FCPS CARES - December 2021

By Department of Human Resources
December 06, 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

KimblyAnn Robertson, Lorton Center

"Last Thursday after school a fight occurred in the bus loop.  Ms. Robertson jumped off her bus and stood over the student to protect him. She truly helped this young man and saved him from being very hurt. Ms. Robertson then alerted administrative staff, and we were able to watch the film and identify all parties involved. As an assistant principal and mom, seeing her actions, I feel she went above and beyond to help the student in need."

- Jessica Statz, Hayfield SS 

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Region 1

Karen Bach, Hughes MS

"My 8th grade student didn’t have a place to put his coat and wouldn’t wear one to school. He emailed Ms. Bach and she responded right away, found him a locker, and then took the time to teach him how to use the lock and found him a second locker when the first didn’t work. He felt cared for and now wears a coat. It seems like a simple thing but was a big deal to him. Thank you!"

- a Hughes MS parent

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Region 2

Eva Reissis, Braddock ES 

"Eva Reissis, Lead Special Education Teacher at Braddock Elementary School for many years in the capacity of a non-cat teacher and now in her current role of Lead Special Education Teacher. Eva goes above and beyond in everything she does every day for students and staff. Her knowledge in Special Education and Student Behaviors is extensive. She is a resource for anyone who needs it, including her administrative team. Her commitment to the success of every child is evident in her high expectations, her behind the scenes support, and the countless hours she spends reviewing IEPs, drafting documents, communicating with families, observing teachers, and working with students. When you walk towards her office you will always find either a student or a teacher in there getting advice, taking a break, or working with her on a task. This year we have a new Mental Health Team and Eva has been able to support them through the 504 process, crisis responses, and connecting the team with outside resources and professional developments. When you sit down to speak with Eva, you know that you have her full attention, she is a great listener and problem solver. She sees each student and staff member as an individual and differentiates her responses, support, and overall demeanor to meet their needs. It is hard to put into words the amount of work and support Eva gives to our staff and students each day. She has an enormous heart and a drive to get the job done like no one else. She responds to text messages about deadlines and IEP language at all hours, and if you ask any one of the Braddock Special Education Teachers about Eva, they rattle off all the amazing things she does to support them. We are so thankful to have Eva here at Braddock Elementary School."

- Holly Dowling, Braddock ES 

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Region 3

Emillo Roberts, West Potomac HS 

"Emilio, one of our security guards, noticed one of our students during lunch sitting by herself outside. He sensed she may have been distressed and approached the student in a warm, non-judgmental, and helpful way. Though reluctant at first, his insistence that he and we as a school were only there to help her, created the safe space she needed to disclose the serious nature of her distress. Emilio could have easily passed her by and focused on chronic skippers and other more recognizable students, but took the time and care to engage with a student who typically keeps a low profile and it's a good thing he did. Due to Mr. Roberts' expertise and attention he was able to usher her to other personnel and resources that she desperately and urgently needed."

Michael Henrich, West Potomac HS 

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Region 4

Elizabeth Sotomayor, Kings Park ES 

"Elizabeth Sotomayor is the Building Supervisor at Kings Park Elementary School. She leads the custodial staff in keeping our building clean, safe, and welcoming from the inside out. She has high expectations for her team but nothing she does not require of herself. Whether it be snow, ice, fall leaves, or another possible safety hazard, she is outside making sure walkways are cleaned and everything is cleared away. Ms. Elizabeth appears with a smile to complete any task be it furniture repair, bathroom accident, vomit or beehive removal. She comes quickly and fixes the issue swiftly and with as little disruption as possible. She is even willing to translate for students and families when needed. She does whatever it takes to make everyone feel welcome and included. The most amazing thing about Ms. Elizabeth is her love for our students and staff. This year, she takes my students through the cafeteria line, helping them make choices and get their items. This allows me to help the other students get settled and have more time to eat my lunch. The other day, she came to see me in my classroom during lunch. She said one of my students, whom she knew by name, had had a bathroom accident in the cafeteria and was crying. She asked for his clothes and took him to the bathroom and waited outside for him to change before taking him back to finish his lunch. She went out of her way to help him be comfortable and told me she would take care of it so I did not miss my lunch. She is considerate and thoughtful to us all. Every year, Ms. Elizabeth reads one of our class favorites, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, to my class in Spanish during Hispanic Heritage month. It is always a HUGE hit!  The children love hearing her read and talking to her about the book. It’s very special for the students whose first language is Spanish and also exciting for the children who don’t know Spanish. Ms. Elizabeth is a celebrity to my students. They greet her whenever she comes to the room or when they see her in the halls. She is one of their favorite people! Ms. Elizabeth doesn’t just have a special connection to my class, she goes out of her way to help everyone in our community. Our school theme this year is “A Space for All.” Ms. Elizabeth ensures that everyone has one at Kings Park and that that space is beautifully clean."

- Melissa Crowley, Kings Park ES

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Region 5 

Jennifer Brunner, Westfield HS 

"Ms. Brunner is an amazing, caring and supportive adult in my daughter's Senior Year at Westfield. She goes out of her way to be a highlight of each day at school. Ms. Brunner celebrated my daughter's birthday with a personalized gift making her feel so very special. Ms. Brunner has built a supportive, caring relationship that will last long beyond the class period that they work together in the Sub School Office. I imagine this relationship is not unique to my daughter, her attention and presence is greatly appreciated. Westfield is a positive, safe environment due in part to the enthusiastic, caring actions of Jennifer Brunner."

- a Westfield HS parent 

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Other FCPS Cares of the Month Recipients

Bryanna Gutierrez, Information Technology 

"I discovered over the winter break that my team's Science and Social Studies lesson plans from the beginning of school were somehow deleted from Google Sheets. I decided to call ITServices to see if they could help me locate and restore them. It was my lucky day to be connected to Bryanna Gutierrez. She patiently listened as I explained the situation, showed her the system my school uses, and where we put our team lesson plans. Once Bryanna understood the setup, she quickly went to work helping me locate the deleted plans. Bryanna not only restored all four months of lesson plans, but she also set things up for the remainder of the school year to make it easier for my team planning as we move into the 3rd and 4th quarters of school. Bryanna explained everything along the way so I would know what to do in case I had to make edits in the future. She was extremely pleasant to work with and clearly went the extra mile to make sure everything was in place for my team upon our return to school in January. Bryanna is a prime example that FCPS Cares!"

Coreen Pinkerton, Shrevewood ES

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Maurice Leake, Forte Center

"Special thanks to Maurice Leake for working hard and efficient to get the job done before the new year. Your support with your team in delivering the Principal's furniture and removing the old, is greatly appreciated.  Thank you, and continued blessings in 2022."

- Monique Berkeley, Carson MS 

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Daniel Gray, Forte Center 

"Special thanks to Daniel Gray for assisting with moving the Principal's old furniture out and replacing it with a new look for 2022. On behalf of Carson Middle, we appreciate your hard work and positive attitude!"

- Monique Berkeley, Carson MS 

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Richard Madigan, Forte Center

"I only just met Richard Madigan when he was part of the Warehouse moving crew to bring newer furniture and remove the old. He went above and beyond to help create book case shelves using the materials on site at the school to assist me in creating a more modern office setting for my Principal. He worked in a timely and efficient manner and had a great attitude. On behalf of Carson, we thank you and appreciate you."

- Monique Berkeley, Carson MS 

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Aaron Curtis, Forte Center

"Aaron has been a professional team player since I had the pleasure of working with him for 5 years. He is always helpful and quick to make things happen for our schools. I have been in deadline crunches and he always has found a way to get the graduation chairs delivered, obsolete equipment picked up and most recently- helped my Principal get an office facelift with newer furniture. He and his team are the face of FCPS finest behind the scenes support staff, and we thank them for all of the hard work performed with outstanding attitudes."

- Monique Berkeley, Carson MS 

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Helen Canepa, Gatehouse Admin Center

"While dealing with all the symptoms of COVID, I was having a hard time completing the required HR paperwork. Helen noticed the emails from me and jumped in to to provide support. I cannot thank her enough for her quick responses to my emails, positive replies, and well wishes. Because of her, I was able to really focus on taking care of myself and getting better. Thank you Helen!"

