FCPS Cares - February 2021

By Department of Human Resources
February 01, 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

Nisha Langhorne and Lindsey Fisher, Willow Oaks Admin Center and Langley HS

"Several months ago, Nishi and Lindsey created this incredible learning opportunity for FCPS SBTS - the SBTS Podcast Club. With all that is going on in schools, SBTS are often tasked with so much that we continue to grind forward and struggle to make the time for more learning and reflecting that will benefit not only ourselves but our colleagues and students in our schools. Nishi and Lindsey have created and built an opportunity and space for this kind of new learning and processing in the SBTS Podcast club. They are creating intentional gatherings, choosing podcasts that vary widely and expose us all to new learning, and facilitating these thoughtful opportunities regularly that help us all grow and improve. These podcast club invites arrive just at the time I need a moment to breathe and learn and refresh. I'm better able to support my colleagues and students and advocate for what matters after each of these because of the purposeful connection that they help us make:  Why do the ideas share matter to me? To my school?  To my wider community? I'm so grateful for the reimagining of learning and community that these two educators have created for us and I'm better because of it!"

- Margaret Sisler, Westfield HS

Region 1

Deana Dueno, Terraset ES

"Since school started, Mrs. Dueno has packaged up bags of books and hand-delivered to the kids from TES. She does this on her own accord, choosing books for all kids (we receive 10 per week), drives to everyone's home, drops them off with a smile and cheerful attitude, and then repeats this every single week. It's been amazing to have books to read for the kids all virtual throughout this pandemic. Her actions go above and beyond, and we are truly appreciative."

- a Terraset ES parent

Region 2

Stephanie Duffield, Haycock ES

"At the beginning of this year, I requested a conference to let Ms. Duffield, my daughter's language arts teacher to let her know that my daughter had a very rough year last year and had been bullied in the class. She had also lost a beloved pet cat over the summer. On top of all this, she was struggling with the digital learning format and all the COVID upheaval.  Ms. Duffield was exceedingly kind and promised to keep an eye on her (though she is not my daughter's homeroom teacher). I have been surprised and delighted to observe over the course of the year that Ms. Duffield has not only been true to her word but that she has really gone above and beyond the call of duty in checking in with my daughter and making her feel like she has a caring adult looking out for her at school. Throughout the year, she has periodically sent my daughter emails just to see how she is doing. In particular, at the beginning of the year, she checked in to see how she was doing with regard to missing her cat, which was super appreciated by my daughter. She has been keeping a close eye on her class "mood meter" and if my daughter feels sad, she almost always gets a note from Ms. Duffield asking if she can help. Ms. Duffield has also been going out of her way to encourage my daughter to speak up in class and provides her (and her classmates) a super safe and positive environment to share ideas.  Recently, my daughter was incredibly proud of herself after shared a poem she had written in class -- something she would have never done last year. Ms. Duffield must also be keeping a close eye on Friday parent feedback surveys as she immediately emailed me after I posted that my daughter was struggling to keep up with the technical demands of a monthly writing assignment (one my daughter had come to dread). Ms. Duffield had noticed in that survey that I also said that my daughter had been really excited about creative writing, but that she was squeezing this in before school because she didn't have time to do it in the afternoon given all her homework. Ms. Duffield reached out to me and suggested that my daughter substitute her creative writing for the monthly writing assignment. My daughter has since been writing like crazy and has just blossomed under the care and watchful eye of Ms. Duffield! We are so grateful she has given so much of her time during this crazy year to support and encourage our daughter -- it has meant the world to her."

- a Haycock ES parent

Region 3

Juliane Wines, Springfield Estates ES

"Mrs. Wines goes above and beyond for her students. She makes sure each student feels special and cared for. She also makes sure they understand the material and helps them grow. Throughout the pandemic, she has made considerable effort to reach out to her students and pass by their houses with small gifts for each holiday, a quick 1st day of school photo, driveway parent-teacher conferences, and just a wave from the car to say hello (all while remaining socially distanced of course). My child is very happy to be in Mrs. Wines' class this year and appreciates her constant love and support. We need more teachers like Mrs. Wines in our lives."

- a Springfield Estates ES parent

"Mrs. Wines shows a caring culture every single day of her life. Not only does she go above and beyond for her own students, but she constantly shows love and attention for her future and past students. She even creates a caring culture for students who never have her. Mrs. Wines does an amazing job making all of her coworkers feel included and loved. Her thoughtfulness in celebrating coworkers for all they do is constant and charming. Mrs. Wines even collects donated food and delivers it to the families in need in our school community."

- Christina Rice, Springfield Estates ES

Region 4

Claudia Dieguez, Lake Braddock SS

"A few weeks ago, I was working with one of my seniors on her college application. We were talking about her incredible growth over the past 4 years, and both of us noted how far she had come from an anxious, shy, struggling freshman. As we talked, we both brought up Claudia Dieguez. As the Sub school AA for my student, she was my student's safe place. She was supportive, encouraging, a sounding board, and a person who helped my student set goals to slowly overcome her significant social anxiety. I hope she knows how much my student appreciates her, and how much I appreciate all she has done for my students in Sub school 6."

- Jacquie Naughton, Lake Braddock SS

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Region 5

Isaac Bumgardner, Tina Tagliavia, and Terri Towle, Westfield HS (Pictured)

"The Westfield HS Activities team has gone above and beyond with winter sports.  They are incredible and have worked tirelessly to ensure student-athletes were safe and had a positive experience. In addition to adjusting to numerous schedule and regulation changes mid-season, this team has tackled live streaming of events, communication of events, and live stream links on our webpage and even taken on a play-by-play call for some games. They have recruited others to help but often can be found at school each and every evening, late into the evening, with a smile behind their masks, cheering on our student-athletes. Their endless work of making schedules work, ensuring safety, and live streaming of events means the world to our student-athletes and their families!"

- Margaret Sisler, Westfield HS

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Other FCPS Cares of the Month Recipients

Taylor Argue, Lemon Road ES

"Mrs. Argue is a very dedicated and responsive teacher - prompt response to any of my inquiries, proactive message with her observation, and regular weekly messages.  She sends very detailed Week-at-Glance emails with tons of useful information for us to stay informed and manage what to expect. She conducted a survey and offered Parent-Teacher Conference in the middle of the school year for parents to check in on our students and address parents' questions. I had one with her and had a great discussion and received useful information. We are very lucky to have her as our child's teacher."

- a Lemon Road ES parent

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Kristin Matus-Wells, Lake Braddock SS

"Kristin is such an asset to our Special Ed department and we are very lucky to have her!  She has been incredibly helpful in answering questions and providing information that we will need to start back to school, and she always makes time to listen to any concerns.  I have gone to her on numerous occasions over the last few weeks and without fail she has been able to help in one way or another.  Lastly, she is a fundamentally cheerful person and a pleasure to be around! Thank you, Kristin, for all you do!"

- Kari Wells, Lake Braddock SS

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Meredith Ayala, West Potomac HS

"Meredith Ayala joined West Potomac Academy as our counselor on March 13, 2020, the first day we went virtual. That did not stop her from delving into the job one hundred percent. She works with students, teachers, schedules, and other parts of her job relentlessly and with passion. Virtually she successfully enrolled students in NTHS, awarded students for their academic success, worked on the RTS schedule, and more. She is never too busy to meet with a student/teacher if called to."

 - Nancy Indelicato, West Potomac HS

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Laura Organek, Sprague Technology Center

"Laura Organek has helped me on several occasions to fix IT issues that I have had. Every time an issue arises, she is extremely gracious in the way she goes about solving the problem, no problem is too small or too big. This last IT issue I had was with SIS, and when I wrote her an e-mail asking for clarity on what to write on the Request IT, she immediately wrote back and asked me to call her when I had a chance. She patiently fixed my issue within seconds of logging in. Laura makes one aspect of the virtual world easy so there is one less thing to worry about!"

 - Nancy Indelicato, West Potomac HS

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Stephanie Almquist, Herndon ES

"Stephanie Almquist goes above and beyond day in and day out. She is super supportive, caring, and a role model to all. Her leadership style is respected and promotes smooth school functioning and student achievement. I feel valued and appreciated and could not be happier to work with her!"

- Danielle Reese, Herndon ES

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Aaron Lam, Franklin MS

"I would like to submit a long-overdue FCPS Cares to recognize Senor Aaron Lam from Franklin Middle School for his outstanding work teaching Spanish not only this year during a challenging pandemic, but also over the course of the last few years. My oldest son had the pleasure of having Senor Lam teach him Spanish 2 when he was in 8th grade 3 years ago. I still remember meeting Senor Lam for the first time at back-to-school night and being impressed by the high level of enthusiasm he showed for teaching Spanish. When you speak to him, his love for the Spanish language and teaching is palpable. Senor Lam did a truly exemplary job of preparing my son to continue Spanish at Chantilly High School. My son is not one to frequently talk about past teachers, but several times over the last 3 years, he has specifically mentioned at the family dinner table what an outstanding teacher Mr. Lam was and that he wished Mr. Lam could continue as his teacher in high school."

- a Franklin MS parent

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Rosemary Nevin, Terra-Centre ES

"Ms. Rosemary Nevin puts superhuman effort into making every school day special and every school year memorable in the very best way. I thought that Ms. Nevin was a fantastic kindergarten teacher to my older son two years ago under ordinary circumstances.  Always enthusiastic, she taught life skills like perseverance and resilience in addition to the curriculum, tailored lessons to challenge individual students, led after-school clubs like Odyssey of the Mind and Science Club, and even showed her support for students by attending their sports games and celebrations on the weekends. This year, watching Ms. Nevin teach my younger son under tremendously unusual circumstances, I can see how exceptional she really is.  Kindergarten must be one of the toughest classes to teach virtually because the young students have no experience with elementary school, let alone computers. Nevertheless, Ms. Nevin handles it all like a pro. She displays extraordinary patience and grace under pressure whenever technology (or a student) acts up.  Her superhero alter ego, “Zero the Hero,” flies to every student’s house with a bag of surprises, even in bad weather.  She notices when students are upset and takes the time to speak with them one-on-one. She even points out to the kids when she makes mistakes or faces difficulties so that she can model a positive attitude and show them that even adults need to be resilient. I am learning a lot from her!  And now, teaching via the hybrid model, she is somehow juggling students at home and at school and still manages it all with a smile. Going “above and beyond” does not come close to describing the effort she must put into her work. I don’t know how she does it, but I am in awe of her.  I will always be grateful to Ms. Nevin for giving my sons such a wonderful educational foundation."

- a Terra-Centre ES parent

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Jude Welling Barrows, Transition Support Resource Center - Alexandria

"Jude Welling Barrows goes above and beyond for the staff, students, and parents of TSRC Alexandria. She serves as a math teacher, coach, and motivator for her students, while simultaneously supporting staff and families as a Spanish-speaking translator/interpreter. She is a valuable member of not only her school site but also Interagency Alternative Schools. Jude has a wealth of experience coaxing resiliency and follows through with the most unsuccessful math students. She also serves as Math Chair and gives her time to strategizing the most equitable plan to make sure every student in IAS is successful. No exceptions! She is a tattooed beacon of hope for staff, students, and families!"

- Howard Brewer, Transition Support Resource Center - Alexandria

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Martha Hellman and Sharon Baetcke, Lees Corner ES

"Mrs. Hellman and Mrs. Baetcke worked so hard to make Valentine's Day special virtually.  They collected and distributed Valentines from kids. They had great activities planned. The kids had a blast! They work tirelessly every day. This is just one of many days that really stood out!"

- a Lees Corner ES parent

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Tony DiBari and Scott Darwin, Lake Braddock SS

"Scott Darwin and Tony DiBari have been amazing support systems throughout this school year. Both Mr. Darwin and Mr. DiBari have come directly to my classroom to discuss concerns and troubleshoot and share ideas. They've held virtual office hours to model different activities and instructional scaffolds, as well as to discuss the needs of singular teachers and students. They've asked for and listened to our requests regarding how this situation can be made easier. There are constant check-ins via email, and reassurances that they believe and trust in us, and they recognize how hard we're working. Those words have been soothing and uplifting this year in particular. I truly appreciate the positivity and realism they've brought forth this year."

- Ashley Elliott, Lake Braddock SS

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Anthony Harris, Frost MS

"Anthony lead a staff meeting today to gear back up for students next week. He spoke about relationships, caring, patience, and how much we need each other. He spoke with kindness and respect to every staff member. He acknowledged concerns, stress, and newness of all of this. He constantly reminds us that we are a team, students need us, and we are #OneFrost!"

- Ann Hardman, Frost MS

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Rory McGlinnen, Xiara Davis, Kathleen Flasco, Nikki Warren, Erin Turner, and Lauren Jones, Westfield HS

"These incredible teacher leaders are part of our Learning Innovation and Professional Learning Team (LIT/PD team) and these folks have gone above and beyond. As we worked to plan PD that met the needs of our staff and prepared them for Concurrent Instruction, we designed a blend of asynchronous modules (filled with content from the PD Guidebook) in Schoology and supplemented with optional sessions for staff on Feb 25 and 26. These optional, virtual synchronous sessions are led by the incredible educators listed here. They volunteered their time to not only lead their colleagues in learning - but to learn the material ahead of time, design experiences to support colleagues, and have additional conversations. With one SBTS in a building with an instructional staff of ~200, I rely on the teacher leaders in our building to support all with their instructional needs. This LIT/PD team is incredible and never hesitates to jump right in and work alongside me! I'm so grateful for these teacher leaders who led virtual synchronous sessions today to support their colleagues!"

