FCPS CARES - November 2021

By Department of Human Resources
November 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

Ruth Azimi, Dunn Loring Center

"My family wants to give special recognition to the Family Liaison of Robinson Secondary School, Mrs. Ruth Azimi, because she has made a big difference in the education of my children. For many years, Mrs. Azimi has helped improve the lives of hundreds of parents with her community outreach programs, resource fairs, and now continues to support us through Zoom and information workshops. She really is amazing!!  Thank you FCPS and thank you Mrs. Azimi for always helping our families."

- a Robinson SS parent

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Ruth Azimi, Dunn Loring Center

"I want to nominate Mrs. Ruth Azimi for FCPS CARES. She is the parent liaison of Robinson Secondary School for the Spanish community. Mrs. Azimi has been helping our families for so many years in all of her different programs and classes. As parents in the Spanish community are so lucky to have a person like her in the school because she's such a big help for those of us that might need extra help communicating with teachers about our kids and their progress in class. She makes every family feel so welcomed and safe in the FCPS community. So, I feel we are so lucky and blessed to have Mrs. Azimi in our lives as our parent liaison, and that's why I think she should be nominated for FCPS CARES. Thank you so much Mrs. Ruth Azimi for everything you've done for me and the rest of us we appreciate you!!"

- a Robinson SS parent 

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Region 1

Kaeun Kim, Aldrin ES 

"Ms. Kay is Aldrin's Cafeteria Manager. She takes her job outside of the cafeteria to meet the needs of Aldrin students. Ms. Kay is going above and beyond. She is not only seen behind the cafeteria line. Ms. Kay helps students with opening their milk cartons, making sure students are happy with their lunches, and taking time to build student relationships. In the mornings, Ms. Kay greets each student as they enter the building by offering breakfast to get their day started. We are so lucky to have Ms. Kay on our Aldrin team."

- Jamileh Abu-Ghanna, Aldrin ES

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Region 2 

Jenny Murphy, Kilmer MS 

"My 7th grade daughter is a special education student that has had an IEP since 3rd grade. School has always been difficult for her. She has done well and made progress but has had to work so hard for small gains. We were concerned about her transition to middle school after being home most of last year and that there would be a significant deficit in her learning, causing her to lag the benchmarks for 7th grade. She was placed in Special Ed Literacy as an elective to use the Language Live program to help her close some gaps. Ms. Jenny Murphy was so welcoming and kind and created a learning environment where all students feel valued and encouraged to try their best each day. When we had our IEP meeting update at the end of the first quarter, the panel decided that she had surpassed the special education Literacy coursework and the general education Literacy elective would be more appropriate to help her. This is the literally the first time she has ever tested out of anything. She was proud of herself, but at the same time so sad to leave Ms. Murphy's class solely because of her amazing teacher. Ms. Murphy helped to ease the transition to middle school by making each class time engaging and making our daughter feel so motivated and appreciated. Ms. Murphy went the extra mile and sent multiple postcards to our home praising our daughter for her efforts and showing her that she really cares for her beyond the classroom. We have had the privilege to work with so many great FCPS teachers over the years, but this extra kindness that she showed our daughter during a difficult transition made a huge impact and we are so very appreciative. Please recognize Ms. Jenny Murphy for her ability to create a classroom culture where everyone is appreciated and valued, despite their background, IQ, or IEP. We are forever grateful for her!"

- a Kilmer MS parent

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Region 3

My Nguyen, Hayfield SS 

"Mr. Nguyen is the custodian for my hallway on the Middle School side of Hayfield Secondary. He is a very conscientious and detailed oriented person. Recently, he recognized that the wax that was applied over the summer in my classroom was beginning to breakdown, creating a very sticky, and moldy floor. He and I discussed in late October, and he mentioned that he noticed it happening in another classroom as well. During the teacher workdays of November 1st and 2nd, he packed up all the desks, chairs, and teacher materials and moved them to strip the remaining wax off the floor, and then reapplied a brand new wax to the floors in both my classroom, and the other as well. Considering all the other work that he has to perform in a building the size of ours, I was truly impressed with his attention to detail, and his desire to make the classroom safe and secure for the students in all of my classes. Thank you, Mr. Nguyen, for going above and beyond the call of duty to help us out!"

- James Mercer, Hayfield SS

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Region 4

Brad Swain, West Springfield HS 

"I would like to recognize Mr. Swain for cultivating a great relationship with my son. My very introverted son would have been happy to continue with virtual learning throughout high school, but Mr. Swain's class has completely changed that. I have never seen him so excited to go to school! He absolutely loves Mr. Swain and his "wrestling shirt Fridays." Thank you, Mr. Swain, for the positive engagement and giving my son a sense of belonging."

- a West Springfield HS parent

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Region 5 

David Friedman, Fairfax HS 

"Last school year, my sophomore year, I was in a really dark spot mentally. Mr. Friedman had been my English teacher freshman year and continued to be my teacher in my Peer Tutoring class sophomore year. He has and still is someone I can open up to and talk to and was there for me especially when I was having a really hard time in school. He continues to make an impact in my life as my AP Lang teacher and has come to be a role model for what type of person I want to be when I grow up. I might be just one of hundreds of students to him but the things he has said and done will continue to influence me throughout my life."

- a Fairfax HS student

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Other FCPS Cares of the Month Recipients

Laura Hornberger, Rocky Run ES 

"Laura single handedly takes care of our break location organization for the entire school. She has become a master of google signups, figured out how to assign students and staff and somehow managed to figure out all the kinks when we had over 1,000 students sign up for break. She has done this without a single complaint and has come up with very creative solutions to any kinks that have arisen."

Christine Sciabica, Rocky Run ES 

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Carmen Reyes, Daniels Run ES 

"I'd like to recognize Carmen Reyes, FLES Teacher as an outstanding example of a FCPS employee who cares. Recently, Carmen needed two days off and therefore needed a substitute. The substitute that filled in for Carmen let us know how thorough, thoughtful and caring the sub plans were. Carmen took the time to videotape lessons that the sub was able to show to her classes knowing that whoever the substitute was would most likely not be able to speak Spanish. In addition, she had every detail planned and organized with all materials ready for each of the two days. She left notes regarding any special needs/accommodations that students might need. She absolutely went over and above to ensure that her substitute would have everything she needed and would have no questions or concerns regarding what she was supposed to do or teach. In a time when finding substitutes can be challenging, Carmen certainly put Daniels Run in a positive light with the substitute that covered for her. We are thrilled that she is part of the Daniels Run family and want to thank her for going so over and above. Thank you Carmen."

- Michael Parker, Daniels Run ES 

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Genie Vye, Hayfield SS 

"Ms. Genie Vye is an exceptional educator here at Hayfield Secondary. She instructs both US History II and English 7, while not having any of her sections in her actual classroom. She carries a large caseload of students and is always striving to meet/exceed their needs, as well as planning and executing interesting lessons, aided by the multitude of historic artifacts that she has in her possession. Additionally, Ms. Vye is always willing to help a fellow teacher in need. Genie is often the first person to step up to help a fellow colleague, no matter her workload or the type/length of coverage. Ms. Vye is the epitome of Hayfield's Caring Culture, whether it is building lifelong relationships with students and staff, supporting multiple curriculums and facilitating her students educational and character development. Ms. Vye is one of Hayfield's unsung heroes, one of those special people always willing to go the extra mile in the background. Thank you Ms. Vye for your commitment to our Hayfield community!"