Renea Mielec, West Potomac HS 

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Kymberly Holloman, Lorton Center

"This year has made me appreciate how hard Mrs. Davis works as a school bus driver. She knows everyone's name. She knows where everyone lives. She keeps all the kids organized and safe while driving a huge bus down a busy road. I also want to thank the substitute bus drivers. It must be incredibly tough to ensure each child is delivered to their home on an unfamiliar route especially when you are called to fill in at the last minute. It means the world to know are children are in safe hands."

- a Gunston ES parent 

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Debra Wise, Davis Career Center

"Debbie is the new administrative assistant (AA) for the Davis Career Center (DCC) and she has hit the ground running. She has quickly begun to make herself an integral part of the DCC community and has done it with a smile and a kind word for everyone she meets. She clearly has a passion for her work as an AA, a love for the work of our school, and the know-how and experience to keep our front office running smoothly each day. She may not see it clearly just yet, but she is already making a tremendous difference in the lives of our students, our staff, and our community by contributing to and sustaining our caring culture as well as by showing up each day with a smile, ready to learn more about FCPS, DCC, and our students. Thank you, Debbie, for taking a chance on us and joining our big adventure!"

- Chad Clayton, Davis Career Center

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Anne Marie Aschenbrenner, Graham Road Community Center

"Dr. Aschenbrenner always goes out of her way to help our son with his hearing impairment, she rushes to the school when the equipment isn't working, regularly comes by to spend time with him in class and speak with his teachers, and ensures that his 504 plan is being implemented. Dr. Aschenbrenner's work has had a tremendous positive impact on our son's school experience, he is doing well and happier all around. We cannot thank her enough for all of her amazing support."

- a Cooper MS parent

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Laura Johnson, Colvin Run ES 

"My son has ESOL sessions with Mrs. Johnson from the beginning of 2021-2022 year when he started as a new student. He always speaks highly of her. She encourages my son and makes him feel good about his language. I appreciate her."

- a Colvin Run ES parent 

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Brooke Morrison, West Potomac HS 

"Brooke has been a strong, student-centered teacher since she started, which was only a few years ago. Because of her excellence, this school year she was selected to be part of the inaugural Restorative Schools Project which requires her to conduct weekly community-building circles in her classroom. Already a responsive teacher, she has masterfully woven circles into her class to enhance the social emotional health of her students through themes found in her content.  All of Brooke's students participate in every circle. Brooke has demonstrated the highest order of teaching, directly tying the curricular themes to the lives of the students showing them that literature is an opportunity for them to explore their own humanity."

- Michael Henrich, West Potomac HS 

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Melissa Dovey, Garfield ES

"My daughter loves art and last year Ms. Dovey made art class fun and interactive despite being in an online environment. Her “Hope and Dream” last year was to get better at drawing people, and Ms. Dovey shared a special lesson for her that was such a help. Ms. Dovey is also active in the community; my son was excited to see her at an event at Key Middle School a couple of years ago, where she was sharing some Garfield artists work. My daughter is at another school this year, but still mentions Ms. Dovey , especially when she has made or drawn something that she would like to share with Ms. Dovey. We are grateful for everything she has done to help our kids grow successfully in this area and to develop a deeper love and appreciation for art."

- a Garfield ES parent 

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Elise Bender, Terraset ES 

"Ms. Bender is nothing short of amazing. Every single day she is making an impact on her students. Our son was struggling a bit with his classroom behavior as he transitioned to kindergarten and she created a plan specifically for him. He absolutely loves it and most days he earns his “stars”. His behavior (from what we hear) has improved a lot and it is because of the detail and love Ms. Bender put into creating it. Ms. Bender goes above and beyond regularly. Another example of her amazing-ness. We sent her an frantic email saying our sons jacket was lost, he is 5 after all! She personally went to check the lost and found and the playground. When she didn’t find it in those locations she walked the halls and found it in a hallway far from their classroom. We are so grateful that Ms. Bender gets to be our sons teacher. She is absolutely amazing!"

- a Terraset ES parent 

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Dani Khalife, Hunt Valley Es 

"I would like to give a big shout out to the Building Supervisor at Hunt Valley ES Dani Khalife. He is so kind, always able to help the school and the community, we were so impress of his positive to do attitude. Thank you for doing above and beyond. It's noticed!!!!"

- a Hunt Valley ES parent 

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Teresa Lewis, Terra Centre ES 

"Teresa Lewis returned to Terra Centre this year as an assistant principal, and in a few short months she has already had an incredible impact on our school and community! She is an amazing leader with a wealth of knowledge. She has supported student health, wellness, and safety with meticulous attention to detail and logistics regarding lunch protocols, schedules, seating charts, and much more. Teresa has collaborated with grade level teams, specialists, the MTSS team, the SIIP/ESSER team, and administrative staff to develop plans and processes to support student progress academically, behaviorally, and emotionally. Most importantly though, she genuinely cares for students, staff, and families. She builds incredible relationships and always goes above and beyond!  I am so fortunate to have her on our admin team!"

- Rebecca Gidoni, Terra Centre ES 

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Sierra Fratto, Kings Park ES 

"Mrs. Fratto is a phenomenal teacher. She always has a positive attitude and she has made my daughter feel so welcome. My daughter absolutely loves school and I know it’s because of Mrs. Fratto!!  Thank you!!!

- a Kings Park parent

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Kiamyra Williams, Riverside ES 

"Having been summoned to the recess field by the principal to do a safety assessment on a student who had made some concerning comments, I was met with a young boy that refused to come in with me as he did not know me (I am new to the school). Ms. Williams heard what was happening and stepped up and asked him if he would feel more comfortable if she came in with him. He did. Throughout our important discussion it was evident that Ms. Williams had taken the time as a recess monitor to not just blow her whistle to correct misbehavior, but to get to know her students and make sure they knew she cared about them. Riverside is lucky to have staff like Ms. Williams!"

- William Parker, Riverside ES 

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Christina Roehm, Cardinal Forest ES 

"Ms. Roehm is an amazing pre-school teacher. I had the opportunity to see her in action when I was here supporting one of my high school students who is helping in her classroom to learn employment skills. Ms. Roehm is energetic, enthusiastic, prepared, organized and very kind. The students are lucky to have her as a teacher.  She has gone above and beyond by helping to mentor a high school student who is interested in becoming an instructional assistant in the future. I feel fortunate to have met her, and am so grateful for everything she is doing for my student, as well as the entire class."

- Rebecca Cousins, West Springfield HS 

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Katie Aldridge, FCPS Virtual Program ES

"While practicing Covid guidelines, Katie Aldridge personally delivered a thank you gift to every staff member of the Elementary Virtual Program, including those working from home due to ADA accommodations."

- Keisha Smith, FCPS Virtual Program ES

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Gary Bullard, West Potomac HS 

"Colonel Bullard is one of two JROTC instructors at West Potomac High School. The JROTC program at WP is one of the most distinguished and accomplished programs in the country, but more than that, Colonel Bullard is one of the most dedicated, caring and committed teachers in our school system. Daily, he goes above and beyond to support all his students in every way possible. I am so proud and honored to work alongside him and our JROTC program at WP. They are consistently a shining star in the WP community and I am glad that he chooses to lean into our students' lives each and every day! Thank you for all that you do, sir!"

- Brett Garner, West Potomac HS 

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Alex Fineskos, Laurel Ridge ES 

"We are so thankful that Mrs. Fineskos was our daughters teacher this year. Our little one struggled with the transition of going to school 5 days a week for 7 hours and leaving her mommy. Mrs. Fineskos spent many mornings pulling my daughter out of the car in the kiss n ride line, sometimes kicking and screaming and lots of tears. She did this every morning until she felt comfortable enough to get out of the car on her own and now can do it all by herself!  We are so thankful for her understanding this hard transition and working with her!! She will always hold a special place in our hearts! Thank you Mrs. Fineskos."

