FCPS Cares – Going the Distance!

By Department of Human Resources
June 02, 2020

FCPS Cares–Going the Distance! Since schools and offices physically closed in March, countless FCPS staff members have put in a herculean effort to support students, parents, and their FCPS colleagues during this challenging time. Please join us in applauding the employees listed below, who have been recognized for going the distance!

To recognize an employee with an FCPS Cares, please visit our submission page.

To view past submissions, please visit our previous submissions page

Kelly Willis, Burke School

"Kelly is our SBTS and has done a fantastic job with the virtual learning shift and is able to do almost anything asked of her by the staff. Our school was able to avoid the Spring crashing of our virtual classes that plagued FCPS, due to Ms. Willis' skill in finding a work-around so we were able to keep teaching. She continues to be the go-to person for many different tasks for everyone at Burke School.  She has helped us get quicker access to support, solved innumerable problems and always has a smile for everyone."

-  Michael Craven, Burke School

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Danny Mikhail, Lanier MS

"We were so impressed with the laptop tech support at Lanier! He called within two hours of our reporting that the camera didn't work, scheduled a time to call back to remote in, and determined that the camera problem wasn't user error.  He then came TO OUR HOUSE within a couple of hours to do a contactless swap so that our child had a working computer for the next school day.  We were so impressed with the great service!"

- a Lanier MS Parent

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Sarah Richardson, Herndon ES

"Ms. Richardson is working tirelessly to make sure that all of the students at Herndon Elementary (and even surrounding schools!) have access to library books.  Many of our students live too far to walk to the school for checkout and have no other way to get to the school.  What does Sarah Richardson do?  She loads her car with books and drives to the areas of the community where these students live.  She has made herself available to parents and family members who need advice about books for reluctant readers.  She is using any resource in the Herndon community that can help her with the mission of getting books into the hands of students.  Ms. Richardson is showing the children and families of our community that books are a connection to their teachers, to their school and to their education.  The entire Herndon community is benefitting from her passion to educate.  Thank you, Ms. Richardson!"

- Sara Murphy, Herndon ES

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Lisa Muir, South County HS

"Ms. Muir recently sent personalized post cards home to students to let them know she was thinking of them and is happy to support them in their virtual endeavors. They were received with huge adoration. Return message from a student - "I got your card in the mail today, it really made my whole week. I hope you and your family are doing well, and I want to say thank you for the advice, for being not only the best teacher, but one of my best friends". We are so appreciative of Ms. Muir's continued diligence in building relationships with her students."

- Samantha Tolan, South County HS

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Anne Flannagan, Greenbriar West ES

"Anne is an exceptional School Counselor, who finds creative resources and ways to help others in a very pro-active way. In October, Anne assisted a non-English-speaking family to find a home after they were threatened with eviction, helped them move, and even provided pizza on the day of the move! She is a caring, creative School Counselor who is very deserving of recognition."

- Jeanne McKinley, Greenbriar West ES

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Deanne Lyon, Willow Oaks

Deanne Lyon is our Curriculum Resource Teacher at Interagency Schools. She is our leader for Edmentum. She has assisted me many times in the past either in person, via telephone and video chat. She is patient and wants to make sure you understand the information. She had recently spent several hours tutoring a student of ours in Edmentum. When she heard that she had no school supplies, she drove down to our center and hand delivered a bag of school supplies to the student. The student was so happy that she can use these for her next school. We LOVE you Deanne. You have a LOVING heart.

- Adam Wong, Less Secure Shelter Home

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Rania Saliba, Franklin Sherman ES

"Ms. Saliba has made a very positive and discernible impact in my son's life even in the very short time we have been with her. She has helped my son in his transition from out of State (we are new to FCPS, and to VA) during this remote learning period by constantly supporting both him and me, with strategies and interventions during his school day; She also went above and beyond by making sure the remote learning situation did not impede him developing a therapeutic rapport with her; As an example, she set up meetings with him in open fields (socially distant and with masks) to get to observe him and have him connect with her; immediately after that meeting my son's responsiveness to her remote instructions, and his attention, improved, and we also saw an impact on how he communicated with us outside of school; She also made herself available to me any time of the day by phone calls and emails; And her advice was always very useful; Ms. Saliba is a wonderful and talented Special education teacher who gives her all to her students and clearly knows how to maximize their strength and work on improving their weaknesses. I do not think we would have had a successful remote learning experience, for a child on the Autism spectrum, with attention issues AND who has joined from another school, if it wasn't for Ms. Saliba! It was very impressive when I heard the same impression from other parents who have kids with special needs, who were lucky to have had Ms. Saliba as their teacher; She is a rare breed and such an asset for the Franklin Sherman school!"

- a Franklin Sherman ES Parent

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Tarik Kilgore, Riverside ES

"Tarik has gone out of his way to set myself and my students up for success in the virtual learning environment. He has helped with document cameras, helping the students with  logins/ passwords/ promptly fixing computers. Besides being an amazing IT support, he also is a great mentor to the students in my classroom. He has come in to the virtual setting to check in, and asks about my students often. He is a rock star in my eyes, and more importantly in the students eyes! Thank you Tarik!"

- Lorri Hallenbeck, Riverside ES

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Cassandra Deedy, Edison HS

"I have had the pleasure of working with Cassandra for the last several years to support our LBSS students as they explore academy courses at Edison. Every year I have worked with Cassandra, she has done everything she can to "make it work" so students can get exposure to real world courses, and to possibly find the passion that keeps them in school and takes them further to a career and a bright future. Despite being virtual this year, Cassandra has been no less committed to finding opportunities for our kids. She has worked magic, has been flexible, and truly understands that these classes are what give many kids an element of hope. Sometimes our "plan" doesn't work out, but I never see her stop trying. I'm so grateful to her and her academy staff."

- Jacquie Naughton, Lake Braddock SS

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Deb Peirce, Herndon HS

"Herndon and South Lakes partnered this fall for virtual college visits, however SLHS has been without a College and Career Specialist since the beginning of September. Deb has been fantastic in sharing information with us to push out to our students and families. She has been so generous with her time to ensure that our students didn't miss any opportunities and I cannot thank her enough!"

- Heather Thomas, South Lakes HS

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Rebekah Person, McLean HS

"Mrs. Rebekah Person sets the physical education teacher bar very high at McLean High School through her thoughtful, caring, and attentive instruction and outreach to students and parents during online classes.  She reached out personally to an untold number of parents to advise that their high schoolers were not engaging in online class break out sessions, turning in assignments, and seemed otherwise unfocused during PE class. We know one high schooler, and expect dozens of others, has benefited from her extra efforts and send thanks for a job well done for creatively engaging hard to reach high schoolers during these challenging, COVID times.  Thank you Mrs. Person!"

- a McLean HS Parent

 

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Nathan Poumade and Karen Miller, Robinson SS

"Throughout distance learning our School Based Technology Specialists have worked tirelessly to help our staff navigate these uncertain times.  Nate and Karen consistently go above and beyond for any staff member that needs additional support.  They meet with teachers individually, run tech boot camps after school, and offer supplemental PD opportunities to staff.  Their work ethic is exceptional, and their willingness to share their technological knowledge allows our staff to provide the best levels of instruction to our students.  THANK YOU, NATE AND KAREN!"

- Daniel Clements, Robinson SS

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Maricela Naranjo, Hunt Valley ES

"Maricela is very passionate about her job with Grab n Go!  She genuinely CARES for each family, and is delightful to work with. Within the first week of our route, she knew what families/vehicles, etc to look for at each stop. This morning she recognized a customer hadn't shown up yet, and asked to wait just a little longer (last stop)  The lady was running late and was so grateful.  We should all be as passionate about our jobs as Maricela!"

- Barbara Davis, Transportation - Lorton Center

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Susan Fox, Westfield HS

Susan Fox has contributed greatly to the mission of FCPS and Westfield HS through her role as the Assessment Coach, but also by going beyond her title and supporting many aspects of the school’s virtual learning transition. She has created a school-wide database for student textbooks, ran the SATs with the testing team, supported events at school, served on the SIIP team and provided essential data for goals. Susan’s work is invaluable, not only to student services and the administrative team, but to the school community. Susan is a true team player and we are fortunate to have her at Westfield.

- Laura Waterman, Westfield HS

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Alfred Bunaugh, Transition Support Resource Center - Fairfax

"I would like to recognize Mr. Bunaugh our Safety and Security Officer.  Mr. Bunaugh is well respected and liked by our students at our site. Mr. Bunaugh is someone I turn to for help in many areas such as classroom management ideas/data collection, computer help, a laugh and for a reality check that I need throughout the year.  He is real, knowledgeable and forthcoming. His motto about being a shepherd and not a sheep makes me a bit out of my comfort zone, but is what I need sometimes.  Even virtually he is looking out for faculty, staff and students by recommending wellness tips, cyber safety recommendations and technical support even "after" hours.  Thank you for all you do!"

- Ann Gary, Transition Support Resource Center - Fairfax

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Heather Brown, Mosby Woods ES

"It first began with Heather sharing her knowledge to make the lives easier of all librarians who were hoping to share the library collections with students by providing Curbside Checkout.
It continued by providing one-on-one support through emails, a phone call, and even a Google Meet to ensure that I was getting the answers I needed to be successful.  This all took place after a long school day and she was so kind to stick with me until I achieved success."

-  Carrie Bartlett, Hunt Valley ES

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Kevin Gentner, Glasgow MS

"Mr Gentner was an absolute gem when we had to take two of the laptops in for service due to audio not working. It was the day for materials pick up, and although we had made an appointment at 5pm and arrived at 4:40, we found that the line was insanely long. I texted him to make another appointment time for the computers, but instead he walked outside to pick up the computers (all of us masked) and worked on them while I was in line. When we finally got to the front of the line at 5:32pm, he was done replacing one computer and updating the drivers on the other. It was a frustrating day for us to have to wait that much past our appointment time to pick up a workbook, but his sympathy for us and above-and-beyond effort made it more bearable. He was amazing and must be commended! Thank you!"

-  a Glasgow MS Parent

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Michelle Alspaugh, Edison HS

"Mrs. Alspaugh has spent a crazy amount of time every night condensing the lessons for an IB English class into the hours allotted to the average online class at Edison. On top of that, she's looked out for her students' mental health by consistently making her own job harder in order to keep us all afloat during this insane time. She's shown unbelievable dedication and genuinely cares, putting in the effort to help us through readjusting to online school and always providing some form of assistance whenever a student needs it. The amount of gratitude her class feels is immeasurable in the least."

- a Edison HS Parent

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Rachel Albert, Dogwood ES

"Rachel, Thank you for partnering with the Office of ESOL Services and creating and sharing the useful Technology Terms for Distance Learning Google slide presentation outlining graphic resources for our students and teachers. This resource has been shared with all of ESOL colleagues and will help bridge communication with our students.  The ESOL office is grateful for your support!"

Evangelia Ifantides, Willow Oaks

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Jen Delinsko, South County HS

"Well...all I can really say is Jen Delinski is the REAL DEAL! I continue to be in awe of her commitment, creativity, and excellence! From her support of our 2020 virtual graduation to yearbook to broadcast to clubs to simply just being a champion of all things kids and SC every single day. We are so lucky to have you and thank you for all the work you do!"

- Brett Garner, South County HS

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Katherine Catanzaro, Floris ES

"Ms. Catanzaro has worked tirelessly to ensure that virutal learning is engaging for students. She promotes independence through meaningful tasks and strong relationships. She communicates regularly with families, assists with technology, and is warm and caring toward all of the students. She gives so much of her time -- even hosting evening parent meetings to ensure everyone's questions are answered.  It is clear that she is dedicated to the success of her students. Her hard work has not gone unnoticed and I am thankful my daughter has her as a teacher this year!"

- a Floris ES Parent

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Kellie Prosser, Laurel Ridge ES

"Kellie is an exceptional teacher leader. She leads her team and makes it look effortless, always keeping students at the forefront. Kellie supported our staff and facilitated a training on how to use Literacy Footprints, amongst all of the expectations and adjustments to virtual learning. Our students, family and staff are so lucky to have Kellie at LRES!"

- Jean Wyche, Laurel Ridge ES

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Betsy Whiting, Deer Park ES and Kimberly Perri, McNair ES

"Betsy and Kimberly, Thank you for partnering to create and share useful Talking Points step-by-step graphic resource for our teachers and administrators. This resource has been shared with all of FCPS colleagues and will help bridge communication with our students and families. The ESOL office is grateful for your support!"

- Evie Ifantides, Willow Oaks

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Azita Bakhtiani, Hamdi Aly, Sandie Castle, Tammy Walls, Karen Miller, Transportation - Stonecroft

"What an impressive act of generosity! When others step out of their typical role and offer sincere kindness and efforts, it impresses me. I say sincere, because we all have heard others say they will be there for us, but when people don’t say it, they do it, that’s what I’m talking about!! Karen Miller, Transportation Supervisor, coordinated an effort of which I will not soon forget. When Azita Bakhtiani, Hamdi Aly, Sandie Castle, and Tammy Walls came to my rescue I was impressed from the moment they walked in the door the morning of Wednesday, September 16th to our Library at McNair Elementary. These, and all bus drivers, care for and safely transport thousands of students to our schools; and do so knowing these are precious lives they are responsible for and dedicated to. Having never worked in a library they were certainly out of their comfort zone. When I told them that putting books in numeric order would take hours, they might have thought I was crazy. Yet, after spending days, yes days, not hours, putting books in order then moving them to the shelves, they never complained and constantly offered to do more! Azita, Hamdi, Sandie, and Tammy sat, stood, kneeled, bent, reached, lifted, carried, and organized over 2,200 books! Some days they were here before I was, ready to work! They barely even stopped for a fast lunch break. Every time I turned around there they were, working! Each of them worked on something very new to them and did it with amazing accuracy and attention to detail. I was so humbled by their sincere generosity and their work ethic. After our library assistant was de-staffed, the work has seriously started to pile up. With the help of Azita, Hamdi, Sandie, and Tammy, and their 224-man hours, I’m beginning to have our library ready for our students to check out fabulous books! They worked for almost two weeks straight; and to this day already have plans to come back and help more! Thanks to this amazing team, I’m feeling grateful for those who do, and not just say, they will help. Azita Bakhtiani, Hamdi Aly, Sandie Castle, and Tammy Walls care! I want everyone to know that it is team players like them who come to the rescue when others really need help and support. THEY are the ones who can really say: We are here for you.  They put in so much time and effort, they were so amazing, and they did it selflessly, to help me, our school, and the students! THANK YOU Azita, Hamdi, Sandie, Tammy, and Karen!"

- Kristen Pappano, McNair ES

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Elsa Fisher, Marta Kritselis, Jorge Santillan, Mohamed Ibrahim, Berry Cromer, Transportation - Stonecroft

"Our school has undertaken and is working on a book distribution mission to ensure all students are receiving quality books that they can read at home and to enhance their learning.  It is a large task, which includes pulling books from shelves, putting books into bags, organizing the bags, and ensuring these bags get to families.  Elsa, Marta, Jorge, Mohamed, and Berry volunteered their time to help us prepare books and put them into bags for our students and families. We are eternally grateful they were able to support us in this endeavor. Although, we have not had an opportunity to work with them before, we are grateful for their time and effort to support us in making this possible for our students.  THANK YOU Elsa, Marta, Jorge, Mohamad, and Berry!"

- Jean Wyche and Stephanie Giba, Laurel Ridge ES

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Diana Lins, Centreville ES

"Mrs. Lins is the epitome of THE ideal teacher!  I have had 2 children who have had Mrs. Lins as their kindergarten teacher, one before COVID (2017) and currently.  I could not ask for a better person to support, encourage, push and engage my children with such grace! Mrs. Lins has an amazing amount of patience, acceptance and love for each child in her class and it shines through. Most recently during distance learning Mrs. Lins and her team of support have been an excitement for my kindergartener to look forward to every day!  The way she talks with kids is amazing, she is always smiling and genuinely happy to see them. If my child gets frustrated she checks in with them and always seems to know what to say or do to help her get in a better mood and refocused on learning!  I can tell my child is learning through distance learning and likes school, and it is because of Mrs. Lins and her wonderful team of support!!!  Thank You!!"

- a Centreville ES Parent

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Anthony Tran, Justice HS

"Anthony Tran is an Instructional Assistant whose skills in the virtual classroom and the technical realm have made all the difference in this very challenging educational environment. Anthony provides solid, reliable, and well-informed support during online classes. He maintains a helpful rapport with the students and has been indispensable in supporting individuals in their online classwork and monitoring small groups in breakout sessions. Anthony has the ability to quickly shift gears and take on an urgent task when the situation requires it -- which in distance learning is quite frequent. For his skills as an educator and a de facto tech consultant, Anthony Tran goes above and beyond on a daily basis."

-  Teresa Barry, Justice HS

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Emily Tobin, Deer Park ES

"Ms. Tobin stayed in touch with our child during the spring and summer during the pandemic. She is always very kind, positive and encouraging. During lockdown she dropped a goodie bag for our son with books, fidgets, goodies and a hand sanitizer bottles, at the time when they were impossible to buy in the store! She did it at least twice and brought it to our doorstep with a heartfelt note. Clearly it is beyond anything we would expect, but it was such a nice and kind gesture, especially in these stressful times. My son will definitely remember Ms. Tobin!"

- a Deer Park ES Parent

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Jacquie Naughton, Lake Braddock SS

"Jacquie Naughton has the unique role of transition counselor at Lake Braddock.  She works with our Tier 2 and 3 students.  She has made home visits with other colleagues for any of her students with attendance concerns.  She has also worked with the PTSA and her colleagues to lead a variety of parent, staff and student presentations: Social Emotional Learning presentation, Helping students in the Virtual World, Follow-up open parent Q&A session, CT Leads and supporting colleagues, and How to access counselors in a virtual World.  Jacquie goes above and beyond daily for the Lake Braddock Community.  She is incredible in her work ethic and she is the greatest champion for her students!"

- Alka Howard, Lake Braddock SS

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Amy Soos, Lake Braddock SS

"Prior to the start of school, Amy Soos, Lake Braddock SOSA, led the initiative to contact each and every student who did not show up for advisory on Wednesday, September 2nd.  For any students with attendance concerns, she has made home visits with school staff members to ensure that students are attending school.  As a result, we have seen an increase in school attendance at Lake Braddock.  I am so proud of the work that she does and how dedicated she is to the students and community!"

- Alka Howard, Lake Braddock SS

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Bethany Kirksey and Diana Kidd-Hines, Halley ES

"We would like to recognize Bethany Kirksey and Diana  Kidd-Hines for going above and beyond while working with their preschool special education students and their families. Bethany delivered the preschool supplies to our home on her day off and created and laminated a visual schedule when I expressed that our son was struggling with following daily routines.  They're knowledgeable, patient, attentive, and very supportive. Their class agenda and activities are organized, engaging, and enhances learning.  Thank you so much Bethany and Diana for all your hard work and support!"

- a Halley ES Parent

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Robin Borean, Sprague Center

"Throughout my first weeks as a new school-based administrator, Robin went above and beyond to support my newly hired special education teachers.  Robin worked to get my new teachers access to SIS so teachers could contact parents to introduce themselves and take daily attendance. Robin’s commitment to the students and staff at Hayfield is unmatched and we are lucky to have her as part of our learning community.  Thank you, Robin!"

- Andrew Guillen, Hayfield SS

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Allison Levy, Robinson SS

"Thank you, Ms. Levy, for taking the time to send my son a postcard welcoming him to your Honors Government class prior to school starting. I understand that teachers needed to spend a lot of time preparing for distance learning, so your personalized note meant a lot to our family. Please know that we appreciate the time you take to send weekly email updates informing families of what has transpired in your class each week as well as reminding us of upcoming assignments. You are appreciated!"

- a Robinson SS Parent

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William Root, Daniels Run ES

"I have been blown away by Mr. Root's efforts to individualize my son's physical education! He has reached out these 3 weeks of school to give us pictures and audio descriptions of adapted movements. Today, within 90 minutes, Mr. Root reached out to us with the information he had, received the gen ed plans himself, adapted the movements, created a powerpoint including embedded, custom audio descriptions for my son, and picture/video clips for me. This was so touching. It means so much. For my son, it is the difference between frustration and motivated movement.
In a time when everyone is struggling through unprecedented experiences, Mr. Root has been a solid, reliable, kind, supportive beacon and my son looks forward to working with him each week!"

- a Daniels Run ES Parent

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Clinton Sower, Willow Oaks

"Clinton is amazing.  He is a problem solver and always interested in facilitating ways to make data accessible to schools to help with monitoring programs and progress.  In the spring and on a tight timeframe, he designed a system for parents to let us know about AAP choice of center or local level IV placement.  He is helping us gather school improvement goals around Young Scholars so that schools can learn from one another and make the work more visible. We are so grateful!  Thank you, Clinton!"

- Kirsten Maloney, Willow Oaks

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Tamara Slanoc, Sandburg MS

"I would like to recognize Tamara Slanoc, a special education teacher at Sandburg Middle School. I have worked with her for a few years now and we have collaborated a lot in the last few weeks in the distance learning environment. She is lead for a technology program at Sandburg and always goes above and beyond to communicate and collaborate with me and to support her colleagues and students use of the program. Additionally, she is the case manager for students and has worked closely with myself, her students and their families to make sure all of their individual assistive technology needs were set up. We have emailed as well as met virtually a few times and today she invited me to join one of her classes. With everything going on, her attention to detail and communication with colleagues and families has been remarkable. Thank you Ms. Slanoc for demonstrating why Sandburg Cares!"

- Jenn Regardie, Sandburg MS

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Daniel Schroll, Poplar Tree ES

"Daniel Schroll is truly an amazing asset to our Poplar Tree school community, especially during these demanding times.  He has been working diligently to provide us, his colleagues, both academic and emotional support.  First, as our Mathematics Lead Teacher, he has shared his expertise by creating an informative math modules site, hosted a staff Q and A session, met with individual teachers many times to plan virtual instruction, emailed a weekly math update, and produced perfectly timed videos, addressing topics that are causing frustration.  Daniel's ability to respectfully and generously collaborate with his fellow educators is wonderful.  He knows how to calm our fears and reassure us that "WE CAN DO HARD THINGS!"
In addition to providing this much needed and appreciated academic support, Daniel started a Positivity Group with an emphasis on self-care.  Each morning, he sends the group members a theme song and a short inspirational message to start our day off with a smile or laugh. I know personally, I look forward to receiving these motivational messages and know that they are making this challenging journey a little more manageable. Daniel has been a ray of sunshine during one of the hardest school years that most of us has ever experienced.  We would be lost without him here at Poplar Tree!  Please consider giving Daniel the C.A.R.E.S. Award."

- Pamela Gomez, Poplar Tree ES

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Sarah Wegener, Justice HS

"Sarah always goes above and beyond to create engaging authentic learning opportunities for our students. Although virtual learning has been overwhelming, she took this as a time to think outside of the box with regards to engaging students. She used money from a grant to buy video cameras to set up in the environment around our high school. These are being used for all of our biology students to watch and take data and complete their own science experiment (all from the comfort of their home). Her commitment to trying and implementing new ideas is admirable and she is always willing to help with a task in our CT. Having a colleague like Sarah during these unprecedented times makes me feel more relaxed and confident in our ability as teachers!"

- Brooke Gehenio, Justice HS

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Meghan Buckles, Sangster ES

"Ms. Buckles was an amazing teacher throughout the entire 2019-20 school year.  She showed my daughter so much love and attention and truly cared about each of her students.  She was especially caring with my daughter after a difficult family situation and provided support and feedback.  When it became necessary to move to remote learning in the spring of 2020, Ms. Buckles was amazing.  In speaking with other parents whose kids had different teachers, it was apparent that Ms. Buckles went above and beyond to keep her students engaged and made sure her students' parents were as informed as possible about each step of the process.  I am so grateful that she was my daughter's teacher and wish her the best in her future teaching."

- a Sangster ES Parent

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Dave Penland, Transition Support Resource Center - Fairfax and James Guay, Sprague Technology Center

"Dave and James have made heroic efforts and numerous visits to this residential site to make sure that the students had supplies and tech support they need for virtual learning."

- Susan Lemarie, Leland House

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Colleen Eddy, Willow Oaks

"With Constitution Day approaching at Lake Braddock and across the nation, we reached out to Colleen to help guide us through some potentially rough waters given the climate in the country.  Within hours, Colleen sent over a variety of resources as well as offered her own insight on how to go about navigate conversations.  Because she is incredible, she followed up a couple of days later with yet another resource. While the situation above is the most recent example, Colleen has steadily been an invaluable resource for Lake Braddock.  Her rapid response rate while providing amazing guidance and resources is, quite frankly, unmatched in what we have experienced.  At the beginning of the pandemic last year she even offered a modified Professional Learning experience catered specifically to the needs of our admin team.  We are incredibly fortunate and grateful to have Colleen as a resource and honorary Bruin."

- Tony DiBari, Lake Braddock SS

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Soo Lee and Eunice Lim, King’s Park ES

"We are 7 days into the virtual learning and I wanted to express my admiration for Mrs. Lee and Mrs. Lim. They use clear instruction, brain breaks at appropriate times, absolutely wonderful classroom management, engaging lessons and great use of technology."

- a Kings Park ES Student

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Caitlin Tucker, Shrevewood ES

"Mrs. Tucker has been so patient with the children and families during the beginning of virtual learning. Everyday she is well prepared and energetic.
She has taken time to check in with parents on individual students via email and has already made multiple comments on work for students. As a parent, I so appreciate her attentiveness, patience, and kindness with the kids. As a teacher, I am amazed at her preparedness and flexibility."

- Kate Coho, Shrevewood ES

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Chris McKinney, Willow Oaks

"Chris always goes above and beyond to support her students and the teachers in IAS.  She is only part-time, but can be found delivering resources to support teachers in their virtual classroom environments on her days off and attending meetings.  She is constantly giving of her time, she even spent an entire weekend as a virtual student to help a teacher to work through her lessons before the school year began."

- Laura Garofolo, Transition Support Resources - South Lakes

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David Wickham, Lake Braddock SS

"David took the time before school started to call every single one of his students and families to introduce himself and start building a relationship with them. In addition, David used his entire Monday to hold individual "mini-conferences" with every single one of his students. This means that by the conclusion of their fist full week of school, Mr. Wickham's students had 2 personal, individual conversations with him. David knows the how powerful a strong student/teacher relationship can be and, especially this year, being proactive about creating it is going to be key to our student's success. Establishing this relationship now will benefit the students today and all year long as they know there is already an adult who cares about them."

- Tracey Butler-Johnsonk, Lake Braddock SS

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Katie McDonnell, South Lakes HS

"From the first time I met her while subbing at SLHS last year, Katie McDonnell has gone out of her way to make me feel welcome and answer any questions I had. Now, I am lucky enough to have her as both my "buddy teacher" and a colleague on both of my CTs!  This is my first year back to teaching after a 6-year hiatus, at a new school, during a pandemic, and Katie has gone above and beyond to make me feel welcome and supported (from answering countless emails, exchanging many texts, and providing much emotional support). I truly could not have survived this transition back to full-time teaching without her. Katie truly embodies the best parts of the Seahawk family!"

- Meghan Baumann, South Lakes HS

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Maria Eliana Lopez Reyna, Mountain View HS

"Maria "Eliana" Lopez Reyna is our parent liaison at Mountain View. She has been an invaluable support for our ELL students and teachers as we began distance learning.  She has repeatedly followed up with our students who are having difficulty logging in to classes.  She will face time our ELL students and walk them step by step into logging into the class or google classroom. Eliana will reach out to students in the evening to follow up with students to make sure they felt successful logging in to the classes and if they still felt uncomfortable or had problems logging in, she meets them on face time the next day to try it all over again.  She helps them troubleshoot any technology issues they may have (wifi, microphone or links).  After over forty students  and multiple "helping sessions" with each one (in just one week), she has only had to refer one student on to the county tech help site. The students know her well and feel comfortable sharing their difficulties/lack of understanding in accessing the technology with distance learning with her (they aren't students who would access the tech help desk on their own).  In just a matter of days she raised the class size in one ELL class to 4 times the rate of the first day - just by helping the students log in to class one student at a time/one face time phone call at a time. She has been tireless in her efforts to make sure every single one of our ELL students not only knows how to access each class, but follows up with the each teacher and student to make sure they really did attend class.  The staff at of Mountain View are grateful for her support of and advocacy for our students.  She truly embodies the school logo of Family, Love and Respect!"

- Jennifer Crump-Strawderman, Mountain View HS

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Rachael Smith, Fort Hunt ES

"Kindergarten teacher Rachael Smith goes above and beyond to bring ALL her students to class.  I personally witnessed (from a virtual distance) her FaceTime with a child’s mother for over 40 minutes(!) as they worked out the technical hiccups on the child’s computer.  Upon solving the problems, she got the mother to show up on BBCU.  Then for the first time ever, the child was able to show up to her kindergarten class!  Now we have all 19 kids participating.  This is my third year working with Mrs. Smith and she’s always been a great mentor, but on this day she floored me with her patience and commitment.  Kudos to raising the bar at an already hard working school of professionals:  FORT HUNT!!!"

-  Bill Hurd, Fort Hunt ES

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Lauren McGovern, Silverbrook ES

"My daughter is new to Silverbrook Elementary this year after unexpectedly having to leave a school she loved.  Although we are in a virtual environment, Ms. McGovern has done an amazing job making my daughter feel welcome.  She has delivered hand written notes to our home, made my daughter a special birthday card, and met with her individually on Google Meet before school started. She has definitely made her feel special.  Throughout each day, Ms. McGovern ensures that every student's name is called multiple times so that they feel "seen."  We are so appreciative of Ms. McGovern's effort to make virtual learning work for every student."

- Kim Wilborn,  Silverbrook ES

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Ryan Richardson, Franklin MS

"As an school-based technology specialist, Ryan is tasked with wearing many hats. During a summer of much uncertainty with virtual learning and preparing students and staff for a situation that none of us has experienced before, he has impressed me with how much he has done to stay ahead of schedule. He created an amazing site for current Franklin students to access that gets them acquainted with their return to school information, their teachers, and their admin. While spending countless hours setting up accounts, troubleshooting computers, and distributing laptops at his school, Ryan was able to create an incredible 2020-21 public-facing Hub on the Franklin Middle School website. While other middle schools have and continue to do the same, Ryan’s was done two weeks before the first day of school. Not only did it give confidence to the public that Franklin MS had a plan for 2020-21, his “Return to School” page and his “Virtual Learning” page were created for two unique audiences. The “Return to School” page was mostly for parents and provided a public-facing spot for parents (as well as students, staff, and other members of the community) to have access to what they needed most (return to school forms, attendance procedures, bell schedule, orientation video, and more). His “Virtual Learning” page was designed with students in mind. This is for the students to have as one of their startup pages during each day of virtual learning. It has pages like the bell schedule, SIS, links to common digital platforms, and tech support. I was particularly impressed with his “Tech Support” page. It is a page that will continue to accumulate content over the year as he receives various questions related to troubleshooting a computer or the network, but it is extremely clean and is a tremendous starting spot for students and parents to figure out what might be wrong with their machine. This page alone could save many potential questions related to a computer or network problem. While other schools have emulated what Ryan has done with his “2020-21 hub”, he was the first middle school website administrator to have a finished product.
Through his many countless hours in determining the best fit for potential content that students and parents could see without having to log into anything, other schools were able to benefit by using his blueprint. From a school website perspective, no other middle school was able to show its community that it was ready for the 2020-21 school year as quickly as Ryan and Franklin MS were. Through my many interactions with him through this and other school website initiatives, Ryan has shown how important the school website is as a communications tool. Like all of the other times in a school year, Ryan has a beat on the Franklin MS community and knows how to communicate that, using the school website as a channel."

- Bryan Buser, Gatehouse Administration Center

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Geri Zahreddine, Bull Run ES

"Geri Zahreddine completes her job with enthusiasm and continuous dedication to the Special Education program at Bull Run ES. Since the start of the pandemic, Geri has worked tirelessly to learn how to use and support the students in our virtual environment.  Geri took over 30 hours of various technology courses this summer so she could support our special education students and meet their needs by demonstrating short cuts and ways to organize all the needed information in an efficient manner. I have worked with her for 5 years and she starts every year by building relationships throughout the school and supporting as needed. She collaborates with colleagues and recently she took the lead and volunteered to establish a weekly informational meeting for instructional assistants to help build relationships and develop the necessary technology skills to be effective at their job. She answers any questions asked in a timely manner and if she does not know the answer, she seeks out support. Geri is an indispensable part of Bull Run Community and especially the Special Education Department."

- Dawn Monnin, Bull Run ES

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David Walrod and Dana Calamito, Lake Braddock SS

"David and Dana have been wonderful at sharing their resources with the Math 7 team and Advisory classes.  The start of this year has been smoother with their amazing talent for virtual lessons."

- Caitlin Zayas, Lake Braddock SS

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Cathy Bowman, Hollin Meadows ES

"My daughter had a rough start to the school year.  She is very much a rule follower and needs to be able to take breaks when she gets overwhelmed or frustrated with the online platform.  However, she is afraid to do so because she does not want to get into trouble. Despite Mrs. Bowman telling the class they could, my daughter needed more due to her anxiety.  Mrs. Bowman came to our home after class on the second day of school, and brought my daughter a flower and a handwritten postcard that not only puts into writing that she is allowed to take care of herself and walk away when she needs to, but also her secret cue to Mrs. Bowman that when she holds it up, she is taking a moment to take care of herself because she is feeling anxious and overwhelmed.  We greatly appreciated the care and sensitivity Mrs. Bowman put into doing this for our daughter.  It gave our daughter a sense of release and freedom to know she can take care of her emotions without the fear of punishment, and that her teacher cares about her and understands her concerns."

- a Hollin Meadows ES Parent

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Kimberly Wilborn, Carl Sandburg MS

"Ms. Wilborn, my son’s new school counselor went above and beyond to advocate and facilitate to gain access to the technology tools he needs to be most successful with virtual learning. Thank you! We really appreciate her support!"

- a Carl Sandburg MS, Parent

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Bryan Buser, Gatehouse Administration Center

"Bryan Buser went above and beyond to support the virtual Great Beginnings Summer Institute this year with a collaborative, and responsive attitude. Because the event was virtual for the first time, Bryan created two websites, complete with comprehensive videos, information, and answers to questions for new hires. One focuses on Human Resources information GBSI 2020 Human Resources and the other on Vendor Information GBSI 2020 Vendor Resources. New teachers had access to these resources prior to the GBSI 2020 kickoff allowing them to use the information as a resource when meeting with vendors and departments online. Teachers appreciated the one-stop online virtual shop that they can also use throughout the year. Bryan made suggestions and communicated at all hours of the day and night during the development phase of the web pages. He updated information as it was being sent and dealt with hundreds of emails from me in addition to his regular work. Bryan is an amazing, positive, supportive, and committed co-worker. It is a pleasure to work with him on different projects throughout the year. Thank you Bryan for helping to make this virtual event a success!"

- Shelli Wayland, Gatehouse Administration Center

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Margery Sabolsky, Gatehouse Administration Center

"Margery Sabolsky was a huge help with the bag distribution portion of the virtual Great Beginnings Summer Institute. Even though GBSI 2020 was virtual this year, vendors had the option to provide items that new teachers would typically pick up when visiting them during the in-person event. Margery came into the office and worked with me to pack 1,300 bags. The bags were then separated by the number of teachers new to FCPS in each school, packaged, and shipped to the lead mentor at each school for distribution. Margery is a colleague who is collaborative, caring, and positive. Thank you, Margery, for working with me and beating the deadline. Another way that we were able to make this virtual event a success."

- Shelli Wayland, Gatehouse Administration Center

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Mark Hyer & Llexell Evangelista, Sprague Technology Center

"Mark and Llexell went above and beyond to assist me with HR information that needed to be printed and placed in the 2020 Great Beginnings Summer Institute bags that were sent to schools for distribution. They are two individuals who collaborate and builds relationships with everyone they meet. They are respectful, upbeat, caring, and always go above and beyond to make any situation or event like the Great Beginnings Summer Institute a total success. This program has multiple layers of logistics and this year because we were virtual, it added additional layers. This showcased the quality collaboration between multiple offices, and the superior work happening in FCPS. The Great Beginnings Virtual Summer Institute was an enriching, engaging experience for new teachers and reinforced that ordinary things create extraordinary results! Thank you both for making my role in the process a little easier."


- Shelli Wayland, Gatehouse Administration Center

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Michele Cross, Gatehouse Administration Center

"Michele Cross was instrumental in assisting with the Human Resource virtual portion of the Great Beginnings Summer Institute. Prior to Bryan creating and posting virtual pages for the event, Michele proofed web page content, listened to videos for content and flow, checked links, and much, much more. Michele also developed the google doc that new teachers used for HR questions. She worked late to create a spreadsheet that HR staff used to speak live with the new teachers to answer their questions. She monitored and updated the spreadsheet the entire day HR staff was calling new teachers and kept everyone in the loop. She is a colleague who knows how to create a caring culture while building positive relationships. Thank you, Michele, for working with me and Bryan and for helping to make this virtual event a huge success."

- Shelli Wayland, Gatehouse Administration Center

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Noel Miller and Nate Davis, Centreville HS

"With the switch to virtual instruction, transforming our large, in-person Student Services programs has brought up all kinds of technology hurdles. Noel and Nate were immensely and immediately helpful with our senior program, suggesting improved ways of doing things, quickly jumping in to assist, and helping everyone stay positive when we were pulling our hair out trying to figure out new technology! We truly couldn't have done this without them."

- Kate Foussekis, Centreville HS

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Craig Fenton, Sprague Technology Center

"Exceptional.  Funny.  Helpful.  Craig Fenton, TSSpec for Freedom Hill and Stenwood Elementaries, is all of those things and more.  We have benefited from his creative problem-solving, tireless work ethic, and willingness to do whatever it takes to support our staff and students with their technology needs.  In addition to his already jam-packed days, he has taken the time this summer to virtually read to our students each week, preparing each session on his own time.  Adding music, voices, and special guests has made each performance memorable to say the least.  He is our Superhero!"

- Kelly Harris and Katherine Cadena-Gonce, Freedom Hill ES

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Anthony Pikul, Woodley Hills ES

"I don't think anyone doubts that kindergarten teachers are miracle workers. Teaching kindergarten virtually is a challenge I know they never thought they'd have to work through. My son is in Mr. Pikul's kindergarten class this year. My child needs a lot of support with transitions and starting new things. I'm so impressed by the support Mr. Pikul provided to his students and families getting ready to start this year virtually. He set up one-on-one conferences with families to meet each child. During our session, he spoke directly to my child and was able to get him excited about the year. Later that week, Mr. Pikul organized small group "play dates" with no more than four students to provide them an opportunity to see each other and practice using BBCU tools before the first day of school. Everyday after that play date, my son asked "when is it time for me to meet all of my new friends?" I was very nervous about how starting kindergarten virtually was going to look and Mr. Pikul provided meaningful opportunities for my child to feel connected and excited about this very strange time."

