FCPS Cares - May 2021

By Department of Human Resources
May 03, 2021

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

To view past submissions, please visit our previous submissions page

FCPS CARES of the Month Recipients

Central Office

Drew Patterson, Merrifield Support Center

"Drew Patterson, HVAC technician, was at Mason Crest this morning and smelled smoke so he drove toward it. He arrived on the scene and a home was fully on fire. He found a hysterical lady outside the house saying that her dog was inside, so he went in and saved the dog, risking his life. The fire department then arrived, and Drew had to spend a few minutes in the ambulance so they could check for smoke inhalation and a dog bite on his finger. Afterwards, he went back to his work request for Mason Crest like nothing had happened. Drew is a great example of the exemplary employees we have at FCPS in our trade teams and it's an honor to work with him."

- Mark Schull, Merrifield Support Center

Region 1

Taylor Scahill, Dranesville ES

"My husband and I would like to recognize our son's teacher, Taylor Scahill for an FCPS Cares award. Taylor has been an amazing teacher all year virtually and in the concurrent environment. One of my favorite things that Taylor came up with was writing her own parodies of songs that the kids sing with her in order to learn a new concept. My son has been singing them all year long!! She cares so much about each and every student always is checking in on them not only on their academic level but also making sure they are socially and emotionally strong too. Taylor will call or email parents individually just to make sure they feel confident and understand what's going on with their child's academics and schoolwork and will also work with them to understand the technology in front of them. She works so hard and cares about everyone that she comes in contact with. Taylor is amazing and wonderful that not only the kids can count on, but also the parents. Kudos to Taylor, she's a great asset to the Dranesville staff!!"

- Dranesville ES parents

Region 2

Leslie Nightingale and Nicole Scifo, Longfellow MS - View the Recognition!

"Leslie and Nicole have a few students who were upset that NoRedInk used their former names and former pronouns, which were imported from SIS and contacted NoRedInk. NoRedInk was able to provide a solution. Leslie and Nicole were able to provide the information to many other FCPS English teachers. MANY thanks for continuing to advocate for ALL students."

- Wendy Eaton, Longfellow MS

Region 3

Nubia Revilla, Key MS - View the Recognition!

"Nubia is our Spanish for Fluent Speakers teacher. She has always celebrated her students' birthdays with a homemade cake, but during the pandemic she has been delivering these cakes to their homes. Her dedication and her kind gestures mean the world to her students."

- Tracey Kyle, Key MS

Region 4

Kelsey Jordan, Kings Park ES - View the Recognition!

"Kelsey Jordan is an amazing music teacher during a regular school year, but she has been EXTRAORDINARY during this pandemic. I have had the honor of being her Distance Learning Buddy for a 3rd Grade class. She engages students from the get-go with music from different parts of the world. The children learn a little about the country or culture and talk about how the music made them feel, often making connections to their own cultures or other music they have heard. She shares her screen on the smartboard, showing the faces of all of us at home, and then pans the classroom so we can see those in the building. Then the students welcome each other by raising their voices in song--it is heart-warming to see the virtual and in-person students standing and singing. They ALL participate! They are invited to share their talents. For example, a student performed an original song and another shared a video of himself playing the piano. Most weeks, the class plays a game called Bop or Flop. Kelsey plays snippets of songs, current or from the past, and we all vote if we like it or not. Students are then able to share why they liked or did not like the song. The children are also able to submit songs to Kelsey to be used. Kelsey's music class is positive and upbeat from beginning to end and clearly something ALL students look forward to. I do, too! Her care for including all students, both virtual and in-person, at the same level of engagement is awe-inspiring!  She seamlessly weaves curriculum requirements, cultural awareness, Portrait of a Graduate traits, and social emotion skills into each lesson. Her students are not only learning more about music, but they are learning more about the world, themselves, and each other."

- Melissa Crowley, Kings Park ES

Region 5

Cheryl Spevak, Fairfax HS

"This submission serves as less of a documentation of a singular event, and more of a documentation of weeks. Before in-person school began, I found it extremely difficult to connect with any of my teachers and peers. I had a hard time making connections the year before too, so I essentially entered in-person school anxious and nervous to present myself to my peers and teachers. But it was Mrs. Spevak's class that made me feel comfortable in school for the first time in months. I immediately felt at ease in her class, Journalism I. This is entirely due to Mrs. Spevak's fun and social nature. She made it extremely easy for me to open up and share my thoughts in a class without fear of judgment. I honestly have such high respect and appreciation for Mrs. Spevak for allowing me to come out of my shell and feel comfortable and safe in a classroom. She's likely one of the best, if not the best high school teachers who I have learned from, and I hope to see her next year. Needless to say, there's a reason why all of her students love her. She is such a pleasure to have as a teacher, and she deserves as much credit as she can receive."

- a Fairfax HS student

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Other FCPS Cares of the Month Recipients

Kaitlin Welch, Cardinal Forest ES

"My daughter started Kindergarten in 2020-2021. I just want to say thank you to all her teachers - always willing to help and attentive to each child. I had to pick a date, but it’s been all school year."

- a Cardinal Forest ES parent

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Safaa Ahmad, Beech Tree ES

"Throughout this extremely challenging school year, Ms. Ahmad worked so hard to support my son in all areas where he needed help in his 5th grade Advanced Academic class. In early May, when I reached out to her for guidance on how I could help my son prepare for his SOLs at home, again she went out of her way to not only share released SOLs, but she also gave us access to specific online resources that made a huge difference in reviewing the concepts tested and plenty of practice questions, which made preparations for the tests a lot less painful. As a result, my son felt pretty comfortable that he did well on the SOLs and I can't wait to receive the scores. Regardless, I am very grateful to Ms. Ahmad for her hard work and commitment, throughout this difficult school year, to my son's learning, growth, and success. Thank you."

- a Beech Tree ES parent

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Celine Peebles, TSRC Fairfax

"Ever since I started going to TSRC Fairfax my life has changed a lot and I’ve had a wonderful experience while being with them. They taught me a lot of the things I know today and they were really helpful and very caring people that always wanted me to succeed on my journey.  I thank you guys for all the love and support that you all have given me."

- a TSRC student

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Margaret Veenstra, Lake Braddock SS

"From the very beginning, Ms. Veenstra was very welcoming, kind, helpful, and professional. She gave us an immediate sense that she knew what she was doing and cared very much about her students. Over the course of the next three years, especially in our son's senior year, she proved that competence by her forward-leaning email contact with parents, asking for input to help her prepare letters for colleges, and she was very timely and systematic with those products. Whenever we had questions or concerns, she was always responsive and put our minds at ease. During a very difficult transition process as we were arriving at LBSS from out of the country, Ms. Veenstra was the person who really made us feel welcome and smoothed that transition."

- a Lake Braddock SS parent

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Brenda Jaggie, Willow Oaks Admin Center

"For several years I have worked with Brenda, who supports students in self-paced EPF. Today was just one of the many times over the years that she has been an immense support and resource to our team. I had a student working away, trying to pass the course before the deadline. Brenda responded quickly to any inquiries we had about her progress and provided guidance on how the student could best make progress. She even responded after hours that the student had successfully finished! It's so reassuring to have such a dependable support in our school's corner!"

- Jessica Terry, West Potomac HS

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Karen Weiss, Orange Hunt ES

"Mrs. Weiss is always ready to help her students. She is patient, knowledgeable and friendly."

- an Orange Hunt ES parent

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Steve Snow, Irving MS

"Big shout out to Mr. Snow, the IT specialist at Irving Middle school. Mr Snow has helped through numerous tech glitches during this challenging year quickly and efficiently. He is also a very kind person and always has a smile on his face. Thank you!"

- an Irving MS parent

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Ileana Rios, Lynbrook ES

“Growth mindset,”  my daughter reads every time she leaves to school. You see, there is a handwritten index card with those words clipped to my door. Mrs. Rios was my daughter’s AAP third grade teacher at Beech Tree. On the first day of school, Mrs. Rios gave my daughter that index card.. “With hard work and the right mindset, anyone can be successful..” the note reads. Mrs. Ríos was born to be a teacher and to inspire her students. Now, my daughter is a rising 6th grader. The index card will remain on the door...as it has for the last two years. I believe that index card, with pink ink and a happy face, encourages my daughter in many ways...“Growth mindset mami... ,“ my 10 year old girl tells me as she puts on her catcher gear for a softball game.

- a Flint Hill ES parent

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Sarah McAlister, Flint Hill ES

"When kindergarten returned to school in February my son was a bit nervous and uncharacteristically clingy during the first few weeks. Luckily, Ms. McAlister was there. When she opened the door and saw him, she greeted him by name, told him she was happy to see him, and made him feel welcomed and cared for. I cannot thank Ms. McAlister enough! She might not know it, but she made a huge impact that will never be forgotten."

- a Flint Hill ES parent

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Kwan McKnight, Flint Hill ES

"Mr. McKnight is the kind of person I hope every student gets to meet. Every day when he opens the door at Flint Hill and greets the kids it is joyful. Returning to school was stressful. There was some fear and anxiety, and there are still times when it feels overwhelming with restrictions and mandates. All that seems less scary when Mr. McKnight comes out and announces it's going to be a GREAT Thursday or he greets kids on the court with a smile in his voice. My son thinks he's awesome, and I walk home from drop off a bit lighter in spirit."

- a Flint Hill ES parent

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Mark Henderson, Stonecroft Transportation Center

"Mr. Henderson helped transport students to the vaccination clinic at Langley HS this week. He drove 20 nervous students from Cooper to Langley, and he immediately welcomed them onto the bus, taught us two songs, and had the kids and chaperones laughing. When a student had a reaction, Mr. Henderson returned to Langley to pick up the administrator. He went above and beyond to make for a smooth experience. We are so lucky to have Mr. Henderson driving our students on 'the happy bus.' "

- Maureen McLoughlin, Cooper MS

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Megan Pfiester, Lorton Station ES

"Ms. Megan Pfiester deserves to be commended for the exceptional work she has done with the Strings program over the past 14 months! Ms. Pfiester embraced technology and provided her students a variety of ways to keep learning music within their virtual learning environment (starting back in April 2020). Ms. Pfiester worked diligently to help Strings students transition from the 2019 - 2020 school year into the 2020 - 2021 school year while remaining enrolled and engaged in the Strings program. Ms. Pfiester organized sessions for in-person instrument tuning and tuned each instrument herself! Ms. Pfiester was timely with her feedback for the work her students submitted and she provided appropriate assistance whenever needed. Ms. Pfiester's efforts to ensure her students advanced their skill level with their instrument, whether in-person or virtual, were admirable and greatly appreciated!"

- a Lorton Station ES parent

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Kerrin Martin, Greenbriar East ES

"Mrs. Martin is an outstanding teacher. No words can describe all the great things about her. She is truly one of the best teachers out there. We are all blessed to have her at GBE. Thank you for all you do and continue to do. She loves her job and it shows through her actions."

- a Greenbriar East ES parent

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Jennifer Bury, Lake Braddock SS

"I would like to give a HUGE shout-out to Jennifer Bury and the entire testing team here at Lake Braddock for their amazing work with this year's SOL and AP exams. The information for proctors and students was amazingly clear and easy to follow. I especially liked the new addition of the GoogleDoc for the proctors to communicate with the testing office during administration. Not only did I get an immediate response to help me work through technical and attendance issues, I also could see other questions and responses for help as well. I think it was a BRILLIANT addition to the proctoring process. Thank you Jennifer Bury and the testing team for making it so smooth for our virtual students, our in-person students and the staff. You guys are the best!"

- Kristen Shoemaker, Lake Braddock SS

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Robert Wagner, Marshall HS

"Robert Wagner has been a terrific addition to Marshall High School. He is a Technical Support Specialist and always quick, efficient and pleasant to work with. I don't know what things would have looked like this year without him helping students, parents, and employees in the building and those working from home. Thanks, Rob, for always being there to fix our computer issues and making it all happen."

- Kathy Smith, Marshall HS

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Cynthia Yost, Robinson SS

"I would like to acknowledge what an awesome English teacher Mrs. Yost has been for my 7th grade daughter! This past year was a challenging year for my daughter, as a virtual student. When I noticed her English grade dropping drastically, I immediately reached out to Mrs. Yost. She scheduled a meeting right away to meet with me and my daughter to address her observations. She also shared my daughter’s paper on screen to go over her mistakes, paragraph by paragraph. Furthermore, she explained how to do in-text citations and cite sources properly. After Mrs. Yost spent an hour helping my daughter, she sent me a very thorough email with suggestions on how to organize my daughter’s paper if she wanted to do a rewrite. I was blown away by the generous help Mrs. Yost gave my daughter! I believe that middle school is a crucial time to build a solid foundation for success during high school. My daughter is very lucky to have Mrs. Yost during her 1st year at Robinson! I am very grateful!"

- a Robinson SS parent

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Safaa Ahmad, Beech Tree ES

"Ms. Ahmad has gone above and beyond during this pandemic, trying to help her students navigate and overcome a challenging school year. She doesn’t only teach, she prepares her students for tomorrow. During SOL exams, she encourages them and helps them believe in themselves. She deserves the recognition."

- a Beech Tree ES parent

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Chiffon White, Forte Center

"I had made an error in submitting a warehouse request, and when she arrived and realized there was an error, instead of just saying “that’s not my job,” Chiffon went above and beyond to help me correct the issue and was patient, kind, and professional. This is to me the embodiment of the core values that FCPS strives to instill in our community."

- Derek Knizner, Robinson SS

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Sarah Olson, Lake Braddock SS

Sarah! You are AMAZING. Thank you so much for your constant support this year. You are always available for me every time I have my (many) technical glitches. Not only are you such a hard-worker, always meeting the needs of everyone, you are also such a sweet friend to have. I am so thankful I get to work at a school where people like YOU exist. Thanks for everything you've done all year. You're simply the best.

- Erika Hisey, Lake Braddock SS

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Anna Sengstack, Lanier MS

"Mrs. Sengstack has been a gift for my son. She allows him to take the time he needs to learn a piece of music. She is encouraging and always willing to work with him. She has taken time out of her day to help with tuning instruments and additional instruction time. We are blessed to have such a caring teacher in our lives."

- a Lanier MS parent

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Sang Kim, Lanier MS

"As a first year teacher, Mr. Kim has been a star. He has connected with his students so much that they look forward to the discussion during civics class. He treats each student with respect and is always there for them when they need help. My daughter is engaged in his class and he is always willing to help with a problem. He is also her TA teacher and has assisted her in understanding not only Civics but life."

- a Lanier MS parent

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Jahangir Hossain, Lanier MS

"Mr. Hossain came to Lanier after the retirement of Ms. Timblin. He jumped in with both feet and while there were some stumbles along the way, it is evident that he cares about his students. He has helped my son achieve his goals in math and has encouraged him to keep trying. He has made himself available before and after school and has even been in touch with us over the weekend. Mr. Hossain is one of my son's favorite teachers. Thank you."

- a Lanier MS parent

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Charlie Burts, Lanier MS

"I had to list a date, but I wanted it known how much we appreciate Mr. Burts. He has kept my daughter and all of band engaged and learning all year long. My daughter is so encouraged by him and his effort in teaching, that she has developed into a master of her instrument. I am very impressed by Mr. Burts."

- a Lanier MS parent

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Kirby Kennedy, Lanier MS

"My son had an issue turning in a project. Ms. Kennedy worked with him and let him turn it in late. She even offered for him to just show her the project if he wasn't able to figure out the technical issues. She has been supportive of his effort all year!"