- a Laurel Ridge ES parent 

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Jocelyn Balangue, Cherry Run ES 

"More of an ongoing experience rather than a given date but it has not gone unnoticed that Mrs. Balangue is caring, responsive to questions as well as feedback and makes a noticeable effort to facilitate a sense of community which is worthy of acknowledging."

- a Cherry Run ES parent 

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Julie Hart, Terra Centre ES 

"Julie Hart has been invaluable as our COVID manager. She organizes immense amounts of paperwork on a daily basis, contacts parents to reassure of them and keeps them informed with the most up to date information. She also oversees the COVID testing at Terra Centre. Each week she helps our students feel at ease while they are waiting to be tested and works with their lunch and specials so that students miss the least amount of instruction possible. We truly appreciate all that she does to help keep our students safe!"

- Teresa Lewis, Terra Centre ES 

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Brianna Graves, Davis Career Center 

"Ms. Graves is an amazingly engaging Special Education teacher. She often goes above and beyond by always communicating student challenges and successes to parents and staff. She really cares about her students and their families. She listens and truly connects with students and she makes sure that they are supported and confidently working toward their goals."

- Charles Williams, Davis Career Center

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Torey Diggs, Willow Oaks 

"Torey is always available for any of my Schoology questions and needs. Not only that, but he gets back to me in such a quick fashion that he must have a time turner (you know, from Harry Potter?). Thank you, Torey, for your support and your continued professional awesomeness! I/we appreciate you!"

Michael Newbold, Clearview ES 

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Nancy Mishoe, Kings Glen ES 

"Very patient, nice, friendly and great teacher."

- a Kings Glen ES parent 

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Melissa Blancaflor, Kings Glen ES 

"Very patient, kind and dedicated OT teacher. We love her so much."

- a Kings Glen ES parent 

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Diane Norton, Kings Glen ES 

"Very patient, super kind and excellent teacher."

- a Kings Glen ES parent 

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Sarah Petty, Kings Glen ES

"Fabulous teacher, we love her so much!"

- a Kings Glen ES parent 

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Lindsey Whelan, Terra Centre ES 

"Ms. Whelan has been a bright light in my child's life. Every time we see her at morning or afternoon pick-up, my daughter lights up and runs over to tell her what kind of exercise she has been doing. Ms. Whelan never misses a beat, she immediately engages with her and they talk about all the fun physical activities she's been doing, and not just my student, every student that walks by, she engages with and she asks about their soccer practice or how x activity is going. She is clearly engaged and actively listening to her students. My daughter has had Ms. Whelan as a P.E. teacher for the last two years and the positive impact she's had on her is immeasurable. She has ignited what I think will be a lifelong of sports and healthy physical activity. We can't thank her enough for all that she does and the love that she shares with her students."

- a Terra Centre ES parent 

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Stacey Mitchell, Lake Braddock SS 

"Mrs. Mitchell is a gem! Thank you for taking the students back to the stage with Dr. Dolittle and for building a phenomenal MS Theatre Arts program. We are grateful for your time, dedication, creativity and compassion."

- Mary Bailey, West Springfield HS 

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Sarah Mantel, Union Mill ES 

"Ms. Mantel has been such a ray of sunshine this year. She's managed to have such a positive impact on our daughter both emotionally and academically. We were nervous starting out this school year but have been so pleased with how it's going. Our daughter has gone from writing being her least favorite subject, to claiming "writing is the best part of life!" She has also been learning calming strategies to help work through her big feelings and we are so grateful!"

- a Union Mill ES parent 

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Ashley Lowry, Mclean HS

"Ashley is not only our SBTS but she is literally our morale booster EVERY DAY. Along with her vast knowledge of technology to help staff and students, she consistently researches and shares new ideas and tech tools to make McLean better and more enjoyable. She has an unwavering positive attitude and brings up everyone's spirits all the time. With the struggles the school environment has had to remain positive and motivated, Ashley makes each day a good day to be a Highlander!"

Tzeitel Barcus, Mclean HS 

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Melanie Porter, Frost MS 

"Melanie's outstanding leadership is highly effective in promoting collaboration, community, and critical thinking. She is a team player who actively supports her teachers and staff. Her work with students is centered around building relationships and celebrating individuality which cultivates a atmosphere of belonging. She truly does everything she can to represent and further the mission and vision of Frost Middle School."

- Alexis Centers, Frost MS 

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Michelle Goduti, Keene Mill ES 

"Ms. G always does more than what's asked of her. She continually goes above and beyond for her students and all the kids at Keene Mill. She checks in on 'her kids' after they've left her class and mentors students in her free time including her lunch period. The 6th grader she's mentoring this year already seems much happier. The kids truly know how much she loves them. She is always the first to help another teacher by switching duties or helping when needed. A few of many examples include: taking on extra tasks like helping when another TA is out, walking students to class when they need extra processing time, or stepping in to assist when a teacher has a lot going on. Her kind heart and positive hardworking attitude improves the lives of both staff and students at Keene Mill."

- Alice Boyars, Keene Mill ES 

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Lauren Plaugher, Eagle View ES 

"Ms. Plaugher positively influences so many aspects of our school. Her can-do mindset paired with her strong organizational and relationship-building skills supports her ability to quietly lead her grade level's MTSS process and FLE as well as our school's Local Alternative Assessment for Social Studies. Ms. Plaugher builds long-lasting relationships with her students, as clearly evidenced this year when she moved from 4th grade to 6th grade, to her students' delight. Ms. Plaugher is a team player in every sense of the word and we are grateful to have her in our Eagle View Community."

- Beth Levy, Eagle View ES 

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Alexandra Kolovos, Davis Career Center

"This morning Alexandra was asked to adjust her work schedule to cover for a couple of different positions in the building due to absences. Alexandra was nothing but enthusiastic about the opportunity to "learn about everything at Davis" as she gladly accepted the challenge of supporting students differently today. Her positive, CAN DO attitude was very inspiring and I am grateful that we have staff members like Alexandra working alongside our students each day representing FCPS and the Davis Center in our community. Thank you, Alexandra, for being such a wonderful asset to our school!"

- Chad Clayton, Davis Career Center

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Jada Roberts, Riverside ES 

"Ms. Roberts was a great teacher when my daughter was out sick. She went out her way to Zoom with her after school to keep up with any parts of the curriculum she had missed. She is patient and overall great with her students!! We love you Ms. Roberts!!"

- a Riverside ES parent 

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Maria Estrella, Bull Run ES 

"Our sweet custodian Maria Estrella, in her spare time, has hand crotched/knit 70 hats for children with cancer. WOWZA! Today, Mr. Jay Coakley, founder of the non-profit organization Ellie's Hats stopped by the school to pick the hats up for distribution. Jay is also an FCPS employee!!!"

Mary Obarowski, Bull Run ES 

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Ellen Reilly, Mclean HS 

"Dr. Reilly consistently attends our daughter's high school basketball games. I am always amazed that after a long day of work, she attends games, both home and away, late at night to support her students and their endeavors. My daughter is also a part of a student ambassadors program where even freshmen have a voice and get to provide input to the school administration. This has empowered her to think of ideas to pose to the administration and know that the group can discuss the issues and how to solve them for the entire school community. No doubt she cares for the students at McLean High and we are grateful."

- a Mclean HS parent

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Sarah Lee, Fort Hunt ES

"When you cannot get your attendance done because SIS won’t load, who helps you, Sarah Lee.  When your back is in a spasm and have to take a break to get your back brace on, who comes to the rescue, Sarah Lee.  When the nurse is out and a child needs help and five more children need masks, who has it all under control, Sarah Lee. For these reasons and many more, I am nominating Sarah for FCPS Cares!"

Maggi Aitken, Fort Hunt ES 

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Carla Bouma, Bush Hill ES 

"During morning breakfast, a student in our school began to choke on her muffin. Our OT, Carla Bouma, performed the Heimlich maneuver and dislodged the muffin. We are grateful for Carla's quick thinking and calm demeanor!"

