FCPS Cares - March 2021

By Department of Human Resources
March 03, 2021

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

Michael Ross, Gatehouse Admin Center

"Officer Ross shared his career choice and job duties today with our littlest students who are learning about community helpers. With COVID restrictions and cold weather, our usual career day activities were canceled during this unit. However, Officer Ross came to the rescue on this beautiful day! Our two preschool classes marched outside in community helper uniforms to find Officer Ross and his patrol car. They were so very excited and sat amazingly to hear all he had to share. Thank you Officer Ross for your dedication and fantastic spirit today! Thank you for making these limiting times still fun, educational, and enjoyable!"

- Laure Grove, Terra-Centre ES

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Region 1

Julia Bargo, Madison HS

"Mrs. Bargo is just the coolest, most fun, most supportive teacher out there! Her class has been crucial to the mental health of my child during virtual school. She's really gone above and beyond to make sure her students have had an art class as close to normal as possible (picture her driving back and forth to Home Depot, filling her SUV with PVC piping to make rolling pins for rolling out clay, holding socially distanced outdoor glazing days, even firing some students' work at her own house!). Additionally, she goes out of her way to support her students' creative ventures (such as my daughter's mask-making business). She'll be the teacher my daughter tells her children about one day!"

- a Madison HS parent

Region 2

Jonathan Baker, Haycock ES

"On Veterans' Day 2020 Mr. Baker organized a magnificent program for all 4th graders at Haycock Elementary School. Making the most of our virtual school situation, Mr. Baker welcomed 99-year-old WWII Veteran Paul Plotkin who resides in New Hampshire into a virtual meeting with all the students in 4th grade and their teachers. Prior to the session students submitted questions to Mr. Baker who then sent them to Mr. Plotkin. The experience was transformational for all who attended. Students shared that they had never met anyone that old! They were amazed to hear Mr. Plotkin's first-hand account of being on the SS Léopoldville on December 24, 1944, when it was torpedoed and then sank. Mr. Plotkin shared later how important the Haycock Veterans Day event was for him and his senior community in New Hampshire. His community was in lockdown for many weeks when the online event with Haycock took place. A few of his fellow residents and staff joined the online program from New Hampshire. They were so happy to have a "visit" and to be a contribution to the students. The community staff shared that they usually have a Veterans Day event, but had to cancel due to lockdown. The event with Haycock was an opportunity to recognize and honor the many veterans in their community. In addition, Mr. Plotkin shared that he wanted to make sure these young students could hear "a real story" of what happened that Christmas Eve in 1944. The sinking of the SS Léopoldville has been shrouded in mystery as the people who survived were told not to speak about it. Mr. Plotkin said prior to the event that he has heard stories about the event that are incorrect. He wanted to be sure that these students heard "the real story." He said, "someday they may read about this event in a history book and remember that they heard first-hand how it really happened." Mr. Plotkin received a Purple Heart for his service which he showed to the students during the video call. After the event, the 4th graders made beautiful handmade thank you cards with notes and drawings all of which were sent to Mr. Plotkin. The students thanked Mr. Plotkin for his time in their virtual classroom, for his service to America, and for his heroism. When he received them he sent a note back saying that receiving the cards and seeing the children's interest in his story and experience, "turned a difficult memory into a good one." More than 75 years after an event in American history, these veterans and students came together under Mr. Baker's leadership to create an incredible and life-changing experience. Thank you, Mr. Baker!"

- a Haycock ES parent

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Region 3

Sofie Khalid-Schieber, Woodley Hills ES

"I want to highlight Sofie Khalid-Schieber at Woodley Hills Elementary who, as a technology specialist for the school, has been going to work in person since August 2020 in order to help ensure that students and teachers staying remote were able to use their laptops and technology equipment, helping many, of the school's low-income students by going to them to help with laptop issues so that they could access virtual learning. Throughout the pandemic, many people in FCPS were at home or elsewhere teaching, etc. But staff like Sofie, who are committed to ensuring kids who often have other challenges have equitable access to classes, are so important. Her willingness to be at work in person throughout the pandemic makes it possible for others to stay home. Without Sofie and colleagues like her--often overlooked in the larger discussion--the virtual monster built by FCPS can't operate. Sofie and all of the technology staff in our Region 3 pyramid who have been working in person each day troubleshooting laptops and technology for teachers and students deserve *massive* credit, awards, applause, bonuses, etc. for being the glue that kept this all together."

- a Mount Vernon Pyramid parent

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Region 4

Jessica Csomay, Robinson SS

"We are a military family and new to Robinson Secondary School. My son, 9th grade, has struggled this year connecting.  We've spent the last 8 months to ourselves because school was virtual, we are new to the area and there's a pandemic. My son really wanted to be apart of Quiz Bowl, but he really didn't understand how to connect with the team and stay connected after Christmas break. Between the virtual setting, not really grasping the scope of competition, not connecting really with peers, and feeling really isolated in general, he kind of dropped off the radar for Quiz Bowl. I asked him about it one day and he said he didn't think they needed him because of the links he was using to join, no one was there. It really broke my heart as a mother. I knew I needed to help connect him to the coach - Ms. Jessica Csomay. I sent her an email inquiring asking her if there was any way she could reach out to my son. She responded with the most heartwarming reply, telling me that my son was absolutely welcomed on the team and she would reach out to him personally to ensure he knew how to connect and when. At each meeting of Quiz Bowl, he grew more excited and more involved. It was so nice to see after such a long year of not really meeting or seeing anyone. He became an alternate for Quiz Bowl, but I'm pretty sure Ms.Csomay encouraged him to jump in to participate.  He did. I'm not sure he was a help to the team, but he felt like he was part of one for the first time in a long time. Being new to school like Robinson during COVID and being 100% virtual was tough on him. We are a military family, this was our 9th move and his 6th school. He moved away from friends, supportive teachers in Florida. He needed someone to reach out to him, let him know he mattered and he was part of something. Ms.Csomay did something really amazing for our family, she made my son feel involved and seen by others during this lockdown. I will never forget what she did for us - the simple act of reaching out, nudging him along. She is a gift to all kids and I'm grateful - so grateful. Robinson Quiz Bowl Team just won State and now qualified for Nationals! My son is so excited to be a part of this team, he feels like a Robinson Ram - FINALLY. Thank you Ms. Csomay."

- a Robinson SS parent

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Region 5

Marcy Fisher, Eagle View ES

"Ms. Fisher is the epitome of a caring culture. Not only is she an amazing 1st-grade teacher, managing to calm and connect with energetic first graders, but she showed true compassion and empathy when earlier this year, my father-in-law passed away of COVID. She dropped off a project for our first grader to give him something to do during the funeral, she gave us a beautiful card and flowers, and she shared her own experience of loss, which gave us a sense of comfort knowing that we'll get through this. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you, Ms. Fisher."

- an Eagle View ES parent

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Other FCPS Cares of the Month Recipients

Kristen Coyne, Gatehouse Admin Center

"Mrs. Coyne is an exemplary employee! She provides top-notch customer service, guidance, and support to schools. She is always so responsive to my questions and immediately responds to inquiries. I could not imagine going through the hiring process without Kristen by our side. Thank you, Kristen, for all you do!!!"

- Ana Cingel, Lake Braddock SS

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Amanda Morgan, Frost MS

"Ms. Morgan, art teacher extraordinaire, volunteered her time this week to design a welcome sign for the temporary trailers at Frost that teachers will use while the building is renovated. Her design was perfect and the school appreciates her time and effort!"

- Joe Berret, Frost MS

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Jen Schwenzer and Michele Sullivan (Mantua ES); Bets Thomas and Alicia Chase (Marshall Road ES); Erin Wheeler (Canterbury Woods ES) and all 5th-grade teachers across FCPS’s 142 elementary schools

"5th-grade teachers across FCPS have come together virtually to share lessons! This resource, called a Lesson Bank, was started in spring 2020 and is open to any 5th-grade teammate – homeroom teachers, SPED, IAs, reading and math specialists, ESOL, world language, AART, and librarians. There are currently 705 members across all of FCPS’s 142 elementary schools. The Lesson Bank focuses on “grab and go” slideshows that allow teachers to start with a lesson that was shared by a 5th-grade colleague and then customize it for their own students. Their motto is “Why recreate the wheel?" The Lesson Bank was started by five teachers at three different schools, with just a handful of slideshows. It has grown exponentially in size and now contains hundreds of slideshows. Within the lesson bank, they also created a “curriculum dashboard” which condenses all 32 quarterly curriculum links for 5th grade onto one page. The lesson bank started with Bets, Jen, Alicia, Erin, and Michele and spread to all of the 5th grade! (Michele always offers to help any teachers in other grades who want to start their own lesson bank.)."

- Karen Patel, Aldrin ES

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Anne Baker, Longfellow MS

"Mrs. Baker, despite being home sick and caring for her baby still actively made sure that all the student's grades were updated for the new quarter, accepted emails about questions and concerns about homework or missing work, and even recorded short videos to make sure that we did the best we possibly could on re-do's."

- a Longfellow MS student

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Carrie Williams, Willow Oaks Admin Center

"Carey, Beth Clifton and I want to thank you for taking the time to talk to us about the SR&R. ​The time you took to meet with us to review what you have done with the SR&R was very informative. This important document is in good hands. With your guidance, it becomes better and more accessible for our students and families each year! We appreciate your thoughtfulness and your willingness to share! We are grateful."

- Evie Ifantides and Beth Clifton, Willow Oaks Admin Center

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Meghan Hyland-Eddy

"Meghan, YOU ROCK! I was out on medical leave and you and Marnie stepped up and created a presentation that demonstrated to our colleagues how to proceed and stay informed about the upcoming change from Blackboard to Schoology. I asked folks about your presentation and they all said that it was timely, insightful, and to the point. I truly appreciate you having my back! Thank you, Meghan!"

- Evie Ifantides, Willow Oaks Admin Center

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Marnie Garnier, Willow Oaks Admin Center

"Marnie, YOU ROCK! I was out on medical leave and you and Meghan stepped up and created a presentation that demonstrated to our colleagues how to proceed and stay informed about the upcoming change from Blackboard to Schoology. I asked folks about your presentation and they all said that it was timely, insightful, and to the point. I truly appreciate you having my back! Thank you, Marnie!"

- Evie Ifantides, Willow Oaks Admin Center

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Anne Kane, Fairhill ES

"Front and center in our busy Fairhill office, Anne Kane is an endless source of information and action. Her job title--Office Assistant--is an understatement considering the range of responsibilities she takes on and the many roles she plays. Mrs. Kane expertly handles student and staff attendance, substitute teachers, Impact Aid survey, and school bus issues. She safeguards room keys, parking tags, and student data. Every day she greets children, parents, staff members, and school visitors with a smile and willingness to be of assistance, takes extra care and consideration with every phone call, is thorough in seeing a project through to its end and offers ideas to solve problems. Our community is appreciative of and well-served by her dedication."

- Amy Spector, Fairhill ES

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Megan Griffin, Kent Gardens ES

"Mrs. Griffin is a bright light in a time of uncertainty and for some, a time of disconnection and even darkness. Her attitude is uplifting and warm not only to her students but to the parents she interacts with. Her energy is contagious and that helps us all so much when we are stuck at home for days and occasionally weeks at a time. I have always valued teachers but teachers like Mrs. Griffin are a treasure that will never be forgotten. She is able to keep her students engaged and excited to learn even when she is not with them in person and they are all virtual learning. My kiddo looks forward to his small group time with Mrs. Griffin and she rewards his eagerness to learn and good behavior with fun activities such as letting him choose which movement activity they get to do. Or, "You have 2 minutes to use the chatbox."  Many might find the chatbox a distraction but Mrs. Griffin creatively latched on to my son repeatedly stepping out of bounds and using it at inappropriate times and turned it into a valuable reward which has helped him learn to spell read and write with enthusiasm. Her hard work, dedication, and love for her students are evident throughout the day as she uses statements like, "let's see who needs to finish their ST math," and "I will send this link to your parents right now so wait patiently, friends." I love when she expresses with pure joy, "You were so close!" Today, when my son's small group was scheduled to meet after early release time, he asked after morning work, "Can we meet now since we can't meet this afternoon?" and her reply was, "Hmmm, our other friend isn't here today so I think we could do it now. Yes, let's do that." One of my favorite traits of Mrs. Griffin's is her ability to be firm and redirect her kids when they are not participating or behaving as expected.  She does not hesitate to say, "you can share that after we get done with math."  This is especially important when they are not in the same room. During small group, my busy boy was fidgeting with random things from around our house and he had a string that he put around his neck.  Mrs. Griffin said, "Don't put that around your neck!  You are going to give me a heart attack." His focus can be limited at times but her patience and warmth with him draws him back in and keeps him on task. I never dreamed virtual learning would be as successful as it has been and so much of that is due to teachers like Mrs. Griffin. My child beams when he connects with Mrs. Griffin, like the time she said, "what a coincidence, I had pizza for lunch today too!" I know many of us, parents, teachers, administrators, and even students were very concerned as we headed into this school year with a pandemic in full force. I had dismissed this year as unproductive and thought we will just make up the lost time next year. I am thrilled to report that I was totally wrong and my child has learned more with Mrs. Griffin than I thought humanly possible. As we just end the 3rd quarter, I applaud Mrs. Griffin for being a lifeline and a hero to my son and our family. You are loved!"

- A Kent Gardens ES parent

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Teresa Rudner, Centre Ridge ES

"I am not able to describe one specific situation or experience, because it has been a culmination of many experiences throughout this school year. I was not aware of this program until recently or I would have submitted something sooner. It has been a challenging year for everyone, but I am so appreciative that my daughter has had Ms. Rudner to support her through it. My daughter has a lot of anxiety and can be very hard on herself. Ms. Rudner has gone out of her way to make sure my daughter is feeling supported and connected even when they were not in person. She checks in with my daughter regularly to see how she is doing and to see if she has any concerns or worries related to school or her school work. She has made this year a smooth one my daughter given the circumstances and I am very appreciative."

-a Centre Ridge ES parent

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Joe Morris, Edison Satellite Center

"I like to recognize and share the recent experience with Joe Morris here at South County HS. Joe (Facilities Carpenter), always comes to the building with a smile on his face. He spent hours trying to find the roof leak in one classroom. Previously, many people have come out and could not find this leak for many years. Joe says give some rain and I can find it…. boy did he. He worked out in the pouring down rain and in the classroom ceiling.  We can say this not the only thing he has repaired for us. His work is so unique and it shows that he cares in his daily duties. He always improves something that he does in the building for us. We just want to say thank you for your expertise and your hard work. Kudos to Joe Morris."

- Dennis White, South County HS

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Ryan Mettinger, Westfield HS

"Ryan has been a great asset to the Cat B department, especially when as we transitioned back to the building. He has jumped in to help with student situations, to be an extra pair of helping hands whenever needed. He has organized and managed the in-person support staff schedule, making it easier and more efficient to follow. Ryan is able to juggle subs and missing staff members, to make sure we have the appropriate staff in each classroom, to best serve our students. He has been a strong leader in the department, which is very much appreciated."

- Xiara Davis, Westfield HS

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Ian Trumbore, Sideburn Support Satellite

"This year has been very challenging. With challenges come obstacles and one person stepped up to the plate and volunteered to organize and coordinate a Countywide MERVE 13 air filter project. Ian Trumbore has organized and collaborated with all our Building Engineers, Facilities Satellites, and Procurement Department to ensure we have the best indoor air quality possible for our students and staff. Ian has spent countless hours of organizing, making phone calls, and sending emails to guarantee that we receive all of the highly sought-after air filters due to high demand.  Not only has Ian performed an outstanding job but, he also upheld his daily duties as an Assistant Satellite Manager. Ian truly made this difficult task a smooth transition."

