FCPS Cares - February 2019

By Department of Human Resources
FCPS Cares
February 05, 2019

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: Aaron Curtis, Andre Marshall, Ronnie Presley – Financial Services - Forte Center, Warehouse (Pictured)

"Two weeks ago, we were in desperate need of 3 large pieces of furniture. In an effort to keep a student with special needs safe, we needed to create a space to maintain the safety of the student, staff, and additional students in the classroom. There were 3 gentlemen that worked diligently to help us in our mission. Even with a snow storm approaching, Andre Marshall, Aaron Curtis, and Ronny Presley managed to bring us the furniture and help us set it up. We, the school, and families are very grateful for their professionalism, attentiveness, and perseverance in this situation. We would not have been able to create a safe and secure area for this student without their help. Thank you, Mr. Marshall, Mr. Curtis, and Mr. Presley!"

- Amanda Dorr, Floris ES

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Region 1: Stephen Alexander, Colvin Run ES

"Mr. Alexander is one of the kindest and most caring teachers we know. Our third-grade son absolutely adores him. Mr. Alexander goes above and beyond to make sure the learning environment is not only safe but fun for his students. On one occasion, my son needed to be picked up from school rather than taking the bus as he normally does; that same afternoon, I received a phone call from Mr. Alexander asking whether my son was doing okay. On another occasion, my son accidentally picked up a snack that may have been manufactured in a facility that processes nuts; I received an email immediately from Mr. Alexander asking me to monitor my son’s progress at home. These are just a few examples of how Mr. Alexander ensures a safe school environment. But what my son loves most about Mr. Alexander are all the fun activities at school. Mr. Alexander has a few walkie-talkies that he distributes to students to keep each other safe during recess. On Lunar New Year, Mr. Alexander gives each student a red envelope with goodies inside. Just this week, when the students could not go outside for recess, Mr. Alexander challenged the students to chess matches during indoor recess and offered his signature “smackers” (tokens) as rewards for those who participated. There isn’t a week that goes by that our son does not talk about the valuable lessons he learns in class from Mr. Alexander. Mr. Alexander is a great role model, and we feel blessed that our son gets to train with an amazing coach every day."

- a Colvin Run ES parent

"Mr. Alexander is a true gift.  In addition to being an excellent teacher, he goes above and beyond to inspire my son to do the very best in everything he does and also to be proud of making good choices.  He shared a news story that focused on the importance of making good choices with the class.  I was was thrilled to hear my son tell me about it including the very practical class discussion Mr. Alexander led.  These extras make him more than a great teacher. He is truly inspiring."

- a Colvin Run ES parent

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Region 2: Karen Allison, Falls Church HS

"Greetings, my name is Ryan Cotnoir. I am a very proud 2002 graduate of Falls Church High School’s (FCHS) beneficial and motivating special education program. Mrs. Karen Allison was my teacher for subjects including English, Math and Basic Skills for four of my eight years in that program. She is about to retire after 23 years at FCHS. I know for a fact that Karen Allison truly deserves an FCPS Cares Award. Here are the reasons why I nominate Mrs. Allison. She deserves the FCPS Cares Award.  Karen Allison was more than just my teacher in my eight years at FCHS. She went above and beyond the call of duty and helped me in times of fear and uncertainty and she was always there for me when I needed her. Her gentle voice and her super caring persona helped me through my very intense fear of loud noises like the fire alarm and she was also right there during pep rallies to warn me before the stop-clock buzzer. She even helped me understand the deaths in my family twice. I know that across her years at FCHS, Mrs. Allison had a great influence on many, many special needs students. From warning me about fire drills to mending life’s little and big wounds, Karen Allison was always very patient and calm and that’s why I know without any doubt in my mind, that Karen Allison has already “won” this award, but now it should be official."

- Ryan Cotnoir, a graduate of Falls Church HS

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Region 3: Khaled Noori, Twain MS

"In Mr. Noori’s first year at Twain, he has taken on many challenges and immersed himself into this community. If there is an evening event, Mr. Noori can be seen sitting among the parents and students eager to support his students and our programs. Mr. Noori actually began coming to Twain events in the spring of last year, before he was on contract! He currently holds the record for most sweets eaten at our Broadway Desserts event. Mr. Noori has also helped begin Avengers Unite, an after-school program for his interdisciplinary team. Mr. Noori leads fun simulations in the classroom and has forged really solid relationships among his colleagues and caseload of students. Mr. Noori has also taken it upon himself to volunteer to help coach the boys' team for the Kingstowne Cup. He and a colleague have been working hard to help our boys be role model student-athletes."

- Stephen Fitzgerald, Twain MS

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Region 4: Adam Erbrecht, Liberty MS

"I need to give a shout out to the principal at Liberty Middle. Yesterday, our 8th-grade daughter needed to go to the ER (won't go into details other than to say she's OK). I show up at the hospital expecting a counselor or nurse from the school, but it was him, sitting in her room, comforting her. He stayed for at least another half hour after I got there. He's a real stand-up guy. I was impressed and I just wanted to share so people know what a great principal they have at Liberty. As a plus, he's a Pittsburgher and Steelers fan which makes him even cooler!"

- a Liberty MS parent

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Region 5: Michele Sullivan, Mantua ES

"I’d like to recommend a colleague of mine, Michele Sullivan. She goes above and beyond on a regular basis. She has the magic touch. Everything she touches turns into a spreadsheet; a color-coded, alphabetically arranged by first or last name, with mean, median, and mode at the end of each column! She’s amazing! She’s efficient, speedy, and smart. When I first started working with Michele I remember being astonished because she would stop what she was doing, to explain anything to anyone that needed help. Tech-savvy could be her middle name. Sharing is another one of her fortes. Detail-oriented is another one of her strengths. She creates awesome lesson plans, then not only unhesitatingly shares them with others but, if you can’t find one, because you might not be quite as organized as she is, she’ll pull it up, and share it with you all over again - with a smile. From collaborating with the county to beautify the school grounds to posting info to Staff News, organizing all sorts of teams as in the following: Native Plants and Trees, Composting, Solar Power, Recycling in Classrooms, Energy Conservation, and Food Sharing. She shows her dedication to the community she lives in. I remember one time she stayed at school until 10:00 pm on a Friday night getting the garden planted in the dark! A poll was found in the middle of the soccer field. Someone needed to notify Mrs. Kim; she’s on it. Rapport with students – she may give homework, but kids know it’s for their own good and that she’s understanding and amazing. She invites in wonderful speakers, like her mathematician dad, and arranges for awesome field trips. She’s fair, honest, hardworking and full of energy. How she manages to be a great mom, wife, coach, teacher, and take care of the dog is beyond me! She’s the best!"

- Peggy Cajati, Mantua ES

Other FCPS Cares of the Month Submissions for February 2019

Rachel Stein, Laurie Marichak, Matthew Rivera, Alexandria Resch, Kathy Tucker, Hollin Meadows ES

"Our PTA was the recipient of a National PTA STEM + Families Invention Night grant. Ms. Marichak, Ms. Stein/Mrs. Birns, Ms. Tucker, Ms. Resch, and Mr.Rivera volunteered their time in the evening to assist our PTA in supporting families while they built inventions. This allowed our parent volunteers to be engaged with their children and fellow families. We sincerely appreciate their gift of time and for demonstrating why Hollin Meadows & FCPS Cares."

- Hollin Meadows ES PTA Board

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Lauren Joseph, Hayfield ES

"I just wanted to give Ms. Joseph a big thank you for being there for my daughter Natalia this year. Natalia feels she can always count on Ms. Joseph to share with her feelings and ideas. Natalia feels that Ms. Joseph always makes time to listen to her, and always gives her her best advice in any situation that occurs. Natalia enjoys the idea of being "Ms. Joseph's gal pal" as Ms. Joseph calls her. We could not be more appreciative of Ms. Joseph's caring nature. FCPS is very lucky to have teachers like Ms. Joseph."

- a Hayfield ES parent

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Heather Dorman, Cooper MS

"Heather Dorman provided district-wide leadership by collaborating with the ISD Science Team to plan and implement a blended-learning professional development for the Secondary Literacy Symposium. Heather listened to our needs and worked with us to create an innovative learning experience that was incredibly well-received by teachers and school leaders."

- Jenay Sharp Leach, Willow Oaks Administration Center

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Susie Hamrock, Woodson HS

"Susie is our Head Varsity Swim & Dive Coach,  Head Varsity Girls Tennis Coach, and Sponsor for Relay For Life. She is always working hard for the entire W.T. Woodson Community and is always giving her time to all involved! Thank you, Susie, for all you do!"