- a Woodley Hills ES Parent

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Mackenzie Hays, Woodley Hills ES

"My son is in Ms. Hays' second grade class this year. He was very nervous about starting the year virtually. Ms. Hays has done an amazing job of connecting with the students in her classroom before the school year started. My son was still nervous about the school year but I know he was also excited after he had the chance to talk to Ms. Hays. Ms. Hays also made it so easy for families to connect with her through a variety of ways (email, text, class dojo texting) and provided detailed instructions, including a video, explaining how to get to her classroom link. I'm so excited that my child is in Ms. Hays' class this year."

- a Woodley Hills ES Parent

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Solangie McPherson, Coates ES

"Mrs. McPherson, our parent liaison, is one of the most dedicated, hardworking individuals I have ever encountered.  To ensure that our students, staff and parents had a strong start to the 20-21 school year she worked day and night to help with laptop distribution, scheduling interpreters for virtual one on one home visits, and hosting parent workshops are only a few of the items she worked on.  She was an integral part in the strong start that Coates had on the first day of school.  We are so lucky and grateful that our community has someone like her!"

- Jessica King, Coates ES

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Lenore Ale, Mountain View HS

"I have worked with many SBTS in my 27 years of teaching in FCPS and Lenore Ale is absolutely the best!  Since the start of the pandemic she has gone above and beyond to support the staff at Mountain View High School, AIM, and ALC.  Lenore's patience, willingness to support, collaboration skills, and in depth knowledge when supporting staff and students are a few characteristics that represent Lenore.  For some, technology is challenging and difficult to learn but Lenore is always will to work with teachers and students to develop the necessary skill, despite the number of times she may have to show the skill.  She is always willing collaborate on new ways of presenting material in a course and enjoys coming into the class and co-teaching a lesson.  Her creativity and enthusiasm of technology in the classroom in contagious and motivates teachers to take on new technology to support students.  She provides a weekly Tech Tips newsletter and weekly PD for staff as well as being available for one on one lessons. Since the start of the pandemic Lenore has been working tirelessly to support staff.  I cannot say enough about how wonderful Lenore is and continues to be as she inspires and supports the staff and students at the Mountain View campus.  Lenore is indispensable and the backbone to the success at Mountain View pre and post pandemic."

- Tracy Birrell, Mountain View HS

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Patty Washington, Willow Oaks

"As our SBT Patty has gone above and beyond to make sure we have the tools and knowledge we need to teach virtually. I feel ready for next week, in large part due to her resources and PD."

- Cara Heberling, Transitional Support Resource Center - Marshall

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Danny Mikhail, Sprague Technology Center

"Starting school during a pandemic is never easy--this is compounded when you have to get 1,100 laptops distributed to students in short order! Danny has done amazing work doing this while supporting our new and returning staff in their needs to begin distance learning. He does so with a smile, building community with families and staff. Danny has been known to answer calls with families after hours to ensure they feel ready for their children to begin the year. He is innovative, hard working, and amendable to all efforts to work as a team for the benefits of our families. Lanier is lucky to have him!" 

- Tammy Hanna, Lanier MS

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Tarry Carapezza, Bryant HS

"On his own initiative, Tarry created a great video student guide presentation on youtube in order to help students navigate BB Collaborate during distance learning.  Further, he also shared this with staff and we are using it in our department as our video BB student guide to share with students as we begin our online journey."

- Ron Virts, Bryant HS

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Erica LoMonaco, Bryant HS

"On her own initiative, Erica created a fabulous student guide presentation in Google Slides in order to help students navigate BB Collaborate during distance learning.  Importantly, she also shared this with staff and it has become the model BB student guide in our department to share with students."

- Ron Virts, Bryant HS

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Samantha Sapp, Sprague Technology Center

"During laptop distribution in both the spring and the new school year, Mrs. Sapp worked tirelessly to ensure all of the technology needs were met, and did so with a positive attitude and a smile. Her dedication to ensuring all computers were prepared for students by opening day while serving two schools is unmatched! Mrs. Sapp plays an integral role on both school teams, and is a top-notch communicator all-around. She is always patient with the many questions that come her way, and Cameron and Clermont could not have imagined distance learning without Mrs. Sapp!"

- Roxanne Salata, Clermont ES

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Andria Marshal, South Lakes HS

"Andria has been the guiding light for over 25 para-professionals as we embark on this virtual start to the school year.  On her on accord, she has created both virtual and socially distanced in-person training for our para-professionals.  She has calmed them as they expressed frustration over the technology is that is being thrown at them rapidly and has acted as a mentor for those that are ready to try new things. We are so grateful for her willingness to support and initiative to step up where she saw a need."

- Kim Shott, South Lakes HS

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Megan Pitts and Telia Johnson, South County HS

Megan Pitts and Telia Johnson have done an incredible job working with the special education department at South County. Starting off this year entirely virtual has been a tough process to navigate, and Megan and Telia have supported the teachers in their department with grace and empathy. Megan and Telia have worked tirelessly to assist all teachers in starting the year strong, and we are all so appreciative of their dedication. South County is so lucky to have them lead our fantastic department.

- Samantha Tolan, South County HS

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Jessie Wolgamotti, Groveton ES

"Ms. W was the ESY virtual speech teacher for my daughter that had just turned 4. She was simply amazing! She worked hard to keep my daughter engaged virtually AND do the work needed to move her forward on her speech goals. She created interest during sessions to maintain focus and we worked to make sure she could hear well to check if my daughter was making the sounds we were working on. Focused, positive, and flexible - she was simply great and I think a leader in innovative ways to engage young children that have serious IEP goals to keep them focused."


- a Hollin Meadows ES Parent

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Ashley Dwyer, Mosby Woods ES

"Mrs. Dwyer is an amazing counselor. Our rising seventh grader absolutely adored her. She has supported my daughter a lot this past school  year, having regular check-ins with her and even after schools closed has continued to email her regularly to see how she is doing. She is simply the best!  Thank you, Mrs. Dwyer, for everything that you do for FCPS!"

- a Thoreau MS Parent

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Miriam Rutherford, Chantilly HS

"Kudos to Miriam Rutherford, who goes above and beyond.  In our front office, Miriam easily connects with students, staff and the community. Often parents easily recognize Miriam since she has known the families from elementary school, having worked at Oak Hill ES, our feeder elementary school.  She is a true Chantilly Charger, her own children graduated from Chantilly!  Miriam easily communicates in both English and Spanish and has a great and cheerful demeanor.  You will often hear laughter in the front office, as she interacts with students, staff and the community.  Throughout the pandemic, Miriam has worked tirelessly, helping to organize and assist, from cheering on the Class of 2020 graduates at the drive-thru graduation, assisting with book drop off, organizing our mail pickup or cheering on our new teachers with our drive-thru Welcome, etc.  If you need information at Chantilly HS, ask Miriam.  She will be greeting you at Chantilly with a smile!"

- Sue McCallister, Chantilly HS

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Sharon Denisar, Willow Oaks

"Career and Transition Services would like to recognize Sharon Denisar as an employee who cares.  In addition to her regular assignments, Ms. Denisar has been helping Career Snapshot team think outside the box and develop new material for distance learning.  Sharon Denisar’s dedication to improve distance learning resources contributes to student success!!!"

- Sarah Blake, Willow Oaks

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Charles Driver, Edison Support Center

"On behalf of Mr. White and SCHS we want to recognize and thank Charles Driver for installing LED lights on our loading dock for our cafeteria staff. At South County, our cafeteria staff is making over 3,000 meals a day for the community. The addition of these lights will help to further ensure a safe working environment for our staff. Thank you, Mr. Driver!!!"

- Brett Garner and Dennis White, South County SS"

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Sean McDonald, Shelli Wayland, Michele Cross, Bryan Buser, Margery Sabolsky, Johanna Meadows, Collette Mendoza and Travis Holder, Gatehouse Administration Building

"While transitioning into a new position in administration, I had the first-hand experience of seeing just some of the hard work that goes on “behind the scenes” during Great Beginnings Summer Institute (GBSI). Usually, this multi-day, in person event hosts over 1,200 new hires giving them a comprehensive overview of professional teaching standards, instructional supports, mentoring programs, benefits, onboarding procedures and more. This team came together in a short amount of time to flip this entire event to a virtual platform this year – and still managed to give a personal and welcoming tone to the event! New user-friendly web pages and departmental videos were created and thought out carefully for content. Staff worked countless hours (day and night!) to patiently support vendors and participants through presentation videos, emails and links. Tote bags were gathered and stuffed with informational and promotional materials for each attendee. Staff members in every department dedicated extra time to be on call during this event to make sure all questions were answered with a personal phone call. I hope that our new employees feel informed, confident and affirmed in their choice to work for FCPS in part due to these “above and beyond” efforts of the administration team."

- Christine Wilson, Gatehouse Administration Building

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Grace Kim, Glen Forest ES

"Grace is the new school-based technology specialist and school website administrator. In six years, I’ve never seen someone accomplish so much on their school website in their first month in the position. On top of that, she has been able to do this in an environment that hasn't been seen before where her interactions with most here staff have been in a virtual setting. Grace is extremely professional, courteous, knowledgeable, responsive, accepting of new ideas, and prompt. She has successfully communicated new ideas for the school website that she has come up with her school administration, a team that has been extremely responsive in their responses and one that has quickly put much trust into Grace and her decision-making skills. This has allowed her to flourish in her new role. Her ideas and execution are so quickly making the Glen Forest website one of the examples that I encourage other elementary school curators to look at for ideas. Already when schools are asking for examples on how another school is doing their “Return to School” page or their "2020 Virtual Learning" page, I point to Glen Forest as one of the two or three examples for them to view. I never thought I would point veteran curators to the work of what someone who has done in her first month as a new curator. She has learned a software program from scratch in record time. Recently, I noticed in Grace's email signature links to her staff GFES Online Google site where, among other wonderful features, she had a "Virtual Opening" page that was complete with a calendar that has meeting schedules, times, and links for required training and other staff development opportunities. While full of information, it is one of the easiest and logical calendars I've seen. Her virtual opening page also has procedures for students to request to pick up materials, enter the building, troubleshooting tips, and more. Grace is also starting an online staff directory, something that school hasn't had in the past. In addition to the GFES Online Google site, she has created a site where teachers can submit videos that can be shared with GFES students in one easy to find place. At first, I wondered where she was finding the hours to do all of this work, but there have been at least five nights since she’s been in her current role that she and I have emailed past midnight. She’s often replies to emails after she’s learned something new with, “What can I learn next?” or "I haven't thought of that! Let me try that!" Her personality through email shines. She is extremely, positive, intelligent, and gracious in both her writing skills and tone. Grace is completely committed to making her mark with the school in this role. She has been inspirational to me in a time where I've needed some inspiration. I’ve run across some amazing ones in the last five years, but I don’t think I’ve ever been more impressed with a brand new curator or SBTS as I am with Grace."

- Bryan Buser, Gatehouse Administration Center

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Sarah Armstrong, Poe MS

"Sarah is amazing to work with at Poe Middle School!  She is super organized and keeps everyone on track of tasks to accomplish.  In addition to her skills as a team leader, she is excellent at boosting team morale.  Sarah bought and assembled gift baskets for everyone on our team to celebrate the new year!  She included monogrammed everything! There were t-shirts, notebooks, coffee cups, stickers, pens, and even some chocolate!  Sarah spent her day driving to Maryland and throughout Virginia to deliver the surprise baskets to us.  It was an amazing surprise from a very thoughtful teammate and friend.  Thank you, Sarah!"

- Literacy 6 Colleagues, Poe MS

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Rania Saliba, Franklin Sherman ES

"Ms Saliba continually goes above and beyond to support her special ed students. She takes a personal approach, encouraging and supportive, always lifting them up to learn. During virtual learning and through the summer she has kept in touch with her students and parents. During virtual learning, if support was needed beyond office hours she was always available. My daughter is challenged with writing and found virtual learning so difficult. So to encourage her, Ms Saliba wrote a beautiful "concrete poem" about her in the shape of a portrait of my daughter - it was amazing! She asked my daughter if she could write a concrete poem back. My daughter, who has great difficulty writing, was so inspired she wrote one back in the shape of a rose! Ms Saliba has checked in regularly with me during the summer and sent virtual resources she thinks will help my daughter get ready for the next school year. We have even had a video chat to say hi when my daughter was feeling isolated during the summer. She works tirelessly during the school year, and on her own time she has helped my daughter stay on track during the summer months. For Ms Saliba, teaching isn't just a job, it is a vocation. Her dedication to her students and the support she gives to us parents shows in the wonderful progress her students make!"

- a Franklin Sherman ES Parent

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Sharon Baumgartner, Haycock ES

"This Art Teacher gave Home a new meaning. Mrs. Baumgartner, an art teacher at Haycock Elementary, exemplifies the belief that not only does art education make a difference, but recognizing her students’ art work makes a difference.  Not only does she go above and beyond to find ways to display the student artwork within the community (before COVID), but also followed all of the strict guidelines, emailed all of her parents to make sure they knew the projects that students  had completed over several days of class were safe and available for them. This extra step of kindness and work to connect with the community of families was noticeable. Mrs. Baumgartner exemplifies her commitment to the whole child, especially the social emotional side, as the “gift” of their own art work is priceless. The art project that had been quarantined at school was homes students  had constructed out of all sorts of bright paper using all sorts of advanced folding techniques and architectural elements."

- a Haycock ES Parent

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Craig Coraggio, Aldrin ES

"I'd like to take a moment to recogniz Craig Coraggio, who is a fantastic teacher. My son spent 2019-2020 in his homeroom class and despite all of the challenges of COVID and the transition to Distance Learning it was a wonderful year. Mr. Coraggio quickly adjusted to the new online format, and always used relevant and current materials to make the lessons interesting, fun, and effective. But mostly he CARED about his students. He cared about their heads and their hearts. He asked thoughtful questions about tough subjects, and encouraged his students to care about one another and the world around them. He is a very special teacher, and we are very grateful for the time that we had with him."

- an Aldrin ES Parent

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Elizabeth McDowell, Kilmer MS

"Elizabeth is our SBTS at Kilmer Middle and honestly, I have never worked with a better one. She gives us so many resources, is a wealth of knowledge, and never gives you the feeling that you are bothering her even though she has a million things to do and is working with so many people at so many levels with tech. She knocked it out of the park with the sudden change in the Spring and continually amazes me every day!"

- Stefanie Hession, Kilmer MS

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Annie Eisman, Cooper MS

"Annie is our school's Registrar/Student Services Assistant, but she's really so much more to the Special Education Department! Annie goes out of her way to run reports and provide information to make communicating with our families easier. With the workload expected of Special Education teachers during this virtual opening, her forward thinking of their needs is greatly appreciated!"

- Laurie Dufour, Cooper MS

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Dr. Scott Brabrand, Gatehouse Administration Center

"I wanted to lift up Dr. Scott Brabrand. During what has been one of, if not, the hardest times in our lives, Dr. Brabrand has worked tirelessly to make all the necessary changes and steps to make virtual learning successful. He has owned up to mistakes, and has lead with kindness and understanding. Even during town meetings, when being insulted, he has remained professional and poised. It is an honor to work in a district with such a fierce leader. He has shouldered a huge responsibility and I am so thankful. Dr. Brabrand thank you for your leadership, your wisdom, and your hard work."

- Marialys Gruneiro, Riverside ES

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Julie Steven, North Springfield ES

"Ms. Steven profoundly cares about her students. My daughter was in her fourth grade class last year and was struggling to stay motivated during the pandemic and "optional" school work. When Ms. Steven reached out about her lack of motivation and explained that doing the work would best prepare her for fifth grade, her entire attitude changed. Ms. Steven's ability to recognize that her students are kids who are growing into tweens means that she is able to provide them the safety nets for success but also to make them take their own ownership for learning. My daughter loved that she was becoming responsible for her actions in the course. This summer, Ms. Steven was our school's support for the rising 6th graders.  Despite my daughter only being a rising 5th grader, Ms. Steven still responded swiftly to our questions about math. She also loves that she was able to bond with Ms. Steven over their shared love of dogs, Harry Potter, and Virginia history. Thank you for being awesome."

- a North Springfield ES Parent

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Kari Argabright, Union Mill ES

"Ms. Argabright has shown exceptional care and support for her 2019-2020 kindergarten class, especially after school abruptly halted in early March she went above and beyond, continuing to stay connected and showing great respect for her students. She continues to stay available for her students and show them she cares even as we get closer to the next school year beginning. We thank her for all that she has done to be there for her students and expect that the impact she has made will be lasting."

- a Union Mill ES Parent

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Sondra Robles, Laurel Hills ES

"I had the privilege of participating in the Grab and Go program the week of June 22, 2020 as a driver for the seven corners area. My food service person was Sondra Robles. She was very knowledgeable about the route and offered suggestions on the best way to sit at a location that would least impede traffic. Sondra was very efficient with her duties and was patient with me while I was helping her with the food distribution. You could tell she had established a good rapport with the parents and children. They were always happy to see her and she would ask to wait just a couple of minutes if someone that was normally at a stop hadn’t showed up yet. Sondra made that week very enjoyable for me. THANKS!!"

- Kelly Brayton, Transportation - Lorton

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Rosaleen Sypher, Laurel Hill Elementary School

"This was sent in from a parent that Mrs. Sypher worked with this summer: 'I’m reaching out to you because I want to shine the spotlight on Mrs.Sypher, one of your Laurel Hill Superheroes.  Mrs. Sypher is without a doubt a jewel in the education arena and it is evident that she is operating in her calling.  I know Mrs. Sypher has been a blessing to many children and families, but I’d like to highlight a couple of the ways she has blessed our family.  1. At the onset of the pandemic the triplets were not able to participate in the live online sessions due to unending technological issues that were not completely resolved until the end of the school year.  However, we did have access to Class DoJo, Gmail, and session recordings.  Assignments were accessible, and we were able to work on them throughout the day. However, about 45 days into the new virtual learning environment, I found myself completely worn out trying to ensure my 6th grader and three 1st graders operating at three different skill levels grasped the presented concepts and completed their assignments (math, reading, writing, etc.) on time. I’d typically separate the triplets to ensure each child was able to learn at a pace that was comfortable for them yet challenging.  I didn’t want the child that was academically strong in a subject area sitting idle waiting on the other two to grasp the concept.  Unfortunately, my days were extremely long, and my patience and energy began to diminish.  As a result, I realized I needed to ask for help. Mrs. Sypher graciously mentored me after hours on a few occasions in the areas of balance and reasonable academic engagement.  She told me how and when to combine the kids for group sessions, provided guidelines and timelines for one on one engagement, and suggested ideas to keep the other kids engaged with independent work while I focused on one child.  I like to tell people that Mrs. Sypher spent her days teaching children and her nights teaching me.  2. In addition to weekly summer school sessions, Mrs. Sypher offered the multiage students an additional 30 minutes of reading and writing enrichment. These sessions were available every day, Monday thru Friday.  She has continued to offer these sessions even though summer school is over.  I truly admire her commitment and selflessness and my kids are beyond excited to learn with her every day.'"

- Kaila Wise, Riverside ES

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Julie Wines, Springfield Estates ES

"Since the school were shut down Mrs. Wines has created a seamless transition to online learning while juggling community outreach. She has adapted to the new environment at a quick pace. I am so proud to work with such a loving and caring person. She goes out in the school community and  waves at all the students. But she does not stop there! She has been in communication with families and has donated her time and food to those in need. Mrs. Wines has done this since I first met her five years ago. She even finds the time to ask about my family and if we need anything! The care and support she provides for these families is lifelong. Mrs. Wines is the lead mentor at our school too and has also helped staff feel welcomed. I have had the pleasure of working with her as the lead teacher in 3rd grade and she is always there to help and provide resources that will help you teach your class.  All around she is a talented staff member and should be recognized for her excellence."

- Tiffany Staples, Springfield Estates ES

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Julie Wines, Springfield Estates ES

"Since the school were shut down Mrs. Wines has created a seamless transition to online learning while jugging community outreach. She has adapted to the new environment at a quick pace. I am so proud to work with such a loving and care person. She goes out in the school community and  waves at all the students. But she does not stop there! She has been in communication with families and has donated her time and food to those in need. Mrs. Wines has done this since I first met her two years ago. She even finds the time to feed me! The care and support she provides for these families is life long. Mrs. Wines is the lead mentor at our school too and has also helped staff feel welcomed. All around she a talented staff member and should be recognized for her excellence."

- Anthony Daniel, Springfield Estates ES

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Julie Wines, Springfield Estates ES

"Mrs. Wines is a caring and outreaching member of our community. Even before the pandemic came, Mrs. Wines has always found joy is reaching out and supporting students and families from our school.  In her limited free time, she goes out in the school community all year long (in the summer too!) to wave and communicate with all of her past, present, and future students. She even makes time for students who were never in her own class. This past summer, she has been in communication with families who are struggling financially. She has organized a system where friends and family donate food to her, then she delivers it to the families in need. She has done this all summer long. Mrs. Wines finds joy in helping those in her community. Her outreach extends beyond her classroom and is able to help so many people. On top of that, Mrs. Wines creates a warm and welcoming environment in her classroom and among the staff. She should be recognized for the amazing work she has done to connect and support our school students, family, staff, and overall community."

- Christina Rice, Springfield Estates ES

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Elizabeth Hernandez, Willow Oaks

"Elizabeth has been helping as our school works through the approval process for an incredibly important program during a very difficult time of the year. She has been in constant contact with me providing answers to every question and giving helpful feedback.  Elizabeth is not only incredibly knowledgeable, but also has a cheerful disposition and is always happy to take a call/answer questions.  It has been a pleasure working with her.  Lake Braddock, our community, and FCPS are all very fortunate to have Elizabeth as a resource!"

- Tony DiBari, Lake Braddock Secondary

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Sondra Robles, Laurel Hills ES

"I had the privilege of participating in the Grab and Go program the week of June 22, 2020 as a driver for the seven corners area. My food service person was Sondra Robles. She was very knowledgeable about the route and offered suggestions on the best way to sit at a location that would least impede traffic. Sondra was very efficient with her duties and was patient with me while I was helping her with the food distribution. You could tell she had established a good rapport with the parents and children. They were always happy to see her and she would ask to wait just a couple of minutes if someone that was normally at a stop hadn’t showed up yet. Sondra made that week very enjoyable for me. THANKS!!"

- Kelly Brayton, Transportation - Lorton

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Harry Wolin, Centreville HS

"Harry has been working incredibly hard to build our master schedule for the coming school year, but even with this daunting task in front of him, he has been extremely flexible, helpful, and responsive to quick changes and requests. And he does this all while maintaining his positivity and sense of humor!"

- Drew Campbell, Centreville HS

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Eric Post, Centreville HS

"Eric has been tirelessly working to ensure his department has a schedule that works in this virtual model.  He even went so far as to give up two sections he had been scheduled to teach to accommodate a teacher's request. Eric is a selfless and gracious leader who makes our school a better place!"

- Drew Campbell, Centreville HS

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Joanne Walton, Woodburn ES

"Ms. Walton has been instrumental in helping Woodburn families in need during COVID-19.  She often travels to families to drop off needed items--food, diapers, formula, books.  No one asked her to do this!  She started doing it on her own, partnering with local nonprofits. She is inspiring!"

- Mary Cunningham, Woodburn ES

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Carlina Cuenca, Oak View ES

"There's never a doubt that Oak View's building is ready for the day thanks to Assistant Building Supervisor Carlina Cuenca. Carlina is the first to arrive in the morning and when school buildings closed in March and most staff went home, she continued working to support the Food Services Grab and Go site based at our school. When we were scheduled for a cafeteria kitchen floor replacement in late June, she spearheaded moving the entire contents of the kitchen, storage rooms and adjacent office into the cafeteria so contractors could more easily complete the job. In early July, we were tapped to be a Camp Fairfax summer site and Carlina immediately turned to making sure designated classrooms were prepared to meet cleanliness and social distancing requirements. When field custodians have been assigned to our building this summer, Carlina has guided their work throughout our building. The Oak View Eagle community is proud to have Carlina at the helm each day, knowing she can expertly handle whatever curve balls are thrown her way!"

 

- Kathy Hart, Oak View HS

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Elvia Guzman, Oak View ES

 

"Oak View ES has been a very busy place since March and our building supervisor, Elvia Guzman, has worked tirelessly each day since then. We are a Food Services Grab and Go site and she continued to come to work throughout the closure to provide Food Services staff with anything needed to facilitate distribution. We recently became a Camp Fairfax summer camp site and Elvia quickly switched gears to focus on preparing classrooms for the arrival of counselors and campers. She then adjusted her hours so the building could be thoroughly cleaned after camp each day. Add to this the usual extensive summer deep cleaning, a couple of ceiling leaks and custodial vacancies, yet Elvia arrives every day with a smile on her face and pride in the work she and her staff do to make Oak View shine!"

 

- Kathy Hart, Oak View HS

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Mary Hatchell, Sprague Technology Center

 

"I am the director of the FCPS Advanced Placement Summer Institute for teachers. This summer, we had to shift the institute to an online format due to the pandemic, which meant that I had to rely on Mary to set up 10 blackboard courses and enroll over 200 teachers on a fairly short turnaround time. Mary was incredibly responsive and friendly to work with online, even though the work I asked her to complete was above and beyond her normal work/responsibilities. Mary - thank you so much! Your efforts mad a difference for me and for the hundreds of AP teachers who took our online APSI this summer :-)"

 

- Rebecca Small, Willow Oaks

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Kate Charlton, Bull Run ES

 

"Mrs. Charlton has been amazing since the start of distance learning and has worked together with Mrs. Lee to ensure the children not only engaged with their learning, but continued providing virtual socialization outlets for the kids over the summer.  We are so incredibly lucky to have had her as a teacher this past year!"

 

- a parent at Bull Run ES

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Mimi Lee and Kate Charlton, Bull Run ES

 

"Throughout the pandemic, Mrs. Lee and Mrs. Charlton has gone above and beyond to ensure that my daughter and her classmates were doing well socially and emotionally.  Mrs. Charlton and Mrs. Lee made distanced, visits at each student's home, as well as, provided lunch bunch opportunities so and other informal gatherings so they could maintain the class community and relationships that were built.  This summer, they started Wednesday gatherings so that students can continue to socialize with one another. Additionally, since the students are moving up to 5th grade, they have invited them to come and begin building relationships with everyone.  This strong focus on social and emotional well-being has had a positive impact on my daughter during this pandemic and we appreciate all that they have contributed to ensure students feel loved and cared for."

 

- a parent at Bull Run ES

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Kate Charlton, Bull Run ES

 

"Ms. Charlton has been my 4th grader's teacher for the past year.  She is a wonderful, kind hearted person, and an exceptional teacher.  She stayed connected with the kids through the pandemic forced closures, and even now, in summer, is staying in touch, and arranging for the children to virtually meet each other as well.  During the Spring DL, the children had an exceptional experience, thanks in large part to her ability to pivot quickly to the online model, and keep them engaged in the new format."


- a parent at Bull Run ES

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Gordon Jenkins, Rick Kelly, David Blackwell, Karri de la Houssaye, Greg Edwards, Anthony Klepic and Glen Swilley, Sprague Technology Center

"Cheryl has been supportive and at the forefront of helping FCPSOn schools the last 4 years. I know that she has been working many hours to ensure that all of our students technology needs are met as we have moved into distance learning. With the new laptops that have been given to ES Sites, she worked with our vendor and had the laptops ready to go for us as we began imaging. It was such a relief for me to see I did not have to individually unbox and barcode 261 laptops my site received. Thank you Cheryl for all that you do!"


- Lori Purvis, Greenbriar East ES

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Cheryl Wood, Information Technology

"Cheryl has been supportive and at the forefront of helping FCPSOn schools the last 4 years. I know that she has been working many hours to ensure that all of our students technology needs are met as we have moved into distance learning. With the new laptops that have been given to ES Sites, she worked with our vendor and had the laptops ready to go for us as we began imaging. It was such a relief for me to see I did not have to individually unbox and barcode 261 laptops my site received. Thank you Cheryl for all that you do!"


- Lori Purvis, Greenbriar East ES

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Elizabeth Obeng and Rubina Saeed, Groveton ES

"Ms. Obeng is a wonderful teacher! Her joyfulness and enthusiasm made virtual ESY more engaging and enjoyable not only for our special needs son, but for us as parents as well.  We appreciated Ms. Obeng's careful planning and execution as we all navigate a new world of virtual learning. She and her assistant, Ms. Rubina Saeed, are excellent educators and deserve special recognition."

- a Fort Hunt ES Parent

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Jessie Wolgamotti, Groveton ES
 
"Ms. Wolgamotti conducted 1:1 virtual speech therapy sessions with our son during ESY.  Her high level of skill in engaging special needs students (even on a virtual platform) and proficiency with AAC devices are to be commended. She is an amazing speech therapist!"

- a Fort Hunt ES Parent

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Christianna Carreño, Westfield HS

"As a parent, I was really touched and impressed by Ms. Carreno's passion for leading and motivating her students in this very challenging time. Though I overheard and saw over my child's shoulder, it was immediately clear that her class was super organized, engaging, moderately paced, and most of all planned with care and love for her students. She stayed on top of students in a virtual setting,  kept communication with parents and students going, and her grading and feedback were returned in a very timely manner. As an educator myself, I was motivated by her hard work and diligence and gained confidence that distance learning can stretch our students in its own way."

- a Thomas Jefferson HS Parent
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Christianna Carreño, Westfield HS

"A very dedicated teacher who went way and beyond the expectation. Extremely organized even before the course had started and reached out to the parents via phone, email, text and set the expectations right. During the classes, she was available at any time my daughter needed her (and this was almost every other day) for clarifications, questions and guiding throughout the curriculum course. My daughter has done several online courses and this is the first time we had someone like Sra. Carreno. My daughter commented that if kids get someone like her, they will love the language and will be highly motivated to stay on track and do more. Loving yet strict, she was calm during the pals speaking exams and that made my nervous daughter think through! Thanks a lot FCPS and Sra. Carreno. You are amazing!"

- a Oakton HS Parent

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Dr. Scott Brabrand, Gatehouse Administration

"Dr. Brabrand gave us all a lesson at the July 21st school board work session on how to work tirelessly toward an objective, how to de-escalate conflict while being direct about boundaries, how to be decisive even when the decision will disappoint, and how to lead with compassion and courage. Herculean effort? Hercules got nothin’ on Dr. B!"

- Jennifer Knox, Transition Support Resource Center - Fairfax

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Christianna Carreño, Westfield HS

"My daughter was enrolled in Spanish 3 with the Online Campus this summer. Distance learning in the spring had been challenging and we were not sure what the OC would be like. Sra. Carreño was a model online teacher. She asked students to work hard and she made the class engaging and relevant. In one month of intense work, she showed compassion for students and professionalism about their learning. My kids are in the Woodson pyramid but I wish we could have Sra. Carreño as a teacher again. No doubt she worked as hard (or harder) than the students to make the course as good as it was."

- a Woodson HS Parent

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Debra David, Kilmer MS
 
"There are some really great leaders in FCPS and Debra David is one of them!  Every year ESY has been a really great experience for me as a special education teacher.  With the closure and virtual learning I must recognize Mrs. David and her team for doing an outstanding job with organizing and facilitating an outstanding ESY virtual experience.  There were so many things that she did that I found to be so creative.  It was just like previous ESY sessions that took place in school buildings.  Mrs. David has a calm yet firm approach to leadership.  I really felt supported and enthusiastic about teaching because everything was so organized.  I know we as teachers are in this profession for the kids, however, quality leadership really makes a difference with maintaining work ethic and productivity.  What a great summer!"

- Kimberly Bokini, Fort Belvoir Upper School

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Sandra Robles, Laurel Hill ES
 
"I had the opportunity to work with Sandra for a week this summer doing Grab and Go food delivery. While I only drove this route for a week, Sandra had been working during the whole shutdown period since March. Immediately she was polite and helpful, as I was new to the route and this type of work. We worked together to load the food into the bus, and she offered assistance navigating. In addition to her positive, helpful attitude with me, Sandra was very professional. She worked efficiently, observing all safety measures. Most importantly, Sandra was actively engaging with the public. Working this route regularly, she took time to learn the names of "customers," parents and students. She inquired how their weekends were or how their families were doing. She seemed to know every person, many by name, who came to our bus, and they seemed genuinely happy to see her every day. I was happy and proud to work with Sandra. She is just the type of employee you want as the face of FCPS."

- Melissa Wike, Lorton Center

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Alexis Rivera, Fairfax Villa ES

"I would like to praise Mrs. Rivera for her efforts and commitment to education and students. She was going above and beyond to keep her students engaged during virtual classes and office hours. She started organizing daily virtual get-together sessions a few weeks before virtual learning was introduced in April, to give opportunity to all students to become familiar with Blackboard Collaborate as well as socialize with their peers. She was doing an excellent job during her office hours - she used this time to teach kids; initially she was organizing science experiments her students (and their siblings) could follow. She strives to stay connected with her students and provides opportunities for them to connect with their friends even after end of the school year by organizing social hour for kids to meet and play games, chat or simply catch up."

- a Fairfax Villa ES Parent

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Lori Rodriguez and Christine Bates, Saratoga ES

"Mrs. Rodriguez was my daughter's kindergarten teacher for 2019-2020.  From the moment my daughter met her, she made her feel loved, heard, welcomed and valued. Mrs. Rodriguez always has a smile on her face, no matter how her day was going.  She always had time for her students and parents. She did an amazing job during distance learning with her class along with her IA, Mrs. Bates. They are a great team. Mrs. Rodriguez made it fun and easy for my daughter to engage during this pandemic. My daughter’s birthday was on June 2 and we organized a surprise parade.  I invited Mrs. Rodriguez and Mrs. Bates to participate, but didn’t think they would come since I know how busy they have been during this crazy time. But they went above and beyond and they took time from their busy schedule to take part and surprise my daughter on her special day. They made beautiful posters with her name and picture on it. Saratoga ES is blessed to have amazing educators like Mrs. Rodriguez and Mrs. Bates! Thank you for your hard work and love towards our children."

- a Saratoga ES Parent

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Janet Babic, West Potomac HS

"At the start of this journey of virtual learning, Janet Babic was at the helm and navigated all staff members to a successful voyage at West Potomac High School.  Janet coordinated countless training sessions, and tutorials, she provided one on one support to anyone in need, and did it all with an incredible amount of patience and ease.  Janet worked around the clock to ensure that we ALL had our questions, and concerns addressed. Janet started her day very early in the morning and visited my colleagues and I later in the evening so that my department would be up and running and ready to implement virtual learning for our students.  In closing, Janet Babic was truly Superwoman!!!"

- Emilie Breder-Greve, West Potomac HS

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Jon Gates, Hollin Meadows ES

"Last night, Mr. Gates held a Town Hall/Q&A for our HMES families.  Knowing it is hard to get all of our questions answered from FCPS because of the size of the district, it was comforting to hear from our principal as to what he knows, doesn't know and answer questions from families both FCPS wide and specific to HMES.  Mr. Gates answer all questions, was patient and thorough, and did not cut any corners in speaking to the families.  It is VERY reassuring to hear from our principal and to know, that during this time and this difficult decision, that our base school hears us, cares about us, and has us-regardless of what decision we choose for our families.  We are still a Hollin Meadows family."

- a Hollin Meadows ES Parent

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Lydia Montero, Herndon ES

"Ms. Montero has been such a big help during this pandemic. Herndon ES 1st grade teachers pre-recorded YouTube learning videos of themselves and she would send them daily for the children, she would call weekly to check up on her students and even the parents and she even set up Google Classroom for the students to meet every week to teach, read, and to share their thoughts. She would always assist whenever my daughter or I had questions and she even assist with coping through Distance Learning. I could always communicate with her through the Remind App and she always responded. She is very kind with such a big heart, she had even asked to visit her students the last week of the school year to bring them each a gift. My daughter was very excited to see her teacher. Ms. Montero goes above and beyond the normal teachers. I couldn't ask for more. She has been such an inspiration during the school year for my daughter."

- a Herndon ES Parent

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Linda Wright, Wilton Woods Center

"Linda went above and beyond to make sure I received a package in a timely manner. I really appreciated her taking the time to do that. Since Covid has closed the buildings for deliveries, we have relied on the staff at Wilton Woods Center to assist, and their staff never fails to provide awesome support! Thank you!"

- Melissa York, Sprague Technology Center

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Kim Paska, Shrevewood ES

"Kim has been a hardworking SBTS from the day she arrived at Shrevewood last year. She has helped promote Project Based Learning at our school, providing professional development and classroom assistance for teachers to improve the PBL experience for their students. My own Kindergartners were some of the beneficiaries of Kim’s vast knowledge of technology and PBL. She even co-taught an Academy course at Shrevewood on using technology to enhance PBL in elementary schools, which I took with my colleagues. When distance learning became a reality for FCPS, Kim worked tirelessly to make sure Shrevewood was prepared to meet the needs of both the teachers and students. She sometimes worked well into the night to ensure Blackboard Collaborative virtual classrooms were set up and ready for live teaching sessions. Her dedication to the Shrevewood community, not just during distance learning, but throughout this school year, is a living example of our school’s mantra of Family, Excellence, and Relationships!"

- Coreen Pinkerton, Shrevewood ES

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Samantha Hartwell, Saratoga ES

"Ms. Hartwell is so wonderful. The 2020 school year ended so strangely. Even though it's summer and she has no obligation to do so, she is hosting a summer Kindergarten "class meeting" for anyone who wants to check in and share how they're doing. It's a safe way for the kids to continue to connect and gives our kiddo a chance to share what he's excited about this summer."

- a Saratoga ES parent

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Tuan Bui, Merrifield Support Center

"Mr. Bui is a person that goes above and beyond his work skills as an FCPS, Carpenter. He always signs in/out wearing his mask, communicates with me on the process of the work, very knowledgeable to explain what needs to be done. Thank you, Mr. Bui, for your dedication to all that you do!"

- Esther Baca, Beech Tree ES

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Heidi Parsons, Gatehouse Administration 

Hats off to Heidi Parsons who is continuously devoting endless hours in keeping  the Schools' finances straight during this time. She is selflessly giving of her time, energy and expertise by answering countless questions and guiding us through many difficult moments.  Being in a new position as an AA, with limited Finance training,  she has been my go-to person.  Regardless of an email query or a phone call, she  never forgets me!  She is always kind and patient when working through the problem and I never get the feeling that I am bothering her.  Thank you Heidi for being the wonderful and amazing person you are!   You help take the weight off my shoulders and I do appreciate you!  FCPS Cares!