- Margaret Sisler, Westfield HS

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Elizabeth Busch, Hayfield SS

"Elizabeth is one of our Spanish teachers and she, along with two peers, stepped up to support our latest Return to School Town Hall by helping to translate for our Spanish speaking families. As we all embark on our return to in-person instruction for school, this was a responsibility outside of her normal job and workday. Ms. Busch's dedication to our families is noted and appreciated by us all."

- Matthew Mough, Hayfield SS

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Eugenio Fischer, Hayfield SS

"Eugenio is one of our Spanish teachers and he, along with two peers, stepped up to support our latest Return to School Town Hall by helping to translate for our Spanish speaking families. As we all embark on our return to in-person instruction for school, this was a responsibility outside of his normal job. We are appreciative of his efforts to connect with our students and families and dedication to the school."

- Matthew Mough, Hayfield SS

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Laura Ona, Hayfield SS

"Laura is one of our Spanish teachers and she, along with two peers, stepped up to support our latest Return to School Town Hall by helping to translate for our Spanish speaking families. As we all embark on our return to in-person instruction for school, this work, outside her normal responsibilities is a testament to her dedication to her students and our community. Thank you, Laura!"

- Matthew Mough, Hayfield SS

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Michelle Land, Jennifer Harris, Sherri Dezort, Alissa Forbes, Nancy Libson, and Kathleen Herron, Riverside ES

"I would like to recognize our Riverside ES Specialist teachers who contributed to our Advanced Academic Program Level IV Screening Process this year. These teachers took time out of their already busy schedules to write commentary noting specific examples of students’ strengths and provided student work samples. Their contributions were invaluable in highlighting our students’ strengths and helped to enhance our local screening process. Thank you to all of you for your support in advocating for our students!"

- Jamie Wilson, Riverside ES

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Yan Cheung, Churchill Road ES

"Mr. Cheung was amazing and helped out our Cooper students in a pinch. Not only was he able to gather extra meals for students, but he even delivered them over to the school. Thank you so much to Mr. Cheung!"

- Michael Rath, Copper MS

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Mitra Nelson, Cheryl Edwards, Drew Donnelly, Ellyn Whiteash, Jess Finley, Jen Fargo, Brian Nolton, and Becca Darr, Westfield HS

"These incredible teacher leaders are part of our Learning Innovation and Professional Learning Team (LIT/PD team) and these folks have gone above and beyond. As we worked to plan PD that met the needs of our staff and prepared them for Concurrent Instruction, we designed a blend of asynchronous modules (filled with content from the PD Guidebook) in Schoology and supplemented with optional sessions for staff on Feb 25 and 26. These optional, virtual synchronous sessions are led by the incredible educators listed here. They volunteered their time to not only lead their colleagues in learning - but to learn the material ahead of time, design experiences to support colleagues, and have additional conversations. With one SBTS in a building with an instructional staff of ~200, I rely on the teacher leaders in our building to support all with their instructional needs. This LIT/PD team is incredible and never hesitates to jump right in and work alongside me! I'm so grateful for these teacher leaders who led virtual synchronous sessions today to support their colleagues!"

 - Margaret Sisler, Westfield HS

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Mayoly Amah, Riverside ES

"Mayola has gone out of her way with helping our classroom have what it needs to be set up for a safe return to school. She has helped with desk setup and is continuously keeping our classroom clean so we can focus on the students. We are very thankful for all she is doing for our students! Thank you Mayola!"

- Lorri Hallenbeck, Riverside ES

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Luisa Espinoza, Edison HS

"Ms. Espinoza went out of her way to immediately contact a family for me that I was unable to communicate with as they required Spanish language interpretation. She helped determine what the family needed so that I could connect them with the needed resources. Ms. Espinoza is ALWAYS there and ready to help me connect with families. I really appreciate her steadfast assistance in helping us to meet the needs of the families we serve."

- Patrice Butler, Edison HS

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Jason Hardy, London Towne ES

"I would like to recognize Mr. Jason Hardy for being such an exemplary teacher at London Towne ES. His title may be "Instructional Assistant" but he is much more than that. Mr. Hardy works with many of the kids in different grades. He's helped my older son work through emotional frustration and struggles since 2nd grade. My son is now in the 5th grade and over the years the relationship with Mr. Hardy has helped him grow into a better person. He always liked to check in and say hi at school but when Covid began and the kids had to go virtual, Mr. Hardy was able to email my son and check in with him that way. Without realizing it, this form of communication helps keep my son engaged, socializing and it even helps him to develop his writing skills. He also lifts spirits by reaching out to the kids that sometimes need a little extra attention (including my youngest son also). He's made special connections with students and helps to bring out the best and the positive in them. Today, my older son called me at work just to read me an email from Mr. Hardy, telling him how he was an "inspiration" and a leader. It was a very powerful and positive email that made his day. This is the gift that Mr. Hardy has. He can see a child's uniqueness and show them how special they are. He is truly the definition of FCPS Cares! I'm very appreciative of the fact that my son has someone to reach out to and look up to, other than his parents. Mr. Hardy has without a doubt left his mark on our family. He is an everyday hero!"

- a London Towne ES parent

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John Thomas, Crossfield ES

"I wanted to acknowledged John Thomas for his excellence in teaching. My son is in his 3rd-grade class and is thriving under Mr. Thomas's teaching methods. Being virtual I am able to listen in from time to time and I find Mr. Thomas to be inclusive of all the different learning abilities of all the children, he is patient, loving, and caring. My son, Daniel has improved in all aspects of school, especially reading and math. Mr. Thomas is an amazing teacher who we are so fortunate to have this year, especially during COVID and virtual classes. He has the talent to bring out the best in his students no matter what their level, at least that's been the case with my son. My son was not motivated last year which showed in his grades and enthusiasm for school. There's been a complete turnaround thanks to Mr. Thomas. My son loves school, he can't wait for it to start and he's engaging, participatory, and has improved in all areas of his learning experience. We are so happy and pleased with his progress and give all the credit to his outstanding and amazing teacher!"

- a Crossfield ES parent

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Liz Rivera, Holmes MS

"Liz has supported Holmes as a social worker with the Homeless Liaison office. Every time there has been a family assigned to her she has followed up with appropriate school staff immediately - even if this means after contract hours. She is extremely thorough and always seems to find a way to find the best supports for the family. For one family, in particular, we were having trouble communicating consistently and developing an appropriate plan for the student. She was able to not only get in touch with the family but helped the family come up with a solution that would be best for them."

- Serena Giron, Holmes MS

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Tammarrah Addison, Edison HS

"Tammarrah shared her spoken word poetry and classroom expertise to a diverse audience of teachers, leaders, and central office staff at today's Story Forum. Her impact, care for students beyond the classroom, and creativity could be felt by all participants in today's session. We are so grateful for her work."

- Natasha Saunders, Willow Oaks Admin Center

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Summer Johnson, Suzanne van der Eijk, and Natasha Saunders, Willow Oaks Admin Center

"Summer, Suzanne, and Natasha have created the Story Forum space to "share the lived experiences of educators and students in FCPS around antiracism, equity, and meaningful learning. The stories emphasize process over product and offer an opportunity for storytellers to share something they've tried in their practice." These educators have done something special. They have created a space for educators and students to share their stories. I've learned so much and have been so inspired by the impact of these voices and experiences. Sharing our stories and our practices allows us all to improve and change and grow. I'm better for these sessions and look forward to this story forum lifting my spirits! I've shifted my thinking, vocabulary and have had ideas sparked!"

- Margaret Sisler, Westfield HS

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Sandy Donlon, Liberty MS

"Sandy created an awesome video for her school about safety protocols for returning to school. Our school team reached out to get details about how she made it, and Sandy took time out of her schedule to simply redo the video so it would fit our needs for our school.  This kindness was totally unnecessary - we are just so thankful to her - as she said, it's easier to make edits than to recreate the wheel - and we really appreciate it!"

- Miranda Hendershot, South County MS

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Evelyn Ransom, Hollin Meadows ES

"Mrs. Ransom has been the best teacher we could ask for our daughter. She has exceeded every expectation and has made our daughter's first year at Hollin Meadows happy, welcoming, and "normal" - even in the midst of a pandemic. Today's first day for the kindergarteners with the at-home and in-class mix could not have gone smoother (at least from a student perspective). She kept the class on task and had the kids engaged with her and each other regardless of where they were sitting. We are grateful that she is our child's teacher this year. Mrs. Ransom has set her up with the tools and confidence to enjoy the class and be successful. We feel so lucky! Thank you, thank you, thank you, Mrs. Ransom!"

- a Hollin Meadows ES parent

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Shauna Pittman, Plum Center for Lifelong Learning

"In the midst of COVID-19 restrictions and accommodations, Dr. Shauna Pittman has been a ray of hope and optimism and dedication.  In addition to developing the Pharmacy Technician training program for ACE (Adult and Community Education), she seamlessly transitioned the Pharmacy Technician students into an online learning environment.  She challenges her students to exceed expectations in the classroom AND on the job. Her background as a clinical pharmacist in critical care, home infusion, community and university teaching hospitals, and direct clinic-based individualized medication management translates into expertise in career consultations that students crave. Dr. Pittman teaches students to rise above challenges and it's evident that she thrives on making an impact wherever she serves.  We are proud to have her as part of the ACE family."

- Karen Stevens, Plum Center for Lifelong Learning

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Paul Liverman, Gatehouse Admin Center

"This year has brought a lot of uncertainty, but the continued pauses in the return to school timeline have allowed us to move forward with our new roof. Paul Liverman has been outstanding to work with throughout this year and the many unknowns. He always puts the needs of our school and staff first. He absolutely understands the needs of our teachers and staff and has kept those a priority throughout this project. Paul has not only been great to work with, but he is also an excellent communicator. I have appreciated his updates, questions, and visits. He and his team have been flexible and understanding. We greatly appreciate their teamwork, communication, and keeping our students and staff safe. I’m grateful for this partnership. It has been a pleasure working with Paul, we are thankful for all of his efforts and leadership on this project. We are very excited about our new roof!"

- Melissa Miller, Olde Creek ES

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Lauren Jones, Westfield HS

"Today we had a medical emergency for a staff member. Despite an insurmountable workload and demand for support from staff returning to the building, Lauren dropped what she was doing (literally moving a full cart of equipment) and supported staff and administrators in responding to the staff member in need. She supported in a variety of ways, didn't wait to be asked, and was so helpful and kind. Back to school time - whether in August or now in February with the return to buildings is a brutal time for technology support staff.  Anxiety is high for staff and two TSSpecs support staff of nearly 300 (plus providing ongoing student and parent support). For Lauren to drop what she was doing, no matter the personal cost, to offer and help shows her commitment to our community and we are so grateful she is part of our Bulldog family!"

- Margaret Sisler, Westfield HS

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Christine Plagata- Neubauer, Hunters Woods ES

"Mrs. Neubauer is a fantastic, engaging teacher at Hunters Woods. Through this crazy year, Mrs. Neubauer has created a virtual classroom community that is welcoming and challenging. Mrs. Neubauer is in constant communication with parents, but more importantly, with my son. The feedback that he receives is thoughtful and thorough, always offering ideas for help or extensions on learning. I am in awe of this attention to detail! I am so thankful to have Mrs. Neubauer as my son's teacher during this year and as we return to the building. Thank you for all of your dedication and attention to our students!"

- a Hunters Woods ES parent

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Garry Carter, Hunters Woods ES

"Garry Carter is a wonderful guidance counselor at Hunters Woods Elementary School. I can't just pick one date that Garry Carter showed support and kindness for my sons, it's always. Over the past few years, both in-person and virtually, Mr. Carter has been available for both of my sons when they needed support, had questions, or just needed to laugh. He has been a great support to have while we navigated the emotions of quarantine and figured out our next steps as my son leaves elementary school. Thank you, Mr. Carter."

- a Hunters Woods ES parent

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Christina Cashman, West Potomac HS

"Chris is one of our new administrators at West Potomac High School. Since she has begun, she has been available and extended an open door for all staff, students, and families. This has been very helpful and meaningful for me personally and professionally. She has been helpful for us all in navigating the pandemic, but that largely has been the culture of our school site. She has been and is a complement to our school culture."

- Schavion Smith, West Potomac HS

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Shanae Hill, Sandburg MS

"Mrs. Hill has made a tremendous effort to make students feel included in her 8th-grade civics class. In addition to creating a welcoming class environment, she sent a handmade card home for my daughter's 1/2 birthday, which said, "Let's celebrate now!" It arrived on January 6 when the country was shocked by the events on Capitol Hill, but the card was a reminder to us of the good in the world and the compassion of teachers during this tough time. We are so grateful for teachers like Mrs. Hill who are not only adapting to new challenges in and outside the classroom but who understand the need for students to feel that they are valued and part of a community."

- a Sandburg MS parent

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Megan Cashman, Lake Braddock SS

"Megan continues to step up and take the lead during the unexpected medical leave of a high school counselor. Megan does not miss a beat and works tirelessly making sure all LBSS students and families receive services of the highest and utmost professional ability, even in the absence of one of her cohorts. The LBSS Student Services Department is so very lucky to have Megan as a counselor that cares for everyone. Continuously, she works for the betterment of all."

