FCPS Cares - May 2019

By Department of Human Resources
FCPS Cares
May 01, 2019

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

To view past submissions, please visit our previous submissions page

FCPS Cares of the Month Recipients

willow oaks administrative centerCentral Office: Susan Salvucci, Willow Oaks Administrative Center

"Susan goes above and beyond to help our homeless students. Recently there was a fire in Springfield and many FCPS students were temporarily displaced. One family of five lost everything! Our office worked together with school social workers to provide gift cards for food and clothing, but Susan did even more. She contacted a local non-profit organization, drove to their Centreville location on her own time, collected clothing for the entire family, delivered it to them in Springfield, and then went back for more when it became obvious that they were not going to be able to recover a single item from their burnt out, soaking wet apartment. Susan has a great heart and she does extra things that show our homeless students that FCPS Cares!"

- Liz Rivera, Willow Oaks Administrative Center

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Region 1: Jane Brill,  Oakton ES

"I travel a lot for work, and this creates a lot of stress for my son, who is a 3rd-grader in Mrs. Brill's class. On the day of a recent work trip, I volunteered for Grace Arts in the classroom so that I could spend some additional time with my son before leaving on a long overseas journey. When it was time to leave, my son was clearly upset. Mrs. Brill handed us a book of maps and suggested that we go spend some time together looking at the book and talking about where I would be traveling so that my son could understand better and relate to what I was about to do. It gave us time to be together and connect while learning and showed me just how much Mrs. Brill cares about the well being of my son and about all of her students. She later wrote to me that she couldn't bear to see one of her students in pain and she knew that the time she could give us was more important than anything he could learn in the classroom. What she taught us all was how to show empathy. To love our children is one of the greatest gifts teachers can give to our students. Mrs. Brill exemplifies this and I have witnessed this time and time again volunteering in her classroom."

- an Oakton ES parent

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poe middle school celebrationLuke Stoothoff, Poe MS

"Under our MTSS protocols, we have been supporting a 7th-grade student who has had little success in his academic career, moved schools more than 5 times, has a history of truancy throughout elementary and middle school, and faces mounting financial and social barriers which significantly impact him and his family system. Through our 'Kid Talk' intervention over the past 6 months, his attendance, wellness, engagement in school, behavior, and grades have greatly improved in almost all areas with the exception of math class. Luke, his math teacher, has been working with me (the student's counselor) and our grade-level administrator to support this student, who has been presented with consistent and disruptive behavior concerns in math class throughout the school year. After a powerful conversation, Luke shifted his approach with this student with such success that the student earned his daily goal for work completion in math the following 4 classes in a row. Additionally, the student's grade has increased from an F to a D for the first time this year. Last week the student proudly reported, Ms. Carrie, I did good in math today and Mr. Stoothoff wrote it on my chart! Today, during his math class, Luke walked the student down to the office to see me and the administrator. When we asked what was going on, Luke said that he wanted to share how hard this student was working and how well he was doing in class today. The student beamed from ear to ear, and we got to see him experience success and positivity in math for the first time this year (and possibly in his academic life). For a student who has always hated math, Luke's self-reflection, patience, and growth-mindset have already made a huge impact on this student's trajectory."

- Brig Carrie, Poe MS

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Nancy Chang, Bryant ALC

"After Bryant Alternative Learning Center Literacy teacher Nancy Chang recognized that many of our students were coming to school hungry, she jumped into action. She visited a food pantry at another school, sought funding from community non-profits/private donors and got the food pantry up and running by mid-March. Students in need are now able to go home with a bag of groceries every Friday. Fellow students pack and distribute bags in a compassionate and respectful manner. Nancy is an outstanding role model to our staff and our students demonstrating what it means to see a need and do something about it. Nancy deserves to be recognized for going the extra mile, mobilizing a team of community partners and turning a real problem into a practical solution."

- Laurie Laso, Bryant ALC

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Margaret Veenstra, Lake Braddock SS

"Mrs. Veenstra has gone above and beyond to help my daughter return to learn after participating in a hospital program for anxiety, depression and social phobia. While my daughter was transitioning back to school, Mrs. Veenstra has been working with my daughter's school team to coordinate her workload. Mrs. Veenstra made sure to speak with the hospital program above and beyond what was required to make sure she had insight into the program my daughter was leaving. She has sent me many email updates, without being asked. She has also been checking in daily; sometimes two or three times, with my daughter to ensure she is not overwhelmed and is helping her advocate for her needs. We would NOT have had such a successful school experience if it were not for the hard work and dedication of Mrs. Veenstra! We are so grateful to have an advocate at Lake Braddock in Mrs. Veenstra. Thank you so very much!"

- a Lake Braddock SS parent

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lees corner elementary schoolMaria Filgueira, Lees Corner ES

"Ms. Filgueira goes above and beyond so often that I am not sure I can write it all down. She runs Blizzards Market, a school store staffed by special education and General Education students. It is a wonderful program; not only loved by the entire school but one which also promotes inclusion and life skills. This year her special education students requested real cash registers so she raised funds to make it a reality. She is currently spearheading a walk-in-my-shoes program to promote school-wide awareness of special education students’ daily challenges. Her efforts include grant writing, collaborating with staff and parents, customizing activities for LCES, designing promotional materials, purchasing supplies and more. She organized amazing class-based instruction trips customized for special education students. She worked with the administration to plan an alternative field trip because so many of the special education students cannot tolerate a long bus ride. Even her classroom is filled with handmade sensory toys, creative art projects, and wonderful bulletin boards which all show she cares deeply about her students. She is willing to think outside the box and find successful teaching strategies to fit each and every student. If she sees something is not working for a student, she tries a new strategy. Despite her years of experience, she is eager to learn about new information, ideas, teaching strategies and programs related to autism. She is constantly looking for ways to promote inclusion at LCES and make it an amazing place for everyone."

- a Lees Corner ES parent

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Other FCPS Cares of the Month Recipients

Lisa Brown, Gatehouse Administration Center

"I had surgery in April and was out of school for several weeks. I realized that my paperwork for licensure was due before my return to work. I can't even begin to describe how helpful Lisa was in helping me through the process of submitting the information necessary to renew my license. Lisa was so kind, diligent, and professional. What a wonderful asset to the FCPS Licensure Department!"

- Patrice Heasly, Key MS

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Kimberly Smith, Rita Monner, Amita Singh, KT Jutcovich, Kate Beinke, Matthew Chapman, Jean Wyman, and Cara Gottheim, Marshall Road ES and Willow Oaks Administrative Center

"I work with a team at Marshall Road that never ceases to amaze me. Their commitment to seeing our most challenging students succeed and feel cared for is evident in all they do. Arriving way before contract hours and staying late in the evening, they work tirelessly and are willing to do anything required to make our school a safe, happy, and engaging place for our students. The our students mentality is always apparent with the collaborative nature of planning, behavioral interventions, reinforcement, and celebrations. They build strong relationships with each student and because of that we always have something to celebrate- students making huge strides in reading, students using taught coping skills to self-manage emotional crisis, and students choosing kindness as they make new friends around the school building. I see all of these student success stories as fruits of their hard work. I am very proud to work alongside this excellent team and I know our students are fortunate to be taught and cared for by them."

- Randall Clement, Marshall Road ES

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Lisa Vanlahr, Centreville HS

"Lisa Vanlahr is the sponsor of the Human Rights Club at CVHS, which is a safe space for LGBTQ+ students. She organized a lunch-and-learn event where students from the Human Rights Club gave teachers a presentation. These students educated their teachers on transgender issues such as pronouns, bathrooms, and taking attendance. Through her help and support, Lisa has empowered these students to find their voices and change their world in a positive way. I was so moved to see these students advocate for their rights, and I could tell that this was a really proud moment for all of them."

- Marissa Perrone, Centreville HS

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Eileen Fox, Lake Braddock SS

"Eileen has been our department chair for the last two years. She has been amazing professional to work with and has been a great support during our growth these last two years. She is not only a great leader, motivator, and advocate for our department throughout the year, but she also shows compassion and dedication to each of us on a personal level. She has been invested in our successes in and out of school by celebrating the small things and provides much needed support during challenging times. We are grateful for her dedication and willingness to go beyond the calls of department chair."

- Miriam Lynch, Lake Braddock ES

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Cheryl Finley, Tim Buckley, and Eric Fishman, South Lakes HS, Madison HS, and Thoreau MS

"Although the schools my sons attend do not offer German, with the help of the guidance counselor at Madison, Mr. Tim Buckley, and the guidance counselor at Thoreau, Mr. Eric Fishman, my sons were able to continue their German studies through the FCPS's virtual language program. These gentlemen, along with the South Lakes High School German teacher, Ms. Cheryl Finley, worked hard all year to ensure my sons had the technology, classroom, and material to continue their language studies. We are very grateful to all three of them. As a speaker of four languages, it is hard for me to express in words my belief about how invaluable learning another language can be to an individual; not just for more job prospects, enhanced life opportunities, and increased communication with a variety of communities, but also for how it can change your own perspective of life and people. According to a Chinese proverb, To learn another language is to have one more window from which to look at the world. Thank you so much, Ms. Finley, Mr. Buckley, and Mr. Fishman! Vielen Dank!"

- a Thoreau MS and Madison HS parent

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Thomas Prassa, Lake Braddock SS

"I began a long-term sub position at LBSS in February of 2018 and work with the FACS team. I teach MS FACS and the teacher across the hall from me, Mr. Prassa, teaches HS FACS. Mr. Prassa has been consistently kind, friendly, and helpful to me during my brief time at LBSS. I am a new teacher who is learning the ins and outs of teaching and Mr. Prassa has not hesitated to offer his kind help in figuring out the big picture or the small details. In addition, I hear how he speaks to his students and interacts with them and it is consistent with the way he treats me and everyone else. I have heard him call parents to report positive things about his students. He told me he likes to do that regularly. Mr. Prassa deserves recognition for his kindness and helpfulness to me and the students. I wanted to contribute this for the record!"