- Sherryanne Sooknanan , Braddock ES

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Laura Loy, Erin Grogan, Stephanie Draeger, Herndon MS

"Ms. Loy, Ms. Grogan and Ms. Draeger organized a drive-by pick-up window of t-shirts in late June, for the entire cast of the HMS spring musical.  The show was cancelled when the schools closed for the year.  The t-shirts are wonderful of course, but the real joy for my student was a chance to say goodbye in person to some favorite teachers, from a distance, as well as receive a handwritten note, signed by each teacher.   The thoughtful and personal note, wishing my student the best for high school, is now displayed on the bulletin board in her room.  It is so meaningful to her.  Thank you to all three of these amazing teachers for going "beyond" the distance and organizing this on their own time for our HMS students."

- a Herndon MS Parent

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Amber Gates, Fairfax Villa ES

"Mrs. Gates has proven to be a natural with distance learning.  While all teachers have been doing a great job, she went the extra mile.  She managed her class perfectly throughout the online school year, but she also made my 4th grade son WANT to join her once or twice a week in the evening in a class book club.  While we assumed that would stop at the close of school, she is continuing to hold book club so that they can finish out the book they started in the school year.  The book is extremely appropriate for now as it deals with race issues.   Even more important, I listen to the kids discuss all kinds of topics during book club that seem to be things they need to discuss with someone.  She guides them through things that are invoking stress and answers questions with them and they trust her to be honest.  This is a teacher that is fully supporting her students mental health out of caring for them and not out of obligation."

- a Fairfax Villa ES Parent 

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Laura Tapper, Lees Corner ES

"Laura is our Assistant Principal.  She has been an incredible cheerleader (often with literal pom poms) for our staff, students, and school.  She encourages us to love each other and reminds us about self-care which is SO important right now.  Every Wednesday she sends us words of wellness.  She has boosted our morale and kept us all connected while we are apart.  She has been a ray of sunshine in an otherwise dark time."

- Julie Brady, Lees Corner ES

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Mercedes Tikoyan, Bailey's ES

"As our school social worker, Mercedes has been the lifeline at Bailey's and we could not even begin to do our work with out students and families without her. In this past year, she has completed over 180 student referrals, conducted over 100 individual counseling sessions with families, visited over 20 families for home visits, offered 8 different social/emotional small group sessions with students and the list goes on. During the DL transition, she worked with over 150 families to provide community support and assistance with obtaining Cox cable internet services. Mercedes collaborates with all our teachers, parents, students and community agencies such as Fairfax County Community Services Board, Department of Family Services, CPS, and many more. Her impact and involvement with our unique community is unprecedented and profoundly appreciated."

- Mirna Galeano & Julie Easa, Bailey's ES

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Gretchen Pearson and Shakila Asif, Cherry Run ES

"I call Gretchen and Shakila the “dynamic duo.” These two assistants rallied around distance learning going the extra mile for our preschoolers with autism.  They would meet online and plan together. Then they met with one small group while I met with another so that we could keep our group experiences developmentally appropriate. The kids were excited to see Gretchen and Shakila. The smiles on the kids faces said it all. The setting was different but they still had the safety net of their dedicated classroom assistants."

- Leslie Lauth-Torres, Cherry Run ES

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Amy Reed, Shelia Brown, Rochelle Casey, Joyce Shott, Kelly Fitzpatrick, Keytrell Slack, Sheridan Leong, Leslie Huber, Victorine Moon, Raechel Acosta, Kannan Cangro, Victoria Lee, Shey Gift, Alicia McMahan, Tiffany Velishka, Amy Kaufman, Paula Treger,Caitlin Flay. Clermont ES


"I am writing this letter to express my sincere gratitude to all the amazing teachers and staff members who have worked with our child at Clermont ES over the past seven years. As a parent and a fellow colleague, I am constantly awed and amazed by their patience, compassion, hard work, dedication to their craft, love and guidance. These factors have played a vital role in our child’s growth and development. They have made her elementary school years ones that both she, and we as her parents, will never forget.  We could not have asked for a better start to our child’s academic career. As she moves on to middle school, I am hopeful that she will experience the same dedication to academic and personal excellence displayed at Clermont. These women have been such important role models in her life. They taught her to always strive for excellence, to never give up, to be compassionate and accepting to and of others, to always believe in herself and that with hard work, she can do anything she sets her mind to. In addition, they all played an important part in helping our child win the Presidential Outstanding Academic Excellence Award. Throughout this unprecedented time in our lives, they have displayed unbelievable grace under pressure. Understandably, we were disappointed at not being able to spend her final last months of elementary school with these beloved teachers and celebrate her graduation the way we would have liked. However, the faculty and staff of Clermont still managed to make the time memorable, once again demonstrating Clermont’s commitment to its students, families and academic excellence. Thank you so much."

- Clermont ES Parents

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Jeff Ward, Poplar Tree ES

"Throughout our time in virtual learning, Jeff volunteered to lead Tuesday Technology sessions for music teachers in the District. His knowledge of technology as it applies to teaching general music was invaluable in helping other teachers meet the needs of their students. He even created a Google Site where he posted recordings of the sessions for those not able to attend live. What a fantastic resource!"

- Pamela Wilson, Cherry Run ES

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Corey Teitsma, Providence ES

"Mr. Teistma did an exceptional job working online keeping the kids engaged, showing dynamics between the students, encouraging participation of the students on topics, giving expectations and goals during class. I observed the class a few times and absolutely liked the way he handled the class, assignments, information and solving questions. Even when online his performance was really good. To do online class is not easy because you have to know how to handle tools and work with different styles to teach and use different programs. He went far above my expectations. I usually don’t write for any teacher.  Just for the ones who really show effort, dedication and passion for what they do. He is an excellent teacher.  Like now he sends homework to my kid to learn cursive.  Who does that?  I really have such gratitude and respect for his ability to help each student to learn. Thanks."

- a Providence ES Parent

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Mishel Brown, Fairfax HS

Mishel put in an extraordinary amount of work into DL to address the challenges her students were facing during this time. She stayed up many late nights to make up new material and record videos, flipped her classroom, and placed it on two platforms to improve the chances that students would have uninterrupted access. She was also very generous in sharing advice, materials and resources with colleagues.

- Haydee Saffari-Cooper, Fairfax HS

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Tim Brown, Fairfax HS

"Tim put in a Herculean amount of work to get us set up with DL, deal with the inevitable missteps during this time, and deal with our concerns and questions. I think it's safe to say there would have been little or no distance learning this spring without his efforts."

- Haydee Saffari-Cooper, Fairfax HS

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Joyce Matthews and Jakelin Lake, Braddock ES

"Since my first day at Braddock Elementary School, it was clear that Joyce and Jakelin were a dream team to have. They mean so much more to our community than is possible to explain. They work to create strong business partnerships, they showcase the amazing things our students and staff have been able to do, and they are just amazing human beings. Since the school closure they have fought tooth and nail to make sure our families have what they need from food, clothes, books, rent assistance, computers, internet, and a listening ear. They have been at school every day doing the work. They do not do it for the recognition, they do it because their hearts are pure. They do it because they love humans. They believe in equity. They believe in love. If you have had the chance to work with or meet either Joyce or Jakelin you are extremely lucky. They make you want to be better and do more. Thank you for all that you both have done during this time, this year, and every year before. Our Braddock Family thanks you."

- Holly Dowling, Braddock ES

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Mark Tierney, Waynewood ES

"Mr. Tierney went above and beyond everyday prior and during distance Learning.  He worked to ensure all staff had the resources they need. If he didn’t know an answer, he found the answer. He continued to provide resources for staff even though distant learning was up and running. He responded quickly whenever he was asked for information from parents or staff. Mark is a hard working professional staff member of FCPS."

- Meg Walsh, Waynewood ES

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Ann Donovan, Terraset ES

"Ann is a wonderful special education teacher who has always goes above and beyond for her students. During distant learning, at her own expense, she mail and or delivered necessary materials, supplies and work for her students.  She always works endlessly to meet the needs of her students!"

- Gail Litrenta, Terraset ES

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Deena Moore, Virginia Run ES

"Kathy worked tirelessly to make sure that the teachers felt prepared and informed for distance learning. I know she had several sleepless nights trying to get everything done. Kathy did all of this for the sake of teacher and student success."

- Kathy Roberts, Virginia Run ES

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Sanela Balic, Forestdale ES

"Sanela Balic is an exceptional early childhood special education teacher at Forestdale Elementary School in Springfield, Virginia. As a first year teacher starting my career at Forestdale ES, Balic was there to assist me in “learning the ropes” of the special education profession, was by my side during IEP meetings, on call when I had a question about SEA-STARS or just needed an ear to listen. No matter what, Balic lends herself as a supporter to her co-workers at Forestdale ES. She is always there when someone calls on her! This is seen both in the school building and during distance learning. When Balic was not meeting with a group of students on Blackboard Collaborate or having individual sessions with 11 of her students twice a week, she was on the phone connecting with families and staff members, writing lesson plans, writing IEPs, proof reading for co-workers, as well as offering up advice and words of support. She goes above and beyond each and everyday, not only for her students and their families but for her team as well! There is a reason why she is the early childhood lead at Forestdale ES and I want to recognize her for the outstanding job she has done at setting the bar high for early childhood special education teachers following in her footsteps."

- Danielle Bochna, Forestdale ES

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Jeanette Thomas, Langston Hughes MS

"Ms. Thomas’ easy laugh, passion for her subject matter (science), and easy-going personality help make her a perfect fit for middle school students. With his new diagnosis of ADD, my son’s first year in middle school provided many challenges for him. He’s a reserved student who generally makes good grades but he was consistently turning in assignments late, completing assignments below AAP standards, or just missing assignments altogether. Starting on March 13 with distance learning beginning, he kicked it into gear, accepted help from teachers and parents (!), and set up a system to keep track of assignments. Mrs. Thomas noticed his efforts and sent him various messages noticing his hard work (she communicated this with us parents, too!). My son had a sense of relief when she attended his virtual 504 meeting. She provided emotional support and practical advice to help put a plan in place. At the end of the year, Mrs. Thomas nominated my son for exceptional improvement in science. The consistent praise, reassurance, and encouragement my son received from Mrs. Thomas made him feel supported and cared for. Because of her steady support, he ended his 7th grade year on a high note, feeling confident and a sense of accomplishment."

- a  Langston Hughes MS Parent

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Christie Meshanko, Franklin MS

"Ms. Meshanko took the time out of her day to call me on the phone and let me know how well my son was doing in distance learning.  She wanted to make sure I was aware of how he stood out to her and her co-teacher because of his promptness, participation, enthusiasm, and diligence with assignments.  He has struggled in school for years and the call really boosted me and made him feel so great!  It was so good for his self-esteem and I am grateful for her call!"

- a Franklin MS Parent

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Marcia Paulson, Hunters Woods ES
 
"Ms. Paulson pulled out all the stops during distance learning. She led her 2nd grade class in synchronous learning every morning then came back to ‘office hours’ which she converted into a virtual space for her learners’ to build positive relationships and enhance their learning. She led educational games and gave her learners an opportunity to share what they were creating at home: poetry, stories, Lego creations, robots from recyclable materials, etc.


Ms. Paulson took it a step farther and divided her class into small groups and worked with each small group in the areas of reading and math. Not only was this enriching the students’ academics, it was also invaluable for their mental health needs as they were able to connect with Ms. Paulson and fellow classmates directly.


My son, in particular, had a rough time with distance learning. Being responsive to his needs, she set up a one-on-one session with my son to give him a little extra attention and care."

- a Hunters Woods ES Parent

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Emma Pattonm, Dranesville ES 

"Ms. Patton was so amazing during distance learning. She was so involved & available to her 5th grade students. I was so impressed how she took the time to read aloud and record 2 books during distance learning. Students listened daily and were asked to do thoughtful tasks (introspection, prediction, apply to current events, etc.). It was such a great way to get students invested in Language Arts during distance learning."

- a Dranesville ES Parent

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Caley Roberts, Cardinal Forest ES

"Caley took the time to give each of her students a gift marking the end of school.  She took the time to say hello to each student.  Throughout the entire social distant school she took extra time for those students who needed it.  She took time to speak with my daughter when she was struggling to not be in the actual school.  She has one of the biggest hearts I know."

- a Cardinal Forest ES Parent

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Heather Tickle, Brookfield ES

"During distance-learning Mrs. tickle has always gone above and beyond to ensure students well-being is the most important part of the learning process. She even would drop by or check in on her class to make sure they were all doing well. On June 12 she dropped by to give my son a special award that he would not have received otherwise. I appreciate her using her own money to pay for end of your gifts and to show all the kids how much they are loved even though they’re not in the classroom. She truly is a once in a lifetime teacher and a blessing to her students!"

- a Brookfield ES Parent

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Keri McCluskey, Oakton ES

"I would like to nominate my child’s class teacher. She has done an amazing job keeping my child busy during this difficult time. She went above and beyond not only studying during the assigned time, but also sometime during daytime and on Fridays as well. Playing Kahoot and other quizzes kept them occupied while connected to the  teacher and friends. Thank you so much."

- an Oakton ES Parent

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Julia Little, Frost Ms

"Julia Little went above and beyond during the last quarter of school this year. She maintained contact with students and parents while students were working at home. She used Remind to ping parents prior to class time and office hours to help get students to class. She offered assignments to help students maintain knowledge and improve grades, was available for help sessions, responded to email, and really communicated that she cared for students' well-being during this crazy time. She is a dedicated professional who deserves as many accolades as we can give her!"

- a Frost MS Parent

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Sarah Fuller, Fairview ES

"Sarah Fuller sent my children a handwritten note for year end.  If I had to bet, she likely sent one to every child at Fairview.  Sarah is an example of dedication to the student population at Fairview - she goes above and beyond every day to assure each student's needs are met.  I miss seeing her smiling face and gracious approach in the front office."

- a Fairview ES Parent

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Nikki Yacubovich, Pine Spring ES

"Principal Yac has gone above and beyond to ensure all students and staff had an equitable learning and teaching experience during this distance learning time. She kept all of her staff informed in a timely manner and provided students with the technology they needed to continue learning at home. We are so appreciative of all of her hard work and continued efforts!"

- Jennifer Ganci, Pine Spring ES

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Terri Newman, Oak View ES

"Terri, our SBTS, always goes above and beyond to help the staff and students of Oak View. This could not have been more evident than during Virtual Instruction.  From day 1 she was there to support teachers as they tried to navigate this new challenge.  She made herself available seven days a week to help and guide us.  She tirelessly does her job with a kind and positive attitude. Terri is a leader at Oak View and the staff relies on her and she ALWAYS is available to offer assistance and advice.  She is a problem solver and has immeasurable patience and skill.  Terri is the type of person you wonder how we could ever do what we do without her. Fairfax County and Oak View are so incredibly lucky to have her!"


- Sherry Giuseppe, Oak View ES

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Michelle Krull, Faith Hollinger, Cardinal Forest ES

"Ms. Krull and Ms. Hollinger consistently went over and above expectations during distance learning. They collaborated with me constantly to provide creative, high -quality synchronous and asynchronous learning experiences tailored to  student needs and never gave up! They kept student interest with multiple avenues of engagement continues to collaborate with ESOL and our reading specialist to plan. Both worked with students every day to achieve the most possible duirng this challenging time - And they were I afraid to try new technology suggested by our SBTS. I want to commend their diligence."

- Krystyn Carey, Cardinal Forest ES

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Jennifer Herbst, Bull Run ES

"Throughout distance learning, Ms. Herbst went above and beyond for her students. Not only was she looking for and creating the best, most innovative resources to use digitally, she was sharing them with other teachers outside of her own grade level. The time and dedication she puts in to planning and teaching her students has always been apparent, but really stood out as someone not on her grade level team receiving valuable resources she shared to use with my own students. As she tirelessly searched and planned for her students, she was also searching, sharing, and thinking about students outside of her class and grade level. She is a truly remarkable and dedicated teacher who selflessly works to reach all students, in and out of her own classroom. Keep it up, Ms. Herbst! We are so thankful for you!"

- Sophia Turonis, Bull Run ES

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Pearl Graham,  Stratford Landing ES

"Pearl is the main web site administrator for Stratford Landing and she does a great job coordinating all of the announcements and events that are important to parents.  This week, she encouraged other staff at the school to move their 'wellness site' from a google site (not accessible to parents) to the school web site.  She worked with them every step of the way and now the wellness site is available to the world!  Thank you Pearl for setting a great example."

- Nancy Moy, Gatehouse Administration

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Elizabeth Morales, Mount Vernon Woods ES

"Mrs. Morales was absolutely amazing during this difficult transition. She seamlessly transitioned the whole class into virtual learning. I watched my daughter have fun and share with her classmates, just like I’ve seen them do so in the classroom. It’s been a pleasant experience because of her resilient and positive attitude throughout this whole process. She always had classwork and assignments my daughter could work on and morning meetings that helped with her emotional/social well being. Thank you Mrs. Morales and good luck on your future endeavors!"

- a Mount Vernon Woods ES Parent

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Nicole Bracken, Key Center

"Mrs. Bracken is our hard working, dedicated, out-of-the-box thinking SBTS. She took on the Distance Learning challenge like a champ, meeting the needs of our students, staff and families.  She ensured laptops and other equipment were provided and worked 1:1 with families who needed help.  Mrs. Bracken worked around the clock both at home and in the school and pitched in wherever she was needed. She was patient, understanding and instrumental to the success of all of our technological challenges.  There is no one more deserving of the credit for what Mrs. Bracken did and continues to do for Key Center."

- Emily G. Kaltenmark, Key Center

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Maide Alas Aguilar, Gatehouse Administration

"During our recent distant learning platform, I had the privilege to work with an amazing Spanish interpreter named Ms. Maide Alas Aguilar.   She patiently assisted me with translating pertinent information to my Spanish speaking parents.  Ms. Maide also demonstrated stellar professionalism during special education meetings. Needless to say, the Newington Forest Elementary local screening team was extremely impressed with  how she explicitly translated the information we discussed during out special education meetings.  Overall, she was integral conduit for my Spanish speaking families access to the distance learning platform and active participation in special education meetings."

- Keisha Smith, Newington Forest ES

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MaryAnne Rossbach, Mosby Woods ES

"MaryAnne’s passion for mathematics and for supporting our teachers and students during distance learning is not only impressive, it’s contagious!  Her dedication to working behind the scenes on math lessons and resources helped ensure synchronous learning didn’t miss a beat.  As she had done before the pandemic, MaryAnne consistently went over and beyond in meeting the needs of everyone.  She is always willing to take risks and learn new things.  Because she has created meaningful relationships with colleagues and students, she is a trusted and highly valued member of our staff. Her joy for teaching mathematics and dedication to our students and staff, no matter the circumstances, make MaryAnne a true hero in distance learning!"

- Courtney Stevens, Mosby Woods ES

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Kate Leahy, Crossfield ES

"I observed Kate throughout the virtual lessons and seeing her interact with her students. I marveled at her ability to engage her first grade students in such a kind and patient manner. She allowed them to share in ways they so needed during such a difficult time period in their lives.  I observed wonderful lessons that explored virtual field trips as well as sharing core content that helped the students feel they were connected to their peers and education.  I admire her ability to greet her students with a smile everyday showing them she truly cares about what they want to share with her in class.  She also spent many hours in "office hours" allowing students to talk with her and read stories they were writing.  FCPS and Crossfield are lucky to have such a wonderful teacher!"

- Deanne Bullock, Crossfield ES

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Donald Hemsley (DJ) & David Hallmark, Sprague Technology Center

"Thank you to DJ and David for assistance with repairing my laptop.  David had a replacement battery on hand and the process was performed quickly.  The IT team has made the process simple and safe by setting up a tent outside Sprague Technology Center so that FCPS staff can continue working remotely. Much appreciation for keeping up with repairs during this critical time."

- Jean Welsh, Sprague Technology Center

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Megan VanGorder, Flint Hill ES

"Megan is a passionate and dedicated special education teacher. You would never know this was her first year as a teacher in the county. She has been extremely organized and detailed. She is loved by all who work with her in the building and over distance learning. She has taken on any challenge this year with grace. Supporting a first year teacher over distance learning had its own challenges but she ended up supporting so many including myself with her positive presence. She is an asset to her team and school."


- Jaime Mullin, Flint Hill ES

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Catherine Alongi, Flint Hill ES

"Cathe is a dedicated and supportive team teacher. She has worked above and beyond for all of her students on a daily basis in the classroom and has persevered through distance learning as a co-teacher. She has also pushed through several meetings for her students working past contract time if necessary in order to support her team and her students. She is consistent with her positive input and patience. Cathe is the team teacher every special education teacher hopes to work with."

- Jaime Mullin, Flint Hill ES

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Nicole Bracken, Key Center

"Mrs. Bracken is our hard working, dedicated, out-of-the-box thinking SBTS.  She took on the Distance Learning challenge like a champ, meeting the needs of our students, staff and families.  She ensured laptops and other equipment were provided and worked 1:1 with families who needed help.  Mrs. Bracken worked around the clock both at home and in the school and pitched in wherever she was needed.  She was patient, understanding and instrumental to the success of all of our technological challenges.  There is no one more deserving of the credit for what Mrs. Bracken did and continues to do for Key Center."


- Emily G. Kaltenmark, Key Center

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Gabriela Marquez Sanchez, Plum Center

Gabriela is one of the most caring educators I have ever had the pleasure of working alongside.  She goes above and beyond to meet students' needs, no matter how big or small the task.  In the month of June she worked tirelessly, making numerous phone calls to students and translating school messages from English to Spanish, to ensure each of our graduating seniors were not only passing their classes, but also were receiving the information they needed for diploma pick-up and our virtual ceremony.  Gabriela was a shining star during our senior photo opportunity, making sure the students felt extra celebrated.  In addition to all of this, she also invited students to an online open forum to discuss any issues related to race and equity, given recent events and the current climate of our country.  Our students and our staff appreciate her, and we believe she deserves to be recognized for her great work in FCPS!

- Denise Lee, Plum Center

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Kaleigh Hartman, Fairhill ES

Mrs. Hartman ordered bracelets for her students and delivered these gifts in person (from a distance on the driveway and while wearing a mask). This was a wonderful gesture and my son was so excited to see her. She did an excellent job in her communication with the students since distance learning started.  She was very thorough in her emails and outlined everything in a clear manner. Definitely want to give her a shout out for this! Thank you!

- a Fairhill ES Parent

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Jody Delaney, Sunrise Valley ES

"I was beyond impressed with the effort that Jody Delaney put into her lesson plans.  I have two kids at Sunrise Valley and it seems as if she formulated separate lessons for every grade level.  She taught the kids via asynchronous learning session and it was as if she was in the room with the kids.  It was interactive and well thought out.  She even organized all the first graders to have an end of the year play. She did an an amazing job with the distance learning!"

- a Sunrise Valley ES Parent

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Lindsay Cox and Deanne Bullock, Crossfield ES

"Our PE teachers, Lindsay Cox and Deanne Bullock, at Crossfield ES are outstanding! When schools closed and we began distance learning for grade level classrooms they continuously offered support and encouragement to myself and my teammates. They actively engaged in brainstorming sessions during our CLT meetings and took an active role in maximizing student success during distance learning. They reached out offering to be moderators and many teachers took them up on their offer. As synchronous PE lessons began, both Lindsay and Deanne continued their commitment to support synchronous classroom learning."

- Danielle Heffron, Crossfield ES

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Deanne Bullock, Crossfield ES

"Deanne joined my synchronous lessons twice a week, on top of her own synchronous PE classes. She answered student questions, gave positive feedback and helped troubleshoot many technical issues. During breakout sessions she facilitated small groups and had students successfully engaging in online discussions. Our 6th grade virtual promotion ceremony would not have been possible without Deanne. She sent individual email links to over 100 students to the virtual room our ceremony was held in. That does not include all of the additional emails that had to be sent when bookmarked links no longer worked or emails were inadvertently deleted by students. She volunteered to do this and never once complained about the additional work, stress and frustrations that surely came with this monumental task. Throughout it all she maintained a positive and professional attitude. Thank you Deanne for your above and beyond support during distance learning. You played an integral part of student and teacher success during that difficult time. I am so grateful to call you my teammate at Crossfield."

- Danielle Heffron, Crossfield ES

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Katrina Glista, West Springfield ES

"FCPS is known for it's high quality education, and a large factor in our decision to set roots here for our children. However, during the challenging times of quarantine, I would like to highlight that it was community that did and will always carry us through. Mrs. Glista is 100% to thank for the caring community she created from day 1 in her classroom in August - without this, her students would have had an even more difficult time persevering through distance learning. When our children feel cared for, loved, and supported - they are able to learn anything. She fostered their belief in each other, as well as themselves. I highlight this, as I hope FCPS continues to make this a priority as we move forward with ongoing and future educational challenges. Our children need to feel loved above any level of academic excellence or achievement. Their foundational needs met, their opportunities are endless. Our sincere gratitude to Mrs. Glista, and WSES for their unwavering support of our children, and for being their home away from home."

- a West Springfield ES Family

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Diana Martin, Willow Springs ES

"Diana Martin went above and beyond in engaging her 4th graders throughout the quarantine.  Beyond the requisite online learning, she made herself available for games, academic feedback and practice, and simple conversation.  She showed up each day, all day and managed the exuberant chatter - kids so happy to be with her and their classmates in any way possible! - with patience and kindness.  Not easy.  Much appreciated."

- Willow Springs ES Parent

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Stacy Delaney, Lake Braddock SS

"Stacy Delaney stepped in as an SBTS sub for the second half of our school year and ended up helping to champion successful distance learning! Working together with Carin Frank, they formed a successful partnership that allowed a huge school to move forward nimbly. Stacy was available every step of the way, and she was unfailingly professional and friendly. We were so lucky to have her with us!"

- Sarah Pevner, Lake Braddock SS

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Carin Frank, Lake Braddock SS

"Carin Frank is an SBTS who always puts instructional best practices first. Long before our shift to distance learning, Carin has been working to help equip a huge faculty and staff with the tools they need to create meaningful and authentic learning experiences for students. Carin is always willing to troubleshoot, plan and assist, and there is no end to her great ideas. She's a generous thought partner and a cutting edge practitioner. She was also invaluable during distance learning, working with her SBTS partner to train and assist an entire faculty and staff. One of her deep skill sets is the ability to talk distressed educators down, and that came in great handy during the stressful months of transition. SBTS do so much for the educational climate of a school, and we are so lucky to have Carin!"

- Sarah Pevner, Lake Braddock SS

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Kesha Samuels, Riverside ES

"I have had the pleasure of working with Ms. Kesha since March of 2019 and she always amazes me with her artistic ability and her behind the scenes work of making sure our classes have substitutes when needed and our teachers have buses for field trips.  But this year in particular she rose to the challenge with this new virtual school.  She has been our eyes and safety net during these hard times.  Ms. Kesha was tasked with ensuring that every person entering our building has done a health screening and she sends this report every morning to ensure our custodial staff is aware of who will be in the building.  For those of us that have needed to come in several times for different responsibilities, it has been a relief to know someone is watching out for our well being.   For that I am truly honored to recognize Ms. Kesha Samuels."

- Ana Chavez, Riverside ES

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Gina O'Neal, Riverside ES

"Ms. O'Neal is a leader who has a tremendous work ethic. She is a genuine person that our Riverside staff can always depend on, even at a distance. This year with all the changes that have been happening she has stepped out of her comfort zone and lead with stride.  She organized our packing up of classrooms and our student materials pick-up, two big events that required hours of planning.  She spoke with all stakeholders and ensured each event went smoothly as planned.  It is not so much the organization of these events that I want recognize her for but her attitude.  She knew the importance of each event and made sure everyone involved took the precautions necessary and led by example.  Coming in with her mask and a smile in her eyes :) she followed up with the custodial team to ensure they had everything they needed and any hiccup she made  sure to correct.  For the student material pick up, parents and students left smiling after she greeted each one and most by their names.  We all like to tell that we wish we could bottle up her energy for ourselves because she does everything with smiles and laughter. Ms. O'Neal is a leader that exemplifies our motto Effort and Attitude: she will sit with you when you need someone to listen, she does not shy away from telling you are wrong because she wants you to grow, she will lift up her sleeves and get a project done but most importantly she takes every role seriously and will not let you down."

- Ana Chavez, Riverside ES

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Julie Moore, Lake Braddock SS

"After serving as a loyal volunteer in many various areas for many years at Lake Braddock, Julie Moore became an FCPS employee this past year, working part-time as an Office Assistant in the school's main office.  Just around the time COVID-19 forced schools to close and distance teaching/learning, Julie stepped up to assume the duties of a vacated Administrative Assistant position supporting the Principal.  In both positions Julie has confidently demonstrated clerical expertise and professionalism in quickly learning and adapting, and in the end, coordinating and carrying out many of out of ordinary end-of-year procedures used during this novel period in education.  Attentive, caring, tactful and discreet, sharp, very responsive, efficient, organized, detail-oriented, and excellent at making decisions on her feet, Julie has been crucial in accomplishing an unprecedented feat -- steering and organizing the implementation of  the school's year-end procedures and plans developed by its Administration.  Thanks to Julie, the whole operation of retrieval/drop off of students' items in addition to a myriad of other executive tasks, have been carried out smoothly and efficiently.  All the while, Julie has been super effective and prompt in communicating with and responding to staff, parents and students.  It's hard to imagine how the wrap up of the 2019-2020 school year could have been possible without Julie Moore."

- Vickie Sands, Lake Braddock SS

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Anthony Ramakis, Willow Oaks

"Anthony collaborates with our school to create a data spreadsheet to support our MTSS efforts.  Each week we are able to see a breakdown of attendance by a number of different subgroups.  Coupling this data with the SIS Contact Log data we are able to ensure school to home communication is occurring for our students most at need."

- Michele Johnson, Lanier MS

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Kara Payne, Lanier MS

"Kara has kept in contact with students, staff, and families during Distance Learning.  She works with the administrative and counseling teams to ensure best practices with attendance and making sure we keep our MTSS structure active during DL.  She has also shared her community-building talents with the Lanier community by creating a number of videos for staff, students, and first responders in our community."

- Michele Johnson, Lanier MS

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Scott Simmons, Nancy Sprague Technology Center 

"With the sudden closure of schools, offices and government buildings, we found ourselves unable to put on our annual End of Year Conference for FCPS Student Information Assistants (SIAs) and Registrars in person as we normally do. Scott Simmons in the Digital Learning Resource Services (DLRS) office helped us to brainstorm possible virtual conference options to ensure we could provide critical end of the year information to our SIAs and also update it as new information became available. He went above and beyond to troubleshoot some last minute issues with me and make sure that we put our best work forward. The planning committee and all the FCPS SIAs thank you Scott!"

- Tina Smith, Wilton Woods

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Julie Moore, Lake Braddock SS

"Julie Moore has been an amazing and positive force for good at Lake Braddock! When our building closed, she became a really central point person for contact and operations. She has helped me countless times as we tried to figure out how to close a huge library and collect materials.  She has done a beautiful job bringing people together to help ensure that huge tasks are completed, she has taught herself to use numerous new tech programs as needed, and she is always brave enough to ask a question when she doesn't know how something works.  Above all, though, she has done all of this with kindness and patience, interacting with numerous stakeholder groups with the same measured tone and thoughtful approach every time.  I am grateful to work with her and thankful to know her!"

- Sarah Pevner, Lake Braddock SS

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Vickie Sands, Lake Braddock SS

"When school is regularly in session, Vickie Sands can be found at the library circulation desk, overseeing essential functions of a very busy library program. Since our shift to distance learning, Vickie has worked tirelessly to help ensure that plans are in place for material return. She is happy to help at any turn, and has been logging long hours assisting with student material pickup and senior check out. LBSS is lucky to have her!"

- Sarah Pevner, Lake Braddock SS

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Diane Rogers, Lake Braddock SS

"Diane Rogers is new to the LBSS library-- and what a year it has been! Diane brings with her a deep knowledge of literature and a joyful and infectious spirit of inquiry and fun.  During our transition to digital services, Diane designed powerful instruction, co-piloted synchronous sessions with teachers, built meaningful new reading initiatives and connected with incoming students and their caregivers to serve as a welcoming presence. LBSS is so lucky to have her!"

- Sarah Pevner, Lake Braddock SS

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Carolyn Hilyard, Lake Braddock SS

"Without missing a beat, Carolyn Hilyard was able to translate her creative and thoughtful librarian skills into a digital environment. She designed innovative new instruction, co-piloted synchronous sessions with teachers, introduced powerful new reading initiatives and connected with incoming middle school students and caregivers as a welcoming presence in a difficult time. LBSS is so lucky to have her!"

- Sarah Pevner, Lake Braddock SS

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Julie Yocom, Sprague Technology Center

"We are all so grateful for Julie.  She is resourceful, enthusiastic, caring, thoughtful, kind and has had a positive attitude during these challenging times.  Julie keeps all of DIT up to date on important events by reaching out to us and being supportive of our concerns whether work or family related. Thank you for your continued support and devotion to our DIT family.  So glad you decided to join us – it wouldn’t be the same without you.  You are the epitome of FCPS Cares! We appreciate you."

- Esther Schlobach and Sara Carlson, Sprague Technology Center; Dawn Couisine and Mary Meyrow, Wilton Woods; Janet Montgomery, Woodson IT

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Department of Information Technology, Multiple Locations

"This is a shout out to the Department of Information Technology for their incredible work on our various distance learning platforms. Given the extraordinary circumstances with COVID 19, DIT scrambled to get all 198 schools and over 180,000 students prepared for online instruction.  DIT worked diligently to address all issues that arose in the roll out of synchronous learning, and eventually prevailed. They lived up to their mission of being the premier IT service provider for education. Teachers and students were able to successfully continue the first-rate education that we are known for in FCPS."

- Anonymous

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Jacqueline Radin, Flint Hill ES

"In her first year as a first grade teacher at FHES, Ms. Radin energetically formed supportive and positive relationships with her students and their families.  She was dedicated to teaching, receptive to feedback, consistently communicated, was inclusive when gathering help from parents and demonstrated care, support (inside and outside the classroom) and encouragement to all of her students. When distance learning fell upon us, she continued to nurture her relationships with her students.  She accomplished this right from the beginning through DAILY videos (even on weekends), reaching out via telephone, writing letters, encouraging her students to complete daily challenges to keep them engaged, maintaining a positive disposition and staying in constant communication with parents/caregivers.  She showed a deep commitment to her students and their social/emotional needs.  Through her actions, she demonstrated a true desire to teach, show genuine kindness and help the next generation grow and thrive despite her being new to FHES and the most challenging of circumstances, a pandemic. Ms. Radin's actions demonstrate what it means to be "all in" and to us, she is one of the most gifted teachers we have ever had the pleasure of meeting.  We are forever grateful."

- Flint Hill ES Parents

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Jazzmin Dabney, Riverside ES

"What a wonderful experience we've had with Ms. Dabney this year!  She has been amazing making the transition to the virtual learning.  I think everyone would love to be back in the classroom, but Ms. Dabney has been wonderful at making the transition to the distance learning.  The little things that she's done these last 3 months have made a huge impact for my son, and I'd imagine her entire class as well!  She's gone above and beyond for making the distance learning a huge success.  Thank you for your fun morning meetings, engaging and interesting learning session, lunch bunches, and afternoon debates.  Ms. Dabney cares about all her students, and we thank her for making a difference in their lives!"

- a Riverside ES Parent

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Catherine Godley, Riverside ES

"We couldn't have asked for a better experience for our 2nd grade year - Ms. Godley has been an amazing teacher, and has been wonderful through the distance learning experience.  Ms. Godley has been great with keeping the students as well as the parents informed with what the daily lessons were going to entail.  She keeps the kids engaged, and has made learning fun for my son!  I know he looks forward to both the learning aspects of the distance learning, as well as having lunch bunch, or just hoping on to say hello to Ms. Godley - and it's great that she's always there to lend a listening ear for him.  Although the school year didn't finish how we imagined, Ms. Godley made sure to keep the students engaged and continued to make learning fun for all!  We thank her for everything she's done for us and all her students this year!"

- a Riverside ES Parent

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Emily Slogik, Fairview ES

"During our last virtual one-on-one Mrs. Slogik recalled various stories my son had shared with her over the semester.   He felt so special she remembered stories about his most recent vacation and activities he has been
doing since virtual learning started.  During the meeting, she encouraged my son to share his small moments story with his class during their next virtual session.  She gave him so much confidence he was willing to share.  I am so proud of his growth this year and I know Mrs. Slogiks' constant encouragement has made the difference.  I feel she truly made an effort to get to know my son and connected with him at his level.  I appreciate the special touch she made with each interaction with him.  Virtual learning is TOUGH with a group of first graders and she handled it with grace and patience."

- a Fairview ES Parent

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Debra Demers, Bucknell ES

"Ms. Demers has gone above and beyond during this crazy time of distance learning. She puts all of herself into teaching and loving her students. You can really tell she cares a lot about her work and the students. My family feels very lucky and grateful to have her in our lives and apart of Logan’s learning journey. She is truly an inspiration to us all and made distance learning a positive Learning experience for Logan."

- a Bucknell ES Parent

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Debra Demers, Bucknell ES

I wanted to share the exceptional experience my son and I had with Ms. Demers. I was aware my son was working with her for literacy since the fall. He was making great improvements during the late fall/ early winter with his reading and speech even. I contacted her on 4/14/2020 when the FCPS distance learning was not going smoothly and requested her assistance in helping me know what level reading he was at prior to the switch to distance learning. More than just letting me know what level he was on, she offered her time to help him. This in turn helped me to be a better "teacher" in this situation for my son. She is so incredibly loving and genuinely cares for her students.  She dedicated 30 minutes 3-4 days a week to work with him over FaceTime, BB or in person (socially distanced & masked) in our front yard! He grew so much in the last few weeks and grew so confident in his growing reading ability and comprehension because of her. I hope he NEVER forgets her for her kindness, nurturing selflessness and dedication to him. I know I never will and I cannot even begin to thank her enough for her time and effortless ability to connect with him and engage him despite the distance. Her kindness, not only towards my son, but towards our daughters and myself as well. She is an exceptional teacher, who has gone above and beyond to make the new normal feel a little more like being at school for my son. Thank you for sharing her with us.

