FCPS Cares - October 2018

By Department of Human Resources
FCPS Cares
October 02, 2018

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: Daureen Burton-Richardson, Gatehouse Administration Center

"After a misunderstanding on my part over a vendor payment for an upcoming event, I was instructed to contact Ms. Burton-Richardson to determine other payment options. I did, and she presented the options. After our conversation, the option I chose did not pan out. Ms. Burton-Richardson, having understood the urgency of my situation, took it upon herself to drive to the government center on a Friday afternoon at the beginning of rush hour to ensure I had the payment I needed for my event to continue. In the meantime she had a co-worker contact me to update me on the situation and to coordinate my meeting with Ms. Burton-Richardson to receive the payment. Daureen listened to me, understood my need, and went above and beyond to ensure I had what I needed! Ms. Burton-Richardson cares!!!"

- Sabrina Boyd, Willow Oaks

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Region 1: Kay Kim, Aldrin ES (Pictured)

"Ka Kim and her staff go above and beyond to meet the needs of all students at Aldrin. I want to thank them in particular for their work with our nonverbal population of students. They remember all their names, their food likes/dislikes, and their PIN numbers. Additionally, they patiently give students time to make requests and work on important independent skills. We can't thank them enough for all the kindness they show to our students!"

- Kelly Kapalka, Aldrin ES

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a photo from the celebration at Poe Middle School
Poe Middle School: A photo of school counselor Katie Marrefi (right) being recognized by her colleague Brig Carrie!

Region 2: Katie Marrefi, Poe MS

"In the first month of transitioning to a new school and school system, Katie showed great initiative when coordinating with central office support staff to secure and transport two car-fulls of boxes of school supplies for our promising Poe students in need.  In the rain and on her birthday she was determined to provide for our community, showing genuine commitment and selflessness.  Poe MS and our counseling team are lucky to have such an awesome student advocate!"

- Brig Carrie, Poe MS

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Region 3: Cathy Bowman, Hollin Meadows ES

"I am the Hollin Meadows PTA 1st Vice President responsible for afterschool clubs.  This year I created a new club, the Multicultural Club, that celebrates the diversity of our school community by having parents introduce the students to their home countries through culture, food, music, arts & more. As the start date approached I was one session volunteer short and was concerned that we would not be able to proceed. When Mrs. Bowman (a second-grade teacher at the school) heard this, she immediately agreed to present the first session.  She prepared an entire presentation on Sweden, the home country of her father-in-law.  She prepared home-made Swedish meatballs & Swedish potatoes and made the beverage Glogg.  She created an arts & crafts project which took a lot of advance preparation.  Mrs. Bowman purchased supplies and created a presentation about the history & geography of the country using photos and videos.  At the end of the session, the students were having such a good time, they did not want to leave.  Mrs. Bowman refused to take money for all that she purchased and wouldn't even let me wash the dishes.  I am grateful to Mrs. Bowman for stepping up in a big way to rescue the fledgling Multicultural Club and presenting such a thoughtful and fun session to the students."

- a member of the Hollin Meadows ES PTA Board

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Region 4: Jill Halter, Mountain View HS

"Jill Halter is the Mountain View Main Office Administrative Assistant. In this role, Jill has to sometimes contact the FCPS Food and Nutrition office for various reasons.  On one such phone call, Jill asked why there was only one day of the week that Mountain View students received a hot sandwich for lunch. Mountain View does not have a cafeteria.  Jill said she learned the reason was because that is the way it has always been done.  In other words, no one had ever requested anything different.  Thanks to Jill's question, which comes out of her never-ending concern for the welfare of our students, Mt. View students now have the choice of one hot sandwich every day of the week!  Thank you, Jill Halter, for taking the time and asking the questions that made such a big change happen for our students!!"

- Ellen Fay, Mountain View HS

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Region 5: Larkin Gibas, Frost MS

"Ms. Gibas runs the Student Ambassador Program at Frost. These students play an essential role in ensuring new students feel connected to the school community. She spends numerous hours training these selected students in leadership and team building skills, building tours that highlight essential information, and preparing transition activities. Student ambassadors welcomed parents at Back to School Night with their “need help” signs, providing directions and warm smiles. They also worked closely with Ms. Gibas to plan the New 8th Grade Orientation in August. This year, Ms. Gibas also arranged for the student ambassadors to participate in the new student socials during Falcon Focus. These students definitely helped some shy students engage and have fun! The most important, ongoing role is the tour/schedule assistance each ambassador gives a new student on his or her first day. Ms. Gibas pays special attention to student interests and needs when pairing these students. We are lucky to have Ms. Gibas and appreciate all her time and energy she spends with our ambassadors and the impact they have on so many at Frost!"

- Danielle Hornbecker, Frost MS

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Other FCPS Cares of the Month Submissions for October 2018

Leslie Kendall, Bull Run Early Childhood

"Leslie was a Rockstar presenter to our preschool staff today. She is so very knowledgeable about speech and language. She shared so many great handouts and reconfirmed so many best practices. Thank you so much!!"

- Lara Runz, a community member

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Harriet Summers, Cedar Lane

"Ms. Summer's non depleting patience and humor are such an asset to Cedar Lane.  Her work with one of our more challenging students, every day and all day is a trait we should all hope to obtain."

- Nancy Gadd, Cedar Lane

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Patti Cleary, Olde Creek ES

"Patti presented a group activity at our itinerant adapted PE teacher meeting. In addition to planning, gathering materials, sharing her experience and facilitating a discussion she encouraged the group to revisit the concept of perspective. Patti's knowledge, compassion, and insight made for a valuable and impactful activity that will have ripple effects across the county. Thank you for sharing and for being a wonderful teacher, leader, and friend!"

- Manda Krimmer, Willow Springs ES

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Sara Perriello, Greenbriar East ES

"Thank you for being our team lead!"

Greenbriar East ES Kindergarten Team

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Teon Grant, Instructional Programs Support Center

"On Halloween, a day when anything that can go wrong probably will, I ran into a problem with one of the FCPS Online Databases.  The problem involved a database which should have been available for all students and teachers in the county and it was displaying an error message upon login. This was preventing my third-grade students from completing their assignments.  I sent a quick email and Teon Grant was tasked with resolving the issue, which was potentially impacting instruction at all FCPS elementary schools.  Teon was quickly able to troubleshoot and resolve the issue.  He was courteous, polite and responded immediately to determine if the issue was in fact resolved.  I have had similar positive experiences with Teon in the past.  He is an awesome colleague and despite that, I have never met him, he always goes above and beyond and I'm grateful for the work he performs to support the students and staff in FCPS."

- Eric Timpson, Cub Run ES

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Jennifer Bury, Lake Braddock SS

"Ms. Bury has done an incredible job stepping in to her new role as Assessment Coach.  This is an incredibly difficult job and can be overwhelming at times, but Ms. Bury has handled it with grace and fortitude. She has helped set up/implement remediation programs while continuing to organize the implementation of assessments for the largest school in the state.  We are very fortunate to have Ms. Bury in this role and I'm thankful for all that she does."

- Tony DiBari, Lake Braddock SS

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Elizabeth Hernandez, Willow Oaks

"Elizabeth, thank you for taking the time to lead the Lunch and Learn activity on using Twitter professionally for our colleagues at Willow Oaks on October 26. This was a worthwhile activity that benefited all of us.  Thank you for putting together such thoughtful event and for helping to foster a caring culture. We all appreciate your insight!"

- Evie Ifantides, Willow Oaks

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Alan Borhauer, Providence ES

"Mr. Borhauer sponsored/coached the Science Olympiad team from Providence Elementary, in addition to being the Division A Regional Director for the event. We were so thankful for Mr. Borhauer's dedication to the Providence team and event in general. We felt he truly showed how much he cared for the kids to learn and grow and went above and beyond by holding practices/study sessions every day after school for the 3 weeks leading up to the event. Our son was excited to get to stay after school to practice with Mr. Borhauer and the other participants and the event was such a positive and fun experience for him! We also know that Mr. Borhauer goes above and beyond in other ways at Providence like holding a weekly before-school strategies lab and working in the Providence courtyard! We are very glad to have him at PES!"

- Jackie Humphreys, Providence ES

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Eileen Gwin, Greenbriar East ES

"Eileen is the consummate professional. She has made my transition to GBE complete by going the extra mile to provide guidance and support with my ESOL students. Magnificent!" 

- Greenbriar East ES Staff

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Mary deKanter, South County HS

"Well...I could probably write a thesis about all the ways you have supported me so far in my transition to South County...but from the bottom of my heart -- Thank you! You make the workday incredibly enjoyable and I have been having a blast being in the office with you. I am so happy you are here and I cannot wait to see all that we accomplish together! Drink water! :)"

- Brett Garner, South County HS

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Jeremiah Caven, Kaaren Lowder, Dana Walker, Gary Morris, Mike Pflugrath, Marci Norem, South County HS

"SOCO A-Team, I want to thank each of you for all that you have done to make me feel welcomed, valued and the help you have given me in my first two weeks at South County. I feel this team of administrators is unbelievably talented and I cannot wait to see all that we accomplish together. Admin meetings have been a blast and what I love most is everyone's sense of humor -laughs and joy are being had everywhere.  It has truly been a wonderful working environment."

- Brett Garner, South County HS

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Joleen Michalowicz, Frost MS

"Wizard Joleen delivered a memorable Halloween Science Day for all of Frost 8th grade science students. She commanded apples to move in synchrony in an enchanted Newton’s cradle, produced vampire veins from a mixture of liquids, made a pumpkin bleed and then stopped the bleeding,  caused infected hands to glow in the dark, changed a solid to a gas without forming a liquid first, and topped off the class with a blast of pumpkin combustion!  Students realized that all the concepts (properties, density, solubility and chemical reactions) they had been studying were really visible in their lives, and especially so at Halloween!"

- Carolyn Mahung, Frost MS

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Larry Palmer, Bull Run ES

"Chivalry isn't dead! Larry began his career at Bull Run in 2011 he has been ALL in for ALL of our students. He shows his love for learning through his period costumes and historical knowledge of the Revolutionary War, which is truly second to none. He encourages all students to be the very best they can be. Larry and his wife, Cindy Palmer, share their love of the colonial period by regularly dressing up in period costumes and presenting about this period of time to our students. They also engage our students by teaching English country dance to classes during our annual Colonial day. Based on the needs of our students at Bull Run he spearheaded, the Club for Young Gentlemen, (CYGnature club) to develop character traits to help them improve their deportment (the way they present themselves in public); and learn and practice manners that will mark them as outstanding young men. Larry takes the time to get the best speakers for our club meetings including educational, political, and community. Larry also leads the Geography Bee Club for our students here at Bull Run and does so on a voluntary basis because he wants to involve all students in his love for lifelong learning. Amongst his peers, he is held in high regard. Larry has integrity, compassion, kindness and diplomacy!"

- Mary Obarowski, Rachael Blanchard

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Andrea Martin Jones, Willow Oaks

"Andrea, thank you for taking the time to lead the Lunch and Learn activity on using Twitter professionally for our colleagues at Willow Oaks on October 26. This was a worthwhile activity that benefited all of us. Thank you for putting together such thoughtful event and for helping to foster a caring culture. We all appreciate your insight!"