- Michael Hanchulk, Sideburn Support Satellite

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Philip Kipperman, Cooper MS

"I wanted to write to you to tell you about my daughter's experience at Cooper Middle School, but more specifically, her experience in Mr. Kipperman’s class. I believe he should be recognized as an exemplary teacher. Our daughter attended a private school for years before going to Cooper Middle School and has always struggled in history. When I say struggle, I mean she would study for countless hours, every day before a quiz, and still come close to failing, which always resulted in tears and anxiety. We have spent countless nights going through study material with her to help her memorize vocabulary and historical events/dates. We had accepted that history just wasn’t her “thing” and that she will always struggle in this subject. Fast forward to this year. Our daughter has been thriving in history. She loves having Mr. Kipperman as her teacher and says history is her FAVORITE subject. Um, what?!  She has been getting A’s and B’s on most of her assignments which her dad and I couldn’t be happier about. Our daughter says her success this year is due to how Mr. Kipperman teaches because he makes learning history interesting and fun. She looks forward to his class and has motivation we’ve never seen in her. What a difference one teacher can make! Mr. Kipperman deserves recognition for his ability to reach his students, even in a virtual setting during a pandemic. He has made an enormous difference for our daughter, and for that, we are grateful."

- a Cooper MS parent

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Efi Rapta, Lake Braddock SS

"Mrs. Efi Rapti truly epitomizes the standards of the FCPS Cares program.  She constantly goes above and beyond for both the staff and students in the LBSS Category B program. Mrs. Rapti greets every student with a smile and makes them feel welcome, as soon as they enter the school. She always has a positive attitude and is always willing to go the extra mile, without being asked to do so. Mrs. Rapti is such a valued and appreciated member of our team. We are beyond blessed to have such a truly selfless and caring individual as a friend and teammate. She helps make the learning experiences of our students the best that they can possibly be!"

- Susan Byrd, Lake Braddock SS

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Lara Long, Instructional Programs Support Center

"Lara has spent countless hours creating, editing, and accurately captioning videos for our Boardmaker 7  asynchronous training course. She has worked diligently to ensure accessibility not only for her students but for the teachers and staff that participate in the training as well. Kudos to Lara for all of her amazing hard work and dedication!"

- Caitlin Radek, Instructional Programs Support Center

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Jennifer Conner and Carol Niaz, Gatehouse Admin Center

"I needed assistance today and within 5 minutes had a response! Not only today but every time someone needs help they are both there to jump right in! I have had the pleasure of working with them at HR and now back in a school, Jen and Carol still amaze me!! From unbelievable customer service in fingerprinting, assisting on computers, and everything that comes their way! I would like to give a BIG KUDO's to both of them!! Thank you both for ALL you do ALL the time. HR is lucky to have you on their team!"

- Gail Rostamie, Cedar Lane School

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Lori Kraden, Willow Oaks Admin Center

"Lori Kraden has been a tremendous asset to the staff at Burke School. Lori's expertise in the complex world of behavior intervention makes her an invaluable resource for the Burke team. Lori helps everyone gain a better understanding of what we are tasked to do as we collaborate to support our students. More importantly, perhaps, is how she achieves this. Lori is extremely patient, kind, and authentic and she is always willing to help. She gives meaningful feedback in a respectful manner and we are so lucky to have her supporting us at Burke."

- Kristen McNamara, Burke School

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Jessica Carroll, Lorton Center

"Since this past October, Jessica and the Trans Area 7 Team have helped IAS stay connected with our students in delivering student supplies and learning materials each week. Whenever we ask a question, they always find a way to make it happen. They have shown to be an invaluable part of this year and we couldn't have done it without them."

- Kathryn Becker, Transition Support Resource Center - Graham Road Community Building

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Nuie Thienrerk, Sideburn Support Center

"Matt and his partner Nuie came 2 times to look at the ventilation system in my classroom. Both were kind, professional, knowledgeable, and efficient. They actually found the problem and fixed it that I have been complaining about for years! I am SOOOO thankful for them! Students are happy and I am happy it is not 85 degrees in my classroom!"

- Stefanie Hession, Kilmer MS

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Matt Cummings, Sideburn Support Center

"Matt and his partner Nuie came 2 times to look at the ventilation system in my classroom. Both were kind, professional, knowledgeable, and efficient. They actually found the problem and fixed it that I have been complaining about for years! I am SOOOO thankful for them! Students are happy and I am happy it is not 85 degrees in my classroom!"

- Stefanie Hession, Kilmer MS

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Steve Myers, Willow Oaks Admin Center

"Steve has been working with School Counseling Services to support the College & Career Specialists - and he has been wonderfully responsive to our group. He is genuine and kind. You can tell that he truly likes his work and the people he interacts with. He has a passion for helping young people find their path - and that comes through in everything he does!"

- Laura Cudahy, Westfield HS

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Helen Kim, Varina Justice, Francisca Giron, Jiang Huang, Amphai Hia, and Maryam Hoodfar, Providence ES

"I would like to give a big round of applause to all the Providence-based cafeteria staff. They have been nothing short of amazing during this unprecedented time when children are not eating in the cafeteria. Initially, when I returned to school, I would pick up a cooler with breakfast and lunch for students in my classroom. Every time I entered the cafeteria I was greeted warmly. The staff was juggling serving students in the building as well as providing meals for the students who were still virtual. Not only was the cafeteria staff welcoming, but they were also organized. They had coolers labeled by class name and they left my cooler in the same location (with a cart for transport!) every day. Now that all grade levels have returned to the building, the cafeteria staff is delivering meals to the classrooms. They take great care in organizing coolers for every class in the school and ensuring that the correct number of meals arrives in a timely manner. Although the cafeteria staff is behind the scenes, they play a critical role at the center of the school. They can be seen in the cafeteria organizing, preparing, and packing the meals. Then they are visible throughout the building as they deliver the "meals on wheels", and always have a smile for any adult or child they meet along the way. Thank you to ALL of you! Your hard work is noticed and appreciated and we know that Providence Cafeteria Cares!"

- Stacy Greene, Providence ES

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Faith Loehle, Thoreau MS

"Faith is a very promising, engaging, and caring new teacher at Thoreau. She is very well-liked and respected by her 7th-grade students, especially after returning to the building with her warm demeanor, beautiful classroom decorations, and fun classroom fish each period got to name! I love that so many of my students we share in common are loving and learning so much in science this year, despite all of the obstacles, and she's managed to reach all of her learners through her persistence, patience, and appropriate scaffolds & accommodations for each individual student. She is a great role model and addition to our Thoreau family!"

- Michelle Gabro, Thoreau MS

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Dana Hughes, Westfield HS

"This year has been challenging with a huge increase of work for me. Ms. Hughes saw that on my face and heard it in my voice. She reached out so many times offering to help. Through the past six months, she has supported me by taking things off my plate and getting them done. Aside from helping me out, she has helped numerous peers often volunteering for proctoring in-person testing, offering to call students to fix schedules, and offering to stuff report cards to send home. Whatever needs appear, Ms. Hughes volunteers. She has made a huge difference in my life this school year and I am grateful."

- Sonya Williams, Westfield HS

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Lauren Jones, Westfield HS

"Ms. Jones has been through a thousand obstacles this school year full of long hours of work and receiving probably many complaints. Through it all, she always has our backs in Student Services. Ms. Jones stopped everything she was doing for our first day of in-person SOL testing to help problem-solve student computer issues. She worked all day to make sure the issue was resolved and students had their devices in hand to learn for the next day of school. Then the next week she was right there by our sides again to ensure that everything went well. It was so comforting to know that she had our backs even though she has a ton of her work to get done daily. THANK YOU LAUREN JONES!"

- Sonya Williams, Westfield HS

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Araceli Manoatl, Westfield HS

"Ms. Araceli is a person who clearly believes in building relationships with families. Her days and nights are full of reaching out to our Spanish-speaking families of Westfield. She calls, texts, emails information, and resources every day to families. This year the virtual setting created numerous challenges and obstacles to our normal outreach but that did not stop Ms. Araceli. She just picked up the phone and offered her support. She translated at our multiple Spanish-speaking family nights (WE COULD NOT HAVE DONE IT WITHOUT HER). Families walk in the building feeling a sense of comfort and support because of Ms. Araceli. I am so grateful to work alongside a person which such a strong work ethic and dedication to our community."

- Sonya Williams, Westfield HS

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Laura Cudahy, Westfield HS

"At Westfield High School, we have a staff member that goes above and beyond for the students, Ms. Cudahy. She is always looking for opportunities to share with students that help them reach their potential whether it is a job opportunity, scholarship availability, college admissions data, or workforce presentations/information; she provides it to the families of Westfield. If there is an obstacle to providing an opportunity for a student, Ms. Cudahy finds a way. She will write a proposal for a grant. She will collaborate with teammates or community members. She will use her resources to make it work all for our students. Additionally, when she sees or hears that a teammate is in need of assistance she is the FIRST to step up to offer help and support. Her positivity is infectious. Her knowledge is incredible. Her heart is big so it is no surprise that students love our College & Career Center."

- Sonya Williams, Westfield HS

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Roger Haynos, Wilton Woods Center

"Mr. Haynos went above and beyond to resolve an IT Request Ticket. He brainstormed and troubleshot until he was able to make a seemingly impossible task possible in order to support concurrent learning."

- Karen Bell, 

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Debbie Legieza, Lees Corner ES

"Mrs. Legieza has stepped out of her comfort zone this year in regards to technology. She has strived to learn every program that will improve the learning for her students. Throughout this year she has become proficient with technology and programs that will benefit any and all her students. Mrs. Legieza is friendly and kind to every student and staff member she meets. Her infectious laughter brings out the joy in her students and they look forward to seeing her every day."

- Ashley Kappatos, Lees Corner ES

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Tony DiBari, Westfield HS

"By the end of his second week on the job, Westfield's new principal, Tony DiBari, started a weekly celebrations staff email. Throughout the week he gathers celebrations from staff and combines them into one email of all the awesome happening each Friday afternoon. This has brought recognition to so many of the great things happening in our building that often went undetected: club and team accomplishments, individual accomplishments, and great work in the classroom! Tony said in a recent meeting that no celebration is too small so let's celebrate the good!  We appreciate him bringing attention to all the great things happening at Westfield!"

- Margaret Sisler, Westfield HS

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Dennis Michaels, Fort Hunt ES

"A huge thank you and shout out to Dennis Michaels for being so willing to jump in and lend a hand. He’s been an incredible team player – helping to organize recess materials, enable classes to switch between specials, and generally doing anything that needs to be done. It is truly and deeply appreciated."

- Alicia Hawks, Fort Hunt ES

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Madelyn Magnotti, Fort Hunt ES

"I would like to thank Maddie Magnotti for her always-positive attitude and her willingness to cover a class for me so that I could attend a doctor’s appointment for my mother. It gave me such ease of mind to know that my class was in her hands (and I am sure they enjoyed the extra time with her!) Thanks for always being a team player!"

- Ellen Wise, Fort Hunt ES

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Adam Hoo, Edison HS

"Dr. Hoo does an amazing job with teaching IB Biology virtually. His calm and positive demeanor and excellent teaching have been a bright point during Covid/distance learning. He always answers questions and my daughter said that he makes learning fun. This morning I was walking by my daughter’s room and heard him say a very cheerful “Good morning” to each student as they logged in. He made each student feel welcomed and important. Thank you, Dr. Hoo!"

- an Edison HS parent

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Jay Brunkow, Lorton Center

"My son forgot his backpack on the school bus. The bus driver, who was a sub, drove back from South County High School back to our location on Godolphin to drop off the backpack. He has a different driver in the morning. The bus driver went above and beyond and he was just subbing that day!! Thank you so much"

- a South County HS parent

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Daryl Richards, Woodson HS

"Daryl is a faculty member that always goes the extra mile for school spirit. He is truly engaged with and makes a positive impact on the school climate as he puts himself out there and volunteers for student-led spirit activities! We really appreciate his role within the school community!"

- Dan Checkosky, Woodson HS

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Kevin Laub, Westfield HS

"Mr. Laub has gone above and beyond to work with a student who had been struggling with virtual learning yet had high anxiety over returning. He had developed a strong relationship with the family as both this student's SEL teacher and has worked with the student's sibling in a prior year. He offered to help monitor and tutor her during her English class, where she was the only in-person student in the class with a monitor.  After the first week back to school, the student's parent reported that "This is the first time I've seen her smile in months." Mr. Laub's caring, selfless, compassionate approach and willingness to give his valuable planning time made all the difference in helping this student re-engage in school."

- Scott Davies, Westfield HS

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Leah Chang, Robinson SS

"Ms. Chang goes above and beyond to communicate and partner with parents to get the kids through this tough year. Every desperate email I sent this year (about Geometry and other topics) was answered in less than a day with helpful information, kindness and problem-solving."

- a Robinson SS parent

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Jason Lowrance, Lake Braddock SS

"I would like to give a public shout-out to Mr. Jason Lowrance. During these difficult times and due to some unforeseen circumstances, Mr. Lowrance has shown initiative to make sure that our middle school Cat B classes continue to run as smoothly as possible even with staff shortages. He has been extremely flexible and a tremendous help while I am on leave. I am so happy that you are part of our team. Thank you for all you have done and continue to do Jason!"

- Meylin Cano, Lake Braddock SS

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Katelyn Touhey, Lake Braddock SS

"Touhey did an AMAZING job creating the virtual Club Fair this month. She communicated with the 100+ clubs that we have at LB to organize and run a successful fair for students. Around 500 middle and high school students were able to find and attend extra-curricular groups in which they were interested, and my student leaders were thrilled to have been able to reach new, potential members!  Thank youuuu!"

- Elizabeth Moore, Lake Braddock SS

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Mary Duffy, Bush Hill ES

"Each day I see Mrs. Duffy outside of the elementary school waving at parents and students. During this last year while most schools were closed I saw many teachers and staff still showing up for work at our local elementary school. As more students are in the building to learn I see her outside each day providing all with a big smile and directing traffic in the kiss and ride. With a family of her own, it looked as if she knew for the betterment of the young kids that attend her school it was important to show up and lead her students and staff into what has been for many a tragic year. Thank you, Mrs. Duffy!"

- a Bush Hill ES parent

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Frank Stevens, Longfellow MS

"Mr. Stevens, a valued staff member at Longfellow Middle School has made "outdoor" dining (properly distanced and wearing masks while not eating) available to our students that have returned to school. Students truly enjoy the opportunity to be outside in the sun while socially distanced from their peers."

- Longfellow MS Administration

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Rosario Ampuero and the LMS Food Services Staff, Longfellow MS

"Since the Return to school for many of our students, Ms. Ampuero and her Food Services staff have gone above and beyond to prepare a variety of options for students breakfast and lunch. Meals are diligently prepared, packaged, and served with enthusiasm each and every day. THANK you to all Food Services workers!"

- Longfellow MS Administration

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Chris Jelinek, Laurel Ridge ES

"Mr. Jelinek serves as an IA in the Gr. 4/5 CSS classroom at Laurel Ridge. The week before school started for the 2020-2021 school year, the classroom teacher Mr. Jelinek supported resigned unexpectedly. Since that time, Laurel Ridge has not been able to secure a teacher and that classroom has been staffed by a long-term sub. Mr. Jelinek has risen to the occasion to work/plan cooperatively with CSS staff and grade level GE teachers to plan and pace instruction for his students virtually, in-person, and, now, concurrently. He has continued to employ for each student a highly-infused behavior management system with validity while working cooperatively with the crisis resource teacher and clinical team to maintain daily communication with families. Mr. Jelinek has proven himself to be a team-player and wholly-invested in doing what is required to meet each student at their point of need academically and social-emotionally in order to ensure their on-going progress and school success."

- Kim Pryor, Laurel Ridge ES

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Susan Rowland, Rocky Run MS

"Mrs. Rowland reached out to us on Sunday afternoon to do a meet-up with our daughter to make sure she was on-track for getting her assignment in today before 5 pm to assure a good grade in History. I just wanted you to know how much we appreciated her effort to work with our daughter on a Sunday and help us resolve these questions. She went above and beyond IMO and we truly appreciated it.  So much so, that I wanted to make sure you knew what she had done, and thank you for such a great staff at RRMS. (We have already thanked Mrs. Rowland profusely). In this crazy year with lots of abnormalities, it's hard to tell what is normally done, versus what is happening solely because we are virtual. But we appreciated the opportunity to make things better for a new 7th grader."