- James Mercer, Hayfield SS 

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Antonio DiBari, Westfield HS

"Principal DiBari went above and beyond when he took the time to reintroduce himself to me and proceeded to tell me positive attributes about my student in front of the student. I have never experienced something like this in the 10 years of schooling we've experienced. What a standout Principal and human being."

- a Westfield HS parent

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Sierra Alexander, Lake Braddock ES 

"Mrs. Alexander went out of her way to support my child, who is struggling to organize her materials and stay on top of her assignments. Mrs. Alexander assisted my child with creating an organizational strategy and counseled her on an approach to keep her assignments on one side of a folder and completed work on the other.  We are very thankful for this above and beyond effort and know it will help our child be more successful."

- a Lake Braddock SS parent 

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Jonathan Lee, Ravensworth ES 

"Mr. Lee is the teacher we have been waiting for! He comes to FCPS with fabulous teaching approaches that are challenging, encouraging and effective. He sets the bar high for other teachers as his efforts for academic success for his students is clearly a priority. He's always is in constant communication with parents. His expectations are clear. His care for his students is unmatched and we are so lucky our child is in his class this year. Extremely happy with Mr. Lee! He deserves to be recognized for how wonderful he is as a teacher. Keep up the amazing work Mr. Lee! FCPS is lucky to have you!"

- a Ravensworth ES, parent 

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Young Hong, Rocky Run MS 

"Young is always willing to share her knowledge and experiences with other directors/schools. Today I asked for data and details about an upcoming decision that our school will be making and she shared everything I asked for and more, all within the same day. I am a better educator because of her!"

- Dana Scabis, Cooper MS

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Angela Linker and Cassie Burk, Willow Oaks Admin Center

"Thank you for your constant, care-filled support and advocacy of FCPS Summer Learning. Your work made it possible for every school to host programs for learners during summer 2021, and your purposeful insight will be instrumental in shaping even better summer learning experiences in the future."

- Levi Folly, Willow Oaks Admin Center

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Madeni Taha, Lorton Center

"Madeni Taha is a new driver for one of our bus routes at Sleepy Hollow ES. He makes a positive impact on the students who ride his bus. Mr. Taha sets a welcoming environment by greeting each child, monitoring their entry onto the bus and ensuring they have a safe ride to school and home each day. He works closely with his teammate Ms. Mimi who is the attendant on the route. Together they set a calm tone where our students know they are respected. Our students arrive with smiles and board the bus with ease due to the impactful work of both Mr. Taha and Ms. Mimi. Thank you for your service to our community."

Tim Scesney, Sleepy Hollow ES 

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Dan Garcia, Lorton Center

"Mr. Dan was so kind to welcome our family onto his bus for our three-year-old's birthday. He taught our daughters about the bus and made it a fun and special experience for them. Thank you, Mr. Dan!"

- an Orange Hunt ES parent

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Olga Torres-Landin, Fort Hunt ES 

"During her time at Fort Hunt, Mrs. Landin had taught kindergarten, third grade and fifth grade. There’s not a grade she can’t teach! She’s a fantastic presence in the classroom. She uses patience, time management and task oriented projects to get her kids to work at their best and brightest. She’s also a great teammate, a good listener and just as importantly someone pleasant to be around in a hectic, sometimes stressful building. She plays an integral part of an already well-oiled fifth grade machine. We’re better for having her!"

- Bill Hurd, Fort Hunt ES 

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William Ikner, Fairhill ES 

"After I locked my keys in my car at the Dog Park, Joey kindly offered me and my dog a ride home to get my spare keys. He noticed the FCPS parking tag on my car and shared that he worked here too, as a guitar teacher at Madison HS. You never know when you're going to meet a friendly and helpful FCPS teacher, and when they will help you out of a jam! Thanks, Joey!"

Diana Scheid, Centreville ES 

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Karen Ramsey, Riverside ES 

"Karen goes above and beyond the call of duty every day as our Special Education lead teacher and Local Screening Chair. For years, her organization and dedication to meeting the needs of the students with disabilities in our program have allowed her colleagues to thrive while our achievement gaps shrink. Karen leads by example and is no stranger to hard work. She is vigilant and flexible to adapt to the ever-changing needs of our kids. She handles new student transitions, major IEP changes, and complex staffing challenges with positivity and grace. Karen is honest and always willing to share her opinions to help our kids be successful. She takes on new learning and she pulls on a wide range of skills to support our students with their academic and behavioral goals. I am so grateful to have been able to work with Karen and to have her support in leading our dedicated SPED team."

Paul Basdekis, Coates ES 

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Elizabeth D'Cruz, Woodburn ES 

"Mrs. D'Cruz has created a warm and supportive environment for her 4th grade class returning this year. She exhibits patience and flexibility in adapting to the changing environment and routines. My son looks forward to being at school every day."

- a Woodburn ES parent 

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Herbert Ohta, Fairfax HS 

"Herbert Ohta takes time to know and show extreme levels of respect towards students. Mr. Ohta has attempted to make a relationship with me and offer one on one assistance with everything.  He has helped and believed in me. Now I have more of a positive look on going to school each day. Not just towards me, but Herbert shows a huge level of success in teaching but coming up with ways for each student who may learn differently to succeed in math. I’ve never seen any leadership qualities this high in any of my high school teachers and I believe that he should be recognized for his outstanding achievements. While also taking the time to actually make relationships with students which helps me do better while in school."

- a Fairfax HS student

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Gina Byron, Daniels Run ES

"Ms. Gina Byron recently joined the DRES office staff this fall. She is energetic, encouraging and is always ready to tackle the day! She has worked so hard to master MyTime and devotes countless hours securing substitutes and providing classroom overage for students, all while learning so many new aspects of her job. Ms. Byron approaches every interaction with professionalism, understanding and positivity. Her dedication to Daniels Run is insurmountable and we are grateful to have her a part of our team!"

Nayonna Bunaugh, Daniels Run ES 

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Chad Clayton, Davis Career Center

"I had the pleasure of visiting Davis Career Center this morning and was in awe of principal Clayton. Chad went above and beyond to make my visit collaborative and interactive. He took time out of his busy morning to show me around the campus and reminded me of all the great things that happen at Davis Career Center and in FCPS. He is a kind and caring person who engages the students, their families, and the staff. He was attentive, approachable, and responsive as he welcomed each student by name as they entered the building this morning. Thank you, Chad for an amazing morning at Davis Career Center."

- Shelli Wayland, Gatehouse Admin Center

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Kathryn Walters, Fairfax HS 

"I would like to highlight Mrs. Walters at Fairfax High School. Mrs. Walters commended my daughter and her marketing group for a job well done on a marketing presentation. Those simple and kind words, and her enthusiasm, meant so much to my daughter and helped her gain confidence in herself and her presentation skills."

- a Fairfax HS parent

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Angela Ulsh, Glen Forest ES 

"Angela is one of our AARTs at Glen Forest. Not only does she work closely to support classrooms with the AAP curriculum, but she also hosts vital training for all our teachers to access Advanced Academic materials and resources. On top of that, she has taken the role of the Testing Coordinator of our school. This is no easy task. Identifying accommodations, navigating tests and reports, and checking in and out materials is time consuming and tedious. I appreciate all you do for Glen Forest. We couldn't do it without you! Thank you!"

Rachel Pipitone, Glen Forest ES

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Jimmy Vasquez, Woodson HS

"Jimmy has jumped to help our daughter navigate high school with ADHD and depression by getting the 504 process started as well as reaching out to her as an immediate resource when in crisis. This is above and beyond our expectation and we’re so grateful."