- Mary Duffy, Bush Hill ES 

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Terry Gregory, Stone MS 

"I would like to recognize Mrs. Terry Gregory for all she does. She was my oldest son's case manager and teacher, and now she is my third son's case manager and teacher. She knows he struggled a lot in Elementary, so she takes extra care to make sure he is understanding what is being asked of him, what the teachers need from him, and having those weekly communications really helps me ensure he is staying on track. She contacts me to give me weekly updates of my son. If there is an issue with my son, she works so quickly to get it resolved, and that has been such a tremendous help for us. She is absolutely amazing and I can tell she truly cares about the students and the job she performs daily. I am in awe of her level of compassion and patience...all the time. Please recognize her, because she is a phenomenal teacher and representation of FCPS."

- a Stone MS parent

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Christy Ryder, Oak Hill ES 

"I can always count on Christy to lend a listening ear, share resources and to run ideas by. I truly appreciate your unconditional support."

- Lily Shin, Greenbriar East ES 

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Denise Marcone, Eagle View ES 

"Ms. Denise has been so awesome taking care of my family since 2019. She knew exactly what my family needed and took care of it with no hesitation. She always gives me resources outside of the school for extra help and she encourages my children and I. I could have not asked for anyone better."

- an Eagle View ES parent

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John Simpson, South Lakes HS 

"John Simpson is a model of positivity and patience with both his students and co-workers. When a student arrives late, he doesn't get angry with them but tells them he's happy to see them. When I, as his team teacher, switched up a lesson at the last minute, it doesn't bother him in the least. He tells me it's perfect. He finds something to celebrate in the work of his students every day. This is exactly the kind of grace we all need these days."

- Emily Burrell, South Lakes HS 

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Tess Layer, Robinson SS

"Kindest person i know."

- a Robinson SS student

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Nikki Fulton, Willow Oaks Admin Center 

"Nikki is the glue that holds IAS together. She is always goes out of her way to help and is a wealth of information."

Jenn Scott, Willow Oaks Admin Center

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Violet Reges, Centreville HS 

"Never in my experience, until today, has a high school student burst into the subschool office and tell me, "This sub is the greatest ever! She is totally awesome, the smartest person in the world!  What a great teacher!" Violet Reges is a full-time student so she doesn't get to sub at Centreville HS very often, but this is the enthusiasm she engenders. Her first love is math, but she's at home in English or any other subject. All our CVHS subs are great team players, and the spontaneous outburst I heard from the student this morning was just the icing on the cake!!!"

Diana Scheid, Centreville HS 

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Debbie Storck, Hollin Meadows ES 

"I have had the pleasure of working with Deb for nine years and every single year I am amazed at her capacity to give. Deb never runs out of patience, kindness and wisdom. Deb's heart is for anyone who needs help. She spearheads our weekend backpack program, holiday gift program, mentor program, school supply program and winter coat program. This is all in addition to teaching SEL classes, running small groups and being a member of the Wellness Committee and Attendance Committee. Deb is a powerhouse of positive spirit and shares this readily with students, staff and parents. Deb has been and continues to be a gift to all who know her."

Marsi Beschel, Hollin Meadows ES 

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Elena Musial, Hollin Meadows ES 

"Elena is our school counselor. Every day she goes above and beyond to help students and staff. This year especially, she has been an amazing advocate and support for all staff coming back to in person learning. In addition, as this year has been difficult for many students, Elena has counseled, taught, and supported a number of students daily. Elena is extremely flexible and willing to listen at all times. She is also a wonderful member of our Attendance Committee, our Wellness Committee, and she is our ESSR co-lead. Elena adds kindness and warmth to our school and is an absolute treasure."

Marsi Beschel, Hollin Meadows ES 

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Irene Woofter, South Lakes HS 

"Frankie has proven to be so committed, dedicated, and diligent in his work for our department of Special Education. He is deeply devoted to his students and also has such a positive and upbeat attitude with his job. He tirelessly fulfills all tasks asked without hesitation and always willing to help. He took on the challenge of  decorating the outside of the sub-school for our department and did an exemplary job at that. It was detailed and thought through. He is an absolute pleasure to work with and I am grateful for his presence."

Veronica J. Sedgwick, South Lakes HS

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Meredith Hulley, Columbia ES 

"Ms. Hulley is an amazing Special Education teacher and we'd like to recognize her! She goes above and beyond by always ensuring that our concerns are heard and incorporated. Something that really sets her apart is that she never hesitates to call and communicate challenges and successes to us. Even a simple five minute phone call to share that our son played with a new friend at recess shows that Ms. Hulley, and many of the teachers and staff at Columbia, are helping him make connections and build friendships with his classmates. She really cares about her students and their families. When our son tells us what he did at school, he often tells us how much he likes spending time with Ms. Hulley. We know this is because she has gotten to know him and his interests. She listens and truly connects with him and she makes sure that he is supported and confidently working toward his goals."

- a Columbia ES parent 

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Scott Dreier, Sprague Technology Center 

"Scott is a problem solver and is always willing to help figure out new and innovative solutions to the many computer problems that plague us everyday. Today he went out of his way to help me troubleshoot a complicated issue with our new drawing tablets (a device that acts like a pen, pencil or brush in digital art software) connecting to our students' laptops. With what we were able to figure out today, we can help our digital art students get the most out of their equipment and create their art more naturally. He always helps us navigate the many complications that arise so that we may be able to provide our students what they need to be successful. Scott cares about the students, the teachers and the school by doing everything within his power to support us."

Mike Feeney, Lake Braddock SS 

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Justin Dinicola, White Oaks ES 

"Mr. DiNicola went above and beyond to build relationships with his student. Over the weekend he took his personal time to come on a Sunday to watch two of his students playing in a basketball game. His dedication to his students is amazing and we appreciate all that he is doing during a very challenging year."

- Scott Darwin, Lake Braddock SS 

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Christiana Edinborough, Lake Braddock SS 

"Christiana is an incredible first year teacher! When walking into her room, you can immediately feel the love she has for what she does and the positive relationships she has with each of her students. She is always finding new ways to connect with each individual which makes them feel welcome and ready to learn. Even though I am the one that is supposed to be HER mentor, I feel as though she is the one teaching me new things all the time. Christiana is a great asset to our math department!"

Bonnie Kolbenstetter, Lake Braddock SS

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Jennifer Free, Willow Oaks Center 

"Jennifer has been a pleasure to work with in the Virtual Program! She is so detailed oriented and student centered! She keeps many balls in the air at all times and we appreciate her commitment to our students and her high level of professionalism. Thank you Jennifer!!"

Ellen Glaser, FCPS Virtual Program 

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Charles Williams, Blanca Reyes Chicas and Samya Salih, Davis Career Center

"Thank you for wonderful Davis Career Center- Marriott Tyson's Corner TEAM. When the fire alarm was going off after a customer was smoking in their room, you all were calm and collected while escorting the students via stairs, even some of the 15th floor to the basement level fire escape. Some of the students thrust hold of loud noises are nonexistent but you all were able to safety escort and comfort the students. I am so blessed to work with you all at the work site.  GOOO TEAM!'

Brianna Graves, Davis Career Center

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Mike Hardy, Bryant HS 

"Mr. Hardy is the TSSC at Bryant High School and he also provides service for Bryant ALC and Bryant AIM. Mr. Hardy is always on the move and when you need his assistance, he's there for you. He quickly responds to requests giving you a timeline on when he will be available. Today was a perfect example of his commitment to our students and staff. A student was testing and a technical error occurred. I emailed Mr. Hardy and literally, in less than five minutes, he walked through our door. Testing can be stressful for students and Mr. Hardy's sense of urgency to assist us put the student at ease quickly so they could continue. Thanks Mr. Hardy for your knowledge and dedication to everything that you do and for the passion that you do it with."

- Elizabeth Melillo, Bryan AIM

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Jim Bochert and Jacki Wilson, Gatehouse Admin Center

"When he asked, “When do you need this”, I was hesitant to respond, “Yesterday”. Unfortunately, this was not an exaggeration; it was not realized until late the day before that their support was needed. Unbelievably, Mr. Bochert and Ms. Wilson were able to provide the requested support and within hours, I had the information needed to provide my leadership the information that was required to meet a deadline. Thank you, Mr. Bochert and Ms. Wilson, for your ongoing support and for setting aside whatever work you were doing when I contacted you in order to help."

