FCPS Cares - May 2020

By Department of Human Resources
May 04, 2020

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

To view past submissions, please visit our previous submissions page

FCPS Cares of the Month Recipients

Central Office

Dana Griffith – Stonecroft Transportation

  • My family and I would really like Dana Griffith to be acknowledged as a person of humanity, kindness, morality, and caring. Dana has really opened my eyes up to see the true meaning of diversity even in the midst of a storm (PANDEMIC)!!  I had put on Facebook that my family was in great need of Lysol spray, toilet paper, and Clorox wipes. Less than 24 hours later I got a call from Dana Griffith stating that she will deliver my family cans of Lysol spray, Toilet paper, and Clorox wipes! Dana purchased the items and she DELIVERED THE ITEMS WITH MASK AND GLOVES!! Dana’s endeavors make MY FAMILY SEE HOPE, and LOVE!!!!  I truly believe that ANGELS ARE REAL. Thanks, Dana.

- a Marshal HS Parent

Natalie Baumstark – Sprague Technology Center

  • This kudos is long overdue.  I co-support Naviance.  Normally we offer face-to-face training with our high schools to help them administer the Senior Survey which queries students to determine their post-secondary plans.  This survey also identifies where the student’s final transcript needs to be sent.  In order to help schools, we decided to provide this instruction to students directly.   Originally, I created one video which Natalie transcribed for closed captioning and posted to the FCPS YouTube Page.  The initial video was viewed by high school staff and they informed us that there were parts of the training that did not apply to their school.  They also made suggestions on how our training could be improved, so it was re-recorded into 12 segments so schools could use the training that applies to their process.  The training was also available as one longer video.  Natalie transcribed all 13 videos and posted them to our YouTube page.  Throughout this process, Natalie was patient and understanding.   She was juggling many competing priorities yet made time to answer my questions.  She went above and beyond to help me have this training available for students in a very short turn-around time.  She exemplifies the highest level of professionalism.

- Laura Organek, Sprague Technology Center

Lisa DeHart – TSRC Fairfax – Instructional Services

  • Mrs. Lisa DeHart is the most wonderful, professional ESOL Teacher for Interagency Alternative School.  She teachers students from Middle School to High School in all different Grade Levels and in one large group. Her passion and love for teaching are seen even more so now with long-distance learning.  All her students are present and attend every single class she holds and they are all so engaged.  She is an amazing teacher, very organized with many interesting topics in her sessions. Yesterday’s class was on Aliens, the previous day was the Alcatraz Escape. Mrs. DeHart has all her ESOL students engaged in listening, reading, answering and questions etc. You can tell that they really look forward to attending her long-distance class. I would like to nominate Mrs. Lisa DeHart for being an amazing, kindhearted, caring, and dedicated teacher who really deserves to be recognized for her hard work and the various grade level lesson plans for our ESOL Students.

- Celine Sinclair-Peebles, Transition Support Resource Center

Region 1

Stephanie Howell – Armstrong ES

  • Ms. Howell continues to show great skills at building students’ sense of community, fostering a sense of caring and responsibility while driving for further cognitive and academic learning through responsive teaching, explicit instructions, and engaging lessons. Furthermore, during the tough time of distance learning, Ms. Howell showed great skills at fostering understanding, supporting different emotional and academic needs, and building relationships through her extra live session of “Chat and Chill with the Teacher”. She went above and beyond in her ability to connect and support her students. My son was having a tough time adjusting to a new way of learning. She took the time to do a video call to chat with him and establish a plan with home to ensure a successful outcome. We are very thankful to her, and all the care and love she has showered our child with.

Jill Moore – Hunters Woods ES

  • Mrs. Moore has been an exemplary teacher this school year!  Her teaching, dedication, and amazing school to home communication have been impressive. Above all, Mrs. Moore has shown tremendous love and affection to her students.  Just as we were embarking on Distance Learning, Mrs. Moore went on maternity leave to have her 3rd child.  The transition between teacher and substitute teacher was seamless.  However, Mrs. Moore continued to keep in constant contact with her students and parents.  She sent updates, handwritten notes, and even scheduled lunch bunch meetings to check in with her students!  All of this while on maternity leave and 3 very young children at home (including a newborn)!  While distance learning has gone relatively smoothly at our home; we feel that our son continues to feel loved and cared about by his beloved teacher, Mrs. Moore. To us, this is the most important thing during such stressful and confusing times. Thank you so much for going above and beyond!  It means the world to our family.

- a Hunters Woods ES Parent

Claudia Davila – Cunningham Park ES

  • Claudia spent hours on the phone with a parent to troubleshoot to make sure a student could be online for her learning sessions. The student was able to join synchronous learning for the first time the next day and was so excited to join her teacher and classmates. Claudia went above and beyond to help a family in need to make those vital connections during this difficult time.

- Keri Mina, Cunningham Park ES

Region 2

Erica Lackey – North Springfield ES

  • Ms. Lackey has a quick and creative mind. She is incredibly caring and puts relationships with her students at the forefront. In terms of technology, she is a true innovator. Her understanding and implementation of technology with students are unmatched. Her ability to share and transfer that knowledge with her fellow teachers is a true gift. She uses her gift of creativity to make instruction special and fun. Some examples of her instruction which are technology-based and driven include fractions and decimals taught by challenging students to make a taco truck to included full menus, meal specials, and budgets. In geology, she created an interactive rock cycle where the students are the rocks! She creates interactive choice boards, assessment tools, and keeps data to keep students engaged and instruction on target. Another example is her tireless drive to find ways for her students to interact with the technology through this pandemic. For Ms. Lackey, technology isn’t something added on to “regular” instruction. Instead, it is fully organic and embedded in her students’ day-to-day experiences. She is a Level 2 Google Certified Educator, a Common Sense Educator (focused on digital citizenship), an EdPuzzle Coach, and a FlipGrid Certified Educator. She generously uses this expertise to benefit all our staff and students.

- Chad McRae, North Springfield ES

Eun Ji – Justice HS

  • Dear FCPS Cares, it is my honor to tell you about my co-librarian Eun Ji.  In my 14 years of work in private industry and 13 years within FCPS, I can honestly say that Eun is the strongest, most dedicated, caring, and collaborative co-worker I have ever had.  I feel so fortunate to work alongside her, and I would be thrilled if that stayed the same for the rest of my career.  Eun consistently demonstrates her commitment to teaching and learning through her kind and generous interactions with teachers and students. This year and last, she partnered with Beckie Van Vranken for the entirety of the school year to successfully lead ESOL Level 3 students through the Fairfax County Government Shark Tank project.  Last year, Justice students placed 2nd and 3rd in this county-wide competition.  This year, Justice students surely would have gone on to similarly achieve had COVID-19 not hit. Of the 10 teams that made it through to the finals, 5 of those were from Justice.  Eun’s partnership with Beckie Van Vranken and her students truly exemplifies the power and impact a librarian can have upon student achievement.  The most telling thing about Eun is that she does not do what she does for recognition of her own actions, but rather for the enrichment and success of the students.   It makes me happy to come to work knowing that she will be there in the library!

- Lisa Gunther, Justice HS

  • Eun Ji consistently goes above and beyond her job as a librarian at Justice by forging relationships with the students in her calm and caring way. During the year she supported my class by co-teaching with me to prepare the ELD students for the Fairfax County Shark Tank Challenge.  Throughout the year, she patiently and calmly worked with the students by encouraging them to strive for their best work. This week she created a video that celebrated all of their hard work.  The video was amazing and summed up perfectly our experiences together.  As we were watching it, students made a lot of comments like "Ms. Ji is kind and amazing." "Thank you Ms. Ji for helping me."  "Ms. Ji is a great teacher."  The students all shared how they felt a great sense of pride in themselves about completing a project of this scale. One student shared that he couldn't have done it without Ms. Ji's help.  I totally agree with him.  Thanks to Ms. Ji, we were able to successfully complete this project and celebrate it all together by watching the video she made for the class even though we were at a distance.

- Rebecca Van Vranken, Justice HS

Kristen Mattix – Kilmer MS

  • I would like to recognize Ms. Mattix for her numerous efforts of going above and beyond during distance learning. Ms. Mattix has offered to meet with my child on numerous occasions to help him complete his lab packets. She not only offers her office hours but makes herself available whatever time is best for us. She has gone so far as to offer her personal cell phone number to reach out if my child has any struggles. She emails to follow up when he wasn't able to attend scheduled office hours and emails just to check in on him randomly as she knows distance learning has been a struggle for him. I'm grateful for this kind of genuine concern and support and I have been amazed at how good she is at helping each child on an individual level as well as in a group setting in the classroom. She has stated that helping kids learn is why she became a teacher and she wants to help. I must add that she also has an elementary school child at home that she is also helping to be successful and they have a very demanding schedule, but Ms. Mattix seems to have such great management skills that she is able to help so many on so many different levels. I cannot thank her enough for helping me through all of this distance learning because without her my son would not look forward to Science and attacking the packet as he does so seamlessly with her help (along with Ms. Zemaitis). My experience with her has been one that you really expect to have from a teacher who was destined to teach and has a heart of gold. I want to recognize her for her efforts.

Region 3

Lynda Rupp – Washington Mill ES

  • As our SBTS, Lynda has been instrumental in training our 3rd Grade Team on how to use Blackboard Collaborate Ultra.  Because of her tireless effort, we have been able to use so many features with our students (polling, raising hands buttons, breakout groups, etc.) that the Online Classroom really mimics our in-person classrooms. Our team, and the whole school, have Lynda to thank for successful LIVE classroom sessions that connect us

- Brenna Hovey, Washington Mill ES

  • Lynda has always been willing to help me (anyone) with technology problems/questions. Thanks to her, I have taken google classroom classes and already had my classroom up and running before this whole pandemic thing happened. She has been "ON" for the last 8 weeks, working nonstop, attending all our CLT meetings, and leading us through this technology-based distance learning. She is amazing and I nominate her for this recognition. During this entire Distance Learning experience, Lynda Rupp has proven herself to be an invaluable source of information, problem-solving, and ever-present help.  She goes above and beyond by being available to staff whenever she is needed, answering countless emails, and joining CLT meetings to explain, demonstrate, and share various tools, applications, and programs. She has been able to maintain her composure and level head during virtual staff meetings where questions are flying and she is the only person who is able to answer them.  We have always been lucky to have Lynda Rupp on our staff, but never more than during Distance Learning!

- Carolyn Strittmatter, Washington Mill ES

  • Mrs. Rupp is our school SBTS.  Every change and challenge that has come with the transition to distance learning, Mrs. Rupp has handled with grace and kindness.  Each step of the way, Mrs. Rupp has considered what needs to be done in order to ensure the teachers and students are supported and have the tools and information they need.  For hours on end, she met with teachers and students to walk them through the necessary steps to set up and join classrooms.  She made herself available for office hours daily and always joined CLT sessions and meetings with a smile and a helpful piece of advice. Prior to distance learning, Mrs. Rupp was a crucial member of our school team and worked to ensure everyone in our building had an understanding of the digital tools that would be helpful to them at each turn.  Distance learning has simply solidified even more deeply what we already knew and appreciated about Mrs. Rupp - She is always there and willing to go above and beyond to ensure teachers are supported and students are receiving the best education possible.  Thank you, Mrs. Rupp, for your undying support and perseverance throughout every challenge that comes our way.  You are the best!

- Amy A. Willis, Washington Mill ES

  • Although 5/6/2020 is the date I included, Lynda Rupp (school SBTS) has going above and beyond since we left school back in March. Lynda has spent countless hours preparing all teachers and staff for distance learning. She provided school-wide professional development as well as attended every grade's CLT and individual sessions to help teachers feel prepared. She created  Blackboard pages for every team and made sure that every teacher had their own site and guest link in the beginning. As the county shifted away from guest links, Lynda transitioned with grace and ease to prepare our teachers for the next phase of distance learning. Lynda has not once complained during this entire process. I couldn't be more proud to call Lynda my colleague. She has truly gone above and beyond during this challenging time for all. Washington Mill wouldn't be in the great place we are in without her support, encouragement, and guidance. Thank you, Lynda!!

- Chelsea Bruno, Washington Mill ES

  • Lynda is an amazing person and an extremely skilled SBTS. She is so very kind and patient and always willing to help anyone, anytime with technology questions big and small, She has truly been our rock through all the challenges of teaching in general and especially now with Distance Learning. I can't imagine working without this lady!!

- Cassandra Kenney, Washington Mill ES

  • Mrs. Rupp has been absolutely invaluable to our distance-learning efforts since the very day we began this new platform. She worked all hours of the day and night to bring us the most useful and pertinent information in the most efficient way possible. She was and continues to remain supportive, positive, and patient will all of the staff at our school, from the novices to the most experienced users.  We can count on Lynda to help us through ANY tech issue, and to do so with a smile. Lynda deserves to be recognized for her monumental efforts to get our whole school up and running for distance learning!

- Melissa Pascoe, Washington Mill ES

  • Lynda has spent countless hours working on our distance learning plan with admin and with the grade level teams.  She showed infinite flexibility throughout.  She has been patient with all of the staff who have gaps in their understanding of technology and has differentiated for those who had a better understanding.

- Ann McMichael, Washington Mill ES

  • Lynda is an amazing colleague.  She is our school-based technology specialist.  She has worked tirelessly throughout the distance learning roll out to facilitate the implementation the digital learning process.

- Sharon Reilly, Washington Mill ES

Arlyncia Pina – Franconia ES

  • Mrs. Pina has been such a wonderful teacher throughout the online learning experience. When the schools were shut down, Mrs. Pina did not wait to check on her third-grade students to ensure they were doing well.  At first, it was her reading aloud posted on Class Dojo. Then she facilitated lunch bunch meetings which gave much needed online meetings with students. It also helped her students become more familiar with the collaborative application.  My daughter loved these sessions and from then on would ask daily if there was one that day. Once online learning began, she effectively communicated expectations with parents and students. She was ready to go on day one and has not stopped. The website she and the other third grade teachers put together has many optional activities for the students as well as materials that meet the standards for third grade. Throughout quarantine, Mrs. Pina has ensured that her students continue to learn so they will be well prepared for fourth grade.

- a  Franconia ES Parent

Annalee Schnebele – Hayfield SS

  • Our librarian, Annalee Schnebele, has regularly helped our history teachers gather resources to share with students (databases, hard copy books, copies of images, etc.). In addition, Annalee has created 2 powerful google sites for our students. We implemented the first google site while we were still having classes in the building.  Students were able to explore the Harlem Renaissance on their own by listening to music and poetry readings, watching videos of jazz performances, and studying paintings at a Harlem Renaissance link.  While we have been distance learning, Annalee has created another google site based on our post World War 2 Civil Rights movement curriculum.  Annalee's creative work has been incredibly helpful to our history teachers and has produced enjoyable learning experiences for Hayfield students.

- Margaret Coutrue, Hayfield SS

Region 4

Anna Cooper – Cardinal Forest ES

  • Ms. Cooper is a first-year special education teacher who has supported students in my classroom all year long. During this time of distance learning, she has supported the entire team of teachers which has helped to benefit all of the fourth-grade students.  She is very knowledgeable about Google and is so patient with supporting us with our many questions. She also offers to translate important information for our Spanish speaking families.  She consistently is thinking about how we can make the materials we are posting accessible for all of our learners. Ms. Cooper has created so many engaging lessons and has a love of learning. She has been a true leader in helping us be successful all year and has truly been our guiding light during this time of distance learning! We really appreciate all of her hard work and dedication to the students, families, and teachers.

- Brooke Nye, Cardinal Forest ES

  • Anna Cooper is a 4th-grade special education teacher.  She prepares detailed, engaging, and interactive lessons for her students each week.  She is also meeting with them daily for small groups.  In addition, Ms. Cooper has helped every student in 4th grade with the organized Google slides and engaging lessons that she has created for our entire grade level.  She works extremely hard every week to create innovative, technology-enhanced lessons for our students.  She is so valuable to our team and her hard work is very much appreciated!

- Rebecca Smith, Cardinal Forest ES

Jessica Wheaton – Fairview ES

  • Our child has had a very tough time with the COVID transition. He has been having panic attacks, been very upset, and all in all been miserable. Mrs. Wheaton's daily check-ins with her class have been a huge help. During morning meeting she gave all the kids a choice of three faces (smile, straight mouthed, and frown) our child indicated that he was a frown. She made sure that she heard from him during the online lesson and then immediately after she emailed to ask to meet with him later in the day.  She got online with him and he told her about his nightly panic attacks, how sad he was to miss his friends, etc. By the end of the call, he was happily sharing some fun things he had been doing at home and seemed much happier. Throughout the year she has made sure to keep an eye on academic and social-emotional growth for our child and I am amazed at her ability to continue to do so during the first few crazy weeks of distance learning.

- a Fairview ES Parent

Claudia Dieguez, Emily Gardiner, Marcia Salgado – Lake Braddock SS

  • Claudia, Emily and Marcia, I speak for all of us when I say how very thankful we are to each one of you for your continued heroic efforts at reaching every single Spanish speaking family whose child is faced with challenges and obstacles at this time.  Not only are you determined and persistent in making contact with parents, but you are also kind and honest in your approach when speaking with them about how important it is (to us) that their child is safe, healthy, and successful. You are relentless in ensuring that students have the necessary materials, equipment and support to engage in their own learning. You genuinely care about their well-being and are quick to find the proper supports as needed. You reach out to Admin, counselors, SOSA, teachers, whoever the students support team is when we don’t hear from them nor do they attend synchronous classes for an extended period of time. It does not matter the time of day or the day of the week, you won’t stop until we’ve made contact with students and/or their parents. Working around the clock, seven days a week, weekends, early mornings, evenings! Always making yourself available for parents and students when convenient for them since so many continue to work 40+ hour weeks outside their home. From home visits to job-site visits to meeting students and parents at school, in virtual classroom conferences, phone conferences, you name it, Claudia, Emily, and Marcia, you’re the BEST for doing whatever it takes!

- Amy Soos, Lake Braddock SS

Region 5

Laura Muscar – Deer Park ES 

  • Throughout this stressful time, Mrs. Muscar (and Mrs. Ohr) has gone above and beyond to stay connected to her kindergarten class.  She has left chalk messages on our driveway, arranged online play dates for the kids in class, and has read bedtime stories to the class!  She dropped off special Mother’s Day gifts the kids were working on before school ended and through all of this really has shown compassion and empathy for the students. She has been willing to provide tips on how I can help my son at home with his schoolwork and gone above and beyond in providing resources. It is clear she has a passion for the students and we are lucky to have had her this year for kindergarten!

- a Deer Park ES Parent

Faiza Alam – Lanier MS

  • When Ms. Alam found out one of her students is cutting grass during the day to earn money for his family, she offered to help in other ways. She meets online with him later into the evening to accommodate for this student who is helping as mom and dad struggle to meet the economic needs. Recorded classes have helped, but live interaction trumps it all! Thank you to Ms. Alam.

- Tammy Hanna, Lanier MS

Hailey Colman – Mantua ES

  • Ms. Colman is an IA for my daughter's kindergarten class.  She has played a leading role for the class during this timeframe as the lead teacher just had a baby and Ms. Coleman is finishing up her BA at Mason this summer. Ms. Colman has gone above and beyond. Her classes have been dynamic and engaging.  She is written cards to students, sent fun pictures, writes encouraging emails to individual kids.  She does a weekly virtual field trip with the kids. So far they have been to a zoo, a chocolate factory, the Kennedy Space Center and more.  With three kids, I now have sat in on a lot of virtual classes now. I can tell you she's above average. The kids respond. She's doing a great job.

- a Mantua ES Parent

Other FCPS Cares of the Month Recipients

Katherine Naughton, Justice HS

"Kathe has offered and given her time to support our WL department, our French CT, and personally has given freely her time to guide and edit my graduate work always willing to go above and beyond.  She also offered to pack my classroom since my husband was ill."

-  Elizabeth Buffenbarger, Justice HS

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Joshua DeSmyter, Shrevewood ES

"Mr. DeSmyter has brought such enthusiasm to his first year as principal at Shrevewood ES.  It has been clear that he truly loves his work and wants to make a positive impact on the school community.  He has also worked hard to form a genuine partnership with the PTA in order to bring about positive change. Even with the challenges of the COVID pandemic and school closure, Mr. DeSmyter's positive leadership continued on."

