FCPS CARES - April 2022

By Department of Human Resources
April 03, 2022

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

Candace Davis, Lorton Center

"Upon arriving at school, it was noticed that a student with a device to support hearing did not have it on. This device helps the student access sound during the day, and as a younger student, she was not able to explain where it was. Feeling confident the device was on the bus, Ms. Davis jumped into action. She communicated multiple times with both the driver, the attendant, and the school team in search of the device. She even coordinated opportunities for the parent and the administration to meet the bus at various locations in the county to take part in the search. If all else failed, Ms. Davis was prepared to join the team well after hours to search the bus once the day was done. Thankfully the device was found on the bus after a thorough search and Ms. Davis made sure to communicate this and get it to the family. This was a stressful situation that Ms. Davis handled calmly, proactively, and effectively. This was also just one of many situations that Ms. Davis has supported for the best interest of students. She is an exemplary partner in the transportation office and we are forever grateful for the work she does!"

- Scott Reeder, Canterbury Woods ES

------

Region 1

Jay O'Rourke, Langley HS 

"Mr. O’Rourke has changed the math for my daughter. His amazing sense of humor and open and inviting demeanor draws her in each day. We hear story after story of how he uses math jokes, puns, or even Tik Tok trends to engage his students with the incredibly challenging curriculum he presents. Between stories of how he door dashed some donuts to class for his students, “Just cause,” she excitedly shares new math concepts that she, thank goodness, understands somehow. For a girl who struggled with math in ES, her math teachers have been truly inspiring and have made a lifelong impact. We thank you, Mr. O’Rourke, and wish you could be there for our girls in all of their math classes. You’ve made a difference and we are grateful."

- a Langley HS parent 

------

Region 2

Ariel Miller, Justice HS - View the Celebration!

"Ariel Miller has gone out of her way throughout the month of February and March, coming to school on Saturdays, so students can work through their chemical internal assessments. Due to COVID, almost everyone has no experience working on a chemistry lab report, so Ms. Miller has gone out of her way to spend 20+ hours each week for 6 weeks, 120-130 hrs., outside school to ensure students were able to finish their IAs in time. Currently, she is planning to set up Saturday school to help prepare students for their IB exams, all for free. All the time and stress she has put to ensure the success of her students without any compensation deserves recognition. Due to her work, the first students at JHS got a 7 on their chemical IA, so it's clear she brings value to the school and passion to her work."

- a FCPS Community member

------

Region 3

Stephanie Seadeek, Fort Hunt ES (Pictured) - View the Celebration!

"Stephanie Seadeek is an incredible force for awesomeness at Fort Hunt ES. There is NOTHING at our school that hasn’t benefited from her personal touch: community outreach and engagement, summer reading program, after-school enrichment programs, reading buddies, staff social committee, PTA fundraisers, Care and Share, and on and on and on. She is supportive of her students and goes the extra mile to meet them where they are. She is always willing to share with her colleagues - especially when it comes to making sure our classroom libraries are in tip-top shape. She just knows how to fill those gaps! Gracias Stephanie!"

- Allison Verich, Fort Hunt ES

------

Region 4

Jennifer McCabe, Lake Braddock SS - View the Celebration!

"Jenna is truly the most genuine and caring teacher I have witnessed when interacting with students. She is tough on them because she has high expectations and goals for them, but is also incredibly understanding and able to make true connections with them. One way I have seen this recently is with one of our students who is moving to another district. Mrs. McCabe put together a going away card for her and when she gave it to her, she told the student how special she was and that 'if she ever forgot that, to email her so she could remind her.' The student was almost in tears, saying that now she didn't want to go when, previously, she was extremely neutral, ready to go any second. Mrs. McCabe has this effect on many students, breaking down their walls and making them feel seen, which I believe is the main job of a teacher. She is a true inspiration to anyone in this profession."

- Julia Trigo, Lake Braddock SS

------

Region 5 

Kevin Deans, Johnson MS - View the Celebration!

"We’ve had 3 kids attend FCPS and have never experienced a teacher as dedicated to student success as Mr. Kevin Deans. We were first introduced to him over the summer of 2021 when he personally called me to push for my daughter to enter his higher-level math class. He had reviewed her scores and believed she was capable of much more than we had originally scheduled for her. We were very reluctant to move her forward, given her exceedingly introverted personality and her perceived struggles in math, especially after a year of virtual school due to COVID-19. Nonetheless, he said he would take the personal responsibility of ensuring her success. He has done that and so much more! From his tutoring sessions, routine phone calls and emails, positive reinforcement in the classroom, and even support of her participation in extracurriculars (which are not math related), I am thrilled to say that she has not only excelled in his classroom but has become a much more positive person. She couldn’t wait to get to school today to take her SOL, because she believed she was so prepared. We have never seen her this happy and positive about school about her academic ability and we credit Mr. Deans for making her KJMS experience so positive. She said she’s ready for high school now and we can hardly wait to see what she does there. We just pray Mr. Deans will be free to cheerlead when needed."

- a Johnson MS parent

------

Other FCPS Cares of the Month Recipients

Vickie Sands, Lake Braddock SS

"As a member of our Lake Braddock main office team, our library staff, and PTSA, Ms. Sands has contributed to our Lake Braddock community in so many ways.  Most recently, she heard that our high school math team needed snacks for our after-school SOL review sessions. Ms. Sands acted immediately. The next day she brought in enough snacks for the students to have for several after-school sessions. Her generosity not only in providing needed supplies but also the gift of her volunteer time over many years shows her devotion to the Lake Braddock community. We are fortunate to have Ms. Sands on our team!"

- Laura Peters, Lake Braddock

------

Rachid Belaizi, Stonecroft Transportation Center

"I'm reaching out to you to let you know how thankful I am for Milton bus driver and assistant they're the best bus driver in all this year. Mrs. Rachid and the assistant are always willing to help me and Milton, always on time. I enjoy seeing how my son is appreciated."

- a Kilmer MS parent

------

Michele Anwyll, Forbes Place 

"Michele was extremely helpful and patient when helping to explain the retirement system to me. She took the time to carefully explain all of the options and allowed me to ask questions as we went. She was an excellent teacher and I am very thankful for her help. I think, for the first time, I understand what my options are."

- Lorin Klein, Westfield HS 

------

Kelly Harbison, Johnson MS

"Ms. Harbison is a chorus teacher for my daughter. Each time I bring my daughter to chorus venues, she is there. She finds her students and takes them under her wing. When we go to unfamiliar places, we find her smiling welcoming face and we feel alright. I think she is a talented musician and an excellent teacher, and she goes way above and beyond to reach out to students."

- a Johnson MS parent

------

Linda Spencer, Johnson MS

"Mrs. Spencer has been working with my son this year. Her advocacy has impacted his education giving him the tools for his transition to high school. Her purpose is to guide him, and her commitment makes her such a wonderful professional educator. Her ability to build a caring relationship and the collaboration to work with us ( family) shows her passion to do her job."

- a Johnson MS parent

------

Monica Pelzer, Stratford Landing ES

"Mrs. Monica Pelzer is an amazing Special Education teacher. She has a unique ability to communicate with children. She is incredibly smart in the way she approaches issues, she is compassionate and chooses to see the good in children rather than blaming things on them when problems arise. She is cognizant that a child who showcases behavior challenges is not a bad child, it is a child who suffers and does not know how to regulate or communicate his struggles. We feel very grateful and fortunate to have Mrs. Monica as our Special Ed teacher. Our son has been emotionally struggling for a long time and she was one of the very few who was capable of creating a strong bond from the get-go. Her kindness, compassion, acceptance, and her inclusive attitude makes a world of difference in kids' life. She works tirelessly to bring their confidence up and helps them with schoolwork not to mention developing their social skills and coping mechanisms. She is an exceptional human being who cares every day and we could all take some lessons from her book. Thank you Mrs. Monica to have made a tremendous impact in our son's life."

- a Stratford Landing ES parent

------

Tanagra Cafferky, Lane ES

"Tanagra is an office assistant at Lane, and she has gone above and beyond in helping a coworker and me prepare for an after-school program that just started. This is a new experience for us, particularly arranging bus transportation home for students. Tanagra has taken time from all her other responsibilities to help answer our questions (and follow-up questions), reach out to the transportation office and follow up with them about the bus route, contact parents, provide emergency contact information for us, and explain the procedures. She even gave us her cell phone number in case there were any problems with student pick-up and transportation after the school office had closed for the day. Anytime I thank her for her help, Tanagra shrugs it off, saying she's just doing what is best to help kids. Yesterday was the first day of our after-school program, and the kids had a wonderful time. That would not have been possible without Tanagra's help!"

- Linda Simon, Lane ES

------

Pam Galietta, Langley HS

"Pam is the new TSSpec at Langley HS, and I had the chance to see her in action this week- she is doing a great job! Her instructional background means she is uniquely in tune with how technology impacts learning. She is dedicated to providing a seamless experience for all users whether it's day-to-day lessons or high-stakes testing. Pam is thorough and proactive when it comes to anticipating tech needs throughout the building. She practices compassion with anyone who visits her office with tech woes, no matter how big or small the issue is. She's taken on a lot in a short amount of time, but it is already clear what a wonderful asset she is to the Langley and TSSC communities. I look forward to working with, and learning from, her more in the future."