Ellie Stack, Willow Oaks Center

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Angela Niblett, Hughes MS 

"Angela went out of her way to help my son participate in an after school activity. He had been struggling to find friends and it was very important for him to find kids with similar interests. In addition, he has some emotional challenges that make unstructured activities very difficult. Angela coordinated with the proctor of the after school activity, met with my child ahead of time to prepare, and even attended the activity herself to make sure things went smoothly. Thanks to her efforts, my son had a very positive experience and is eager to go back. This is no small event, given how he’s struggled socially this year. We are extremely grateful."

- a Hughes MS parent 

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Michelle Van Dyke, Wilton Wood Center

"Ms. Van Dyke is an incredible asset to FCPS. Three weeks ago, Ms. Van Dyke was contacted regarding a large collection of data which was needed to respond to an ongoing audit. Ms. Van Dyke quickly agreed on a meeting time to define the requirements and then provided the data in an incredibly quick turnaround time (days, not weeks). When the request was made for the same data at a different level, Ms. Van Dyke professionally communicated that it might take 2 weeks due to current workload. Instead of taking two weeks, Ms. Van Dyke provided the data within the week. Unfortunately, to do this, Ms. Van Dyke ended up having to work on the weekend. Ms. Van Dyke’s ability to provide the data in such a quick time period enabled my office to provide the required and requested data to leadership and eventually the State. Thanks to Ms. Van Dyke for going above and beyond to help us meet this critical deadline!"

Ellie Stack, Willow Oaks Center 

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Holly Remer, Chesterbrook ES 

"I had the tremendous opportunity to make a school visit to Chesterbrook ES. While waiting in the front office, I saw caring culture and hospitality in action in a way that I will never forget. Ms. Remer, who works in the front office, greeted each student and family member by name. Her demeanor communicated she was so happy to see each person. One student was waiting to be picked up and began feeling anxious. She offered an invitation, "Come on over to the fish tank and see if you can notice anything different." The student went over to the fish tank and their conversation continued about his noticings! Her kindness and energy was a gift to each interaction. One student entered the front office holding a ceramic piece he had colorfully painted. She noticed it and commented on how wonderful it was. Another student was waiting to be picked up to receive his vaccination. She checked in with him, "Are you a little bit nervous and a little bit excited?" He said, "I am only excited!" and she encouraged him as he awaited his parent coming to pick him up. There was joy in that front office and Ms. Remer cultivated this joy in her engaging interactions with each student, family, and staff member who were present. I commented to her about this and she shared that families are going through difficult times and she wants people to feel supported. Wow! You also showed me little treats for teachers that allow you to check in and see how they are doing! You even shared a treat with me during my waiting time. You inspire me! I am so grateful that you are in FCPS!"

Laura Thieman, Willow Oaks Center 

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Tyneka Riddick, South Lakes HS 

"I witnessed an interaction between Tyneka and one of her students who was having a hard day. The student had to be out of the classroom and Tyneka took the time during her planning period to meet the student, explain his work, and make sure he was okay, even offering to come back later to check on him again. While many teachers would have taken the time to help a student-the warmness and compassion with which Tyneka spoke to the student really made an impact. She showed she cared about him and he knew it, I knew it as a bystander, other kids in the room knew it (one said that lady is nice! once she left). We've been preaching showing grace to students this year and Tyneka really embodied that yesterday. She deserves a shout out!"

Ashley Senior, South Lakes HS 

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Pamela Forman, Vienna ES 

"Mrs. Forman is a 1st grade teacher at Vienna Elementary School, which is a transition year for students. She has an unending passion for reading and writing that her students thrive on! Every parent - past and current - are nervous about their child's reading and writing ability in 1st grade, but all praises to Mrs. Forman for their child's new found abilities! Her classroom structure is clear and firm so her students know what she expects and they all want to make her proud! Mrs. Forman's proactive communication with parents is amazing! She provides frequent 1:1 updates to parents between conference calls to make sure every parent knows how their child is developing. This makes for an incredible home/school connection for her students, and an additional reason why her students thrive! I truly hope Mrs. Forman is publicly recognized by FCPS for her incredible teaching abilities!"

- a Vienna ES parent 

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Ainsley Medlicott, Vienna ES 

"Mrs. Medlicott is the most loved kindergarten teacher I've ever seen and it's a testament to her passion for teaching her students. Her students adore her because of her patient and kind nature. She is always at her students' level and speaking in a calm tone to keep the class on task. As a result, her students thrive! Parents adore how she makes each day and week a little different to keep the students engaged and excited to go to school. This was a big concern of parents who had their pre-k students at home during the peak of the pandemic quarantine, but the students have quickly adapted and love school! I hope FCPS strongly considers publicly recognizing Mrs. Medlicott's teaching contributions to the county!"

- a Vienna ES parent 

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Carolyn Hilyard and Diane Rogers, Lake Braddock SS 

"Librarians Carolyn Hilyard and Diane Rogers created an engaging lesson plan on plagiarism for English 8 students. Using an organized and scaffolded PearDeck, my students were immediately hooked with the video mash that showed plagiarism in the real world. Additionally, five specific types of plagiarism were spotlighted to help students clearly understand and answer the question: Is changing the words enough? My students were able to collaborate with their table peers to immediately put their learning to use."

Dana Gorman, Lake Braddock SS

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Robert Besceglia, Mario Jones, and Imran Ali, Forte Center

"I have had the privilege in working with Robert, Mario and Imran over the past several months in retrieving "Red Books" (Crisis Management Plan / Classroom Teachers Guide) from the warehouse. These gentlemen go through great lengths to load (skids) of "Red Books" in our OSS Pick-Up Truck(s) to be transported back to Gatehouse for distribution to our Schools during Tabletop Exercises. These gentlemen go out of their way to assist me whenever I show up at the Warehouse in need.  They are professional, helpful, and always willing to help (Service with a Smile). More importantly, these gentlemen and their co-workers do an awful lot behind the scenes making it possible for all of us to do our jobs. They are difference makers and "impact" the roles we all play. Team effort and they are most definitely "team players." I am most grateful for all they have done to support OSS - especially the Planning Section."

Purvis Dawson, Gatehouse Admin Center

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Patrick Clark, Lake Braddock SS 

"Mr. Clark is SO wonderful! One of my friends accidentally spilled apple juice in the hallways. It wasn't even Mr. Clark, and he rushed out to clean it up for my friend. He was so nice about it all!"

- a Lake Braddock SS student 

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Traci Barela, Lake Braddock SS 

"Traci joined the Special Education Instructional Assistant team in late October and has already made a positive impact on students, teachers and staff. She is dedicated to creating a positive learning environment for students and consistently goes above and beyond to help them attain success. Traci is an asset to us at Lake Braddock!"

Kristin Matus-Kelso, Lake Braddock SS 

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Carli McIntosh, Davis Career Center

"Carli is not only one of our phenomenal, hardworking DCC teachers, she also voluntarily took on the role of Awards Liaison and has done a phenomenal job. It is so important to the functioning of our community that we take the time to recognize the good things that our colleagues do each day. Carli plays a major role in this each year by ensuring our participation in this FCPS recognition program and ensuring that our staff are encouraged to stop and reflect on who they believe is deserving of these accolades. Thank you, Carli, for going the extra mile and helping us highlight who within our own ranks is truly deserving of recognition by their peers!"

- Chad Clayton, Davis Career Center

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Philip Kipperman, Cooper MS 

"Phil is a phenomenal History and Civics teacher at Cooper Middle School. He prioritizes getting to know his students well and forms solid connections with his 7th and 8th graders. His students enjoy going to his class and his strong relationship building skills help students feel connected to both Phil as a teacher and the subject he teaches! He is also very involved in our after-school program which further helps our students feel vastly supported. Phil is such a positive presence at Cooper and students and staff alike greatly appreciate his good-natured personality and steady commitment to our school."

Jill Donnelly, Cooper MS 

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Sean Hikosaka, Willow Oaks Center 

"A big heartfelt thank you to the ESOL librarian Sean Hikosaka for working with secondary educators who teach Literacy Essentials for ELs. Sean's guidance and knowledge of secondary materials has been invaluable and a big support to both the teachers and students."

