FCPS Cares - January 2019

By Department of Human Resources
FCPS Cares
January 09, 2019

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

To view past submissions, please visit our previous submissions page

FCPS Cares of the Month Recipients

Central Office: Christina Young, Lorton Transportation Center

"Christina is such a great co-worker, goes out of her way to be helpful, and always kind. On Jan. 25th, Christina searched the entire Lorton Center looking for my lost eyeglasses (as I waited on hold). She came back on the line out of breath and said she was sorry, she looked everywhere and didn't find them. I was so touched by her kindness. Christina CARES about her co-workers, and it shows!"

- Barbara Davis, Lorton Transportation Center

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Region 1: Andrew Coleman – Dranesville Elementary School 

"My three children recently relocated from MA to Herndon and my son (who is on the Spectrum and has ADHD) was placed in Mr. Coleman’s class. From Day one, Mr. Coleman has gone above and beyond to make my son feel comfortable and communicate with me. I was so nervous about his transition but Mr. Coleman has been a godsend. He truly cares about how my son is feeling and doing and my child feels safe with him. I am so thankful that my kids transitioned into such a loving community."

- a parent from Dranesville ES

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Region 2: Cassie Hudec, Bren Mar Park ES

"Today Mrs. Hudec was called for help in a situation where another student needed to go to the clinic for a new pair of pants. The pants in the clinic were entirely too big for this student, so Mrs. Hudec punched an extra notch in her belt and gave her own belt to this student to keep his pants up the rest of the day. This is not the first time Mrs. Hudec has gone above and beyond to make her students feel comfortable. In the past, she has done things like worn fake glasses (since she doesn't have a prescription herself) in order for one of her students to feel comfortable in his new glasses. She constantly does selfless things like this because she genuinely cares about all students."

- Jess Russell, Bren Mar Park ES

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Region 3: Pearl Graham, Stratford Landing ES (Pictured)

"Pearl is the amazing website curator at Stratford Landing Elementary School. She has done an incredible job this year of helping to revamp the school website and to add many features which benefit the students, parents, staff, and community. Her robust events calendar is set up in a way that displays many of the events all the way through the end of the school year so that stakeholders are in the know for planning purposes. She has been involved in the process of adding an updated attendance form as well as the creation of a change in transportation form. Both of these allow for a more streamlined and simple process for parents to communicate with the school’s attendance office. She scheduled a photo shoot to show all of the many additions since the school’s recent renovation. She continually replaces the homepage photo with pictures from this shoot and from other photos taken during the school, each new picture with smiling faces while showing a different element of the student body. She is extremely thorough in her work, asks thought-provoking questions, seeks clarification when needed, is timely with email exchanges, and is very, very positive. She has added five features to the website since the start of this school year, each one spotlighting something unique happening within the school. Her homepage is full of well-written announcements and serves as one of the many methods that the school communicates with parents about happenings at the school. I have been highly impressed through each of my experiences with her as I’ve helped her with some additions and features with the SLES school website. Her website is the face of the school and, in her role as an office assistant, her smiling face is one of the first students and parents see each day when they walk past the main office."

- Bryan Buser, Gatehouse Administration Center

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Region 4: Sam Elson, Christine Ritter, Rebecca O'Neill, Eileen Castelli, Natalie Wiles, Stephanie Smith, Kings Glen ES

"We have two boys with additional needs who attend Kings Glen Elementary School. Mr. Elson and Dr. Ritter do masterful work in "keying" into the comprehensive needs of our boys, as well as all the needs of the Kings Glen Students. My boys' teachers (Ms. Castelli, Ms. O'Neill, Ms. Wiles, and Ms. Smith) work conscientiously with them to ensure they are reaching their fullest level of potential and results.  We have the highest regard for the Kings Glen Administration and Teaching Staff. Much appreciation for all they do. Please acknowledge their efforts. Thank you!"

- a Kings Glen ES parent

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Region 5: Karen Harris, McNair ES

"While Ms. Harris is McNair's reading specialist, she does so much more to support our students, staff, and their families beyond the scope of her job role. She makes time to meet with families when they have questions about their child's reading progress and how to best support them. She supports classroom teachers with building their capacity as well as implementing best practices with reading instruction in their classroom. Ms. Harris also supports teams with working through components of the CLT cycle by offering them constructive and honest feedback. Recently, Ms. Harris collaborated with a team facing a challenging situation and supported them with working through it. We are so grateful for Ms. Harris and all that she does to support our school community!"

- Melissa Goddin, McNair ES

fcps cares - lorton
Christina Young from Lorton Transportation Center is recognized by her colleagues after receiving a January FCPS Cares.

Other FCPS Cares of the Month Submissions for January 2019

Whitney Bailey, West Potomac HS

"There are a few people so exceptionally engaged in the welfare of the individuals they serve that they are veritable heroes for these students. Whitney Bailey is one such hero. She consistently demonstrates superlative dedication to those students whose potential for reaching their personal educational and/or employment acme, without her commitment to securing every available resource and opportunity, would surely be at significant risk. Whitney is a pillar of educational ethics and collaborative professionalism, but she is also notably welcoming to all students, staff, and parents. It is a pleasure to nominate her for the FCPS Cares recognition."

- Camilla Nordh, West Potomac HS

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Lisa Sonntag, King's Glen ES

"I use January 31, 2019, as my "date of experience," when in reality I have witnessed Ms. Sonntag for a year and in particular this school year. As an Instructional Assistant here at King's Glen it has been my fortune to witness Ms. Sonntag and how she works and relates to the students entrusted with her. Ms. Sonntag is known as the quirky lady who drinks coffee. I'm not sure how many of the faculty here at King's Glen, most of all who've been here much longer than I, really know the asset Ms. Sonntag is to this school and primarily the students she instructs. The students Ms. Sonntag teaches range in various degrees of special needs and I've witnessed her daily caring for each child. Her class may consist of approximately ten students at a time, but it may as well be thirty for the individual attention they need and Ms. Sonntag readily provides. I've never witnessed an educator who clearly cares for and hopes for their students. These kids may not be aware of how lucky they are, hopefully, they do."