- a Shrevewood ES Parent

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Jeannette Little, Mount Vernon Woods ES

"Ms. Little is our parent liaison and works tirelessly to ensure that families have their basic needs met. She also ensure they have what they need to support learning including helping families with low cost or free internet services, Lately, she has added to this by working with the Guatemalan NGO to secure funds for two of our students who were born in Guatemala. Each student’s family will receive a check for $250 to help out during this pandemic.  Thank you Jeannette for always doing all you can to support the needs of our families."

- Pamela Cherry, Mount Vernon Woods ES

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Khalaf Daoud,  Falls Church HS

"I would like to recognize Mr. Khalaf Daoud for being an amazing custodian at Falls Church high school. He is a natural problem solver, and proactively helps others around him. When I had personal medical issues during the shelter-in-place, he reached out to me numerous times to check in on my condition and to offer help in any way he can. I appreciate Mr. Daoud deeply.  I am retiring this year, but his selfless gestures will be forever cherished."

- Chae Hyok Yi, Falls Church HS

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Graham Beaber, South County HS

"Mr. Beaber has worked with our son in different capacities from the beginning of the year. During this "virtual learning experiment” he has been an amazing resource. He is now referred to in our house as the “virtual wizard”. He has been able to teach our son how to use the technology available to get to his virtual class and then complete his assignments. He painstakingly breaks the process down step by step and is super patient while our son fumbles through several attempts until he gets it right. They share screens and he directs him where to move his mouse and where to click. He made step by step instruction sheets for the skills that we could follow throughout the week. And he even made a skills video that we watched at least 10 times. Please give this man a raise but don't you dare take him away from this program."

- a South County HS Parent

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Nicole Abba, Chantilly HS

"I would like to thank Ms. Abba for all she has done for us students. She is an amazing teacher and she really cares about her students and their success. Every day, I have always looked forward to going to her class - it was the highlight of my day. She is such an enthusiastic teacher and she is the only teacher I have that seems to be really experienced and excited about the subject she teaches. During distance learning, she has been really helpful because she leaves comments on our assignments to let us know how we did. She also gives us lots of time and opportunities to make up assignments. She truly is the best teacher ever and I can't thank her enough for all she has done. I feel very lucky to have had her as a teacher this year."

- a Chantilly HS Student

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Vered Grossman, Fairview ES

"We recently had the opportunity to witness the kindness and effort our son expressed Ms. Grossman continually puts into her classes. Not only did she go to all efforts ensuring all children attending the virtual sessions understand the art lesson, she stayed on well after the class ended to allow each student an opportunity to share their special creations. She gave suggestions and helped boost each of their self esteems as they nervously shared their personal drawings with the class. Her overall demeanor and thoughtful actions truly made a difference. It was so clear why the children, especially our son, loves going to art class. She creates a welcoming environment and continually goes above and beyond to make each and every student feel special. We cannot say enough great things about her and cannot think of a better recipient of this recognition."

- a Fairview ES Parent

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Floyd, Shannon, Navy ES

"I’m 66years old custodian lady and retiring at June 12. I got emails several times from Ms. Shannon Floyd who is 4th grade teacher of Navy elementary school. “Please let me know if you need anything. I can go to the store if you need, and bring the things by your house.”  She always respect to all of colleagues with warm words."

- Kwangok Yi, Navy ES

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Taif Yas, Fairfax Villa ES


"Taif Yas has been my ongoing interpreter with the family of one of my students since FCPS began providing distance learning.  His professionalism and personal interest in making sure that my student and family continued to receive educational support has enabled me to develop a stronger bond with the family. It has given them the comfort level to ask questions, seek assistance, and follow up on the weekly lesson packets sent by FCPS and individualized by me for my student.  The family has faithfully followed all suggestions and asked for more ideas and support, which we have been able to do with Taif's excellent interpretation. In addition Taif has helped me personally understand cultural norms which has strengthened my connections and professional development. I am looking forward to partnering with Taif again as we have developed a strong working relationship which as benefited everyone involved."

-  Philippa G. van Gelder-Hindman, Fairfax Villa ES

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Diana De Jesus-Brent, Centreville HS

"Diana cares so much about her students.  We had a student in danger of failing to graduate and she worked well into the night to call and text the student, the parents and even relatives and friends of the student to get complete the necessary work to graduate.  This student graduated because of Diana's efforts!"


- Anthony Hanrahan, Centreville HS

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Josh DeSmyter, Shrevewood ES

"Josh DeSmyter has been steadfast in constantly moving our school forward and now more than ever he showing that he is committed to not slowing down as we head into summer break. It is important to me to share that he is working as hard as ever and probably even more so to make sure that we are ending the school year on a very positive note. Some examples of this: his staff are continuing to plan the traditional end of school beloved events, such as a virtual field day and the 6th grade moving-up ceremony that shows our families that these special moments will not be forgotten even though we have to be apart, we can still be together. I am very thankful for Josh's leadership this year, especially during this great time of uncertainty."

- a Shrevewood ES Parent

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Susan Hawn, Great Falls ES

"As we come to the end of the most crazy school year that I have ever experienced (and I say this having also been a student in Fairfax County K - 12), I would like to take a moment to express my appreciation for the support that Mrs. Hawn has provided to both myself and my son over the duration this year as our Special Education Resource. Her level of support and dedication has made what could have been an incredibly stressful year, into one that has been overall positive. Her caring and positivity when interacting with my son has really helped him be more positive about school this year. Historically we have a great start to the year and then lots of regression to the point he just almost gives up on working. Due to her work, we have not experienced this all too familiar pattern. Even prior to the Covid-19 - Mrs. Hawn was there to ensure my son felt comfortable returning to school after an illness, and didn't end up too far behind academically. She kept him engaged in the class and on task so he completed most of his assignments on time with hardly any extra assigned homework.
After we all had the unprecedented turn of events with the distance learning, Mrs. Hawn didn't miss a beat - she established a daily lunch bunch with a variety of guests who my son has enjoyed keeping in touch with. Once we realized that my son was getting distracted during the online teacher sessions, Mrs. Hawn offered to chat with him via private chat in Google classroom to ask him questions about the topic and keep him focused. This has been a lifesaver since it gets him engaged again and allows me to continue to work from home. My son thrives best with an anticipated schedule, and this spring has thrown his, and all of our, schedules out the window. However, with the continued support of Mrs. Hawn he is handling all this change much better than I thought he would. Her non-judgmental attitude and positive approach has been so wonderful. I truly feel that she has been a partner with me this year and instrumental to my son's success."

- a Great Falls ES Parent

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Ian Brodie, Lake Braddock SS

"Ian Brodie demonstrated compassion, thoughtfulness and a keen understanding of teenage emotional development during a challenging period the entirety of last school year for our son.  He helped us as parents, and helped our son, by offering his office as a Safe Space to be when he needed one, without being overbearing or authoritative which would have further alienated our teenager.  He knew how to draw him in, rather than further push him away.  He exhibited love, patience and wisdom in all his advice and efforts. We need more Ian Brodies in the world.  He is truly a gem."

- Lake Braddock SS Parent

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Megan Toland, Laurel Ridge ES

"Our family has had a tough couple of years and we couldn’t be more pleased to been given the gift of Megan Toland for our son’s 4th grade teacher this year. Our son feels this has been his best year of school ever, credits his amazing teacher, and is so sad that the year was cut short by COVID. Megan, thank you for treating us so well and, most importantly, making our son so happy."

- a  Laurel Ridge ES Parent

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Jason Pensler, Bull Run ES

"I wanted to thank Mr. Pensler, our school principal, for his nightly and engaging Facebook Live BULL-time Story time. This simple gesture has been a great way to keep our community together during this time of Distance Learning. If you haven’t tuned in, you’re missing out! You’ll even learn a few new reading strategies! Thanks again for your time and dedication to our community!"

- Chris Costanza, Bull Run ES

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Julie Green, Lake Braddock SS

"My daughter is in Ms. Green's 7th grade honors math class and she has LOVED having her as a teacher. She has sometimes struggled with math, but Ms. Green put her at ease from day 1. Math is now her favorite class! I will also say that her back to school night presentation was BY FAR the best and most informative. She has a warm but competent presence about her, and I can see why my daughter likes her so much. This is a part of what she wrote to her for teacher appreciation: "Mrs. Green, I wanted to let you know what a great teacher you are. You explain my MANY questions thoroughly. You're my favorite teacher out of all of mine, and I ALWAYS looked forward to going to your class. I enjoy the kahoots you make (especially when you would secretly join... and win), coloring pictures with equations, fun projects (selfie-ometry, and fall equation project, and the colorful terms project), math games like the amazing race, and the homework passes you give out. And you knew how to discipline people and keep your classroom straight. I wish I could've spent the rest of the year in your class but that's not the case."  To have math go from her least favorite subject to her favorite is a real testament to Ms Green. I'm so thankful she's at Lake Braddock!"

- a Lake Braddock SS Parent

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Philip Jeffers, Sprague Technology Center

"Philip assisted with my Adobe DC license to ensure the software was working properly on both my desktop and laptop.  When there were issues that could not be resolved after several tries, he took the extra time to contact Adobe and find a fix for my unusual situation.  He was patient and did not give up!!  Philip has always been top of his game as our department TSSpec. Much appreciation."

- Jean Welsh, Sprague Technology Center

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Kate Beckner, Clearview ES

"Ms. Beckner is an assistant principal who has a gone above and beyond for my family and for myself. She has helped me so much in this crisis with food, Gift cards and she even helped me get my son a laptop so he can study."

- a Clearview ES Parent

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Maya Masters, Navy ES

"Mrs. Masters has gone above and beyond during FCPS virtual learning.  We have received hand written letters to encourage her students, she has shared fun recipes she has tried out on FlipGrid with the class and has remained attentive to the individual demands of her students. I have been impressed with her hard work and commitment to excellence the entire school year, but have been moved by her passion for teaching during this challenging time for us all. She is in the process of moving this week and she has not skipped a beat. Her enthusiasm and love shines bright every day.  Our family is beyond grateful for all that she has done for our child and I know there are so many other parents in the class who sing her praises! We will miss you Mrs. Masters!"

- a Navy ES Parent

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Meredith Lee, Frost MS

"Meredith Lee has been such a leader an amazing collaborator and resource during this time of distance learning.  She has stepped up with fun and creative ideas such as a virtual showcase for all performing arts students to participate in. She meets with all her classes during offices hours and plays fun games to put a smile on their faces. Meredith has went above and beyond to make her distance learning lessons creative and exciting, all while teaching her own kids at home. She is an excellent candidate to represent FCPS Cares. Thank you Meredith for all that you do it is an honor to work with you!"

- Samantha Jalajel, Frost MS

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Ana Maxey, Mason Crest ES

"Es interesante destacar que hace casi cinco años, la señora Ana Maxey nos ayudado desde que mi esposa se enfermó. Ella tiene un cancer muy malo. A consecuencia delo resultados me estrés mucho. Me dejo totalmente sordo. Ella me ayudo para Conseguir audifonos para mis oidos y poder escuchar normalmente y volver a mi trabajo. Pero durante el inicio de la enfermedad de mi esposa, estuve cuatro meses sin trabajar por mi desestabilización. Ella nos ayudo incansablemente a conseguir alimentos y artículos necesario para mis dos hijas. Hasta ahora ella siempre está preocupada y ayudándonos, estamos profundamente agradecidos por su constante labor desinteresado. Esto nos ayudado a combatir este episodio tan largo gracias infinito a la señora Ana Maxey y los autoridades que la contrataron a ella por su tan vocación especial por las personas. Mi esposa e hijas y yo está profundamente Agradecidos por ayudarnos a llevar esta terrible carga. Muchas gracias señora Ana Maxey."

Translation:  It is interesting to note that almost five years ago, Mrs. Ana Maxey helped us since my wife became ill. She has very bad cancer. As a result of the results I was very stressed. I am totally deaf. She helped me to get earphones for my ears and to be able to listen normally and go back to work. But during the start of my wife's illness, I went four months without work due to my destabilization. She tirelessly helped us get food and supplies for my two daughters. So far she is always concerned and helping us, we are deeply grateful for her constant selfless work. This helped us combat this long episode thanks infinitely to Mrs. Ana Maxey and the authorities who hired her for her very special vocation for people. My wife and daughters and I are deeply grateful for helping us carry this terrible burden. Thank you very much Mrs. Ana Maxey.

- a Mason Crest ES Parent

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Kazmier Bucklen, Columbia ES
 
"Kassie has taken the long term sub position in the PAC classroom at Columbia Elementary.  She continues to work hard and collaborates with other teachers during distant learning. She cares greatly for her students, their families and makes all efforts to assist them during this challenging time."

- Courtney Wolfson, Willow Oaks

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Kim Jones, Plum Center
 
"Mrs. Jones is always so patient with our learners. I would like to recognize Mrs. Jones for this particular instance:  We had been working trying to get a Senior engaged since March. At my request, Mrs. Jones repeatedly e-mailed the student the codes. The penultimate day for Seniors, the student finally reached out and wanted to engage. Mrs. Jones was kind, patient, positive and sent the student the materials that she needed to access the course virtually. Thank you Mrs. Jones!"

- Kerri Kirk, Plum Center

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Jeffrey Root, Woodson HS
 
"Due to online learning our son struggled to keep up without a text book in Geosystems. Mr. Root went out of his way to bring a textbook to our home. (Social distancing was strictly followed). Our son was glad to see him and happy to have a textbook for studies."

- a Woodson HS Parent

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Rachel Rubio, Frost MS

"Ms. Rubio, a special education teacher at Frost Middle School is one of the most dedicated case-managers I've ever worked with. Ms. Rubio consistently follows up with all of the teachers, related-service providers, and administration regarding how her students are doing academically and social-emotionally. Ms. Rubio asks strategic questions and seeks input to ensure all of her students receive a high quality and rigorous education with the right accommodations. Ms. Rubio also worked tirelessly on implementing our behavior data collection system this year. I am proud to work with such a knowledgeable, equity focused, and students-first professional educator."

- Alexander Lantis, Frost MS

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Heather Shue, Frost MS

"Ms. Shue always goes above and beyond in supporting fellow special education teachers when they have questions or need assistance with anything related to special education. Ms. Shue always strives to respond to my questions with kindness and professionalism. Additionally, Ms. Shue writes exceptional present levels of performance narratives for science that allow the IEP teams to meticulously analyze the needs of the students and allocate effective data-based services to the student. Frost is fortunate to have such a caring and collaborative science teacher."

- Alexander Lantis, Frost MS

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Gabe Segal, Sleepy Hollow ES

"I just wanted to quickly share what Mr. Segal has done for our community. Earlier this month, Mr. Segal donated $250 to the PTA and paid off our schools lunch debt totaling over $600. Not only is he a great role model for the students but he puts the students first. He has helped so many families during these tough times. Thank you so much Mr. Segal."

- a Sleepy Hollow ES Parent

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Will Gibson, Woodley Hills ES

"Will is our SBTS, and he has been a rock for our school community throughout our distance learning adventures! He has been knowledgeable, patient, and supportive as we all navigate our new reality. We are so lucky to have Will to guide and support us, no matter where we are in our tech journey and what we need next in order to always continue to be better for our students!"

-  Melissa Tisnado, Woodley Hills ES

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Grace Rubright, Woodley Hills ES

"Grace, a 5th grade teacher at Woodley Hills Elementary School, has helped make distance learning come alive not only for her own students, but also for her colleagues, so that we can ALL do a better job of reaching our students in this new learning environment. Grace has a lot of experience with online learning, and she has spent a lot of time making videos and creating professional development to share her ideas with colleagues. She has helped us learn to set up online learning environments and make them interactive for students, in both synchronous and asynchronous ways. She has also made videos for students and families on how to access and utilize the platforms. We appreciate the time and effort Grace has spent sharing her knowledge not only with her own students, but with our entire school community."

-  Melissa Tisnado, Woodley Hills ES

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Paula Gutierrez, Greenbriar East ES

"She is an amazing teacher throughout this Distance Learning. Parents have been receiving email communications regularly about the child's assignments along with expectations regarding the school work. She works on weekends to check the children assignments and provide timely feedback. Her assignments are relevant and fun for the children. Personally, she has helped my son's reading fluency improve drastically along with his confidence to answer questions during virtual learning. I believe she needs recognition for being innovative and dynamic during this time. The children will not be behind in schoolwork and will be ready for 4th grade."

- a Greenbriar East ES Parent

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Kristen Mattix, Kilmer MS

"I would like to recognize Ms. Mattix for her numerous efforts of going above and beyond during distance learning. Ms. Mattix has offered to meet with my child on numerous occasions to help him complete his lab packets. She not only offers her office hours, but makes herself available whatever time is best for us. She has gone so far as to offer her personal cell phone number to reach out if my child has any struggles. She emails to follow up when he wasn't able to attend scheduled office hours and emails just to check in on him randomly as she knows distance learning has been a struggle for him. I'm grateful this kind of genuine concern and support and I have been amazed at how good she is at helping each child on an individual level as well as in a group setting in the classroom. She has stated that helping kids learn is why she became a teacher and she wants to help. I must add that she also has an elementary school child at home that she is also helping to be successful and they have a very demanding schedule, but Ms. Mattix seems to have such great management skills that she is able help so many on so many different levels. I cannot thank her enough for helping me through all of this distance learning because without her my son would not look forward to Science and attacking the packet as he does so seamlessly with her help (along with Ms. Zemaitis). My experience with her has been one that you really expect to have from a teacher who was destined to teach and has a heart of gold. I want to recognize her for her efforts."

- a Kilmer MS Parent

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Laura L Osborne, Oakton HS

"Ms. Osborne sent out a 3rd notice to remind us that the Econ & Personal Finance Registration deadline date is soon.  This is very important because if we don't register by the deadline for this class, Ms. Osborne would have to remove an elective class from my daughter's schedule and place her in this class during the school year.  I am so glad  Ms. Osborne kept track of the students that had not yet registered for this class.  My daughter is definitely looking forward to taking her elective during the school year. Ms. Osborne's friendly reminders were not a bother at all.  I am so glad and thankful that she cares about her students enough to keep track of this one class when I know that Ms.Osborne has many items on her plate, especially at a challenging time with the COVID-19. Ms. Osborne we care so much about you and are so thankful for you!"

- an Oakton HS Parent

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Jennifer Condra, Louise Archer ES

"Jennifer is our AP and she has truly done a tremendous job at helping our teachers, staff and families navigate all aspects of distance learning. Jennifer is an amazing teammate and I am grateful to work beside her!  Thank you, Jennifer!"

- Lauren Lipton, Louise Archer ES

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Michelle Makrigiorgos, Louise Archer ES

"Michelle is an extraordinary leader and I am so grateful to work beside her. She helps our teachers and staff adapt and thrive as she guides our instruction to ensure distance learning is a success at Archer. Thank you for all of your hard work!!!"

- Lauren Lipton, Louise Archer ES

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Edward Windhausen, Rose Hill ES

"During Distance Learning, a parent contacted Mr. Windhausen (teacher and case manager for student) to help bring an FCPS-wheelchair back to school or warehouse. The family lives in an apartment and space is limited. After contacting me to inquire about access to the warehouse, Mr. Windhausen took the initiative to pick up the wheelchair from outside the family's residence, maintaining social distance and health guidelines.  He made arrangements to store the wheelchair in the school shed to be available when school re-opens. Not only did he go above and beyond to assist the family during this time, but he was also securing FCPS propety."

- Loan Nguyen, Willow Oaks

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Ha Nguyen, Garfield ES

"My son's  teacher has been amazing since Covid-19 started, by calling parents over the weekend and late nights to keep us updated on what to do and what should be seen every week, motivating our kids to participate in class or now online classes. Outstanding teacher."

- a Garfield ES Parent

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Jennifer Quadri, Canterbury Woods ES

"My child is in Jennifer Quadri's second grade class. It had been a reasonably good experience before the start of distance learning, but what really made Mrs. Quadri stand out was the distance learning experience. Mrs. Quadri has managed to take an experience that could have been anything from terrible to lackluster and make it positive learning. She, along with her team teacher in second grade at CWES, has provided meaningful learning experiences since the start of distance learning no matter what the challenges. At the dinner table when sharing our favorite experiences of each day, my child has regularly mentioned things she learned from Mrs. Quadri's math sessions. My child has written engaging stories and non-fiction pieces that have challenged her. She has learned new math skills (ex: 3D shapes and probability) that she wouldn't have learned without the Google Slides and synchronous lessons. Despite the fact that second graders didn't use Google Classroom very much, Mrs. Quadri has skillfully provided assignments and feedback in a way my child can mostly access on her own. I've been incredibly impressed by her pivot to distance learning and can only wish other FCPS families such skilled teachers. Mrs. Quadri has also made sure kids feel connected and seen by their teacher during this time."

