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

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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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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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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Pearl Graham, Stratford Landing ES

"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 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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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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Andrew Coleman, Dranesville ES

"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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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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