FCPS Cares - October 2019

By Department of Human Resources
October 03, 2019

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

To view past submissions, please visit our previous submissions page

FCPS Cares of the Month Recipients

montrose alc fcps cares celebrationCentral Office: Jennifer Craft, Montrose ALC

"Mrs. Craft is one of the most caring, effective teachers I have worked with, in my 16 years of teaching in FCPS. She is our Special Education teacher, and she does so much more than teach. Mrs. Craft helps every teacher in our building find resources and strategies to work with every type of learner. She organizes and plans activities for our school's end of the day TEAM period, during which each teacher leads their class of students through interactive lessons that develop and hone executive functioning skills. She brings a positive spirit and sense of community to our building by organizing fun, engaging activities for special days like Veteran's Day to honor our teachers who served in the military. Ms. Craft truly works with each of our students to help develop the whole child, whether it is through Restorative Justice circles, caring conversations, or individualized instruction. She makes each and every student and staff member in our building feel extremely special, confident, and loved, and we are so lucky to have such a passionate, thoughtful superwoman on our team."

- Jess Dove, Willow Oaks Administrative Center

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fcps cares celebration at clearview elementary schoolRegion 1: Luis Villalta, Clearview ES

"Mr. Villalta is our building supervisor at Clearview Elementary. He jumps in to assist any time we require additional support for our Spanish speaking children or families on off-hours. On this date, a bus was very late and a kindergarten student with special needs had a very difficult time with the wait. The student refused to move for the bus and had some behaviors. Mr. Villalta, who is always a team player and in it for the children, supported this student. He spoke to him in Spanish, gave encouraging words and assisted the administration, successfully getting the student onto the bus. Mr. Villalta is always a loving and connected member of our school community and this is just one example of the way he shows that our school, our students and our community matter."

- Kate Beckner, Clearview ES

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fcps cares of the month from McLeanRegion 2: Brian Stagliano, McLean HS

"My son is new to FCPS and a freshman at McLean High School. My son also has moderate dyslexia. In the first month of school, he was overwhelmed with all the academic information, a new environment, and the new laptop program. Mr. Stagliano, without knowing my son, yet somehow aware of the demands being placed upon him from various teachers, took the time to form a relationship with him.  In his meetings, he guided my son on how to get into Mathspace, e-cart, blackboard, Google classroom and even simplified his password (score for a dyslexic who flips letters/numbers). He took something that was overwhelming and put himself in the shoes of the student. In conversation with Mr. Stagliano, he impressed me with his understanding and empathy. I am appreciative that he had my son's back and took the time to communicate with his teachers. In a world that we are about to-do items and task lists, it is appreciated that someone took ownership of making sure that my son was set up for success."

- a McLean HS parent 

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lynbrook elementary school fcps cares celebrationRegion 3: Andrea Cabrera, Lynbrook ES

"Andrea, a first-grade teacher, initiated a two-day program for approximately 45 students that are new to our country (k - 6th grades). Working with colleagues to teach her own students she did not request any additional substitute time. She designed an experience similar to a workshop model for students so that they understood what was happening in their individual rooms. She shared her own experiences as a second language learner with them and then discussed school expectations and procedures that may be different than they experienced in their own country. The staff has commented on the change in these students after this experience. The students are more comfortable and ready to learn."

- Jay Nocco, Lynbrook ES

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fcps cares from rolling valley elementary schoolRegion 4: Mindy Flory, Rolling Valley ES

"The 'dignity of risk' is the idea that self-determination and the right to take reasonable risks are essential to instilling a sense of dignity and building self-esteem. Adults often attempt to make life easier for our son with multiple disabilities, not realizing that they are taking away his opportunity to grow when they provide him too much support. Mindy Flory, a public health training assistant at Rolling Valley Elementary School, is an exception. Whether she knows it or not, she has demonstrated an understanding of, and appreciation for, the dignity of risk on multiple occasions when working with our kindergartner. For example, our son came to school one day more fatigued than usual (a symptom of one of his disabilities), causing him to wobble significantly when he put on his backpack. Where others would have immediately taken our son’s bag off his back and carried it for him, Mindy did not. Rather, she opened his bag, and thoughtfully selected items to take out until our son was confident in his ability to safely carry the remaining items in his bag. Little things like this will have a lasting positive impact on our son’s feelings of independence and inclusion. And for moments like this one, we are thankful!"

- a Rolling Valley ES parent

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fcps cares celebration from frost middle schoolRegion 5: Amy Hansen, Frost MS

"Ms. Hansen opened her FACS classroom to a special visitor from Baltimore to present cupcake decorating demonstrations to her students at Frost. The presenter is a 9th-grade student who won a junior bake-off and will become the youngest TED Talk participant ever. This took a lot of effort and coordination on her part and she did this not only for her students but also to help this young man's foundation to feed the homeless.  Her students loved the presentations today and the school community benefited from his presentation. Thank you, Ms. Hansen!"

- Joe Berret, Frost MS

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Other FCPS Cares of the Month Recipients

Susan Baker, South County HS

"In my junior year, I was having a particularly rough experience; new school, problems with bullying, overwhelming new curriculum. At my previous school, I found great comfort in foreign languages, specifically French. Madame Baker continued my positive experience with the course by not being only an outstanding teacher but an amazing person. Her enthusiasm inspired me to put my best foot forward even when the clouds hung over my head the most. If I was having a rough day, I knew that I could talk to her at any point in time and she would be right there to help me feel more confident. Thanks to her, my comprehension in French skyrocketed so quickly that I was able to skip a level and still perform at the same proficiency. A lot of students have given her the nickname of "school grandma" due to her motivating and warm attitude in the educational environment. If any staff member deserves public praise and accolades, it is her."

- a South County HS student

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Etsu Tefera, Marissa Bilodeau, and Jillian Strutz Riverside ES

"Our Local Screening Team recently mobilized to help address the significant emotional support needs of a particular Riverside student.  After deciding to proceed w/ testing, these ladies made it a priority to accomplish the demands of a full battery of testing in a very short period of time so that we would have all of the necessary data to make the best decisions for this student. We had a very successful eligibility and IEP that has left us feeling extremely confident that this child will be successful in FCPS.  We are grateful for the professionalism, the knowledge, and the overall competence of these three ladies, in particular, to get the job done.  We appreciate you!"

- Paul Basdekis, Riverside ES

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Liz McCarthy, Riverside ES

"Liz has been an outstanding team leader for the 6th-grade team for years. She is organized, thoughtful, and leads by example.  Liz is also an amazingly talented educator who spends all the time necessary to deliver a high-quality lesson plan for her students, but never relinquishes an opportunity for a teachable moment to support a positive classroom environment.  She develops excellent relationships w/ her students, their families, and her colleagues. She has been an instrumental factor in the success of her mentees and we are grateful to have her on our team."

- Paul Basdekis, Riverside ES

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Maria Castillo, Riverside ES

"Maria Castillo taught 5th grade Science for many years at Riverside and looped up with her kids to teach 6th grade this past year.  We hired a very talented first-year teacher to take her spot and to take on the Science content. Maria took initiative from the start to make sure that this teacher was well supported with all of the resources, unit plans, and lesson plans that she had revised, created, and adapted over the years to make Science engaging for her kids.  She spent hours supporting her efforts so that she could set her up for success and this particular teacher is thriving because of the collaboration and support that Maria has shown her. Thank you, Maria, for being such an asset to our school team and for going the extra mile to ensure that your colleague is going to have the same success that you had in the position!"

- Paul Basdekis, Riverside ES

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Jilleen Read, Sunrise Valley ES

"Mrs. Read is long overdue for recognition. Both of my children absolutely LOVE how much fun she makes strings class! Today, she got the 6th-grade cellists to play “Baby Shark” to serenade all the students this morning after the Nationals won the World Series!!!"

- a Sunrise Valley ES parent

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James Johnson, Navy ES

"Mr. Johnson is incredibly hardworking and efficient. He keeps our school looking clean and beautiful, despite the 1,000+ people who are in it. He is very responsive when asked to restock or refill supplies, always offering a smile and a friendly greeting. Mr. Johnson treats the other custodians with respect and he is an excellent role model for his colleagues and the students at Navy. The students at Navy love Mr. Johnson. He engages them in conversation, gives them high fives, and helps them when they need anything. He models Navy STAR behavior by showing respect to all students and staff members. Mr. Johnson is always smiling and positive. He greets staff members warmly and his enthusiasm is contagious and makes Navy a wonderful place to work. Mr. Johnson contributes to creating a caring culture at our school with his commitment to hard work and positive relationships. He treats each student and adult with respect. He has been a valuable part of the Navy community for many years and he has worked well under different administrations and management styles. Mr. Johnson consistently goes above and beyond what is expected of him. One example of how he creates a caring culture is how he arrives at school extra early to unlock the doors for the 4th-grade students and teachers to enter into the building to attend an annual field trip and does so with a smile on his face though it is so early in the morning."

- Maryn Simon, Shannon Floyd, Samantha Spencer, Navy ES

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Lee Riley, Woodson Complex

"Mr. Lee Riley's response to our mouse infestation was immediate and comprehensive. I called Mr. Riley when it became clear that the measures that had been taken earlier by his team were not working.  His first question to me was, “Can I come over now and get into the rooms?”  Of course!  He arrived 15 minutes later with two technicians and immediately determined that we had holes and pipes that were allowing the mice to come in from the outside.  He and his team worked through the late afternoon to determine the scope of the problem (large) and to install foam and wire screens to stop the mice. He explained what he was doing and why during every step. The next morning, he was back to show me the finished project and what steps his team would be taking in the future to make sure the mice stay outside. He went above and beyond to make sure the problem was solved and, an added bonus was a complete pleasure to work with.  Many thanks to Mr. Riley and his team of experts!"

- Susan Morningstar, Frost MS

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Meaghan Tubbs, Lake Braddock SS

"I wanted to take a moment to shout out, Meagan Tubbs, one of our middle school Special Education teachers. The other day as I was in the cafeteria for lunch duty, I saw her, lunch box in hand, searching for a student. Upon conversation, she shared that she was providing lunch for this student, who normally cannot afford to pack his own lunch/opts to buy just chips for his daily lunch. I wanted to recognize Meagan’s caring nature and commitment to providing students the best learning opportunities and environment, which usually starts with a well-balanced meal. Meagan, thanks for going above and beyond for our students. We are lucky to have you!"

- Alexandra Bryan, Lake Braddock SS

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Angela Aldave, Frost MS

"Thank you for organizing our first Parent Learning Series session and offering such meaningful content to support our students."

- Laura Reed, Frost MS

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Deborah Simmons, Jillian Strutz, and Kathy Lehner, Riverside ES

"From Oct. 25 to Oct. 30, I had to be out for a medical issue. Even though it is hard to ask for help, these ladies stepped up and helped to cover my Kiss and Ride duty in the afternoons. Thanks so much, ladies!  You rock! You don't know how much that meant to me. Many, many hugs"

- Heather Thurmond, Riverside ES

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Rita Serwah, Chesterbrook ES

"Ms. Rita is a wonderful employee whom the kids adore. She helps certain kids in special education handle daily tasks. She always has a warm, caring smile and shows love to each of them as if they were her own. She is loved by all who know her."

