids engaged and moving forward. Fairfax County Public Schools would be well served by showing the same innovation and fortitude as Mrs. Mickey."

- an Oak View ES parent

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Teresa Khuluki, Wolftrap ES

"Ms. Khuluki has shown calm, steady, and exceptional leadership this school year. She has masterfully adapted at each stage of the school year with its varying guidance and she has figured out how to maximize in-person learning for the school. She has lead by example and has helped reassure both students and parents alike that Wolftrap has re-opening under control. She has been able to creatively identify solutions to challenges unique to this year. She has kept parents fully informed through her newsletters and town halls. A gifted administrator, she has always been courteous and diplomatic in a particularly pressure-filled year."

- a Wolftrap ES parent

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Eric Painter, Wolftrap ES

"Mr. Painter has exceptionally juggled the challenges of online learning for my daughter's fourth-grade class. He has found creative ways to help the kids feel comradery and a spirit of community with special class spirit days and talent share days. He has been exceptional in employing all of the technology to enhance learning. Most importantly, he has shown infinite patience and kindness to his students in a very out-of-the-ordinary year. His attitude and citizenship have made a lasting impression on my child."

- a Wolftrap ES parent

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Jennifer Hertzberg, Flint Hill ES

"Dr. Hertzberg is an outstanding leader in our community who worked tirelessly to find a way to get our children back in the building for 4 days of learning. I applaud her and her staff’s efforts to make all of the logistical and space issues work. The challenges she had to deal with were not insignificant. She is always very communicative with the school community in how she is making the best possible learning environment for our children. She is also incredibly supportive of all our children’s needs and is a true educator that values innovation and creativity for an adaptive learning environment. Thank you to Dr. Hertzberg."

- a Flint Hill ES parent

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Caroline Kim, Ravensworth ES

"Mrs. Kim is awesome and my daughter adores her. She has smashed it this year despite all the challenges presented. I was so worried about my kinder doing distance learning but Mrs. Kim has made the experience absolutely wonderful."

- a Ravensworth ES parent

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Rebecca Fitzpatrick, Eagle View ES

"Ms. Fitzpatrick is one of our fourth-grade teachers. She is kind, caring, and extremely creative. She goes above and beyond to support her students and making sure all their needs are met. Ms. Fitzpatrick provides creative ways for students to show their thinking and makes the lessons fun and highly engaging. Her passion and compassion for her students show in everything she does. She is highly committed to seeing her student succeed and works tirelessly to ensure she is available for them to ask questions relating to their work or just to listen when they want to share something about their own personal experiences. In a virtual setting, building relationships can be challenging, but Ms. Fitzpatrick has fostered wonderful, positive, and authentic relationships with her students. She is a kind and caring teacher, that loves what she does, and truly wants to and works to see her students meet their potential. She is an invaluable member of our school team and we are so lucky she is part of our EVES family."

- Keieownna Hightower, Eagle View ES

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Ryan Marceron, Eagle View ES

"Mr. Ryan Marceron is a physical education teacher in our building. His dedication to his job and our students is amazing. He thinks of wonderful, engaging activities for the students, keeping the class exciting and fun. He has built positive working relationships with all of his students and works tirelessly to reach reluctant learners and those that are not always motivated to engage in physically active exercises. Mr. Marceron is not only a teacher; he is also a mentor and role model. Many of our students look up to Mr. Marceron and enjoy spending time with him talking, laughing, and sharing stories about exciting things they’ve experienced and are learning. He had the lead and participated in many initiatives in our building and offers ideas and suggestions of things we can do to assist with community building and supporting our students. We appreciate all that he does for our students and his fellow colleagues."