- a Woodson HS parent

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Maureen Goble, Lake Braddock SS 

"I was excited to come to class that day because Mrs. Goble had taken the time to plan out this fun lab working with dirt. It was my favorite activity of all I had done in my high school career. Thanks Mrs. Goble."

- a Lake Braddock SS student

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Christiana Edinborough, Lake Braddock SS

"Gives me time to understand what to do in math and is a very sweet teacher, definitely my top 5 of all time."

- a Lake Braddock SS student

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Mahmud Syed, Lake Braddock SS 

"Mr. Syed has been a wonderful teacher and a parent to many. He always thinks about the well being of students and always lends a hand when needed. For the time I've had classes with him I've always been thankful that I had him as my Physics teacher. My thanks could not be enough but it's all I can say for now. Thank you for being a wonderful teacher!"

- a Lake Braddock SS student

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Stephen Ripp, Lake Braddock SS 

"Thanks for all that you have done. I really enjoy the class and how you teach. I also really like how this year we weren't just learning history we were also learning and expanding on critical skills. There's no teacher like you."

- a Lake Braddock SS student

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Mark Khosravi, Lake Braddock SS

"Mr. K is one of the nicest teachers I have had the pleasure of meeting. He was kind and funny guy who loved to teach and made it fun to pay attention. I hope you have a nice Thanksgiving Mr. K." 

- a Lake Braddock SS student

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Christiana Edinborough, Lake Braddock SS 

"Thanks for being a good math teacher Ms.E!"

- a Lake Braddock SS student 

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Marianne Aubrac, McNair ES 

"Miss Aubrac is a wonderful teacher. We are thankful and are at peace that she is doing a great job in nurturing my kid. In the first parent teacher meet she just spoke our heart out. She was absolutely true in understanding our child just the way as we did in such short time, the abilities the areas of improvement, strength and dislikes. Apart from academics, she has taught my kid discipline and behavior. My kid keeps telling me about her famous quotes she mentions in class "go with the flow, get what you get and Don't get upset ". All of it  has helped us in so many ways !!!"

- a McNair ES parent 

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Rachna Suryakant, Lorton Center

"Rachna helped make it possible for our family to step on a school bus for my daughter's third birthday. She replied promptly to emails and helped make sure others followed through. It was a wonderful surprise for our daughter and a great experience working with the office of transportation!"

- an Orange Hunt ES parent 

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Carole Phelps, Lorton Center

"Carole helped make it possible for our family to step on a school bus for my daughter's third birthday. It was a wonderful surprise for her!"

- an Orange Hunt ES parent 

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Annette Livingston, Lorton Center

"Annette helped make it possible for our family to step on a school bus for my daughter's third birthday. It was a wonderful surprise for her!"

- an Orange Hunt ES parent 

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Balqis Makki, Davis Career Center 

"Ms. Makki was instrumental in arranging a celebration for another PHTA who happened to win the Region 2 CARES of the Month for October Award. As a school we wanted to make the celebration very special and Ms. Makki went above and beyond in locating a bakery in our area that would provide us with some delicious food at a great price that the staff member could enjoy. Ms. Makki epitomizes our caring culture and shows that going the extra mile is profoundly meaningful in ways that we sometimes will never know to those around us. Thank you, Ms. Makki, for your immense kindness to all of us at DCC!"

- Chad Clayton, Davis Career Center

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Annalee Schnebele, Mindy Klein, Christina Heslink and Stacy Gilbert, Hayfield SS

"A student recommends the Hayfield Librarians for recognition. Her statement includes: "They are very nice to the students. Not a lot of people are nice these days. They help us when we can't find a book to read or in general. They trust us taking the books with us. They're really good at explaining a book, they also let us enter the library when its lunch time, which is amazing! During Soar, we are allowed to go to the library if we want to do our work there. The library is quiet so that's a perfect place to do your work and read." Thank you Hayfield Library Staff for helping facilitate a caring culture, where our students feel safe, respected, appreciated, and trusted!"

- a Hayfield SS student

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Breonna Bryer, Willow Oaks 

"Breonna's support of a colleague by covering a meeting is so appreciated! She is always willing to help others when she can. Thank you, Breonna!"

- Cynthia Kirschenbaum, Willow Oaks

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Evangelia Mavridou, Willow Oaks 

"Lia took time out of a busy day to cover a meeting for a colleague. Her willingness to support others in their work is greatly appreciated. Thank you, Lia!"

Cynthia Kirschenbaum, Willow Oaks

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Lauren Martin-Anderson, Willow Oaks 

"Lauren is always quick to volunteer to cover meetings for colleagues in need, despite her demanding assignment. She is an asset to our department and a valuable team member. Thank you, Lauren!"

Cynthia Kirschenbaum, Willow Oaks

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Amy Sprague and Ibrahim Abdirrahman, Lorton Center 

"My daughter left her violin on the bus this past Friday and I called transportation services right away.  Amy told me that the violin would be on the bus until Monday. It was unfortunate because instruments don’t do well in extreme weather but it was late on Friday and we had no other option. A few minutes later Amy called me again and said the bus driver had not parked and left as she originally said and was a few minutes from Woodson and how fast could we get there? We live about 15 minutes away and immediately jumped in the car. The bus driver was kind enough to wait for us and we got the violin back. We are very appreciative to both."

- a Woodson HS parent 

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Daniel Smith, Lake Braddock SS 

"My 2 high school aged sons (10th & 12th grade) were struggling with their work load and reintegrating back into a live learning situation. I reached out to Dr. Smith with my concerns and he responded back to me, in a very positive and supportive way, less than 24 hours later. I was highly impressed. On top of that, with my permission, he met with my 2 sons to discuss the issues they were having and to see what changes or support he could provide. My sons came away from that meeting with a renewed respect for Dr. Smith. They said even though they knew he was very busy with other meetings that afternoon, he sat down with them, took his time and really listened to what they had to say. My sons honestly felt cared for and uplifted by Dr. Smith's actions. This was way more than I could have ever hoped for as a parent from a principal of such a huge school. My sincerest thank you!"

- a Lake Braddock SS parent 

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Mary Casson, Woodson HS 

"Mary Casson has our daughter SO motivated! This is HUGE, as she was a virtual student all of last year, due to family health issues, and struggled tremendously to be engaged, let alone inspired, by school. Each odd day, our daughter comes home and waxes poetically about what she has learned in photography, shares photos she has taken highlighting special techniques, tells us how great a classmate's photo was and why, and beams while sharing compliments from Ms. Casson. She is planning and motivated to work on class assignments. She has incorporated friends, family (including a usually most-reluctant sibling), and pets in her many projects. She requested and received a special camera for her recent birthday. Ms. Casson gives clear instructions and provides helpful constructive feedback. She provides engaging, hands-on lessons that give students an opportunity to try out what they are learning and to ask questions as they are going through the process. She allows students the freedom and the room to express themselves while completing project requirements, incorporating Portrait of a Graduate skills such as creative and critical thinker and communicator. We are fortunate to have such an experienced, caring, and encouraging educator at Woodson H.S. She has sparked in our daughter what we are sure will be a life-long love of not only photography, but of looking at people, things, and situations with a thoughtful, discerning lens."

- a Woodson HS parent

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Faiza Alam, Johnson, MS

"Ms. Alam understands that education is not a one size fits all. She works hard to get to know her students, inspire confidence in her students and provides the best support and structure for them to take ownership of their educational path."