- Theresa Eastman, Sprague Technology Center

------

Liz Cuddihy, Lake Braddock SS

"Liz is a blessing to the MS SPED team! Her advocacy for the students' needs for the SOL has made a positive difference this week. Thank you for staying late and brainstorming with me!"

Caitlin Zayas, Lake Braddock SS

------

Kevin Deans, Johnson MS

"I have so much gratitude for Mr. Deans who teaches algebra at Kathryn Johnson Middle school. My daughter was switched into his class in January. She came in with low math confidence and a sense of defeat. She struggled to attend school and had a crushing math experience in the first part of 8th grade. In a matter of 2 months, Mr. Deans reached out to me to establish a home/school communication link and actually taught her math skills in a logical way. He encouraged her and just had a genuine level of care for her success. She stayed after school and wanted to learn more from Mr. Deans. I am truly grateful for his guidance and encouragement."

- a Johnson MS parent

------

Danielle Canning, Groveton ES

"Throughout the entire year, Ms. Canning has been the best thing for our son, a ten-year-old autistic kid, which has an IQ of 160, and while only in fourth grade he does seventh-grade math. A fellow teacher Ms. Johnson, our son's third-grade teacher, also recognized how Ms. Canning was perfect for our son. Our son had his best year in personal development and greatly improved in goals of kindness, knowledge, etc. Ms. Canning just knows how to handle autistic kids thereby greatly enhancing their development to be productive and happy members of society. I just cannot say enough good because there is so much. She is just excellent and should be recognized for such. May I suggest a 10% bonus? Believe me, that is cheap compared to the services she gives our kids."

- a Groveton ES parent

------

John Crane, Groveton ES

"Mr. Crane is the best math teacher ever. Our son tested in the 99th percentile in the Iowa algebra amplitude test. Now why that is an outstanding achievement for any sixth-grader in advanced sixth-grade math our child is only a fourth-grader. His ability to teach our fourth grader to achieve the highest of heights is outstanding and unmatched by any other math teacher. What better proof of excellence than that??? No doubt Mr. Crane deserves at least a ten percent bonus. So because of Mr. Crane's professionalism our son will be doing algebra which I understand is ninth-grade math in fifth grade. Doesn't such an achievement deserve every penny of a ten percent bonus? You bet it does for not only has a child's life been greatly enhanced but by doing so the overall scoring of the school has been greatly enhanced."

- a Groveton ES parent

------

Kelsea Owens, Johnson MS

"KJMS is lucky to have someone like Kelsea working to support students, teachers, and staff. This is my second school year supporting KJMS technology alongside Kelsea, and she is hands down the best SBTS I have ever worked with. The sky is the limit for Kelsea and I want everyone to know how much of a gem she is."

- Danny Mikhail, Johnson MS

------

Gigi Mendoza, Johnson MS

"Gigi is one of the hardest working people I have ever met. She is an amazing person who everyone enjoys working with. She is our school Testing Coordinator and today was our first day of SOL testing. Today was THE smoothest test I have ever been part of. We are so thankful for Gigi. People like her are what FCPS is all about."

- Danny Mikhail, Johnson MS

------

Sarika Mehta, Sandburg MS

"Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I cannot say it enough. You are absolutely amazing! Thank you for entering all our students' attendance for our science field trips. Thank you for greeting and directing our parents. Thank you for always keeping us in the loop. Thank you for your patience and never-ending kindness. We love you!"

- Tina Rogers, Sandburg MS

------

Sarina Moses, Sandburg MS

"I want to personally thank you for your continuous support. Thank you for allowing all of us to partake in this experience by providing coverage so the students may partake of knowledge outside the school walls. Thank you for being the strong foundation on which we stand. Thank you."

- Tina Rogers, Sandburg MS

------

Erin Fisher, Lake Braddock SS

"It is always fitting that we should pause to specially recognize teachers who have devoted so much to providing high-quality education for students. Erin Fisher is one such estimable educator who has distinguished herself as a professional of the greatest dedication and ability. During a school year marked by significant challenges, including the loss of a valued colleague, Erin worked assiduously to motivate her students to reach their full potential both as scholars and citizens. Mrs. Fisher epitomizes the dedicated teacher who is wholly committed to the highest ideals of public service and quality education for all."

- Patrick Ward, Lake Braddock SS

------

Silvia Najarro, Herndon ES

"We are volunteer grandparents coming in to help in two HES classrooms on Wednesday mornings. The first person we speak to at school each Wednesday is Silvia Najarro, who buzzes us in the front door and greets us with a smile as we log in. She is always busy at her front desk but takes time to help us and others coming into the office. Her happy attitude always makes us, and others, feel welcome at HES!"

- Herndon ES grandparents

------

Cassidy Cantrell, Orange Hunt ES

"Ms. Cassidy Cantrell is an amazing teacher! She cares deeply about each and every student in her class. Cassidy comes to school early, stays late, and works at home and on the weekends to provide her children with quality classroom experiences. Ms. Cantrell has an innate understanding and love of children. It is quite the sight to see her in action... a consummate professional. If only we all could have children in Ms. Cantrell's class!"

- Karen Weiss, Orange Hunt ES

------

Denise Russ, Michelle Coyne, Katherine Andersen, Katherine Dillard, and Juliana Rampersad, Oak Hill ES

"Oak Hill's Office Staff is amazing! They are welcoming to students and families and help every staff member perform their job at an optimal level. Happy Administrative Professionals' Day!" 

Kim Gallagher, Ginny Phinney, Christy Ryder, Cammy McCleskey, Holly DeVore, and KJ An, Oak Hill ES

------

Samantha Wilds, Stratford Landing ES

"Mrs. Wilds is one of the most wonderful teachers I have ever met—including in my own childhood! She fights for what is right, believes in her students, and always keeps a positive attitude no matter the circumstances. Her teaching style fosters a culture of inclusion and she works with students to highlight their strengths and individuality. She is open-minded, proactive, positive, sensitive, sensible, forgiving, accepting, creative, intelligent, and the list could go on and on. I am so grateful—and will always be thankful—that my son is in her class this year. He has improved on every level (socially, emotionally, personally) and feels accepted, valued, recognized, and acknowledged for his unique traits. Because of her high compassion and mastery when it comes to addressing and teaching her students, I have seen my child blossom, gain confidence, develop skills (such as hard work, accountability, perseverance), and become a better individual. We have been through a lot in recent years and Mrs. Wilds gave us hope that with an open mind, an inclusive attitude, and a passion to educate, every child can become successful. Mrs. Wilds, our family thank you."

- a Stratford Landing ES parent

------

Ghada Boctor, Gatehouse Admin Center

"Ghada Boctor's hard work and dedication is an example to everyone on our team! I’m so grateful for all of her hard work. It definitely hasn’t gone unnoticed! Ghada always finds a way to get it done – and done well! When I moved into my new position, there were so many things to learn, and having a partner in Human Resources who is willing to go above and beyond in answering my questions, and taking the time to help me understand is invaluable and has allowed me to perform better in my own career. Ghada, thank you for being you."

- Shira Brothers, Willow Oaks Admin Center

------

Chris Whitney, Fairfax HS

"Chris took time out of his incredibly busy schedule to help my school’s program. Through his leadership, the theatre pyramid is able to succeed. Thank you, Chris, for all you have done to help us at the middle school level!"

- Greg Stowers, Johnson MS

------

Jamie Korpacz, Woodson HS

"Jamie Korpacz is school counselor extraordinaire! Not only is she incredibly tuned into the needs of high schoolers, but she is also very responsive, personable and so hard working. She goes above and beyond in all she does and this is why her students have no doubt she cares about them- this is huge for teens, especially in this covid environment. She makes herself readily available, be that meeting in person or answering questions via email, and she is always thoughtful and prepared. My 11th grader met with her after school to discuss college admissions and the first thing the following morning she received an email from Ms. Korpacz giving her additional information to consider based on their discussion. I am so  grateful for all she does and we are very fortunate to have her at Woodson!"

- a Woodson HS parent

------

Bruce Wilson, Longfellow MS

"Mr. Wilson is known as a tough teacher. But he is rooting for our kids. Earlier this year our son did well on a test after a so-so performance. Mr. Wilson sent an email to make sure we (as parents) celebrated that success. Months later, as we approached the end of the 3rd quarter, our son was trying hard for straight As. We didn't let Mr. Wilson know the target, just asked him if there was any way we could get his grade before spring break because we had a reward in mind. Mr. Wilson couldn't calculate the final grade that quickly, but urged us to celebrate anyway because he could tell our son had been putting in the extra effort. After the grades were compiled, our son came home triumphant with a hard-earned A. That evening we also got a note from Mr. Wilson, making sure we were aware not only of our son's A in his class -- but all his classes. We were surprised he had taken the time to look at the whole picture. It has been heartwarming to see that level of interest and caring, taking the time to write to parents and encourage them to support their student."

