FCPS Cares - July 2020 / August 2020

By Department of Human Resources
July 06, 2020

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

To view past submissions, please visit our previous submissions page

David Watson, Wilton Wood Center

"We have been working closely with IT and David specifically regarding approval of a program we are trying to bring to Lake Braddock.  There are a lot of moving parts and we are working with a new vendor which has proved challenging at times.  David has been the consummate professional in his interactions both with the vendor and with us at the school.  He has been incredibly thorough in both his review and questions, incredibly responsive and timely to requests, and continues to do his best to get this program evaluated in a timely manner.  At a time where his office is being tasked to take on a lot, David and his team have stepped up to the challenge and performed admirably.  The Lake Braddock community and FCPS as a whole are fortunate to have David."

- Tony DiBari, Lake Braddock SS

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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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Renee Berman, Groveton ES

"Renee is working hard above and beyond to build our partnership with GMU. This requires her to attend additional meetings and work on tasks outside of her responsibilities as a reading teacher. Renee expertly balances the relationships within the program and is thoughtful about additional workload on our teaching staff.  It's a pleasure to work on this partnership with her!"

- Christopher Latham, Groveton ES

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Alejandra Lopez, Sprague Technology Center
 
"Alejandra has been extremely supportive to DSS during the past few months. She and her team have listened to concerns about building a master schedule and came up with immediate potential solutions to support us. Today I was having trouble and spoke with Alejandra earlier in the day. She was troubleshooting a few things by herself then reached out to me this evening. I was extremely appreciative that she kept thinking about how she could support me and reached out after hours. She is truly committed to the work and I honestly don’t know where I would be in my master schedule without her direct support!"

- Serena Giron, Holmes MS

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Nonye Oladimeji, Glasgow MS

Dr. Nonye Oladimeji ("Dr. O.", Glasgow's IB Coordination Teacher) has gone above and beyond for my child and our family to make her (and us) feel at ease about coming into the school in the middle of a pandemic - a difficult time for a child to adjust to a new school.  Throughout this time, Dr. O. has always been quick to respond, useful in her guidance, and deeply knowledgeable - never hesitating to answer our questions. Being new to Fairfax County, Dr. O. has guided us adeptly through the pandemic, on anything from class choices to personally introducing our child to other students who also have overseas living experiences. Dr. O.'s demeanor is warm but honest, she is very intuitive, understands our concerns and anxieties, and above all made our child feel welcome, safe, and happy. We've lived throughout Virginia and abroad, and Dr. O. stands out as an educator who truly cares and is one of the best school staff I've engaged with in Fairfax County, Arlington County, and even overseas. Dr. O. stands out as an educator, mentor, mother, and is just a good human being. Shout out to Glasgow for hiring her and all of the talented, dedicated staff at Glasgow and beyond who truly care for the students, especially during these difficult times. Thank you. 

- a Glasgow MS Parent

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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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Doug Anderson, Gatehouse Administration

"A HUGE thank you to Doug Anderson for assisting many users with turning on their PCs after a power outage! We all really appreciate your help and for being in the building even with a hurricane blowing up the coast! Thanks Doug!!"

- Heather Murray, Gatehouse Administration

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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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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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Paul Davis, Hughes MS

"Paul Davis was hired to help the AAP office run the Advanced Placement Summer Institute when it shifted to a virtual format this summer. Paul's expertise in online instruction made him an incredible asset to our ability to deliver high quality virtual instruction to our AP teachers. Not only is Paul a technical wizard, but he is a pleasure to work with. Paul, you made a difference! Thank you."

- Rebecca Small, Willow Oaks

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Neva Apsche, Willow Oaks

"I want to take a moment to say Neva is an amazing colleague to work with! The FCPS Advanced Placement summer institute for teachers was online this summer, and Neva helped with all our BBCU needs, including setting up rooms, running attendance reports, and troubleshooting. Even though this project was beyond the scope of her normal job responsibilities, she helped us so responsively and  was always so positive. She made my day every day of the institute."

- Rebecca Small, Willow Oaks

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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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Brigid Williams, Willow Oaks

 

"Brigid has gone above and beyond to make sure our team has been taken care of while working remotely and without a Coordinator."


- Leigh Bergman, Willow Oaks

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Missy Brady, Falls Church HS

"Ms. Brady has consistently gone above and beyond in caring about the well being of each and every student at Falls Church High School. She is attentive, responsive, and fair. There should be more administrators and educators like her, not only in the Falls Church pyramid, but in FCPS. We are lucky to have her."

- a Falls Church HS parent

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Michael Elion, Rob Everett, Lauren Jones, David Morgan, Gary M. Shoop, Lisa Basta, Nate Davis,  Semuel Hackett, Jason Franks, Sprague Technology Center

"Jane Flegal and I want to thank you for taking the time and connecting our ESOL students to a laptop or a mifi during our ESOL summer program.  Our students could not participate without these devices and you made it possible.  Thank you!"