- Dan Checkosky, Woodson HS

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Catherine Hanson, Lake Braddock SS

"Catherine Hanson is one of the most effective, dedicated, and professional educators I have ever worked with. She has built a strong relationship with each of her students and provides them with a safe space to learn, fail, and be themselves without fear of judgment or ridicule. She sees each student and their unique qualities and helps them use those qualities to learn their way. Catherine works tirelessly to ensure that her students' needs are being met. She is a gift to the special education department, our entire school, and to her students and their families."

- Tracey Butler-Johnson, Lake Braddock SS

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Marie Danosos, Twain MS

"Thank you, Marie, for all that you do for MTMS. I am not sure where you find the time to do all that you do for the many programs and students you serve. First, you are a great counselor and better teammate. You have the perfect demeanor to be our CSS counselor and you are creating some great ideas to support your Avenger team and Superteam 2 students and teachers. You have done an AMAZING job as our AVID co-coordinator. Our program has integrity, is backed by data, and is an example that other AVID programs throughout the county should model. Finally, you have gone above and beyond in coaching our girls team. You coaching resume has really benefited these students and made this a really cool event for our female athletes. You are a great role model for our students."

- Stephen Fitzgerald, Twain MS

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Lauren Arthur-Compton, Twain MS

"Lauren Arthur-Compton has worked at Mark Twain for over 5 years. She was a standout high school basketball player who went on to receive a full scholarship to Campbell University. In her time at Mark Twain as a Sped teacher, she has mentored students and participated in many of Mark Twain’s after school events. Mrs. Arthur-Compton coached the West Potomac varsity girls' team in the past as well as some time with the AAU program. This year she has volunteered to co-coach the Girls team for the upcoming Kingstowne Cup basketball game. She has already been practicing with the girls 2 days a week and stated that the team is starting to come together and she is looking forward to teaching them for the next month. Mark Twain appreciates Mrs. Arthur–Compton commitment to the students as well as to our school and we're excited about her being a part of our great event. Thank you, LA!"

- Stephen Fitzgerald, Twain MS

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Irvin Hay, Twain MS

"Giant shout out to Irvin Hay! Since taking on the task of volunteering his time by helping to coach a middle school boys’ basketball team, he has done everything and more to succeed expectations. He has exhibited passion and dedication to the upcoming event next month! He demonstrates this by running high-intensity practices and pushes the players to be the best they can be on and off the court. One example I would like to highlight is during tryouts he saw students casually running through the drills and instead of yelling at them, he turned the drill into a scrimmage for 45-second intervals. The boys were forced to sprint through the scrimmage in order to showcase their talent. This left not a lot of room for error, but Coach Hay got the result he was looking for by students hustling through the scrimmage. Coach Hay continues to impress in this new role and touches a lot of the lives of these student-athletes in more ways than one!"

- Stephen Fitzgerald, Twain MS

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Nancy Hammerer, Twain MS

"Nancy, thank you for being so flexible with our rising 9th-grade counselor registrations. We, in Student Services, appreciate your constant flexibility and willingness to support our students. You will be sorely missed next year."

- Stephen Fitzgerald, Twain MS

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Brandi PenningtonGomez, Lorton Transportation Center

"On February 15, I contacted Kings Park and asked them to send my daughter home on Bus 01 instead of attending her usual aftercare program. Bus 01 was a typo - I actually wanted them to send her on her regular one, which is Bus 02. The driver of Bus 01 noted that my daughter was a new face and was not getting on the bus with anyone. She immediately flagged one of the teachers on bus duty and asked her to check with the office to make sure my daughter should be on her bus. After the school called and we confirmed that she should not be on that bus, the office kept her there and we were able to safely pick her up at the school. I can't thank Brandi enough for being so diligent and questioning something that seemed off. She is a superstar! And she kept my daughter calm during the whole ordeal so as not to concern her with what was happening! Thank you, Brandi!"

- a Kings Park ES parent

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Megan Shapiro, Mason Crest ES

"Ms. Megan is the most caring person/teacher I have ever met. She went above and beyond in helping my son in his special education needs. My son will not communicate anything about school but when we talk about Ms. Megan, his eyes light up when he talks about her. It is because of her, my son started two-way communication, being more social and learning the skills of everyday life. She would communicate about my son's activities by sending laminated pictures, which shows how much she cares and puts her time in each and every student, every day. It is because of educators like Ms. Megan, that we are one of the best schools in the entire country. My family and I would like to recognize Ms. Megan for her hard work, her time, and her love for kids and her work at FCPS."

- a Mason Crest ES parent

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Greg Rupert, Energy Zone Food Services Center

"Mr. Rupert has been a phenomenal resource in helping our families who need to access our FCPS Food and Nutrition program. When called upon, he is always available to give immediate help. Thank you so much, Mr. Rupert!"

- Kathy Reese, South County MS

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Phil Krum, Laurel Ridge ES

"Phil Krum is the BEST co-teacher a person could ask for! Yes, he is a masterful teacher with a deep understanding of our curriculum, assessments, pacing guide and best practices. Yes, he is easy to collaborate with because he stays on topic and helps keep things fun and uncomplicated. But this year, especially he has been the duct tape of my life! Sorry Phil, but you know duct tape fixes EVERYTHING! My parents have had a rough year. I have had to take more than my share of days or hours off to help my family. Each time, I feel guilty but without hesitation Phil ALWAYS says, "GO! Be with your family!" Phil, your support and understanding are so appreciated! I love teaching with you and am so grateful for your kindness!"

- Veronica Bonaccorsy, Laurel Ridge ES

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Aaron Curtis, Andre Marshall, and Ronnie Presley, Forte Center

 

Robena Barham, Silverbrook ES

"Over the last two years, Bena has always presented a very calm and supportive disposition. Upon several requests for support, Bena has been very prompt, thorough, and willing to assist. Thank you, Bena, for always being available and supportive to us to ensure that we provide quality service to our students and parents."

- Carmen Pangelinan, Silverbrook ES

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Paola Cespedes, Kesha Samuels, and Ingrid Wheatley, Riverside ES

"What can I say! These wonderful ladies do it all. They are always there to greet the students, parents, and teachers with a smile! They help me more than they know. From scheduling IEP's to contacting parents, and going above and beyond their duty to make sure Riverside is the amazing place it is! We are very lucky to have all 3 of them!"

- Lorri Hallenbeck, Riverside ES

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Charles Quinlan, Stone MS

"I think Mr. Quinlan deserves recognition of excellence at Stone Middle School. I chaperoned at Fairfax High School for the District Chorus event and attended the concert the weekend of February 16th. He is an awesome music teacher! He is fantastic with the kids and the parents. He was the Chair of the All-District Choir Concert event, which was a big undertaking and the best Choir concert I have witnessed. It was an absolutely organized and totally impressive event. I was blown away! He covered all the bases and it ran smoothly and it was an amazing event for all! Bravo, Mr. Quinlan, for taking on additional leadership and responsibility for such an impressive one-time event. In general, Mr. Quinlan is energetic, motivates his students, and draws a lot of interest to his program at  Stone Middle School. His concerts are always wonderful! Stone's music program is very strong and enjoyed by the students. My son loves having him as a teacher and we think he is an amazing Music teacher. He encourages the students to grow and develop, as noted by the large number of Stone MS students represented at the District Concert. Quite impressive since this is an audition event. I'm very grateful for him and all he does at Stone MS. Thank you!"

- a Stone MS community member

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Allison Hoak, Flint Hill ES

"Allison Hoak is my AP at Flint Hill and I wanted to recognize her for her tireless dedication to serving our students, staff and wider parent community of our school. Allison is always helping support the decisions we make as a school and always has meaningful input when we need to collaborate as colleagues. Allison values the work of her teachers and she is definitely the backbone to so many innovative approaches we have been implemented this year for teaching and learning. I wanted to say we are so indebted and honored to have Allison as our AP at Flint Hill, with so many great strides and accomplishments that often are behind the scenes. Thank you, Allison!"

- Lauren Lipton, Flint Hill ES

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Vera Woodson, South County HS

"I want to thank Ms. Woodson (Woody) for all the energy and excitement she brings to South County and the activities programming. She is always vibrant and excited to see our kids be successful. Thank you, Woody, for everything you do!"

- Brett Garner, South County HS

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Mike Socha, Stonecroft Transportation

"Due to high winds, a tree fell over and struck a bus while transporting students home from school. Mike took appropriate action to ensure the safety of students while also helping to keep students calm during the incident. Mike is a great example of how FCPS employees demonstrate what it means to be a student-first school system."