- Lynda Samek-Smith, Lake Braddock SS

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Ashley Mistretta, Rose Hill ES

"Ashley is our school's SBTS. She has been a blessing to our school since the school year began. I have been at Rose Hill for over 30 years. I have had to grow using technology this year more than in all of my years together. Ashley has been just what I (and I am sure for many others) needed. She has endless patience, praises your baby steps, and encourages you on your journey. Sitting in a group of first and second-grade teachers today learning about RTS in just a few days I know I will need her now more than ever. She will be there for me I am confident. I watched WW 84 tonight. I realized while watching this movie that Ashley is WW 20-21 for me and for all of the staff at Rose Hill. Our Diana Prince is Ashley Mistretta!"

Danny Adams, Rose Hill ES

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Teri Hampton, Lake Braddock SS

"For the last two years, Teri Hampton has worked tirelessly to coordinate events at Lake Braddock Secondary. Whether it has been item pick up a variety of senior events in both years, Teri has worked out logistics, communications, and day of planning. She has been put in the impossible position of trying to accommodate stakeholders on all sides with their own visions of what such events have looked like and has always returned with a top-tier proposal that works for everybody that is invested. Both students and faculty have benefited from her dedication to such events, which she has put together through endless hours of planning and without ever looking for recognition. The Lake Braddock community is incredibly fortunate to have Teri Hampton and I am honored to work alongside her."

- Tony DiBari, Lake Braddock SS

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Rahim Raza, Key MS

"Mr. Raza has been doing an amazing job connecting with the students who have been attending Key Academy. Since many of the students who are attending Key Academy are students who have not been engaged in online learning, it has been challenging in getting students engaged. He has really been helping them build their endurance for classes and stay engaged during classes, by offering check-ins, breaks, and showing students that he's invested in their education. On the 10th, he noticed that some students were in a movement break during PE and offered to walk around the building with them, which then prompted me to challenge them with the wall sits and a plank challenge. Mr. Raza quickly agreed, which motivated the two students in trying these challenges. This competition then prompted the rest of the Key Academy students to want in on the challenge during their PE periods and we even started a chart to document everyone's times in the classroom. Later in the day, I walked into the lecture hall and he was sitting with a student and helping her engage in the work for her class. This student has been very reserved, she has an IEP and is a new 8th grader to Key MS so hasn’t really met the other students. I also was able to observe him sitting with a student and explain to him his math with a pencil and paper. This student was taking notes while participating in his virtual class, something he had not done before. The same student scored a perfect score on his math quiz and an 80% on his test that week.  I’ve been very impressed with all of the monitors but Mr. Raza has really stood out, in being able to find what the individual students need to engage in their classes! We are so lucky to have him at Key Middle School!"

- Daisy Gomes, Key MS

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Rachel Fraser, McLean HS

"Ms. Frasier is an amazing teacher that actually cares for her students. It is apparent every day in class she puts everything in her lessons!"

- a McLean HS parent

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Christopher Breen, Wilton Woods Center

"Christopher Breen is a very nice gentleman with a good attitude toward his job and a very respectful young man. He was at my school in November, and as always he was very courteous and helpful. He also came in January without being called for pick up. I had 4 boxes of shred and he took them with a smile on his face. I would recommend him for any job he accepts."

- Maria Clark, Woodley Hills ES

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Ingrid McNealy, Cameron ES

"Ms. McNealy is the parent liaison at Cameron Elementary School. She regularly goes above and beyond to help families at the school, especially those who primarily speak Spanish. Recently this has included coordinating sign-ups for weekly Family Technology Classes at the school. While I was working with a family at last week's class, the father of the student lit up with relief and joy at the sight of Ms. McNealy and proceeded to tell me how she has helped his family understand how the school works, since it is so different than his home country. He could not have said nicer, more appreciative statements about her and I know he represents a large population of grateful families at this school."

- Caitlin Carlson, Cameron ES

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Ashley Fisher, Forest Edge ES

"Ashley Fisher, an Assistant Principal at Forest Edge ES, presented at a Translating Equity into Practice using Improvement Science Compass Workshop Session on PDSA cycles which tested strategies for improving student engagement in guided reading. She spread the school's learning having observed a modeled lesson from a Forest Edge Classroom teacher, and having CT colleagues provide feedback as well as consider new strategies for increasing student engagement. Bravo! Ashley is a member of SBAIP II and the SIIP NIC."

- Claire Silva, Willow Oaks Admin Center

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Andrea Bylykbashi, Kilmer Center

"I'm so happy and grateful to have Andrea in our path. She's the best Social Worker I have ever met. FCPS has great staff at Kilmer Center."

- a Kilmer Center parent

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Deborah Callsen, Haycock ES

"Deb is such a wonderful part of our staff. I have been lucky enough to work with her for many years, and each of those years, she has demonstrated knowledge of her content and a huge heart. Deb loves her students like they are her own kids. She is a "big picture" person, she takes time to fill the buckets of the staff and administrators daily (even on her worst days) and she always puts others before herself. Deb is truly one of a kind, and our students and staff are so lucky to have her. I am nominating her because she is always striving to more, be a better teacher, friend, and mother. She is passionate about what she does and leaves a mark on everyone she meets."

- Gretchen Proctor, Haycock ES

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Kara Cameron, Ellen Wise, and Alicia Hawks, Fort Hunt ES

"I just wanted to take a moment to recognize Kara Cameron, Ellen Wise, and Alicia Hawks for their collaboration and leadership at our Fort Hunt Virtual Literacy Night on February 10th. Thank you for your commitment to supporting our parents and strengthening our connection with the PTA and the wider Fort Hunt Community. I loved working with all of you on this project!"

- Marion Eckhause, Fort Hunt ES

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Deborah Callsen, Haycock ES

"Not only has Debbie Callsen embraced this year of challenges, but she has also thrived by modeling self-care, resilience, courage, and kindness to her students and her colleagues. Debbie has been a leader in embracing new technology to teach PE and has volunteered to share her learning with other teachers and members of the PE department. She leads our Wellness committee and recently recorded a Healthy Minds Podcast. She continues to take Academy Classes as she is a lifelong learner. Most of all, she takes the time to know and love each of her students by name and by need. She is an amazing teacher, colleague, and friend who finds joy in helping others be healthy in mind, body, and spirit."

- Allison Kelly, Haycock ES

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Deborah Callsen, Haycock ES

"Since the start of this not-so-normal school year, Debbie Callsen has been a pleasure to have as a colleague. She has been willing to take risks within the realm of technology as well as help others who are struggling. She has been working from the building since day one in order to make sure that I would be comfortable heading back in, whenever that would be. Not only does she have amazing lesson plan ideas and is able to put those into motion, but she is also in charge of our Wellness Committee. She puts wonderful information out there for her colleagues to take care of themselves not only physically, but mentally and socially. She took time to be part of the Healthy Minds Podcast. She had amazing insight on there as well. Throughout all of this, she has still maintained positive and wonderful relationships with the Haycock Community. I am lucky enough to call Debbie Callsen my teammate and a friend."

- Nisha Hecht, Haycock ES

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Scott Wultors, Westfield HS

"Mr. Wultors has been an amazing teacher during this pandemic. His willingness to help his students is honorable. I just wanted to let him how much I appreciate how he goes above and beyond for his students. For example, he makes videos for each and every math lesson."

- a Westfield HS student

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Sara Lamb, Kent Gardens ES

"Ms. Lamb is a wonderful teacher to our second grader. We really appreciate how kind and calm she is, even in the face of many challenges during these unprecedented times. A good side effect of virtual learning is being able to often observe the class in action, and we love what we see and hear in Mrs. Lamb's classroom. She demonstrates a lot of genuine care and affection for her students and makes learning positive and fun. We specifically appreciate the positive encouragement she gives our students. We are grateful for all her efforts."

- a Kent Gardens ES parent

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Regina Green, Riverside ES

"Ms. Green is an outstanding 6th-grade teacher. She is very dedicated, inspiring, and she pays attention to details in her students. She looks for ways to enhance her student's potentials. It's refreshing to see such engagement and it's even more impressive because we have had such an unforeseen year, but being in Ms. Green's class you wouldn't know it. My child has really blossomed in her class this year and virtual is not easy."

- a Riverside ES parent

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John Moran, Lanier MS

"John is Lanier's Safety and Security Specialist. He has done a remarkable job reading each and every document related to COVID and our Return to Learn procedures and processes. Our halls are well-marked indicating traffic patterns, our classrooms are set up in an orderly fashion to allow for social distancing, and our cafeteria is ready for diners! John's vast experience in his previous career with government security benefits our staff and students in more ways than we can count. His smile and Boston accent are familiar trademarks around Lanier, even if being done behind a mask!"

- Tammy Hanna, Lanier MS

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Doris Glover, Union Mill ES

"Mrs. Glover is going above and beyond to ensure she establishes and maintains relationships with her students. She worked with our family outside of school hours to help find activities and materials that could best match our child's skills. She is making the most of the situation we are in and we are so thankful for her hard work and dedication to her students!"

- a Union Mill ES parent

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Ines Gianella, Gatehouse Admin Center

"I wanted to extend our sincere appreciation for all that Ines Gianella has done and continues to do to support our students, staff, and families here at Key MS. Ines is punctual, kind, thoughtful, and extremely knowledgeable of the special education process. We value her interpretation skills along with her empathic nature. She helps our parents feel welcomed and heard. In a short period of time, Ines has become a pivotal member of our Local Screening Committee and we appreciate all that she brings to our team. Other Key MS Staff members have shared that ANY time we reach out to Ines, she is efficient and so extremely helpful! We would be absolutely lost with Ines! Thank you for being YOU!"

- Katie Hamm, Key MS

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Riley Barrows, Longfellow MS

"Mr. Barrows has done a phenomenal job all year with the after-school program. His efforts have helped to connect many students to Longfellow Middle School even with the challenges of the virtual environment.  Recently, Mr. Barrows has taken the lead with our "Learning Lab" assisting our students that have returned to school early for in-person interventions. Mr. Barrows has been crucial in making this experience fun for our students. This has helped re-engage them to our school and it has had positive instructional outcomes. Thank you Mr. Barrows for all of your hard work and for going above and beyond!"

- Jim Patrick, Longfellow MS

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Aimee Molina, Eagle View ES

"Aimee Molina is an educator who is dedicated to her students and their families. She shows up to the virtual classroom every day with a positive attitude and a smile. It is clear that her classroom is a safe environment. Students are encouraged to share or turn on their cameras, but only if they want to. During morning meetings, students greet and welcome each other in a kind and respectful manner. She encourages students to learn not only from their classmates but the online platform. The students truly feel welcome. Aimee juggles virtual learning with positivity and confidence. I often hear her guiding students and helping them use their problem-solving skills. And it doesn’t end with the students. I have heard parents ask questions as well. If she doesn’t know how to help, she knows who to reach out to for what the next steps are. Anyone listening would know she truly cares about the students and families. It may not be obvious to an observer, but it is clear that Aimee knows the finer details of the first-grade curriculum. Her depth of knowledge allows her to focus on the needs of each and every student. I observed this first hand in our parent-teacher conference. She shared our child’s strengths, in relation to the curriculum and Portrait of a Graduate skills, in a way that is easy for us to understand. Teaching young children how to read is not always easy. Teaching children how to read while virtual is no small feat. In a small group or one-on-one meetings, Amy can be heard encouraging students and providing feedback on some of the finer details of reading. All while being mindful of anything that might be happening in the child’s space (at home or in another setting). In Aimee’s classroom, everything is possible. Dance parties for reaching goals, singing songs, reading stories, reading workshop, writing workshop, math workshop, and sharing what you are thankful for; it all happens!"

- an Eagle View ES parent

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Geneva Ardalan, Christianna Carreño, and Lisa López, Westfield HS

"I would like to give a super big shout out to the Spanish for Fluent Speakers team this year. They have worked so hard to really make a difference in our student's lives while acclimating to a new school and a very different year! They worked together in September to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month and Christianna’s students made elective videos so that students are aware of SFS classes. They have worked together to ensure that Afro Latinos are being represented during Black History Month and to get important information on the announcements in Spanish. In addition, they have been tirelessly interviewing new students to ensure proper placement. There’s so much more but those are some of the highlights. I’m so appreciative to have such an amazing group of women to work with."

- Angie Thomas, Westfield HS

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Kennidi Knoblock, Cooper MS

"Kennidi Knoblock was hired here at Cooper Middle School as a PE teacher. She moved here from Wisconsin and settled in ready to make VA and Cooper her home. Kennidi has embraced and mastered the virtual PE classroom. That is a daunting task for any teacher, much less a brand new teacher. But it is the absolute commitment that Kennidi has made to the Cooper community - staff, kids, and families that is so noteworthy.  She has formed good, solid, caring relationships with a good percentage of her students. I invited Kennidi to a lunch group I was having with a couple of girls and she is now an integral part of the group. She attends each week, lunch in hand via zoom, or creates her lunch online at the delight of the girls. On Fridays, we host grade-level lunches so there are big groups and Kennidi joins in each week checking on her students and has lively conversations and a genuine interest in how they all are doing. Kennidi attends SCA programs such as trivia night and is co-sponsoring an environmental club after school. I am so grateful she came into Cooper at this particular time and know that her connections and the enthusiasm this year have made all the difference to students and faculty alike."

- Michele Saint Germain, Cooper MS

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Erica Hosken, Lake Braddock SS

"Today during the student break between  6th and 8th period, I was down in the library working on a schedule with one of my students in our intervention virtual learning lab. As my student was putting her classes into SIS, I observed Ms. Hosken go over to a young lady who was sitting alone, close to where I was working with my student. She went out of her way to talk with her about her classes, her interests, her thoughts, her goals, and how intervention was going. It was such a natural, positive, and genuine exchange--and I was so impressed that Ms. Hosken took it upon herself to add a bit of sincere sunshine to this student's day. Nice job, Ms. Hosken!!!"