- Frank Hall, King's Glen ES

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Mary Ann Hedlund, Cherry Run ES

"Ms. Hedlund goes above and beyond every day to make sure each of her students not only enjoys learning but does not fall through the cracks. She has taken extra time to research ideas and tailor worksheets and other learning tools for our son so that he can learn in a way that works for him and plays to his strengths. She is determined to see him succeed and as a result, so is he! We absolutely adore Ms. Hedlund and are so grateful to her for her love of teaching and sincere dedication to her students. Thank you!"

- a Cherry Run ES parent

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Barbara Barb, Laura Organek, Megan Spain, Pam Rhodes, Sarah Nguyen, and Rose Kraus, Sprague Center

"I would like to send a HUGE THANK YOU to the ITFASTeam. You always do an excellent job helping me whenever I pick up the phone or put in a ticket. As an SBTS new to high school, I have had many, many, many questions. Thank you for all you do!"

- Emily Phelan, Chantilly HS

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Mary Beth Harrison-Cunningham, Dunn Loring Center

"Wow! A big thanks to Mary Beth Harrison-Cunningham and the FCPS Parent Resource Center. Groveton ES hosted a family meeting for our sixth-grade families focused on mental health and wellness, specifically suicide, self-harm, and depression. When asked to participate in our community meeting, the answer was an immediate yes! Not only did they have a thorough library of resources, but their care and compassion for our families were also evident. In a short period of time, they built relationships and trust in our community and provided our families with a plethora of tools and resources that would help support their child’s mental health and wellness. Families were thankful for the support and left with many important tools and resources. Thank you!"

- Kevin Morris, Groveton ES

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Sean McCormally, South County HS

"Mr. McCormally goes above and beyond when it comes to student safety and student academic concerns. He readily makes himself available to meet with students, to participate in parent conferences, and to communicate any concerns he has for the well-being of students or staff. He has boundless energy to always do the right thing for other people and he is very much appreciated for his support and care for FCPS students and families."

- Jeremiah Caven, South County HS

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Jenny Champagne, Frost MS

"Within her first year as a teacher at Frost Middle School, Ms. Champagne has become an active and engaged member of our faculty. She recently stepped up to help one of our reading teachers plan a school-wide professional development opportunity for instructional staff. The focus was to help build their capacity to support the progress of student literacy skills, which is a focus of our School Innovation and Improvement Plan (SIIP). Without hesitation, she jumped right in and not only planned but also facilitated one of two learning sessions. Teachers were able to engage in collaborative learning that built their capacity in either instructional strategies for teaching disciplinary writing or in giving feedback on content-area writing. Teachers were able to self-select which session they would attend. Ms. Champagne facilitated the feedback session which was a highly anticipated offering with a large number of staff opting to attend. She presented a two-track agenda, one related to the session’s topic and the other modeling Best Practices where she demonstrated effective instructional strategies that teachers could use when teaching about disciplinary writing. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive, as demonstrated by an exit survey that showed 90% of staff felt it was meaningful and would positively impact their teaching. We are so grateful for her to be a Frost Falcon!"

- Melanie Porter, Frost MS

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Carolyn Finley, Frost MS

"Within her first year as a reading teacher at Frost Middle School, Ms. Finely has become a valued and engaged member of our faculty. She recently stepped up to plan a school-wide professional development opportunity for staff that helped build their capacity to support the progress of student literacy skills. She led our literacy committee in designing two breakout sessions that were differentiated to meet the various needs of staff. Through her leadership, teachers were able to engage in collaborative learning that built their capacity in either the instructional strategies for teaching disciplinary writing or in giving feedback on content-area writing. Teachers were able to self-select which session they would attend. This format gave teachers choice in what they wanted to learn which resulted in a high-level of engagement as evidenced by the overwhelmingly positive feedback from staff. Through an exit survey, 90% of staff reported feeling that this PD was meaningful and would positively impact their teaching. We are truly thankful to have such a knowledgeable, yet humble teacher leader here at Frost MS."

- Melanie Porter, Frost MS

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Janene Pack, Lake Braddock SS

"Ms. Janene Pack is a counselor at Lake Braddock Secondary School. She has been helping my senior student in so many ways that I have run out of words to thank her. Her help and dedication were authentic and she is the keystone that supported and combined all the forces to help my senior graduate this year. On top of being attentive and sensitive to all the problems that may come in the life of our children, she never loses her warm smile. Today she topped it with yet another supporting action that was successful, but she has been doing this since December. Kudos to her and to all the counselors and teachers at Lake Braddock that support students in such personalized ways."

- a parent at Lake Braddock SS

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Brian Brown, Merrifield Support Center

"After experiencing a very frustrating issue with our hallway lights (since the beginning of the year) Brian was assigned to the work order. After multiple trips to Longfellow to correct he DID NOT GIVE UP. He actually showed up at Longfellow long before the buses arrived one morning so he could "witness" the issue/concern......once he saw what was happening, it was corrected by the next day. In our opinion (LMS Administrators) believe Brian went above and beyond in his relentless efforts to solve our issue. Thank you, Brian!"

- Wendy Eaton, Longfellow MS

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Amy Scheibel, Chantilly HS

"Mrs. Schiebel has been one of my teachers for years; since elementary school. She is constantly kind and caring. She doesn't ever make you feel like you don't belong."

- a student at Chantilly HS

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Valrie Eisele, Dunn Loring Center

"Wow! A big thanks to Valrie Eisele and the FCPS Parent Resource Center. Groveton ES hosted a family meeting for our sixth-grade families focused on mental health and wellness, specifically suicide, self-harm, and depression. When asked to participate in our community meeting, the answer was an immediate yes! Not only did they have a thorough library of resources, but their care and compassion for our families were also evident. In a short period of time, they built relationships and trust in our community and provided our families with a plethora of tools and resources that would help support their child’s mental health and wellness. Families were thankful for the support and left with many important tools and resources. Thank you!"