- Keieownna Hightower, Eagle View ES

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Nazanin Mardani, Eagle View ES

"Ms. Nazy Mardani is a wonderful, caring, and compassionate teacher. She is always putting the needs of her student first, thinking of ways to maximize their potential, and providing the best possible support. She works with our special education population and has created a classroom environment where students feel welcomed, safe to take risks, and just be themselves. She is not only a wonderful teacher but an equally wonderful member of the EVES family. She is always there to support her colleagues, lending an ear when they want to talk, sharing stories that put a smile on your face, and offering to assist when you need help. She has been such a light to many, and we appreciate all that she does to support our students and our EVES staff and community."

- Keieownna Hightower, Eagle View ES

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Dave Morse, Woodson - IT 

"We all know teaching in a pandemic can be difficult. Dealing with broken technology can really make our work more challenging. Dave Morse, a tech support specialist was the first knight in shining armor who was dressed in cargo pants and a Fairfax County polo. He swooped in, assessed the problem, and got me back up and running in no time. My students & I thank you!"

- Don Dight, Edison HS

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Andrea Talbott, Newington Forest ES

"Ms. Talbott has been such a patient, kind, generous, and caring teacher, I am sure all years, but especially this year. My student has needed a fair amount of attention and despite the challenges of attending to students either virtually or in the hybrid world, she's ALWAYS been available whenever we have reached out. Not only has she helped my student with his academics, but has given me real ideas and ways to be of assistance to my student. I sit at a desk near to my student and I hear her frequently from the computer. She is always so kind and guiding to the students. She has been so very generous and kind and we are deeply appreciative of Ms. Talbott."

- a Newington Forest ES parent

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Jim Patrick, Longfellow MS

"Dr. Patrick has done a great job as Principal at Longfellow MS. For most of his tenure, students were virtual.  As students have come back into the building, he has implemented a safe and reasonable approach. He continues to do that; announcing today that Longfellow will now offer 4 days a week to those students in person right now. Dr. Patrick listened to the parents' concerns and took them into consideration. He has been both approachable and communicative. Dr. Patrick should be applauded for his hard work getting students back into the building 4 days a week."

- a Longfellow MS parent

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Sharon Meaders, Stenwood ES

"Mrs. Meaders is an incredible teacher who has done an extraordinary job relating to her students in the virtual environment and keeping them on track! She has tirelessly followed up with her 5th graders who have missed assignments or struggled in the virtual environment, leaving no one behind. She deserves a medal for her positive attitude and compassionate teaching. At times this past year, my son has checked out and struggled to keep up, but Mrs. Meaders has always noticed and brought him back! She is amazing! We are lucky to have her as our 5th-grade teacher. Thank you, Mrs. Meaders!!"

- a Stenwood ES parent

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Kathleen Walsh, Stenwood ES

"Ms. Walsh has been an extraordinary teacher for as long as I have had the privilege of working with her to support my 1st-grade son. Ms. Walsh has been my son's case manager/special education teacher for the past two years. She consistently goes above and beyond what is required to ensure my son gets the support he needs. She always brings smiles to his face and supports him when he is anxious or feeling sad. She has played an incredible role in teaching him both coping skills and improving his academic performance. Our family is so grateful for Ms. Walsh's tireless efforts to support her special education students. She is truly incredible!"

- a Stenwood ES parent

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Lauren Siegel, Crossfield ES

"Mrs. Siegel has been instrumental in keeping her students engaged and interested all year. She has always been quick to be in contact with parents with any concerns or challenges and has done her best with teaching virtually as well as now hybrid (which seems like a huge undertaking). Our family appreciates everything she does and wants to thank her for being such an amazing 4th-grade teacher!"

- a Crossfield ES parent

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Barbara Archibald, Ravensworth ES

"Miss Archibald has consistently gone above and beyond this school year for her students. We are especially thankful for the manner she has always worked with us, as working parents trying to balance jobs and virtual schooling of multiple children, in trying to ensure our child gets the best education as possible during these trying times and schedules."