- Christine Sciabica on behalf of a Rocky Run MS parent

Charlene Farrell, Haycock ES

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"Ms. Farrell's willingness to be available at any time to give personal book recommendations for students demonstrates how much she cares for her school community. I contacted her asking for book recommendations for my son who had been reading the same series of books repeatedly during the pandemic and was longing to read something new. Ms. Farrell hand-picked a variety of books that she thought he might like and quickly made them available for me to pick-up outside of the school. With much less to go on, she even pulled a few books for my younger daughter so that she would not feel left out. Throughout our communication her emails were kind and personal; I could feel how much she cared and wanted to help. My kids are loving reading the books she chose and I am very grateful for the time she spent helping them."

- a Haycock ES parent

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Kim Harris, Saratoga ES

"The below anecdote is just one example of how Dr. Kim Harris goes above and beyond for her students on a regular basis. Sent by a parent on Friday afternoon: We wanted to give kudos to Dr. Harris. It is currently 10 minutes to 5 pm on Friday, and she is just now finishing up working with our daughter. Dr. Harris spent the last 35 minutes working with her. Dr. Harris's commitment to excellence is outstanding, and certainly above and beyond expectations. She is a credit to your wonderful school."

- Erica Loesch on behalf of a parent, Saratoga ES

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Kathy Holstrom, Longfellow MS

"Ms. Holstrom has provided tremendous support to our school community since our remaining groups have returned to school. Ms. Holstrom has been instrumental in removing items from our teachers by supporting Monday attendance. Additionally, she has been critical in supporting our entire community acting as a liaison between FCPS transportation, school administration, and most importantly our students and parents. She has helped to resolve a great number of transportation issues and has been in contact with a number of families."

- Aidan Vigil, Longfellow MS

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Erin Caswell and Jeff Fleetwood, Longfellow MS

"Erin and Jeff volunteer to help at Kiss and Ride every afternoon. They are not required to do this, and yet they go above and beyond to support our school. Their commitment to building relationships with students, families, and faculty members is commendable and greatly enhances the caring culture at Longfellow Middle. Thank you, Erin and Jeff!"

- Marissa Brooks, Longfellow MS

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Jade Payne, Bonnie Brae ES

"Ms. Payne has continued to go above and beyond to make the first virtual and now concurrent learning a success for all students. My son has struggled a little in the virtual format but the patience and creativity shown by Ms. Payne and Mrs. Ripanti are much appreciated. Concurrent learning looks exhausting and I am so thankful that we have teachers willing to demonstrate such commitment to our children's learning. Thank you, thank you, thank you!"

- a Bonnie Brae ES parent

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Tracy Tashima, Hunt Valley ES

"We moved to the area in August. Our 2nd-grade son knew no one and was about to start a new school virtually. We are so lucky to have gotten Miss Tashima as his teacher. She has the most amazing patience with the student and always has an amazingly upbeat attitude. She takes the time to individually recognize each of her students. Our son absolutely loves her and has done better this year than we ever expected. Finally being able to attend an in-person class with Miss Tashima has been so exciting for him. Thank you Miss Tashima for doing such an amazing job this year!!!!"

- a Hunt Valley ES parent

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Julia Hiles, Robinson SS

"Mrs. Hiles' class is what gets me out of bed in the mornings of in-person days; not just for me too, other students. She is truly like a mother to all her students and cares so much about each and every one of them. She is quick and eager to respond if one of her students needs help and won't give up until they understand. She has done so well in the concurrent learning environments as well. She is a joyous person and is so fun to learn from."

- a Robinson SS parent

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Brian Cabacar, South County HS

"My daughter struggles with math (her toughest subject) to the point where she feels anxious and inadequate. When she failed her last math test and wanted to avoid math indefinitely, my husband and I reached out to her Geometry teacher, Brian Cabacar. Mr. Cabacar replied with detailed information to help us see where our daughter needed help and reassure us that she was on the right track. Most importantly, he responded with kindness and understanding. He took the time to virtually meet with her until she understood the concepts better which improved her confidence and self-esteem significantly. Mr. Cabacar models the importance of building relationships and making connections with his students to help them learn and understand better. We are truly grateful!"

- a South County HS parent

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Tracy Armstrong, Gatehouse Admin Center

"Tracy was professional, courteous, and polite during an experience with building users. Her help allowed some freshman boys to get access to what would have been a closed gym. Thanks, Tracy you rock!!"

- Frank Tranfa, Quander Road School

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Chi-Yon Lee, Bull Run ES

"Chiyon Lee is a Korean interpreter for my son's IEP meeting. She's been an interpreter for my son since 2018. I always request Chiyon Lee to be an interpreter for the IEP meeting. She knows how to summarize my speech to the IEP team, also her Korean translation to me makes me feel there's no language gap between me and IEP team. Her professional kindness makes me release my tension. She performs an excellent job for me and IEP team. She is a great messenger and becomes an awesome bridge between me and IEP team. When she is there, I never feel I have any language gab and I don't have any fear about any possible misunderstanding due to English is as my 2nd language. I don't worry about how to communicate with people in the meeting. Because she is there for me!!! Thank you, Ms. Lee, I've been so lucky to have you as my son's interpreter."

- a Bull Run ES parent

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Jason Smolinski, Fairfax HS

"Jason Smolinski is one of those teachers who epitomizes what a caring teacher looks like! He has consistently gone above and beyond in caring for his students all throughout this pandemic. If my daughter, his current student, misses a class, he immediately checks in on her to make sure she's ok. My other daughter, a previous student, maintains contact with him about the field of study he teaches and he is a fantastic mentor to her in the GIS field. We are so grateful for the interactions and care he shows all his students! He is a student favorite at Fairfax High School!"

 - a Fairfax HS parent

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Steve Myers, Gatehouse Admin Center

"It has been a pleasure working with Steve Myers in his role as the Acting Educational Specialist since November. Steve has been willing to learn the college and career specialists’ role in the high schools and provide support to ensure that specialists had the resources needed for our students. He’s been instrumental in planning county-wide events, particularly during the changes required for virtual learning. Steve is open to others’ suggestions and he’s willing to collaborate with career center specialists and key partners to resolve issues. Thank you Steve for all of your hard work and support! I hope we have a chance to work together again."

- Celeste LaCour-Williams, Bryant HS

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Jazmin Davis DeRamus, McNair ES

"Our son is in Ms. DeRamus's class. She is a great teacher with a lot of patience that is needed especially in all this new online world. It was his first day of in-person learning and we asked him, what did he learn today in the class. We were amazed to see how nicely he had understood and also explained an otherwise confusing math concept. Kudos to Ms. DeRamus for her great teaching skills."

- a McNair ES parent

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Vivian Choi, Great Falls ES

"Here is an email I wrote to my son’s 4th-grade teacher last night... Hello Vivian, You almost brought me to tears today, and trust me that’s saying a lot. Your empathy is a shining light for my son and hopefully everyone else in your class. This level of kindness, and your consistent teaching methods and overall tone will change these children’s lives whether they know it now or not. My children are aware, and my son is most grateful as he brings it up during dinner and anytime we talk about the challenges of school right now. Somehow you have created a safe space for them to talk through all of this craziness. My son talks a lot, there is no doubt, but he rarely shares his feelings. So I extend a huge thanks to all you have done for him this year. Your kindness extends from you to my son and to the whole family Thank you."

- a Great Falls ES parent

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Carolyn Sullivan, McLean HS

"My daughter is in the wonderful Cat B program at McLean High School. Due to her significant health challenges and prolonged isolation, her skills declined significantly over the last few months. Mark Thompson and his team have responded beautifully. We are especially grateful for Carolyn Sullivan who has been generous with her time, knowledge, and resources.  She has also expressed an amazing amount of kindness and caring which has boosted my daughter's fragile self-esteem. My daughter recently joined one of Ms. Sullivan’s classes and I was amazed yesterday when my daughter remained focused for the entire class, fully participated, completed a new type of task, and comfortably asked for clarification. Ms. Sullivan personifies the FCPS motto “Engage, Inspire, Thrive.” Thank you, Ms. Sullivan!!"

- a McLean HS parent

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Wendy Rudolph, Rolling Valley ES

"Wendy was an amazing addition to our team when our school psychologist had to take a leave of absence. Wendy was so flexible and knowledgeable. We really enjoyed working with her."

 - Maureen Boland, Rolling Valley ES

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Jen Bensaid, Graham Road Community Center

"Jen has been extremely helpful with supporting a family and the Kings Park school team regarding a child with a recent medical diagnosis. She was knowledgeable and professional during meetings and asked insightful questions which allowed for the team to gain a better understanding of how to support. She made herself available on short notice two times for me to connect with her to provide updates and as a result, we have been able to support the student, family, and teacher with the most appropriate strategies. I along with the school team are grateful for Jen's expertise, support, and professionalism."

- Scott Hawk, Kings Park ES

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Scott Brabrand, Gatehouse Admin Center

"I would like to nominate Dr. Brabrand for the CARES Award of the year. It has been incredible to watch as he orchestrated through the constant complications the last year presented. His steadfastness and never varying from the right thing to do has been inspiring to say the least. He went head to head with the School Board and was able to keep the promises he made. What started as an almost hostile environment, evolved into a more inclusive group working together for the best possible solutions for FCPS. One school board member asked if he was going to keep his foot on the peddle in his return to school approach, and he said “absolutely”, and he has. I believe Dr. Brabrand has changed the culture for FCPS, and these changes are reflected in the management under his direction. I see a more positive, encouraging, caring, grateful workforce, and it’s as if we have each other’s back in a new and inspiring way. My direct leaders are amazing, very positive, and encouraging. All reflections of Dr. Brabrand’s excellence and expectations. Dr. Brabrand is an exceptional leader who truly CARES. We are fortunate to have him as our Superintendent."

Barbara Davis, Lorton Center

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Noel Klippenstein, Westfield HS

"If I had to create a bumper sticker for Ms. Klippenstein it would read, "No student left behind". My son has had some consistency issues with virtual learning. As a result, Ms. Klippenstein has built a partnership with me, my son, and his dad. She takes time to email with us, talks with us, and stays connected. Together we have put a plan in place to keep him on track. It would be easy for Ms. Klippenstein to move forward with her engaged students and just leave the less engaged on their own. But she won't have any part of that. She ensures that no student gets left behind!"

- a Westfield HS parent

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Chelsea Bruno, Robinson SS

"I am so glad I have gotten to work with you this school year. We both came in during such a crazy time, and I appreciate that we've been able to grow and learn in our positions together. You've been such a great resource and a comfort to me knowing I can ask you any crazy question!"

- Becky Rock, Robinson SS

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Bryan Harris, Robinson SS

"Thank you so much for being such a team player! Your flexibility and willingness to step in when our LSC team needs help are SO appreciated. Your positive communication is such an asset to our process."

- Becky Rock, Robinson SS

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Barb Caley, Robinson SS

"Thank you so much for being such a team player! You are always flexible and willing to step in to help out our LSC team, and you make running our meetings possible. Even when you don't personally know a student, you provide such wonderful perspective to our committee and our families."

- Becky Rock, Robinson SS

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Sofia Panzenhagen, Robinson SS

"Thank you so much for all you do for our families! I have had the pleasure to work with you on several local screening cases this year, and every time your name pops up in my inbox I'm excited because your care for students and their families is so evident through your compassion. You are willing to work with teachers, teams, and families to ensure students get the best support."

- Becky Rock, Robinson SS

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Christyn Levy, Robinson SS

"Thank you so much for working behind the scenes to populate eligibility forms! You make meetings and finalizing paperwork run so much more smoothly."

- Becky Rock, Robinson SS

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Laura Dougherty, South County MS

"Laura is an amazing teacher. She has helped my son and me throughout this school year. She always goes the extra mile and beyond to help."

- a South County MS parent

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Karen Munt, Stone MS

"Ms. Munt has gone above and beyond to help my daughter stay engaged in Math. My daughter has major issues staying focused with online learning. Ms. Munt goes the extra mile to text me with prompts when my daughter isn't responding. We came up with a collective plan that when my daughter can't stay focused in class she participates in office hours for additional support. Ms. Munt could have easily moved on and left my daughter to flounder, but she notices and works diligently to ensure my daughter doesn't fall behind. I'm grateful!"

- a Stone MS parent

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Julie Witt, Stone MS

"Ms. Witt has gone above and beyond to help my daughter stay engaged in Math. My daughter has major issues staying focused with online learning. Ms. Witt goes the extra mile to text me with prompts when my daughter isn't responding. We came up with a collective plan that when my daughter can't stay focused in class she participates in office hours for additional support. Ms. Witt could have easily moved on and left my daughter to flounder, but she notices and works diligently to ensure my daughter doesn't fall behind. I'm grateful!"

- a Stone MS parent

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Teresa Galvin, Stone MS

"Ms. Galvin is my daughter's science teacher. She noticed that my daughter is bright and has potential but was struggling with staying organized and engaged with virtual learning. Ms. Galvin volunteered to become my daughter's mentor as part of the FCPS Mentoring program. We gladly accepted and my daughter has been meeting with Ms. Galvin weekly. These mentoring sessions have made a world of difference for my daughter. Ms. Galvin helps my daughter stay organized and focused on priorities, but they also talk about life in general. I desperately needed an intervention for my daughter but I wasn't sure how or where to turn. Thanks to Ms. Galvin we are now on a better path during what has been a crazy year for everyone."

- a Stone MS parent

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Tawanna Bates, Cameron ES

"Mrs. Bates went above and beyond in her assistance to a new SIA at another school.  Realizing new the new staff member was struggling, Mrs. Bates went to the school site to assist with hands-on guidance. Mrs. Bates embodies the spirit of "we're all in this together"."

Keonna Reinholz, Sprague Technology Center

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Jessica Statz, Hayfield SS

"Ms. Jessica Statz, one of Hayfield's awesome administration team, is making her first year at Hayfield Secondary a truly memorable and impactful one! Her infectious positive energy has helped galvanize our staff, and her championing of our 2021 Senior Class is clearly apparent. Today, she organized and facilitated Hayfield's Senior Day "St. Patrick's Day" style. Hayfield gave out all sorts of St. Patrick's Day swag, including the Class of 2021 T-shirts! Thank you Ms. Statz for truly role-modeling caring in this unprecedented and challenging school year!"

- James Mercer, Hayfield SS

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Dannielle Hough, Lorton Center

"I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude for the assistance Dannielle has given me through this time of covid. She was a tremendous help with the transfer process of a newly acquired team to our area. She always answers my calls and questions with a helpful attitude. Dannielle's professionalism and knowledge of our payroll position have been a great asset to FCPS Transportation and to me personally with her continued help and support. I can always count on a productive resolution when working with her. Thank you, Danielle!"

- Christine Gudikunst, Lorton Center

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Jody McCabe, Robinson SS

"Ms. McCabe has always been a mother to her many students. I've had her for two years for film and the moment I met her I knew it'd be an amazing couple of school years to come (and it was). Not only does she care about each and every student as individuals in-class she also does outside of class. For students' birthdays, she brings gifts and sweet notes to their houses with cards. For contest winners, she does the same. For Valentine's Day. The same. She is incredibly knowledgeable in whatever she teaches. Her passion for film and bright personality rubs off on her many film students and has touched their hearts forever."

- a Robinson SS student

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John Adams, Stratford Landing ES

"Mr. Adams is a reliable, respected professional. He takes pride in his work and really cares about what our school campus looks and feels like for students, staff, and families. He has done exceptional work maintaining our building during this pandemic. He has devoted many years of service to the Stratford Landing community as our Building Supervisor."