- Kevin Morris, Groveton ES

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Nona Bowers, Groveton ES

"Nona Bowers is one of the members of our wellness team at Groveton ES. Just recently, she collaborated with our team to plan and deliver a parent information night for our sixth-grade families. She collaborated with the team to provide tools and resources for our families to support the mental health and wellness of their child (specifically suicide ideation and depression). Families were so thankful for the information, her time and the care she demonstrates for our students. Our families left with many resources and ideas to support their child. Thank you, Nona!"

- Kevin Morris, Groveton ES

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Kris Griswold, Groveton ES

"Kris Griswold is one of the members of our wellness team at Groveton ES. Just recently, she collaborated with our team to plan and deliver a parent information night for our sixth-grade families. She collaborated with the team to provide tools and resources for our families to support the mental health and wellness of their child (specifically suicide ideation and depression). Families were so thankful for the information, her time and the care she demonstrates for our students. Our families left with many resources and ideas to support their child. Thank you, Kris!"

- Kevin Morris, Groveton ES

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Elena Musial, Groveton ES

"Elena Musial is one of the members of our wellness team at Groveton ES. Just recently, she collaborated with our team to plan and deliver a parent information night for our sixth-grade families. She collaborated with the team to provide tools and resources for our families to support the mental health and wellness of their child (specifically suicide ideation and depression). Families were so thankful for the information, her time and the care she demonstrates for our students. Our families left with many resources and ideas to support their child. Thank you, Elena!"

- Kevin Morris, Groveton ES

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Jamie Gardner, Groveton ES

"Jamie Gardner, our school physiologist, provides exemplary leadership for mental health and wellness education. Recently, we needed to respond to some mental health needs for many of our sixth graders. First, she collaborated with colleagues outside of our building to identify an appropriate program to implement with our sixth graders. She collaborated with our wellness team to deliver the program to students as well as plan and deliver a parent information night to provide our families with tools and resources to support their child’s mental health at home (specifically suicide ideation and depression). She also worked directly with students to demonstrate she was a trusted adult and created a safe space for students to express their feelings and emotions. Well done, Jamie!"

- Kevin Morris, Groveton ES

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Rosa Pereira-Bull and Antoinette McLean, Willow Oaks Administration Center

"Special thanks to Rosa Pereira-Bull and Antoinette McLean! Recently at Groveton ES, we needed to respond immediately to some mental health and wellness issues occurring with our sixth graders. At last minute’s notice, they were able to provide additional support for our wellness team. They worked directly with some of our students and took great care to ensure issues were addressed quickly and efficiently, including reaching out to the parents of some of our students. Our immediate response to the well-being of our sixth graders would not have been possible without their additional support. Well done. Thank you."

- Kevin Morris, Groveton ES

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Terri Smith, South County HS

"Terri routinely goes above what is asked of her, whether that be in her classroom or as a volunteer with after-school activities. On this particular occasion, Terri was scheduled to be a ticket taker for a girls basketball game on a Friday. She had canceled a week beforehand because she was having a repair-man come to her house and we had been unable to find a replacement. That Friday afternoon, still without a ticket taker, Terri called us and said the repair tech got done early and she would be able to help take tickets. She drove from Alexandria back to South County just in time to take tickets at the basketball game and was happy while she did it! She was and is simply amazing and I can't thank her enough for volunteering her time to help us in activities!"

- Tynan Rolander, South County HS

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Dave Lagow, South County HS

"Dave has been a phenomenal Athletic Trainer for South County. He is always there for our athletes providing exceptional care. In a specific instance last Wednesday, January 23rd at the JV wrestling meet, Dave ran to aid an athlete from Robinson SS who had dislocated his elbow. Dave was calm and efficient. He helped to care for this student-athlete and keep him relaxed and calm through the process until the father was able to drive his car around to take him to the hospital. Dave is easy to work with and often goes above and beyond!"

- Nina Pannoni, South County HS

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Gannon Sugimura, South County HS

"I wanted to thank Mr. Sugimura for all his contributions to the activities office. He has been awesome all winter and I look forward to work alongside him in the spring."

- Brett Garner, South County HS

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Jeff Platenberg, Gatehouse Administration Center

"We know how challenging making any weather-related decisions can be in this area. As a school administrator, we are really appreciating the information that Jeff is sharing with us. The transparency with the weather-related decisions and the informational emails that he sends to Principals and Assistant Principals is so helpful for us. Staff often come to us with questions and having his detailed informational emails has been extremely helpful. Thanks, Jeff for all you do to keep us all safe and informed."

- Holly Walker and Sue Andujar, Poplar Tree ES

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Spencer Jamieson, Willow Oaks Administration Center

"Spencer has come to Poplar Tree several times this year to do math PD with our staff. He has gone above and beyond in differentiating to meet our staff's needs with number sense and number talks. Spencer brings positive energy to the learning time and builds trust very quickly with the staff to allow them to take risks and really reach out of their comfort zones. Multiple teachers have commented on how passionate he is about helping teachers to find ways to reach students in math and how he is helping them to have a growth mindset about math instruction, which in turn benefits our students. Spencer's enthusiasm for learning is truly benefiting our staff and students at Poplar Tree."

- Holly Walker, Poplar Tree ES

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Norma Gordon, Aldrin ES

"Aldrin held our annual Bingo Night, and for the 2nd year, we hosted Adapted Bingo. Adapted Bingo is for students and families who want to enjoy family Bingo night at Aldrin in a smaller setting, with less stimulation, and a flexible pace. Norma has been instrumental in making Adapted Bingo happen the last two years. She is so patient and kind, and works to make sure our families have a great night out! The students and families were so thankful and had a great time at Bingo Night!  We are so thankful to have such amazing teachers like Norma working with our students every day!"