- a Chesterbrook ES parent

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Misty Clatterbuck, Laurel Hill ES

"Misty has been my number one resource, cheerleader, and supporter since I moved to the AAP position this year. From the get-go, she went above and beyond to make sure I was comfortable and knowledgeable to ensure student success. At the end of summer when I found out I was changing positions, she generously offered to meet with me to help me find the appropriate resources and learn about the structure I would be implementing. She met with me for several hours that day ensuring I had knowledge of the resources, understanding how to prepare for the content, and had a clear plan for the remainder of summer to feel prepared for the first days. Her support did not stop there. Frequently, sometimes multiples times a week, she checks in asking if I need anything and is willing to help me develop a deeper understanding of whatever curriculum or strategy I am currently working on. She is always available to meet and help me clear my thinking. She employs her best coaching moves to support my development in my new curriculum. She is always present and listening and because of this, she built a safe and trusting relationship with me. I feel comfortable asking her for support whether it is when she meets with me during team meetings to learn with me or shares a professional resource that helps me understand the content or theory. She is an advocate for me as a teacher, ensuring I have the resources needed to be successful. She also has come into my classroom and in a caring and collaborative way, co-taught with me. As uncomfortable as it can be to have an 'expert watching you' because of the relationship and trust Misty has built with me, I find her to be a huge asset and comfort! Misty puts the kids first by supporting the development of her teachers and I am happy to work with her. She has made a huge transition a successful one in her willingness to help and facilitate learning. No matter how busy she is, she never lets it show as her attention is always 100% on supporting learning for both me and the students!"

- Marissa Williamson, Laurel Hill ES

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Marissa Snider, Union Mill ES

"Miss Snider provided such a thoughtful and detailed teacher conference for my husband and myself this morning. It was obvious that she hadn't gotten to know my son and that she genuinely cared for him.  She made us feel like she was invested in his education above and beyond. I loved that she started the conversation asking us how he is adjusting the kindergarten transition at home rather than throwing data points at us. She ended the conversation making us feel that our son comes to a great learning environment every day, giving solid examples of what we can be doing at home, and that we were welcome to contact her anytime for any reason. Thank you Miss Snider for making this first quarter of kindergarten such a positive experience."

- a Union Mill ES parent

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Nikk Zenker, Key MS

"HPE Teacher and CT Lead Nikki Zenker has created and implemented a schoolwide endeavor - The Patriot Helping Games! The purpose of The Patriot Helping Games is to come together as a school to help our community and motivate our students to want to help others, get involved in KMS activities, and show some spirit! All students and staff have been assigned to one of four teams; we earn points when we participate in various ways that we help others! This has exemplified our school's CARING CULTURE among our entire community!"

- Aimee Holleb, Key MS

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Evie Ifantides, Willow Oaks Admin Center

"Evie heads the Caring Culture Committee for our office. She consistently goes above build a sense of community. Examples include "celebrity scoop" with Dr. Brabrand last fall, and yesterday, she organized a short Halloween celebration complete with decorations, treats, and a costume contest. She routinely circulates a Caring Culture newsletter which includes information about staff hobbies and passions, birthdays, and other personal milestones to help employees get to know one another better.  Evie's efforts make the office environment warm and inviting, and it is time she is recognized for all she does."

- Rebecca Small, Willow Oaks Admin Center

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Cali Loewenberg, Fort Hunt ES

"Susan Kim sponsors our high school Math Honors Society. This year she has coordinated a tutoring program where her students are volunteering to come to the middle school and tutor our students in math during our intervention period. The high school students have been a true blessing to our middle school math classes. They have helped students, teachers, and our department more than we could have ever imagined. Thank you so much, Susan!"

- Sarah Vavredge, Fort Hunt ES

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Susan Kim, Lake Braddock SS

"Susan Kim sponsors our high school Math Honors Society. This year she has coordinated a tutoring program where her students are volunteering to come to the middle school and tutor our students in math during our intervention period. The high school students have been a true blessing to our middle school math classes. They have helped students, teachers, and our department more than we could have ever imagined. Thank you so much, Susan!"

- Maya Nardone, Lake Braddock SS

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Jacquie Naughton, Lake Braddock SS

"While I am continually floored by Ms. Naughton's commitment to her students, I wanted to especially commend her for the work she's done with a student of mine this past week. I had a 12th-grader, who for a number of reasons, was floundering and had really dug himself a deep hole to try to get out of with the first quarter about to come to an end. Ms. Naughton went above and beyond to get him back on track, and more importantly, to believe he was capable of being successful in school - which I think will make a positive impact for the remainder of the year. She stayed at school with him until 6:00 p.m. one day this week - not to be a personal tutor, but because the student just desperately needed someone to challenge and support him to keep going and keep working."

- Krista Gallagher, Lake Braddock SS

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Nancy Suleiman, Centreville ES

"Nancy Suleiman is a superhero to students at Centreville Elementary.  She is a special education teacher with a unique gift. Mrs. Suleiman can connect with students who are often not able to connect with others.These students have a variety of behavioral, emotional, communication, and/or educational challenges. Mrs. Suleiman is often sought out by school staff to provide support in difficult situations across all grade levels. She quickly finds a way to connect with students allowing for a deeper opportunity to communicate. She ALWAYS puts the needs of the child/children first. Mrs. Suleiman’s knowledge and leadership make her an integral member of the FCPS community and an everyday superhero!"

- Dawn Leach, Centreville ES

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Hilary Nickels, Lemon Road ES

"I was up at the school for a recent weekend event.  I entered into a classroom. The classroom was designed for extraordinary engagement with bright creative and engaging signage. There's labeling and art galore; everything's organized. The room was fun. It felt like a learning laboratory. Whomever the designer was clearly loves her students and teaching, I thought. So much attention to detail was achieved. How much effort was going on in this one room? I thought about it for a moment and then realized that, of course, I was in Miss Nickels’ classroom! Go check it out for yourself and take your camera! Talking to a parent who recently had her parent-teacher conference with Miss Nickels, the parent was blown away by her. How well Miss Nickels knew her son, how engaged she was, how organized, how much she cared, and the caliber of her professionalism. Please recognize and celebrate this up and coming and increasingly highly reputable teacher, Miss Nickels! Retain, award, and promote her at all cost! Thank you!"

- a Lemon Road ES parent

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Kathy Lehner, Riverside ES

Kathy is an amazing IA who comes to work with a positive attitude every day. She works hard to implement programs with fidelity, is a supportive co-teacher, and role model. Every day, Kathy goes out of her way to make sure that students are performing at their highest level. She steps up and covers the classroom and students when there are meetings and is able to improvise when needed, better than anyone I‘ve ever seen. Riverside is so lucky to have her."

- Lorri Hallenbeck, Riverside ES

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Stephany Tlatelpa, Riverside ES

"Stephany is an instructional assistant in the early childhood special education program at Riverside. She has been a great asset to our classroom and early childhood team. Stephany is always willing to help and goes above and beyond her responsibilities. She takes initiative and collaborates with the teachers to implement strategies to help our students. This past month one of our instructional assistants was out on family leave and Stephany has really stepped up and taken on a greater role. She has had more diaper duty, cleaning, prepping materials and meals, and various other duties. There was one day she changed about 10 diapers and did them all with a positive attitude. Stephany also does well disciplining the students and shows she cares for them. She is also helpful with the students' families and there have been times when she has stayed after her work hours to translate things in Spanish for families or make phone calls. Stephany definitely exemplifies Riverside's motto 'Effort and Attitude.'  We are grateful to have her on our team."

- Christie Kwun, Riverside ES

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Herb Rodriguez, Herndon Support Center

"Today Herb spoke to our Hispanic students about his life experiences. In his talk he pointed out that there are many opportunities to learn new things at our school and he encouraged the students to take advantage of every opportunity they are offered. He also urged the kids to have pride in their actions and in their heritage. Everyone was extremely interested in what he had to say and the kids were engaged throughout the entire talk. We are lucky to have a building engineer who cares about our students as much as Herb does!"

- Dana Ouart, Westfield HS

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Guyron Brock, Vilma Sibrian, and Andrew McCracken, Sideburn Support Center

"Whenever we have a question about the air quality of a room, these folks are incredibly responsive and thorough in their support!"

- Craig Herring, Whitman MS

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Sonia Arellano, Leis Center and Karen Kleiber, Willow Oaks Admin Center

"Karen and Sonia provided the Lynbrook Staff professional learning on how to best support our students who are new to the country.  Teachers received not only professional reminders of practices that they may already be doing, but also new strategies to use and insight into how our students may be feeling as they enter our school system."

- Jay Nocco, Lynbrook ES

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Alicia Hunter, Willow Oaks Admin Center

"Ms. Hunter has led the Lee Pyramid Principals in two professional development sessions whereby we learned more about ourselves (identity) and each other. This work has helped us realize how FCPS must be improve our practices and why it is so important that Principals spearhead access and equity in each building."

- Aimee Holleb, Key MS

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Scott Darwin, Heather Seelig, Adie Kolaskar, Daniela Daniels and, Aimee So, Lake Braddock SS and Willow Oaks Admin Center

"On Wednesday, October 16, high schools across the county administered the PSAT. Being at a secondary school, with six different grade levels running four different activity schedules, that day takes a lot of planning, coordination and team work. The success of the day's test implementation would not have been possible without the PSAT support team, comprised of LBSS staff Scott Darwin, Heather Seelig, Adie Kolaskar, and Daniela Daniels, as well as extra test day support from Aimee So from the Department of Special Services. This team exhibited great work in communication and collaboration as well as the ability to work independently and make in-the-moment decisions during high pressure situations. Their teamwork and dedication is to be commended."

- Jennifer Bury, Lake Braddock SS

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Angela Aldave, Frost MS

"Thank you for organizing our first Parent Learning Series session and offering such meaningful content to support our students."

- Laura Reed, Frost MS

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Emily Polak, North Springfield ES 

"I had a teacher/parent conference with my son's 4th-grade teacher to discuss how my son is doing academically. The teacher was great at explaining resources to help my son. I asked if there were volunteers available after school she had even mentioned that if there was a list she would sign up, she would love to be my son's volunteer because she enjoys working with him. She absolutely deserves to be recognized for being great; having a conference for about 30 minutes and making sure we as parents understand how our kids are doing in school. The previous teacher would just be looking at the time. She even gave me results of exams and suggested books that would be adequate for his reading level. I truly had a great conference with Ms. Polak, who used her Spanish to also answer some of grandma's questions."

- a North Springfield ES parent

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Jeffery Badstubner, Substitute Teacher at Twain MS

"Jeffrey was substituting for our Art Teacher at Twain MS. I happen to be working on a cart of laptops in the back of the room and I couldn't help but observe his approach to working with our students. The class had some challenging student behaviors and instead of becoming confrontational or yelling, he had quiet and meaningful conversations to help students become refocused. He used positive language and was managing what can be a hectic environment in the art room. I just wanted to make sure his efforts were noticed and appreciated."