- a Johnson MS parent

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Juliana Woodill, Fairfax HS 

"Ms. Woodill not only teaches the musical mechanics and cooperation needed to successfully sing in a choir, but explains the meaning behind the songs so the students can connect emotionally with the music. One of her students spent five minutes while volunteering at the Holiday Craft Fair today describing their concert this week and the impact that their understanding of the lyrics had on the quality of their performance. Ms. Woodill is well loved by her chorus students and pushes them to learn at more than a surface level. I’d also mention that my student’s favorite class this year is music theory because it’s challenging and she keeps it interesting."

- a Fairfax HS parent 

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Gil Martinez, Lake Braddock SS 

"Such an amazing teacher. Sr. Martinez has been my Spanish teacher since freshman year, I'm now a junior. He's always been a great comfort towards me, he makes me feel smart and always helps me out in Spanish!"

- a Lake Braddock SS student 

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Shannon Mueck, Silverbrook ES 

"In one of the toughest years, Shannon has consistently demonstrated commitment and dedication to our students and families. Although juggling many tasks, Shannon manages to get things done. Thank you Shannon for your leadership, commitment, and support! The rewards of working with you are great!"

Carmen Pangelinan, Silverbrook ES 

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Camille Moore, Patrick Tubbins and Susie Statham, Mount Vernon HS

"Mount Vernon High School was one of many schools who participated in Virginia College Application Week. Ms. Moore, Mr. Tubbins and Ms. Statham led the charge and did an incredible job that led to 20 or more students getting accepted on the spot to colleges and approximately 30 students completing their NOVA application. Thank you for your leadership!"

Niasharee Frater, Mount Vernon HS 

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Mike Dougherty, Lake Braddock SS 

"Every once in awhile, humanity shows itself off in a beautiful way, that makes the life of a 12 year old so much better. Coach Doherty upon finding out my 7th grade son has been to every Bruin game this year, is inviting him to visit the players pregame before of all things a playoff game. My sons favorite players are the kicker and quarterback. He got notes of encouragement from them today, and his words “made his day.” Can’t thank Coach Dougherty, Lake Braddock, and the football team enough. It’s so much more than on the field, as it goes far further than a long pass, kick, or interception. This is a very kind act, and speaks highly of the character of the coach and the players."

Michael Ross, Gatehouse Admin Center

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Jennifer Trimble, Transition Support Resource Center - Westfield 

"Due to changing staffing needs in IAS, Ms. Trimble was moved to a brand new site, team, and program in the middle of 1st quarter. While a lot of teachers would be adverse to such a big upheaval, Ms. Trimble approached her new position with positivity and professionalism. She not only took on learning a whole new program (GRANTS), she also suggested to the team ways that she could use her expertise to best serve students, such as remediating for their WorkKeys exams.  She has worked to develop relationships with her new colleagues and admin/counseling team, knowing a strong team best serves students. Ms. Trimble enthusiastically set up her new classroom and got right to the work of building positive relationships with even the most resistant students. Students have excitedly shared when they have learned a new skill in her test-prep sessions, appreciated her support to help them pass their GED exams, and commented on how inviting and homey her class feels. Students and teachers of TSRC Alex/GRANTS are grateful to you for your zeal and dedication."

Jude Welling Barrows, Transition Support Resource Center - Alexandria 

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James Cho, Woodson HS 

"Cho has been a tremendous positive influence on the Woodson field hockey program, as a coach, mentor and motivator."

- a Woodson HS parent 

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Michael Luley, Lake Braddock SS 

"With this year being my first in-person year of teaching, Mike has been such a big help and inspiration. From marching band to small ensembles, and everything in between, Mike has been incredible with making sure that the students of the Lake Braddock Band are successful and well-prepared for anything that comes their way. Mike has also done phenomenally with being our Performing Arts Department Chair! He does a great job with distributing information, being a system of support, advocating, and making sure we stick to building procedures (which is all very much appreciated). Thanks for a great start to the year Mike!!!"

-Brandon Gilbert, Lake Braddock SS 

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Emilia Gillevet, Robinson SS

"Emilia has done an incredible job in her first year at Robinson. She is a dedicated professional who always strives to engage kids and works tirelessly to find lessons that inspire and inform."

Duane Edwards, Robinson SS

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Zareen Siddiqui, Sunrise Valley ES 

"I wanted to take a minute to recognize Ms. Zareen and all the great work she does with our IDS students every day. She is a calm, positive influence even when things get a bit chaotic. She is patient and kind even when things are hard. She clearly cares deeply about her students, and they are lucky to have her."

Eliisa Harman, Sunrise Valley ES 

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Walena Haider, Lake Braddock SS

"Mrs. Haider's standard of service to students and families has always been high, however, recently she has truly been amazing. Anticipating possible arrival of families from Afghanistan to our school, she coordinated a school supply drive. In addition, when several new students registered at our school she made time in her already busy schedule to help with their registration and questions about the community and school. She made our new families feel more comfortable and welcome during a time when their lives are in flux.  She continues to think and care about the needs of others every day and we are very lucky to have her as part of our school family."

Patricia Fausser, Lake Braddock SS

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Jocelyn Cable, Lake Braddock SS 

"I am writing to recognize and thank my colleague, Jocelyn Cable, for the support she provided to my students during Lake Braddock’s recent blood drive, homecoming activities, and canned food collection. When students would raise questions with me about the above activities, I would contact Jocelyn and receive a quick response to share with my classes. On one occasion, a student wanted to participate in the school blood drive, but needed additional information and a specific form. Due to a quick turnaround time, I sent the student to visit with Ms. Cable, she immediately helped the student by providing the essential details and necessary guidance. Caring is a prerequisite for meaningful change, Jocelyn is at the heart of that mission. I greatly appreciate her efforts on behalf of my students and the Lake Braddock community."

- Patrick Ward, Lake Braddock SS 

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Mary Rakowski, Fort Belvoir Upper School

"Mary has been working tirelessly as our Math Intervention/Resource Teacher, and she has been a calm and creative addition to our school staff. All of her decisions are data driven and student-based. She organizes student groups based on clear data and student need. She provides hands-on and engaging lessons to students in small groups. She pulls student groups consistently, and she is always willing to lend a helping hand where it is needed (school-wide testing, CLTs, etc.). Mary communicates everything with grade level teams, keeping them aware of what standards that she is working on and when she is pulling students. We couldn't have a better math interventionist!"

Alexandrea Nietert, Fort Belvoir Upper School

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Colby Bruno, Gatehouse  Admin Center

"We have multiple instances where we needed the help of the Title IX office this year. Many of these cases were very nuanced and required a lot of thought and conversation. Colby Bruno has, undeniably, been the best resource I could hope for. She takes the time to work through issues using her extensive knowledge and experience to guide the work. She is solutions oriented and has even offered opportunities to start a proactive program/campaign to help with Title IX education within the school building. I am thankful to have Colby as a resource here in FCPS."

- Antonio DiBari, Westfield HS 

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Zachary Friedman, Gatehouse Admin Center

"We have multiple instances where we needed the help of the Title IX office this year. Many of these cases were very nuanced and required multiple conversations and a strong knowledge of the process. Zach has been accessible and incredibly insightful as we have moved through these cases. I am thankful to have Zach as a resource here in FCPS."