- a Longfellow MS parent

------

Meredith Renard, Davis Career Center

"A HUGE 'Thank You' to Meredith in assisting the SEL screener to my students. Thank you for helping me with the ease into the screener and helping me follow directions to ensure the students were able to log into Schoology.  As a colleague, I appreciate your ability to be flexible and the ease in administrating the SEL to all accessing the screener. Thank you!"

- Brianna Graves, Davis Career Center

------

Mario Escobar, Forte Center

"Mario Escobar has visited our school on multiple occasions to pick up obsolete materials from our library. Each time, he is friendly and enthusiastic, and willing to help. His service is prompt, efficient, and professional. We appreciate Mario, and we thank him for helping us to keep our library weeding process running smoothly. Thank you so much, Mario!"

- Danielle Powers, Frost MS

------

Stephen Axelson, Davis Career Center

"I would like to recognize Stephen for his work on a challenging IEP meeting today. Leading up to the meeting he worked closely with the student, the family, and his colleagues to prepare for a successful outcome for our student. Throughout the meeting, he kept the focus on the needs of the student, which helped lead to consensus and kept open communication for everyone at the IEP table. Nice job!"

- Chad Clayton, Davis Career Center

------

Shawn Heilemann, Willow Oaks Admin Center

"Shawn supported the division launch of the Tutor.com-Online Tutoring services by helping to get resources in place on the Public and Hub sites. Having these two sites in place allowed the implementation team to move forward with time-sensitive communications. He has been incredibly collaborative, quick to respond, and highly flexible in a project that had very tight deadlines. We are incredibly grateful for his continued collaboration and commitment to families and staff in FCPS."

- Karen Durocher, Willow Oaks Admin Center

------

Michael Sanchez, Willow Oaks Admin Center

"Michael always goes above in beyond in his role. My colleague Crystal and I were setting up a very complicated Summer Institute PD and Michael walked us through several how to set up the courses and curriculum opportunities. Not only that but as we began to implement the strategies he shared with us when we became stuck he quickly set up a time to jump on a Zoom call and help us troubleshoot the problem. His creativity, collaboration, and problem-solving are to be commended. His assistance not only impacts us at the office, but the hundreds of teachers who will attend our sessions and the students they will teach. Thank you, Michael!"

- Lori Bedsole, Willow Oaks Admin Center

------

Simon Tham, Willow Oaks Admin Center

"I cannot begin to tell you how incredibly helpful Simon has been as we launch our AAP Summer Institute. Today I was trying to add Zoom links to our professional development and Simon patiently shared with me resources and training. His help not only supported me in my position but will ultimately support the hundreds of teachers who attend our institute and the students they teach! Thank You!"

- Lori Bedsole, Willow Oaks Admin Center

------

Avril Donat, Mantua ES

"Ms. Donat is our school library assistant. My interactions with her are varied but if I ever stop to ask her about a certain book in our collection, she not only has already read it but she knows in seconds exactly where it is and recalls minute details instantly. It never ceases to amaze me! Today I was talking to her about Julia Child and her unique life story. Immediately, Ms. Donat told me about a graphic novel we have in the library based on her life and proceeded to tell me facts I had little knowledge of. And then of course she checked the book out to me. In the past, I have talked to her about other book titles and have had similar interactions. She has had books sent over from the middle or high school if we did not have them or made recommendations for books my own children would enjoy based on their personal interests or get for Christmas or birthdays. Personally, I am not a very big reader but Ms. Donat really instills a love for books with her passion and vast knowledge of the written word. She is a valuable part of Mantua!"

- Amrita Love, Mantua ES

------

Meredith Lydon, Wilton Woods Center

"Meredith supported the division launch of the Tutor.com-Online Tutoring services by spending countless hours designing the public and hub sites, ensuring content was accessible and equitable. Thanks to her tireless support and attention to detail, families, and staff have access to resources that will help them utilize the tutoring services. We are incredibly grateful for her collaboration and commitment to families and staff in FCPS."

- Karen Durocher, Willow Oaks Admin Center

------

Reon Brogen, Fort Belvoir ES

"Ms. Brogen has been an amazing resource for our family. My son has been struggling with impulse control and Ms. Brogen has been helping him as well as helping me. It has been a great blessing to have her as a resource."

 - a Fort Belvoir ES parent

------

Jenny-Lin Bennett, Fort Belvoir ES 

"Mrs. Bennett has been a huge blessing to our family. My son is in the process of being diagnosed with ADHD and Mrs. Bennett has worked with us every step of the way as well as giving daily updates so we can help our son. I am not sure we could have made it through this school year without Mrs. Bennett's help."

 - a Fort Belvoir ES parent

------

Jose Mora, Woodson - IT

"I am so thankful to work with someone like Jose. He is always so kind and willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done. Yesterday in particular he really helped my school out. There was a teacher’s laptop that needed a particular replacement, but the laptop was out of warranty. He told me that he isn’t sure if the laptop could be fixed. 20 mins later, he came back into my office and said, “it’s all good now.” He said he found the part and replaced it on the spot. The fact that he went out of his way to help means a lot. I am truly inspired to work with people like Jose."

- Danny Mikhail, Johnson MS

------

Danielle Baugher, Skylar Robins, Lucy Garneski, Jaime DeRosa, Madeleine Brant, and Kathleen Irwin, Mantua ES

"My first day at Mantua ES was at the beginning of the 2nd quarter. The fourth-grade team was amazingly supportive of this transition! They were available to answer any of my questions, provide curriculum guidance, and equip me with technology for producing effective teaching practices. The fourth-grade teachers are skilled professionals with big hearts! I'm lucky to be part of their team!"

Eva Bousbouras, Mantua ES

------

Brandon Phillips, Sideburn Support Center

"Brandon is always super attentive and always goes above and beyond to take care of issues that we have on our campus. Over the past couple of weeks, we had a tennis net collapse and a tree fall near a neighbor's yard, and Brandon got both issues resolved super quickly. This experience isn't anything new with Brandon, as he always gets back to us in a timely matter and does his best to correct any issues we have on campus. Our school greatly appreciates the pride and dedication he puts into his work."

- Greg Miller, McLean HS

------

Tammy Owens, Carson MS

"As the special education lead/department chair of a middle school, Tammy's calendar is full with supporting Carson students and the transition IEPs for students from elementary school. Tammy demonstrates a caring culture and teamwork by being flexible and positive in all of the meetings. Each meeting is personal to the student and parents, and she goes out of her way to make them feel comfortable about the transition. Carson MS is very lucky to have such an amazing staff member, and we are very blessed at Floris to have such a wonderful person to work with as we prepare our students to move into their next step in education. Thank you, Tammy!"

- Holly Walker, Floris ES

------

Blanca Guardado, Alan Leis Center

"I am a new mom who is in the process of applying so that my son can be part of the preschool program and I want to thank and recognized the excellent work of Blanca Guardado during this process, she is very ethical and very professional person."

- an Early Childhood Preschool new parent

------

Pam Fridley, Justice HS

"Pam Fridley is an incredible Instructional Coach here at Justice HS. Beyond her dedication to providing individual support for teachers when implementing new teaching strategies, or researching new ideas to support levels of engagement, Pam has volunteered her time to support our recruitment of quality candidates. Pam has stayed with us on Friday afternoons, when she could be on her way home, to help interview candidates and provide feedback so we can bring on the best for our students. I greatly appreciate Pam's professionalism and her dedication to student success. Pam also joins us on her Saturdays to support SOL remediation and enrichment. We are lucky to have her!"

- Colleen Lally, Justice HS

------

Starlet Smith, McLean HS

"Ms. Starlet Smith is the Director of Orchestras at McLean High School, one of the prestigious music programs in the county. This year, the most McLean students in its history were accepted to the All Virginia Bands and Orchestra, and most remarkably, the most orchestra students from one high school were from McLean! This past weekend was the All Virginia event at Christopher Newport University. She was in charge of all McLean band and orchestra students in addition to other duties like charter bus captain. She also attended the VBODA meetings held at the event. Bravo McLean, and BRAVISSIMO Ms. Smith!!!"

- Allison Devereux, Herndon HS

------

Rosa Lozano, Wolftrap ES

"Ms. Lozano came to school on Sunday to assist our PTA with the 5K race and fun run. The parents made a point of coming to me today and telling me what an incredible job Ms. Lozano did with the race preparation and keeping facilities clean. She did a stellar job! Thank you!"

- Maggie Grove, Wolftrap ES

------

Karen Wolpert, McLean HS

"As a McLean high school grad and a Fairfax County resident with 3 school-aged children, I feel compelled to reach out about a teacher who made an incredible impact on my education when I was in high school. “Frau” Karen Wolpert was my German teacher for 4 wonderful years. In addition to teaching me German and taking me to Germany on her famous German exchange, she was a constant inspiration to me. Her class was something I looked forward to for fun in the stressful academic rigor at McLean. But it is one of the classes that served me in later years in college when I attended UVA, both for the language acquisition and the history of WWII that was such a large part of the class. But more than academics, Frau connected with me personally.  She maintained contact with me as an adult and even attended my wedding with her little son. When I recently heard that her own son would attend UVA, it brought waves of nostalgia and pride for a teacher who truly touched my life."

