FCPS Cares - March 2020

By Department of Human Resources
March 04, 2020

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: Food Services – Financial Services 

"Our FCPS families in need are so thankful for all of the hard work, planning and dedication from the FCPS food services employees at the 29 distribution centers.  Your service is impacting thousands that couldn’t otherwise feed their families.  THANK YOU from the ones who aren’t able to say thank you or don’t know who to thank! You are making a difference!"

-Tami Stubblefield, Stone MS

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Region 1: Mason Walsh, Dranesville ES

"My daughter loves her Kindergarten teacher Ms. Walsh. As soon as we all learned that FCPS would be shutting down as a result of COVID-19, Ms. Walsh was reaching out to her students. Every day since then Ms. Walsh has shared a message with her students including a YouTube lesson that covers reading, science, math, social studies, and more. She has gone above and beyond her responsibilities to keep in touch with her students and to make them feel safe and in touch in this crazy time. Ms. Walsh deserves this and every other award you can bestow upon her."

- a Dranesville ES Parent

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Region 2: Janice Perreault, Bailey's Lower ES & Lisa Gunther, Justice HS

"I want to recognize Mrs. Perreault, the librarian at Bailey’s Lower Elementary, and Mrs. Gunther, the librarian at Justice High School, for organizing a special event during Read Across America week. The two librarians coordinated a “reading buddy” event, where freshmen students in my Literacy Lab classes were welcomed to the elementary school to read picture books to kindergarten students. Because of the efforts of these two women, the event was a total hit! Students in my Literacy Lab classes sometimes feel discouraged about school. Some of them are behind in their coursework. The value of this activity was that it showed my Literacy Lab students how much they know and how far they have come! Students took turns reading books to small groups of kindergartners. Mid-book, one of my students turned to me, beaming, and said "I feel so mature!" Another student came to me between rotations to say she didn't realize "how much I know" until she read to the little kids. Thanks to these two librarians for their efforts!"  This experience showed my students that they can be role models to younger kids. 

- Michael Ranson, Justice HS

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Region 3: Paola Cespedes, Jada Roberts, Michelle Moran, Adaweya Atari, Riverside ES

"Paola, Jada, Michelle, and Adaweya all made it a priority to attend a Kindergarten Registration event at MVHS on March 3rd. As a team, we were able to adequately prepare proper resources, materials, and a plan of action to make this event a success! Jada, Michelle, and Adaweya assisted families with understanding the K resources and how to utilize them at home. Paola worked with families to get them registered and identified any documentation that they needed to bring later. I appreciate these ladies and their commitment, flexibility, and positivity for being so willing to take time out of their evening to ensure that this event ran smoothly, that parents received all the pertinent resources and information they needed, and for making each family feel welcome! Thank you, ladies, SO much!"

- Anna Macedonia, Riverside ES

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Region 4: Carin Frank, Lake Braddock SS

"Carin has worked tirelessly with administration, teachers, and staff to support and prepare all of us for this new and uncharted "virtual/distant" learning curve in education. Throughout the past two weeks Carin has provided clear, concise, and accessible materials in this rapidly changing environment. Communicating with the number of staff in a manner in which Carin has committed to doing, shows her unwavering loyalty to ensure we are prepared and ready to continue educating students given these unprecedented circumstances.  Carin has selflessly made herself available throughout weekdays, in addition to the weekend, answering questions, providing training's and encouraging staff as we face many new and different learning challenges. Given what I know of Carin, this doesn't impact her one bit; she believes her level of support and help is all within the nature of her job. Even more reason for Carin to be acknowledged and cheered on for her valiant efforts. Carin, you're the BEST!"

- Amy Soos, Lake Braddock SS

"Carin has put in time above and beyond this past week...she is answering emails about technology and distance learning and has been such a great resource....she has answered many questions in such a timely manner on Blackboard Collaborate Ultra. Thank you, Carin, for all your tech support, and thank you for your patience!  LB is lucky to have you."

- Jenn Burgee, Lake Braddock Secondary

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Region 5:

Maria Filgueira, Lees Corner ES

"Dedicated, passionate, caring. Just a few of the many positive ways to describe Maria Filgueira. Her selflessness and commitment to advocating for her students and all special education students go unmatched. She works tirelessly to find opportunities for special education students to be included both inside and outside of the school setting. Maria has spearheaded multiple school projects aiming to foster inclusion opportunities for her students and all students with disabilities. Maria invests countless hours into developing programs/activities such as Blizzard's Market (school store for students with and without disabilities - proceeds benefit special education program), Walk-In My Shoes, Autism Awareness fundraisers, alternate field trips to provide opportunities for special education students, and various school displays promoting inclusion, acceptance, and awareness. She goes above and beyond to help others (students, parents, co-workers). From answering questions and offering advice to translating and sharing resources, Maria makes all feel welcome and supported. Maria is truly one of a kind. Thank you for all that you do, it is greatly appreciated!"

- Laura Dinan, Lees Corner ES

Other FCPS Cares of the Month Recipients

Anthony Harris, Frost MS

"The Admin Team at Frost would like to recognize, acknowledge, and express gratitude for our Principal Anthony Harris' leadership during these unusual times in FCPS (and worldwide).  Mr. Harris has been available, communicative, and supportive of all Frost staff since schools closed on March 13.  He's been a calming presence and a voice of reason during what have been uneasy times for everyone.  We could not have asked for a better Principal to lead us through this time in FCPS!"

- Joe Berret, Frost MS

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Philip Jeffers, Nancy Sprague Center

Philip Jeffers took time to address my Outlook Calendar issues.  With everything going on currently with extra workload on TSSpecs he was his usual patient self and got my software updated and working.  I cannot say enough good things about Philip.  He always goes above and beyond - every single day.  Especially during this busy and stressful time.  Much appreciation and thanks!!!

- Jean Welsh, Nancy Sprague Center

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Laura Reed, Frost MS

"Laura has worked tirelessly to help Frost stay in business during this time, being available at all hours and all days to help arrange meetings, create materials, or post presentations.  Going "remote" has been a challenge but she has made it smoother than we thought was even possible.  We are lucky to have her!"

- Joe Berret, Frost MS

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Dawn Gillis and Amy Schenker, Glasgow MS

"My eighth grader wants to shout out to both of the art teachers. As he says, "They really, really care about their students emotional health," and that makes him want to come to school."

- a Glasgow MS Parent and Student

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Gerald Freda, Stonecroft Transportation

"I want to recognize Mr. Gerald Freda for going above and beyond to assist my son in recovering a set of AirPods that were lost on Mr. Freda’s bus returning from a high school game. Mr. Freda called us as soon as he was informed about the owner of the AirPods from the school’s transportation services coordinator. Mr. Freda even drove from his home, which was about 20 minutes away from the school, to return the AirPods to us. We really appreciate how he held onto the AirPods for over two weeks while the school system was closed."