- a Lanier MS parent

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Renee Octaviano, Franconia ES

"Ms. Octaviano never misses a beat when asked to help out. She has been a great teammate and is always willing to help out."

- Tammy Dennison, Franconia ES

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Courtney Klein and Niki Holmes, Lake Braddock SS

"Courtney and Niki are exceptional instructional coaches who are hard-working, collaborative, and forward thinking. They value teacher and student voice and input on all of our schools' Shared Vision focus areas and work to reimagine what instruction and professional learning look like in our building. They are true agents of change and it is a pleasure working with them!"

 

- Ana Cingel, Lake Braddock SS

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Christopher Flores, GAtehouse Admin Center

"Christopher is a joy to work in hiring instructional employees. Christopher is extremely efficient, quickly responds to inquiries, and has things taken care of before even being asked. I appreciate all Christopher does to support the hiring of Instructional Coaches."

- Michelle Lis, Willow Oaks

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Stephany Tlatepa, Riverside ES

"Stephany has been an amazing co-teacher this year. I appreciate her willingness to go above and beyond to make sure that the student in my classroom is always included. She also provides resources to my student when he is in our reading and math block. She does all of this with a smile every day! Thank you Stephany for making this school year amazing!"

- Lorri Hallenbeck, Riverside ES

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TJ Wortman, Rick Kowalski, Vinh Tran, and James Yang,  Woodson Complex

"I reached out to the IT Field Service support team about a repair need for a specific piece of equipment at my school. Their prompt response to my request went above and beyond and also saved the school money. The behind the scenes work that gets done and the support that your team provides to TSSpecs in the field does not go unnoticed and is greatly appreciated. Thank you for your help!"

- Terri Pendleton, Kent Gardens ES

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Julia Nesterovich, Lorton Center

"Ms. Nesterovich showed how little acts of kindness and love can really make a difference in a student's day. My son sprained his ankle this month. Like most 6th grade boys, he is also very stubborn and didn't want to admit that by the end of the day, he was in pain and tired. Ms. Nesterovich noticed this and offered to drop him off at our driveway instead at his bus stop (since the bus route takes the bus past our house anyway). At times, she would even 'force' him to sit back down when he would try to get off at the bus stop and hobble home. Thank you Ms. Nesterovich for being the mother-figure that he needed. You went above and beyond your job description, and we are indebted to you for it."

- a Cherry Run ES parent

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Brittney Lee, Westfield HS

"Brittney is extremely approachable and maintains a great rapport with students on her caseload. Earlier this year, she worked relentlessly to locate daycare and transportation to school for a student who needed to move with just 2 months left of the school year. Last week, the same student was struggling with a difficult situation in her family, and Brittney reached out and provided emotional support throughout the evening hours, then followed up again the next day to be sure the student was OK. Brittney genuinely cares about students' well-being and always 'goes the extra mile' to be sure they have the support they need."

- Dana Ouart, Westfield HS

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Jenny Spears, Lees Corner ES

"Our family has lost 6 people in the last 19 months. It's a lot for any adult, but that stress coupled with Covid, missing out on being with friends, field trips, plays, etc.  has been very difficult on my two sons. They have both responded differently to the strain but the shared constant in their school support is Jenny Spears. She made time to check on them, to check on us, and to listen to all of us. This is not a new characteristic of Mrs. Spears. She has been helping my one son since he was little with social skills and managing emotions. She finds a way to reach out to both of my boys (who are very different) and make them feel supported and heard. She has been a place of calm for all of us during a very tumultuous and emotional time. We thank her for everything she does for the students and families. She has made such an impact in our lives."

- a Lees Corner ES parent

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Anna Knox, Lees Corner ES

"Mrs. Knox has been a blessing to our family. She understands each of her student's needs, strengths, and areas where they require assistance, and meets them at that point. She provides a safe and motivating space where my son is able to achieve and understand at his full potential. When he is anxious and needs a boost, she is there with the right words. When he is distracted and needs a reminder, she is there to get him back on track. She does that for all of her students. I don't know how, but she does. When we were all virtual, I could hear the sad sighs of the students when Mrs. Knox wasn't in that day or had a meeting and needed to miss class. When my son was headed back to school, part of our reassurance plan was reminding him that Mrs. Knox would be there. We have been very lucky with the teachers at LCES but there can only be one Mrs. Knox."

- a Lees Corner ES parent

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Julie Simcik, Oak Hill ES

"I was scheduled to lead a middle school transition meeting and my microphone in Google Meet wouldn't work. I tried everything, including restarting my computer, to try to fix the problem but nothing worked. I felt panicked and nervous. I quickly (and abruptly) asked Julie if I could borrow her computer for the hour long meeting and she didn't bat an eye. She was so helpful and I am not sure what I would have done without her stepping up to help. Thank you, Julie!!! I am so grateful! :) "

- Kim Gallagher, Oak Hill ES

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April Brown, Centreville HS

"Mrs. April Brown is a consummate 'Team Player'. She is a self-starter and consistently strives for improvement. Prior to working at Centreville High School, she was a Safety and Security Assistant at Justice High School. On 5/22/21, Mrs. Brown volunteered her time to assist with our Prom. April came to Justice High School that evening because 'I came to help. I came to work. Let me have a radio.'  She took on any task assigned and filled in areas she thought needed coverage. Thank you April."

- Luther Ivery, Justice HS

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Philip Jefffers, Sprague Technology Center

"I cannot say enough fabulous things about Philip Jeffers, our TSSpec. He is patient, thorough, considerate and always willing to help whatever the issue. Today he helped fix the audio issues on my desktop as well as issues with Adobe software. He is invaluable to our team!"

- Jean Welsh, Sprague Technology Center

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Lawrence Veasley and Caleb Lee, Daniels Run ES

"I would like to acknowledge all the hard work and extra efforts that Lawrence and Caleb have put in to assist with testing this year. It would not have been as successful or possible without their support. They are always ready to help and to plan a course of action that works best for students and families, as well as for the school. They have come in early and stayed late on numerous occasions to be sure that the equipment is ready when the student sits down to take the test. The SOL season has gone very smoothly in large part due to their efforts. It certainly has taken a village this year, and I'm honored and humbled that they are part of the village. Thank you both for EVERYTHING you have done. It is greatly appreciated."

- Michael Parker, Daniels Run ES

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Kara Cameron, Fort Hunt ES

"Our son is in Mrs. Cameron’s 6th grade class this year. She has continued to go above and beyond for her students all year long! Our child usually doesn’t share much about his day at school, especially not his teachers, but since he has been with Mrs. Cameron, he has a new story to share everyday about all the great things she does. We could not be more impressed by her as a teacher and a person and are so fortunate to have her as a teacher this year!"

- a Fort Hunt ES parent

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Amelia Hoffmann, Willow Oaks Admin Center

"Hello FCPS! My child was recommended to have a speech assessment prior to entering Kindergarten. I was very nervous about how this would go because every parent always believes their kid is the best and the thought of him needing extra help made me a little emotional. Can I tell you that Amy (Amelia) has been hands down fantastic! She is truly caring and kind, not just with my child, but with us parents too! Based on my (and my child's) interactions with Amy, I can tell she is not just good at what she does, but great! After my child's assessment with Amy, as we were leaving, he turned around and said 'I love you' - that says it all to me. She went over everything on the report, was open to questions, and really just displayed how great an FCPS employee can be. I don't know if my child will need further assistance, but I went from being nervous about the thought of speech therapy, to 'if it's with Amy this may be a pretty good experience.' Thank you Amy!"

- a Lorton Station ES parent

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Jesenia Zepeda, Lake Braddock SS

"Jesenia Zepeda is an amazing person to work with! When life gives you lemons, make Lemonade! That is the motto of Jesenia. From tough days to good days she always finds a way to make that lemonade! Jesenia works hard building connections with her students and creating a bond. She has been since the first day she started working. From talking about life to helping them learn, Jesenia can do practically anything!"

- Haider Humadi, Lake Braddock SS

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Celine Peebles, Interagency Schools - TSRC Fairfax

"Celine continues to devote her time to ensure the students and their families have the support, advocacy and help they need. Celine invests in helping students with their resumes, job applications, professional courses and internship opportunities. Her work is above and beyond through building strong community relationships via foodbanks and clothing support for those less fortunate impacted by COVID. She is a valuable member of society and her work for the county is commendable."

- an Interagency Schools - TSRC parent

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Robyn James, Newington Forest ES

"Mrs. James is a REAL LIFE Super Hero! She has such a lovely presence about her. Easy mannered, jokes with the kids and allows them to get to know her, and also keeps a tight rein on behavior expectations. She turned a sour learner and reluctant reader into the child asking ME to read with HIM! If you only knew how many nights we fought through every page, but now we are reading interactively on a schedule and it's something we both very much look forward to. Thanks for reminding my child how capable he is, for building confidence in him and his abilities, and giving him the gusto to take a chance and fail along the way. Thank you for giving us the guidance and skills and tools to support him. You hang the moon for us!"

- a Newington Forest ES parent

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Hima Nalamothu, Bull Run ES

"Ms. N has been such a blessing to our family! We moved across country in the middle of a pandemic in the middle of the school year and she welcomed our son and made him feel comfortable in an instant. She truly cares for her students and made the transition from online to in person seamless. I don't know how she does it! We are so grateful that we landed in her classroom. My kiddo loves going to see her every day. She makes learning challenging and fun while looking out for their social/emotional needs. Thank you Ms. N for making our move easy. We couldn't have asked for anything more!"

- a Bull Run ES parent

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Adam McGeehan, Gatehouse Admin Center

"Adam helped our team navigate a demanding situation that took lots of time, communication, and problem-solving. The matter kept evolving and changing, day and night for over a week. He kept us informed throughout the process, updating our team multiple times per day as the event drew closer. He pursued an out of the box solution that none of us had ever thought of, but which he was curious about and looked into. His communication skills, his professionalism, and his calm demeanor are great assets to our work in the regions, and we appreciate him very much in HR."

- The Region 2 Team

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Aaron Curtis, Forte Center 

"Aaron and his staff are fantastic! We needed some tarps for our testing set up. Aaron had them to us within the hour. This kept us on track with our set-up schedule. FCPS is very lucky to have the warehouse staff that we do!"

- Suzanne Kelly, Robinson SS

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Blake Tamashiro, Lorton Center

"Blake and his team at Area 4 Transportation have done an amazing job this year. We are not a neighborhood school and our students reside in an area that covers over half of FCPS. We've bombarded Blake and his team with special requests for testing and other school-based events throughout the school year, and Area 4 has always come through for us. Thank you!"

- Tom Lundy, Cedar Lane School

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Christophe Guilloteau, Woodson Complex

"I am writing to express my sincere appreciation for the outstanding work that Mr. Guilloteau does for us here at Fort Hunt Elementary School. He does an amazing job taking such good care of us and making sure our school stays in tip top shape. He is very skilled, efficient, friendly, respectful, meticulous and knowledgeable. He always goes above and beyond to help out our school. He first came to our school to fix a rolling chest drawer. He fixed very quickly and it is working great! Before he left our school he did a survey of all counters and cabinets and made of list of repairs that need to be made. I am so impressed with his dedication and work ethic. He is an exceptional Cabinetmaker and a great asset to FCPS! We are lucky to have him."

- Ana Arias, Fort Hunt ES

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Dennis Adams, Erin Fisher, Terry Hatch, and AJ Keifer, Lake Braddock SS

"I am writing to recognize and thank my curriculum team members Dennis Adams, Erin Fisher, Terry Hatch, and AJ Keifer. Progress takes many forms. Sometimes, it is in the form of a breakthrough achievement by our students. Other times, progress is the result of unforeseen obstacles that make us pause and ask ourselves what we need to do differently to do things right for our kids. Throughout the year, and with a foundation built on collaboration, the team remained agile and worked hard to increase accessibility to learning opportunities and to secure academic and personal growth for our students. Thanks for setting an example of how to pull off great teamwork."

- Patrick Ward, Lake Braddock SS

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Kara Stamper, Centreville HS

Kara is instrumental in the facilitation of the Senior Awards ceremony at Centreville High School. This ceremony recognizes students from all academic levels, celebrating student success with the CVHS community. Her organization is impressive, providing a script for presenters to review well in advance of the ceremony. She also responds to all questions and concerns promptly, which is greatly appreciated by staff members presenting. Kara is a tremendous asset to CVHS!

- Anthony Hanrahan, Centreville HS

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Andrea Harmon, Lake Braddock SS

"I don't even know where to begin to talk about the amazing things Ms. Harmon has done for her students in this incredibly difficult year - going WELL above and beyond to create a community and a sense of belonging that is stronger than ever, despite over a year of virtual learning. Through fun and silliness, while learning, in class, through empowering students to create opportunities for virtual concerts, through drive by gifts and celebrations, and more. The choral community almost seems more engaged, not less. I have to talk about what she has done for the seniors though. More than any other teacher or administrator I have seen, she understood and felt deeply all the seniors have lost. She created, along with her booster board, INCREDIBLE opportunities for the seniors to bond, to have special moments, from photo sessions, to a senior focused virtual Disney concert, to the awards ceremony, where she got an underclassman to 'adopt a senior' by decorating their car for that senior and creating a circle of care and celebration of those cars around the outside area where the awards took place. She created a fun and low stress way for the seniors to perform together again, with very special mementos of a photo session she had arranged for these kids, to letters from their classmates, and more. It made many of them cry. She made this a senior year in chorus one they will never forget and one that was special and unique - in a good way. I know from conversations with my son and his chorus friends that her actions helped so many who were struggling with depression this year and kept them mentally well, engaged, connected and singing. This woman deserves all the good things and more. I've never seen anything else like what she did for these kids all year long."

- a Lake Braddock SS parent

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Jason Croston, West Springfield HS

"He was my history teacher sophomore year and he was literally the best. I still say 'Hi' to him in the halls when I see him."

- a West Springfield HS student

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Matt Rivera, Ayanna Bundy, and Tamara Wilson, Hollin Meadows ES

"Mr. Rivera, Ms. Bundy and Ms. Wilson have been coaches for our HMES Girls on the Run team this Spring. We met for an hour and half after school for 7 weeks, twice a week, with a 5k event on Saturday May 15. These 3 teacher coaches have never missed a practice, and showed up early on a Saturday morning to support our 24 girls and program. With all the extra pressures, stresses and requirements on teachers this school year (and we began our season the week after our girls were eligible to return to in-person learning) they stepped up in such an important way. We are so grateful for their time, their selflessness and the support they offered to our girls. Our Spring season of Girls on the Run would not have been as successful without them."

- a Mosby Woods ES parent

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Alison Thurman, Mosby Woods ES

"Mrs. Thurman has gone above and beyond this entire school year. She quickly and graciously responded to parents' emails, she offered to do virtual meets with parents to help them understand new virtual formats, and would drop off supplies for the students. During concurrent teaching, she has not only engaged the students in person but also continued to engage the students at home; calling on them to answer questions and keep them involved in the lessons. She is so encouraging to the students. You can tell she was born to be a teacher and has the biggest heart. I recently shared a book my daughter (kindergarten) created at home because I knew Mrs. Thurman would be proud of her. She asked my daughter to bring in a copy so she could bind it for us. She sent home a laminated, bound book - written by my daughter! It was so incredibly thoughtful and special. Mrs. Thurman is a one of a kind teacher and should be recognized. During this crazy, unprecedented year, she has kept her positive nature and enthusiasm for teaching and her students."