- a McLean HS alumni

------

Julie Durham, Marjon Azizian, and Sade Graham, Gunston ES

"I still have a hard time believing that teachers frequently use their own money to buy classroom supplies. Our sixth-grade teachers use their own money to buy books for their classes, snacks, and rewards and I am sure they buy more things than I know. On Friday, they purchased enough bracelets and strips of jewels to bedazzle the entire 6th-grade class so they could "Shine Bright Like A Diamond" for the school's pre-SOL pep rally. Thank you for your kindness."

- a Gunston ES parent

------

Sarah Fuller, Fairview ES

"Today was just another example of how Ms. Fuller goes above and beyond for the Fairview community. My daughter forgot her dental expander and case in her desk on a Friday afternoon. I knew immediately who to email. Ms. Fuller was still at school late on a Friday. She responded immediately to my email and stayed so I could go and pick it up. I’ve been at Fairview as a parent for seven years now and she never fails to amaze me. She has always been warm welcoming and considerate of the staff and families. If you have a question that needs an answer she is the person you need to go to. I hope she knows how much she’s appreciated, and how much we as a community rely on her."

- a Fairview ES parent

------

Meghann Pritchett, Centreville ES

"This is the first year my son attended the PAC program. Ms. Meghann Pritchett and her team have been amazing since the first day of school. I have seen major improvements and milestones that have been met with my son! Ms. Pritchett is patient and keeps me well aware of situations or concerns and may have. She keeps me updated at all times and my son enjoys going to school every day. Thanks for all you do Meghann and team!"

- a Centreville ES parent

------

Ben Wong, Stonecroft Transportation

"Ben has been my son's (special education) bus driver since August 2021 to date. My son is on the autism spectrum and things are usually tense in the morning. At the beginning of the year, Ben called me to introduce himself and let me know that he will be my son's bus driver. I hear Ben greet my son every morning when he gets on the bus. He is patient and waits for my son who is particular about getting his clothes and gear perfectly positioned before he walks out the door. Ben will stop as close to the house as possible to help my son. He has contributed greatly to my son's success in making it to the bus (almost) every morning since the start of the school year, not being tardy often to school like in past years, and starting his school days on a positive note. I am grateful for Ben's empathy and care. It makes a big difference for my son. Thank you, Ben!"

- a Stonecroft Transporation parent

------

Clyde Nelson, West Potomac HS

"Mr. Nelson is an exceptional teacher, mentor, case manager, and co-worker. He is consistently encouraging teachers and students on their efforts and accomplishments. Mr. Nelson is often seen smiling, waving, and conversing throughout hallways with everyone around. He shines his light all day and we are blessed to have his expertise and compassion. Mr. Nelson is an exemplar for someone in FCPS who cares!"

- Tiffany Wilson, West Potomac HS

------

Deanne Lyon, Willow Oaks Admin Center

"Deanne is the driving force behind the annual IAS Creative Arts contest. Without her vision and determination, our student's creativity would not be recognized and celebrated. She has worked tirelessly to plan, obtain submissions, display the works, and create the voting system and awards ceremony. Deanne is the best! Every school needs a Deanne!!"

- Lisa Dockins, Willow Oaks Admin Center

------

Saja Abduljabbar, Lake Braddock SS

"She is the sweetest advisory teacher and if you don't believe me, then go to her room and talk to her."

- a Lake Braddock SS student

------

Saja Abduljabbar, Lake Braddock SS

"Ms. Saja is very kind and funny. She can be serious when she wants to be and in all she is great."

- a Lake Braddock SS student

------

Saja Abduljabbar, Lake Braddock SS

"One of the best teachers I've had is Ms. Saja, my advisory teacher. Not only does she make her students comfortable, but she is also an overall kind and funny person. Her classroom is always filled with laughter and there's never really a dull moment. She engages with all her students and knows how to make them smile. She understands and listens to us, as well as offers help for our other classwork, especially math. It doesn't really matter if we are being an annoying class, she is always so kind and companionate, which is a quality many lack."

- a Lake Braddock SS student

------

Erik Dahlin, Sprague Technology Center

"Erik fully recognizes that there is a person behind the IT Request ticket and that their issue is interrupting their work or their learning. He always goes above and beyond to resolve tech issues and communicates in a way that is comprehensible to those of us who aren't fluent in tech speak. And best of all, he ensures that tickets are fully resolved and that the customer, whether it is a student or a staff member is satisfied. When I see my ticket is assigned to him, I am comforted in the knowledge that he will not rest until it is solved."

- Jen Cory, Annandale HS

------

Saja Abduljabbar, Lake Braddock SS

"Ms. Saja is one of the nicest teachers I have. She is nice to all students, and accommodates our needs and wants. Her room gives us a feeling of home, and (sometimes) gives us candy on Fridays. Overall, Ms. Saja is a great teacher."

- a Lake Braddock SS student

------

Saja Abduljabbar, Lake Braddock SS

"Ms. Saja is an amazing teacher because she makes her classroom an open community. She's friends with all of her students and makes an effort to include everyone in a conversation."

- a Lake Braddock SS student

------

Saja Abduljabbar, Lake Braddock SS

"Ms. Saja is funny, nice, and is always there for us. It's always fun in her class and I'm glad I get to be in her advisory class."

- a Lake Braddock SS student

------

Tabitha Zermeno, Lake Braddock SS

"I am nominating this teacher because she is my nicest teacher, but she is also strict which is the perfect mix."

- a Lake Braddock SS student

------

Saja Abduljabbar, Lake Braddock SS

"This employee, my Advisory teacher, is very kind and takes care of her advisory students. Probably my favorite teacher."

- a Lake Braddock SS student

------

Catherine Fleury, Lake Braddock SS

"Ms. Fleury is a nice fun teacher."

- a Lake Braddock SS student

------

Anne Buellesbach, Lake Braddock SS

"One of my favorite teachers this year has been Mrs. Buellesbach, and she is my Algebra 1 HN teacher. I love how whenever she asks about the class's experience with something (like slope, for example) she'll ask the class to put their heads down and they raise their hand when something applies to them (like if you've never worked with slope before). She is also very encouraging when it comes to asking questions and always tries to answer them. She also makes sure to ask if she's going too fast or too slow in a lesson to make sure everyone is understanding of the lesson, and I really appreciate that."

- a Lake Braddock SS student

------

David Wickham, Lake Braddock SS

"This teacher is a great teacher because he is flexible and very supportive."

- a Lake Braddock SS student

------

JoAnna Zgoda, Lake Braddock SS

"Ms. Zgoda helps me with understanding the subject and overall she is very nice and is very friendly."

- a Lake Braddock SS student

------

Stacey Mitchell, Lake Braddock SS

"Mrs. Mitchell has always been there for students, teachers, and parents. It's always fun to be in her classroom and do things in class and after school. She always has fun activities and nice plays and skits in class. Her class at times doesn't feel like a class but we are always learning things."

- a Lake Braddock SS student

------

Saja Abduljabbar, Lake Braddock SS

"Ms. Saja is an amazing teacher and helps me get up in the morning."

- a Lake Braddock SS student

------

Clayton Allen, Lake Braddock SS

"A teacher that I really enjoy having a class with is my orchestra teacher, Mr. Allen. He is a really funny person and makes class enjoyable for the students. I am very influenced by his teaching and I really think I have learned a lot about orchestra being in his class."

- a Lake Braddock SS student

------

Ashley So, Lake Braddock SS

"A teacher that I like is Ms. So because she is very understanding and I like the way she doesn't get mad easily."

- a Lake Braddock SS student

------

Jennifer McCabe, Lake Braddock SS

"Jenna is truly the most genuine and caring teacher I have witnessed when interacting with students. She is tough on them because she has high expectations and goals for them, but is also incredibly understanding and able to make true connections with them. One way I have seen this recently is with one of our students who is moving to another district. Mrs. McCabe put together a going away card for her and when she gave it to her, she told the student how special she was and that 'if she ever forgot that, to email her so she could remind her.' The student was almost in tears, saying that now she didn't want to go when, previously, she was extremely neutral, ready to go any second. Mrs. McCabe has this effect on many students, breaking down their walls and making them feel seen, which I believe is the main job of a teacher. She is a true inspiration to anyone in this profession."

- Julia Trigo, Lake Braddock SS

------

Meghan Buckles, Sangster ES

"Teacher appreciation week is coming up and I wanted to give a big shoutout to Mrs. Buckles as a First Grade teacher at Sangster Elementary school. She truly connects with her students on a personal level and makes learning a fun experience for them. I could not have asked for a more caring, compassionate, and competent teacher for my son. Mrs. Buckles sees each child individually and really understands their needs and knows how to encourage them to succeed. We are very grateful to have her this year. She goes above and beyond for her students and it is clear that she loves to teach. Thank you, Mrs. Buckles!"