- Gretchen Giannelli, Long-term Substitute Teacher, Lake Braddock SS

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Steven Hirsch, Lee HS

"Mr. Steven Hirsch has taught for over 11 years in Fairfax County Public Schools and 27 years overall. In the 11 years he has worked in the county, he has demonstrated an incredible passion for teaching and his practices continue to reflect those traits outlined in Portrait of a Graduate and the IB Learner Profile Traits. Communicator – Not only does Mr. Hirsch contact parents every 3 grades to keep them in the loop, but he also uses the program Remind Me to keep students up-to-date as well. Remind Me is a program that can be used to remind students what needs to be completed. Students have often commented that his reminders rhyme and are very creative. He also employs active listening skills by not only practicing these skills himself but by also encouraging his students to listen to others in groups and in class discussions. In fact, rather than ask them to shy away from disagreement, he provides a safe space for students to have productive, respectful, and meaningful conversations. By doing this and more, he builds positive relationships with his kids. They constantly come to him for advice and often stop by his room just to say hi. Collaborator - Mr. Hirsch often facilitates opportunities for cross-school initiatives. He regularly plans and executes lessons with IB Staff members from other high schools (he especially collaborates closely with the IB Anthropology teacher at Robinson Secondary School). Mr. Hirsch is so effective at making assignments and creating relevant, engaging projects that his Anthropology resources are shared globally. Even more impressively, Mr. Hirsch coordinates with the Amish and schedules meaningful field trips. Every year, he arranges for his students to travel to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, to spend the day at an authentic Amish auction or tour an Amish farm. As for his Law and Order classes, his lesson plans continue to serve as models for new teachers. He is the ideal collaborator in school, across the county, and in other IB schools throughout the world. Ethical and Global Citizen - Mr. Hirsch demonstrates this particular aspect of Portrait of a Graduate well, as he participates and incorporates equity practice in his classroom and school community. He volunteers for Lee High School’s Equity Cohort, he builds relationships to support cultural proficiency, and he incorporates diverse resources and perspectives while allowing student input in all of his classes. Moreover, he fosters discussions with the Theory of Knowledge teacher to enhance the integration of IB themes into his curricula. Creative and Critical Thinker – Mr. Hirsh’s interest in project-based learning and assessment allows his students to engage in authentic experiences. His passion for what he teaches is exemplified through the projects he creates. His kids demonstrate their learning through a variety of ways, whether that be through making a soap opera, to emphasize aspects of other cultures, or constructing paper bag puppets to put on a puppet show to show their understanding of marital practices in other countries. Every unit that Mr. Hirsch prepares is done so with care and consideration. Students genuinely enjoy his class. Resilient – To encourage his colleagues, and to help maintain his physical well-being, Steve participates in morning walks with some of his co-workers around the school before the first bell rings. Additionally, if anyone needs anything, he is happy to help share resources or offer positive words of encouragement. He strives to find a solution to any problem that comes his way. In short, students and staff members would agree that Steve Hirsch is not just a valuable asset to Lee High School, but that he truly makes the school and community a better place. His efforts do not go unnoticed by his colleagues, and we want him to know how all-around awesome he is!"

- Jenna Bloxton, Donna Clark, and Gary Powell, Lee HS

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Dominic Prakash, Lake Braddock SS

"Mr. Prakash consistently steps in to assist whenever the opportunity arises to help a person in need. Regardless of what a teacher or student needs assistance with, he is always knowledgeable and quick to lend a helping hand to assist in any capacity necessary to resolve the issue(s) at hand. Great teachers such as Mr. Prakash deserve to be formally recognized for all of their contributions given by going above and beyond of what is expected. In my time at Lake Braddock he has proven to be a person I can go to whenever I have a question or need assistance in getting a mission accomplished. He is very familiar with all FCPS policies and it's nice having colleagues like him in the same department."

- Sherman Wiles, Lake Braddock SS

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Chris Boateng, Woodson IT

"Chris Boateng has been the Senior Audio Technician for the Key Center graduation ceremony for the last several years. Despite the fact that we are probably one of the smallest graduations of the many that Chris has to deal with this time of year, he always gives us his full time and attention. At least a month or so before graduation, he stops by just to see what we have planned and if anything has changed. Then, the day before, he checks in again, just to make certain that he will have everything he needs on our special day. He has a calm and professional demeanor, even in the face of unexpected technical issues; and of course, there are almost always some type of issue! He quietly resolves any issues well in advance of the ceremony to make sure that our graduates and their families have the best possible graduation experience. Chris places an emphasis on safety, quality and customer service and is a great example of FCPS cares!"

- Nicole Bracken, Key Center

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Heather Mathews, Willow Oaks Administrative Center

"Heather has been a terrific asset to our school this year. Of particular note, she helped us to analyze our Science SOL data, assisted us in formulating a plan for remediation, and came to our school frequently to work directly with our students and teachers. Her passion for science and dedication to our school is evident and we are fortunate to have her on our team."

- Kanchana Iyer, Eva-Beth Levy, and Keieownna Hightower

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Gordon Oliver and Kyung Suk Kim, Lorton Transportation Center

"Gordon Oliver and Ms. Kim have been my child's van driver and attendant for several years and are the kindest people we have known in 17 years of FCPS. There were 2 occasions where staff at my son's group home did not meet the bus and Gordon and Ms. Kim protected and cared for my son while they waited for staff to arrive. They have always gone above and beyond to be kind and decent to my son. I truly appreciate them and the hard job they do every day!"

- an FCPS parent   

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Daniel Yu, Lake Braddock SS

"Daniel Yu was hired at LBSS four days prior to the start of the school year and has taught Precalculus Honors and Geometry. He has diligently worked with the math team. He has a passion for teaching and compassion for his students. He has contributed to the math team with classroom planning, class notes, and homework. Daniel has the depth and breadth of mathematics and astutely makes connections with other disciplines such as Physics and Chemistry. In the team-taught Geometry classes, he patiently taught the students whose strengths are not necessarily in their math skills. He used manipulatives and demonstrations to help students visualize abstract concepts. He is a collaborator and eagerly shares his ideas and gives answers about topics even with those who were not on his team. We are all beneficiaries of his knowledge and insights of mathematics. In my 21 years of teaching as a special education teacher, Daniel is one of the best first-year teachers with whom I have worked."

- Carol Khodabandeh, Lake Braddock SS

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Page Nabywaniec, Fairview ES

"Mrs. Nabywaniec is my son's kindergarten teacher and she has gone above and beyond this entire year to help him. When he has had a difficult time sitting still, she not only contacted us to discuss, but also purchased fidget toys and other items to help him, with her own funds! She has continued to communicate closely with us to help work on his behavior and attention issues."

- a Fairview ES parent 

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David Dewett, Herndon MS

"David is our Assessment Coach and Testing Coordinator. His insights and planning as well as his calm demeanor have helped the whole school; students, staff, and community stay informed, better prepared, and remain calm and cool. He is creative and considerate in his planning, but quick on his feet and solution-driven under pressure.  His leadership and grace shine through every day."

- Karyn Niles, Herndon MS

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Victoria Russell, Long-term Substitute Teacher, Fairview ES

"Mrs. Russell took over for the last 1/2 year for our second-grade students. She is a FABULOUS teacher who goes above and beyond. My son, who had been struggling a little with school, has excelled with Mrs. Russell. When I asked how this came about, he said it's because she makes learning fun!"

- a Fairview ES parent 

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Hilary Stough, Willow Springs ES

"Mrs. Stough is a committed and dedicated teacher. She has consistently provided effective programs that have encouraged and empowered her students to learn and achieve their personal best. She is heavily invested in her students and is always looking for ways to improve her classroom environment that will foster creativity and excellence.  She is a gift to our school. Thanking you in advance."

- a Willow Springs ES parent 

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Amy Edwards, Colvin Run ES

"Mrs. Edwards has been an amazing part of my son's school life and academics. He was diagnosed with ADHD at the start of the school year and she worked so closely with us in keeping us informed on his progress; both emotional and academic. Thank you!"

- a Colvin Run ES parent

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Margot Dickey, Willow Oaks Administrative Center

"Margot stepped into our school to support us with Advanced Academic screening for a total of six hours! During our time together, she was flexible, knowledgeable, fun to work with and professional! We thank Margot for helping us out...we are a better team because of our conversations with her!"

- Monica Mohr, Little Run ES

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Rebecca Wilson, Fairhill ES

"I wanted to recognize Ms. Wilson who continually goes above and beyond for her students. From responding to emails at all hours of the weekend to volunteering her time outside of class. My daughter has missed time from school due to illness and surgery. Ms. Wilson takes it upon herself to keep us informed of the lessons and work with my daughter to get her caught up. Well done to an outstanding teacher."

- a Fairhill ES parent 

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Kate Guan, Lake Braddock SS

"Kate Guan defines a village at work. She helped one of my ESOL students. She worked with my student and got her from a 344 to a 377 on the Biology SOL. Ms. Guan stepped right in without any hesitation to continue working with my student and got her to a 383. I was never so happy to do the LAVC paperwork.  Ms. Guan is my manna, and this is only one example of the many students she helps on a daily basis. In my book, she's the BEST!"

- a Lake Braddock SS parent

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Tawanya Scarboro, Colvin Run ES

"Mrs. Scarboro has gone above and beyond in helping my daughter in kindergarten this year. My daughter was recently diagnosed with dyslexia and even though the school will not accept or acknowledge the diagnosis, she has helped me get the information I need to keep my daughter on track for the summer and help her to catch up with her peers. She has also made my daughter feel smart and loved all year long."

- a Colvin Run ES parent

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Amy Edwards, Colvin Run ES 

"Ms. Edwards has provided an excellent experience for my daughter in 2nd-grade. She has consistently communicated with us and provides updates on what is going on in the classroom. My daughter has learned so much this year and has grown so much as a person. Many thanks to Ms. Edwards for all of her hard work, which shows in her thoughtfully planned lessons and activities."