- Greg Hood, Madison HS

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Deb Kiser, West Springfield ES

"Working with Deb is always a joy because she is a go-getter and always willing to help out. However, today she really went above & beyond. Upon hearing the news of an IT data access issue across the admin sites (including mine) this morning, I went into panic mode thinking of all of the documents and reports I needed to recreate for my multiple meetings this week. Deb graciously volunteered to attend an afternoon team lead meeting in my place so that I could hunker down and focus on trying to recover/rewrite whatever I could. She truly went above & beyond today and I am so appreciative of her collaboration & camaraderie!"

- Liz Busch, Virginia Hills Early Childhood Center


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Wil Lara, Gatehouse Administration Center

"With the recent administrative centers data access issues on the H & N drives, I had contacted Wil Lara in Language Services for our PRC workshop flyers, to include multiple translated versions. Within a matter of minutes, he had forwarded them all back to us. This not only helped to keep our department's work flowing smoothly, but most importantly the families, school and community so that we are able to keep them in the "know" of our workshops as well. A HUGE thank you to Wil and all of whom work in Language Services for their immeasurable prompt and quick turn-around for us!"

- Rita Berlin, Dunn Loring Center

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Consuela White, Pimmit Hills Center

"Working with Consuela for the last few years, it is easy to see the passion and enthusiasm she brings to the classroom. Recently, our position has seen an increase in presentations, lessons, and school visits that have been difficult to manage. Consuela has extended herself to ease the burden of these requests from her colleagues and accommodates the schools in need. She is a total team player!"

- Brian Maslowski, Pimmit Hills Center

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Jennifer Hogan, Oakton HS

"A new education lesson had been implemented and Jennifer was extremely accommodating in scheduling these lessons and making adjustments to the schedule when inclement weather hit to ensure the students received the lesson. She adjusted the entire school schedule one day to appropriate the necessary time to the lesson. Thank you for recognizing the value of this lesson. Jennifer and the Oakton staff are awesome to work with."

- Brian Maslowski, Pimmit Hills Center

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Mark Daugherty, Stone MS

"Before 8th-grade, my daughter did not enjoy or even like Science. Throughout this year, not only has it become her number one favorite subject, she has joined the Science Club, and she is not a ""joiner"! How do you thank a teacher who has instilled a love for a subject that was never there before? I am beyond grateful. Thank you, Mr. D, for making Science a fun and wonderful learning experience for my daughter!"

- a Stone MS parent

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Ann Hahm and Christine Ojeda, Churchill Road ES

"Mrs. Hahm is an asset to Fairfax County Public Schools and represents the best in elementary education. She is kind to all, patient with her students, thoughtful with all, considerate of the children, and gentle. She works with Christine Ojeda, who is also a treasure and another asset, and together, they oversee the most pleasant and serene elementary school classroom I have ever been in. It is a treat to be in their classroom; it is relaxing, orderly, and there are upwards of 24 kindergarten students! Both of these professionals work hard and exemplify what young children need in kindergarten. It is magic to see them instruct, it is amazing to watch the students listen, and I am so thankful for both Mrs. Hahm and Mrs. Ojeda. Please acknowledge their efforts and be proud to have them in Fairfax County."

- a Churchill Road ES community member

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Russ Wright, Sprague Technology Center

"Thank you, Mr. Russ Wright, for going above and beyond technology support and fixing my desk. I have been ergonomically challenged for years and in minutes you made my workstation so much better. Thank you for your assistance, your time, and for showing FCPS cares!"

- Sarah Blake, Willow Oaks Administration Center

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Melissa Chang, Riverside ES

"Melissa meets with me weekly to help with navigating through the data wall. She has helped me gain a better understanding of the computer, as well as scaffolding for my students. Her patience, and her dedication to the Riverside staff and students is amazing! I am so grateful for her."

- Lorri Hallenbeck, Riverside ES

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Lindsey Goldwasser, Dunn Loring Center

"Lindsey provides preschool resource services in the Dunn Loring area at elementary schools. I am a member of Lindsey’s CLT and she supports class-based and other resource teachers. She has gone above and beyond to assist, guide, and give examples to other professionals. On top of that, she is an exceptional teacher. Lindsey sets high expectations, engages, and uses strategies to increase student learning."

- Emily Ripper, Glen Forest ES

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Laurie Laso, Willow Oaks Administrative Center

"TSRC Annandale is not Laurie Laso's primary responsibility, but the effort and attention to detail that she puts into assisting our students and meeting their needs is truly above and beyond. Her previous work experiences and connections in the community bring a wealth of knowledge and insight to any collaborative conversation around student success. She is truly an asset to FCPS and Interagency Alternative Schools is lucky to have her supporting 4 of our programs!"

- Carey Williams, Willow Oaks Administrative Center

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Jennifer Condra, Louise Archer ES

"Jennifer is my AP here at LAES and I wanted to share out how supportive and understanding she is to our students, teachers, staff, parents, and wider community. I am so grateful to be working with a great team here at LAES; we really take care of each other here and I wanted to recognize the hard work Jennifer does to create and promote a positive, warm and welcoming school environment.  The sun really shines here at LAES! Thank you for all that you do!"

- Lauren Lipton, Louise Archer ES

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Michelle Hassell, Maureen McCarthy, and Gregory Taft, Luther Jackson MS

"The Griffins Team: Mrs. McCarthy, Mrs. Hassell, and Mr. Taft, have been amazing about accepting my son where he is academically and encouraging him to grow as a student. As a student whose mind can wander, he appreciates that their teaching styles and their expectations are clear and straight-forward. Their activities vary which keeps my son interested. He appreciates how his teachers make excellent use of technology in class. Finally, when he has a bad day, his teachers often give him another chance to demonstrate his understanding. Thank you to the Griffins Team for making school a welcoming place!"

 - a Luther Jackson MS parent

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Christina Winkler, Freedom Hill ES

"Christina is a ray of sunshine and positivity at Freedom Hill! On top of her wonderful care and love for her students with disabilities, she recently initiated a snack program so that her students and fellow staff members could be encouraged by one another. It is always a joy to find a special treat in my inbox that is not paperwork; it brightens my day. Just meeting Christina and her class brings smiles."

- Suzy Pantzer, Freedom Hill ES

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Chao-An Ling, Safaa Abdelmalek, and Abby Montgomery, Vienna ES

"I am grateful to work with three dedicated, knowledgeable, and kind women. Chao-An, Safaa, and Abby are willing to support all the students in our special education classroom and do so with grace and a professional attitude. They work together well and have a positive influence on our students.  I am very lucky that they are all a part of my team!"

- Pamela Kossoy, Vienna ES

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Margery Sabolsky, Gatehouse Administration Center

"Margery went above and beyond to assist with a payroll request. She was extremely patient and understanding. She talked me through the process and even came up to my office to retrieve a form which I could have easily scanned when my fax would not go through. She made my day and it was truly a pleasure to work with her."

- Lorena Saldivar, Gatehouse Administration Center

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Hannah Converse, Libby Kerver, Leigh Handerahan, ShaRhonda Cleckley, Julia Dary, Sarah Milhoan, and Leslie Boger, Hughes MS

"In addition to preparing highly engaging and meaningful tasks for their classes, these Hughes teachers contributed to the professional development in our building by creating and delivering six 3-hour sessions for topics that teachers self-selected to join. Topics included blended learning (Converse), interdisciplinary teaching and learning (Kerver and Handerahan), service learning (Cleckley and Dary), and fostering a peaceful and respectful school community (Milhoan and Boger). We recently culminated these learning opportunities in an exhibition of learning, during which teachers shared about their topic and how their classes or instruction was impacted by their learning. Through the hard work of these teacher leaders, our building has seen an increase in ownership over professional learning, more confidence in teachers' ability to design learning activities that encourage higher-order thinking, increased consideration of cross-curricular connections, and a deeper understanding of engagement in classrooms. Our students, throughout the whole building, have been impacted by the important and meaningful work of these teachers to step-up and support the growth of our staff."

- Danna Hailfinger and Beth Panicucci, Hughes MS

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Kelly Baugh, Powell ES

"Assistant Principal Kelly Baugh is extremely dedicated to the well-being of students at her school.  She contacted me in order to provide support to a new student whose family is in need of healthcare and financial resources. Kelly made sure the student received the help he needed prior to the long weekend. Thank you for all you do for FCPS students, Kelly!"

- Jill Tucker, Dunn Loring Center

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Christopher Smith, Daniels Run ES

"I provide after-school classes all throughout FCPS elementary schools. I can't get over how friendly Daniels Run employees are. I've been to almost every elementary school in FCPS and have taught 4th and 5th grade for FCPS before that. The DRES staff were by far the nicest staff I've ever met. I talked to at least 3 people in the office, including the principal, who was amazing, and about 4 teachers throughout the building and they were so kind and helpful. You can clearly see the trickle-down effect in a school when there's good leadership."