- Kate Brown, Aldrin ES

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Kristen Carneal, Aldrin ES

" Aldrin held our annual Bingo Night, and for the 2nd year, we hosted Adapted Bingo. Adapted Bingo is for students and families who want to enjoy family Bingo night at Aldrin in a smaller setting, with less stimulation, and a flexible pace. Kristen volunteered her night to help in the Adapted Bingo room, and brought so much joy and fun to the families! The students and families were so grateful and had a great time!  Aldrin is so lucky to have such amazing teachers like Kristen working with our students every day!"

- Kate Brown, Aldrin ES

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Liz Smith, Aldrin ES

"Aldrin held our annual Bingo Night, and for the 2nd year, we hosted Adapted Bingo. Adapted Bingo is for students and families who want to enjoy family Bingo night at Aldrin in a smaller setting, with less stimulation, and a flexible pace. Liz volunteered her night to run this room and did so with such enthusiasm and patience. The students and families were so thankful and had a great time at Bingo Night!  Aldrin is so thankful to have such amazing teachers like Liz working with our students every day!"

- Kate Brown, Aldrin ES

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Bob Graham, Lucy Amoah, Yeboah Anyan, Hidalgo Lobo Palacios, Cuong Ly, and Agnes Owusu Bempah, Riverside ES

"I requested chairs for a guest speaker, and the next day they were delivered and set up! At the end of the day, all of the chairs were gone before dismissal was over. This staff goes the extra mile to make things easier for teachers! Our school is always ready after inclement weather days or late openings. When we ask, they make all of our wishes come true!"

- Kathleen Herron, Riverside ES

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Leonardo Zeferino, FranklinSherman ES

"Just wanted to say thank you to assistant building supervisor Leonardo, for being absolutely vigilant. He was of great service today in keeping kids safe, along with being very knowledgeable about the facility he works in. Appreciate his dedication on a job very well done!"

- Mike Ross, Gatehouse Administration Center

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Shala Ott, Willow Oaks Administration Center

"Shala Ott has been an amazing support to our teachers, teams, and school! She has dedicated her time by sharing strategies and resources during grade level Math CTs. Today she presented and facilitated a wonderful PD for our teachers focused on Metacognition. It was engaging, thoughtfully planned and made us think! We all loved learning ways we can develop these skills with our students across content areas. Thank you, Shala for your dedication, sharing your knowledge and supporting all of us at Centre Ridge!"

- Jamie Stratford, Centre Ridge ES

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Mario Martinez Diaz, Gatehouse Administration Center

"Mario was an incredible help! A school submitted a last-minute request to hire an IA who was brand new to FCPS. Working within a very limited time frame, Mario took the initiative to expedite his part in the process and assured everything went smoothly. Mario really made this employee's day and you could tell the appreciation he had for what occurred."

- Tim Hilkert, Gatehouse Administration Center

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Chris Berg-Hoggatt, Frost MS

"Chris is a great leader and support for our special education department at Frost each day, but she really went above and beyond for/with me last week. She was a great support and navigator through a tough phone call. She always kept her cool and was very knowledgeable. She took an hour out of her incredibly busy schedule to help me through a difficult interaction and it made all the difference in my day."

- Caitlyn Quincy, Frost MS

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Jaclyn Garcia, Woodburn ES

"Ms. Garcia regularly goes above and beyond her duties as the Student Information Assistant. In December, my daughter hit her head on the playground and it was bleeding. Our school nurse was out and Jackie filled in and cleaned up and calmed down my (somewhat hysterical) daughter. That same week, I was passing through the office and noticed that Jackie was talking to two older boys who had been fighting on the playground. She was helping the boys try to apologize and see each other's side of the disagreement. And, in January, Jackie has been helping the PTA field registrations for our STEP team. Many of the students who would like to sign up are lower income, Spanish-speaking students and Jackie has made sure that they have their registration forms and know how to sign up. Jackie does all of this with a smile and caring attitude. We appreciate her!"

- a parent at Woodburn ES

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Amy Granahan, Willow Oaks Administration Center

"Amy Granahan has been the Marketing Program Manager since I began teaching with FCPS in 2006, and she remains, to this day, one the hardest working individuals I know. In addition to her work ethic, the forefront of her personal mission is to always do what is best for our students AND our teachers. She is genuine, kind, firm, and fair. I am fortunate to work with an amazing amount of colleagues in FCPS, but time and time again Amy has served as the sturdy lighthouse guiding me through the mist, fog, and sometimes rough waters that come with the job. So much of what she does goes unnoticed, and unappreciated, but not to me. She is a mentor, a motivator, and a friend. Thank you for EVERYTHING you do, Amy!"

- Kellen Scott, South County HS

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Maggie LeGendre, Hayfield SS

"Ms. LeGendre has helped both of my children so very much! She's been very communicative re: my daughter who's in her class right now (and who's made an amazing improvement in her class participation thanks to Ms. LeGendre) and she helped my son with a recommendation letter for his college applications (he also had her as a teacher in 10th grade). This type of interaction between teacher, student, and parent is something every school should be encouraging."

- a parent at Hayfield SS

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Korey Berg, Justice HS

"Korey was very helpful in getting our Middle School Special Olympians pre-participation physicals so that they could participate in their first weekend of games! We are grateful to him and his generosity!"

- Emily Castor, Glasgow MS

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Becky Corallo, Justice HS

"On short notice (a day), Becky was able to include several members of our Middle School Special Olympics team in her pre-participation physicals she was holding for a number of her high school students. Our students were able to participate in their first weekend of games that weekend! This was a very generous act and made it possible for all of our students who wanted to take part in the Special Olympics experience to do so! We are so grateful!"