- Jacquie Naughton, Lake Braddock SS

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Melissa Hayes, Floris ES

"Recently, I’ve been able to listen in on my son’s class more and I find that Ms. Hayes is always so patient and energetic no matter how many times she must clarify for the students or get someone’s attention. She gives thoughtful responses when the children share with the class, and it’s obvious that the kids are excited to participate more because of it. I can tell that she has spent a lot of time working with the kids on their virtual class manners, but even when they forget themselves her kind reminder is all it takes to get them back on track. I feel that she is rising to the challenge of this school year and our students are still in a positive environment because of her. Thank you, Ms. Hayes!"

- a Floris ES parent

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Tacoma Henderson, Lorton Station ES

"Tacoma is our Math Coach at LSES. She is the type of leader who is always there to help teachers in any way that she can! When we meet for our CT, she involves us and asks us all for our input on how to teach and assess a particular unit. Tacoma will also create and adapt materials so that we may best accommodate all of our students. While helping us, she is always positive and funny. She coaches from the heart, with encouraging words, instilling confidence in us all!"

 - Nancy Chang, Lorton Station ES

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Llexell Evangelista, Sprague Technology Center

"Llexell and the TMPC staff are what customer service is and should be in FCPS. When employee programs rebranded the Cares program, Llexell designed a new backdrop for the frame that hangs on the second floor at Gatehouse with Cares of the month winners highlighted. He listened to what we envisioned and designed an amazing, user-friendly backdrop that will showcase our awesome FCPS staff. He sent updates as we made changes. He communicated, collaborated, and supported this project to the end. He was even nice enough to place it in the frame and load it into my car. Thank you, Llexell for always being an awesome employee to work with. You and your TMPC team are always supportive and help to make our programs that much better."

- Shelli Wayland, Gatehouse Admin Center

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Jen Atkins, Gatehouse Admin Center

"When I got home from Gatehouse yesterday afternoon, my laptop would not reconnect to my desktop computer. Jen was still at work and was nice enough to check to be sure that my computer was still on. She confirmed and waited while I tried repeatedly to connect even after rebooting my laptop and reconnecting to VPN four different times. She was able to restart my computer and the fifth time was a charm. Thank you, Jen, for taking time out of your busy day to assist me. You and the other employees in HR-Business Services are the epitome of FCPS Cares."

- Shelli Wayland, Gatehouse Admin Center

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Amanda Cadolino, Gatehouse Admin Center

"Amanda is always kind and cheerful!  I so appreciate her helpful attitude. She never makes me feel like I am asking for something that is time-consuming (although I probably am).  I am constantly impressed by all the skills she has and she is so focused on keeping teachers, kids, and schools as the priority.  Thank you, Amanda!"

- Ellen Glaser, Willow Oaks Admin Center

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Anthony Ramakis, Willow Oaks Admin Center

"In the year of the Pandemic, school-based staff have been overwhelmed with transforming nearly every task and activity for the virtual world. Having never run or taught in a virtual school, educators are left wondering if our practices are impactful and effective; Enter Anthony. His support of our school's efforts to improve attendance and achievement and create targeted interventions has been immeasurable. His love of data is almost as strong as his love of supporting staff and students. We are always eager to partner with him, and he with us."

- Kathryn Teague, Lanier MS

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Faiza Alam, Lanier MS

"I have known Mrs. Alam since I was in 7th grade and she has been a very helpful and supportive teacher for me. With her help, I was able to volunteer at Lanier in 9th and 10th grade which resulted in an amazing experience and was so much fun. Just recently she helped me greatly with a scholarship recommendation and I still can't thank her enough for it. I'm so happy to have met her, she opened the doors for so many opportunities for me, and I couldn't have asked for a better teacher."

- a Fairfax HS student

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James McNamara, Gatehouse Admin Center

"We have been incredibly fortunate to work with Jimmy McNamara. As a support for our operational staffing, Mr. McNamara is always prompt to reply to questions and quick to act where needed. He has always been extremely helpful in making sure that our staffing concerns are appropriately addressed, especially in the current climate where he is getting bombarded with Monitor requests. And while I know he is incredibly busy, he always makes us feel as if we are a top priority. Lake Braddock is incredibly fortunate to have a partner like Jimmy McNamara."

- Tony DiBari, Lake Braddock SS

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Jovanna Velez, Gatehouse Admin Center

"Jovanna spent one day in our Health Room to offer assistance as we are transitioning from one health aid to another. She jumped right in and treated our health room as if it were her own. She completed many tasks for us in just one day. We are so thankful for her professionalism and dedication to our school even though she will only be here for a week. Thank you, Jovanna!"

- Kevin Morris, Stratford Landing ES

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Evelyn Harocopos, Pimmit Hills Early Childhood Center

"Ms. Harocopos is a bright light at Pimmit Hills Early Childhood Center. Every day Ms. Harocopos comes to the building with a positive attitude, a smile on her face, and the poise of a leader. Today as staff arrived back to the building to begin in-person learning she had music playing and had grab and go snacks available. The atmosphere was electric. When the students arrived she cheered them on and pitched in wherever an extra hand was needed. Ms. Harocopos embodies the FCPS caring culture for both students and staff."

- Kelly Galbraith, Willow Oaks Admin Center

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Juliana Woodill, Fairfax HS

"Juliana has been a fearless leader for all of the Choir teachers in the county. She has been the president of the Fairfax County Choral Director's Association for the past few years. This year as our President she has fostered so much needed collaboration between us - whether it be shared resources, or spear-heading our amazing FCPS All Virtual Choir concert. We are fortunate to have her in FCPS and Fairfax High School is lucky to have her!"

- Meredith Lee, Frost MS

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Katherine Ketchum, Orange Hunt ES

"Mrs. Ketchum has been amazing during virtual learning. She is always energetic and welcoming to the students. It is clear in every lesson that she has put a lot of time into making it fun and interactive. Even over the computer, she is able to identify the feelings of the students and adjust the lessons accordingly. From day one she has always talked with the students about having a plan B. This has been so helpful for my son. When he is overwhelmed or something doesn’t work, he knows he can go to plan B and he no longer feels overwhelmed or frustrated.  I am so thankful for the kindness Mrs. Ketchum has shown my son and me. Every first grader deserves to have a teacher as wonderful as Mrs. Ketchum."

- Jennifer Clapp, Orange Hunt ES

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Cassandra Perez, Westlawn ES

"Cassie is a 2nd-grade teacher at Westlawn; we share a student that I have worked with for the past two years who has struggled to find his way at school. Not only is Cassie able to create a warm and nurturing environment in the virtual world, but she has also spent extra time with our team helping this student to overcome obstacles. We've all seen a huge change in his motivation and his willingness to try his best. Cassie is a tremendous team member as well, which is so crucial in this new environment. She is an inspiration!"

- Mary Filicetti, Graham Road Community Building

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Shannon Evans, Thoreau MS

"Shannon is a wonderful member of the Thoreau World Languages team. She always the first to volunteer her time and energy to whatever project or initiative the team is discussing. Most recently, Shannon took on the task of preparing our department's Google Site for Curriculum Night. She worked on a layout and design for the page as well as adding content to show off why the WL courses at Thoreau are so great. Thank you for all you do, Shannon! I love working with you and hearing about all of your engaging ideas to get students excited for our classes!"

- Kaitlyn, Konicki, Thoreau MS

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Jennifer Deinhart, Rose Hill ES

"Jenn is a part-time Math Specialist at our school. She attends our first-grade team planning days on Monday. She is like having a big-name Math guru every time we need her. She has not only helped us better plan for our students in this virtual world but has created and collected countless resources for us to use. When I think Math, I think of Jenn. When I see my students be successful and learning new concepts I see and thank Jenn. She is not a part-time superstar, she is a full-time one in my eyes. Couldn't do it without you, Jenn!"

- Danny Adams, Rose Hill ES

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Emily Owens, Lake Braddock SS

"Beyond her regular work teaching chemistry to her high school students, Emily volunteers with the Virginia State Science Olympiad organization on the appeals team. She recently spent many weekend and evening hours helping with two regional competitions.  The appeals team interviewed many groups of students to ensure that the online competitions were fair to all competing students. Emily went above and beyond by contacting teams, scheduling Zoom meetings, and interviewing teams on a variety of events and issues. Her work helped ensure the integrity of the competitions."

- Tim Harazin & the FCPS Science Team, Forte Center

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Tracey Kyle, Key MS

"Tracey Kyle is a very special teacher. She goes above and beyond for her students. My child is very fortunate to have her as his Spanish teacher this year. She went out of her way to give him a gift bag of goodies for his birthday, which he says she does for all the kid's birthdays in the class. But what makes her absolutely fabulous is that she helped him catch up on his assignments after normal hours on a Sunday. He emailed her to tell her that he needed some extra help and was on BBCU with him soon after. I am very impressed with her and admire her love for teaching and the care she takes for her students."

- a Key MS parent

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Meg Davenhall, Frost MS

"Ms. Davenhall overheard a colleague and I talk about ideas for custodian appreciation week. She suggested a padlet for students to write them a note, coordinated this with her department, and over the course of two days had 400 students write them nice notes of appreciation. Her idea and willingness to take this on, out of the blue and without asking, demonstrated our #OneFrost traits of teamwork, going the extra mile, and positivity. Thank you, Meg!"

- Joe Berret, Frost MS

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Kerrie Turner, Thoreau MS

"Kerrie is one of our guidance counselors in our student services department at Thoreau Middle School. She not only works with our general 7th & 8th-grade population of students but specializes in working directly with our ESOL students and parents. Whether it be using a breakout room to talk to a student or setting up a meeting during office hours, Kerrie always makes sure that each student at Thoreau is academically sound and mentally strong. She will call parents just to make sure they feel confident and understand what's going on with their child's academics and schoolwork. She works so hard and cares about everyone that she comes in contact with. Kerrie is an amazing and wonderful counselor, co-worker, and friend that you can always count on."

- Missy Galus, Thoreau MS

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Tanagra Cafferky, Lane ES

"Since the beginning of the pandemic, Ms. Cafferky has gone above and beyond office assistant duties to support families, students, and staff at Lane ES. We are an office with 1 AA, 1 Registrar, and 1.5 office assistants. Both the AA and the Registrar were working virtually. Tanagra supported both positions by being the go-to person to scan, email, phone us both with the information needed for us to work virtually while doing her own position. She also assisted parents who called with many issues from computer issues to needing food. Most recently she has worked very diligently to put all the protocols in place. From clinic to classroom needs to sign in and tracking practices. She has organized each classroom with posters and supplies. She organized the isolation room and made checklists for every protocol that has been imposed on the schools for opening. She is very thorough and extensive in everything she does. I know that I have not given a true picture of what she does but she is the person that we all go-to for what to do about anything related to covid protocols. She is very efficient with SIS, she knows how to do every single job in the front office, she is often the person who comes up with a better and more efficient way of doing anything. She arrives early and often stays late to support anyone and everyone with whatever is needed. Ms. Cafferky deserves a trophy for her superior work, upbeat attitude, and makes it her priority to know how to do everything so she is able to support students, families, and staff at Lane ES even if it is out of her realm of duties as an office assistant."

- Cindy Webber, Lane ES

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Leslie Miller, Springfield Estates ES

"Leslie Miller is our instructional coach. She is available to help with anything. She puts a positive spin on everything. Her efficiency is remarkable. Ms. Miller is able to ferret out what is important and get everyone on that track.  Her ability to lead us to things without telling where we should be is helpful."

- Susan Einsel, Springfield Estates ES

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Christine Lounsbury, Springfield Estates ES

"I have worked with Chrissy Lounsbury for almost 4 years at Springfield Estates and I have found her to be one of the most dedicated co-workers. She is devoted to her students in both their education and emotional/social growth. Not only at the beginning of the year, but throughout the year, she prioritizes making connections with all of her students and families. This year, I know that she making the extra effort and time to meet with her students: to answer questions, go over math problems, and practicing reading skills.  She never considers this time as "extra work" because she knows that it will pay off in their education, either this year or in future years."

- Ann Withington, Springfield Estates ES

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Andrew Salmon, Non-Traditional Career Readiness Academy - Edison HS

"It is such a delight to work with Andrew. He is continually up to date in his "what do teachers have to know or do" lists. In leading our combined teams, he encourages all to contribute. Eternally the optimist, students love to work with him. Andrew is willing to take on any task or help someone. One of our students, shared with me, that, because of Mr. Salmon, he started to embrace school instead of hating it. Mr. Salmon turned this student's negative feelings about school into hopeful ones by sincerely caring about him,  providing choices and flexibility, and being a trustworthy person to talk to. (It does not get better than that)!  As an IAS educator, I also want to thank Andrew for taking the roles of ERFC Ambassador and IAS FSAC Representative."

- Kim Reistrup, Transitional Support Resource - Graham Road Community Building

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Julia Hills, Franklin MS

"Julia is a multiple disabilities teacher at Franklin MS and teaches our Life Skills elective. Throughout this school year, she has worked to provide experiences for students in-person as well as virtually.  At the start of the school year and while in-person learning was on pause, Julia worked with her students on cooking lessons!  In synchronous sessions, students in small breakout groups followed along with a recipe to create small snacks or lunch items. The students have LOVED this experience and looked forward to their weekly recipes, often talking about what they did in other classes!  Related service providers such as Speech and Occupational Therapy were able to engage with students during this time as well. Thank you Julia for leading such an engaging experience for our students, despite the current challenges."