- a community member

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Kelly Bunting, Riverside ES

"Ms. Kelly Bunting is new to Fairfax County Public Schools, but not a veteran teacher. Ms. Bunting is a highly valued member of our 2nd-grade team because she is genuine, warm and efficient. She has a challenging class this year, but she is optimistic, positive and friendly. She has entered Riverside Elementary School with a wealth of resources and knowledge that she shares with all. We certainly appreciate our administrators selecting a stellar candidate for our team. We appreciate all that you do, Kelly!  Awesome job!"

- Carole King, Riverside ES

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Alisa Maxwell, Riverside ES

"Mrs. Maxwell is our wonderful ESOL teacher who is assigned to 2nd-grade. We were about to take our WIDA assessments. As we prepared to give WIDA assessments, several teachers including Mrs. Maxwell, came into my classroom to set up computers, chargers, headphones, and mice. Mrs. Maxwell stayed in class to make sure students remained on task and protocol was followed. Mrs. Maxwell consistently smiles and finds a way to go the extra, extra mile with our students. Thank you, Mrs. Maxwell. You are an invaluable asset to our Riverside Elementary School."

- Carole King, Riverside ES

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Ann Coppola, Sandra Cruz, Teresa Taylor, Erin Simons, and Caelyn Waffird, Rose Hill ES

"Last Thursday I experienced a medical emergency. I had to leave school by ambulance due to an intense leg pain. My teammates took care of my students as if they were my own. They also took care of my students on Friday, leaving me to do nothing by rest. My teammates are my family."

- Danny Adams, Rose Hill ES

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Michelle Kamiyama, Daniels Run ES

"My son has the pleasure of being in Michelle Kamiyama’s 6th-grade class at Daniels Run. She is one of those amazing teachers that all parents wish for their children. Michelle leads with love and her belief in the children that she teaches is beyond compare. She is one in a million and we won the lottery when she came into our lives."

- a Daniels Run ES parent

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Matt Heffron, Lemon Road ES

"Mr. Heffron has a wonderful way of creating connections with students. He helps them to get excited about technology. He balances out the desire to use technology with lessons on digital citizenship. What has been so important for my child is that Mr. Heffron asks him to assist others. Having a sense of purpose and accomplishment is so important and Mr. Heffron provides that leadership opportunity to many students. His approachable personality, sense of humor, interest in students, and commitment to education, is an important part of our experience at Lemon Road."

- a Lemon Road ES parent

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Karen Helmer, Canterbury Woods ES

"Once I walked in her door, I knew she was going to be a great teacher for my 3rd-grade schoolyear. Thank You, Ms. Helmer!"

- an FCPS student

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Jason Eldredge, West Springfield HS

"Mr. Eldredge has worked tirelessly with staff, parents, and students, to create a positive environment are WSHS. He coaches football with a positive attitude towards the students. Since our renovation started, he has been a pivotal force in making sure that all activities have a space to work. His attitude has always been positive even when it seems everyone needs a place to practice. He treats everyone with respect and always has a smile, even on the worse days. We have worked with Mr. Eldredge for 3 years and have never felt like he was put out when asked for help. He tries to make sure our music department and sports all have equal time and space to practice. He cares about our programs and works with the band director on all practice spaces. Lastly, I consider him my friend. He us easy to talk to and lends help when asked. I cannot impress enough what a positive influence he is for our school."

- a West Springfield HS community member

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Abigail Michael, Dranesville ES

"Abigail has been a huge help to Dranesville since she started back in October! She's always willing to help and is so caring with all the students no matter the grade or class! She's always stepping in to cover classes if someone is out and really goes the extra mile. Dranesville is so lucky to have her here!"

- Caitlin Lacy, Dranesville ES

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Ana Arias, Vienna ES

"Ana goes so far above and beyond to make VES a positive, cheerful place to learn and work. She is ALWAYS smiling! As she works in the front office, she is the first point of contact for our school. She greets every person as if she's so excited to see them. She also assists our students at lunch and cheerfully greets every student with a smile. She makes the extra effort to make them smile as they enter the cafeteria. She goes out of her way to show gratitude to staff members as well. Despite having a hectic job, Ana manages to stay positive and cheerful every moment of the day. Her demeanor reminds me of the huge impact a positive attitude can have on everyone around you. She is a wonderful role model for our students and for us. We are SO lucky to have Ana at VES!"

- Christine Sheehan, Vienna ES

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Elena James, Carson MS

"It is difficult to even know where to begin telling about Mrs. Elena James for there is so much good to mention. I have been fortunate to be a colleague of Elena's for many years now. She is beyond a colleague, she is a life-long friend and one of my chosen family. She truly embodies the FCPS Cares philosophy in everything she does. Elena is Rachel Carson's ESOL department chair, an exemplary teacher, a beyond wonderful co-teacher in our immersed ESOL/Gen Education class, a phenomenal advocate for our students, an administrator who does an amazing job with all the scheduling, testing, and individualized planning meetings. She is truly Wonder Woman, or, perhaps, a Super Teacher! As great as Elena is with all of her professional responsibilities, what makes her so special is her genuine heart and caring personality. She has become my mentor over the years. Whenever, I am stressed, upset, or worried about something, Elena is there to help calm, put things in perspective, and coach. When I am unable to talk to her, I ask myself, "What would Elena do/say?" Elena James goes beyond. She also helps with the Garden Club, Going Green Club, Science, after-school remediation, celebrations, team events, etc. She ensures that each and every one of our ESOL students has a sense of belonging within our school community, from the first day they arrive (whether at the start of the school year or newly joining school midyear). She works with student families. Every November, along with her department, she showcases an amazing night of culture and food for our parents (ESOL Family Showcase). Seeing the pride in the eyes of the parents as they watch their children present about their cultures is a sight to behold. Nervous middle school parents breathe a sigh of relief when they see how happy their children are and how much they have achieved in a short couple of months. In the Spring, Elena takes our students on a trip to the Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum as she continues to help build background knowledge and experiences for our students. As much as Elena does her best for her students to do well, she does the same for teachers. She has been there to advocate for me, help write letters of recommendations, and support me in many professional opportunities. A very recent example of how Elena cares is when I needed to do a presentation at the county-wide in-service. I asked her to review my presentation and give me feedback. Not only did she help give feedback, but she also added appropriate ESOL examples for my PowerPoint; but wait, she did this on Super Bowl weekend! That is a true friend and colleague! From an amazing teacher, colleague, friend, and family, I could not think of a better example of the FCPS Cares."

- Moosa Shah, Carson MS

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Chelsea Downing, Canterbury Woods ES

"I had her for fourth-grade and she was the best teacher anyone could have!"

- an FCPS student

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Lori Hershey, Gatehouse Administration Center

"Lori Hershey does an outstanding job handling the student transfer process. She is always accessible and offers great support for the many questions and requests she receives. She truly understands her role and recently explained the newer online process with such clarity and showed us how the new system is user-friendly."

- Sharon Eisenberg, Franklin MS

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Deb You, McLean HS

"There isn't just one specific day that Ms. You supports her students, my own child, and me as a parent. She makes herself available to her students, counsels them on making good choices and decisions, answers all of my tough questions (I'm the teacher mom!), and congratulates and builds my son's self-esteem at any chance she gets. Now, she is a counselor to both my senior son and my freshman daughter. She has been incredible in proactively designing an appropriate 504b plan for my children, communicating their needs with the teachers and me. As a result of her dedication, her strategic support, and whatever magic she wrote on college recommendations, so far, my son is 5-for-5. Five admission letters to top tier universities and 5 full scholarships! Kudos and thank you to Ms. You."

- a McLean HS parent

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Cyril Murray, Hayfield ES

"After one of the January snows, my kids saw Mr. Murray at school working hard clearing snow from the sidewalks and parking lots making it possible for the children to get back to school. My kids were not only excited to see him but were thankful and appreciative of his hard work to make things better at school. They also told me how much Mr. Murray does to help the children, especially at lunchtime. Thank you, Mr. Murray, for showing your Hawk pride, going above and beyond every day no matter the weather, but showing our little Hawks how much all the little things matter. You are a great example for all our kids!"

- a Hayfield ES parent

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Carrie Pratt, Armstrong ES

"Dr. Pratt goes above and beyond to ensure students are benefiting from all forms of technology and current best practices by sharing the information with the Armstrong teachers. She works tirelessly on all tasks. Thank you for all your efforts."