- a Ravensworth ES parent

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Megan Sullivan, Chantilly HS

"Ms. Sullivan has been a caring, dependable, consistent resource this entire school year for my 10th grader. He has struggled greatly with online school and every time we have reached out to her she has been very responsive and a good advocate for helping us figure out how to help him. I can’t thank her enough for always making herself available with good ideas and offers of help. We couldn’t have gotten through this year without you!"

- a Chantilly HS parent

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Cheryl Tsang, Westbriar ES

"Date of experience = Entire 2020-2021 school year. Mrs. Tsang has been asked to constantly pivot in the direction of FCPS leadership. Teaching Kindergartners are so challenging during this pandemic year. She has been wonderfully caring, accommodating, and helpful, despite the added workload."

- a Westbriar ES parent

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Samantha Nadeau, Oak View ES

"From the FIRST virtual meeting with Mrs. Nadeau, I knew my daughter would be loved and met where she is on her educational journey. My daughter has a 504 with ADHD and has struggled this entire year -- falling asleep, lack of attention, tantrums, confusion. Mrs. Nadeau had gently and attentively worked with her, been her cheerleader, encouraged her, took so much of her personal time to make sure she is getting the most out of this very difficult year. When hybrid started, she was given a room in the school that had no windows and was cold.  She never once complained but instead made the kids enthusiastic about being in such an unusual classroom.  With tears dripping down my face right now, I can tell you that without Mrs. Nadeau this year I don't know what I would have done. She is an inspiration to me and deserves so much more than these silly words that I'm typing right now."

- an Oak View ES parent

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Brittany Belscher, Little Run ES

"Ms. Brittany Belscher is new to Little Run ES this year as the mental health counselor. She has really hit the ground running, and is fully immersed in the role of helping students with instruction and counseling in virtual breakout sessions and now in-person. She has made herself known throughout the school to students and parents alike as a trusted ally and confidant for improving student outcomes and coping mechanisms during this difficult pandemic year. When the PTA needed help distributing weekend supplemental food to students in need, she stepped up to assist with confidential food distribution and even took it upon herself to drive food to students when parents were having difficulty getting to the school (e.g., for work conflict or transportation issues during school hours) for food pick up. Finally, during the March LRES PTA meeting, she presented a 45 min talk on student mental health, coping mechanisms, and expectation management for helping students as they return to in-person instruction. Overall, she has been an invaluable addition to the LRES staff and is greatly appreciated!"

- a Little Run ES parent

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Christine Gamache, Chantilly HS

"Ms. Gamache continuously puts her student's best interests at heart! She champions excellence in science and supports student inquiry at the highest levels while sponsoring student research projects for students who are not in her class but are interested in her fields of expertise as well as sponsoring the Science Olympiad team for over 10 years. In a year where many have curtailed their work with students outside classroom activities, Ms. Gamache provided excellent care and support to the Chantilly Team through many extra virtual meetings and competition dates. Her dedication led to the team placing in the state competition this year! She is a great role model to STEM students!"

- Karen Malloy, Chantilly HS

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Christopher Ballard and William Viands, Merrifield Support Center

"Chris and William were at our school on a work order for a plumbing issue.  I asked if he knew about the leak in one of our classrooms our custodian had put in a work order for. He said it did not go to the plumbing dept. It would best to let whoever received the work order complete the work. I thought he had left. He came back and told me he did check on the leak and that it was a HVAC and that the work order went to structural.  He put in a work order for HVAC to have someone come out and look at it. Thank you Chris for going out of your way and taking the time to follow up on a work order that had nothing to do with your job."

- Elise Brammer, Westbriar ES

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Jessica Landon, West Potomac HS

"Jessica is our Head Librarian at West Potomac. Throughout the pandemic, Jessica has redefined her traditional role as a librarian and jumped in to support our students and administrative team with whatever was needed to keep forging ahead. She has created seating charts to ensure safe meal times, taken the lead for our morning announcements, and provided a safe and clean workspace for our floating teachers. In addition, she routinely to delivers books to student's homes and supports teachers to ensure that students have access to texts. Jessica has kept the library alive! We appreciate all of your hard work."