- a Sangster ES parent

------

Blanca Guardado, Alan Leis Center

"It is a pleasure for me to wish you the best in your personal and work life. I am eternally grateful to you for giving me your support and unconditional help in the case of my son enrolling in Glen Forest ES. You are a very helpful person, kind and above all very sociable with people. I hope that people like you always meet to serve others. Wishing you the best in your life. Infinitely thank you for everything and God bless."

- a Glen Forest ES parent

------

Tiffany Bryant, Herndon ES

"Today Tiffany Bryant just pulled off another successful Herndon ES Career Day. There were over 50 community members talking about their jobs. I was happy to be able to talk to excited students as they learned about possible opportunities available to them in the future. The community participants were happy to be there to share what they did and to share about their companies. One construction manager told me he met Tiffany in an airport while waiting for a plane and she coaxed him to participate--he's been doing it for years now. That is such an illustration of her passion for this work! From robotics engineers to zookeepers, airline pilots, nurses, firefighters, money managers, and more, our students were treated like professionals learning about great future careers!! Great job Tiffany!!!!"

- Elaine Tholen, Gatehouse Admin Center

------

Vu Luu, Wilton Woods Center

"Mr. Luu is incredibly professional and responsive on the occasions there are network requests/questions at Thoreau MS. I want to highlight the quick response Mr. Luu provided to complete a network patch for a recent school-wide project. He came out the same day and with a huge smile. The TMS tech team appreciates you, Mr. Luu!!"

Alicia Fyfe, Thoreau MS

------

Anita Pillai, Johnson MS

"Anita goes above and beyond at KJMS. Over the past several weeks, I've asked for Anita's help with purchasing and record-keeping, and she is punctual, helpful, gracious, and kind. She helps us understand processes, and makes sure to follow through if I've missed any steps. I would not be able to be so proficient at my job without her assistance. She's the best!"

Greg Stowers, Johnson MS

------

Lisa Sawkar, Lake Braddock SS

"Lisa is the Teacher for the Visually Impaired at Lake Braddock Secondary School. Lisa has gone above and beyond to help out with students this year. She is an asset to our school!"

Caitlin Zayas, Lake Braddock SS

------

Jillian Zuber, Forest Edge ES

"Jillian Zuber, Principal of Forest Edge graciously offered to serve as an interviewee during the Street Data Practice in Focus: Empathy Interviews workshop, so that participants could observe an authentic interview in practice. Participants were able to see how this tool helps to understand the lived experiences of our stakeholders. Bravo Jillian!"

- Claire Silva, Willow Oaks Admin Center

------

Mel Usry, Timberlane ES

"Mel and I connected virtually through a mutual colleague. Mel dedicated her time to answering my questions. She also checked in on me several times to give encouraging words. Thanks, Mel!"

- a Colvin Run ES parent

------

Alison Bieber, Columbia ES

"Ms. Bieber is always going above and beyond! In addition to being an amazing teacher, she leads lots of extra activities that the kids love, like Cougar Fit. She encourages each student's passion, for example bringing in a variety of STEM activities like coding and robotics. She inspired a love of computers and coding in my son, which will stay with him well beyond just elementary school."

- a Columbia ES parent

------

Bryan Buser, Gatehouse Admin Center

"I am so appreciative for Bryan Buser. He is always so responsive and kind in helping others. Thank you Bryan for being such a knowledgeable and approachable resource."

- Laura Reed, Bull Run ES

------

Amber Wixtrom, Forestdale ES

"Thank YOU Ms. Wixtrom for your love of reading and books. Your enthusiasm is contagious. It is amazing how you know every student's name and the genre of books that they like. Thanks also for facilitating the morning news show and for giving students opportunities to share their talents. You ROCK!"

Linda Ferguson, Dunn Loring Center

------

Amity Kim, Forestdale ES

"Thank YOU Ms. Kim for always being available to our students. You know them so well and assist their families to gain the support that they need. You make a difference!"

Linda Ferguson, Dunn Loring Center

------

Jamie Edwards, Forestdale ES

"Thank YOU Ms. Edwards for attending to our many technology needs. You keep children at the heart of all that you do. It shows in the ways that you respond to each person's unique needs. Thanks also for creating our school yearbook. The yearbook is such a great way to keep memories alive. Finally, thanks for your support with our testing. You are wearing a lot of hats and you always do it with a smile!"

Linda Ferguson, Dunn Loring Center

------

Stephanie Haynos, Wilton Wood Center

"Many thanks to Stephanie Haynos for her support and patience with a last-minute request! Her knowledge, professionalism, and perseverance are very much appreciated."

- Jen Fallert, Cameron ES

------

Kristen Nolan, Clearview ES

"My family and I would like to congratulate Ms. Kristen Nolan for all her help and support. We value her for her effort. She is a special teacher with many qualities, she always thinks and does everything she can for her students. She goes above and beyond to help them. Also, I want to thank all the Hispanic employees for their kindness and because they care about their community."

- a Clearview ES parent

------

Denise Downing, Lorton Center

"Denise has been wonderful to work with! She has been our POC for the bus routes for our after-school program. She has coordinated the routes for us, is quick to respond to our emails with all our questions, and does it all with a smile. We can't thank her enough!"

Alexandra Franck, Jaime Ovalle, Michelle Wenz, and Lauren Allen, Glen Forest ES

------

Samuel Amonick, Lorton Center

"Sam has been an incredible addition to our bus family. Since coming to our bus in December (straight out of the training center), Sam has made connections with all the students on the bus. On our QP run, he has brought out a side of one young man we've never seen, talking and laughing about video games. He entertains the younger students and keeps them smiling by playing made-up finger games. He truly CARES for all the students we transport. Thank you Sam for your dedication to the students."

Barbara L. Davis, Lorton Center

------

Luis Contreras, Lake Braddock SS

"I would like to extend kudos to Luis Contreras for his tireless efforts in supporting our ESOL population in the middle school. Luis has made time to speak with students in his office who are experiencing difficulties in school and at home. He has made presentations and hosted talks in Erika Hisey’s room on ways for the students to get along and comply with school norms and rules. He has also organized restorative justice circles during Mary Concannon’s class led by Amy Soos in hopes of strengthening relationships among students in the middle school ESOL department. I’ve even noticed that he is involved in sponsoring after-school activities in middle school. Luis, thank you for all that you do! We are lucky to have you on our team!"

Ken Kuchta, Lake Braddock SS

------

Patricia Loarca, Lorton Center

"Patricia is a bus driver floater, who covers different runs daily. Yesterday afternoon, the attendant on the bus had a medical emergency. She remained calm, assisted the attendant until medical help arrived, and reassured the students she was transporting. Her extreme professionalism during such a stressful situation helped maintain a calm atmosphere, therefore preventing the students on board from becoming panicked. She is an asset to FCPS transportation!!"

Marlene Sisson, Lorton Center

------

Darinka Ramirez, Sandburg MS

"Ms. Ramirez (our family liaison) at Sandburg Middle School is always available to help out in any situation. She is a true professional and makes families feel comfortable. She is a great team player and an excellent communicator. She is very helpful to me (the social worker) and has a very quick turnaround with her tasks. She is overall a joy to work with and is a true asset to our community at Sandburg MS."

Haleh Royanian, Sandburg MS

------

Leslie Williams, Gatehouse Admin Center

"Mr. Leslie Williams supported our school by partnering with us to make quick decisions, answering questions, providing timely information, and genuinely modeling a Caring Culture. We are so thankful for his kindness, knowledge, and support. Thank you, Mr. Williams!"

- Jennie Skerker, Union Mill ES 

-------

Heather Hendershot, Virginia Hills Center

"I have been a principal for about 2 months. During my two months at MVWES, Heather Hendershot has been critical in the IEP process for some of our families and teachers. The level of support she has provided goes above and beyond what I expected. She is knowledgeable, patient, approachable, and reliable. She works as a partner with our teachers and our families making what could be a tough and confusing process, accessible to all. We are beyond grateful to have Heather's support here at Mount Vernon Woods ES and are appreciative of all of her hard work. Thanks, Heather!"

- Gina O'Neal, Mount Vernon Woods ES 

-------

Meredith Ayala, Dunn Loring Center 

"Meredith and Kristen have been such great supports to us as we are improving our programming to better support our military families! To assist with getting our student ambassador program up and running, they work today with a group of our students to learn about the role and begin their training. When the students were so engaged that they did not finish all they had planned, they were eager to return to our school to continue the development of our ambassadors! Our military families especially, but all our students at Irving are lucky to have their support!"

Meg Gollinger, Irving MS 

-------

Megan Nevola, Riverside ES 

"In her first year of teaching, Ms. Nevola has grown in the capacity to support all students in her 1st-grade classes. She has stepped in for the last two weeks to support general education classrooms while still providing services for students with disabilities and holding IEP meetings. She did it all with great flexibility and grace. We are grateful to have Ms. Nevola in our Riverside ES community! Thank you Ms. Nevola for all that you do!"

Zulei Culpeper, Riverside ES 

------

Charles Spence, Riverside ES 

"Mr. Spence is a returning member of the Riverside community. He has been a tremendous support to the 5th-grade team and to the school overall. He comes in with a positive attitude every day, builds positive relationships with his students and staff, and focuses on providing the best instructional practices in the classroom for his students. We are so thrilled and grateful to have him back in the building this school year!"