- a Mosby Woods ES parent

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Karl Bittner, Colvin Run ES

"Mr. Bittner went above and beyond to help my son have a wonderful experience in his class. He is very responsible, positive, motivating, and understanding. In this way, my son enjoys his class and tries to achieve his potential in math."

- a Colvin Run ES parent

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Lynne Kohls, Flint Hill ES

"Mrs. Kohls has been a wonderful teacher during this unpredictable school year. She has given the kids a sense of calm and dependability throughout the year. You can feel how much care and love there is in the classroom between the kids, Mrs. Strumsky and her. She has helped the kids' learning so much this year as well. We are so happy to have had her as a teacher this year and wanted to share what a great job she is doing!"

- a Flint Hill ES parent

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Kara Strumsky, Flint Hill ES

"Mrs. Strumsky has been a joy this past school year. She has managed to make school fun even during this unpredictable time. The kids have a real relationship with her and with each other and you can feel the love in the classroom. The kids are still making tremendous progress and learning as well. She has been communicative throughout, and you can tell how much she cares for the kids. I am so happy we had her as a teacher this year, and wanted to share what a great job she is doing!"

- a Flint Hill ES parent

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Kwan McKnight, Flint Hill ES

"Mr. McKnight is such an engaged and fun teacher. I speak for other parents as well when I say I hope he is able to stay on full time as a music teacher. On top of getting the kids interested in music and learning, he mans the backdoor walker door in the mornings. He is always very upbeat and happy and sets the right tone for the day for the kids. He's often playing music and engaging the kids, or even racing them into the building. Our kids love him and just wanted to say he is doing a great job!"

- a Flint Hill ES parent

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Karen Baxter, Lynbrook ES

"Karen, our whole school (Lynbrook) could not have had the success we had (especially virtually) without your help! I have certainly learned more about technology use this year than any other year I have ever taught! A big part of this is due to your help in responding to all my technology questions. You enabled me to run virtual work centers successfully with parents. Thank you for everything you do to help both staff and families on a daily basis! I hope you have a relaxing summer and an easier school year next year!! Thanks again!"

- Max Winegar, Lynbrook ES

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Paula Swanson, Lynbrook ES

"Paula, I just wanted to say thanks for all your help and support over these past two years. You always had my back (actually, our whole special education team!) and made sure I didn’t drop the ball on something. Thanks for always responding so quickly to all my hundreds of e-mails, especially when I first started. Lynbrook is certainly lucky to have you as a member of the team!! Have a great relaxing summer and a fantastic new school year!!"

- Max Winegar, Lynbrook ES

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Donnalee McLeod, Lynbrook ES

"Ms. McLeod, thank you for being such a great friend and an amazing team member of our primary enhanced autism classroom. We have always had each other’s back and seemed to think alike on so many levels in the best way to support our students. I am very appreciative and grateful for all your hard work (both virtual and in-person), your quick ability to analyze a situation and offer feedback on an alternative approach, the time you took to coach new staff when I was busy, and your willingness to jump in and help with something new at any point of the day. Lynbrook is sooooooooooooooo very fortunate to have you as part of the team! Especially this year, my IAs will always be “heroes” in my eyes! A BIG thanks for everything!!" 

- Max Winegar, Lynbrook ES

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Kim Norwood, Fairfax Villa ES

"Watching Kim Norwood work is the picture of calm. Kim can take a student from a state of excitability to one of readiness. She senses when a student needs a quiet moment and works with that student to be able to rejoin the class and resume participation. She “reads” the room, understands how children work, and goes to where she is most needed, on her own, without specific teacher direction. Kim thinks outside the box when it comes to creating unique and meaningful learning experiences for the students. Her attention to detail is beyond compare as she prepares project materials for each classroom. In addition, her team members highly respect her as she easily and flexibly moves between preschool classes, teachers, and teaching styles. Nothing seems to phase her."

- Philippa van Gelder-Hindman, Fairfax Villa ES

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Jordan Moore, London Towne ES

"Mrs. Moore worked with my son and another student who were having difficulties getting along. The students are in class together and therefore forced to interact but Mrs. Moore took the time to explain the different types of friendships that can occur in a situation where people must be around each other. She also established a 'contract' for them to follow with guidelines on how they can kindly and successfully interact without having to be so called 'friends.' It is an impressively creative and wonderful way for the kids to learn such an important concept of casual acquaintances. My husband and I are thrilled with Mrs. Moore and the important life lesson she imparted to our child. He is happier and feels more confident at school now as well. Thank you for your time."

- a London Towne ES parent

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Mary Valadez, Gatehouse Admin Center

"Mary has been working very closely with us on some projects at Westfield High School. There have been multiple variations on our requests and a short window to return estimates and work. Throughout this, Mary has been incredibly accessible and accommodating. While I'm sure that she is incredibly busy at this time of year, she has taken the time to work with us, explain the processes, and really make us feel valued. The Westfield Community is fortunate to have Mary Valadez as a resource, and FCPS is a better place for having her."

- Tony DiBari, Westfield HS

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Rowena Smith, Eagle View ES

"Rowena has been part of the Eagle View family for the past 4 years. She started as a Kindergarten teacher and now works as a 1st grade teacher. She is a creative, hard-working member of her 1st grade team. She continuously brings enthusiasm and care to her students. While concurrent instruction has been a challenge, Rowena has truly taken it on and is rocking it!  She routinely contributes ideas and resources to her team. We are so fortunate to have her at Eagle View!"

- Kanchana Iyer, Eagle View ES

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Desirae Jackson, Eagle View ES

"Desirae has been at Eagle View for the past 5 years as a Kindergarten teacher. She is a dedicated and hard working member of the K-team. She is kind and compassionate and strives to ensure that her students make progress each day. She has been involved in the ESOL cohort and participates in all school PD. She continues to learn and grow and is a valued member of our Eagle View team!"

 

- Kanchana Iyer, Eagle View ES

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Amy Haughton, Lake Braddock SS

"I want to highlight how Ms. Haughton has gone above and beyond for her LBSS students. She has provided tremendous support for my son to survive and thrive during this past year. She has provided frequent emails and online meetings to check in with him and provided resources to further his success. It would have been difficult to navigate his senior year without her guidance and support. She truly cares about her students and it shows."

- a Lake Braddock SS parent

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Tammy Burgess, Stepping Stones

"Tammy Burgess goes far beyond what is expected of a caring teacher at the Stepping Stones facility for boys in the FCPS Interagency Alternative Schools program. She has maintained a consistent balance of compassion, academic rigor, and tireless positive energy for the past several years at this facility, notably during this challenging and unpredictable school year. It is a joy to be able to work alongside her while in action, experiencing these infectious qualities. I have witnessed Tammy 'turn around' negative or harmful behaviors and turn them into positive ones with a smile. Tammy Burgess is deserving of this award and more."

- Lisa DeHart, Willow Oaks

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Erika Pflugrath, Frost MS

"Erika goes above and beyond for her students each and every day. She is an extremely knowledgeable, patient, and dedicated educator. Throughout this challenging year, she has worked unflaggingly with students during and outside of class to ensure they get the support they need. She has even dropped library books off at students' homes to ensure that they have books to read. As part of the Summer Reading implementation team, she will also be instrumental in getting books in students' hands for continued reading over the summer. Thanks to Erika for all she does for our Frost kids!"

- Danielle Powers, Frost MS

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Erin Caswell, Longfellow MS

"Erin Caswell is one of the best teachers that my kids have ever had. Being a teacher of special education, she has an incredible amount of patience and understanding for her students’ needs. She is warm and kind, and provides a very welcoming classroom. Having watched her teach during virtual school, it was very obvious how well prepared she was for classes and adaptable during them, making them both entertaining for the children and educational. Being a new teacher in Fairfax County, Mrs. Caswell always sought to learn all she could about the school, curriculum, and students. When she didn’t have an answer for a question, she went above and beyond expectations to find answers and provide explanations. She is also very attentive to each student’s individual needs and uniquenesses, and accommodates different learning styles and personality needs. My child loves having her as a teacher and enjoys going to school."

- a Longfellow MS parent

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Mary Severin, Lanier MS

"At Lanier, we have built a culture of collective responsibility, and Mary Severin exemplifies that. When we need an extra set of hands during testing or in the halls, Mary provides them even if that means she is going above and beyond. Mary is especially giving when it comes to students who need additional support. Mary works to find creative ways to engage students and provide a safe space in which they can learn and grow. Mary recently brainstormed a variety of ways she could work with a student who needs behavioral and social emotional supports and asked if she could provide some of these support outside of her HPE class. This student really has a hard time connecting with new people and Mary has worked hard to embrace this student and works each day to meet his needs. Lanier is lucky to have Mary!"

- Kathryn Teague Lanier MS

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Sandra Martin, Lorton Center

"Sandra was so helpful in getting kids to their correct buses during this strange SOL pandemic time, since they were not the same as their typical buses. She was fabulous, caring and so considerate!"

- Sharon Peterson, Frost MS

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Michelle McMarlin, Crestwood ES

"Ms. McMarlin is an incredible Instructional Assistant alongside Ms. Simon. She has a wonderful sense of humor and her care for the students' social-emotional and academic learning is clear. Together, Ms. Simon and Ms. McMarlin have made an incredible impact on our son during his first year of elementary school. We can't thank them enough!"

- a Crestwood ES parent

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Lanie Simon, Crestwood ES

"Ms. Simon has led her kindergarten so beautifully this year. Despite being virtual until late February, my son has had such a wonderful experience learning and making friends. Ms. Simon makes learning fun and engaging for all of the students in her class. During the virtual part of the year, her patience was otherworldly. She exemplifies the best attributes of a kindergarten teacher: fun-loving, structured, and kind, and she pays very careful attention to the social and academic development of her students. We are so blessed to have had her as our introduction to Crestwood!"

- a Crestwood ES parent

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Alicia Hawks, Fort Hunt ES

"Shout out to Alicia for taking the testing materials to the Testing Center and for jumping in to help with testing various small groups throughout the week. Huge help!"

- Katie Pluntke, Fort Hunt ES 

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Ashley Paz, Fort Hunt ES

"Major kudos to Ashley for organizing and having 33 1st graders, 10 parent volunteers and 5 teachers make and pack up over 600 sandwiches for Be the Good Project! The 1st Grade Team and all of FHES appreciates you! Fox Proud!!"

- Allison Verich, Fort Hunt ES 

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Cheryl Wilhoyte, Chesterbrook ES

" 'Dr. W' has been a great resource to our daughter and to us as parents since the inception of her IEP during the pandemic. She has made the seemingly impossible possible, and has stayed ahead of emerging challenges throughout the Spring semester with our daughter. This year has been one of learning loss for all children, but thanks to Dr. W's leadership and discernment about the needs of our child, her difficulties have been ameliorated and her learning loss mitigated, especially since the return-to-school! We are very grateful to have Dr. W leading our team."

- Chesterbrook ES parents

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Holley Remer and Dave Troskey, Chesterbrook ES

"Not just today, but every day, Ms. Remer and 'Mr. T' keep the wheels turning at Chesterbrook. They are the faces of the front office, always welcoming parents with a smile, a helping hand, and a heaping dose of humor - much needed during this unconventional school year. Ms. Remer and Mr. T are always willing to take a jump ball thrown their way, and can always be counted upon to direct families quickly and effectively. In short, they make the lives of busy, working families a little bit easier, and bring a smile to our faces. Thank you both!"

- Chesterbrook ES parents

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Katelynn Jankowski, Chesterbrook ES

"Ms. Jankowski has been classroom teacher to both of our third graders this academic year. She has been a positive role model to both throughout a challenging year, always shifting to a new schedule, protocol, or other imposed demand of the all-virtual and hybrid concurrent structure. One of our children has begun receiving intervention under an IEP this year, and Ms. Jankowski has worked tirelessly on top of all of her other duties to coordinate those efforts with that of the special education team. She has been responsive to our concerns and needs. We are grateful to have had such a consistently positive classroom leader in the midst of a lot of unknowns and new difficulty this school year. Ms. Jankowski has been a bright spot in influencing our children, and it has made a difference."

- Chesterbrook ES parents

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Carlos Melendres, Sprague Technology Center

"I've been having problems in accessing VPN. My iPhone won't communicate with FCPS. I've talked with AT&T (my carrier), our school TSpec and SBTS, and the FCPS IT department several times in the past. No fault of anyone, just my phone being weird. Carlos found a way around the issues this morning. He had me download an authenticator app. That worked! Thank you Carlos!"

- Judith Smith, Churchill Road ES

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Giovanna Sardenberg, Gatehouse Admin Center

"Ms. Sardenberg has a very warm and friendly personality that comes through when she translates Spanish/English. She puts the clients at ease and helps us communicate with each other more smoothly. I enjoyed working with her very much."

 

- Akiko Ueda-Zecca, Region 2

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Maide Alas Aguilar, Gatehouse Admin Center

"I enjoyed working with Ms. Aguilar very much. She is very professional, flexible, and responsive as an interpreter. She translates nuanced expressions accurately, and clarifies what the client wants to say without adding her own interpretation. It was a great experience working with her."

- Akiko Ueda-Zecca, Region 2

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Carrie Sarsour, Gatehouse Admin Center

"I wanted to send a SHOUT OUT to Ms. Carrie Sarsour in HR! Ms. Sarsour is an amazing resource and is always so helpful when helping us navigate staffing issues. She is super responsive and feel I can always go to her if I have questions. Thank you for all that you do for SC and all other FCPS schools!"

- Brett Garner, South County HS

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Lauretta Garrett, Mountain View HS

"This morning I looked out into the parking lot and there was one of our School Security Specialists, with a large rolling cart, unloading her car and getting ready to come into the building. On the cart were many loaves of home baked bread and then many other packages of snacks for students. I had seen the cart full of these goodies for the past few months since we have been back at school but until today I did not know where all of these goodies were coming from. Lauretta bakes her own 'friendship' breads and passes them out to staff and students once or twice a month. She buys the snacks herself because she believes a student who is not hungry is a student who is really able to learn. Staff members like Lauretta Garrett are what Fairfax County is all about!"

- Ellen Fay, Mountain View HS

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Brandi Bertoni, Regina Green, and Cheryl Long, Riverside ES

"I have the honor of providing recess coverage for the 6 grade team. Every day I see the kids laughing and happy to be back in school. You all make a positive impact on the lives and learning of your students. Thank you for establishing healthy boundaries. Your passion for your students is inspiring to me as an Office Assistant."

- Elmer Alvarenga, Riverside ES

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Tara Klibansky, Riverside ES

"Tara is my mentor as a first year teacher at Riverside, as well as my mentor throughout my internship program with George Mason University. Tara has been nothing short of a leader. Tara continuously encourages me and guides me throughout my first year of teaching. Tara is intentional during our meetings, allowing me time to reflect on my glows and grows to be the best teacher I can be. She is genuine, respectful and supportive. Tara is a role model to all who work with her and I am grateful to have had the opportunity of being her mentee."

- Rachael Kresslein, Riverside ES

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Shawn Heilemann, Willow Oaks Admin Center

"Shawn has been a huge help in making our jobs easier this year! He's had some great suggestions on how to change things we've been doing and taken feedback from us to make updates on some of the things we do. His knowledge of all things Google, his willingness to listen to our concerns and make them happen, and his quick response times have been fantastic. Unfortunately for him, his job is behind the scenes and he doesn't get the credit he deserves. I can only hope it makes his day to know how much he's helped the Athletic Trainers this year!"