- Evie Ifantides, Willow Oaks

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Jennifer Iverson, Lake Braddock SS

"Ms. Iverson is an amazing teacher who truly cares about students and puts their well-being above all. Recently, she has been working with a student who has had issues both in school and out, which had had an impact on his academic performance. Ms. Iverson has been proactive in trying to help the student see how his decisions have had a negative impact and has not held it over his head in judgement, but used it to try and shape his behavior. Lake Braddock and our community are fortunate to have Ms. Iverson!"

- Tony DiBari, Lake Braddock SS

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Katie Hunt-Pennell, Stonecroft Transportation

"During morning rush hour there was a fatal traffic accident on route 66 which impacted Area 3 transportation immensely. Many of our employees come from the Manassas area and transportation also utilizes 66 as part of the bus routes. Many buses were running extremely late; the sheer volume of radio traffic and phone calls was overwhelming. Katie Hunt Pennell is the morning dispatcher in Area 3. She kept a cool head, displaying a calm and professional manner on the radio.  Katie collected information from drivers and attendants that were basically stranded on 66, unable to get to work. She collaborated with the bus driver supervisors and managed the floaters and drivers, ensuring that each and every run had coverage. Katie kept the bus delay page updated and current, eventually entering more than 150 late bus announcements. Katie was the glue that kept Area 3 from falling apart. She was absolutely amazing."

- Traci Kubo-Carrera, Stonecroft Transportation

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Eric Peck and Dave Slahbaugh, Sideburn Support Center

"Thank you so much to Eric and Dave who diligently worked on repairing my broken filing cabinet. It stores many of my work related tools and they persevered until they were able to make sure I could open all my drawers safely. I appreciated the quick response in order to get it fixed- just one day and the thoroughness with which they made sure it worked. It was a good way to start my week. Thank you."

- Judy Turcott, Oakton HS

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Haley Mondres, Groveton ES

"This past weekend Groveton ES celebrated our annual Fall Festival with our community. It was an engaging event for our students and families. The amount of work that goes into organizing this event is staggering. One of our very own teachers, Mrs. Haley Mondres, was responsible for much of the coordination and organization of this event. It’s an understatement to say that without this teacher, this event would likely not be possible. We are so proud of her dedication and commitment to our school and families. Thank you."

- Kevin Morris, Groveton ES

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Kate Hart, Grovton ES

"This past weekend Groveton ES celebrated our annual Fall Festival with our community. It was an engaging event for our students and families. The amount of work that goes into organizing this event is staggering. One of our very own teachers, Mrs. Kate Hart, was responsible for much of the coordination and organization of this event. It’s an understatement to say that without this teacher, this event would likely not be possible. We are so proud of her dedication and commitment to our school and families. Thank you."

- Kevin Morris, Groveton ES

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Jeannie Glasser, Key Center

"Jeanie Glasser is the vocational coordinator at Key Center School. Jeanie has greatly expanded and enhanced the vocational program through her consistent focus on providing the best possible experiences for our students. Her creative, outside the box thinking has resulted in significantly increased opportunities for students to learn valuable workplace and life skills. For example, making laundry a school job (in a school which does 20 loads of laundry a day) has resulted in students learning skills that they can use both at home and in the workplace. Jeanie doesn't limit her focus to just vocational opportunities, however, she consistently strives to help make our students' educational experience at Key Center the best it can be. A great example of this is our Animal Assisted Instruction program (aka Pet Therapy) which Jeanie originally introduced to our school environment several years ago and which has, in the ensuing years, had a tremendously positive impact on our student population. Finally, Jeanie's positive impact also extends to our parent community. She helps guide families through the sometimes confusing, sometimes scary process of examining and evaluating post-22 placements for our special needs students. Jeanie's patient and positive attitude and calm demeanor throughout the transition process sets a positive tone for families as they prepare to move on to life after Key Center. Jeanie clearly exemplifies the elements of the FCPS strategic plan with her commitment to student success and implementation of a caring culture. She is a wonderful example of the Premier Workforce within FCPS."

- Nicole Bracken, Key Center

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CSS Staff- Keshia Henderson, Crystal Graham, Katie Carvajal, Kelsey Martin, Ms. Vegnesa, Ms. Sipher, Ms. Whited, Mr. Mossburg, Mr. Larsen, Ms. Ghafoori, Mr. Hewitt, and Ms. Hightower, Eagle View ES

"The CSS team at Eagle View works with some of the most challenging students in our building. Day in and day out, they are patient, caring, and empathetic and work extremely hard to help our students feel success. Their dedication and commitment to responding to challenging behaviors and bearing physical aggression themselves is truly admirable. They always have a positive attitude and we are so lucky to have them."

- Kanchana Iyer, Eagle View ES

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Robert Edmunds, Annandale HS

"Mr. Edmunds is always willing to help when help is needed as our building supervisor. He will go out of his way to help teachers, staff and students throughout the day. Last week I needed something and he knew where it was and said I'll take care of it for you right now. All of this as he was getting ready to leave for the day. Thank you Mr. Edmunds!"

- Chris Tippins, Annandale HS

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Melissa Staab, Lake Braddock SS

"Since the start of this school year Melissa and I have had the pleasure of collaborating on a couple cases. We joke that we often “tag team.” She is phenomenal with our students and their families. I look forward to many more opportunities in collaborating with Melissa."

- Walena Haider, Lake Braddock SS

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Mary Olsen, Willow Oaks

"During our Wellness Screening Mary did an AMAZING job with a student that was at imminent risk of suicide. During a limited amount of time Mary was able to build rapport with the student and he openly disclosed pertinent information to help Mary assess his current risk of suicide.  At the end of the meeting Mary offered a hug to the mother, which was well received by the mother. The mother completely broke down in tears and Mary was able to
provide support and comfort to the mother during this very difficult situation. Mary is a phenomenal clinician and I feel privileged to work in the same building with her."

- Walena Haider, Lake Braddock SS

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Mike Scott, Annandale HS

"Mike Scott has been working diligently with not only his students, but the football program at Annandale HS. The season itself has been up and down and the coaching staff and students have continued to show progress and perseverance. This team is resilient. The entire coaching staff continues to work over-time with the kids to get them prepared. Mike also works non-stop with after-school activities and can be seen working at Annandale on most weekends. He continues to put in the time to make a positive impact on all of his students."

- Jack Jennison, Annandale HS

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David Morse, Woodson IT

"Kudos! Thank you for cleaning and returning  my Smartboard projector within 24 hours!"

- Wahnetah Carty, Laurel Hill ES

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Jae Lee, Annandale HS

"Throughout this school year, Jae has taken on multiple challenges with positivity and professionalism. He has been dedicated to supporting our special needs students as well as his colleagues. I am grateful for the opportunities to observe Jae interacting with students with such positive energy!"

- Paula Meoli, Annandale HS

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David Hutzel, Oak View ES

"Mr. Hutzel does such a fabulous job of enriching the experience of students (& their siblings & their parents!) as they start their days in the Kiss & Ride line at Oak View. He builds positive relationships with both the students and their whole families! Our whole car gets excited for Monday mornings when Mr. Hutzel is helping at the Kiss & Ride line. This school year he's taken to wearing fun costumes on Monday mornings at Kiss & Ride. Both my Oak View student and his younger brother eagerly anticipate whether this Monday will be a "Mr. Hutzel Monday," and speculate on what costume he'll be wearing that day. Even though he doesn't wear costumes on the other mornings, Mr. Hutzel is still there with a BIG smile, greeting students by name, and not forgetting to wave & smile at little siblings left behind in the car too. He makes my kids' day, and his happy greetings make my day brighter too. Mr. Hutzel definitely deserves recognition! Thank you!"

- An Oak View ES parent

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Stefanie Kline, Willow Oaks

"Ms. Kline has been very helpful to me in recent weeks as I encountered technology challenges for a required submission. She responded promptly to my requests for help and found a solution to my road block each time. I sincerely appreciate her quick responses and willingness to help!"

- Sara Van Aalst, Willow Springs ES

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Katie Smith, Willow Oaks

"Ms. Smith is a true asset to our Enhanced Autism program. As our ABA Coach, she consistently visits our school to collaborate with administrators, teachers, and instructional assistants. She is a keen observer and provides timely and accurate feedback to our staff. Most recently, Ms. Smith coordinated an opportunity for our teachers to observe instruction at another school site. Our staff raved about this experience as it has provided them with additional examples of how best to facilitate differentiated small group instruction. We are extremely thankful for Ms. Smith's resourcefulness, responsiveness, and positivity!"

- Sara Van Aalst, Willow Springs ES

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Marla Banks, Greenbriar East ES

"Your compassion for the students and co-workers alike shines in everything you do. I could list so many examples each day you are here. I'm so glad you work with children."

- Greenbriar East ES staff

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Lori Purvis and Liz Caligiuri, Greenbriar East ES

"Thank you for helping me out on Wednesday and Thursday by fixing my password. I really appreciate how you helped me during your lunch time."

- Tina Sedghi, Greenbriar East ES

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Alexis Vinson, Lorton Center

"Ms. Vinson has been instrumental in motivating a challenging student to access transportation to and from school. Ms. Vinson is a patient, kind and collaborative person. She works with the school team to develop strategies and follows through with the students. She plays games with the students and talks with each one of them. Ms. Vinson has established  good relationships with Key Center staff as well as all of the students on her bus. Ms. Vinson ROCKS!"

- Emily Kaltenmark, Key Center

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Sheena Cox, Donna Dixon, & Lisa Kingery, Gatehouse Administration Center

"A great appreciation to my co-workers! These Administrative Assistance always put customer service first when either assisting a parent or a school administrator. They never hesitate to pitch in whenever the office is shorthanded or we are swamped with other duties! Thank you for all you do every day!"

- Yolanda Villanueva, Gatehouse Administration Center

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Dawn Champion, Riverside ES

"Dawn Champion has been an amazing teammate and mentor as I have continued my professional and personal growth as an administrator. She always is available to help problem solve solutions, willing to listen, and ALWAYS makes me laugh. She takes initiative, is reliable, and is a bright and sunny spot of my day. Thanks Dawn!"

- Anna Macedonia, Riverside ES

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Amanda "Mandy" Walter, Poplar Tree ES

"Mandy is an amazing ID/IDS teacher here at Poplar Tree ES.  She goes above and beyond for her students and their families. Her positive attitude makes a real difference here at school. I am so happy that you work at PTES, Mandy. Please know your hard work is noticed and appreciated. You Rock!"

- Katrina MacWhorter, Poplar Tree ES

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Brent Roberson, Annandale HS

"Brent has developed an Attendance Task Force (ATF) to target the attendance and drop out issues at Annandale. The team meets weekly to discuss and address individual students and their attendance issues. In addition, Brent has developed a mentoring system for our most at risk students and as a member of the ATF, he has assigned himself to mentor students weekly. In addition, Brent has been working with teachers to help them keep students in the classroom learning while still addressing that students discipline issues in the classroom."