- a Chantilly HS Parent

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Carolina Roca Del Valle, Stonecroft Transportation

"I want to recognize Mrs. Carolina Roca Del Valle (Chantilly Pyramid Transportation Services) for going above and beyond to assist my son in recovering a set of AirPods that were lost on a bus returning from a high school game. This event occurred right before the schools were closed in March 2020. My son reached out to Mrs. Roca Del Valle to inform her.  She quickly connected with the bus driver, even while the schools were closed, and immediately put us in touch with the driver. She was very empathetic about the situation."

- a Chantilly HS Parent

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Jason Covey, Willow Oaks

"Since he stepped into the role, but especially throughout the last few weeks of uncertainty, Jason has served as a voice of calm for SBTS.  Our role has been evolving, the demands are increasing and he has stepped up to provide reassurance and support. He offers individual or group coaching and support.  Over the last few weeks he's offered phone and video conference support.  He even facilitated a social event (over video conference) to meet the needs expressed by SBTS to connect with one another.  He is a great listener and I always feel heard when I reach out. He has done all of this on top of the work he's been tasked with in Instructional Services as we shift to Distance Learning AND didn't bat an eye.  I'm so thankful for Jason's calming and reassuring presence always, but even more so during these times!"

- Margaret Sisler, Westfield HS

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Jenny Louangoudom, Gatehouse

"Jenny went above and beyond to help me resolve an issue with the Tuition Reimbursement portal and supporting documentation.  She helped me over the course of two days to resolve my problems and her attitude and willingness to go the extra mile was greatly appreciated."

- MacLean Wilson, Willow Oaks

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Tabitha Reber, Hayfield Secondary School; Alison Costanza, Stone MS; Emily Phelan, Chantilly HS 

"Over the last two and a half weeks, SBTS have coordinated a professional learning day that didn't happen, planned and coordinated distribution of laptops and mifis with TSSpecs, and supported and planned with admins for a week of professional learning about distance learning - not to mention the behind the scenes prep to ensure all virtual meeting spaces were set up and accessible, that teachers had resources, and more.  It's been incredible to see the sharing of resources and ideas that have made us all better - these three women, Alison Costanza at Stone MS, Tabitha Reber at Hayfield Secondary and Emily Phelan at Chantilly HS have been such great thinking partners.  Because they freely share the resources and ideas that they have, my thinking evolved and improved!  I was able to support my staff in the best way possible.  We really are #BetterTogether and I am so thankful for these women for sharing and being my thinking partners this week and always!"

- Margaret Sisler, Westfield HS

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Lauren Jones and Carl Roach, Sprague Technology Center

"Over the last two weeks, Lauren and Carl have changed everything about the way they work to support staff and students at Westfield as we transition to distance learning.  Where they used to see teachers and students every day, they are reaching out virtually, trying new methods of working with teachers and planning for how to support students.  They have coordinated and executed mifi distribution to ensure students have the connection needed and are prepared for distance learning.  They have both been incredibly flexible and responsive to the changing needs of school and community needs."

- Margaret Sisler, Westfield HS

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Dana Ouart, Westfield HS

"Over the last week, Dana has jumped right in to help ensure our students have the mifi devices they need to engage in distance learning.  She has worked diligently with the TSSpecs, teachers, counselors, administrators to collect names of students, reach out to students and families to set up appointments and served as our translator on the day of distribution.  We couldn't have done this work and met the needs of our students without her support!  Thank you Dana!!"

- Margaret Sisler, Westfield HS

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Susan Fox, Westfield HS

"Susan Fox, Assessment Coach Extraordinaire at Westfield HS, has gone above and beyond over the last week.  During a virtual meeting discussion distance learning and the needs of our staff, she immediately reached out to offer help.  Over the last two days she has taken on creating Blackboard Collaborate Ultra sessions for each teacher, ensuring they have what they need for the week of professional learning rather than having to wait.  With over 200 staff in need of a session, the creation of these sessions was no small task, yet Susan offered and worked diligently to ensure each session was set up.  THANK YOU!  I'm not sure what I'd do without her support each day at Westfield."

- Margaret Sisler, Westfield HS

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Ashley Stout, Flint Hill ES

"HUGE kudos to Ashley, our technology coach, for working around the clock this past week amidst the Covid-19 Pandemic and abrupt school closures to ensure her own understanding of the latest FCPS distance learning guidelines, all of the programs and technology it will entail, and turn-around training our entire staff with such grace and professionalism.  She has gone above and beyond to promptly answer any and all questions and concerns from staff and equip us with the technological confidence boost we will all need moving forward.  Ashley has demonstrated immense patience, flexibility, and expertise in her field as she guides us through uncharted waters. Her leadership and dedication has been inspiring and we are so very grateful and relieved to know we will have her coaching us and cheering us on in all things distance learning and in our Blackboard Collaborate Ultra sessions every step of the way.  THANK YOU, ASHLEY!"

- Shannon Kuykendall, Flint Hill ES

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FCPS Food Service Workers, Energy Zone

"I want to say a big Thank You to the Fairfax County Schools-food service staff around the county for all the hard work they have been putting in to fill in the need of students across Fairfax County. They are in the front lines going out of their way to ensure children are served nutritious meals. I visited the curbside meal site at Garfield Elementary and saw the process first-hand. Thank you for all do you to make it happen under such an unprecedented situation."

- a Garfield ES Parent

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Nichole Lansdowne, Colin Powell ES


"Nichole, your leadership, flexibility, responsiveness and teamwork have been tremendous as we have worked to create our distance learning plan. Thank you! I am grateful you are a part of my team and appreciate the extra time you are putting in to make sure our teachers and students feel successful."

- Jamie Luerssen, Colin Powell ES
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Carin Frank, Lake Braddock SS
Scott Dreier, Semuel Hackett, Nick See, Nancy Sprague Center

"The tech team---including Carin, Scott, Nick, and Samuel have done an incredible job supporting staff and getting devices ready for distribution to support our students who are most in need having gone "virtual" with almost no advanced notice. Many, many thanks!!!"

- Jacquie Naughton, Lake Braddock SS

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Yaara Crane, Willow Oaks

"In the midst schools closing for the Covid19 pandemic one week before the Regional Science Fair, Yaara Crane developed a plan to continue with the fair by designing a virtual experience for students to continue to share their scientific work with a larger community. This was a Herculean feat that she lead with a great deal of grace and serenity."