Zulei Culpeper, Riverside ES 

------

Kristina Culkin and Derek Knizner, Robinson SS 

"A co-worker had a medical emergency at the school and Kristina and Derek wasted no time calling for emergency medical services and taking care of the co-worker. They notified the appropriate parties and did everything they could to assure the co-worker was given immediate care. I am very grateful to have them as part of the DIT team and Robinson Community."

- Greg Edwards, Sprague Technology Center 

------

Carly Pfaff, Churchill Road ES 

"We are so grateful for Ms. Pfaff. Ms. Pfaff has been fantastic from day one when she had her calls with parents during the first week, where she connected with parents, and has always been super responsive and engaged with us. We enjoy the weekly e-mails she sends to keep parents posted on essential milestones and events. She is always available to discuss any questions we have, and we feel connected with her in the best way possible. Ms. Pfaff has created the most thriving, inclusive, and pleasant environment for a child to grow academically and get the best experience from school. Every morning our daughter is looking forward to a new school day, and we, as her parents, cannot be happier to observe this. We are thankful to Ms. Pfaff for her professionalism and being a genuinely outstanding teacher!"

- a Churchill Road ES parent 

------

Jon Kemmerer, Cunningham Park ES 

"Mr. Kemmerer is a strong and steady force of calm and quiet in a school of busy kids. He knows all the students, and they all like and respect him. I regularly volunteer, and have recently begun subbing in our school, and while he is not one for small talk, he clearly knows what's going on and his dry humor provides a welcome of relief even when things are at their craziest. His reassuring presence has ensured that our principal's absence has not been disastrous for our community."

Stephanie Paduano, Cunningham Park ES 

------

Claudia Davila, Cunningham Park ES 

"I have recently begun subbing in my daughter's school, Cunningham Park, and while I have always known Claudia is a dedicated and talented staff member, she has really proven her mettle, with the way she juggles substitutes and ensures we are in the system correctly. On Friday 4/15 several teachers were out for at least part of the day, and without ever losing her smile and patient tone, she moved me from one teacher's spot to another to maximize my availability and she even helped me with Smart Find Express coding. Claudia is a real team player."

Stephanie Paduano, Cunningham Park ES 

------

Elizabeth Copeland, Cunningham Park ES 

"Beth is a school Administrator extraordinaire who has ensured the families and students have not borne the brunt of our school principal's extended absences this year. She is a terrific team player who is always helpful and reasonable."

Stephanie Paduano, Cunningham Park ES 

------

Timothy Coddington, Lake Braddock SS 

"Mr. Coddington is an amazing history teacher. Every time when it's time to learn about U.S. history, I know Mr. Coddington loves his job because he teaches the class with so much passion and energy. He makes learning so interesting. Mr. Coddington also cares about his students' well-being. I have personally seen Mr. Coddington go out of his way to make my experience in class better, as well as others. He listens to his students and makes sure we have the help we need to do well in school."

- a Lake Braddock SS student 

------

Allison Verich, Fort Hunt ES 

"I worked closely with Allison for two years and can say that she is a great teacher and mentor. She is always willing to help and share all her math strategies, adaptations, and materials with her colleagues. She is very friendly and cooperative. It is a great pleasure working with Allison. Fort Hunt is lucky to have her as a part of our community!"

Maria Alva, Fort Hunt ES 

------

Robin Noonan-Price and Donny Haller, Sprague Technology Center

"Robin and Donny collaborated with the Early Childhood Special Education program to film several ECSE preschool classrooms over a 6-week period. Robin and Donny were amazing in the classroom and quickly adjusted to being part of the preschool environment. Thank you Robin and Donny for helping with this fun project!"

- Erin Snell, Bull Run Early Childhood Center

Lauren Weis, Langley HS 

"A big shout out to Ms. Weis for having such high standards. She challenges my daughter to work harder and immerse herself in her studies. She also gives strong, specific positive feedback that is meaningful to her students. I appreciate the model she is providing!! "

- a Langley HS parent 

------

Susan Broad Langley HS 

"Ms. Broad always finds a way to make my daughter feel brilliant. She acknowledges her hard work and on more than one occasion has made her a student example. This type of spotlight has made my daughter so confident and want to excel even more."

- a Langley HS parent 

------

Jim Sykes, Langley HS 

"Mr. Sykes has been there for my daughter since we came into the country and she made the transition to high school in 2019.  It was a tough transition, but he has checked in on her regularly. She's had to have several surgeries that impaired her mobility and he's been phenomenal in ensuring that she has support and keeping everyone informed. Recently she needed special accommodations to be made to make her physical therapy appointments and true to form, he's been there to assist and has gone out of his way to ensure she feels supported."

- a Langley HS parent 

------

Fred Allard, Robinson SS 

"In my twentieth year as a substitute teacher, I’ve shouldered with the best of the staff at Robinson SS from time to time. Just finished a week working alongside Fred Allard teaching World History. Every teacher has a unique style as does Fred. Great assignment. We had days together and I watched a talented teacher in action.  Time after time. The real action happens, often, behind the scenes. This is the interaction between a teacher and an individual student. I watched Fred Allard pair off with students several times each day. During these personal, one-on-one experiences, I watched him share each different personality. Sharing his advice, hints, and tips drawn from his experience. Remarks and suggestions for each of the students he chatted with. On every occasion, the student left feeling better about himself and all around him. Carrying important tools for his or her future. Thank you, Mr. Allard. It was my distinct pleasure to work with Fred Allard this week."

- John Hebbe, Robinson SS 

------

Gita Mamgain, West Potomac H

"Ms. Mamgain is a very hard-working teacher. I watch her come to the copier frequently to maximize the size of handouts and graphs for a visually impaired student. Even though it takes time to get it just right, she patiently adjusts the settings until she gets it just right. This is a great example of someone in FCPS who cares."

- Tiffany Wilson, West Potomac HS 

------

Bryanna Gutierrez, Sprague Technology Center

"Bryanna was extremely helpful today. She took the time to listen to various problems my boss and I had encountered today with Zoom access, and with accessing my personal Gmail account on my FCPS laptop. She was kind and went far and beyond to help with Google Slides, finding a way to add accents to words. You truly have the right person for this job!! She is a keeper!! Thank you so much for your help, Bryanna!! I will try to ask for her in the future whenever I call the IT Service Desk."

Claudia Estevez, Plum Center

------

Geeta Khemani, Robinson SS 

"Geeta is one of the most patient and genuine educators I have ever worked with. No matter how bad of a day a student is having in school, she always provides positive, heartfelt, and encouraging words to them. Geeta is an expert in helping the students in her classroom develop a cheerful, positive mindset."

Julie Hiles, Robinson SS 

------

Ashlee Clifton, Island Creek ES

"Ashlee scheduled a time with me this week to review the EL accommodations process. When we met, it was clear that Ashlee had already taken the time to familiarize herself with the process and that she wanted to be sure that everything was done right. I appreciate her attention to detail. The EL accommodations process is complex and involves important decisions about how English learners will be testing during SOLs, as well as coordination with classroom teachers, Special Ed teachers, and the School Testing Coordinator. I frequently need to provide support to teachers who have been managing the EL accommodations process for years, so it was very impressive that Ashlee, in a new school and new to the process, was already handling everything effectively. It is also clear that Ashlee has a strong connection to her students, is supporting their language learning in the classroom, and wants to make careful and informed decisions about their accommodations. FCPS needs more teachers like Ashlee!"

Brian Herberger, Willow Oaks Admin Center

------

Terri Edmunds-Heard, Gatehouse Admin Center

"Dr. Edmunds-Heard has been an incomparable help for Westfield High School as we tried to navigate our staffing issues for Friday, April 15th. Our school had a significant amount of open jobs going into the religious observance day and Dr. Edmunds-Heard took the time to address our situation head-on and was able to pull together a large number of resources to help us prepare for the day. What could have been a stress-filled and probably unmanageable circumstance has since been turned into one with no apprehension and where students and school staff can operate in an almost normal fashion. Westfield High School and our community is extremely lucky to have Dr. Edmunds-Heard as a resource and partner." 

- Antonio DiBari, Westfield HS 

------

Sherry Giuseppe, Oak View ES 

"Mrs. Giuseppe is a sixth-grade teacher at Oak View Elementary. She is also a bit of a miracle worker. My sixth-grade son has always been reluctant to write. I would pass by work in the school and be able to instantly recognize his one very short sentence. This year, he was extremely lucky to be placed in Mrs. Giuseppe's classroom. She has worked some serious magic with him. Mrs. Giuseppe recognized what he could do and over the year, has helped him write. Today she sent us an email with her excitement over my son's reading response. It was 3 paragraphs long. Before this year, I was worried about his success going into middle school. Mrs. Giuseppe has helped ease those worries by getting my son to put thought and effort into his writing. I feel confident that he will be very successful in middle school and in large part, it is due to Mrs. Giuseppe's efforts. She has challenged him and he has accepted it. Not an easy feat. Thank you, Mrs. Giuseppe!"