- Antonio DiBari, Westfield HS 

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Mary Jakso, Gatehouse Admin Center 

"We have multiple instances where we needed the help of the Title IX office this year. Many of these cases were very nuanced and required a lot of thought and conversation. Mary Alice has patiently worked through these and provided a calm and analytical disposition to help get to the appropriate conclusion. I am thankful to have Mary Alice as a resource here in FCPS."

- Antonio DiBari, Westfield HS 

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Andrea Harmon, Lake Braddock SS 

"Ms. Harmon is amazing! October's Dessert on Broadway was a labor of love and it was a joy to see her vision come to reality. Hours and hours were spent preparing for an amazing concert under the stars that consisted of not only full choral numbers but also special acts. I'm thankful for her leadership and the opportunities she offers to our students to do the things they love. Bravo!"

- a Lake Braddock SS parent

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Julie Miller, Lake Braddock SS

"Mrs. Miller is an outstanding teacher and student advocate.  She has encouraged my student to join a writing club, given him an inspirational button for work well-done, and in general been very encouraging and helping make middle school a good experience (when it is such a tough age)!! Thank you so much for all you do.  It is so appreciated!!"

-  Lake Braddock SS parent

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Vickie Sands, Lake Braddock SS 

"Victoria went out of her way to help my child who misplaced her computer at school. She walked my student back to trace her steps after school and located the computer! Then, Victoria was kind enough to follow up by calling me to let me know that the computer was located and my child was headed to do schoolwork in one of her classes. Thank you, Victoria!!!"

- a Lake Braddock SS parent

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Melissa Staab, Lake Braddock SS 

"Mrs. Staab goes above and beyond to support her students. She knows how to engage with students and maintain their trust while ensuring all students are safe. She responds quickly to concerns and truly is able to understand how parents and students feel in certain situations and offers strategies of support."

- a Lake Braddock SS parent

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Amy Moir, Woodson HS 

"Our daughter (a chorus student) we have had the privilege of knowing Mrs. Moir for 4 years now. From day one she has shown dedication to all her students and truly believes that each one has a voice and should use their voice. She works tirelessly and goes above and beyond her "contractual" hours to prepare, reply to emails, help her students, and so much more. From early morning rehearsal to Dessert on Broadway she is there for all her chorus students. Mrs. Moir is kind, compassionate, inspiring and her love of music is undeniably contagious. Her love of chorus/music inspires her students every single day!"

- a Woodson HS parent 

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Bill Fowkes, Stonecroft Transportation Center

"Mr. Bill, as we call him. Has been our kids bus driver for almost 4 years. Starting when my first child was a kindergartner. I had a lot of hesitation putting him on the bus. When we were assigned to Mr. Bill and as I got to know him I immediately felt blessed to have him in our lives. We even had a bullying situation on the bus. The way that Mr. Bill handled it even after the resolution of the school gave me peace. Knowing my children, even through a pandemic, were in Mr. Bill’s care left me with one last thing to be worried about. Even when I got to the bus stop a minute late, Mr. Bill took the time to hand write a lengthy note to me the next day. Letting me know that if it ever happened again that both my children would be taken care of and taken back to school safely. So I did not have to worry that they would be left alone. I have no words to express my gratitude to this man. Everyday he goes above and beyond and I strive to be just a little bit like him."

- a Colvin Run ES parent

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William Hurd, Fort Hunt ES 

"Bill Hurd is a thoughtful person in every sense of the word. He is always striving to be kind to others as well as to learn and grow instructionally. He thinks about what he is doing with deliberation and it shows in everything he does with our students and other staff members. I appreciate that Bill sees every Fort Hunt student as his own and his willingness to pitch in to help whenever and wherever it is needed. The world would be a better place if there were more people like Bill in it. We are fortunate to have him as part of our Fort Hunt team and community."

- Ellen Wise, Fort Hunt ES 

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Bill Fowkes, Stonecroft Transportation Center

"Everyone needs a kind and caring person like Mr. Bill in their lives. Mr. Bill is our awesome bus driver who goes the extra mile for each student on bus #2. He makes sure each student feels safe and respected, and give his 110% attention to any issues during the bus ride. Plus, he makes the bus ride fun, with weekly Friday shout-outs and wearing fun outfits to put a smile to every child's face that steps on the bus. Our children are so lucky to start the day going to school with Mr. Bill. All of us are very sad to hear that Mr. Bill will be retiring next month but wish him the best in his retirement. We will miss you!"

- a Colvin Run ES parent 

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Stacy Mitchell, Ashley Quinn, Ileana Garcia and Roberto Porta, Transition Support Resource Center - Fairfax

"Sometimes the seeds we plant as educators take time to come to fruition. It can be frustrating when you try and give your best and don’t get the intended results.  However, when you have supportive teammates they can help you stay inspired to see the future amidst your frustrations. I am blessed to be part of an excellent team of educators who continue to inspire me when my enthusiasm falls short. Mrs. Mitchell, thank you for listening to me vent after hours, when you had your own school work to complete! Thank you Mrs. Garcia for taking the time to help me understand my students' perspective better. Thank you Mr. Porta for all the instructional support you gave to help me reach my student where they are at. Thank you Ms. Quinn for talking to me, making adjustments, and acknowledging my feelings. Thank you Mr. Morehead for giving me the flexibility to adjust to my student needs. If schools are truly a reflection of their communities, I am hopeful about the future. I have experienced love, care and affection from my team. I know it is the same love, care, and affection our students receive on a daily basis. Yesterday, I saw the first spouts of our seeds! I just wanted to say thank you again."

LaToya Prescod-Williams, Transition Support Resource Center - Fairfax

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Andie Burton, Gatehouse Admin Center

"I called the Benefit's office to discuss my dental insurance and the problem the problem I had with not signing the form. Andie listened to me and passed my problem to Terri Bottash, who returned the call. Andie also gave me a phone number to call to help me with my dental insurance. I really appreciate Andie, she was very patient with me."

- a FCPS retiree 

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Denise Corcoran, Newington Forest ES 

"My son is always very happy to go to Art class. Mrs. Corcoran offers projects that are creative, trendy and that connect with the community. The Square 1 project is one of those and when my son didn't finish his project, she found a way for him to finish it, submit it, and I was able to use it for Christmas presents. Thank you."

- a Newington Forest ES parent

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Julie Landwehr and Korie Gondek, Cherry Run ES

"Julie and Korie are substitute teachers/IAs. Today, BOTH assistants in my preschool autism class were absent. Korie and Julie substituted so ably. They had never met each other before. They quickly teamed up to help me keep a predictable routine which is so critical for young children with autism. The day passed smoothly and with students properly engaged in learning activities. I am a grateful teacher!"

Leslie Lauth-Torres, Cherry Run ES 

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Amanda Livingston, Robinson SS

"Ms. Livingston was extremely helpful by offering guidance and assistance with registering my son for his winter sports team try outs. She responded to my email immediately and offered assurance that my son's online registration was complete. Thank you so much!"

- a Robinson SS parent 

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Karen Walton, Lorton Center

"Karen is an incredible bus attendant! We have worked together for 6+ years, and every year she impresses me more with her kind and gentle management of the bus. Our route this year has been particularly challenging However, Karen helps the students do better, and keeps them safe. She truly CARES about every student on our bus, and it shows."

- Barbara Davis, Lorton Center

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Tonja Diggs, Gatehouse Admin Center

"Tonja has been since day one someone whom I value, as she’s intelligent yet humble, kind, and eager to help other people. She has been wonderful in helping me with learning technology and other skills, and I want to thank her for her professionalism in every aspect."