- Jennifer Crump-Strawderman, Annandale HS

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Jack Jennison, Annandale HS

"Jack has developed an Attendance Task Force (ATF) to target the attendance and drop out issues at Annandale. The team meets weekly to discuss and address individual students and their attendance issues. In addition, Jack has developed a mentoring system for our most at risk students and as a member of the ATF, he has assigned himself to mentor students weekly. In addition, Jack is making home visits weekly with our Attendance Intervention Specialist for our chronically absent students."

- Jennifer Crump-Strawderman, Annandale HS

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Kathy Ayers, Annandale HS

"Kathy has been working tirelessly to support and advocate for our students who are recovering from concussions. She has worked with the school counseling office to help our department evaluate and request accommodations for students in the classroom. Kathy continually communicates with the parents to check on the students medical progress and ensures information is being shared between the school and home. Early last week, a student shared with their counselor they were suffering from headaches and other concussion related symptoms for the past two months. However, due to the families lack of knowledge as well as cultural issues, they were not aware to advocate or seek medical attention for their son. After the counselor spoke with Kathy, she met with student and connected with parents. The student is now getting medical attention and the school is providing accommodations in the classroom, which is very important as his grades have significantly declined since the concussion."

- Jennifer Crump-Strawderman, Annandale HS

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Sarah Payne, Key Center

"Mrs. Payne is in her 5th year teaching at Key Center School. She teaches elementary aged students in our behavior transition program. Mrs. Payne arrives at school daily with a smile on her face and embraces each day with vigor. She works tirelessly to meet each of her students complex needs and continuously adapts her teaching to ensure that students are making progress. Thank you Mrs. Payne for your dedication and hard work! You ROCK!"

- Emily Kaltenmark, Key Center

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Verdetta Berrian, Groveton ES

"Verdetta Berrian is an invaluable general education instructional assistant here at Groveton Elementary. She quite literally is everywhere in our building. We frequently call upon her to step into multiple roles throughout our building and she does so with great professionalism and a smile. She is a team player and works to build positive relationships with students. She is an advocate for our Young Scholars and works to promote equity for all students. We’re thankful for her time, energy and effort she gives our school."

- Kevin Morris, Groveton ES

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Otelia Thompson, Groveton ES

"Otelia Thompson is an invaluable general education instructional assistant here at Groveton Elementary. She quite literally is everywhere in our building. We frequently call upon her to step into multiple roles throughout our building and she does so with great professionalism and a smile. She is a team player and works to build positive relationships with students. We’re thankful for her time, energy and effort she gives our school!"

- Kevin Morris, Groveton ES

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James Smith, McLean HS

"James Smith has worked at McLean HS for the past 18 years and is the Assistant Building Supervisor. Over the last month, Mr. Smith took over as the Building Supervisor at McLean HS until our new supervisor started. We appreciate all the work he took on over the last month. He is friendly, loyal, and hard working. He helps everyone he meets and keeps are school looking topnotch."

- Ellen Reilly, McLean HS

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Tracy Skeen, Kings Glen ES

"Mrs. Skeen is truly a gem in the educational field, as my son truly loves her and school, and I appreciate her great communication skills. He is learning so much from her this year, and I want to thank her personally for boosting his self-esteem and his overall passion for learning."

- a Kings Glen ES parent

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Justine Ifkovits, Lemon Road ES

"We enjoyed how our first grade teacher, Ms. Ifkovits, handled the parent conference - she is fully dedicated to her job and our kids! Thank you!!!!"

- a Lemon Road ES parent

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Liz Caligiuri, Greenbriar East ES

"Thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to take pictures of our students during team building day. Your photographs will help keep the memories of this special day alive in our yearbook. Thank you! We couldn't have done it without you!"

- Physical Education Team, Greenbriar East ES

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Katie Bruechert, Greenbriar East ES

"Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to help us on short notice to run a station at team building day. The students benefited from your enthusiasm and energy! Also a HUGE thank you for bringing such wonderful authors to our school! You rock! We couldn't have done it without you!"

- Physical Education Team, Greenbriar East ES

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Hillary Seward Lucynski, Greenbriar East ES

"Thank you for being an important part of team building day! It was so absolutely helpful that you already knew and could run Hungry Hippos! Your enthusiasm really helped our students enjoy the day! Thank you! We couldn't have done it without you!"

- Physical Education Team, Greenbriar East ES

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Christie Miller, Greenbriar East ES

"Thank you so much for helping us out with team building day! Your energy and enthusiasm really helped make the game a success! Thank you! We absolutely couldn't have done it without you!"

- Physical Education Team, Greenbriar East ES

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Nancy Otto, Greenbriar East ES

"Thank you so much for being a part of our team building day! Your willingness to help and encourage our students is so appreciated! Thank you! We couldn't have done it without you!"

- Physical Education Team, Greenbriar East ES

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Annemarie Cartwright, Greenbriar East ES

"Thank you so much for helping out with field day! Your flexibility and energy with our students was greatly appreciated. They will no doubt remember you being a special part of the day! Thank you! We couldn't have done it without you!"

- Physical Education Team, Greenbriar East ES

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Eddie Lupton, Greenbriar East ES

"We can't thank you enough for helping out with team building day! Your energy and enthusiasm during the event really helped our students enjoy their time! I absolutely loved your demonstrations. Thank you! We couldn't have done it without you!"

- Physical Education Team, Greenbriar East ES

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Thomas Harlow, Falls Church HS

"Thank you for helping Ashton! He was carrying that baseball bag to every class until you offered to store it for him. I am sure that classroom space is tight and that it takes time out of your busy day in the morning (when he drops it off) and in the afternoon (when he picks it up). Thank you for caring - Ashton will start paying storage fee or beat you in ping pong soon!"

- a Falls Church HS parent

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Michael Kiernan, Irving MS

"I want to thank Mr. Kiernan for his support and assistance during the three days I was subbing in Room 165 for Mr. Brown. I could not have done this job without his help, and I am extremely grateful."

- Jonathan Pick, FCPS Substitute

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Jacquie Naughton, Lake Braddock SS

"Ms. Naughton does so much for the families of the Lake Braddock community, and to list them all would exceed the space provided. However, the latest occurrence was in helping to organize our Mentor/Mentee tailgate at a Friday night football game. Ms. Naughton coordinated resources for the event, took time to set up and participate, and then helped clean up afterwards. She is an asset to Lake Braddock and a tireless advocate/resource/pillar for our students and community."

- Tony DiBari, Lake Braddock SS

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Dotty Lin, King Park ES

"Dotty is amazing! While the list of reasons could go on, this specific example occurred as our Pyramid focuses on raising the achievement of our gap groups. Dotty was not only extremely responsive to my questions on how to help build a common direction as a pyramid, but also talked me through the process that our team would be using and some tools that have proven useful. It is clear that she has put a lot of time and thought into this project in her own school, and her willingness to share with our pyramid will certainly raise the level of our entire team. The LB community is incredibly lucky to have Dotty as both a partner and a leader."

- Tony DiBari, Lake Braddock SS

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Samira Laarche, Glasgow MS

"Madame Laarche teaches French at Glasgow Middle School and although an elective course. Her teaching style and approach are of what you would expect from an instructor teaching a core subject. If that makes sense? The love I’ve seen her exude unto the children as well as my own Son reminds me of my school days...her heart is ALL in and in the Education field this is key to Winning!!! The children adore her, her character leaves lasting impressions, and I will only be Blessed if my Son encounters another Instructor that I trust cares for his future and well-being just as strongly as I."

- a Glasgow MS parent

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Tammi Bailey-Case, Franklin MS

"Mrs. Bailey-Case is one of our very dedicated school counselors. She is always someone who can be counted on to listen and lend her support. In addition to serving the Franklin community, Mrs. Bailey-Case works in collaboration with other dedicated individuals to offer emotional support and resources through the Westfield Cares program. Mrs. Bailey-Case's belief in the importance of this program and the support it offers young people is so great that she utilizes her own leave time to ensure she can give her assistance. I commend Tammi Bailey-Case for being a champion for the emotional and social wellness of students. I also commend her compassion for helping students who have hit a "rough patch" and working tirelessly to help them reclaim their sense of worth and future."

- Forrest Reid, Franklin MS

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Ramona Gavin, Woodburn ES

"Ramona Gavin is our Assistant Principal. She relates extremely well  to the students. They always raise their hands to greet her when she comes by the cafeteria. To their delight, Mrs. Gavin will stop to visit - smiles and pleasant words are exchanged. Conversely, she is, at times, the disciplinarian in the administrative area. The (offending) student becomes quite sober, attentive and repentant when being corrected by her. She strikes the perfect balance between "atta boys" and addressing negative behavior. Mrs. Gavin is basically the perfect role model. She is consistent and very involved - a true gem here at Woodburn."

- a Woodburn ES parent

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Steve Landers, Merrifield Support Center

"Steve has gone above and beyond for the Mason Crest Community! He has been working evenings and weekends to try and help us get our Geothermal cooling and heating system consistently working so our students and staff can teach in a comfortable learning environment. We appreciate his attentiveness to details and his full commitment to this project. Thank you, Steve!"

- Sherry Shin, Mason Crest ES

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Regina La Valley, Great Falls ES

"Ms. La Valley is genuinely invested in the learning of all students at Great Falls ES. She is engaging and fun, and always provides a positive learning environment. She has even taken the time to do an Adapted Music class for our Special Needs friends who absolutely adore her. Her willingness to go above and beyond in adapting not only her regular music class but also the adapted music class is just amazing. We are so lucky to have such a wonderful Teacher who is committed to all students succeeding."

- Heather Zahory, Great Falls ES

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Paola Cespedes, Riverside ES

"Paola is one of our phenomenal Office Assistants at Riverside ES. She is extremely dedicated to her day to day responsibilities, but goes above and beyond to make sure our students and staff in the school community are taken care of. She comes early, stays late, and does every task and responsibility with a smile. I look forward to seeing her positive spirit and energy every day!"

- Anna Macedonia, Riverside ES

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Brian Shields, Cardinal Forest ES

"Mr. Shields helped his class through an immensely difficult time of grief for the school community. He was a source of strength and comfort to his students who lost their classmate to brain cancer. They learned many lessons from him that year including resilience in the face of grief and loss. Mr. Shields found ways to support this family and help his young students through emotional turmoil. This only one of my children’s experiences with this incredible teacher. There are so many examples of Mr. Shields going above and beyond for his students. We are so very grateful."

- a Cardinal Forest ES parent

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Michele Karabin, Willow Oaks

"In an unusual situation, Ms. Karabin hustled in order to put in place a number of desperately needed resources for a student who was leaving FCPS midyear. Her focus was entirely on what the student needed and the family was so relieved to know that services would continue for their son. Thank you for your student focus Ms. Karabin!"

- Ann Long, Willow Oaks

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Reta Wright, Waynewood ES

"Ms. Reta is an absolute delight, absolutely loves the children, and goes above and beyond with her job! My son adores Ms. Reta. She provided him breakfast one day when he mentioned that it looked delicious and he would like to try it. She brought it right to his classroom with love! Then, on Oct 17, Ms. Reta noticed that my son had a $164 in his meal account. I had sent in another $100 and she emailed me to make sure I wanted to still have her deposit the check. When she didn’t hear back from me, she called me the next morning. She did not need to take the time from her day to send me an email or make a special phone call. However, I truly appreciated it, and I let her know that my family appreciates her wonderfulness! Ms. Reta deserves recognition for her outstanding attitude and dedication to Waynewood!"