- Christine Arocho, Twain MS

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Anna Southworth, McLean HS

"Anna Southworth is the employment and transition representative (ETR) at McLean High School. She helps ensure that all students with disabilities at McLean receive coordinated transition services to prepare for successful postsecondary success. Special education administrative staff at Willow Oaks commended Anna for her dedication and great work that she is doing as the ETR at McLean. Thank you Anna - and know your hard work with students and families is being recognized."

- Janelle Ellis, Willow Oaks Administrative Center

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Melissa Hancock, Edison HS

"As an employment and transition representative, Melissa works with many students with disabilities at Edison High School. The parent of one of her students told administrative staff at a community event sponsored by Career and Transition Services, that for the first time in his daughter's life he feels optimistic regarding her future goals and appreciates the work of Melissa and FCPS in helping them to work toward a successful transition to life after high school."

- Janelle Ellis, Willow Oaks Administrative Center 

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Elaine Bowlds, Lorton Transportation Center

"Ms. Bowlds crochets blankets and hats for her students.  Last week she completed a very large and detailed blanket with Pokemon on it.  She made it for one of her special needs students she drives to school.  Today she was making a hat for a student who attends the AIM program at Mountain View.  Her willingness to share her hobbies and create personal gifts from the heart to give to students is a testament to FCPS' caring culture."

- Kimberly Taylor, Mountain View ALC/AIM

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Rhode Nkomba, Falls Church HS

"Madame Nkomba was my French teacher at FCHS for four years. I learned so much from her, and it was her teaching that lead me to want to be a French major in college. It was also my relationship with her that made me want to go to her alma mater (William & Mary). When I was waitlisted, she emailed the college and encouraged them to accept me. I am now a French major at W&M, in my sophomore year, and I visit her every break. She made a major impact on my life, and without her I would not be where I am today.

- a former FCPS student at Falls Church HS

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Jeff Lonnett, Willow Oaks Administrative Center

"Jeff Lonnett is so passionate about PBL and it comes through in all of his PD sessions! He is inspiring to work with and is excellent at modeling PBL for teachers. His enthusiasm is infectious and his creativity unparalleled. Thanks, Jeff, for always leading such thoughtful PD!"

- Nishi Langhorne, McLean HS

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Laura Reed, Frost MS

"Laura has worked tirelessly to support our data collection needs within the special education department.  She collaborated extensively with a teaching colleague. We are so appreciative of her interest and efforts to make it possible for teachers to continue to accurately and effectively document student progress and progress toward IEP goals."

- Linda Shannon, Frost MS

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Robin Vogel, Energy Zone Food Services Center

"Our Food Service computer was down this morning at Deer Park ES (in Centreville), so I called Robin at the Food Service Center (in Springfield) for help. She tried to help me over the phone, but things still weren't working, so Robin drove out to our school with a new computer. The old computer had a problem so she replaced it with the new computer and set everything up for me. This allowed me to have lunch up and running for our students on time. Robin is always friendly and helpful, but this time she really exceeded expectations with such competent, friendly and timely help. I'm so glad we have people like Robin at FCPS, it makes it a wonderful place to work."

- Misil Martin, Deer Park ES

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Fabienne Gustave, Centreville HS

"Fabs is Fab-u-lous! She has the patience of a saint and the voice of an angel. She uses both every day to make students in the Cat B program at CVHS feel safe, welcomed, and special. She puts the fun in learning the fundamentals. She has helped tirelessly with Best Buddies for the past four years. She does all this because her heart is so full of love and joy. She is an unsung heroine at CVHS."

- Kathleen McGuire, Centreville HS

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Laurie Armstrong, Centreville HS

"Laurie Armstrong is an unsung heroine at Centreville High School. She is experienced, approachable, kind, intelligent, and helpful. As the Administrative Assistant in Dominion Subschool, she helps keep faculty and students focused and on task. She is the ultimate team player and consummate professional who steps up whenever she is needed. When teammates are absent or request assistance, she never hesitates to lend a hand in the library, main office, attendance, or College & Career Center. Laurie is our X2VOL Liaison and coordinates the volunteer and enrichment opportunities that are advertised in Naviance and in our school. She collaborates with other staff members and manages the service cord approval process and distribution for seniors every spring. She is an amazing resource and we are lucky to call her a colleague and friend."

- Kara Stamper, Centreville HS

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Emiley Slebrch, Centreville HS

"Emiley fills 2 important roles at CVHS, she works part-time in the transcript office and part-time in attendance. When Emiley receives information about a student's absence that warrants attention, such as a mental health concern, she quickly and confidentially relays that information to the appropriate clinical team members. Emiley has been invaluable in regards to putting student concerns on my radar, which then allows for quick intervention. I am grateful for her willingness to go above and beyond for the students at Centreville HS!"

- Lisa VanLahr, Centreville HS

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Danielle Cunning, Riverside ES

"Ms. Cunning joined our office staff at Riverside this year and has been a true asset to our community. She consistently greets families with positivity and smiles. She is knowledgeable, efficient, and always follows through on her commitments. Like other members of our office staff, Ms. Cunning goes above and beyond to make sure that our families feel welcomed, are listened to, and their needs are met. We are so grateful to have her!"

- Gina O'Neal, Riverside ES

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Tara Klibansky, Riverside ES

"Ms. Klibansky is such an asset to our school community. In addition to having impeccable professionalism and delivering awesome instruction, she goes above beyond to build and maintain trusting relationships with her students and families. One day last week, one of her students got hurt on the playground and had to go to the hospital. Later that evening, and of course with parent permission, Ms. Klibansky visited that student at home and took a care package to him and his family. She spent time bonding with the family and letting the student know how much the class was awaiting his return. Ms. Klibansky is definitely a positive example of the Riverside motto, 'Effort and Attitude'!"

- Gina O'Neal, Riverside ES

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Aubrie Holman, Thomas Jefferson HS

"I want to recognize the dedication of Aubrie, both as a teacher and club sponsor. A couple of weeks ago, I was asked to attend a mediation meeting between 2 students who are officers of a club. It was evident from even the planning stages of the mediation that Aubrie deeply cared about both students. She was sensitive to both students' needs and handled the delicate situation with respect. She requested that 2 neutral adults be present at the meeting to remove any bias. She ensured that their emotional needs were addressed, providing each student with resources. During the mediation and the meetings following, it became evident that in her voluntary role as a club sponsor, she had devoted numerous hours to this one situation. She had mediated with the students for months prior to the meeting and considered the impact on all students in the club. This meant long hours after-school, on breaks, and during the weekend. Following one meeting, she stayed late into the evening to make groups for the club, once again executing a high level of thoughtfulness to multiple factors, including preference, skill, and team dynamics. As we discussed this additional workload, she shared that it is not money or prestige that is rewarding (both of which are not attached to club sponsorship), it is the reward of building relationships with students. And that she has done and done well! It was evident from my conversations with both students that they held the utmost respect for Ms. Holman. What an exemplification of a caring culture! I have also had the pleasure of working with her during IBET meetings. In these meetings, her dedication to not only be a teacher but a teacher who supports students' overall development through best practices, is evident. She speaks of students in a caring manner. She is open to feedback and trying new strategies. My interactions with Aubrie the past couple of months have reminded me of just how much teachers are asked to do and the critical life roles they play well beyond the classroom. I want to say thank you! It is a pleasure to work with Aubrie and I feel honored to have her at TJHSST."

- an FCPS colleague 

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Don Conway, Merrifield Support Center

"This morning I was walking from my car towards school and dropped my water bottle.  Said bottle proceeded to roll across the parking lot and right into a storm drain! After trying to see if I could locate it and/or reach it, without any luck, I reached out to Don to see if he could help. A short while later he showed up with the right tools, removed the manhole cover, crawled down into the drain, and retrieved my water bottle. This is merely one example of the above and beyond work, Don has done since arriving as the new building engineer this summer. He always has a positive attitude, is very knowledgeable of his work, takes the time to listen, works to keep us informed on the progress of projects, and is very responsive! Thank you, Don, for your help this morning and for being a fantastic example of a statesman and all-around good person!"

- Chad Clayton, Davis Career Center

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Katie Jarvis, Brian Welfle, Anne Jopke, and Rebecca Smith, Hollin Meadows ES

"Once again, our Hollin Meadows teachers showed why HMES Cares!  We had four teachers who went above and beyond at our first annual Rock, Roll and Run fundraiser. Throughout the day, Mrs. Jarvis, Mr. Welfle, Ms. Smith and Ms. Jopke were out on our track, running and walking alongside our students and encouraging them to do their personal best. Their energy and positive attitude were contagious. It is really amazing to see these teachers so involved - they consistently demonstrate the critical importance of the T in PTA. We are so grateful for their energy, support, and gift of time!"

- Hollin Meadows ES PTA 

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Jennifer Lee, Franklin MS

"Ms. Lee team teaches in my son's Science class. He struggles with organization, distractibility, and other issues. Ms. Lee spent extra time with him on October 24, 2019, going through his school binder and re-organizing it with him, then took the time to email me to explain how she arranged it and providing direction on how to maintain it. Nevertheless, she checked it herself the following day and advised me that she will continue to spend time helping him keep it organized so that he can improve the quality of his homework and study time."

- a Franklin MS parent 

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Kim Taylor, Mountain View ALC

"As a teacher at Mountain View ALC, I am thankful to have Kim Taylor as my principal. She frequently meets with the teachers to discuss student progress and to collaborate on student issues. Ms. Taylor is usually the first one in the building and the last to leave. Her door is always open to discuss challenges and she is a tremendous resource for classroom teachers. A deeply caring principal makes the school a place where the students and staff know she wants the best for them. Ms. Taylor inspires them to work hard and the students speak of not wanting to disappoint her."

- Robert Muskett, Mountain View ALC

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Peter Kownacki, South County MS

"Mr. Kownacki shows a superior level of support of his students, parents, staff and faculty members. He rises above to create relationships that foster a positive learning environment. He has been an appreciated presence in the South County Middle School learning community."

- Laura Dougherty, South County MS

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Kevin Laub, Westfield HS

"Kevin is an amazing teacher and department chair. This month, it was his task to re-organize and re-stock the English bookroom due to the influx of new novels and textbooks. The result was a very organized, well-managed transition. Mr. Laub is wonderful!"

- Laura Waterman, Westfield HS

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Amy Burk, Westgate ES

"Amy really showed her dedication to our school community this week! She worked tirelessly to organize digital citizenship week, helped the PTA prepare for our Fall Festival, and coordinated a beautiful cherry tree planting ceremony. Amy is an incredible SBTS, but this week really demonstrated her high level of care and commitment to Westgate."

- Michelle Scherbenske, Westgate ES

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Steve Cole, Mike Stephney, Maggy Pye, Will Jordan, Marlyn Rivera, and John Ford, Sideburn Support Center

"This team worked together for two days to identify and correct a problem with our folding partition wall in the gym. They worked tirelessly to get the wall working so we would have space for two of our after school programs. Great teamwork!"