- Michael Ross, Gatehouse Admin Center 

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Christine Johns, Colvin Run ES 

"Mrs. Johns has shown exceptional patience, caring, and kindness to our son and the rest of his class through the school year. She has made learning fun which has our Kindergartener excited to go to school each and every day."

- a Colvin Run ES parent 

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Helen Canepa, Gatehouse Admin Center

"Helen Canepa is extremely responsive to school's needs. Her willingness to answer and respond to emails early in the day (pre 6am) and late at night, surpasses any expectation. Due to her diligence and knowledge, she instills confidences and provides appropriate next steps and valuable resources and tools. Her efforts are greatly appreciated and respected. Thank you Helen!"

Dotty Lin and Maura Donahue, Kings Park ES 

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Marchel Dietrich, Key M

"Our elevator broke today and one of Ms. Dietrich's students could not make it upstairs to her room for class due to crutches he uses and the braces on his legs. Ms. Dietrich decided to get an empty classroom downstairs and bring the class TO HIM. The kids packed up their bags and everyone trekked to the temporary classroom.   It's just one example of the kindness she shows her students, and what she will do to include everyone no matter the situation. I feel privileged to work with her."

Tracey Kyle, Key MS 

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Laura Garofolo, Transition Support Resource Center - Reston

"I am grateful for my teacher because she notices my bad days and she cheers me up, which I really appreciate."

- Student, Transition Support Resource Center - Reston

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Robin Cardwell, Transition Support Resource Center - Reston

"I am grateful for my teacher because she gives me amazing advice and it shows me she cares about me."

- Student, Transition Support Resource Center - Reston

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Katherine Lund, Cooper MS

"Katie is always organized, thorough and professional in all that she does! She has been essential in helping her students make progress and achieve success during the 1st quarter of 7th grade. In particular, she has consistently worked with a student who has needed additional support during the transition to middle school. This student has made much progress and Katie has been a huge part of that. We are so lucky to have her as a teacher at Cooper Middle School!"

Jill Donnelly, Cooper MS

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Michele Beard, Hughes MS 

"Michele is a silent warrior and a champion for our kids. She is a courageous and involved leader who makes sure everything or everyone around her experience the highest levels of success. Even when operating with a temporary disability, she remained upbeat, hard-working and resilient. Did I mention her work as Director? No need to because it is evident around Hughes all the way to the Virtual Program. Thank you, Michelle, for just being you."

Dana Walker, FCPS Virtual Program High

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Meghan Trimer, Belle View ES 

"I would like to thank Ms. Trimer, physical education teacher, for being my child's mentor for over 2 years. She has helped my child build self-confidence. Even though we moved, Ms. Trimer continues to check in with us. She delivered gifts for my child's birthday during the pandemic. Ms. Trimer even attended my child's sporting event after teaching all day. Ms. Trimer goes above and beyond the expectations of any teacher or mentor. She is a trusted adult who my child admires."

- anonymous

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Randi Fortier and Ronne Lancaster, Herndon HS

"Both these sweet, amazing, knowledgeable women have helped me with issues with my son(s) the past few weeks immensely and it was so much appreciated!! Thankful they are at their school."

- a Herndon HS parent 

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Amy Moir, Woodson HS 

"Mrs. Moir is such an upbeat and fantastically devoted teacher. My daughter loves chorus and has been enthusiastic towards it for now the 4th year at Woodson, and Mrs. Moir is no doubt the #1 reason for that! Not to mention Mrs. Moir incredible work towards District Chorus, Dessert on Broadway, and State Honors Chorus. I think she is an incredible asset to FCPS."

- a Woodson HS parent 

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Stella Zoccoli-Perez, Lake Braddock SS 

"Ms. Zoccoli-Perez is always available to help teachers and families connect. As a family liaison, Ms. Zoccoli-Perez not only contacts families on the behalf of teachers, but also actively listens to family concerns and ensures teachers have the information they need to help their students succeed. She works tirelessly to ensure families get and stay connected with our school. I am so grateful to Ms. Zoccoli-Perez on our team!"

Laura Peters, Lake Braddock SS

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Poom Kulwatno, Lake Braddock SS

"Ms. Poom works tirelessly to aid students who need some extra guidance. She advocates for each student to determine their specific needs and helps them develop the skills and confidence to succeed. She is a joy to work with and always has a helpful strategy to share with new and experienced teachers alike. FCPS is fortunate to have such a dedicated and caring staff member. Thank you for all you do, Ms. Poom!"

Laura Peters, Lake Braddock SS 

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Kimberly Cox, Lake Braddock SS 

"The MS and HS Math Department are incredibly fortunate to have Kim Cox as the Admirative Assistant that works with our department. Kim knows everything, is so incredibly organized, is always willing to lend a helping hand and does it all with a huge smile (under her mask :)). Kim, we would be lost without you! Thank you for EVERYTHING you do!!"

Maya Nardone, Lake Braddock SS 

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Tracy Skeen and Eileen Castelli, Kings Glen ES 

"I just have to tell you how happy we are with Mrs. Castelli and Mrs. Skeen. They are a phenomenal teaching team and our family is so grateful for them. They have helped my son so much already. They have taught him self advocacy skills, how to be a good person and many other things besides all the academics they have also taught him. He’s a Special Ed kid and often feels different. They have a way of making him feel included and part of a community. I can’t thank them enough for that. I just wanted you to know. So many times people complain, they forget to stop and thank people for doing the hard work. Thanks so much!"

- a Kings Glen ES parent 

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Angela Getty, Kings Park ES 

"Mrs Getty is conducting wondrous work with my first grader. He has shown more improvement in a month working with her than he did all last year. Thank you for teaching my kid to read."

- a Kings Park ES parent 

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Josh Peters, Woodson HS 

"Mr. Peters has gone above and beyond filling in as a counselor for my daughters group this year. He's been responsive to her questions and has truly taken an interest in her as an individual. He's by far been her favorite part of this year. I truly appreciate the energy he puts into caring for our students."

- a Woodson HS parent 

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Deborah Phillips, West Springfield ES 

"Debbie took over as the Admin Assistant in 2020, tumultuous time! She goes above and beyond for everyone at WSES. Tonight, in fact, I witnessed her helping a custodian unload and set up picnic tables for our kids to use outdoors during lunch. I see her leave long after normal working hours. Debbie is always kind, patient and does her job with passion and a smile. In addition to serving the school needs, she goes out of her way to help our SACC program. She is an AMAZING coworker and WSES is blessed to have her!!"

- Laura Wimer, West Springfield ES 

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Lisa Petruzzi, Herndon HS 

"Amazing Lisa! She's always right there when a kid gets hurt and it makes a momma's heart relieved to see her running when it's your kid. Even her support behind the scenes is A++++++++. Love that she is ours !!!"

- a Herndon HS parent 

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Janice Pritchett. Lake Braddock ES 

"After not seeing the DSA in 4 months, since my child graduated, I saw her for a brief moment while she was extremely busy on a Teacher Workday. She was then and is always so welcoming and extends cheer and kindness to parents. Lake Braddock is blessed to have her as the DSA."

- a Lake Braddock SS parent 

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Katie Han and Language Services Team, Gatehouse Admin Center

"Katie Han, Wil Lara and the whole translation services team have gone above and beyond translating documents for School Health Services. We would like to recognize their efforts and let them know of our appreciation for all they do. Thank you!"