- Kevin Morris, Stratford Landing ES

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Naheed Rafi, Stratford Landing ES

"Mrs. Rafi is an outstanding Kindergarten Instructional Assistant. She is a leader in the classroom and cares deeply about her students. She is currently supporting a long-term sub in the classroom, and effectively implementing concurrent teaching and technology. Any visit to the classroom she is directly engaged with students. She is a pivotal player on our Kindergarten Team!"

- Kevin Morris, Stratford Landing ES

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Steve Myers, Willow Oaks Admin Center

"Steve stepped in as the Acting Career Connections Educational Specialist, a huge role supporting and advocating for the College & Career Specialists. He has been awesome work with, extremely responsive, and an overall gem. Thank you Steve for always putting students first and being supportive of our work."

- Renee Foster, Falls Church HS

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Matthew Healy, Robinson SS

"Thank you for always being there for me and taking a chance with me, even when I wasn't always the easiest person to deal with. You are a great teacher and you truly helped me from 10th grade until now."

- a Robinson SS student

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Chris Boateng and Milton Philpott, Woodson - IT

"On Wednesday, 3/10, a technician came out to our school to help us with our speaker system in the gym. He was unable to solve the IT Ticket and sent it to his supervisors to see if they had a solution. We were so lucky that Chris and Milton came to help us the next day!!  We realized that the problems that were happening were not normal problems and only existed because of concurrent teaching, however, Chris and Milton sat and listened to everything that we had to say. They stayed with us for almost 2 hours to attempt to fix the problems that we were having. They even stayed while we ran a double morning meeting so that they could see the problems that we were talking about while they were happening. We are so thankful that they came to help us and that we felt heard. They suggested we try a different headset to solve the problems and they provided that to us. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts."

- Nisha Hecht and Debbie Callsen, Haycock ES

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Tracey Phillips, Robinson SS

"I wanted to thank principal Phillips for always going above and beyond to make Robinson a great place for all students"

- a Robinson SS student

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Megan Thrift, Robinson SS

"Ms. Thrift goes above and beyond for her students. She spends hours and hours of her time preparing lessons and the classroom to ensure or safety during this pandemic. She has successfully ensured that during concurrent learning, she equally includes both the students in person and online and makes sure to make everyone feel included. She puts our mental health first and has cultivated a welcoming environment for every student she comes across. She remains positive even through the struggles she has faced as a teacher this past year. I am a firm believer that she has to be paid more than she currently is because there is no way she is being fairly compensated for doing the amazing work that she is doing. She is not like any teacher I have ever had, and she has truly positively impacted my life permanently."

- a Robinson SS student

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Elmer Alvarenga, Riverside ES

"Elmer has been so helpful this year with scheduling IEP meetings, contacting parents, and interpreting. I appreciate his willingness to go the extra mile for our students!"

- Lorri Hallenbeck, Riverside ES

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Steve Myers, Willow Oaks Admin Center

"Steve stepped into the position of Acting Educational Specialist, Career Connections on November 6, 2020. He is a wonderful person with a lot of heart. For a person who didn’t work directly with College & Career Specialists and Career Experience Specialists group, he learned quickly on the job. He is quick to get you an answer to your question, jumps in where anyone needs help, and he will be your best cheerleader, all the while being the x2VOL guru. I couldn’t have asked for a better person to be the Acting Educational Specialist."

- Carla McIlnay-Shaw, Lewis HS

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Steve Myers, Willow Oaks Admin Center

"Steve has served as the Acting Career Connections Educational Specialist for the past few months and has done a tremendous job doing so. He has been so helpful and such a joy to work with. He has advocated on our (CCS's) behalf and has done a phenomenal job. Resourceful, helpful, and dependable. Thank you Steve for all you've done for us."

- Tisa Frederick, West Springfield HS

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Steve Myers, Willow Oaks Admin Center

"I've had the honor to work with Steve this year as he's served as the Acting College and Career Educational Specialist, in addition to his role as the Service Learning Specialist. From the onset of his new role, Steve has been amazing to work with at one of the most stressful times any of us have experienced. He readily took on the position, built relationships, addressed concerns to help us support FCPS students and parents. Steve's impact on the College and Career Specialists reaches far and wide. He's an asset to the School Counseling Team."

- Shelli Farquharson, Marshall HS Academy

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Steve Myers, Willow Oaks Admin Center

"Steve filled in for Emily Emery on leave and he has been generous, helpful, and good-natured during his tenure. I hope I get to work with him again in some capacity!"

- Khristie Greiner, Chantilly HS

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Steve Myers, Willow Oaks Admin Center

"Since Emily Emery has been away on maternity leave, Steve has been her interim and I must say that he has been such a pleasure to work with. On Tuesday, March 9th, I reached out to Steve about an issue I was having with Mason's International Admissions Office and the hoops they were making our ESOL students jump through for an admissions decision. He quickly contacted Mason and scheduled a meeting with the Director of International Admissions, himself, my DSS, and myself for Friday, March 12th. In this meeting, My DSS and I were able to have an active dialogue with Mason and we were able to explain why this was such a challenge for our students. We were all so grateful to be able to discuss these issues and hear one another's perspective. Also, Steve has been extremely helpful with making sure our students have the opportunity to take the ASVAB."

- Jenelle Lee, Mountain View HS

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Steve Myers, Willow Oaks Admin Center

"Steven Myers stepped in as the "Acting Career Connections Specialist" in November 2020 and has been an outstanding resource for all the College & Career Specialists for the last few months.  He provided support while we performed our jobs virtually and as we transitioned back to the building. Steven advocated on our behalf with outside organizations when we struggled with coordinating nominated scholarships for our students in a virtual world! He accomplished all this while also performing his job as a Service-Learning Resource Teacher. Thank you, Steven!"

- Eileen Doyle, Robinson SS

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Steve Myers, Willow Oaks Admin Center

"Steve stepped into the role of leading and supporting the entire group of Career Center Specialists for FCPS, which is no small task. He has been nothing but responsive, supportive, resourceful, and a true advocate for our group. And in the midst of a pandemic no less! He listened, he asked questions, and he took the time to reach out individually to provide support when needed. Steve even offered open office hours for our group to chat if we needed to simply check-in. Steve is an advocate and a true example of leadership in FCPS. We cannot thank him enough for all he has done to support us!"

- Hannah Wolff, Langley HS

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Steve Myers, Willow Oaks Admin Center

"Steve has been such an amazing, supportive addition to the Career Center Specialist group. He is responsive and strategic. Thank you Steve for the time you've spent with us during this temporary post!"

- Laura Venos, McLean HS

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Steve Myers, Willow Oaks Admin Center

"Thank you, Steve, for your tremendous support and advocacy for the CCS group over the past several months. You took the "acting" leader role seriously, jumping in deep to assist with our requests while also continuing in your x2VOL role. With all of the uncertainty, this year has brought, it's been reassuring to have you in our corner. Thank you."

- Deb Peirce, Herndon HS

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Steve Myers, Willow Oaks Admin Center

"Steve filled in for College & Career Center Specialists as our coordinator and gave us quick help in a rapidly changing time. He was responsive and listened to concerns, improving our ability to help our students. Thank you, Steve!"

- Gardner Humphreys, Marshall HS

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Steve Myers, Willow Oaks Admin Center

"I would like to give a big shout out to Steven Myers, Acting Career Connections Educational Specialist, for being super approachable and attentive to the needs of our College & Career Specialist Group. It has been wonderful working with you :) Thank you for all you have done for us and best wishes to you!"

- Christine Lieb-Mosley, Woodson HS

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Steve Myers, Willow Oaks Admin Center

"As Acting Career Connections Educational Specialist, Steve Myer has been amazing in his role. He has lead extremely productive meetings, been very inclusive of everyone he comes in contact with, creative in his thinking, responsive when asked for information or advice, involving Career Center Specialists and so many other offices, and most of all an amazing connector/team leader/cheerleader. We have been so incredibly honored to have him serve in this position during Emily's absence and will miss his leadership. Thank you, Steve."

- Jill Burrer, Falls Church HS

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Steve Myers, Willow Oaks Admin Center

"Steve stepped into the Acting Career Connections Educational Specialist role in November 2020 and immediately became a valuable listener, resource, and problem solver to me and the entire College and Career Specialist group which he supports. He actively engaged with external FCPS partners to help ensure that processes for students and schools ran smoothly and also facilitated the coordination of the ASVAB testing for all FCPS seniors. Steve always responds to queries in a timely manner and even when he may not have the answer right away, he keeps everyone informed about the steps he is actively pursuing to find the answer. We appreciate his advocacy that is always centered in student equity as well as his continued work with Service Learning in FCPS."

- Samantha Wolfe, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology

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Steve Myers, Willow Oaks Admin Center

"So my dates of experience with Steve Meyers is from Holiday until end of this month. Steve Meyers took over for a maternity leave as our liaison, and I can't express the care and work he has put into servicing Mount Vernon HS Career Services and my colleagues at the other high schools. He is responsive, kind, energetic, passionate, he listens to you, and he creates action plans. He helps, guides, and really tries to consolidate with consideration. He ran the whole ASVAB at multiple high schools and considered our feedback in service planning. He is excellent, and I will miss him in this role."  Dear HR - Please share all of our testimonials together for Steve Meyers, as this is a surprise from all CCS's for FCPS Cares. If you can get a photo of him as well, that would be amazing. thank you, CCS team"

- Kimberly Orr, Mount Vernon HS

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Steve Myers, Willow Oaks Admin Center

"Steve has been an amazing support for the College & Career Specialists. His responsiveness, willingness to help, and dedication have far exceeded expectations. He has worked tirelessly with us to overcome obstacles in our jobs due to Covid, it hasn't been easy, but he has created ways and advocated for us as we continue to help and provide opportunities to students virtually."

- Lynn Otto, Madison HS

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Steve Myers, Willow Oaks Admin Center

"Steve stepped into the role of Acting Career Connections Education Specialist with enthusiasm and kindness. He has been an advocate for all College & Career Specialists. He responds to all inquiries quickly and thoroughly with respect and support. He has hosted helpful virtual office hours and engaging training sessions. Steve is quick to offer insight regarding service-learning initiatives and is the expert in x2VOL. His warmth, experience, and approachability are appreciated and he will be missed!"

- Kara Stamper, Centreville HS

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Steve Myers, Willow Oaks Admin Center

"Steve has been the interim Acting Career Connections, Educational Specialist, for the last few months. Steve has gone above and beyond not only for the College & Career Specialists but also for the students we serve. There is never a task or question Steve doesn't try to get the answer to or get the additional support needed for us to have a successful program. Steve has been knowledgeable and resourceful during these uncertain times of the pandemic."

- Alicia Grande, Justice HS

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Sarah Hall and Susan Gallagher, Eagle View ES

"Sarah Hall and Susan Gallagher make up our amazing school counseling team. They support our school’s attendance goals by reaching out to families, staff, and students to identify potential barriers and problem solve. They use ASCA practices to plan and provide classroom guidance lessons and individual/group counseling. Ms. Gallagher leads our school’s mentoring program and has matched several students, staff, and community members, resulting in increased student and family engagement. She is also always ready with a delicious baked treat to brighten someone’s day. Ms. Hall leads our school’s P2 and PBA initiatives. Through these programs, Eagle View has promoted an enriching and positive school climate focused on healthy relationships with ourselves, each other, and our school community. Ms. Hall also leads our school’s Girls on the Run Program. We are thankful to have such caring and supportive staff members on our Eagle View Team!"

- Beth Levy, Eagle View ES

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Brenda Urquia, Lorton Center

"On the afternoon of March 16, 2021, bus driver supervisor, Brenda Urquia was in the right place at the right time! While driving her bus back to her designated parking location, Brenda spotted a young child attempting to cross a busy section of Richmond Highway on their own. Brenda being the concerned and extremely caring individual who she is was sure to immediately stop her bus and check on the child. It turns out the child was lost and was in need of help. Brenda radioed in and safely transported the child back to her assigned school avoiding a potentially different outcome. Brenda, you are a hero and you have truly demonstrated how much FCPS CARES!!"

- Jeremy Doxer, Lorton Center

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Christy Ryder, Oak Hill ES

"Christy went out of her way to check-in with my 6th grader who started back at Oak Hill ES in person today. She emailed me twice during the school day to let me know that she had connected with my child to offer to meet with her soon AND that she observed her having fun at recess. Ms. Ryder consistently goes above and beyond to support students! Thank you!!!"

- an Oak Hill ES parent

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Frederick King, Mount Vernon Woods ES

"From home visits to supporting students in crisis, Mr. King is always willing to help and always with a smile. As the only in-person clinician this year, Ms. King has demonstrated an incredible amount of flexibility. He is always student-centered and a great advocate for our students and families. We are so lucky to call him a Panther."

- Kay Ngo, Mount Vernon Woods ES

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Kim Gallagher, Oak Hill ES

"We are so lucky to have Kim Gallagher as my daughter's school counselor at Oak Hill ES. After sharing that my child was nervous about this week's return to in-person learning, Ms. Gallagher reached out to her to check-in through email and to offer an early visit. She made sure to connect with my child when she arrived at school today and emailed me to let me know all was going well!"

- an Oak Hill ES parent

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Lisa Rahman, Willow Oaks Admin Center

"As I write transition plans for students with IEP's, I always feel lucky when a student has worked with Lisa Rahman at the Mount Vernon Assessment Center. Her reports after conducting Career Scope, VCEE, or Comprehensive Assessments, are so well written that it makes it easy to pull rich information out and include it in the IEP. This information adds to a very informative and detailed plan for the student and the IEP team as well."

- Melissa Hancock, Willow Oaks Admin Center

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Derrell Smith, Willow Oaks Admin Center

"Mr. Smith was so helpful to a student taking the World Language credit exam. The pre-test login didn't work and he generated another one at the last minute and ensured our student had access to the test. He maintained communication with us throughout, turning what could have been a very impersonal, stressful situation into a positive one. I was so impressed with his level of concern and going above and beyond. THANK YOU!!"

- a Robinson SS parent

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Kristin Girardin, Lake Braddock SS

"The Lake Braddock Middle School Student Services department would like to recognize Kristin Girardin for her commitment to our department over these past months. Her transition from school counselor to acting Director of Student Service meant that she was continuing her counseling duties as well as her new responsibilities as a director. She was able to do this seamlessly. Kristin consistently works for what is best for our students. We know we can go to Kristin with any student issue and she will help us determine what is best for the student and how to make it work. Every time we asked how we could support her team, Kristin was on top of it and needed no help. Once we had our new counselor in Kristin’s role, Kristin was able to focus solely on her acting DSS role and we were able to move into our new department dynamic where we knew we count on Kristin to support us and help us navigate this unusual year. Under Kristin’s leadership, we have been able to support our students while virtual and help them successfully transition to in-person learning. With each new turn and challenge of this school year, she has risen to the occasion, demonstrating flexibility, professionalism, and dedication to students and staff. She fosters an open and supportive work environment where counselors, school psychologists, and social workers (or clinical staff), are free to ask questions, share ideas, and ultimately do the best we can for our students. She is an absolutely outstanding leader."

- Lake Braddock MS Student Services Team

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Scott Dreier, Lake Braddock SS

"I would like to give a public thank you to Mr. Dreier for assisting me with setting up the various technological components of my classroom prior to student arrival. I am tech-savvy, however, this year the technological requirements needed for our concurrent learning experience prompted me to request additional assistance. Mr. Dreier and I met twice, as there was much work to be done. He effectively and efficiently assisted me with my complete tech experience: Logitech speaker, three presentation screens, and answered all my questions regarding laptop functionality issues and how to successfully pull all of this together to reach all of my kiddos :) Thank you, Scott Dreier, for your consistent professionalism, technological expertise, and for being an awesome colleague. Lake Braddock is so lucky to have you!"