- a Waynewood ES parent

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Sue Eaton, Willow Oaks

"Each October, Ms. Eaton works collaboratively with Fairfax County to provide students with disabilities an opportunity to learn about careers at the government center.  This experience provides students with a tour as well as an opportunity to work with a mentor in a career of interest. This event is well planned and organized to engage students. Thank you Sue for your vision and efforts to provide such a meaningful event for the students."

- Ann Long, Willow Oaks

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Rene Harry, Gatehouse Administration Center

"I was directed to Rene when the school wanted to have some promotional flyers available for the Taste of Annandale event on Saturday, October 13. I had some ideas of what we wanted for content for the flyer but needed some help with design and overall completion of the project. Time was of the essence. I had procrastinated and therefore, left Rene with a very tight window for completion and delivery. Rene was very responsive both over the phone and via email. He had a draft of the flyer ready on Thursday, October 11, and then was willing to make modifications via phone and email contact throughout the day. The flyers went to print and much to my surprise, Rene showed up at Annandale High School Friday morning with the flyers (500 of them) in hand. Rene's attention to detail, his responsiveness, and his design talent were all top-notch but the personal touch of the delivery to school on Friday morning was above and beyond. Thanks, Rene. The flyers are a big hit. Go Atoms!"

- Tim Thomas, Annandale HS

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Emilio Rodas, David Garrett, Jeff Gagne, Narayan Kharel, Sideburn Support Center

"Mr. Rodas, Mr. Garrett, Mr. Gagne, and Mr. Kharel are absolutely the best! They are nice, they do great work, are very conscientious about their work, they communicate, and they make sure that everything they do is up to our satisfaction. We couldn't ask for a better crew to address our classroom painting needs."

- Anita Mitchell, Hayfield SS

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Chelsey Morgan, White Oaks ES

"As a multiple disabilities teacher I get to see many different teaching styles in many different curriculum areas. I can truly say that Ms. Morgan has an amazing ability. I support one student in a class of 26 first graders. From the minute the children enter Ms. Morgan's music room to the moment they leave, Ms. Morgan has all of the students engaged and learning. She always focuses on the positive and is able to redirect with positivity. I am awed by Ms. Morgan's creative teaching style and I commend her for her level of patience, compassion, and professionalism. Chelsey Morgan you are an amazing teacher!"

- Bernice Wonderly, White Oaks ES

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Lauren Carpenter & Leslie Gevirtz, Providence ES

"Leslie and Lauren are the Student Council Association advisors at my school and they are AMAZING! Recently they organized and implemented the installation of SCA officers and representatives. This required a lot of work. First, they recruited and coached students who were interested in running for office. Next, all students running for office were given a slot on the morning news where they could introduce themselves and campaign. Then students had to vote for those they wanted to represent them on the student council. All students who voted in the SCA election as well as staff members and parents of students being inducted were invited to the installation ceremony. Classroom officers and SCA reps were honored at the induction. The ceremony included remarks by the PES administration, patriotic songs, special guests, goals stated by the elected students and a student body pledge. One of the most moving parts of the ceremony was the induction of the SCA officers who each accepted his/her office by lighting a different colored candle. This special ceremony made all participating students feel special and valued. And this is what FCPS Cares is all about. This event is something that many students and parents will remember for years to come. Thank you Leslie and Lauren for all your hard work, dedication to the Providence SCA, and showing that FCPS Cares."

- Stacy Greene, Providence ES

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Joel Harrop, Falls Church HS

"While Joel's job title is TSPEC, he fills way more roles at Falls Church! He's a teacher, coach, cheerleader, song sharer, Ricoh fixer, leader, friend, entrepreneur, parent, and guide. Joel is one of the first people to arrive to school, often playing a motivating song on the loud speaker. He supervises our Computer Tech Assistants and has high expectations which they strive to meet. Our "chop shop" services the 2000 student computers as an FCPSon school with efficiency because of the systems Joel has put in place. Joel and his crew should be called the "yes team." You could ask him anything and he'll make it happen. Tonight he has volunteered to present along with our Parent Liaisons on technology use. That's after running health checks during the day on student laptops as well as implementing the technology supports to our Positive Tardy sweeps. Since our chop shop services the Ricoh printers in the building. Joel sends daily all staff emails and embeds fun music as well as shout outs to teachers with our FCHS Emotional Charter. I look forward to seeing Joel in the hallways, his humor and spirit are contagious. His quick responsiveness and willingness to help is beyond appreciated."

- Jessica Grenfell, Falls Church HS

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Tawanna Kinsey, Newington Forest ES

"I want to thank Mrs. Kinsey for the encouragement and support she has given me with my transition to a new school. I was making a change after 20 years at the same school and was a bit anxious and nervous. As we all know the beginning of a new school year already comes with challenges and stresses, so stepping outside of my comfort zone as well was a bit daunting. But then I met Tawanna. As an Administrative Assistant she already has so much that comes across her desk, but whenever I needed help or clarification she was there for me. She has a welcoming and calm voice and willingness to do whatever she can to provide assistance. She is someone who will give you a smile and put you at ease. Thank you Tawanna for your kindness. A true "Caring Knight."

- Kelli Allen, Newington Forest ES

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Maria Meeks, Groveton ES

"Maria Meeks is such an important part of our caring culture at Groveton Elementary. As a Kindergarten Instructional Assistant, she plays a pivotal role in the development of our students. She is immersed in the classroom community and provides an important partnership for the classroom teacher. Outside of the classroom her smile is infectious. She is always kind to students and ready to give a high five (and in many cases a big orange foam hand high five!) She is always ready with a word of encouragement. She supports Groveton’s mission and vision for building relationships with staff and students."

- Kevin Morris, Groveton ES

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Jackie Gaston, Willow Oaks

"Career and Transition Services (CTS) cares about Jackie Gaston!  Many thanks to Jackie for taking time out of her busy schedule to present twice in one week.  The information you shared at Postsecondary Education Options Coffee and College Night was valuable to staff, students, and parents. Sincere thank you for your willingness to share your time and expertise.  CTS is lucky to have Jackie Gaston!"

- Sarah Blake, Willow Oaks

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Erica Meadows, Willow Oaks

"Erica Meadows, thank you for taking the time to lead the Lunch and Learn activity for our colleagues at Willow Oaks on making note cards for our military personnel abroad so they in turn  have cards to mail to their loved ones.  This was a worthwhile activity that benefited both our colleagues and our troops. A big THANK YOU to you for putting together such thoughtful session and for helping to foster a caring culture at Willow Oaks."

- Evie Ifantides, Willow Oaks

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Bill Cunningham, Woodson Complex

"Mr. Bill Cunningham, groundskeeper, and his supervisor, Mr. Tomas Lopez, were extremely responsive to a community request to remove vegetation behind Whitman MS. They both went above and beyond to support the Whitman Community!"

- Craig Herring, Whitman MS

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Adam Peixotto, Liberty MS

"My daughter attends Liberty Middle School in Clifton, Virginia. She takes Mr. Peixotto’s Pre-Algebra Readiness class and I want to share that Mr. Peixiotto has made the difference in my daughter’s relationship with math. She told me that “Mr. P.” teaches math in a way that she understands. I have tried to help her with math down through the years, but I couldn’t help her to understand. She credits Mr. P., and I do as well. My daughter’s confidence in math has totally changed and she is making A's and B's. We’ve had pleasant and engaging conversations about math, which has never happened before. She even told me recently that she likes calculating interest and taxes! I’m so excited for my daughter and I want to thank you for having Mr. P. at Liberty. He is truly making a difference."

- a Liberty MS parent

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Shelly Pennow, Hayfield Secondary School

"During the first week of school, some of Shelly's colleagues decorated her classroom door for her birthday.  Pink and green streamers reached from the top of the door frame to the floor, lightly tacked at the top with small pieces of masking tape.  "This will be a mess," I thought.  "She teaches middle schoolers!  These streamers will be all over the hallway by lunchtime." Well.  Lunchtime came and went.  The entire first week, and then September, and the first two months of school went by.  When did those streamers come down?  Never.  How sloppy are they? They're just as neat as the day they went up.  Every single one is still in place, left alone by the middle school students who come and go all day for Spanish class. Why do Shelly's streamers warrant a notice in FCPS Cares?  They are an outward sign of her masterful classroom management and relationship building. I'm still astounded every time I walk past and see that her students have respected every single strand and left them all in place for nearly two months. You don't even have to hear the enthusiastic exchanges going on her class (which I'm also lucky to be able to do) to understand that Shelly Pennow's got some great things going on in middle school Spanish."

- Heather Frei, Willow Oaks

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Helen Canepa, Gatehouse Administration Center

"Thank you to Helen for sharing her EAP expertise with the IT FASTeam today. We learned a great deal and appreciate all of her knowledge!"

- Rebecca Boyer, Sprague Center

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Camille Bartus, Gatehouse Administration Center

"Thank you to Camille for sharing her Wellness expertise with the IT FASTeam today. We learned a great deal and appreciate all of her knowledge!"

- Rebecca Boyer, Sprague Center

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Jean-Marie Galing, Willow Oaks

"Jean-Marie Galing, thank you for taking the time and participating in the Lunch and Learn activity with our colleagues at Willow Oaks on making note cards for our military personnel abroad so they in turn have cards to mail to their loved ones.  This was a worthwhile activity that benefited both our colleagues and our troops.  A big THANK YOU to you for bringing the artistic paper, stamps, and other supplies.  We would not have been able to create the cards we did had it not been for your materials.  Thank you for helping to foster a caring culture at Willow Oaks."

- Evie Ifantides, Willow Oaks

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Gail Rostamie, Gatehouse Administration Center

"Gail went above and beyond the call of duty to assist a retired teacher returning to FCPS to be hired as a substitute teacher. The applicant was experiencing some frustration in the application process and was greeted by Gail who assisted her and in the process and changed what appeared to be difficult in the eyes of the applicant to a joyous experience and instead of the applicant leaving frustrated she left with a smile and a friend in Talent Acquisition and Management. In meeting the applicant she sang praises regarding Gail. Gail does not work in the Substitute Office but the applicant would have never known because Gail assisted her from beginning to end smiling through it all. Thank you Gail for epitomizing the true meaning of what real customer service looks like."

- Roudene Jackson, Gatehouse Administration Center

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Mary Beth Brooke & Rachel Ratke, Willow Oaks

"Special thanks to our OT and PT colleagues for supporting differentiated instruction for students with significant disabilities.  Mary Beth Brooke, OT and Rachel Ratke, PT created and presented an engaging professional development for early childhood special education teachers.  Their shared knowledge and expertise in the areas of child development and occupational and physical therapy provided ideas and resources for teachers of children with significant delays.  Pictures, case studies, and hands-on materials allowed teachers to collaborate on how to apply this information to their current students.  The teachers left the presentation excited about the new ways to support and include all students in their classrooms."