- Amy Bailey, Gatehouse Admin Center

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Stephanie Rice, Davis Career Center

"During my visit to the Burlington Vienna to observe STEP students, Stephanie was there supporting 3 independent students who are engaged in paid internships.  The store supervisor was so complimentary of Stephanie and her support of the students as they are gaining invaluable experience that will help them thrive once they exit public school. Stephanie's insight, engagement, compassion, knowledge, excitement, and joy for her students as they encounter both successes and challenges in the workplace is wonderful to observe. I am very appreciative of her support of ALL our DCC STEP students!"

- Chad Clayton, Davis Career Center

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Pamela Roldan, Kim Fairchild, Kim Hozman, Angela Lemak and Meredith Simpson

"This wonderful team jumped in to support a colleague in need during an emergency. They rallied together to come up with a plan of support, provided instructional plans, coverage, as well as emotional support for students. We are so grateful to have staff that demonstrate the true meaning of family and we are proud to have them be a part of our Terra Centre team!"

- Teresa Lewis, Terra Centre ES 

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Jen Stevulak, Lake Braddock SS 

"Mrs. Stevulak is truly a dynamic teacher. Actually, she’s more than that, an advisor to students and new middle school parents as well. She’s really gone out of her way to make sure my son and others always feel welcome. Her education style is fun too! Thank you and appreciate your kindness and support!"

- a Lake Braddock SS parent 

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Ellen Wise, Fort Hunt ES 

"Ellen Wise is a sweet, caring person who drops everything just to lend a hand. Her easy-going personality and willingness to help others makes her a foxtastic member of the Fort Hunt community."

Lourdes Suarez, Fort Hunt ES 

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Maya Good, Beech Tree ES 

"I would like to recognize Ms. Good's effort to teach kindergarten students remotely. She did an amazing job teaching them to read, count, and be ready for the transition to in-person teaching."

- a Beech Tress ES parent 

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Daniela Goldstein, Carson MS

"My son was out of school for a week due to his older sister being “on pause” due to COVID. Ms. Goldstein recognized my son’s efforts in trying to keep up with assignments and learning at home, which meant the WORLD to him. The fact that she took the time out of an extremely busy schedule to give him feedback the way she did deserves recognition. It’s been a really tough 18+ months for both students and teachers. Her compassion, empathy, and time deserve celebration. Thank you, Ms. Goldstein!!"

- a Carson Middle School parent

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Erich Holzshu, Luther Jackson MS 

"As my daughter’s 8th grade class civics teacher, Mr. Holzshu does all he can to make sure his students are engaged and develop a love for Civics. The kids watch short movies, play games and much more and have fun learning. He also brings treats and prizes regularly to encourage student participation and as a result the kids in his class seem to enjoy their civics lessons and eagerly look forward to the classes! Thank you Mr. Holzshu!"

- a Luther Jackson MS parent 

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Katherine Pierce, Westfield HS 

"Though the form asks for a specific experience date, this is applicable for Mrs. Pierce, the choral director of Westfield HS, for the entire three and a quarter years that we have been interacting with her. She does not only genuinely care for her “children” the way she sees her students, but she appears to spend most part of her day enhancing the experience of the students in her department. She could have rested with just teaching her students, which by itself requires dedication, but she always makes sure to get the best outfitters for their costumes, keeps in mind the cost burden on the parents, works diligently with tour operators for field trips, and most importantly she enables a classroom that provides a safe and comfortable “home” to each of her students. The love for her students we can sense in her classroom, is apparent from the reciprocation of respect and care her students show to each other and to the parents who time to time show up as volunteers during the department’s events. We would not have known about this deep bond that Mrs. Pierce had imbibed in her students had it not been for the volunteer opportunities for which we can be in her classroom during events. That is when we get an unfiltered and candid view of the positive environment that Mrs. Pierce has created for anyone who walks through the doors of her classroom."

- a Westfield HS parent

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Michelle McCarten, Daniels Run ES 

"Michelle volunteered to do kiss and ride duty every afternoon! (She was not assigned this year because she did it every day last year.) Not only did she volunteer, she came up with a new system that made the process more efficient. With the increased number of students using kiss and ride this year, she is going above and beyond to provide families with consistency and efficiency at dismissal each day."

Quyen Sullivan, Daniels Run ES 

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Ramon Del Cid, Stonecroft Transportation Center 

"This afternoon at Shrevewood Elementary school a bus driver supervisor for area 4 transportation went above his duties for a special needs student. While Mr. Del Cid was on his bus waiting to angle in for Shrevewood dismissal time. He noticed a student standing outside unsupervised. When descending down his bus steps to see what was going on the student took off running and heading towards a busy road and wooded area. Mr. Del Cid ran after the student and caught up with him and coaxed the student back to the school while keeping him safe. I have witnessed several occasions with Mr. Del Cid and students that show how caring and kind he is and generally concerned for the well being and safety for each student. He is great role model for the students and sometimes his acts of kindness goes unnoticed. That is why after today’s experience he needs to be recognized not just for the event that unfolded today but for each day he has put the safety of our students as priority on his list. Thank you so much for all you do and what you did today!"

Dana Griffith, Stonecroft Transportation Center 

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Michael Magliola, Luther Jackson MS 

"Mr. Magliola as principal of Jackson Middle School does an amazing job at promptly responding to his students’ needs with utmost urgency. Students at the school were facing an issue that I wrote to him about. He not only responded back to me reassuringly within a couple of hours but also had it immediately resolved for the kids and made the relevant announcements over the PA as well to make sure all students and teachers knew about the change! He has also done an excellent job at communicating to parents issues that come up at school and seeking parents’ engagement where needed."

- a Luther Jackson MS parent 

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Ainsley Marsh, Fairfax Villa ES 

"Continued excellence in instruction and tireless devotion to the well-being and education of her students."

- Doug Oberle, Woodson HS 

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Jennifer Crump Strawderman, Centreville Adult Center

"Jennifer goes out of her way to help me as a rookie DSS.  Though she is in "knower" mode and I am very much in "learner" mode, she never makes me feel this way. She is incredibly thoughtful, responds to all my frantic requests and calls for help (phone or email) with thorough, accurate and helpful information that just makes my light loader. I just couldn't be more grateful for this colleague!"

Florence Harrison, Bryant HS

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Rachel Hurvitz, Riverside ES 

"Rachel has been amazing to work with this year. I love co-teaching Science in her classroom. One of the best things about working with Rachel is her communication with staff and parents. She is always sending reminders and works so hard to build relationships. I appreciate all that goes into her teaching."

Lorri Hallenbeck, Riverside ES 

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Renea Mielec, West Potomac HS

"I hardly ever ask for anything. If I do, it's something that I deem important. I received an email where I was tasked to do something that I was struggling to implement.  So I emailed Renea and asked her on our remote workday if I could give her a call. She IMMEDIATELY responded. It gets better...I indicated what my struggles were and she was so, so responsive AND supportive. I indicated some of my areas of struggles. Not only did she offer suggestions in the most supportive way, she surprised me with an alternative shortly after. Her support and her responsiveness gave me some time to complete the tasks that I needed to complete and her support and her responsiveness helped me more readily implement the task. This is an example of cultural responsiveness. I am very independent. She was not pushy. She listened. She was responsive. I had to dust off my shoulders for her, because she was SUCH A BOSS that day. Thank you Renea."

- Schavion Smith, West Potomac HS 

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Lourdes Suarez, Fort Hunt ES 

"Lourdes Suarez always makes time to collaborate about her dually identified students and how to best meet their needs. She is a friendly, smiling face throughout the day who contributes positively to the school climate. Fort Hunt is very lucky to have her!"