- a Colvin Run ES parent

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Lisa Grantham, Lorton Transportation Center

"Ms. Lisa is a thoughtful bus driver who pays attention to details. She knows every student's name and something about them, including things about their family. She interacts so friendly with them and makes everyone feel respected and safe. Our children say Ms. Lisa holds everyone accountable for their actions and safety standards in a kind way that delivers the message. When our child got sick on her bus, she handled it with compassion and care and made our child feel loved. Having apologized to her for the situation, Ms. Lisa sincerely spoke to us about how it was ok and that we did not have any reason to be sorry. We are very lucky to have Ms. Lisa in charge of the transportation of our children and we thank her for going above and beyond each day. Our children wanted to add that Ms. Lisa is the best!"

- a Keene Mill ES parent

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Charleen O'Brien, Marshall HS 

"I really appreciate Ms. O'Brien's willingness to go above and beyond to ensure success of my student this year. My son has ADHD and keeping him motivated, focused and on task in the classroom is very difficult. Ms. O'Brien has been willing to partner with us all year, letting us know when my son is falling behind so we can intervene at home. It is evident she cares about her students' success in the classroom. I appreciate her willingness to partner with us even when it means extra work on her for our child's success."

- a Marshall HS parent

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Brian Kane, Marshall HS

"Mr. Kane has gone above and beyond this school year to ensure my student's success. Mr. Kane shows great patience, compassion, and perseverance for my ADHD son. My child has attention and focus issues, and he can be very challenging in a school environment to stay on task and on top of his studies. Mr. Kane has partnered with us and my child's tutor to ensure academic success. He sends an email to me and the tutor once a week, letting us know what work my child needs to get done. Mr. Kane is always willing to reach out and partner when things are not going right in the classroom. It is evident that Mr. Kane really cares about his students' success. I really appreciate all Mr. Kane has done this school year, and I look forward to partnering with him in future years."

- a Marshall HS parent

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Kristin Girardin, Lake Braddock SS

"Kristin Girardin is the definition of a team player. For the past 10 days, she has checked in with the testing team EVERY SINGLE DAY to see if we need assistance. This in addition to her regularly scheduled proctoring times. Also, she has personally helped me with a number of my students that I couldn't attend to due to my testing responsibilities. Knowing that I can count on Kristin during this hectic time gives me and the testing team comfort in knowing that we have an extremely competent set of hands ready to jump in and happily help."

- Tracey Butler-Johnson, Lake Braddock SS

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Martha Rivera and Kim Lacy, West Springfield HS

"Thank you, Martha and Kim, for taking the time to help a WSHS parent who needed immediate assistance! You went above and beyond for her at a time when you are extremely busy!"

- Julie Halse, West Springfield HS

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Kathy Maly, Terraset ES

"We already knew Mrs. Maly to be an extraordinary and caring teacher, but I got to see how truly special she is when I chaperoned a recent, multi-school field trip to a musical performance in a nearby city.  Successfully moving 25 excited first-graders quietly through a school building, onto a bus, and then a quarter-mile walk through several hundred OTHER excited first-graders, is on its own an impressive feat.  But the way Mrs. Maly did this said so much more about her. She has clearly built solid and trusting relationships with each of her 25 students, treating them with respect and giving them tools to listen when needed, and organize themselves for travel in an orderly way. It looked effortless, but I realize it must have taken consistent and thoughtful routine-building and investment on her part. I was also so impressed with how she responded to students who had trouble sitting still on the bus. On the return trip, she brought one of those students to sit by her, and engaged the student in conversation. In my day, sitting with the teacher would have been seen as punishment, but in this case, the child seemed to feel special to have the extra attention. I feel so fortunate that my daughter is in Mrs. Maly’s class!"

- a Terraset ES parent

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Kristin Avina, Frost MS

"We have a fantastic after school club called College and Career Exploration, because of Kristin Avina! She collaborates with other staff members to plan activities, share ideas, and implement a program that promotes equity and access for all students. The number of students joining the club continues to grow each year. She held interest meetings during lunch to help advertise and generate student involvement.  Each monthly meeting focused on a different topic, such as GPA, college/school research, college life and what to expect, and the degrees needed for specific careers. One meeting was spent at Woodson High School in the Career Center, where students completed a scavenger hunt and learned about all the valuable resources available. Ms. Avina also planned two campus visits, one to George Mason in the fall and an upcoming trip to Northern Virginia Community College for students to participate in college tours to learn more about campus life. When applications came out for the high school College Partnership Program, students engaged in activities to understand the important components of the application process. Ms. Avina spent countless hours gathering teacher recommendations and working with students individually on their personal essays. The number of student applicants doubled from last year to this year, with 40 students applying for the high school program. We were thrilled to find that 22 students were accepted! Thank you, Ms. Avina!"

- Danielle Hornbecker, Frost MS

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Colin Farrell, David Campbell, Marissa Heberer, and Heidi Brown, Centreville HS

"With a colleague sick and unable to fulfill her SOL proctoring duty, Colin, David, Marissa and Heidi each selflessly gave up part of their planning period to help proctor."

- Anthony Hanrahan, Centreville HS

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Herbert Rodriguez, Herndon Support Center

"Today, Mr. Rodriguez fixed a bookshelf for the social studies department that was hazardous and in danger of falling. He fixed this almost immediately after being asked. This is what he has done consistently all year; sometimes it feels like he has fixed a problem before I've even finished sending the email asking for help! Through it all, he keeps a positive attitude. Westfield LUCKY to have such an amazing Operating Engineer!"

- Gretchen Snyder, Westfield HS

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Rachel Stein, Hollin Meadows ES

"Rachel attended the Fairfax County Council PTA Meeting on Wednesday, May 22, with two members of our PTA Board to accept a Family Engagement Award. Her willingness to attend a PTA-related evening event at Gatehouse Administration Center during the last month of school is just one of the ways that she demonstrates why HMES and FCPS Cares. We also thrilled that she has volunteered to be the teacher representative to our PTA Board for the upcoming school year. She puts the T in PTA and we couldn't be more appreciative of her efforts!"

- Hollin Meadows ES PTA Board

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Kristin Avina, Frost MS

"Kristin provided support for an unusual situation today and her ideas and extra effort were instrumental in coming to a resolution to this delicate situation. Without her work ethic and resolve we would still be trying to wrap this up.  Thank you, Kristin!

- Joe Berret, Frost MS

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Larkin Gibas, Frost MS

"Two of our students with severe attendance concerns had their most successful runs of attendance in a very long time thanks to Larkin's persistence and encouragement. These families are rightfully grateful for all the time Ms. Gibas has dedicated to helping them come to school regularly."

- Joe Berret, Frost MS

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Susie Morningstar, Frost MS

"Susie has been extremely helpful these past few days with paperwork and extra duties associated with some delicate situations.  Her willingness to help and support through the processes have been much appreciated!"

- Joe Berret, Frost MS

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Sean McDonald, Gatehouse Administration Center

"I approached Sean with an HR challenge that we were dealing with a few weeks ago regarding a long term substitute. Sean worked with his team during this very busy staffing season to help us ensure that our 5th-grade students had a highly qualified experienced teacher to help them finish the school year on a positive note and it has made all the difference for our kids. They are thriving and finishing the year strong in a structured environment with a teacher that cares deeply about their success. I overheard a student the other day saying that they are so glad she is here and wants to be with them. The extra time you took to make this work for us with only 5 weeks left in the school year is what modeling a Caring Culture is all about. Thanks, Sean."

- Paul Basdekis, Riverside ES

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Bessie Fealey, Lane ES

"Mrs. Fealey always goes above and beyond to ensure a child's physical safety and emotional well-being. She develops strong relationships with children to gain their trust and maintains that trust in a productive and healthy manner. She is professional at all times and provides parents with support and resources to help ensure the students' needs are priority."

- a Lane ES community member 

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David Hallmark, Woodson - IT

"David always goes above and beyond when he comes to TJ to do tech repairs. He is very thorough, meticulous, and extremely helpful. For example, if he replaces a hard drive, he always checks to make sure that the new one works. He doesn't just fix the one thing, if he notices something else at the school isn't working, he lets the TSSpec know to put in a ticket and also fixes it while he's at the school."

- Miruna Tecuci, Thomas Jefferson HS

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Gary Bailey, Stonecroft Transportation

"This goes beyond just a one day recognition. EVERY morning the bus driver greets our son with a huge smile and welcome. What is special about this is that our son is nonverbal (due to his disability) and never responds back. This has not hindered the bus driver from treating our special son like other children who do say hello. The bus driver has even stated that seeing our son smile in the morning always makes his day. These kinds words and treatment of our son remind us as parents that he is in good hands and has something to offer the world in his own special way."

- a Poplar Tree ES parent

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Mike Astudillo, McNair ES

"My wife works at McNair Elementary. She had a health scare recently and Mike was very quick to help in assessing the situation and requested immediate care for her. It's very comforting to know that she is part of such a wonderful and caring community that truly has the best interest of all staff in mind."

- a McNair ES community member

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Alison Koehnke, Centreville HS

"Alison is a first year teacher and she is doing wonderful things in the classroom. She works with our ESOL students and they have been raving about her to her other teachers. Great work, Alison!"

- Anthony Hanrahan, Centreville HS

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Rachael Ackerman, Laurel Hill ES

"Rachael Ackerman, Laurel Hill's Speech Pathologist, made a communication banner for our school's playground. The banner consists of symbols used on AAC devices (augmentative and alternative communication) for children who have limited vocabulary or use AAC devices. The banner has core vocabulary words. The banner will be used to foster communication with all the children during recess time. Thank you Rachael for going above and beyond to promote inclusion and communication at our school!"