- Erin Snell, Bull Run Early Childhood Center

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Scott Brabrand, Helen Nixon, Michael Draeger, Craig Manigila, Beth Boivin, Shelli Wayland, Bryan Buser, Amanda Purvis, Diane Dondershine, Michele Cross, Diane Crandall, Gatehouse Administration Center

"I attended an event last night at Fairfax High School that measured up and exceeded its name (Excellence). I was a guest of a winner (who provided me with some of the names of the team that hosted this event) and from an outside perspective was amazed. When we entered the building we were greeted by a team at the check-in table with a smile, they provided useful information to my husband, answered questions, gave him a beautiful pin, and directed us to the reception after a congratulations and enjoy. As a person who helps plan events at my company, I love to observe, take mental notes of things I can use all while enjoying the festivities. I was amazed at how a small reception at a high school could be made so festive and personal with gold star balloons, baskets of candy, and beautifully displayed food and beverage stations. The flow of the hallway was manageable and gave my husband and other employees the opportunity to network, collaborate and catch up with friends, family, and colleagues. I watched as the lady I had seen at the check-in station moved the balloons from the reception into the auditorium to repurpose, continue the theme, and add color and a festive vibe to a large auditorium. I was sitting near a police officer and his young son and when the “balloon lady” had finished her setup she paused and told the little boy he could have some balloons after the event if it was okay with his parents. How often does an event begin and end on time? This one did!! The stage was set with matching colors and in an organized fashion that didn’t take away from the ceremony itself. I watched as the team (one of them I think was a recipient as well), ushered the winners to the stage, congratulated them, collected their name tags, and matched their certificate with their name tag to be sure everyone received the correct certificate. The person on the stage then handed each certificate to the superintendent for a handshake, a congratulations, and a picture all while a brief description (would love to have had a copy of them all) of their accomplishments were being read. She managed the stage and the flow of the event with perfection and a smile. At the end of the event, they allowed recipients and their guests to take pictures on the stage or out in the hallway in front of giant displays. The little boy ran down to the “balloon lady” who was untying the balloons and waited patiently for his bunch. I then watched as we waited our turn for extra pictures, as she asked other kids and their parents if they wanted to take balloons home. The young children were thrilled with this random act of kindness. You could see that this was a team effort and each member of the team went above and beyond to make recipients, family, friends, colleagues, and leadership feel welcome and special. AMAZING!"

- a guest of an FCPS Excellence Awards recipient

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Lucia Ortiz, Cardinal Forest ES

"Lucia Ortiz, Cardinal Forest Spec Ed Pre-School Teacher, is proud of her Hispanic Heritage and is happy to share her story if being a second language learner and her path to learning English as she immigrated with her family to the US as a child from Bolivia. For the past several years, Lucia has celebrated with our staff Hispanic Heritage Month by single-handedly organizing a bulletin board of famous Hispanic Americans, putting information on staff tables about Hispanic countries our students at Cardinal Forest come from and of course sharing her story with students as she would read stories in Spanish and English. This year, she knew in order to really help our staff understand the Hispanic Heritage of so many of our students and staff, she organized a Tasting Fair. On October 3rd, all of the Hispanic American staff members, brought a dish to share representing their country and culture.  The Cardinal Forest staff sampled culinary delights from twelve different Hispanic countries and cultures. Lucia encouraged the staff to tap into the  Positivity Project character traits of “curiosity” for trying something new and held up the importance of “teamwork” that made the event possible.  Her efforts to organize the Tasting Fair exemplifies the overarching theme of P2 #OtherPeopleMatter."

- Karen Kenna, Cardinal Forest ES

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Patrick Graham & Francis Robinson, Gatehouse Administration Center

"Patrick & Francis are 2 FCPS security officers that go above and beyond to assist the HR Employee Programs Team with their events. They arrive early to the location, assist employees, guests, leadership team, and the school board with parking and access to the building. They stay late until the team is done breaking down the event and ready to leave. They hold doors, help load vehicles, escort staff to the dark parking lots and wait to be sure we are all in our cars and exit the school. No matter the weather condition, they are there to assist with a smile on their face. They go above and beyond to be sure that the parking logistics are as seamless as possible. Thank you for your continued support!"

- The Employee Awards Team, Gatehouse Administration Center

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Mike Porterfield and Sarah Addo, Riverside ES

"Mike and Sarah created and facilitated a team building field day for our staff during our School Planning Day. They organized our staff into teams and a rotating schedule that provided everyone the opportunity to experience a variety of activities, friendly competition, and building relationships with staff members. The school spirit within these teams was phenomenal, and following field day, Sarah and Mike facilitated a mindfulness workshop! Our staff experienced a day filled with team building, opportunities to participate in a variety of activities (physical and strategic), and learn mindfulness strategies that can easily be implemented into the classroom. They are such a dynamic duo and we are SO lucky to have them at RES!"

- Anna Macedonia, Riverside ES

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Justin Robinson, Pikkei Leung, Cheryl Wilhoyte, Denise Williams, Kathleen Fugle, and Melissa Jacobs

"Justin, Pik, Cheryl, Denise, Kathleen, and Melissa all took time out of their busy morning to come to learn about technology!  They learned how to use Wizer.me to create digital worksheets for learners that allow students to respond with text or audio and also asked great questions about screen reader accessibility and supporting text!  Way to go guys!"

- Diana Ree-Reeder, Instructional Programs Support Center

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Dawn Shaw, Lorton Center

"Dawn is a bus attendant. She works so hard to create relationships with students.  She really gets to know students and what they enjoy.  She truly enjoys the students and works tirelessly to make the bus ride home enjoyable. We APPRECIATE her hard work!"

- Ellen Glaser, Woodlawn ES

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Dennis Hutcherson, Stonecroft Transportation

"Our bus drivers are unsung heroes.  Mr. Hutcherson was one of our drivers for our 4th Grade field trip to the Kennedy Center yesterday.  He was so personable and kind - not to mention had total concentration on his driving and our kids while the bus was in motion.  I am sure the driver of the other bus was wonderful too, however, I only had experience with 'Mr. Dennis'."

- Gail Bouton, Terra Centre ES

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Chelsea Caulfield, Key MS

"A huge shout out to Chelsea for collaborating with me virtually to help me to plan & prepare to teach a new course this school year. Chelsea quickly responded to my e-mail and shared her Google Drive files for the past two school years!  I appreciate her willingness to share.  Teaching a new course with no set curriculum is challenging, however, Chelsea has helped me to get started on the right track. Thank you!"

- Katherine Hover, Irving MS

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Diana Martin, Amy Bay, Preeti Iyer, Terri Kidwell, Marc Campen, Willow Springs ES

"Three days before the school year started I was notified that I would be moved from teaching 4th grade to 6th grade due to staffing changes. Over summer break I had bought a bunch of new resources and planned out new lessons to fit the new math standards for 4th grade. So, hearing about this change was very hard for me. Especially since over the past few years, I had grown extremely close to my team and we consider each other friends. We used to eat lunch together almost every day and during summer break, we visit each other’s homes. The 4th-grade team (Diana Martin, Amy Bay, Preeti Iyer, Terri Kidwell, and Marc Campen) decided to pitch in to get me a gift card. They wanted to do this to show how much they would miss me and to help me with purchasing materials I might need to teach 6th grade since I had never taught that grade level before. During one of the teacher work days in the morning, Diana Martin stopped by my room and presented me with a card with the gift card in it.  When I opened the card, I broke down into happy tears and we gave each other a big hug. I was in total shock because I was not expecting to receive such a thoughtful and wonderful gift. It was a huge surprise! The gift card was for $50, which really helped me out a lot with buying new resources for 6th grade. But the most precious part of the gift was the wonderful messages written in the card from my teammates wishing me well and letting me know how much they would miss working with me. I stopped by all their rooms and gave each of them a huge hug! This was one of the nicest surprises I have ever received from anyone and I truly appreciate their thoughtfulness and kindness. They really helped make my transition a lot easier."

- Krystal Styles, Willow Springs ES

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Mary Beth Anderson, Oak Hill ES

"To facilitate a highly effective CLT takes a very special individual who can recognize and call upon the strengths of each individual to create a truly collaborative environment where members feed and grow from their interactions with each other to better serve, not only their own class, but the school as a whole. Mary Bath Anderson’s honest and hardworking approach to creating this conducive atmosphere for every grade level at Oak Hill Elementary is a reflection of the wonderful professional she is."

- Kevin McGorty, Oak Hill ES

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Alexandra Bryan, Lake Braddock SS

"I am writing to recognize the work of Alex Bryan -- Lake Braddock Secondary’s building use coordinator. In a building the size of Lake Braddock, scheduling use is difficult and demanding. Alex is at the heart of that mission. She commits to the hard work and vigilance necessary to ensure that the needs of so many users and competing demands are effectively met. I thank Alex for making a positive and significant difference for our students, school, and community."

- Pat Ward, Lake Braddock SS

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Brendan Lins, Oakton ES

"Mr. Lins is always looking to help his community. He is always flexible and cooperative even when plans change abruptly. He is a Special Education teacher always looking to make lessons meaningful and significant to students. Even when the students involved are not his responsibility. I asked him to help with an entry event for a P.B.L. on Digital Citizenship. We arranged a time to connect on Google Hangout and model how your digital world works with real people and not necessarily the same place. The amazing thing is that he is not responsible for any of the students learning in my class or do we technically work together this  year. His classroom is across the building and he helped show my lesson. He had a student who he was working with as well and decided to join in and teach digital citizenship with us. It was neat to connect through the communities. He was already busy but went out of his way to work with me and my class. We are so thankful for him!"

- Katie Shanahan, Oakton ES

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Betsy DeSouza-Wyatt, Lake Braddock SS

"This acknowledgment is long overdue yet so well deserved and earned. I have had the pleasure of working closely with Betsy DeSouza the past 10 years (not to mention the fact my daughter was lucky enough to have her as her Biology teacher), so I'm very familiar with her "never give up on any student" and "do whatever it takes for students to succeed" mentality.  This past summer, Mrs. DeSouza committed to teaching the Biology SOL remediation class at Hayfield. Given the fact that this course is only a 3 week program, Mrs. DeSouza was able to communicate the specific challenges and strengths of all her students. There are people who are hardworking and driven, however Mrs. DeSouza takes this to an entirely different level. Her work ethic is unparalleled. Her pure joy and energy of seeing students around her succeed is palpable. Mrs. DeSouza creates an environment supportive of all students learning, especially for those who are most “at risk” of failing to pass the class and/or SOL. Mrs. DeSouza adapts students note taking as well as assessments in the classroom, in addition to using a variety of instructional strategies that relate exactly to individuals levels. To do this can be exhausting and time consuming but this does not deter Mrs. DeSouza. She thrives, and always rises to the challenge. Mrs. DeSouza's students ALL earned the Biology verified credit this past summer. She had a 100% pass rate towards students earning this graduation requirement. Additionally, Mrs. DeSouza volunteered to come back after summer school had ended to remediate four Seniors, who still hadn't earned Biology verified credit, so they could graduate......and they did! Her commitment to meeting the needs of ALL her students is unmatched. Mrs. DeSouza leads from her heart, and consequently, her love for kids knows no bounds. She believes in students’ success."