- Emily Jones, Fort Hunt ES 

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Erica LoMonaco, Bryant HS

"I want to thank a member of our social studies team, Erica LoMonaco, for volunteering to lead the school-wide social and emotional learning program (SEL). This involves a great deal of time preparing presentations, implementing plans, and coordinating with staff within the building... all above and beyond the norm."

- Ronald Virts, Bryant HS 

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Emily Jones, Fort Hunt ES 

"Emily Jones is always eager to help and always asking about how you are doing. She even shares a little treat with you to make your day a better one. Emily is the type of person that cares about the well-being of students and staff around school. Thank you Emily for all you do and for being a wonderful co-worker. Gracias!"

- Zulma Perez, Fort Hunt ES 

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Rosaleen Gray, Bryant HS 

"Ms. Grace always has the student's best interest at heart. Yesterday was no exception. She alerted both the Social Worker and Director of Student Services about a situation that seemed to "be just a little off". Because of her awareness and professionalism, Ms. Grace partnered with this student, the Counselor, Administration and this Social Worker to insure the proper outcome. I personally have worked besides this person for five years and could not be any more impressed."

Lee M. Britton, Bryant HS 

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Jillian Zuber, Forest Edge ES

"I have no word to express my gratitude for Ms. Zuber, FEES's Principal during the pandemic. Her skillful management have made life easy and trustworthy for us as parents. She always cares and is available for us. We are very grateful to have her and her support during this difficult time."

- a Forest Edge ES, parent 

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Alain Ramirez Lopez, Whitman MS 

"Thank YOU, Mr. Ramirez Lopez for taking time out of your busy schedule to co-host episode 4 of the FCPS Family Podcast, En Pocas Palabras. The episode 4, Establishing Routines to Help with Time Management, offered suggestions for daily school routines to promote time management and peace in the home. Mr. Ramirez Lopez is a Family Liaison at Whitman Middle School. Again, thank YOU for sharing your expertise and knowledge."

- Linda Ferguson, Willow Oaks Admin Center 

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Betty Simmons, Terilynn Thomas and Christine Choi

"Betty Simmons, Teri Thomas, and Christine Choi are Rockstar Art Teachers at Chantilly High School. These three professionals have faced adversity with grace and composure. From taking on new preps, covering classes, hosting clubs after-school, and pivoting with new school procedures, the list goes on and on. No matter what, they continue to make students their number one priority. They each create a caring culture inside and outside of their classrooms at Chantilly High School."

- Zachary Winfrey, Chantilly HS 

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Maureen Anderson, Fox Mill ES 

"Maureen is one of the most caring teachers I have ever worked with. She goes above and beyond to make sure her students know she truly cares and loves them.  Maureen always has a calm voice and speaks respectfully to each of her students, even when they may not reciprocate the respect. Maureen has a warm and inviting classroom. She ensures her students understand their grades, pulling students aside to explain if they appear confused. Maureen is an amazing teacher and I am lucky to work with her and learn from her."

Nicole Passarelli, Fox Mill ES 

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Philippe Cloutier and Kevin McDonnell, Sprague Technology Center

"I want to take the opportunity to thank Philippe Cloutier, Kevin McDonnell, and the entire ETMSS team for helping us run video and stream our orchestra and choir fall concerts at Marshall HS. We had a vision of what we would like to do for our students and parents in the current COVID climate, and this team took it on and made it come to life with ease! Phillippe came early the night of the concerts, set everything up, and was so flexible and easy to work with. I know that the "behind the scenes" employees don't always get recognized but they certainly should. It takes so much to make productions successful and their expertise and assistance allowed us to focus solely on the performance itself. Thanks again for all of your help!"

Catherine Bond, Marshall HS 

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Barb Henrie, Pulley Career Center

"Although I am using today's date, Barb's positive contributions happen daily at Pulley. She is formally mentoring several new teachers, but she is also making the time to informally mentor several other teachers. Barb was not asked to do this, she volunteered to support. Feedback from those teachers notes that Barb's help and guidance around a variety of topics has helped tremendously. I've also been told from these teachers that without Barb's support and guidance, they would be completely lost. We are extremely fortunate to have Barb at Pulley and it should also be noted that she was given a new jobsite this year, and through her hard work we will now be going to this site 3 days a week instead of 2. Her hard work and dedication to our students is second to none. Thank you, Barb!!"

- Peter Kelly, Pulley Career Center 

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Nitin Bhatia and Vincent Wang, Sprague Technology Center

"Nitin and Vincent responded quickly and were extremely helpful in finding a creative way for me to recover Zoom recordings that I thought were gone forever. They both were so kind, patient, and willing to take the time and put in extra effort to make sure my tech problem was solved. It was a pleasure working with both of them!"

- Beth Werfel, Virginia Hills Center

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James Cruz, Bryant HS 

"Mr. Cruz suggested that we as a social studies department develop a student of the month award in order to recognize student excellence in our department. In addition, he created criteria for discussion, a presentation of his thinking, and presented it in a meeting, all on his own initiative. I think it will bring positive benefits to our school community moving forward and I thank him for taking the lead."

- Ronald Virts, Bryant HS 

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Amy Nast, Justice HS 

"Amy Nast is our Visual Arts department chair and has truly taken her leadership role and used it to show care and support. This year our Visual Arts department was faced with a staff opening that had repeated substitutes including two different long term subs (and many days without any subs where she is spending every planning period in there covering the class). She has worked endlessly to support the classes by not only meeting with the substitutes and providing support with grading and lesson planning, but also meeting with the students. Amy consistently shows care for our students and ensuring that they have the best possible experience despite hurdles faced. I appreciate Amy's professionalism and genuine passion for doing what is best for students. She is an incredible member of our team!"

- Colleen Lally, Justice HS 

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Camille Bartus, Gatehouse Admin Center 

"Thank you to Camille and her entire team for the support that you give us at Wolftrap. Your willingness to support us through the beginning of this year have made a tremendous difference. Thank you for all that you do for us!"

-  Maggie Grove, Wolf Trap ES

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Helen Canepa, Gatehouse Admin Center

"Helen has helped us in the past with numerous questions, but her presentation to staff today about wellness and the EAP program was right on point. Thank you to the entire team, including Camille Bartus, who have helped Wolftrap navigate these challenging times. We APPRECIATE all of you!!!"

- Maggie Grove, Wolf Trap ES 

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Adam Bowen, Sprague Technology Center

"Adam Bowen was included in an email exchange between learning specialists and the School Health Service as we prepare to rollout new COVID-19 case management training. While he was not tasked with providing a solution to a long standing issue we had, upon hearing of our team's difficulty he not only offered a new solution, but took the time to send step-by-step directions with screenshots to teach how to employ this solution. Adam's generosity of time and knowledge not only impacts our team's operations, but delivers easier access to important COVID-19 information for our principals and administrators."

- Tara Murray, Gatehouse Admin Center

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Heather Frei, Pulley Career Center

"Heather joined Pulley this school year and had an immediate positive impact on our school, and this continues to this day. Due to a teacher resignation, Heather has taken on the burden of teaching not only her classes, but the other class. This has led to additional planning, behavior management responsibilities, and overall an additional workload most people would not be able to handle. Through all of this, Heather has maintained a student first mentality and remains focused on the goal of getting students out to job sites. Heather is amazing, and our school and community is extremely fortunate to have her with us."

- Peter Kelly, Pulley Career Center 

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