- Lisa Petruzzi, Herndon HS

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Arlyncia Pina, James Bensinger, Kelly Morrison, Christopher Aracich, Monica We, Debby Vandersande, Jacob Nawrot, Andrew Smith, Leeanne Pinski, Bradley Johnson and the staff at Franconia ES

"My kids attend Franconia Elementary. Through a really challenging year, the entire school staff has been spectacular. They have transitioned from virtual to semi-in-person to in-person smoothly, with ease and warmth and enthusiasm. My children's class room teachers - Ms. Pina and Mr. Bensinger and Ms. Morrison are patient, kind and supportive. They go above and beyond and my kids adore them. The specials teachers that my children interact with are so caring and creative. Mr. A has motivated both my kids with creative PE activities (both at home and in person). Ms. We and Ms. Lucius are so gifted and engaging in music. Ms. Vandersande is so excited about reading talking about books with the kids. Mr. Narwot's art class is an absolute favorite of both my kids. Mr. Smith and Ms. Pinski truly set a delightful tone and they are so responsive and warm.  And Mr. Johnson does a wonderful job with the strings program. I'm so grateful that my kids spend the day with these spectacular education professionals."

- a Franconia ES parent

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Alexandra Singer, Cooper MS

"As soon as I joined band, she made me feel welcomed. Her personality never fails to make me laugh, and she is an amazing clarinet player. I cannot express how honored I am to be one of her students."

- a Cooper MS student

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Lisa Walsh, Cooper MS

"She managed to help me bring my grades up gradually throughout the whole school year. I am so very lucky to have had her for two years. I went from not being able to tell my cosigns from my tangents to being able to calculate the interior angles of a 57-gon. Thank you so much!"

- a Cooper MS student

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Kevin Deliee, West Springfield HS

"We first had the opportunity to meet Mr. Deliee four years ago when our child started high school. He was assigned as our child's special education case manager, and has been in that role for 3 out of his 4 high school years. We are so thankful for the support and encouragement he has provided our child. Graduation is just a few weeks away and our child will be heading off to college. Our son has specifically told us that he felt that he could always go to Mr. Deliee for help and guidance. Thank you, Mr. Deliee, for your commitment to your students. You definitely helped our family navigate the challenges of high school and were the steady presence that made the difference in contributing to our child's success."

- a West Springfield HS parent

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Katherine Cachine, Waynewood ES

"Ms. Cachine has been the principal at WWES for 4 years, and during that time she has seen the school through a disruptive renovation as well as the pandemic. She has been the picture of calm and confidence, and has involved the parents in every way she possibly can. This year at WWES, 80% of the students returned to in-person instruction. This is impressive, but also made it challenging to coordinate a return to 4 days in-person. After just acclimating to the hybrid model, the staff must have been exhausted and not eager to make another change, but Ms. Cachine made it happen. She did not focus and fret over the obstacles, but rather put on a 'can do' attitude and thought outside the box. She didn't get bogged down over how to allow students to eat lunch while maintaining social distancing. She simply told parents to send in a towel for their child to sit on so they could make use of every available space inside or outside the building. Ms. Cachine also made the playground available to students as soon as she was allowed to do so, without a single day's delay. My child has been so much happier to be back in school with the wonderful teachers and staff at Waynewood Elementary School, and we owe a great deal of gratitude to Ms. Cachine!"

- a Waynewood ES parent

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Hank Garrett, Virginia Hills Early Childhood Center

"Hank is such a great co-worker, and should be recognized for his above and beyond work ethic. All of the bus drivers that park at VA Hills are so appreciative of what he does for us. I personally feel safe knowing Hank is nearby on those dark mornings when I arrive first. VA Hills administration changed the building hours at one point, which left early morning drivers without restroom availability. Hank asked that they consider the needs of the bus drivers who need to access the building for the restroom, computer, phone etc. (One of our drivers has a bladder issue.) Hank is always moving, cleaning, sanitizing, cutting the grass, and even removes snow from around our buses when possible. From all the drivers who park at VA Hills, a big shout out to Hank who truly CARES about his fellow co-workers."

- Barbara Davis, Lorton Center

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Bill Curran, Gatehouse Admin Center

"I want to send a HUGE kudos to Bill Curran, Central Office Director of Activities and Athletics! Under Mr. Curran's leadership, athletics were the first to tackle in-person opportunities in the county during the pandemic. Needless to say, returning to athletics came with many so challenges, questions, pivots, concerns, successes, failures, and so forth. However, during this entire ride, Mr. Curran's leadership has remained steady and thoughtful while trying to balance the interests of so many people. Mr. Curran and his office juggle endless amounts of complexities and stakeholders when making decisions and supporting local schools. I am extremely appreciative of his continued commitment to providing our students in FCPS with the best extra-curricular experiences possible. I hope your office's work continues to get the praise and appreciation it deserves. Thank you, sir!"

- Brett Garner, South County HS

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Karen Southerland, Deer Park ES

"Since being in Mrs. Southerland's class this short time, I have observed how she interacts with her students. She is very warm, extremely patient, and caring."

- Jessica Long, Deer Park ES

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Thuthuy Vu, Westlawn ES

"Thuthuy is absolutely amazing!! Several attempts were made to have an all virtual student exchange his broken computer for a new one. Mrs. Vu was able to get a working computer to the student. The next morning, she joined the class to make certain that he had everything he needed to be successful. This is one of the many occasions where she has gone above and beyond. Westlawn is lucky to have such a passionate educator!"

- Tiffany Jones, Westlawn ES

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Milan Sikand, Fairfax HS

"I would like to recognize Ms. Sikand for all the support and dedication she poured onto my daughter this school year. With the pandemic and virtual learning, it wasn't easy for students/teachers/parents, but teachers like Ms. Sikand went above and beyond by scheduling office hours every Monday and continuing to provide progress reports to me with praises and concerns. I recall receiving a phone call from her after hours just to tell me that my daughter is doing well in her class. We appreciate all her support and I pray that my daughter will be fortunate enough to have more teachers like Ms. Sikand throughout her years at FHS."

- a Fairfax HS parent

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Rebecca Leddon, Hunt Valley ES

"I wanted to drop a short note expressing my admiration and appreciation for Rebecca Leddon, my daughter's fantastic 1st grade teacher at Hunt Valley. She started the year not able to write, but I'm going to pass the keyboard to her now:  i love ms. leddon as a teacher, she teachs us very intresting stuff, i love science beacause we learn about suns and water and plants and much more."

- a Hunt Valley ES parent

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Shawn Heilemann, Willow Oaks Admin Center

"Shawn has been helping the FCPS athletic training program manage data collection for the past few months and has recently helped improve a form for us. He has been incredibly helpful and open to helping us create changes that make our ability to collect and sort data easier. He is quick to respond and eager to help. When issues arise with our data collection, he responds promptly and has us running smoothly in a short period of time. We really appreciate everything he has done for us."

- Shandi Partner, Westfield HS

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Yanneth McCoy, Daniels Run ES

"Mrs. McCoy is an incredible support to our families, students, and staff. She is compassionate, trustworthy, reliable, and has the amazing ability to communicate the just right message in either English or Spanish without any notice.  Mrs. McCoy is an instrumental member of our community, allowing us to build relationships and to keep all of our students at the heart of our work.  I am both so impressed by and grateful for all of her talents and efforts.  We are SO lucky to have Mrs. McCoy in our 'village'."

- Erin Denton, Daniels Run ES

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Robin Houlahan, Lake Braddock SS

"Ms. Houlahan is bringing a great deal of creative energy to English 9H. I am hearing about very exciting interactive experiences with Romeo and Juliet from my 9th grade student. She has inspired real student engagement. This is especially appreciated at this time of year when many students are feeling tired and disengaged. Thank you Ms. Houlahan for your efforts!"

- a Lake Braddock SS parent

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Mary Kay Folk, Cooper MS

"We can consider ourselves lucky if we meet one amazing teacher that inspires us in our lifetime. How fortunate are the Cooper middle school students that are blessed with so many awesome teachers! Yet, even among such amazing teachers, Mrs. Folk is exceptionally dedicated. She makes class engaging for virtual and in-person students and makes each student feel important. Almost every day my son gives me examples of how fun she makes class and what he's learned. Thanks to her influence, any spare moment he has, my son spends reading or writing. Recently, he wrote an essay in which he expressed how Cooper teachers handled distance teaching: 'It was then I learned that superheroes don’t fit an established mold, and that true strength is measured not in the loudness of one’s achievements, but in knowing that it will be a hard battle and still fighting it anyway, in the face of the bitterness of adversity. 'Let me add to that and say that while I singled out Mrs. Folk, every single teacher at Cooper is amazing, and where do you store your superhero capes?"

- a Cooper MS parent

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Sarah Padilla, Lake Braddock SS

"Sarah Padilla goes out of her way to make sure that students, staff, and families are supported and celebrated. Not only does she do an awesome job of keeping the World Language department running, but she manages to make each and every one of us feel special and celebrated for graduations, birthdays, etc. With all that we missed with the pandemic this year, she more than made up with it by making us feel heard and appreciated on a daily basis. She has been not only my department head, but my university mentor as I finished grad school this year, and she always made herself available for questions, support, or sometimes just a laugh. All of that on top of stepping in as MS SOSA and being a part of the assessment team and still being there for her students and managing to be a stellar teacher-Sarah does it all and we are so lucky to have her!"

- Anna McDonald, Lake Braddock SS

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Jeanine Bogan-Stevens, Lake Braddock SS

"Jeanine Bogan-Stevens is one of the most energetic individuals I have ever come across! Every day she always comes in with a smile on her face, always ready for the task at hand. She is a very strong person who always goes beyond the expectations of the assigned work. Walking in her classroom will show you just how important Mrs. Stevens has become to the students. The students always enjoy her company, so much so that many students will visit her in the morning! Even during virtual learning, where it can be a challenge at times, Jeanine finds a way to bring a smile to her virtual teacher and their students. Thank you so much for your amazing hard work!"

- Haider Humadi, Lake Braddock SS

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Celine Sinclair-Peebles, Interagency Schools - TSRC Fairfax

"Ms. P. is doing a great job helping my search for success."

- an Interagency Schools - TSRC Fairfax student

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Brandon Robertson and the Office of Assessment and Reporting Staff, Willow Oaks Admin Center

"I wanted to recognize the Office of Assessment and Reporting staff for all they do on a daily basis to support me and the other STC's in the school division. This year, it should go without saying, has presented it's own unique challenges when it comes to testing students who are both in-person and virtual. They are always helpful, prompt and courteous with any and all questions I might have. They have helped me to navigate testing this year and have offered much support. I honestly don't know what we would do without them. A special shout out to Brandon Robertson who has become my first go to with questions. He has been a life saver. We are so fortunate in FCPS to have them all and their expertise. A huge thank you to everyone on the OAR staff."

- Michael Parker, Daniels Run ES 

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Quin Tamburo, Longfellow MS

"Mr. Tamburo joined the Longfellow family early this year as a class monitor. A few weeks ago, he was offered the opportunity to cover for a CAT B teacher position and he enthusiastically jumped at the opportunity. He obtained substitute credentials and has worked hard to successfully serve our students. Even after completing this 2-week assignment, Mr. Tamburo continues to visit his students in the CAT B program and always puts a smile on students' faces. His reliability and can-do attitude make him a real asset to the Longfellow community. Mr. Tamburo recently shared that he is now interested in pursuing a career in special education!"

- Kevin Sami, Longfellow MS 

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Julie Robins, Franklin MS

"Julie noticed that nobody had adopted the highway outside of Franklin Middle School on Lees Corner Road. She went to work researching how our school could adopt the highway. She then applied for Franklin to adopt Lees Corner Road and we were approved. Every year, Julie organizes the clean-up date for staff and works with the Adopt a Highway group to get all of the supplies and road signs for our clean up date. It makes us all proud to help keep our community clean and see Franklin's name on the sign outside of our school every day!"

- Lisa Phillips, Franklin MS 

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Lauren Piller, Daniels Run ES

"Lauren is one of our wonderful PE teachers. Lauren has stepped up and taken on additional responsibilities as a result of an extended absence in our PE department. She has been supporting all of our students and staff as well as planning lessons and grading students work during the absence. All this while, she has been welcoming students back to the building, teaching concurrently and supporting recess each day. Lauren is a model FCPS employee and we are fortunate to have her serving our Daniels Run community."

- Chris Smith, Daniels Run ES 

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Susan Anderson-Muhs, Flint Hill ES

"Ms. Muhs is a thoughtful, kind, and very patient teacher. She puts students who face more challenges learning at ease. She takes the time to notify me if my child is missing an assignment, knowing my child gets overwhelmed easily. Her willingness to do what is necessary for my child to be successful is very much appreciated. My child will miss her very much as this is her last year in Elementary School."

- a Flint Hill ES parent 

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Cheri Miller, Lake Braddock SS

"We have been fortunate to have Cheri Miller as a Latin teacher for three years, for Latin 1, 2, and 3. She finds creative ways to teach Latin and did an excellent job of keeping her students engaged and moving forward during virtual and concurrent learning this year. She truly cares about her students and has ensured that her students have continued to thrive during a very challenging year. We appreciate all that she does to bring this 'dead language' to life. She has been a ray of sunshine in a relatively dark year."

- a Lake Braddock SS parent 

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Katherine Hovanec, Oakton HS

"A big thank you to Ms. Hovanec for exemplifying the attributes of a teacher who consistently goes above and beyond. One thing in particular that I want to highlight is how Ms. Hovanec models instruction. During the past year, explicit instruction was crucial, and Ms. Hovanec delivered and then some. My (all-virtual) sophomore told me time and again how much he learned when she modeled the lessons in real time. Moreover, Ms. Hovanec gave grace when in doubt. Thank you to Ms. Hovanec for being an outstanding teacher who teaches with best practices in mind and offers grace and patience - especially during this very challenging year."

- an Oakton HS parent 

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Dan Smith, Lindsey Kearns, Lance Jackson, Joseph Rutherford, Lindsay Puffer, Theresa Vece, Kara Nocito, Colleen D’Anna, Anna McDonald, Catherine Hanson, and Beth Spille, Lake Braddock SS

"We simply would like to acknowledge and salute the outstanding, conscientious, knowledgeable instruction and guidance my son has been receiving this past year at Lake Braddock Middle School. The staff and teachers’ expertise and personal experience offered to our son has shown him that life is not perfect  -  it requires much practice and perseverance. Under the leadership and guidance of Dr. Dan Smith, Ms. Lindsey Kearns, Mr. Lance Jackson, and all the administrative staff, Lake Braddock Middle/High School continues to be an institution of outstanding education. Thank you so much for all your efforts!"

- Lake Braddock SS parents 

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Shane Thurston, Lake Braddock SS

"Mr. Thurston is the best teacher ever. I have him in advisory and he is so funny and calms me down when I am stressed. I hope I have him next year for math and advisory."

- a Lake Braddock SS student 

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Amanda Livingston, Robinson SS

"Amanda always goes above and beyond to find the answer and/or solution to my questions. She is quick to respond and is always upbeat and positive. She is a kind and helpful individual who cares about the students and staff at Robinson Secondary School. It has been a pleasure to work with Amanda during the spring season. Have a RAMtastic day, Amanda, and thank you!"

- Shelli Wayland, Gatehouse Admin Center 

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Kyra Ganezer, Marshall Road ES

"Mrs. Ganezer is a very positive and supportive 3rd grade teacher. She promotes independence while also providing simple guidance and instructions. She shows caring and understanding towards all of her students. Mrs. Ganezer provides certain 'extras' into the classroom to brighten the days of her students. I appreciate her as a parent, and feel at ease knowing my child is supported emotionally and cognitively in her classroom."