- Alicia Fyfe, Sprague Technology Center

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Gunjan Sapkota, Willow Springs ES

"Ms. G has been with us since last year. She started out as a long-term sub and is now an IA this year with special ed. A student was experiencing a medical emergency in her classroom and the lead teacher had left for the afternoon. Ms. G did a phenomenal job of clearing the classroom, keeping time track of the seizure, explaining to the School Health Aide and EMS events prior to the medical emergency and remained calm the entire time. Her warm presence and dedication with all of her students is greatly appreciated."

- Renata Claudio, Willow Springs ES

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Rachal Edwards, Stephanie Goodwin, and Jenn Dragonetti, Rose Hill ES

"Today, right before my students arrived, I got a very intense pain in my right lower leg. I could not walk. Stephanie and Jenn immediately came my aid. They rolled me back into my classroom. They made sure I was okay. Rachal is one of our administrators. She immediately sprang into action getting medical attention for me. My teammates took care of my students and made it so I didn't have to worry about a thing. I haven't had something like this happen to me in 31 years at Rose Hill. I am blessed to call them not only my colleagues but more importantly, my family. I love Rose Hill! Many more staff helped and have texted me throughout the day, checking up on me. I am one lucky FCPS employee to work in a school where people care about you so much!"

- Danny Adams, Rose Hill ES

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Danielle Powers, Willow Oaks Administration Center

"Danielle Powers was able to provide for me a most effective solution for removing library items from old library accounts. Danielle saved us time! We were able to get through one account with 115 items quite quickly. We were dreading this time-consuming task but Danielle's solution made it MUCH easier. THANK YOU, Danielle, for your support and solution. South County librarians appreciate YOU."

- Lisa Muir, South County HS

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Jen Cortesi, Lake Braddock SS

"I wanted to take a moment to recognize Jen Cortesi, our fearless MS Science Olympiad sponsor/leader. Jen took on this new role this year and ran with it! I am extremely impressed with how organized, positive and invested she is with this club. This specific club meets weekly and competes over multiple weekends. Jen goes above and beyond for our students and school and I am grateful to work alongside someone like her. Jen, you make a difference! Keep up the great work!"

- Alexandra Bryan, Lake Braddock SS

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Warren Jeffries, Woodson IT

"Suddenly, the school lost power to all phones & the UPS was beeping. Warren came and restored the electricity via emergency power receptacle. He continually monitored to make sure that UPS was charging, and, if not, promised to replace the UPS. Thank you, Warren."

- Dilip Sheth, Gatehouse Administration Center

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David A. Walker, Lake Braddock SS

"I have now been employed at Lake Braddock since October 2012 (immediately after I retired from the Army). In the time I have been here, Mr. Walker constantly offers assistance to teachers and students alike. Whenever I have had an issue pertaining to grade book setup or in need of an answer pertaining to FCPS policies and the best way to negotiate an issue, he has provided excellent advice and assistance. It's also fair to mention that he has been employed with FCPS since 1988 and that speaks volumes of his loyalty and commitment to FCPS. It's important to recognize fine employees like Mr. Walker."

- Sherman Wiles, Lake Braddock SS

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Elshedai Lemeneh, Adrienne Valosio-Robinson, and Marvin Carthon, Willow Oaks Administration Center

"Kudos to EFEO teachers at Falls Church High School for successfully piloting a work-based learning project for your students with National Technical Information Service (NTIS).  We appreciate the extra efforts you put into creating this opportunity for your students. NTIS is thrilled with the quality of microfiche digital scans. Thank you for providing students with meaningful and authentic work experiences and for building relationships with employers in the community."

- Sarah Blake, Willow Oaks Administration Center

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Michele Karabin, Willow Oaks Administration Center

"Michele has been a continual support throughout the school year. As an Employment Transition Representative, she works tirelessly to connect students to post-secondary services and internship opportunities. She shows genuine care for student interests and goals. I am grateful to have her on the team!"

- Victoria Morrow, Mount Vernon HS

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Nicole Wheeler, Lorton Transportation Center

"Nicole has been a continuous support to the MVHS STEP program. STEP serves students who are ages 18-22 with full-time employment and/or internship opportunities and transportation is vital for program success. Students use FCPS shuttles daily to travel to and from their community-based opportunities and with that comes many factors that change unexpectedly. Nicole has been readily available to help the STEP team address daily student changes and alterations to drop off/pickup locations. Nicole has also been professional to help address teacher errors in shuttle update notifications. Nicole and her team have been flexible and work to meet the needs of the students. I am grateful for her support!"

- Victoria Morrow, Mount Vernon HS

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Tammy Parker, Lorton  Transportation Center

"Tammy has been a great support to the STEP program throughout the entire school year. The STEP program serves students ages 18 - 22 whose post-secondary goal is employment. The STEP program provides full-time internship opportunities for their students and transportation is vital to the success of the program. Tammy has worked to help the STEP teacher team accommodate schedule changes and to pursue new opportunities by providing the transportation necessary on short notice. Tammy has continually been supportive and has helped provide the best services possible. I am grateful for her support!"

- Victoria Morrow, Mount Vernon HS

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Emmanuel Bonhomme, Willow Oaks Administration Center

"Psychometrician, wow, I love the ring of that! If you haven’t met Emmanuel then you should. For some, the title may feel intimidating, but he is totally the opposite. I really appreciated his support and tips as I was compiling and calculating using different formulas to ensure I am on track. He helped with some short cuts to create the data I needed to inform my stakeholder. He is an empathetic listener. I’m extremely fortunate and grateful for Emmanuel’s continued support!"

- Shilpi Patel, Willow Oaks Administration Center

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Kelly Quinn Halpin, Nahir Ortiz Martinez, Caroline Mickelson, Catherine Matthews, Pamela Johnson, and Gina Amenta, Groveton ES

"Thank you all for a thoughtful and engaging math professional development on building metacognition and discourse in math. Ms. Halpin and Ms. Amenta provided engaging and targeted strategies as well as number sense routines to support the third-grade team. The third-grade team actively participated and had powerful conversations on how to support all learners in the classroom. Third-grade rocks!"

- Francoise Casablanca, Groveton ES

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Jennie Smith, Bull Run Early Childhood Center

"Jennie went above and beyond to share her expertise with a group of early childhood teachers during a planning meeting. Jennie was the guest speaker and presented detailed lesson plans to teachers. Most importantly, she shared the process and steps needed to develop a high-quality lesson plan for young learners using the Early Childhood Program of Studies. Information shared gave the teachers a platform to create their own lesson plans in the future. Jennie not only shared her expertise, but she also empowered and gave the teachers the tools to enhance their own planning skills. Thank you Jennie for all that you do for early childhood special education community."

- Leydi Uoy, Bull Run Early Childhood Center

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Beth Brickhouse, Greenbriar East ES

"Beth has been and is always so kind and helpful. She always has a smile and only pleasant things to say. Beth always brings a smile to my face! So thankful to work with her!"

- Lilly Shin, Greenbriar East ES

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Maral Dayian, McNair ES

"Maral (Mary) goes above and beyond the call of duty every day, not only for our classroom and students but for the teachers she works with. I, as the teacher, forgot an item I needed for a classroom activity and she insisted she would get it during her lunch break! I tried to talk her out of it, but there was no changing her mind. This is exactly how she is, every day. Not only does she show an exorbitant amount of love and care for our students every day, but she also ensures I feel the same. She is an amazing human being, teacher, and colleague!"

- Jinie Kang, McNair ES

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Gina Denney, Shrevewood ES

"Just a shout out to Gina Denney for her reassuring and welcoming contribution to our parent discussion during the PTA meeting. As a parent, it is so lovely to experience warm partnership with teachers who are so engaged in the school community!"

- a Shrevewood ES parent

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Andi Manley, Newington Forest ES

"Ms. Manley continues to go above-and-beyond for my son. This school year, she has worked diligently to support my son in ensuring he gets the teaching he needs and the accountability he requires to become more independent and we’ve seen the growth!  When his dog had to leave the family, she slipped him a quiet, kind note that really helped him make it through an emotional day.  And when he created an impressive poem, she made sure to share it with us immediately so we could celebrate his accomplishments with him.  Thanks to Ms. Manley for all she does, every day, for my child!"

- a Newington Forest ES parent

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Kristin Smoot, Mary Bernau, Danielle Canning, and Winona Mantelli, Groveton ES

"Special thanks to Kristin Smoot, Mary Bernau, Danielle Canning, and Winona Mantelli for their advocacy for their Young Scholars students and for generating Level IV Advanced Academic Program referrals for them. These referrals were teacher-generated and evidence of their advocacy and belief in equity and access to rigor for all their students. Level IV referrals are a time-consuming process, requiring many hours to generate the referral, work samples, and teacher narratives. Also, this is additional time out of the classroom from the referring teacher for the screening process. This kind of time commitment does not go unnoticed. All students benefit with advocates like Mrs. Smoot, Mrs. Bernau, Ms. Canning, and Ms. Mantelli."