- Rosaleen Sypher, Laurel Hill ES

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Corri Shusterman, Diana Lucio, Elizabeth Grodin, Katie Carroll, Sarah Hertenberger, and Stephanie A'Hearn, Kings Park ES

"Words cannot describe the gratitude I have for the amazing Local Screening Committee at Kings Park, as well as others who participate in the testing process. My child has experienced extreme, sudden anxiety this year and the team that we have worked with has gone above and beyond in so many areas to ensure that my child's needs are met. From hosting regular lunch bunches to checking in with me outside school hours to see how things are going, the support our family has received shows how much these women care about their students. As a parent, watching a child struggle with anxiety is excruciating, but this team has been supportive since Day 1, and has helped both my child and me get through a difficult time.  I don't know what I would have done without them."

- a Kings Park ES parent

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Megan Cashman, Lake Braddock SS

"It is hard to find words sufficient to communicate the gratitude my family has for Ms. Cashman. She has been a guidance counselor to my two daughters. One daughter is finishing up her first year in college and the other is a current Lake Braddock student. Ms. Cashman is compassionate, knowledgeable, and her professional competence is unrivaled. My daughters had different needs; she offered advice and validation to one while providing a plethora of resources to navigate the academic and personal needs of the other due to a persistent medical problem. Ms. Cashman listens with a kind ear and an open heart, she assesses the situation, and then she problem-solves. We trust her judgment emphatically. Megan Cashman has been and continues to be a literal lifeline to our family. She embodies the best of what Fairfax County Public Schools has to offer!"

- a Lake Braddock SS parent

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Rachael Ackerman, Laurel Hill ES

"Rachael is the speech and language therapist at our school. She goes above and beyond to promote inclusion and communication through the entire school. Recently, she had a weather-proof, giant banner made of core vocabulary on an AAC device. The large copy of the device hangs on our playground to promote communication with all students. Not only did she have it made, but she also took the time to inform teachers by creating an informational bulletin board in the teachers' lounge to explain AAC. She also went on the news show and into classrooms to explain to students how to use the words and explained the way some students use it to communicate. Rachael is doing wonderful things to promote inclusion and acceptance for all! Thanks, Rachael, for making LHES a great place for all!"

- Marissa Williamson, Laurel Hill ES

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Maura McVeigh, Hollin Meadows ES

"Mrs. McVeigh has always been extremely supportive of my daughter’s educational goals but she went above and beyond this weekend. After learning that we were unable to attend the Girls' On the Run 5k with our daughter due to an out-of-town family commitment, Mrs. McVeigh not only offered to run it with her, but also trained alongside her for several months before the event! We are so thankful for Mrs. McVeigh’s leadership, guidance, and support. Our daughter is extremely lucky to have her as a teacher and mentor! We are simply thrilled with Mrs. McVeigh and hope that she receives some recognition for her amazing actions."

- a Hollin Meadows ES parent

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 Kevin Greata, Lanier MS

"Mr. Greata is an assistant principal at Lanier MS who supervises the Math Department. Not only does he provide expertise and counsel regarding best practices in all areas of math, but he also demonstrates his commitment by giving up his personal time every Saturday morning to tutor students who voluntarily come in to strengthen their math skills. They come, in no small part, due to Mr. Greata's investment of calling each family. Every Friday afternoon, he works late as he personally calls to invite students to come the next morning. Rumor has it he even stops for fresh donuts on the way to tutoring. When Mr. Greata has been at LMS for the past 10 Saturdays, he leaves his own three children at home to invest in our future FCPS mathematicians. His professionalism, curriculum knowledge, and calm demeanor are all qualities we hope to emulate in our FCPS caring culture. We are so fortunate to have him on staff and in our FCPS community."

- Tammy Hanna, Lanier MS

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Gerrylynn Grieco-Vanpelt, Pulley Center

"Gerry is amazing every day at Pulley. She assists the students on and off the bus, knows them all personally, and gives them encouragement all the way. She deserves a CARES award for this and so much more. Gerry's CARE doesn't stop with the students, she encourages the bus drivers and attendants as well, AND keeps us safely flowing by directing buses, too! Gerry is amazing. We are going to miss her as she retires at the end of this school year!"

- Barbara Davis, Lorton Transportation Center

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Jennifer Bury and Scott Darwin, Lake Braddock SS

"The spring testing season in schools is always an extremely busy and very stressful time, especially for those who are in charge. Jennifer Bury and Scott Darwin are in their first year as Assessment Coaches and both have done an amazing job to ensure everything runs as smoothly as possible. There are many layers to this job so Jennifer and Scott must rely heavily on all staff to ensure success. With so many moving parts and so much to learn, Jennifer and Scott work literally around the clock at this time of year. They pride themselves on their relentless work ethic, perseverance, and perfection. I commend them in that they will not rest until they know every student has been taken care of. With this job comes a very steep learning curve, bumps, and sometimes bruises. Regardless, both Jennifer and Scott know just how important it is to check and double check, communicate with parents, students, and staff, as well as keep everyone as calm as possible. Having personally walked in their shoes, I can honestly say that both Jennifer and Scott go above and beyond and strive to do their very best each and everyday! Lake Braddock is very lucky to have them both leading the charge in this massive testing undertaking."

- Amy Soos, Lake Braddock SS

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Ann Biczo, Ann Jopke, Matt Rivera, Tamara Wilson, Tonja Walden, Maura McVeigh, Viki Wilson, and Anna Webb, Hollin Meadows ES

"At the Girls On the Run 5K, eight teachers from Hollin Meadows Elementary drove to Woodbridge early on a Saturday morning to support our team.  Ms. Jopke, Mr. Rivera, Ms. Walden, & Ms. T. Wilson were coaches. Ms. McVeigh, Ms. V. Wilson, and Ms. Webb, were volunteer buddy runners for students. Ms. Biczo came to cheer for her current and former students. It truly was a collaborative community effort - teachers, parents, families, and students all working together! Seeing each of them there reminds us why HMES Cares!"

- Hollin Meadows ES PTA Board 

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Alice Luea, McNair ES

"Ms. Luea exemplifies the true definition of a teacher. She creates a learning environment for her students that is engaging and allows them to take risks. She makes time for each of her students by giving them one on one support so that they are able to achieve both their personal and academic goals. She does an outstanding job communicating student progress to parents, as she understands the importance of a home and school connection; and its impact on student success. She speaks about her students with nothing but dignity and respect. She is very giving of her time by being present at student performances and evening events to show her support. Ms. Luea always keeps her students and their learning at the forefront of her work. The McNair community is very appreciative of Ms. Luea and all that she brings to our staff and school community."

- Melissa Goddin, McNair ES

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Jeanne Power, Langley HS

"I just wanted to thank Ms. Power for being such an amazing teacher this school year. She truly loves to teach us students. Ms. Power shows up to class every day with a positive attitude and goes out of her way to get every single student's attention. Ms. Power actually expresses her enjoyment for teaching throughout her lessons as she makes every day memorable and is honestly such an amazing teacher who should be recognized. Thank you for making math fun again."

- a Langley HS student

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Caitlin Zayas, Lake Braddock SS

"Caitlin consistently demonstrates commitment and dedication to her students and colleagues. She is dependable, professional, diligent, and wicked smart. I can always count on her to make decisions that are best for her students. She is an excellent leader who excels when given the opportunity to work with groups of parents and colleagues in making decisions for students (like at IEP meetings). Above all, Caitlin's dedication to her students is evident every day as she goes above and beyond to meet their individual needs. She makes connections and builds relationships with all of her students and helps them experience success every day."

- Tracey Butler-Johnson, Lake Braddock SS

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Stuart Pierce, Willow Oaks Administrative Center

"Stuart has been an unwavering support to Westlawn over the years for all sorts of testing windows. He is always patient with questions, quick to respond, and provides great insight along with humor. Today, he and I were on the phone discussing a specific testing question LONG before normal working hours. His dedication to STC's and to ensuring a smooth and accurate test administration that makes him a valued resource throughout Fairfax County Public Schools. Thank you, Stuart, for always going so far beyond expectations, with grace and style. You rock."

- Michelle Doyle, Westlawn ES

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Laura Hayes, Fairview ES

"Laura Hayes is such a caring person. She had my grandson for first and second grades. As a special education student, he can be a handful at times. Mrs. Hayes was always patient with him. Fast forward to third grade and we were adopting my grandson. Mrs. Hayes went out of her way to check in with him every day to make sure he was doing ok. She was also helpful to our family when we needed it. She went above and beyond being a teacher. She cares about the children like family."

- a Fairview ES parent

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Jennifer Walrath, West Springfield ES

"My son is in Mrs. Walrath's kindergarten class, and I wanted to share how she has gone above and beyond to help him. She is incredibly engaging with her students and with the parents. She brings in fresh homemade salsa to share with the kids, shares pictures from field trips with the parents, helps parents remember school events, and engages children on many levels. I am so pleased that my son loves school, and I credit much of that to Mrs. Walrath. She has helped my son specifically improve in certain areas with individual attention each day, always keeping me in the loop.  We are appreciative!"

- a West Springfield ES parent

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Karen Sanfilippo, Greenbriar East ES

"Thank you for subbing for me when  I had to leave unexpectedly. I 'donut' know what I'd do without you."

- Morgan Graves, Greenbriar East ES

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Linda Clark, Greenbriar East ES

"I would like to recognize Linda for doing a last minute observation. I really do not know what I would do without her this school year. Thanks Linda for always being there!"

- Mary Feord, Greenbriar East ES

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Erin Madrinan, Greenbriar East ES

"Thank you for helping me when I was out sick unexpectedly. I am lucky to have such a great friend and teammate!"

- Morgan Graves, Greenbriar East ES

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Cynthia Lowry, Gatehouse Administration Center

"Cynthia went out of her way to help me make corrections to MyTime as the deadline was hitting. She was patient and kind and supportive. She is always this way whenever I call on her help, but this was a particularly stressful case and she had my back. "

- Karen Thieme, Willow Oaks Administrative Center

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Betsy Komoniewski, Instructional Programs Support Center

"Betsy is an extremely dedicated, knowledgeable, and talented Assistive Technology Resource Teacher. She is constantly helping teachers problem-solve using creative ideas in order to get the most out of students, no matter how significant their special needs are. She goes above and beyond to support the parents of her students as well, to include presenting at parent coffees and staying late to help at family game nights. Betsy has truly been an invaluable resource in my low-incidence classroom and my students are more successful because of her."