- a Canterbury Woods ES Parent

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Jennifer Knox, Willow Oaks

"Ms.Knox has a gift and makes all of us at IAS feel taken care of, respected and appreciated.  Not once during our school closer over 10 weeks now have I felt like she didn't have our back.  Ms. Knox cares deeply and is very passionate about the staff and students in our program.  I thrive because I am working in a program (lead by Ms. Knox) that gets our kids and all of their special circumstances. Ms. Knox does not always make things comfortable, but that is a good thing it get us out of our comfort zone and grow because of it."

- Ann Gary, TSRC

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Heather Galiano, Waples Mill ES

"Mrs. Galiano is a kindergarten teacher at Waples Mill Elementary School.  Since the school closure on 3/13, she has been emailing parents additional activities and videos of her reading books to keep children engaged during the time that fcps distance learning was not available yet.  She sent weekly pictures to every child in class to let them know that she thinks of them and to encourage continuous learning.  She has gone above and beyond to help students and parents through this challenging time.  She has help families and children more than a teacher can.  We can not thank her enough for her dedication and her passion to education."

- a Waples Mill ES Parent

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Tanya Vila, Willow Springs ES

"Mrs Vila has done an exceptional job with distance learning. My son enjoys the virtual sessions and the projects offline. She is warm, caring and didn’t miss a beat as we transitioned to the new normal. Mrs Vila is a role model for teachers and we’re SO happy she works with our son."

- a Willow Springs ES Parent

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Meybel Ostorga, Lees Corner ES

"I'm a FCPS bus driver delivering food for the week of 5/18 to 5/22 and want to commend my co-worker who is on the bus every day, having to deal with a new driver each week. Her name is Meybel Ostorga, she is a manager with FCPS food service. Our bus alone delivers 650 to 700 meals per day and Meybel is amazing at keeping it all organized and running smoothly, as well as, developing relationships with the community and making everyone receiving food feel very comfortable. She is a Great Representative of how FCPS cares about our kids and their families."

- Mark Henderson, Stonecroft Transportation

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Miriam Clay, Pulley Career Center

"Ms. Clay has been a model PHTA demonstrating skills essential to supporting students and classroom instruction throughout the school closure and Distance Learning. She has been flexible and patient as we navigated the best system for our special education students. Ms. Clay has been present, engaging and supportive to our students. Thank you Ms. Clay!"

- Melissa Bindocci, Pulley Career Center

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Laura Spage, Laurel Ridge ES

"Mrs. Spage builds positive relationships with students and families through excellent communication via the "Spage Page" emails, handwritten notes, and personal phone calls. When schools closed in March, Mrs. Spage invited her 5th grade students to write and mail letters to her home address.  Mrs. Spage took the time and care to write and send heartfelt reply cards to each and every student.  Mrs. Spage artfully balances delivering well-planned academic instruction and fostering a caring community for all students.  During Distance Learning, Mrs. Spage has continued to engage and inspire students, while keeping families up-to-date.  We are thankful for Mrs. Spage's insightful ways - she is truly remarkable!"

- Alexia Small, Laurel Ridge ES

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Julie Moore, Lake Braddock SS

"My mom, Julie Moore, is an administrative assistant at Lake Braddock SS, my former high school. I see her going above and beyond every day to make the transition to online schooling go as smoothly as possible for everyone. So many things that happen at Lake Braddock wouldn't be possible without all the work she puts in every single day. On top of all that, she still makes time to be an amazing mom. You go mom!"

-Beth Moore, former Lake Braddock SS student

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Maura Donahue, Hunt Valley ES

"Ms. Donahue is one of the best school administrators I have ever encountered. For "date of experience", I could enter dozens of days. I have three children attending HVES. Whether I'm in contact with her because one of them was injured, being disciplined or I have a concern about the way a teacher handled an issue, she always seems to address the matter in a way that brings resolution and makes all parties feel heard. That's an exceptional talent and we really appreciate her work."

- a Hunt Valley ES Parent

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Gabe Segal, Sleepy Hollow ES

"Mr. Segal is a great role model for our community. I learned that Mr. Segal donated money to our PTA and paid off the school's lunch debt. Thank you Mr. Segal for helping the families in our community!  He always puts the students first. Mr.Segal is always upbeat and the kids love him. His mentoring program has been excellent for the students!  Mr. Segal has been checking in with the students in his mentor group and with students who need extra support. He is an excellent example of someone who cares about the students and has gone above and beyond to support students during these unique times."

- a Sleepy Hollow ES Parent

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Ileana Garcia, TSRC Fairfax

"Ms. Garcia has spent countless hours translating messages, assignments and news that we need our Spanish speaking students to receive.  Ms. Garcia is kind, loving and hard working. The students all trust Ms. Garcia and are more confident because of her.  Ms. Garcia helps our student and their families, provides assistance and hope to all of our kids not just the Spanish speaking kids.  Ms. Garcia has taught me a lot when it comes to helping others....her motto is Teach them to fish...not just hand them the fish.  Ms. Garcia is an asset  to our site."

- Ann Gary, TSRC Fairfax

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Michele Meshover & Katie Burns, Cardinal Forest ES

"I cannot say enough good things about the Tech Team at Cardinal Forest Elementary School and how they were able to set up our entire school for success in virtual learning and teaching . Katie worked tirelessly to get devices out to the community, she proactively sends emails to the staff about updates and foreseeable issues and how to combat them. Michele was attending early morning meetings and then would go right into training staff all day everyday. They were both so responsive to our cries for help and the influx of panic emails we sent them. In a confusing and stressful time, they were communicative, knowledgeable, enthusiastic and patient. I have such a deep appreciation for what they did to help our school succeed."

- Christina Roehm, Cardinal Forest ES

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Lucia Ortiz, Cardinal Forest ES

"For the last several weeks, my teammate, Lucia, has been going above and beyond. Outside of the scope of taking care of her students' and families' needs, she has also taken on as interpreter for our entire team's Spanish speaking population. She has helped translate documents and email, made kid videos in Spanish so families can join in the fun and made countless same day phone calls to make sure families have correct information and to check in to make sure they are healthy and safe. She has been such a ray of sunshine through this new normal, I can't thank her enough for all she has done."

- Christina Roehm, Cardinal Forest ES

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Matthew Bower, Frost MS

"My seventh grade son had been unable to get into Blackboard for over a week and was frustrated that he would enter the password he knew was correct, yet receive a message telling him it was incorrect.  He therefore could not do several assignments, which added additional frustration and it was unclear to us how to go about getting assistance.  My son reached out to his history teacher, Mr. Bower, to ask for help.  Mr. Bower responded to the e-mail within minutes, looked into the problem immediately and set up a time to re-set the password for early the next morning.  He could not have been more responsive - and it was not even my son's history class that was impacted by the inability to get into Blackboard. Finally, Mr. Bower went the extra mile, replying that he would be happy to assist with any technology issues (or find the appropriate person if he could not assist) going forward.  After all of the challenges associated with distance learning over many weeks, his thorough assistance came at the right time.  From my perspective as a parent, I had been impressed all year long by his history instruction, but this additional willingness to lend a hand so promptly and cheerfully really left me impressed and grateful.  I am so glad my son has Mr. Bower as his teacher; he is truly an asset to Frost M.S."

- a Frost MS Parent

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Zara Perciful, King’s Glen ES

"My daughter has Ms. Zara Perciful for math, and Ms. Perciful has been wonderful this year. I was very impressed with her upbeat, positive, and motivational teaching style. She helped instill a love of math in my daughter and included her in classroom activities like she was one of her own. She was great at teaching challenging math concepts to her students in a creative way to help them remember what they learned, prepare them well, and give them a strong foundation for the future. You can tell she really loves her students and really loves teaching. We were lucky that our daughter had Ms. Perciful for math this year!"

- a King’s Glen ES Parent

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Andrea LaRoche, Lake Braddock SS

Andrea LaRoche is an excellent math teacher who has done an amazing job motivating my son. My son has struggled with math all through middle school and elementary school. Because it was hard for him, he shied away from math. That all changed this year. Ms. LaRoche has a clear, motivational way of teaching her special education students, so they recognize and can apply concepts. I thought algebra would be exceptionally difficult for him, but due to her excellence in teaching, he has become proficient with it and doesn’t shy away from doing his homework or extra worksheets that are provided to him, to get better at it. We are forever grateful to Mrs. LaRoche and are glad our son was in her class for math and strategies for success in 9th grade.

- a Lake Braddock SS Parent

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Ashley Elliott, Lake Braddock SS

"Ashley Elliott is a phenomenal biology teacher. My son has a very hard time focusing in class. Ms. Elliott came up with strategies to help bring him back into focus, which have worked very well. She has creative ways of teaching and really gets through to her special education students so they remember the information and want to learn. My son was really motivated to attend Ms. Elliott’s distance learning classes and complete all the work, because she makes the subject matter interesting and relatable. My son became so interested in Biology from the influence of Ms. Elliott, that he wants to attend NOVA Medical Campus and pursue a medical field when he graduates Lake Braddock. We are very appreciative to Ms. Elliott and think she should be recognized for her excellent teaching!"

- a Lake Braddock SS Parent

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Walter Patrick Rosas, Poe MS

"St. Albans Episcopal in Annandale seeks to recognize Patrick Rosas for his passion in meeting the food needs of middle schoolers at Poe Middle School, and now their families in the Fairmont Gardens and The Parliaments neighborhoods, during this pandemic.  We've been most impressed by his positive efforts to meet the food gaps these students and families now face -- applying his organizational skills to bring churches and community groups together when Poe closed, reaching out to prospective donors and agencies for resources, working with our volunteers, and making sure that weekly food distributions are conducted safely and well.  Patrick shows obvious respect for the residents in these communities, switching fluently back and forth between Spanish and English as he greets each one and collects his/her information.  He has well communicated to us what current needs are and where we can best assist.  That has made our involvement much easier.  One of our clergy with many years of experience in working with schools stated, "He is among the most outstanding community connectors" she has seen.  Students at Poe Middle School, and Annandale at large, have much to be thankful for Patrick's continued commitment to our community."

- Staff and Community of St. Albans Episcopal in Annandale

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Stephanie McCrone, Kings Glen ES

"Stephanie McCrone is an awesome teacher, both in the classroom and on distance learning. My daughter is very bright and motivated, but she is also very shy. Mrs. McCrone has helped motivate her to become more comfortable participating in front of the class. Mrs. McCrone has also done an incredible job helping my daughter, hone her writing skills and become a better, more motivated reader. The difference in her writing, reading, and reading comprehension has come such a long way since last year and for that, I’m forever thankful. Mrs. McCrone is great at responding to her students, who ask her countless questions on Blackboard. My daughter and her friend in the class have pages of helpful conversation with Mrs. McCrone throughout the distance learning experience. She is upbeat and has a positive personality that is conducive to a great learning environment. Her 100% class participation in distance learning speaks for itself. Mrs. McCrone should be recognized for her excellence as a fifth grade teacher and I’m glad my daughter had the opportunity to be in her class this year!"

- Renee Eder, King’s Glen ES

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Sarah Hurley, Willow Oaks

"Sarah took the initiative to create content for our mentor group challenges related to self-care activities which is super timely given the stress that we are all currently experiencing. Thanks, Sarah, for helping us maintain balance, connection, and challenging us each week :)"

- Kelley Raich, Willow Oaks

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Stephanie E. Howell, Armstrong ES

"Ms. Howell continues to show great skills at building students’ sense of community, fostering a sense of caring and responsibility while driving for further cognitive and academic learning through responsive teaching, explicit instructions, and engaging lessons. Furthermore, during the tough time of distance learning, Ms. Howell showed great skills at fostering understanding, supporting different emotional and academic needs, and building relationship through her extra live session of “Chat and Chill with the Teacher”. She went above and beyond in her ability to connect and support her students. My son was having a tough time adjusting to the new way of learning. She took the time to do a video call to chat with him and establish a plan with home to ensure successful outcome. We are very thankful to her, and all the care and love she has showered our child with."

- Saja Salih, Armstrong ES

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Krissy Schnebel, Frost MS

"Krissy has always been a team player, but she has gone above and beyond during the distance learning experience.  She has consistently created interactive fun science Google slides for our 8th graders with disabilities. This has taken a SIGNIFICANT load off of the backs of the sped team, allowing us to focus more of our efforts in other areas (creating other content lessons, TLPs, IEPs, parent contact, caring for our own families, etc...). She is incredible, and we love her so much!  THANK YOU, KRISSY!!!!"

- Heather Shue, Frost MS

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Mary Ann Hoeler, Cherry Run ES

"Mary Ann is a true gem. I have had the unique opportunity to work with her in two different capacities, as a colleague and parent with my children as her students. First, as a colleague, she was both a teammate and my mentee. When she first began teaching, she would come to ask for guidance with lessons, discipline, and general everyday advice. Once I conferenced with her, she would return back to me with a plethora of materials for lessons or information that she research about something we discussed to share with the team. Now our relationship has come full circle where I am now seeking her out for advice and guidance for lessons. I also work with her as a teacher of my children. So far, she has had 2 of my own children in her class. My children adore her. She is kind, sets clear expectations for her class, and is fair. Her lessons are well prepared, unique, and always fun. Everyday my children would return to me at the end of the day and report the full day's events about all of the wonderful things they did with her in class. Throughout distance learning, she begins each day with bubbly energy and delivers thoughtful, interactive lessons. She has 100% attendance in her class almost daily which is a true testament to the type of teacher she is. Mary Ann even translates lessons for a brand new student who began in her class during quarantine who is a second language learner. Mary Ann is a phenomenal teacher and a fantastic mentor for anyone who works with her. Thank you for all you have done for me and my family. We love you!"

- a Cherry Run ES Parent

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Kristina Ausley, Sideburn Support Center

"At Lake Braddock, we were having issues with the trash compactor and getting the necessary hydraulic fluid to get it running correctly again.  After being passed to a couple of different people, Ms. Ausley stepped in and communicated with multiple parties to make sure that the issue was solved in a timely fashion.  She took the initiative to step into the situation and take quick action to get it resolved in a timely manner.  We appreciate having Ms. Ausley support us at Lake Braddock!"

- Tony DiBari, Lake Braddock SS

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Missy Gogel, Hunt Valley ES

"She made sure that my son's class stayed connected through out the time of the change from school to abrupt break to distance learning breaks.  She is continually making the education experience engaging while teaching the class.  She even holds a buddies group on Fridays so the class can have fun and be able to share in a safe environment."

- a Hunt Valley ES Parent

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Amelda Jones, West Potomac HS

"Amelda Jones has created a wonderful experience in her online classes. Her students are working on a variety of assignments, from vocabulary to poetry to flip grids to story maps. She has provided a structured environment where her special education students are thriving and completing assignments on a regular basis. Kudos to her for all of her dedication and hard work in these unprecedented times."

- Lawrence Cooper, West Potomac HS

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Tracy Bromberg, Herndon MS

"Tracy always goes above and beyond to support the staff and families at Herndon MS, and she is still doing that and more during distance learning! She answers emails quickly and will even go check for mail at the school in many different places. Tracy is a ray of sunshine in our staff meetings and sets such a positive tone in every interaction I have with her. She is one of the best APs I have had the pleasure of working with!"

- Kaitlyn Konicki, Herndon MS

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Nelson Villalobos, Rich Agosta, Dan Joo, Julie Healy, Susie Morningstar, Robin Pickholtz, Karin Sasseville, Christina Russell, Lorenda Wieder, Danielle Powers, and Dawn Alexander Frost MS

"Many people to thank here!  This group of volunteers has been working hard to help pack up items left behind in students' lockers when the school year ended abruptly.  It has been long and tiring work and we could not have done it without this group of Frost Staff members.  We appreciate the help...we are ONE Frost!"

- Joe Berret, Frost MS

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Joelle Peeters, Kent Gardens ES

"Madame Peeters has been such an asset during these strange times. Her distance learning classes have been detailed and focused, and my daughter has been learning new things and staying engaged. In French, no less! We've been grateful to have her structured lesson plans and supportive presence."

- a Kent Gardens ES Parent

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Katherine Vargas, Falls Church HS

"In spite of our distance, Katherine Vargas continues to connect with her students and their families. She's professional and builds strong bonds with her students. Her knowledge of her students is amazing. She knows the classes they need, their obstacles, and day after day keeps cheering them on to the finish line. She's also one of the AP Test Coordinators at Falls Church and has been so responsive and such a strong leader to all the changes and obstacles COVID closure has caused. We are all grateful for her compassion, leadership, and efficacy."

- Jessica Grenfell, Falls Church HS

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Ana Maxey, Mason Crest ES

"Una gran persona siempre dispuesta a ayudar a todos los que necesitamos nos tiene informados constantemente de todas las novedades del ayuda que podamos recibir mil Gracias por tu ayuda."

Translation:  She is a great person who is always available to help all those that need it. She gives us information constantly of all the ways of help that we are able to get. Thanks for your help!

- a Mason Crest ES Parent

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Brookanne Dalrymple, McLean HS

"Ms. Dalrymple is the epitome of excellence in high school guidance counselors!  Her positive, supportive demeanor combined with an expertise in navigating the school system helps students reach their full learning potential.  Our recent experience in working with Ms. Dalrymple showed how wonderful having an excellent counselor can help students.  Ms. Dalrymple quickly facilitated our son's application for summer STEM programs and subsequently spent extra time working through the possible STEM course options at not only his high school but also another STEM academy at a separate high school. Our son is having a better high school experience because of this wonderful guidance counselor.  Thank you Brook Dalrymple!"

- a McLean HS Parent

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Robyn Fernandez, Woodburn ES

"Robyn Fernandez has been the driving force behind an amazing community effort to support Woodburn E.S. families facing food insecurity during this pandemic.  With support from several others at the school she helped secure a $250 donation from the civic association of the Holmes Run Acres neighborhood, which surrounds the Woodburn campus. A coalition of school staff, Woodburn PTA families and HRA neighbors have gathered and sent over 700 pounds of food to Food for Others, which directly supports the Woodburn community.  It's been an inspiration to so many of us in our neighborhood, and a way to feel a little less helpless in these times."

- a Woodburn ES Parent

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Joelle Peeters Kent Gardens ES

"Mme. Joelle Peeters is an extraordinary 5th grade French-language immersion math/science teacher at Kent Gardens Elementary in McLean, VA.  Mme. Peeters goes above and beyond standard expectations to educate, motivate, care for, support, and encourage our young learners. Many of the students continue in the French immersion program without French speakers at home to support language learning.  Mme. Peeters makes sure to teach technical terms in French and English, as these terms are included on standardized tests, while focusing on having the children think, conceptualize, and speak in French. Her strong communications skills, early intervention efforts, and inclusive classroom environment create a positive and much appreciated 5th language immersion experience at Kent Gardens.  Thank you Mme. Peeters!

1.    Strong Communications Skills :  Mme. Peeters  began clearly and quickly communicating with parents and students – from before “meet your teacher”, through “back to school”, French immersion assessment revisions underway with FCPS, COVID-19 challenges, and throughout synchronous and non-synchronous learning.  Mme. Peeters leads by example with clear, concise, and prompt efforts to communicate with parents and students in her class. Her strong written and oral communication skills help students understand what is expected of them in class, in between classes, and at home.  Likewise, students are expected and encouraged to raise their questions clearly and promptly.  Also, parents are knowledgeable about what transpires  in this French-immersion classroom, regardless of their familiarity with the French language.

2.    Early intervention efforts: Mme. Peters acts quickly to identify and correct behaviors that detract from learning in class.  For example, Mme. Peeters quickly contacted parents when she noticed a rise in in-class drama. She also spoke directly and clearly with students, holding them accountable for their actions and showing them how certain behaviors impacted others and the learning environment. This care and concern continued through the distance learning period associated with COVID-19, as Mme. Peeters reached out specifically to students and parents to follow up on missed attendance and assignments.  She identified specific times for office hours and worked individually with students to make sure they were comfortable learning the course content.