- Emily Castor, Glasgow MS

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HR-Office of Talent Acquisition & Management (TAM) & Office of Business Services, FCPS Leadership Team, & the Office of Communication and Community Relations (OCCR), Gatehouse Administration Center

"The Department of Human Resources recently hosted three substitute teacher job hiring fairs for government furloughed employees. These events had multiple layers of logistics. The staff from the Human Resources Office of Talent Acquisition & Management (TAM) and Office of Business Services, as well as members of both the FCPS Leadership Team and the Office of Communication and Community Relations (OCCR) went above and beyond expectations to make each of these events extremely successful.

Staff was attentive, approachable, responsive, and prompt. They handled a multitude of questions, provided tailored instruction, or were available to just sit and listen to a furloughed employee.  Each staff member did so with enthusiasm and a smile that showcased the quality collaboration between offices and the quality of work happening in FCPS.

This job hiring fair was an enriching, engaging experience for government employees and reinforced that together (even through rough times), we can create extraordinary results. The HR TAM, spearheaded by its Recruitment Team, took the lead on this “one-stop shop” event. The Recruitment Team engaged with employees working the events and potential employees while listening to their ideas and suggestions on making small changes for each subsequent event, thereby creating an even more positive experience for future applicants and the media.

The employees at Gatehouse Administration Center that worked these events were invested in the process from start to finish, wanting to make the overall experience as seamless as possible for our community members, neighbors, and friends. Based on feedback from many of the attendees, they were grateful and thankful for the opportunities that FCPS was offering them. This was a team effort and everyone was a team player!

Thank you for making a difference! #FCPSCARES #AMAZING #Teamwork #Collaboration"

-  Shelli Wayland, Gatehouse Administration Center

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Pamela Hamilton, Sideburn Support Center

"Pamela took the initiative to personally follow up on a work order recall for our school. Because of the time she took to assist us, we had a two-week concern addressed and resolved within an hour.  Our Kindergarten teachers and students are so very appreciative of your care and attention to detail. Students are no longer missing instructional time and are able to enjoy the comfort of their own classroom and facilities because of your initiative. Your pleasant and courteous interactions with staff/clients, along with a positive 'can-do' attitude make all the difference!  Thank you, Pam, for going above and beyond...Fairhill Elementary appreciates you!"

- Terri Lynn Damon, Fairhill ES

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Siewfah Gan, Herndon MS

"In my sixteen years as a math teacher in Fairfax County Public Schools, I have never worked with a more conscientious or more caring teacher than Siewfah Gan. Ms. Gan, a first-year teacher, is always thinking of what will best serve her students. She uses every resource available to provide the best instruction for her students, including using her planning time to observe other teachers several times each week. She is available to her students for extra help after school whenever they can stay. And as a co-teacher?  She not only supports our shared students, she always thinks about ways to make our teaching team more effective. She has amazing insight. We are so lucky to have her at Herndon Middle School!"

- Catherine Hawkins, Herndon MS

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Jenna Mollura, Falls Church HS

"Ms. Mollura is always responsive as a caring counselor and always kind! She cares about her students!"

- a Falls Church HS parent

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Ruben Velez, Delmy Argueta, Delmy Perez, Gifty Boateng, and Nicholas Adomako, Springfield Estates ES

"The Springfield Estates custodial staff has worked hard to keep our school clean during the snowstorms and early release days of the last two weeks. I'd like to thank them for all that they do to support and take care of our building. They deserve recognition for all they do to make Springfield Estates Elementary a clean, pleasant environment to work and teach each week. Especially on hard to manage snow weeks!"

- Matt Hupp, Springfield Estates ES

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Latrena Warthen, Mercedes Amaya, Hoa Nguyen, Cuong Pham, and Dung Vo, Greenbriar East ES

"Thank you, dear custodians, for your valiant efforts in removing, sanding, and scraping our sidewalks and pathways after our monumental snowfall. You gave your time over the weekend and on Monday to get our campus safe and snow-free. Even our K&R paths were clear and ready to go. You're the best! Thank you!"

- Lilly Shin, Greenbriar East ES

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Molly Donnelly, Greenbriar East ES

"Molly has been my mentor this year as I am a new faculty member in FCPS, She has been highly attentive to my needs in acclimating me to GBE as well as guiding me through the policies, procedures, and curriculum of FCPS. Molly is a real professional who takes pride in her work and leads by example. Her guidance and support have made my transition into a new school community rich and rewarding."

- Paula Gutierrez, Greenbriar East ES

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Cassandra Deedy, Edison HS Academy

"There is not a particular day that Ms. Deedy went above and beyond. It’s every day. As the Edison Academy counselor, she does not spend the day in an office but is making the rounds through the academy and interacting with students. She is very knowledgeable and helpful. If I have a question or a concern she responds to my emails. A few years ago my husband contacted her about the construction program and he was very impressed with the time she spent explaining the details and her enthusiasm for the program. Ultimately, our son entered the culinary program and it is clear that she wants her students to succeed and encourages them in their efforts. I just learned about this program and wanted to nominate her. She is a gem."