- Susie Britton, West Potomac HS

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Christine Waters, Union Mill ES

"From day one, Mrs. Waters has shown her utmost dedication to all her kinders. She's been extremely understanding of the challenges COVID has put not only on her students but their parents as well. Starting with tech issues, the families' understanding of the various platforms, and just having 5/6-year-olds being in front of a screen has faced teachers with a barrage of issues, but Mrs. Waters has embraced these challenges with an extremely positive attitude and come up with strategies to engage and ease her students in such difficult times. She finds amazing fun activities to provide to students at monthly pick-ups and goes above and beyond by making deliveries to each and every student's house when needed. I am extremely thankful and immensely appreciate the thought, kindness, and heart she has poured into her class. I was very hesitant with how my son will progress in a virtual environment, but she recognized his abilities, weaknesses, and strengths which in turn has brought him out of his shell and made him a confident kindergartner. Thank you Mrs. Waters for all that you do. The entire class is extremely lucky to have you!"

- a Union Mill ES parent

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Grace Edmonds, Dunn Loring Center

"Grace was able to support me in setting up and holding a recent Parent-Teacher conference. From the start, Grace was advocating for my student and family that she had never even met. Grace taught me more about the roles and responsibilities of family members within the culture so that I was better prepared to support the student and family. During our conference, Grace was amazing. She ensured that the family understood the situation and solutions. I can't speak more highly of Grace! I look forward to working with her in the future!"

- Jennifer Piechoski, West Potomac HS

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 Bethany Slingerland, Madison HS

"As a member of our ESOL Department, Bethany shows tireless support for her students, their families, and the ESOL community in the Vienna area. This year, she teaches four different classes: English Language Development, US VA Government, English 10, and English 11. During her advisory period, she facilitates remediation for seniors in danger of not graduating. Bethany extends her support outside the classroom by spearheading a winter clothing/holiday drive in December as well as spends hours delivering food from the school's food pantry to the homes of students who are not able to pick the food up, due to lack of transportation. Bethany also provides professional development for the school staff to assist in cultivating the best learning environment for all of the ESOL students enrolled at the school."

- Francesca Branson, Madison HS

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Deana Dueno, Terraset ES

"My kid loves the library and Mrs. Dueno. She’s so kind and fun to listen to and you can tell she has the kid's best interest at heart. She definitely goes above and beyond for her students."

- a Terraset ES parent

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Denice Hook, Robinson SS

"Ms. Hook will start providing recovery services for my son each Monday afternoon starting next week. She is doing this voluntarily because she truly understands dyslexia, what students with dyslexia need, and the impact that COVID has had on my son's learning."

- a Robinson SS parent

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Dorothy Walsh, Alyssa Nair, and Maxi Alfar, Weyanoke ES

"These three ladies are the heart of Weyanoke Elementary as our front office staff members. Not only do they keep things running, but they relentlessly contact families to coordinate testing or other events, they organize and staff the Family Market Nights that are wildly popular at our school, and they are consistently stepping up for any job asked. They truly deserve to be recognized in this difficult year!"

- Patricia Boyce, Weyanoke ES

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Rachel Johnson, Herndon HS

"Ms. Johnson has been very flexible and accommodating regarding accepting work from my child. She provided additional time for him to complete assignments and communicated with me regarding proposed timelines. Ms. Johnson has been a positive influence on my student during a difficult year."

- a Herndon HS parent

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Joy Gordon, Sprague Technology Center

"Joy Gordon has been providing incredible support to all the members of the Online Campus as we transition to both Schoology and Zoom. Thanks for all the extra work."

- Ken Halla, Sprague Technology Center

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Carole Phelps, Lorton Center

"Thank you Carole for your dedication to sending daily emails of inspiration and encouragement."

- Dannielle Hough, Lorton Center

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