- Yarmilay Diggs, Lake Braddock SS

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Kathy Naujoks, Transition Support Resource Center - Alexandria

"Thank you Kathy for all of the love and dedication you put into TSRC Alexandria.  Kathy not only teaches all the science courses, but she also teaches art and Strategies for Success too! She is our Kids at Hope liaison, testing coordinator, and has a treat ready to celebrate every child's birthday. Kathy stands out with her positive attitude that doesn't waver, even in tough situations. Kathy is able to connect with the most reserved and wall-in students. She has fielded calls from upset, frustrated parents with empathy and compassion. We appreciate her infectious laugh and way of lifting up everyone around her."

- Jude Welling Barrows, Interagency Schools - Transition Support Resource Center - Alexandria

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Maria Alva, Nicole Cancilla, Ashley Paz, Fort Hunt ES

"Way to go First Grade Team! We did it! (Aren’t our little learners AMAZING?!)  I’d like to thank Maria, Ashley, and Nicole for being ROCK STAR super teachers! They sure make this new challenging mode of teaching easier"

- Allison Verich, Fort Hunt ES

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Cory Yeager, Sheri Kiley, Mike Marasti, Marion Eckhause, and Alicia Hawk, Fort Hunt ES

"The Second Grade Team would like to give a shout out to the coaches and Cory for their support with setting up the technology in our classrooms and always being there to answer our questions or concerns. Also, we’d like to send a THANK YOU to Alicia for taking time out of her schedule on Monday and clearing out the Second Grade Pod. We truly appreciate their support and encouraging words during this time."

- Daria Klem, Fort Hunt ES

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Elizabeth McDowell, Kilmer MS

"Elizabeth took the time to support our virtual preparations for the big move to Schoology. She shared an overview of how Kilmer moved from Blackboard to Schoology and took the time to share her schools' experience and offer advice. We are all super busy with concurrent instruction and supporting our schools, but Elizabeth made time to support another SBTS! We are so lucky to have Elizabeth as a leader in our SBTS community!"

- Emily Phelan, Chantilly HS

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Margaret Sisler, Westfield HS

"Margaret took the time to support our virtual preparations for the big move to Schoology. She chose to spend her valuable time sharing her knowledge and guiding us through getting set up to welcome our teachers to this new LMS. We are so lucky to have Margaret as a leader in our SBTS community!"

- Emily Phelan, Chantilly HS

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Katie Messinger, Centre Ridge ES

"I just wanna write a brief feedback about Ms. Messinger, she is the best teacher, very patient with kids, she cares about all of them, and I would like to thank her for her hard work and supporting my son l, very energetic, and has a wonderful way to simplify and explain the lessons to the kids."

- a Centre Ridge ES parent

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Brittany Crumbling and Lisa Covington, Riverside ES

"I was feeling lost and frustrated with the middle school transition process, and I reached out to our teacher and counselor with my concerns and complaints with the system/process. Both Brittany and Lisa immediately responded to my inquiries, answered numerous questions, and have stayed in close contact with continued follow-up. I greatly appreciate their attention and dedication, and I want them to be recognized for their support and response. Thank you, ladies!"

- a Riverside ES parent

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Erin Sikes-Thurston, Amy Lee, Lisa Ingrasci Hakin, Meredith Nevarez, and Gonzalo Ovalle, Lewis HS

"This team at Lewis High School embodies the true meaning of how a collaborative team should operate. They work relentlessly to ensure that student's academic, behavioral, and social-emotional needs are met and always keep students at the forefront of the work and every decision that needs to be made. I have had the honor to have weekly check-ins with the On-Time Graduation Resource Teacher and also participate in the Fab 4 meeting that focuses on attendance, graduation, underclassmen, and social-emotional needs. Their care, loyalty, and value in relationships are just some things that are easy to notice. They are a well-oiled machine."

- Jillian O'Callaghan, Willow Oaks Admin Center

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Katie Pieruccini, Eagle View ES

"Katie Pieruccini is a positive, friendly librarian. It is a pleasure to work with her. She cares about students and colleagues. Whether bringing hand warmers to school anticipating a cold day for a colleague on Kiss and Ride duty or sharing supplies that she bought, Katie consistently demonstrates sincere kindness and care for others."

- Roseanne Downward, Sunrise Valley ES

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Nathan Walby, Eagle View ES

"Nathan joined EV as a general music teacher and as a music therapy teacher last year. He has been such a wonderful addition to our music program. His creative ways to use music, movement, and technology have connected with our students in so many ways. Specifically working with our preschool SPED students and our CSS students, Nathan has been able to draw in and engage these students in many ways. He works collaboratively with our Specialist team and is willing to support our students, staff, and families in any way. He is truly a team player and we are so happy to have him here at Eagle View!"

- Kanchana Iyer, Eagle View ES

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Caroline Cox, Franklin Sherman ES

"Mrs. Cox has been an outstanding educator through our remote learning experience. On my daughter's first day back to in-person learning, Mrs. Cox showed incredible thoughtfulness and empathy toward both our daughter and us, as parents. Mrs. Cox provided an email update on our daughter's progress during the day, which greatly eased our minds.  Furthermore, Mrs. Cox helped our daughter get lunch as she had forgotten her snack in the car. What could have been a very stressful day for everyone was made infinitely better by Mrs. Cox's kindness. Thank you!"

- a Franklin Sherman ES parent

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Jessica Kirkpatrick, Cub Run ES

"Mrs. Kirkpatrick has been such a blessing to our family. She mailed my son a birthday card last week and it absolutely made his day!!! Even though we have only known her over the phone or on Google Meet, we love her!  It's clear that Mrs. Kirkpatrick loves my son and sees all his amazing qualities. I feel very hopeful about his return to in-person school because I know she will guide and support him and has his best interest at heart. Thanks, Mrs. K!"

- a Cub Run ES parent

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Teresa Rudner, Centre Ridge ES

"I am a grandmother of young FCPS students. My 2nd-grade granddaughter often works next to me at the dining room table for virtual learning. I must commend Ms. Rudner for the kind, organized and attentive class she has managed to oversee this school year - managing to gather all her various students into a group that cares for her and their peers. No question or concern is too small or too big to be addressed. And then this week she seamlessly welcomed students into her classroom, while still virtually teaching the others - she didn't miss a beat. She thought of everything - the anxious in-person students relaxed and the virtual students participated. She has made such a difference in so many little lives this year.  Thank you, Ms. Rudner."

- a Centre Ridge ES grandparent

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Michelle Hassell, Jackson MS

"I am so impressed with Ms. Hassell! She has been an incredible educator for my son this entire year and has made sure that he felt included and seen in the virtual environment. Today I was able to watch Ms. Hassell navigate the concurrent model. My son is online, and I wasn’t sure what it would look like, but Ms. Hassell, does it seamlessly! She made sure that even though my son is online, he was part of the class, including making sure his voice was heard and facing the camera so that my son felt like he was included in the instruction. I am so grateful that we have had Ms. Hassell this year!"

- a Jackson MS parent

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Steve Passino and Michael Lind, Edison Support Center

"Steve and Michael were absolutely amazing today helping out at Riverside. We had an unfortunate event and required HVAC assistance. As soon as they were on site they were able to discuss with us the incident and took proactive measures to ensure that students and staff still had a great day with minimal impact. They went above and beyond to secure 2 air scrubbers that we put in our hallway to purify the air and help with the smell. We were extremely thankful to work with two outstanding HVAC employees! Thank you both!!"

- Kaila Wise, Riverside ES

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Shelli Wayland, Gatehouse Admin Center

"Shelli is a phenomenal resource for FCPS!!! She immediately replied to a concern I had, was professional and empathetic in her response, and resolved the issue in a timely manner. FCPS needs more employees like Shelli!!!"

- a Centreville Pyramid parent

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Jeff Platenberg, Gatehouse Admin Center

"The Region 3 Team would like to recognize Mr. Jeff Platenberg, Assistant Superintendent for Facilities & Transportation, for his leadership and going above and beyond in handling the action steps needed after a small fire in one of our school trailers. The incident took place in the early morning hours before staff and students arrived. He mobilized his team to ensure a smooth school opening for new students returning to the building. Additionally, he took extra steps to get a team out immediately to address the residual smoke smell in the building, which the staff appreciated. We are so grateful for his guidance and calmness in handling this emergency before the school day even got started with students!"

- Grace Taylor, Evangeline Petrick, Nardos King, Gatehouse Admin Center

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Cris Da Silva Irwin, Fort Hunt ES

"As our ESOL team lead, Cris has gone above and beyond with her support of her team and students during WIDA testing. Her dedication and attention to detail have empowered her to lead her team through the ever-changing testing frontier. Throughout this all, she has continued to support her students as they return to the building and transition to concurrent learning with high-quality and personalized instruction. She has also collaborated with her administration to support her ESOL team through personalized learning experiences to support their work in the classroom. I am so thankful for and impressed by how she has juggled all of the hats she is wearing with grace!"

- Karlie Hale, Fort Hunt ES

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Lindsay Puffer, Theresa Vece, and Jennifer Farri, Lake Braddock SS

"This year has held its challenges for everybody, but working with co-teachers willing to extend grace, offer flexibility, and work collaboratively to meet the needs of all students, whether with an IEP or not, whether in-person or virtual, has made a daunting task manageable. Thank you for everything you have done for students this year."

- David Walrod, Lake Braddock SS

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Antonio Bruce, Stonecroft Transportation Center

"Last week as my 5th-grade daughter and I talked about her two-day/week return to school, she asked who her bus driver would be and wondered aloud if it would be her favorite bus driver of all time  - Mr. Antonio/Bruce. We reminisced on the many things that made Mr. Antonio so special like greeting every child by name, befriending all the students, even those with the toughest exteriors, and playing Italian Opera for the student with special needs who loved to sing verbatim.  And we must have conjured him up because I was on the Forestville Elementary School playground yesterday and who did I see descending from a parked bus? Mr. Antonio.  With tears in both of our eyes, we recounted those glorious years when he handled our most precious cargo 2x/day as if they were his. He joyfully told me about his new routes, taking Great Falls students to and from Cooper, and all the precautions the pandemic has required. He said it's the best job he's ever had - I told him that's because he was the best we've ever had."

- a Great Falls ES parent

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Evonne De Nome, Willow Oaks Admin Center

"Evonne holds a weekly Q&A session for all Finance Techs and AAs that are working with CARES Act funds.  She is not only super helpful but is appreciative of all questions so that everyone in the meeting feels comfortable asking for clarification. She maintains a document of all our questions throughout our meeting sessions, records all sessions so we can watch if we miss the meeting, provides up-to-date pertinent information so that we can do our jobs on the front line in the school building. Her positive, friendly, and patient demeanor is so welcomed when it comes to running these meetings, especially because we are able to ask questions and share information without judgment. Thank you for being so open with us so that we can collaborate to achieve the common goal for the CARES Act audit and accountability."

- Celeste Jones and Cyndi Navarrete, Woodson HS

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Jamee Lyons, Robinson SS

"Ms. Lyons has looked out for our student in a way that makes starting new in a huge school so much easier. She seems to truly care about our child and our child's academic success and emotional health. Thank you."

- a Robinson SS parent

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Ann Wong, Robinson SS

"Ann Wong is amazing! A student at McLean HS needed to take his SAT at Robinson Secondary. His parents had many questions about the school site and wanted to know someone at Robinson was going to be there to support their son. Ann talked to the parents, sent them a map of the school to find his room, and sent follow-up emails to ensure them he was going to do well. She is truly caring of EVERY student in FCPS."

- Ellen Reilly, McLean HS

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Dorothy Klieber, Terra-Centre ES

"Dorothy works so hard to make sure her students are growing as readers and writers. She advocates for students and goes above and beyond to make sure they receive the support they need!"

- Carrie Leestma, Willow Oaks Admin Center

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Jillian Zuber, Forest Edge ES

"Jillian Zuber Principal at Forest Edge ES, shared at a Translating Equity into Practice using Improvement Science Compass Workshop Session, the transformative work Forest Edge is doing to embed PDSA cycles into the CLT process. She talked about this "bite-sized" approach to applied professional development. They are "Doing the Science, Math, and Reading" by testing strategies for improving student engagement. Bravo!"

- Claire Silva, Willow Oaks Admin Center

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Jaime Carroll, Canterbury Woods ES

"Mrs. Carroll has been absolutely amazing at managing both remote learning for a first-grade class and during this transition to concurrent/hybrid learning. If you told me in the fall that my child would be taught to independently completely Google slide assignments, I'm not sure I would have believed you. Not only has she helped her class of 6 and 7-year-olds learn the technology, but she has worked hard to get them all the same notebooks that first-grade students in her class have in a regular year to do pencil and paperwork in. My child has still been doing handwritten assignments all year despite the distance, all thanks to Mrs. Carroll's hard work. She even managed to provided differentiated instruction in multiple subjects remotely! As we approached the transition to in-person learning for some in the class, Mrs. Carroll has projected a positivity that made my child excited. She and the Canterbury Woods staff community have made my child feel welcomed back at school, connected to her classmates and the staff. Remote learning with first graders seems incredibly difficult, and concurrent also. Mrs. Carroll has made the absolute best of it, and we are very grateful."

- a Canterbury Woods ES parent

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Judith Manilli, Oakton HS

"Ms. Judith Manilli has gone above and beyond her duties. After our move, we were unable to access our daughter's volunteer hours in the Fairfax County system. Ms. Manilli not only searched the system for the data herself but when portions of the data were missing, she worked with the IT Department to restore the data. Ms. Manilli is extremely approachable and communicative, and she clearly cares deeply about her students and their families. We are incredibly grateful and thankful for Ms. Manilli."

- an Oakton HS parent and student

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Justin Toney, Lake Braddock SS

"Mr. Toney has been an amazing, exemplary teacher the entire time I have been taking classes with him, with absolutely no problems in the class and is beloved by all. His teaching is easy to follow along, while still challenging our minds. He pushes us to be the best we could possibly be and takes time out of his day to notice and checkup on us. He creates a positive atmosphere for both virtual and in-person students. He is one of my favorite teachers I have ever taken classes from."

- a Lake Braddock SS student

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MacLean Wilson, Willow Oaks Admin Center

"MacLean has consistently been a great team player when the Language Arts team had multiple technology failures over the last year. He is prompt in responding and goes out of his way to make sure we are set. The LA team greatly appreciates how he has been stretched in so many directions and still remains pleasant and calm while we are often frustrated and anxious. Thanks, MacLean!"

- Suzanne Whaley, Willow Oaks Admin Center

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Alicia Hawks, Mike Marasti, and Sheri Kiley, Fort Hunt ES

"The First Grade Team would like to give a HUGE shout out to Alicia, Michael, and Sheri for our very thoughtful concurrent learning meeting this week. Their initiative - to create an in-house mini-PD tailored to our specific needs - was EXTREMELY helpful as we chip away at the monumental task of providing meaningful learning through concurrent teaching. They are an example of what makes Fort Hunt such an amazing school community!"

- Allison Verich, Fort Hunt ES

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Barbara Jefferson, Westbriar ES

"Hi, Ms. Jefferson I really appreciate being in our school. It helps everybody out (at least that is what I think!). You have taught me and others so much. I appreciate that when I said someone did something to me, even though it was way before you helped me solve the problem, and that helped me. I know you taught me a lot and I really, really appreciate that. Thanks for everything, Ms. Jefferson."

- a Westbriar ES student

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LaFonda Hawkins - Transition Support Resource Center - Fairfax

"LaFonda did a good job, stepped out of her comfort zone, and succeeded at maintaining and controlling Blackboard for our Site on March 3! I know this was very hard for her and caused a lot of anxiety....but she DID IT!!!!!!"

- Ann Gary, Transition Support Resource Center - Fairfax

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Shannon Rodriguez, Randa Kaldas, Lamia Mamouri, Steven Robinson, Nawal Eid, Angela Bernier, Brooke Sherburne, and Jen Melnyk, Providence ES

"I want to give a HUGE shout-out to my team and the other adults who come into our room to work with the kids. I am so grateful to be surrounded by a team of dedicated caring professionals. Everyone who works with our kids could be described with the acronym CARES because:

C = Caring: They care about the kids. 

A = Accepting: They accept each child as they are, and every child knows that they matter, and we care.