3.    Inclusive classroom environment  - Mme. Peeters cares deeply about each student in her classroom, as reflected by the attention she pays to to all students, including non-standard learners.  Upon receiving feedback that “word bricks”/long sections of text on slides were not as effective as images, videos, and audio clips for many students, Mme. Peeters adjusted her curriculum content to include more videos and images.  She also experimented with seating assignments to let students work in ways that suited their learning styles and engagement levels.  Mme. Peeters went above and beyond to find a way for her dyslexic student to show that student understood the material.  Despite not having an audio accommodation for a test in French, Mme. Peeters made time in her schedule to read the test aloud in French to the student, who scored much higher with the read-aloud accommodation.  Mme. Peeters later noted that she wanted to find a way for the student to show that she understood the material, as she could tell the student’s score did not reflect her level of understanding.  Mme. Peeters responds to both student and parent feedback; she is a wonderful example of an inclusive teacher."

- a Kent Gardens ES Parent

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Karen Couch, Riverside ES

"Karen Couch is the literacy coach at Riverside Elementary. As a first year teacher, I sought Ms. Couch out within the first month of being in school together. I remember after first meeting with Ms. Couch saying, "You're going to be my best friend this year." She laughed thinking I was kidding, but it has been true. A good portion of what I have learned in regards to literacy has been attributed to Ms. Couch. We had endless meetings,  phone conferences (before they were cool), planning times together, sending and revising plans to make the lessons run more smoothly and to help me grow as an educator. Ms.  Couch has helped scaffold me as a learner so I can better support my students. From sending her my plans, co-teaching routines, co-teaching focus lessons and modeling guided reading and so much more, Ms. Couch has gone the distance to support her fellow teachers. Even through distance learning, Ms. Couch still exhibits her tenacity by supporting teachers as a co-moderator, providing an ear to listen, or coaching teachers with distance learning plans. Our community is so lucky to have her. Thank you for all the work that you do, Ms. Couch!"

- Stephanie Avants, Riverside ES

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Sherry Cosby, Oak Hill ES

"I have a 6th grader that dislikes Science.  We have to spend a lot of time helping him at home in order for him to do well in Science.  It's a PAIN. I am so thankful for Mrs. Cosby. She is a tough teacher who gives a lot of homework but yet she has this super natural power that my child is willingly to work on the homework even after a long day at swim practice.  My child shared with us during winter break that he learns a lot from Mrs. Cosby and now LOVES Science.  We are so thankful for Mrs Cosby.  I am so sad that my child will miss a quarter learning Science from Mrs. Cosby due to Corona Virus.  We are thankful for her knowing that she prepared my child well for Middle School."

- an Oak Hill ES Parent

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Stephanie Blankers, Falls Church HS

"Stephanie has worked at length above and beyond the typical supports to assist in getting students AT equipment that they required.  In addition to spending much time working on recreating her classes, and many IEP meetings."

- Lara Long, Instructional  Programs Support Center

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Sarah Vandruff, Falls Church HS

"Thank you Sarah, for not only creating new and different academic activities for your students, but also for working with so many of your coworkers to be able to create new and different activities for their students as well.  You go above and beyond spending hours assisting coworkers, beyond the time spent trying to get your own classes and classrooms set up, running, and working efficiently for everyone."

- Lara Long, Instructional  Programs Support Center

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Tom Harlow, Falls Church HS

"Tom goes above and beyond, by not just leading his classes and all of the new items that we are all working on, but also by working on creating a great PD Pod Prom.  He works hard to help make sure that the students have access to their academics, but also to social interactions that are so important. Thank you!"

- Lara Long, Instructional  Programs Support Center

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Stephanie Avants, Riverside ES

"During our Collaborative Work Session on May 15, Stephanie shared with the team a new platform that can be shared on Google Slides.  It is called Pear Deck - Interactive Slide.  As usual she has played, practiced and mastered this platform.  We were all so floored with how well she has smoothly transitioned to teaching students and teachers during the distance learning. We are so grateful to have Stephanie on our team!  We are certainly better off for knowing her. Thank you, Stephanie!  Keep up the phenomenal work!"

- Carole King, Riverside ES

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Noemi Arellano, Lanier MS

" Noemi goes over and above her duties to check on my son who was placed on an IEP, she has demonstrated patience in working with my child and never gives up. She has called our home and engaged all of us in order to encourage and build confidence in her students."

- a Lanier MS Parent

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Lindsey Powell, Riverside ES

"I have had the opportunity to join Lindsey Powell for her virtual instruction on Mondays for the past few weeks. Her synchronous instruction sessions provide meaningful learning experiences for students and include various opportunities to check for student understanding of content. While she did not teach math during the school year, I have been impressed with her ability to adapt to teach her homeroom students math through distance learning. Lindsey has demonstrated great flexibility and resiliency through this shift to distance learning!"

- Jamie Wilson, Riverside ES

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Claire Silva, Willow Oaks

"We would like to recognize and thank Claire Silva for her support of the STEAM team. Claire coached and supported us in implementing an Improvement Science plan for the 2020-2021 school year.  Claire is an all-star project manager who sees the full system and helps shift others thinking toward meaningful change in the district.  Respect, dignity, and intellect are hallmarks of Claire’s coaching style.  Working with Claire is a breath of fresh air, and we look forward to our ongoing collaboration."

- Janice Years and Roberta Pinheiro Janik, Willow Oaks

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Natalie Mabile, Chesterbrook ES

"Ms Mabile made my daughter’s day when she took time out of her hectic virtual learning schedule to just a lunch bunch that the students had earned through good behavior.  My daughter was so excited to have lunch with her teacher and friends virtually!  It was so nice to hear her laugh and engage in meaningful conversations with her peers and teacher/ even though they weren’t physically together.  Ms Mabile’s effort to keep these kids connected, in what would have been her free time, is so appreciated!!"

- Chesterbrook ES Parent

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Ray Treacy, Chesterbrook ES

"Mr Treacy has gone above and beyond this year to really reach all of his students; before COVID 19 and even more so after.  He has had meaningful discussions with his homeroom during virtual morning meetings- giving the kids a great forum to connect with him and each other.  Thus means so much when these kids get such little time together!  He has also done a wonderful job teaching math and working in new concepts in a manner that the kids understand! Our 6th grade is blessed to have him this year!!"

- Chesterbrook ES Parent

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Kevin McGorty, Oak Hill ES

"I have a 6th grader and who  is doing very well in distance learning.  I love that his teacher, Mr. McGorty, put all materials on Google classroom so I can go through with my child daily to make sure he gets it.  My child will go online during office hours to finish all his homework knowing that his teacher is available if he needs help.  I am so thankful for this all-star teacher that makes my child engage and happy during distance learning.  Life is stressful during this pandemic and I am diagnosed with cancer.  I am so thankful that I don’t have to worry about my child’s academics because Mr. McGorty keeps my child on track and happy."

- an Oak Hill ES Parent

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Christy Ryder, Oak Hill ES

"I am diagnosed with cancer and I shared it with our school counselor, Mrs. Christy Ryder.  She sends messages to check on me and my child to make sure we are ok.  She also shared my diagnosis with my child’s teachers and office staff.  I was overwhelmed to received emails and cards from teachers and office staff.  I love Mrs. Ryder.  She has been taking good care of my child who has food allergies and asthma.  She is our hero."

- an Oak Hill ES Parent

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Robyn Fernandez, Jackie Garcia, Debora Nunez, Susannah Pothuraju, Giovanna Jones, Yesica Nunez, Bruno Gutierrez, Tania Tapia, Sandra Maida Balderrama, Limari Perez Castellanos, Amanda Castellucci, Paula Cortes, and Adriana Postiglioni,  Woodburn ES

"As we have moved into our distance learning model, so many of us have worked tirelessly to maintain connections with our students and their families. I’m sure I’m not along in wanting to share my gratitude to each of the people listed here and the ways they have gone above and beyond in making those connections happen. They have been assisting classroom teachers with phones calls for Spanish speaking families, daily attendance check ins, and positive calls home.  Having this support for reaching out to families has had an amazing impact on the participation and engagement in my classroom (and I’m sure many others as well).  In the past week, between 21 and 23 of my class of 23 attend our live sessions every day!  When the students come, we can build community and learn together. I’m so glad my students are showing up. And beyond grateful for all the support I’ve had that has made this possible for them. I absolutely could not do this work alone. I know the phone calls can be hard and time consuming, but they are working and each of you is making such a difference!  Thank you, a million times, for all that you are doing!"

- Jessica DiBeneditto, Woodburn ES

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Jen Allard, Willow Oaks

"Jen, Thank you for leading the mocktail activity during the Staff Appreciation week.  Thank you for taking the time and creating a Caring Culture for Instructional Services!"

- Evie Ifantides, Willow Oaks

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Leigh Bergman, Willow Oaks

"Leigh, Thank you for leading the meditation activity during the Staff Appreciation week.  Thank you for taking the time and creating a Caring Culture for Instructional Services!"

- Evie Ifantides, Willow Oaks

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Angela Linker, Willow Oaks

"Angela, Thank you for leading the stretching activity during the Staff Appreciation week.  Thank you for taking the time and creating a Caring Culture for Instructional Services!"

- Evie Ifantides, Willow Oaks

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Yubo Zhang, Willow Oaks

"Yubo, thank you for translating the information on our ESOL student facing website to assist our students during distance learning. It was a herculean task that needed to be finished fast and  I appreciate the time you took and your effort to make distance learning easier for our students!"

- Evie Ifantides, Willow Oaks

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Megan Thrift, Robinson SS

"In addition to bringing in speakers and contests via on-line platforms to keep all of her students engaged, Ms. Thrift spent countless hours putting together special gifts for her senior students and personally delivered them safely to each household.  She spent 8 hours driving to each home. She genuinely feels for the seniors who missed out on their last musical of their high school year. The gift included a special, personalized message for the students to take with them to help them navigate the precarious future.  And, her engagement with her students won’t end after virtual graduation- she will continue to support and mentor them for years to come."

- a Robinson SS Parent

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Jocelyn Cable, Lake Braddock SS
 
"Ms. Cable has gone above and beyond during this time of distance learning. She reached out to both my son and myself to make sure he was doing all right. When I shared that he has been struggling with organization in the online environment, she offered to help by meeting with him. Her personal care for my son and his well-being has meant everything to me. She was a good teacher before, but has really stepped up in an environment of increased expectations and work load."

- a Lake Braddock SS Parent

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Ellen Reilly and Elisa Talmage, McLean HS

"I want to thank both, Mrs. Reilly,  principal, and Mrs. Talmage, counselor, at McLean HS, for going the extra mile to inform me of TSRC Vienna.  They advocated for my son when his education needs were not met by other schools, resulting in severe academic struggles and depression.  When I thought my only option was to seek out an online private school, they helped me understand the FCPS alternative education options my son was entitled to that best met his educational needs.  As my son’s high school education is coming to an end, I thank them both for showing outstanding leadership skills, where others fell short.  Because of Mrs. Reilly and Mrs. Talmage we were able to focus on what we knew all along; that my son is very bright but needed extra support.  Because of them, I am pleased to say my son will be a high school graduate.  I thank Mrs. Reilly and Ms. Talmage for their outstanding support and wish them and their families good health. God bless them."

- a Transition Support Resource Center Parent

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Cris Da Silva Irwin, Riverside ES

"I would like to recognize Cris Irwin for her willingness to collaborate and support the 2nd grade team with guided reading during Distance Learning. While Cris does not typically attend our 2nd grade meetings, she was very willing to take time from her schedule to plan and facilitate a professional development on implementing guided reading during synchronous instruction. The professional development was very helpful for our 2nd grade team and will have a positive impact on our students as we are able to continue to support their growth as readers. Thank you Cris!"

- Jamie Wilson, Riverside ES

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Karen McDonald, Herndon MS

"Ms. McDonald is my son's 7th grade Honors Math teacher. She is a phenomenally organized and hardworking teacher. I have been impressed with her all year as my son has nothing but praise for her class. Her communication has been timely and thorough all year, but especially since schools closed.  Since March 13th, she has sent so many emails to make sure all her kids and their parents knew what was happening. She has posted notes, work, and announcements on Google Classroom AND Blackboard, covering all the bases to make sure the kids know where to go and how to access her and her instruction. She meets with the kids face to face and uses office hours to help, when needed. She has just really gone above and beyond. As a fellow FCPS teacher, and parent, I am so impressed with her. Ms. McDonald is a gift for her students. Hopefully, FCPS and Herndon MS know what a gem she is!!!"

- a Herndon MS Parent

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Lili Kennington &  Erin Zurbuchen, Great Falls ES

"We wanted to note how impressive it has been to see Lili Kennington and Erin Zurbuchen pivot and adjust to distance learning.  What’s more impressive, is their ability to generate a sense of community and an excitement for learning that feels more like a classroom than an online program.  While everyone is doing their best to adjust, we thought it important to highlight two teachers who are exceeding expectations.  We are grateful to these exceptional teachers for their superb efforts during these challenging times."

- Great Falls ES, Parents

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Jillian Strutz, Riverside ES

"Throughout distance learning, Jillian has continuously found ways to support our 2nd grade teachers and students. Last week, she designed a professional development opportunity for our 2nd grade team to support them with utilizing technology tools to support synchronous instruction. As a result of the professional development, our 2nd grade team learned new ways to increase engagement during synchronous instruction and utilize technology to monitor student understanding of content. Thank you Jillian for the time and effort you spent creating this professional development! It will help us to continue to provide meaningful learning experiences for our students!"

- Jamie Wilson, Riverside ES

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Noel Klimenko, Willow Oaks

"Noel has so many issues to contend with during this crisis, but she continues to treat everyone with care and concern.  Through her busy schedule, she joins the science team meetings and listens to issues, big and small.  We appreciate her ability to make us feel comfortable and know that she is doing her best to keep us informed and prepare us for all contingencies for the future."

- Tim Harazin, Willow Oaks

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Esther Chung, Colin Powell ES

"When distance learning began, I was really overwhelmed with balancing planning, live teaching, virtual meetings and being a mom to a five-year old. My husband is an essential employee and my son had never seen Mommy work at home, so stress levels were sky-rocketing.  Esther checked on me daily, offered to help plan my AAP lessons, and has joined my language arts session so that I have a second teacher in the "room" in case my son has a need that is urgent.  Through this distance learning journey, she is one of the main reasons I have been able to succeed, as a teacher and a mom.  I can't thank her enough for her love and support!"

- Kristin Bunch. Colin Powell ES

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Kathleen R. Gilfoil, Jennifer Saunders & Edward Osborne,Transition Support Resource Center

"Mrs. Gilfoil, Mrs. Saunders, and Mr. Osborne are calm and knowledgeable teachers who have expertise in English, Science, History and Government.  We want to thank them, and all the other teachers at TSRC Vienna, who worked collaboratively as a team to greatly help our son.  FCPS is blessed to have these teachers at TSRC Vienna."

- a Transition Support Resource Center Parent

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Anthony Harris, Frost MS

"Thank you Anthony for leading with empathy and striving for equity. You have been amazing at building connections, maintaining communication, and buoying morale during these challenging times. Your leadership has been invaluable!"

- Laura Reed, Frost MS

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Danielle Powers and Dawn Alexander, Frost MS

"Thank you Danielle and Dawn for ensuring our students have a place/space to connect with each other and share different interests. Their FCPS google library page inspires community and open collaboration during this time of quarantine. Thank you!"

- Laura Reed, Frost MS

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Linda Shannon, Frost MS

"Thank you to Linda for leading by example with kindness, grace, and compassion. Her support and understanding of staff and student struggles during this challenging time has allowed for others to lean into this experience and find support and connections. Thank you!"

- Laura Reed, Frost MS

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Mollie Kropp, Instructional Resource Support Center

"I appreciate Mollie’s ingenuity and dedication to support our students. Our deaf and hard of hearing staff and student have benefited from her knowledge and experience during the challenges of distance learning. She works tirelessly to ensure resources are accessible for those around the county. Thank you!"

- Laura Reed, Frost MS

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Sharon Debardi, Lee HS

"Sharon Debardi is the SIA at Lee.  She has been such an amazing support to the student services department, teachers and administrators during distance learning. She has been masterful at managing all the requests she receives on a daily basis and ensuring our team has everything we need to support our students with accurate and up to date information.  She is super-efficient, and I have no idea how she is able to manage it all! We are very lucky to have her as part of our team at Lee!"

- Amy Lee, Lee HS

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Shauneequa Gonzalez, London Towne ES

"My daughter is a student in Mrs. Gonzalez's kindergarten class. She has had a great year so far but due to her young age and limited computer skills I had a hard time believing the new style of distance learning would be impactful for such young students. I could not imagine attempting to control and teach a group of 5-6 year old children in a digital environment. My wife and I wanted to let FCPS know that Mrs Gonzalez has gone above and beyond our expectations. She is not only providing excellent digital content but also has a unique personal presence in her online classroom that keeps the children engaged. During these difficult times we wanted to make sure you were aware of the impressive work she is doing. Thank you."

- a London Towne ES Parent

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Sharri Clifford, Carson MS

"Sharri has always been sharing and kind; giving a helping hand to every teacher she comes in contact with. Generous not only with her time, but also with resources and ideas to help teachers provide meaningful and exciting lessons for their students. Especially during these challenging and scary times, Sharri has worked very hard to create new ways to reach our students during this time of distance learning; selflessly sharing her creations. Her generosity has helped countless students across the county. She may not wear a cape, but she is a teacher hero and her super power is generosity for the good of all students."

- Melissa Chesney, Whitman MS

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Amanda Regehr, Falls Church HS

"Mandy is caring for her 1 year old child, while simultaneously providing a great amount of information and support for her students via distance learning. She helps and meets with her coworkers regularly, and keeps in mind all the individual needs for each of her students."

- Lara Long, Instructional  Programs Support Center

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Andrea Vechery,  Kilmer Center

"Drea is working hard to make sure that her students and their families have all the resources and information that they require in order to complete the distance learning this school year.  She asks for resources, when needed and is working hard to get her students involved in distance learning."

- Lara Long, Instructional  Programs Support Center

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Lisa Alden, Oakton HS

"My daughter has severe double deficit dyslexia with its accompanying executive function challenges. Mrs. Alden quickly built a relationship of trust and caring with my daughter this year when they met. She has been a great support in a brick and mortar situation. However when COVID required unanticipated school closure it is when Mrs. Alden truly became the hero and has gone above and beyond. She has provided calm and  encouraging support in a very  challenging time. It is truly the silver lining of this long distance learning situation. Not only has she provided a much needed emotional support but my daughter is learning new skills that will  serve her well. We are so grateful for her beacon of light and expertise in this dark  and challenging time."

- an Oakton HS Parent

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Pranita Ranbhise, Facilities and Transportation

"Pranita promptly answered my questions regarding Kindergarten staffing numbers and projections.  She was able to help me understand the numbers behind the projections and provide resources. Pranita is a valuable member of FCPS!"

- Christopher Smith, Daniels Run ES

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Terrie Galanti, South Lakes HS

"I think Mrs. Galanti is a wonderful teacher! She has so much patience it’s incredible! The kids are engaged in the virtual classroom and are interested in learning. She has sent emails to the parents and includes us in her communication with the students.  I really appreciate her and all she is doing for the children!"

- a South Lakes HS Parent

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Christina Flores, Falls Church HS

"Christina is in her first year teaching and had already been learning a lot through her close work with students, coworkers, and itinerant staff at Falls Church High School.  The change to online learning/distance learning has only strengthened her collaboration and communication with all of her coworkers and students. She is working hard to make sure that all of her students are able to access her classes, and trying new and different technologies in order to communicate and interact with her students.  She has been working around the clock to be sure that everyone has what they need from her."

- Lara Long, Instructional  Programs Support Center

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Joel Harrop, Falls Church HS

"Working with Joel is always a treat, but in these days of not entering school buildings, and making sure that all students have needed technology, he has been a rock star.  Despite being very busy, he has worked with me, and others to arrange all the meetings and delivery/pick-ups for school based and assistive technology for students to be able to access their devices at home. He has been responsive and quickly kind and helpful in serving all of the students at Falls Church High School.  Thank you!"

- Lara Long, Instructional  Programs Support Center

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Danievie MacLauchlin, Falls Church HS

"Danievie has been a wonderful and informative leader for her special education teachers, as well as itinerant staff, through the shut down.  She has shared information, and spent many days and evenings working to make sure that students are able to get online, that families have information, that teachers are able to figure out how to share their curriculums, that assistants are able to get into the classes to be a support to teachers and students.  Her leadership has set an example for the amazing teachers she also works with."