- a Bucknell ES Parent

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Michelle Crabill, Kings Park ES

Michelle is the Kings Park School Based Technology Specialist and I wanted to acknowledge all of the work she has done during FCPS distance learning (and before). Michelle has worked tirelessly to ensure that everything technology-related is going smoothly, from online learning to the weekly KPOV news and other video segments the school has done over the past few months. Today, Michelle was the guest teacher in my daughter's class, and she jumped right in without missing a beat. I can't even imagine the work that she has been doing over the past few months, especially since much of it is behind the scenes, but I want her to know that she is appreciated!

- a Kings Park ES Parent

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Brian Lauer, Justice HS

"Brian Lauer is a great asset to our department; he is a technology guru. He has been helping and sharing different methods for distance learning. He goes above and beyond to make sure his colleagues are doing well and comfortable with the different technology tools. He is very patient and  he is always willing to give his time to help anyone."

 - Sylvia Makar, Justice HS

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Erin Snell, Christie Johnson, Leydi Uoy, & Joni Smith,  Bull Run Early Childhood Center

"Erin, Christie, Leydi and Joni have worked tirelessly to help create the weekly learning packets for our Early Childhood Special Education students and their families. These packets were filled with activities that made my job as an Early Childhood Resource Teacher much easier. They included many ideas at all levels for parents to implement during daily activities as well as information about overall development.  

Erin also was a member of our teacher team and helped with being a resource for links/ideas for teaching, a designee for IEP meetings, while also having her own caseload, and her own young children at home!  

Leydi also was a member of our teacher team and helped with communicating in 2 languages to parents, being a designee for IEP meetings, while also having her own caseload, and 2 babies at home! She is always so caring, supportive, and understanding of families' needs.  

Joni did all of this while also having her own caseload, and her own young children at home! 

Thank you for all that you do, Erin, Christie, Leydi and Joni!  We'd be lost without you!"

- Katie Tardiff, Bull Run Early Childhood Center

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Donna Viens, White Oaks ES

"There is a student in my class that is being mentored by Mrs. Viens. He has had lots of academic and home issues. When distance learning started, my student would not engage. He was issued a school computer but would not use it to participate in class. He wasn't doing any of the Blackboard assignments. Mrs. Viens was able to connect with him and walk him through step by step for getting into class. She was very patient and calming with him. Also when it was time to pick up personal belongings from the school, his mom wasn't able to pick up the bag by the deadline. Mrs. Viens picked up his bag and held it until mom was able to come get it from her. She has spent time working with mom and my student on various issues related to connecting to school during this time. Mrs. Viens has gone above and  beyond  to help this student and family during this stressful time. I am so grateful to her for helping him stay connected to school in some way."

-  Edith Giffear, White Oaks ES

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Ashley Stout, Flint Hill ES

"Ashley has spent hours helping me with new new technology for our distance learning.  She has been patient and most of all kind in her guidance.  She has willing to help at a moments notice to ensure the lesson was a success. I couldn't have done it without her!  I am forever grateful!"

- Mary Ennis, Flint Hill ES

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Katy Bohn, Orange Hunt ES

"We want to thank Mrs. Bohn for her efforts in continuing to support our daughter (and all of her other students, too) during the school closure.  She has stayed connected to our daughter through small group breakfast bunches, story time, and scheduled class meetings.  She stayed invested in her learning and contacted us to support classwork completion.  We are grateful to have such a happy and positive teacher this year!"

- Orange Hunt ES Parents

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Katie Tardiff, Bull Run Early Childhood Center

"We were only blessed with one in-person session with Ms. Tardiff but my son took to her IMMEDIATELY.  She was so responsive and positive, which can be so uplifting during these times.  Our weekly video meetings were so much more than just giving updates.  Ms. Tardiff was my child's teacher, my life coach, and a positive mentor for our entire family.  I always would call my son's stepfather at work right after our calls to go over everything that was discussed so I didn't forget.  We were eager to work on whatever activities she would send, and she wouldn't judge if the biggest accomplishment was something that had nothing to do with his delay, like potty training.  We will miss her so much over the summer and cannot wait for our meetings to start in September (hopefully in-person)!!!!"

- a Bull Run Early Childhood Center Parent

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Molly Sherman, Falls Church HS

"Molly Sherman epitomizes what it means to be unflagging in support of students. Several weeks into distance learning it became apparent that one of our seniors was struggling mightily, and was in danger of failing to graduate as a result. The instant Molly became aware of this situation she sprang into action, taking it upon herself to personally shepherd him through the remainder of the school year. She spent countless hours directly assisting him and advocating  for him despite a demanding teaching schedule and myriad other responsibilities. He is now one of the proudest graduates I have ever seen, and Molly played a pivotal role in helping him across the finish line."

- Todd Ridenour, Falls Church HS

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Meaghan Tracy, Instructional Programs Support Center

"Ms. Tracy has gone above and beyond supporting the Office of Special Education Instruction's ABA Program.  We have been tasked with creating summer distance learning packets for our Preschool Autism Classrooms and needed access to Boardmaker.  She swiftly took the requests and set our team members up.  Her time and effort do not go unnoticed, as we are all extremely busy.  Thank you, Ms. Tracy."

- Kelly Galbraith, Willow Oaks

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Rebecca Wilson, Flint Hill ES

"Mrs. Wilson has been so responsive to our questions and concerns all year! In the Fall when our son was ill and hospitalized she brought stacks of handwritten cards from the children in his class, in person. She helped us handle making up the schoolwork for the weeks of school he missed. This spring she has been there for us too, from checking in when we get confused about the meeting schedule, to giving a mini-lesson during her office hours, or e-mailing extra materials and resources in areas where my son needs extra help.  It's been a difficult year for everyone but Mrs. Wilson has handled it with cheerful patience and managed to make a huge difference in my son's life this year.  We will remember her for many years to come!

- a Flint Hill ES Parent

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Fiorella Ferrando, Riverside ES

"Fio has been a great asset to our preschool team.  She has been translating the distance learning weekly packets in Spanish every week.  We have a lot of Spanish speaking families in our program so this has been extremely beneficial.  Fio took the initiative to do this on her own.  We are so appreciative of her time and hard work to help our students' families."

- Christie Kwun, Riverside ES

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Kaitlyn Price, Kelley Peck, Tynan Rolander, South County HS

"Ms. Price, Ms. Peck, and Coach Rolander have given our son a lifeline to a social network. Just being able to use virtual chat during leadership has been a great motivator to get him participating in virtual learning. Ms. Price and Coach Rolander have been quick to modify assignments for him so that he can participate in the Friday Ted talk meetings facilitated by Coach Rolander.  And the family cup challenges have kept our son connected to his peers. They make a great team for Leadership!"

- a South County HS Parent

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Walter Bagwell, South County HS

"Mr. Bagwell has been quick to share resources and keep our son busy when curriculum has fallen short. And he has shared his knowledge and perspective on different paths that our son might follow in the coming years. The Best Buddies program that he leads gave our son access, before and after the quarantine, to peers that he could reach out to and make connections.The Best Buddies program offers so much personal growth on all sides. Thank you for leading."

- a South County HS Parent

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Megan Pitts, South County HS

"Ms. Pitts has been a great resource throughout our son’s freshman year. I appreciate her ability to recognize and honor the “Individual” in the IEP process. She recognizes that our son’s needs are not as simple as CatA or CatB but somewhere in the “mushy, messy” middle. She is also quick to respond to questions and always follows through on requests to the end of whatever track they end up on. She has given me the gift of seeing that there are other people in our son’s corner. And she has pushed me to back off and let him discover what he can do independently. During the last couple of months she has been a genuine calming voice in a sea of uncertain expectations. Yes. I know that sounds “hoaky” but it is true."

- a South County HS Parent

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Gaby Auza, Daniels Run ES

"It is with the utmost gratitude that I recommend Gaby Auza as an FCPS employee who exemplifies care for all students and families.  Gaby has been an asset to the second grade team from the beginning.  We have been fortunate for her assistance with communicating with our Spanish speaking students and families all year.  This did not stop during distance learning, in fact it increased.  Without hesitation, Gaby offered to work with ALL Spanish speaking students and their families for our entire grade level in order to make this experience more equitable and accessible.  She translated every communication that was sent from the whole team, made phone calls, recorded "how to" videos and worked one on one with students and parents to teach them how to access live sessions, Google Classroom, and online resources in addition to working with her own class and students needs.  Gaby Auza's work ethic is the epitome of what collective responsibility truly is. The second grade team could not have had the success that we have had during this unprecedented time with out her amazing help. Thank you Gaby!"

- Jillian Bell, Daniels Run ES

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 Anthony Harris, Frost MS

"Mr. Harris began our weekly staff meeting, yesterday, with taking a few breaths, recognizing a variety of emotions (including trauma), and reminding all of us that we are a family and we are here to support each other. It was an amazing way to a difficult week during difficult times. He did not rush through the emotion to "get to business". Mr. Harris does a fantastic job as a leader at Frost."

- Ann Hardman, Frost MS

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Janet Edgington, South County HS

"Ms. Edgington is a wonder. Her virtual classes have been organized and easy to follow for our son to follow. Her curriculum and homework documents have been ones that he can access independently. We are also lucky to have her as his case manager. I appreciate her responding to our questions quickly and her tenacity in following through on requests we have made that seemed to get stalled at the district level."

- a South County HS parent

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Rashida Owens and Shana Edwards, South County HS

"Shana Edwards and Rashida Owens came to our rescue when we realized that our son wasn’t going to be able work full time on his small laptop because of low vision. They provided a larger monitor and cords so that he could see his material and not hunch over his work station."

- a South County HS parent

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Rosalind Ali, Riverside ES

"Have you ever heard of the term 'a resource teacher of resource teachers?'  I haven't either, but I had to create that term because that is what Mrs. Ali has meant to me, especially when teaching math.  When I first met her, she overheard me say that I needed large magnetic place value holders, and wouldn't you know at our next CT, she shared them with the team.  During distance learning, she has helped me and the students manipulate online tools with success, by asking questions to students, prompting deeper thinking, redirection, and timely reminders to have students stay focused.  She often records in the chatbox what students say and praises them for their great effort. I have been teaching for 30 years, and have never met a resource teacher so selfless and knowledgeable.  She is definitely a model for all teachers but demonstrates quality care as a math resource.  Thank you Mrs. Ali.  I hope you have a safe, restful summer."

- Carole King, Riverside ES

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Ania Mikelinech, Riverside ES

"Miss Ania moved to America from Poland approximately 5-7 years ago without knowing a single soul.  She moved to Fairfax County 2 years ago.  This morning she greeted our students with happiness and grace as always.  Our Distance Learning component had a bumpy beginning, but that only made her more determined to help our students.  Her commitment to students and families is amazing.  She calls, repeats calls, and visits families.  She is a great conversationalist, exemplar employee and an asset to Fairfax County Public Schools.  In light of the constant nature of unrest in this country, I am proud to be her coworker, but most importantly her friend."

- Carole King, Riverside ES

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Danielle Hicks, Chantilly HS

"Mrs. Hicks makes a ton of stuff to help us with assignments and to become better writers. She has been a great teacher all year and especially during distance learning! We appreciate that she provides her classes with assignments that the class needs assistance with. She provides us with videos and slideshows that explain our assignments step by step. Every assignment always aims for students to apply one of the portraits of graduate skills, and we can clearly tell she is putting a lot of effort and cares into her students’ success. Not only are the assignments practical - they are lots of fun to complete. Furthermore, she helps students individually out of class in any way she can and is always open to answer any questions related to English! Mrs. Hicks also provides us with individual feedback on our assignments so we know how we did. This is extremely helpful because we as students can easily track our progress throughout distance learning. Not only is Mrs. Hicks passionate about English, but she is passionate about teaching! We feel very grateful that we have teachers such as Mrs. Hicks at our school because she is very caring, organized, passionate, and friendly."

- Two Chantilly HS students

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Jennifer Lee, Hunt Valley ES

"Ms. Jennifer Lee is an instructional assistant in my classroom.  Her love of teaching and of students has shone through during this difficult time. Even with a broken shoulder and recent surgery, Ms. Jennifer Lee continues to be a positive spirit in all online classrooms and even doing a read aloud to a small group of students with the help of a music stand. Jennifer Lee is not only a wonderful educator to students but a supportive and optimistic teammate. We are lucky to have her in the Hunt Valley Community!" 

- Lori Jacobs, Hunt Valley ES

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Josh DeSmyter, Shrevewood ES

"Mr. DeSmyter has shown exceptional leadership in his first year as principal at Shrevewood. He works tirelessly to ensure a quality education for all children. He is transparent, honest, and accessible to parents and families. He is friendly and outgoing and his positive attitude is contagious. The Shrevewood community has been impressed with his leadership especially during these challenging times. We appreciate all the work he has put in to improving all aspects of the Shrevewood community and look forward to all the amazing things we will know he will do in the future."

- a Shrevewood ES Parent

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Joshua DeSmyter, Shrevewood ES

"Mr. DeSmyter has brought such enthusiasm to his first year as principal at Shrevewood ES.  It has been clear that he truly loves his work and wants to make a positive impact on the school community.  He has also worked hard to form a genuine partnership with the PTA in order to bring about positive change. Even with the challenges of the COVID pandemic and school closure, Mr. DeSmyter's positive leadership continued on."

- a Shrevewood ES Parent

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Jeannette Little, Mount Vernon Woods ES

"Ms. Little is our parent liaison and works tirelessly to ensure that families have their basic needs met. She also ensure they have what they need to support learning including helping families with low cost or free internet services, Lately, she has added to this by working with the Guatemalan NGO to secure funds for two of our students who were born in Guatemala. Each student’s family will receive a check for $250 to help out during this pandemic.  Thank you Jeannette for always doing all you can to support the needs of our families."

- Pamela Cherry, Mount Vernon Woods ES

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Graham Beaber, South County HS

"Mr. Beaber has worked with our son in different capacities from the beginning of the year. During this "virtual learning experiment” he has been an amazing resource. He is now referred to in our house as the “virtual wizard”. He has been able to teach our son how to use the technology available to get to his virtual class and then complete his assignments. He painstakingly breaks the process down step by step and is super patient while our son fumbles through several attempts until he gets it right. They share screens and he directs him where to move his mouse and where to click. He made step by step instruction sheets for the skills that we could follow throughout the week. And he even made a skills video that we watched at least 10 times. Please give this man a raise but don't you dare take him away from this program."

- a South County HS Parent

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Nicole Abba, Chantilly HS

"I would like to thank Ms. Abba for all she has done for us students. She is an amazing teacher and she really cares about her students and their success. Every day, I have always looked forward to going to her class - it was the highlight of my day. She is such an enthusiastic teacher and she is the only teacher I have that seems to be really experienced and excited about the subject she teaches. During distance learning, she has been really helpful because she leaves comments on our assignments to let us know how we did. She also gives us lots of time and opportunities to make up assignments. She truly is the best teacher ever and I can't thank her enough for all she has done. I feel very lucky to have had her as a teacher this year."

- a Chantilly HS Student

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Vered Grossman, Fairview ES

"We recently had the opportunity to witness the kindness and effort our son expressed Ms. Grossman continually puts into her classes. Not only did she go to all efforts ensuring all children attending the virtual sessions understand the art lesson, she stayed on well after the class ended to allow each student an opportunity to share their special creations. She gave suggestions and helped boost each of their self esteems as they nervously shared their personal drawings with the class. Her overall demeanor and thoughtful actions truly made a difference. It was so clear why the children, especially our son, loves going to art class. She creates a welcoming environment and continually goes above and beyond to make each and every student feel special. We cannot say enough great things about her and cannot think of a better recipient of this recognition."

- a Fairview ES Parent

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Floyd, Shannon, Navy ES

"I’m 66years old custodian lady and retiring at June 12. I got emails several times from Ms. Shannon Floyd who is 4th grade teacher of Navy elementary school. “Please let me know if you need anything. I can go to the store if you need, and bring the things by your house.”  She always respect to all of colleagues with warm words."

- Kwangok Yi, Navy ES

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Taif Yas, Fairfax Villa ES

"Taif Yas has been my ongoing interpreter with the family of one of my students since FCPS began providing distance learning.  His professionalism and personal interest in making sure that my student and family continued to receive educational support has enabled me to develop a stronger bond with the family. It has given them the comfort level to ask questions, seek assistance, and follow up on the weekly lesson packets sent by FCPS and individualized by me for my student.  The family has faithfully followed all suggestions and asked for more ideas and support, which we have been able to do with Taif's excellent interpretation. In addition Taif has helped me personally understand cultural norms which has strengthened my connections and professional development. I am looking forward to partnering with Taif again as we have developed a strong working relationship which as benefited everyone involved."

-  Philippa G. van Gelder-Hindman, Fairfax Villa ES

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Josh DeSmyter, Shrevewood ES

"Josh DeSmyter has been steadfast in constantly moving our school forward and now more than ever he showing that he is committed to not slowing down as we head into summer break. It is important to me to share that he is working as hard as ever and probably even more so to make sure that we are ending the school year on a very positive note. Some examples of this: his staff are continuing to plan the traditional end of school beloved events, such as a virtual field day and the 6th grade moving-up ceremony that shows our families that these special moments will not be forgotten even though we have to be apart, we can still be together. I am very thankful for Josh's leadership this year, especially during this great time of uncertainty."

- a Shrevewood ES Parent

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Susan Hawn, Great Falls ES

"As we come to the end of the most crazy school year that I have ever experienced (and I say this having also been a student in Fairfax County K - 12), I would like to take a moment to express my appreciation for the support that Mrs. Hawn has provided to both myself and my son over the duration this year as our Special Education Resource. Her level of support and dedication has made what could have been an incredibly stressful year, into one that has been overall positive. Her caring and positivity when interacting with my son has really helped him be more positive about school this year. Historically we have a great start to the year and then lots of regression to the point he just almost gives up on working. Due to her work, we have not experienced this all too familiar pattern. Even prior to the Covid-19 - Mrs. Hawn was there to ensure my son felt comfortable returning to school after an illness, and didn't end up too far behind academically. She kept him engaged in the class and on task so he completed most of his assignments on time with hardly any extra assigned homework.
After we all had the unprecedented turn of events with the distance learning, Mrs. Hawn didn't miss a beat - she established a daily lunch bunch with a variety of guests who my son has enjoyed keeping in touch with. Once we realized that my son was getting distracted during the online teacher sessions, Mrs. Hawn offered to chat with him via private chat in Google classroom to ask him questions about the topic and keep him focused. This has been a lifesaver since it gets him engaged again and allows me to continue to work from home. My son thrives best with an anticipated schedule, and this spring has thrown his, and all of our, schedules out the window. However, with the continued support of Mrs. Hawn he is handling all this change much better than I thought he would. Her non-judgmental attitude and positive approach has been so wonderful. I truly feel that she has been a partner with me this year and instrumental to my son's success."

- a Great Falls ES Parent

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Megan Toland, Laurel Ridge ES

"Our family has had a tough couple of years and we couldn’t be more pleased to been given the gift of Megan Toland for our son’s 4th grade teacher this year. Our son feels this has been his best year of school ever, credits his amazing teacher, and is so sad that the year was cut short by COVID. Megan, thank you for treating us so well and, most importantly, making our son so happy."

- a  Laurel Ridge ES Parent

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Jason Pensler, Bull Run ES

"I wanted to thank Mr. Pensler, our school principal, for his nightly and engaging Facebook Live BULL-time Story time. This simple gesture has been a great way to keep our community together during this time of Distance Learning. If you haven’t tuned in, you’re missing out! You’ll even learn a few new reading strategies! Thanks again for your time and dedication to our community!"

- Chris Costanza, Bull Run ES

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Arlyncia Pina, Franconia ES

"Mrs. Pina has been such a wonderful teacher throughout the online learning experience.   When the schools were shut down, Mrs. Pina did not wait to check on her third grade students to ensure they were doing well.  At first, it was her reading aloud posted on Class Dojo. Then she facilitated lunch bunch meetings which gave much needed online meetings with students.  It also helped her students become more familiar with the collaborative application.  My daughter loved these sessions and from then on would ask daily if there was one that day.  Once the online learning began, she effectively communicated expectations with parents and students.  She was ready to go on day one and has not stopped.  The website her and the other third grade teachers put together has many optional activities for the students as well as materials which meet the standards for third grade. Throughout quarantine, Mrs. Pina has ensured that her students continue to learn so they will be well prepared for fourth grade."

- a Franconia ES Parent

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Eun Ji, Justice HS

"Eun Ji consistently goes above and beyond her job as a librarian at Justice by forging relationships with the students in her calm and caring way. During the year she supported my class  by co-teaching with me to prepare the ELD students for the Fairfax County Shark Tank Challenge.  Throughout the year, she patiently and calmly worked with the students by encouraging them to strive for their best work. This week she created a video that celebrated all of their hard work.  The video was amazing and summed up perfectly our experiences together.  As we were watching it, students made a lot of comments like "Ms. Ji is kind and amazing." "Thank you Ms. Ji for helping me."  "Ms. Ji is a great teacher."  The students all shared how they felt a great sense of pride in themselves about completing a project of this scale. One student shared that he couldn't have done it without Ms. Ji's help.  I totally agree with him.  Thanks to Ms. Ji, we were able to successfully complete this project and celebrate it all together by watching the video she made for the class even though we were at a distance."

- Rebecca Van Vranken, Justice HS

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Kate Beckner, Clearview ES

"Ms. Beckner is an assistant principal who has a gone above and beyond for my family and for myself. She has helped me so much in this crisis with food, Gift cards and she even helped me get my son a laptop so he can study."

- a Clearview ES Parent

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Maya Masters, Navy ES

"Mrs. Masters has gone above and beyond during FCPS virtual learning.  We have received hand written letters to encourage her students, she has shared fun recipes she has tried out on FlipGrid with the class and has remained attentive to the individual demands of her students. I have been impressed with her hard work and commitment to excellence the entire school year, but have been moved by her passion for teaching during this challenging time for us all. She is in the process of moving this week and she has not skipped a beat. Her enthusiasm and love shines bright every day.  Our family is beyond grateful for all that she has done for our child and I know there are so many other parents in the class who sing her praises! We will miss you Mrs. Masters!"

- a Navy ES Parent

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Meredith Lee, Frost MS

"Meredith Lee has been such a leader an amazing collaborator and resource during this time of distance learning.  She has stepped up with fun and creative ideas such as a virtual showcase for all performing arts students to participate in. She meets with all her classes during offices hours and plays fun games to put a smile on their faces. Meredith has went above and beyond to make her distance learning lessons creative and exciting, all while teaching her own kids at home. She is an excellent candidate to represent FCPS Cares. Thank you Meredith for all that you do it is an honor to work with you!"

- Samantha Jalajel, Frost MS

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Kazmier Bucklen, Columbia ES
 
"Kassie has taken the long term sub position in the PAC classroom at Columbia Elementary.  She continues to work hard and collaborates with other teachers during distant learning. She cares greatly for her students, their families and makes all efforts to assist them during this challenging time."

- Courtney Wolfson, Willow Oaks

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Jeffrey Root, Woodson HS
 
"Due to online learning our son struggled to keep up without a text book in Geosystems. Mr. Root went out of his way to bring a textbook to our home. (Social distancing was strictly followed). Our son was glad to see him and happy to have a textbook for studies."

- a Woodson HS Parent

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Gabe Segal, Sleepy Hollow ES

"I just wanted to quickly share what Mr. Segal has done for our community. Earlier this month, Mr. Segal donated $250 to the PTA and paid off our schools lunch debt totaling over $600. Not only is he a great role model for the students but he puts the students first. He has helped so many families during these tough times. Thank you so much Mr. Segal."

- a Sleepy Hollow ES Parent

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Laura Muscar, Deer Park ES

"Throughout this stressful time, Mrs. Muscar (and Mrs. Ohr) has gone above and beyond to stay connected to her kindergarten class.  She has left chalk messages on our driveway, arranged online play dates for the kids in class, and has read bedtime stories to the class!  She dropped off special Mother’s Day gifts the kids were working on before school ended and through all of this really has shown compassion and empathy for the students. She has been willing to provide tips on how I can help my son at home with his schoolwork and gone above and beyond in providing resources. It is clear she has a passion for the students and we are lucky to have had her this year for kindergarten!"

- a Deer Park ES Parent

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Will Gibson, Woodley Hills ES

"Will is our SBTS, and he has been a rock for our school community throughout our distance learning adventures! He has been knowledgeable, patient, and supportive as we all navigate our new reality. We are so lucky to have Will to guide and support us, no matter where we are in our tech journey and what we need next in order to always continue to be better for our students!"

-  Melissa Tisnado, Woodley Hills ES

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Grace Rubright, Woodley Hills ES

"Grace, a 5th grade teacher at Woodley Hills Elementary School, has helped make distance learning come alive not only for her own students, but also for her colleagues, so that we can ALL do a better job of reaching our students in this new learning environment. Grace has a lot of experience with online learning, and she has spent a lot of time making videos and creating professional development to share her ideas with colleagues. She has helped us learn to set up online learning environments and make them interactive for students, in both synchronous and asynchronous ways. She has also made videos for students and families on how to access and utilize the platforms. We appreciate the time and effort Grace has spent sharing her knowledge not only with her own students, but with our entire school community."

-  Melissa Tisnado, Woodley Hills ES

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Paula Gutierrez, Greenbriar East ES

"She is an amazing teacher throughout this Distance Learning. Parents have been receiving email communications regularly about the child's assignments along with expectations regarding the school work. She works on weekends to check the children assignments and provide timely feedback. Her assignments are relevant and fun for the children. Personally, she has helped my son's reading fluency improve drastically along with his confidence to answer questions during virtual learning. I believe she needs recognition for being innovative and dynamic during this time. The children will not be behind in schoolwork and will be ready for 4th grade."

- a Greenbriar East ES Parent

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Kristen Mattix, Kilmer MS

"I would like to recognize Ms. Mattix for her numerous efforts of going above and beyond during distance learning. Ms. Mattix has offered to meet with my child on numerous occasions to help him complete his lab packets. She not only offers her office hours, but makes herself available whatever time is best for us. She has gone so far as to offer her personal cell phone number to reach out if my child has any struggles. She emails to follow up when he wasn't able to attend scheduled office hours and emails just to check in on him randomly as she knows distance learning has been a struggle for him. I'm grateful this kind of genuine concern and support and I have been amazed at how good she is at helping each child on an individual level as well as in a group setting in the classroom. She has stated that helping kids learn is why she became a teacher and she wants to help. I must add that she also has an elementary school child at home that she is also helping to be successful and they have a very demanding schedule, but Ms. Mattix seems to have such great management skills that she is able help so many on so many different levels. I cannot thank her enough for helping me through all of this distance learning because without her my son would not look forward to Science and attacking the packet as he does so seamlessly with her help (along with Ms. Zemaitis). My experience with her has been one that you really expect to have from a teacher who was destined to teach and has a heart of gold. I want to recognize her for her efforts."

- a Kilmer MS Parent

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Laura L Osborne, Oakton HS

Ms. Osborne sent out a 3rd notice to remind us that the Econ & Personal Finance Registration deadline date is soon.  This is very important because if we don't register by the deadline for this class, Ms. Osborne would have to remove an elective class from my daughter's schedule and place her in this class during the school year.  I am so glad  Ms. Osborne kept track of the students that had not yet registered for this class.  My daughter is definitely looking forward to taking her elective during the school year. Ms. Osborne's friendly reminders were not a bother at all.  I am so glad and thankful that she cares about her students enough to keep track of this one class when I know that Ms.Osborne has many items on her plate, especially at a challenging time with the COVID-19. Ms. Osborne we care so much about you and are so thankful for you!

- an Oakton HS Parent

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Jennifer Condra, Louise Archer ES

"Jennifer is our AP and she has truly done a tremendous job at helping our teachers, staff and families navigate all aspects of distance learning. Jennifer is an amazing teammate and I am grateful to work beside her!  Thank you, Jennifer!"

- Lauren Lipton, Louise Archer ES

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Michelle Makrigiorgos, Louise Archer ES

"Michelle is an extraordinary leader and I am so grateful to work beside her. She helps our teachers and staff adapt and thrive as she guides our instruction to ensure distance learning is a success at Archer. Thank you for all of your hard work!!!"

- Lauren Lipton, Louise Archer ES

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Edward Windhausen, Rose Hill ES

"Mrs. Galiano is a kindergarten teacher at Waples Mill Elementary School.  Since the school closure on 3/13, she has been emailing parents additional activities and videos of her reading books to keep children engaged during the time that FCPS distance learning was not available yet.  She sent weekly pictures to every child in class to let them know that she thinks of them and to encourage continuous learning.  She has gone above and beyond to help students and parents through this challenging time.  She has helped families and children more than a teacher can.  We can not thank her enough for her dedication and her passion to education."

- Loan Nguyen, Willow Oaks

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Ha Nguyen, Garfield ES

My son's  teacher has been amazing since Covid-19 started, by calling parents over the weekend and late nights to keep us updated on what to do and what should be seen every week, motivating our kids to participate in class or now online classes. Outstanding teacher.

- a Garfield ES Parent

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Jennifer Quadri, Canterbury Woods ES

My child is in Jennifer Quadri's second grade class. It had been a reasonably good experience before the start of distance learning, but what really made Mrs. Quadri stand out was the distance learning experience. Mrs. Quadri has managed to take an experience that could have been anything from terrible to lackluster and make it positive learning. She, along with her team teacher in second grade at CWES, has provided meaningful learning experiences since the start of distance learning no matter what the challenges. At the dinner table when sharing our favorite experiences of each day, my child has regularly mentioned things she learned from Mrs. Quadri's math sessions. My child has written engaging stories and non-fiction pieces that have challenged her. She has learned new math skills (ex: 3D shapes and probability) that she wouldn't have learned without the Google Slides and synchronous lessons. Despite the fact that second graders didn't use Google Classroom very much, Mrs. Quadri has skillfully provided assignments and feedback in a way my child can mostly access on her own. I've been incredibly impressed by her pivot to distance learning and can only wish other FCPS families such skilled teachers. Mrs. Quadri has also made sure kids feel connected and seen by their teacher during this time.

- a Canterbury Woods ES Parent

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Jennifer Knox, Willow Oaks

"Ms.Knox has a gift and makes all of us at IAS feel taken care of, respected and appreciated.  Not once during our school closer over 10 weeks now have I felt like she didn't have our back.  Ms. Knox cares deeply and is very passionate about the staff and students in our program.  I thrive because I am working in a program (lead by Ms. Knox) that gets our kids and all of their special circumstances. Ms. Knox does not always make things comfortable, but that is a good thing it get us out of our comfort zone and grow because of it."

- Ann Gary, TSRC

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Heather Galiano, Waples Mill ES

"Mrs. Galiano is a kindergarten teacher at Waples Mill Elementary School.  Since the school closure on 3/13, she has been emailing parents additional activities and videos of her reading books to keep children engaged during the time that fcps distance learning was not available yet.  She sent weekly pictures to every child in class to let them know that she thinks of them and to encourage continuous learning.  She has gone above and beyond to help students and parents through this challenging time.  She has help families and children more than a teacher can.  We can not thank her enough for her dedication and her passion to education."

- a Waples Mill ES Parent

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Tanya Vila, Willow Springs ES

"Mrs Vila has done an exceptional job with distance learning. My son enjoys the virtual sessions and the projects offline. She is warm, caring and didn’t miss a beat as we transitioned to the new normal. Mrs Vila is a role model for teachers and we’re SO happy she works with our son."

- a Willow Springs ES Parent

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Meybel Ostorga, Lees Corner ES

"I'm a FCPS bus driver delivering food for the week of 5/18 to 5/22 and want to commend my co-worker who is on the bus every day, having to deal with a new driver each week. Her name is Meybel Ostorga, she is a manager with FCPS food service. Our bus alone delivers 650 to 700 meals per day and Meybel is amazing at keeping it all organized and running smoothly, as well as, developing relationships with the community and making everyone receiving food feel very comfortable. She is a Great Representative of how FCPS cares about our kids and their families."

- Mark Henderson, Stonecroft Transportation

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Miriam Clay, Pulley Career Center

"Ms. Clay has been a model PHTA demonstrating skills essential to supporting students and classroom instruction throughout the school closure and Distance Learning. She has been flexible and patient as we navigated the best system for our special education students. Ms. Clay has been present, engaging and supportive to our students. Thank you Ms. Clay!"

- Melissa Bindocci, Pulley Career Center

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Laura Spage, Laurel Ridge ES

"Mrs. Spage builds positive relationships with students and families through excellent communication via the "Spage Page" emails, handwritten notes, and personal phone calls. When schools closed in March, Mrs. Spage invited her 5th grade students to write and mail letters to her home address.  Mrs. Spage took the time and care to write and send heartfelt reply cards to each and every student.  Mrs. Spage artfully balances delivering well-planned academic instruction and fostering a caring community for all students.  During Distance Learning, Mrs. Spage has continued to engage and inspire students, while keeping families up-to-date.  We are thankful for Mrs. Spage's insightful ways - she is truly remarkable!"

- Alexia Small, Laurel Ridge ES

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Julie Moore, Lake Braddock SS

"My mom, Julie Moore, is an administrative assistant at Lake Braddock SS, my former high school. I see her going above and beyond every day to make the transition to online schooling go as smoothly as possible for everyone. So many things that happen at Lake Braddock wouldn't be possible without all the work she puts in every single day. On top of all that, she still makes time to be an amazing mom. You go mom!"

-Beth Moore, former Lake Braddock SS student

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Hailey Colman, Mantua ES

"Ms Colman is an IA for my daughter's kindergarten class.  She has played a leading role for the class during this timeframe as the lead teacher just had a baby and Ms Coleman is finishing up her BA at Mason this summer.  Ms Colman has gone above and beyond. Her classes have been dynamic and engaging.  She is written cards to students, sent fun pictures, writes encouraging emails to individual kids.  She does a weekly virtual field trip with the kids. So far they have been to a zoo, a chocolate factory, the Kennedy Space Center and more.  With three kids, I now have sat in on a lot of virtual classes now.  I can tell you she's above average.  The kids respond. She's doing a great job."

- a Mantua ES Parent

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Miriam Clay, Pulley Career Center

"Ms. Clay has been a model PHTA demonstrating skills essential to supporting students and classroom instruction throughout the school closure and Distance Learning. She has been flexible and patient as we navigated the best system for our special education students. Ms. Clay has been present, engaging and supportive to our students. Thank you Ms. Clay!"

- Melissa Bindocci, Pulley Career Center

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Laura Spage, Laurel Ridge ES

"Mrs. Spage builds positive relationships with students and families through excellent communication via the "Spage Page" emails, handwritten notes, and personal phone calls. When schools closed in March, Mrs. Spage invited her 5th grade students to write and mail letters to her home address.  Mrs. Spage took the time and care to write and send heartfelt reply cards to each and every student.  Mrs. Spage artfully balances delivering well-planned academic instruction and fostering a caring community for all students.  During Distance Learning, Mrs. Spage has continued to engage and inspire students, while keeping families up-to-date.  We are thankful for Mrs. Spage's insightful ways - she is truly remarkable!"

-- Alexia Small, Laurel Ridge ES

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Julie Moore, Lake Braddock SS

"My mom, Julie Moore, is an administrative assistant at Lake Braddock SS, my former high school. I see her going above and beyond every day to make the transition to online schooling go as smoothly as possible for everyone. So many things that happen at Lake Braddock wouldn't be possible without all the work she puts in every single day. On top of all that, she still makes time to be an amazing mom. You go mom!"

- Beth Moore, former Lake Braddock SS Student

Gabe Segal, Sleepy Hollow ES

"Mr. Segal is a great role model for our community. I learned that Mr. Segal donated money to our PTA and paid off the school's lunch debt. Thank you Mr. Segal for helping the families in our community!  He always puts the students first. Mr.Segal is always upbeat and the kids love him. His mentoring program has been excellent for the students!  Mr. Segal has been checking in with the students in his mentor group and with students who need extra support. He is an excellent example of someone who cares about the students and has gone above and beyond to support students during these unique times."

- a Sleepy Hollow ES Parent

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Michele Meshover & Katie Burns, Cardinal Forest ES

"I cannot say enough good things about the Tech Team at Cardinal Forest Elementary School and how they were able to set up our entire school for success in virtual learning and teaching . Katie worked tirelessly to get devices out to the community, she proactively sends emails to the staff about updates and foreseeable issues and how to combat them. Michele was attending early morning meetings and then would go right into training staff all day everyday. They were both so responsive to our cries for help and the influx of panic emails we sent them. In a confusing and stressful time, they were communicative, knowledgeable, enthusiastic and patient. I have such a deep appreciation for what they did to help our school succeed."

- Christina Roehm, Cardinal Forest ES

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Lucia Ortiz, Cardinal Forest ES

"For the last several weeks, my teammate, Lucia, has been going above and beyond. Outside of the scope of taking care of her students' and families' needs, she has also taken on as interpreter for our entire team's Spanish speaking population. She has helped translate documents and email, made kid videos in Spanish so families can join in the fun and made countless same-day phone calls to make sure families have correct information and to check in to make sure they are healthy and safe. She has been such a ray of sunshine through this new normal, I can't thank her enough for all she has done."

- Christina Roehm, Cardinal Forest ES

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Jill Moore, Hunters Woods ES

"Mrs. Moore has been an exemplary teacher this school year!  Her teaching, dedication and amazing school to home communication have been impressive. Above all, Mrs. Moore has shown tremendous love and affection to her students.  Just as we were embarking on Distance Learning, Mrs. Moore went on maternity leave to have her 3rd child.  The transition between teacher and substitute teacher were seamless.  However, Mrs. Moore continued to keep in constant contact with her students and parents.  She sent updates, handwritten notes, and even scheduled lunch bunch meetings to check in with her students!  All of this while on maternity leave and 3 very young children at home (including a newborn)!  While distance learning has gone relatively smoothly at our home; we feel that our son continues to feel loved and cared about by his beloved teacher, Mrs. Moore. To us, this is the most important thing during such stressful and confusing times. Thank you so much for going above and beyond!  It means the world to our family."

- a Hunters Woods ES Parent

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Matthew Bower, Frost MS

"My seventh grade son had been unable to get into Blackboard for over a week and was frustrated that he would enter the password he knew was correct, yet receive a message telling him it was incorrect.  He therefore could not do several assignments, which added additional frustration and it was unclear to us how to go about getting assistance.  My son reached out to his history teacher, Mr. Bower, to ask for help.  Mr. Bower responded to the e-mail within minutes, looked into the problem immediately and set up a time to re-set the password for early the next morning.  He could not have been more responsive - and it was not even my son's history class that was impacted by the inability to get into Blackboard. Finally, Mr. Bower went the extra mile, replying that he would be happy to assist with any technology issues (or find the appropriate person if he could not assist) going forward.  After all of the challenges associated with distance learning over many weeks, his thorough assistance came at the right time.  From my perspective as a parent, I had been impressed all year long by his history instruction, but this additional willingness to lend a hand so promptly and cheerfully really left me impressed and grateful.  I am so glad my son has Mr. Bower as his teacher; he is truly an asset to Frost M.S."