- Karen Molloy, Chantilly HS

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Anne Vance, Stacy Delaney, Ken Kuchta, Dana Gorman, Jennifer Bury, Miriam Lynch, Ashley Ytzen and Kat Young, Lake Braddock SS

"A great BIG shout out to Anne Vance, Stacy Delaney, Ken Kuchta, Dana Gorman, Jennifer Bury, Miriam Lynch, Ashley Ytzen and Kat Young for graciously volunteering to share your time and expertise this past week in facilitating the following Distance Learning Virtual PD sessions; Blackboard, Pear Deck, Screencasting, Google classroom, voice over, padlet, and Edpuzzle. While I did not attend every session, I did check out recordings as well as heard from  staff how grateful they were to have been given the opportunity to participate, collaborate, learn, ask questions and ultimately add something new to their forever evolving online learning toolbox...........which will ultimately benefit our students."

- Amy Soos, Lake Braddock SS

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Anthony Petras, Herndon High School

"Anthony has created an amazing chemistry website, with notes, quizzes, and online practice tests that he has been willing to share with his County colleagues.  It has proven very helpful so far, but will be even more helpful during distance learning."

- Joy McManus, Mount Vernon High School

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Ann Wong, Robinson Secondary

"This past week we have all had to deal a situation that has never happened before.  Ann Wong did a phenomenal job of communication to our staff.  She kept the staff updated on an hourly basis (during the weekend as well), and answered all emails that staff sent to her in a very timely manner. Ann Wong went above and beyond is this situation because she CARES for the staff, students and our community.   She eased any concerns that were brought up and we are very lucky to have her at Robinson. I think she is deserving of a YOU CARE award because of all she has done and continues to do for our school community."

- Roisin Burford, Robinson Secondary

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Ann Wong, Robinson Secondary

"This past Friday when school was cancelled due to the Corona virus, our associate principal, Ann Wong, kept Robinson faculty and staff informed all day Friday and all weekend long as changes occurred. Ann is our new associate principal this year, and she is a class act. She is the type of leader who has the ability to transform a school. Ann cares deeply about our students and every single person in our building. She stays calm in a crisis and puts people first. I feel honored to know her and work so closely with her. Kudos to Ann Wong, principal extraordinaire."

- Lisa Burke Mosteller, Robinson Secondary

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Jose Miranda, Edison Support Center

"Jose Miranda goes above and beyond when we put in a work order for an HVAC issue. He always checks in after he is finished with the work order to let me know what the status is. He even stops by when there are no work orders just to check on us. Jose is a dedicated FCPS employee."

- Lisa Gibson, Clermont ES

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James Teasley and Dennis Miller, Edison Support Center

"James Teasley and Dennis Miller both came out to Clermont multiple times to fix the toilet in the main office. James answered my emails in a timely manner and sent Dennis out just as quick. When Dennis wasn't available, James came out himself. Thank you both very much. Both are awesome county employees."

- Lisa Gibson, Clermont ES

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FCPS Food Services

"Our FCPS families in need are so thankful for all of the hard work, planning and dedication from the FCPS food services employees at the 29 distribution centers.  Your service is impacting thousands that couldn’t otherwise feed their families.  THANK YOU from the ones who aren’t able to say thank you or don’t know who to thank! You are making a difference!!"

- Tami Stubblefield, Stone MS

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Patricia Lister, Thomas Jefferson HS

"Ms. Lister meets Latin students online on Sunday 3/15/2020, providing hope and guidelines. This is difficult time, students look up to teachers as role models. This goes a long way to help students structure their day and time, get engaged and use their time wisely. I wish more FCPS teachers can do the same. I can't thank Ms. Lister enough!"

- a Thomas Jefferson HS Parent

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Susie Hamrock, Woodson HS

"Susie is a remarkable teacher, coach, and person. She led the Woodson Girls tennis team to a state championship in 2018 and the Woodson Boys Swim team to a state championship in 2020. If a coach is lucky, they are able to have one championship under their belt. Having two championships, with different sports, is unprecedented."

- Emily Pavot, Woodson HS

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Kimberly Myles, Stratford Landing ES

"We are so appreciative of Ms. Myles never giving up on our daughter and always pushing her to work harder.  Her positive reinforcements are just what my daughter needs.  My daughter has made significant improvements this school year and we owe it to Mrs. Myles’ willingness to push our daughter in the best way possible.  We appreciate you!"

- a Stratford Landing ES Parent

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Jacquie Naughton, Lake Braddock SS

"Jacquie Naughton is one of the most amazing counselors and people I know. I first met Jacquie as a parent, when she was a counselor for my son and daughter here at Lake Braddock. I was so impressed with her constant communication and how well she knew my kids, and how knowledgeable she was about who they were as people, as well as students. She consistently talked to their teachers and made sure I knew what was happening, and made sure my kids knew what supports were available to them. Of course, they also adored her. Jacquie exudes empathy and a real desire to help our students, and they know this. As a teacher, I have come to see what Jacquie does for all kids. She is my first go-to when I have a student who needs additional support in areas outside of academia. Jacquie has a very unique caseload and serves students in our community who have special circumstances, often outside of school, but that affects them here and in their lives in general. That is not to say she is not willing to jump in and help with any student, as she has done many times when I’ve asked for her assistance. It is not rare to see Jacquie walking the hallways looking for her kids, just to check in or get them going to where they need to be. She calls, knocks on doors, and helps with transportation to get her students to school. I’ve seen how pained she is when one of her kids is struggling and I’ve watched her do everything in her power to help, be it working with siblings, parents, other relatives, and community services. The students have the utmost respect for her, as well. They may be excited when they see her coming or they may know it’s time to face consequences, but whichever it may be that particular time, they know it is because she cares deeply for them as individuals. Jacquie also just started an afternoon study hall for ALL students. She provides emotional and academic support for all, always going above and beyond. She even lets the teachers know which of their students attended so we can follow up and praise them for their hard work. I am often in awe of Jacquie. She is simply the best! So many educators burn out or just get exhausted when faced with student challenges, but Jacquie never seems to. She always has a smile waiting for a student and encourages all of us not to give up: on ourselves, on our students, or on one another."

- Kat Frazier, Lake Braddock SS

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Melissa Degnan (Reis), Oak Hill ES

"Mrs. Degnan goes above and beyond as a special education teacher at Oak Hill ES.  She works very closely with classroom teachers to ensure success for all students with whom she works.  In co-teaching situations, she eagerly supports and enriches the curriculum for ALL students, not just those students with IEPs.  She has a very compassionate way about her.  The Conlan Crew LOVES Mrs. Degnan.  Thank you Mrs. Degnan for all you do!!!!!"

- Shanan Conlan, Oak Hill ES

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Cheryl Sutphin, Lake Braddock SS

"Cheryl Sutphin is an exceptional Strategies for Success teacher who consistently follows up with classroom teachers to check in on our shared students' success. Her kindness, willingness to help, consistent monitoring of work that needs to be completed, and overall positive attitude are the perfect traits for someone in this role. Many of my students who have Cheryl as their Strategies for Success teacher are able to succeed. Thank you, Cheryl, for being a rock star!"