- an Edison HS Academy parent

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Bill Brady, Laurel Hill ES

"Bill Brady has been my lifesaver, mentor, and cheerleader this school year. He has selflessly given his time, resources, and expertise to help the school be successful for my student. Bill has met with me multiple mornings and countless hours sharing strategies and professional resources. He shares an idea and we brainstorm together to try it in my classroom in a way that would best suit my student. First, he helped me analyze data and behaviors, he spent his evening reading through his professional journals and resources to help identify the cause of the behaviors. We debriefed and he offered to work with me to create a personalized behavior plan for this child. The student would be in the "boys club," a group of boys in the school who work with Mr. Brady during his planning time. The boy’s club teaches skills such as leadership, positive peer interactions, and reflection of student behavior. Bill helped me write the behavior chart and teach the student to set appropriate goals. When the student was having trouble using the chart, Bill gave me powerful suggestions on how to use different feedback and verbal reminders to implement the chart with more effectiveness. The boys in the boy’s club were disappointed my student was having some challenges so with the support of Mr. Brady, they wrote my student encouraging letters to reinforce the positive peer interactions my student was building through this club. When I was still seeing a need, he met with me to discuss what I was seeing then he helped me write personalized social stories to set clear expectations and give visual reminders as well as an opportunity for more positive feedback for specific and targeted times of the day. During our meeting, he asked me important questions about the classroom environment and helped me to rule out inconsistencies, negative reinforcement, attention issues, or other factors that may lead to reinforcing the behaviors. He continues to meet with me to try a new ideas as we learn more and figure out what is working. Mr. Brady is a think tank of management strategies and has the positive “can-do” attitude needed. He shares his ideas with professionalism and is fully prepared to help me tackle them by not just giving ideas but helping me to implement them. I am greatly appreciative of the numerous hours Bill has donated to help this student and inadvertently help me reflect on my teaching. I could not have brainstormed, implemented, or reflected on the vast variety of strategies without his knowledge and support. Due to Bill’s passion for helping students and teachers, there is one happier first grader and one happier and smarter teacher at Laurel Hill."

- Marissa Williamson, Laurel Hill ES

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Warren Jeffries, Woodson-IT

"Warren is always quick to answer any questions or do any corrections to our phone lines."

- Kathy Chilton, Waynewood ES

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JD Anderson, Gatehouse Administration Center

"During a disciplinary hearing, Mr. Anderson demonstrated great empathy toward a student who is transgender. He treated the student with respect by asking that their preferred pronoun was and understood the complicated nuance that being transgender brought to this situation. In addition, Mr. Anderson shared real-life examples that demonstrated his vulnerability as a human which allowed him to connect to this student. Overall, the hearing was a positive experience for all involved."

- Carlyn Floyd, Woodson HS

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Warren Jeffries, Woodson-IT

"Warren was very professional, attentive, and super helpful. Answered all questions and provided additional assistance to help make it all much easier."

- Jocelyn Hernandez, West Potomac HS

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Susan Pham, Lorton Transportation Center

"Ms. Susan is a wonderful and caring bus driver. She clearly cares about each of the children in her care and goes out of her way to show it. She also takes the time to get to know the parents and if there is ever an issue or concern, she is right on it."

- a Camelot ES parent

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Cameron Mathison, South County HS

Cameron adds incredible value to conversations surrounding equity, instruction, and culture. She is a true team player who continues to extend herself to benefit our students both within and outside of her complex role as our assessment coach. South County is so lucky to have her with us!"

- Marci Norem, South County HS

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Sara Lebowitz, Emily Baldwin, and Annece Flood-Wright, Twain MS

"Thank you for coordinating and hosting a very successful Electives Extravaganza. Over the course of two days last week, you worked with 8 elementary schools, welcomed 500+ students, and helped begin the process of easing student anxieties and getting people excited about the 2019-20 school year. I appreciate all of your hard work, effort, and dedication to this event."

- Stephen Fitzgerald, Twain MS

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Scott Dreier and Nick See, Lake Braddock SS

"Scott and Nick have had a tremendous task this year in regards to technology equipment, mobile labs, computer labs, etc. We are an extremely large school and they have been fabulous about taking care of RequestITs and always doing it with a smile on their faces. Whenever they come to your classroom to deliver equipment, inventory something or fix equipment-they are upbeat, positive and a pleasure to have in your classroom. Thanks for always having a positive attitude no matter the pressure you guys are under!"

- Maya Nardone, Lake Braddock SS

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Deb Boullianne, South County HS

"Deb does countless things to contribute to a positive culture here at South County. She is a welcoming presence to our families, is a support to students and faculty in need, and has an endless depth of knowledge. Deb is the definition of a team player and we are so lucky to have her here!"

- Marci Norem, South County HS

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Maricruz Amurrio, Lorton Transportation Center

"Ms. Amurrio was amazing today! She runs one of our afternoon bus routes and turned the bus around after leaving the school because a student on the bus was concerned their sibling missed the bus. Ms. Amurrio came back to the school and was able to pick up two students and get them home safely. This experience shows how deeply Ms. Amurrio cares for the students and her commitment to her work.  We are lucky to have her at Woodburn!"

- Maricruz Amurrio, Lorton Transportation Center

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Maria Escobar, Sideburn Support Center

"Maria has just recently joined the Stonecroft team! There was an incident on January 3rd which compromised our well-being. She was instrumental in dealing with a situation and making it so our building was once again a healthy environment. Thank you, Maria!"

- Tina Hunt, Stonecroft Transportation

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Tracy Hutchison, Fort Hunt ES

"Big thanks to Tracy Hutchison for serving as the West Potomac Pyramid FCPS Honors awards liaison! I know how much work and organization was involved at the school level, so I know she put a lot of time, energy and effort into serving as our pyramid lead. The FCPS Honors program is such a terrific way to provide important recognition for our premiere workforce. I very much appreciate her communication and collaboration these past few months. Thank you, Tracy!"

- Kevin Morris, Groveton ES

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Wanda Taylor, Groveton ES

"I'd like to recognize Wanda Taylor, an EAC teacher at Groveton ES. Recently she demonstrated exceptional professionalism for her willingness to collaborate and partner with Hybla Valley ES to support a Hybla Valley staff member, a student at HVES and that student's family. She demonstrated terrific flexibility and responded quickly to the needs of staff, a student and their family. I really appreciate her willingness to share her expertise and collaborate with another school. Thank you, Ms. Taylor!"

- Kevin Morris, Groveton ES

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Scott Darwin, Lake Braddock SS

"Scott has figured out how to juggle both responsibilities in his current role as MS SOSA and MS Assessment Coach. He continues to amaze me with his ability and adeptness with just about any instructional tool or strategy, especially as it pertains to technology. He has taught me so much already this year! Anything and everything related to middle school attendance, discipline, restorative justice, school-wide assessments the list goes on and on......Scott has a handle on. He is creative and collaborative in nature and stops at nothing to ensure students are successful while at the same time holding them to high academic standards. Scott's ideas and collaborative efforts stem directly from his amazing work ethic in addition to his providing data to help drive instruction."