- a Frost MS Parent

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Ashley Elliott, Lake Braddock SS

"Ashley Elliott is a phenomenal biology teacher. My son has a very hard time focusing in class. Ms. Elliott came up with strategies to help bring him back into focus, which have worked very well. She has creative ways of teaching and really gets through to her special education students so they remember the information and want to learn. My son was really motivated to attend Ms. Elliott’s distance learning classes and complete all the work, because she makes the subject matter interesting and relatable. My son became so interested in Biology from the influence of Ms. Elliott, that he wants to attend NOVA Medical Campus and pursue a medical field when he graduates Lake Braddock. We are very appreciative to Ms. Elliott and think she should be recognized for her excellent teaching!"

- a Lake Braddock SS Parent

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Walter Patrick Rosas, Poe MS

"St. Albans Episcopal in Annandale seeks to recognize Patrick Rosas for his passion in meeting the food needs of middle schoolers at Poe Middle School, and now their families in the Fairmont Gardens and The Parliaments neighborhoods, during this pandemic.  We've been most impressed by his positive efforts to meet the food gaps these students and families now face -- applying his organizational skills to bring churches and community groups together when Poe closed, reaching out to prospective donors and agencies for resources, working with our volunteers, and making sure that weekly food distributions are conducted safely and well.  Patrick shows obvious respect for the residents in these communities, switching fluently back and forth between Spanish and English as he greets each one and collects his/her information.  He has well communicated to us what current needs are and where we can best assist.  That has made our involvement much easier.  One of our clergy with many years of experience in working with schools stated, "He is among the most outstanding community connectors" she has seen.  Students at Poe Middle School, and Annandale at large, have much to be thankful for Patrick's continued commitment to our community."

- Staff and Community of St. Albans Episcopal in Annandale

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Stephanie McCrone, Kings Glen ES

"Stephanie McCrone is an awesome teacher, both in the classroom and on distance learning. My daughter is very bright and motivated, but she is also very shy. Mrs. McCrone has helped motivate her to become more comfortable participating in front of the class. Mrs. McCrone has also done an incredible job helping my daughter,  hone her writing skills and become a better, more motivated reader. The difference in her writing, reading, and reading comprehension has come such a long way since last year and for that, I’m forever thankful. Mrs. McCrone is great at responding to her students, who ask her countless questions on Blackboard. My daughter and her friend in the class have pages of helpful conversation with Mrs. McCrone throughout the distance learning experience. She is upbeat and has a positive personality that is conducive to a great learning environment. Her 100% class participation in distance learning speaks for itself. Mrs. McCrone should be recognized for her excellence as a fifth grade teacher and I’m glad my daughter had the opportunity to be in her class this year!"

- Renee Eder, King’s Glen ES

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Sarah Hurley, Willow Oaks

"Sarah took the initiative to create content for our mentor group challenges related to self-care activities which is super timely given the stress that we are all currently experiencing. Thanks, Sarah, for helping us maintain balance, connection, and challenging us each week :)"

- Kelley Raich, Willow Oaks

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Stephanie E. Howell, Armstrong ES

"Ms. Howell continues to show great skills at building students’ sense of community, fostering a sense of caring and responsibility while driving for further cognitive and academic learning through responsive teaching, explicit instructions, and engaging lessons. Furthermore, during the tough time of distance learning, Ms. Howell showed great skills at fostering understanding, supporting different emotional and academic needs, and building relationship through her extra live session of “Chat and Chill with the Teacher”. She went above and beyond in her ability to connect and support her students. My son was having a tough time adjusting to the new way of learning. She took the time to do a video call to chat with him and establish a plan with home to ensure successful outcome. We are very thankful to her, and all the care and love she has showered our child with."

- Saja Salih, Armstrong ES

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Krissy Schnebel, Frost MS

"Krissy has always been a team player, but she has gone above and beyond during the distance learning experience.  She has consistently created interactive fun science Google slides for our 8th graders with disabilities. This has taken a SIGNIFICANT load off of the backs of the sped team, allowing us to focus more of our efforts in other areas (creating other content lessons, TLPs, IEPs, parent contact, caring for our own families, etc...). She is incredible, and we love her so much!  THANK YOU, KRISSY!!!!"

- Heather Shue, Frost MS

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Mary Ann Hoeler, Cherry Run ES

"Mary Ann is a true gem. I have had the unique opportunity to work with her in two different capacities, as a colleague and parent with my children as her students. First, as a colleague, she was both a teammate and my mentee. When she first began teaching, she would come to ask for guidance with lessons, discipline, and general everyday advice. Once I conferenced with her, she would return back to me with a plethora of materials for lessons or information that she research about something we discussed to share with the team. Now our relationship has come full circle where I am now seeking her out for advice and guidance for lessons. I also work with her as a teacher of my children. So far, she has had 2 of my own children in her class. My children adore her. She is kind, sets clear expectations for her class, and is fair. Her lessons are well prepared, unique, and always fun. Everyday my children would return to me at the end of the day and report the full day's events about all of the wonderful things they did with her in class. Throughout distance learning, she begins each day with bubbly energy and delivers thoughtful, interactive lessons. She has 100% attendance in her class almost daily which is a true testament to the type of teacher she is. Mary Ann even translates lessons for a brand new student who began in her class during quarantine who is a second language learner. Mary Ann is a phenomenal teacher and a fantastic mentor for anyone who works with her. Thank you for all you have done for me and my family. We love you!"

- a Cherry Run ES Parent

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Missy Gogel, Hunt Valley ES

"She made sure that my son's class stayed connected through out the time of the change from school to abrupt break to distance learning breaks.  She is continually making the education experience engaging while teaching the class.  She even holds a buddies group on Fridays so the class can have fun and be able to share in a safe environment."

- a Hunt Valley ES Parent

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Amelda Jones, West Potomac HS

"Amelda Jones has created a wonderful experience in her online classes. Her students are working on a variety of assignments, from vocabulary to poetry to flip grids to story maps. She has provided a structured environment where her special education students are thriving and completing assignments on a regular basis. Kudos to her for all of her dedication and hard work in these unprecedented times."

- Lawrence Cooper, West Potomac HS

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Tracy Bromberg, Herndon MS

"Tracy always goes above and beyond to support the staff and families at Herndon MS, and she is still doing that and more during distance learning! She answers emails quickly and will even go check for mail at the school in many different places. Tracy is a ray of sunshine in our staff meetings and sets such a positive tone in every interaction I have with her. She is one of the best APs I have had the pleasure of working with!"

- Kaitlyn Konicki, Herndon MS

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Nelson Villalobos, Rich Agosta, Dan Joo, Julie Healy, Susie Morningstar, Robin Pickholtz, Karin Sasseville, Christina Russell, Lorenda Wieder, Danielle Powers, and Dawn Alexander Frost MS

"Many people to thank here!  This group of volunteers has been working hard to help pack up items left behind in students' lockers when the school year ended abruptly.  It has been long and tiring work and we could not have done it without this group of Frost Staff members.  We appreciate the help...we are ONE Frost!"

- Joe Berret, Frost MS

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Joelle Peeters, Kent Gardens ES

"Madame Peeters has been such an asset during these strange times. Her distance learning classes have been detailed and focused, and my daughter has been learning new things and staying engaged. In French, no less! We've been grateful to have her structured lesson plans and supportive presence."

- a Kent Gardens ES Parent

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Katherine Vargas, Falls Church HS

"In spite of our distance, Katherine Vargas continues to connect with her students and their families. She's professional and builds strong bonds with her students. Her knowledge of her students is amazing. She knows the classes they need, their obstacles, and day after day keeps cheering them on to the finish line. She's also one of the AP Test Coordinators at Falls Church and has been so responsive and such a strong leader to all the changes and obstacles COVID closure has caused. We are all grateful for her compassion, leadership, and efficacy."

- Jessica Grenfell, Falls Church HS

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Robyn Fernandez, Woodburn ES

"Robyn Fernandez has been the driving force behind an amazing community effort to support Woodburn ES  families facing food insecurity during this pandemic.  With support from several others at the school she helped secure a $250 donation from the civic association of the Holmes Run Acres neighborhood, which surrounds the Woodburn campus. A coalition of school staff, Woodburn PTA families and HRA neighbors have gathered and sent over 700 pounds of food to Food for Others, which directly supports the Woodburn community.  It's been an inspiration to so many of us in our neighborhood, and a way to feel a little less helpless in these times."

- a Woodburn ES Parent

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Joelle Peeters Kent Gardens ES

"Mme. Joelle Peeters is an extraordinary 5th grade French-language immersion math/science teacher at Kent Gardens Elementary in McLean, VA.  Mme. Peeters goes above and beyond standard expectations to educate, motivate, care for, support, and encourage our young learners.  Many of the students continue in the French immersion program without French speakers at home to support language learning.  Mme. Peeters makes sure to teach technical terms in French and English, as these terms are included on standardized tests, while focusing on having the children think, conceptualize, and speak in French. Her strong communications skills, early intervention efforts, and inclusive classroom environment create a positive and much appreciated 5th language immersion experience at Kent Gardens.  Thank you Mme. Peeters!

1.    Strong Communications Skills :  Mme. Peeters  began clearly and quickly communicating with parents and students – from before “meet your teacher”, through “back to school”, French immersion assessment revisions underway with FCPS, COVID-19 challenges, and throughout synchronous and non-synchronous learning.  Mme. Peeters leads by example with clear, concise, and prompt efforts to communicate with parents and students in her class. Her strong written and oral communication skills help students understand what is expected of them in class, in between classes, and at home.  Likewise, students are expected and encouraged to raise their questions clearly and promptly.  Also, parents are knowledgeable about what transpires  in this French-immersion classroom, regardless of their familiarity with the French language.

2.    Early intervention efforts: Mme. Peters acts quickly to identify and correct behaviors that detract from learning in class.  For example, Mme. Peeters quickly contacted parents when she noticed a rise in in-class drama. She also spoke directly and clearly with students, holding them accountable for their actions and showing them how certain behaviors impacted others and the learning environment. This care and concern continued through the distance learning period associated with COVID-19, as Mme. Peeters reached out specifically to students and parents to follow up on missed attendance and assignments.  She identified specific times for office hours and worked individually with students to make sure they were comfortable learning the course content.

3.    Inclusive classroom environment  - Mme. Peeters cares deeply about each student in her classroom, as reflected by the attention she pays to to all students, including non-standard learners.  Upon receiving feedback that “word bricks”/long sections of text on slides were not as effective as images, videos, and audio clips for many students, Mme. Peeters adjusted her curriculum content to include more videos and images.  She also experimented with seating assignments to let students work in ways that suited their learning styles and engagement levels.  Mme. Peeters went above and beyond to find a way for her dyslexic student to show that student understood the material.  Despite not having an audio accommodation for a test in French, Mme. Peeters made time in her schedule to read the test aloud in French to the student, who scored much higher with the read-aloud accommodation.  Mme. Peeters later noted that she wanted to find a way for the student to show that she understood the material, as she could tell the student’s score did not reflect her level of understanding.  Mme. Peeters responds to both student and parent feedback; she is a wonderful example of an inclusive teacher."

- a Kent Gardens ES Parent

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Karen Couch, Riverside ES

"Karen Couch is the literacy coach at Riverside Elementary. As a first year teacher, I sought Ms. Couch out within the first month of being in school together. I remember after first meeting with Ms. Couch saying, "You're going to be my best friend this year." She laughed thinking I was kidding, but it has been true. A good portion of what I have learned in regards to literacy has been attributed to Ms. Couch. We had endless meetings,  phone conferences (before they were cool), planning times together, sending and revising plans to make the lessons run more smoothly and to help me grow as an educator. Ms. Couch has helped scaffold me as a learner so I can better support my students. From sending her my plans, co-teaching routines, co-teaching focus lessons and modeling guided reading and so much more, Ms. Couch has gone the distance to support her fellow teachers. Even through distance learning, Ms. Couch still exhibits her tenacity by supporting teachers as a co-moderator, providing an ear to listen, or coaching teachers with distance learning plans. Our community is so lucky to have her. Thank you for all the work that you do, Ms. Couch!"

- Stephanie Avants, Riverside ES

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Stephanie Blankers, Falls Church HS

"Stephanie has worked at length above and beyond the typical supports to assist in getting students AT equipment that they required.  In addition to spending much time working on recreating her classes, and many IEP meetings."

- Lara Long, Instructional  Programs Support Center

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Sarah Vandruff, Falls Church HS

"Thank you Sarah, for not only creating new and different academic activities for your students, but also for working with so many of your coworkers to be able to create new and different activities for their students as well.  You go above and beyond spending hours assisting coworkers, beyond the time spent trying to get your own classes and classrooms set up, running, and working efficiently for everyone."

- Lara Long, Instructional  Programs Support Center

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Tom Harlow, Falls Church HS

"Tom goes above and beyond, by not just leading his classes and all of the new items that we are all working on, but also by working on creating a great PD Pod Prom.  He works hard to help make sure that the students have access to their academics, but also to social interactions that are so important. Thank you!"

- Lara Long, Instructional  Programs Support Center

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Stephanie Avants, Riverside ES

"During our Collaborative Work Session on May 15, Stephanie shared with the team a new platform that can be shared on Google Slides.  It is called Pear Deck - Interactive Slide.  As usual she has played, practiced and mastered this platform.  We were all so floored with how well she has smoothly transitioned to teaching students and teachers during the distance learning. We are so grateful to have Stephanie on our team!  We are certainly better off for knowing her. Thank you, Stephanie!  Keep up the phenomenal work!"

- Carole King, Riverside ES

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Noemi Arellano, Lanier MS

"Noemi goes over and above her duties to check on my son who was placed on an IEP.  She has demonstrated patience in working with my child and never gives up. She has called our home and engaged all of us in order to encourage and build confidence in her students."

- a Lanier MS Parent

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Lindsey Powell, Riverside ES

"I have had the opportunity to join Lindsey Powell for her virtual instruction on Mondays for the past few weeks. Her synchronous instruction sessions provide meaningful learning experiences for students and include various opportunities to check for student understanding of content. While she did not teach math during the school year, I have been impressed with her ability to adapt to teach her homeroom students math through distance learning. Lindsey has demonstrated great flexibility and resiliency through this shift to distance learning!"

- Jamie Wilson, Riverside ES

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Natalie Mabile, Chesterbrook ES

"Ms Mabile made my daughter’s day when she took time out of her hectic virtual learning schedule to join a lunch bunch that the students had earned through good behavior.  My daughter was so excited to have lunch with her teacher and friends virtually!  It was so nice to hear her laugh and engage in meaningful conversations with her peers and teacher/ even though they weren’t physically together.  Ms. Mabile’s effort to keep these kids connected, in what would have been her free time, is so appreciated!!"

- Chesterbrook ES Parent

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Ray Treacy, Chesterbrook ES

"Mr. Treacy has gone above and beyond this year to really reach all of his students; before COVID 19 and even more so after.  He has had meaningful discussions with his homeroom during virtual morning meetings- giving the kids a great forum to connect with him and each other. Thus means so much when these kids get such little time together!  He has also done a wonderful job teaching math and working in new concepts in a manner that the kids understand! Our 6th grade is blessed to have him this year!!"

- Chesterbrook ES Parent

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Kevin McGorty, Oak Hill ES

"I have a 6th grader and who  is doing very well in distance learning.  I love that his teacher, Mr. McGorty, put all materials on Google classroom so I can go through with my child daily to make sure he gets it.  My child will go online during office hours to finish all his homework knowing that his teacher is available if he needs help.  I am so thankful for this all-star teacher that makes my child engage and happy during distance learning.  Life is stressful during this pandemic and I am diagnosed with cancer.  I am so thankful that I don’t have to worry about my child’s academics because Mr. McGorty keeps my child on track and happy."

- an Oak Hill ES Parent

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Christy Ryder, Oak Hill ES

"I am diagnosed with cancer and I shared it with our school counselor, Mrs. Christy Ryder.  She sends messages to check on me and my child to make sure we are ok.  She also shared my diagnosis with my child’s teachers and office staff.  I was overwhelmed to received emails and cards from teachers and office staff.  I love Mrs. Ryder.  She has been taking good care of my child who has food allergies and asthma.  She is our hero."

- an Oak Hill ES Parent

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Robyn Fernandez, Jackie Garcia, Debora Nunez, Susannah Pothuraju, Giovanna Jones, Yesica Nunez, Bruno Gutierrez, Tania Tapia, Sandra Maida Balderrama, Limari Perez Castellanos, Amanda Castellucci, Paula Cortes, and Adriana Postiglioni,  Woodburn ES

"As we have moved into our distance learning model, so many of us have worked tirelessly to maintain connections with our students and their families. I’m sure I’m not along in wanting to share my gratitude to each of the people listed here and the ways they have gone above and beyond in making those connections happen. They have been assisting classroom teachers with phones calls for Spanish speaking families, daily attendance check ins, and positive calls home.  Having this support for reaching out to families has had an amazing impact on the participation and engagement in my classroom (and I’m sure many others as well).  In the past week, between 21 and 23 of my class of 23 attend our live sessions every day!  When the students come, we can build community and learn together. I’m so glad my students are showing up. And beyond grateful for all the support I’ve had that has made this possible for them. I absolutely could not do this work alone. I know the phone calls can be hard and time consuming, but they are working and each of you is making such a difference!  Thank you, a million times, for all that you are doing!"

- Jessica DiBeneditto, Woodburn ES

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Yubo Zhang, Willow Oaks

"Yubo, thank you for translating the information on our ESOL student facing website to assist our students during distance learning. It was a herculean task that needed to be finished fast and  I appreciate the time you took and your effort to make distance learning easier for our students!"

- Evie Ifantides, Willow Oaks

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Megan Thrift, Robinson SS

"In addition to bringing in speakers and contests via on-line platforms to keep all of her students engaged, Ms. Thrift spent countless hours putting together special gifts for her senior students and personally delivered them safely to each household.  She spent 8 hours driving to each home. She genuinely feels for the seniors who missed out on their last musical of their high school year. The gift included a special, personalized message for the students to take with them to help them navigate the precarious future.  And, her engagement with her students won’t end after virtual graduation- she will continue to support and mentor them for years to come."

- a Robinson SS Parent

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Jocelyn Cable, Lake Braddock SS
 
"Ms. Cable has gone above and beyond during this time of distance learning. She reached out to both my son and myself to make sure he was doing all right. When I shared that he has been struggling with organization in the online environment, she offered to help by meeting with him. Her personal care for my son and his well-being has meant everything to me. She was a good teacher before, but has really stepped up in an environment of increased expectations and work load."

- a Lake Braddock SS Parent

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Cris Da Silva Irwin, Riverside ES

"I would like to recognize Cris Irwin for her willingness to collaborate and support the 2nd grade team with guided reading during Distance Learning. While Cris does not typically attend our 2nd grade meetings, she was very willing to take time from her schedule to plan and facilitate a professional development on implementing guided reading during synchronous instruction. The professional development was very helpful for our 2nd grade team and will have a positive impact on our students as we are able to continue to support their growth as readers. Thank you Cris!"

- Jamie Wilson, Riverside ES

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Claudia Dieguez, Emily Gardiner and Marcia Salgado, Lake Braddock SS

"Claudia, Emily and Marcia, I speak for all of us when I say how very thankful we are to each one of you for your continued heroic efforts at reaching every single Spanish speaking family whose child is faced with challenges and obstacles at this time.  Not only are you determined and persistent in making contact with parents, you are kind and honest in your approach when speaking with them about how important it is (to us) that their child is safe, healthy, and successful. You are relentless in ensuring 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. You reach out to Admin, counselors, SOSA, teachers, whoever the students support team is when we don’t hear from them nor do they attend synchronous classes for extended period of time. It does not matter the time of day or the day of the week, you won’t stop until we’ve made contact with students and/or their parent. Working around the clock, seven days a week, weekends, early mornings, evenings!  Always making yourself available for parents and students when convenient for them since so many continue to work 40+ hour weeks outside their home. From home visits, to job-site visits, to meeting students and parents at school, in virtual classroom conferences, phone conferences, you name it, Claudia, Emily and Marcia, you’re the BEST for doing whatever it takes!"

- Amy Soos, Lake Braddock SS

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Karen McDonald, Herndon MS

"Ms. McDonald is my son's 7th grade Honors Math teacher. She is a phenomenally organized and hardworking teacher. I have been impressed with her all year as my son has nothing but praise for her class. Her communication has been timely and thorough all year, but especially since schools closed.  Since March 13th, she has sent so many emails to make sure all her kids and their parents knew what was happening. She has posted notes, work, and announcements on Google Classroom AND Blackboard, covering all the bases to make sure the kids know where to go and how to access her and her instruction. She meets with the kids face to face and uses office hours to help, when needed. She has just really gone above and beyond. As a fellow FCPS teacher, and parent, I am so impressed with her. Ms. McDonald is a gift for her students. Hopefully, FCPS and Herndon MS know what a gem she is!!!"

- a Herndon MS Parent

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Lili Kennington &  Erin Zurbuchen, Great Falls ES

"We wanted to note how impressive it has been to see Lili Kennington and Erin Zurbuchen pivot and adjust to distance learning.  What’s more impressive, is their ability to generate a sense of community and an excitement for learning that feels more like a classroom than an online program.  While everyone is doing their best to adjust, we thought it important to highlight two teachers who are exceeding expectations.  We are grateful to these exceptional teachers for their superb efforts during these challenging times."

- Great Falls ES, Parents

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Jillian Strutz, Riverside ES

"Throughout distance learning, Jillian has continuously found ways to support our 2nd grade teachers and students. Last week, she designed a professional development opportunity for our 2nd grade team to support them with utilizing technology tools to support synchronous instruction. As a result of the professional development, our 2nd grade team learned new ways to increase engagement during synchronous instruction and utilize technology to monitor student understanding of content. Thank you Jillian for the time and effort you spent creating this professional development! It will help us to continue to provide meaningful learning experiences for our students!"

- Jamie Wilson, Riverside ES

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Noel Klimenko, Willow Oaks

"Noel has so many issues to contend with during this crisis, but she continues to treat everyone with care and concern.  Through her busy schedule, she joins the science team meetings and listens to issues, big and small.  We appreciate her ability to make us feel comfortable and know that she is doing her best to keep us informed and prepare us for all contingencies for the future."

- Tim Harazin, Willow Oaks

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Esther Chung, Colin Powell ES

"When distance learning began, I was really overwhelmed with balancing planning, live teaching, virtual meetings and being a mom to a five-year old. My husband is an essential employee and my son had never seen Mommy work at home, so stress levels were sky-rocketing. Esther checked on me daily, offered to help plan my AAP lessons, and has joined my language arts session so that I have a second teacher in the "room" in case my son has a need that is urgent.  Through this distance learning journey, she is one of the main reasons I have been able to succeed, as a teacher and a mom.  I can't thank her enough for her love and support!"

- Kristin Bunch. Colin Powell ES

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Anthony Harris, Frost MS

"Thank you Anthony for leading with empathy and striving for equity. You have been amazing at building connections, maintaining communication, and buoying morale during these challenging times. Your leadership has been invaluable!"

- Laura Reed, Frost MS

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Danielle Powers and Dawn Alexander, Frost MS

"Thank you Danielle and Dawn for ensuring our students have a place/space to connect with each other and share different interests. Their FCPS google library page inspires community and open collaboration during this time of quarantine. Thank you!"

- Laura Reed, Frost MS

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Linda Shannon, Frost MS

"Thank you to Linda for leading by example with kindness, grace, and compassion. Her support and understanding of staff and student struggles during this challenging time has allowed for others to lean into this experience and find support and connections. Thank you!"

- Laura Reed, Frost MS

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Mollie Kropp, Instructional Resource Support Center

"I appreciate Mollie’s ingenuity and dedication to support our students. Our deaf and hard of hearing staff and student have benefited from her knowledge and experience during the challenges of distance learning. She works tirelessly to ensure resources are accessible for those around the county. Thank you!"

- Laura Reed, Frost MS

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Sharon Debardi, Lee HS

"Sharon Debardi is the SIA at Lee.  She has been such an amazing support to the student services department, teachers and administrators during distance learning. She has been masterful at managing all the requests she receives on a daily basis and ensuring our team has everything we need to support our students with accurate and up to date information.  She is super-efficient, and I have no idea how she is able to manage it all! We are very lucky to have her as part of our team at Lee!"

- Amy Lee, Lee HS

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Annalee Schnebele, Hayfield SS

"Our librarian, Annalee Schnebele, has regularly helped our history teachers gather resources to share with students (databases, hard copy books, copies of images, etc.). In addition, Annalee has created 2 powerful google sites for our students. We implemented the first google site while we were still having classes in the building.  Students were able to explore the Harlem Renaissance on their own by listening to music and poetry readings, watching videos of jazz performances, and studying paintings at a Harlem Renaissance link.  While we have been distance learning, Annalee has created another google site based on our post World War 2 Civil Rights movement curriculum.  Annalee's creative work has been incredibly helpful to our history teachers and has produced  enjoyable learning experiences for Hayfield students."

- Margaret Coutrue, Hayfield SS

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Dana Griffith, Stonecroft Transportation

"My family and I would really like Dana Griffith to be acknowledged as a person of humanity, kindness, morality, and caring. Dana has really opened my eyes up to see the true meaning of  diversity even in the mist of a storm (PANDEMIC)!!  I had put on Facebook that my family was in great need of Lysol spray, toilet paper, and Clorox wipes. Less  then 24 hours later I got a call from Dana Griffith stating that she will deliver my family cans of Lysol spray, Toilet paper, and Clorox wipes! 🙏  Dana, purchased the items and she DELIVERED THE ITEMS WITH MASK AND GLOVES😇!!  Dana’s  endeavors make MY FAMILY SEE HOPE, and LOVE!!!!  I truly believe that ANGELS ARE REAL🙏❤️❤️  Thank Dana😇  GOD BLESS YOU ALWAYS."

- a Marshal HS Parent

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Shauneequa Gonzalez, London Towne ES

"My daughter is a student in Mrs. Gonzalez's kindergarten class. She has had a great year so far but due to her young age and limited computer skills I had a hard time believing the new style of distance learning would be impactful for such young students. I could not imagine attempting to control and teach a group of 5-6 year old children in a digital environment. My wife and I wanted to let FCPS know that Mrs Gonzalez has gone above and beyond our expectations. She is not only providing excellent digital content but also has a unique personal presence in her online classroom that keeps the children engaged. During these difficult times we wanted to make sure you were aware of the impressive work she is doing. Thank you."

- a London Towne ES Parent

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Sharri Clifford, Carson MS

"Sharri has always been sharing and kind; giving a helping hand to every teacher she comes in contact with. Generous not only with her time, but also with resources and ideas to help teachers provide meaningful and exciting lessons for their students. Especially during these challenging and scary times, Sharri has worked very hard to create new ways to reach our students during this time of distance learning; selflessly sharing her creations. Her generosity has helped countless students across the county. She may not wear a cape, but she is a teacher hero and her super power is generosity for the good of all students."

- Melissa Chesney, Whitman MS

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Amanda Regehr, Falls Church HS

"Mandy is caring for her 1 year old child, while simultaneously providing a great amount of information and support for her students via distance learning. She helps and meets with her coworkers regularly, and keeps in mind all the individual needs for each of her students."

- Lara Long, Instructional  Programs Support Center

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Andrea Vechery,  Kilmer Center

"Drea is working hard to make sure that her students and their families have all the resources and information that they require in order to complete the distance learning this school year.  She asks for resources, when needed and is working hard to get her students involved in distance learning."

- Lara Long, Instructional  Programs Support Center

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Lisa Alden, Oakton HS

"My daughter has severe double deficit dyslexia with its accompanying executive function challenges. Mrs. Alden quickly built a relationship of trust and caring with my daughter this year when they met. She has been a great support in a brick and mortar situation. However when COVID required unanticipated school closure it is when Mrs. Alden truly became the hero and has gone above and beyond. She has provided calm and  encouraging support in a very  challenging time. It is truly the silver lining of this long distance learning situation. Not only has she provided a much needed emotional support but my daughter is learning new skills that will  serve her well. We are so grateful for her beacon of light and expertise in this dark  and challenging time."

- an Oakton HS Parent

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Terrie Galanti, South Lakes HS

"I think Mrs. Galanti is a wonderful teacher! She has so much patience it’s incredible! The kids are engaged in the virtual classroom and are interested in learning. She has sent emails to the parents and includes us in her communication with the students.  I really appreciate her and all she is doing for the children!"

- a South Lakes HS Parent

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Christina Flores, Falls Church HS

"Christina is in her first year teaching and had already been learning a lot through her close work with students, coworkers, and itinerant staff at Falls Church High School.  The change to online learning/distance learning has only strengthened her collaboration and communication with all of her coworkers and students. She is working hard to make sure that all of her students are able to access her classes, and trying new and different technologies in order to communicate and interact with her students.  She has been working around the clock to be sure that everyone has what they need from her."

- Lara Long, Instructional  Programs Support Center

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Joel Harrop, Falls Church HS

"Working with Joel is always a treat, but in these days of not entering school buildings, and making sure that all students have needed technology, he has been a rock star.  Despite being very busy, he has worked with me, and others to arrange all the meetings and delivery/pick-ups for school based and assistive technology for students to be able to access their devices at home. He has been responsive and quickly kind and helpful in serving all of the students at Falls Church High School.  Thank you!"

- Lara Long, Instructional  Programs Support Center

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Danievie MacLauchlin, Falls Church HS

"Danievie has been a wonderful and informative leader for her special education teachers, as well as itinerant staff, through the shut down.  She has shared information, and spent many days and evenings working to make sure that students are able to get online, that families have information, that teachers are able to figure out how to share their curriculums, that assistants are able to get into the classes to be a support to teachers and students.  Her leadership has set an example for the amazing teachers she also works with."

- Lara Long, Instructional  Programs Support Center

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Gurjit Mundi, Shalika Santiago, and Meghan Callahan, Fairhill ES

"Our first grade team visited every single first grader from Fairhill this weekend (socially distanced of course) to drop off materials to encourage them to do a grade-wide seed germination project.  We went to every house and were met with smiles, appreciation, and love."

- Rebecca Laws, Fairhill ES

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Whitney Cochran, Westlawn ES

"Ms. Cochran, my daughter's second grade teacher, has gone above and beyond in providing online educational resources.  Several weeks before Fairfax County Public Schools officially began distance learning, Ms. Cochran had already created a Google Classrooms site with educational games, writing and math exercises, and links to other fun online learning opportunities for kids. Her love of the children and passion for teaching really shines through."

- a Westlawn ES Parent

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Faiza Alam, Lanier MS

"When Ms. Alam found out one of her students is cutting grass during the day to earn money for his family, she offered to help in other ways. She meets online with him later into the evening to accommodate for this student who is helping as mom and dad struggle to meet the economic needs. Recorded classes have helped, but live interaction trumps it all! Thank you to Ms. Alam."

- Tammy Hanna, Lanier MS

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Anna Cooper, Cardinal Forest ES

"Anna Cooper is a 4th grade special education teacher.  She prepares detailed, engaging, and interactive lessons for her students each week.  She is also meeting with them daily for small groups.  In addition, Ms. Cooper has helped every student in 4th grade with the organized Google slides and engaging lessons that she has created for our entire grade level.  She works extremely hard every week to create innovative, technology-enhanced lessons for our students.  She is so valuable to our team and her hard work is very much appreciated!"

- Rebecca Smith, Cardinal Forest ES
 

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Anna Cooper, Cardinal Forest ES

"Ms. Cooper is a first year special education teacher who has supported students in my classroom all year long. During this time of distance learning she has supported the entire team of teachers which has helped to benefit all of the fourth grade students.  She is very knowledgeable about Google and is so patient with supporting us with our many questions. She also offers to translate important information for our Spanish speaking families.  She consistently is thinking about how we can make the materials we are posting accessible for all of our learners. Ms. Cooper has created so many engaging lessons and has a love of learning.  She has been a true leader in helping us be successful all year and has truly been our guiding light during this time of distance learning! We really appreciate all of her hard work and dedication to the students, families and teachers."

- Brooke Nye, Cardinal Forest ES

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Sarah McIntosh, Justice HS
 
"Sarah serves at CT lead for our Geosystems team at Justice High School. Our team is very new, with two career switchers who are in year 1 and 2 of teaching. Throughout the year,Sarah has led our team with grace and organization, supporting our work on essential standards and designing lessons that meet the needs of a range of learners, from Honors students, to Special Education students, to English language learners. But it has been her work with our CT since the school shut down that has really stood out. Sarah has pushed herself and our team to learn a range of new technology platforms, to plan collaboratively in advance and to support our students emotional and social needs in addition to delivering content. Sarah's organized and supportive leadership has led our team through the challenges of distance learning, and has made us all proud of the learning opportunities we are providing to our students."

- Cynthia Martinez, Justice HS

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Jessica Wheaton, Fairview ES

"Our child has had a very tough time with the COVID transition. He has been having panic attacks, been very upset and all in all been miserable. Mrs. Wheaton's daily check-ins with her class have been a huge help. During morning meeting she gave all the kids a choice of three faces (smile, straight mouthed and frown) our child indicated that he was a frown. She made sure that she heard from him during the online lesson and then immediately after she emailed to ask to meet with him later in the day.  She got online with him and he told her about his nightly panic attacks, how sad he was to miss his friends, etc. By the end of the call he was happily sharing some fun things he had been doing at home and seemed much happier. Throughout the year she has made sure to keep an eye on academic and social-emotional growth for our child and I am amazed at her ability to continue to do so during the first few crazy weeks of distance learning."

- a Fairview ES Parent
 

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Annamarie Wojcik, Fairview ES

"Ms. Wojcik has gone above and beyond not only during COVID but prior to the pandemic. During this unsettling time she has delivered books, materials, and letters to her students. She has sent them mail and keeps in regular contact with families. When we have had questions, she is very quick to respond and we always feel she will continue talking with us and working with us until an answer is found that works for our child. Her knowledge of the school, staff, and students is amazing. She even talked to us about our other son who is not in her class as we discussed the possibility of brothers being in the same class next year--she was able to share specific conversations she had with him and her thoughts about them being together. She really helped us see the situation in a different light.  Mrs. Wojcik is an amazing educator not just because her pedagogy and praxis is excellent, but because she knows and truly cares about her students."

- a Fairview ES Parent

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Inna Tulchinskaya-Winchell, Transition Support Resource Center

"Mrs. Winchell is an excellent teacher who goes the extra-mile to help students. Mrs. Winchell  helped my son with the basic math skills he needed. Mrs. Winchell worked with my son at an Elementary level math when it could have been frustrating to her when she was supposed to teach 11th and 12th grade math. Mrs. Winchell is a very knowledgeable, kind and patient teacher and she is a very good asset for Fairfax County Public Schools.  I want to thank Mrs. Winchell for her support."

- a Transition Support Resource Center Parent

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Christine Waters and Eileen Goff, Union Mill ES

"Ms.Waters and Ms. Goff have been rocking this virtual learning experience. They provide meaningful virtual instruction and engaging home activities all while keeping realistic expectations for families. Best of all, they have prioritized relationship and connection with their students. Their efforts in maintaining their relationships with students has been invaluable in this very trying experience and to have them do it so well has been incredible. They have maintained communication with parents throughout the ups and downs of distance learning and always kept the best interest of the students at the forefront. When faced with this HUGE uphill challenge they have proved to be flexible, thoughtful and realistic. We cannot thank you enough!!!!!"

- a Union Mill ES Parent

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Allison Gardiner, Langston Hughes ES

"Mrs. Gardiner is very energetic and lovely to the middle schools so early in the morning :) I appreciate her upbeat personality to help engage the children during her class time."

- a Langston Hughes ES Parent

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Christopher Lembo, Langston Hughes ES

"Mr. Lembo makes the distant learning for his class interesting and engaging!  My daughter looks forward to his class and that’s hard in these challenging times! I appreciate him very much for making her experience worthwhile!"

- a Langston Hughes ES Parent

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Soalngie McPherson, Coates ES

"Ms.Solangie McPherson is our parent liaison. She has gone above and beyond her role to connect with the families in our community, especially during this pandemic. I am the treasurer of our school PTA and I have had the pleasure of working with Ms. Solangie a number of times and have seen her tireless work first hand. She has been connecting with all the families that are struggling during this pandemic and she is working very hard to get them much needed help. She is a very kind and empathetic person who is very motivated to get the much needed help for parents. I Really appreciate everything she does for all kids and parents."

- a Coates ES Parent

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Kathy Eagan, Coates ES

"Ms. Eagan is our school guidance counselor. She has been there for our kids, guiding them and teaching them all through the school year and especially during this pandemic. She has gone out of her way to reach out to parents and help the community in need. I have the pleasure of working with her closely through the Mentor works program at our school and I get to see her work first hand. She is always available for any question, related to my kids or about the programs at school. I really appreciate everything she does for our school and our kids. She deserves to be acknowledged and appreciated for her tireless efforts."

- a Coates ES Parent

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Lisa Barrow, Cooper MS

Mrs. Barrow's first day at Cooper Middle School was on March 2nd.  In less than two weeks, when FCPS announced extended school closure, Mrs. Barrow's positive outlook and iconic outgoing personality had already solidified her place at the helm of Cooper's leadership team.  She has seamlessly shown the entire staff what it means to be a leader and demonstrated to all how to build a strong unified community, even when we cannot physically be together.  She has maintained  a positive approach with such great energy that social distancing really does not seem so distant.  Mrs. Barrow stepped into some very large shoes with the departure of the previous principal who had been at Cooper for decades.  Although this was a less than optimal situation, Mrs. Barrow has demonstrated the importance of community and that every individual is a valued part of Cooper.  She has brought everyone together to form a dynamic environment for learning despite the very difficult times in which we all live.

- Lucy Chaplin, Cooper MS

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Lisa DeHart, Transition Support Resource Center

Mrs Lisa DeHeart is the most wonderful, professional ESOL Teacher for Interagency Alternative School.  She teachers students from Middle School to High School in all different Grade Levels and in one large group. Her passion and love for teaching is seen even more so now with long distance learning.  All her students are present and attend every single class she
holds and they are all so engaged. She is an amazing teacher, very organized with many interesting topics in her sessions. Yesterday’s class was on Aliens, the previous day was the Alcatraz Escape. Mrs. DeHart has all her ESOL students engaged in listening, reading, answering and questions etc. You can tell that they really look forward to attending her long distance class. I would like to nominate Mrs Lisa DeHeart for being an amazing, kindhearted, caring and dedicated teacher who really deserves to be recognized for her hard work and the various grade level lesson plans for our ESOL Students.