- a Marshall Road ES parent  

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Ann McNuss, Stonecroft Transportation Center

"At dismissal, one of my students was in crisis and to our dismay we just couldn't calm the student down. Ann has formed a connection with this student who has ridden her bus for 4 years. Ann came down the hallway to where my student was and tried to see if she could convince the student to use calming strategies and come to the bus. In the past the bus staff have not taken time to come in the building to see if they could help calm the student. Ann spent several minutes trying different strategies to get the student's attention and try to connect with the student. As a classroom staff we are so grateful for Ann's willingness to try to help a student in crisis. Ann is an amazing member of FCPS staff. =)  "

- Patti Madden, Kilmer Center  

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Teresita Knapp, Gatehouse Admin Center

"Sra. Teresita Knapp, from Language Services, is as an extraordinary interpreter. She is punctual, polite, and the consummate professional. She can listen to a teacher speak at length, yet interpret what they say without having to interrupt the teacher’s train of thought to interpret in 'chunks.' I know she does a thorough job and does not miss anything, because I have enough knowledge of Spanish to understand most of what she is saying. She is also so knowledgeable with the workings of re-evaluations and IEPs that she can anticipate what needs to be interpreted without being told to do so. This is the second time I have had the pleasure of working with Sra. Knapp. The first time was the week before last, when she picked up a job that had been cancelled at the very last minute. She was wonderful then, and wonderful again today. Kudos also go to Katie Han for her excellent stewardship at Language Services, as is evidenced by the caliber of interpreters such as Sra. Knapp."

- Cathay Raboy, Fairfax HS 

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Steve Snyder, Travis Hess and the Robinson Family, Robinson SS

"The Robinson team created a much appreciated sign of support for the SCHS community! In addition, Travis has continued to check in to convey his care and concern and continues to exemplify a caring culture!"

- Marci Norem, South County HS 

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Jenny Payne, Fairfax HS

"Jenny crafted a goodie basket for our Student Services Team to ensure we remembered to prioritize self-care during this trying time for our community. Her kindness will not be forgotten!"

- Marci Norem, South County HS 

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Sam Elson, Christine Ritter, Marissa Gaines, Jay Ann DiGrazia, Michael Beissner, Jennifer Downham, Michelle Keenan, Sarah Opsut, Jennifer Fitzgerald, Matthew Murphy, and Elaine Stottlemyer, Kings Glen Elementary School

"We simply wanted to acknowledge and salute my son’s 6th grade teachers who continue to provide outstanding instruction, guidance, and support as he moves toward his middle school years. They have been very conscientious, knowledgeable, thorough, caring, and creative; often drawing on their own personal, valuable experiences to show our students that life is not perfect - it takes lots of practice and determination.  The leadership of Mr. Sam Elson (Principal) and Dr. Christine Ritter (Asst. Principal) has clearly been very instrumental in our son’s progress. Thank you so much for all your efforts!"

- a Kings Glen ES parent 

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Nora Skiba, Key Center School

"Nora is the hard working, dedicated, and knowledgeable Public Health Nurse who manages the Key Center health room. Nora's days are spent caring for our students with complex medical needs. Nora is responsible for developing health plans, managing medication, supporting Immediate Care Rooms, handling medical crisis, performing medical trainings and much, much more. During the pandemic, many of Nora's weekends, evenings and holidays were spent working at the Health Department and providing vaccines. Nora is patient, kind, and truly unflappable. We are so lucky to have her on the Key Team!"

- Emily Kaltenmark, Key Center School 

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Suzan Gibson, Centreville HS

"I was scheduled to proctor an SOL on the asynchronous Monday. I had a childcare conflict, so Suzan graciously agreed to take my assignment. Her proctoring duties do not align with my planning periods, so she is taking on an additional assignment out of the goodness of her heart. Centreville is lucky to have Suzan!"

- Anthony Hanrahan, Centreville HS 

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Mark Thompson, McLean HS

"While Mark Thompson has always been an invaluable teacher and exceptional person to work with, this year he has taken his abilities to a new level. In working with our Special Education Cat B students, Mark has exhibited kindness and patience beyond measure as some of his students have struggled to adapt to the changing school environment. Mark always has a smile on his face and takes all the time required for each of his students to regain their composure and return to the learning environment. His caring and friendly demeanor makes him loved by his students, their parents, and everyone who works at McLean High School."

- Tzeitel Barcus, McLean HS 

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Guery Cespedes, Lake Braddock SS

"We are so grateful for Guery and his talented and thoughtful custodial team. The entire team is kind and helpful, and always willing to go the extra mile. The library recently needed a specialized delivery organized, and the help we received from Guery and his team was invaluable. We are so lucky to have Guery at LBSS!"

- Sarah Pevner, Lake Braddock SS

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Mike McMarlin, Lake Braddock SS

"Mike is a truly dedicated building engineer, and we are so lucky to have him at Lake Braddock. He is never too busy to help, he always takes your ideas seriously (even when they are way out there), and he is flexible, responsive and kind."

- Sarah Pevner, Lake Braddock SS

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Beth Beil, Terra Centre ES

"We are incredibly grateful to Mrs. Beil for her dedication to her students throughout this wild year. Mrs. Beil is a veteran teacher who didn't let the change in setting or technology learning curve stop her from instruction. Mrs. Beil has high expectations for each of her students, both with classroom behavior and academic rigor. This standard was particularly appreciated this year with virtual learning and two working parents at home. Mrs. Beil's second graders learned quickly to be accountable for their behavior and classwork even though she wasn't in the room with them. We are continually impressed with Mrs. Beil's patience and kindness with her students whether in person, virtual, or concurrent. Given the variety in instruction this year, the 'classroom' environment she was able to create and the comradery among students is truly remarkable. On a day my daughter attended virtually while sick, Mrs. Beil included her as if she were there with the rest of the class in person. The enthusiasm with which Mrs. Beil and the rest of her students cheered when they heard my daughter would return the following day was heartwarming. Mrs. Beil is working hard to teach important reading, writing, and mathematics skills, and the strides our daughter has made in her class this year are outstanding. More importantly though, Mrs. Beil is clearly shaping her students in the Portrait of a Graduate mindset. She encourages curiosity, emphasizes responsibility, and practices mindfulness, among other things. We are so pleased to have our daughter taught in such an environment early in her educational career. Again, we are beyond grateful for Mrs. Beil and her flexibility, accountability, and dedication to her profession. Many thanks, Mrs. Beil!"

- a Terra Centre ES parent

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Sung Kim, Merrifield Support Center

"Sung has consistently provided exemplary customer service to us at Pine Spring since he was assigned to our school. He responds quickly, assesses the concern and resolves our issues. He explains the problem, discusses any obstacles and fills us in on any follow up steps. Sung always makes sure we know how things will be resolved and follows up that we are satisfied. He is an integral part of our team and we are grateful to have him here."

- Barbara Hiltz, Pine Spring ES

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Semere Ambaye, Interagency Schools - TSRC Fairfax

"I would like to recognize Mr. Summer Ambaye, who is an amazing Mathematician! Throughout this entire pandemic year, Mr. Ambaye has maintained such a positive attitude, friendly and supportive demeanor. He always has a smile on his face, a joke ready to begin the day that has you in stitches of laughter. Mr. Ambaye engages every student with positivity and has happy things to say. He is an excellent Math teacher who even takes time out of his schedule to deliver math assignments to students who cannot attend an in-person class. He is amazing with his teaching techniques and keeps students engaged."

- Celine Sinclair-Peebles, Interagency Schools - TSRC Fairfax

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Megan Brooks, Springfield Estates ES

"If you take a couple of letters and add them to the word “Personal,” you would create the word “Professional.”  That idea and those qualities symbolize Megan Brooks. No matter what I'm calling about, whether it is a question involving my 6th grader moving onto middle school or a bus transportation question, Megan is always kind-hearted and approachable. I sincerely appreciate how she makes whatever I am inquiring about feel like it's a priority and always follows through on getting me an answer, especially when I feel I'm asking a silly/minor question. Even the few times I have come in person to Springfield Estates to pick up my kid for an appointment or drop off a form, Ms. Brooks always exudes warmth and immediately puts any concerns I have at ease. As a parent, I know my kids are always in great hands with someone like her on the SEES team. From her genuine feedback, witty commentary, and simple presence, Megan Brooks demonstrates daily how she is more than an Administrative Assistant at Springfield Estates."

- a Springfield Estates ES parent

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Margaret Baber, Cooper MS

"Ms. Baber’s love and enthusiasm for theatre are contagious! I can always tell when my daughter is in her class because of the loud, animated, and joyful noise coming from her workspace (she is otherwise very quiet and studious). I am so thankful that in this crazy weird year, she has found a fun and nurturing outlet in Ms. Baber’s class."

- Ava Walter, Cooper MS

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Mollie O'Donnell, Oak Hill ES

"I can't thank Mrs. O'Donnell enough for all that she has done for our student!  Not only is she a kind, caring, patient, knowledgeable teacher, she has also helped us navigate the special education world. For a long time, our student struggled with classwork and had a negative mindset towards school. We were never able to get the true help she needed. Mrs. O'Donnell was an advocate for us and now our student is making leaps and bounds in her classwork. We are so happy to see our student thriving and actually enjoying school! On a personal note, Mrs. O'Donnell created an amazing connection with our student. When our student gets frustrated, she knows just how to make her smile. To me, that is invaluable! Thank you, Mrs. O'Donnell!"

- an Oak Hill ES parent

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Kristin Kornher, Gatehouse Admin Center

"I just want to take a minute and thank Kristin for all her help over the past year with Sea-Stars when there were times I just could not figure out what I needed to do in order to finalize IEPs. The DDS Support Team has always been very reliable and has always responded quickly when I had an issue with Sea-Stars.  Thank you all from all of us teachers!!"

- Max Winegar, Lynbrook ES

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Anne Scarano, Cooper MS

"She is a nice person. She helps me do my work when we are in Office Hours with Math, Science, or History."

- a Cooper MS student

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Christopher Slusser, Forestdale ES

"Mr. Slusser is my son’s class teacher. While he’s doing class virtually, his teacher was so well prepared and planned his lesson so that I couldn’t feel the difference if he’s in person or virtual. He learned a lot from him, I would like to mention he’s dedicated to his profession. My son is blessed to have him as the class teacher. We thank and appreciate Mr. Slusser for all his hard work and excellent efforts."

- a Forestdale ES parent

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Ann Gary and Lafonda Hawkins, Interagency Schools - TSRC Fairfax

"To our amazing Instructional Assistants, Mrs. Ann Gary and Lafonda Hawkins, thank you for being a very supportive team. Assisting with Blackboard and at the same time teacher and student's needs. We appreciate you and thank you for all that you do!"

- Celine Sinclair-Peebles, Interagency Schools - TSRC Fairfax

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Dorothy Radja, Lanier MS

"Ms. Radja went above and beyond all school year but especially today. She made my son feel cared for and helped him to achieve success. He was feeling as if he was a failure and she refused to give up on him She showed the true meaning of FCPS Cares."

- a Lanier MS parent

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Caitlin Welch, Westbriar ES

"I want to take the time to share our wonderful experiences with Ms. Welch (my son's 2nd-grade teacher). Throughout this entire year, she has maintained such a positive attitude and friendly, supportive demeanor. She always has a smile on her face and positive, happy things to say. She is very good at communicating with the parents and her students understand her expectations. She has been especially successful in teaching my son to read. Entering 2nd grade he still had no interest in sounding out words and was easily discouraged. I communicated my concerns to Ms. Welch and she has done so many extra things to teach and encourage our son. Now, he loves reading and learning new words. By Christmas time, he had enough courage to read an entire book in front of 20+ family members. He would have never done that prior to Ms. Welch's support and patience. She is an outstanding, caring teacher - and my son says everyone in the class LOVES her."

- a Westbriar ES parent

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Jackie Kerze, Hughes MS

"Ms. Kerze has gone above and beyond since arriving at Hughes and the staff has relied on her expertise and patience even more during distance and concurrent instruction. Despite the many demands on her time as we wind down this unusual schoolyear and gear up for the transition to Schoology, she reached out to a family whose student was having difficulty getting their logins across multiple platforms to accurately display their name. This was a source of significant stress for the student and his family and when traditional troubleshooting steps did not resolve the issue fully, Ms. Kerze made an appointment to meet with the student and parent virtually and walked through each platform login with the student until all issues were resolved. This interaction was a shining example of her knowledge, patience, and dedication."

- Amy Smith, Hughes MS

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Christin McLaughlin, Lees Corner ES

"Hi, Mrs. McLaughlin, Happy Teachers Appreciation Week! We really appreciate your endless efforts, dedication, and hard work every single day! All kiddos did a great job by making an excellent slide show you totally deserve it:) Thank you so much for being an amazing and responsible human being. Happy Mother's Day! Hope you had a wonderful time with your loved ones. Stay Blessed."

- a Lees Corner ES parent

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Lisa Walsh, Cooper MS

"Ms. Walsh always goes above and beyond to explain the math concepts. She is tremendously patient and willing to hear the kids and understand their viewpoints/obstacles. She encourages kids to ask questions and makes them feel nothing is a silly question. She is someone who can inculcate the love for math in all students."

- a Cooper MS parent

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Caitlyn Saunders, Kings Park ES

"Ms. Saunders has played such a huge role in making our daughter's virtual experience a successful one. Her energy and ability to keep her class engaged are worth recognition. She has gone above and beyond to help our daughter feel involved as she has remained virtual this year and I truly appreciate her for thinking outside the box to help her during a rough patch when the class went from virtual to concurrent. Our daughter secretly wishes she would teach her next year in second grade! Thanks, Ms. Saunders for working so hard during this very difficult year and making a difference in our first grader's school year!"

- a Kings Park ES parent

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Megan Lawhorne, Lees Corner ES

"We can only hope all the children of Fairfax County are being nurtured and educated by such a wonderful teacher as Ms. Lawhorne. She has gone above and beyond for the best interest of our son throughout this unprecedented schoolyear. He being of 2 households, Ms. Lawhorne has ensured both his mother and I are fully aware of his progress and expectations and we are truly grateful to her. Thank you, Ms. Lawhorne!"

- Lees Corner ES parents

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Bonnie Kolbenstetter, Lake Braddock SS

"Bonnie is a fantastic teacher here at Lake Braddock who always brings a positive and creative spirit to our Economics and Personal Finance (EPF) team meetings. This year we had many new teachers added to our team. Bonnie has been an excellent resource for our team by giving advice, offering support, and revamping many of our activities to meet the needs of our co-current instruction. During each meeting, she gave suggestions on best practices and shared innovative strategies to help the team create engaging and interactive lessons for all students, whether online or in the classroom. We appreciate all the work Bonnie has done to go above and beyond to help and support our EPF CT Team!"

- Miriam Lynch, Lake Braddock SS

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Marianne McKeon, Woodson HS

"La señora MccKeon es una excelente maestra de educación especial con una experiencia extraordinaria ella siempre está pendiente de que sus alumnos tengan todo el material para trabajar y si no lo tienen ella se lo facilita hasta lo envía a casa oh avisa que tiene el material en la escuela que puedes pasar por el en cualquier momento estoy muy contenta de la suerte que tiene mi hijo de que ella sea su maestra virtual ella es muy amable respetuosa y muy paciente con sus alumnos y con uno de padre a pesar de que no habló inglés y ella no habla español ella siempre busca la mejor manera de comunicarse con migo y eso me hace sentir cómoda con ella gracias FCPS por brindarnos maestros extraordinariamente capacitados."