- Colette Bolton, Bush Hill ES

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Laura Wiley, Cooper MS

"As a first year counselor, Laura has gone above and beyond in multiples areas. Laura partnered with a student and a special education teacher to developed a club called Cooper Buddies. Students in Cooper Buddies  work together on a vary of activities each month. For example, in May, the students worked together to find clues around the school to solve a BreakoutEDU puzzle. This club has provided an after-school environment where students can have fun and engage with their peers."

- Dana Scabis and Annie Eisman, Cooper MS

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Rose Kraus, Sprague Technology Center

"Rose has provided exceptional support for the World Languages Junior PALS division assessments. Her responsiveness and willingness to problem-solve in order to make this a positive assessment experience demonstrate a true commitment to service."

- Andrea Martin Jones, Willow Oaks Administrative Center 

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Edgar Jaimes, Manuel Yanez, Ana Carlos, Greg Darrall, and Maria Neag, Justice HS

"I feel privileged having the colleagues that I do. Recently, after a sad and unexpected personal event, my colleagues directed and took care of my classes as their own. They were vigilant about the students' work in class and helped the substitute to follow the plans. I am very thankful to all of them for their generosity,  time, and camaraderie. THANKS, TEAM!"

- Maria Palacios, Justice HS

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Joshua Raybuck, Merrifield Support Center

"I would like to compliment  Josh Raybuck, in the HVAC Department for his excellent service. Josh was at Beech Tree resolving some HVAC issues.  I have been here at Beech Tree for 6 years and been through a lot of HVAC techs. I feel Josh has always taken care of the HVAC and has put staff and students first. Mr. Raybuck’s professionalism and enthusiasm to get to the root of the issue promptly exceeded my expectations. He is very thoughtful and courteous and always puts the safety and comfort of the students and staff as a priority. Once he fixes the issues he always looks for Mr. Sanchez, our building custodian and explains the problem and how he fixed the HVAC or even if parts are in order. I believe this type of professionalism and commitment to FCPS schools has to be acknowledged. It is nice to know that FCPS has such a great HVAC person like Josh."

- Esther Baca, Beech Tree ES

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Violette Basta, Willow Springs ES

"Violette is a one-man-show. She comes to the cafeteria every day ready to do it all. She is helping the students, cleaning up, and anything else needed to give them a great experience at lunch time. Violette is energetic and always pleasant and kind. Greatest cafeteria hostess eh-ver!"

- a Willow Springs ES parent

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Megan Neforos, Holmes MS 

"I am writing to nominate Ms. Neforos, one of the professional school counselors, at Holmes Middle School. I am nominating Ms. Neforos as she continues to impact the success of many students on a daily basis. It is not a particular action she took on a certain day, but rather, many actions over a number of years. We were fortunate that she was assigned as our son’s counselor when he came to Holmes in 6th-grade and she has remained his counselor since then. She has worked with us to consider his schedule, address any accommodations, and keep an eye out for him as she sees him at various points during the day. I know she does the same for many other students throughout the school. She is fair and keeps a positive attitude while working to ensure the school is doing the right thing for her students. We are thankful she has been part of our son’s time at Holmes and will miss her support as our son moves forward to high school. She goes above and beyond to show she cares about the success of the students and the school overall."

- a Holmes MS parent

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Mandy Binsted, South County HS

"This is more than one experience, this is a common experience that we have with Mandy Binsted. My son has been in her class this year for Math and English. He has Autism and other special needs and Mandy is incredible. She is always going well above and beyond what is expected. She checks in on him throughout the day and in his difficult classes, she does extra work with him. She writes us updates on his day and just cares more than you can imagine. I know our son is not the only one she does all of this for as well. She is an incredible teacher and more so an incredible person. The amount of time, attention, caring and love that she puts into our son is truly a blessing. We have been lucky to have some amazing teachers in our years at Halley ES, SCMS and now SCHS, and Mandy is one of the best. I can't imagine his school life without her. She deserves to be nominated for an award. Thank you!"

- a South County HS parent

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Sabrina Dowell, Lorton Transportation Center

"Sabrina is a supervisor for a different team from a different area. She supervises drivers that drive into my schools. We have all faced several challenges this year keeping these routes on time while dealing with student behaviors. Sabrina has offered suggestions for run changes, insights into student behaviors and covered the runs herself to keep them on time. Thank you for all of your hard work, Sabrina."

- Carole Phelps, Lorton Transportation Center

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Kim Moran, Churchill Road ES

"Kim is always friendly and willing to help. I really appreciate her gently directness and professionalism. It is always a pleasure to see her welcoming us each time we come in! Thank you!"

- a Churchill Road ES parent

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Christina Spencer Redding, Churchill Road ES

"Chris is always cheery and willing to help with any questions that arise, from online forms locations to passing out a directory. I really appreciate her attitude and effectiveness-it's a pleasure to see her welcoming us each time we come in! Thank you!"

- a Churchill Road ES parent

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Angela Kheradmand, Providence ES

"Angela is a Title I Reading Specialist at my school. As you can imagine, she also loves to read! At PES, one of her areas of expertise is word study. When I was tasked with the opportunity to work with students on word study, I immediately thought of Angela. When asked if I could talk to her about what I was currently doing and what I could do to improve my work with the students, Angela immediately offered to help and provide guidance. The first time I met with Angela she spent over an hour helping me set up a good system, explaining, offering tips, and planning for the next eight weeks. I met with Angela several more times and she has helped me with assessment and has answered numerous questions that have cropped up along the way. Thanks to Angela, I am able to provide a more solid, program that the students enjoy as much as I do. Thank you, Angela, for CARING about the students at PES and about their learning. Thank you for all the time you spent working with me and giving me the tools needed to ensure the success of the students. It is people like you who show FCPS CARES in action. You READ, but you also ROCK!"

- Stacy Greene, Providence ES

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Joe Berret, Frost MS

"Talk about Positive Culture and Caring for Others! I wanted to let you know about an experience that occurred on Friday while Kilmer and Frost were both at our music field trips at Kings Dominion. A Kilmer student was injured at the park and the Kings Dominion staff strongly recommended that she go to the local hospital.  As the student’s mom was not with us, we called her; the chorus teacher and I went to the hospital with the student and waited for her mother to arrive from Falls Church. At this point, we had no idea how long it would take for the mom to arrive or how long the student would need to stay at the hospital. We were anxious for the well-being of our student and we had no clue how we would get home. While en route in the ambulance, Joe Berret called me and asked me if we needed a ride back to Northern VA. He had heard from his band director (who was talking with our band director) about our situation and immediately asked for my number to see how he could help. It turned out that our student’s parent wasn’t going to get to the hospital much before 8:00 p.m. (given traffic, etc.) and Joe said he would wait for us; it was 5:30 p.m. when we left for the hospital. Joe touched base with us throughout the evening and picked us up at 8:15 p.m. from the hospital. Knowing we had not eaten, he offered to stop and get us some food. Joe drove us to Kilmer, delivering us safe and sound at 10:15 p.m. He could have easily driven home at 6:00 p.m. and not called me at all. Both the chorus director and I are so appreciative of Joe’s assistance and support. His reaching out to us provided us with the reassurance that we could concentrate on the welfare of our student and not have to worry about how we were getting home."

- Debra David, Kilmer MS

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Kirsten Maloney, Willow Oaks Administrative Center

"A big thanks goes out to Kirsten Maloney! She has been very supportive of the work we are doing at Groveton Elementary, and she just wrapped up a great academy course with 16 of our staff members. Feedback from the course was positive and we appreciate her time and attention. It should also go without saying that the work she is doing with her colleagues in the Advanced Academic Programs Office is really impressive. I really appreciate the message of equity and critical and creative thinking for every student! Onward! Nice job."

- Kevin Morris, Groveton ES

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Adrian Williams, Quander Road School

"Mrs. Williams has been a great leader in the building, offering support and consistency with our students. She makes it her priority  to build relationships with our students and they trust that she cares about them. She is knowledgeable, passionate and empathetic; important attributes of an effective leader."

- Sharita Crawford, Quander Road School

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Ahnika Emery, West Springfield ES

"Ms. Emery does such a great job teaching strings. She has a positive, and encouraging approach as she teaches. She offered to stay after school one day a week, for several weeks, to assist the students preparing for the Solo & Ensemble. My daughter felt so much more confident as she performed, because of Ms Emery's help, and her kind encouragement. My daughter loves the violin, and feels proud of herself, and we can thank Ms. Emery for helping her in this."

- a West Springfield ES parent

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Aaron Curtis, Rick Madigan, Darnell White, Maurice Leake, and Natividad Ramos, Forte Center

"Our front office was is desperate need of new office furniture, as our current desks were being held together with duct tape. We went to the warehouse and realized that there was no office furniture and certainly not four office desks that matched. Aaron and his team came to see the issue and took measurements on Tuesday. On Thursday morning, we got a call that they had found a full office set that would fit in our building. The team went out of their way to pick-up the donation on Thursday night to ensure delivery Friday morning so our school could look its best for when the students returned. This change has started a feeling in the building that great things are to come."

- Nikki Yacubovich and Barbara Hiltz, Pine Spring ES

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Alyshea Techam, Camelot ES

"Mrs. Techam is an amazing teacher, and has been such a gift to our student and the school all year. My child has been struggling with organization, and we arranged a meeting with Mrs. Techam and his other teachers. Mrs. Techam led the meeting beautifully - ensured everyone had a chance to speak, including my child; asked thoughtful questions, and developed an organization plan for my child to use throughout the day. She also spent the following lunch the next day working one-on-one with him to begin to implement the plan. This is just one example of the fabulous work she does with these kids everyday."