- Celine Sinclair-Peebles, Transportation Support Resource Center

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Jazzmin Dabney, Riverside ES

"Ms.Dabney has been a fantastic teacher for my daughter all year.  She always goes above and beyond to ensure her kids are well taken care of, are happy, safe and doing well in school.  She has contacted us numerous times throughout this pandemic to check in on my child.  That small gesture means so much to my daughter - she knows how much Ms. Dabney cares. My biggest regret of the year is that it was cut short!"

- a Riverside ES Parent

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Ingrid Wheatley, Riverside ES

"Mrs. Ingrid is an amazing person, who never stops amazing the people around her.  As we all struggle with this sudden change to our lives, she has been resilient in her own way; creating face masks for her team mates that are going to distribute computers. She has also gone as far as sending sweet care packages for her offices colleagues.  No matter what time you email this lady, she is on it. A report, a list, a new excel sheet, a phone call- no matter the request she is on it. She goes above and beyond as an office assistant; you can need anything and she some how manages to have it for you (a button, an earring back, a parents contact, the latest student count, a certificate for anything, shiny paper..and the list goes on).  Our parents know her more than anyone else in the building and due to her professionalism and dedication; our families see Riverside as the best place for their kids. It is with great honor to write this FCPS Cares for Mrs. Ingrid!"

- Ana Chavez, Riverside ES

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MacLean Wilson, Sprague Technology Center

"He quickly responded to my IT request and was able to call and remotely fix problems I was having with Outlook.  After one problem was fixed, a new one appeared and he was on it in a matter of minutes - resolving the issues with professionalism, encouragement and know-how!  I truly appreciate his expertise! Thank you for your support during our time working remotely."

- Lori Bedsole, Willow Oaks

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Paola Cespedes, Riverside ES

"Paola is the SIA at Riverside but at Riverside, SIA stands for Someone Inspiring Action, she helps everyone around her and does not stop at helping them.  She ensures they also know how to help themselves.  Parents from our feeder schools still come back to see "Señora Paola", they always commend her ability to listen and find a way even when it seems like all doors are closed.  I met Paola a year ago and from that day I knew this lady meant business.  If she is not at Riverside until really late, you will get her emails from home.  Her work ethic is unstoppable.  Most recently she has been helping with laptop distribution and for most of us that is calling families and leaving messages for them to call back. She is still calling families in the evening, thinking of all our working parents that may not be available in the mornings to answer their phone.  And it doesn't stop there, once the parents are contacted, she is confirming contact information and the safety of everyone as our health screener.  Paola is remarkable and I am so proud to have her on our team and to write this FCPS cares."

- Ana Chavez, Riverside ES

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Nasrin Nowrouz, Falls Church HS

"Nasrin, thank you for translating the information on our ESOL student facing website to assist our students during distance learning. It was a herculean task that needed to be finished fast and  I appreciate the time you took and your effort to make distance learning easier for our students!"

- Evie Ifantides, Willow Oaks

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Zhao (Zoey) Sun, Willow Oaks

"Zoey, thank you for translating the information on our ESOL student facing website to assist our students during distance learning. It was a herculean task that needed to be finished fast and  I appreciate the time you took and your effort to make distance learning easier for our students!"

- Evie Ifantides, Willow Oaks

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Molly Sgrecci, Stone MS

"I would like to recognize Molly Sgrecci because she goes above and beyond in inspiring her students and caring for them as individuals. She works long past school hours to bring her students’ hard work to life in beautiful concerts for the community. She plans activities that encourage her students to work hard, and also enjoy the difficult challenge of mastering their instrument. And when times got very difficult, and schools closed, Ms. Sgrecci was one of the first teachers to reach out to students. She provided them with activities, fun musical videos, and office hours where her students could talk about music, or just talk. Her students know she cares about them, which I would say is the most important thing of all when times are hard. We appreciate all her work, her thought that goes into making orchestra a favorite class, and her care for her students. I am so grateful my daughter has Molly Sgrecci as a role model and teacher."

- a Stone MS Parent

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SooJung Kim, Leis Center

"SooJung, thank you for translating the information on our ESOL student facing website to assist our students during distance learning. It was a herculean task that needed to be finished fast and  I appreciate the time you took and your effort to make distance learning easier for our students!"

- Evie Ifantides, Willow Oaks

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Rubina Haleem , Chantilly HS

"Rubina, thank you for translating the information on our ESOL student facing website to assist our students during distance learning. It was a herculean task that needed to be finished fast and  I appreciate the time you took and your effort to make distance learning easier for our students!"

- Evie Ifantides, Willow Oaks

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Sarah Eqab, Willow Oaks

"Sarah, thank you for translating the information on our ESOL student facing web site to assist our students during distance learning. It was a herculean task that needed to be finished fast and  I appreciate the time you took and your effort to make distance learning easier for our students!"

- Evie Ifantides, Willow Oaks

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Sonia Arellano, Leis Center

"Sonia, thank you for helping to create the ESOL student facing web site to assist our students during distance learning. It was a herculean task that needed to be finished fast and  I appreciate the time you took and your effort to make distance learning easier for our students!"

- Evie Ifantides, Willow Oaks

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Cynthia Yost, Robinson SS

"During the pandemic, Ms.Yost has excelled at keeping parents informed about distance learning assignments and expectations."

- a Robinson SS Parent

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Blanca Flores, Stratford Landing ES

"Our school has a wonderful military population.  The school closing prohibited us from celebrating Month of the Military Child as planned with a fun activity for our military kids at SLES.  Blanca Flores found a way for us to recognize them even while apart.  She found the Military Kids Creed and reached out to have our kids each record a line from the creed. She then created a wonderful movie showing several of our SLES military kids reciting the creed which was shared with our school community.  This all occurred while there was still a lot of planning and confusion creating virtual learning. It would have been understanding to let this pass among the current situation but our awesome staff at SLES lead by Ms. Flores on this project still found a way to connect and not forget celebrating our military kids. Thank you!!"

- a Stratford Lansing ES Parent

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Adrienne Rafat, McNair ES

"When one thinks about Adrienne, the words that come to mind are thoughtful, hard-working and creative. During the distance learning period, she has worked so very hard in her role as a special education teacher in not only supporting each one of her students, she has also been a true collaborator and been supporting all of her colleagues. She has brought a smile on all of our faces during these difficult times, offering her support to us even though she is exhausted at the end of each day. She is truly caring for her ENTIRE family during the pandemic. I am proud to be her colleague and her friend."

- Vani Rupela, McNair ES

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Amy Cohen, McNair ES

"Amy is a thorough professional and an epitome of collaboration efforts in the special education space. Her experience shines through when she speaks in special education meetings and her cool demeanor calms parents and colleagues alike. She is also a rock during times of need for her colleagues. During this pandemic, her wise words have been a soothing balm for me when we are all trying to find our footing amidst the chaos."

- Vani Rupela, McNair ES

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Jaime Ovalle, Glen Forest ES

"Jaime is our team's math coach. She has been a great resource during our distance learning journey. She is always willing to help by sharing resources, creating voice overs for student packets, and giving extra math support by joining our live sessions. We appreciate you Jaime! Thanks for the continued support during uncharted times!"

- Rachel Pipitone, Glen Forest ES

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Liz Caligiuri, Greenbriar East ES

"Liz has gone above and beyond to help us learn about Blackboard Collaborate Ultra during this distance learning time.  She has provided many support sessions and videos for staff and parents. I especially appreciate the videos she translated in several languages for our families."

- Eileen Gwin, Greenbriar East ES

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Lisa Covington, Riverside ES

"Mrs. Covington had just joined the 5th grade AAP team and had barely had a chance to settle in with her newly formed class when schools closed down. She has made the transition as easy as possible for her students, and has jumped right in to distance learning. It's been a lot of change in a short amount of time, but she has handled it with grace!"

- a Riverside ES Parent

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Jessica Szumlicz, Riverside ES

"Ms. Szumlicz has done so much for her 1st grade class- working with families on technology issues, making sure each student feels included during live classes, developing additional resources to support learning.  We are so lucky to have her!"

- a Riverside ES Parent

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Sarah Addo, Kimberly Espinoza, Alissa Forbes, Jennifer Harris, Kathleen Herron, Carter Kohler, Michelle Land, Nancy Libson, Rachel Lombardo, Michael Porterfield, Benjamin Whelan-Morin,  Riverside ES

"Riverside ES's Specials teachers have done an amazing job bringing enrichment activities to kids virtually!  With independent activities, live instruction, videos and more, they have produced engaging content to help students make connections to both their core subjects and the world around them."

- a Riverside ES Parent

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Karlie Hale, Riverside ES

"Ms. Hale worked non-stop to support implementation of distance learning for all of Riverside ES as our SBTS.  From laptop distribution for students to helping teachers get up and running, she has done it all, and with a smile on her face!"

- a Riverside ES Parent

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Paul Basdekis, Gina O'Neal, Dawn Champion, Anna Macedonia,  Riverside ES

"Riverside ES's admin team has worked tirelessly to make sure that teachers have the resources and support they need, and to connect with families to make sure that they have the same.  They have made Riverside ES a true community!"

- a Riverside ES Parent

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Brianna Lucas, Riverside ES

"Mrs. Lucas has been amazing about reframing the move to distance learning not just as a challenge, but as an OPPORTUNITY to try new things.  Her enthusiasm for innovation has made the whole 5th grade AAP team stronger!"

- a Riverside ES Parent

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Catherine Godley, Kelly Bunting, Virginia Rivas, Stephany Tlatelpa, Nora Zanger, Jillian Strutz, Alisa Maxwell, Kathy Lehner,  Riverside ES
 
"I would like to recognize Riverside Elementary School 2nd Grade Team for their hard work, commitment, and dedication to providing meaningful learning experiences for our students throughout the year, but especially during Distance Learning. I have been so impressed with their collaborative efforts to plan high-quality, engaging learning experiences for our students through Distance Learning. Every week the team meets and reflects on their work and finds ways to continuously improve. Their commitment to building strong relationships with students and families is inevitable. I am so grateful that I have the opportunity to work with them. Thank you all for your enthusiasm, hard work, and diligence! I appreciate you!"

-  Jamie Wilson, Riverside ES

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Tara Taylor, Willow Oaks

"Tara Taylor is one of the most outstanding administrators I have ever had the blessing to work with. Her passion for our kids and advocacy for our art is unmatched. During this time of uncertainty not just for students and families, but also us as teachers, Tara has been rock steady with her leadership. She provided us with the curricular support necessary to get us through Phase 1 of the distance learning while doing her very best to maintain the culture that we, as her ensemble of classroom teachers, could find the security and trust in as we always have. Tara has also spearheaded the creation of district-wide websites for all FCPS student to access and continue to connect & create in both Theatre (Virtual Blackbox) and Dance (Virtual Dance Studio) in this time of chaos. As a teacher this has been exciting for me to share with my students, but the return of hearing of the students' engagement and experiences with this new forum has been a true gift. When we are all being forced to remain physically distant Tara has helped to facilitate a space where we as an educational arts community can come together bigger than ever in celebration of creativity

. Tara, you are a treasure."

- Stacey Mitchell, Lake Braddock SS

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Mindy Stewart, Keene Mill ES

"Mrs. Stewart has been fabulous since the end of in-person schooling and throughout the distance learning process.  She communicates regularly, almost daily, with parents and her students via email and Seesaw notifications. When school first closed, she immediately began communicating with parents, sharing resources and ideas, like "Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems."  Later, when in-person distance learning struggled, she fostered communication across students by sharing pictures of what different students were doing.  She made sure that parents understood how to help their 2nd graders log into Blackboard and has consistently supported her students.  She has gone above and beyond to show consistency, caring, and genuine concern during this difficult time."

- Molly Summers, Keene Mill ES

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Miranda Hendershot, South County MS

"Miranda has been a great supporter! She has been frequently checking in and ensuring our wellness. It’s much appreciated."

- Laura Dougherty, South County MS

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Jamie Wilson, Riverside ES

"Jamie is the AART at Riverside and during distance learning she has taken on the role of 2nd grade team coach. Jamie has always been so helpful and a great resource at RES, but in the last few weeks I have been lucky to have her lead our CWS. I think she has lead our team to a successful distance learning experience. Thanks Jamie!"

- Jillian Strutz, Riverside ES

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Tangy Millard, West Potomac HS
 
"She has kept the students and parents so well informed during the school shut down. She had always emailed parents weekly but since schools closed she has really kept us “in the loop”. She emails the parents regularly and often with updates about how the school is proceeding. Even when she doesn’t have all the answers she still lets us know she working on it. And she sends the students very positive and motivational message to keep their spirits up. I have 3 children, one at each level of school in FCPS, and Ms. Millard has BY FAR kept us the best informed of any other principal. During this uncertain time, her communications are more important and valuable than ever."

- a West Potomac HS Parent

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Karl Von Roenn, Woodley Hills ES

"Mr. Von. Roenn has been my fifth grade teacher this year. He is a great teacher every day.Through out quarantine he has gone the extra mile. He even called all of us in his class to see how we are feeling and to make sure everybody has a computer. I think he is a really good person!"

- a Woodley Hills ES Teacher

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Lorri Hallenbeck, Riverside ES

"Lorri has been such an amazing support system to me. She has helped me through A LOT of things with this distance learning and letting me ask her questions at all times regarding anything. I love having someone like her to talk to and work with! Thank you Lorri for all your help (so far) throughout my first year at Riverside!!! :) "

- Ronna Lee Petitt, Riverside ES

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Jackie Lake, Braddock ES

"Since day one of FCPS school closures, Ms. Lake has been working tirelessly on behalf of our students and their families. Ms. Lake has coordinated with school business partners and outreach groups to ensure that Braddock families have access to food outside the scope of the meals that FCPS has provided. Ms. Lake has ensured that all safety precautions are in place throughout the COVID-19 pandemic while providing opportunities for staff to donate needed supplies. Ms. Lake works tirelessly on behalf of our school community and keeps our staff updated through social media. Ms. Lake is a true first responder and embodies the spirit of giving and service."

-  Noel Foley, Braddock ES

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Erica Lackey, North Springfield ES

"Who is a hero? To most a hero is someone who selflessly acts for the benefits of others.  In our current level of virtual instruction Erica Lackey is a hero. Mrs. Lackey is a fifth-grade teacher at North Springfield Elementary. As her principal, I have watched her selflessly help our entire staff in different ways around virtual instruction, using and understanding different platforms, and providing numerous resources that have met both the needs of her colleagues and have had a highly effective instructional benefit to the students. Ms. Lackey has a quick and creative mind. She is incredibly caring and puts relationships with her students at the forefront. In terms of technology, she is a true innovator. Her understanding and implementation of technology with students is unmatched. Her ability to share and transfer that knowledge with her fellow teachers is a true gift. She uses her gift of creativity to make instruction special and fun. Some examples of her instruction which are technology- based and driven include: fractions and decimals taught by challenging students to make a taco truck to included full menus, meal specials and budgets. In geology she created an interactive rock cycle where the students are the rocks! She creates interactive choice boards, assessment tools, and keeps data to keep students engaged and instruction on target. Another example that tireless drive to find ways for her students to interact with the technology through this pandemic.For Ms. Lackey, technology isn’t something added on to “regular” instruction. Instead, it is fully organic and embedded in her students’ day-to-day experiences. She is a Level 2 Google Certified Educator, a Common Sense Educator (focused on digital citizenship), an EdPuzzle Coach and a FlipGrid Certified Educator. She generously uses this expertise to benefit all our staff and students. She is an unequivocal teacher leader as we’ve transitioned to virtual learning. She has set up the entire online structure for her students and her team. Beyond that, she has served as a personal technology coach to many teachers, has eased anxiety, and educated many of her peers. She attends team meetings at all grade levels to assist them in their transition to this new learning platform. Ms. Lackey is passionate about her students, thinks outside the box, and is a technology expert. Our success as a school, especially in this time of distance learning, is the result of Ms. Lackey tireless support of our school-wide community. She is our Hero of Distance Learning."

- Chad McRae, North Springfield ES

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Joyce Matthews, Braddock ES

"Mrs. Matthews has been working tirelessly to support the Braddock Elementary School Community during the COVID-19 pandemic. From helping to coordinate food access for evening and weekend meals for our students and their families to laptop distribution, Mrs. Matthews has been everywhere. A true teacher, she even passed out seed growing packets during meal pick-ups. Mrs. Matthews keeps our school community informed and connected via social media. Mrs. Matthews embodies the true spirit of service."

- Noel Foley, Braddock ES

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Marcy Balderson, Dogwood ES

"My ESOL co-teacher has done an incredible job of reaching out to our students and their families (via email, phone, and “snail mail”). With 19/20 of our students being English Language learners, communication with families to help them navigate distance learning has been quite an undertaking. Having the support of such a caring colleague has been vital to my students and to me as their Gen-Ed teacher during this challenge. I hope that she will be recognized for her quiet work behind the scenes to keep our students on their instructional path."

- Claire Houser, Dogwood ES

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Jennifer Chou-Silverio, Dogwood ES

"Jenny is a leader in our community.  She helps anyone and everyone.  Since I've been at Dogwood Jenny has been a coach, a mentor (she was my mentor as well), and a very beloved teacher.  I feel like she works from sun up to way past sun down in order to finalize everything that she sets out to do.  I am constantly in awe of how she leads our special education meetings with love and knowledge.  It dawned on me today after staying behind with her (after one of our virtual meetings) that she doesn't get recognition for most of what she does; she just does it with an open heart and open mind.  Thanks for all you do Jenny Chou!  You are an absolute rock star!"

- Michelle Burnett, Dogwood ES

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Michelle Moran, Riverside ES

"Michelle has been an amazing team lead this year! She is positive, kind, helpful, knowledgeable, and has become an amazing friend. During this unprecedented time, we have collaborated daily on lessons and activities for our students. She is an amazing teacher, and I am so grateful to have her as a teammate!"

- Angelica Karamooz, Riverside ES

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Karlie Hale, Riverside ES

"Karlie is the SBTS at Riverside and I just wanted to commend her for her leadership during this crazy times. The persistence, patience, and empathy she has demonstrated while working tirelessly to get our distance learning up and running have been critical to our success. We love you so much, Karlie!"

- Katie Eustis, Riverside ES

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Margaret Raflem, Hunt Valley ES

"Mrs. Rafle goes above and beyond her duties as a teacher. My daughter loves her so much and I can see why, especially now that we are all doing distance learning. I have 3 kids in Hunt Valley and it's easy to see how Mrs. Rafle stands out. She makes her students feel important and that they matter."

- a Hunt Valley ES Parent

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Robin Khare, Dogwood ES

"Robin is an outstanding teacher and I couldn’t ask for a better coworker. She has been in constant contact with the families of her students, working tirelessly to connect the families with resources, as well as giving them emotional support. She is also a source of emotional and motivational support for our team of early childhood educators."

- Janie Brooks, Dogwood ES

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Joy Pablo-Hayes, Fairview ES

"Mrs. Joy Pablo-Hayes is extraordinary.   She has actively engaged and excited the students through endless opportunities since mid-March.  Her tireless efforts are overwhelming apparent as she interacts with each student through activities that both educate and foster their confidence. She teaches through example, actively participating with her students which in turn leads her students to actively participate. She encourages her students to find joy in all they do despite the environment.  She listens to her students through what they say and what they write then responds, making each student feel so very appreciated.  She reminds them how important family is, how meaningful this time spent with their family is. There is laughter and smiles in her online classroom, joy she puts in the hearts of her students. Most importantly, when her students later recall this period of time in their lives, they will always remember how she was a source of comfort, strength, and true to her name- JOY!  As parents, we will be forever grateful."

- a Fairview ES Parent

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Andrea Kessler, Graham Road ES

"I want to take this time to express my appreciation for my fellow colleague, Andrea Kessler, our guidance counselor, for her thoughtfulness, morale boosting spirit and efforts she has put forth in making sure that all of our students are well prepared for online learning. She created the Postcard Program as soon as our school closed making sure that our kids know that we all care-even from a distance. All of the staff has participated in the program, sending multiple cards to students and she alone has mailed more than 50 postcards! In addition to her outreach, she was able to secure a donation from a neighbor and was able to provide laptops to our most needy families!! AND on top of it all, because it is teacher appreciation week, she still manages to think about our staff and sends the entire GRES staff inspirational memes during the week. I cannot stress how incredible and essential she has been for all of us during this time and I'd like to share how incredibly important she has been for Graham Road. She deserves all the CARES in the world!"

- Annabel Arana, Graham Road ES

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Dawn Dzurilla and Maria Vazquez Guzman, Herndon ES

"I need to share how AMAZING Maria and Dawn are at our school. They have been doing the grab and go with such professionalism, grace and kindness.  I am at school on Fridays putting out our Weekend food bags, and I hear them interacting with parents and children when they come up.  They greet them with such enthusiasm and now even know how many children families have and the breakfast/lunch bags are ready! They smile, laugh and make them comfortable, all while maintaining social distance and following all FCPS protocol. They even had "travel bags: ready for the families that are picking up larger quantities of meals for their children!!  During all these times when so many are uncomfortable, scared, nervous and unsure of so many things, it makes my heart happy to see such compassion from these two. I appreciate them and wanted others to know how much of a difference they are making daily.  They are well deserving and wonderful ladies!! Terraset ES is lucky to have them all year long, I’m glad we have them during this time! 😊 "

- Tiffany A. Bryant, Herndon ES

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Maggie Carmichael, Daniels Run ES

"I am so thankful to be working with Mrs. Carmichael! All year, and throughout the transition into distant learning, she has been a constant support for our 6th grade special education students. She has helped ease so many of the emotions and challenges that students are facing during this time. Students can count on Mrs. Carmichael when they need help with anything, and she's always there for them. They truly know how much she cares."

- Maya Omran, Daniels Run ES

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Khoi Nguyen, Sideburn Support Center

"Twice a week since the start of Covid-19, I've run around the neighborhood. The route I've followed has been that of my school's annual fundraiser, the Frost 5K. Last Thursday, towards the end of my run, my gloved hands got hot, so I temporarily dropped the gloves.  It was right near the front of the school, so I figured I could retrieve them when I finished.  Foolishly, though, I forgot to retrieve them, and didn't realize until my next run the following Tuesday. When I arrived at Frost, the gloves weren't there, but thankfully Khoi Nguyen was.  He was in an FCPS van outside the school, about to help Frost with their facilities.  From a safe distance, I asked if he happened to see the gloves. He said he hadn't.  He then volunteered to look for the gloves.  He also volunteered to go inside the school to ask if anyone had seen them.  I wasn't sure if anyone was inside the school and didn't want to inconvenience anyone, but he insisted he could go check.  He returned, said the two people inside hadn't seen them, and I assumed that was that.  He then said he'd be there when the custodian arrived later in the day.  He said he could make sure to ask the custodian and send me a message with the answer! The gloves were never found, but my heart was warmed.  It felt great to discover someone who would do all of those things to help a person he didn't even know!  I am sure this is not the first time Khoi has gone out of his way to demonstrate compassion, commitment, and excellence.  To make sure he's recognized this time, though, I'm submitting this message.  "

- Colin Verbicar, Frost MS

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Nancy Slocum, Daniels Run ES

"Ms. Slocum is an incredible special education teacher who advocates for her 6th graders day in and day out. She is a part of every single live session, interacting with all the students, but also helping me behind the scenes with Blackboard’s features to make for the smoothest live teaching! I know I can reach out to her with any questions I have, no matter what time of day it is. She will stop whatever she is doing (which is a LOT) and help. Not a day goes by without students asking for Ms. Slocum. They know what a caring and supportive figure in their life she is, and it is remarkable to continue seeing that connection in our virtual world. I am very grateful to be working with her this year."

- Maya Omran, Daniels Run ES

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Adrienne Rafat, McNair ES

"When one thinks about Adrienne, the words that come to mind are thoughtful, hard-working and creative. During the distance learning period, she has worked so very hard in her role as a special education teacher in not only supporting each one of her students, she has also been a true collaborator and been supporting all of her colleagues. She has brought a smile on all of our faces during these difficult times, offering her support to us even though she is exhausted at the end of each day. She is truly caring for her ENTIRE family during the pandemic. I am proud to be her colleague and her friend."

- Vani Rupela, McNair ES

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Nardos King, Gatehouse Administration Center 

The father of an FCPS student has COVID. The student needed a laptop. When asked for guidance on how to handle this student's need, Assistant Superintendent Nardos King asked the school for the student's home address and offered to bring the FCPS laptop to the student. That is true leadership.

- a FCPS Principal

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Kayla Khan, Bush Hill ES
 
"Ms. Kayla Khan is my son first grade teacher. When the pandemic first showed its messy head to our area and schools closed, Kayla mailed letters to each student with specific area of math they could work on. And ways they could show her their work. She followed up with families on the children’s interests and consequently dropped off (at our front door) several Magic Tree House books since libraries are closed and my son is just a few books away from finishing the end of the series. And she also offered to “bubble in” with our family and our kids to be able to watch our kids during the birth of our baby since our family could not travel at this time. All of these things are significant. On top of this all, she runs the highest quality writers workshop. Her energy is contagious. And through distance learning she continues to find ways to make it known each student is important and their contributions are important. Kayla Khan is one of the BEST teachers!!"

- a Bush Hill ES Parent
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Roxanne Kaylor, Brookfield ES

"Roxanne Kaylor is an amazing person!  Roxanne is a retired FCPS SBTS, and now substitutes where she is needed.  Roxanne came to us at Brookfield ES just as the Covid 19 era hit, not even getting the opportunity to meet any of us in person.  She clearly has extensive knowledge of current FCPS technology and has jumped right in to run training sessions, and troubleshoot anything that has come up.  She has made herself available to us almost 24/7 - just check the time stamp on her emails! She is so patient, and has a great sense of humor – both necessary qualities in this crazy time. While we miss the capable care of our full-time SBTS, in this unprecedented time of monumental technology needs, Roxanne is getting the job done for a staff and students that she’s never even met!"

- Cathy Wilson, Brookfield ES

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Jason Wright, Willow Oaks

"Jason is detail oriented and a  team player.  He has gone above and beyond expectations while we work remotely to create lessons that support both students and teachers.  He is reliable, flexible, open to feedback, and responsive.  He has created numerous ELD and English for ELs Lessons, while collaborating across offices to support the creation of materials that will support English Learners across multiple content areas. Thanks Jason for being a wonderful teammate! Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!"

- Caitlyn Saxton, Willow Oaks

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Lauren Herr, Willow Oaks

"Lauren has been integral in supporting HS English learners during this time of distance learning.   She is reliable, flexible, open to feedback, and
responsive.  Lauren has created Strategies for Success for ELs lessons, Government for ELs Lessons, all while supporting  the creation and delivery of various other HS ESOL trainings, resources, and supports! Lauren is also supporting the social studies office in creating and providing materials that are accessible to all learners. Thanks Lauren  for being a wonderful teammate! Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!"

- Caitlyn Saxton, Willow Oaks

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Sarah Eqab, Willow Oaks

"Sarah has been integral in supporting HS English learners during this time of distance learning.   She is reliable, flexible, open to feedback, and
responsive.  In addition to creating secondary ELD resources, Sarah has created multiple math resources including Individual Math lessons while also supporting  the creation and delivery of various other HS ESOL trainings, resources, and supports! Sarah is also supporting the math team in creating and providing materials that are accessible to all learners. Thanks Sarah for being a wonderful teammate! Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!"

- Caitlyn Saxton, Willow Oaks

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Allison Hough, Willow Oaks

"Allison is detail oriented and a team player.  She has gone above and beyond expectations while we work remotely to create lessons that support both students and teachers.  She is reliable, flexible, open to feedback, and responsive.  Allison has created Strategies for Success for ELs lessons, all while supporting  the creation and delivery of various other HS ESOL trainings, resources, and supports! She is also supporting the science office in creating and providing materials that are accessible to all learners.Thanks Allison for being a wonderful teammate! Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!"

- Caitlyn Saxton, Willow Oaks

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Jane Flegal, Willow Oaks

"Thank you, Jane. It is always great to work with a supportive partner. Jane has worked tirelessly and around the clock to support teachers during distance learning. She is mindful of both the teacher and student perspective, working to create supports and resources that are intuitive and timely. Her work supports multiple offices and thousands of students! Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!"

- Caitlyn Saxton, Willow Oaks

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Evie Ifantides, Willow Oaks

"Evie is a wonderful and caring teammate.  During this time of distance learning, I have been able to lean on her to help me with technology. She is a model of FCPS Caring Culture.  In addition to her support around tech, organizes events and communications to keep morale high. Thank you, Evie! Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!"

- Caitlyn Saxton, Willow Oaks

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Margaret Sisler, Westfield HS

"Margaret has been a savior to our school for the work she did to help us with distance learning. She has truly gone "above and beyond" in the taking care of ALL of our staff in these uncertain times. From the planning and training she provided us, keeping the lines of communication open, letting us "vent" our frustrations, helping us fix issues and re-fix them, and even offering to "be a student" in class for us to practice our ideas. And she only started with us a few months ago as our new SBTS! To be new to a large school and not know everyone yet and their subject areas...pretty amazing has she has unified us. Truly grateful for everything!"

- Karen Bendorf, Westfield HS

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Karen Ramsey, Riverside ES

"Karen has been working endlessly to make sure her students are aware, present and learning during these difficult times.  Her commitment to providing quality instruction is evident in the preparation and implementation of her lessons. She has worked tirelessly to increase her technology capacity in order to maximize the availability of the content.  Her students are fortunate to have Mrs. Ramsey in their corner!!!"

- Amy Dodson, Riverside ES

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Monica Castro, Union Mill ES

"Before the district full implemented its distance learning plan Ms Castro began developing activities for her 1st graders that they could do independently at home. From simple math worksheets to an Animal Research project. These activities were easy to differentiate making it possible for me to maintain some sort of normalcy for my 3 young kids as we learned a new normal. Ms Castro is "only" a long term substitute which makes her dedication so much more impressive. I hope she finds a permanent place in our school since I have 2 more kids not in 1st grade yet."

- a Union Mill ES Parent

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Melissa Pascoe, Washington Mill  ES

"Melissa is our school's Reading Specialist.  Throughout the school year, she supported me in leading our team and collaborated with me weekly. During this pandemic, she joined our grade level "Distance Learning Team" (DLT) while also supporting the school through her role as Reading Specialist too. She has helped us find all of the FCPS Literacy resources, along with helping the team learn how to use our new online platform. She collaborates with our team daily to build upon our confidence and knowledge."

- Laura Nikander, Washington Mill ES

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Lynda Rupp, Washington Mill ES

"Lynda is an amazing colleague .  She is our School Based Technology Specialist.  She has worked tirelessly throughout the distance learning roll out to facilitate the implementation the digital learning process."

- Sharon Reilly, Washington Mill ES

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Sarah Chin, Churchill Road ES

"You are such an amazing teacher! Thank you so much for teaching me! Even though you are a long-term substitute, I hope you remain at Churchill! I really enjoyed being in class with you, and I'm glad we get to continue that through distance learning!"

- Churchill Road ES Student

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Lynda Rupp, Washington Mill ES

"Lynda has spent countless hours working on our distance learning plan with admin and with the grade level teams.  She showed infinite flexibility throughout.  She has been patient with all of the staff who have gaps in their understanding of technology and has differentiated for those who had a better understanding."

- Ann McMichael, Washington Mill ES

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Lynda Rupp, Washington Mill ES

"Mrs. Rupp has been absolutely invaluable to our distance learning efforts since the very day we began this new platform. She worked all hours of the day and night to bring us the most useful and pertinent information in the most efficient way possible. She was and continues to remain supportive, positive, and patient will all of the staff at our school, from the novices to the most experienced users.  We can count on Lynda to help us through ANY tech issue, and to do so with a smile. Lynda deserves to be recognized for her monumental efforts to get our whole school up and running for distance learning!"

- Melissa Pascoe, Washington Mill ES

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Lynda Rupp, Washington Mill ES

"Lynda is an amazing person and extremely skilled SBTS. She is so very kind and patient and always willing to help anyone, anytime with technology questions big and small, She has truly been our rock through all the challenges of teaching in general and especially now with Distance Learning. I can't imagine working without this lady!!"

- Cassandra Kenney, Washington Mill ES

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Karen Smialek, Silverbrook ES
 
"In the past few weeks, Mrs. Smialek has taken the extra step to stay connected and bridge the home-school experience.  The complexity of distance learning is a struggle, but Mrs. Smialek has demonstrated an expanded form of dedication and commitment to her ESOL students.  She has offered her support to our families and makes herself available to assist in a successful "log in" as well as provides alternative measures to keep the momentum of learning.  High-five Karen!"

- Carmen Pangelinan, Silverbrook ES

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Christine Waters, Union Mill ES

"Mrs Waters has been AMAZING all year, but she has really shined during this quarantine. She has helped all three of my kids deal with their feelings about abruptly losing all physical contact with their friends and teachers.  She has helped me deal with the emotional stress of homeschooling three kids, even though I am not her responsibility. She has helped me overcome the technical hurdles of homeschooling, even though that’s not her responsibility, either. Most importantly, she loves my kindergartener even when he’s being difficult, and she has never given up on him. I truly believe she will always be in our corner."

- a  Union Mill ES Parent

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Angelica Karamooz, Riverside ES

"Angelica Karamooz has gone above and beyond for students, families, and team members! She has created a caring school family where parents and students feel comfortable communicating with her on a regular basis. For example, she created a video with step by step instructions on how to draw a dragon because a student wanted to know how!  She reads with  students over the phone who do not have access to a computer and she even created handwriting videos using the FCPS verbal pathway so her students can practice at home! It does not stop there! She consistently shares her creations and resources with her team and is a great collaborator. I cannot wait to see all the incredible things she will do as she goes into her third year of teaching!"

- Michelle Giaccone, Riverside ES

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Angelica Karamooz, Tara Klibansky, Jada Roberts, Debbie Sykes, Riverside ES

"The kindergarten team at Riverside Elementary has really come together during this chaotic and uncertain time. Team members have been supportive of each other both personally and professionally. Each week we collaborate and share resources so all of our kindergarteners have similar learning opportunities and experiences. Each member of the team brings their own personal flair, knowledge, and experience giving our kindergarteners engaging and fun learning opportunities!"

- Michelle Giaccone, Riverside ES
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Lynda Rupp, Washington Mill ES

"Although 5/6/2020 is the date I included, Lynda Rupp (school SBTS) has going above and beyond since we left school back in March. Lynda has spent countless hours preparing all teachers and staff for distance learning. She provided school-wide professional development as well as attended every grades CLT and individual sessions to help teachers feel prepared. She created  Blackboard pages for every team and made sure that every teacher had their own site and guest link in the beginning. As the county shifted away from guest links, Lynda transitioned with grace and ease to prepare our teachers for the next phase of distance learning. Lynda has not once complained during this entire process. I couldn't be more proud to call Lynda my colleague. She has truly gone above and beyond during this challenging time for all. Washington Mill wouldn't be in the great place we are in without her support, encouragement and guidance. Thank you Lynda!!"

- Chelsea Bruno, Washington Mill ES

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Laura Turner, Coates ES

"She has so much patience and understanding for helping her students stay on track and continue to read . Mrs.Turner always is checking on her students to make sure if there is anything that’s he/she needs. It’s a safe feeling knowing that she really cares about my daughter's education and will go above and beyond to continue to help."

- a Coates ES Parent

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Kristen Carneal, Aldrin ES

"My son has been in Kristen Carneal's K-2 SPED class for the past two years. Each time I see the call for FCPS Cares nominations I think, "Ms. Carneal really deserves special recognition," and then the challenges of work and raising kids with special needs get in the way. It simply cannot wait any longer - her superpowers must be celebrated! My son loves school because Kristen gives him the structure, motivation, and challenge he needs every day. She treats him with respect and love through thick and thin. Having a temper tantrum? She has a calming strategy. Acing a math problem? She's ready to celebrate and give another challenge. As a parent, I have always felt like Kristen is a partner in advocating for my son. She leads the effort on school supports, strategizing about IEP goals and inclusion opportunities. She also contributes to all of our efforts to get medical testing and supports, providing observational notes and completing evaluations for doctors. During this national crisis, Ms. Carneal has become a homeschool teaching coach while learning to provide instruction in a totally new format. She is teaching me to address the social-emotional, attention, and sensory issues that can get in the way of my son's academic learning. We are experimenting together to find ways to chunk non-preferred work into manageable parts. She is helping us replicate some of the school structures that might allow my son to maintain academic progress. Growing up, I watched my parents battle schools and systems to get my brother the special education services he needed. I went into our first IEP meetings ready to do the same. Instead, I found a partner who is passionate about helping my son get exactly what he needs to learn, grow, and be a happy kid. Kristen Carneal is a shining beacon of what special education can and should be."

- an Aldrin ES Parent

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Kristina Mickey, Oak View ES

"Mrs. Mickey has provided an outstanding distance learning experience for my son. From the beginning, she has provided parents with as much information as possible at the time. Most importantly, she has created consistent, structured online learning that has kept my son engaged and in a routine. I have listened in the background as Mrs. Mickey conducts her online teaching, and from the first class, her patience, kindness, humor, and effectiveness at not just making sure the kids maintain the information they learned while physically at school, but introducing new material has impressed me beyond words. She has absolutely risen to the challenge of quickly shifting to distance teaching. This school year will stand out in my memory for many reasons. Mrs. Mickey’s teaching and my son’s experience in her class will be a bright spot in that memory."

- an Oak View ES Parent.

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Jenny Quinn, Hutchison ES
 
"Words can't describe all the things Mrs. Quinn do for the support of our daughter's education. She did recognize my daughter's advanced academic achievement and supported her from the beginning of the school year. Mrs. Quinn gave our daughter materials appropriate for her level of knowledge.  We have a very strong relationship with Mrs. Quinn and consider her as our friend. She gave her phone number to all parents when we started the virtual learning so we can reach easily to her if we ran into a problem . Mrs. Quinn know everyone in our family and she always asking about everyone. She is truly a hard working teacher and we are truly appreciated all she does . Our daughter is so blessed and lucky to have Mrs. Quinn as her teacher this year."

- a Hutchison ES Parent

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Beatriz Toledo (Miss. B), Halley ES

"Miss. B has been getting school supplies and food for the Head Start kids and their families. She was distributing items the week of April 20th to Hegel Circle families. She really cares."