- Amy Soos, Lake Braddock SS

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James Pugh and the night time security team, Gatehouse Administration Center

"The night of Homecoming some alumni spray painted graffiti on 3 sides of our very nice, somewhat new crew trailer. As I watched the video of this happening I noticed security had been through our lot more than 3 times that night, unfortunately not in the 5 minutes these young adults were there. However, from that night forward, the night patrol stepped up rounds through Woodson's lots in order to deter any further activity. Mr. Pugh and his group are always more than willing to help us out when needed and are truly our eyes and ears when we can't be there 24/7. Thank you!"

- Carlyn Floyd, Woodson HS

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Mario MartinezDiaz, Gatehouse Administration Center

"Today, Mario organized a Mobile Fingerprinting session for almost 20 parent volunteers at Groveton. For the two weeks prior to this date, Mario assisted me with the organization of paperwork and he was flexible with the date and time he would be at Groveton. This was helpful for us to maximize the time and have so many parents available for this process. He was organized, polite and professional and quickly took each parent through the process, enabling our working families to miss a minimal amount of time from work. Offering these services in our buildings is a convenient way to reach many families and strengthen our commitment to safety and security. Parents were appreciative of the process and provided me positive feedback. Thank you to Mario and the Mobile Fingerprinting program. Nicely done."

- Kevin Morris, Groveton ES

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Alexandra Bryan, Lake Braddock SS

"Alex has done an outstanding job building up our after school program for our middle school students. To get kids excited about staying after school she put together an amazing after school kick-off event to start the year. It was a HUGE success and the students loved it. Alex always goes above and beyond for our students and makes our after school program one of the best in the county. In addition, she supports our kids in so many ways beyond just the after-school program. We are lucky to have her at Lake Braddock!"

- Scott Darwin, Lake Braddock SS

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Jackie O’Brien, Woodson HS

"Mrs. O’Brien goes out of her way, every day, to help solve problems and make those  around her feel calm. There’s not just one date that comes to mind because every time  I have ever had a question or needed anything, she has been more than willing to help me or to provide not just the answer but any extra insight. Additionally, my daughter has stopped in to visit her just to say hi because she has said talking with her makes her feel happy. She is warm, helpful, and the perfect “front line” person for harried students, parents, or anyone to encounter when first entering the building."

- a Woodson HS parent

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Mary Ennis, Flint Hill ES

"Mary ensures that all her students are successful. Her classroom is a place where students feel safe, respected and welcome. She makes sure that every student receives the instruction they need, and often recruits parent volunteers for students who may need additional support."

- Micol Levi-Senigaglia, Flint Hill ES

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Sofia Panzenhagen, Robinson SS

"Ms. Panzenhagen was very helpful and accommodating when working with a conflict in my child’s schedule. She went above and beyond in helping to accommodate the necessary adjustments. Her attention to detail and ability to be flexible was refreshing! Well Done!"

- a Robinson SS parent

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Catherine Tolpa, Twain MS

"Mrs. Tolpa makes her classroom a fun and safe environment. She has led her choruses to win several competitions and every single one of her students loves her and feels ready to confide anything in her. Not only is she an amazing instructor but she's helped many kids improve their social life."

- a Twain MS student

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Daniel Meridieth, Gatehouse Administration Center

"Officer Meridieth stopped by for a routine visit. While here, we asked him to speak to a student. He did a wonderful job with the student and got the point across that we needed. He is always so kind and willing to help us with any questions that we have. Thank you for your time and support Officer Meridieth."

- Lisa Gibson, Clermont ES

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Gloria Robinson and Gene Pair, Bryant HS

"Gloria Robinson and Gene Pair have gone above and beyond in ensuring that a new math teacher has been supported and inspired as she transitions to working at Bryant. Department chair Gloria has observed the teacher and provided positive encouragement and insightful feedback that has helped the teacher shape her teaching to reach more Bryant learners. Mentor Gene is a constant and consistent source of support and a wonderful thinking partner, and he and the teacher touch base each day during their common planning period to consider students by name and by need and to plan targeted instruction and remediation opportunities. Together, Gloria and Gene make a dynamic coaching duo that have helped the teacher feel welcome and blossom in her new role. Thank you, Gloria and Gene, for all that you do!"

- Alanna Dushok, Bryant HS

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Meaghan Dobson, Bryant HS

"Meaghan Dobson has led our Literacy Team at Bryant for three years. In this time, she has greatly enhanced our staff's focus on disciplinary literacy and comfort with writing and reading in the classroom. To start this school year, Meaghan and the literacy team adapted a choice board to make professional development more engaging for all staff, while modeling student choice in path and pace. This choice board incorporated digital tools chosen specifically to meet the objective of the task, serving as an exemplar for planning and delivering a blended lesson. Meaghan also incorporates student choice into her classroom, specifically on Fridays, where students sign up for stations to complete tasks. Included in these stations is small group face-time with Meaghan for more individualized support. Through this, students are taught to practice self-advocacy and prioritizing needs. Meaghan has proven to be a master educator and inspiration here at Bryant, demonstrating an understanding of student needs and the courage to try new things to enhance the learning process. We are proud to have her here."

- Tim Signorelli, Bryant HS

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Kelly Murphy, Megan Neforos, Jolana Roberts & Yolma Torres, Holmes MS

"In response to a need to reframe and support student behavior differently, the counseling team at Holmes MS developed an incredible series of professional development (PD) workshops for instructional staff on Executive Functioning and Mental Wellness. We have received overwhelmingly positive feedback from staff about the impact of this PD on their interactions with students and practical, classroom strategies learned to support them.  In addition to providing these meaningful learning opportunities for teachers, the counselors modeled collaboration and collective responsibility for everyone by stretching themselves and taking on this challenge to meet a need.  I am so proud of our counselors for going above and beyond to support staff with the learning needed to better serve our students. They are the absolute best in FCPS!"

- Margaret Barnes, Holmes MS

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Ashley Moeller, Willow Oaks

"Being a School Testing Coordinator can be challenging. It's more challenging when you make a mistake. Ashley worked with me in such a professional manner to correct a mistake I made. This mistake impacted a large number of students. She was kind, clam, patient and helpful. She provided me clear, timely support and treated me respectfully. She gave me all the resources I needed to correct the problem. I'm very appreciative of her collaboration. Thanks, Ashley - keep up the great work."

- Kevin Morris, Groveton ES

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Paul Downey, Sprague Center

"Mr. Downey has been extremely helpful in working through some issues that we have been having with SIS here at Lake Braddock.  As we tried to get creative in our approach to grading and the use of SIS, he offered suggestions and timely feedback.  While we weren't able to resolve the issue, Mr. Downey did everything within his power to help us be successful. Thank you, Paul!"

- Tony DiBari, Lake Braddock SS

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Erin Loudin, Maria Paska, & Dan Penley, Poplar Tree ES

"Erin, Maria, and Dan are 5th grade teachers that have implemented a Flipped Classroom into their math instruction in order to engage their students and meet the needs of all their learners. Not only is it amazing to see the way their students are thriving in this Flipped Classroom environment, but they are also willing to share with others. They presented this structure at a Chantilly Pyramid Wide Collaboration Day and have also allowed visitors from others schools to come in and see it in action. By sharing the great things that are happening in their classrooms they are having an affect on student learning everywhere. They are an amazing example of what a true collaborative team should be!"

- Leslie Leisey, Poplar Tree ES

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Ellen Coney, Greenbriar East ES

"Thank you so much for helping out in our classroom."

- a Greenbriar East ES parent

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Tina Sedghi, Greenbriar East ES

"Thank you so much for helping out in our classroom."

- a Greenbriar East ES parent

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Molly Donnelly, Greenbriar East ES

"Molly is a remarkable mentor, leader, and colleague. She always strives to provide top-notch experiences for the students."

- Lilly Shin, Greenbriar East ES

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Olga Kellog, Lemon Road ES

"I expressed concern for my son’s handwriting and Ms. Kellogg went above & beyond to pull together a team of faculty at LRES to further look into his ability. I am thankful that Ms. Kellogg is mindful of her students’ individual needs and has done a fabulous job communicating with parents." 

- a Lemon Road ES parent

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Suzanne Child, Lemon Road ES

"I had my first parent-teacher conference with Suzanne Child this week and I was blown away. Her obvious knowledge of my child, her care, affection and enthusiasm for her, the level of preparation she had done and support she provided me with in helping my daughter move her reading forward was just phenomenal. Not only had she prepared work for me to look at with her but she had printed and put together little books for us to read at home, made a game for us to play to support My child’s sight words and put a flip pad of sight words together for Her. She also offered to get together again to review her progress whenever we needed and to send updated materials home as she works through them. I came home so happy that my daughter is lucky enough to have such an amazing and passionate teacher. I’ve thanked Suzanne of course but I wanted to let you know as I remember well from my previous working life that you always hear about problems but so rarely hear when a colleague has delighted someone!"

- a Lemon Road ES parent

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Margie Krotman, Greenbriar East ES

"Thank you for all that you do for the GBE staff! And, you are always so positive. We are lucky to have you!"

- Lilly Shin, Greenbriar East ES

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Jeff Hummer, Forte Center

"We have been slowly cleaning out old materials at our school since the summer. Jeff Hummer has come to our school in a timely manner when we submit the warehouse requests and is always willing to go the extra mile to support our school. His work ethic goes beyond the norm of what is expected. We sincerely appreciate Jeff's commitment to FCPS."

- Monique Berkeley, Forest Edge ES

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Ann Marie Mochen, Forestville ES

"Ann Marie shared some amazing resources with us helping with some new equipment that we received at West Springfield.  Her help saved countless hours of work for us and is greatly appreciated!  Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!"

- Julie Halse, West Springfield HS

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Trevor Thibeault, Key Center School

"Trevor Thibeault is an integral member of the Key Center Team.  Trevor serves as our lead teacher, school test coordinator, Crisis Responsive Team member, school transportation lead, IEP/Eligibility meeting facilitator, support team member and more. Trevor wears many hats at Key Center and does not shy away from taking on more responsibility.  Trevor can go from a highly contentious meeting to dealing with a student in crisis to managing the end of the day dismissal without batting an eye. We are lucky to have Trevor on the Key Team!"

- Emily G. Kaltenmark, Key Center School

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Emma O'Grady, Westgate ES

"The staff at Westgate Elementary was deeply moved by Art Teacher, Emma O'Grady's presentation about childhood resilience. Her compassionate nature underscored the message that school staff play a role in helping our students develop the coping skills they need to overcome difficult situations. Emma models this by building caring relationships with students each week as they visit her classroom during specials."

- Michelle Scherbenske, Westgate ES

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Kelli Doyle, Poplar Tree ES

"Kelli is an experienced ESOL teacher, but new to Poplar Tree ES this school year.  Her positive attitude is awesome and I am lucky to call her my co-worker. I'm glad that she has joined us as at Poplar Tree!"

- Katrina MacWhorter, Poplar Tree ES

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Caroline Tuss, Willow Oaks

"Our team would like to thank Caroline Tuss for always going above and beyond to increase our knowledge and build our capacity to meet the needs of our diverse students.  She collaborated with our team on the planning and implementation of Oral Reading Fluency to monitor student progress and measure program effectiveness in increasing student mastery.  She is always prepared to lend us a hand and support our growth and development as a learning community!  We appreciate you. Thank you!"