- an Oak View ES parent 

------

Kristie Brown, Willow Oaks Admin Center

"Kristie Brown has been an amazing resource for our team at Westfield High School. She has met with us multiple times to provide guidance and assistance with our ESSER plans and implementation. She is exceedingly patient as we have been working through the process and provides timely feedback. Additionally, she has great suggestions and gives a lot of clarity around this tricky process. We are extremely fortunate to work with Kristie!"

- Antonio DiBari, Westfield HS 

------

Theresa Charles, Lake Braddock SS 

"Mrs. Charles is an incredible teacher who cares about the comfort of her students and education. Since the beginning of the year, Mrs. Charles has gone out of her way to make her classroom a comfortable place for kids to study. Students can choose to sit at regular desks, comfy chairs, spiny seats, and tall tables. Mrs. Charles also has a variety of body lotions from many different brands and scents that are open for kids to use. Along with that, Mrs. Charles is open to listening to kids' needs about assignments and grades and is willing to change the way she normally grades things to better suit the student's education."

- a Lake Braddock SS student 

------

Mark Henderson, Stonecroft Transportation Center

"Mark is the best. He has an ongoing joke with his riders about not saying words such as “sheep” that he regularly says. He makes the children laugh and he keeps the children safe. He gives out special lollipops. This bus driver deserves community recognition as he’s been a bright shining light of Fairfax’s return to in-person learning."

- a Churchill Road ES parent

------

Cassandra Jones-Randolph, Stonecroft Transportation Center

"I have worked with Cassandra for many years. She is SO HELPFUL, she always makes time for questions and answers, even though I know she is ridiculously busy, and her follow-up with tricky transportation is phenomenal. We are so lucky to have Cassandra helping us with our transportation needs."

- Lisa Hodge, Cooper MS 

------

Jesse Riley, Robinson SS

"Mr. Riley is a great teacher who communicates with his students with respect and care. Mr. Riley informs parents of their student's progress and demonstrates that he understands my kid's needs. Mr. Riley sent out the quarter 3 units and provided study guides and a study guide quiz which helped my child excel. Mr. Riley has empowered my kid with confidence and the ability to believe in herself. Mr. Riley also makes sure that he gets feedback from his students which helps him understand if he is not only meeting math goals but social and emotional goals. This is crucial to the education of today's youth, they need to feel safe in school and Mr. Riley ensures their emotional and learning safety needs are met with concern and care. Mr. Riley is deserving of honor and recognition because he has a passion for teaching that will last for years to come."

- a Robinson SS parent 

------

Erich Holzshu, Jackson MS

"Took us outside during some free time, but made sure it was still educational."

- a Jackson MS student 

------

Erich Holzshu, Jackson MS 

"He is a great teacher who has taught me many things."

- a Jackson MS student 

------

Sabrina Clarke, Sandburg MS 

"Sabrina is our Cafeteria Manager and she is also a ROCK STAR!! She makes sure that all our students are well-fed and goes out of her way to provide hot meals for kids returning from late field trips. Thank you Sabrina for putting the KIDS FIRST!"

Marina Hoffman, Sandburg MS 

------

Jennifer Fulton, Robinson SS 

"Ms. Fulton is the first teacher I have ever had that truly cares about mental health and her students' well-being over academic excellence. She always reaches out to students in need and has been there for me multiple times to help support me in both academic and personal matters. I am very grateful to have such an empathetic and caring teacher! She is truly a great example of the balance between mental health and success in school."

- a Robinson SS student

------

Sarah Buchkowski Newton, West Potomac HS 

"Sarah is an Economics & Personal Finance teacher that has gone above and beyond to support West Potomac High School seniors who are working toward earning the EPF credit. We have several students enrolled in the self-directed course and she has consistently requested them during our advisory support time to offer them guidance and instruction. Several of the students she is supporting have shared how helpful her support has been!"

- Jess Terry, West Potomac HS 

------

Jennifer McLaughlin, Davis Career Center

"Thank you Jen for planning such a wonderful virtual community work experience for the Davis Center. It was enjoyed by both staff and students and everything you prepared for the experience was excellent. You are so appreciated for your creativity and all of the hard work you put into setting this experience up for our school.  Thank you so much, Jen."

Ariel Matz. Davis Career Center 

------

Derek House, Sprague Technology Center 

"I wanted to take a moment to recognize Derek for the magnificent work that he does in support of the Davis Career Center and the Marshall Pyramid. Over the past few years, I have gone to Derek with numerous requests, including our current school logo as well as our new Marshall Pyramid logo, and various other design elements around the Davis Center. Without fail, Derek always listens to my requests and provides products that capture what is needed to support the mission and vision of our school and enterprise. Thank you, Derek, for your willingness to hear my half-baked ideas and turn them into fantastic finished products. Representation matters and because of you our students proudly represent DCC and FCPS each day while working out in the community!"

- Chad Clayton, Davis Career Center 

------

Erik Blydenburgh, Mantua ES 

"Mr. Blydenburgh has been encouraging my shy 3rd grader to showcase her skills on the drums in his music class while he plays along and gets the rest of the class to sing songs along with him. He has been doing helpful things like this for the better part of the school year. I can’t thank him enough for recognizing her talent, and encouraging her to play in order to bring joy to herself and others around her through music."

- a Mantua ES parent 

------

William Wade, Sprague Technology Center

"Thank you Mr. Wade for your quick responses to our technology needs at Forestdale ES. We know that you are assigned to more than one school. Even when you are at other schools, you always respond to our questions and needs. You ROCK!"

Linda Ferguson, Dunn Loring Center 

------

Nicole Campbell, Forestdale ES 

"Thank you, Ms. Campbell, for your care and attention to the mental health of the students at Forestdale ES. You have lots of responsibilities and you always put the students first. One key example is your leadership with the Forestdale Student Wellness Ambassadors. You make a difference!"

Linda Ferguson, Dunn Loring Center 

------

Laura Leydon, Robinson SS 

"Laura Leydon is a High School SPED English Teacher and SGA Sponsor here at Robinson. Laura does so much around this large school building to lift up this community of over 4000 staff and students. She truly cares for our staff by sending out weekly birthday announcements, she works with SGA to provide uplifting experiences for staff as well. Our staff can also participate in a school-wide spirits points contest led by Ms. Leydon and the SGA. She is the gold standard of what it means to create a caring culture. I wanted to publicly thank her for all she does at Robinson Secondary School! We are a better community because of Laura."

- Karen Miller, Robinson SS

------

Pam Carpenter, Robinson SS 

"I cannot begin to express how thankful we are that Mrs. Carpenter is our son's math teacher this year. She has shown such patience, understanding, and care throughout the year--working with our son during school, RAISE, and after school and does so with a kind demeanor and a smile on her face. This has been a difficult class for our son, but Mrs. Carpenter has done everything she can do to help him succeed. We are so thankful for teachers like Mrs. Carpenter who consistently go above and beyond."

- a Robinson SS parent 

------

Kristin Webster, Robinson SS 

"When asking my daughter if anyone at school stood out as exceptional, she immediately named Kristen Webster. While not one of her teachers, but as an adviser, she is approachable and caring and has left a lasting impression on my teenager, not an easy thing to do in these difficult times. Thank you Mrs. Webster!"

- a Robinson SS parent 

------

Abbie Achatz, Robinson SS

"Abbie Achatz is an outstanding, well-organized, gifted, and articulate leader who spearheaded the Robinson Secondary School's Virtual Science Fair. Ms. Achatz's communication, coordination skills, and quick response to a new and changing environment fashioned a seamless and successful event. The Science Fair included multiple competing student projects. As new judges, Ms. Achatz ensured we were trained and received technical support when needed. Robinson students went on to receive awards and recognition at our area Regional Science Fair, a testament to their talent, their science educators, and Ms. Achatz."

- a FCPS Community member 

------

Katherine Pierce, Westfield HS 

"Mrs. Pierce organized and attended a three-day, two-night choir trip to Williamsburg, VA. She planned educational and fun activities for the students. When the tour of William and Mary was canceled due to weather, she stepped up and gave an impromptu tour as an alum. My son is a junior and due to COVID, this was his first choir field trip! Being able to go on this trip, bonding with his friends, and experiencing music in a collegiate setting fills my heart with joy. I am so thankful that Mrs. Pierce planned, organized, and attended this trip. I know it is precious time away from her family (and a lot of work). We appreciate all that Mrs. Pierce does to make the choir program amazing at Westfield!"

- a Westfield HS parent 

------

Elaine Simonsen, FCPS Virtual ES 

"Mrs. Simonsen has created a caring, supportive virtual classroom for 4th grade. She has helped her class develop the camaraderie and teamwork that they would have had in person. Through her morning chats, she has created a safe space for her students to share and learn from each other. She also runs the elementary program's morning news, showcasing the work of other grades and building a sense of community within the school. She holds her students to FCPS' high standards, and encourages and assists them to achieve their potential, reminding them that they are "Mountain Movers" able to overcome challenges!  As a parent, I am so grateful for Mrs. Simonsen making this year so successful. My daughter loves her time in class and the sense of connection she has with her classmates, which has been so important given how isolating COVID has been for medically-challenged students. Thank you Mrs. Simonsen for going above and beyond to help your students move mountains!"