- Kevin Morris, Groveton ES

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Stella ZoccoliPerez, Lake Braddock SS

"Our parent liaison, Stella ZoccoliPerez, is truly a GEM! She has such great rapport with our Spanish-speaking families and works collaboratively with the school staff to support our families. Stella is professional, knowledgeable, approachable, and always goes above and beyond. We wish she could be at LBSS full time. Thank you, Stella, for all your dedication and support."

- Walena Haider, Lake Braddock SS

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Judy Lindsay, Laurel Ridge ES

"On 6 February, our daughter, a 3rd-grader at Laurel Ridge Elementary, choked on some food in the school cafeteria. One of her friends at the table alerted Ms. Lindsey, a dining room assistant at Laurel Ridge who responded and helped our daughter remove the piece of food upon which she was choking. We want to thank FCPS employee Ms. Lindsey for her quick action and to recognize she potentially prevented what could have been a tragic outcome."

- a Laurel Ridge ES parent

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Lizardo Santos, Olde Creek ES

"I wanted to take a few minutes to acknowledge that Mr. Santos is doing a great job and was extremely helpful. I’m in the military and new to the area; I came into school a few weeks ago to ask for assistance in entering my son, into the German immersion lottery at Orange Hunt Elementary School. Being that we are zoned in Olde Creek Elementary School and that we have to apply to the lottery, Mr. Santos efficiently and effectively assisted me with the requisite paperwork and processed the documents quickly. Furthermore, he followed up with multiple emails ensuring that my newly established SIS account was correct. I was able to enter my son into the German immersion lottery seamlessly. I know customer service recognition frequently gets lost among the daily hustle, but I just wanted to let you know that he is doing a great job and is an asset to your organization."

- an Olde Creek ES parent

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Melaney Mackin, Silverbrook ES

"In the recent weeks, Silverbrook has gone through many changes as we are preparing for a huge renovation. Dr. Mackin has exhibited a great sense of focus, support, and patience during this time and it is evident that she is committed to maintaining a safe and healthy environment for our school community. Dr. Mackin has shown a great sense of order and control during this somewhat hectic time and has managed to address concerns of not only teachers and parents, but community members as well. Kudos to Dr. Mackin for keeping the learning momentum going with a smile!"

- Carmen Pangelinan, Silverbrook ES

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Natasha Saunders, Willow Oaks Administration Center

"Natasha has been instrumental in supporting our instructional program at Montrose ALC. She has coached, collaborated and co-taught with our teachers and offers timely feedback and support! Her constant support has been meaningful and worthwhile.  She is working to change the lives of our students through building our teaching capacity!"

- Erin Whatley, Montrose ALC

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Catherine Fleury, Lake Braddock SS

"Catherine is a thoughtful and innovative educator. Her flexibility and collaborative nature helped make a challenge middle school research project a success. I learned so much from teaching with her and will take many of her strategies with me in future work. I look forward to working with her again!"

- Sarah Pevner, Lake Braddock SS

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Dana Gorman, Lake Braddock SS

"As a librarian new to the secondary school environment, I was nervous to take on a big middle school research project. Dana Gorman and I were partnered together, and our collaborative experience was enriching and valuable. She is an absolutely amazing English teacher, and her generosity and flexibility helped make a complicated project absolutely satisfying. I look forward to our next project!"

- Sarah Pevner, Lake Braddock SS

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Samantha Vivian-Beck, Twain MS  

"Ms. VB is exceptional!  She has created and manages the mentoring program called "RISE" at Twain Middle School. She encourages students and staff to join RISE and she does an incredible job of matching personalities and interests!  The once a month meeting, which occurs every month for the school year, is something to look forward to because she makes it so much fun!  It could be a Scavenger Hunt that takes you all around the building or an Escape Room that builds teamwork!  Ms. VB seems to be a boundless source of ideas and energy to organize these events for 60 or more students and their mentors.  Both students and staff reap the benefits! The more our students feel connected to the school--the better their attendance and motivation for school work. Ms. VB is impacting the students' lives in ways they do not even realize!"

- Cheryl Hunsberger, Willow Oaks Administration Center

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Abdelkader Lamrabet, Edison Support Center

"The saying goes if you see something, say something. That is exactly what our HVAC specialist, Kader did. While working at our building, Kader noticed someone in our parking lot writing down a staff member's license plate number. He spoke to the individual, but they did not respond to him. Kader came to the office and immediately reported the situation. We found out that the individual was a car insurance appraiser checking on a claim. Thank you, Kader, for worrying about the safety and security of our staff and students. We appreciate you going above and beyond!"

- Erika Aspuria, Lynbrook ES

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Ana Coleman, Daniels Run ES

"Ana Coleman is an important part of the Daniels Run Staff. When a few of us were unexpectedly in need of a translator, she jumped right in to support the staff and family. She was kind, warm, and quickly built a connection with the family. Her support was invaluable and we are grateful for her. When everyone jumps in to do what is best for families, our children have the environment to be their very best self. Thank you for being part of that village Ana!"

- Helai Mahfus, Michelle Kamiyama, and Zoya Lucas, Daniels Run ES

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Jessica Busch, Cherry Run ES

"Miss Busch is truly an amazing Kindergarten teacher. Our child has had so much going on this year requiring extra attention and care. Miss Busch has not only been incredibly understanding, but she has also gone out of her way to make sure everything our child needs is taken care of. She has even coordinated closely with all the specials teachers and office to ensure everyone is on the same page. To give you an idea of how Miss Busch goes above and beyond in her care, one morning Miss Busch knew by just looking at our child walk in from SACC that our child wasn't feeling well and took action immediately. Another time when our child tripped and fell and had to the go to the ER, Miss Busch stayed with our child until we got there. Miss Busch also called and left our child a sweet voicemail saying to feel better and come back soon that the class missed our child. As parents, knowing our child is in such an attentive and caring environment helps ease our worries tremendously. We really can't say enough good things about Miss Busch. We truly feel very lucky to have her as a teacher for our child."

- a Cherry Run ES parent

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LaToya Barnes, Great Falls ES

"Ms. Barns is a crucial part of the Great Falls Elementary School Team. She can be seen all over the building in many different roles. It is truly amazing to see her wear so many hats on a daily basis. She is committed to student success and has formed a bond with all of the students she works with. She is a phenomenal teacher, and the students and staff are very lucky to have her."

- anonymous

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Kevin Cave, Herndon Support Center

"Kevin has always been a kind and caring support team member. He responds to all of our school's emergency work orders in such a timely manner. When he is here at school, he is always pleasant to the students and staff. He tries so hard to be "invisible" when in classrooms and tries hard not to interrupt the classroom instruction going on. I know that when I complete a work order for our HVAC units, Kevin will respond and will do his best to get things working again. It is always a pleasure to see Kevin in our building."

- Mary Thomson-Martin, Greenbriar East ES

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Jill Donnelly, Cooper MS

"Jill was the counselor leading the coordination of our "On a Roll" Awards. The "On a Roll" Awards recognize students who have shown significant growth in a particular class, someone who has greatly improved, someone who has shown perseverance or someone who has just been “on a roll” from the start. Over 50 students were recognized and received personalized awards detailing why their teacher nominated them!"

- Dana Scabis, Cooper MS

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Jessica Niebuhr, Christopher Overbeck, and Alison Mackey, Sandburg MS

"I want to recognize and sincerely thank you for your incredible support and assistance during my time at Sandburg. I just know that I could not have done this job without you, and for that, I am extremely grateful."

- Jonathan Pick, Long-term Substitute Teacher, Sandburg MS

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Monique Blunder, Willow Oaks Administration Center

"Monique Blunder is a Procedural Support Liaison with the West Springfield Pyramid. She is very dedicated to her profession and works hard to assist and support the students, school teams, and families. Her knowledge, positive attitude, and willingness to collaborate makes her a valuable asset to those in Region 4 and to the FCPS community."

- Ashley Enright, Willow Oaks Administration Center

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Beth Rockett, Stone MS

"Mrs. Rockett has consistently encouraged and challenged my daughter. She has stayed after school every single Wednesday and has provided help and knowledge while patiently working with her and accessing her individual needs. Mrs. Rockett is an exemplary educator who has shown a true passion for student success."

- a Stone MS parent

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Lilly Shin, Greenbriar East ES

"We love the counselors at GBE and love the way they care for each student. Ms. Shin has gone above and beyond to empower my daughter at school and reached out to our family with certain positive ways our daughter has helped others at school. It warms our hearts that she personally cares for each of her students and their positive mindset. Thank you."