- Kathleen Mongeon, Wakefield Forest ES

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Katherine ThompsonAllen, Herndon HS

"The mother of one of our students at Herndon High told Katherine that she was having surgery and would be on bed rest for 2 weeks. The mother has 2 children in FCPS schools and she stated she does not have family or friends in the area to help out. Katherine Thompson-Allen organized a meal train amongst HHS staff and Dranesville staff for the family so that they would have meals every night while the mother was recovering."

- Jennifer Lawrence, Herndon HS

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Troy Newlon and Pete Howe, Westlawn ES

"I've been a part of the Westlawn community for 10 years. In addition to our wonderful students and families, it is the staff that keeps me here. I could not nominate one without the other. Pete and Troy both work so hard together to make everyone feel important and special at Westlawn. Pete is one of our P.E. teachers. He is known for coming up with fun nicknames for students and teachers. He has a gift for making them feel included and seen. Troy has a great sense of humor. You could be having the most stressful day ever but then Troy will know just what to say to make you turn your frown upside down. They also have an ongoing friendly competition to see who is the better baker, chef, etc. Teaching can be very stressful and the weeks can be long at times, but these two make it worth it. They both go above and beyond to show they care and most of all make people feel like they matter. I cannot pick one instance because there are so many."

- Anna Yim, Westlawn ES

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Carli McIntosh, Davis Career Center

"Carli is a speech-language pathologist turned classroom teacher this year and we are so lucky to have her here at the Davis Center. Her heart for students is abundantly clear when you see her working with her non-verbal students to learn the motor pathways associated with their augmentative communication devices or her work with one of her students who requires extra attention in order to safely eat. Carli, along with her colleagues in the classroom, makes this orchestration of student care appear to happen effortlessly and always with a smile on her face and a positive attitude about what her students can achieve. Thank you, Carli, for taking a chance and joining us. We are a stronger community of teachers and learners because of your contributions!"

Yami Bosque, Davis Career Center

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Renee Gorman, Hutchison ES

"Renee Gorman is a Rockstar! She voluntarily agreed to join the  MentorWorks Advisory Committee, and then worked tirelessly throughout the summer (and this fall) to develop the MentorWorks Best Practices Guide for FCPS. This guide is innovative, comprehensive, and research-based and has successfully streamlined the work of more than 300 school-based mentoring program coordinators. In addition to that, she collaborated on the development of our new overview training, and then served as a co-trainer and break-out session lead. The wealth of experience and background knowledge that she brings to this team is immeasurable. Many thanks to the administration at Hutchison Elementary School for sharing this wonderful resource with me during the school day. Our post-training evaluations continue to show that her contribution as a trainer was a game-changer!"

- Martha Macdonald, Willow Oaks Administrative Center

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Mark Tierney, Springfield Estates ES

"Mark has taken on the responsibilities of the SBTS here at Springfield Estates and run with them. Whether it is running a superb news show, solving your technological challenges, or helping you with school-wide needs, he is an able and hard-working member of the SEES staff who deserves recognition for his work. I gave him a task that I found hard and he completed it in an above and beyond manner and I thank him for his diligence, collaboration, and cooperation. He truly represents the FCPS caring culture in how he works with others at Springfield Estates. We are happy to have him!"

- Matt Hupp, Springfield Estates ES

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Esther Park, Centreville HS

"Esther went above and beyond to do something thoughtful and extraordinarily helpful for me, one of her 4 'roommates' here at CVHS - and by extension, for 3/5 of my students! Esther is a 'traveling' ESOL teacher, which means she is in 5 different classrooms, one per section. AND 3 of them are in Learning Cottages, which means she must brave the elements for most of her transitions, and travel far-ish distances to do so. AND the ESOL class she teaches in my Learning Cottage has more than doubled in size this year - in 2 months. All this to let you know how very busy Esther is. However, when I asked her a technology question for which she didn't have a time-saving solution, she thought about it after work, and despite her busy schedule, she took the time to create a document for me, knowing that it would have taken me 2-3 times longer than it took her. I really appreciate her thoughtfulness as much as I admire her teaching and technology skills!"

- Paige Clark, Centreville HS

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Margaret Rembisz, Lee HS

"Margie Rembisz is leading an incredible program at Lee High School, working with the Cat B students to create and operate a 'Mobile Café' that brings coffee and snacks to teachers and students during Lancer Time. Ms. Rembisz’s students stock and prepare a custom mobile cart with a variety of snacks and coffees. Then, they travel the school to take and fulfill their orders. They work as a team to meet the needs of their customers. And, they talk with students and teachers about their Café and their days. Outfitted with café aprons they helped design and produce, Ms. Rembisz’s students are collaborating, communicating, and demonstrating goal-directed resilience – all while providing a valuable and loved service within the Lee Community. Together, Ms. Rembisz and her students exemplify the rigor, relevance, and relationships that make Lee High School so special. We are privileged to count such exceptional teachers and students as part of our magnificent Fami-Lee!"

- Molly Hicks and Amy Ashcraft, Lee HS

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Kate Foussekis, Centreville HS

"Kate has been consistently tireless in her support of her students. This year, she has been working closely with students who have a variety of intense challenges, including chronic illness, mental health challenges, and personal trauma. Kate is a phenomenal resource for these students, as well as for the many others who come in seeking out her help, support, guidance, and advice."

- Drew Campbell, Centreville HS

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Sarah Blake, Willow Oaks Administrative Center

"Sarah Blake used her boundless energy, limitless creativity, and passion for identifying and meeting student needs to spearhead a collaboration between the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board - Mental Health Services and FCPS. Ms. Blake brought together postsecondary providers and school staff who provide direct services to students to foster positive and trusting relationships, allowing students to better have their needs met with ongoing services, in the effort to create a seamless transition and reduce societal stigmas. Ms. Blake is the Michael Jordan of education."

- Clem Castellano, Willow Oaks Administrative Center

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Wendy Wall and Laurie Smith, Willow Oaks Administrative Center

"Wendy Wall and Laurie Smith deeply impacted the learning of both teachers and students at Lynbrook Elementary School. They spent hours planning, facilitating, and launching the implementation of mathematics lab sites. This form of professional development greatly supported us in living out the vision of our School Improvement and Innovation Plan. One teacher's big takeaway was, 'We make hundreds of decisions in an hour of time. The lab site allowed me to slow down and think carefully about each part. When I go to plan, I can use this process to make much more effective decisions. Professional development should always be this way.' A huge thank you from Lynbrook! We cannot wait to continue this work in February. Our leprechauns are excited to grow their thinking with you two!"

- Jessica Duvel, Lynbrook ES

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Kim Dunnam, Edison Support Center

"I am writing to express my sincere appreciation for the outstanding work that Mr. Dunnam does for us here at Fort Hunt Elementary School. He does an amazing job taking such good care of us and making sure we stay comfortable throughout the year. He is very skilled, efficient, friendly, respectful, meticulous and knowledgeable. He always goes above and beyond to help out our school.  He is an exceptional HVAC technician II and a great asset to FCPS! We are lucky to have him."

- Ana Arias, Fort Hunt ES

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Amy Lee, Lee HS

"Amy Lee is our SOSA, who is an integral part of our school. She is responsive to staff who need support with students, she is an innovative problem solver for students and families when unique needs arise, she is tenacious and never gives up on her/our mission. Amy is a beloved staff member who truly cares about all of us and dedicates way more than a full-time position to our school. She deserves recognition and kudos. Thank you, Amy, for being you."

- Amanda Hudson, Lee HS

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Amy Lee, Lee HS

"Amy Lee, SOSA, at Lee H.S., is a superstar.  She meets with at-risk students regularly, gives them good counsel and advice, works tirelessly with parents and counselors, and communicates clearly in a timely fashion to the teachers (sometimes at 5:00 in the morning!).  We are beyond blessed to have her relentlessly positive attitude here at Lee."

- Rebecca Julca, Lee HS

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Kate McGann, Poplar Tree ES

"Our daughter and her classmates got to participate in a Breakout EDU activity today. She loved this Astronomy review and we loved seeing the picture that showed her practicing many of the FCPS Portrait of a Graduate Skills. Thanks, Ms. McGann! We know it takes a lot of time and planning to create this learning opportunity for your students."

- a Poplar Tree ES parent

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Brian Falkey, Herndon ES

"My counselor partner went above and beyond with a 1st-grade student dealing with school anxiety.  Every morning for the first 3 weeks of school, this little guy screamed, fought and severely struggled with coming into the school building.  Brian patiently allowed him to process, walked beside and comforted him into a calm state so he could learn. He is now able to walk in with friends and a huge smile on his face. Brian made a huge difference for this young man...Thanks, Mr. Falkey! You looked at the entire child and found ways to meet his needs! His success is due to your capacity for calm and consistent cheeriness."

- Tiffany A. Bryant, Herndon ES

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Kristen Buesing, Cub Run ES

"Kristen Buesing is our school counselor and in addition to her regular instructional duties she has taken the time and energy to develop a student mentoring program at Cub Run.  She recognizes that sometimes what students need to be successful in the immediacy isn’t coming from a textbook, worksheet or problem-solving activity.  Sometimes what students need most is a champion, someone who believes in them so much that they start to believe in themselves.  Kristen has put tremendous effort into recruiting these champions from our school community and matching them up with students who benefit greatly by having a mentee who believes in them.  It has been truly amazing to see what a difference a 30-minute weekly commitment can do to help students socially, emotionally, even academically as they strive to meet their Portrait of a Graduate goals at Cub Run."

- Eric Timpson, Cub Run ES

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Janet McFadden, Lilly Shin, Greenbriar East ES

"Janet, our wonderful parent liaison, was so helpful at such short notice this weekend. She spent her valuable time interpreting a report for me and even called me to answer questions that I had. I appreciate her time and dedication in helping the Greenbriar East Elementary (GBE) family."

- Lilly Shin, Greenbriar East ES

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Mike Astudillo, McNair ES

Mike Astudillo is a Rockstar! He voluntarily agreed to join the  MentorWorks Advisory Committee, and then worked tirelessly throughout the summer (and this fall) to develop the MentorWorks Best Practices Guide for FCPS. This guide is innovative, comprehensive, and research-based and has successfully streamlined the work of more than 300 school-based mentoring program coordinators. In addition to that, he collaborated on the development of our new overview training, and then served as a co-trainer and break-out session lead. The wealth of experience and background knowledge that he brings to this team is immeasurable. Many thanks to the administration at McNair Elementary School for sharing this wonderful resource with me during the school day. Our post-training evaluations continue to show that his contribution as a trainer was a game-changer!"

- Martha Macdonald, Willow Oaks Administrative Center

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Lynette Henry, Hayfield MS

"Lynette Henry is a Rockstar! She voluntarily agreed to join the  MentorWorks Advisory Committee, and then worked tirelessly throughout the summer (and this fall) to develop the MentorWorks Best Practices Guide for FCPS. This guide is innovative, comprehensive, and research-based and has successfully streamlined the work of more than 300 school-based mentoring program coordinators. In addition to that, she collaborated on the development of our new overview training, and then served as a co-trainer and break-out session lead. The wealth of experience and background knowledge that she brings to this team is immeasurable. Many thanks to the administration at Hayfield Middle School for sharing this wonderful resource with me during the school day. Our post-training evaluations continue to show that her contribution as a trainer was a game-changer!"