- Dana Gorman, Lake Braddock SS

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Patrick Ogden, Nancy Sprague Technology Center

“Patrick Ogden went above and beyond to help a fellow coworker when he fell on the job. He took him to an emergency care facility and waited with him until he was cleared to go home. His actions represent what we strive to do here in FCPS not only for the students but for all of its stakeholders. Cheers to you Pat!”

- ETMS, Nancy Sprague Technology Center

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Kathleen Adkisson, McNair ES

"Kathleen is an exceptional educator who consistently goes above and beyond for our school and community! She is a member of the Fourth Grade Team and has served as Team Lead both in 1st and 4th grades, with a focus on Math instruction. She also participates in several committees within the school and attends other learning opportunities offered to grow professionally. She works collaboratively with teachers on the team as well as other grade levels and specialists. Kathleen has taken part in the Mentorworks program for two years, dedicating free time to students who would benefit from a role model, meeting weekly with her mentee and providing a nurturing atmosphere for her mentee each week. She is currently finishing her masters +30 this semester. Kathleen is an effective communicator working towards bridging a gap between AAP and gen ed so that everyone is active and involved in team decisions. She has held professional development sessions for our staff such as PBL basics and how to effectively organize your intervention block. Kathleen volunteers at before and after school functions such as Literacy Nights, Pi Nights and Family Fun Nights. Additionally Kathleen serves as one of our school’s PBL lead teachers, as well as participation in a Rethinking Virginia Studies cohort, spending time managing students with various behavior and academic accommodations, meanwhile creating extension activities for level IV students, and providing opportunities for learning virtually through blended learning lessons within Google classroom and through the usage of FCPS approved apps. McNair is fortunate to have Kathleen on staff as she is exhibits positive energy and is always friendly with all staff and students! :)"

- Teresa Kelley, McNair ES

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Tammy Snyder, Stonecroft Transportation

"Tammy consistently addresses concerns in a student-focused, timely, and professional manner.  It is a pleasure to partner with her in supporting all students, including students in our PAC, ECCB, and Enhanced Autism programs. Thank you, Tammy!"

- Rachel Charlton, Aldrin ES 

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Jamie Haley, Lanier MS

"Ms. Haley is my daughter's counselor. My daughter has rare, and uncertain health conditions that are triggered with any virus. Ms. Haley was able to communicate with me in a way that was over and above the care and dedication that I expected in trying to make and figure out how to make decisions during this very uncertain time. She not only responded promptly and respectfully, she also coordinated a phone call between the public health staff, the administration, and others at my daughter's school to make sure that I was aware of the accommodations available to my daughter, as well as the school's flexibility and respect for the decisions made by parents, as well as individual care for students' wellbeing."

- a Lanier MS Parent

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Kim Morrison, Beth Gijon, Michaela Wheat, Daniels Run ES

"My daughter is in Ms. Morrison's kindergarten class. We have been so impressed with our daughter's improvement in reading. She is taking risks when picking books and does not get intimidated by challenging texts. She has also come out of her quiet shell and is leading their morning message. It is my belief that because of the hard work Ms. Morrison, Ms. Gijon, and Ms. Wheat have put in, our daughter has soared to new heights. Thank you very much!"

- a Daniels Run ES Parent

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Vince Fulginiti, Lorton Center

"Vince is always ready to help any of us with our IT concerns or problems. Thanks Vince!"

- Deanna Connelly, Lorton Center Transportation

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Rhonda Jones Howard, Rachel Carson MS

"I wanted to take a moment to thank Mrs. Jones Howard for all the hard work she does to shape our kids. As a parent, I have seen so much improvement in my son's ability to take responsibilities and to not be scared of working hard. Thank you for pushing our kids to be able to get the best from them. Please keep up the great work you do! Thank you!"

- a Rachel Carson Parent

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Jessica Davis, Fairfax Villa ES

"Ms. Davis has been exceptional this year with providing feedback with our son in her class. She lets us know of concerns, has been willing to work with us on positive reinforcement techniques with him in the classroom and most recently she made my week by leaving me a thoughtful voicemail about how proud she was of him for sticking up for a fellow student who was being bullied. She has generously given books to the students with inscriptions that will stick with them for years...We are SO THANKFUL that teachers like Jessica Davis are in our school district & school!  We are also super thankful that our son has the benefit of learning with her guidance this year. She is rumored to be “the best” among the students and now we see why! Thank you so much for all you do to help each student rise to be their best!!"

- a Fairfax Villa ES Parent

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Cory Yeager, Fort Hunt ES

"Cory goes above and beyond for his duties as SBTS. He is always rearranging his schedule to help the school.  He wears many hats at Fort Hunt, along with his duties helping us in any aspect of tech support and testing, he is always willing to help in any situation from covering classrooms, supporting students, and helping in a crisis. He is a team player who we can always count on!"

- Debbie Trenchard, Fort Hunt ES

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Katie Harris, Willow Oaks

"Katie was part of an extraordinary IEP team who was able to problem solve a number of problems and issues associated with the school placement of one of our students whose parent in extreme need of staff advocacy and support. Katie was instrumental in leading the IEP team and getting the student back in a school after nearly a full year of home-based instruction."

- Kurt Mills, Willow Oaks

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Lori Luster, Stratford Landing ES

"Ms. Luster has gone above and beyond in finding ways to help our daughter build confidence, participate fully, handle conflict, and make new friends. She takes extra time each week to provide appropriate feedback and to encourage good behavior.  We are incredibly grateful for her help and support!"

- a Stratford Landing ES parent

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Donald Balsavich, Justice HS