- a Halley ES Parent

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Lynda Rupp, Washington Mill ES

"Mrs. Rupp is our school SBTS.  Every change and challenge that has come with the transition to distance learning, Mrs. Rupp has handled with grace and kindness.  Each step of the way, Mrs. Rupp has considered what needs to be done in order to ensure the teachers and students are supported and have the tools and information they need.  For hours on end, she met with teachers and students to walk them through the necessary steps to set up and join classrooms.  She made herself available for office hours daily and always joined CLT sessions and meetings with a smile and a helpful piece of advice. Prior to distance learning, Mrs. Rupp was a crucial member of our school team and worked to ensure everyone in our building had an understanding of the digital tools that would be helpful to them at each turn.  Distance learning has simply solidified even more deeply what we already knew and appreciated about Mrs. Rupp - She is always there and willing to go above and beyond to ensure teachers are supported and students are receiving the best education possible.  Thank you, Mrs. Rupp, for your undying support and perseverance throughout every challenge that comes our way.  You are the best!"

- Amy A. Willis, Washington Mill ES

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Lynda Rupp, Washington Mill ES

"During this entire Distance Learning experience, Lynda Rupp has proven herself to be an invaluable source of information, problem solving, and ever-present help.  She goes above and beyond by being available to staff whenever she is needed, answering countless emails, and joining CLT meetings to explain, demonstrate, and share various tools, applications and programs. She has been able to maintain her composure and level head during virtual staff meetings where questions are flying and she is the only person who is able answer them.  We have always been lucky to have Lynda Rupp on our staff, but never more than during Distance Learning!"

- Kirsten Habib, Washington Mill ES

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Lynda Rupp, Washington Mill ES

"Lynda has always been willing to help me (anyone) with technology problems/ questions. Thanks to her, I have taken google classroom classes and already had my classroom up and running before this whole pandemic thing happened. She has been "ON" for the last 8 weeks, working nonstop, attending all our CLT meetings and leading us through this technology based distance learning.She is amazing and I nominate her for this recognition."

- Carolyn Strittmatter, Washington Mill ES

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Lynda Rupp, Washington Mill ES

"As our SBTS, Lynda has been instrumental in training our 3rd Grade Team on how to use Blackboard Collaborate Ultra.   Because of her tireless effort, we have been able to use so many features with our students (polling, raising hands buttons, breakout groups, etc.) that the Online Classroom really mimics our in person classrooms.  Our team, and whole school, have Lynda to thank for successful LIVE classroom sessions that connect us to our students!"

- Brenna Hovey, Washington Mill ES

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Susan Altamirano, Armstrong ES

"Susan has been supporting our school and community since the first day that we left on March 13.  Susan has supported the PTA and the school by sending numerous Keep In Touch messages as needed to keep the community informed. Susan has worked with Spanish speaking families to ensure they were able to pick up laptops and had technology support. Susan has helped teachers connect with Spanish speaking families to help with online learning resources. Susan has worked hard as the administrative assistant for finance to ensure families receive refunds for cancelled field trips.  Susan always says yes with a smile on her face."

- Andrea DePiro, Armstrong ES

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Lianne LaFleur & Joyce Stephansky, Stratford Landing ES

"My rising 7th grader was excited auditioning for middle school choir and became very nervous about how the process would continue since they were no longer in school. Her choir teachers reached out with detailed information and then set up individual video conferences for any student who wanted a little audition prep/practice. This helped our daughter feel connected, confident & ready for the audition. A great example of going beyond and thinking of the students needs during this challenging time. Thank you!"

- a Stratford Landing ES Parent

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Sommer Conway, Oakton ES

"Ms. Conway goes above and beyond with each interaction she has with our children. She is truly an asset to our school and community. Our kids are doing a book report. On 4/24 she sent an email and offered curbside delivery of the books to students without a book. Thank you Ms. Conway! We appreciate you."

- an Oakton ES Parent
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Stephany Tlatelpa, Riverside ES

"Stephany is a first-year teacher who not only had the challenge of starting the school year in March, but 4 days after starting had to make the transition to distance learning. Stephany has truly modeled what it means to be a goal-directed and resilient individual, not only making this transition to distance learning (and teaching in general), but also managing to build relationships with her students and contributing great ideas to her new team during this difficult time. She has impressed me from day one and is doing amazing things.  I am so happy to have her as part of the 2nd grade team! Great job Stephany!"

- Cat Godley, Riverside ES

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Kimbrell McGhee, Riverside ES

"Ms. McGhee has gone above and beyond to support her students through this distance learning experience. Ms. McGhee has many years of experience in the classroom and has really taken a step out of her comfort zone with technology. She has worked with coaches and staff members to create authentic and engaging learning experiences for her students in Math! I applaud your efforts and risk taking! Keep up the great work!"

- Brianna Lucas, Riverside ES

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Mackenzie Hays, Woodley Hills ES

"Excellent teacher and very good person.  She demonstrated interest in her students during pandemic."

- a Woodley Hills ES Parent

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Shira Brothers & Kate Adams, Willow Oaks

"Shira and Kate took the time to caption videos for the ABA Program's Distance Learning Video Library. This collection of videos is a way to support families in promoting positive behavior in the home and disseminating behavior strategies during the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only were they gracious with their time to communicate a streamlined process for captioning, but their quick turn around helped to ensure that we could get these videos out to families quickly. Their work helps to ensure accessibility and reach-ability in supporting caregivers, which ultimately positively effects our students. Thank you!"

- Alexandria Grant-Presser, Willow Oaks

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Mark Stevens, Glasgow MS

"Dr. Stevens has gone above and beyond during distance learning.  He provided lessons, continuous learning and remained in contact with students during a time when the rest of the school system went dark.  Recognizing the need for students to remain engaged, he offered support and a sense of normalcy for the students.  He summarized and simplified FCPS communication and remained an active teacher when the students (and parents) needed him most.  Thank you Dr. Stevens!"

- a Glasgow MS Parent

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Maria Vadala, Fairfax Villa ES

"Where to begin?! Ms. Vadala was putting forth immense effort since day one of kindergarten (calling parents individually to let them know that their child had a good first day).  It was hard to believe she could do more!  But as is her apparent style, she has gone above and beyond what could be expected of her during this time of distance learning. Even prior to the remote learning through the school system was in place, she reached out  to let my daughter know she was missed and cared for. Both her and Mrs. Amy kindly have written back to any letter my daughter sent to them, and they enthusiastically continue their lessons via video chat each week.  Ms. Vadala is the epitome of a beloved kindergarten teacher—warm, enthusiastic, energetic, positive. She is an example for others on how to instill a love of learning in each child and we are so lucky that our daughter was able to start her schooling year with her! Thank you Ms. Vadala!"

- a Fairfax Villa ES Parent

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Rita Gigliotti, South Lakes HS

"Mrs. Gigliotti has gone above and beyond to support her chorus students these last few weeks.  In April she produced the first virtual chorus with her advanced students. Then in the past couple weeks she has been working with the more junior choirs on a virtual song. She is scheduling individual coaching sessions with each student, more than one if necessary. She sends many reminders to each student. In addition she created an organizational template which students can use to save all their links for their classes, which she sent to all chorus parents and students. She has continued to send weekly emails and uses Remind. She has shown a true dedication to her students and to music, and encouragement to everyone. She has demonstrated resiliency by quickly adapting to online teaching.  I hope she can be recognized for the lessons she is teaching us all."

- a South Lakes HS Parent

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Kelly Thomas, Kilmer center

"Kelly has spent many hours agonizing over how to help our students with the distance learning. I know this because I am one of her support staff. I've been with Kelly for two years and I can say it's some of the best years I've had at my school. She doesn't see me just as a body to tell what to do, but as a valued member of the team. She asks and values my honest opinion of all staff members. On April 28th she was informed that one of our students hadn't been eating and just crying at school. Kelly then went out of her way to go to Walmart and buy some of the foods that the student loved for my classroom. Plus some activities for her to do and some things just to give her a smile. Not only did she do  this for our student but the student's younger brother also. Kelly called me the next day extremely excited because our student ate the snacks and she was able to talk to the student. Kelly loves each of her students and all students at Kilmer Center as if they were her own children."

- Patti L Madden, Kilmer Center

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Terri Pendleton, Kent Gardens ES
 
"Terri Pendleton is our full time TSPEC at Kent Gardens Elementary. In addition to setting up and supporting laptop distribution with us, she has gone to several other schools to help with their laptop and Mifi distribution process as well. She planned our process, made a visual map to ensure safety protocols would be followed, she worked with individual families to make sure they would have access, she remotely helped to solve tech issues with parents and staff members. She spent countless hours going above and beyond to ensure students would have what they needed to participate in Distance Learning. Thanks Terri!!"

- Tia Hawkins, Kent Gardens ES

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Hilary Powell, Liberty MS

"Mrs. Powell's on-line experience has been fabulous for my son.  Her google classroom is very well organized, she goes over and beyond to make sure everything is easily accessible.  My son can find his assignments easily, he knows what is due each week and when it is due.  He even said, "I wish everyone did their classes the way Mrs. Powell does, everything is so organized and easy to find."  Her video lessons and explanations are top notch as well as her communication with the parents."

- a Liberty MS Parent

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Hannah Kozik, Sunrise Valley ES

"Every day Ms. Kozik goes above and beyond to teach her second graders.  She bring fun and connection to them while learning during this challenging time. She puts in so much effort and care and my daughter is inspired to learn and share after distance learning sessions."

- a Sunrise Valley ES Parent

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Annie Joseph, Kent Gardens ES

"I can’t say enough good things about Mrs. Joseph. She has walked with my child and me through every step of this distance learning process. She checks in on us several times a week and has provided so many resources and suggestions for activities and things that may help with our school year goals. Before all of this I knew she was a huge advocate for my child, but that has been confirmed 10 fold as we continue to distance learn. FCPS is lucky to have such a dedicated and caring professional as Mrs. Joseph."

- a Kent Gardens ES Parent

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Tim Brown, Fairfax HS
 
"Thank you for all you have done during this anxious and stressful time for our staff with preparing us to deliver lessons and re-engage our students, parents, and staff through the Distance Learning Process. With your support to get this right for our students we have been able to continue to show Confidence, Be Cool, and show Compassion."

- Diana Smith-Jackson, Fairfax HS

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Diane Grabowski, Terra Centre ES

"During this whole experience, teachers are absolutely the most important person to keep our kids understand and see normalcy. I honestly don’t know what we can do without Ms. Grabowski. Even during the whole Blackboard Period and technology issues, she has been so calm, patience, and very informative. As a parent, we don’t always see the hard work that teachers do to make things done smoothly. I am so thankful for her. The lesson has been very innovative and very well thought out. She is so encouraging and her soft tone is to be admired."

- a Terra Centre ES Parent

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Carolyn Vickers, Union Mill ES
 
"Among the many, many ways Ms. Vickers has reached out to her students and families, she sent a picture cut-out of herself along with a poem. "Flat Ms.Vickers" is just like "Flat Stanley". We can take her with us on our outdoor adventures, include her at the family dinner table, and even have her "help" us with the first grade learning packet. We can send in pictures, or just include her in our day. This small thing has meant the world to my daughter. She no longer feels so isolated and separated from her favorite teacher. It has meant the world to us. Ms. Vickers is outstanding in every way."

- Emily Cunningham, Union Mill ES

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Megan Ledig, Spring Hill ES
 
"Ms. Ledig has been a phenomenal 2nd grade teacher and person since the very beginning of the school year. She is always so positive and helpful for students and families and has had a great outlook and been very patient and dedicated since the distance learning began. We miss her and hope she is recognized for her efforts during this time!"

- a Spring Hill ES Parent

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Christa Shiley, Hayfield SS

"Ms. Shiley emailed my husband and I to let us know that our son improved is grade by 10% between the end of 2nd and 3rd quarters, and wanted us to know that his hard work did not go unnoticed.  We do not help our son with his work, so we had no idea how hard he has been working while at home during this quarantine. Her email made our day!"

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Kaylin Daniels, Poplar Tree ES
 
"Ms. Daniels is a gem of a teacher that has gone above and beyond to stay connected to her students and families during distance learning!  We are in awe of the way she is able to seamlessly integrate technology into her lessons.  We'd like to recognize Ms. Daniels every day, but especially during Teacher Appreciation Week!  Thank you, Ms. Daniels!!!"

 - Christy Ryder, Oak Hill ES

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Gina Yockey, Lemon Road ES
 
"Ms. Yockey has kept the kids busy learning and engaged once distance learning had started. Even prior to the official distance learning start date, she kept us informed with very clear instructions about the plan. When Blackboard kept failing, she did not give up on the process, and continued instruction with my son's class.  She provided students and parents with ways of communicating when we have questions. I see that the work ms. Yockey is doing has been very well planned and all the instructions and assignments are clear for my son and he is able to work on his own or with his classmates online. As a working parent, I am grateful for that and the fact that I do not need to be involved in the online process. She has proven excellent as a teacher who is clearly dedicated to the learning process regardless of the circumstances."

-  a Lemon Road ES Parent

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Gwyneth Kiehl, Riverside ES
 
"I am very grateful for Gwyneth's time, dedication, and hard work. Gwyneth took the time to send an email titled: Publishers allowing virtual read-alouds which was super helpful!  First she organized over 50 books by themes.  She also included the author and publisher for each book.  Then Gwyneth sorted by publisher and wrote a detailed description with each of their guidelines.  She also added a section of publishers offering free online resources or eBooks.  The entire document that Gwyenth wrote was incredibly organized and informative.  I was having difficulties figuring out which books I was allowed to read for asynchronous instruction and doing my own research confused me more.  Reading her document made it easy to understand and I hope to do read alouds now that I have this information.  I really appreciate Gwyneth taking her own initiative to create this to help the entire early childhood team."

- Christie Kwun, Riverside ES

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Caitlin Kimak, Hayfield SS
 
"For the "Date of Experience", I wish I could have put in a range of days, so I opted to start at the 1st. From day 1 of this COVID crisis, Ms. Kimak has been a cheerleader for our children, a wealth of information, and a hand guiding us all in the darkness as we navigated the unexpected together. Her efforts are a testament that shows dedication and devotion to her job, the success of our children, and supporting parents throughout this ordeal. Thank you Ms. Kimak for all you do! SUPERSTAR!"

- a Hayfield SS Parent

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Jensen Krause, Mason Crest ES
 
"Our son is a special education student in Kindergarten at Mason Crest ES. Very early on after the school closure, his teacher, Ms Krause, reached out and started to work with us on developing a learning plan for our son. She called and emailed several times a week, and sometimes even several times a day to provide recommendations, strategies, teaching materials, be a bridge with our son's therapists, and just check on how we were doing in general. Her dedication was exactly what we needed to stay motivated to continue teaching our son at home and knowing that someone cared so much about our son's progress supported us tremendously during the first few weeks of this journey. She is amazing and we are so blessed to have her on our team."

- a Mason Crest ES Parent

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Jaclyn Boehling, Riverside ES
 
"Jackie Boehling has been an essential part in the Distance Learning roll out for the 1st grade team this year.  She has always been a fantastic teammate but I can not say enough amazing things about her since we started DL.  She is creative, helpful, and always willing to help in any way.  She clocks in countless hours creating lessons, calling parents, and facilitating learning. We are very lucky to have had her in our team this year. Jackie is a superstar educator and an amazing colleague."

- Marialys Gruneiro, Riverside ES

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Kristi Robinson, Oakton ES

"Ms. Robinson went above and beyond during school shutdown and distant learning!! she is amazing."

- an Oakton ES Parent

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Jamie Wilson, Riverside ES

"Jamie has been an incredible source of support for the 2nd grade team as we have transitioned into distance learning. She has coached us through this transition, brought suggestions for new ideas for us to try, and helped guide us through learning new things. Without her leadership, this transition would have been no where near as successful for us. Thank you Jamie!"

- Cat Godley, Riverside ES

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Keri Mina, Cunningham Park ES
 
"Keri is our ESBTS and has gone above and beyond every single minute of every single day to answer our questions and problem solve ways to reach our students during distance learning.  Keri has made videos to teach us as well as our students and their families, answered our weekend and early morning texts or emails.  She has truly gone out of her way to positively support and encourage us.  I for one could not have done this without her assistance and her positive, encouraging outlook!"

- Laura Short, Cunningham Park ES

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Katherine Pfeffer-Hahn, Terraset ES 
 
"From the time school closed in March Ms. Pfeffer-Hahn stayed in touch with the student with daily meeting through zoom, backboard, and google classroom.  My son was provided materials, handouts, text books, reading material and fun projects.  There has been no break in his schooling. He has continued learning with full access to his teacher through online meetings, emails, and phone.  The class also has daily story time in the afternoons.  Ms. Pfeffer-Hahn has gone above and beyond for her students.  A great big thank you from our family, and others I am sure."

- a Terraset ES Family

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Michelle NewRingeisen, Nancy Sprague Center
 
"Even though Michelle is super busy and stressed during this time of uncertainty, she always takes the time to make her team feel appreciated and understood. Our team received some difficult news, and she reached out to us to make sure we are ok and offered to help in any way possible. It was very appreciated."

- Melissa York, Nancy Sprague Center

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Laura Reed, Frost MS

"Laura went above and beyond in supporting our staff with their technology needs as we moved to distance learning. Laura made herself available at almost all hours of the day to answer our questions and figure out ways to bring our curriculum and needed materials online."

- Rachel Rubio, Frost MS

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Caitlin Quincy, Frost MS

"Caitlin went above and beyond to help support students with tools to get organized for distance learning by creating additional student website resources and FAQs.  In addition, she provided tools to her fellow colleagues to help support their students through distance learning."

- Rachel Rubio, Frost MS

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KJ An, Fairfax Villa ES

"As PTA President, when schools closed I worried very much about the students at our school who will need access to food. Because we are not a Title 1 school, I was afraid our needs would be missed. From day one our admin team Dave Gerstner and KJ An gave me their full support and worked with me to address the issue. KJ spent countless hours working directly with me in this effort far beyond the purview of her many distance learning obligations. She is incredibly caring and detail oriented and I could not have done anything without her volunteering by my side."

- Meg Moody, Fairfax Villa ES 

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Elizabeth Flaherty, Willow Springs ES

"Liz is the registrar at my school. While that's her official title, she offers so much support that I'd add "teacher assistant", "SLP helper", "problem solver", "tech  assistant", "respected colleague" and "friend" to the list of titles that she has earned. She has been instrumental during this Distance Learning period in helping me maintain communication with the students and families I serve as a speech-language pathologist. She goes above and beyond in helping me find the correct information needed to insure that I have a variety of ways to stay connected with my students. WSES wouldn't stay up and running without Liz!"

- Mary Pat M Peri, Willow Springs ES

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Makenzie Mikesell, Willow Springs ES
 
"Ms. Mikesell has been outstanding at e-learning from the beginning. She has made it engaging and comforting for her students. We are so thankful!"

- a Willow Springs ES Parent

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Kurt Sporkmann, Chantilly HS
 
"Mr. Sporkmann is my sophomore son's Driver's Education teacher for 3rd quarter. In spite of all the technical difficulties we had with learning online, Mr. Sporkmann managed to make sure his 130 some students in 3rd quarter finished their required hours for driver's education. It is a pleasure to read his emails which always have good humor, reality check and words of encouragement.  Thank you so much for all you!"

- a Chantilly HS Parent

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Katy Bohn, Orange Hunt ES
 
"Mrs. Bohn has created a wonderful distance learning experience for her third graders. Her lessons are organized and very thoughtful, and her morning message is something that my student looks forward to each day. A highlight of last week was when Mrs. Bohn hosted a live story time for her students on Tuesday evening. She's doing a tremendous job ensuring that learning continues during this unanticipated break from school. She hasn't missed a beat, and her students are lucky to have her as a teacher!"

- Angela Linker, Willow Oaks

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Daniel Kurland, Holmes MS

"My son and I were very frustrated due to not being able to navigate blackboard and needing math resources.  He was very patient and assisted us and followed up with us about three times that week!  He took his time in helping my so I could understand the order of operations.   Thank you for showing us how much you care about my son's learning!!"

- a Holmes MS Parent

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Melissa Sitter, Poplar Tree ES

"Mrs. Sitter has been an amazing gift to our family during distance learning. She has gone above and beyond to communicate with her families and to keep her students connected to the classroom community.  She is a ray of light and a source of positivity for her students during this difficult time.  Happy Teacher Appreciation Week 2020 to the amazing, Melissa Sitter!"

-  a Poplar Tree Parent

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John Thomas, McNair ES

"Mr.John Thomas is the best teacher one can ever imagine to have for their child. After coming to MrThomas’s class my son’s interest in every subject increased a lot. As a parent I can easily mail him and contact him to clear my queries all through the year and he promptly replies to all the mails and queries.he is so kind that when the shutdown of the schools were announced he personally talked to every student in the class through phone. And now he has made distance education also a fun learning experience and helps all the students to learn and gain the thorough knowledge of each subject."

- Bahnishikha Dey, McNair ES

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Sarah Lennon, Willow Springs ES

"Sarah Lennon, our school's SBTS, has worked tirelessly to insure that our students were able to continue synchronous learning the entire time we have been "live" while maintaining online safety for our kids. She is a consistent resource to everyone in our community and we would not be rocking Distance Learning without Sarah! She maintains a positive attitude even when 100 of us are throwing questions at her on a daily basis...we are so lucky to have her on our staff!"

- Mary Pat M Peri, Willow Springs ES

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Jennifer Cory, Annandale HS

"Since schools have closed, Jen has worked tirelessly to help teachers transition to distance learning. She has been available to answer questions, and she's created helpful tutorial videos. Every step of the way, Jen has considered the impact on students and teachers, and she's done an amazing job helping us all adapt to our current situation."

- Kathleen Mathis, Annandale HS

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Heather Sable, Bush Hill ES

"Mrs. Sable has continually gone above and beyond to bridge the distance gap between herself and her students.  Several handwritten notes and cards have come home during this break in in-person instruction providing moments of excitement and joy in our child's life.  It truly makes her stand out above and beyond."

- a Bush Hill ES Parent

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Bob DeLuca, Thoreau MS
 
"Bob has gone well above the requirements of being our SBTS.  He has spent tireless hours helping staff set up remote teaching and preparing us through trainings to teach us how to use the new technology.  Through all of the chaos, he maintained a sense of calm and exuded a "we can do this" attitude. Personally, he answered emails well after work hours and solved 100% of the technology issues.  I wanted to recognize Bob as an outstanding employee for his excellence and attention to detail during the COVID pandemic and always!"

- Barbara DeFilippi,Thoreau MS

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Sean Petitt, Food Services
 
"Sean has done an incredible job managing the free food program the County is providing. He started it when the kids were sent home, and has managed the team through the growth to the many locations and pop up locations."

- an Orange Hunt ES Parent

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Constance Teeters, Centerville ES

"Constance ("Stacey") is my mother and she teaches at Centerville Elementary School. I would argue that she works more hours now to meet the needs of her many students than she did prior to schools shutting down. I can just tell she cares deeply for her students and prioritizes them above herself."

- the Daughter of a Centerville ES Parent

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Marianne Vareldzis, West Potomac HS

"Ms. Vareldziz contacted me about my son's performance in her class linking the missing assignments to the email so that I could help him easily. She communicated with me via email answering all questions about the project. She was extremely helpful in helping my son pass Chemistry for 3rd Quarter. Kuddos! for not letting a child slip "out through the cracks". She went above and beyond providing an email with his grade and saying that she is proud of him. We really need more teachers like her!"

-  Zulakha Imran, West Potomac HS

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Paula Prosper, Cooper MS
 
"She has really stepped up to the challenge of remote teaching!"

- a Cooper MS Parent

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Paul Basdekis, Riverside ES
 
"Throughout this entire, unprecedented experience, our principal, Paul Basdekis, has been an inspiration and a pleasure to work with and for. His constant attention to clear and timely communication has set the Riverside Staff up for success and attention to detail has alleviated as much stress as possible given the current circumstances. For the past three years working with him, I have always been impressed at how he builds a team around him of strong and motivated leaders. While it certainly supports our “normal” day to day at Riverside, it has been one of our biggest strengths and points of leverage over the past two months. The team he has nurtured is driven, capable and empowered to support our school community and community at large, and they are shining right now. I can speak for myself when I say that I owe much of my preparation, confidence and coinciding success during this time to how Mr. Basdekis has supported me prior and during this experience. Mr. Basdekis has also shown his commitment to FCPS as a whole during the past couple of months. He has not only been focusing on how Riverside can and will be successful during distance learning, but how FCPS at large will as well. His dedication to his fellow principals is nothing short of inspiring. Recently, I saw that first hand as I worked with him to support principals and SBTSs through the latest rendition of Blackboard Collaborate Ultra and the pilot we were fortunate to participate in. Mr. Basdekis’s attention to detail, communication with his colleagues and honest feedback and advice surely contributed to the current success of the county wide rollout and current implementation. Over the past two months, it has also been inspiring to see how committed Mr. Basdekis is to the Riverside families and community. All decisions related to distance learning have put students and their families first. From our laptop distribution to our daily schedule to how students access learning, he always considers how it will impact students and their families in the most effective and equitable way possible. I cannot express how thankful I am to be a part of the Riverside Elementary Community. The students, families and staff are some of the most kind and dedicated people I have had the pleasure of working with and I am grateful to have every single one of them in my personal and professional life. The glue that holds each of those parties together is Principal Basdekis. While so many things may be uncertain right now, his love and commitment to all of us is not."

- Karlie Hale, Riverside ES

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Catherine McCarron, Fairview ES

"During a time of such uncertainty and disappoint, Mrs. McCarron has dedicated so much time and effort learning how to teach a class of 3rd graders virtually. Mrs. McCarron makes sure everyone is engaged in their online classes and provides the students with helpful feedback. My daughter looks forward to seeing Mrs. McCarron."

- a Fairview ES Parent

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Kevin Lawton, Sprague Center

"Kevin Lawton is providing amazing support to ensure teachers and staff have access to Learn360 resources.  He has been extremely giving of his time and effort and always available to help troubleshoot and address any questions--especially needed now as teachers, staff, and students navigate distance learning."

-  Petra Sharrett, Newington Forest ES

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Stephanie Pepper, Evan Kalinkos, Patrick Murphy, Matthew Bower, Donald Duffy, Kenya Champ,  Frost Middle School

"I could not be any more proud of this amazing team of educators. At first glance it might seem like they are doing the same outstanding job they always have (student-centered planning, equity in mind, collaboration, infusing their passion for content and practice), but it has become so much more. This team brought all of those awesome qualities to our new distance learning landscape. They innovate and pivot on a dime and always do it with grace, care, and a sense of humor. These teachers epitomize #FrostFlexible and #OneFrost. I'm so grateful I get to work with them and learn from them."

- Caitlin Quincy, Frost MS

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Mackenzie Hays, Woodley Hills ES

"She is excellent teacher, and always demonstrated interest for her students during pandemic situation covid-19. She makes us feel understood regardless of language barriers."

- a Woodley Hills ES Parent

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Rachel Baxter, McLean HS

"Mrs. Baxter was preparing to transition her class to a sub as she prepared for the birth of her child and subsequent maternity leave. Covid didn’t allow for that transition to occur. Mrs. Baxter sent an email stating that she will delay her maternity leave and continue teaching her classes.  This is so clearly above and beyond the call of duty. She deserves the highest praise and recognition for her selflessness and dedication to her class!!!"

- a McLean HS Family

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Lindsey Cole, Woodley Hills ES

"Ms. Lindsey Cole has gone above and beyond with reaching out to her students during the COVID-19 pandemic.  She emails families frequently about tech updates, ideas for students, and also just to simply check on their welfare. When she had difficulty reaching one of her students, she contacted our child to see if she had contact with the other child and made connection that way. Also, we had a death in our family during this time making my child's life even more difficult.  Ms. Cole offered additional support.  We have three children at Fairfax County Public Schools and Ms. Cole stands out in showing that she is the real deal.  Her purpose is educating and her passion is her students.  I am very impressed with her and hope you consider her for an award.  Thank you!"

- a Woodley Hills ES Parent

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Sara Quesenberry, Bailey's ES


"Sara is our school's SBTS  and has done an amazing job teaching all of the teachers how to navigate around distance learning.  Her love of her job and of the colleagues that she helps is evident in everything she does.  Patience does not begin to describe this ultimate professional.  All this while pregnant nonetheless!"

- Joanne Warner , Bailey's ES

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Aimee Maggio, Cub Run ES

"Mrs. Maggio is my daughter’s Kindergarten IA teacher and she is wonderful!  On April 30th my daughter got to have a lunch bunch with Mrs. Maggio on Google Meet along with Mrs. Sefrin and two other students.  My daughter was incredibly happy to get to talk to her teachers, show them her toys and her room and just feel like things were a bit more normal.  Mrs. Maggio is a wonderful teacher and I am thankful for her."

 - a Cub Run ES Parent

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Emily Sefrin, Cub Run ES

"Mrs. Sefrin is my daughter’s Kindergarten teacher and she is amazing!  My daughter truly loves her like family.  On April 30th my daughter got to have a lunch bunch with Mrs. Sefrin on Google Meet along with Ms. Maggio and two other students.  My daughter was incredibly happy to get to talk to Mrs. Sefrin, show her toys and her room and just feel like things were a bit more normal.  Mrs. Sefrin has a special way of making my daughter feel important and heard!  Thank you to the moon and back, Mrs. Sefrin!"


- a Cub Run ES Parent

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Rebekkah Kline, Crestwood ES

"I have to truly say thank you to Rebekkah Kline for helping me and all other staff members at Crestwood ES during this unprescedent time. After three weeks of getting Blackboard Collaborate working for everyone, she was on top of everything and made sure to give us not only training but also answer questions as best as she could. Today, I needed some guidance on whether I was allowed to create a session for a meeting for next week, and she walked me through the steps and helped me through it. Speaking from the special ed side, as we only can provide office hours, she made sure that we were also a part of the grade levels we support and taught us how to invite other staff members and students on our caseload to join our virtual office hours. Thank you again, this helped me a lot, and I know how challenging and frustrating it is during this time, but I can't thank her enough."

 - Tessa Damron, Crestwood ES

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Phillip Mullins, Lake Braddock SS

"Mr Phillip Mullins has been a deacon of light to my son and myself during these extremely trying times. With his uplifting emails and entertaining videos, Mr Mullins is providing the hope and encouragement we need to overcome this period.  I really want to thank him for caring so much for the well being of his students  (and parents)."

- a Lake Braddock SS Parent

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Helen Rose, Bailey's ES

"Helen cares about the team and her students. She organizes/facilitates CLT meetings. She goes above and beyond to help the whole team. She works so hard with her students and makes sure all her families are doing well!"

- Jasmin Salous, Bailey's ES

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Suzanne Rodgers, Glen Forest ES

"Suzanne has been a great contributor to our team during Distance Learning. She is always sharing her ideas, slides, and resources as she finds them with the team. She has made a lot of lives easier with her willingness to create and share her ideas. Thanks for what you do Suzanne!"

- R. Pipitone, Glen Forest ES

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Alicia Day Javkhlan, Hollin Meadows ES

"Mrs. Day Javkhlan is my daughter's 4th-grade music teacher at Hollin Meadows elementary.  My daughter was without her bow for her bass instrument which affected her ability to participate with her virtual classes.  I reached out to her and she immediately responded!  She then got a bow and hand-delivered to my daughter (with all her PPE on :) )  She just cares so much for her students!  Now my daughter can participate in class.  Thank you so much!"

- a Hollin Meadows ES parent

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Claudia Davila, Cunningham Park ES

"Claudia spent hours on the phone with a parent to troubleshoot to make sure a student could be online for her learning sessions. The student was able to join synchronous learning for the first time the next day and was so excited to join her teacher and classmates. Claudia went above and beyond to help a family in need make those vital connections during this difficult time."

- Keri Mina, Cunningham Park ES

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Crystal Gulino, Mosby Woods ES

"I am touched by how much Mrs. Gulino cares for her students, as she tries, through every possible avenue, to connect with them remotely."

- a Mosby Woods ES parent

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Cory Yeager, Fort Hunt ES

"We are so so lucky to have Cory at Fort Hunt!! He is always there for us anytime we need him. He has offered to do one on one meetings so we know exactly how to use Blackboard Collaborate Ultra and many other things we have to learn throughout this distance learning process. He is always one email away! Thanks, Cory for all your help and support!"

- Isabel Gonzalez, Fort Hunt ES

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Julie Jameson, Fort Hunt ES

"I have joined a couple of Julie's distance learning sessions and she is doing awesome work with the students. She is super patient and walks them through the distance learning material with ease until they get it. She keeps them engaged at all times. She is definitely the STAR MOMMY TEACHER of the year!!"

- Izza McDonald, Fort Hunt ES

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Maria Alva, Fort Hunt ES

"Maria is a very caring person not only about her students, but also about the well being of the teachers . She knew that I am a widow and she took the time to call and text me to be sure I'm OK. During this quarantine time she always was available to help me sometimes with a kind word or some other times with her  knowledge about technology. Furthermore, she offered to be my backup person during my first Live class and she helped me with the chat. Priceless. She is the motor of her first grade team. She is the one that has all the ideas to make their classes more appealing to the little ones. Also she will soon finish her Doctorate degree. We are very proud of this fantastic Fox."

- Veronica Lindeman, Fort Hunt ES

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Cory Yeager, Fort Hunt ES

"Cory is polite, kind, and caring. Definitely a good example of a gentleman and a professional. He is always there when you need him the most. When we were doing the global classroom project. He was ready to talk with the IT person from the schools in other countries and facilitate the connection with other school overseas (Peru).  While we didn't get to finish the project due to coronavirus shutdown, we greatly appreciated his help in getting it started. He is a great part of our school team."

- Veronica Lindeman, Fort Hunt ES

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Tim Slayter & Fort Hunt Staff, Students & Families, Fort Hunt ES

"I am fortunate to be part of the Fort Hunt ES Family. I am thankful to everyone, from our administration, office staff, teachers, counselors, students and families. Each and every one of you stepped up to this unprecedented challenge. You all are superheroes and I am blessed to be part of this family."

- Lasi Gunaratna, Fort Hunt ES

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Cory Yeager and Isaac Lanquaye, Fort Hunt ES

"Both Cory and Isaac have been phenomenal when tech support is needed during this uncertain time. They have constantly checked with me, regardless of the time of the day. Their patience is sterling and the work they put in under tremendous pressure is heroic.  They are wonderful to have on our team."

- Lasi Gunaratna, Fort Hunt ES

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Kelly Seibold, Lemon Road ES

"Ms. Seibold has worked continually in the classroom this year to instill the love of reading with her students.  After finishing her class read aloud, Ms. Seibold arranged a skype call with the author and her class.  The students were so engaged and loved the book so much, Kelly decided to order each student a copy of the second book in the Fairday Morrow series. The books arrived after announcing students will not return to the physical building for the remainder of the year. Ms. Seibold delivered the books to each student, while maintaining a safe distance, so students will be able to follow allow with the class read aloud during virtual learning. She has certainly gone above and beyond to demonstrate how much she cares for her students and to nurture their love of learning and reading."

- Vanessa King, Lemon Road ES

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Jayne Rhodes, Lake Braddock SS

"Ever since the stay at home orders were put in place, Ms. Rhodes has gone above and beyond to stay in touch with both the students and parents; adapting the curriculum to the new distance learning protocol. Despite the initial challenges with Blackboard, she kept rolling forward. As a parent of a 9th grader with some special education needs, I'm trying to juggle work and family  - while establishing whatever structure I can. I really have appreciated her consistent communication and swift response to my questions --- and her support in terms of making sure my son has the best possible outcome despite his learning challenges. She should really be commended"

- Cathleen Fort, Lake Braddock SS

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Kirsten Maloney & AAP Staff, Willow Oaks

"Kirsten Maloney and the entire Advanced Academic Programs (AAP) office staff has been AMAZING during distance learning -- from #CCTatHome to Level IV Screening... they've been there for us as staff, students, and communities. I really appreciate all of their hard work!"

- Mary Keane, Kings Park Elementary

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Michelle Crabill, Kings Park ES

'Michelle has been an AMAZING collaborator and resource during this time of distance learning. She is hard-working and unfailingly positive with parents, students, and staff. She always finds a way to make things work -- and to make this challenging work go smoothly for our hard-working teachers.'

 - Mary Keane, Kings Park ES

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Michelle Yang, Centreville ES

"Ms Yang is great! She is always available to answer to all questions we have.  In this unprecedented time she was missing the kids so much that she drove to the house of each one to give a treat and a virtual hug!  She really is the best!"

- a Centreville ES Parent

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Cory Yeager, Fort Hunt ES

"Today and everyday since the COVID crisis Cory has been working diligently to keep our school up and connected.  Nothing seems to faze him or alter his calm, cool, collected approach to training, demonstrating or supporting our school community.  A true professional throughout our distance learning experience."

- Nina Michael, Fort Hunt ES

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Laura Adler Woodlawn ES

"Ms. Adler was instrumental in helping our school distribute laptops to students, provide professional development to our staff on Blackboard Collaborate and individually coaching teachers to help us get up and running with Distance Learning.  She was working 24/7 with a "Can Do" attitude and positive spirit!  We could not have done this with out her!"

- Laura Elliott, Ellen Glaser & Ryan McGuin, Woodlawn ES

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Cory Yeager, Fort Hunt ES

"He answers all my tech questions not matter how small.  He is always there to help and he does it cheerfully.  As we have moved to Distance Learning, he really is the one who has made it possible for our school."

- Maggi Sams, Fort Hunt ES

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Suzanne Van der Eijk, Madison HS

"Suzanne offered guidance to our entire staff on how to create Black Board Collaborative Shells which would enable our students to learn synchronously beginning April 20th.  She has created numerous you tube tutorials to help and hold virtual office hours weekly to support our staff. The ability of Madison to serve our students has been enabled and facilitated by  the caring and support of our entire technology team, where Suzanne has been a shining light.  She includes cute memes on her email signatures that are timely and relative to the content - which makes me smile.  Many thanks and much appreciation!"

- Vicki Eisenbeiser, Madison HS

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Elizabeth Landrith, Glen Forest ES

"Elizabeth has been such a team player throughout our distance learning. She has stepped up to be our teams Tech Point of Contact and has spent hours helping teachers and students troubleshoot technical issues. It hasn't been an easy task, but always remains patient and willing to help. She has also been a great contributor to our team and triad when it comes to planning and delivering interesting lessons. Thanks for what you do Elizabeth!"

- Rachel Pipitone, Glen Forest ES

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Karen Miller & Nate Poumade, Robinson SS

"Robinson Secondary School based Technology Specialist/Web Curators, Karen Miller and Nate Poumade have devoted numerous amounts of time and effort to help all of us transition over to distance learning.  They are knowledgeable, thorough and patient, and deserve a special 'Thank you.'"