- Martha Macdonald, Willow Oaks Administrative Center

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Marcella Fulmore, Lee HS

"Marcella Fulmore is a Rockstar! She voluntarily agree to join the MentorWorks Advisory Committee, and then worked tirelessly throughout the summer (and this fall) to develop the MentorWorks Best Practices Guide for FCPS. This guide is innovative, comprehensive, and research-based and has successfully streamlined the work of more than 300 school-based mentoring program coordinators.  In addition to that, she collaborated on the development of our new overview training, and then served as a co-trainer and break-out session lead. The wealth of experience and background knowledge that she brings to this team is immeasurable. Many thanks to the administration at Lee High School for sharing this wonderful resource with me during the school day. Our post-training evaluations continue to show that her contribution as a trainer was a game-changer!"

- Martha Macdonald, Willow Oaks Administrative Center

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Vaughnetta Caldwell, Lee HS

"Vaughnetta Caldwell is a Rockstar! She voluntarily agreed to join the MentorWorks Advisory Committee and then worked tirelessly throughout the summer (and this fall) to develop the MentorWorks Best Practices Guide for FCPS. This guide is innovative, comprehensive, research-based, and has successfully streamlined the work of more than 300 school-based mentoring program coordinators. In addition to that, she collaborated on the development of our new overview training, then served as a co-trainer and break-out session lead. The wealth of experience and background knowledge that she brings to this team is immeasurable. Many thanks to the administration at Lee HS for sharing this wonderful resource with me during the school day. Our post-training evaluations continue to show that her contribution as a trainer was a game-changer!"

- Martha Macdonald, Willow Oaks Administrative Center

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Amber Hill, Luther Jackson MS

"Amber Hill is a Rockstar! She voluntarily agreed to join the MentorWorks Advisory Committee and then worked tirelessly throughout the summer (and this fall) to develop the MentorWorks Best Practices Guide for FCPS. This guide is innovative, comprehensive, research-based, and has successfully streamlined the work of more than 300 school-based mentoring program coordinators. In addition to that, she collaborated on the development of our new overview training, then served as a co-trainer and break-out session lead. The wealth of experience and background knowledge that she brings to this team is immeasurable. Many thanks to the administration at Luther Jackson for sharing this wonderful resource with me during the school day. Our post-training evaluations continue to show that her contribution as a trainer was a game-changer!"

- Martha Macdonald, Willow Oaks Administrative Center

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Shannon White, Luther Jackson MS

"Shannon White is a Rockstar! She voluntarily agreed to join the MentorWorks Advisory Committee and then worked tirelessly throughout the summer (and this fall) to develop the MentorWorks Best Practices Guide for FCPS. This guide is innovative, comprehensive, research-based, and has successfully streamlined the work of more than 300 school-based mentoring program coordinators. In addition to that, she collaborated on the development of our new overview training, then served as a co-trainer and break-out session lead. The wealth of experience and background knowledge that she brings to this team is immeasurable. Many thanks to the administration at Luther Jackson for sharing this wonderful resource with me during the school day. Our post-training evaluations continue to show that her contribution as a trainer was a game-changer!"

- Martha Macdonald, Willow Oaks Administrative Center

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Emely Marquina, Gatehouse Administration Center

"Every day I have the privilege of working with a great staff in the Office of Benefit Services. On this particular day, one great staff member must be recognized. It's Emely Marquina! Emely Marquina formulated a solution that helped to reduce the out-of-pocket costs for a newly retired FCPS employee to enroll in health insurance. The solution was a brilliant one. I was able to contact the FCPS retiree with a resolution that Emely provided with confidence that we cared. Emely Marquina demonstrates on a daily basis that FCPS Benefits staff care for the retired FCPS employees and all FCPS employees."

- Cherrie Maples, Gatehouse Administration Center

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Purvis Dawson, Gatehouse Administration Center

"I contacted OSS requesting security training for our front office staff. Purvis immediately responded and was very accommodating as we worked to schedule the training. The training we received was extremely helpful and thorough, and we appreciated the informational folders he provided our office staff. It was a pleasure to work with him."

- Kathy Hart, Oak View ES

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Lisa Petruzzi, Herndon HS

"Lisa Petruzzi is an Athletic Trainer with the Herndon High School Football Program. I had heard from other parents that, '...she is awesome!' Monday afternoon, I came to find out how true this is. My son was injured in practice. Ms. Petruzzi reached out to me right away. She was very calm, which helped me to remain calm. Ms. Petruzzi gave her professional opinion along with options on how to proceed. I decided to get an x-ray at the ER. Ms. Petruzzi texted me, staying in touch on how my son was doing. Sure enough, her professional opinion was correct. Additionally, she has continued to stay in touch on my son's progress. Her devotion means a lot. Clearly, she cares!"

- a Herndon HS parent

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Frances Molefsky and Edgar Larrauri Gaytan, Lorton Transportation Center

"While Frances and Edgar were covering their run, Edgar spotted a child crying and alone. Frances pulled the bus over to help. He spoke very little English; fortunately, Edgar was able to speak to him in his language. The child was 6 years old and only knew his own first name, his mother's first name, and didn't know his address or phone number. He said his mother got into a car and when he turned around, she was gone. Frances and Edgar stayed with the little boy while our central office staff notified police, who came and took the child into their custody. Quick-thinking and a fast response from Frances and Edgar kept the child safe."

- Marlene Sisson, Lorton Transportation Center

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Trea Claypool, Bull Run ES

"Trea is demonstrating outstanding leadership for her 5th-grade team this year. She has a strong desire to learn and collaborate as a team and this has positively impacted the team dynamic and growth. Trea has embedded multiple learning opportunities into our CLT agendas, aligned with our planning and pacing, and invites each team member to facilitate our learning. Our CLT time is truly enjoyable and we walk away with gains each meeting. She has our students’ needs at the forefront and works to ensure her teammates feel prepared in order to guarantee successful leaning experiences for our students."

- Carrie Brown, Bull Run ES

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Sussy Carbajal, Brookfield ES

"Sussy Carbajal, our Student Information Assistant, demonstrates exactly the way we’d like our kids and their families to be treated by Brookfield staff. Twice during our Book Fair week, I needed to call parents who are not English speakers. Sussy is a very busy person in our office, but she was happy to drop everything and speak to each parent for me. She was very understanding and helpful with both the parents and students. Everyone’s problems were solved because of Sussy’s willingness to help with the situations and her kind manner. Thank you, Sussy!"

- Cathy Wilson, Brookfield ES

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Becky Sowers, Aldrin ES

"Becky Sowers goes above and beyond every day to provide quality music instruction to all students at Aldrin Elementary School. Her background as a music therapist has given her a unique perspective on music education and she has made sure to include all of our special needs populations in music instruction. Despite it not being required, Becky gives her planning time to work with the preschool/PAC classes so they can have rich music experience. Not only do the students and teachers LOVE music with Mrs. Sowers, but she has been able to provide opportunities for students to show IEP goal growth outside of the traditional academic setting. Becky Sowers deserves all the recognition and accolades for being an amazing teacher, music educator, and friend."

- Katie Friedman, Aldrin ES

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Anita Hartley, Willow Oaks Administrative Center

"I have been fortunate enough to be at a variety of trainings/presentations run by Anita Hartley over the last 2 months. Each training has been extremely well organized, has had a clear focus, and has impacted both my thinking and practices. She is an engaging presenter that uses a variety of strategies and methods that promote critical thinking and align with the purpose of each presentation. Additionally, Anita has a great disposition, is always cheerful, and welcomes interaction with everybody in the room. FCPS is certainly fortunate to have Anita to help us learn and grow!"

- Tony DiBari, Lake Braddock SS

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Jane Cunningham, Saratoga ES

"Jane is a collaborator in every way. She keeps our team on track and is truly the glue that holds us together. She thinks of ways to solve problems and things we need before we even know we need them! From sharing her endless resources to providing moral support and advice, we truly appreciate all she does for us to make us an amazing second-grade team."

- Nevada Sprung, Saratoga ES

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Amy Hagerty, Saratoga ES

"Amy is an instructional assistant who has supported our special education students for many years at Saratoga. She is a dedicated professional who is always patient and kind to our students in every situation. She is positive and strives to see the best in our students every day. She is flexible with schedule changes and constantly jumps in to help in our classroom in every way possible. I couldn't do this job without her! She is very much appreciated!"

- Nevada Sprung, Saratoga ES

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Mary Ann Nealson, Lemon Road ES

"At our BBQ lunch yesterday, Mary Ann stood front-and-center on the serving line to serve the students. A classic example and combination of teamwork and hospitality. She was gracious, attentive and worked hard to keep the service organized and on-schedule. She understood and valued teamwork and put herself on-the-spot to display it for the students. Well done and an inspiration to all! Thank you, Mary Ann!"

- Wes Speer, Energy Zone Food Services Center

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Christy Jenkins-Dietz, Westfield HS

"Christy is constantly striving to help her students in any way possible. Whether it is staying after school almost every day, or allowing students to eat lunch with her, Christy goes above and beyond the call of a teacher. Christy is also willing to help fellow coworkers, regardless of what department they come from. I personally aspire to be a teacher like Christy."

- Rebecca Darr, Westfield HS

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Cecilia Goldstein, Franklin MS

"Cecilia Goldstein serves as Franklin's parent liaison and she is a true asset to our administrative team as well as our school. Today, like so many other days, Cecilia was instrumental in bridging the language barrier between school and home. As we continue to strive for equity in our schools, I am grateful for the services of Cecilia and others like her. Cecilia's daily contribution to our school allows us to create a warm and welcoming environment and Caring Culture that we are all striving to have in our building."

- Forrest Reid, Franklin MS

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Sally Nicely, Lorton Transportation Center

"Miss Sally drives one of our bus routes. She goes above and beyond to know student names and to get to know all students. She communicates with school personnel and parents to make sure individual students' needs are met on a daily basis. Miss Sally is a true team player!"

- Jessica Lewis, Hayfield ES

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Emily Williams, Centreville HS

"Our Athletic Training program is short-staffed this year and Emily has stepped up in so many ways to help me continue to run my program and provide the best possible care for our student-athletes. When my coworker unexpectedly left during the fall, Emily jumped right in, helping me in the chaos of after-school treatments and getting kids prepped for practice. She has done this with positivity and selflessness while going through some difficult times at home, as well. As a fellow mom, Emily has been so helpful and supportive in allowing me an opportunity to have a few early nights so I can spend time with my daughter. I am so grateful for Emily every day -- this fall has been very stressful and her help and assistance have helped immensely! I couldn't do it without her and she absolutely deserves a shout-out!"