"I am the parent of a Freshman student wrestler at Justice High School. I’m writing to you today to say how much my son and I appreciate the Justice wrestling program and the leadership of Coach Balsavich. Over the course of the last wrestling season, I’ve had the opportunity to observe first-hand the culture Coach B. and his staff are building. I’ve seen myself and heard from my son about numerous examples of life lessons being imparted at the practices and at matches. It’s clear to me that Coach B. and his staff place heavy emphasis on team building, camaraderie, and mentorship among the student wrestlers. Almost from the very first day, my son was telling me about the other veteran wrestlers who were helping him learn the sport and who were going out of their way to foster an environment of inclusion. Over the course of the wrestling season, I’ve seen reflected in my son’s behavior and speech an understanding of the importance of sportsmanship and fair-play.  Having once been a student-athlete myself I can say that this is not always the case. I’m extremely thankful that the Coach and his staff of coaches for this. In both the words and deeds of the coach and his staff which I’ve observed during team practices, matches, and team building events, I’m reminded of the famous poem by Rudyard Kipling. The poem’s title is “IF”. And although Kipling wrote this poem for his son over one hundred years ago, the truth of his words are timeless and applicable to all I believe. It’s clear that these same values and ideals are reflected in the work of Coach Balsavich and his staff. I won’t place the entire poem here, but in case you are not familiar with the poem, I have inserted a couple of stanzas below which I think are particularly applicable to the education and values Coach B. and his staff are imparting to his students.  From “IF” by Rudyard Kipling: If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster And treat those two impostors just the same; ….If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew To serve your turn long after they are gone, And so hold on when there is nothing in you Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’ If you can fill the unforgiving minute With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run, Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it, And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!  From everything I’ve observed as a parent who has seen Coach Balsavich’s practice sessions and the team’s matches, I firmly believe he is passing along and infusing into the team’s culture these same values.  I’m thankful that Coach B. and his staff are modeling these ideas to the young men and women on the Justice wrestling team.  I am grateful to the school administration in general, the Principal Ms. Maria Eck,  Director of Student Activities Mr. Brian Garvey, and to Coach Balsavich and his staff (coach Benjamin Alvarado, Mr. Jeremy Silva,  Coach Drew,  coach Scott Force, et. al.) in particular for providing such a great educational platform to model these and other ideals. If there is any recognition that the school or county can give to Coach Balsavich and his staff, please consider this letter to be in support of such recognition. I truly feel it is deserved. You have an exceptional set of coaches/educators and an exceptional athletic program."

- a Justice HS parent

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Brittany Crumbling, Riverside ES

"Brittany totally stepped up to prepare for our Riverside Staff VS. 6th Grade Students Basketball Game. Not only did she volunteer to coach our 6th-grade students during the game, but she also worked with our dance team after school for several hours to ensure they were prepared for their halftime performance. The girls were adequately prepared and did a phenomenal job due to her leadership. Brittany was the definition of a team player and volunteered to fill in to meet our areas of need. Thanks for being so awesome, Brittany!"

- Anna Macedonia, Riverside ES

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Meredith Hedrick and Becky Young, Annandale HS

"Meredith and Becky are essential members of the ESOL team at Annandale high school. They work tirelessly to ensure that the academic, social-emotional, and career needs are met for every student in their school. Meredith has worked a lot to plan and create a successful Just World Festival. This festival not only showcased how the AHS community comes together for a right cause, but it also shows that Meredith takes the classroom experience beyond the four walls of a classroom. Becky has worked a great deal to establish an after-school club for her students at AHS. This club ensures that students are mentored and guided, especially in regard to plans for after graduation and how to navigate the American school system. Meredith and Becky are a true example of the Fairfax County Public School Mission to inspire and empower students to meet high academic standards, lead healthy, ethical lives, and be responsible and innovative global citizens. Thank you, Meredith and Becky!"

- Manuel Gomez Portillo, Leis Center

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Sonia Arellano, Leis Center

"Sonia is a true example of someone who is passionate and caring. She worked hard to develop a tool that compiled Spanish language resources for parents and students to use in the division. This tool has been used by various problem-solving teams in my assigned region. Not only has this tool built capacity within MTSS teams, but also immensely helped parents and students with extremely useful resources. Sonia is a true example of the Fairfax County Schools beliefs that families play a fundamental role in their children’s education and that effective educators are essential to student success. Thank you, Sonia, for your exemplary dedication towards your work, you are truly appreciated."

- Manuel Gomez Portillo, Leis Center

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Rachel Grover, Rocky Run MS

"My daughter left her lunchbox with her cellphone at a Battle of the books on a Saturday. Ms. Grover went back to the school where the event was held, coordinated a pickup, and brought back the lunchbox to my daughter. We're really grateful for her going out of her way to do this for us. Thanks, Ms. Grover!"

- a Rocky Run MS parent

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Bryan Gibson, Gatehouse Administration Center

"Bryan Gibson is always there to support us at our school.  Whenever I call to ask a question, Bryan picks up the phone.  He listens to the entire concern and then he asks pertinent questions to help resolve the issue or walks us through the steps.  He is always positive, collaborative, and pleasure to talk to when I call."

- Ellen Reilly, McLean HS

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Patty Hansen, Colvin Run ES

"Mrs. Hansen is a kind and caring teacher who inspires our son to be his best self every day.  Coming off of a long-time IEP (since kindergarten) and entering sixth grade without any special accommodations for the first time, we were nervous for our son, to say the least.  Yet, on the first day of school, our son came home and announced that he would strive to stay organized with his school work this year—and he did just that ever since. Not only has our son been completing his homework immediately after school every day, he has also been practicing his clarinet and studying for tests regularly before bedtime, all without any prodding.  Aside from imparting the importance of organizational skills, Mrs. Hansen also makes our son feel safe at school.  One day, while waiting to be picked up following an after school activity, Mrs. Hansen reminded our son to wait with other students instead of standing alone.  But perhaps the best part of having Mrs. Hansen as his sixth-grade homeroom teacher is the joy she brings to her math class.  Our son now loves math and looks forward to the funny stories she tells every day, especially when learning new concepts.  For us as parents, the best gift a teacher can give their child is the self-confidence and the belief that he can attain higher goals—and this is exactly what Mrs. Hansen gave our son this year.  We cannot thank her enough for this."

- a Colvin Run ES parent

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Colleen Kalajmka, Instructional Programs Support Center

"Thank you for all the support in making our student’s presentation to the House and Senate so memorable.  He has been on a long journey with support for many years. Your guidance in both technology and career goals is valued. Your professionalism shines through in everything you do!"

- Judie Lieberman, Willow Oaks

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Theresa H Brown, Stonecroft Transportation

"A student had left their medical equipment on her bus and was having a medical emergency at Thomas Jefferson.  She went back to her bus, before she began her afternoon runs, and made a special trip to bring the equipment to Thomas Jefferson. The parent called to alert us to the situation and the student was in the care of the school nurse; but needed the equipment asap. Thanks to her care and concern for the student, everything worked out okay."

- Beth NeSmith, Area 2 Transportation

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Teri Ruttenberg, Freedom Hill ES

"Ms. Ruttenberg is a warm dedicated and compassionate teacher. She has extra ordinary communication skills. She always replies to every email within a few minutes. She takes very good care her students. She keeps us updated on every small thing that happens with our child. At the start of the school year, we were worried about our child, as this is the first time she was separated from her twin and attending class alone. Ms. Ruttenberg understood our concern and she always sends a quick note whenever she is happy, playful and interacting with other kids. That was amazing. Before my child comes home and informs us, we already have the information. It make us feel so comfortable that these days we stopped worrying about our child.  We trust that if anything happens we will get a quick note from Ms. Ruttenberg. She takes personal care of the her students. The most amazing thing is, she catches some very good moments of our child on camera and sends the pics in email. These photos are a priceless treasure for us. We are very fortunate to have her as our child's first teacher. She is a great asset to Freedom hill and for FCPS. We wish her good luck."