- Lara Long, Instructional  Programs Support Center

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Gurjit Mundi, Shalika Santiago, and Meghan Callahan, Fairhill ES

"Our first grade team visited every single first grader from Fairhill this weekend (socially distanced of course) to drop off materials to encourage them to do a grade-wide seed germination project.  We went to every house and were met with smiles, appreciation, and love."

- Rebecca Laws, Fairhill ES

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Whitney Cochran, Westlawn ES

"Ms. Cochran, my daughter's second grade teacher, has gone above and beyond in providing online educational resources.  Several weeks before Fairfax County Public Schools officially began distance learning, Ms. Cochran had already created a Google Classrooms site with educational games, writing and math exercises, and links to other fun online learning opportunities for kids. Her love of the children and passion for teaching really shines through."

- a Westlawn ES Parent

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Sarah McIntosh, Justice HS
 
"Sarah serves at CT lead for our Geosystems team at Justice High School. Our team is very new, with two career switchers who are in year 1 and 2 of teaching. Throughout the year, Sarah has led our team with grace and organization, supporting our work on essential standards and designing lessons that meet the needs of a range of learners, from Honors students, to Special Education students, to English language learners. But it has been her work with our CT since the school shut down that has really stood out. Sarah has pushed herself and our team to learn a range of new technology platforms, to plan collaboratively in advance and to support our students emotional and social needs in addition to delivering content. Sarah's organized and supportive leadership has led our team through the challenges of distance learning, and has made us all proud of the learning opportunities we are providing to our students."

- Cynthia Martinez, Justice HS

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Annamarie Wojcik, Fairview ES

"Ms. Wojcik has gone above and beyond not only during COVID but prior to the pandemic. During this unsettling time she has delivered books, materials, and letters to her students. She has sent them mail and keeps in regular contact with families. When we have had questions, she is very quick to respond and we always feel she will continue talking with us and working with us until an answer is found that works for our child. Her knowledge of the school, staff, and students is amazing. She even talked to us about our other son who is not in her class as we discussed the possibility of brothers being in the same class next year--she was able to share specific conversations she had with him and her thoughts about them being together. She really helped us see the situation in a different light.  Mrs. Wojcik is an amazing educator not just because her pedagogy and praxis is excellent, but because she knows and truly cares about her students."

- a Fairview ES Parent

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Inna Tulchinskaya-Winchell, Transition Support Resource Center

"Mrs. Winchell is an excellent teacher who goes the extra-mile to help students. Mrs. Winchell  helped my son with the basic math skills he needed. Mrs. Winchell worked with my son at an Elementary level math when it could have been frustrating to her when she was supposed to teach 11th and 12th grade math. Mrs. Winchell is a very knowledgeable, kind and patient teacher and she is a very good asset for Fairfax County Public Schools.  I want to thank Mrs. Winchell for her support."

- a Transition Support Resource Center Parent

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Christine Waters and Eileen Goff, Union Mill ES

"Ms.Waters and Ms. Goff have been rocking this virtual learning experience. They provide meaningful virtual instruction and engaging home activities all while keeping realistic expectations for families. Best of all, they have prioritized relationship and connection with their students. Their efforts in maintaining their relationships with students has been invaluable in this very trying experience and to have them do it so well has been incredible. They have maintained communication with parents throughout the ups and downs of distance learning and always kept the best interest of the students at the forefront. When faced with this HUGE uphill challenge they have proved to be flexible, thoughtful and realistic. We cannot thank you enough!!!!!"

- a Union Mill ES Parent

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Allison Gardiner, Langston Hughes ES

"Mrs. Gardiner is very energetic and lovely to the middle schools so early in the morning :) I appreciate her upbeat personality to help engage the children during her class time."

- a Langston Hughes ES Parent

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Christopher Lembo, Langston Hughes ES

"Mr. Lembo makes the distant learning for his class interesting and engaging!  My daughter looks forward to his class and that’s hard in these challenging times! I appreciate him very much for making her experience worthwhile!"

- a Langston Hughes ES Parent

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Soalngie McPherson, Coates ES

"Ms.Solangie McPherson is our parent liaison. She has gone above and beyond her role to connect with the families in our community, especially during this pandemic. I am the treasurer of our school PTA and I have had the pleasure of working with Solangie a number of times and have seen her tireless work first hand. She has been connecting with all the families that are struggling during this pandemic and she is working very hard to get them much needed help. She is a very kind and empathetic person who is very motivated to get the much needed help for parents. I Really appreciate everything she does for all kids and parents."

- a Coates ES Parent

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Kathy Eagan, Coates ES

"Ms. Eagan is our school guidance counselor. She has been there for our kids, guiding them and teaching them all through the school year and especially during this pandemic. She has gone out of her way to reach out to parents and help the community in need. I have the pleasure of working with her closely through the Mentor works program at our school and I get to see her work first hand. She is always available for any question, related to my kids or about the programs at school. I really appreciate everything she does for our school and our kids. She deserves to be acknowledged and appreciated for her tireless efforts."

- a Coates ES Parent

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Lisa Barrow, Cooper MS

"Mrs. Barrow's first day at Cooper Middle School was on March 2nd.  In less than two weeks, when FCPS announced extended school closure, Mrs. Barrow's positive outlook and iconic outgoing personality had already solidified her place at the helm of Cooper's leadership team.  She has seamlessly shown the entire staff what it means to be a leader and demonstrated to all how to build a strong unified community, even when we cannot physically be together.  She has maintained  a positive approach with such great energy that social distancing really does not seem so distant.  Mrs. Barrow stepped into some very large shoes with the departure of the previous principal who had been at Cooper for decades.  Although this was a less than optimal situation, Mrs. Barrow has demonstrated the importance of community and that every individual is a valued part of Cooper.  She has brought everyone together to form a dynamic environment for learning despite the very difficult times in which we all live."

- Lucy Chaplin, Cooper MS

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Kelly Escarrega, Riverside ES

"Mrs. Escarrega is one of the best teachers at Riverside.  Her students (past and present) adore her. I am so grateful one of my three had her as a teacher! Her enthusiasm for what she does is contagious.  She has such a wonderful relationship with each student and no two are the same.  She gets my daughter in ways other teachers have not, and she has been able to hone in on what my daughter needs effortlessly.  My child is so sad to have had this year cut short because she adores Mrs. Escarrega!"

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Jazzmin Dabney, Riverside ES

"Ms.Dabney has been a fantastic teacher for my daughter all year.  She always goes above and beyond to ensure her kids are well taken care of, are happy, safe and doing well in school.  She has contacted us numerous times throughout this pandemic to check in on my child.  That small gesture means so much to my daughter - she knows how much Ms. Dabney cares. My biggest regret of the year is that it was cut short!"

- a Riverside ES Parent

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Ingrid Wheatley, Riverside ES

"Mrs. Ingrid is an amazing person, who never stops amazing the people around her.  As we all struggle with this sudden change to our lives, she has been resilient in her own way; creating face masks for her team mates that are going to distribute computers. She has also gone as far as sending sweet care packages for her offices colleagues.  No matter what time you email this lady, she is on it. A report, a list, a new excel sheet, a phone call- no matter the request she is on it. She goes above and beyond as an office assistant; you can need anything and she some how manages to have it for you (a button, an earring back, a parents contact, the latest student count, a certificate for anything, shiny paper..and the list goes on).  Our parents know her more than anyone else in the building and due to her professionalism and dedication; our families see Riverside as the best place for their kids. It is with great honor to write this FCPS Cares for Mrs. Ingrid !"

- Ana Chavez, Riverside ES

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MacLean Wilson, Sprague Technology Center

"He quickly responded to my IT request and was able to call and remotely fix problems I was having with Outlook.  After one problem was fixed, a new one appeared and he was on it in a matter of minutes - resolving the issues with professionalism, encouragement and know-how!  I truly appreciate his expertise! Thank you for your support during our time working remotely."

- Lori Bedsole, Willow Oaks

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Amanda Redman, Willow Oaks

"Amanda, thank you for your time and effort you put in during the Instructional Services Staff Appreciation Week.  The activities were worthwhile and benefited all of us. Thank you for putting together such thoughtful events and for helping to foster a caring culture. I appreciate your insight!"

- Evie Ifantides, Willow Oaks

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Paola Cespedes, Riverside ES

"Paola is the SIA at Riverside but at Riverside, SIA stands for Someone Inspiring Action, she helps everyone around her and does not stop at helping them.  She ensures they also know how to help themselves.  Parents from our feeder schools still come back to see "Señora Paola", they always commend her ability to listen and find a way even when it seems like all doors are closed.  I met Paola a year ago and from that day I knew this lady meant business.  If she is not at Riverside until really late, you will get her emails from home.  Her work ethic is unstoppable.  Most recently she has been helping with laptop distribution and for most of us that is calling families and leaving messages for them to call back. She is still calling families in the evening, thinking of all our working parents that may not be available in the mornings to answer their phone.  And it doesn't stop there, once the parents are contacted, she is confirming contact information and the safety of everyone as our health screener.  Paola is remarkable and I am so proud to have her on our team and to write this FCPS cares."

- Ana Chavez, Riverside ES

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Nasrin Nowrouz, Falls Church HS

"Nasrin, thank you for translating the information on our ESOL student facing website to assist our students during distance learning. It was a herculean task that needed to be finished fast and  I appreciate the time you took and your effort to make distance learning easier for our students!"

- Evie Ifantides, Willow Oaks

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Zhao (Zoey) Sun, Willow Oaks

"Zoey, thank you for translating the information on our ESOL student facing website to assist our students during distance learning. It was a herculean task that needed to be finished fast and  I appreciate the time you took and your effort to make distance learning easier for our students!"

- Evie Ifantides, Willow Oaks

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Molly Sgrecci, Stone MS

"I would like to recognize Molly Sgrecci because she goes above and beyond in inspiring her students and caring for them as individuals. She works long past school hours to bring her students’ hard work to life in beautiful concerts for the community. She plans activities that encourage her students to work hard, and also enjoy the difficult challenge of mastering their instrument. And when times got very difficult, and schools closed, Ms. Sgrecci was one of the first teachers to reach out to students. She provided them with activities, fun musical videos, and office hours where her students could talk about music, or just talk. Her students know she cares about them, which I would say is the most important thing of all when times are hard. We appreciate all her work, her thought that goes into making orchestra a favorite class, and her care for her students. I am so grateful my daughter has Molly Sgrecci as a role model and teacher."

- a Stone MS Parent

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SooJung Kim, Leis Center

"SooJung, thank you for translating the information on our ESOL student facing website to assist our students during distance learning. It was a herculean task that needed to be finished fast and  I appreciate the time you took and your effort to make distance learning easier for our students!"

- Evie Ifantides, Willow Oaks

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Rubina Haleem , Chantilly HS

"Rubina, thank you for translating the information on our ESOL student facing website to assist our students during distance learning. It was a herculean task that needed to be finished fast and  I appreciate the time you took and your effort to make distance learning easier for our students!"

- Evie Ifantides, Willow Oaks

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Sarah Eqab, Willow Oaks

"Sarah, thank you for translating the information on our ESOL student facing web site to assist our students during distance learning. It was a herculean task that needed to be finished fast and  I appreciate the time you took and your effort to make distance learning easier for our students!"

- Evie Ifantides, Willow Oaks

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Sonia Arellano, Leis Center

"Sonia, thank you for helping to create the ESOL student facing web site to assist our students during distance learning. It was a herculean task that needed to be finished fast and  I appreciate the time you took and your effort to make distance learning easier for our students!"

- Evie Ifantides, Willow Oaks

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Rosalind Ali, Riverside ES

"Roz is such a helpful part of our RES community and has been a consistent source of support for me over the years. From working with my students, leading CLTs, and even doing "Welcome Walks" with me, Roz is always willing to help out and go the extra mile for students and teachers. Thank you, Roz!"

- Kelly Escarrega, Riverside ES

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Cynthia Yost, Robinson SS

"During the pandemic, Ms.Yost has excelled at keeping parents informed about distance learning assignments and expectations."

- a Robinson SS Parent

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Blanca Flores, Stratford Landing ES

"Our school has a wonderful military population.  The school closing prohibited us from celebrating Month of the Military Child as planned with a fun activity for our military kids at SLES.  Blanca Flores found a way for us to recognize them even while apart.  She found the Military Kids Creed and reached out to have our kids each record a line from the creed. She then created a wonderful movie showing several of our SLES military kids reciting the creed which was shared with our school community.  This all occurred while there was still a lot of planning and confusion creating virtual learning. It would have been understanding to let this pass among the current situation but our awesome staff at SLES lead by Ms. Flores on this project still found a way to connect and not forget celebrating our military kids. Thank you!!"

- a Stratford Lansing ES Parent

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Adrienne Rafat, McNair ES

"When one thinks about Adrienne, the words that come to mind are thoughtful, hard-working and creative. During the distance learning period, she has worked so very hard in her role as a special education teacher in not only supporting each one of her students, she has also been a true collaborator and been supporting all of her colleagues. She has brought a smile on all of our faces during these difficult times, offering her support to us even though she is exhausted at the end of each day. She is truly caring for her ENTIRE family during the pandemic. I am proud to be her colleague and her friend."

- Vani Rupela, McNair ES

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Amy Cohen, McNair ES

"Amy is a thorough professional and an epitome of collaboration efforts in the special education space. Her experience shines through when she speaks in special education meetings and her cool demeanor calms parents and colleagues alike. She is also a rock during times of need for her colleagues. During this pandemic, her wise words have been a soothing balm for me when we are all trying to find our footing amidst the chaos."

- Vani Rupela, McNair ES

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Jaime Ovalle, Glen Forest ES

"Jaime is our team's math coach. She has been a great resource during our distance learning journey. She is always willing to help by sharing resources, creating voice overs for student packets, and giving extra math support by joining our live sessions. We appreciate you Jaime! Thanks for the continued support during uncharted times!"

- Rachel Pipitone, Glen Forest ES

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Matt Toothaker, Washington Irving MS

"Mr. Toothaker is an outstanding educator.  I cannot say enough wonderful things about his care and dedication.  My daughter has had a tough year and he is always there to help her. He is flexible, patient, and kind. There are many good educators but he is an extraordinary one! Mr. T, what you do matters.  It makes such a difference in the children you serve. My daughter is ready for high school because of the extra time and help you gave her.  I appreciate you."

- a Washington Irving MS Parent

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Liz Caligiuri, Greenbriar East ES

"Liz has gone above and beyond to help us learn about Blackboard Collaborate Ultra during this distance learning time.  She has provided many support sessions and videos for staff and parents. I especially appreciate the videos she translated in several languages for our families."

- Eileen Gwin, Greenbriar East ES

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Lisa Covington, Riverside ES

"Mrs. Covington had just joined the 5th grade AAP team and had barely had a chance to settle in with her newly formed class when schools closed down. She has made the transition as easy as possible for her students, and has jumped right in to distance learning. It's been a lot of change in a short amount of time, but she has handled it with grace!"

- a Riverside ES Parent

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Jessica Szumlicz, Riverside ES

"Ms. Szumlicz has done so much for her 1st grade class- working with families on technology issues, making sure each student feels included during live classes, developing additional resources to support learning.  We are so lucky to have her!"

- a Riverside ES Parent

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Sarah Addo, Kimberly Espinoza, Alissa Forbes, Jennifer Harris, Kathleen Herron, Carter Kohler, Michelle Land, Nancy Libson, Rachel Lombardo, Michael Porterfield, Benjamin Whelan-Morin,  Riverside ES

"Riverside ES's Specials teachers have done an amazing job bringing enrichment activities to kids virtually!  With independent activities, live instruction, videos and more, they have produced engaging content to help students make connections to both their core subjects and the world around them."

- a Riverside ES Parent

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Karlie Hale, Riverside ES

"Ms. Hale worked non-stop to support implementation of distance learning for all of Riverside ES as our SBTS.  From laptop distribution for students to helping teachers get up and running, she has done it all, and with a smile on her face!"

- a Riverside ES Parent

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Paul Basdekis, Gina O'Neal, Dawn Champion, Anna Macedonia,  Riverside ES

"Riverside ES's admin team has worked tirelessly to make sure that teachers have the resources and support they need, and to connect with families to make sure that they have the same.  They have made Riverside ES a true community!"

- a Riverside ES Parent

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Brianna Lucas, Riverside ES

"Mrs. Lucas has been amazing about reframing the move to distance learning not just as a challenge, but as an OPPORTUNITY to try new things.  Her enthusiasm for innovation has made the whole 5th grade AAP team stronger!"

- a Riverside ES Parent

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Catherine Godley, Kelly Bunting, Virginia Rivas, Stephany Tlatelpa, Nora Zanger, Jillian Strutz, Alisa Maxwell, Kathy Lehner,  Riverside ES
 
"I would like to recognize Riverside Elementary School 2nd Grade Team for their hard work, commitment, and dedication to providing meaningful learning experiences for our students throughout the year, but especially during Distance Learning. I have been so impressed with their collaborative efforts to plan high-quality, engaging learning experiences for our students through Distance Learning. Every week the team meets and reflects on their work and finds ways to continuously improve. Their commitment to building strong relationships with students and families is inevitable. I am so grateful that I have the opportunity to work with them. Thank you all for your enthusiasm, hard work, and diligence! I appreciate you!"

-  Jamie Wilson, Riverside ES

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Tara Taylor, Willow Oaks

"Tara Taylor is one of the most outstanding administrators I have ever had the blessing to work with. Her passion for our kids and advocacy for our art is unmatched. During this time of uncertainty not just for students and families, but also us as teachers, Tara has been rock steady with her leadership. She provided us with the curricular support necessary to get us through Phase 1 of the distance learning while doing her very best to maintain the culture that we, as her ensemble of classroom teachers, could find the security and trust in as we always have. Tara has also spearheaded the creation of district-wide websites for all FCPS student to access and continue to connect & create in both Theatre (Virtual Blackbox) and Dance (Virtual Dance Studio) in this time of chaos. As a teacher this has been exciting for me to share with my students, but the return of hearing of the students' engagement and experiences with this new forum has been a true gift. When we are all being forced to remain physically distant Tara has helped to facilitate a space where we as an educational arts community can come together bigger than ever in celebration of creativity. Tara, you are a treasure."

- Stacey Mitchell, Lake Braddock SS

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Kristi Layman, Falls Church HS

"Kristi is an amazing resource and friend.  She welcomed me with patience, warmth, understanding, and friendship.  Teachers trust her and seek out her feedback.  She is a true collaborator; sharing ideas, connecting departments and resources both inside and outside of the building.  She is innovative; seeking to try new things and support the students, faculty, and community that forms the larger Jaguar Family! Her wonderful sense of humor and non-judgmental ear are appreciated by many! Thank you Kristi-  you shine bright!"

- Caitlyn Saxton, Willow Oaks

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Mindy Stewart, Keene Mill ES

"Mrs. Stewart has been fabulous since the end of in-person schooling and throughout the distance learning process.  She communicates regularly, almost daily, with parents and her students via email and Seesaw notifications. When school first closed, she immediately began communicating with parents, sharing resources and ideas, like "Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems."  Later, when in-person distance learning struggled, she fostered communication across students by sharing pictures of what different students were doing.  She made sure that parents understood how to help their 2nd graders log into Blackboard and has consistently supported her students.  She has gone above and beyond to show consistency, caring, and genuine concern during this difficult time."

- Molly Summers, Keene Mill ES

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Miranda Hendershot, South County MS

"Miranda has been a great supporter! She has been frequently checking in and ensuring our wellness. It’s much appreciated."

- Laura Dougherty, South County MS

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Jamie Wilson, Riverside ES

"Jamie is the AART at Riverside and during distance learning she has taken on the role of 2nd grade team coach. Jamie has always been so helpful and a great resource at RES, but in the last few weeks I have been lucky to have her lead our CWS. I think she has lead our team to a successful distance learning experience. Thanks Jamie!"

- Jillian Strutz, Riverside ES

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Tangy Millard, West Potomac HS
 
"She has kept the students and parents so well informed during the school shut down. She had always emailed parents weekly but since schools closed she has really kept us “in the loop”. She emails the parents regularly and often with updates about how the school is proceeding. Even when she doesn’t have all the answers she still lets us know she working on it. And she sends the students very positive and motivational message to keep their spirits up. I have 3 children, one at each level of school in FCPS, and Ms Millard has BY FAR kept us the best informed of any other principal. During this uncertain time, her communications are more important and valuable than ever."