- Coree Reuter-McNamara, Centreville HS

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Louisa McClanahan, Thoreau MS

"Ms. McClanahan is an incredible special educator. Recently, she willingly took on more responsibilities which changed almost her entire schedule… all because she cares about students. She has dedicated her life to special education students and deeply cares about their success. I believe she is the best in all of us. Louisa is honest, compassionate, empathic and a go-getter. On a daily basis, and in numerous ways, I see her making sure students have what they need to be successful. She's not afraid to keep trying and go above and beyond for all students and staff. She has an innate ability to make meaningful relationships with students and staff that have a life-long impact. I have recently come to know her, and I can honestly say my life has improved just by her presence. Thank you so much for your amazing dedication to the teaching profession."

- Cary Seago, Thoreau MS

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Tracey Brown Rice, Key MS

"Ms. Brown-Rice is currently working with our ELL Newcomers in Math 7. She has created a classroom that is brimming with the growth mindset and positive reinforcement! Recently she was able to share strategies she uses with a particularly challenging student. This student has been showing academic growth in her classroom and is showing appropriate school-behavior throughout his math class. She has shown her students that she cares about them and has high expectations for each and every one of them! I feel grateful to be able to work alongside her in supporting our students at Key Middle School!"

- Daisy Gomes, Key MS

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Michael Donaldson, Mountain View AIM

"At AIM, there are a hundred different needs all happening at once. Safety, relationships, education, attendance, transportation, and resources—and those are just in the first 5 to 10 minutes of a student’s day. On this day, as always, Mike Donaldson was checking students in and checking in with students. They need that. They need the way that he speaks to them with respect, understanding, and expectation. He is respected by students and coworkers, and I appreciate the way he goes above and beyond to meet the needs of the students and staff of this unique site. He makes it possible for me to meet my students’ needs in a safe, engaging, and supportive environment."

- Suzanne Thompson, Mountain View AIM

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Hanna Langstein, Centreville HS

"I am very grateful to Hanna for helping me with setting up digital portfolios. Thank you for your hard work."

- Rory Marcaccio Schaffer, Centreville HS

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Kathleen McGuire, Centreville HS

"I would like to recognize Kathleen McGuire for all the time and effort she puts in to ensure Centreville High School has a successful Best Buddies program. She works tirelessly with the student board to plan engaging, fun activities for the buddies and mentors, including monthly social events, special trips, Unified Sports, and Alternative Prom. Kathleen has a heart of gold that not everyone sees or appreciates."

- Mollianne George, Centreville HS

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Sarah Vavredge, Fort Hunt ES

"Sarah Vavredge is always on the move, caring for our students and their families! She works tirelessly to meet the needs of our most vulnerable students always with a smile on her face. They know they can trust her, and she makes sure they have what they need to feel safe and supported here at school. I feel lucky to have Sarah as part of our team here at Fort Hunt. Keep up the amazing work, Sarah!"

- Clara Villalobos Cortes, Fort Hunt ES

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Andrea Hager, Thoreau MS

"Ms. Hager is an amazing addition to Thoreau Middle School. Although she works through Language Services we feel that she is a Golden Eagle. Andrea makes the special education process accessible to our Spanish-speaking parents by coming prepared with Spanish copies of essential paperwork and by offering to call parents and to pick them up so they can make it to every appointment. Andrea's attention to detail is unparalleled. She uses patience, kindness and the utmost professionalism with staff and families. We are incredibly fortunate to have her every week."

- Cary Seago, Thoreau MS

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A.Z. Heard, Stonecroft Transportation Services

"I wanted to acknowledge Mr. Heard for his amazing skills with children. He makes the kids happy. He makes it a point to remember every child's name without mistake. He acknowledges every child while they disembark from the bus. Simple actions, beautiful memories!"

- a Lemon Road ES parent

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Holly Patrick, Centreville HS

"Holly has been invaluable at Centreville High School in readying our students for the FCPSOn program.  Her team recruited student assistants to help with the volume of tech service requests from our 2600+ students. Holly helped to set up a mini-headquarters for the laptop inventory, transferred our old computer inventory for shipment to other schools, and facilitated the distribution of student laptops by phasing them in during the weeks before school with a team comprising two TSSpec's and several administrative assistants. No one has the positivity and humor that Holly does, and we had a very smooth transition to FCPSOn, because of Holly and her dedication to the CVHS family."

- Diana Scheid, Centreville HS

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Nate Davis, Centreville HS

"Nate has been invaluable at Centreville High School in readying our students for the FCPSOn program.  He recruited student assistants to help with the volume of tech service requests from our 2600+ students. Nate helped to set up a mini-headquarters for the laptop inventory, transferred our old computer inventory for shipment to other schools, and facilitated the distribution of student-laptops by phasing them in during the weeks before school with a team comprising another TSSpec, our SBTS, and several administrative assistants. Oh, and during all of that, he patiently helped staff with their laptop needs. We have a great technology team at Centreville, thanks to Nate Davis."

- Diana Scheid, Centreville HS

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Niki Holmes and Courtney Klein, Lake Braddock SS

"Both Niki and Courtney are new to us this year, new to each other, and working together in a position (Instructional Coach) that is also new to this building. They have worked well to create an aligned team that is always on message and consistent. They have also provided a wealth of resources (to include presentations) to all faculty members as we have embarked on the work of collaborative teams and effective use of Learning Targets. Lastly, they have productively engaged in difficult conversations with a variety of faculty while also celebrating successes. They continue to drive forward and their energy is a driving force in our instructional work. Lake Braddock is very fortunate to have Ms. Holmes and Ms. Klein as a part of our community."

- Tony DiBari, Lake Braddock SS

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Melissa Sitter, Poplar Tree ES 

"It was so heartwarming to receive a special email from our son’s teacher. She shared something that highlighted a hobby unique to our son. It is such a great feeling as a parent to know that your child is seen and appreciated by his or her teacher. Mrs. Sitter goes above and beyond to foster the home-school connection and to make our son and his classmates feel like valued and important members of their classroom. Thank you, Mrs. Sitter!"

- a Poplar Tree ES parent 

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Alicia Grande, Justice HS

"Alicia Grande gives so much of herself to the success of our students. She's highly involved in the planning of many grade-level units and post-secondary events. Yesterday, at Justice's FAFSA event, Alicia was answering questions all over the place to help ensure students and their families were well taken care of in filling out the application. Not only that, last week during PSAT day she made sure that teachers were set in their lessons for 9th-grade students. It took a lot of energy and organization to make these lessons successful. Justice is lucky to have her."

- Alysha Damratowski, Justice HS

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Karina Cheema, Daniels Run ES

"My son had a long week and was really tired on Friday afternoon. He was visibly upset at dismissal time from the fatigue. Mrs. Cheema comforted him and took the time to send me an email to let me know he left crying and wanted to make sure he was ok. He was so happy when he found out she checked on him. It was so sweet she took the time to touch base on a Friday afternoon when the weekend is calling. Thank you for making kindergarten so wonderful!"

- a Daniels Run ES parent

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Philippe Cloutier, Patrick Ogden, and Marcos Salinas, Sprague Technology Center

"Phil, Patrick, and Marcos did an excellent job helping us at our Real Assistive Technology for Everyone (RATE) conference. They came to set up Friday evening and showed up early Saturday morning to make our keynote presentation outstanding! Their professionalism and knowledge of broadcasting transformed our presentation into a high tech display that the entire audience enjoyed!"

- Meaghan Tracy, Instructional Programs Support Center

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Ruben Bonilla, Stonecroft Transportation Center

"When my son was late picking up our first-grade daughter at the bus stop, Mr. Bonilla (our bus driver) kept her on the bus until her brother arrived. A very safe decision instead of letting her off the bus with no one around to take care of her. This was one of many times he has gone above and beyond to care for our younger students on the bus."

- an FCPS parent

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Evie Ifantides and Alison Ware, Willow Oaks Administrative Center

"Thank you to you and to the Caring Culture Committee for organizing the latest Lunch and Learn, when Alison Ware shared her sabbatical experience traveling the world. I had been looking forward to it ever since you advertised the session, and it was truly fascinating! Without this Lunch and Learn venue, I never would have known about Alison’s amazing adventures, nor would I have been able to connect with other colleagues who share a love of travel. I learned so much from this brief session! Thanks for organizing!"

- Andrea Martin Jones, Willow Oaks Administrative Center

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Clara Villalobos Cortes, Fort Hunt ES

"Clara Villalobos works tirelessly to accommodate everyone’s schedules and still meet her students' needs. She is always willing to help teachers with any kind of support they need. She goes above and beyond to ask questions and take on new learning. Her students absolutely love working with her. It’s clear that she has built a welcoming, safe, and engaging environment for them. Her smile is contagious and she brings a warmth to our staff and community. I am grateful I get to work alongside Clara at Fort Hunt!"

- Lani Morris, Fort Hunt ES

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Josh DeSmyter, Shrevewood ES

"Mr. DeSmyter was appointed the new Principal at Shrevewood Elementary just 2 months ago and the positive change that he has created during this brief period is absolutely remarkable. Hi-fives to students, a warm greeting to families, and root-beer floats for staff are just a few of his day-to-day acts of kindness. Students literally chant, 'open the doors' at the beginning of school and don't want to go home at the end. He has dedicated countless hours of listening to concerns, devising strategies and creating a working relationship with staff and the PTA. He has tackled some monumental achievements already, like implementing a much needed safer kiss and ride and brought the Positivity Project to our school. Honestly, his achievements in this short period are more numerous than I have space to share. His presence at Shrevewood has created a palpable feeling of excitement and pride for our school community felt by everyone."

- Shrevewood ES PTA

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Rachael Aldridge, Frost MS

"Rachael Aldridge is a talented and dedicated educator. She is a problem-solver, has an incredible ability to connect with students in any capacity. She does all of this as a busy, brand new mother and yet still brings her driven desire to teach her students through innovative and creative techniques every day. Rachael can see issues with assessments, curriculum, methodology, etc., and can address them with realistic alternatives or supportive feedback. I feel so lucky to have such a talented teacher and co-worker beside me every day. Rachael epitomizes a gifted, talented and supportive co-worker. She is amazing."

- Julie Little, Frost MS

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John Greenwood, Frost MS

"John is our technology support specialist. Like many schools, we have good computers and not-so-good computers. And in our staff, we also have an array of abilities and comfort levels with computers/technology. John handles all of it with a quiet, patient, can-do approach. He is resourceful, non-judgmental and always (!!) willing to help solve problems and support the teachers and staff in this building. John is one of the nicest people at Frost and his willingness to do what it takes to support others is unmatched. I am extremely thankful to be his co-worker."


- Julie Little, Frost MS

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Kristin Avina, Frost MS

"Kristin Avina took the lead on a school-wide program last week that teaches and reminds students to ACT (Acknowledge, Care, Tell) when they see or hear concerns from friends. All 7th-graders participated in a wellness screening and 8th-graders a teacher-directed lesson. She ensured that every teacher providing the wellness screening received proper training and that our clinical staff was prepared to follow a specific protocol when addressing student concerns. The program was flawlessly delivered thanks to her incredible attention to detail and time spent organizing the program. Thank you, Ms. Avina!"