Connie H. Thibeault, Alan Leis Center

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Sarah Moore, Willow Oaks Center

"Sarah is a huge support to our intellectual disabilities program and teachers. On December 6th, we had a new student start at Fairfax Villa. Sarah dedicated several hours to supporting our staff members throughout the student's transition to us. In addition to her physical presence, her wealth of knowledge and experience helped our school-team create a seamless transition for this anxious new student. Thank you Sarah!"

Kaitlin Wilson-Vogel, Fairfax Villa ES 

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Donna Leone, Westfield HS 

"I am writing today to tell you how fortunate my daughter is this year to have such a kind and caring guidance counselor in Ms. Leone. After experiencing a traumatic event outside of school, my daughter was very nervous about being in the school building. I contacted her teachers to let them know that she was nervous about being in the building and her homeroom teacher connected her with Ms. Leone. Ms. Leone met for quite some time with my daughter. She listened to her and really helped her to process what had happened. She was able to empathize with her as she shared that she had experienced something similar. I am so grateful for the time and support of Ms. Leone and all of my daughter's teachers. High schools are so large and sometimes it is easy to get lost in the shuffle. Ms. Leone ensured that my child felt safe and would know she always has a place to go if needs someone to talk to. Thank you Ms. Leone for taking the time to listen, share, and connect with my child."

- a Westfield HS parent

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Ivette Robles, Willow Oaks Center

"Thank you to Ivette who came to Centreville to lead the Tier 1 Behavior and Wellness Professional Development. Our teachers were engaged in the process, development and dialogue due to the facilitation and relevance. We had the opportunity to examine our school climate and analyze how our own feelings and perspective influence our systems of practice for responding to behavior at the Tier 1 level. We had the opportunity to look at the success of all students through examining schoolwide expectations, underlying values, and commitments to equity. We look forward to continuing to collaborate with Ivette throughout this school year."

- Rachel Forte, Centreville ES 

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Kathleen McQuillan, Willow Oaks Center

"Thank you to Kathy who came to Centreville to lead the Tier 1 Behavior and Wellness Professional Development. Our teachers were engaged in the process, development, and dialogue due to the facilitation and relevance. We had the opportunity to examine our school climate and analyze how our own feelings and perspective influence our systems of practice for responding to behavior at the Tier 1 level. Kathy will truly be missed in FCPS and her legacy and influence will continue to thrive."

- Rachel Forte, Centreville ES 

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Elizabeth Campbell, Robinson Secondary 

"For the past 15 or so years the World Language department has collected gifts for the Head Start students who feed into Robinson (White Oaks and Bonnie Brae).  Families donate Lego, Playdoh, coloring books, books and so many other amazing things that we then turn around and bag and wrap for 54 deserving 4 year old kiddos who will eventually be Robinson Rams. This year we had an overwhelming reply to our call for toys and then had a HUGE turn out yesterday of students who happily wrapped the gifts and organized them into bags. Elizabeth Campbell took this enormous undertaking on and organized and executed it with grace and patience. She organized the donations through Sign Up Genius and helped the World Language Department organize the gifts, bag them for each individual student and then wrap them. Delivery of these gifts will happen this week to both elementary schools. Elizabeth cares about all of her own students, but also those that will eventually be Robinson Rams. She is truly an employee who CARES!"

- Emily Massey, Robinson SS

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Charles Williams, Davis Career Center 

"Every single morning Charles waits outside his door to greet his students. This simple act of kindness and welcoming has a huge impact on the wellbeing of his students. Thank you Charles, for creating a classroom culture that welcomes all. We are so lucky that you joined us at the Davis Center!"

- Ariel Matz, Davis Career Center

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Salwa Ibrahim, Davis Career Center 

"Salwa is one of our wonderful PHTAs. This school year she is working at the Westin Hotel supporting our wonderful students. Salwa is always so kind and lovely to our students and staff. She always goes out of her way to support every student in this program. She is also one of the PHTAs that does dismissal in the afternoon.  She is always on time to do it and with a smile on her face. Salwa is a great asset to our school and our community. We are lucky to have her."

- Yami Bosque, Davis Career Center 

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Nicole Oberdick, Sangster ES 

"I can’t thank Ms. Oberdick enough, Sangster Elementary School’s Librarian for taking the time to help my reluctant reader find a book that she could connect with. Our daughter is a busy first grader that had labeled reading as boring and would only complete the minimum reading homework that she was assigned until one Monday she came home with a book that “her librarian” had helped her to select and let her borrow. Thank you Ms. Oberdick for turning on that light."

- a Sangster ES parent 

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Paula Clark, Lorton Center

"I want to thank Paula Clark and the Team 27 Bus Supervisors. They work hard everyday, care about all the kids and stay at work until the job is done."

- a FCPS student 

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Ahmed Hillman, Stonecroft Center 

"Excellent job. Kind, supportive and inclusive."

- a Herndon ES parent 

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Ramon Dominguez, Stonecroft Center

"Excellent job. Kind, supportive and inclusive."

- a Herndon ES parent 

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Tiffany Welborn, South Lakes HS 

"Tiffany is an outstanding colleague to work with and a phenomenal champion for students. As a colleague, she supported me as I shifted into a new role, sharing her precious time, her great resources, and her well-organized Google Classroom to help me feel prepared for the year. She has also been a positive and insightful presence on multiple committees and school initiatives to help support a positive school community for staff and students alike. She cheerleads for both teams. She helps work with our student voice group to promote equity and a variety of student perspectives that is shared with staff in faculty meetings, admin, SEL work and more. She helps with our school's Equity Team, and helps us all understand and appreciate one another a little better. She cares about students feeling heard and feeling a sense of belonging. Tiffany Welborn is a gem of a human, and someone that I always look forward to interacting with. She cares about people, and she embodies what this award stands for."

- Jane Lewis, South Lakes HS

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Dalwinder Sohi and Jean Tan, Herndon HS

"Dalwinder and Jean supported a community member in need by quickly preparing 8 meal kits the day following the weekly distribution.  As soon Dalwinder and Jean were notified of the request, they assembled the food and coordinated the pick up while performing their regular duties."

Maria Perrone, Energy Zone Food Service Center

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Steve Campbell, Instructional Programs Support Center

"Steve is awesome at his job. Not only is he professional, kind, and understanding, but he also has the patience of a saint. His meticulousness allowed us to catch errors and ensured our documents looked professional. Thank you for your efforts Steve!"

- Amy Copeland, Stone MS 

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Lorie Ward, Lake Braddock SS 

"As our English 8 CT lead, Lorie Ward is an accomplished leader. Our team's weekly agendas are detailed, allow for group discussions, and focus on short and long term goals. Lorie is always transparent with sharing county wide information and making decisions on behalf of our team. She recognizes the skill sets of each teacher, seeks experts within our content, and most importantly, has created a strong level of camaraderie among our group."

- Dana Gorman, Lake Braddock SS 

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Julia Taylor, West Potomac HS 

"I would like to share my appreciation for the work that Ms. Julia Taylor is doing for the West Potomac band. Ms. Taylor is a recent college graduate who bravely stepped into the assistant director role during a time of change and logistical challenges at WestPo. She brought enthusiasm and positivity from day one of band camp and helped organize and lead the students through a successful marching band season. Her vibrancy and relatability have helped foster a renewed school spirit and camaraderie amongst the musicians. In addition, her mentorship has instilled confidence in my two sons to continue with music performance throughout high school and beyond. Ms. Taylor is a gem of a human who goes above and beyond to support her students!"

- a West Potomac HS parent 

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Faye Lavenhouse, Westfied HS

"Ms. Lavenhouse has helped me and the Science Olympiad team with our events and guided us on how to best prepare for tournaments, especially in such a challenging year. She makes sure all members are accounted for and does her best to accommodate different opinions. Thank you!"