- a Greenbriar East parent

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Jennifer Pazmino, Willow Oaks Administration Center

"Jennifer Pazmino did an excellent job presenting at the county-wide in service for the Early Childhood Special Education Program. She went above and beyond by collaborating with another colleague to make sure the material and information presented met all educators needs. She presented practical ideas on how to adapt children's books to support our very young learners. Jennifer’s level of expertise was apparent during her presentation as she presented the information masterfully and answered all questions with knowledge and confidence."

- Denise Forrest, Willow Oaks Administration Center

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Scott Darwin and Jennifer Bury, Lake Braddock SS

"I wanted to take a moment to pass along a well-deserved kudos to Scott Darwin and Jennifer Bury, our fantastic Assessment Coaches. Due to the recent school delays and closings, this Bruin duo had to reschedule WIDA testing. This means rescheduling proctors, holdovers, getting updated information out to students and staff, among many, many other items. They ROCKED our first batch of testing for the school year with an extremely upbeat attitude and smile on their face. I am super impressed with how detailed the communication was and how they made sure every student taking the test and staff member helping proctor knew exactly where to be/what to do without any question. Scott and Jennifer, if you felt like you were running around like crazy, no one could tell! To a job well done!"

- Alexandra Bryan, Lake Braddock SS

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Katie Fiese and Megan Shapiro, Mason Crest ES

"Katie Fiese and Megan Shapiro, Mason Crest ES ECCB teachers, shared action research results around the use of adapted read aloud and guided play to increase oral language skills at the county-wide in service for the Early Childhood Special Education Program. Their intentional instructional practices resulted in increased oral language skills for early childhood special education students ages 2-5 years old. They shared these practices with our staff through classroom video, adapted materials and books, and modeling of high leverage practices. They collaborated to ensure the material and information presented met all educators needs.  Their peers left the in service with renewed energy and new ideas to adapt and share literacy activities with students throughout the school day. Thank you, Katie and Megan. The work you shared with our teachers will have an exponential impact on our students' literacy, language, and social skills!"

- Christie Johnson, Dunn Loring Center

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Erica McGrath, Waples Mill ES

"Erica went above and beyond in collaborating with another preschool staff member to deliver a meaningful and applicable presentation at the county-wide in service for the Early Childhood Special Education Program. She and her colleague worked hard to collect materials and strategies to be used with the youngest learners. ECSE faculty gained many practical ideas on how to adapt read aloud to be meaningful to very young children. Erica’s level of expertise was apparent during her presentation as she presented the information in a very engaging manner and supported teacher understanding with demonstrations and samples."

- Joni Smith, Virginia Hills Early Childhood Center

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Beth Egbert, Halley ES

"Beth went above and beyond in collaborating with another preschool staff member to deliver a meaningful and applicable presentation at the county-wide in service for the Early Childhood Special Education Program. She and her colleague worked hard to collect materials and strategies to be used with the youngest learners. ECSE faculty gained many practical ideas on how to adapt read aloud to be meaningful to very young children. Beth’s level of expertise was apparent during her presentation as she presented the information in a very engaging manner and supported teacher understanding with demonstrations and samples."

- Joni Smith, Virginia Hills Early Childhood Center

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Abdelhafid Aitdaoua, Stonecroft Transportation

"On a recent snowy afternoon, Mr. Abdelhafid Aitdaoua went above and beyond the duties of an FCPS school bus driver. While awaiting student dismissal at Eagle View Elementary School, Mr. Aitdaoua noticed that there was still a great deal of snow and ice from the curb to his bus doors where students would need to walk to load the bus. Mr. Aitdaoua removed a snow shovel kept in his bus and began shoveling and removing snow and ice to create a safety path from the sidewalk, down to the doors of his bus. He then continued shoveling safety paths for each of the remaining buses in the line-up. When asked why, he simply stated that “he was concerned for the safety of the students, fellow drivers and attendants, and school faculty. He wanted to make sure “no one would slip and fall.” His dedication and commitment to the safety of FCPS students as well as that of his fellow drivers, attendants, and school staff, are both inspiring and motivating. His actions, both then, and now, represent a true FCPS caring employee.

- Karen Miller, Stonecroft Transportation

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Lisa Gunther, Justice HS

"The winter in-service day is a busy, fun, and collaborative day of learning. High School Social Studies partnered with librarians this year around using inquiry in social studies teaching. In addition, US history teachers began to develop performance-based assessments. Lisa Gunther was instrumental in the success of both of these simultaneous events. Lisa shared her expertise with Guided Inquiry with social studies teachers. She also hosted our PBA cohort at the library at Justice HS. By doing so, she was willing to relocate her inquiry workshop. This allowed the PBA cohort, which will ultimately impact teaching and learning in social studies across schools, to launch successfully.  For her flexibility, knowledge, and support, I am extremely grateful!"

- Craig Perrier, Willow Oaks Administration Center

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Christy Ryder, Oak Hill ES

"My son is in 3rd-grade and Mrs. Ryder has worked with him over the past 3 years to help him with several issues. She is always so kind and she goes out of her way to make the students feel special. This week has been a hard one for my son and she has been so encouraging to him and has helped him in various ways. She always shows a genuine caring heart for the students."

- an Oak View ES parent

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Christy Ryder, Oak Hill ES

"Mrs. Ryder is always available to answer our questions and she responds right away when we reach out to her. She helps us when we're struggling by talking with us and giving us advice. She's always kind and caring toward all her students. She teaches us new things that are not school subjects. We love and appreciate Mrs. Ryder!"

- Nikki Wright, Oak Hill ES

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Jan Garcia, Pimmit Hills Center

"Jan empowers her ACE Leadership colleagues with weekly reports of data to empower them to make data-driven decisions that have produced significant improvement and strengthening of ACE programming."

- Claire Silva, Willow Oaks Administration Center

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Emily Cheng, Frost MS

"A student dropped off an FLE opt-out form to the main office, but it was missing the student name. Emily took the time to go through every course selection sheet, with parent signatures, to compare the signature on the opt-out form. She was able to find the student and provide the information to the teacher! This was above and beyond, but not surprising as she spends her downtime double-checking to make sure all student records are accurate and complete. It is this type of dedication that makes her an outstanding employee. We are so thankful for her at Frost MS!"

- Danielle Hornbecker, Frost MS

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Guery Cespedes, David Deskins, Felicia Boateng, Emma Aguirre, Jung Ahn, Hannah Ampong, Phuoc Bui, Candida Del Cid, Huy Dinh, Yun Han, Tung Hoang, Eun Kang, Rene Mercado, Juan Miranda, Johnny Moore, Dinh Nguyen, Minh Nguyen, Reina Segovia, Mi Song and Suong Tram, Lake Braddock SS

"I am writing to offer my sincere thanks to Lake Braddock's custodial staff. A clean and safe school environment is essential to support teaching and learning. LB's hardworking, devoted, and caring custodians are at the heart of that mission and it is most appropriate that their exemplary efforts be recognized. I am most grateful for all that they do."

- Patrick Ward, Lake Braddock SS

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Luann Hoyseth, Westfield HS

"Ms. Hoyseth has supported both of my children with a high level of integrity, acceptance, and kindness. Her warm approach to getting to know her students and their families builds a trusting relationship from the very first conversation. Because she builds relationships,  she is able to share information in an honest, open-minded way to support student growth. Despite the situation, she remains optimistic in a child's ability to grow and learn."

- a Westfield HS parent

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Christy Ryder, Oak Hill ES

"Mrs. Ryder has been so supportive throughout some challenging times for both me and my daughter. Oak Hill has changed so much over the 10 years that we've been there. We have fabulous teachers and admin. When I came to Mrs. Ryder with my concerns, she understood my perspective.  We worked through options for my daughter.  Mrs. Ryder really, REALLY listens and is there for us. She's a huge proponent for Oak Hill and is dedicated to making it a better place for ALL the kids who go there."

- an Oak Hill ES parent

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Wanda Taylor, Elizabeth Obeng, Christian Santiago Beauchamp, Rachel Warbelow andRolanda Scriven, Groveton ES

"I am very proud of the collaborative work, dedication and positive mindset that the entire EAC team has demonstrated when supporting a new teacher and assisting with VAAP data collection. Keep up the great work!"

- Francoise Casablanca, Groveton ES

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Paul OkoOdoi and Nii Oko-Odoi, Sprague Technology Center

"Once again, Paul OkoOdoi and Nii OkoOdoi provided excellent support during our ESOL in-service on February 4 at South County HS. All the rooms were set up and the AV equipment worked seamlessly in the cafeteria. Thank you to both of you!"