- Joanie Murphy, Robinson SS

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Adele Halterman, Chantilly HS

"Adele is a great addition to the STEP program.  Since distance learning has started she has been willing to learn and use all new technology.  She has found curriculum for our students and is following up with them throughout the week. She has been encouraging and there for the students during this difficult time."

- Kirsten Hassan, Chantilly HS

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Oscar Melendez, Sprague Technology Center

"Oscar assisted me over the course of a week with several issues that I was having getting set up to work at home.  He patiently guided me through accessing my desktop remotely through VPN and he assisted me in updating software.  Most importantly, several times that week, he talked to me by phone each time I had an issue. I really appreciate the time and patience that he took in assisting me."

- Robin Noonan-Price, Sprague Technology Center

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Laura Connelly, Cherry Run ES

"We are so grateful for Laura Connelly during this distance learning situation.  She stepped up and began sending (optional) classwork on Google Classroom within days of school being canceled in mid-March. Prior to spring break, she even solicited feedback on the “electronic” curriculum.  From there, she made minor adjustments but maintained the same platform, amount and type of work which has been so appreciated with all of the FCPS blackboard hiccups that occurred the last few weeks. She has been consistent from the beginning which allowed us to get into a routine with our daughter early on and maintain that routine with little disruption.  We are so grateful for Laura going over and beyond to provide an appropriate amount of work and feedback to the students during this time. Laura Connelly has been exceptional, and I just thought you all should know what a great job she has done and continues to do in this 'new normal'!"

- a Cherry Run ES Parent

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Lyndsie Galizio, South County MS

"Ms. Galizio is the SBTS at our school and to say that she has gone above and beyond to prepare our staff for Distance Learning is an understatement. She has work tirelessly and given so much of her time even on weekends to serve our students and staff. Her selfless dedication to her profession and to our school is total evidence that Ms. Galizio cares. Thank you, Lyndsie!!"

- Kathy Reese, South County MS 

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Katy Harvey, Cherry Run ES

"Katy is our school’s SBTS who has worked tirelessly day and night over the last 5 weeks. She has done numerous trainings, met with teams a countless amount of times, made herself available via email, cell, and even FB messenger. Katy is a part-time employee who has worked more hours in the last month than some teachers. She is also a mom of three, two elementary students and one toddler. While doing all of this, Katy has stayed patient and calm for all staff who have reached out for her help without one complaint or note of stress or exhaustion. She deserves much more than this award for more reasons than I can list. Thank you so much for all of your work Katy."

- Melanie Manikas, Cherry Run ES

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Brian LaChance, Keene Mill ES

"Brian is our SBTS Keene Mill Elementary School. Despite having a wife and two young children of his own, he has put in countless hours teaching and videoing outstanding lessons for the teachers at Keene Mill about how to use Blackboard Collaborate and many, many other programs and computer skills. Through it all he has had a positive attitude and has shown a genuine concern for our capabilities as we transition into Distance Learning."

- Debbie Cannon, Keene Mill ES

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Allison Bieber, Columbia ES

"Allison, a first grade teacher, went above and beyond by making an inspirational music video of all the Columbia staff for our community.  She gave the teachers choices of songs to pick, posted the song with words and dance moves, organized video sessions of the different groups/grade level staff and helped us with our parts on top of preparing for her virtual classroom.  Then she spent hours and days editing to make it come together. She was able to post it after our first unsuccessful week of Distance Learning.  It was AWESOME! I know I cried after viewing it the first time. View it on YouTube by searching CES Cougars - We're All in This Together !!!"

- Michele Del Signore, Columbia ES

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Sean Chitsaz, Laurel Hill ES

"Sean goes above and beyond to support our school and our tech needs during virtual learning. Sean is easily accessible to answer every little question. He has led our staff through many trainings to support our virtual classrooms with quick turn arounds and effectively responding to the ever changing situation. While still helping get everything live virtually, he also reaches out to teams to offer additional support with virtual teaching and resources. Thank you Sean for your dedication and countless hours of prep work! We all appreciate your calmness and support through these uncharted waters!"

- Marissa Williamson, Laurel Hill ES

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Johanna M. McCray, Fairview ES

"Ms. McCray followed up and made sure that my daughter received all the LD links and that she had all the tools for on-line instruction.  She e-mailed me after hours to make sure that we both knew the expectations.  She is professional, kind, and works well with all children to include my daughter. Distance learning has been hard for my daughter and she makes our lives easy.  She went above and beyond the call of duty.   She is a five star teacher."

- a Fairview ES Parent

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Francisco Rodriguez, Sandburg MS

"Mr. Rodriguez went above and beyond to contact parents at home, help them loan a laptop from school, and checking in on students! He’s an inspiration!"

- Delia Dragan, Sandburg MS

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Kristen Stump, Tiffany Haffner, and Arlyncia Pina, Franconia ES

"Kristen Stump, Tiffany Haffner, and Arlyncia Pina (the Third Grade team at FES) have been a force of hard work, caring, and inspiration since the closing of school. From the first day of school closure, they immediately took the initiative to reach out to their students.  They have been an AMAZING source of comfort, information, and support to their students and families since then. They have also inspired and assisted their colleagues in every aspect of distance learning. They have availed themselves of the latest technology, developed it for use in virtual learning, and shared their knowledge and resources with their colleagues. They have worked long hours tirelessly to ensure that their students and colleagues are cared for and educated during this uncertain time. They are inspirational in their dedication, professionalism, and in the boundless, selfless kindness they extend to all around them. We are so lucky to be able to share this educational journey with these amazing ladies!"

- Claire Branson, Franconia ES

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Mark Tierney, Waynewood ES

"Mr.Tierney has proved to be the most amazing SBTS . He has always supported our teachers but even more so during the past few months.  He wore many hats during the month of March as he helped teachers prepare for and navigate distance learning. He is always available to help and no ask is to big.  His positive attitude is contagious!  We are so grateful for him at Waynewood!"

- Melissa Sullivan, Waynewood ES

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Tonya Wassenberg, Laurel Ridge ES

"Tonya has worked countless hours and has been unbelievably humble about it. She has dedicated so much time to supporting her students, families and staff throughout this extraordinary closure. Tonya has been quick to turn, what seems, complex information to digestible and manageable information for her staff.  She has listened to her teachers, her families, and has always selflessly given her time to support the Laurel Ridge Community."

- Jean Wyche , Laurel Ridge ES

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Maria Gospodinoff, South Lakes HS

"Maria is our parent liaison and has been going above and beyond since the school closure. Maria has contacted families about internet access, community resources, assisted our food pantry on reaching families, delivered food bags to the families in some cases, made 3-way with faculty calls for translation assistance, and responded at a moment’s notice to our calls. Maria has been remarkable during this time and represents the epitome of FCPS Cares!"

- Chrissy Kelley, South Lakes HS


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Sandra Chetelat, Bren Mar Park ES

"Our Parent Liaison, Sandra, has been going over and beyond with our families who are in need. She has distributed food, gift cards, toys, books and school supplies for some of our families. She has been making phone calls to all families and families have been reaching out to her as she has made herself very accessible. Kudos to Sandra for bringing hope to our community during a time like this!"

- Jenny Lim, Bren Mar Park ES

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Nitin Bhatia, Sprague Technology Center

"Nitin is a member of the IT FASTeam and Blackboard Collaborate is one of many applications he supports. He helped FCPS in our quick transition to use Collaborate at a moment's notice. He prepared training documents and provided support to teachers as they prepared to use another software for Distance Learning. His calm voice and ability to work quickly was a major reason our students were able to learn. The IT FASTeam is lucky to have Nitin!"

- Nicole Mooney, Sprague Technology Center

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Lina Beardall, Greenbriar East ES

"Seeing  need for her ELL students, Lina has jumped feet first in trying to help students connect online. She personally helped one of her 1st graders learn how to use their older siblings computer to get to Google Classroom at home. She is also working on creating instructions for our parents in their native language so that they can help their children access Google Apps."

- Lori Purvis, Sprague Technology Center

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Jimmy Bochert, Sprague Technology Center

"Jimmy has worked tirelessly to setup and help with getting Mifi's to students. It has been a huge undertaking since distance learning began. I can't think him enough for all of the hard work he has put forth in ensuring our students are able to connect online."

- Lori Purvis, Sprague Technology Center

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Esteban Lopez, Sprague Technology Center

"Esteban personally delivered Mifi's that students needed to the school I support. I can't think him enough for all of the hard work he has put forth in ensuring our students are able to connect online."

- Lori Purvis, Sprague Technology Center

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Olivia Tomaselli, Greenbriar East ES

"Olivia went above and beyond helping a student who was having laptop problems at home. Not having an email address, she reached out to the student's sister and inquired if the student was doing OK and if she was able to join the online sessions. Hearing that the student was having laptop issues Olivia offered to help the student get another laptop. She came to the school, picked up a different computer and took it to the student's home. She definitely cares about her students!"

- Lori Purvis, Sprague Technology Center

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Amber Diaz, Herndon ES

"I wanted to share how proud I am of the teachers that work at Herndon. In the past month, I know we all have done many things to show we care about our students, but Amber Diaz went above and beyond today. One of our students had not been in touch with us in a few weeks. This student doesn’t have a lot of support at home. After making multiple attempts to check-in, Amber realized that this student needed extra support to access their learning. So, she drove to the child’s apartment complex and met them outside (6 feet apart, of course). She taught them how to log on, so that they could connect virtually with all of their teachers and classmates during the week. What a gracious, thoughtful and caring thing to do!"

- Melissa Keebaugh, Herndon ES

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Mary Bermingham, Key MS

"Mary, has been  amazing. Mary was ready to jump in with both feet when the current department chair was expected to leave. She was ready to put the work in, she shadowed the department chair and attended trainings in order to become more familiar with all the expectations that come with the job. I am sure, Mary had no idea what March 13, 2020 and beyond would mean for the job as an interim dept chair. I just wanted to let you know, she has really stepped up to the plate to get things done and stay positive through it all. She has been a huge support to the Key team and Key families, especially working through all of the transition IEPs by teleconference. I think it is always important to recognize people when they are awesome and Mary has been that and then some."

- Wanda Holloway, Virginia Hills Center

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Mark Stevens, Glasgow MS

"Dr. Stevens quickly embraced the new norms of teaching via distance learning and provided engaging sessions to students during the down time when nothing else was happening, providing some sense of normality and connection to school work. His detailed instructions and effective communication with parents put him in a special league of teachers who demonstrated to kids how to be resilient, agile and continue to be productive in difficult times. I plan to give him a huge warm hug when I finally meet him in person."

- a Glasgow MS Parent

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Chrissy Spaulding, Justice HS

"Thank you Chrissy for the many hours of patiently waiting outside the school in mask and gloves for students and staff to retrieve items they need for distance learning. Thank you for keeping us all safe and 6 feet apart and yet making us feel welcomed and cared for."

- Jewel Orem, Justice HS

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Karen Baxter, Lynbrook ES

"Since schools have been closed, Karen Baxter has worked relentlessly to learn, prepare, communicate, and teach her colleagues the latest technology for virtual learning.  She has spent countless hours creating links for each teacher and redoing them as soon as they needed to be changed.  Karen has delivered each wave of change with positivity and assurance that we will do what it takes to help our students continue to learn even though our building is closed.  Not only does Karen's positivity shine through her emails, but she does not hesitate to offer multiple teaching sessions to make sure all staff can attend, especial those who are juggling family at home.  In addition, she offers her time to help staff understand unfamiliar technology and spends extra hours putting together videos of teachers for our virtual news show.  Karen deserves to be recognized for going above and beyond during such a critical time."

- Elizabeth Caruso, Lynbrook ES

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Brian Sladki, Craig Coraggio, Karen Patel, Michael Woodring, & Liz Smith, Aldrin ES

"I just wanted to extend my appreciation for the 5th grade teachers at Aldrin Elementary.  They have worked tirelessly through the changes and hiccups in distance learning for my son and his peers.  Their hard work is evident in all of materials they have put together for their students, making this complicated situation as simple to follow and aesthetically pleasing so that both kids and parents understand and know where to go.  They have worked so hard and I want to recognize them for their awesomeness! Thank you so much!!"

- an Aldrin ES Parent

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Linda Chang, Willow Oaks

"I was working on creating meaningful packets for students who didn't have internet access and was so absorbed that I forgot to fill in time sheets for 3 weeks. Then when I went to fill them in I kept messing them up over and over and over. I had things in the wrong boxes - too late - all kinds of problems. Then the system wouldn't let us in - or I messed that up too. Linda was so patient with me. Not once did any email seem cranky or like I was an idiot. I just felt like she would help no matter how bad I was messing things up. Then the next day, I got an email saying she had fixed everything for me and all I needed to do was this weeks. My stress over this was gone. I was actually thinking "well, I messed it up...my fault if I don't get paid". I just wanted to say thank you to her. I'm definitely going to stop by to hug her when this virus thing is done!"

- Melissa Farrace, Kilmer MS

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Misty Edwards, Sprague Technology Center

"I wanted to express how grateful and impressed I am with our new TSSPec, Misty Edwards.  She is responsive, resourceful, organized, works efficiently, and just the best all around.  I’m so sad that we are not able to be “in person” with her during the weeks since we have been out of the building. She has lots of potential!"

-  Julie Easa, Bailey's ES

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Krista Murphy, Lake Braddock SS

"Krista has been invaluable to our 10th grade team in our new "virtual" environment.  Her Driver Education assignments were virtual before we needed them to be!! I'm lucky as we've transitioned into a new phase of teaching that I can lean on the things she's already put in place to help me help my students navigate the "new" phase of education.!! Thanks Krista!!"

- Bob Digby, Lake Braddock SS


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Jason Covey, Willow Oaks

"Throughout the implementation of distance learning, Jason has been an incredible support.  He clearly answers all of my questions within minutes, researches concerns and gets back to me quickly, and checks in to see if the provided resources are helpful.  Our school truly appreciates the effort and support Jason has provided!  THANK YOU, Jason, for all that you continue to do for our school!!"

- Beth Levy, Eagle View ES

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Daniel Smith  & Lindsey Kearns, Lake Braddock SS

"Daniel and Lindsey have both been busting their butts for weeks now and I think last night’s virtual Principal Coffee was a showcase of all the hard work they both have put in. It was clear the majority of the parents were truly appreciative and grateful for the opportunity to connect with them and the school.

I think the forum was better than an in-person event because:

1.  The participation was more than most principal's coffees. (At its height more than 150 people were participating).

2.  Even though the participants were far apart it seemed to be more intimate because the families were able to see Daniel and Lindsey sincerely answering all of the parent questions from their homes.  I felt really proud to work at Lake Braddock last night. From everything our teachers are doing to Daniel and Lindsey putting themselves out there and doing what’s best for our students and their families."

- Lance Jackson, Lake Braddock SS

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Bob Digby, Lake Braddock SS

"Mr. Bob Digby has been a coach, teacher, and mentor for over 30 years at Lake Braddock.  He has been and continues to lead and impress the entire Burke community with his dedication and passion.  This week he was able to conduct two Partner's for Safe Teen Driving presentations, virtually, for over 60 students and families and delivered each with high quality and professionalism.  His desire for the successes of his students in unparalleled.  It's a pleasure to have the opportunity to know and work with a person that possesses the work ethic, pride, and grace he displays each day."

- Joe Soos, Lake Braddock SS

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Amanda Ehinger, McNair ES

"I would like to share with you the enjoyment I have had working with my colleague, Amanda Ehinger.  She has been a phenomenal teacher to her students, including their families.  She has shown professionalism, support, patience, and kindness towards the difficult situations that have appeared over the year; especially, since this is her first year working with a special education teacher and students.  She continues with her strong work ethic, even during this new, unknown, distant learning time.  Ms. Ehinger keeps me in the loop with Kindergarten happenings, as well as including me as a K team member towards her everyday work family. This virtual work environment hasn’t altered her spirit, her perspective, or her obligation, whatsoever! She is a special teacher, and I'm thankful to work with her."

- Adrienne Rafat, McNair ES

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Jessica Trexler, Stonecroft Transportation  

"Jessica has been instrumental in training the Area 3 staff, and many others in the Office of Transportation, how to utilize Google Classroom in order to maintain communication with all the drivers and attendants.  Jessica took the initiative to learn the structure of Google classroom, and train the rest of the staff, to ensure all employees of OTS are connected. Thank you for being a silver lining in this pandemic!"

- Tina Hunt, Stonecroft Transportation

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Kim Shaw, Orange Hunt ES

"Our daughter is a first grade student in Mrs. Shaw's class at Orange Hunt Elementary School.  Last night, Mrs. Shaw drove throughout the community putting signs (that she purchased) in each students' yard that said, "My Teacher Misses Me."  It was such an amazing surprise for our daughter to receive during the school closure.  Mrs. Shaw has always been a devoted teacher to her students, but this goes above and beyond.  It really made everyone in our family smile.  My daughter said, "I wish Mrs. Shaw could go with me to second grade."  She exemplifies the teacher you want and hope for your child to have!"

- Orange Hunt ES Parents

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Allen Dickens, Woodson HS

"Mr. Dickens has been very helpful in communicating with my child during the school closure.   I had an issue with a typo in my email address and he found my work email and wrote me and I was able to update my address in blackboard. His notes are very helpful and help keep anxiety about school lower for my child.  Many thanks for the wonderful support my child and family has received and we look forward to thanking Mr. Dickens in person someday."

- a Woodson HS Parent

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Julie Robinson, Willow Oaks

"Ms. Robinson was very proactive in reaching out to ensure my child was well through this trying time.   She set up a counselors corner for the students in CSS and was very supportive and offered good ideas on keeping well during this time."

- a Woodson HS Parent

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Bryna Erickson, Lake Braddock SS

"Throughout this school year of teaching our freshman daughter, Ms. Erickson has maintained not only a sense of professionalism, but more importantly, a sense of care and love for her calling - educating students.  Our daughter, who lives with a chronic medical condition requiring 24-hour care, as well as multiple learning disabilities, entered Algebra 1 with fear and trepidation after many years of struggling through math and going through years of private tutoring.  Ms. Erickson has been able to truly instill (dare I say?) a semi-enjoyment in the very subject our daughter spent years crying over. As if that alone was not enough, Ms. Erickson has been incredible with communications with me regarding medically-related issues or concerns with our daughter.  She went above and beyond trying to help find resources for our daughter's emotional well-being during a challenging health time, and Ms. Erickson did all of this with care, sensitivity, and a spirit of love and spunk!  It can be scary to send your child who is still only a year into a major medical diagnosis to such a large school from a much smaller one; it is scary to send your child with learning disabilities and a major fear of math into a high school algebra class...however, Ms. Erickson has proven to embody the Bruin spirit.  As we are now working through distance learning, she has maintained an open door with her students, obviously missing them yet demonstrating their importance through the check-ins and emails.  Her priority is first and foremost for her students' well-being, and that has made all the difference (along with great communication to parents as well)! Thank you to Ms. Erickson, who has truly made our daughter's first year in public school such a valuable and lovely experience!"

- Lake Braddock SS Parent

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Leslie Lewis, Steve Upthegrove, Ananth Kandalai, South County HS

"The South County HS Tech Cadre team would like to recognize our fantastic SBTS Leslie Lewis and our steadfast TSPEC team of Steve Upthegrove and Ananth Kandalai for their outstanding service to the South County staff.  Ms. Lewis has demonstrated the highest level of resilience and optimism as we continue our journey into Distance Learning at SCHS. She has guided us and listened to our feedback to create a comfortable learning space for ALL staff members.  Leslie has always “kept it real” with us. As teachers we appreciate her honesty and thoughtfulness as we try to plan instruction for our classes. Our TSPEC team of Steve and Ananth have kept not only our staff members laptops and student computers running during this time but have also participated in supporting the SCHS pyramid hardware needs. Additionally, Steve and Ananth have answered our many Request IT’s tickets in a timely manner. On behalf of the SCHS Tech Cadre, thank YOU Leslie for “being 100” with us and thank YOU Steve and Ananth for being there for our staff daily. Respectfully submitted by the 2020 South County Tech Cadre team."

- Lisa K Muir and South County HS Tech Cadre Team, South County HS

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Denise Forrest, Willow Oaks

"Denise is an amazing team member.  She offered to help with a task last week and went above and beyond in completing the task.  Not only did she complete the task quickly, she also took the next step for me which doubled her workload, helped me immensely, and assisted all of OSEI in supporting our customers!!  Denise, your support is extremely appreciated!! Thank you!!"

- Ellie Stack, Willow Oaks

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Kevin Lawton, SpragueTechnology Center
 
"Kevin Lawton has demonstrated outstanding service when handling our multiple requests for Learn360 assistance and Copyright questions on behalf of our teachers. We would like to thank him for his support in supporting our staff in the Distance learning platform. Kevin is generous with his time and his knowledge on both subject matters is level of EXPERT. On behalf of the Librarians at South County, thank YOU Kevin for going above and beyond for our teachers and helping us with these issues."

- Lisa Muir and Emily Strong, South County HS

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Deborah McCoy, Newington Forest ES

"With the closing of Blackboard Monday, teachers were asked to put together an alternative assignment very quickly.  Miss McCoy and her teammates were able to put together a wonderful video lesson for their 2nd grade classes in a quick turn around.  It was professional, well executed, and very charismatic for the students.  My son was very engaged and excited to have a video, lesson, and materials to do for her.  She has been extremely professional, kind, and caring to the students through this and we wanted to let her and her teammates know how much their 2nd grade community appreciates it."

 
- a Newington Forest ES Parent

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Brian Sladki, Aldrin ES

"Brian Sladki has demonstrated leadership and an exceptional work ethic his entire time at Aldrin, but all the more now that he and his peers have been faced with the unique challenge of building a distance learning program in the face of COVID 19. Under his guidance the 5th grade team put together a stellar set of materials that are cohesive and easy to follow. Despite the disastrous challenges of Blackboard, they have managed to make our students feel the same love and support that they always received within the building. Brian was the sun on this team of shining stars and we are so grateful to them all for going above and beyond."

- an Aldrin ES Parent

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Kate Adams, Graham Road Community Center

"I want to thank Kate Adams for captioning our parent videos.  I know she is working so hard to  make sure all her students in the DHOH and VI program are being supported and getting the parents are having some concerns around behavior, she made sure that the ABA Videos were captioned to be put on the web. Thanks, Kate for putting kids and parents first!"

- Tina Wilkerson, Willow Oaks

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Shira Brothers, Willow Oaks

"I want to thank Shira Brothers for arranging to have our parent videos captioned.  I know her teams is working so hard to  make sure her all her students in the DHOH and VI program are being supported and getting the access to instruction that they need. At the same, knowing that parents are having some concerns around behavior, she made sure that the ABA Videos were captioned for us. Thanks, team for putting kids and parents first!"

- Tina Wilkerson, Willow Oaks

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Ashley Ytzen, Lake Braddock SS

"During our transition to distance learning, Ashley has been an invaluable resource, making the time to do one-on-one tutorial sessions with colleagues to help them learn new technologies.  No matter what you ask for help with, her answer is a "yes" and a smile. She is an awesome colleague and educator."

- Jenny Iverson, Lake Braddock SS

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Ivert Cuellar Valverde, Patrick Reilly, Silverbrook ES

"Amidst the challenges of today, both Patrick and Ivert have demonstrated a significant level of professionalism and commitment to our school community.  They have readily made themselves available through several means (BBCU, email, cell phone call and text) to support us. Kudos to Patrick and Ivert for a job well done!  It has been reassuring to know that we have them to rely on."

Carmen Pangelinan, Silverbrook ES

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Scott Dreier, Nick See, Semuel Hackett, Sprague Technology Center

"I want to thank our TSPECS for putting themselves on the front lines to get our students the technology they need to be prepared for distance learning. In addition, this is long overdue but thank you for all you do for us on a daily basis...answering our questions, putting patches/fixes on our computers...we could not make it without you."

- Tre Fava, Lake Braddock SS

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Carin Frank, Stacy Delaney, Lake Braddock SS

"I just want to thank Carin and Stacy for their tireless work and efforts to keep us in the know.  They have been stretched thin working all hours to keep the school up to date.  Thank you for all you do on the daily but what you have done for us."

- Tre Fava, Lake Braddock SS

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Joan Brown, Woodson HS

"Joan has done an amazing job as our SBTS at Woodson.  She has been answering emails non-stop, offering trainings at a moment's notice, and has kept a smile on her face through this whole transition to online learning."

- Lee Hedrick, Woodson HS

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Anthony Harris, Danielle Hornbecker, Melanie Porter, Joe Berret, Linda Shannon, Kenya Champ, Meghan Short, Frost MS

"Due to the teamwork and dedication of Anthony, Melanie, Danielle, Joe, Linda, Kenya, and Meghan we are not only surviving this time but continuing to maintain connections  and supporting staff and students. You have made these challenging times way more bearable. Thank you!"

- Laura Reed, Frost MS

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Kristen Eberhardt-Izzo, Ayanna Bundy, Lesley Morgan, Hollin Meadows ES

"In the weeks since FCPS has been closed, I have been impressed and appreciative of the many ways that my daughter and son's teachers have maintained contact with their students and their families, provided information and resources, and demonstrated that they cared about my children and all children they support. Their first day of virtual learning sessions were very successful - they were organized and well prepared, knew the Blackboard Collaborate Ultra tools, were creative and caring when connecting with their students, and much more.  I feel very fortunate that my kids had the opportunity to have these teachers this school year, both in school and virtually.  All three of them exemplify why HMES Cares!"

- a Hollin Meadows ES Parent

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Leydi Uoy, Joni Smith, Erin Snell, Bull Run ES

"Erin, Joni, and Uoy have been part of the team generating content for the Early Childhood Special Education Packets. They have poured countless hours into this endeavor to ensure our littlest of learners have access to distance learning.  Thank you so much for all the energy and creativity you have put into making these learning packets so amazing."

- Kelly Galbraith, Willow Oaks

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Christine Johnson, Dunn Loring Center

"Mrs. Johnson has been part of the team generating content for the Early Childhood Special Education Packets. She has poured countless hours into this endeavor to ensure our littlest of learners have access to distance learning. Thank you so much for all the energy and creativity you have put into making these learning packets so amazing."

- Kelly Galbraith, Willow Oaks

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Jane Dunfee, Mantua ES

"Jane Dunfee, Mantua Elementary School’s SBTS exemplifies the charter of the FCPS Cares recognition program.  During the course of a typical school year Ms. Dunfee’s tireless and competent work with staff, students, administrators, and the SBTS community for the betterment of all involved. In the current virtual learning situation Ms. Dunfee’s CARE for FCPS and Mantua ES has been highlighted by her orchestration of the changing technology, the related staff trainings needed, identification and delivery of student technology needs, determining the best course forward, and serving as a facilitator to administrators and teachers. Highlighted is Ms.Dunfee’s ability to maintain a positive attitude and professional demeanor despite our constant and repeated questions and ongoing requests for assistance. Jane stays online late and gets back on early, providing clear and correct guidance while running multiple back-to-back sessions for teachers, creating links, supporting administrators, and attending her own SBTS meetings. In these ways, and so many more, this virtual learning situation has brought the depth and breadth of Jane Dunfee’s CARE for FCPS and Mantua ES in to clear focus for all involved. She deserves to be recognized celebrated for her efforts beyond the virtual walls of Mantua ES."

- Nick Rousos, Mantua ES 

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Rejane Martinez, Fort Belvoir Upper ES

"Dr. Rejane Martinez has done an awesome job of organizing this virtual platform.  One of the parents that I spoke to stated that she did an outstanding job of providing parents with a colorful, easy to access spreadsheet with all of the hyperlinks he needed to access his child's teachers effortlessly.  You Rock Martinez!"

- Kimberly Bokini, Fort Belvoir Upper ES

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Sarah Olson, Justice HS 

"Sarah, it would seem, has been working around the clock / 24-7 to help us all set up our tech solutions for our classrooms. I am very thankful that she has been able to teach this old dog some new tricks. I sometimes have trouble adapting to new technologies, but Sarah has (1) lead training sessions (2) created training materials (3) checked in with me personally and (4) answered questions with a cheerful attitude. Her attitude is contagious. It's her support that makes it possible for me to be ready to teach my students. And I am sure that the rest of my teammates/teachers at Justice would agree we would have been in a much worse shape without Sarah's help."

- Roger Schellenberg, Justice HS

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Linda Greten, Anna Colaric, Mark Purdy, Anne Buellesbach, Shane Thurston, Dana Calamito, Carrie Bachmann, Lake Braddock SS

"I can't thank my Pre-Algebra CT enough for all their hard work with distance learning. They have come together, worked tirelessly, and contributed to the greater good for what's best for our students more than I could ever imagine. Thank you so much for being so AMAZING, so accommodating and so flexible. I am so lucky to work with such a phenomenal group of educators."

- Maya Nardone, Lake Braddock SS

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Sarah Olson, Justice HS

"Sarah Olson serves as an SBTS and Instructional Coach at Justice High School and I can't put into words how fortunate we've been to have her serving our students and staff during this time.  She has worked tirelessly to meet the ever-changing needs of teachers by creating 100+ Blackboard Collaborate links, helping teachers with the endless tech resources we now rely on and always being there whenever there's a question.  There's been thousands of questions in the past four weeks. The adaptations that the county and our school have had to make have been understandably extreme but during this time I feel that because of Sarah's work our staff has been able to keep themselves grounded and not overwhelmed. Thank you so much, Sarah."

- Jason Kagarise, Justice HS

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Lupe Fuentes, Cardinal Forest ES

"Lupe is the Parent Liaison at cardinal Forest Elementary School.  Lupe works with all of the Spanish speaking families at our school.  Before the federal emergency Lupe spent hours working with teachers to reach out to families at our school.  She did this by arranging and sitting in on parent/ teacher conferences.  She made phone calls and helped translate flyers to help encourage families to attend school events.  She attended equity committee meetings before and after school to become more knowledgeable about how to help spread equity amount our Spanish speaking students and families.  Since we have been working from home Lupe has worked with administrators and teachers to help our Spanish speaking families be included in our distance learning community.  She has helped arrange for students to get computers. She has also spent hours helping students gain an understanding of how to connect to the internet. Cardinal Forest is very lucky to have Mrs. Fuentes working at our school."

- Carla Richter, Cardinal Forest ES

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Tina Hunt, Stonecroft Transportation

"One of my students left her laptop on a bus the last day before the closure. Tina went to great lengths to get the laptop from the bus and delivered to her home by actually making two trips to her home. She was highly professional throughout the multiple emails and interactions required between all of the parties involved in the process."

- Paula Gutierrez, Greenbriar East ES
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Jennifer Fulton, Robinson SS

"During this pandemic, connections are so important for everyone, especially students. Mrs. Fulton found a way to connect with her students in a tried, but true way- she sent them a handwritten postcard. As an educator myself, I wanted to recognize her because we tend to hear about the efforts of elementary school teachers, and sometimes we overlook the work of our high school teachers. Thank you Mrs. Fulton!! It was warmly and greatly received and appreciated."

- Anna Wojcik, Fairview ES

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Charity Coates, Hayfield SS

"Ms. Coates is a dedicated and loyal instructional assistant that does not give up in the face of adversity. She serves her students and community with a servant's heart and she has done so for almost two decades as a Hayfield Hawk. With all of the new expectations and requirements placed on FCPS teachers, Ms. Coates has done everything in her power to stay connected with her teachers and students. She can be found many days, motivating her students to keep working, not to give up, and to persevere under any circumstance. Most people talk the talk but cannot walk the walk. This is not true for Ms. Coates. She exemplifies these qualities by sitting in Hayfield's parking lot, dialing into every meeting that is required, while patiently waiting to be given the required technology to connect with her students and teachers. She is a quiet hero who deserves to be recognized for her consistent perseverance, loyalty, and commitment to her students, teachers, and FCPS as a whole."

- Rachel Johnson, Hayfield SS

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Rejane Martinez, Ft. Belvoir Upper ES

"Rejane is a dedicated colleague. She has been our team’s saving grace when it comes to sharing data, and sharing her technological skills.  She  began offering technology classes in February, every other Thursday, to whomever needed help and was willing to come in an hour before work began. This was in addition to her other responsibilities required from our work site. For instance, we voted to have committee meetings conducted before work rather than using our planning time.  Even though we are working from home, she is still conducting training sessions in her virtual office!  She is a gem that should be recognized.   She has been working tirelessly, to help this transition to go smoothly, and all she says is, 'This is fun. I enjoy technology.'"

- Grace Fitzgerald, Ft. Belvoir Upper ES

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Jennifer Barry, Sprague Technology Center

"Jennifer has spent hours with technology distribution for distance learning. Thank you for supporting our students!"

Laura Dougherty, South County MS

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Marcia Salgado Campos, Lake Braddock SS

"Our LBSS staff was super busy the week prior to spring break reaching out to their students reminding them that Distance Learning begins on Tuesday April 14th. I reached out to one of our bi-lingual Administrative Assistants, Marcia Salgado, and solicited her help because of her positive relationships with so many of our students and their parents, especially Spanish speaking families. She is a natural; so confident and welcoming.  The week prior to spring break, regardless the time of day or night, Ms. Salgado was relentless in contacting those parents who have not been so easy to reach. She even called me into one phone conversation and translated as I spoke. Ms. Salgado did whatever it took to ensure that parents responded, and clearly understood the expectations and supports we, as staff, needed to communicate on behalf of their child. Thank you, Ms. Salgado for stepping in to help, during this time of need. As you so eloquently indicated to me........team work!"

- Amy Soos, Lake Braddock SS

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John Greenwood, Sprague Technology Center

"John has been indispensable as our school sets up for distance learning. He hasn't seemed "distant" at all, addressing emails quickly and communicating with staff all over the county to get our RequestITs done. For our library, he also helped to quickly set up an Outlook account for students to submit questions to the library. Thanks, John!"

- - Danielle Powers, Frost MS

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Laura Reed, Frost MS

"This is a challenging time for all of us in FCPS as we transition to distance learning. I feel that our school is prepared and ready to go thanks to Laura's leadership. Her calm demeanor and infinite patience is a huge help and a model for us all. Thank you, Laura! I can't imagine getting through this experience without her and the rest of our amazing leadership."

- Danielle Powers, Frost MS

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Richard Waltz, Sprague Technology Center

"Mr. Waltz worked quickly and efficiently to set up an Outlook account for our library in order to field questions from students for distance learning. He communicated several times to make sure he met our needs. I want to thank him for lowering my stress level and providing exemplary service in this unusual time. Thanks, Richard!!"

- Danielle Powers, Frost MS

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Bertha Sanders, Herdon ES

"I am a full custodial single mother of an outgoing and energetic 5 year old daughter who attends kindergarten at Hunter Woods Elementary. However, I am writing to nominate Ms. Bertha Sanders, a KG teacher at Herndon Elementary School. I met Ms. Sanders in mid-March at an area store when I was shopping with my child, to prepare for the statewide shut-down. I had recently lost my job and Ms. Sanders offered emotional support during these uncertain times. She also took an interest in my child, who has struggled in her first year of school and is not on track with the rest of her classmates for reading. Ms. Sanders has kept in touch with me and provided me with many tips and guidance on helping to foster my daughter's interest in learning to read and comprehend written words.  She also informed me of Comcast/Xfinity Internet Essentials program for low-income families. It is because of her that my child will now have access to distance-learning online resources being provided by FCPS teachers like Ms. Sanders.  As the sole physical, economic, and emotional support provider for my child I cannot express how much the guidance and support Ms. Sanders has shown to me and my child means. She is not my daughter's teacher, but her care and compassion has really been a bright star in our lives during these difficult times. Her passion for helping all young students gain confidence and interest in learning also shines through. She's not my daughter's teacher, so the fact that she has remained in touch and provided the emotional support and many teaching tips to me over the past month is truly outstanding. Her students are blessed to have her and FCPS and community is blessed to have her.  I nominate Ms. Bertha Sanders of Herndon Elementary School for the CARES award."

- a Hunter Woods ES Parent

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Dave Waite, Sprague Technology Center

"On April 7, 2020, I put an IT Ticket in with the IT Service Desk regarding an issue with my laptop.  It stopped connecting to FCPS.edu and FCPS.net which was making things very difficult working from home.  My laptop was running extremely slow.  David Waite called me on my cell number and resolved the issue quickly for me.  The issue was that my laptop had not been updated with the latest version of Lightspeed. David installed that version on my laptop and I am now up and running at top speed.  I just wanted to give kudos to David for a job well done and in a very professional manner as well. Thanks David!!!!"

- Janet Montgomery, Woodson IT

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Kerrissa Watson, Lorton Center

"More than two weeks into school's Coronavirus closure, a counselee contacted me about leaving his guitar on his School Bus. Kerrissa took it upon herself to go to Bus #33's location, and she found the guitar. However, she even did more by delivering the guitar personally to the student. I cannot thank her enough and for going above and beyond!"

- Lynda Samek-Sith, Lake Braddock SS

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Karl Bittner, Colvin Run ES

"Schools are closed because of the COVID-19, but learning has not stopped, thanks to the 4th-grade team and our classroom teacher Mr. Karl Bittner at Colvin Run Elementary. Mr. Bittner has been in touch with his students via weekly email updates, just like he has done in the past during the school year. Along with his colleagues, Mr. Bittner has put together the 4th Grade Continued Learning Board in a very short time. He provides clear and detailed instructions for students to keep engaged and participate in distance learning actives in subjects like Math, Science, Social Study, Language Arts, Music and more. Mr. Bittner also encourages his students to continue to read, designate outdoor time, do exercises, and talk about their feelings if they have fears about what is happening.  Mr. Bittner is a true hero for his students! We are lucky to have him as our teacher."

- a Colvin Run ES parent

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Meghan Short, Frost MS

"Meghan has been very instrumental in supporting the school Admin and SBTS with the launch of our distance learning site, as well as being present with CLTs to help teachers navigate through these uncharted waters.  Her contributions have been invaluable and we would not be where we are without her!"

- The Frost MS Administration Team

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Mollie Kropp and Kate Adams, Frost MS

"Thank you to Kate and Mollie for all of their hard work to ensure resources to support our deaf and hard of hearing staff and students & their teachers have what they need to be successful during this distance learning experience. I would be on your team again anytime. Thank you for your dedication, time, & knowledge!"

- Laura Reed, Frost MS

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Elizabeth Hurst, Kings Glen ES

"Elizabeth Hurst has been extremely professional and patient with the entire Kings Glen staff while guiding us through the distance learning process.  Her clear concise lessons are very much appreciated.  So glad that she records them, so we can go over the material presented a few times. I'm so glad we have Elizabeth to help us through these trying times."

- Jean Landy, Kings Glen ES