- a Camelot ES parent

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Jennie Hettema, Kings Glen ES

"Jennie Hettema, a fourth-grade general education teacher at Kings Glen Elementary, has gone above and beyond to support and motivate a student with a disability. She spent significant time building a relationship with this student. She has motivated him and helped him make gains in mobility and stamina, and as a result, confidence. Every day at recess she could just stand back and watch the kids, but Jennie Hettema chose not to stand back. She engaged and that engagement has made a real difference for this one individual student."

- Diane Norton, Kings Glen ES

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Hannah Tappan, Churchill Road ES

"Ms. Tappan started teaching my daughter's class in January of this year. Hats off to Ms. Tappan to have come into a classroom mid-year, where the students' original teacher was on extended leave. Some of the kids were challenging, but she has endured and has gotten the children to behave, respect her, and show respect to each other. We are forever grateful that our daughter has this wonderful teacher!  Ms. Tappan is so encouraging to all of the kids to be there best! She took a very difficult situation, where the kids did not have a permanent substitute for a long time, and she took on this challenge to be a positive teacher and role model for the kids. Thank you, Ms. Tappan, for saving this year for the kids and making it an awesome experience for the kids!"

- a Churchill Road ES parent

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Richard Woler, Churchill Road ES

"Mr. Woler goes above and beyond in teaching his students by making learning fun! He is beyond energetic, accepting, welcoming of all, and genuinely cares above and beyond that his students are getting a positive educational experience in all aspects of his classroom. Hats off to this amazing, wonderful teacher! He is so positive and teaches the kids to always be positive too! Mr. Woler, thank you so much for all that you do for your students! You are one of the best! We are so lucky that the students have you as a teacher!"

- a Churchill Road ES parent

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Jennifer Stowe, Churchill Road ES

"Mrs. Stowe has gone above and beyond in helping my son adjust to a newly discovered diagnosis. Mrs. Stowe provided us with the proper feedback to be able to discover this diagnosis. She is so caring in genuinely wanting him to have a good academic year. I truly appreciate all of her efforts. My son feels the same way. Thanks for everything that you do for all of your students. I've heard other parents sing their praises for you too. Thank you so much Mrs. Stowe. You are one of the BEST teachers we know!"

- a Churchill Road ES parent

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Michelle Yang, Centreville ES

"Michelle went above and beyond to show my daughter that she cared. Ms. Yang has a genuine love for her students and it is very noticeable and I am very grateful that my daughter gets to experience that love at school as well as home."

- a Centreville ES parent

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Madeleine Carcamo Reyes, Gatehouse Administration Center

"Ms. Carcamo Reyes was an interpreter for a parent conference I was a part of today. She was terrific in working with both the staff and the family. She was engaging and warm with the family. She made them feel at ease and welcome. Observing her interactions with the family, it appeared as if they were old friends. I appreciate the atmosphere she created with the family, the way she was able to connect, and her ability to allow us to help the student."

- Michael Luley, Lake Braddock SS

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Rachael Dierman, Churchill Road ES

"Mrs. Dierman is a dedicated third-grade teacher at Churchill Road Elementary. She has a great passion for helping her students to learn and to grow. Throughout the school year she keeps us posted on the progress my child made at school and provided thoughtful guidance on what my child can do to continue to grow. Her encouragement and consideration made a true difference. My child loves going to school every day. We are grateful to have Mrs. Dierman as our child’s teacher this year!"

- a Churchill Road ES parent

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Beverly Taylor, Lake Braddock SS

"AP testing is a stressful time at any school, for students AND those who have to proctor. At Lake Braddock, the counseling team is lucky enough to have the support of Bev Taylor throughout these two weeks. She stands at the ready to help out, troubleshoot, find the right people to answer questions or to fix tech issues.  I know when I call her number, she will not only answer, but she will find a solution. HUGE relief to know you've got back up!"

- Jacqueline Naughton, Lake Braddock SS

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Dana DiCamillo, Churchill Road ES

"Mrs. DiCamillo is an excellent third-grade teacher. She has a calm demeanor while also maintaining control and respect in the classroom. She has a keen eye for students' various personalities and strengths and knows how to meet students where they are on any given day. My son really likes Mrs. DiCamillo and he's a pretty good judge of character. We appreciate that he has had her for his third-grade experience. She is a great and valuable part of Churchill Road ES."

- a Churchill Road ES parent

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Katelyn Touhey, Lake Braddock SS

"I had the pleasure of being invited to a parent conference set up by the special education case manager of one of my students, Katelyn Touhey. The family wanted to review their child's progress, his path toward graduation and any steps they could take to assist his progress. During the meeting, we talked about the SIGNIFICANT positive changes for this young man (medically and academically), and the family thanked Ms. Touhey profusely for being their child's champion and not giving up on him. They stated that she saved a child and they are so grateful. Well done, Ms. Touhey. Proud to be your colleague."

- Jacqueline Naughton, Lake Braddock SS

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Robyn Ridpath, Fairview ES

"Ms. Ridpath is one of the absolute hardest working teachers. She stays late at school every evening writing thoughtful emails to parents, working on customizing curriculums to meet each of her students’ varying needs, as well as calling parents to discuss each student's progress.  Ms. Ridpath always has a wonderfully positive attitude and adores all of her kids despite how rambunctious her class of 24 second-graders is. She makes learning fun and enjoyable which makes all her kids look forward to going to school every day. On top of all of this, she took the initiative to set up and afterschool writer's club, in which most of her students choose to stay after school to work on writing creative stories. She also joined the Parent-Teacher Association at Fairview and is our 2nd Vice President. In this important role, she has helped to further positive relationships between the teachers and parents at our school. Any student is beyond lucky to have Ms. Ridpath."

- a Fairview ES parent

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Robyn Ridpath, Fairview ES

"Ms. Ridpath ran an after-school Writer's Club for the students in her class during the fall and spring. She gave her own time to help the students practice writing in fun and exciting ways. It was my son's favorite experience at Fairview this year."

- a Fairview ES parent

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Bill Trinca, David Carpenter, Robert Gainey, Jose Pineda, Tom Lewis, Joe Canavan, Kevin Gough, James Mullins, Darrin German, Ben Larzelere, Orlando Rodriguez, Lou Deavers, Lawrence Washington, and John Younger, Edison Support Center and Sideburn Support Center

"The crew and painters that removed the graffiti during the recent vandalism here at Annandale HS worked very hard that day and did it with a smile. They responded quickly and worked tirelessly throughout the day to remove graffiti and repaint specific areas of the building. I want to commend them for their hard work that day and working to get the everything removed."

- Chris Tippins, Annandale HS

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Mark Vitelli, Annandale HS

"Mark Vitelli is a counselor at Annandale HS and works hard to support our students day in and day out. He steps out into the halls and interacts with our students during class changes, and does so on his own. I appreciate Mark and all of his work to provide students the support and for doing so with a smile."

- Chris Tippins, Annandale HS

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Byron Rodas, Sideburn Support Center

"Byron always takes good care of us at Kings Glen, but the afternoon of Tuesday, May 7,  he went above and beyond. We had a chorus concert scheduled that evening, and realized during the afternoon chorus assembly that we had a very hot gym that would impact the over 300 students and parents in attendance that evening. Due to his efforts late that afternoon, the gym was comfortable during the concert. His efforts were doubly appreciated, especially with the warmer evening temps AND the fact that he stopped on his way home! Kings Glen Gators are very grateful."

- Sam Elson, Christine Ritter, Leah Hettema, Chris Kamerow, and Claire Thomas, Kings Glen ES

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John Basta, West Springfield HS

"At the beginning of sophomore year, my daughter was struggling with some issues while I was caring for my mother, out-of-state, who had recently diagnosed with cancer. Mr. Basta was very responsive to my concerns and checked in with my daughter almost immediately. It was such a relief to know that while I was more than 500 miles away, someone was there to help both of us whenever we needed it! In the past 2 years, he has continued to check in with her, shepherded us through college applications, acted as an intermediary for her with teachers when needed, and helped us balance her rigorous and challenging school schedule. He’s done all of that expeditiously with a caring demeanor, humor, and even tough love when needed! School counselors have WAY more responsibilities and do WAY more than they used to, so having someone who is so responsive and kindhearted is invaluable! FCPS, WSHS, and our family, are all very fortunate to have John Basta on our team!"

- a West Springfield HS parent

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Liane Sprunk, Willow Oaks Administrative Center

"Mrs. Sprunk supports multiple teams in OSEI. In her role supporting the two teams, Mrs. Sprunk is often asked to support various types of tasks. In March, April, and May, Mrs. Sprunk was asked to help ensure the data being provided for various high-level purposes was 100% accurate. Due to the urgency of the work, Mrs. Sprunk would often drop what she was working on and work with me or a colleague to check the data (many times, multiple pages of data, line-by-line). Her support helped to ensure that accurate data was provided in a timely manner. Thank you, Liane!"

- Ellie Stack, Willow Oaks Administrative Center

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Vicki Novak and Leslie Mahan, Willow Oaks Administrative Center

"Commendations to Mrs. Novak and Mrs. Mahan for being such valuable team players. Multiple times in April, validation checks were necessary to ensure that data which was being collected for a variety of high-level purposes was 100% accurate. Whenever they were asked if they could provide assistance, Mrs. Novak and Mrs. Mahan were quick to respond yes! The job was completed quickly and even when there were a few hundred lines of data to verify, they never hesitated to assist. Thank you so much for your help and attention to detail, Leslie and Vicki!"

- Ellie Stack, Willow Oaks Administrative Center

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Maria Tedesco, Willow Oaks Administrative Center

"Mrs. Tedesco is an asset to the whole OSEI team. When her assistance was needed to help ensure the data provided to leadership was 100% accurate, Mrs. Tedesco did not hesitate to indicate that she could help and completed the work in an extremely timely fashion. With her support and collaboration, we were able to make sure the information provided to leadership was accurate and was provided soon after the request was received. Thank you, Maria!"