- Michael Cunningham, Columbia ES

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Ken Baine and Bob Butterfield, Gatehouse Administration Center

"Officer Baine and Mr. Butterfield came to Key Center to observe and provide feedback during our School Crisis Planning day. Officer Baine and Mr. Butterfield observed a mock evacuation drill and provided informative feedback as well as led a discussion offering input and clarification to our Critical Incident Plan.  Thank you, gentlemen, for all of your help!" 

- Emily G. Kaltenmark, Key Center School

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Kate McLaughlin, Rose Hill ES

"Kate goes above and beyond to support students by providing purposeful and intentional lessons. She has helped me from the first moment I stepped into Rose Hill E/S for the first time to this very moment. My goal is to grow in my literacy field that will allow me to develop my readers and Kate has exceeded my expectations as a coach; she's provided my readers & writers with a carpet to community build, in the process of coaching me in guided reading groups, helped me in my Smartr/eval goal, plus a ton more! Please give Kate the recognition she deserves for instilling our students in becoming lifelong readers and writers. Thank you for all you do!"

- Suzanne Frazier, Rose Hill ES

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Colleen Jester, Graham Road Community Center (Terraset ES)

"This is our first year working with Ms. Jester and she has been a breath of fresh air. She communicates regularly with us as parents and we are so happy our daughter is being looked out for as only a TVI could do. Knowing that we have concerns about computer testing, Ms. Jester has taken it upon herself to work 1:1 with our daughter to make sure she was comfortable with the computer. She also made it part of her job to not only set up an appointment with a low vision specialist but to also attend the appointment with us. We are extremely grateful to have Ms. Jester working with our daughter. We know our daughter will have an amazing year!"

- a Terraset ES parent

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Warren McGee, Hayfield SS

"Warren has volunteered many hours over the past three years to serve as our Class of 2019 PowderPuff team coach. He persevered and return year after year despite the team never winning a game.  His dedication to our students and ability to motivate and inspire a group of girls, many who don't participate in athletics, to try something new and push themselves, is truly noteworthy. He doesn't get compensated for the hours he puts into creating plays or managing practices.  During the day he serves on the Security Team at our school and it is clear how his ability to form connections with all students makes him such a remarkable member of the Hayfield family.  We are very grateful for everything he has done for our 2019 Powderpuff ladies and for keeping us safe every day."

- Stephanie Passino, Hayfield SS

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Alexandra Bryan, Lake Braddock SS

"Kudos to Alex for doing such a great job planning and organizing MS After-School Program Kick-Off celebration. Everything went really well. Both students and adults had a lot of fun. The inflatables, the Dee-Jay, the cotton candy machine were all a hit...especially the dunk tank! We are lucky to have her."

- Lance Jackson, Lake Braddock SS

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Joseph Sheehan, Sandburg MS

"We are so fortunate to have Joe added to our team. Every single day he gives 110%! Thanks for working so hard, sharing your knowledge with us, and for being a great example of what a team member should be. You are a wonderful addition to our team. We couldn’t have asked for more."

- CAT B Team, Sandburg MS

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Kelli Koutstaal, Andrea Carmack, Melanie Cross, Afkham Hosseini, Kavitha Sivakumar, Julie Wilson, Cecilia Goldstein, McNair ES

"The McNair community is fortunate to have such an incredible office staff! Andrea, Melanie, Afkham, Cecilia, Kelli, Kavitha, and Julie work incredibly hard to ensure that the needs of our staff, students, parents, community members, and administrative team are always met.  Helping hands, nurses, and greeters are only a few words to describe their work- they are the backbone of our school. No job is too big or too small for this wonderful group of dedicated ladies who make our office an inviting place!"

- Melissa Goddin, McNair ES

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Patty McGiffin, Sunrise Valley ES

"Patty comes to school smiling and ready to conquer what the day brings. At Kiss and Ride, she consistently makes sure the students arrive and leave safely, along with a positive attitude. She goes out of her way to assist teachers, even when not asked.  Patty exhibits compassion towards students and colleagues, diligence, and reliability."

- Frankie Chang, Sunrise Valley ES

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Ryan Marceron, Eagle View ES

"Ryan has been a great addition to the staff at Eagle View Elementary!  As a teacher his calm demeanor, flexibility and respect for all students is apparent the moment you step foot in the gym.  As a new member of our specialists' team he has been a great resource for lessons, ideas, and student incentives.  One of the many exciting concepts that Ryan is implementing in our PE department is a Fantasy Football behavior chart.  Ryan worked hours to make resources, design a bulletin board and prepare the necessary materials. Our students are lucky to have Ryan as an instructor and I am excited to see this tool utilized to encourage students of all abilities to perform their best individually and work cooperatively as a class towards a common goal. Ryan- Thank you for all you do and keep up the great work!

- Manda Krimmer, Willow Springs ES

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Stephanie Bilimoria, Lee HS

"Stephanie Bilimoria is our MYP coordinator at Lee High School. In her work here at Lee she is known as a person who is always up for helping out, capably and thoughtfully gets things done, is a great collaborator, and a leader in the school. During the month of October, Ms. Bilimoria has been meeting with CT groups to help teachers infuse lessons with the MYP prospective.  During these meetings (with world language teachers, biology teachers, physics teachers, world history teachers, and others) Stephanie exhibits a deep understanding of classroom challenges, her amazing planning skills, and connection to teachers
and students.   Where Stephanie really shines, is her ability to build connections for teachers throughout the building, fostering shared planned lessons and cross-curricular lesson design. She infuses all she does with a sense of enthusiasm and fun, and the IB learner profile traits she embodies.
Stephanie has done all this while guiding all 9th and 10th graders through their first larger inquiry process (the MYP Project). She is an inspiration to all at Lee."

- Lisa Koch and Mimi Marquet, Lee HS

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Marie Danosos, Twain MS

"Marie, on behalf of the Admin team, I would like to say how much we appreciate the time, energy, and passion you devoted to AVID Signing Night. You overlooked no small detail and made that evening something special for students, parents, current and former teachers, and mentors. If people thought that the energy for the night would have waned because it was year two, you quickly dispelled that myth. Year 2 was smooth and impressive and you deserve all of the credit. Down with Bradford Allen!"

- Steve Fitzgerald, Twain MS

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Matt Bower and Patrick Murphy, Frost MS

"Mr. Bower and Mr. Murphy provided professional development to Frost Staff regarding successful team teaching. Their presentation was well organized and thoughtfully designed. They were extremely engaging and provided beneficial and relevant materials to staff. Here is one staff members reflection response in reference to the training; 'This was fabulously done. They had excellent information and it was great to see two teachers truly sharing the load.'"

- Daniel Clements, Frost MS

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Anthony Harris, Frost MS

"Mr. Harris is the new principal of our feeder middle school. Many of their students grace us with their presence at our football games and they are energetic and unknown to our administrators. Mr. Harris has consistently come to our football games to assist with game management and student behavior. We appreciate his willingness to go above and beyond for our community!"

- Carlyn Floyd, Woodson HS

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Ryan Dillon, Woodson HS

"With the departure of a key staff member, our Cav Hack students were left without support. Mr. Dillon provided supervision and technical support for the entire 12-hour program on a Saturday to supervise over 150 students. He gave of his own time on the weekend to ensure the success of this program! Kudos!"

- Carlyn Floyd, Woodson HS

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Joan Brown, Woodson HS

"Thank you for the additional work done to make the Cav Hack experience happen for the sake of the kids!"

- Carlyn Floyd, Woodson HS

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Celeste Jones, Woodson HS


"Thank you for the additional work done to make the Cav Hack experience happen for the sake of the kids!"

- Carlyn Floyd, Woodson HS

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Leslie Leisey, Poplar Tree ES

"Just wanted to give a HUGE shout out Leslie. The Chantilly Pyramid Collaboration Day was really great. I know she put HOURS behind this entire thing.  You mean so much to the pyramid and are an amazing leader. Thank you from everyone at PTES and our Chantilly Pyramid as well."

- Katrina MacWhorter, Poplar Tree ES

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Jenna Heath, Twain MS

"Jenna wears many hats here at Mark Twain. She is in her 4th year teaching with Fairfax County Public Schools. Jenna is the Math 8 team lead and teaches Math 8 as well as Power Math. She is an integral part of the After School Program staff and works 3 days a week with the program. Over the last 2 school years Jenna has volunteered to teach English classes for our ESOL parents and this year has stepped up into a bigger leadership role. She is a valuable member of the Twain team as well as a mentor to many students."

- Dominic Amato, Twain MS

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Mekdesse Ellison, Groveton ES

"Mekdesse Ellison is an exemplar of professionalism at Groveton ES. As our SIS specialist, she is constantly responsive to the needs of families and staff members. Her answer is always yes and she delivers timely results with kindness and a smile. She is knowledgeable,hardworking and always willing to do whatever it takes to meet the needs of our community."

- Kevin Morris, Groveton ES

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Maureen Griffin, Hutchinson ES

"Maureen supports all of our students and families, as well as our outreach programs. She stepped up and attended the annual RIF (Reading is Fundamental) meeting for me in order to make sure our students will continue to receive the benefits of free books from this organization. She runs a Coats for Kids event each year to make sure our students have coats for the cold months ahead.  If there is a community outreach opportunity, you can bet that Maureen is there to ensure our students are included. She truly has a loving heart and it shows with her dedication to our school community."

- Marci Hoyt, Hutchinson ES

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Barbara Tomczyk, Pulley Career Center


"Ms. Tomczyk was recently assigned to assist our building in rolling out a new afternoon dismissal routine. Ms. Tomczyk accepted this assignment with ease and has been such an asset. She is a team player and can always be counted on by her colleagues. Thank you Ms.Tomczyk for all that you do for us!"

- Heather Padgett, Pulley Career Center

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Lori Newman, Silverbrook ES

"Mrs. Newman is an excellent kindergarten teacher.  The level of expertise is evident in her ability to meet the needs of her students.  This year she has been presented with the opportunity to work with students who demand specific needs. Mrs. Newman has openly and willingly accepted the suggestions and recommendations of FCPS Resources. She implements accommodations and interventions to connect with each student and has embraced these challenges with a positive attitude. Her ability to apply best practice and additional methods of instruction is indicative of her commitment to educating the whole student. Her collaborative approach in working with resources and her classroom support (Mrs. Sronce and Mrs. Coffman) encompasses the team approach to teaching. I am fortunate to be working with Mrs. Newman and her kindergarten students this year. Great work Lori!"

- Carmen Pangelinan, Silverbrook ES

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Mary Lewia, Greenbriar East ES

"Mary always answers the call! I give her a "zero" with "zero" being the highest score ever! Thanks for putting snacks together for our staff meeting."

- Margie Krotman, Greenbriar East ES

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Katie Bruechart, Greenbriar East ES

"Thanks for all your wonderful book talks and for getting GBE staff students alike excited about reading. Your "famous first lines" display always grabs our attention and we want to know more. Your author visits are the best! We are so fortunate to have you as our librarian."

- Linda Clark, Greenbriar East ES

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Laura Holtzapple, Oak Hill ES

"We want to thank Ms. Holtzapple for assisting us with our student."