- a Freedom Hill ES Parent
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Laura Venos, McLean HS

"A big thank you to Laura Venos, Career Center Specialist, at McLean High School. She has been very supportive of the Longfellow Middle School College Partnership Program. She is always available to answer college related questions and graciously donates college and armed services paraphernalia to group members  to keep them inspired about college and rewarding careers. Laura was the guest speaker for the LMS Most Improved Student Award ceremony and delivered an uplifting message honoring their success."

- Bruce Walker, Longfellow MS

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Kim Shahin, Marshall HS

"Kim went above and beyond as the SBTS at Marshall HS to support problem solving for technical difficulties we were experiencing at the SIIP NIC Convening on January 17, 2020."

- Claire Silva, Marshall HS

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Jesse Oneal, Marshall HS

"Jesse and his custodial staff when above and beyond in supporting the set up and audio accommodations for the SIIP NIC Convening which took place on Friday January 17, 2020."

- Claire Silva, Marshall HS

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Meredith Braithwaite, Willow Oaks

"Meredith Braithwaite has gone above and beyond for our child and my family. For years she has shown compassion, understanding and has been in our corner. lt is obvious how much she cares and we are so grateful. She takes time out of her day to check in on a regular basis. We would be lost without her!"

- a Saratoga ES Parent

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Patty Smith, Colin Powell ES

"Mrs. Smith is commended for her support of the equity training we have been providing this school year. She is an important part of our school-based equity team and I truly appreciated her support and facilitation of the Module V training earlier this week. Kudos to Mrs. Smith!"

- Jamie Luerssen, Colin Powell ES

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Kathleen Tourtellotte, Colin Powell ES

Mrs. Tourtellotte is commended for her support of the equity training we have been providing this school year. She is an important part of our school-based equity team and I truly appreciated her support and facilitation of the Module V training earlier this week. Kudos to Mrs. Tourtellotte!

- Jamie Luerssen, Colin Powell ES

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Christine Abt, Colin Powell ES

"Mrs. Abt is commended for her support of the equity training we have been providing this school year. She is an important part of our school-based equity team and I appreciate the leadership she brings in this role and many others. Kudos!"

- Jamie Luerssen, Colin Powell ES

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Hope Song, Colin Powell ES

"Ms. Song is commended for her leadership as Powell's Equity Lead. She facilitated the Module V training with ease and brought out Equity Team into the fold by having them co-present with her. I am so appreciative of the leadership Ms. Song has brought as our Equity Lead for the past two years. Kudos!"

- Jamie Luerssen, Colin Powell ES

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Chelsea Downing & CWES Admin. Team, Canterbury Woods ES

"It's during those times when Murphy's Law rears its head that you truly value the Caring Culture that our amazing employees exemplify. On a day when our child was going on a field trip, some very unfortunate events occurred that resulted in a trip to the ER. The CWES Admin Team was extremely supportive and responsive as the events unfolded throughout the day. Ms. Downing ensured that our child was safe and she even took the time later that evening to check in with us. THANK YOU, Ms. Downing and the CWES Admin Team, for showing us how much YOU care about the kids in your school and class!!!"

- Canterbury Woods ES Parents

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Sarah Hall, Eagle View ES

"Sarah Hall is the full time school counselor at Eagle View Elementary School. I would like to recognize Sarah as an outstanding employee for several reasons.  As a school counselor she is extremely kind and patient with her students.  Students seek her out for her compassionate listening skills and ability to make them feel comfortable.  Sarah is a very busy counselor, she is a part of the master schedule and is constantly on the go providing valuable life skill lessons to classrooms.  Besides being on the master schedule Sarah does numerous groups with students, whenever a need pops up Sarah is quick to develop a group to support the student.  Sarah has been welcoming to me as the new social worker this year and we have enjoyed doing some groups together.  She is a great collaborator and colleague to work with. She always has great group ideas and it is a pleasure working with her.  I am thankful to get to work with such a caring and kind school counselor!"

- Denise Marcone, Eagle View ES
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Catherine Fahey, Colin Powell ES

"I have had the pleasure in witnessing Mrs. Fahey provide a learning environment for her first grade students that ensures each student accesses what they need every day, both emotionally and academically.  Her dedication to maintaining consistent classroom routines and considering teaching approaches which are equitable and work for her unique group of students is a true example of best practices.  Mrs. Fahey models patience and kindness with her students on a daily basis, providing them with a safe place to grow and learn.  Our school is lucky to have a teacher like Mrs. Fahey!"

- Kristin Bunch, Colin Powell ES

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Janice Perreault, Bailey's Lower ES

"Students gain such a huge understanding of their own abilities and potential when they are placed in a position of being able to be "the teacher" rather than always being "the learner" (although in reality, we are always learners).  Janice Perrault is the librarian at Bailey's Lower Elementary school and I am one of the librarians at Justice HS.  On occasion, she and I partner to bring emerging high school readers over to the elementary school to read to the younger students.  Often the HS students express either trepidation or indifference before the visit, but after the visit, every single one of them displays a new-found confidence and enthusiasm. This year as part of Read Across America, Janice worked her magic so that a group of Justice 9th graders in a literacy class could come and read to four Kindergarten classes. It takes a good deal of coordination on her part to make this happen. I wish I could effectively put into words the incredible transformation I saw in our students' spirits on this field trip. One boy smiled ear-to-ear the entire time. Another was thrilled to be remembered by a former teacher. A girl stated "it touched my heart" to work with the Kindergartners. Some of the teens were so happy that they skipped rather than walked the whole way back to Justice. And lastly, one of the Baileys' teachers was surprised when I told her that these students viewed themselves as non-readers; she saw them as highly engaged with reading. I am so appreciative of the amount of effort and organization that Janice puts into having the Justice students come to read to the Bailey's students.The work Janice does has an incredibly positive impact on the lives of many students throughout the entire community."

- Lisa Gunther, Justic HS

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Alicia Del Barrio Escribano and Sonja Curry Johnson, Lake Braddock Secondary School

"I want to show appreciation to Alicia Del Barrio Escribano and Sonja C. Curry Johnson for an incredible Black History Month event held Tuesday, February 18th. This event was a collaborative engagement between the Hispanic Student Association, Creative Writing Club, and Black Student Alliance to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  Both club leaders did an excellent job planning for the event and creating an inclusive environment for all involved. Thank you, ladies, for a great event!"