- Danielle Hornbecker, Frost MS

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Pam Durrant, Floris ES

"Pam is an amazing person and teacher. She works with our English language learners and supports teachers with resources they can use to meet each student at their level. She will go out of her way to find resources and make sure that all students' needs are being met. She collaborates with classroom teachers to make sure her services align with what is happening in the classroom and the student. Pam is a joy and brightens everyone's, including the students' days."

- Madison Potter, Floris ES

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Tiffany Dowling, Floris ES

"Tiffany has been our school librarian for 8 years. Over her 8 years at Floris, she has truly instilled a love of reading in our students. She has provided so many amazing opportunities for our students, and even had a famous author come to our school! Stuart Gibbs came to our school and shared his love for writing with 4th through 6th-grade students. This opportunity gave the kiddos an experience they will never forget and it is all thanks to Tiffany! We are so thankful for her and all the hard work that she does not just in the library, but also for our news show and our school book fairs."

- Madison Potter, Floris ES

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Tiffany Dowling, Floris ES

"Floris is hosting the Scholastic Book Fair and the library is bustling with students browsing book selections, excitedly clutching ziplock bags containing bills and coins and asking whether they have enough money to purchase all of the books on their wish lists, and just generally showing their enthusiasm for books and reading.  Librarian Tiffany Dowling is handling all of the excitement and questions with her usual patience and humor. Thanks for bringing the love of reading to Floris, Tiffany!"

- Lise Greenfield, Floris ES

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Meg Miller, Centreville HS

"Meg invested a great deal of time and energy rearranging classroom usage for Health to accommodate teachers from another department. She went above and beyond to help students from a different content area to have the best learning environment. Meg is a fantastic teacher-leader and a wonderful colleague."

- Anthony Hanrahan, Centreville HS

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Deanna Evans, Mount Vernon Woods ES

"The PTO would like to thank Ms. Evans for her willingness to always help.  No matter what has been asked of her, Ms. Evans always finds the recourses we need. She always makes sure our i's are dotted and our t's are crossed. We appreciate all of her work with the PTO."

- Mount Vernon Woods ES PTO

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Carmen Little, Mount Vernon Woods ES

"The PTO would like to thank Ms. Little for all of her support. Ms. Little works long hours but is always willing to go above and beyond. We appreciate her being at all of our PTO meetings and interpret for our Spanish-speaking families."

- Mount Vernon Woods ES PTO

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Leslie Paul, Mount Vernon Woods ES

"Mt. Vernon Woods Elementary School The PTO would like to thank Ms. Paul for all of the hard work she has put in this year with the PTO. Her enthusiasm for doing the work is admirable. We love all the ideas she has brought to us and we are grateful for her ability to get the kids and the entire school motivated to participate in the fundraisers and activities. Thank you, Ms. Paul."

- Mount Vernon Woods ES PTO 

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Tammie Betts, Hayfield SS

"Today six students were scheduled to ride a bus to the Mount Vernon Assessment Center for a Career Assessment. When the bus did not arrive to pick up the students Tammie Betts stepped in and made phone calls to arrange a pick up from transportation to get the students where they needed to be. Tammie is constantly doing things to help make sure that students, staff and community members are taken care of. She is professional, kind and reliable. Thank you for always helping out, Tammie!"

- Margaret Autry, Hayfield SS

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Laura Noll, Crossfield ES

"Laura Noll is always willing to assist in any way she can. As a preschool teacher, she often has resource students to service out of the building in the morning. Nevertheless, she is here at Crossfield helping ALL of our students off the buses and into the classroom each and every day. Sometimes our kindergarten students have a difficult time transitioning to school. Recently she has worked with one of our kindergarten students to work on a pirate ship first thing in the morning in our gross motor activity room (which she created). This has given our student motivation, with reassurance, to enter the building and begin the school day successfully. Laura is always willing and very able to assist these students, their parents, and our staff. She has a friendly smile, warm embrace, and helping hand that puts students and staff at ease. We haven't achieved all that we need to, and tomorrow brings more challenges. Crossfield is lucky to have Laura Noll here to help our students strive for success each day and be there during difficult times as well. Thank you!"

- Mark Granieri, Crossfield ES

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Sabrina Dowell, Lorton Transportation Center

"I had made an error in requesting buses for a special field trip and needed an additional bus, literally at the last minute (and for the return trip). Sabrina immediately jumped into action, had a bus here picking up 20 minutes later and also a bus for the return trip (after school hours). She saved our field trip!  Sabrina went above and beyond and we cannot thank her enough."

- Barbara Hiltz, Pine Spring ES

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Ana Cingel, Lake Braddock SS

"Dr. Cingel has been an incredible addition to our building. Adjusting to a new community can be difficult, but also coming into a new community, can be an exhaustive process. Ana has embraced this with hard work and empathy towards her community. Most notably, Ana has worked extensively with a student and their family regarding the student's mental health and getting him to a place where he can best access learning. She has been equal parts administrator, coach, and therapist while maintaining an outstanding level of professionalism. She has devoted countless hours to this student and their family, as well as providing support to all faculty who are involved. The Lake Braddock community is incredibly fortunate to have Dr. Cingel!"

- Tony DiBari, Lake Braddock SS

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Susan DeFrees, Lake Braddock SS

"While Susan DeFrees is the PSL for the Lake Braddock pyramid, she is an invaluable supporter for me as a parent of a special needs 10th-grader at Woodson CSS. Susan is warm and caring. She is willing to listen and share suggestions and support. I have also seen her named in social media posts as one of the FCPS support persons who are helpful and kind. Many parents of special needs students in FCPS are overwhelmed and confused... Susan is a positive, calming presence on their team."

- Julie Moore, Lake Braddock SS

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Lynelle Palencia, Falls Church HS

"On behalf of Career and Transition Services, I would like to extend a huge thank you to Lynelle Palencia for serving as the lead presenter at the Moving on to Life in the Community Resource Fair on October 15th. Lynelle did a wonderful job presenting a complex topic to FCPS families about the transition planning process and the connections to adult service providers. She definitely kicked off the event the right way. Thanks, Lynelle! On behalf of Career and Transition Services, I would like to extend a huge thank you to Lynelle Palencia for serving as the lead presenter at the Moving on to Life in the Community Resource Fair on October 15th. Lynelle did a wonderful job presenting a complex topic to FCPS families about the transition planning process and the connections to adult service providers. She definitely kicked off the event the right way. Thanks, Lynelle!"

- Trevor Christensen, Willow Oaks Administrative Center

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Patricia Courtney, Willow Oaks Administrative Center

"Patty was instrumental in the planning and support of the Career and Transition Services parent event Moving on to Life in the Community: A Resource Fair. Patty provided exceptional administrative support for the event to include preparing resources, contacting vendors and creating signage. Much of the event's success was because of her hard work behind the scenes. Thanks, Patty!"

- Trevor Christensen, Willow Oaks Administrative Center

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Dorothy Bonica, Fort Belvoir Primary ES

"Ms. Bonica is an amazing art teacher that truly cares about the students, school, and military community. She devotes all her time making sure all students have an amazing experience in art, as well as frequently mentoring and building relationships with students. She takes her planning and extra work time to check in with students she mentors. Ms. Bonica is also a member of a specialist team in which she has collaborated and supported new specialists with supporting with students and transitions within the very large building. Ms. Bonica has also done a beautiful mural in the building that supports our military children, as well as giving up her summer to-do artwork outside of the school. Students are welcomed each morning to kid-friendly military artwork of our men and woman serving in various military branches. Students and families have enjoyed seeing this each morning. Finally, Ms. Bonica has helped with other beautiful artwork around the school."

- Alicia Ogrodny, Fort Belvoir Primary ES

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Amanda Dorr, Floris ES

"Amanda is our assistant principal at Floris Elementary. She has been with us for almost a year and has already made a difference in our school. She stays positive and checks in with everyone, even when she is being pulled in every direction. She truly cares about the students and shows them love in every interaction she has with them. Even though she is extremely busy, she takes time to show her appreciation for everyone. We are so thankful to have Amanda as our assistant principal."

- Madison Potter, Floris ES

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Courtney White, Floris ES

"Courtney is our new instructional coach at Floris and has been such a great help and support for teachers and staff. She goes out of her way to help others and will share whatever resources she has from her years of experience. She shares her knowledge and ideas about different units and activities, as well as implementation ideas. She has helped in so many ways already, and I know she will continue to help and support our school in the best way she can."

- Madison Potter, Floris ES

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Bonnie Kolbenstetter, Lake Braddock SS

"We have been having difficulty getting a long term sub for our department. Historically, long term subs have been difficult to procure for the special education department. Even though it is not within her responsibilities, Bonnie reached out to some of her contacts and eventually found a suitable substitute for our position. This is just one of many examples where Bonnie goes above and beyond to be a team player. The Lake Braddock community is fortunate to have Bonnie!"

- Tony DiBari, Lake Braddock SS

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Courtney White, Floris ES

"I want to thank Courtney for being a valuable resource at Floris Elementary. I will be the first to admit that I was a little reserved at the thought of adding an instructional coach to our staff. However, I quickly learned that my reservations were my own to deal with and that, even as a veteran teacher, my core beliefs still go back to my commitment to be a lifelong learner, just like I expect my student to be. Thank you, Courtney, for all that you do. I really appreciate you and I am thankful knowing that you are always available as a resource I can count on."

Gail Heidt, Floris ES

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Lisa Lichtman, Thoreau MS

"Mrs. Lichtman goes above and beyond to support both students and staff at Thoreau MS. She is a veteran teacher who offers her precious time to work with new staff members whenever they have a question. She generously shares her materials and resources with all staff without hesitation. Moreover, she has a special gift of engaging students with reading challenges, and they can't wait to go to her reading classes. They even ask to go at Eagle Time! The Thoreau community is blessed to have such a knowledgeable and kind staff member like Lisa Lichtman. Thank you for all you do!"

Robyne Davis, Thoreau MS

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Kara Nocito, Lake Braddock SS

"Ms. Nocito has gone above and beyond to help a 7th-grade family navigate Blackboard and Google Classroom. Parents of a student on her caseload contacted her about their difficulty at home with Blackboard and Google Classroom. Working with their schedule, she invited them in after school hours to show them how both programs work. The parents left understanding both programs and felt supported."

- Michelle Weaver, Lake Braddock SS

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Renee LaFond, Sprague Technology Center

"Renee has stepped in when we needed a substitute TSSpec and gone above and beyond. We are grateful to her positive presence and organization. Her ability to help us maintain and move forward with our tech resources is a benefit to our staff and students."

- Christine Arocho, Twain MS

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Kristen Cunningham, Falls Church HS

"Kristen is an amazing department chair. She goes above and beyond what her job description entails. If she isn't in her office with a student or teacher, you will find her in the student services office. There she meets new students and families, assists counselors with scheduling, and checks students' intake forms for additional information. Kristen continuously advocates for our students to ensure all of our English learners are taken care of and prepared for school. Many of our students have developed a close relationship with Kristen. They know she cares and will always be their biggest supporter, in and outside of school."