Translation:

“Mrs. McKeon is an excellent special education teacher with extraordinary experience, she is always aware of the needs of her students. If they don’t have the materials they need, she provides it to them by sending it home. I am very happy that she's my son’s virtual teacher. She is very kind respectful and very patient with her students and with us even though we do not speak English and she does not speak Spanish. She always looks for the best way to communicate with me and that makes me feel comfortable with her. Thanks, FCPS for providing us with extraordinarily trained teachers.”

- a Woodson HS parent

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Christine McLaughlin, Lees Corner ES

"Hi, Mrs. McLaughlin, Happy Teachers  Appreciation Week! Thank you so much for your endless efforts, dedication, and hard work for all the kids. Your Amazing teaching Skills and guidance helps Kiddos learned so many new things. We really appreciate you for helping, caring, understanding, and much more. Also, when the new challenge came to manage kids both in-person and virtual you really did excellent work! Thank you so much for being such a wonderful and responsible human being. Stay Blessed Always."

- a Lees Corner ES parent

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Alexis Centers, Frost MS

"Our reading teacher, Alexis Centers, goes over and above for Frost students and teachers every day. As an integral part of the IEP process, she collects a substantial amount of data on student reading and behavior and interprets that data for our families in a clear, parent-friendly way. Her data and knowledge of our students enable all teachers to support students across the curriculum, beyond reading and English class. Alexis is also making sure our kids have access to free books and reading during the summer by helping to close the gap through our Summer Literacy program with Scholastic this year, a huge task requiring organization and coordination with many others. A big thanks to Alexis Centers for all she does for Frost!"

- Danielle Powers, Frost MS

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Erica Hosken, Lake Braddock SS

"Mrs. Hosken is my classroom monitor this year and I'm so lucky to have her! She has been so helpful in making seating charts, spacing out the students so they feel safe, and working one-on-one with students who come in for extra help. She has a natural ability to invite students in, build rapport, make them feel welcome and supported, and let them know we care. She has become an extension of myself rather than just a monitor as her job description implies. She participates in the activities, engages with students in the group chat, and even checks in on their assignments on Google Classroom. She truly epitomizes the FCPS Cares ethics and I'm so thankful for all she's done this year!"

- Kelly McMillan, Lake Braddock SS

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Brian Rever, White Oaks ES

"Mr. Rever is the SBTS here at White Oaks. He has really gone above and beyond this past year. He's always patient and understanding- helping the staff and students with any technology issue that arises. In addition to his regular duties, he also produces the school news program. We are so thankful for him and his dedication to our school community."

- Diana Chou, White Oaks ES

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JudyAnn Gray, Robinson SS

"I noticed very early on in the school year that students would log in early to Ms. Gray’s class. Every class, she would have several students logging in to chat with her about nature, animals, and their plans for the weekend. The way she engaged the students in each and every class will have an everlasting effect on them. Through my experience, as an educator, these moments are so vital for our students. It is clear that educating is her passion. It is clear that not only does she strive for excellent instruction but to make genuine connections with her students. Thank you Ms. Gray for being wonderful!"

- a Robinson SS parent

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Suzanne LeFrancois, Greenbriar West ES

"Mrs. LeFrancois is an awesome teacher! She truly cares about her students like they are her own. She has that very positive attitude and caring approach to every situation which made this tough school year easier than ever. We really appreciate all she has done and will never forget her."

- a Greenbriar West ES family

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Kellie Paxson, McNair ES

"Mrs. Paxson is a wonderful teacher who is kind and patient with her students. Throughout this year's virtual learning she has been amazing. She personally checks all the student's work and gives encouraging and cheerful feedback. She has gone above and beyond to bring smiles on her student's faces by making surprise goodie bags on multiple occasions!"

- a McNair ES parent

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Tim Nguyen, Shrevewood ES

"Tim Nguyen, our Technology Support Specialist, is a hard-working and committed member of our Shrevewood family. Prior to distance learning, Tim maintained the technology at Shrevewood. Tim’s work was extremely important for keeping the technology running smoothly from day to day to ensure that Shrevewood teachers were able to deliver the best instruction possible to our students. However, when FCPS transitioned to distance learning in March 2020, Tim’s work became even more critical for keeping students learning. Over the past year, Tim has prepared hundreds of laptops for student distribution and has fixed countless student laptops to ensure that they are functioning properly so our students do not miss much if any, classroom instruction. Every day I pass by Tim’s office to say hello and when I poke my head into his room, he is sitting in front of a row of student laptops in various stages of disrepair, working diligently to fix each one. When Tim is not repairing laptops, he is meeting with teachers, parents, or students to exchange broken laptops, or in someone’s classroom or office solving an equipment problem. We depend very heavily on Tim and he never fails to deliver. We are so thankful that Tim is a part of our Shrevewood family. We do not know what we would do without him."

- Coreen Pinkerton, Shrevewood ES

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Cassie Eatmon, Herndon HS

"Mrs. Eatmon has truly gone above and beyond to support my student in finding success in Algebra I this year. Thank you, Mrs. Eatmon!"

- a Herndon HS parent

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Schavion Smith, West Potomac HS

"When our daughter (who is 100% virtual) told Ms. Smith she was unable to print a multi-page math packet, Ms. Smith went out of her way and delivered the packet to our doorstep!"

- a West Potomac HS parent

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John Thomas, McNair Upper ES

"Thank you Mr. Thomas for teaching me new stuff!"

- a McNair Upper ES student

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Steven Myers, Willow Oaks Admin Center

"I write to acknowledge the exceptional level of responsiveness and professionalism that have always characterized my interactions with Mr. Myers. Whether I contact him with a simple question or a complicated issue, he addresses my concerns with patience and good humor. I rely on his expertise and knowledge about service-learning and using the x2vol digital tool that captures information about students' service hours and written reflections. I extend my thanks and gratitude to Mr. Myers for always providing enthusiastic and effective support!"

- Lisa Williams, Lake Braddock SS

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Tina Utz, Sprague Technology Center

"Tina has been amazing and responsive to my team's requests for graphics for the new Employee Hub. From working on a workflow to preserving quality, a FANTASTIC eye for color and imagery... I cannot say enough about my very positive experience with her customer service. I look forward to continuing working with her!"

- Meredith Lydon, Wilton Woods Center

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Ayme Zlatnik, Groveton ES

"In this year full of challenges and changes, Ayme has stepped up time and again to help me whenever and with whatever I've needed. She's efficient, can anticipate what the kids need due to her years of experience with the kids, and is such a help to me. I appreciate her daily and she is a little ray of sunshine when things seem pretty cloudy!"

- Kara Nindl, Groveton ES

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Jennifer Collier, Great Falls ES

"Mrs. Jennifer Collier has been a continued bright spot in my child's life for the past 3 years. During the past year of virtual learning, I have witnessed firsthand how kind, engaging, and supportive Mrs. Collier is during every interaction with my child. She has made him feel valued, heard, and important and given him a huge confidence boost. She has worked patiently and effectively with him to improve his phonic awareness and reading ability. I have no doubt that my son's academic gains in reading and reading comprehension are due in large part to the support he's received from Mrs. Collier. I am forever grateful for the love she has shown my child. GFES is beyond fortunate to have such an amazing teacher on staff."

- a Great Falls ES parent

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Khulud Khudur, Cedar Lane School

"Khulud began working at Cedar Lane as our librarian this school year, in the middle of the pandemic and I never even got to see her face until February of 2021. Even so, she found ways to connect with the staff and enrich our community long before we met face to face. She is brilliant and kind and has taught me to be courageous in my approach to intentional inclusiveness. I wanted to recognize her during teacher appreciation week especially because as the rest of the staff gets celebrated with extravagant, daily food treats, she continued to quietly fast and practice her faith. I know I have been complaining endlessly (because I can't eat the food--just had surgery), so she leads by example, yet again.  She has a brilliant future in FCPS and this won't be the last you hear of her."

- Alison McHugh, Cedar Lane School

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Fran Nadel, Woodburn ES

"Miss Nadel- Thank you for making this school year the best possible for all your students! It has been a truly challenging situation and your patience, infectious energy, and kindness have made it so much better. Your open communication with our family proves how much you care about each student. We appreciate your hard work and thank you for being such a wonderful teacher!"

- a Woodburn ES parent

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Liz Busch, Virginia Hills Early Childhood Center

"Mrs. Busch has done such an amazing job this year with managing all of her preschoolers with speech in spite of the difficulties of this virtual year. I have watched in amazement as she manages to handle multiple preschoolers over Google meet every week with ease keeping them all on task. She has also done a fantastic job of keeping it fun and my preschooler engaged during their one on one sessions too. She has gone above and beyond throughout the year. She has dropped off supplies for several projects throughout the past year for them all to be able to work on together during the virtual sessions which my little one has loved. Miss Liz has spent the last several weeks raising butterflies with the kids and even arranged for a safe socially distant meet (optional of course) in a park for the kids to be able to hold the butterflies and set them free. She has gone above and beyond over this last virtual year making sure to check in with me to make sure that I am okay along with providing the best possible services for my child under the worst circumstances. I'm not sure how we would have survived this last year without her help. Thank you, Miss Liz!"

- a Virginia Hills Early Childhood Center parent

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Bev Taylor, Lake Braddock SS

"Ms. Taylor greets every student and parent with a smile. She is incredibly kind and supportive to all who cross her path. Recently, while I was in a meeting, Ms. Taylor was informed that one of my students was missing. She immediately informed others to look for him and then went out of her way to find him. When she found my student sitting on a bench outside, waiting for a bus that had left 2 hours prior, Ms. Taylor kindly let him know that she was going to help him to get home. She provided the support to this student that he needed at the time and for this I am grateful. Ms. Taylor Cares!"

- Margaret Veenstra, Lake Braddock SS

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Kristen Browning, Bonnie Brae ES

"Ms. Browning has gone to great lengths to make virtual kindergarten as inclusive and interactive as possible for my son. We appreciate everything she has done in what has been an incredibly challenging year."

- a Bonnie Brae ES parent

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Thi Thanh Loan Huynh, Fairfax HS

"I would like to take this opportunity to let you know how much Loan Huynh is appreciated and respected as our Custodian here at Fairfax High School. Throughout the day, she is smiling as she does her rounds cleaning the classrooms and hallways. Her work ethic is top-notch, and the building is cleaner than I have ever seen it in years (our entire staff is to be commended).  She is on top of all the COVID precautions, cleanliness, and maintenance of the surfaces and areas. Loan takes pride in her work and in the appearance of the school. Being back in the building with concurrent teaching has not been easy on any of us teachers. Loan is the first person that we see when we arrive at school as she is at the entrance door greeting teachers and cleaning the door handles. Thanks to her, the teachers in my hallway start our days with a smile. Loan sets the tone for our days – positive and happy. She has helped me carry things to my classroom, even though that is not one of her job responsibilities. Her positive attitude and caring disposition have been so appreciated each morning as we are trying to make the best of the current school year. We have a saying here at our school “Fairfax, We are Family!” and Loan Huynh is a valued member of our family."

- Melanie West-Matalavage, Fairfax HS

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Rich Gaul, Lake Braddock SS

"Rich Gaul is an Athletic Leadership teacher and football coach at Lake Braddock Secondary School. He consistently goes above and beyond to find meaningful ways to connect with his students and athletes and motivate them. He is someone who leads by example and during a very challenging year has helped inspire his students and teach them practical skills and reinforce important values. During a school year that has been difficult for many students, he finds creative ways to keep them engaged. They look forward to his class ...and look forward to taking his class again next year and each year until they graduate. He is a role model and mentor in and out of the classroom ... on and off the football field. He is a true asset to the Lake Braddock community and FCPS. His impact will stick with his students long after they graduate. It is clear that Rich Gaul has spent this year connecting with his students and teaching them invaluable leadership skills that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives. I am grateful to have him as a role model for our students and athletes."

- a Lake Braddock SS parent

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Tawanya Scarboro and Margie Urano, Colvin Run ES

"The past year had been tough emotionally and socially for my kindergartner. I feared my child would hate school forever and was worried about how he would adjust to going in-person to school after being home for several months. He now looks forward to going to school. Can't thank enough Ms. Scarboro and her team to make the transition so seamless. Thank you, thank you, thank you."

- a Colvin Run ES parent

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Robin Houlahan, Lake Braddock SS

"Ms. Houlahan has made a huge difference in my daughter's life this year. Since the beginning of the school year, she has been in contact with her - answering questions, offering feedback - fostering a trusting relationship. Ms. Houlahan encourages open dialogue in her classroom so that, even during virtual class, students were engaged and actively sharing their opinions. To hear my daughter engaged and excited on her Blackboard classroom sessions with Ms. Houlahan's class was a joy! Such a bright spot in a difficult year. Her inclusive classroom environment -- encouraging debate and forward-thinking -- brought my daughter to life. Grateful that she is now in the classroom with Ms. Houlahan in person for the remainder of the year. Thank you, Ms. Houlahan!"

- a Lake Braddock SS parent

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Matthew Lindquist, Crossfield ES

"If FCPS created an All-Star Teacher Team, Mr. Lindquist would certainly be on the starting roster!  In a year of ever-changing circumstances and demands on teachers, Mr. Lindquist always maintains a positive, solution-oriented mindset and finds flexible, fun ways to keep his students engaged. Amazingly, despite the complexities of teaching in a fully virtual and/or concurrent environment, Mr. Lindquist finds ways to actually differentiate learning for his students. He consistently expends personal time and energy to create strategies that help keep his students challenged and engaged, and actually excited about school.  He teaches his students about real-life principles and demonstrates genuine concern for their well-being. He's a role model teacher, and the entire Crossfield community is lucky to have him!"

- a Crossfield ES parent

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Kenneth Kuchta, Lake Braddock S.S.

"At Lake Braddock S.S, we are privileged to have an exceptional group of teachers. Today, I would like to recognize Mr. Kenneth Kuchta to be the epitome of EQUITY and DEDICATION As an FCPS. Parent Liaison, practicing equity with all our international families is part of my everyday life, however, Mr. Kuchta’s actions, top it all. During the past three weeks, we have received two LBMS students, unconnected with each other, at an English Level 1, and these young ladies ended up in Mr. Kuchta's virtual ESOL class. Mr. Kuchta not only provided them with the same dedication he offers to all his students but went the extra mile, to ensure their success in LBSS, their first school in the U.S. With the cooperation of one of his bilingual students, Mr. Kuchta made videos of his classes in English and Spanish for the new students. He made appointments with their parents and met the students and their families at home, to instruct them, even how to use the newly received laptops. Way to go, Mr. Kuchta, we are very grateful and proud of you!"

- Stella Zoccoli-Perez, Lake Braddock SS

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Kathryn Becker, Interagency Schools - TSRC Graham Road Community Center

"I would like to take a moment and recognize, Mrs. Kathryn Becker, for doing an amazing job in getting Power Pack food to our virtual students and their families during this pandemic. Thank You, Mrs. Becker."

- Celine Sinclair-Peebles, Interagency Schools - TSRC Fairfax

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Heather Baucum, Crossfield ES

"We have the most dedicated & hardworking librarian at Crossfield Elementary School. She produces a daily news video of students broadcasting virtually to our school community. She quickly pivoted to online library book ordering & curbside pick-up last fall and has pulled every book order herself & distributed books at the curb to families in the heat, cold, wind & rain! She sings, she dances, & she never stops creating engaging content for our kids. She also hosted Book Fair bedtime stories & trivia nights for our school community to promote literacy and community during the time our students and families were apart this year. Ms. Baucum is the best and we are so lucky to have her at Crossfield!"