- Miriam Lynch, Lake Braddock SS

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Janice Perreault, Bailey's Lower ES & Lisa Gunther, Justice HS

"I want to recognize Mrs. Perreault, the librarian at Bailey’s Lower Elementary, and Mrs. Gunther, the librarian at Justice High School, for organizing a special event during Read Across America week. The two librarians coordinated a “reading buddy” event, where freshmen students in my Literacy Lab classes were welcomed to the elementary school to read picture books to kindergarten students. Because of the efforts of these two women, the event was a total hit! Students in my Literacy Lab classes sometimes feel discouraged about school. Some of them are behind in their coursework. The value of this activity was that it showed my Literacy Lab students how much they know and how far they have come! Students took turns reading books to small groups of kindergartners. Mid-book, one of my students turned to me, beaming, and said "I feel so mature!" Another student came to me between rotations to say she didn't realize "how much I know" until she read to the little kids. Thanks to these two librarians for their efforts!"  This experience showed my students that they can be role models to younger kids. 

- Michael Ranson, Justice HS
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Alan Downing, Field Services (DIT)

"Alan has been very timely in taking care of any IT tickets that get assigned to him.  He is very knowledgeable and always figures the answers for any technical issues that Thoreau MS is having. He is also proactive and very efficient with all his tasks. He has a wonderful demeanor and is a pleasure to work with. We are so lucky to have him assigned to be our Field Services Technician."

- Robert DeLuca, Thoreau MS

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Michelle Mills Witteried, Daniels Run ES

"Mrs. Mills Witteried embodies the definition of FCPS Cares. She has shown so much love and support to her 1st graders (and others!). My child struggles with anxiety issues and Mrs. Mills constantly seeks ways to comfort her and support our child through the struggles. She makes every parent feel like their child is amazing and truly loved and cared for while they are at school. She is so genuine and helpful, and it is apparent she really loves her job. She's really one of a kind. We are so blessed to have our child in her class this year."

- a Daniels Run ES Parent

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Jenn  Burgee, Tre Fava, Kim Hammond, Laura Peters, Lake Braddock SS

"I recently had to miss a day of teaching due to an unexpected illness and didn't have the resources or time to  write a lesson plan that would provide my students with a meaningful learning experience.  Jenn, Tre, Kim and Laura stepped up without hesitation and provided my substitute with a well thought
out and cohesive lesson for my students.   The substitute said, "Your fellow faculty were very helpful in getting me staged for...the  lessons.  This is very much appreciated..."  My colleagues continued to check in on my classes throughout the day.  The substitute had this to say, "I truly appreciate the level of interest and concern. It is rare for me to receive that kind of attention." These four colleagues went above and beyond to make up in my absence.  They are a small part of what makes LBSS a great place to work.  Thank you, thank you, thank you."

- Davis May, Lake Braddock SS

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Jazmin Pitts, North Springfield ES

"My son's success at school is largely dependent on strong relationships with staff members.  With his classroom teacher going out on maternity leave mid-year, Ms. Pitts, (Special Education teacher), has really stepped in as the constant and major support role in his day.  Not only is she a strong support in the classroom, but she made his day by attending one of his basketball games on a Saturday in February!  Her dedication and commitment to his success in and out of the classroom has led to amazing transformation in our son this year at school!"

- a North Springfield ES Parent

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Christine Berry and Christopher Latham, Lorton Station ES

"Dear Christine Berry and Christopher Latham, Thank you so much for your hard work and dedication to our school community. We Appreciate you for always creating the most effective educational environment possible and being fair and consistent! We appreciate all your help and support and please know that we don’t take you for granted. Thank you for the many hats that you wear in all administrative operation!"

- Safia Hussein, Lorton Station ES

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Melissa Torres, Fairfax Villa ES

Ms. Torres just recently joined the Fairfax Villa family as general music teacher, but she has already made an impact on the lives of our students. Ms.Torres has shown that she intends to include all students in learning about music, specifically students in our intellectual disabilities program. Ms.Torres provides activities that all students can access and enjoy, even those with minimal functional use of their body. She has already created an inviting, inclusive, fun, and accessible learning environment for all students, even those with significant disabilities. Thank you, Ms. Torres!"

- Kaitlin Wilson, Fairfax Villa ES

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Kevin James and Casandra Lewis, Fort Hunt ES

"A sincere thank you to Fort Hunt Elementary’s Kevin James and Cassandra Lewis!  Mr. James and Ms. Lewis are two of our top cafeteria employees.  Mr. James always makes time to provide students and teachers with food ingredients (important knowledge for student’s allergies) as well as lends his presence to the courteous managing of our students voices inside our own cafeteria.  Ms. Lewis greets each student by first name with a loving smile. Her patience and guidance has assisted hundreds of students with their lunch numbers, and she never takes her eyes off their allergies.  Either behind the line or in front of it, both are helpful, patient and necessary to our school’s operations and our students’ welfare.  Mr. James and Ms. Lewis are a welcome part of my day!"

- Bill Hurd, Fort Hunt ES

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Kevin Morris, Stratford Landing ES

"Mr. Morris starts each day in front of our school greeting the kids as they arrive on the bus, via kiss and ride, and on foot. This seemingly small gesture carries over in the hallways and at events, and it all goes a long way towards making the kids and parents feel like our principal is accessible! Parent/teacher communication and regular classroom updates have also greatly increased since his arrival. We are so grateful for our Stratford Landing teachers, the school staff, and the leadership of Mr. Morris."

-  a Stratford Landing ES Parent
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Kara Anderson, Stratford Landing ES

"Mrs. Anderson has taught two of my children, and it’s been an incredible gift having her in ALL of our lives! She brings joy to teaching and wisdom and reassurance to the parents and kids alike. She’s helped to challenge my kids academically and nurture their social emotional growth. She looks for the good in them, above all else."

- a Stratford Landing ES Parent

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Kayla Banfield, Stratford Landing ES

"Kindergarten can be an exciting but tough transition, and Mrs. Banfield has done everything possible to make it the absolute best experience this year! Beyond my daughter’s academic progress, she has told me she feels loved by her teacher. She notices that Mrs. Banfield greets her each morning at the door with a high five and a smile. Mrs. Banfield also helps to make her feel safe and secure in every new situation. She has great communication with parents and keeps us up to speed on milestones and projects!"

- a Stratford Landing ES Parent

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Dave Magee, Stratford Landing ES

"Mr. Magee not only brings joy and energy to his job as PE teacher, but he obviously cares for the social emotional well-being of his students! As the head of our patrols, he helps ensure the safety of students going to and from school. When my kinder was nervous about the bus, he went out of his way to reassure both me and her! We are grateful for such positive, creative educators who care for our kiddos."

- a Stratford Landing ES Parent

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Lori Purvis, Greenbriar East ES

"Lori went above and beyond her role at our school to pitch in during WIDA testing.  I appreciate her efforts in planning, scheduling and setting up the computers over the two weeks of group testing. She's the best!"