- a West Potomac HS Parent

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Karl Von Roenn, Woodley Hills ES

"Mr. Von. Roenn has been my fifth grade teacher this year. He is a great teacher every day.Through out quarantine he has gone the extra mile. He even called all of us in his class to see how we are feeling and to make sure everybody has a computer. I think he is a really good person!"

- a Woodley Hills ES Teacher

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Rosalind Ali, Riverside ES

"Roz Ali is a math coach at Riverside Elementary. I have worked closely with her over the past three years. She always has a positive attitude and offers great suggestions for activities and engaging resources teachers can implement with their students. My lessons are better because of her!"

- Andrea Contrada, Riverside ES

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Lorri Hallenbeck, Riverside ES

"Lorri has been such an amazing support system to me. She has helped me through A LOT of things with this distance learning and letting me ask her questions at all times regarding anything. I love having someone like her to talk to and work with! Thank you Lorri for all your help (so far) throughout my first year at Riverside!!! :) "

- Ronna Lee Petitt, Riverside ES

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Nicole Clark, Dogwood ES

"Ms. Clark goes above and beyond for each of her students. She has great ideas and is always very positive and kind! She helps the parents at whatever they are struggling with and always includes them in the classroom activities."

- a Dogwood ES Parent

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Jackie Lake, Braddock ES

"Since day one of FCPS school closures, Ms. Lake has been working tirelessly on behalf of our students and their families. Ms. Lake has coordinated with school business partners and outreach groups to ensure that Braddock families have access to food outside the scope of the meals that FCPS has provided. Ms. Lake has ensured that all safety precautions are in place throughout the COVID-19 pandemic while providing opportunities for staff to donate needed supplies. Ms. Lake works tirelessly on behalf of our school community and keeps our staff updated through social media. Ms. Lake is a true first responder and embodies the spirit of giving and service."

-  Noel Foley, Braddock ES

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Joyce Matthews, Braddock ES

"Mrs. Matthews has been working tirelessly to support the Braddock Elementary School Community during the COVID-19 pandemic. From helping to coordinate food access for evening and weekend meals for our students and their families to laptop distribution, Mrs. Matthews has been everywhere. A true teacher, she even passed out seed growing packets during meal pick-ups. Mrs. Matthews keeps our school community informed and connected via social media. Mrs. Matthews embodies the true spirit of service."

- Noel Foley, Braddock ES

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Marcy Balderson, Dogwood ES

"My ESOL co-teacher has done an incredible job of reaching out to our students and their families (via email, phone, and “snail mail”). With 19/20 of our students being English Language learners, communication with families to help them navigate distance learning has been quite an undertaking. Having the support of such a caring colleague has been vital to my students and to me as their Gen-Ed teacher during this challenge. I hope that she will be recognized for her quiet work behind the scenes to keep our students on their instructional path."

- Claire Houser, Dogwood ES

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Jennifer Chou-Silverio, Dogwood ES

"Jenny is a leader in our community.  She helps anyone and everyone.  Since I've been at Dogwood Jenny has been a coach, a mentor (she was my mentor as well), and a very beloved teacher.  I feel like she works from sun up to way past sun down in order to finalize everything that she sets out to do.  I am constantly in awe of how she leads our special education meetings with love and knowledge.  It dawned on me today after staying behind with her (after one of our virtual meetings) that she doesn't get recognition for most of what she does; she just does it with an open heart and open mind.  Thanks for all you do Jenny Chou!  You are an absolute rock star!"

- Michelle Burnett, Dogwood ES

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Michelle Moran, Riverside ES

"Michelle has been an amazing team lead this year! She is positive, kind, helpful, knowledgeable, and has become an amazing friend. During this unprecedented time, we have collaborated daily on lessons and activities for our students. She is an amazing teacher, and I am so grateful to have her as a teammate!"

- Angelica Karamooz, Riverside ES

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Karlie Hale, Riverside ES

"Karlie is the SBTS at Riverside and I just wanted to commend her for her leadership during this crazy times. The persistence, patience, and empathy she has demonstrated while working tirelessly to get our distance learning up and running have been critical to our success. We love you so much, Karlie!"

- Katie Eustis, Riverside ES

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Margaret Raflem, Hunt Valley ES

"Mrs. Rafle goes above and beyond her duties as a teacher. My daughter loves her so much and I can see why, especially now that we are all doing distance learning. I have 3 kids in Hunt Valley and it's easy to see how Mrs. Rafle stands out. She makes her students feel important and that they matter."

- a Hunt Valley ES Parent

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Robin Khare, Dogwood ES

"Robin is an outstanding teacher and I couldn’t ask for a better coworker. She has been in constant contact with the families of her students, working tirelessly to connect the families with resources, as well as giving them emotional support. She is also a source of emotional and motivational support for our team of early childhood educators."

- Janie Brooks, Dogwood ES

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Joy Pablo-Hayes, Fairview ES

"Mrs. Joy Pablo-Hayes is extraordinary.   She has actively engaged and excited the students through endless opportunities since mid-March.  Her tireless efforts are overwhelming apparent as she interacts with each student through activities that both educate and foster their confidence.   She teaches through example, actively participating with her students which in turn leads her students to actively participate. She encourages her students to find joy in all they do despite the environment.  She listens to her students through what they say and what they write then responds, making each student feel so very appreciated.  She reminds them how important family is, how meaningful this time spent with their family is. There is laughter and smiles in her online classroom, joy she puts in the hearts of her students. Most importantly, when her students later recall this period of time in their lives, they will always remember how she was a source of comfort, strength, and true to her name- JOY!  As parents, we will be forever grateful."

- a Fairview ES Parent

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Andrea Kessler, Graham Road ES

"I want to take this time to express my appreciation for my fellow colleague, Andrea Kessler, our guidance counselor, for her thoughtfulness, morale boosting spirit and efforts she has put forth in making sure that all of our students are well prepared for online learning. She created the Postcard Program as soon as our school closed making sure that our kids know that we all care-even from a distance. All of the staff has participated in the program, sending multiple cards to students and she alone has mailed more than 50 postcards! In addition to her outreach, she was able to secure a donation from a neighbor and was able to provide laptops to our most needy families!! AND on top of it all, because it is teacher appreciation week, she still manages to think about our staff and sends the entire GRES staff inspirational memes during the week. I cannot stress how incredible and essential she has been for all of us during this time and I'd like to share how incredibly important she has been for Graham Road. She deserves all the CARES in the world!"

- Annabel Arana, Graham Road ES

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Dawn Dzurilla and Maria Vazquez Guzman, Herndon ES

"I need to share how AMAZING Maria and Dawn are at our school. They have been doing the grab and go with such professionalism, grace and kindness.  I am at school on Fridays putting out our Weekend food bags, and I hear them interacting with parents and children when they come up.  They greet them with such enthusiasm and now even know how many children families have and the breakfast/lunch bags are ready! They smile, laugh and make them comfortable, all while maintaining social distance and following all FCPS protocol. They even had "travel bags: ready for the families that are picking up larger quantities of meals for their children!!  During all these times when so many are uncomfortable, scared, nervous and unsure of so many things, it makes my heart happy to see such compassion from these two. I appreciate them and wanted others to know how much of a difference they are making daily.  They are well deserving and wonderful ladies!! Terraset ES is lucky to have them all year long, I’m glad we have them during this time! 😊 "

- Tiffany A. Bryant, Herndon ES

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Maggie Carmichael, Daniels Run ES

"I am so thankful to be working with Mrs. Carmichael! All year, and throughout the transition into distant learning, she has been a constant support for our 6th grade special education students. She has helped ease so many of the emotions and challenges that students are facing during this time. Students can count on Mrs. Carmichael when they need help with anything, and she's always there for them. They truly know how much she cares."

- Maya Omran, Daniels Run ES

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Khoi Nguyen, Sideburn Support Center

"Twice a week since the start of Covid-19, I've run around the neighborhood. The route I've followed has been that of my school's annual fundraiser, the Frost 5K. Last Thursday, towards the end of my run, my gloved hands got hot, so I temporarily dropped the gloves.  It was right near the front of the school, so I figured I could retrieve them when I finished.  Foolishly, though, I forgot to retrieve them, and didn't realize until my next run the following Tuesday. When I arrived at Frost, the gloves weren't there, but thankfully Khoi Nguyen was.  He was in an FCPS van outside the school, about to help Frost with their facilities.  From a safe distance, I asked if he happened to see the gloves. He said he hadn't.  He then volunteered to look for the gloves.  He also volunteered to go inside the school to ask if anyone had seen them.  I wasn't sure if anyone was inside the school and didn't want to inconvenience anyone, but he insisted he could go check.  He returned, said the two people inside hadn't seen them, and I assumed that was that.  He then said he'd be there when the custodian arrived later in the day.  He said he could make sure to ask the custodian and send me a message with the answer! The gloves were never found, but my heart was warmed.  It felt great to discover someone who would do all of those things to help a person he didn't even know!  I am sure this is not the first time Khoi has gone out of his way to demonstrate compassion, commitment, and excellence.  To make sure he's recognized this time, though, I'm submitting this message.  "

- Colin Verbicar, Frost MS

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Nancy Slocum, Daniels Run ES

"Ms. Slocum is an incredible special education teacher who advocates for her 6th graders day in and day out. She is a part of every single live session, interacting with all the students, but also helping me behind the scenes with Blackboard’s features to make for the smoothest live teaching! I know I can reach out to her with any questions I have, no matter what time of day it is. She will stop whatever she is doing (which is a LOT) and help. Not a day goes by without students asking for Ms. Slocum. They know what a caring and supportive figure in their life she is, and it is remarkable to continue seeing that connection in our virtual world. I am very grateful to be working with her this year."

- Maya Omran, Daniels Run ES

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Adrienne Rafat, McNair ES

"When one thinks about Adrienne, the words that come to mind are thoughtful, hard-working and creative. During the distance learning period, she has worked so very hard in her role as a special education teacher in not only supporting each one of her students, she has also been a true collaborator and been supporting all of her colleagues. She has brought a smile on all of our faces during these difficult times, offering her support to us even though she is exhausted at the end of each day. She is truly caring for her ENTIRE family during the pandemic. I am proud to be her colleague and her friend."

- Vani Rupela, McNair ES

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Nardos King, Gatehouse Administration Center 

The father of an FCPS student has COVID. The student needed a laptop. When asked for guidance on how to handle this student's need, Assistant Superintendent Nardos King asked the school for the student's home address and offered to bring the FCPS laptop to the student. That is true leadership.

- a FCPS Principal

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Kayla Khan, Bush Hill ES
 
"Ms. Kayla Khan is my son first grade teacher. When the pandemic first showed its messy head to our area and schools closed, Kayla mailed letters to each student with specific area of math they could work on. And ways they could show her their work. She followed up with families on the children’s interests and consequently dropped off (at our front door) several Magic Tree House books since libraries are closed and my son is just a few books away from finishing the end of the series. And she also offered to “bubble in” with our family and our kids to be able to watch our kids during the birth of our baby since our family could not travel at this time. All of these things are significant. On top of this all, she runs the highest quality writers workshop. Her energy is contagious. And through distance learning she continues to find ways to make it known each student is important and their contributions are important. Kayla Khan is one of the BEST teachers!!"

- a Bush Hill ES Parent

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Roxanne Kaylor, Brookfield ES

"Roxanne Kaylor is an amazing person!  Roxanne is a retired FCPS SBTS, and now substitutes where she is needed.  Roxanne came to us at Brookfield ES just as the Covid 19 era hit, not even getting the opportunity to meet any of us in person.  She clearly has extensive knowledge of current FCPS technology and has jumped right in to run training sessions, and troubleshoot anything that has come up.  She has made herself available to us almost 24/7 - just check the time stamp on her emails! She is so patient, and has a great sense of humor – both necessary qualities in this crazy time. While we miss the capable care of our full-time SBTS, in this unprecedented time of monumental technology needs, Roxanne is getting the job done for a staff and students that she’s never even met!"

- Cathy Wilson, Brookfield ES

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Jason Wright, Willow Oaks

"Jason is detail oriented and a  team player.  He has gone above and beyond expectations while we work remotely to create lessons that support both students and teachers.  He is reliable, flexible, open to feedback, and responsive.  He has created numerous ELD and English for ELs Lessons, while collaborating across offices to support the creation of materials that will support English Learners across multiple content areas. Thanks Jason for being a wonderful teammate! Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!"

- Caitlyn Saxton, Willow Oaks

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Lauren Herr, Willow Oaks

"Lauren has been integral in supporting HS English learners during this time of distance learning.   She is reliable, flexible, open to feedback, and
responsive.  Lauren has created Strategies for Success for ELs lessons, Government for ELs Lessons, all while supporting  the creation and delivery of various other HS ESOL trainings, resources, and supports! Lauren is also supporting the social studies office in creating and providing materials that are accessible to all learners. Thanks Lauren  for being a wonderful teammate! Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!"

- Caitlyn Saxton, Willow Oaks

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Sarah Eqab, Willow Oaks

"Sarah has been integral in supporting HS English learners during this time of distance learning.   She is reliable, flexible, open to feedback, and
responsive.  In addition to creating secondary ELD resources, Sarah has created multiple math resources including Individual Math lessons while also supporting  the creation and delivery of various other HS ESOL trainings, resources, and supports! Sarah is also supporting the math team in creating and providing materials that are accessible to all learners. Thanks Sarah for being a wonderful teammate! Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!"

- Caitlyn Saxton, Willow Oaks

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Allison Hough, Willow Oaks

"Allison is detail oriented and a team player.  She has gone above and beyond expectations while we work remotely to create lessons that support both students and teachers.  She is reliable, flexible, open to feedback, and responsive.  Allison has created Strategies for Success for ELs lessons, all while supporting  the creation and delivery of various other HS ESOL trainings, resources, and supports! She is also supporting the science office in creating and providing materials that are accessible to all learners.Thanks Allison for being a wonderful teammate! Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!"

- Caitlyn Saxton, Willow Oaks

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Jane Flegal, Willow Oaks

"Thank you, Jane. It is always great to work with a supportive partner. Jane has worked tirelessly and around the clock to support teachers during distance learning. She is mindful of both the teacher and student perspective, working to create supports and resources that are intuitive and timely. Her work supports multiple offices and thousands of students! Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!"

- Caitlyn Saxton, Willow Oaks

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Evie Ifantides, Willow Oaks

"Evie is a wonderful and caring teammate.  During this time of distance learning, I have been able to lean on her to help me with technology. She is a model of FCPS Caring Culture.  In addition to her support around tech, organizes events and communications to keep morale high. Thank you, Evie! Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!"

- Caitlyn Saxton, Willow Oaks

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Margaret Sisler, Westfield HS

"Margaret has been a savior to our school for the work she did to help us with distance learning. She has truly gone "above and beyond" in the taking care of ALL of our staff in these uncertain times. From the planning and training she provided us, keeping the lines of communication open, letting us "vent" our frustrations, helping us fix issues and re-fix them, and even offering to "be a student" in class for us to practice our ideas. And she only started with us a few months ago as our new SBTS! To be new to a large school and not know everyone yet and their subject areas...pretty amazing has she has unified us. Truly grateful for everything!"

- Karen Bendorf, Westfield HS
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Karen Ramsey, Riverside ES

"Karen has been working endlessly to make sure her students are aware, present and learning during these difficult times.  Her commitment to providing quality instruction is evident in the preparation and implementation of her lessons. She has worked tirelessly to increase her technology capacity in order to maximize the availability of the content.  Her students are fortunate to have Mrs. Ramsey in their corner!!!"

- Amy Dodson, Riverside ES

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Monica Castro, Union Mill ES

"Before the district full implemented its distance learning plan Ms Castro began developing activities for her 1st graders that they could do independently at home. From simple math worksheets to an Animal Research project. These activities were easy to differentiate making it possible for me to maintain some sort of normalcy for my 3 young kids as we learned a new normal. Ms Castro is "only" a long term substitute which makes her dedication so much more impressive. I hope she finds a permanent place in our school since I have 2 more kids not in 1st grade yet."

- a Union Mill ES Parent

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Melissa Pascoe, Washington Mill  ES

"Melissa is our school's Reading Specialist.  Throughout the school year, she supported me in leading our team and collaborated with me weekly. During this pandemic, she joined our grade level "Distance Learning Team" (DLT) while also supporting the school through her role as Reading Specialist too. She has helped us find all of the FCPS Literacy resources, along with helping the team learn how to use our new online platform. She collaborates with our team daily to build upon our confidence and knowledge."

- Laura Nikander, Washington Mill ES

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Sarah Chin, Churchill Road ES

"You are such an amazing teacher! Thank you so much for teaching me! Even though you are a long-term substitute, I hope you remain at Churchill! I really enjoyed being in class with you, and I'm glad we get to continue that through distance learning!"

- Churchill Road ES Student

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Karen Smialek, Silverbrook ES
 
"In the past few weeks, Mrs. Smialek has taken the extra step to stay connected and bridge the home-school experience.  The complexity of distance learning is a struggle, but Mrs. Smialek has demonstrated an expanded form of dedication and commitment to her ESOL students.  She has offered her support to our families and makes herself available to assist in a successful "log in" as well as provides alternative measures to keep the momentum of learning.  High-five Karen!"

- Carmen Pangelinan, Silverbrook ES

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Christine Waters, Union Mill ES

"Mrs Waters has been AMAZING all year, but she has really shined during this quarantine. She has helped all three of my kids deal with their feelings about abruptly losing all physical contact with their friends and teachers.
She has helped me deal with the emotional stress of homeschooling three kids, even though I am not her responsibility. She has helped me overcome the technical hurdles of homeschooling, even though that’s not her responsibility, either. Most importantly, she loves my kindergartener even when he’s being difficult, and she has never given up on him. I truly believe she will always be in our corner."

- a  Union Mill ES Parent

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Angelica Karamooz, Riverside ES

"Angelica Karamooz has gone above and beyond for students, families, and team members! She has created a caring school family where parents and students feel comfortable communicating with her on a regular basis. For example, she created a video with step by step instructions on how to draw a dragon because a student wanted to know how!  She reads with  students over the phone who do not have access to a computer and she even created handwriting videos using the FCPS verbal pathway so her students can practice at home! It does not stop there! She consistently shares her creations and resources with her team and is a great collaborator. I cannot wait to see all the incredible things she will do as she goes into her third year of teaching!"

- Michelle Giaccone, Riverside ES

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Angelica Karamooz, Tara Klibansky, Jada Roberts, Debbie Sykes, Riverside ES

"The kindergarten team at Riverside Elementary has really come together during this chaotic and uncertain time. Team members have been supportive of each other both personally and professionally. Each week we collaborate and share resources so all of our kindergarteners have similar learning opportunities and experiences. Each member of the team brings their own personal flair, knowledge, and experience giving our kindergarteners engaging and fun learning opportunities!"

- Michelle Giaccone, Riverside ES
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Lisa Hodge, Cooper MS

"Lisa Hodge is the principal's secretary at Cooper Middle School.  She has been at Cooper many years, previously as attendance secretary.   She moved into this role as principal's secretary two years ago and successfully transitioned with a new principal just March 1st two weeks before we were all home. Lisa's role in our building goes beyond description.  She handles everything and does it with such kindness and concern.  She is a mom of five children who have all come through our doors.  She supports every teacher as though they were there for her own children.  I have accompanied her to too many funerals for parents of our children and worked with her on providing meals for those in need,  I have worked with her selling tickets for basketball games and i know she attends games of our kids. During this particular time Lisa has been at the center of everything.  Her communication skills, her caring and the time she invests in our school and its inhabitants and guests is phenomenal.  She cares so deeply about her job, but mostly she cares so deeply about the people in our building. Please consider Lisa Hodge - she is one in a million!!!!!"

- Michele V. Saint Germain, Cooper MS

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Laura Turner, Coates ES

"She has so much patience and understand for helping her students stay on track and continue to read . Mrs.Turner always is checking on her students to make sure if there is anything that’s he/she needs. It’s a safe feeling knowing that she really cares about my daughter's education and will go above and beyond to continue to help."