- an Oak Hill ES parent

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Beth Cantu, Willow Oaks

"On behalf of the Language Services Office, I would like to recognize Beth Cantu, from the Due Process and Eligibility Office for her professionalism, her spirit of teamwork and her enthusiasm.  Today, she did an amazing job presenting an overview of special education services and procedures to our Language Services interpreters cohort.  These interpreters need specialized training to interpret for non-English speaking families at special education meetings and Beth’s expert presentation will help them be successful. She was engaging, informative and she provided the interpreters with a solid foundation in special education processes.  We are truly grateful for the time it took Beth to plan and deliver this wonderful presentation and her willingness to help out.  She has made a positive difference for FCPS interpreters, special education students, and their families."

- Katie Han, Gatehouse Administration Center

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Emily Seman, Eli Tinkelman, Kathy Tucker, Evelyn Ransom, Jessica Buchanan, Jon Gates, Hollin Meadows ES

"We would like to thank our principal Mr. Gates as well as HMES teachers Ms. Tucker, Ms. Seman, Ms. Ransom, Ms. Buchanan, and Mr. Tinkelman who attended our Family Math Night at Hollin Meadows Elementary School. Teachers' presence at community/PTA events in the evening shows why HMES & FCPS Cares! We sincerely appreciate their support of our HMES PTA!"

- Hollin Meadows ES PTA Board

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Emily Richwine, Powell ES

"Emily is new to our school this year and her leadership from the start has been tremendous. She is conscientious, kind, tenacious, and always does whatever it takes to support the teachers right where they need it. I am so thankful Emily is a part of our learning journey at Powell!"

- Jamie Luerssen, Powell ES

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David Van Vleet, Willow Oaks

"David went above an beyond to help a member of our team by taking a colleague to the hospital in DC at 5 in the morning. Thanks, David, for your warm heart."

- Amy Hunter, Willow Oaks

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Elizabeth Hurst, Kings Glen ES

"I have a very large Strings Program at Kings Glen, 244 students. We perform at many functions. I am constantly looking for ways of reaching out to parents and Elizabeth Hurst has helped me countless times this year! I am not the most savvy of tech people but Elsavviests the utmost of patience for me and this has inspired me to do much, much more than I have ever done to help facilitate my program. She NEVER makes me feel incapable, ALWAYS inspires me to create more and more, and this in turn has helped my students and their parents tremendously. She posts our performances on our twitter page and highlights our activities on our home page. I am truly indebted to Elizabeth's patience and expertise and am extremely grateful for her!!"

- Michelle Keenan, Kings Glen ES

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Karen White, Stonecroft Transportation

"This year, I have been given the responsibility of entering all of our Athletics and Field Trip Bus trip vouchers.  Karen White has been my most supportive and valuable asset in answering my questions and making all of the various (and sometimes crazy last minute) changes that we have needed to have made for our various and many events in our building, here at Fairfax HS. She has done this with a smile and has good humor even when things have been chaotic, to say the least.  We have both had a good laugh from time to time when crazy situations have arrived. Karen is a VALUABLE asset to our Area III Transportation Team.  I give 2 thumbs up and a double high five! :)"

- Cathy Horacek, Fairfax HS

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Joel MacBeth, Gatehouse Administration Center

"Mr. MacBeth has been on site more than once recently addressing a roof leak issue in our main office. He explained the problem, kept us posted on what he was doing, and worked toward a solution in a friendly and knowledgeable manner.  He is a true FCPS professional and Fairhill appreciates it."

- Amy Spector, Fairhill ES

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Roberto Guardado, Marshall HS

"Mr. Roberto does such a fantastic job with our Cedar Lane students. Every day he delivers lunch and breakfast to Cedar Lane from Marshall HS. He is always here with a smile and patience for our students, even when they may not have a smile for him first. He knows all of their names and our students respect him for that, considering he is only here for 30 minutes each day with our students, that is quite a fantastic achievement. We appreciate you, Mr. Roberto!"

- Nancy Gadd, Cedar Lane School

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Megan Glovier, Rose Hill ES

"Megan began this school year in 4th grade. Due to overcrowded 5th grade classes, she was moved to 5th grade just recently. That meant having to pack up her classroom in our modular unit and move back upstairs. She took the change with grace and patience. That is what makes Megan special. She is a huge asset to our school."

- Danny Adams, Rose Hill ES

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Natalie Montero, Rose Hill ES

"My car decided to not start Sunday morning. I contacted Natalie about using a mechanic she had used. Her husband immediately showed up to try to jump-start the car. It wouldn't start. She gave me a ride to school and home from school and then took me to pick the car up. She has 3 children, so in the midst of getting them ready she found time to help me. She is an UNSUNG HERO at Rose Hill!"

- Danny Adams, Rose Hill ES

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Dan Penley, Poplar Tree ES

"Dan is a great 5th-grade teacher and excellent collaborator. In a morning meeting this week with parents, he had great communication skills!  Dan is easy to work with and the students and parents just love him.  Dan-Thanks for being an awesome teacher who staff, students and parents enjoy working with. You made my meeting easier this week and I truly appreciate it."

- Katrina MacWhorter, Poplar Tree ES

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Leslee Leary, Greenbriar East ES

"Leslee has been a caring co-worker and friend. I had an injury two weeks ago and she checks in with me throughout the day. She also reminds me to take it easy. I appreciate Leslee very much!"

- Lilly Shin, Greenbriar East ES

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Esther Baca, Beech Tree ES

"Esther Baca is an amazing professional (Administrative Assistant II, Beech Tree ES, Region 2) who works for Principal Karim Daugherty (thanks to Principal Daugherty for this opportunity). She is skilled, multi-tasker, well organized, task-oriented, dedicated, proactive, positive and humble. Paul Hetmanek in Title I, Finance at Willow Oaks introduced me to Esther. Esther spent a couple of hours with Troy Newlon (Administrative Assistant II, Westlawn ES, Region 2 – I greatly appreciate Principal Linda Ferguson for her approval of this opportunity) and me -Deepak Aurora (Title I, Finance at Willow Oaks) to cover topics such as school’s operations for AA and FPOC responsibilities in addition to her role as AA/FPOC for Title I, Finance for Beech Tree ES. This was beyond her regular call of duties and we greatly appreciate her time and efforts to help us out."

- Deepak Aurora, Willow Oaks

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Dan Callahan, Lake Braddock SS

"Being able to collaborate with my Civics teacher Dan Callahan has been beneficial in numerous ways. As school ended last year, we were able to create a common language for our students, share similar digital resources via Google Classroom, and encourage our students to problem solve. When parents recently shared that their child benefits academically from these common components, their words validated our intentions. Thanks, Dan, for being a great co-worker."

- Dana Gorman, Lake Braddock SS

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William Gaitan, Lake Anne ES and Forest Edge ES

"I am an Early Childhood Special Education Resource Teacher who travels to my students. While I have a desk at a school, because of my travels I often do not get to that space and use rooms in surrounding schools. Two of those schools are Forest Edge and Lake Anne; William is the TSPEC at both. Over the last two years, he has gone out of his way to help me with tech issues numerous times. Most recently, he re-imaged my laptop as a courtesy to me. William is not the TSPEC that I would normally contact, but he graciously offered his help...truly, an employee that cares!"

- Marie Baroody, Bull Run EC Center

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Shannon DiGaudio, Frost MS

"Ms. DiGaudio did a wonderful job presenting on Supporting Behavior during Frost's 9/19 staff development sessions.  The presentation was engaging and informative.  The scenarios and sorting activities spurred thinking among staff regarding their reactions to inappropriate behaviors, and multiple ways to reach a resolution.  Ms. DiGaudio shared PBISworld, a highly effective resource that teachers can access when dealing with inappropriate behaviors."

- Daniel Clements, Frost MS

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Mason Price, Frost MS

"Mr. Price is being recognized for his exceptional support to students and staff within the Comprehensive Service Site at Frost.  When students are experiencing frustrations and emotions that make them unavailable for learning, his consistent and calm demeanor quickly helps them to process their concerns and return to class. He makes excellent relationships with students. Mr. Price is very reliable and capable of supporting the students and program needs with a moment's notice. We are so grateful to have him here at Frost!"

- Linda Shannon, Frost MS

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Ryan Dillon, Sprague Technology Center

"Mr. Dillon has been instrumental in supporting the move of our career assessment center. He made sure that all of our technology is working and we were ready for students.  He also helped ensure that our substitute had computer access. Thanks for your support of our programs."

- Ann Long, Willow Oaks

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Julie Green, Lake Braddock SS

Ms. Green puts forth extra effort to help my son succeed in her math class. She replies to my emails quickly, even during off hours. Ms. Green is organized and it is easy to follow her lessons plan at home. She even posts YouTube videos of her solving study guide questions. This is so helpful to the parent at home who is unsure how to math is being taught in the classroom. Many thanks, Ms. Green!" 

- a Lake Braddock SS parent

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Allison Curtice, Bo Ingalsbe, and Myron Jenkins, Falls Church HS

"A couple of teachers noticed that one of our students had been wearing clothes that he had clearly outgrown. Knowing the family's financial situation was precarious, these three teachers collected clothing and money and went shopping for clothes for this boy. Not only that, they then harnessed the enthusiasm of the other teachers who donated and started a clothing, coats, and bags donation closet for any other students who need items."

- Day Leary, Falls Church HS

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Nancy Torbert, Greenbriar East ES

"Nancy was so helpful when I had to be out unexpectedly. I am so grateful to have had her help with my class. She is fantastic!"

- Erin Madrinan, Greenbriar East ES

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Kelley Hargreaves, Greenbriar East ES

"Kelley was so helpful when I had to be out unexpectedly. She gladly covered my cafeteria duty, helped with my students, and checked in me while I was recovering! I appreciate her so much!"

- Erin Madrinan, Greenbriar East ES

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Linda Clark, Greenbriar East ES

"Linda is my amazing co-counselor.  She is always there to lend a helping hand. I have a foot injury and she has been helping with cafeteria coverage so that I can rest. On Friday, we had a Super Hero celebration for 70 students and Linda was not at work that day. She made sure that we had enough Super Hero masks for the students. Linda is the best!"

- Lilly Shin, Greenbriar East ES

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Ellen Coney, Greenbriar East ES

"We wanted to thank Ellen for helping us with a student."

- Sabra Lowery, Greenbriar East ES

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Laura Shepherd, Greenbriar East ES

" We wanted to thank Laura for assisting us with a student."

- Sabra Lowery, Greenbriar East ES

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Molly Rumberger, South County HS

"Mrs. Rumberger consistently goes above and beyond in her communication with and compassion for her students (and their parents). My daughter has been in a couple of Mrs. Rumberger's theatre classes and a couple of productions throughout her high school experience. Recently she auditioned for the fall play. My normally positive, confident and talented student had a bit of a bumpy time. Mrs. Rumberger noticed without anyone bringing it to her attention and went out of her way to contact my daughter to ease any worries or concerns. She is always so thoughtful of her students. Her effort to reach out had an immediate and positive impact on my daughter's emotions and were a very settling influence. Her way of communicating cast lists should also be commended. It is obvious that she takes her students emotions very much into consideration before taking any actions. I appreciate her leadership and commitment to ALL of her students."

- A South County HS parent

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