- Melissa Rhoden, Franklin MS

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Julio Dejo, Lanier MS

"As our after-school specialist, Julio continues to amaze us with his phenomenal relationship-building skills. This year, he has been instrumental in creating our virtual afterschool program. By connecting Lanier with several other schools, he has been able to offer more students across FCPS the chance to meet peers with like interests as they explore their passions. Around 30% of our students have participated in virtual after school at some point! Additionally, his insight and assistance in return to learn planning (including running our intervention early start program) has been valuable for a successful shift midyear!"

- Tammy Hanna, Lanier MS

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Matthew Hupp, Springfield Estates ES

"Mr. Hupp organized the ESOL evaluation test and helped every ESOL student accomplished this year's test. COVID-19 has made the test process more challenging than the other. How encouraging is to see the hard-working team, students, and their family's working together to make this year's test happen. My thanks to Mr. Hupp's planning, organizing, and caring of each family of the ESOL in the SEE's."

- Hai-Fen Huang, Springfield Estates ES

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Anna Sengstack, Lanier MS

"Like most working moms in a pandemic, Anna has done amazing things to keep her many strings students engaged and learning while simultaneously doing the same for her 3 children at home. Not only is she managing that, but she is also volunteering to spend time during her limited lunchtime and after school working with feeder elementary schools to ensure that students stay interested in continuing into middle school orchestra. Her dedication to students during this critical adolescent stage is the reason many students shine the rest of the day in other classes. We are lucky to have Anna!"

- Tammy Hanna, Lanier MS

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Susan Howard, Lake Braddock SS

"Susan Howard has been working incredibly hard to provide great experiences for our students in celebration of Black History Month. Along with our Broadcast teacher, Andrea Kernus, Sue has reached out to individuals and groups to put together a series of interviews/seminars celebrating Black Excellence and Achievement. This provides authentic experiences for our students as we work towards a more culturally proficient community. Lake Braddock is very lucky to have Susan Howard!"

- Tony DiBari, Lake Braddock SS

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Ronnie Presley, Forte Center

"Since the beginning of the school year, the Pony mailings have increased dramatically.  With that, the Pony office, which in the past, could be more flexible, had to tighten up on procedures to ensure their office runs smoothly and timely. Our office, incorrectly packaged a large mailing and Ronnie called us to inform us as to why it was incorrect and how to do it correctly. Now, in these crazy times, Ronnie would have been within his right to be frustrated with me, but instead, he was patient, informative, and kind. His demeanor was light-hearted and jovial. I will gladly take corrections about the Pony processes/procedures from him again. Thank you Ronnie for not making me feel like I am being scolded. You're the best!"

- Holley Remer, Chesterbrook ES

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Peter Schmidt, Forte Center

"Peter heard over the radio there was a large mailing for Pony pick up at our school that was incorrectly packaged. He took it upon himself to swing by our school to pick up the large mailing and help if we had any questions about how to package it correctly. He also had the forethought to bring an empty Pony container in case there was a need for more than one container. Peter's spirit of helpfulness is wonderful and it really made my day. Thank you, Peter!!"

- Holley Remer, Chesterbrook ES

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Mark Witzel, West Springfield HS

"My son receives special education services and struggles with slow processing speed, organization, and attention. He enrolled in an Honors History course in 9th grade. He had a rocky start. His History teacher, Mr. Witzel, often provided terse comments and feedback, demonstrating his high standards and expectations: “late”, “lacks detail”, “missing the point”.  At a meeting with Mr. Witzel in October, we discussed the option for my son to drop the Honors course. Mr. Witzel treated my son with respect. Mr. Witzel told my son that he didn’t need to drop the course, and that that he hoped he didn’t. But, that it was ultimately my son’s decision. My son decided to stay in the course and is doing well. Recently, my son showed me an email exchange with Mr. Witzel. After a low test grade, my son didn’t do much better on a retake. On a Friday afternoon, after school hours, Mr. Witzel emailed my son and offered another retest with a Sunday evening deadline, that was also offered to the entire class. Mr. Witzel encouraged my son to use the additional time during the weekend to study and improve his score. That email ended with Mr. Witzel saying “Heck, I will even study with you”. And, when my son emailed him back and took him up on his offer, Mr. Witzel didn’t miss a beat and promptly replied “It’s ON!” On a Sunday afternoon in January, the same day as the Super Bowl Playoffs no less, my son and Mr. Witzel had a virtual Blackboard session and studied together. What a heartwarming illustration of an inspiring and dedicated educator! Mr. Witzel has touched our lives and our hearts, with his warmth and benevolence. We are humbled and grateful that Mr. Witzel cares so much, and went above and beyond, for our son. Thank you, Mr. Witzel."

- a West Springfield HS parent

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Erin Heyerdahl, Willow Oaks Admin Center

"I want to send a huge SHOUT OUT to Erin for her continued partnership with South County HS. Erin is one of our TSRC counselors and continues to think creatively and find ways to support our students' success. She and her staff at TSRC are an AMAZING resource for our schools and on behalf of all FCPS schools, thank you!"

- Brett Garner, South County HS

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Becky Freeman, South County HS

"FCPS asks that their employees work to ensure that all students be successful. Becky Freeman, one of the amazing counselors at SC, embodies and stewards that mission each and every day. Becky and I recently worked together to support a student in a very unusual circumstance. I was overly impressed by her commitment, creativity, flexibility, and thoughtfulness throughout the process until we discovered a way to help this student. I am super proud to work alongside Becky and the counseling staff at SC. They are driven and always stand ready to do the right for our kids. Thanks, Becky, for being you!"

- Brett Garner, South County HS

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Erika Hisey, Lake Braddock SS

"Erika is not only a new member of the Lake Braddock community but also new to teaching math. She has really helped our school by taking on more classes than originally anticipated and by stepping out of her comfort zone to provide ESOL supports for content that is new to her. Her dedication to our students and Algebra 1 CT have not gone unnoticed!"

- Kim Hammond, Lake Braddock SS

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Deborah Donovan, Zoya Lucas, and Helai Pougailes, Daniels Run ES

"I would like to take this opportunity to recognize and thank our ELD teachers Deborah Donovan, Zoya Lucas, and Helai Pougailes for all their efforts with WIDA testing. This has been no small task in our virtual environment and I can't thank them enough for all they have done and are doing to make this so successful. They have gone above and beyond in assisting with scheduling, reaching out to parents so they are comfortable and have the information they need to send their children into the building without concern for safety, their flexibility, and their overall care for each of the students that came into the building for testing and communicating with teachers. They also made sure that students who needed any school supplies were able to get them while they were here and since we were doing school pictures during testing, they reached out to families to let them know they would find time to get pictures taken at the end of the testing sessions as well. All this while still working with their students whenever they have had the opportunity between testing. I am so fortunate as a testing coordinator to have them to collaborate with and brainstorm what this was going to look like this year. They are truly a remarkable team and we are so fortunate they are part of the DRES family."

- Michael Parker, Daniels Run ES

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Shannon Daly, Floris ES

"During my son’s intervention class Ms. Daly lost her internet. She found out it would be out for some time. She called a co-worker who logged on with my son and taught him while Ms. Daly drove to find internet service. Ms. Daly logged in and continued her lesson with my son after finding the internet. Now, this is really going above and beyond. We appreciate Ms. Daly’s dedication to getting the lesson done. She is such an amazing teacher. We appreciate her!"

- a Floris ES parent

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Liz Papa, Riverside ES

"Liz Papa is one of the most professional and caring teachers who I have had the opportunity of working with during my many years as an educator. I have been an ESOL teacher at Riverside for the past five years, but this is my first year to work with 6th grade. Liz has welcomed me to the team and has been very supportive of my role. She regularly keeps me informed and responds to any questions that I have concerning my new grade level. It is an honor to send this FCPS cares message to Liz Papa!"

- Alisa Maxwell, Riverside ES

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LaVon Carter, Stonecroft Transportation 

"LaVon Carter has provided tremendous support to the staff and students at Hunters Woods Elementary School.  As we have begun to transition students into the school building, Lavon has gone above and beyond to ensure that all students have access to transportation- even when the request has come in after 3:00 pm for the next day!  Thank you, LaVon!"

- Emily Cope, Hunters Woods ES

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Ana Coleman, Araceli Nunez, and Regina Johnson, Daniels Run ES

"Thank you to the Daniels Run ES office staff for organizing and facilitating our picture day. They braved the cold and met our students and families with bright smiling faces. Their care and attention to detail made everything move smoothly for our community. Thank you, Ana, Araceli, and Regina!"

- Nayonna Bunaugh, Daniels Run ES

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Guery Cespedes, Emma Aquirre, Daud Ahmed, Jung Sun Ahn, Hannah Ampong, Felicia Boateng, Phuoc Hang Bui, David Deskins, Huy Dinh, Halimo Esse, Tung Hoang, Eduardo Huerta, Eun Jung Kang, Rene Mercado, Juan Miranda, Minh Nguyen, Dinh Nguyen, Georgina Okrah, Carmen Olano, Tuong Phan, Rosa Romera, Mi Song, Francisco Tejada Menjivar, Suong Tram, Helen Whang, Luz Zamora Lake, and Yun Soo Han, Lake Braddock SS

"It is a time to thank and appreciate each and every member of our custodial team. Your work is key to the success of LBSS. You are key to our healthy environment. You are key to our safety and security. You are key to our comfort. You are key to our good image.  Keeping our campus a beautiful and orderly place is very challenging -- it is most appropriate that we recognize the unsung heroes who do it every day -- our Lake Braddock custodial staff -- the most dedicated people you will ever meet. Thank you for serving our school with care and professionalism."

- Patrick Ward, Lake Braddock SS

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Rebecca Pollard, Willow Oaks Admin Center

"Rebecca has been extremely responsive in her support to offices regarding the resources and information which needs to be posted on the Principal Corner. Due to the nature of this school year, there have been times when I sent multiple emails to her within a few days asking for changes and then updating the changes.  Each request has been met positively and quickly. Just today I sent her one last update and the change was made within minutes. Thank you, Rebecca!"

- Ellie Stack, Willow Oaks Admin Center

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Carolyn E. Suarez, Lilia Perez Castro, Sherry A. Owens, Isabel Mata, Ghada A. Eldawi, Sandra V. Coreas, Groveton ES

"The cafeteria staff at Groveton are awesome! I look forward to seeing them each week at meal pack pick-up! They have a great system, they work like a well-oiled machine. They always have a smile despite the weather and how different things are. I can tell how much they care about the kids, and I appreciate all their hard work!"

- a Groveton ES parent

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Faye Lavenhouse, Westfield HS

"Faye serves as sponsor of the Westfield BSU. She organized a student panel after school today to connect students and the Westfield Equity team in a Google Meet. Students were able to speak their truth, use their voices to name their experiences, and state what they wish for themselves and our school community. This experience was incredibly powerful for all involved - students had the opportunity to be heard and teachers and other faculty had the opportunity to listen and learn more. Most exciting was at the end, hearing the urgency from both students and faculty to set up our next panel... and that we can't wait till the end of the year. We need to continue this much sooner than that! Thank you Faye for connecting the BSU and Equity teams!"

- Margaret Sisler, Westfield HS

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Vinh Nguyen, Stonecroft Transportation

"Mr. Nguyen exemplifies the example of a truly adaptable hard working dedicated FCPS employee. At the beginning of 2020, I  noticed how hard he worked and I asked him how long he had been with FCPS transportation, at that time he was still in his probationary status so one would expect him to perform exceptionally. Fast forward 10 months of dealing with Covid 19 issues, schools shutting down and drivers picking up many different tasks to help FCPS and the community amidst constant changes in job duties, expectations, and performance and "Mr. Vihn is still producing high-quality output no matter what you ask of him!" There are so many tasks that we as a team ask of him and the answer is always yes sir and it comes with a smile and an immediate response. It's not easy for just anyone to adapt to all the changes and setbacks but he does it without a second thought. Wow a newbie set the mark high and keeps taking it higher, he was one quality hire for sure and I personally think he inspires us all by being willing, positive, professional, and dependable."

- Lamar Johnson, Jr., Stonecroft Transportation

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Cathy Crawford, Lanier MS

"Cathy is an experienced Exceptional Education teacher who made the transition to being a French teacher (as well as teaching one section of a reading support class) this year. Despite this being a new position, she accepted the role of World Language Department Chair. Cathy is a life-long learner, student & teacher advocate, and a teacher leader in our building. I can't imagine navigating distance learning without her dedication and support."

- Michele Johnson, Lanier MS

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Abhilasha Tripathi, Lanier MS

"Abhilasha is an advocate for the ESOL department every day!  She supports the teachers on the team with structured meetings that help us get the important work done together. Lanier ESOL students are lucky to such an amazing team of teachers working for them every day."

- Michele Johnson, Lanier MS

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Scott Gustaveson, Justice HS

"Mr. G is a teacher that goes above and beyond in teaching students history and its importance to our current world. His creative abilities to use music, art, current events, and popular culture to convey history content is outstanding in helping students better understand our world and society. Mr. G presents himself as approachable to student needs and different ideas for the classroom. He is also a great colleague to team with."

- Anthony Tran, Justice HS

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Angie Thomas, Kathleen Flasco, Erin Turner, Karen Bendorf, and Rory McGlinnen, Westfield HS

"When an urgent request was sent out for examples of units in Schoology, these incredible educators responded and were willing to share their work to help make the transition for ALL teachers in the division easier.  Within an hour of hearing this urgent request, all had selflessly given permission to use their work as examples and exemplars of teacher-created units with varied types of materials in Schoology. Their willingness to share and be vulnerable makes us all better! This is something that we wish we had as examples for our pilot school and now these teachers are ensuring others will have it!"