- a Coates ES Parent

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Kristen Carneal, Aldrin ES

"My son has been in Kristen Carneal's K-2 SPED class for the past two years. Each time I see the call for FCPS Cares nominations I think, "Ms. Carneal really deserves special recognition," and then the challenges of work and raising kids with special needs get in the way. It simply cannot wait any longer - her superpowers must be celebrated! My son loves school because Kristen gives him the structure, motivation, and challenge he needs every day. She treats him with respect and love through thick and thin. Having a temper tantrum? She has a calming strategy. Acing a math problem? She's ready to celebrate and give another challenge. As a parent, I have always felt like Kristen is a partner in advocating for my son. She leads the effort on school supports, strategizing about IEP goals and inclusion opportunities. She also contributes to all of our efforts to get medical testing and supports, providing observational notes and completing evaluations for doctors. During this national crisis, Ms. Carneal has become a homeschool teaching coach while learning to provide instruction in a totally new format. She is teaching me to address the social-emotional, attention, and sensory issues that can get in the way of my son's academic learning. We are experimenting together to find ways to chunk non-preferred work into manageable parts. She is helping us replicate some of the school structures that might allow my son to maintain academic progress. Growing up, I watched my parents battle schools and systems to get my brother the special education services he needed. I went into our first IEP meetings ready to do the same. Instead, I found a partner who is passionate about helping my son get exactly what he needs to learn, grow, and be a happy kid. Kristen Carneal is a shining beacon of what special education can and should be."

- an Aldrin ES Parent

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Kristina Mickey, Oak View ES

"Mrs. Mickey has provided an outstanding distance learning experience for my son. From the beginning, she has provided parents with as much information as possible at the time. Most importantly, she has created consistent, structured online learning that has kept my son engaged and in a routine. I have listened in the background as Mrs. Mickey conducts her online teaching, and from the first class, her patience, kindness, humor, and effectiveness at not just making sure the kids maintain the information they learned while physically at school, but introducing new material has impressed me beyond words. She has absolutely risen to the challenge of quickly shifting to distance teaching. This school year will stand out in my memory for many reasons. Mrs. Mickey’s teaching and my son’s experience in her class will be a bright spot in that memory."

- an Oak View ES Parent.

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Hilda Dalrymple, Fairfax HS

"Thank you so much for all that you have done this year.  You have gone above and beyond to support not only your students, but to all of us a the school. You are SOOO appreciated."

- Kevin Greata, Fairfax HS

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Jenny Quinn, Hutchison ES
 
"Words can't describe all the things Mrs. Quinn do for the support of our daughter's education. She did recognize my daughter's advanced academic achievement and supported her from the beginning of the school year. Mrs. Quinn gave our daughter materials appropriate for her level of knowledge.  We have a very strong relationship with Mrs. Quinn and consider her as our friend. She gave her phone number to all parents when we started the virtual learning so we can reach easily to her if we ran into a problem . Mrs. Quinn know everyone in our family and she always asking about everyone. She is truly a hard working teacher and we are truly appreciated all she does . Our daughter is so blessed and lucky to have Mrs. Quinn as her teacher this year."

- a Hutchison ES Parent

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Beatriz Toledo (Miss. B), Halley ES

"Miss. B has been getting school supplies and food for the Head Start kids and their families. She was distributing items the week of April 20th to Hegel Circle families. She really cares."

- a Halley ES Parent

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Piedad Dwyer, Providence ES

"Es una excelente enlace familiar siempre esta dispuesta a ayudar.tiene una sensibilidad humanitaria unica."

- a Providence ES Parent

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Lynda Rupp, Washington Mill ES

"During this entire Distance Learning experience, Lynda Rupp has proven herself to be an invaluable source of information, problem solving, and ever-present help.  She goes above and beyond by being available to staff whenever she is needed, answering countless emails, and joining CLT meetings to explain, demonstrate, and share various tools, applications and programs. She has been able to maintain her composure and level head during virtual staff meetings where questions are flying and she is the only person who is able answer them.  We have always been lucky to have Lynda Rupp on our staff, but never more than during Distance Learning!"

- Kirsten Habib, Washington Mill ES

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Susan Altamirano, Armstrong ES

"Susan has been supporting our school and community since the first day that we left on March 13.  Susan has supported the PTA and the school by sending numerous Keep In Touch messages as needed to keep the community informed. Susan has worked with Spanish speaking families to ensure they were able to pick up laptops and had technology support.   Susan has helped teachers connect with Spanish speaking families to help with online learning resources. Susan has worked hard as the administrative assistant for finance to ensure families receive refunds for cancelled field trips.  Susan always says yes with a smile on her face."

- Andrea DePiro, Armstrong ES

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Lianne LaFleur & Joyce Stephansky, Stratford Landing ES

"My rising 7th grader was excited auditioning for middle school choir and became very nervous about how the process would continue since they were no longer in school. Her choir teachers reached out with detailed information and then set up individual video conferences for any student who wanted a little audition prep/practice. This helped our daughter feel connected, confident & ready for the audition. A great example of going beyond and thinking of the students needs during this challenging time. Thank you!"

- a Stratford Landing ES Parent

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Sommer Conway, Oakton ES

"Ms. Conway goes above and beyond with each interaction she has with our children. She is truly an asset to our school and community. Our kids are doing a book report. On 4/24 she sent an email and offered curbside delivery of the books to students without a book. Thank you Ms. Conway! We appreciate you."

- an Oakton ES Parent

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Stephany Tlatelpa, Riverside ES

"Stephany is a first-year teacher who not only had the challenge of starting the school year in March, but 4 days after starting had to make the transition to distance learning. Stephany has truly modeled what it means to be a goal-directed and resilient individual, not only making this transition to distance learning (and teaching in general), but also managing to build relationships with her students and contributing great ideas to her new team during this difficult time. She has impressed me from day one and is doing amazing things.  I am so happy to have her as part of the 2nd grade team! Great job Stephany!"

- Cat Godley, Riverside ES

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Kimbrell McGhee, Riverside ES

"Ms. McGhee has gone above and beyond to support her students through this distance learning experience. Ms. McGhee has many years of experience in the classroom and has really taken a step out of her comfort zone with technology. She has worked with coaches and staff members to create authentic and engaging learning experiences for her students in Math! I applaud your efforts and risk taking! Keep up the great work!"

- Brianna Lucas, Riverside ES

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Mackenzie Hays, Woodley Hills ES

"Excellent teacher and very good person.  She demonstrated interest in her students during pandemic."

- a Woodley Hills ES Parent

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Shira Brothers & Kate Adams, Willow Oaks

"Shira and Kate took the time to caption videos for the ABA Program's Distance Learning Video Library. This collection of videos is a way to support families in promoting positive behavior in the home and disseminating behavior strategies during the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only were they gracious with their time to communicate a streamlined process for captioning, but their quick turn around helped to ensure that we could get these videos out to families quickly. Their work helps to ensure accessibility and reach-ability in supporting caregivers, which ultimately positively effects our students. Thank you!"

- Alexandria Grant-Presser, Willow Oaks

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Mark Stevens, Glasgow MS

"Dr. Stevens has gone above and beyond during distance learning.  He provided lessons, continuous learning and remained in contact with students during a time when the rest of the school system went dark.  Recognizing the need for students to remain engaged, he offered support and a sense of normalcy for the students.  He summarized and simplified FCPS communication and remained an active teacher when the students (and parents) needed him most.  Thank you Dr. Stevens!"

- a Glasgow MS Parent

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Sandra Rice, Fairfax HS

"Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!
Thank you for being a wonderful, thoughtful FACs teacher.
Thank you for always checking in on me to making sure I was doing okay.
Thank you for all the new skills you have thought me.
I really enjoyed being in your class this year, sad it got cut short."

- a Fairfax High School Student

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Shaimaa Mohamed, Fairfax HS
 
"Thank you for everything that you have helped me with this year. Thank you for being my advocate when I need something. I really appreciate all that you have gotten me through this year. Thank you for always checking in on me to making sure I am doing okay. Can't wait to see how the next three years go!"

- a Fairfax High School Student

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Maria Vadala, Fairfax Villa ES

"Where to begin?! Ms. Vadala was putting forth immense effort since day one of kindergarten (calling parents individually to let them know that their child had a good first day).  It was hard to believe she could do more!  But as is her apparent style, she has gone above and beyond what could be expected of her during this time of distance learning. Even prior to the remote learning through the school system was in place, she reached out  to let my daughter know she was missed and cared for. Both her and Mrs. Amy kindly have written back to any letter my daughter sent to them, and they enthusiastically continue their lessons via video chat each week.  Ms. Vadala is the epitome of a beloved kindergarten teacher—warm, enthusiastic, energetic, positive. She is an example for others on how to instill a love of learning in each child and we are so lucky that our daughter was able to start her schooling year with her! Thank you Ms. Vadala!"

- a Fairfax Villa ES Parent

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Rita Gigliotti, South Lakes HS

"Mrs. Gigliotti has gone above and beyond to support her chorus students these last few weeks.  In April she produced the first virtual chorus with her advanced students. Then in the past couple weeks she has been working with the more junior choirs on a virtual song. She is scheduling individual coaching sessions with each student, more than one if necessary. She sends many reminders to each student. In addition she created an organizational template which students can use to save all their links for their classes, which she sent to all chorus parents and students. She has continued to send weekly emails and uses Remind. She has shown a true dedication to her students and to music, and encouragement to everyone. She has demonstrated resiliency by quickly adapting to online teaching.  I hope she can be recognized for the lessons she is teaching us all."

- a South Lakes HS Parent

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Kelly Thomas, Kilmer center

"Kelly has spent many hours agonizing over how to help our students with the distance learning. I know this because I am one of her support staff. I've been with Kelly for two years and I can say it's some of the best years I've had at my school. She doesn't see me just as a body to tell what to do, but as a valued member of the team. She asks and values my honest opinion of all staff members. On April 28th she was informed that one of our students hadn't been eating and just crying at school. Kelly then went out of her way to go to Walmart and buy some of the foods that the student loved for my classroom. Plus some activities for her to do and some things just to give her a smile. Not only did she do  this for our student but the student's younger brother also. Kelly called me the next day extremely excited because our student ate the snacks and she was able to talk to the student. Kelly loves each of her students and all students at Kilmer Center as if they were her own children."

- Patti L Madden, Kilmer Center

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Terri Pendleton, Kent Gardens ES
 
"Terri Pendleton is our full time TSPEC at Kent Gardens Elementary. In addition to setting up and supporting laptop distribution with us, she has gone to several other schools to help with their laptop and Mifi distribution process as well. She planned our process, made a visual map to ensure safety protocols would be followed, she worked with individual families to make sure they would have access, she remotely helped to solve tech issues with parents and staff members. She spent countless hours going above and beyond to ensure students would have what they needed to participate in Distance Learning. Thanks Terri!!"

- Tia Hawkins, Kent Gardens ES

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Hilary Powell, Liberty MS

"Mrs. Powell's on-line experience has been fabulous for my son.  Her google classroom is very well organized, she goes over and beyond to make sure everything is easily accessible.  My son can find his assignments easily, he knows what is due each week and when it is due.  He even said, "I wish everyone did their classes the way Mrs. Powell does, everything is so organized and easy to find."  Her video lessons and explanations are top notch as well as her communication with the parents."

- a Liberty MS Parent

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Hannah Kozik, Sunrise Valley ES

"Every day Ms. Kozik goes above and beyond to teach her second graders.  She bring fun and connection to them while learning during this challenging time. She puts in so much effort and care and my daughter is inspired to learn and share after distance learning sessions."
 

- a Sunrise Valley ES Parent

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Annie Joseph, Kent Gardens ES

"I can’t say enough good things about Mrs. Joseph. She has walked with my child and me through every step of this distance learning process. She checks in on us several times a week and has provided so many resources and suggestions for activities and things that may help with our school year goals. Before all of this I knew she was a huge advocate for my child, but that has been confirmed 10 fold as we continue to distance learn. FCPS is lucky to have such a dedicated and caring professional as Mrs. Joseph."

- a Kent Gardens ES Parent

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Tim Brown, Fairfax HS
 
"Thank you for all you have done during this anxious and stressful time for our staff with preparing us to deliver lessons and re-engage our students, parents, and staff through the Distance Learning Process. With your support to get this right for our students we have been able to continue to show Confidence, Be Cool, and show Compassion."

- Diana Smith-Jackson, Fairfax HS

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Diane Grabowski, Terra Centre ES

"During this whole experience, teachers are absolutely the most important person to keep our kids understand and see normalcy. I honestly don’t know what we can do without Ms. Grabowski. Even during the whole Blackboard Period and technology issues, she has been so calm, patience, and very informative. As a parent, we don’t always see the hard work that teachers do to make things done smoothly. I am so thankful for her. The lesson has been very innovative and very well thought out. She is so encouraging and her soft tone is to be admired."

- a Terra Centre ES Parent

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Carolyn Vickers, Union Mill ES
 
"Among the many, many ways Ms. Vickers has reached out to her students and families, she sent a picture cut-out of herself along with a poem. "Flat Ms.Vickers" is just like "Flat Stanley". We can take her with us on our outdoor adventures, include her at the family dinner table, and even have her "help" us with the first grade learning packet. We can send in pictures, or just include her in our day. This small thing has meant the world to my daughter. She no longer feels so isolated and separated from her favorite teacher. It has meant the world to us. Ms. Vickers is outstanding in every way."

- Emily Cunningham, Union Mill ES

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Megan Ledig, Spring Hill ES
 
"Ms. Ledig has been a phenomenal 2nd grade teacher and person since the very beginning of the school year. She is always so positive and helpful for students and families and has had a great outlook and been very patient and dedicated since the distance learning began. We miss her and hope she is recognized for her efforts during this time!"

- a Spring Hill ES Parent

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Christa Shiley, Hayfield SS

"Ms. Shiley emailed my husband and I to let us know that our son improved is grade by 10% between the end of 2nd and 3rd quarters, and wanted us to know that his hard work did not go unnoticed.  We do not help our son with his work, so we had no idea how hard he has been working while at home during this quarantine. Her email made our day!"

- a Hayfield SS Parent

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Kaylin Daniels, Poplar Tree ES
 
"Ms. Daniels is a gem of a teacher that has gone above and beyond to stay connected to her students and families during distance learning!  We are in awe of the way she is able to seamlessly integrate technology into her lessons.  We'd like to recognize Ms. Daniels every day, but especially during Teacher Appreciation Week!  Thank you, Ms. Daniels!!!"

 - Christy Ryder, Oak Hill ES

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Gina Yockey, Lemon Road ES
 
"Ms. Yockey has kept the kids busy learning and engaged once distance learning had started. Even prior to the official distance learning start date, she kept us informed with very clear instructions about the plan. When Blackboard kept failing, she did not give up on the process, and continued instruction with my son's class.  She provided students and parents with ways of communicating when we have questions. I see that the work ms. Yockey is doing has been very well planned and all the instructions and assignments are clear for my son and he is able to work on his own or with his classmates online. As a working parent, I am grateful for that and the fact that I do not need to be involved in the online process. She has proven excellent as a teacher who is clearly dedicated to the learning process regardless of the circumstances."

-  a Lemon Road ES Parent
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Gwyneth Kiehl, Riverside ES
 
"I am very grateful for Gwyneth's time, dedication, and hard work. Gwyneth took the time to send an email titled: Publishers allowing virtual read-alouds which was super helpful!  First she organized over 50 books by themes.  She also included the author and publisher for each book.  Then Gwyneth sorted by publisher and wrote a detailed description with each of their guidelines.  She also added a section of publishers offering free online resources or eBooks.  The entire document that Gwyenth wrote was incredibly organized and informative.  I was having difficulties figuring out which books I was allowed to read for asynchronous instruction and doing my own research confused me more.  Reading her document made it easy to understand and I hope to do read alouds now that I have this information.  I really appreciate Gwyneth taking her own initiative to create this to help the entire early childhood team."

- Christie Kwun, Riverside ES
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Caitlin Kimak, Hayfield SS
 
"For the "Date of Experience", I wish I could have put in a range of days, so I opted to start at the 1st. From day 1 of this COVID crisis, Ms. Kimak has been a cheerleader for our children, a wealth of information, and a hand guiding us all in the darkness as we navigated the unexpected together. Her efforts are a testament that shows dedication and devotion to her job, the success of our children, and supporting parents throughout this ordeal. Thank you Ms. Kimak for all you do! SUPERSTAR!"

- a Hayfield SS Parent
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Jensen Krause, Mason Crest ES
 
"Our son is a special education student in Kindergarten at Mason Crest ES. Very early on after the school closure, his teacher, Ms Krause, reached out and started to work with us on developing a learning plan for our son. She called and emailed several times a week, and sometimes even several times a day to provide recommendations, strategies, teaching materials, be a bridge with our son's therapists, and just check on how we were doing in general. Her dedication was exactly what we needed to stay motivated to continue teaching our son at home and knowing that someone cared so much about our son's progress supported us tremendously during the first few weeks of this journey. She is amazing and we are so blessed to have her on our team."

- a Mason Crest ES Parent

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Jaclyn Boehling, Riverside ES
 
"Jackie Boehling has been an essential part in the Distance Learning roll out for the 1st grade team this year.  She has always been a fantastic teammate but I can not say enough amazing things about her since we started DL.  She is creative, helpful, and always willing to help in any way.  She clocks in countless hours creating lessons, calling parents, and facilitating learning. We are very lucky to have had her in our team this year. Jackie is a superstar educator and an amazing colleague."

- Marialys Gruneiro, Riverside ES

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Kristi Robinson, Oakton ES

"Ms. Robinson went above and beyond during school shutdown and distant learning!! she is amazing."

- an Oakton ES Parent

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Jamie Wilson, Riverside ES

"Jamie has been an incredible source of support for the 2nd grade team as we have transitioned into distance learning. She has coached us through this transition, brought suggestions for new ideas for us to try, and helped guide us through learning new things. Without her leadership, this transition would have been no where near as successful for us. Thank you Jamie!"

- Cat Godley, Riverside ES

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Keri Mina, Cunningham Park ES
 
"Keri is our ESBTS and has gone above and beyond every single minute of every single day to answer our questions and problem solve ways to reach our students during distance learning.  Keri has made videos to teach us as well as our students and their families, answered our weekend and early morning texts or emails.  She has truly gone out of her way to positively support and encourage us.  I for one could not have done this without her assistance and her positive, encouraging outlook!"

- Laura Short, Cunningham Park ES

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Katherine Pfeffer-Hahn, Terraset ES 
 
"From the time school closed in March Ms. Pfeffer-Hahn stayed in touch with the student with daily meeting through zoom, backboard, and google classroom.  My son was provided materials, handouts, text books, reading material and fun projects.  There has been no break in his schooling. He has continued learning with full access to his teacher through online meetings, emails, and phone.  The class also has daily story time in the afternoons.  Ms. Pfeffer-Hahn has gone above and beyond for her students.  A great big thank you from our family, and others I am sure."

- a Terraset ES Family

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Michelle NewRingeisen, Nancy Sprague Center
 
"Even though Michelle is super busy and stressed during this time of uncertainty, she always takes the time to make her team feel appreciated and understood. Our team received some difficult news, and she reached out to us to make sure we are ok and offered to help in any way possible. It was very appreciated."

- Melissa York, Nancy Sprague Center

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Laura Reed, Frost MS

"Laura went above and beyond in supporting our staff with their technology needs as we moved to distance learning. Laura made herself available at almost all hours of the day to answer our questions and figure out ways to bring our curriculum and needed materials online."

- Rachel Rubio, Frost MS

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Caitlin Quincy, Frost MS

"Caitlin went above and beyond to help support students with tools to get organized for distance learning by creating additional student website resources and FAQs.  In addition, she provided tools to her fellow colleagues to help support their students through distance learning."

- Rachel Rubio, Frost MS

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KJ An, Fairfax Villa ES

"As PTA President, when schools closed I worried very much about the students at our school who will need access to food. Because we are not a Title 1 school, I was afraid our needs would be missed. From day one our admin team Dave Gerstner and KJ An gave me their full support and worked with me to address the issue. KJ spent countless hours working directly with me in this effort far beyond the purview of her many distance learning obligations. She is incredibly caring and detail oriented and I could not have done anything without her volunteering by my side."