- a FCPS Virtual ES Parent

------

Phillippe Cloutier, Tom Montgomery, Scott Springston, Sprague Technology Center

"I wanted to reach out and commend Phillippe Tom and Scott for the amazing support they provided to us for our author visit at Rocky Run today. There were lots of details and logistics leading up to today and Phillippe was knowledgeable, professional, and friendly every step of the way. It was also wonderful to have them on-site throughout the day in case any issues arose, which thankfully didn’t happen. Our author's visit today was positively impacted by Phillipe and his team’s work. Having them handle the technology equipment took the pressure off of us for “one more thing” to handle and enabled us to focus on the author and our students’ experience instead. I am so grateful that your department offers services for events like ours to make the event experience smooth and successful! We look forward to utilizing your services again next year! Please take care and have a wonderful rest of the school year."

- Rachel Grover, Rocky Run MS 

------

Anne Rupert, Robinson SS 

"Ms. Rupert is my favorite teacher and has been there for me all throughout the craziness of the past couple of years. I will be forever grateful for how much time and love she pours into the orchestra program. The week before spring break, I sent her an email about a piece I was hoping to play for our spring concert, knowing it may not be exactly what she was looking for, and prepared myself for a gentle letdown. Instead, in class two days later, she pulled out the music for it and we played it. I was tearing up at the thoughtfulness she demonstrated. This piece means a lot to me, and it was startlingly beautiful and moving to hear it coming from my own, and my close friend's instruments, all led on by the magnificent Ms. Rupert."

- a Robinson SS student 

------

Anne Rupert, Robinson SS 

"Throughout April, May, and June of 2021 my family received multiple emails from Mrs. Rupert, my Orchestra teacher, to check on my family and I. I was struggling with mental health for a while and in late May it ended me up in the hospital for a long time. Mrs. Rupert could tell something was wrong with me when I emailed her saying that I was going to quit Orchestra. My family and I received an amazing amount of support from her and it's something I will never be able to pay her back for. She was not nosey; she was caring and supportive."

- a Robinson SS student 

------

Carleigh Peterson, Robinson SS 

"Carleigh goes above and beyond to be an amazing support and resource for students at Robinson. She is a special education teacher, basketball coach, and co-sponsor of our SGA (Student Government Association). In addition to this, she always has a friendly, positive, and caring attitude! I have seen her make deep connections with students who have a hard time trusting adults or asking for help. She is a trusted adult for these students and makes a huge impact on their lives! I've been so impressed with Carleigh's caring and dedicated nature and her ability to be so involved at Robinson!"

Sophia Antoci, Robinson SS 

------

Gabi Spiridon, Edison HS 

"Ms. Spiridon has ALWAYS been very supportive and patient with our daughter. She had a HORRIBLE experience while in elementary school with her Spanish teacher and built a huge barrier up and NEVER wanted to enroll in Spanish again, but after long talks and guidance, she took a leap of faith. I’m so happy she did as Ms. Spiridon has taken the time to ensure that she understands the material and spends an hour each week after school with our child. If it wasn’t for her going out of the way our daughter would be rebelling in that class and failing, thank goodness she’s excelling in the class. This shows how much Ms. Spiridon cares and we REALLY appreciate ALL that she does for her students."

- an Edison HS parent 

------

Jason Franks, Sprague Technology Center

"Mr. Franks is a professional gentleman. When I disagreed with one of my peers watching ribald YouTube videos on the school's Internet connection 7 years ago during my senior year of high school during WAT Class, I emailed Mr. Franks to complain and he promptly replied to set up a time to address my concerns. We met the Tuesday after the teacher's workdays in the winter 2015 and he took me seriously. He also saw me at the Chantilly High Track meets in 2018 and 2019 helping Ms. Soljanyk out as a track coach. He was kind in addressing my concerns regarding the starting gun used in track meets and reassured me that it was acceptable. He deserves a raise and we need more caring people like him."

- a former FCPS student

------

Greg Pickett and William Wade, Lewis HS

"I would like to thank both Greg Pickett and William Wade for taking time out of their busy Friday to stop and give myself and my team a tour of Lewis High School's auditorium. We are beginning the planning for Leadership Kickoff and needed to take measurements of the stage and gather other planning information Greg and William took their time in the middle of lunch to give us the tour. Thank you very much, Greg and William!"

- Tracy Soular, Sprague Technology Center

------

Julie Halse, West Springfield HS 

"Thank you to Julie for taking time on Friday to give my staff and me a full tour of the auditorium and the Black Box theater at West Springfield. I know she has a lot of tasks, but she stopped and walked us around and answered all the questions we had with a smile on her face. We were exploring in advance of the Leadership Kickoff and will better be able to make decisions based on her support. Thank you, Julie!"

- Tracy Soular, Sprague Technology Center

------

Patricia Cotter, Glasgow MS 

"The Humanities elective class at Glasgow is successful thanks to Trisha Cotter and Kathy Lafreniere. The class is a model of an authentic interdisciplinary approach to bridging History and English. Lessons are built on inquiry, providing students an opportunity to ask questions and choose topics connecting with history units of study. FCPS Social Studies is thankful for Trisha Cotter and her partnership."

Jessica Park, Willow Oaks Admin Center

------

Katherine Lafreniere, Glasgow MS 

"FCPS Social Studies is lucky to have Kathy as a partner in the learning experiences we provide our students. Kathy works diligently with the History teams and with Trisha Cotter for the Humanities class to build teacher efficacy for the success of our students. She encourages a shift in thinking and planning for teacher teams to focus on historical thinking and POG skills and empower students to use their voice."

Jessica Park, Willow Oaks Admin Center

------

Charlie Burts, Johnson MS 

"Mr. Burts runs an exemplary band program at Katherine Johnson. He challenges our students to be the best musicians they can be by creating a nurturing environment where students feel comfortable testing their skills. He supports students in and out of the band room by taking the time to get to know his students. Mr. Burts’ home communications are amazing. He keeps parents informed about what is happening in-band and within the school community. He even sends out reminders to let us know whether it is an even or odd day after breaks! I have enjoyed meeting other band parents through events he has hosted and feel more connected in middle school than I ever could’ve imagined. Mr. Burts is an outstanding educator!"

- a Johnson MS parent 

------

Krystle Trammell, Dunn Loring Center

"I recently took a class that Krystle was leading and it was beyond evident that she was exactly who we needed to help us with our family engagement needs at our school. Her personality and her knowledge shine through in all she does to support schools, families, and individual students. I am honored to have her supporting us as we work through a very complicated family situation. Krystle is a Rock Star support to our schools! Thank you, Krystle."

Shane Wolfe, Aldrin ES 

------

Allison Ovalle, Willow Oaks Admin Center

"I am an Assistant Principal at Stratford Landing Elementary School (SLES). As an Assistant Principal, my responsibilities are to support teachers with classroom management and to implement a school-wide behavioral system. I have known and worked directly with Ms. Ovalle for the past year. Ms. Ovalle has been an integral part of SLES. She led our Responsive Classroom kick-off at the start of the year. She attends our weekly Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) committee meeting with me and other school leaders. Ms. Ovalle learns about the needs of the school in these meetings and helps the team develop plans to include Professional Development (PD) to support the school. SLES has implemented new behavioral initiates from the MTSS lens. One of the many ways Ms. Ovalle supports SLES is by attending many of our meetings. By attending MTSS, Ms. Ovalle is able to provide specific support based on the needs of our school. She has provided support regarding specific student needs, supporting both individual teacher and grade-level teams and providing school-wide Professional Development (PD). I have received very positive feedback from the teachers regarding Ms. Ovalle’s involvement. Through Ms. Ovalle’s collaboration, she has also developed and delivered PD tailored for the needs of the teachers and students at SLES. Ms. Ovalle makes herself available for all teachers and support staff to ask questions and seek feedback. This allows teachers to be truly candid and open to growth. Ms. Ovalle has been an invaluable support to SLES. Her positive attitude and remarkable dedication to teacher and student success is contagious."

Julie Kubiak, Stratford Landing ES

------

Tara Hewan, Willow Oaks Admin Center

"Tara's support and leadership with a very complicated situation at our school IS making the difference. She is supporting our team on many levels and we are thankful for her dedication to helping us get it right. Tara's attention to doing what is right for students, the family, and the teacher(s) is evident in each one of her interactions with us on a group and individual basis. We are thankful to have her as part of the team supporting us. Thank you, Tara!"

Shane Wolfe, Aldrin ES 

------

Angela McCurdy-Pair, Gatehouse Admin Center

"Angela is organized, detail-oriented, customer service focused, and always makes sure she gets back to her schools quickly. She will go above and beyond to ensure our school-level needs are met and does so with kindness and care. Her level of knowledge and professionalism falls in the "exceeds" category as she works tirelessly to support principals and our school team(s). She is one of a kind and I am thankful for her dedication to our work and her contagious smile. Thank you, Angela!"

Shane Wolfe, Aldrin ES 

------