- a Westfield HS student

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Stacey Bundens, Eagle View ES 

"Ms. Bundens has been a wonderful addition to our school's staff this year! She is incredibly knowledgeable and supportive to students and staff. Ms. Bundens is very dedicated and has already had a large impact on the students in her care. Additionally, she has an ability to have direct, open, and kind conversations with families.   During a recent illness, Ms. Bundens made every effort to ensure that her students and families received what they needed during her time away from school. Ms. Bundens also makes time to collaborate and communicate with her colleagues. She is an active member of her grade level CLT and often brings new and interesting perspectives to the conversation. Ms. Bundens also lends her expertise to a new teacher and is a wonderful support for her. We are thrilled that Ms. Bundens has joined Eagle View as she makes our community even stronger."

- Eva-Beth Levy, Eagle View ES 

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Clayton Allen, Lake Braddock SS

"Mr. Allen is a very skilled and caring teacher who is passionate about teaching music and teaching his students to love music. He provides students with amazing and rare, real life learning opportunities that enhance their music education. Mr. Allen planned a New York trip for 160 orchestra students, students were able to experience the USS Intrepid Naval museum. They experienced mentorship from a trained musician. They performed for patrons of the museum. Then students were able to explore the eye opening streets of New York City! Armed only with 42 parent chaperones, Mr. Allen single- handedly planned and executed a one of a kind and memorable learning experience for his students."

- a Lake Braddock SS parent

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Clayton Allen, Lake Braddock SS 

"I chaperoned to NYC with the LB middle school Orchestra. I saw the hard work that Mr. Allen put into this trip. It was well organized and we all had a wonderful time. You can tell how dedicated he is with the program. All the effort and hard work that he put into making this happen. You can tell he loves what he is doing and the kids enjoy playing their instruments. The kids were well behaved because of his leadership. Thank you Mr. Allen for all that you do for Orchestra. Lake Braddock is so lucky to have you!"

- a Lake Braddock SS parent 

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Clayton Allen, Lake Braddock SS 

"Organized and executed an amazing & fun trip for the MS Orchestra students and the chaperones involved. Students got great first hand information to improve their musical skills, learned about the USS Intrepid and got to sightsee a major city."

- a Lake Braddock SS parent 

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Vicki Lichter, Sandburg MS 

"Mrs. Lichter is my son's 7th grade Spanish teacher, and I would like to recognize her for always going above and beyond in making sure my son and his classmates experience a fun and inclusive learning environment. My son struggles with attention and anxiety issues and Mrs. Lichter is very proactive in recognizing when he is experiencing challenges and she is able to get him redirected and back on track. She makes class fun and interesting, and her approach includes very hands-on, involved projects; the students are not just sitting around in desks copying notes off of the board. My son has really enjoyed learning Spanish with Mrs. Lichter.  It is his favorite class so far this year and she is his favorite teacher. It is very clear that the teacher makes all the difference to students as to whether or not they will succeed in the classroom. Thank you Mrs. Lichter!"

-  a Sandburg MS parent 

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Sintayehu Mekonnen, Lorton Center

"My son is a 7th grader at Sandburg Middle School, and until a few weeks ago, he was assigned to Bus #21, which is Mr. Mekonnen's route. I believe Mr. Mekonnen still drives that bus, but my son is now on a different bus. My son rarely has anything great to say, in general, about bus drivers, but he has come home almost daily and told me what a nice man Mr. Mekonnen is and how he'd always talk to him about his day, his hobbies and interests, etc.  We really appreciate Mr. Mekonnen's kindness towards our son and are sad our son is not on his bus anymore. Thank you Mr. Mekonnen!"

- a Sandburg MS parent 

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Katie Aldridge, FCPS Virtual Program Elem

"Katie has done a phenomenal job this school year as she navigates leading the Virtual Academy Pre-6 program as our Principal. She cares deeply about the well being of our students who are learning at home this school year and is incredibly supportive of our teaching staff. Running a virtual school is no small task and Katie has done so with grace."

Morgan Occhuizzo, Rolling Valley ES 

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Mashel Hazel, Hayfield Secondary

"I wanted to take a moment to recognize Ms. Hazel for the outstanding job she does taking care of Hayfield. She certainly goes above and beyond her stated duties on the custodial staff. Every morning when I arrive to Hayfield, Ms. Hazel is busy making the front of our school as clean and beautiful as possible. She moves at lightning speed sweeping up the littlest pieces of garbage and today I even saw her sweeping up the few leaves that had made its way to the concrete steps. The other day, she was pacing through the parking lot in the morning sweeping up trash. In the fall, it wouldn't be unusual to see her busy weeding the cracks in the sidewalks each morning. All of our custodians do a fabulous job at Hayfield but Ms. Hazel is certainly one who deserves extra recognition for a job well done. Thank you Ms. Hazel!"

- Douglas Zywiol, Hayfield Secondary

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Jane Gordon, Lake Braddock SS 

"Jane Gordon’s Superpower inside and outside the classroom is compassion. She shared this information with her friends and colleagues in the Middle School Social Studies Department several years ago. However, if you have worked with Mrs. Gordon, had the privilege of being one of her students, or been the recipient of one of her acts of kindness, you understand first hand that this is true. Mrs. Gordon partnered with faith based institutions and other community organizations to respond with donations of diapers and other needed supplies in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Further, her coordinated efforts ensured that those supplies made their way from Burke, Virginia to Texas! Throughout her tenure at FCPS, Mrs. Gordon has served as the Middle School Social Studies Department Chair and an innovative History and Civics teacher at Lake Braddock. In fact, in years past, she earned the designation of Middle School teacher of the Year at Lake Braddock. As educators, we all hope to have achieved such a stellar legacy of intellect and compassion."

- Lisa Hill Williams, Lake Braddock 

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Carol Sue Carlson Jones, Woodson HS

"Wanted to nominate Ms. Jones in her role as a substitute Latin 2 teacher at Woodson. My son has been talking alot about how Latin relates to English class, history, and overall, she has nurtured a strong curiosity and joy in learning in her time substituting over the last few weeks. He's been talking about wanting to travel to Italy to see the roots of the language. Thank you for doing an amazing job."

- a Woodson HS parent 

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Cheryl Gannaway, South County HS 

"Online Campus (Dual Enrollment Government) I want to recognize Cheryl for going above and beyond in her capacities as an online teacher for FCPS. As a first year Dual Enrollment teacher with the online campus, I have found Cheryl's professionalism and friendship to be so helpful this year. She is always happy to answer my questions and help me figure out the problem whether they are big or small! If she is never annoyed by my 5-10 emails a week asking about grading policies, testing requirements, or content, Cheryl is always prompt and friendly in her assistance. We recently had a tragic event where a member of our team passed away suddenly. Without missing a beat, Cheryl was there to the rescue to pick up her course load and support a new set of students while continuing to be the supportive CT Leader that we all needed. Thank you Cheryl for your help this first semester. I really appreciate it!"

Doug Zywiol, Hayfield SS 

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Nancy Sawicki and Chris Kamerow, Kings Park ES and King Glen ES 

"Both SIA's have made my life easier in learning my position as a registrar. Any questions I have, they always answer and have a positive demeanor. I appreciate everything they have done to help me."

- Jennifer Martinez, Bonnie Brae ES 

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Carrie Gilbert, West Springfield ES 

"Ms. Gilbert is a well-seasoned teacher who has been very prompt to act for our child's academic and mental concerns. We are new to the school but from the beginning, she has been very welcoming, inclusive and caring. Our child is going through a tough time transitioning, but he knows he can trust her and talk to her. We really appreciate her."

- a West Springfield ES parent 

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Bob Butterfield and Ed Haggerty, Gatehouse Admin Center 

"I wanted to express my gratitude and appreciation for the support of both Bob Butterfield and Ed Haggerty during our most recent school training. They both arrived early, were personable, engaging and clearly knew their content. Our team left feeling secure and confident not only in our school processes, but in the resources and greater supports within FCPS. Their exercise was well planned, thorough and solicited many opportunities for authentic engagement from all parties. Thank you!"

- Dotty Lin, Kings Park ES 

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Paula Clark, Lorton Center

"Paula Clark and the other Team 27 Bus Supervisors work very hard every day and care about all the kids."