- Amy Soos, Lake Braddock SS

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Rachel Morris, Laurel Hill ES

"Rachel Morris exemplifies what FCPS should look for in all its teachers. The FCPS Strategic Plan was created to “ignite the hearts and minds of the community to ensure that every student receives the best possible education, preparing them for their best possible futures.” One of the components of the plan is “Student Success”.  Rachel is committed to reaching, challenging, and preparing every student for success in school and life. She is always thinking of the children first. I see and hear her trying to always challenge her students. She believes in pushing them and setting high expectations. But, she gives clear and explicit strategies the children can use in order to meet the expectations she has set for them. I am often left in awe when listening to Rachel speak about Literacy. Rachel’s knowledge of the subject matter she teaches is exceptional and she can so eloquently share her knowledge with both her students and other teachers. For this reason, she is often asked to showcase her classroom and her teaching for other teachers."

- Rosaleen Sypher, Laurel Hill ES

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Haitham Halteh, Falls Church HS

"Mr. Halteh did an awesome job with the science fair."

- a Falls Church HS parent

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Heather Postlethwait, Longfellow MS

"Ms.Postlethwait is to date the best teacher I have had in any FCPS school. She goes above and beyond to make every student do their best and helps students individually if they need it or ask for it. She does this every day, even when she is sick or tired. She deserves recognition for what she does day in and day out for every student."

- a Longfellow MS student

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Donna McGlone, Lorton Transportation Center

"I would like to recognize my Bus Driver Supervisor Baker #123 out of team 12 For the FCPS Care Award. She is always polite and courteous when she ask me for assistance with run coverage of any kind and She is very professional. She speaks to us privately when she needs to discuss something with us. If I make a mistake she helps me with the situation as well as inform me the correct way. I can’t say enough great things about her. Thank you."

- Floridalma Aparicio, Lorton Transportation Center

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Molly Rumberger, South County HS

"Molly is our theatre director and wow-- she is one burst of energy and positivity! I had the pleasure of observing her work alongside her fellow region colleagues and the planning process for our Regional ONE Act tournament. She is extremely organized, a great communicator and always brings a great sense of humor and positive vibes to all that she does. Not to mention, her commitment level is unrivaled. Thanks, Molly, for all that you do for our kids, our school, our community and Theatre in FCPS. You are invaluable!"

- Brett Garner, South County HS

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Doris Ohmes, Woodson HS

"Mrs. Ohmes, a chemistry teacher at Woodson, is fiercely passionate about supporting learning disabled students' self-esteem and abilities. She has an intuitive understanding of the challenges that these students face. She always makes herself available to help her students with lessons after hours and is forever cheerful and loving. She herself is brilliant and could have easily chosen an easier life by teaching AP chemistry, but she knew her empathy could benefit students for whom a school is a formidable place. Even after she was securely established at Woodson High, she elected to return to school and secure a graduate degree in teaching learning disabled students. She is retiring in January 2019, after 31 years of teaching."

- a Woodson HS parent

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Patrick Bayne, Gatehouse Administration Center

"I've worked in several schools that have been in various stages of renovation. This summer we had part of a wing renovated and some small issues have crept into this school year. Every time a contractor has come, we have had advance notice and none of our classes have been disrupted. Every time we have an issue, Patrick is immediately responsive, flexible and willing to work with our schedules. This has been the easiest and least disruptive renovation ever and I believe it is thanks to the management by Patrick."

- Carlyn Floyd, Woodson HS

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Lauren Kinne, Woodson HS

"The world is a better place because of teachers like Lauren Kinne. My daughter is a senior in her AP Bio class. Ms. Kinne listens, understands, supports and encourages all of her students. She has lightened the stress of senior year for my daughter and has inspired her love of science.  Thank you, Ms. Kinne, for all you do for my student and for the students of Woodson HS."

- a Woodson HS parent

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Liz Smith, Herndon HS

"Kudos to Liz Smith, SBTS at Herndon HS, for a suggestion to enhance the MyTime Monthly and Biweekly Time and Attendance Calendars located on the MyTime intranet page.  She recommended adding an employee access-lockout reminder to the teal supervisor deadline day.  Hopefully, this update to the deadline calendars will provide an easy tool for SBTS, TAPs, the IT Help Desk, the Time and Attendance Office, etc. to help employees know when they can and cannot access MyTime.  Way to think outside the box by suggesting we put the reminder inside the box, Liz!"

- Cynthia Lowry, Gatehouse Administration Center

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Tom Thamvongsa and Fredis Ramirez, West Springfield HS

"Tom and Fredis were a huge help in setting up my office, refrigerator, and printer!"

- Betsy Fawsett, West Springfield HS

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Claudia Pirouzan-Jones, Derek Smith, and Jim Lockwood, Mountain View HS

"Claudia, Derek, and Jim have been amazing colleagues as I have transitioned into high school work. They’re always willing to share information and experience to ensure that we’re consistent in our approach to supporting our students. That takes the form of samples of work, listening to new ideas, answering questions, open-door conversations, and more. They also pulled together and evidenced strong leadership during our principal transition this fall. With our unique student population, their warmth, leadership, and openness are critical to delivering on Mountain View’s philosophy of Family, Love, Respect."

- Elizabeth Obester, Mountain View HS

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Laura Reed, Frost MS

"Laura took unplanned time out of her day to participate in a virtual meeting with ATS to explore options for integrating closed captions into various video formats. Her input was invaluable to the session, as is her constant willingness to collaborate to support the diverse needs of students in FCPS."