- Evie Ifantides, Willow Oaks Administration Center

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Cassie Burk, Willow Oaks Administration Center

"Cassie, thank you for organizing our February special event. The Willow Oaks staff participated with anticipated excitement! We all appreciate you taking the time to put together such thoughtful prizes and for helping to foster a caring culture."

- Evie Ifantides, Willow Oaks Administration Center

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Jason Covey, Willow Oaks Administration Center

"Thank you, Jason, for taking the time and presenting the session entitled Using Technology to Enhance Student Talk, at the Elementary ESOL in-service at South County High School on February 4. Your presentation was informative, engaging, and thought-provoking. Teachers that completed the evaluation remarked on how your session introduced them to using Flipgrid and Wixie and how they are planning on incorporating both during this academic year. Thank you for sharing your time and expertise with our teachers."

- Evie Ifantides, Willow Oaks Administration Center

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Jean Witt, Freedom Hill ES

"Jean Witt shared her knowledge and expertise as she presented at the countywide in-service for the Early Childhood Special Education Program. Jean provided an engaging and practical presentation for teachers to help provide quality language arts instruction while incorporating movement in the early childhood classroom. The ideas and materials shared provided teachers with practical ways to incorporate early literacy throughout the day and gave great ideas on how to differentiate for all learners. It was evident that Jean has a passion for teaching and expertise that others benefit from. Thanks, Jean!"

- Erin Snell, Bull Run Early Childhood Center

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Diana Ree-Reeder, Willow Oaks Administration Center

"Mrs. Ree-Reeder supports our teachers and students with adaptive technology. Her greatest gift is providing access for students to communicate their knowledge and needs. This impacts students and families for life. This year, Diana began a professional development series for all educators to learn technologies giving students access to learning and may increase student engagement.  She is an expert in her field. At the core of her work, Diana makes us all better in our work with students."

- Jeannie Waters, Cherry Run ES

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Jennie Smith, Bull Run Early Childhood Center

"Ms. Smith always goes above and beyond for both the staff and families at Bull Run Early Childhood Center. She is patient, kind and empathetic with each family that she meets. She listens to families, offers community resources to families, and thinks of out of box idea to make the life of families with children with disabilities easier. Ms. Smith goes above and beyond her job duties to make the staff's jobs easier. She is willing to sit in IEPs, complete IEPs, do observations, make parent phone calls, schedule translators and help schools out with different types of families. These are duties are all outside her job duties. Ms. Smith is truly an asset to our program and continues to make the lives of families and staff easier each and every day! Thank you for all you do, Jennie!"

- Melissa Modarressi, Bull Run Early Childhood Center

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Marie Baroody, Bull Run Early Childhood Center

"Marie did an excellent job presenting at the county-wide in service for the Early Childhood Special Education Program. She went above and beyond by doing research and making sure the material and information presented met all educators’ needs. She presented practical ideas on how to intentionally expose preschoolers to print awareness throughout the day in various settings. Marie's level of expertise was apparent throughout her presentation as she presented the information masterfully and answered all questions with knowledge and confidence."

- Leydi Uoy, Bull Run Early Childhood Center

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Veronica Toms and Kathy Fenton, Bull Run Early Childhood Center

"Veronica and Kathy did an excellent job presenting at the county-wide in service for the Early Childhood Special Education Program. They went above and beyond by collaborating to make sure the material and information presented met all educators needs. They presented practical ideas on how to promote parent engagement during and after a resource session along with ways to support parents in accessing community resources. Their level of expertise was apparent during their presentation as they presented the information masterfully and answered all questions with knowledge and confidence."

- Leydi Uoy, Bull Run Early Childhood Center

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Rich Agosta, Frost MS

"Mr. Agosta volunteered to lead a session on Portrait of a Graduate traits for our staff-wide professional development day. Mr. Agosta met with a colleague, planned the session, and then delivered an informative and educational session to our teachers. We appreciate his efforts and contributions to the Frost staff!"

- Joe Berret, Frost MS

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Holly Biehl, South County HS

"Holly Biehl represents the type of staff member that is totally giving and willing to sacrifice for the greater good of a building. Not only did she give up her space for the use of our mini-faculty meetings over the course of two successive days (thus shutting down her operations in our school), but she also was a vital participant, facilitator, and supporter of her principal and her co-workers. I appreciate the efforts and the commitment Holly has displayed, and I am honored to work in a building with supporting and contributing members like her. Holly, you ROCK!"

- Gary Morris, South County HS

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Tony Demedici and Darryl Beans, Woodson IT

"Mr. Demedici and Mr. Beans quickly and efficiently came up with a solution to our AIPhone door dilemma. Our side door is often used by the elderly and handicapped to enter the TMPC but did not click loud enough or stay unlocked long enough to make it an easy access point. Mr. Demedici and Mr. Beans gave us multiple solutions to this issue and worked with us to determine the best possible solution. The door situation was solved within half a day. I'm blown away by their ability to work around a problem and find a solution in such a short time."

- Derek House, Sprague Center

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Miriam Bernal, Justice HS

"Last Friday, many of my students needed access to equipment for their IB Film projects. Since there was inclement weather, school was canceled, and I reached out to Miriam to see if she would be in the building and willing to assist. Miriam got back to me immediately and volunteered to help students pick up their requests for a period of several hours. I am so grateful to Miriam for going above and beyond the call of duty to help my students be successful on their Internal Assessment!"

- Jen Golobic, Justice HS

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Meghan Hyland Eddy, Lanier MS

"Meghan is an incredible support for other ESOL teachers and new department chairs. Meghan goes out of her way to support others and answers questions promptly and thoroughly. Meghan prioritizes students' needs and is an excellent demonstration of best practices in FCPS."

- Lauryn Golden, Rocky Run MS

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Ellen Giblin, Twain MS

"Ellen is a valuable member of the Mark Twain Community. She is professional, organized, and reliable in her work to support the special education department. She helps staff remain in compliance by scheduling and rescheduling numerous meetings and filing the appropriate paperwork. Mark Twain is lucky to have her."

Lisa Milman, Twain MS

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Kim Lacy, Sprague Technology Center

"Kim happily and efficiently helped me with an issue with text notifications that, to be honest, was mostly user error! The other option was to just follow us on Twitter, but I really just wanted my text notifications back! I attempted several calls to the Help Desk and even though I was frustrated, Kim happily helped and problem-solved with me until she found the issue (just a simple wrong entry) and saved my sanity! Thanks for problem-solving and not just putting a band-aid on the situation, Kim!"

- Veronica Bonaccorsy, Laurel Ridge ES

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Diane Campbell, Holmes MS

"Ms. Campbell is generous with her time in helping students with math and encouraging them to go beyond what they think they can do. Ms. Campbell stays after school to offer a math club and is very encouraging to all of her students. My daughter has come to really enjoy math and feel comfortable asking questions. She is much more confident in her math ability and is willing to try new areas of math."

- a Holmes MS parent

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Melanie Manikas, Cherry Run ES

"Mrs. Manikas is creating help videos of herself doing 4th-grade math and uploading it onto Google Classroom so that parents and kids can reference the different strategies she teaches when kids are at home doing homework. It’s been an invaluable resource."

- a Cherry Run ES parent

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Fiorella Ferrando, Riverside ES

"Ms. Ferrando has been such an amazing addition to not only our Early Childhood Team but for our school community. Fio's expertise and leadership extend beyond the classroom, as she provides professional development on pertinent topics to build other individuals’ professional knowledge and capacity. Most recently, she took the lead to facilitate a professional development centered around data collection and analysis for both teachers and instructional assistants. Her unique skill-sets, positivity, and professional knowledge are beneficial for all (students, teachers, parents, etc.) that work alongside her! She is an asset to our Riverside community!"

- Anna Macedonia, Riverside ES 

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Esther Baca, Beech Tree ES

"Esther always has a positive can-do attitude. She never shies away from a challenge and does what it takes to get the job done.  In this particular situation, Esther was willing to help out and assist another school that was without an administrative assistant (AA) for an extended period of time. Her efforts helped to ensure there was a smoother transition when the new AA started in the position."

- Tiffany Wood, Gatehouse Administration Center

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Cheryl Gannaway, South County HS

"Cheryl Gannaway led a group of students to the Fairfax County Courthouse to compete against 10 other local high schools. The coordinator wrote: “Your students’ performances were outstanding. Their professionalism, maturity, and grasp of the subject material never ceases to impress.” Our team was given a special congratulations for our defense team (only 2 teams received a
special congratulations. Cheryl routinely goes over and beyond by sponsoring these student activities and giving up her own weekends for these students."

- Mike Pflugrath, South County HS