- Meg Moody, Fairfax Villa ES 

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Elizabeth Flaherty, Willow Springs ES

"Liz is the registrar at my school. While that's her official title, she offers so much support that I'd add "teacher assistant", "SLP helper", "problem solver", "tech  assistant", "respected colleague" and "friend" to the list of titles that she has earned. She has been instrumental during this Distance Learning period in helping me maintain communication with the students and families I serve as a speech-language pathologist. She goes above and beyond in helping me find the correct information needed to insure that I have a variety of ways to stay connected with my students. WSES wouldn't stay up and running without Liz!"

- Mary Pat M Peri, Willow Springs ES

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Makenzie Mikesell, Willow Springs ES
 
"Ms. Mikesell has been outstanding at e-learning from the beginning. She has made it engaging and comforting for her students. We are so thankful!"

- a Willow Springs ES Parent

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Kurt Sporkmann, Chantilly HS
 
"Mr. Sporkmann is my sophomore son's Driver's Education teacher for 3rd quarter. In spite of all the technical difficulties we had with learning online, Mr. Sporkmann managed to make sure his 130 some students in 3rd quarter finished their required hours for driver's education. It is a pleasure to read his emails which always have good humor, reality check and words of encouragement.  Thank you so much for all you!"

- a Chantilly HS Parent

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Katy Bohn, Orange Hunt ES
 
"Mrs. Bohn has created a wonderful distance learning experience for her third graders. Her lessons are organized and very thoughtful, and her morning message is something that my student looks forward to each day. A highlight of last week was when Mrs. Bohn hosted a live story time for her students on Tuesday evening. She's doing a tremendous job ensuring that learning continues during this unanticipated break from school. She hasn't missed a beat, and her students are lucky to have her as a teacher!"

- Angela Linker, Willow Oaks

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Daniel Kurland, Holmes MS

"My son and I were very frustrated due to not being able to navigate blackboard and needing math resources.  He was very patient and assisted us and followed up with us about three times that week!  He took his time in helping my so I could understand the order of operations.   Thank you for showing us how much you care about my son's learning!!"

- a Holmes MS Parent

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Melissa Sitter, Poplar Tree ES

"Mrs. Sitter has been an amazing gift to our family during distance learning. She has gone above and beyond to communicate with her families and to keep her students connected to the classroom community.  She is a ray of light and a source of positivity for her students during this difficult time.  Happy Teacher Appreciation Week 2020 to the amazing, Melissa Sitter!"

- a Poplar Tree Parent

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John Thomas, McNair ES

"Mr.John Thomas is the best teacher one can ever imagine to have for their child. After coming to MrThomas’s class my son’s interest in every subject increased a lot. As a parent I can easily mail him and contact him to clear my queries all through the year and he promptly replies to all the mails and queries.he is so kind that when the shutdown of the schools were announced he personally talked to every student in the class through phone. And now he has made distance education also a fun learning experience and helps all the students to learn and gain the thorough knowledge of each subject."

- Bahnishikha Dey, McNair ES

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Sarah Lennon, Willow Springs ES

"Sarah Lennon, our school's SBTS, has worked tirelessly to insure that our students were able to continue synchronous learning the entire time we have been "live" while maintaining online safety for our kids. She is a consistent resource to everyone in our community and we would not be rocking Distance Learning without Sarah! She maintains a positive attitude even when 100 of us are throwing questions at her on a daily basis...we are so lucky to have her on our staff!"

- Mary Pat M Peri, Willow Springs ES

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Jennifer Cory, Annandale HS

"Since schools have closed, Jen has worked tirelessly to help teachers transition to distance learning. She has been available to answer questions, and she's created helpful tutorial videos. Every step of the way, Jen has considered the impact on students and teachers, and she's done an amazing job helping us all adapt to our current situation."

- Kathleen Mathis, Annandale HS

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Heather Sable, Bush Hill ES

"Mrs. Sable has continually gone above and beyond to bridge the distance gap between herself and her students.  Several handwritten notes and cards have come home during this break in in-person instruction providing moments of excitement and joy in our child's life.  It truly makes her stand out above and beyond."

- a Bush Hill ES Parent

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Bob DeLuca, Thoreau MS
 
"Bob has gone well above the requirements of being our SBTS.  He has spent tireless hours helping staff set up remote teaching and preparing us through trainings to teach us how to use the new technology.  Through all of the chaos, he maintained a sense of calm and exuded a "we can do this" attitude. Personally, he answered emails well after work hours and solved 100% of the technology issues.  I wanted to recognize Bob as an outstanding employee for his excellence and attention to detail during the COVID pandemic and always!"

- Barbara DeFilippi,Thoreau MS
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Sean Petitt, Food Services
 
"Sean has done an incredible job managing the free food program the County is providing. He started it when the kids were sent home, and has managed the team through the growth to the many locations and pop up locations."

- an Orange Hunt ES Parent
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Constance Teeters, Centerville ES

"Constance ("Stacey") is my mother and she teaches at Centerville Elementary School. I would argue that she works more hours now to meet the needs of her many students than she did prior to schools shutting down. I can just tell she cares deeply for her students and prioritizes them above herself."

- the Daughter of a Centerville ES Parent

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Marianne Vareldzis, West Potomac HS

"Ms. Vareldziz contacted me about my son's performance in her class linking the missing assignments to the email so that I could help him easily. She communicated with me via email answering all questions about the project. She was extremely helpful in helping my son pass Chemistry for 3rd Quarter. Kuddos! for not letting a child slip "out through the cracks". She went above and beyond providing an email with his grade and saying that she is proud of him. We really need more teachers like her!"

-  Zulakha Imran, West Potomac HS

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Dana Vivirito, Waples Mill ES

"From Day #1 of school closure, Ms Vivirito gives her all to keep her students (including my son) connected daily.  She understands that connection on the outside (with the school family) builds connection on the inside (brain neural connections).  County wide technical issues or planning time didn’t stand in her way. Like I said, she stayed with it since day #1 of school closure.  She allows the children to interact, express themselves and sees the benefit of so."

- a Waples Mill ES Parent

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Paula Prosper, Cooper MS
 
"She has really stepped up to the challenge of remote teaching!"

- a Cooper MS Parent

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Mark Thompson, McLean HS

"Mr. Thompson has been wonderful providing activities for my special needs daughter."

- a McLean HS Parent

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Paul Basdekis, Riverside ES
 
"Throughout this entire, unprecedented experience, our principal, Paul Basdekis, has been an inspiration and a pleasure to work with and for. His constant attention to clear and timely communication has set the Riverside Staff up for success and attention to detail has alleviated as much stress as possible given the current circumstances. For the past three years working with him, I have always been impressed at how he builds a team around him of strong and motivated leaders. While it certainly supports our “normal” day to day at Riverside, it has been one of our biggest strengths and points of leverage over the past two months. The team he has nurtured is driven, capable and empowered to support our school community and community at large, and they are shining right now. I can speak for myself when I say that I owe much of my preparation, confidence and coinciding success during this time to how Mr. Basdekis has supported me prior and during this experience. Mr. Basdekis has also shown his commitment to FCPS as a whole during the past couple of months. He has not only been focusing on how Riverside can and will be successful during distance learning, but how FCPS at large will as well. His dedication to his fellow principals is nothing short of inspiring. Recently, I saw that first hand as I worked with him to support principals and SBTSs through the latest rendition of Blackboard Collaborate Ultra and the pilot we were fortunate to participate in. Mr. Basdekis’s attention to detail, communication with his colleagues and honest feedback and advice surely contributed to the current success of the county wide rollout and current implementation. Over the past two months, it has also been inspiring to see how committed Mr. Basdekis is to the Riverside families and community. All decisions related to distance learning have put students and their families first. From our laptop distribution to our daily schedule to how students access learning, he always considers how it will impact students and their families in the most effective and equitable way possible. I cannot express how thankful I am to be a part of the Riverside Elementary Community. The students, families and staff are some of the most kind and dedicated people I have had the pleasure of working with and I am grateful to have every single one of them in my personal and professional life. The glue that holds each of those parties together is Principal Basdekis. While so many things may be uncertain right now, his love and commitment to all of us is not."

- Karlie Hale, Riverside ES

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Catherine McCarron, Fairview ES

"During a time of such uncertainty and disappoint, Mrs. McCarron has dedicated so much time and effort learning how to teach a class of 3rd graders virtually. Mrs. McCarron makes sure everyone is engaged in their online classes and provides the students with helpful feedback. My daughter looks forward to seeing Mrs. McCarron."

- a Fairview ES Parent

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Carole King, Riverside ES

"Ms. King is a wonderful 3rd grade teacher at Riverside Elementary. I am so thankful to have her as my buddy teacher and I am very saddened I don't get to see her each day. During this time of distance learning, everyone is learning how to adapt to best support our students remotely. Ms. King is doing a phenomenal job in advocating for her own needs to learn more about technology. She is adapting to creating resources and videos and asking questions to her teammates to continue her own professional development. Ms. King is a wonderful asset to our 3rd grade team, making us smile even when we're having a challenging day. She's positive and I know her students are lucky to have her."

- Stephanie Avants, Riverside ES

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David Walrod, Lake Braddock  SS

"Mr. Walrod is a gifted teacher who goes out of his way to make sure the kids understand what is being taught. He helps parents stay informed and organized, and above all, he is kind and relates well to the kids."

- a Lake Braddock SS Parent

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Mollie Safran, Fairfax HS

"Thank you for everything you have done for me and my family. I really enjoyed being in your class this year, sad it got cut short. I appreciate you helping me get caught back on work when I miss classes. Thank you for helping me find ways to take tests and make them less stressful. You were my favorite teacher this year! You would put a smile on my face. I loved how you would always say the same exact saying when would leave at the end of the day " enjoy your lives everyone" Thank you for being so kind, wonderful and uplifting!"

- a Fairfax HS Student

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Thomas Bailey, Fairfax HS

"Thank you for everything you have done for me and my family. I really enjoyed being in your class this year, sad it got cut short. I appreciate you helping me get caught back on work when I miss classes."

- a Fairfax HS Student

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Diana Jackson, Fairfax HS

"Thank you for helping me better understand comprehension, grammar,and word study skills. I appreciate you always looking out for me when I was not at school, making sure I was doing okay. Thank you for everything you have helped me with this year. You have taught me when I try hard I can do it, I just have to believe in my self."

- a Fairfax HS Student

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Jeffrey Weaver, Fairfax HS

"Thank you for everything you have done for me and my family this year. Thank you for always being there to answer my questions. I appreciate you always making sure I am doing well. I like how you have your room laid out, sad we had to leave it early."


- a Fairfax HS Student

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Elizabeth Bakken, Fairfax HS

"Thank you for everything you have done for me and my family this year. Thank you for always being there to answer my questions or reading me a passage in the hallway."

- a Fairfax HS Student

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Juliana Woodill, Fairfax HS

"I appreciate the time and talent that Ms.Woodill has brought to FHS. I have been working with Ms.Woodill for three years and it gets better each year. One of my favorite things that we did was called "Mindfulness Mondays" it help calm you down and get your mind focused on chorus. Thank you for everything you have done for me and my family to help me get though this year. I can't wait for many more new chorus adventures to to come!"

- a Fairfax HS Student

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Brandi Cuffee, Hunt Valley ES
 
"In thinking about the amazing teachers my daughter has had during her time at Hunt Valley (she is a 6th grader and ready to move on), I think of Ms. Cuffee.  She did an amazing job of working with my daughter in math. So much so that she went above and beyond and tutored her after school without any compensation or expectations. She dealt with lots of challenges and met them all with humor and gave my kid a dose of reality so needed!  I am so thankful for all the teachers my daughter had in her time at Hunt Valley and can say with a joyful and grateful heart that Ms. Cuffee is a superstar educator and wonderful human being. Ms. Cuffee,  THANK YOU for your love, patience, hard work, and dedication to our daughter.  She is now ready to move onto middle school because of you."

- a Hunt Valley ES Parent

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Kathy Souther, Falls Church HS Nursing Academy

"It is amazing how much this teacher cares for her students.  My child was 93.5 / .5 away from an A and she wanted my child to "kill" it and stay in the A Club.  She not only reached out personally to them, the encouragement she wrote in in an email was phenomenal.  This teacher has been this type of teacher since the first day of class.  She is a real gift to kids and should be given kudos for her persistence to educating those that are not "text" book types.  My child is very visual and she has altered so many assignments for them to get it.  Amazing teacher, amazing lady and FCPS is blessed to have her."

- a Fairfax HS Parent

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Jessica Szumlicz, Riverside ES

"Our 1st grade team has had the great luck to have had Jessica Szumlicz added to our team this year!! In the few months that Jess has been on our team she has truly stepped up to the challenges and expectations of working at our school. She is kind, innovative, and a true team player.  She is willing to learn and brings so much to the table. She loves students and takes great pride in her work. I am blessed to have her on our team. She is a fantastic educator!"

- Marialys Gruneiro, Riverside ES

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Kevin Lawton, Sprague Center

"Kevin Lawton is providing amazing support to ensure teachers and staff have access to Learn360 resources.  He has been extremely giving of his time and effort and always available to help troubleshoot and address any questions--especially needed now as teachers, staff, and students navigate distance learning."

-  Petra Sharrett, Newington Forest ES

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Stephanie Pepper, Evan Kalinkos, Patrick Murphy, Matthew Bower, Donald Duffy, Kenya Champ,  Frost Middle School

"I could not be any more proud of this amazing team of educators. At first glance it might seem like they are doing the same outstanding job they always have (student-centered planning, equity in mind, collaboration, infusing their passion for content and practice), but it has become so much more. This team brought all of those awesome qualities to our new distance learning landscape. They innovate and pivot on a dime and always do it with grace, care, and a sense of humor. These teachers epitomize #FrostFlexible and #OneFrost. I'm so grateful I get to work with them and learn from them."

- Caitlin Quincy, Frost MS

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Mackenzie Hays, Woodley Hills ES

"She is excellent teacher, and always demonstrated interest for her students during pandemic situation covid-19. She makes us feel understood regardless of language barriers."

- a Woodley Hills ES Parent

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Rachel Baxter, McLean HS

"Mrs. Baxter was preparing to transition her class to a sub as she prepared for the birth of her child and subsequent maternity leave. Covid didn’t allow for that transition to occur. Mrs. Baxter sent an email stating that she will delay her maternity leave and continue teaching her classes.  This is so clearly above and beyond the call of duty. She deserves the highest praise and recognition for her selflessness and dedication to her class!!!"

- a McLean HS Family

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Lindsey Cole, Woodley Hills ES

"Ms. Lindsey Cole has gone above and beyond with reaching out to her students during the COVID-19 pandemic.  She emails families frequently about tech updates, ideas for students, and also just to simply check on their welfare. When she had difficulty reaching one of her students, she contacted our child to see if she had contact with the other child and made connection that way. Also, we had a death in our family during this time making my child's life even more difficult.  Ms. Cole offered additional support.  We have three children at Fairfax County Public Schools and Ms. Cole stands out in showing that she is the real deal.  Her purpose is educating and her passion is her students.  I am very impressed with her and hope you consider her for an award.  Thank you!"

- a Woodley Hills ES Parentau

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Sara Quesenberry, Bailey's ES

"Sara is our school's SBTS  and has done an amazing job teaching all of the teachers how to navigate around distance learning.  Her love of her job and of the colleagues that she helps is evident in everything she does.  Patience does not begin to describe this ultimate professional.  All this while pregnant nonetheless!"

- Joanne Warner , Bailey's ES

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Aimee Maggio, Cub Run ES

"Mrs. Maggio is my daughter’s Kindergarten IA teacher and she is wonderful!  On April 30th my daughter got to have a lunch bunch with Mrs. Maggio on Google Meet along with Mrs. Sefrin and two other students.  My daughter was incredibly happy to get to talk to her teachers, show them her toys and her room and just feel like things were a bit more normal.  Mrs. Maggio is a wonderful teacher and I am thankful for her."

 - a Cub Run ES Parent

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Emily Sefrin, Cub Run ES

"Mrs. Sefrin is my daughter’s Kindergarten teacher and she is amazing!  My daughter truly loves her like family.  On April 30th my daughter got to have a lunch bunch with Mrs. Sefrin on Google Meet along with Ms. Maggio and two other students.  My daughter was incredibly happy to get to talk to Mrs. Sefrin, show her toys and her room and just feel like things were a bit more normal.  Mrs. Sefrin has a special way of making my daughter feel important and heard!  Thank you to the moon and back, Mrs. Sefrin!"

- a Cub Run ES Parent

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Rebekkah Kline, Crestwood ES

"I have to truly say thank you to Rebekkah Kline for helping me and all other staff members at Crestwood ES during this unprescedent time. After three weeks of getting Blackboard Collaborate working for everyone, she was on top of everything and made sure to give us not only training but also answer questions as best as she could. Today, I needed some guidance on whether I was allowed to create a session for a meeting for next week, and she walked me through the steps and helped me through it. Speaking from the special ed side, as we only can provide office hours, she made sure that we were also a part of the grade levels we support and taught us how to invite other staff members and students on our caseload to join our virtual office hours. Thank you again, this helped me a lot, and I know how challenging and frustrating it is during this time, but I can't thank her enough."

 - Tessa Damron, Crestwood ES

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Mary Berry, Hunt Valley ES

"There are so many things I can say about the amazing Mary Berry. My daughter started HV in 4th grade after moving from out of state. She was there to help her navigate through her first public school experience. Since then Mrs. Berry has been our angel. From lunch bunches and love to IEP meetings and conflict resolutions. To call her a school counselor is an understatement, she is a miracle worker. She does her job with love, kindness, and care. I know she truly loves my daughter. In the 3 school years we’ve been at HV my daughter has had her support and has been her constant. We will miss her immeasurably and thank her for the wonderful advice, valuable lessons, and guidance you’ve given our child during her years at Hunt Valley. She is a better person because you loved our daughter. What you do Mary Berry makes a difference in the lives of the kids you serve. We love you and we thank you for your tireless work and dedication to children. Thank you for loving my daughter like your own."

a Hunt Valley ES Parent

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Phillip Mullins, Lake Braddock SS

"Mr Phillip Mullins has been a deacon of light to my son and myself during these extremely trying times. With his uplifting emails and entertaining videos, Mr Mullins is providing the hope and encouragement we need to overcome this period.  I really want to thank him for caring so much for the well being of his students  (and parents)."

- a Lake Braddock SS Parent

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Helen Rose, Bailey's ES

"Helen cares about the team and her students. She organizes/facilitates CLT meetings. She goes above and beyond to help the whole team. She works so hard with her students and makes sure all her families are doing well!"

- Jasmin Salous, Bailey's ES

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Suzanne Rodgers, Glen Forest ES

"Suzanne has been a great contributor to our team during Distance Learning. She is always sharing her ideas, slides, and resources as she finds them with the team. She has made a lot of lives easier with her willingness to create and share her ideas. Thanks for what you do Suzanne!"

- R. Pipitone, Glen Forest ES

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Alicia Day Javkhlan, Hollin Meadows ES

"Mrs. Day Javkhlan is my daughter's 4th-grade music teacher at Hollin Meadows elementary.  My daughter was without her bow for her bass instrument which affected her ability to participate with her virtual classes.  I reached out to her and she immediately responded!  She then got a bow and hand-delivered to my daughter (with all her PPE on :) )  She just cares so much for her students!  Now my daughter can participate in class.  Thank you so much!"

- a Hollin Meadows ES parent

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Jessica Gillis, Gatehouse Administration Center

"Jessica spent 30 minutes of her time on the phone with me to help me better understand staffing projections and building capacity projections.  Jessica was incredibly knowledgeable and helpful.  She delivered excellent customer service and we are fortunate to have her in FCPS!"

- Christopher Smith, Daniels Run ES

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Crystal Gulino, Mosby Woods ES

"I am touched by how much Mrs. Gulino cares for her students, as she tries, through every possible avenue, to connect with them remotely."

- a Mosby Woods ES parent

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Cory Yeager, Fort Hunt ES

"We are so so lucky to have Cory at Fort Hunt!! He is always there for us anytime we need him. He has offered to do one on one meetings so we know exactly how to use Blackboard Collaborate Ultra and many other things we have to learn throughout this distance learning process. He is always one email away! Thanks, Cory for all your help and support!"

- Isabel Gonzalez, Fort Hunt ES

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Julie Jameson, Fort Hunt ES

"I have joined a couple of Julie's distance learning sessions and she is doing awesome work with the students. She is super patient and walks them through the distance learning material with ease until they get it. She keeps them engaged at all times. She is definitely the STAR MOMMY TEACHER of the year!!"

- Izza McDonald, Fort Hunt ES