- a Crossfield ES parent

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Stefanie Bressi, Bush Hill ES

"We wanted to take this time to express our sincere gratitude to Ms. Bressi for all of her efforts during this school year. This school year has been one that has tested us in ways that we could not have imagined, yet, Ms. Bressi has continued to be a bright, shining light for all of the children in her class. She is so positive and supportive and we are beyond thankful that she is our child's teacher during this pandemic. We LOVE Ms. Bressi!"

- Bush Hill ES parents

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Nina Rumohr, Wakefield Forest ES

"Mrs. Rumohr has gone above and beyond for her 2nd graders, especially during this challenging year. She shows an unmatched level of care for her students and goes out of her way to make sure each student keeps up and does their best. It's rare to find a teacher who cares so much about every child in the class."

- a Wakefield Forest ES parent

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Diana Chou, White Oaks ES/Lake Braddock SS

"Mrs. Chou is an amazing and extremely talented orchestra teacher who joined the orchestra CT at Lake Braddock Secondary School (LBSS) midway through this school year. In addition to her base school duties at White Oaks Elementary School, she has jumped in seamlessly and has led fantastic student learning not only virtually, but also concurrently from the classroom.  Her passion for helping students learn and master their next steps (or notes) in their musical journey is always clearly visible, and she has a great rapport with orchestra students at LBSS."

- Austin Isaac, Lake Braddock SS

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Jason King, Lake Braddock SS

"My Shout Out to Mr. King! I am so thankful for Mr. King this year.  He has had a huge impact on our students and eased this virtual experience for me as well. His ability to connect with students has increased the comfort level and personal support for students who are back in person. You can see how relaxed they are when they are in his classroom or asking him questions. He has truly been amazing."

- AJ Keifer, Lake Braddock Secondary School

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Abigail Giordano, Oakton HS

"Chemistry 1 HN is not an easy class and is made even harder, I think, during this school year. However, Ms. Giordano has made this class not only informative but also fun and exciting!. My sophomore has thoroughly enjoyed this class thanks to Ms. Giordano. She is an amazing teacher who is able to pivot seamlessly and offer grace and guidance to all students (my child is all virtual)."

- an Oakton HS parent

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Erica Mirabello, Oakton HS

"A shout out to Ms. Mirabello for making Algebra Honors a fun and exciting class during this unprecedented school year. My sophomore is loving this class (virtually and now in person), and Ms. Mirabello's teaching style and personality are the contributing factors to my child's success and enthusiasm."

- an Oakton HS parent

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Eileen Castelli, Kings Glen ES

"Ms. Castelli goes above and beyond and is the BEST!"

- a King Glen ES parent

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Jennie Hettema, Kings Glen ES

"We love Ms. Hettema and my son enjoys being in her class."

- a King Glen ES parent

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Sandra Brennan and Margaret Kivlen, Sprague Technology Center

"Sandra Brennan and Margaret Kivlen have tirelessly worked to support the production of a video for FCPS' participation in the Virginia is for Learners Innovation Network. Their expertise, ability to capture and share a compelling story, and ease of collaboration have made the project enjoyable from to start-to-finish! (and they are ALWAYS positive, warm, and fun!) Working with you both is always a highlight of the year!"

- Jeff Lonnett, Willow Oaks Admin Center

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Lydia Montero, Kimberlee Robinson, Bertha Sanders, Nataly Blanco-Pacheco,  Eric Johnson, Marianne Estornell,  Michael McHenry, and Cara Chaapel, Herndon ES

"Happy National Teacher Day and Teacher and Staff Appreciation Week to the Herndon Elementary Kindergarten Immersion Team and to the Instructors teaching the 'Specials' classes. I appreciate all that you do for our children, school, and community! Thank you for providing a welcoming space for virtual learning and growth during the hardest of days. May the Fourth be with you... always!"

- a Herndon ES parent

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Sara Salih, Keene Mill ES

"Thank you so much for being a tremendous inspiration to my daughter. We are delighted to have had you as a teacher for the last two years. Your enthusiasm is infectious and we wish you all the best! Thanks again for a great 1st Grade experience. 😁 "

- a Keene Mill ES parent

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Martha Hellman, Lees Corner ES

"Hi, Mrs. Hellman. Happy Teachers Appreciation Week! We are really grateful to have you as my son's teacher in Kindergarten! We really appreciate your efforts, dedication, and how you make learning a fun experience for little kiddos. Thank you so much for being a responsible and wonderful human being with a positive attitude and who is always a problem solver.  :)   "

- a Lees Corner ES parent

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Olivia Hepler, Springfield Estates ES

"Mrs. Hepler goes out of her way to connect with students and leaves no child behind. In her quest for teaching excellence, she has truly exceeded all expectations. She is by far the best teacher we have worked within our six years enrolled at FCPS (K,1,2,3,4,5th grades). Thank you for teaching our child."

- a Beech Tree ES parent

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Rebekah Chon, Beech Tree ES

"Ms. Chon has been a bright spot in a tough first-grade year for my son. Her positive energy, ease with technology, and patience has been unbelievable. We are so grateful for all she has done to keep everything in 1st grade moving this year."

- a Beech Tree ES parent

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Cindy Trinca, Gatehouse Admin Center

"Cindy Trinca has been an incredibly valuable resource. Recently, we worked through an issue that was very nuanced and involved multiple people. Cindy provided thoughtful, detailed feedback on both the process and the product. She took the time to walk both myself and a colleague through every step, was very supportive, and took the time to answer all of our questions. Cindy is incredibly knowledgeable and made us feel welcome to engage collaboratively in the process as opposed to just dictating at us. We are incredibly fortunate to work with Cindy and are grateful to have her as a resource!"

- Tony DiBari, Westfield HS

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Virginia Tyler, Lake Braddock SS

"Thank you for making geometry fun and so easy to understand!! I've really had fun in your class this year so thank you for making a type of math fun for me!!!!"

- a Lake Braddock SS student

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Brian Bailey, Lake Braddock SS

"Thank you for making history such a fun and engaging class!! I really never thought I would be excited to go to a history class!! So thank you for making the year super fun!!"

- a Lake Braddock SS student

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Veeda Ranjber, Lake Braddock SS

"Thank you for making this year super fun and joyful!! I never thought I would ever look forward to a history class but you really changed that for me so thank you!!!"

- a Lake Braddock SS student

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William Corey Wright, Lake Braddock SS

"You've been one of my best teachers this year and I really am glad that I took your class!! Thank you for making your class engaging and fun at the same time!! You've made this year a lot better and I had lots of fun in your class!!!"

- a Lake Braddock SS student

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Katie Burns, White Oaks ES

"Katie has recently joined White Oaks full time after being with two schools for the past few years, and we could not have asked for a more kind, patient, and experienced TSPEC. This year she has taken on so much for our staff without complaints. She goes above and beyond on every project. Just the other day, Katie helped one of my special education students with computer problems during SOL testing. Sitting back and watching this interaction blew me away. Her ease with students and knowledge of technology are unmatched. She was clear with directions and so very patient in helping this student who was clearly frustrated with our technology. Katie is our tech wizard and we are truly blessed to have her work with us (full time!!) at White Oaks!"

- Erin Morency, White Oak ES

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Patricia Roberts, Newington Forest ES

"Mrs. Roberts went above and beyond with her second-grade class this year. Through the pandemic, virtual school, two-day in-person, and now 4 days, she demonstrated utmost patience and professionalism. We are lucky to have her as our teacher."

- a Newington Forest ES parent

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Caroline Hilton, Fairhill ES

"Mrs. Hilton is very patient in handling the Kindergartners. All kids want time with her. She teaches at kids absorbing pace. Thank you, Mrs. Hilton."

- a Fairhill ES parent

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Helen Rose, Baileys ES

"In this special time, we could not count on better guidance and advice, which we greatly appreciate."

- a Baileys ES parent

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Kim Sloan, Willow Oaks Admin Center

"A huge shout out to Kim for sending IAS English Teachers poetry lessons to celebrate National Poetry Month in April. She challenged herself to write a poem every day and inspired teachers and students to do the same. She sent us lessons via flip grid, which provided modeling for the teachers and students. Every day (yes, every day!) she provide a mini lesson for teachers and students to celebrate the month. The lessons were creative and easily adapted to different sites. And, they were a lot of fun! Thank you Kim! My students and I loved the lessons!"

- Julie Grady, TSRC West Potomac

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Kelly Bunting, Riverside ES

"Thank you for taking the time to make goodie bags for the kids. My daughter was SO excited about being able to pick up her bag. We walked to the school and back, which took her excitement to the next level! 😊 It was a kind and thoughtful act. Thank you for all you do for them in this remote environment!!"

- a Riverside ES parent

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Amanda Blakley, Fairhill ES

"WoW! What an amazing teacher. Mrs. Blakley has a ton of patience, a whole lot of teaching skills, which include discipline, making sure the kids understand the concepts, amazing reading and drawing skills. My kindergartener has improved a lot under her. My son is very shy but he participates in every activity now. He started opening up a lot under her and is now a confident kid. Mrs. Blakley has a unique skill of conveying the best in everything and she translates every kid's awkward, half-complete answers into amazingly positive ideas, giving confidence to the kids. Mrs. Blakley established the rules for the online class quickly and made the online experience wonderful for all the kids. Thank you, and we wish you a belated Happy Birthday."

- a Fairhill ES parent

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Erica Campbell, Fairhill ES

"Thank you so much, Mrs. Campbell, for being an excellent, kind, and passionate teacher. Always guides her students to do better. We appreciate the fact that we can always reach out to her for any kind of help. I can say that Mrs. Campbell made a difference in my son's education."

- a Fairhill ES parent

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Deborah McCoy, Newington Forest ES

"Ms. McCoy has been so instrumental in my son's success and improvement this school year. Starting virtually, and having had received an ADHD diagnosis and implementing a 504 plan with the school, teachers, and counselors, my 2nd grader struggled early on in the school year, and one of the only reasons he’s made a drastic improvement in his education, attention, focus, determination, and his overall achievements and success this year is due to none other than the amazing dedication, patience, instruction and guidance Ms. McCoy has provided him. This school year has been a struggle for many reasons, and I saw my once bright and engaged child, suffering and losing his outgoing and social personality.  His effort and our efforts at home were so stressful and adding unnecessary hardship to all of us. Ms. McCoy has been so kind, patient, and helpful, and has been such a wonderful teacher, and has overcome all of the adversities many of our educators have faced this year. I don’t think my son, and I -  as I have also played a large role in hurdling the obstacles we’ve faced this year virtually and working tirelessly on his assignments each week and suffering right alongside with him - I don’t believe we would have been as successful and made the improvements we have and he has if it weren’t for Ms. McCoy and all of her love and support. We are so very appreciative to have her as our son's teacher. I don’t think we would’ve had the same experience if we had had any other teacher this school year. Thankfully, now my son is back in person 4 days a week in Ms. McCoy’s Second grade class, and we have seen a phenomenal change in his attitude and behavior. His excitement and energy for school and learning returned and I just couldn’t have done any of it or gotten through this school year without Ms. McCoy. Thank you so much! You have no idea the impact you have made on my son and us as well, and we are forever grateful for all you have done and continue to do for him and all of your students and their parents. Thank you so much, from the bottom of our hearts!"

- a Newington Forest ES parent

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Ian Brodie, Jennifer Cortesti, Michael A. Edwards, James  Mroz,  Lake Braddock SS

"These dedicated professionals support the middle school students assigned to the Gold Magic Team. I meet with this group of caring and innovative professionals each week as a member of a cross curricular team. Thus, we come together with different areas of expertise that we combine ALWAYS with the essential goal of serving as advocates for our students. When we disagree, it is about strategies --  we do not question one another's intentions. Because we have developed such a high level of trust and collaboration among us, we have been able to be part of implementing a multi-disciplinary Capstone for the past several years, in which we ALL contribute our unique individual talents. I applaud and celebrate the fact that this team of educational professionals almost seamlessly transferred the components of the Capstone to enable this massive year-long endeavor to effectively work in a virtual environment. Gold Magic students have remained engaged and challenged because of the work of Mr. Brodie, Mr. Edwards, and Mr. Mroz, and most especially because of the skill and generosity of Ms. Cortesi, who leads us. Every day, I believe I become a better teacher because of these people."

- Lisa Williams, Lake Braddock SS

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Heidi Fornili, Hayfield ES

"Thank you, Mrs. Fornili, for your unending support and love for your students. You absolutely have been a gem this school year, and our daughter has enjoyed having you. Your understanding and compassion during such a different year have been much appreciated. As parents, we are so happy that our daughter has had a great year and made great progress in your class. We appreciate you and will always cherish the mystery gifts that appeared at our door this school year. You are awesome and we wish you a Happy Teacher's Appreciation week!"

- a Hayfield ES parent

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Beth Flanagan, Hayfield ES

"Thank you Mrs. Flanagan for your passion for educating and providing lifelong lessons to your students. My husband and I are so grateful for the experience you have afforded our son this school year. He loves having you as a teacher and has thrived this school year even in the midst of so much uncertainty. Thank you for being awesome and Happy Teacher Appreciation week!"

- a Hayfield ES parent

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David Wickham, Lake Braddock SS

"Thank you for always exhibiting inclusive practices so that no one is left out. It doesn’t go unnoticed. Team Beene appreciates all you do for all the Bruins!"

- a Lake Braddock SS parent

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Deborah Wolin, Chantilly HS

"Ms. Wolin has helped us tremendously in the last 2 years that we have been with Chantilly High. She has always patiently replied to our innumerable questions, and helped us immensely every year during course selection. She has always been our go-to person whenever we have any question about school and don’t know whom to ask. We are deeply in gratitude towards her and appreciate all her help."

- a Chantilly HS parent

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Nina Rumohr, Wakefield Forest ES

"I want to acknowledge Mrs. Rumohr for an, especially remarkable year. From our first meeting in August, she has been so supportive of the children, acknowledging their shared difficulties and finding ways to mitigate some of the hurdles. She engaged parents with lots of communication, allowing us to better support the children from home. She also found creative ways to minimize computer-based frustration, which substantially reduced the number of tears and arguments over assignments in my house. Thank you, Mrs. Rumohr!"

- a Wakefield Forest ES parent

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Amanda Thompson, Forestdale ES

"I would like to take a moment and recognize Mrs. Thompson for her hard work, love, dedication, and professionalism. Mrs. Thompson got us through this extremely difficult Covid time flawlessly and for that, she is our superhero! We love you, Mrs. Thompson. Thank you."

- a Forestdale ES parent

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Robyn James, Newington Forest ES

"I would like to recognize Mrs. Robyn James for her dedication to her students during this past school year. She worked tirelessly to create engaging material for her students. She specifically took time out of her day at the beginning of the school year to virtually host a one on one with my child to go over all materials needed and helped my daughter organize herself for a successful year. I can’t thank her enough for all her hard work. Thank you, Mrs. James!"

- a Newington Forest ES parent

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Carol Stovall, Willow Springs ES

"Mrs. Stovall has been a wonderful kindergarten assistant teacher this year. She brings a happy outlook and smiling face to everything she does. During such a tough year, especially for kindergartners, she has been a bright spot in my sons day to day. He always looks forward to going to class, virtual or in-person. Mrs. Stovall has such a caring and sweet personality that fits perfectly for kindergarten. The couple of personal interactions I have had with her this year have left myself and my son feeling welcomed, included, and happy. She is a great employee for FCPS."