- Evie Ifantides, Willow Oaks

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Michelle Andrews, Wilton Woods Center

"Jane Flegal and I thank you for your prompt responses to our many, many email questions we had about Summer SIS.  The summer program went from 10 teachers to 34 and from 300 students to 1150!   You were always thorough and kind in your responses.  We appreciate your knowledge and your work ethic."

- Evie Ifantides, Willow Oaks

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Mary Hatchell, Rebecca Foley and Nicole Mooney, Sprague Technology Center

"Jane Flegal and I THANK YOU for your prompt and thorough answers to our many, many questions and requests about Blackboard and specifically creating classes and adding students for the ESOL summer program. Our program went from 10 classes to 34 classes and from 300 to 1150 students  in about a week and your team was exceptional in helping us!   Our timing was tight and needed answers quickly.  You were always timely, efficient, kind, and always provided an explanation. You ROCK!"

- Evie Ifantides, Willow Oaks

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MacLean Wilson and Russ Wright, Sprague Technology Center

 

"MacLean and Russ, in these uncertain times you always come through for me and the ESOL office.  Thank you for your diligence, hard work, and for the extraordinary ability you have to follow my directions and find our laptops!"


- Evie Ifantides, Willow Oaks

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Megan Spain and Sarah Nguyen, Sprague Technology Center

"Thank you for all your SIS support during the summer ESOL online program.  Jane Flegal and I appreciated your quick and methodical answers to our questions. YOU both ROCK!"


- Evie Ifantides, Willow Oaks

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Terri Pendleton, Kent Gardens ES

"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!"


- Evie Ifantides, Willow Oaks

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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, 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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Moira Mazzi, West Potomac HS
 

"It has been my honor to work with Moira Mazzi as her summer school administrator.  A student who needed not one, but two, summer credits recognized Ms. Mazzi's constant support and patience as the sole reason why he was able to finish this summer.  The student said that hearing from Ms. Mazzi (quite often) was "never annoying" and "always helpful", and just the reminder he needed to stay focused.  She scheduled office hours that were flexible for the student's work schedule as well.  Even after the student finished her course and focused on his other class, she remained available for moral and academic support.  In addition to her tireless dedication, she also proved herself a content expert.  The student cited not just her support, but her ability to explain the subject in great, yet attainable, detail.  With her force of will, spirit, and knowledge she leveled the playing field for this student."

- Michael Henrich, West Potomac HS

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Beth Weisbrodt, South Lakes HS
 
"At the end of 2019-2020 school year, Beth Weisbrodt took time and helped a colleague complete her checkout.   When other staff was rushing to finish-up and start summer vacation, Ms. Weisbrodt stopped and showed kindness and solidarity!  Thank you Ms. Weisbrodt for creating a positive and supportive climate!  Career and Transition Services is lucky to have you!!!"

- Sarah Blake, Willow Oaks

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Jennifer Cox, Hunt Valley ES

"Mrs. Jennifer Cox was my son’s ESY teacher through Saratoga ES. She is an exemplary special education teacher, as she thoughtfully adapts curriculum through a wide range of appropriate opportunities to respond. For Fall 2020, I wish she could be my son’s teacher! Mrs. Cox is highly skilled at individualizing the language load and instruction according to student level.  Grateful for this positive learning experience!"

- a Saratoga ESY Parent

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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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Catherine Biasotto, Marshall Road ES  and Brian McCormick, Fairveiw ES

"Ms. Biasotto and Mr. McCormick paid attention to the kids and found the way to teach all kids. They are very great teachers and work very good as a team to help, not only my kid, but all kids in the class to participate even though they are not the same level, but they are learning the same thing. That means the teachers work very hard to prepare and think of all the students. I am very appreciative. Thank you so much."

- a Vienna ES Parent

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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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Meghan Chavez, Chantilly HS

"Ms. Chavez is a professional woman. Two years ago, due to behavior issues on the shuttle bus, I was not able to read my Security+ book. Ms. Chavez assigned my peers and me seats on the bus which was a big help. She also helped me with a STEP presentation at Washington Dulles International Airport for the new STEP students in 2017 and 2018. She deserves a raise."

- a Chantilly HS student

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Brian Schoester, Gatehouse Administration

"Brian and his team have been working tirelessly to help schools plan for the opening of the new school year. Brian was very responsive and quickly provided the information that was requested. He took time out of his busy schedule to call and make sure that he was providing everything that was needed. I can't think Brian and his team enough!"