- Margaret Sisler, Westfield HS

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Justin Nielsen, Fairview ES

"Mr. Nielsen has worked to recognize and connect with his students to ensure that they have the best possible distance learning experience. His puppets and personal reflections resonate with our daughters, they thoroughly enjoy their time with him. When Mr. Nielsen noticed that our daughter was eager to connect with classmates she no longer sees, he set up a lunch bunch and encouraged her to invite classmates. She has LOVED being able to reconnect with classmates on a social level- eagerly recounting their conversations and happenings within their lives to our family.  It really brightens her virtual learning experience and helped her feel part of the larger school community during this isolating time. We are so grateful for the compassion he showed our daughter and the time he took to help her connect with classmates. It really made a difference in her perspective and was an excellent example of how a small act of kindness goes a long way. He not only teaches the Positivity Project to his students but demonstrates it!"

- a Fairview ES parent

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Vered Grossman, Fairview ES

"Mrs. Grossman has really worked to connect with her art students throughout distance learning. Her assignments are both challenging and fun. She teaches through example as she performs the art with the students. She has worked to challenge her students' artistic ability within their own learning environment under her guidance. I've especially noticed how in tune she is with the students and their individual pieces. She thoughtfully answers each question and provides very specific feedback to each student on their piece. Our daughters have worked to alter and redesign their pieces based on the individual feedback she has provided each of them. It really is incredible to see how she has connected with her students to help them refine and improve their individual work. We are left in awe that she is able to connect with the students through the computer at the level she does and inspire them to be the best artist they can."

- a Fairview ES parent

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Susan Frenck, Irving MS

"Dr. Susan Frenck is by far one of the most inclusive and supportive teacher leaders I've had the opportunity to work within FCPS. She facilitates her CLT effortlessly and has created a team working environment in which all voices and opinions are heard and valued. Dr. Frenck is always pushing her instructional innovation and brings timely ideas back to her team, while still maintaining a level of humility that meets her teammates where they are. Perhaps most admirable of her qualities is her quick and conscientious support of any colleague who is in need of classroom support. She steps up to create lessons, organize Schoology pages, track attendance, and pretty much any other task for her colleagues that might be needed. Dr. Frenck, thank you for your continued focus on creating and maintaining a positive and caring culture among our staff at Irving!"

- Emily Cincinnati, Irving MS

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Amy Bailey, Gatehouse Admin Center

"Amy is extremely knowledgeable and is always so helpful and quick to respond to emails. When additional information is needed, Amy graciously provides the background information and logic behind the guidance which is provided. All of this is so important, especially when the topic is PPE. Amy also helps to ensure that all of the information which is available to FCPS staff provides a consistent message and remains current. Thank you, Amy!"

- Ellie Stack, Willow Oaks Admin Center

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Janett Garcia, Sprague Center

"Janett is extremely knowledgeable and incredibly helpful when it comes to SIS issues that have come up this year. With the different return to school start dates and all of the changes we have had to make in SIS, she is always there to answer my questions. She not only provides this support, but she does it in a way that is easily understandable and clear. I am so grateful to her for the invaluable support she has given me and other SIA's both throughout this year and in the past."

- Chris Kamerow, Kings Glen ES

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Eileen Oviatt, Woodson HS

"Thank you Eileen for your willingness to accommodate and support the immediate evaluation need that we had to assist a student with an application for The Mason Life Program. You demonstrated your genuine commitment as an educator to all students and your compassion is appreciated. Thank you for caring the way you do!"

- Tameka Burroughs, Pulley Career Center

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Peggy Cook, Energy Zone Food Service Center

"I would like to nominate Food Service Technical Support employee, Peggy Cook, for the FCPS CARES Employee Recognition Program for all her effort to make my job as an elementary school kitchen manager easier. Ms. Cook began her FCPS career on staff at Edison HS, then moved to Garfield ES as a manager in training before becoming kitchen manager at Cherry Run ES. She then transitioned to the foodservice central office as a technology specialist and spends her workdays supporting other FCPS employees in the central office and in individual schools. Ms. Cook has been my go-to person for any and all technical issues that arise frequently. Whether the problem is software issues with free and reduced applications, creating elementary school student pin cards, navigating computer glitches, re-connecting an unplugged terminal, unlocking the storeroom, or dealing with spaghetti sauce in the pin pad, Peggy worked diligently to correct the concerns. In other words, Peggy can ‘stand the heat’ of the kitchen. Peggy Cook emulates what it means to go above and beyond for her colleagues and exemplifies the true meaning of a "caring culture" in the workplace and she is a true blessing to the employees of the Food and Nutrition Department. Thank you, Peggy, for your unwavering support to all of us!"

- Jane Graves, White Oaks ES

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Teresa Kowal and David Burney, Lorton Center

"Ms. Kowal and Mr. Burney are our Whitman Bookmobile drivers. We are so grateful that they are bringing books to our students! Thanks also to Transportation Services for supporting this opportunity for our Whitman Wildcats."

- Michelle Johnson, Whitman MS

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Kelsey Katchmark, Sunrise Valley ES

"I am so impressed by Mrs. Katchmark and how she has conducted her class during this year! I had it in my mind that this year would just be a wash due to Covid. However, my daughter has learned so much and my daughter has truly bonded with her because of how Mrs. Katchmark engages them! I am so impressed and forever grateful she was able to keep the kids motivated, excited, and learning! I have noticed that even some of the quietest kids initially have opened up to participate more! I too feel like I am in the classroom when I overhear my daughter’s class online! Mrs. Katchmark’s ability to stay positive and cheerful during this method of learning played the most major role in keeping my child eager to learn and share! Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!"

- a Sunrise Valley ES parent

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Megan Cashman, Lake Braddock SS

"Last week, one of our colleagues took a nasty fall on the ice and will be out on medical leave for an extended period of time.  We are right in the middle of virtually registering over 2200 students for next year, which had us all worried. Ca$h jumped in and figured out a plan to divide our injured colleague's students equitably among our department, so as not to overwhelm any of us while at the same time supporting our colleague so she can use her energy to heal. The plan took a lot of logistics decisions off of all of us. Thanks, Ca$h!"

- Jacquie Naughton, Lake Braddock SS

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Kevin, McDonnell, Philippe Cloutier, Tom Montgomery, Patrick Ogden, and Marcos Salinas, Sprague Technology Center

"Mountain View HS is extremely grateful for the support and assistance that Kevin cMcDonnell and his crew from the “Event & Teaching Material Support Services” –Philippe Cloutier, Tom Montgomery, Patrick Ogden, and Marcos Salinas – provided to make our Winter Commencement a very viewable event with no technical mishaps at all.  With the pandemic this year, Mountain View HS had to limit the number of guests each graduate could bring with them. Our graduation ceremony was held in the auditorium but remember Mountain View HS was formerly the original Centreville Elementary School, last updated in 1979.  Team ETMSS brought in their own audio equipment, ensuring the sound was of the highest caliber and easily heard, both in the auditorium and over the live feed; used their video equipment and had varied camera shots which were crisp and showed multiple views in the auditorium; as well as coordinating the transmission of the event onto YouTube Live.  Mountain View HS’ audio equipment sometimes encountered problems and having Team ETMSS and their equipment on-site was a welcome addition and removed one source of worry for Mountain View HS’ staff, enabling us to focus our attention on other matters surrounding the Commencement. There were at least 40 viewers of the live stream and at least 167 views of the recorded event the day afterward. Thanks again to Kevin McDonnel and Team ETMSS for their professionalism and assistance in making this event a truly memorable one for our graduates and their families."

- Joe Thompson, Mountain View HS

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Patty Washington, Willow Oaks Admin Center

"Patty is one example of the glue that holds IAS together. She's a great resource for our teachers and staff. Patty has worked so hard to keep us up to date with all kinds of cool technology and she calmly and patiently troubleshoots every day. Patty is a gift and we adore her!!!"

- Lisa Dockins, Willow Oaks Admin Center

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Caroline Jolly, Whitman MS

"Ms. Caroline Jolly, Whitman's library assistant, completed Whitman's entire library inventory for SY2021. She offered to take on this monumental task, without being asked, and she completed it with flawless dedication. Ms. Jolly wholly supports and promotes the mission and vision of the Whitman Library; she is a valued member of our staff and I am lucky to lead the Whitman Library with her."

- Michelle Johnson, Whitman MS

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Betsy Rogers, Lake Braddock SS

"As a long term substitute counselor for Lake Braddock middle school students, Betsy Rogers is quite simply amazing. After collaborating with our team of teachers to identify students who were struggling during distance learning, Betsy implemented several effective strategies to assist these students. She checks in with students during the week; provides open communication between students, parents, and teachers; and encourages students to utilize their teachers’ office hours or WIN time. Helpful email reminders to students and teachers serve as a check and balances system to ensure that we are all working together as a team for our students’ success. During this challenging time for both teachers and students, Betsy’s warm and friendly personality has truly been an asset to the Lake Braddock family. She has been such an integral part of the Purple Pride team, and this is all to say that we hope she will remain at Lake Braddock for a long time."

- Dana Gorman and Gretchen Hill, Lake Braddock SS

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Lauren Damico, Fort Belvoir Primary

"Lauren always goes above and beyond each time I have needed help! She consistently is making sure that my classroom and students have tech that is functioning and new tech that will make our experiences easier and more engaging during these times! Thank you for always helping my students and me (when my computer gives up!) WE APPRECIATE YOU!"

- Abbey Laitinen, Fort Belvoir Primary

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Celine Sinclair-Peebles, Transition Support Resource Center - Fairfax

"Each time I interact with Celine I am stunned and amazed at her dedication, resourcefulness, and energy in connection with FCPS. She is an amazing woman who gives her heart and soul to the schools. I don't think you will find many like her."

- a Transition Support Resource Center - Fairfax parent

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Maryam Mohammadkhani, Justice HS

"Maryam has been such an excellent addition to our biology CT. She is not only so knowledgeable about the biology curriculum and standards but works so hard to meet the needs of our ELL learners. The way she structures lessons and assignments is so engaging and perfectly tailored to our students. I know we can always count on her to contribute to our lesson planning. Within our CT she provides a lot of insight as well as stepping up and taking on the task of creating summative assessments. Her willingness to step up and help so much does not go unnoticed. We are so lucky to have her on our team."

- Brooke Gehenio, Justice HS

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Mandy Burke, Woodson HS

"I have been in a tough situation and she has shown concern and helped me with resources. She's awesome!"

-  a Woodson HS staff member

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Steven Brown, McLean HS

"My son just received a postcard in the mail from his AP Calculus teacher, just dropping him a note to thank him for bringing his wit to the class. I can’t tell you how much this personal connection means. At the beginning of the school year, my son was sure he was going to fail at calculus with distance learning and Mr. Walker had gone out of his way to build a relationship, catch him up, and reassure him. We are so grateful that he is innovating new ways to build classroom community."

- a McLean HS parent

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Susan Martinez, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology

"We appreciate Ms. Susan Martinez's great help to our daughter and us several times last year and this year. First, at the beginning of the 2020-2021 academic year, my daughter experienced conflicting schedules in her course registration. Ms. Martinez was so patient and thoughtful when she helped my daughter resolve the course registration issues successfully. Last week, Ms. Martinez did a great job advising my daughter on her senior year's course selection. Ms. Martinez is very knowledgeable about the school course offerings. She always shares with us important information about courses, career paths, college search in a very timely manner. She communicates with my daughter and us promptly when there is an issue. Her care for students like my daughter and her professionalism in communicating with parents are very impressive and greatly appreciated."

- a Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology parent 

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Hannah Wolff, Langley HS

"Ms. Wolff was very helpful during my daughter's college application process, and now she is helping my son. It is reassuring to know that someone as knowledgeable and experienced as Ms. Wolff is guiding us, especially considering how volatile things are today. We are very grateful to Ms. Wolff and appreciate how much she cares about her work, and her students."

- a Langley HS parent

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Jennifer Baldesare, Langley HS

"Ms. Baldesare has been extremely helpful with both of my children. One is now in college, the other still at LHS. I am aware of how much work each counselor has, with a heavy student load. Now, during the pandemic, Ms. Baldesare has continued to be extremely responsive and supportive. Our counselors truly are heroes!"

- a Langley HS parent

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Leah Kmetz, Lees Corner ES

"Ms. Kmetz is the music teacher at Lee's Corner. As I'm working from home, every Friday I overhear her joyous singing welcoming each student to music class. It just warms me (and my second grader) especially on these cold winter days, to feel a burst of positivity coming through the screen."

- a Lees Corner ES parent

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Debra Sutor, Lees Corner, ES

"Mrs. Sutor is my daughter's PE teacher and she has been so kind and encouraging to her. She is a wonderful, positive influence. Given the burden on teachers these days, we especially appreciate her paying such close attention to her students."

- a Lees Corner ES parent

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Jayne Rhodes, Lake Braddock SS

"Jayne has taken on virtual learning head-on – learning new platforms and graciously writing assessments for our team and sharing helpful resources. Her input during meetings is always appreciated for its thoughtfulness and insightfulness. We are so grateful to have Jayne on our Algebra 1 team!"

- Kim Hammond, Lake Braddock SS

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Darin Byrd, Lake Braddock SS

"Lake Braddock Algebra 1 students are so lucky to have a teacher like Darin who is committed to building positive relationships with students while also doing his best to deliver content in an easily graspable way. Darin’s positive attitude and thoughtful input during Algebra 1 CT meetings are always appreciated. He has been a wonderful addition to our CT!"