R = Resourceful: They are constantly looking for ways to help each child succeed. If one thing doesn't work, they try something else.

E = Encouraging: They use positive words and encourage every child to do their best.

S = Safety-conscious: They know all the children and every child feels secure in our room.

Shannon, Lamia, Randa, Steven, Nawal, Angela, Jen, and Brooke all of you are amazing and every day I see kids learning, reaching goals, and trying new things, all with smiles on their faces because YOU care! I am honored and blessed to work with such an incredible team of educators."

- Stacy Greene, Providence ES

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Lynelle Palencia, Falls Church HS

"As the Employment and Transition Representative (ETR) at Falls Church High School, I want to recognize Lynelle Palencia for her on-going support of students and their families and for her willingness to go above and beyond for CTS and families in need. Lynelle took time recently to support our evening community event as part of a parent panel. She did this despite a turn of events that required her to travel unexpectedly out of state at the same time as the event. Lynelle has also stepped up when needed on numerous occasions, going above and beyond the responsibilities of her job. Thank you, Lynelle, we are lucky to have you in CTS!"

- Janelle Ellis, Willow Oaks Admin Center

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Amy Williams, Flint Hill ES

"I can name a lot of great FCPS employees who've gone out of their way to make this year a good experience for us, but I can't name many who would actually drive all the way to my house to do it...two days before Christmas, no less! It's evident how much Amy Williams cares about the students (and their families!) at Flint Hill.  We are so lucky to have her!"

- a Flint Hill ES parent

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Heather Van Horn, Flint Hill ES

"December was a stressful month for many families, including mine. Ms. Van Horn went out of her way to find a way to bring joy to my family during a time of chaos and uncertainty. She was quick to respond to my emails, helpful with resources, and non-judgmental. She truly helped to bring joy to my family. It's too bad that most of her work is confidential and possibly goes unrecognized when she makes SUCH a difference for the emotional health of the whole family. She sure had that effect on mine!"

- a Flint Hill ES parent

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Kurt Kohls, Madison HS

"When virtual learning first started, I had numerous concerns, technology being one of them. Mr. Kohls was lightning fast with his responses to my students and my emails which was so appreciated! He was readily available to fix our laptop and seemed happy to help. We met with him a couple of times. Then, we moved to a location without internet and all of a sudden our frustration with virtual school and technology became really, really stressful. Mr. Kohls was so quick to help not only my Madison student but her younger sibling from another school as well. He continued to help with our laptops, make sure we had reliable internet, checked in to make sure his fixes/accommodations had, in fact, solved our problem, and went above and beyond to make sure our virtual school experience was possible, productive, and stress-free. He has been such a blessing during such a stressful time! I wish he could get a raise."

- a Madison HS parent

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Justin Moss, Sideburn Support Center

"Mr. Moss has been incredibly helpful to us this past weekend and into this week. We had an urgent issue with air quality over the weekend and in a heavily used part of our building.  Justin was incredibly responsive and jumped to act quickly to help us resolve these issues. He followed up on our progress to ensure that everything was being taken care of and expertly distributed resources so that Westfield could be up and running by the time students arrived today. The Westfield Community is very fortunate to have the support of people like Justin Moss to keep us going."

- Tony DiBari, Westfield HS

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Guyron Brock, Sideburn Support Center

"Mr. Brock has been incredibly helpful to us this past weekend and into this week. We had an urgent issue with air quality in a heavily used part of our building and Mr. Brock provided an astounding level of support. He was both quick to respond, communicative, and came up with great solutions to our situation so that our students and community could proceed unaffected. The Westfield Community is very fortunate to have the support of people like Guyron Brock."

- Tony DiBari, Westfield HS

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Gilbert Redulla, Lorton Center

"Gilbert is always willing to go the extra mile to make sure that his weekly deadlines are met and he does it with a great attitude. He is someone you can always go to if you need something. Thank you, Gilbert for all you do!"

- Dannielle Hough, Lorton Center

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Jody McCabe, Robinson SS

"Ms. McCabe, my sons' teacher for IB film for two years has gone above and beyond, especially during the school closing since last March. She’s been involved, supportive, enthusiastic, and motivating to each and every student. The kids love her and have gained such an appreciation of film and life!"

- a Robinson SS parent

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Delores Herndon, Gatehouse Admin Center

"Delores has been working with me for several months now with regard to my ADA application. Not only has she been extremely professional, but she has also been overly patient with me and most (if not all) of my questions as a newcomer to this process. Delores is an asset to FCPS!"

- Sue Garrison, Lake Anne ES

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Patricia Webbs, Franconia ES

"My deepest gratitude, respect, and admiration goes out to Ms. Patricia Webbs, a second-grade teacher at Franconia Elementary School. While I listed the "date of experience" here as 3/8/2021, it has really been all year that Ms. Webbs has been the epitome of what every parent hopes their child experiences when it comes to their teacher - a heart for teaching, constantly thinking about the best way to reach/teach each individual child, striving to improve how they deliver lessons, and, ultimately, loving children. In this crazy, frustrating year of all years, Ms. Webbs has been a light in the darkness. She greets the kids in her class every day with positivity and kindness, and she strives to make each child feel heard and seen, even when the computer screen makes it so much harder. She has taken the time to meet with my child as well as my husband and me during off-hours to help answer questions and mitigate concerns we had. I can't say enough about how grateful we are that our child was lucky enough to have Ms. Webbs as his second-grade teacher. And, just when I thought she couldn't top herself, this is the sentence she wrote to her students the day before they start their in-person classes: "Remind them to bring their good spirits as well. We are going to go slow to go fast and they should rest all their concerns on my shoulders. We’re going to be great!"  I am not kidding when I say this sentence made me tear up - to say that the children can rest their concerns on her shoulders - just wow.  All kids should be so lucky as to have a "Ms. Webbs" as part of their elementary school experience. THANK YOU, Ms. Webbs!!"

- a Franconia ES parent

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Janice Pritchett, Paul Agner, and Pam Sutey, Lake Braddock SS

"I want to thank our amazing Student Activities Office, Janice Pritchett, Paul Agner, and Pam Sutey, for their help with the pep band Friday night. They arranged for chairs and a place for us to sit. They helped our parents get tickets to watch their students perform. They also stopped by to check on our students, their set up, and how they were doing all night long."

- Michael Luley, Lake Braddock SS

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Krissy Schnebel, Frost MS

"Ms. Schnebel works tirelessly for the students of W.T. Woodson High School. Throughout this unprecedented year, she has made sure that the Senior Athletes of WTW High School have gotten their all-important recognition. Not only is she busy teaching her own students every single day, but she is also organizing and uploading pictures and student biographies to Instagram and Twitter!  As a parent and a fellow FCPS employee, I know the effort it takes to keep everything moving. Thank you Ms. Schnebel for helping our kids feel special!"

- a Woodson HS parent

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Casey Milligan, Woodson HS

"Thank you for being an outstanding teacher while making every effort to constantly engage your students in a virtual setting. I can only imagine how difficult it is trying to connect with HS students and a bunch of blank squares but you went above and beyond every day."

 - a Woodson HS parent

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Yvonne Wynn, Gatehouse Admin Center

"I would like to recognize Yvonne for the incredible support she provided to a family from our school. Yvonne took the time to make sure that the family understood the necessary information throughout the special education eligibility process. She was kind and caring, yet professional. I wanted to recognize her dedication to her job and to the families of FCPS."

- Susan Sugrue, Little Run ES

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Francisco Quintanilla. McLean HS

"Francisco and our entire custodial team have worked tirelessly to help prepare the building for students to return. They not only complete their normal, and now more extensive, cleaning tasks but they're helping all staff to prepare their rooms for students. Each team member is always so friendly and more than happy to help in any situation; not once saying they cannot complete a task. We are beyond lucky to have them as part of our Highlander Family!"

- Tzeitel Barcus, McLean HS

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Betsy Bayer, Rose Hill ES

"Mrs. Bayer has been amazing during the transition to in-person learning. She has gone above and beyond for her kids and has made my daughter’s first real days of kindergarten wonderful. I feel so lucky to have her teaching my child!"

- a Rose Hill ES parent

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Kimberly Yeo, Twain MS

"Kimberly Yeo came to Twain in August 2019 immediately taking on CT lead responsibilities for Grade 7 Health and Physical Education and has worked tirelessly with students and colleagues alike. This past year, Kimberly Yeo has shown all her talents and experience as a long-time teacher and former librarian putting together awesome slide decks for our virtual students introducing innovative interactive learning such as Deck Toys, Ed Puzzle, and Pear Deck to all of us. Moreover always so positive and willing to help others, we are fortunate to have Kimberly Yeo at Twain Middle School!"

- Bernadette Flynn, Twain MS

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Jeffrey Fleetwood, Longfellow MS

"Mr. Fleetwood has been approachable and communicative since the first day. He cares for his students and wants what is best for them. During this unpredictable year, Mr. Fleetwood has been a reassuring presence, willing to look for creative solutions to our problems with distance learning. He is a positive role model for his students and treats everyone with kindness. We are thankful for Mr. Fleetwood."

-a Longfellow MS parent

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Erin Caswell, Longfellow MS

"Ms. Caswell has gone above and beyond her duties as special education teacher.  In a year where uncertainty has ruled, Ms. Caswell has been a solid presence. During distance learning, she always looked for creative ways to engage all of her students, but especially those who had the most difficulty learning virtually. In-person, she has been ready to adapt to those needs again. She is extremely approachable and communicative. She cares deeply about her students and their families. We are so thankful for Ms. Caswell."

- a Longfellow MS parent

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Sara Eichmeier, Chesterbrook ES

"Ms. Eichmeier is a 1st-year 6th-grade teacher who has had the unfortunate circumstance of having to try and connect with her students via the virtual platform. She has been steadfast and unfailing in her efforts with our daughter, who is in her class and has generally struggled significantly with the virtual construct. Ms. Eichmeier responds almost immediately to inquiries from her students and their parents, is positive and encouraging (to an age group that can be resistant), and is always willing to modify an assignment if it’s what the student needs. We are delighted that our daughter will have up to 24 days of in-person instruction with Ms. Eichmeier before the school year concludes, and we hope that it allows our daughter to really connect with this extraordinary first-year teacher."

- a Chesterbrook ES parent

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Rosemary Nevin, Terra-Centre ES

"Ms. Nevin and Mrs. Kovalick have been amazingly patient teachers to our kindergartener. She struggled with virtual instruction and Ms. Nevin always tried new ways to help her and never gave up on her. Now that she is in person two days a week, she has not only finally started to enjoy school but has grown so much already even with only three and a half in-person school days. We wouldn’t have made it to this point if it wasn’t for Ms. Nevin’s efforts above and beyond normal working hours. Thank you so much."

- a Terra-Centre ES parent

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Allison Jankovich, Sangster ES

"As the acting principal of Sangster, Ms. Jankovich has gone above and beyond to manage the ever-changing demands of education in the times of Covid. With everything on her plate, she has still remained an advocate for my special needs daughter. She has assisted us in getting equipment to assist in virtual learning and has responded to my concerns over the impact of virtual learning on my children. She clearly cares about the students in her school and should be recognized for doing an excellent job in a challenging time."

- a Sangster ES parent

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Michelle Newman, Sangster ES

"There are not enough ways to thank Ms. Newman for all she has done for my daughter. My youngest is a 10-year old girl with Down Syndrome. She has struggled this year with virtual school. The highlight of her day is Ms. Newman’s math class. Ms. Newman has gone out of her way to personalize my daughter’s lessons to keep her engaged. She finds dance and music videos that have her dancing by 5s for counting, she gets rewarded by seeing her favorite things, Ryan’s world or BTS. The most epic event was when Ms. Newman had “Billie Eilish” make a cameo on screen. My daughter lost her mind with excitement. When my daughter returned to in-person learning I asked her if she saw her friends. When I asked her who she replied Ms. Newman. We can’t thank her enough for all she does."

- a Sangster ES parent

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David James, Mosby Woods ES

"Amid the many changes this year and last, Mr. James has never ceased to be both a fantastic music teacher and a caring, supportive role model for his students. When Mr. James learned that some of his students would be switching to a new music teacher upon their return to in-person schooling, he contacted the students to wish them luck and to say goodbye, at least for now, in a way that was so full of compassion and understanding. Mr, James treats his students as whole people deserving of respect and dignity despite their young age. To display that level of willingness to provide emotional/social connection for students with whom he doesn’t even see on a daily basis is what makes Mr. James a glowing example of the quality work happening in FCPS. He has made a difference in our student’s life and certainly many more!"

- a Mosby Woods ES parent

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Carolyn Hilyard and Diane Rogers. Lake Braddock SS

"Carolyn Hilyard and Diane Rogers have developed outstanding resources and an effective interactive tool that allows students to research information that supports an important component of Lake Braddock's 8th Grade Bruins in Action (BIA) Capstone – the Public Awareness Presentation. The BIA is a year-long inside/outside the classroom philanthropy-based learning experience that celebrates the end of middle school for Lake Braddock students. The Capstone allows 8th-grade students to use the skills and knowledge acquired across their classes to become effective global citizens. These two middle school librarians were undaunted by the fact that instruction has taken place remotely during this academic year. They persisted in helping teachers deliver an effective and fun method for students to access and explore a wide range of electronic material and resources to aid them in developing their Public Awareness Presentations. Thanks to these veteran professionals, Lake Braddock 8th grade students will continue to participate in an authentic and meaningful learning activity whether or not they are attending school in-person or virtually!"

- Lisa Williams, Lake Braddock SS

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Christina Cho, Carson S

"It was a 2 hour early release on Friday as teachers were preparing for students to get back to in-person instruction next Tuesday and the class schedule has been switched around. However, my 7th grader requested his Language Arts teacher, Ms. Christina Cho to review two of his assignments on a busy Friday during her break. I happened to be cooking in the kitchen and overheard their conversation. Ms. Cho was so patient and humorous. She spent 45 minutes explaining to my child and made sure he got it. We are so thankful for Ms. Cho's dedication, not just for this situation. Her engaging teaching style always generates class participation that makes virtual learning more fun and less stressful. Even as parents, we enjoy watching the class opening baking/craft/etc. clips she shows to her students. Thank you, Ms. Cho!!!"

- a Carson MS parent

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Martha Hellman, Lees Corner ES

"Mrs. Hellman is an incredible Kindergarten teacher. She has so much patience, yet still manages to set high expectations for her students. She teaches them self-reliance and independence, while also teaching them everything else from how to read to how to think like scientists."

- a Lees Corner ES parent

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Kathleen Fennell, Rose Hill ES

"I Just wanted to take a moment to recognize what an amazing job my daughter’s kindergarten teacher has done this year. She has gone above and beyond all year to keep the kids engaged, and my daughter really loves being in her class."

- a Rose Hill ES parent

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Sharon Meaders and Karen Roth, Stenwood ES

"I am writing to recognize the Sharon Meaders and Karen Roth for their dedicated teaching and outreach this school year.  Mrs. Meaders and Ms. Roth approach each school day with enthusiasm and patience and deliver a well-rounded curriculum to their 5th-grade students. They have excelled in spite of the virtual teaching challenges and have consistently communicated with parents to enable that vital parent-teacher partnership. Beyond the curriculum, they have, since the first day of class, taught their students themes of responsibility and self-advocacy--two values that are critical to making the transition from elementary to upper grades. Many thanks to Mrs. Meaders and Ms. Roth for their dynamic partnership in a challenging school year!"

- a Stenwood ES parent

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Cheryl Schless, Hybla Valley ES

"She is my son’s special ed teacher who has been back in school to teach my son in person for 4 days a week. She has been great teaching him a lot and making him enjoy and ease back into school."

- a Hybla Valley ES parent

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Erin Lenart, Fairfax HS

"Dr. Lenart has been an amazing leader throughout the turmoil of this year. I have a freshman at FHS who has just gone back 2 days so far but I so greatly appreciate her efforts to make all the kids feel welcome and to foster the sense of community they desperately need. Also, she has done a great job making her staff feel supported and safe so most of the teachers have returned to the classroom."