- Mollie Kropp, Willow Oaks

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Mary Kay Back, South County HS

"Mary Kay Back is an excellent administrative assistant and a consistent team player. She goes out of her way to help other employees learning their jobs. Mary Kay also works diligently to cover other employees when they are out. Several colleagues said that she was cheerful, upbeat, and positive even when dealing with stressful situations. Additionally, Mary Kay is efficient and works hard on the right things. They were impressed with the amount she accomplished in a day. We want to recognize Mary Kay and thank her for the hard work and consistent effort. It is a positive contribution that deserves our recognition. I am proud to say that Mary Kay Back is a valued member of our school."

- Mike Pflugrath, South County HS

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Larry Anderson, Lorton Transportation Center

"Earlier today we were in a bind when we realized that due to a slight interruption in programming, a voucher for our after-school bus late runs had not been put in and we had a lobby full of students who needed to get home. We called transportation to see what happened and even though the mistake was ours, the transportation department rallied to coordinate a driver and get us the information needed to support an appropriate last-minute route for our late run. Larry Anderson answered the call and was at our school in less than 10 minutes to help us out. I gave him the previous route information and he was able to take a look, combine stops, and make it happen so that our kids would get home safe. He was genuinely happy to help and he was able to problem solve effectively so that our kids did not have to wait around.
Larry ended up having to bring a few students back and did not complete the run until close to 7 pm.  Thank you, Larry, for your patience, and for being such a dedicated professional.  We appreciate you!"

- Paul Basdekis, Riverside ES

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Carole Phelps, Lorton Transportation Center

"Earlier today we were in a bind when we realized that due to a slight interruption in programming, a voucher for our after-school bus late runs had not been put in and we had a lobby full of students who needed to get home. We called transportation to see what happened and even though the mistake was ours, Carole rallied to coordinate a driver and get us the information to support an appropriate route for our late run. She then came over to the school at 6:30 pm to help supervise and ensure the safety of a few students who were brought back to the school. She is a pro and we appreciate all of her efforts to support the coordination of our transportation routes and how she goes above and beyond to keep our kids safe."

- Paul Basdekis, Riverside ES

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Matt Heller, Woodson HS

"I want to thank Matt for his commitment to South County and all he is doing as one of our new coaches. There a relatively big learning curve when assuming a head coach position and Matt is doing amazing! He is so responsive and organized. I am looking forward to working alongside Matt for many years to come. Thank you, Matt!"

- Brett Garner, South County HS

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Jeff Clark, Gatehouse Administration Center

"Jeff has worked tirelessly on Groveton Elementary School's history web pages. He’s added spark, pizazz, and entertainment to each page with interesting detail. I met Jeff last fall when he was kind enough to meet with myself here at Groveton as well as a retired Groveton employee, Pat Young, who I have always called Groveton's History GURU. We talked and shared and talked and shared. At that meeting, Jeff came up with amazing ideas as to how to get more of our rich history out to the public via our website, of course. He organized the information beautifully and wrote with vigor. His hard work is so very much appreciated. Now Groveton now has TWO history Gurus with many more coming our way as they read our history pages."

- Gail Mulder Rossman, Groveton ES

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Karen Ramsey, Riverside ES

"Karen has been my mentor since I started at FCPS a little over a year ago. She goes out of her way and has helped me grow so much at Riverside. Her knowledge, professionalism, and patience has been not only an asset to myself, but also to other teammates, and the students she services."

- Lorri Hallenbeck, Riverside ES

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Hillary Garrett, Willow Oaks

"Hillary does an amazing job supporting our teachers' instructional practice with regard to literacy. As a result of her commitment to our school, our kindergarten teachers are realizing their full potential--and so are our students! I can't thank her enough for the unconditional positive regard that she has shown everyone in our building, which helps her easily build relationships with our staff. We look forward to continuing to learn from her!"

- Jennifer Hertzberg, Flint Hill ES

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Morgan Graves, Greenbriar East ES

"Morgan always has something positive and encouraging to say. She is supportive and a joy to work with."

- Lilly Shin, Greenbriar East ES

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Aimee Hooper, Jackie Khoury, Karen Bradford, Emma Aulestia, Kelly Riley, Linda Drumheller, Kilmer MS

"Our after-school committee works to increase the Positive Behavior Supports in our school and we have adopted the Positivity Project, or P2, as one of our mechanisms. This vital team has worked tirelessly to promote and empower students and relationships with adults in the building and community. Besides working with groups of students to create positive spirit throughout the school day and during special events and inventing a Positivity mascot, Payton the Parrot, the committee developed a multifaceted lesson regarding positive relationships and how students work together to create a team for our most recent early release day.  The committee also works with the faculty to recognize students monthly based on positivity characteristics. The committee succeeds in its goal of empowering students and helping to create positive relationships for all to thrive."

- Debra David, Kilmer MS

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Salvador Aguilar-Beltran, Freedom Hill ES

"Mr. Salvador is a ray of light in a pretty great school.  My children and I first met him over two years ago when we were new to the school, and we were helping out with a technology fundraiser on a Saturday - he took time from his weekend to come help the school community try to raise funds. Since then, my children have developed a relationship with him at school - they tell me that he often asks about their soccer games and how many goals they scored, and that he gives them high-fives in the hall -- I know he is looking out for them while they are in the building.  I can't say enough about his personal interactions with my children, and how meaningful they are to my children.  He does this, of course, in addition to diligently working to keep The Hill in top shape for the students and staff who are there every day. At school-sponsored events, such as Thanksgiving lunch, Mr. Salvador makes me feel welcome - he always takes time from his busy schedule to say 'hello' to me and to ask how I have been.  It is evident that he takes pride in his work, and contributes to the school community in multiple ways, including developing personal relationships with students and their families."

- a parent from Freedom Hill ES

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Jay Nocco, Lynbrook ES

"Mr. Nocco is allowing three of his exemplary teachers to come to Fort Hunt ES to support our after-school professional development on Language-Rich Environments. His teachers sharing their knowledge and journey will help our teachers better visualize the why, what, and how for establishing language-rich learning environments! Thank you, Mr. Nocco!"

- Thomas Fitzpatrick, Fort Hunt ES

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