- Kim Hammond, Lake Braddock SS

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Pat Clark. Lake Braddock SS

"Mr. Clark has the enviable ability to immediately make connections with staff and students – something he is able to do even virtually. His calm and jovial demeanor makes people feel instantly at ease, bringing levity to sometimes tense situations. Pat has been an invaluable person to bounce ideas off and is willing to step outside his comfort zone and try new strategies or types of assessment. Pat is an irreplaceable member of our Algebra 1 team and the Lake Braddock Community."

- Kim Hammond, Lake Braddock SS

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Jen Ingersoll, Lake Braddock SS

"Jen is a dedicated teacher and a valuable CT team member. She is extremely thoughtful and reflective about her practice and spends countless hours creating resources that will work best for her students. She does her best to make her lessons fun and engaging for students while also making relationship-building within her class a priority. Her willingness to share ideas and her openness to try new things are qualities that help both her students and colleagues to grow."

- Kim Hammond, Lake Braddock SS

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Bonnie Kolbenstetter, Lake Braddock SS

"I cannot thank Bonnie enough for helping me navigate the world of virtual learning this year. Her input and reflection are invaluable to our classes and helps me grow as a teacher. (She is also very supportive and congratulatory when I finally figure how to do something in Desmos!) Bonnie does an amazing job connecting with students and reaching out to them to make sure they are okay academically and emotionally. She is a wonderful teacher; Lake Braddock is so lucky to have her!"

- Kim Hammond, Lake Braddock SS

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Evelyn Andres, Cedar Lane School & Madison HS

"Evie has been such a support for Cedar Lane. Our students love working with her!  Currently, she is attending classes virtually, whether she is working with a student one on one in a BBCU breakout room, or working with all our students in the virtual setting at the same time. She is simply amazing to our students and staff!"

- Nancy Gadd, Cedar Lane School

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Derek Kelley, Willow Oaks Admin Center

"Derek worked long hours with myself and my TSSPec, well into the evening as we tried to solve/figure out the issues with One Note in the county. He certainly was helpful with us on this issue. Thank you, Derek!  We will see if the next fix that you suggested works!  (Fingers Crossed)"

- Nancy Gadd, Cedar Lane School

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Bobbi Snyder, Westfield HS

"Bobbi Snyder is the epitome of a dedicated high school guidance counselor. I feel so fortunate that both of my daughters were assigned to her. She goes above and beyond to help her students and their parents. I know she has replied to my emails late in the evening and on weekends, obviously working overtime. I love how she always wants the best for her students and she has really looked out for both of my daughters."

- a Westfield HS parent

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Barbara Anderson, Renee Chin, Young Jun, Bus 347

"Bus 347 is ALWAYS so courteous, polite, and on time for the Grab and Go lunches. The lunches are packed neatly and I truly appreciate them!!"

- a Region 3 parent

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Katherine Freyermuth, Glasgow MS

"Ms. Freyermuth is an English 8 teacher in the SPED department who always goes above and beyond. She is exceptionally well prepared in her lessons, always focusing on things that will engage and that are highly relatable for middle school-age youth. She is always warm, energetic, compassionate, and kind to her students. She is a steady presence that encourages, nurtures and guides the group. It is evident she puts a great deal of preparation into her virtual learning classes and puts her student's needs first. She is also extremely responsive when I have an issue or concern related to my son's IEP. She collaborates with me to solve problems and helps me work with the rest of his teachers to meet his needs and support him proactively."

- a Glasgow MS parent

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Eric Laurits, Daniels Run ES

"Eric has gone above and beyond to support Daniels Run during this challenging year! We were thrilled to hire a recent grad to take over a 2nd-grade class when the teacher was promoted to an Assistant Principalship but realized we would need to hire a sub for the two months before she could start. Eric jumped right in to teach instead of a sub so that the students could have a smooth transition with someone they already knew. His work on the morning news, with parent videos and developing grade level PBLs has made him a local celebrity in the community. Thank you for your dedication to ensuring all students receive a rigorous and very JOYFUL education this year!"

- a Daniels Run ES parent

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Sandra Williams, Joanna McGlone, and Chrissy Callaway, Rolling Valley ES

"A huge shout out to a team that works well together and keeps learning engaging in this virtual environment while continuing to challenge their students. Well done!"

- a Roling Valley ES parent

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Jillian Hanson, Waynewood ES

"I want to put on record how amazing Mrs. Hanson is – teaching a virtual Kindergarten class is not an easy task. From day one she has worked tirelessly to provide a predictable, inclusive, and loving learning environment. Our child has learned so much and it is no doubt due to Mrs. Hanson’s teaching strategy. Every single school day, our child was greeted with a smile and so much love and I would be lying if I didn’t say that some mornings I was actually brought to tears just hearing how sweetly Mrs. Hanson interacts with the kids. From teaching the children how to use the computer buttons to teaching them to read words and write letters. I have been so impressed and must say she is the best teacher ever and deserves the highest recognition. I have noticed many times where my child is playing with their dolls and stuffed animals gathered around and pretends to be Mrs. Hanson and replicating her lessons, writing and saying “I see Mrs. Hanson... I see LOVE.” We are so incredibly grateful for Mrs. Hanson and all of our precious WWES teachers."

- a Waynewood ES parent

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Amy Arnold, Cardinal Forest ES

"We just wanted to thank Ms. Arnold for looking out for our son and being another set of eyes while he completes virtual school through a local childcare program. It is clear that she loves her students and is very attentive and cares about their wellbeing and success."

- a Cardinal Forest ES parent

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Amber Shaw, Canterbury Woods ES

"Mrs. Shaw has gone above and beyond what anyone could expect from virtual 5th grade this year. She is connecting with individual students, managing numerous break-out sessions, and keeping parents up to date. My daughter and her classmates are thriving this year despite all the challenges virtual poses. We are so impressed with her ability to provide an enriching learning environment that promotes social, academic, and personal development. She has been successful tailoring to an individual student and small group needs. When asked to select our preference for hybrid or virtual we responded "whatever Mrs. Shaw selects, we will follow" because her talents mattered more than the environment my child learned in. Thank you."

- a Canterbury Woods ES parent

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Kimberly Orr, Mount Vernon HS

"Happy National School Counseling Week! Thank you for all that you do for the students, families, and staff at Mount Vernon. You're a hard-working, compassionate, and dedicated professional, we are so lucky to have you on our team!"

- Rashida Williams, Mount Vernon HS

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Paul Guillion, Mount Vernon HS

"Happy National School Counseling Week!  Thank you for all that you do for the students, families, and staff at Mount Vernon. You're a hard-working, compassionate, and dedicated professional, we are so lucky to have you on our team!"

- Rashida Williams, Mount Vernon HS

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Bryce Green, Mount Vernon HS

"Happy National School Counseling Week! Thank you for all that you do for the students, families, and staff at Mount Vernon. You are a true advocate who is dedicated to your students and the MVHS Community!"

- Rashida Williams, Mount Vernon HS

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Karen Mazzoccoli, Mount Vernon HS

"Happy National School Counseling Week!  Thank you for all that you do for the students, families, and staff at Mount Vernon. You are a true advocate who is dedicated to your students and the MVHS Community!"

- Rashida Williams, Mount Vernon HS

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Maisa Jones, Mount Vernon HS

"Happy National School Counseling Week! Thank you for all that you do for the students, families, and staff at Mount Vernon. You are a true advocate who is dedicated to your students and the MVHS Community!"

- Rashida Williams, Mount Vernon HS

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Cathy Samper, Mount Vernon HS

"Happy National School Counseling Week!  Thank you for all that you do for the students, families, and staff at Mount Vernon. You are a true advocate who is dedicated to your students and the MVHS Community!"

- Rashida Williams, Mount Vernon HS

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Stacia Buckner, Mount Vernon HS

"Happy National School Counseling Week! Thank you for all that you do for all of the students, families, and staff at Mount Vernon. You continue to lead the way for our military and military-connected families. We are so lucky to have you on the team!"

- Rashida Williams, Mount Vernon HS

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Ileana Garcia, Transition Support Resource Center - Fairfax

"I want to express my thanks to my teammate Mrs. Garcia. She is pivotal to our success at TSRC-Fairfax. She is always willing to jump in and assist teachers with contacting our Spanish speaking families. She helps increase student attendance and helps us understand the needs of our student's families. We are lucky to have her. Thank you for your time and dedication, Mrs. Garcia."

- LaToya Prescod, Transition Support Resource Center - Fairfax

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Carolina Roca Del Valle, Stonecroft Transporation Center

"Carolina has been amazing when it came to providing routing information to Lanier MS on a short notice basis. She provided the requested information in record time, was very helpful in answering questions, and, thus, made sure that our early returners had transportation from day one. Almost every day since, I had to send updates and changes to her, which she accommodated in the most efficient way and with the most pleasant attitude. It takes a team to get our kiddos back into the building, and she is most definitely a team player. The staff, students, and parents from Lanier MS thank her for that!"

- Andrea Holmes, Lanier MS

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Melissa Mentzel, Mount Vernon HS

"Happy National School Counseling Week!  Thank you for all that you do for the students, families, and staff at Mount Vernon. You're a hard-working, passionate, and dedicated professional, we are so lucky to have you on our team!"

- Rashida Williams, Mount Vernon HS

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Mary McAlevy, Mount Vernon HS

"Happy National School Counseling Week!  Thank you for all that you do for the students, families, and staff at Mount Vernon. You are an amazing counselor, mentor, and leader!  We are so lucky to have you on our team!"

- Rashida Williams, Mount Vernon HS

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Camille Moore, Mount Vernon HS

"Happy National School Counseling Week!  Thank you for all that you do for the students, families, and staff at Mount Vernon. You're a hard-working, passionate, and dedicated professional, we are so lucky to have you on our team!"

- Rashida Williams, Mount Vernon HS

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Niasharee Frater, Mount Vernon HS

"Happy National School Counseling Week!  Thank you for all that you do for the students, families, and staff at Mount Vernon. You are an amazing counselor, mentor, and leader! We are so lucky to have you on our team!"

- Rashida Williams, Mount Vernon HS

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Patrick Tubbins, Mount Vernon HS

"Happy National School Counseling Week! Thank you for all that you do for the students, families, and staff at Mount Vernon. You are an amazing counselor, mentor, and leader! We are so lucky to have you on our team!"

- Rashida Williams, Mount Vernon HS

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Cheryl Coyne, Lanier MS

"Pivoting to Virtual Education has been a monumental shift. It requires all hands on deck to support students and staff alike. Folks new to education and especially new to Fairfax County require additional TLC, and Cheryl Coyne seems to have an endless supply. Cheryl has always given her all to her students, accepts them for who there are, builds on their strengths, and never gives up on anyone. Turns out she does the same for her new colleagues too! I don't know if she found extra hours in the 24 hour day, but she always has time for a friend in need. Her colleagues report that working with her brings their stress level down, and during a pandemic, we can all use less stress. Cheryl, thank you for making the job of being a virtual educator a little easier."

- Kathryn Teague, Lanier MS

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Amy Ferguson, Hayfield SS

"Amy has gone above and beyond to support and mentor our young scholars at all grade levels at Hayfield High School. She regularly visits during our remediation classes to make sure that they stay on track with their career and college goals. She has been a huge asset to our senior young scholars assisting them with college admissions and scholarship submissions. All of our young scholars know her by face and name and as someone that they can reach out to at a moment's notice.  This is in addition to and beyond what she does for all students at our school. Because of her commitment, students who may not have had the support or opportunity to attend college, have defied those outcomes to pursue academic ventures beyond high school. I am honored to work with her."

- Julie Riley, Hayfield SS

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Brian Head, Teresa Hinds, Morgan Maloney, Rahul Nooniwal, Sean Petitt, Stefan Slavov, Joe Snowaert, and Tracie Thomas, Energy Zone Food Service Center

"Thank you to the Food Services Specialists working onsite in schools to maintain daily food production and distribution. Cold, rain, or snow, your efforts and success make all of our support possible."

- Maria Perrone, Energy Zone Food Service Center

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Kate Hebert, Daniels Run ES

"Kate Hebert wears many hats at Daniels Run. Kate is an integral part of our Enhanced Autism team. She is constantly going above and beyond for her students. She often drops supplies off at their houses (on a weekly basis) and meets with parents daily to help support them virtually, and to make sure her students are getting what they need. She volunteers her time for the Girls on the Run Program, is an active parent in the community, and helps to support the organization, Food for Thought and A Place to Stand. She works tirelessly stuffing food bags for families to make sure they have the food they need through the weekend and over breaks. Any free time she has is spent doing things for others. We are lucky to have her as part of our DRES family!"

- Lauren Hein, Daniels Run ES

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Jocelyn Picado, Willow Oaks Admin Center

"Before beginning a Math AVMR PD, I needed a kit. After kits were delayed and couldn't be sent in the pony AND a snowstorm hit, Jocelyn drove (in the snow!) to my house to deliver the kit so I would have it in time for my class. Jocelyn definitely went above and beyond and I hope she knows how much I appreciate the extra time and effort she took to make sure I had the materials I needed for my PD!"

- Jessica McCarl, Forestdale ES

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Cassandra Lawlor, Whitman MS

"Ms. Lawlor is always helpful and supportive of the After-School Program at Whitman MS. When she has helped me with a project in the past and recently, she is all in to make it amazing! Thank you to Ms. Lawlor for all that she does for her students in the classroom and for the students in the Art Club as part of the After-School Program."