- a FCPS student 

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Michelle Galvan, Franconia ES 

"During a stressful time with one child testing positive for COVID and another as a close contact, Michelle went out of her way to contact us after school hours. She offered her phone number and her availability to us even over the Thanksgiving vacation. She reached out to the health department when she knew we were having difficulty getting a call back from them. Her understanding of how important communication can be, especially during a difficult time, is greatly appreciated."

- a Franconia ES parent 

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Gowri Kumaran, Armstrong ES 

"I've never seen Ms. Kumaran without a huge, warm smile on her face! She takes such terrific care of her Kindergarten students in her Enhanced Autism Class where she is an Instructional Assistant. She truly pours her whole heart into teaching, our school is so lucky to have her. What a wonderful human being!!"

- a Armstrong ES parent 

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Tim Roberson, Woodson Center

"Tim came in and helped us get our live feed for our morning news show up and running like a magical wizard of helpfulness. Not only was Tim incredibly knowledgeable, and generous with his knowledge, but we had a splendid conversations while he worked and I assisted as much as I could. Thanks Tim!"

Michael Newbold, Clearview ES 

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Stacey Dimes, Janelle Pace and Timesha Hunt, Newington Forest ES 

"These wonderful 5th grade teachers are an outstanding team that truly collaborates to meet the needs & various learning styles of all students. My daughter is extremely fortunate to get to have each of these wonderful teachers for different areas of her day. They get their students excited about learning by using several different academic strategies and methods. They go above and beyond to create engaging lessons to support each student's academic growth. Their interactive notebooks, extension activities, and word study games have improved my daughter's comprehension and understanding of content material. Most importantly, they make their students feel valued, safe, respected and encouraged. I am continually impressed with their proactive communication and commitment to their students.   They constantly communicate with all stakeholders, including parents, which encourages a higher level of family participation and community involvement. They are experienced and work beautifully together. Each of these teachers have unique traits and gifts, yet, together they create a culture of high expectations for students.  This 5th grade team is truly exceptional and we are so appreciative of all their hard work."

- a Newington Forest ES parent 

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Maide Alas Aguilar, Gatehouse Admin Center

"Maide came to our rescue interpreting a meeting that was rescheduled twice. We had a last minute cancellation from our interpreter and were calling and emailing everyone on the list and Maide was kind enough to assist with short notice. We're so appreciative and grateful she is an FCPS employee!"

Elizabeth Escobar, Chantilly HS 

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Sarah Meier, Deer Park ES

"Ms. Meier has been a strong advocate for my child’s needs, both academically and socially. She is very aware of picking up on strengths and improvement areas and very observant. I appreciate her efforts in connecting with the whole classroom and communicating with families on a regular basis. She has made this year so far, one, where my child enjoys learning and loves to be in her classroom. They know she has their best interest in mind as she is able to key in on their passions and what gets them motivated."

- a Deer Park ES student

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Adriana Lopez Avila, Gatehouse Admin Center

"As we all know, we continue to have one or more multiple open sub jobs on a daily basis in our schools and Oak View is no different. During these desperate times, we have leaned on the sub office to help assist us in a variety of ways. There is a beacon of light in this office and her name is Adriana Lopez Avila. She is responsive and timely. It never fails, when I include Adriana on an email requesting support, she is the first to respond and take action. Many times, it is obvious that she is going above and beyond her responsibilities to answer my questions or supply me with the information I need. Based on her assistance, I can tell she looks out for the others in her department, believes in a team concept, and recognizes the priority for schools to feel supported. Thanks Adriana!"

- Lora Adams, Oak View ES 

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Tony Copeland, Gatehouse Admin Center

"Tony Copeland has done an exemplary job championing the work of the School Improvement and Innovation Plan Networked Improvement Community (SIIP NIC). This network of six Region 1 elementary schools is enhancing the ESSER/SIIP process by integrating Improvement Science tools for designing and implementing systems changes that redress inequities in access and opportunities. SIIP NIC schools are helping our system learn what's working to advance student outcomes."

- Claire Silva, Willow Oaks Admin Center

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Ray Lonnett, Gatehouse Admin Center 

"Ray Lonnett has done an exemplary job championing the work of the School Improvement and Innovation Plan Networked Improvement Community (SIIP NIC). This network of six Region 1 elementary schools is enhancing the ESSER/SIIP process by integrating Improvement Science tools for designing and implementing systems changes that redress inequities in access and opportunities. SIIP NIC schools are helping our system learn what's working to advance student outcomes."

- Claire Silva, Willow Oaks Admin Center

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Douglas Tyson, Gatehouse Admin Center

"Douglas Tyson has done an exemplary job championing the work of the School Improvement and Innovation Plan Networked Improvement Community (SIIP NIC). This network of six Region 1 elementary schools is enhancing the ESSER/SIIP process by integrating Improvement Science tools for designing and implementing systems changes that redress inequities in access and opportunities. SIIP NIC schools are helping our system learn what's working to advance student outcomes."

- Claire Silva, Willow Oaks Admin Center

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Sarah Watnee, Stonecroft Transportation Center

"Bus 10 from Oakton Elementary experienced an issue with a strange and somewhat noxious odor on the bus shortly after leaving the school for the afternoon run. Ms. Sarah pulled the bus over to a safe area--had all the windows open on the bus and safely evacuated the children from the bus to a safe sidewalk. My son had texted me as the bus was pulling over and I was on site within a minute or so. I was so impressed with the composure and control Ms. Sarah had over the kids and the situation. The safety patrols were awesome too, they really helped out and stayed calm. Ms. Sara is to be commended for her quick actions and composure during the situation. Kudos to Ms. Sarah!"

- an Oakton ES parent

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Areeba Azad, Bull Run ES

"Ms. Azad is amazing! She clearly loves her job and the children. She has a warm, welcoming classroom full or love and nurture. She is the ideal teacher and should serve as a role model for others!"

- a Bull Run ES parent 

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Loreal Crumbley, Gatehouse Admin Center

"Loreal is dependable, responsive, conscientious, and most importantly caring. While dealing with a sensitive issue, Loreal was eager to gather information so that she could respond appropriately. She went out of her way to communicate with us and make sure we had the most up-to-date information. We appreciate Loreal's professionalism and support!"

- Jessica Lewis, Hayfield ES 

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Ashley Quinn, Transition Support Resource Center - Fairfax

"We have a senior whom is concerned about his future educational and career goals. His base school counselor had resigned and Ms. Quinn was able to step in and alleviate some of his concerns. They reviewed his graduation requirements and discussed some educational  options. After his virtual meeting he told me he learned a lot from Ms. Quinn and had a lot of information to digest. He was so happy he even gave me a brief smile and he looks forward to communicating with her in the future. Thank you Ashley for providing a brief moment of your time that gave our student an eye opening experience into the next steps of his young life."

- Adam Wong, Les Secure Shelter Home

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Bertukan Mulash and Tereza Hanna, Lorton Center

"My son's day is starting from riding a van to school. He is very rigid, has huge anxiety due to his autism. Ms. Mulash and Ms. Hanna always greets him with happy smile! They are there for my son to be ready for a great school day. I really appreciate their dedication and kindness to reduce his anxiety. There was an accident that a truck hit the van while my son was in it. They helped my son to stay calm and my son could wait calmly for the new van to pick him up. Thank you so much for everything you do for my son!!!!"

- Yoonshin Michels, FCPS Virtual Program ES

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Cara Ciccolella, Willow Oaks

"Cara has been a "substitute" psychologist for us since our psychologist moved out of the county.  Despite the increased work load, she is always positive and prepared during meetings. Cara communicates with us in a timely manner and is always willing to step in and help out. She has already come to more meetings than I can count and is taking on testing responsibilities for 3 students and counting! I truly don't know what we would do without her! She has been a welcome member to our team and definitely exemplifies what it means to be a team player! I want to recognize her for going above and beyond!"

- Melissa Witt, Rocky Run MS

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Suzanne Thompson, Transition Support Resource Center - Reston 

"Mrs. Thompson went above and beyond to prepare me for the Work Keys test that I passed!"

- Student, Transition Support Resource Center - Reston

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