-Brandon Morehead, Interagency Schools

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Karri de la Houssaye, Sprague Technology Center

"Karri!  WOW!  What a summer!  Thank you from the bottom of our collective ESOL hearts for making life easier for me and my team and above all our students in the ESOL summer online program.  Your thoroughness, persistence, and kindness put my mind at ease.  Thank you for helping us every step of the way!  You ROCK!"

- Evie Ifantides, Willow Oaks

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Terri Anderson, Plum Center

"Your office had to register 850 additional students for a total of 1150 students for our ESOL Summer Online Program this year. Then you had to update class rosters almost daily.  Thank you for keeping us abreast of the withdrawal concerns.  We are grateful for you and your work ethic!"

- Evie Ifantides and Jane Flegal, Willow Oaks

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Michelle Temple, Pimmit Hills Center

"Michelle, YOU ROCK!  We had to register 850 additional students for a total of 1150 students for our ESOL Summer Online Program.  Then you had to update classes and withdraw students and you did all that in amazing timeliness and with amazing good attitude.  We are grateful for you and your work ethic!"

- Evie Ifantides and Jane Flegal, Willow Oaks

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Hellen Cortez, Ruth Azimi, Martha Ghahremani-Nejad, Dunn Loring Center

"Hellen, Ruth and Martha, you all ROCK!  Thank you so much for being attentive to detail and connecting our ESOL students enrolled in our summer program with their teachers, technology specialists, and social workers.  You and your team fielded over 400 teacher concerns!   Your timeliness was spectacular. We are grateful for you and your work ethic."

- Evie Ifantides and Jane Flegal, Willow Oaks

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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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Henry Miller, Sideburn Support Center

"On Tuesday, July 7, 2020, our school had a complete power outage from a storm the night before. A work order was submitted and Dominion was contacted to restore power. In the meantime, I was in touch with Henry who provided up to date information throughout the day until power was restored and the air conditioning was working again in the building for our custodial crew. We had a similar issue with AC later that week and Henry not only communicated with his staff but stopped by our school to make sure everything was working properly. This is only one of MANY dates that I can write about the tremendous support that our school receives from Henry Miller. Henry works tirelessly and is always available with a smile and a solution. He is top notch, and always communicates with us making operations run smoothly in our building. FCPS and Hayfield ES is very lucky to have him as our Energy Support Specialist."

- Ellen Lambert, Hayfield ES

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Emily Sefrin, Cub Run ES

Mrs. Sefrin is simply the best! My son had her for kindergarten this past year. From when we first met, Mrs. Sefrin was always smiling with every interaction. She’s caring, passionate about teaching, and has an open-heart. Mrs. Sefrin is the epitome of the word “patient“ as she worked to help my son read. Mrs. Sefrin goes above and beyond on a daily basis.

- a Cub Run ES Parent

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Laura Totoro, Chantilly HS

Laura recently went above and beyond to make sure students have the opportunities they need in order to succeed.  Everyone is incredibly busy at this time working to get schools ready for the fall and I'm sure her plate is full.  Without skipping a beat, she patiently worked with me to get some students the additional support they needed to continue their learning for the summer.  I'm proud to call her a colleague.

Trish Heatherly, Chantilly HS

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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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Ian Trumbore, Zach Bowler, Sideburn Support Center

"Ian and Zach have worked tirelessly to regulate the temperature, humidity, and HVAC considerations at Little Run. They respond immediately when there is a concern, are proactive throughout the year, and are solution oriented to try and find the best ways to support an older building. They are easy to work with and take time to ensure I understand the HVAC system in my school (no easy task). They are friendly and go the extra mile to ensure our staff and students at Little Run are comfortable in the classrooms. I am glad we get to partner with them--their dedication is outstanding!"

- Monica Mohr, Little Run ES

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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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Maureen Boland, Rolling Valley ES

"Dr. Boland has demonstrated phenomenal communication through a variety of available resources to convey plans and clarity to any FCPS member in a responsible and supportive manor.  Her transparency of knowledge for what is known, and yet to be known is an example of respect for FCPS faculty.  Thank you for your dedication and service your ability to see beyond the walls of your building to express your care for all of FCPS."

- a Rolling Valley ES parent

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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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Tracey Phillips, Robinson SS

"Mrs. Phillips cares deeply for her students and goes out of her way to make sure they have a voice and feel supported. She relates and connects to kids and gives them her time to make sure they are having the best experience at Robinson."

- a Robinson SS parent

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Patricia Parisi, Gatehouse Administration Center

"From the instant I called Finance for assistance with a form, Patti Parisi helped me with generosity, positivity, and optimism. I had to submit a form and Patti helped me through every step, working with different colleagues to collect needed information, with persistence and positivity. Because of her efforts on my behalf, I not only got what I needed, but felt so encouraged and affirmed by her attitude. Thank you, Patti!"

- Julia Sullivan, Willow Oaks

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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