- Chris Tippins, Whitman MS

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Michael Manion, Lynbrook ES

"A great example of how Mr. Manion steps up and goes "above and beyond" his responsibilities. With other classroom IAs having connection issues during this virtual environment, and me on the phone with a new parent/student, Mr. Manion texted the team that he's "got it" and signed on and worked with another student immediately. He always steps up to help and has been very dependable in my class. Most importantly, he has a heart of gold and cares for the students he supports and the staff he works with. He certainly should be recognized for all he does on a daily basis and so much more!  Thank you, Mr. Manion!! #LynbrookStrong #FCPS #CARES."

 

- Max Winegar, Lynbrook ES

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Michael Manion, Lynbrook ES

"I would like to recognize the great efforts of Mr. Manion to not only the primary Enhanced Autism Classroom but also to the entire school of Lynbrook. Mr. Manion is an amazing Instructional Assistant! He is always looking to learn more, receptive to feedback at any time in the day, take that advice and puts it into action, flexible in that he will stop what he is doing immediately and move on to something, and contributes to all staff and training meetings with insightful and valid comments that benefits all of Lynbrook. He also is very thoughtful in that he creates google slides for staff at Lynbrook that might be leaving or celebrating an event/milestone in their lives.  These slides then allow staff members to post comments to let this person know we will miss them or how excited we are for them."

- Max Winegar, Lynbrook ES

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April Taylor, Gatehouse Admin Center

"I cannot say enough about April. Today is not the only time that I've had such a positive experience. She is so responsive to school needs. Whenever you email her, you can anticipate a timely and accurate response. She works 24/7 to ensure that schools/principals have the answers they need to manage their buildings. I am so appreciative of April and her wonderful personality, attitude, and support."

- Maria Eck, Justice HS

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Becky Smith, Hollin Meadows ES

"Ms. Smith, one of our wonderful HMES P.E. teachers, has been meeting with my daughter, every other Wednesday, for lunch since September. Knowing my daughter needs a personal connection to her teachers and friends, Ms. Smith reached out and asked if having lunch together would be helpful for my daughter to ease her anxiety, heightened by the school closure. Their lunches are full of laughter, catching up on life, making workout routines, and genuine non-stop conversation.  Ms. Smith makes it so personal and fun for my daughter, and she really enjoys this special time together. These lunches have given her something to look forward to and give her a much-needed boost!"

 - a Hollin Meadows ES parent

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Enrique Fernandez, Hayfield SS

"Enrique is a caring and talented professional school counselor who works diligently every day to support the students assigned to his caseload, the colleagues that lean on him, and the overall mission of Hayfield Secondary. He is dependable and goes about his business with humor, positivity, and energy. In addition to the myriad of responsibilities that he has within the student services department, he also serves as a member of our faculty advisory committee (FAC). In this role, he has a unique voice, being the only counselor on the committee. Recently, when faced with a challenging anonymous FAC submission, Enrique addressed the concern with grace, professionalism, and a problem-solving approach. He then supported the processing of this concern with his peers and has shown his leadership and dedication to his students, his school, and his profession. Thank you, Enrique, for all you do."

- Matthew Mough, Hayfield SS

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Justin Nielsen, Fairview ES

"In 2019-2020, our young Fairview student experienced a cross-country move, the birth of a third child in our family, the start of kindergarten, a traumatic injury when she was bit by a neighbor’s dog, and then the shutdown of school and life as she knew it due to COVID. We reached out to the Fairview School Counselors to help her manage her understandable anxiety and stress and to help her navigate these many transitions. Between January 2020 and June 2020, Mr. Nielsen was a steadfast and compassionate voice and face for our student. He helped her feel safe and stable in her school environment and helped her be confident enough to make new friends and enjoy school. As a parent, I am so grateful for the support Mr. Nielsen has given both our daughter and us as parents. He has been a pillar of stability during these very uncertain times. And we know our daughter is better off because of his compassion and assistance. Thank you, Mr. Nielsen!"

- a Fairview ES parent

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Sarah deKramer, Floris ES

"Mrs. deKramer has been a great support to my son ever since kindergarten! He is always happy to see her, even now as a 5th grader, especially during the pandemic, when she has been available to my son on a weekly basis, and those extra difficult times when he needs more support. She has her fingers in a lot of pies - Green Team, finding mentors for students, facilitating friendships, recognizing other staff, helping with meals, etc. She is an asset to our community."

- a Floris ES parent

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Becky Coleman, Orange Hunt ES

"Ms. Becky Coleman, I want to say how very thankful we are to you for your continued efforts at reaching every single one of your kids, with challenges and obstacles at this time and even if they don't have any issues. Not only are you persistent in making contact with parents, but you are also kind and honest in your approach when speaking with your students. You always ensure that students have the necessary materials, equipment, and supports to engage in their own learning. You genuinely care about their well-being and are quick to find the proper supports as needed. Thank you for making this difficult virtual school year for our kids a little more enjoyable...!!!"

- an Orange Hunt ES parent

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Michelle Johnson, Orange Hunt ES

"Ms. Johnson has gone above and beyond her duties to ensure our kids have all of the necessary resources and support at Orange Hunt. She is always present and ready to support as needed with the student and parents when needed. She is an outstanding professional who goes above and beyond for students every day! Thank you, Ms. Johnson."

- an Orange Hunt ES parent

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Steven Nicklas, Fairview ES

"Mr. Nicklas is literally the best teacher ever! He is always positive and is so kind to his students. We are thankful every day he is our teacher!"

- a Fairview ES parent

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Erin Assaf, Fairview ES

"Ms. Assaf has worked tirelessly to support my 5th grader. She is patient and always speaks respectfully. My child is fortunate to have Ms. Assaf because she is so helpful even on weekends or after school hours. My child even has her cell phone number when she needs assistance with her daily assignments. This has been a very hard year but my child told me she is so happy she has Ms. Assaf."

- a Fairview ES parent

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Julia Haywood, Little Run ES

"Ms. Haywood has gone above and beyond all year to help my son learn and be successful this year. We are new to the area, and she has really helped to bridge the gap between home and school. My child who does not really like school much is always ready to attend her class. She is a positive force in his life."

- a Little Run ES parent

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Kiley Barone, Daniels Run ES

"Standing ovation to Ms. Barone for keeping her cool while her class participated in a student-led Kahoot!! I was just sitting in the same room (with said student) and it was a practice in patience just to listen. I cannot say enough good things about how Ms. Barone meets students where they are, engage them in ways that make them excited, and plans and implements differentiated lessons. I am so glad my son is in your class!"

- a Daniels Run ES parent

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Dianne Hardbower, Glen Forest ES

"Dianne is a caring employee who works and advocates very hard for her school community.  She is always going above and beyond to help her community but today she came in during inclement weather to make sure that a parent that needed a laptop to be able to participate in an FCPS meeting, was able to get what he needed. She ensured that he also had tech support AND she gave her contact information in the event that the parent needed any additional support. She is a wonderful example of an employee who goes the extra mile and truly cares about her school community."

- Michelle Claude, Gatehouse Admin Center

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Nancy Gaboury and Jen Dougherty, Kilmer Center

"Nancy and Jen bring energy, enthusiasm, strength, and heart to each and every Kilmer Center student and staff member, too.  In our Adapted PE department, Nancy and Jen used creative ways to get students active during the start of virtual learning, like a family workout challenge and exercises to do at home. Nancy has spearheaded a Wellness Committee for staff, which is a much-needed way to connect with each other during COVID times. Thank you Nancy and Jen for all you do - we recognize you and appreciate you!"

 - Julia Sullivan, Kilmer Center

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Nicole "Nikki" Lehman, Chantilly HS

"Students describe Ms. Lehman as caring, engaging, amazing, willing, thoughtful, and inclusive, just to name a few. On a daily basis, Ms. Lehman seeks opportunities to support her students, team, department, and school. Her dedication and experience set the example that others strive to meet because they don't want to let her down. She commands respect through her servant leadership and caring relationships. Not only is she a cornerstone of the CHS English Department, but also of Chantilly High School."

- Zachary Winfrey, Chantilly HS

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Bobby Nelson and Luc Nguyen, Chantilly HS

"Mr. Nelson and Mr. Nguyen are dedicated to their students both inside and outside of the classroom. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Mr. Nelson and Mr. Nguyen have volunteered countless hours collecting, distributing, and organizing thousands of books. Their work has allowed hundreds of students to receive the books they need to complete courses successfully. If there is a volunteer opportunity, you can bet that Mr. Nelson and Mr. Nguyen will be there."

- Zachary Winfrey, Chantilly HS

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Marc Matthie, Chantilly HS

"Mr. Matthie has consistently gone above and beyond to support students and staff in the effort to build a more just, equitable, diverse, and inclusive Chantilly High School. He has volunteered numerous hours after school, working with stakeholders to plan, organize, and implement a school-wide Advisory curriculum that fits the needs of our community. Mr. Matthie is always available and willing to help anyone that is interested in making Chantilly a better place."

- Zachary Winfrey, Chantilly HS

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Donna (Sissy) Moses, Hayfield SS

"Sissy not only passionately cares about her students but her colleagues as well. During the pandemic, she has reached out to others, and to me, to share inspiring words, a funny joke, or just check-in to make sure others are doing OK. She is an asset to our student body and our faculty and staff. Thank you, Sissy, for modeling the "caring citizen" facet of our Hayfield vision statement for all of our Hawks. You are appreciated!"

- Matthew Mough, Hayfield SS

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Darlene Mojado-Ligan, Frost MS

"I want to thank Mrs. Mojado-Ligan for making my daughter's 8th-grade year so special.  Her lessons are engaging and energetic.  My daughter is often collecting home supplies to create science experiments, drawing detailed pictures of elements, or part of a lively discussion about science.  She excitedly shares facts she has learned during class with the family over dinner. We are extremely grateful for how virtually amazing Mrs. Mojado-Ligan has made her 7:30 AM science class ring this unusual year!"

- a Frost MS parent

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Cory Apps, Marshall High School

"My son began high school this year and as a freshman with an IEP for severe ADHD it has been a challenge for him to adapt to the workload and the increased executive functioning requirements.  In an immensely stressful time (and suffering in many cases because his parent grew up in another country and doesn't understand how American high schools work) there has been one shining light: Wrestling Coach Cory Apps.  Mr. Apps was also one of my son's English teachers.  Mr. Apps has that invaluable ability to bring students together and create a sense of belonging, mutual respect, and a team of kids that take care of each other and mature emotionally with each other's support.  Although multiple people normally coach and run the GCM wrestling team, Coach Apps has done so single-handedly when the other coaches stepped back due to covid concerns.  He devotes countless hours every week to the wrestling program, giving kids like my son a refuge every day from being at home 24/7 in too small a space with family members all under stress from the pandemic.  Mr. Apps nurtures each kid and talks through things with them, and we have seen a lot of growth and emotional maturity in our son since he began at Marshall.  We feel extremely lucky to have a teacher like this at Marshall, he gives the kids a home from home.  We very much hope that now he has his masters degree he will be offered a position at Marshall on a more permanent basis, he's a superstar teacher and has made a huge impact in such a short time."

- a Marshall HS parent

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Brittany Nicolich, Lake Braddock SS

"Brittany has made a huge impact on our department this year. New to Lake Braddock she volunteered to be our CT lead and has elevated them to all be great.  I'm so impressed with her leadership style, preparedness, and willingness to ask for help when needed. I appreciate how hard she works for her team, her department, and her school."

- Bob Digby, Lake Braddock SS

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Kylie Eldredge, Westfield HS

"Ms. Eldredge has been the cornerstone of the special education department at WHS.  This year, she has taken on additional responsibilities and is overseeing the entire Cat A department, during a leadership transition.  She has been accessible to students, staff and parents, attending multiple meetings, and all handling difficult student situations.  She has been an outstanding leader for the department and very much appreciated by all the WHS community!"

- Xiara Davis, Westfield HS

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Isaac Bumgardner, Westfield HS

"Isaac is going above and beyond the call of duty for the students and community of Westfield in his role as the Assistant Director of Student Activities. This job, on a 'regular' year has its challenges and responsibilities, but Isaac (working closely with fantastic DSA, Terri Towle), has planned and executed a live streaming set up for athletics that has allowed our families and students access  our competitions. He is often at Westfield day and night to maintain the high level of output that Westfield Activities is known for. This is his first year in the position and he is making a positive impact every day. Isaac also supports the clubs of the school by maintaining and creating Schoology pages for student access. He is truly a positive asset to our school community."

- Laura Waterman, Westfield HS

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Joann Lesser, Westfield HS

"Joann ensures all our students have multiple opportunities to receive library books and materials. She organized the bus runs on Mondays to local elementary schools but when students can't make those she will take books to them when it meets their schedule. Joann is so conscientious and ensures our students can access all they need in order to have a great educational experience. She goes above and beyond."

- Luann Hoyseth, Westfield HS

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Melissa Goddin, McNair Upper ES

After observing my co-teacher and me teaching in the virtual classroom, Melissa emailed us both with her reflections regarding our performance.  Her comments were not only genuine, thoughtful, and helpful, but also clearly designed to provide us with inspiration during this difficult time of teaching online.  Not only does Melissa reach out to provide individual staff members with performance feedback and inspiration, but she is also a leader who instills a sense of pride and optimism in all McNair Upper staff.  She maintains a sincerely energetic and cheerful demeanor, even in less than ideal times.  Melissa is truly a leader who makes me feel valued, appreciated, and heard through her use of climate check surveys and open mic and door policies.

- Pamela Gehle, McNair Upper ES