- Ellie Stack, Willow Oaks Administrative Center

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Mark Henderson, Stonecroft Transportation

"Mr. Mark drives bus 5 throughout the school year. He travels thousands of miles, often in adverse weather conditions and through unpredictable traffic, to deliver our kids safely to the school. My child loves him and enjoys seeing Mr. Mark every day. Thank you so much!"

- a Churchill Road ES parent

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Sandy Hunter, Lake Braddock SS

"My son is a senior at Lake Braddock and has needed assistance with various items all school year long. His go-to person at Lake Braddock has been Sandy Hunter. She has been a friendly face during difficult days and a wealth of useful information. When I mentioned to my son that we should do an FCPS Cares for Mrs. Hunter, he laughed and said that Mrs. Hunter helps every single kid at our school. She deserves to be swamped in these things. Mrs. Hunter epitomizes the type of care and concern we all want when we send our children to school each day, and she deserves recognition for going above and beyond on a daily basis to help all the students at Lake Braddock."

- a Lake Braddock SS parent

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Michelle Yang, Centreville ES

"Third-grade teacher, Michelle Yang, has gone above and beyond for my daughter and all of her students numerous times. She has always been compassionate, kind, and fun-loving. My daughter always remembers her with fondness and always says that Ms. Yang will always be her all-time favorite teacher!"

- a Centreville ES parent

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Felicia Hamilton, Fairfax HS

"Mrs. Hamilton is new to Fairfax High school and has demonstrated excellence during her first year. This year, I watched as she worked with students to get dual-enrolled into NOVA for a class she will teach next year. She puts her students first and the students are challenging themselves to do their very best. She is an exquisite asset to Fairfax High School."

- Traci Haskins, Fairfax HS

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Tisa Frederick, West Springfield HS

"My son is a high school senior who moved to VA  from CA as a sophomore. One day he did not come straight home after school and I was almost in tears because he was new and had no friends yet and was not happy about moving. When I got to school it was after 4:00 p.m. and Ms. Frederick had just walked out of the building. Seeing me almost in tears, she stopped and talked to me, then went back to her locked office and used the loudspeaker, repeatedly calling for him. I had not even asked her to do that as I could not think. I will always appreciate her caring. Besides that, over the last 3 years, we have been getting her emails, encouraging students to apply for scholarships and career events, tirelessly urging them with repeated reminders because she cares so much. After one of her email reminders, I pushed my son to apply and we just found out he got $3,500 towards his college and will receive it in June, so I want to commend Ms. Frederick for all she does for our kids and parents as well! Thank you!"

- a West Springfield HS parent

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Jonathan Andert, Terraset ES

"Dear Mr. Andert, year in, year out, you put in so much effort to make the kids learn about music. Every fall and spring, the hard work is visible during the concerts. I am also glad that you started the Tiger Drummers club - my kids absolutely love it. I appreciate your patience and your ability to teach the kids about working as a team. Thank you and regards."

- a Terraset ES parent

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Shannon Johnson, Terraset ES

"Dear Ms. Johnson, I love your take-no-prisoners-attitude; keeps the kids in line. I am glad that you are a vital member of our administrative staff and I appreciate the work that you do for our school. Thank you."

- a Terraset ES parent

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Laura Cerda, Terraset ES

"Dear Laura, it's not all about the teaching staff, but also about the administrative staff that makes for a good school with a real community feel. You deal with parents/guardians every single minute and keep a cheery disposition in spite of difficult situations sometimes. You are the true foundation of our school and I am glad you are the first person I see when I stop by at the school. Thank you for doing a wonderful job."

- a Terraset ES parent

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Suzanne White, Terraset ES

"Dear Mrs. White, you have been our son's most favorite teacher so far. He had the best time in 3rd-grade. You made learning so much fun. I truly appreciate you making the time period to have lunch bunch with the boys as well. It means so much to them to hang out with you. Thank you for being a wonderful person and a fantastic teacher."

- a  Terraset ES parent

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Michelle Yang, Centreville ES

"Not all teachers are created equal. This is a very important and pleasant lesson we have learned since we've had the pleasure of having Ms. Yang in our lives. Not just our oldest son's life but our family as well. Ms. Yang always goes above and WAY beyond the call of being a 3rd-grade teacher. From her personal notes of encouragements to having an elf visitor in the classroom and writing notes to our magical elf. Her love for her students goes beyond the calling. Passionate is too small of a word to describe or make sense of when Ms. Yang is the way she is... it could only because of LOVE and having a BIG HEART. Her efforts will never be forgotten. We love her and hope to have her as our other two kids' teacher in the coming years."

- a Centreville ES parent

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Kristen McDaniel, West Springfield ES

"Mrs. McDaniel has become such a bright part of my child's life. She is so personable and professional all at the same time, and has taken so much time to truly consider my student's unique needs. She notices when he is not himself, and never blames him for errors but rather considers how she can support him through hard days. She speaks with my student and me in a way that shows she truly cares. I will be so sad to lose her as my child's teacher, but I can truly say that she has empowered him to be the best version of himself heading into 2nd-grade. She is a truly a RARE GEM. What an asset to WSES and FCPS!"

- a West Springfield ES parent

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Diana Chou, White Oaks ES

"Mrs. Chou has gone above and beyond her role as strings instructor to spend hours of her own time outside of school helping my son one-on-one with his cello education. He was well prepared for his secondary school audition because of her tutorials. We are so appreciative of Mrs. Chou's extra time and expertise spent encouraging and educating our son."

- a White Oaks ES parent

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Tim Newton, West Springfield ES

"Mr. Newton's commitment to students and efforts to foster parent-teacher relationships go above and beyond. He has put in countless extra hours to e-mail, call, and update me about my son's needs and progress—and I know I'm not the only parent he does this for. He has also suggested numerous creative strategies to help my child keep improving to reach and exceed goals. He has been a tremendous blessing this year, and his patience and good manners have been deeply appreciated. What a WONDERFUL teacher!"

- a West Springfield ES parent

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Grace Yi and Kim Horn, Daniels Run ES

"A special thank you to Grace Yi and Kim Horn for going above and beyond their duties. We are so fortunate to have such dedicated staff at Daniels Run. Thank you, both!"

- Michael Parker, Daniels Run ES

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Visoni Rimson, Braddock ES

"It is so wonderful to have ACTIVE participants in School Events and Activities! First-grade teacher Visoni Rimson puts his heart and soul into every School Spirit or PTA Sponsored Program! It is so wonderful to see his excitement as he finds his own special way of participating in events. Visoni also gets his first-graders involved in the fun! Visoni has taken photos of EVERY event or activity. The smiles on the faces of his students clearly shows the excitement of their involvement. We are very grateful to Visoni for demonstrating to his students and others the importance of being involved and modeling outstanding school spirit! Thanks to Visoni's photos there are always enough for the FCPSNET page, school yearbook, Facebook page, school website, school news show, and Twitter page for Braddock Elementary! Sharing these photos is another way our parents and community can see the wonderful things our students are doing. We all LOVE Visoni's school spirit and documenting these fun events through photos!"

- Joyce Matthews, Braddock ES

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Shayna Sargent, Baileys Upper ES

"I would like to commend Baileys Upper Elementary social worker, Ms. Sargent, on her help she has provided my daughter with generalized anxiety all year. At the start of the school year, my daughter was entering the school building and classes late, crippled by anxiety. Ms. Sargent built a relationship with my daughter, giving her her time and coping strategies for addressing anxiety. My daughter said Ms. Sargent made her feel safe and gave her something to look forward to. She helped her to love school as she does now. Ms. Sargent has been invaluable to my family. Her ability to relate with students, meet them at their level, and make school a positive environment makes her such asset to students and FCPS."

- a Baileys Upper ES parent

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Faith Angove, Robinson SS

"I requested assistance from Faith to provide instructional materials to support my instruction of one of her former students. Faith responded with alacrity, providing access to all material within an hour of my request. Her response indicated an extremely high level of care and concern for her now former student and an admirable level of professionalism."

- Kenneth L. Pieper, TRSC Graham Road

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Angela Rabette, Willow Oaks Administrative Center

"Angie, Thank you! When I needed support, you dropped everything t to make sure that I was well and healthy. I am truly lucky to have you as a friend and coworker!"

- Caitlyn Saxton, Willow Oaks Administrative Center

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Joseph Rutherford, Pui Sham, Paul Agner, and Tim Lucas, Lake Braddock SS

"I am so thankful to the Health and PE 9 team for taking on the responsibility to ensure ALL 9th graders were certified in both CPR and First Aid this spring. This is such a big deal since I left our CT to take on a different job within the school. Despite the extra workload, the team pulled together to ensure the additional 200 students were instructed and certified. You guys are the BEST!"

- Amy Soos, Lake Braddock SS

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Megan Ehrman, Terraset ES

"My daughter's 4th-grade teacher exemplifies the type of teacher every parent hopes to have for their child (and is a teacher my daughter will remember forever). She goes the extra mile to help each student move ahead from where they are at. When my daughter wasn’t ready for a math test, she had her come early on her own time to help her. She gives up her free time and lunch to help her students that are looking for extra help. My daughter entered the class thinking she couldn’t do a lot of things and Mrs. Ehrman was a master at helping each student build confidence and believe that everything they are doing is easy and fun. My daughter thought she wasn’t smart and Mrs. Ehrman gave her the priceless gift of believing in herself."

- a  Terraset ES parent

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Brooke Nichols, Daniels Run ES

"Brooke is an outstanding guidance counselor and resource to staff and students.  No matter how many times I reach out to her asking for help with a student she is always available to help me work with the students and families to make sure any individual need is addressed.  My students absolutely love Ms. Nichols and when she comes to check in on or meet with a student they excitedly go to spend time with her."