- Eileen Gwin, Greenbriar East ES

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Karen Falcone, Oak Hill ES

"Karen graciously provides delicious,  homemade baked treats for our staff. She is so very kind. Her baked treats are just like her: warm, sweet, and they always bring a smile.  Thank you, Karen!!"

- Pamela Bennett, Oak Hill ES
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Laura Conley, Oakton HS

"Ms. Conley is a true gem at Oakton High School. Over the last four years, she has been the most incredible teacher for my daughters. She doesn't see her job as a teacher through the traditional lens. She connects with her students and provides a support network at school for so many students. She challenges her students in ways that make them think about their personality traits and their lives and she encourages their independence in a really incredible way. We have been so impressed with Ms. Conley and so appreciate her connecting with our daughters and their friends in a way that really impacts them as young people. We will be forever grateful for her taking the time and investing so much in relationships with her students. This is what being a teacher of youth is all about and she should be recognized for her amazing work."

- a Oakton HS Parent

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Dr. Cindy Waddell, Bryant ALC

"Dr. Waddell has developed a unique and highly effective Health and Physical Education program since she started working at Bryant ALC three years ago. She gets involved with all of her students, making sure they are taking care of their bodies and their minds. When Dr. Waddell first arrived at Bryant, there was no program for Driver Education so she went out, got certified, and began teaching the class for her students. She is also enthusiastic and very open about teaching the Health Curriculum. The students are always engaged and feel safe and uninhibited while talking about some topics that are not often openly discussed. Dr. Waddell implements games and activities that are quirky and fun! For example, when teaching the unit on Bowling, she turns her classroom into an actual bowling alley and holds tournaments. She also does special events such as Sumo Soccer and Volleyball tournaments between staff and students!  Dr. Waddell is a friend to all colleagues and is an active participant in all of our PBIS activities. Our students and all of us are truly blessed to work with such an amazing and accomplished woman!"

- Nancy Chang, Bryand ALC

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Lora Luster, Stratford Landing ES

"Mrs Luster is an exceptional teacher who can see each child's potential—no matter the difficulties or personalities—and who has an extraordinary ability to bring to light the best in each and every student. Her tone, voice, and demeanor is always constant no matter what's happening around her and she has a fantastic way to connect and engage with students as well as redirecting when needed without escalating situations. She gives a tremendous opportunity to each student to give the true best each one has to offer."

- a Stratford Landing Parent
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Debbie Trenchard, Fort Hunt ES

"Debbie Trenchard is the Fox of the Week every week of the year for me.  I know no matter what I need, whether it is how to do MyTime correctly or ordering supplies for my classroom Debbie is there.  I make a point to see her every day, because she anchors me.  I would say she is an anchor to this school, keeping us from floating into rocky shores.  So, Debbie thank you for all the little things, like Peppermint Patties, and for all the big things, like field trip monies.  You are my favorite Fox!"

- Maggi Sams, Fort Hunt ES

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Niketa Knight, Stratford Landing ES

"Ms. Knight is an absolute blessing for my daughter. She is such a great teacher providing a fantastic environment for learning. She makes up songs to memorize things and is a calm and stable presence. I’m so grateful for her teaching ability and warm demeanor. It is helping my daughter thrive this year."

- a Stratford Landing ES parent

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Kara Anderson, Stratford Landing ES

"Kara goes above and beyond at SLES, planning staff events, 100th-day celebration for students and staff as well as volunteering hours every week helping with the yearbook club. She keeps everyone organized, but more importantly, brings fun and energy to each and every day, building community and love throughout the school." 

- a Stratford Landing ES parent

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Meg Webster, Stratford Landing ES

"Miss Webster looks for the BEST in all of her 2nd-grade students at SLES and she goes above and beyond to create an engaging, inclusive, and creative classroom environment! She inspires the kids to want to learn more, whether it’s poetry or fractions. She consistently reads aloud and her book clubs spark the imaginations of her students, who then fall in love with new authors. She goes above and beyond to communicate with parents and to praise the good in our kids. She’s been an incredible blessing to our family!"

- a Stratford Landing ES parent

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Amy Moore, Westfield HS

"Amy is the new Food Services Kitchen Manager at Westfield. Since she has taken over in January, I have seen a large number of positive changes in the food offerings, especially in the salad and sandwich line. There are new sandwiches, such as a Cuban, and the toppings for the build your own salad are amazing! She has added falafel, a kidney bean salad, a marinated cucumber and tomato salad, and a scrumptious pineapple/carrot salad to the mix. I can't wait to eat there every day! It's one of the small yet very important parts of my daily workday experience. It's so easy to make good choices when we are given so many options."

- Angela Thomas, Westfield HS

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Maggie Arnold, Lanier MS

"Where do I begin - I'll start from the end.  I'm walking down the hall and I hear her already going over proper testing procedures for her 7th-grade group so that we can have an excellent testing environment for the 8th-grade writing.  I could also mention her very indiscreetly placing yummy chocolate treats in my box for my birthday or I could talk about my walking up to the testing closet and hearing noise.  It was Maggie assisting another teacher to ensure that the WIDA testing went fine as well. Simply put - this IS Maggie. Thoughtful, professional, and self-sacrificing.  She's been the sole reason that I've been able to tread water as a testing coordinator and I will not begin to state her consistent help with math issues.  She's done it all, is very talented and never lets any of that get in the way of her heart as a servant.  There is no award that can possibly encompass her worth and value to our school.  Hence, I offer this trinket - thanks for all you do.

- Kevin Dean, Lanier MS

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Dominique Miles, Clermont ES

"I would like to recognize Domonique Miles for the FCPS cares program. He is currently working as a special education IA at Clermont Elementary. He should be recognized for his patience, good-natured humor, and consistent calm demeanor.  His ability to form strong bonds and relationships with the students in the classes he visits is unmatched at our school. The students look forward to seeing "Mr. Domo" on a daily basis. They enjoy sharing their thoughts and experiences with him. He allows them a safe place to talk and really listens to what they have to say. Mr. Domo is irreplaceable in the time and care he takes into building positive relationships with all students. My classroom would not run as smoothly if we did not have the talents of Mr. Domo."

- Caitlin Shott, Clermont ES

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Brandon Sutphin, Justice HS

"Brandon endlessly works to maintain and improve all of our PE and Athletic facilities. In the past two weeks, he has prepared all of the athletic fields at Justice High School which allowed the Spring coaches and athletes to focus on the skills, strategies, and tactics of their sport. In addition to the Spring sports, he has also handled the field maintenance for Fall and Winter. While this is just a small part of his job, it needs to be recognized how much we appreciate how much you care! Thank you for all that you do behind the scenes!"

- Monica White, Justice HS