- a Fairfax HS parent

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Lea Devine and Kim Clayborne, Dranesville ES

"I would like to mention how amazing my daughter's kindergarten teachers are. Lea Devine and Kim Clayborne have shown heart, compassion, and love to all of their kindergarten students since day 1. Working in this virtual environment and having to learn new technology, hasn't slowed them down one bit. They have created engaging academic lessons in addition to caring about their social and emotional needs. Even with the transition into concurrent learning, they have made sure that both in-person and virtual students are challenged and involved in every lesson. My daughter comes home happy every day and wants to tell us everything about her day.  Kudos to Lea and Kim for bringing the magic of kindergarten and a love of learning to our kids!"

- a Dranesville ES parent

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Jenn Scott, Willow Oaks Admin Center

"Thanks, Jenn Scott for a spectacular presentation on ADHD and how to best support our students (and ourselves)! Jenn puts a great deal of thought and research into her PD sessions, making the most of the time allotted while making sure folks don't feel overwhelmed. Participants walked away with valuable information and strategies. With humility and vulnerability, Jenn shares personal anecdotes to illustrate statistics, which helps her audience to connect to the concepts. She has a genuine affection for the most misunderstood and underserved students and her empathy is contagious. She helps other educators know better so they can do better. Thanks, Jenn for your insights and enthusiasm!"

- Jude Welling Barrows, Transition Support Resource - Alexandria

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Gabrielle Auza, Daniels Run ES

"I’d like to nominate Gabrielle Auza, a 2nd-grade teacher at Daniels Run ES, for recognition within the FCPS Cares community for her tireless work to keep the Daniels Run community and her grade level team up to date with concern to technology and instruction. She is very conscientious about the technology/instructional needs of our community. Her responsiveness to concurrent setup and instructional logistics has helped us move forward as we return to the building. Great teammate. A great asset to our community."

- Lawrence Veasley, Daniels Run ES

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Ana Rosa Tuszka, Robinson SS

"She is always super organized and cares about how her students are learning. She is usually super happy to see us in class."

- a Robinson SS student

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Paula Serbus and Jayme Harris, Glasgow MS

"Since December, I have had the pleasure of supporting Jayme and Paula with their students who access the adapted curriculum. This is one of the most collaborative teacher teams I have ever worked with. Their energy and positivity are contagious and their passion for their work is so evident in everything that they do. We have had multiple Friday afternoon meetings and still, their energy does not fade! Jayme and Paula not only do everything that I recommend or ask of them, they even go above and beyond. I am so impressed with their work ethic and applaud them for their commitment to their students, especially during such an unusual school year. They are truly invaluable to their school and FCPS. Keep up the good work Paula and Jayme!"

 - Heather Padgett, Willow Oaks Admin Center

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Justin Moss, Scott Larson, Andrea Martini, and Carrie Sarsour, Sideburn Support Center and Gatehouse Admin Center

"Unbelievable service and immediate response time from a number of people today. We had an unfortunate emergency that necessitated covering the unexpected absences of three-day time custodians. From the time I sent an email this morning to all parties concerned, the problem was resolved. A HUGE thank you goes out to Justin Moss and Steve Larson from Facilities/Transportation; as well as Carrie Sarsour and Andrea Martini from Human Resources. Life Savers-all of you!"

- Karen Bryan, Annandale HS

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Caitlin Radek, Instructional Programs Support Center

"Big thank you to Caitlin for taking time out of her busy day to help me figure out how to coach one of my new teachers on ways to integrate AT and Adapted Curriculum so that she can feel more comfortable with VAAP documentation. It's great to know we have such dedicated, generous colleagues!"

- Mollie Kropp, Instructional Programs Support Center

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Casey Evans, Lorton Center

"Casey Evans and the FCPS transportation team went above and beyond to secure transportation for a homeless student in less than 24 hours. The FCPS transportation team members are my "hero's" this week as their response to student needs is much appreciated. Thank you, Casey and the entire FCPS transportation team."

- Dana Condemi, Chantilly HS

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David Kelly, Longfellow MS

"Mr. Kelly has done an outstanding job of presenting material during distance learning in an enthusiastic and engaging way. He encourages student participation, is excited to teach every day, and has adapted the distance learning curriculum to be interesting and interactive. During the transition to concurrent instruction, Mr. Kelly has let his students know how happy he is to see them in person, and has made science class feel as close to "normal" as possible. Thank you Mr. Kelly for embracing this new way of teaching and focusing on your students and their education!"

- a Longfellow MS parent

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Travis Dickason, Stone MS

"As a parent of a virtual middle schooler, receiving a special recognition email from her history teacher brought a huge smile to our family's day! Mr. Dickason takes the time to make sure his students are engaged during class. My daughter tells us about her day in her classes, and we are blessed that she continues to have the stamina and excitement about her classes. Mr. Dickason shared how appreciative he is of her positive energy and willingness to participate and complete the assignments. What proud parents we are to read about her teacher's appreciation. Thank you Mr. Dickason for noticing my daughter's efforts and sharing the good news with us!"

- a Stone MS parent

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Michelle Bishop, Lanier MS

"Michelle is incredible! Her energy and caring inspire our classroom on a daily basis. She has developed strong, trusting relationships with students, as well as co-workers, and can always be counted on to pitch in and help out with enthusiasm. Michelle uses her technical knowledge and expertise to add to the learning environment and troubleshoot problems. She is the "wind beneath my wings" and I don't know what I'd do without her!"

- Sarah Pevner, Lake Braddock SS 

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Gary Holtzman, Lake Braddock SS

"Gary Holtzman is a dedicated educator who is finding ways to support deep student learning, even in unusual times. I was invited to sit in on a War Guilt Tribunal his students were running. Each team had to make arguments supporting the responsibility a specific country had in the events that led to war. Without exception, his students were well prepared, informed, engaged, and enthusiastic. Their work was collaborative, the quality of the assignment allowed for continued engagement throughout the whole class, and students were clearly having fun while working through some really complex thinking. Lake Braddock is full of educators who are committed to ensuring their students get the most out of this year, and Gary Holtzman is a wonderful example."

 - Sarah Pevner, Lake Braddock SS

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Hui Chen, Gyeong Chung, Eleni Peters, and Fawzia Azizi, Daniels Run ES

"Our cafeteria staff has gone above and beyond to serve our students and community. They deliver great customer service to our families at our weekly meal pick-up. They have demonstrated flexibility as they deliver lunch to our in-person students as well as setting-up multiple breakfast pick-up stations for students each morning. We are fortunate to have a dedicated food service staff at Daniels Run!"

- Chris Smith, Daniels Run ES

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Heather Baucum, Crossfield ES

"Heather Baucum is the best Librarian! She really generates enthusiasm for reading with all her students, at every level. While in the Virtual Environment, I have observed her coming into my children's classes as she captivated them with her dynamic reading. She has gone above and beyond to keep kids reading throughout the Pandemic. My oldest son (5th grade) was really motivated to participate in her Battle of the Books and felt so proud to be a part of that experience. My kindergartener really enjoys every time she comes to his class and loves all the books she selected for him. Heather Baucum is an expert in student engagement. She also posted the most impressive Return to School welcome video, entitled "The First Time Since November," which was both hysterical and motivating...this should go viral! Our kids are so lucky to have such a great Librarian at Crossfield."

- a Crossfield ES parent

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Bijana Schwenz and Sejal Parekh, West Potomac HS

"Biljana and Sejal are the technology support side of our West Potomac family here at West Potomac High School. They are both so supportive and responsive. They provide a lot of structure for us all here when we need support in the virtual environment. This structure is preventative in nature to prevent concerns. Today was one of those days where I had a struggle that not only impacted me but the folks that I was providing services to. The response was quick (AS ALWAYS) and it enabled me to resume providing those services. We are very fortunate to have Biljana--particularly in an environment where there is a pandemic."

- Schavion Smith, West Potomac HS

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Vanessa Rocca, Gatehouse Admin Center

"Vanessa assisted me in arranging for a parent meeting via phone. I anticipated the call would take 30-45 minutes. The call actually took 1.5 hours, and we followed up again later in the afternoon for more information for the parent. We took many directions during the call, (including contacting a medical provider for whom Vanessa interpreted) and Vanessa didn't miss a beat or express irritation, she just moved forward and provided incredible assistance. She was very professional and clear when describing this mother's medical concerns about her student. Vanessa provided clarification regarding words the mother was using to describe her sons' health and how they might be interpreted. Vanessa's work as an interpreter made my job as a social worker possible, and I am confident we assisted a parent in getting necessary medical care for her son. Thank you, Vanessa!"

- Karen Spradlin, Willow Oaks Admin Center

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Ines Gianella, Gatehouse Admin Center

"I have worked with Ines off and on for 8 years, and my recognition of her is significantly past due!!! She has always been a punctual and incredibly reliable interpreter. Over the years, she has interpreted dozens of sensitive meetings that I have held with parents, and she maintains a level of professionalism that is truly needed in order for me to have difficult conversations with parents. This can be challenging!!  During the pandemic, she has been incredibly reliable for virtual meetings. Scheduling appointments can be very time-consuming and difficult, and Ines' assistance with this has been seamless and smooth. She has saved me hours I am certain! Ines' work as an interpreter has made my job as a social worker possible for many of our families. Thank you, Ines!!"

- Karen Spradlin, Willow Oaks Admin Center

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Yellia Seanor, Gatehouse Admin Center

"I have worked with Yellia many times during this school year. She is always incredibly thorough and kind. She is quick to answer my cultural questions and provides interpretation in a calm, kind, effective manner. In preparation for our meeting yesterday, she took significant time PRIOR to our meeting to review the links I was sending to the parent AND listening/watching a parenting video to check for subtitle accuracies. She provided clarifying screenshots to help the parent understand what we were teaching her, and Yellia was able to inform the parent about the wording of some of the subtitles so that the parent would be able to understand with greater clarity. Both the parent and I are extremely grateful for her detail and attention.  Yellia is a wonderful asset to FCPS and certainly makes my job as an FCPS social worker easier. Thank you!!"

- Karen Spradlin, Willow Oaks Admin Center

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Nikki Fulton, Willow Oaks Admin Center

"Nikki is always on top of anything that may come up and answers any question, big or small, with genuine friendliness. Thanks, Nikki!"

- Kathryn Becker, Willow Oaks Admin Center

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Celine Sinclair-Peebles, Interagency Schools - Transition Support Resource - Fairfax

"Celine has been working hard at establishing a connection between IAS and Food for Others to help ensure our students aren't hungry.  Hungry students can't learn, and her work closes that gap. Thank you, Celine, for your determination!"

- Kathryn Becker, Willow Oaks Admin Center

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Scott Dreier, Carin Frank, Semuel Hackett, and Sarah Olson Lake Braddock SS

"Lake Braddock’s Tech Team is terrific! I am writing to recognize four members who have been particularly helpful to me: Scott Dreier, Carin Frank, Semuel Hackett, and Sarah Olson. Whether a problem is complicated and time-consuming or simple and easily addressed, members of our technology staff are generous with their kindness and knowledge. I feel like I can ask for help with any tech problem and receive unsurpassed support, guidance, and a willingness to see the issue through to resolution. All are extremely supportive, understanding, and tackle problems with caring and outstanding service."

- Patrick Ward, Lake Braddock SS

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Jeremy Doxer, and Sherry Dyson, Lorton Center

"Without hesitation, Jeremy and Sherry came to the rescue! West Potomac had critical needs for monitor coverage during the first week of in-person learning. Without them, we would have had major disruptions to operations. Thank you both so much!"

- Tangy Millard, West Potomac HS

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Manny Gomez Portillo, Kristen Haynor, Carolyn Lamson, and Tracy Sawyers, West Potomac HS

"Without hesitation, Manny, Kristen, Carolyn, and Tracy came to the rescue! West Potomac had critical needs for monitor coverage during the first week of in-person learning. Without them, we would have had major disruptions to operations. Thank you, guys!"

- Tangy Millard, West Potomac HS

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Evangeline Petrich, Gatehouse Admin Center

"Evangeline has put in hours of her time to help find central office volunteers to fill in at West Potomac during this first week of in-person. Without her help, West Potomac would have had a critical status for monitors and operations would have been significantly impacted. Thank you Evangeline we appreciate you!"

- Tangy Millard, West Potomac HS

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Kim Hammond, Maya Nardone, and Julie Green, Lake Braddock SS

"Kim, Maya, and Julie have worked tirelessly this year to support the secondary mathematics department at Lake Braddock. The vertical articulation conversations and work along with the collaboration that has been accomplished have been wonderful to witness and be a part of. Thank you, Kim, Maya, and Julie for being great leaders, mentors, and role models."

- Ana Cingel, Lake Braddock SS

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Kim Morrison, Erin Beach, Carmen Issing, Beth Gijon, Ginny Barron, and Sarah Fisher, Daniels Run ES

"We wanted to give a HUGE thank you to this team of people who helped our kindergarten learners have the most successful week back (in-person). They work tirelessly to ensure schedules are complete, classes are balanced, make phone calls to parents, drop off materials/supplies to families, and made the best, welcoming kindergarten experience for our young learners. We are so lucky to have them as part of our DRES family. GOOOOOO K TEAM!"

- Lauren Hein, Daniels Run ES

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Kim Ngo and Amanda Bertuna, Daniels Run ES

"Kim and Amanda are new staff (classroom monitors) to our school this year. We cannot say enough about their flexibility and smiling faces. They work with students in a variety of grade levels and are doing such a wonderful job. They greet the students each morning with smiles, and over the short time with them, have developed relationships with them. We are lucky to have them!"

- Lauren Hein, Daniels Run ES

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Adel Soliman, Sideburn Support Center

"Please extend my sincere gratitude and appreciation to everyone involved in the repairs to my classroom. I know the repairs took a lot of coordination between Woodson staff and FCPS maintenance staff. The craftsmen did an amazing job. Everyone was very friendly and committed to getting the repair work done before the students arrived back into the building."

Karen Bell, Woodson HS

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Paul Osei Akrasi, Woodson HS

"I want to thank the Woodson Custodial staff for deep cleaning my room this past week. They went above and beyond! Their efforts have and will make a difference for my students and me."

- Karen Bell, Woodson HS

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Barbara Anderson, Lorton Center

"I would like to thank Barbara for being a caring and reliable person. Every morning she had a smile on her face and quick to make me smile. Her dedication in these unpredictable times has put a smile on my face. Thank you Barbara for being a dedicated employee, we loved our Bus Driver. We miss you, Barbara!"

- Lorton Center parent

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Meghan Saladino and Lisa Hoyle, Longfellow MS

"I wanted to give a shout-out to Meghan Saladino and Lisa Hoyle, Longfellow MS's 2 Librarians. These ladies went above and beyond the call of duty to help the entire Civics department create how-to videos and a website to assist our students in their big Civics research project. I was particularly impressed when they reached out to me to find out specifically what my student's topics were so they could tailor the website to my student's needs. Meghan and Lisa have made a difference this year for my Civics students and I truly appreciate all that they do for us. Thank you, ladies!"

- Patricia Deal, Longfellow MS

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Katie Cusson, Franklin MS

"Katie and I have worked together for years now, but today, when I saw her working so calmly and diligently with one of her adapted PE students, I witnessed what an amazing gift she is to our school and to our children. Katie is always kind and compassionate, but it's the little things, like not getting frustrated or staying positive, that make her such an outstanding educator. Kudos to Katie and for sharing her gifts with all of our students."

 - Kathy Hudson, Franklin MS

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Matt Baker, Cooper MS

"Matt Baker is our phenomenal Band teacher at Cooper Middle School. I recently was working with students in breakout rooms in his class and was able to witness the amazing level of student engagement occurring. The students had various questions about returning to the building and Matt made sure to answer student questions with clarity and empathy.  It is evident how hard he's worked to form solid relationships with his many students this year in addition to finding ways to work with them individually, in groups, and as a class, virtually.  His love of music and teaching students to love music, too, is contagious!"