- a Willow Springs ES parent

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Kimberly Dennis-Burgoyne, Willow Springs ES

"Mrs. Burgoyne has been an amazing kindergarten teacher for my son this year. I had no idea what to expect from virtual kindergarten, but Mrs. Burgoyne has made the experience smooth, enjoyable, and fun for the kids and parents. My son is always excited to go to school in the morning, virtual or in-person. During this unprecedented and extremely challenging year, Mrs. Burgoyne has always been positive and caring towards the class. She has unlimited patience for kids finding the work they need and comes up with creative ways to work around a situation if they don't have the needed materials at that moment. Having been a 'fly on the wall' during virtual school, I am happy to say that FCPS is lucky to have a teacher like Mrs. Burgoyne who brings her best every day. My son has definitely flourished this year because of it."

- a Willow Springs ES parent

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Jennifer Allworth, London Towne ES

"Throughout a year of multiple changes, transitions, and technical challenges, Mrs. Allworth has maintained a positive spirit and has shown patience, kindness, and remarkable resolve in providing a consistent and encouraging learning environment for her 2nd-grade classes. She tackled unexpected responsibilities with multiple teacher partner changes over the past few months. During these times of transition, she has carried the load of both classrooms. Her love of teaching and genuine connection to her students shows through every day."

- a London Towne ES parent

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Anita Branch, Ravensworth ES

"Mrs. Branch has been so supportive with helping our child learn their letters and numbers. We are very thankful for Mrs. Branch and all she does for her students."

- a Ravensworth ES parent

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Bryna Erickson, Lake Braddock SS

"She helps me with retakes and math homework every single Monday, and she helps me understand the material."

- a Lake Braddock SS student

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Virginia Tyler, Lake Braddock SS

"I have never liked math and it has always been confusing to me. This teacher helped me understand it and she makes the students feel cared about. Whenever you make a mistake she never puts it against you and helps you through it. She is dedicated to her students and motivates them."

- a Lake Braddock SS student

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Jennifer Min, Cedar Lane School

"Min is such an invaluable source of support to both students and staff at Cedar Lane. She is always cheerful and caring, always ready to lend a hand, and steps in to help anyone of our students when they are in crisis, that alone would be a full time job. However, Min is also our PTSA Lead, which means she is coordinating Staff Appreciation this week. She has arranged for 'Heroes Work Here' card signage in front of Cedar Lane, she has obtained free lunch one day and free muffin breakfast on another,  and she solicitated the community and parents for gift cards as well. She is very much a NEEDED asset to Cedar Lane.  Thank you, Min."

- Nancy Gadd, Cedar Lane School

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Corey Wright, Lake Braddock SS

"This teacher really cares about his students and makes them feel important. He helped me feel more comfortable at this school and always gives a warm welcome. The daily questions are fun, and I enjoy the way he teaches :) "

- a Lake Braddock SS student

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Corey Wright, Lake Braddock SS

"He is very understanding and really helped me by not putting any pressure on schoolwork while I was going through a very rough time in my life at the beginning of the year."

- a Lake Braddock SS student

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Arturo Ujeta, Cedar Lane School

"Arturo is a day time custodian. He is at the building, by himself, when the students are present. Our students keep him busy to say the least. He has been instrumental in keeping our building Covid-19 safe. Thank you, Arturo!"

- Nancy Gadd, Cedar Lane School

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Ana Chicas, Cedar Lane School

"We only have Ana part time on the late shift, and the entire building knows who she is. She works very hard to make sure our building is Covid-19 safe, while doing all the other jobs she is asked to do, including moving furniture and 'regular' daily cleaning. We are so happy to have Ana with us, even if it can only be part time! Thank you, Ana!"

- Nancy Gadd, Cedar Lane School

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McLu Buah, Cedar Lane School

"McLu works our evening shift. This shift is when the bulk of the cleaning happens. All our staff know McLu and her wonderful smile and willingness to help. The amount of movement that was needed to get us Covid-19 ready with furniture was a big job and McLu still made sure our building remained Covid-19 safe. Thank you, McLu! Keep smiling!"

- Nancy Gadd, Cedar Lane School

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Mynor Estrada, Cedar Lane School

"Not only has Mynor supervised the daily deep cleaning of our building, he has been instrumental in ensuring that our building gets top ratings on the fight against Covid-19. He keeps the school grounds clean and looking good, and he is a brand new employee!  Thank you, Mynor!"

- Nancy Gadd, Cedar Lane School

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Cristian Santiago Beauchamp, Groveton ES

"Since my autistic son started virtual and in-person on February 2021, I’m very thankful for the hard work and kindness of Mr. Santiago. I appreciate him."

- a Groveton ES parent

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Brooke Allan, Terra Centre ES

"Ms. Allen, a Kindergarten teacher at Terra Centre, is absolutely amazing with our Kindergartner. Despite all the remote challenges with COVID, then figuring out a system for teaching in person, she has remained patient, optimistic, energetic, and really has a spirit for teaching. Our student absolutely loves her, and we appreciate her. She maintains the students' attention, keeps them on task, teaches the information, but also balances to keep it fun and moving along for the age group.  Ms. Allen has been a gift this year - and we appreciate her. All the staff at Terra Centre has been wonderful, but Ms. Allan, is amazing and wonderful!"

- Terra Centre ES parents

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Teresa Llano, Ravensworth ES

"Thank you for always staying so calm with a class full of 5th graders, even when we misbehave. Thank you for being our virtual teacher."

- a Ravensworth ES student

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Joe McGuire, Ravensworth ES

"I would like to submit a long-overdue FCPS Cares to recognize Mr. Joe McGuire for his outstanding work teaching first grade this year. My son has the pleasure of having Mr. McGuire as his teacher. He has been shaped by Mr. McGuire, who consistently exhibits a high level of dedication, enthusiasm, and tailored instructional approach. Mr. McGuire not only shows his genuine love and care to his students, he also strives for academic excellence. He tailors his instructional approach that engages students in class. This is absolutely vital during virtual schooling during the pandemic. For example, Mr. McGuire saw that my son is doing a better job in reading, so he adjusted his syllabus, and moved my son to a stronger reading group so he can excel with his peers. Our family also really appreciates his happy notes that he sends home to students who did well or are well-behaved in class. The happy notes inspire my son to strive for excellence not only at schoolwork, but also in his family life. For instance, when I was very sick, he made a happy note for me because, according to him, Mr. McGuire’s happy notes made him happy, so his happy notes to me would also make me happy and recover faster. Not a day goes by when I am not profoundly appreciative of Mr. McGuire’s fine work and the impact he has toward my son’s growth academically and emotionally. Mr. McGuire is in constant communication with us and provides updates to us frequently via timely emails, and phone calls on weekdays and during the weekends. He sacrifices his own rest time during the weekend to call the parents of all of his students. His phone calls kept us in the loop of how well our son is doing in class.  It has been our own experience, and the experience of the many parents that I have spoken to who have/had children in Mr. McGuire’ class over the years, that he is among the very best in teaching first grade."

- a Ravensworth ES parent

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Jude Welling Barrows, Interagency Schools

Throughout good and bad times, Jude leads the Math Department with grace, common sense activities, and helpful demonstrations, while trying to keep overload to a minimum. She created and shared function slides and many other materials - life saviors for remote teaching and learning - providing real time interactions with our students. Jude is a good listener and demonstrates genuine respect for people around her. She incorporates the good ideas of her colleagues into meetings and makes sure they are shared digitally and in small groups.

- Inna Winchell, Interagency Schools

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Suzanne Engels, Interagency Schools

Hooray to Suzanne Engels for doing an amazing job to prepare our senior student for the W!SE test. The student passed it on a first try, and now there is no barriers to her graduation. Suzanne also helped this student to pass EPF with an A, instilling self-confidence in a student, who will be the first to graduate in her family. Suzanne is warm and easily approachable, has a great sense of humor, and is always ready to help even on her days off. Last year she helped all our students to pass the W!SE test, including a very reluctant senior. Thank you, Suzanne!

- Inna Winchell, Interagency Schools

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Jenna Hoff, Ravensworth ES

"Throughout the year, Mrs. Hoff has gone above and beyond to provide support to our child. She also took the time to walk us through our child's progress and provided some creative suggestions of what we could do at home to help. We are very thankful that our child has an amazing teacher."

- a Ravensworth ES parent

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Ralph DiBacco and Gina Silva White Oaks ES

"Mrs. DiBacco and Mrs. Silva have been really amazing teachers for our children in 2020-2021! It would have been 'easy' to accept a reduced level of effectiveness during the pandemic; however, that has not been the situation at all! Our children are learning, they are prepared, and they are excelling in a reality that none of us were prepared for! My child is thriving and he looks forward to learning. Before the year began, I said 'Thank goodness our child went to pre-school and has been learning at home!'  My wife and I really did not know what to expect, so our hope was that our child knew enough to sustain a year of remote (now mixed) learning. Now as the year is coming to a close, I am thankful that our teachers have instilled a positive learning experience, and a culture that encourages additional learning beyond the classroom. Additionally, as an unexpected side benefit, our child has increased his computer literacy dramatically. We are grateful to Mrs. DiBacco and Mrs. Silva for the professionalism, dedication, and care they have shown to their students.  Thank you!"

- White Oaks ES parents

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Kayleigh Cox, Oakton HS

"Ms. Cox has made the transition from virtual to 2-days to 4-days seamless and exciting for my sophomore. Thank you for being a great teacher and making every day enjoyable and fun!"

- an Oakton HS parent

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Kirsten Collison, Island Creek ES

"My daughter has been blessed to have Mrs. Collison as her teacher for 4th and 5th grade at Island Creek Elementary School. Mrs. Collison has provided my child with opportunities for self-expression and academic growth. She is a superb teacher with the biggest heart! We greatly appreciate you, Mrs. Collison!"

- an Island Creek ES parent

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Gloria Glenn-Yates, Dawn Cochran, Sharon Smith, and Kristi Broady,  Stonecroft Transportation Center, and Katie Wigenton, Lorton Center

"Centreville Elementary School would like to recognize and thank Area 3 Transportation.  Gloria Glenn-Yates; Supervisor, Dispatchers; Dawn Cochran, Sharon Smith, Kristi Broady and Katie Wigenton Special Services Transportation. When reaching out to Gloria, unless she is in a meeting, she is always available to talk and respond. If she doesn’t know the answer, she will take the time to find out. She is also excellent at answering emails promptly. The other day, Gloria took the time to talk over the phone with 3 students. She listened to what happened. Gloria had empathy for the students and told them she would investigate what happened and get back to us. She did exactly that. The phone conversation probably took approximately 30 mins. She did not make the girls feel rushed or make them feel what happened to them was unimportant. Our dispatchers are amazing as well! Even when they have had a stressful day, they answer the phone with happiness and positivity in their voice. They are always willing to help and they have a sense of humor! Ms. Wigenton is just as valuable to us as all the other members of our team.  She, too, works tirelessly to solve problems and to make sure our Special Education Students are assigned to a bus as quickly as possible. We love working with all of you and we appreciate you!"

- Cindy Luck, on behalf of Principal Josh Douds and the entire office staff, Centreville ES

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Emily Dahl, Camelot ES

"Everyday Ms. Dahl is absolutely crushing the three E’s - energy, effectiveness, and execution. Her ability to keep the entire class engaged and committed to their success has been fantastic to watch. My family is so proud to have been afforded the opportunity to have her teach our daughter this year."

- a Camelot ES parent

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Atlee Taylor and Alesia Fortier, Oak View ES

"This kindergarten teaching team has exceeded my expectations of what could be accomplished this year with these first time students. Thank you for all your hard work this year. We really appreciate all the time you put into this wild year of Kindergarten."

- an Oak View ES parent

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Susan Poliquin, Cooper MS

"Ms. Poliquin is, quite simply, the BEST! After a rough start to the school year, my daughter changed to her class. Ms. Poliquin has been so understanding, helpful and has made learning interesting and fun. She has restored my daughter's love of math and I overheard her telling my sister that Ms. Poliquin is her favorite teacher EVER!!!"

- a Cooper MS parent

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Chiffon White, Forte Center

"Chiffon White is a highly valued employee because she produces exceptional work and she exercises extreme attention to detail. Chiffon is thorough, accurate, organized, and productive. Chiffon is the kind of worker who makes sure that the little stuff gets its due attention and makes a conscious effort to keep it in mind while performing her job daily. Chiffon is diligent and focused when carrying out her deliveries to the schools, resulting in her ability to spot errors or discrepancies which save us time and money by avoiding re-work, customer returns, etc.  This type of attention to detail of Chiffon’s work demonstrates and produces a higher standard and pushes others to the same level. On Wednesday, April 28, 2021, while making her normal delivery to a school, Chiffon noticed that her delivery of product to the school had two different items than what was supposed to be delivered. Chiffon returned the product to the Warehouse, which led us to discover that the wrong product, which looked identical in size and count, were mixed and received incorrectly from the vendor. This extreme attention to detail exercised by Chiffon led us to discover that 51 cases had to be retrieved from inventory and customers to correct this problem, which resulted in a cost savings of $1929.84 if she had not discovered this error by the vendor. Chiffon has continuously demonstrated this type of performance throughout her years of working with us. So, we Shout Out to You, Chiffon, and thank you for a job well done."

- Jeannine Carter, Forte Center

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Alexandra Milfeit, Fairview ES

"Mrs. Milfeit taught all four of our children during their time at Fairview. She instilled in them self-confidence and a love of math. She went above and beyond to connect with them personally and academically. She quickly got to know each of them, their learning strengths, and their areas of need, and seamlessly brought them further than they thought they could go. So grateful to her!"

- a Fairview ES parent

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Mike Marasti, Fort Hunt ES

"Shout Out to Mike - he has been very instrumental in the planning and preparation of this year’s SOLs and I couldn’t have done it without him."

- Katie Pluntke, Fort Hunt ES

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Kerry Urbatch, Woodlawn ES

"Ms. Urbatch has been an outstanding kindergarten teacher through the pandemic. She goes the extra mile to make sure her students have the materials they need for a successful day of virtual learning. She has been to my house maybe a handful of times this school year to leave items in the mailbox or on the porch: worksheets, books, calendars, poems, fun buttons to count, and dirt and seeds to plant. Whatever the task may be, she is ready for it. My kids get so excited when they see her outside and we all just waive distantly. Thank you, Ms. Urbatch, for taking the time out your day to make sure your students are happy. You can really tell she genuinely loves her job, and the students love learning with her."

- a Woodlawn ES parent

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Virginia Brasher, Ravensworth ES

"My son is attending in Ravensworth ES and he's in the 5th grade. He told me that his teacher, Ms. Brasher, reads a story book with realistic sounds in the words and she also imitates the characters' voice sounds very well. Every student loves her reading so much that they always wait for the story time. And she is indeed a terrific teacher with kindness, care and passion towards her students. We strongly recommend her as the best teacher in FCPS. Thank you!"

- a Ravensworth ES parent

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Kim McAleer and Preeti Jain, Ravensworth ES

"There is no one day I have to remember how magical you guys are. I have seen my kid grow every single day with your help, love and your support. Ms. Kim and Mrs. Jain have done the miracle. Thank you so much for your effort. We love you guys."

- a Ravensworth ES parent

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Karen Green, Forestdale ES

"Ms. Green, the first grade teacher, has so much patience for her students. She’s great at keeping them on track and focused, and challenging and encouraging them. I appreciate her teaching style and especially during this pandemic."

- a Forestdale ES parent

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