- Jill Bayder, Daniels Run ES

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Danielle Grifo, West Springfield ES

"5th-grade has been such a fantastic year. Ms. Grifo has consistently been an inspiring teacher who knows how to bring the best out in our daughter. She creates an environment in which the students are inspired to achieve and feel confident and cared about. Thank you, Ms. Grifo, for all you give to your students and your classroom."

- a West Springfield ES parent

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Theodore Frederick, West Springfield ES

"A big shout out to Mr. Frederick for his energy and passion he brings to the band experience at WSES. We're thankful he's our daughter's band teacher.  The spring concert was a display of enthusiasm and fun and it's gratifying to know that teachers like Mr. Frederick are making a difference every day. Thank you!"

- a West Springfield ES parent

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Sarah Franz, West Springfield ES

"A big thank you to Ms. Franz for the passion and energy she has brought to our daughter's 5th-grade chorus experience this year. Just watching the concert and seeing her enthusiasm and how it inspired the students was truly a gift. The smiles and confidence that she created is something we are very grateful for. Thank you, Ms. Franz!"

- a West Springfield ES parent

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Stacey Kropaczek, Centreville ES parent 

"Stacey Kropaczek, you are awesome! Thank you so much for sharing your love of music with our daughter!  We are so appreciative of the time you have spent with her. A special thanks for pulling out your flute during the Solo & Ensemble Festival to step-in during her partner's absence."

- a Centreville ES parent

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Jane Iyengar, Mount Vernon HS

"Not all teachers are created equal, and Mount Vernon High School is privileged to have a wonderful, proactive teacher, Ms. Jane Iyengar, at our school. She is passionate about her job and students. She always has a smile on her face. She teaches her students the required curriculum and important life skills. She is compassionate and understands that for many of her students, being at school is a better place than home. She brings outside experts into her classroom to make their experience more exciting and teaches her students the importance of networking. She has worked with our PTSA to showcase her students by enlisting their help in designing our website. She supports the students and parents. She is personable, a great advocate, and a wonderful asset to our school!"

- a Mount Vernon HS parent

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Sommer Conway, Oakton ES

"Sommer is my son's 6th-grade teacher. He has ADHD and school is not his favorite activity. However, he is dedicated to trying his best even though every day is a challenge. She is so supportive and responsive and engaged. It is not just with him either, I can see it with all her students. She knows them and works with their strengths and their weaknesses. My son has had one of his best academic years ever and I know it is from her influence. She is engaged in so many activities at the school. It is truly an extension of her family."

- an Oakton ES parent

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Mrinal LaHoti, substitute IA on assignment at McNair ES

"A few months ago, Mrinal shared with me that my classroom was the first day of her substitute career with FCPS, as an IA. So, I welcomed her with open arms in my Upper Lab Cat-B classroom and hoped for the best. Mrinal smiled, looked at her sub plans and followed them. She carried along throughout the day, accepting everything in the classroom as if she had been my IA before. Her comfort level and professionalism adapted well with my expectations, as well as the students' ones. They also respected her and did their best. From the first day in October as an IA sub to the most recent in May as my sub, Mrinal's work ethic and acceptance shine through. Just today when I was out, Mrinal shared with me how one of our students sincerely gestured goodbye to her during dismissal, which made her get that good, tingling feeling. That statement alone shows how in tune Mrinal is with my students recognizing the little accomplishments during the day. I recognize Mrinal as an exceptional substitute, who is apart of the Upper Lab classroom at McNair!"

- Adrienne Rafat, McNair ES

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Alice Simanson, Colvin Run ES

"Mrs. Simanson is an engaging and kind teacher. She makes learning fun in a nurturing and supportive environment."

- a Colvin Run ES parent

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Theresa Nolan, Bull Run ES

"I’ve known Mrs. Nolan since my oldest daughter was in her sixth-grade class two years ago. She is such a warm and welcoming person and her classroom reflected that. My daughter loved her. This year, my third-grade son was given the opportunity to participate in the Paw Print Reading Club. Struggling readers were paired with sixth-grade mentors to develop reading strategies and practice those skills with non-judgmental, sweet, and cuddly therapy dogs. My son comes home and proudly show me his bookmark which summarizes the reading strategy of the day and he would tell me about the dogs. Who else but Mrs. Nolan would bring this kind of program to Bull Run? She has a big heart and Bull Run is fortunate to have such an innovative educator among its already excellent faculty."

- a Bull Run ES parent

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John McConnell, Columbia ES

"John has such an amazingly positive outlook on life. He freely gives out compliments and encouragement to the staff. He's really great with the students. He's the kind of teacher that believes in the best in people and he treats people accordingly. He's such a joy to work with!"

- Martha Barnes, Columbia ES

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Michelle Yang, Centreville ES

"Ms. Yang has been a phenomenal teacher. She continuously goes beyond her regular responsibilities to be the best teacher for her students."

- a Centreville ES parent

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Kristen Licciardo, Robinson SS

"My student has been struggling with emotional issues since the divorce. Kristen has been working with him for 7th and 8th-grade and has demonstrated genuine care, concern, and both emotional support and firm counsel to him when needed. She has communicated to his teachers when appropriate, helped him with a fast pass so he can see her in her office when needed and overall has been tremendous. Knowing that she supports 7,8, and 9th graders, for her to spend the time she has for just my son is a testament to how much she cares. She needs to be commended for her efforts."

- a Robinson SS parent

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Jen Steele and Melissa Witten, Woodley Hills ES

"Jen and Melissa are some of the most caring and kind educators I have met. They go above and beyond to ensure that their ESOL students are receiving an empowering education, have the resiliency to keep trying and ensure that they have social-emotional health. I have first-hand witnessed both of them interacting with students. Their love for them is addictive. Furthermore, I have personally seen them treat students as if they were their own, with love and care. Also, through English Learners Consultations, I have seen them ensure that students are empowered to receive a well-rounded education. They are a prime example of the best that Fairfax County Public Schools has to offer. Go, Jen and Melissa!"

- Manuel Gomez Portillo, Leis Center

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Ryan Dillon, Woodson HS

"Woodson HS TSSpec, Ryan Dillon, has been assisting me with exploring a software product related to the copier program. He has been a great collaborator, is knowledgeable, friendly, and is always willing to help. I am thankful that I get to work with Ryan and all the other talented TSSpecs."

- Claudia Haggerty, Woodson - IT

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Melissa Grant, Flint Hill ES

"During our afternoon Kiss and Ride duty, Melissa saw that the torrential rainstorm was making it difficult to dismiss as quickly as we wanted so she stayed to help ensure student safety. She was in her best clothes for the evening Strings Concert, yet she stayed and helped! This was an amazing example of employee dedication and teamwork! Thanks, Melissa!"

- Lynne Kohls, Flint Hill ES

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Rebekah Decker, Flint Hill ES

"During the torrential rainstorm this afternoon at Kiss and Ride today, Rebekah walked a student out and ended up staying and helping me with dismissal by escorting students to their cars under her umbrella. Her official duty was done yet she stayed to make sure all students were safe. I really appreciate the sacrifice and dedication to her job."

- Lynne Kohls, Flint Hill ES

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Michelle Yang, Centreville ES

"Ms. Yang is an amazing teacher. With her kindness, she makes the students feel welcomed and comfortable in the classroom. She genuinely cares about her students and their learning. My daughter had her last year and Ms. Yang still keeps in touch with her. She had a positive impact on my daughter and inspired her to learn. My daughter thinks she’s the best teacher ever."

- a Centreville ES parent

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Holly Rice, Terraset ES

"Mrs. Rice has been very helpful to my daughter with her school activities. She has been a great support for my daughter."

- a Terraset ES parent

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Nora Covert, Justice HS

"Ms. Covert went above and beyond by attending a Family Partnership Meeting related to the welfare of one of her students after work hours. She continued to support this student at family court. The rare selflessness and kindness that Ms. Covert displays are admirable. The Justice High School community is fortunate to have such a gem among them!"

- an FCPS colleague

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Michelle Yang, Centreville ES

"My daughter is so excited and so happy to have her as a teacher. And we appreciate her!"

- a Centreville ES parent

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Michelle Yang, Centreville ES

"Ms. Yang goes above and beyond on a daily bases for her Kids. In particular, she leaves little notes on my son's school work/tests that make him smile and feel more positively. She encourages his efforts in the best way. She is a very thoughtful and helpful teacher and my son loves being in her class."

- a Centreville ES parent

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Danny Mikhail, Thoreau MS

"Danny is a technology specialist in our building. On Monday morning, April 29, I arrived at school to find none of my outlets working. Of course that day I needed the Smartboard and numerous student computers. With a 6:30 a.m. email to Danny, my problems were solved. He rushed into school and knew exactly how to help. This is not out of the ordinary for Danny. He is 100% focused on teachers and students in the building having all technology at their disposal. I've never waited more than 5 minutes for him to either appear at my door or write me an email with a solution. On the day I sat at INOVA hospital in the waiting room during my husband's surgery, Danny remotely took control of my computer so I could continue working off-site. Every building should have a Danny Mikhail!"

- Wendy Kamen, Thoreau MS

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Eric Brunner, Gatehouse Administration Center

"As the coordinator on the renovation team for our school, Eric Brunner has provided first-rate support and understanding for our staff. Approachable, patient and articulate in his explanations, he has helped me especially with the library design and planning for the future. Thanks so much, Eric."

- Danielle Powers, Frost MS

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Jeff Haidacher, Gatehouse Administration Center

"As the architectural engineer on the renovation team for our school, Jeff Haidacher has shown considerable expertise and patience, providing support and understanding for our staff. In particular, his thorough explanations of the library design have been a great help to myself as I plan for the future. Thanks, Jeff, much appreciated."

- Danielle Powers, Frost MS

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Bryan Gibson, Gatehouse Administration Center

"We have worked with Brian Gibson on a few issues this year. Brian has been extremely prompt, professional, helpful, and caring as he helped us navigate through them. He goes above and beyond in his job, and we are thankful for his work."

- Karen Tuttle, Kate Austin, and  Megan Tempel-Milner, Orange Hunt ES