 - Jill Donnelly, Cooper MS

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Jamie Gadley and Lance Fogleman, Dranesville ES

"Principal Jamie Gadley and teacher Lance Fogleman shared their experiences as members of the School Improvement and Innovation Networked Improvement Community (SIIP NIC) with members of an Improvement Science for Equity cohort. Their story of collective efficacy is a testimony to the school improvement happening at Dranesville. Their leadership and commitment to continuous improvement served as an inspiration for members of the cohort."

- Paige Whitlock, Willow Oaks Admin Center

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Adrienne Forte, Robinson SS

"Mrs. Forte is amazing every day and always finds a way to make us smile! She is our wonderful yearbook teacher and I appreciate her so much! She helps us create what we get at the end of the year, a book of memories! I thank her from the bottom of my heart for her kindness and love she shows to all the students at school!"

 - Robinson SS student

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Carrie Sarsour, Gatehouse Admin Center

"Carrie does a fabulous job of coordinating our requests for temporary and long-term custodial assistance. She is responsive and solves delicate personnel concerns when needed. She is great at networking with other HR staff and departments when a piece is missing before she can bring on a temporary custodian. Especially during these difficult times and many HR staff teleworking, I know I can always count on Carrie to respond to me quickly. THANK YOU!!!!"

- Karen Bryan, Annandale HS

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Emily Gardiner, Lanier MS

"Emily has spent much time, on her own, helping two of our custodians to acquire vaccination time slots, both the first and second ones. These staff members, are not as familiar with technology and have had a hard time navigating the system. This is truly demonstrating a caring culture and equity in action. Emily has helped to alleviate their concerns by helping. One of them even started to do the happy dance once he was finally able to secure a time for the second vaccine because of her relentless calls."

 - Tammy Hanna, Lanier MS

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Brenda Collins, Gatehouse Admin Center

"Brenda has been phenomenal in assisting me with our requests to hire classroom monitors. I can only imagine the volume of RTH's day in and day out. She has been responsive, informative, and pleasant during a time when schools need coverage as we welcome back students and teachers. Your late hours do not go unnoticed by me-especially when I receive an evening email about an applicant's status. THANK YOU!!!"

- Karen Bryan, Annandale HS

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JP V Ponton, Mount Vernon HS

"Mr. Ponton is a true professional. My two boys are involved in the football program at Mount Vernon and he always has their best interest in mind. I appreciate his expertise when taking care of the students, especially my boys. He never rushes an injury and uses his best judgment. He is quick to follow-up if other care is needed. MV is lucky to have him!"

- a Mount Vernon HS parent

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Jessica Mayes, Robinson SS

"Mrs. Mayes is always so nice and I really appreciate how nice she is to me and all my classmates. She makes me happy when I am sad, she makes funny jokes and try's to impress us with her knowledge of videogames! She is the best teacher in the world and I would not switch her for anybody."

- a Robinson SS student

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Teri Hampton, Lake Braddock SS

"As a new member of my school, Ms. Hampton has never hesitated to show me kindness and compassion as I learn the ropes. She will take the time to talk me through any difficult situation, often offering "historical perspectives" that help me arrive at effective solutions. I would not be able to be as successful and confident in my job had it not been for her guidance thus far. Everyone should have a Ms. Hampton in their life!"

- Jennifer Harris, Lake Braddock SS

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Monica Harrison, Gatehouse Admin Center

"Monica is without a doubt, my "go-to" person when I have questions and concerns about staff members taking an extended leave or coming off of disability leave. More so this past year and going into the new year with the pandemic AND a new disability carrier; she has shown much grace under fire!  Whether a call to me or responding to emails, I know I can count on Monica. THANK YOU!"

- Karen Bryan, Annandale HS

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Alexis Centers, Frost MS

"Ms. Centers is such a reliable, positive, and collaborative educator. We recently had a staff member be promoted to another role outside of our school, leaving us to fill the important position of a Reading Intervention teacher with a high-quality candidate. This has been during a time of year where it can be difficult to find a long-term substitute and we were in need of someone who would not only maintain our momentum but also support student continuity of learning during such uncertain times. Alexis was an integral part of the interviewing process and supported me (as the administrator) to provide students with high-quality lesson materials as we waited to hire. Her continued ability to be flexible and help at the drop of a dime... on top of all that she does as a Special Education teacher and IEP case manager speaks to her "generous" spirit. Even though her plate is pretty full, Alexis is always willing to help out where she can and does it in a meaningful and thoughtful way. I am so thankful to work with Ms. Centers and cannot thank her enough for her sense of care and support of students and staff!"

- Melanie Porter, Frost MS

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Emily McCloud, Lake Braddock SS

"Ms. McCloud has a gift for cultivating a passion for teaching in the next generation of educators. She supports her students by matching their interests with teachers for field placements, thinks outside the box to find creative solutions, and delivers superb instruction to her students. Thank you, Ms. McCloud for everything you have done for our Teachers for Tomorrow students and program at Lake Braddock this year. We are so fortunate to have you!"

- Ana Cingel, Lake Braddock SS

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Caitlin Quincy, Frost MS

"Ms. Quincy is such a competent, collaborative, and dedicated educator. We are currently transitioning a newly hired long-term substitute into a role on Ms. Quincy's team. As we transition, Caitlin has quickly stepped up to help support this teacher through providing resources and offering help with lesson planning & pacing. Not only does supporting our new staff member ease the transition, but it also helps to support our students with continuity of learning which is essential during these times. I am so thankful to work with Ms. Quincy and cannot thank her enough for her initiative, dedication, and caring spirit!"

- Melanie Porter, Frost MS

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Jonathan Greenwood, Frost MS

"Mr. Greenwood is my 8th grade English teacher at Frost Middle School and will never fail to make me smile. No matter how early or late in the day he always has a cheery attitude, and I can tell he loves what he does. When I am struggling with something, I know I can always go to him, and he will be there to help. He is an excellent teacher!"

- a Frost MS student

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William Tucker, Robinson SS

"Mr. Tucker has truly gone above and beyond during the pandemic school year. His commitment to teaching and connecting with his students (and keeping their parents in the loop) has been remarkable. He continues to make sure all students feel included during the new concurrent teaching model. We are so thankful for teachers like Mr. Tucker. His hard work, flexibility, and resilience are inspiring his students to stay engaged and keep on learning."

- a Robinson SS parent

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Beth Smith, Eagle View ES

"Beth Smith is one of two amazing Art teachers at Eagle View. In addition to her skills as an Art teacher, Beth has supported several areas here at school. She supports our Comprehensive Services Site and works with our students with severe emotional disabilities. She takes time to create lesson activities specific to their needs and provides a safe space. She has also been involved in the school-wide Positive Behavior Intervention program and our Positivity Project. She has participated in our MTSS Tier I behavior team to develop processes and expectations for all students throughout the building. With all of this in play, she has still found time to create amazing murals throughout our building and restructured our lobby display. We are fortunate to have a dedicated leader such as Beth in our building."

- Kanchana Iyer, Eagle View ES

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Julia Healey, Lake Braddock SS

"Mrs. Healey is loved by the students both IRL and virtually! I love working with her. She is funny, keeps me grounded, and is always checking in with both the students and myself. She makes everyone around her feel cared for and I can't thank her enough."

- Meagan Tubbs, Lake Braddock SS

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Erika Hisey, Lake Braddock SS

"Erika's excitement and care for the students in the ESOL department is contagious. She glows with light when she is working with or talking about her students. She advocates for them, contacts them, visits them, works with them, and plans always with their needs in mind. The students in the ESOL department are at high risk of failure and they need people like Erika on their sides. I'm so proud to work with the ESOL team and watching Erika light up with our students is special magic."

- Andrea Scarbrough-Moussaoui, Lake Braddock SS

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Suzanne McCracken, Lake Braddock SS

"Suzanne is an awesome person. She drops what she is doing to help whenever asked and does so with a smile. She makes LBSS a safe, fun, and caring place to work. Thanks for all you do Suzanne!"

- Meagan Tubbs, Lake Braddock SS

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Kevin Heron, Deer Park ES

"Kevin is an incredible asset to our community. He genuinely has a passion for his job and supporting teachers in their work. We are so grateful for his dedicated efforts in making our school a better place. His calm and patient demeanor creates a climate that supports both emotional and academic growth during this unsettling time. We thank him for being flexible and responsive to the individual needs of each grade level. We appreciate all of the time and support he gives to teachers. It is a comfort knowing that we can go to Kevin without worry of judgement. He simply just wants to help."

- Allison Omohundro, Deer Park ES

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Michele Phillips, Lorton Center

"Michele has been amazing at helping us navigate special transportation! She has been prompt and detailed in her responses to questions. She has responded late in the evening and early in the morning to ensure that students have appropriate transportation during this anxious and hectic time. I'm sure some of my questions must seem routine or common sense to her but to me and the families of my students, they go far in easing our minds! THANK YOU for helping these kids get to the building and get learning!"

- Jennifer Blum, Terraset ES

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Nicole Wheeler, Lorton Center

"Nicole always goes above and beyond! She shows up each and every morning as early as 5:00 a.m. with a huge smile on her face. Nicole always asks how you are doing before she even gets into a conversation and makes sure that you know she really means it. Recently our specialist retired from her position and Nicole stepped up to the plate to fill her void without being asked. She works tirelessly to make sure all of our students with special needs have what they need to be safely transported to and from school and she makes it look so easy! Nicole, we love your personality, you keep us grounded and laughing, and you make coming to work fun and rewarding! Thank you!"

- Jeremy Doxer, Lorton Center

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Susannah Santana and Sarah Kim, Eagle View ES

"There must be extra time in the day for our ESOL team, Susannah Santana and Sarah Kim, as that is the only explanation for how they are able to do it all.  Susannah and Sarah work tirelessly to make sure that their students’ academic, emotional, and behavioral needs are met. They are consistently found collaborating with teacher teams to provide instructional materials suitable for students with various English language skills, meeting with multiple student groups throughout the day ensuring that language and emotional needs are being met, co-teaching classes, or communicating with students’ families to support their ability to help their students at home and navigate the American Educational System. In addition, Susannah and Sarah regularly meet with Monday newcomer student groups and have been the main test administrators of WIDA for the past few months.  Susannah and Sarah are always problem solving and finding the best ways to meet student needs and to support their staff peers. Susannah’s and Sarah’s passion for teaching is evident in all that they do, and we are very thankful to have them as part of the Eagle View Team!"

- Beth Levy, Eagle View ES

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Deb Brown and Kristin Girardin, Lake Braddock SS

"Deb Brown and Kristin Girardin did an awesome job of creating  a New Student Tour Day on Monday, prior to our first group of kids officially returning for in person instruction for all students new to Lake Braddock! From coordinating 4 simultaneous tour routes that allowed for social distancing, scheduling tours every hour on the hour throughout the day for multiple options for families, to creating bright, visible signage in the hallways, to securing over 100 excited Bruin and Military Ambassadors to welcome over 600 new  Lake Braddock Bruins, the event was a fantastic success!  Way to go, Deb and Kristin!" 

- Jacquie Naughton, Lake Braddock SS

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Marye Carter, Riverside ES

"Mrs. Carter has been extremely helpful during the WIDA testing window. No job is too big or too small for her and she's always asking what more she can do. She starts the day implementing a successful arrival for all students that are coming in the building, she assists teachers as needed in facilitating the assessments, and monitors students at dismissal. We are so appreciative of all of her hard work and flexibility in this process. Thank you!"

- Kaila Wise, Riverside ES

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Cris Da Silva Irwin, Riverside ES

"Cris is Riverside's ESOL lead teacher and this is her first year in this role. She is dedicated to the program and has been working extremely hard to set her co-workers up for success as we navigate the WIDA testing process. Cris has brought fresh ideas to keep the testing process organized and to make students feel safe and successful. She has been highly communicative and organized along the way so that there is no confusion and everyone has the resources that they need. We are so appreciative of her hard work!"

- Kaila Wise, Riverside ES

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Dani Sayre, Lake Braddock SS

"Dani Sayre is always the consummate professional as she carries out her various and plentiful duties in our school's Finance Dept.  She provides expert guidance to anyone seeking assistance, and she does so usually with a smile, but often while laughing with joy.  She has worked as a one-person office for months, although you would need to ask to find that out.  She doesn't complain, despite the fact that her workload has doubled.  I can't imagine Lake Braddock without Dani, and we Bruins are extremely lucky to have her!"

- Lisa Williams, Lake Braddock SS

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Lauren Jones, Westfield HS

"Lauren Jones is an amazing Technology Specialist for FCPS. She has gone above and beyond to support and lead the transition back to school through her role. She works and problem-solves with all of our staff and students to help provide the best service and customer care for all types of situations. She is responsive, kind, and so knowledgeable about the resources at Westfield and FCPS. She contributes greatly to the school and the administrative team wanted to share how much we appreciate her at Westfield."

- Laura Waterman, Westfield HS

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Katie Carvajal, Eagle View ES

"Ms. Katie Carvajal is a special education teacher, sped lead, and teaches in a specialized program within our building.  She has taken on many roles this year to help support our department, various programs in the building, and has been a mentor to new teachers in our building.  She very compassionate teaches with passion, and regularly works to provide the social-emotional support many of her students need during this unusual and challenging time. She is an invaluable member of our team, and no matter how challenging the day may become, she maintains a positive attitude and is always so extremely helpful.  She regularly puts the needs of others before her own, making sure she is there to support her colleagues and her students." 

- Keieownna Hightower, Eagle View ES

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Susan AndersonMuhs, Flint Hill ES

"Susan always goes above and beyond for her students; she is consistently working past school hours to ensure her students have what they need to succeed. She is also an amazing Special Education Chair for our school. She makes our meetings run smoothly, cultivates positive relationships with parents, and facilitates healthy conversations between the team and parents. Susan is an essential part of our team. She has shaped the lives of many students over the years, and her colleagues too! Thank you, Susan!" 

- Melissa Peeples, Flint Hill ES

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Eva Forman, South Lakes HS

"Ms. Forman has done an incredible job of connecting with her students this year. She has conferenced with every student in her class individually to talk about concerns, course selections, and involvement opportunities. My daughter is a freshman who is new to FCPS. This year has been tough in so many ways, but Ms. Forman has consistently gone out of her way to make sure her students feel seen and heard. She has thought about her curriculum and how to make it engaging in the virtual environment. Ms. Forman has thought about mental health, how important that is for high school students, and made the effort to support her students’ social and emotional needs. I am incredibly grateful for Ms. Forman and the welcome she has provided to my daughter and her classmates."

- a South Lakes HS parent

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Lara O'Connor, Fort Hunt ES

"Lara O'Connor goes above and beyond for her students she works with. Earlier this week, she took a new student around the building to meet the staff members so she could feel at home at Fort Hunt. It brought a smile to my face when she showed up to my door so I could welcome a new fox to the school. Lara embodies Fort Hunt's mission statement and is a ray of sunshine. She has an incredible ability to connect with all students and make them feel comfortable at Fort Hunt. Way to go, Lara!"

- Maddie Magnotti, Fort Hunt ES

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Alicia Hawks, Fort Hunt ES

"Thank you to Alicia for observing my new concurrent learning instruction with kindergarten this week. I learned so much from her helpful tips and how I can improve my instruction with the different grade levels. She is such a joy to collaborate with and I really appreciate her supportive feedback. We are so blessed to have her as a member of the Fort Hunt staff!"

- Maddie Magnotti, Fort Hunt ES

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Lorri Hallenbeck, Riverside ES

"I have been partnered with Lorri for 2 years and working with her every day is a joy.  Lorri gives 110% to our students. She is kind and thoughtful as she plans for them and could write the manual on how to build productive and trusting relationships with parents. Lorri is a creative problem-solver and a tireless advocate for our students. Although I am the IA in the classroom, Lorri has always treated me as an equal; and for that, I am grateful."

- Kathy Lehner, Riverside ES