- Erin Coleman, Falls Church HS

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Danielle Cunning, Riverside ES

"Danni is our new Office Assistant and she is so great! We appreciate her coming and being so eager to learn everything! Our office can be so overwhelming with the door bell, phones, and Parents and staff needing something sometimes all at once. She’s such a valuable asset to our office and we appreciate her being there."

- Kesha Samuels, Riverside ES

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Erika Pinto, Woodley Hills ES

"Ms. Pinto is an exceptional special needs teacher. She's not only a great and patient teacher in science, math, and reading, but she is also a kindhearted and caring lady. She understands that each child is unique and is able to tailor her lessons to their specific needs. My daughter has Down Syndrome. Thanks to Ms. Pinto, she enjoys math, science, and reading, very much."

- a Woodley Hills parent

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Heather Kunicki, Lee HS

"As a leader and role-model within her classroom, Mrs. Kunicki knows many of her students face incredible obstacles outside of her classroom and in their personal lives. During such chaotic times, I have consistently seen our students gravitate towards Mrs. Kunicki's poise, organization, 'can do' attitude, and welcoming classroom environment. With the shuffling of schedules, the excitement of homecoming, and the hectic pace to cover multiple content areas, I especially noticed how Heather's warm personality created a haven for learning and an area where students could take risks to express their understanding in meaningful ways. Thank you, Heather, for constantly serving our students' best interests and for reminding us (by example) of how powerful a caring teacher can be in the lives of students."

- Kenneth W. Trotman, Lee HS

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Leslie Engelking and Mark Steinberg, Falls Church HS

"These teachers go above and beyond to get their students to learn the material, pass the class, and pass the SOL tests. Mr. Steinberg and Mr. Engelking have Saturday sessions several times per year where they buy food for all the students coming to the sessions. They host these sessions for students to bring up their grades and keep them invested and engaged in their own learning and to prepare them for the SOLs. They call and email parents and find kids in the hallways to ask for their work. They provide many opportunities for students to show mastery of their work and they circle back to topics with a rotating teacher schedule that expose students to other teaching strategies when students fail assessments. Their efforts have paid off to higher pass rates and, more importantly, students that can connect their hard work to their success. This is unpaid, exhausting and thankless work that is vital to create a thriving learning environment, especially for vulnerable populations. All students should be so lucky to have teachers like this."

- Rachel Olarinde, Falls Church HS

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Melissa Hoffman, Greenbriar East ES

"Melissa was kind enough to switch positions with me for an hour because I have a broken foot and could not attend a walking field trip at the park with my class. I really appreciate that she would do that for me and for my class."

- Laura Shepherd, Greenbriar East ES

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Lise Greenfield, Floris ES

"I am new to FCPS and our school, and since I have been hired, Lise has gone out of her way to check on and support me. A recent example - I had my first IEP meeting last week, and a first local screening a few weeks before that. She made time out of her busy schedule to provide me with resources to prepare, she reviewed my draft narrative, and stayed after work to show me how the IEP process worked on SEA-STARS. Lise is so cheerful and supportive - I am very thankful to work with her!"

- Meghan Norquist, Floris ES

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Chrissy Kelley, South Lakes HS

"Chrissy goes above and beyond her job as SOSA at South Lakes High School. She collects items for students outside of what the school can provide and recently, she collected items for a student who didn't have family in the country. She sees students in the community and takes time to talk with them about attendance and grades and making good decisions. Chrissy always thinks positively about all situations and works to build strong relationships with families and students every day. She is always available for conversation and is willing to support all students in any way she can. We appreciate the work she does."

- Amy Balint, South Lakes HS

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Kathie Higham, Wilton Woods Center

"During routine processing, the system was interrupted by an electricity outage at the Wilton Woods Center early Saturday morning. I needed help getting my program back up and running so I called on Kathie for assistance. She immediately rallied her team to assist me, continually called me with updated information, and then formulated a plan to restore missing data and help us finish our tasks. This took all day on Saturday--from just after 8:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m., and I am sure that Kathie had other plans for her time off. On Sunday, she monitored email traffic and coordinated more work efforts. She remained cheerful and upbeat, never once complaining or grousing about having to work on a Saturday. Kathie has always provided this type of selfless, dedicated support to my office and Saturday was just another instance where without her expertise, my work product would have suffered. Kathie goes above and beyond to provide excellent care and this week was no exception. Her positive, 'can do' attitude is infectious. Thank you so much, Kathie, for your help!"

- Melissa Russell, Gatehouse Administration Center

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Hector Herrera, Wilton Woods Center

"There was a power outage during routine maintenance at Wilton Woods which impacted work that we were doing in the system. Hector was very helpful by confirming the cause of my issue and then updating me with status information throughout the day. It's amazing to me that with all the other things he had to juggle he took the time to phone me with updates. He was very kind and professional!"

- Melissa Russell, Gatehouse Administration Center

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Dave Dameron, Hai Tran, Darrin German, Ricky Crafton, and Ryan Day, Sideburn Support Center

"Lake Braddock experienced two separate incidents of graffiti within the same week. Dave, Hai, Darrin, Ricky, and Ryan, did a phenomenal job of getting here quickly and working to remove the vandalism in a timely manor so that it did not impact our community. They were cheerful and helpful, and never once complained about the amount of work or time spent cleaning it. The quality of work was awesome and you cannot see any remnants of the vandalism. Lake Braddock was very fortunate to be able to call on these gentlemen to help us out!"

- Tony DiBari, Lake Braddock SS

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Sonia Martinez Reyes, Edison HS

"Sonia is one of the finest teachers I have met in the county. She is helpful, knowledgeable and professional. She goes beyond her tasks to help students succeed in the IB exam. The approval rate of her students is very high, which indicates her efforts in making sure students are prepared for the exam."

- Sandra Alexandrino, Justice HS

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Joleen Michalowicz, Westlawn ES

"Dr. Michalowicz helps teachers and students to start their day in a peaceful way. She coaches the student broadcasters on WES TV to start their broadcast each day with a calming video and end with a mindful breathing technique. This centers everyone and helps them start on a calm note."

- Linda Ferguson, Westlawn ES

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Brynn Hodder, Long-term Substitute Teacher at Haycock ES

"My child has to leave 1/2 hour early for sporting instruction on Wednesdays. Mrs. Hodder allows my child to come in during lunch break the next day to finish up her artwork. Shopping for finger-food my daughter can eat while she works makes us happy; it is a pleasant conversation about school between the two of us. I cannot tell you how refreshing it is to see this sort of caring in a teacher. Mrs. Hodder is substituting for an art teacher that returns from leave soon. Please recognize this woman's dedication and efforts for caring for my child. Also, please consider her if she wants a full-time position, assuming she is not full time already. FCPS needs teachers like this for certain. Thank you for providing this outlet to express appreciation."

- a Haycock ES parent 

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Georgia Walsh, Lorton Transportation Center

"Georgia Walsh is the transportation coordinator for all FCPS homeless students. This is a huge job and is like painting a moving train but she always does it efficiently, kindly, and with great detail and good humor! She and her team in Lorton are amazing! They always find a way to keep students in school by organizing some form of transportation assistance to get the students to and from school, no matter what is going on with their housing situation. We have students who are in shelters in one part of the county but need to go to schools on the opposite side of the county, we have students who are sleeping in cars, or couch-surfing from one address to another. It is no easy task to try to keep up with all these moves and all these moving pieces, but Georgia makes it look easy! August and September 2019 were absolutely crazy months. We registered 1,000 homeless students in those 2 months and many of these students need special transportation, which must be arranged by Georgia. She and her team at Lorton are wonderful! I, and everyone else in the Homeless Liaison Office are thrilled to have Georgia as a part of our team. We are never going to allow her to retire!"

- Liz Rivera, Willow Oaks Administrative Center

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Jacqueline Ventura, Mount Vernon HS

"Jackie is a graduate of MVHS, Class of 2011, when Dr. Nardos King was the principal. She is in her third year as our main office administrative assistant. She does everything from checking in substitutes, visitors, and community members, to solving staff and classroom issues. She is well thought of by her coworkers, staff, parents, and students. She is also very talented artistically and creates thought-provoking display cases! This is my second year at MVHS as Dr. Terrell's Administrative Assistant and I am so thankful for Jackie's assistance and knowledge of our school and community. Jackie never misses a beat and has a smile for everyone! When she isn't here, all you hear from folks is, 'Where is Jackie?'  She is the face and voice of MVHS!"

- Karen Bryan, Mount Vernon HS

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Kathy Adams, Willow Oaks Administrative Center

"Kathy, thank you for all your help and support with the Caring Culture Committee during the 2018-19 academic year. Thank you in particular for posting the upcoming bulletin of events on a weekly basis."

- Evie Ifantides, Willow Oaks Administrative Center

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Virginia Brown, Willow Oaks Administrative Center

"Virginia, thank you for all your help and support with the Caring Culture Committee during the 2018-19 academic year. Thank you in particular for posting the upcoming bulletin of events on a weekly basis."

- Evie Ifantides, Willow Oaks Administrative Center

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Alison Ware, Willow Oaks Administrative Center

"Alison, thank you for supporting the Caring Culture Committee during the 2019-20 school year. I especially want to thank you for taking the time to lead the Lunch and Learn activity for our colleagues at Willow Oaks titled: 'Taking a year sabbatical and traveling the world.' You shared some great travel tips and tricks and more importantly, your memories of the trip. Thank you for putting together such a thoughtful event and for helping to foster a Caring Culture."

- Evie Ifantides, Willow Oaks Administrative Center

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Patty Hansen, Colvin Run ES

"Mrs. Hansen has made my son feel so welcome and wanted at Colvin Run. He is new to the school this year. In addition, when she found out he suffers from migraines, she went out and bought floor lamps for the classroom so she could turn off the fluorescent lights. She is the perfect mix of kind and compassionate with high expectations and firm boundaries for student behavior."

- a Colvin Run ES parent

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Chris Kamerow and Sam Elson, Kings Glen ES

"Chris Kamerow in the office at Kings Glen is beyond huge. She is extremely knowledgeable, helpful, and wonderful at guiding parents down the correct path. I’ve always found her to consistently deliver high levels of extraordinary customer service. I would also like to thank principal Sam Elson for his steady leadership."

- Mike Ross, Gatehouse Administration Center

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Leon Jackson, Sprague Technology Center

"Leon Jackson is a critical part of the Sprague Center IT Team. While he routinely goes 'above and beyond' to care for our building and staff needs, he displayed incredible customer service to the IT Program Management and Planning (PMP) Team in September. During our temporary office re-location, Leon not only served as our overall project manager, he personally coordinated with the teams in Facilities and external vendors to ensure that the project would run smoothly. In addition to all of his regular areas of responsibility, Leon created a project matrix and learned about each phase of the project. He researched options, asked the right questions, and found a way to shave 4 days off the original project timeframe, ensuring that our team was back in our office and working much quicker than we originally thought. His incredible attention to detail was comforting to staff concerned about working in alternate locations, and during the time work was being done, Leon was a frequent and visible presence - not only representing our building with FTS and the vendors but also checking in on the comfort and work conditions of the IT staff members. The time Leon spent on this project surpassed anything I could have expected and the successful end-result in large-part due to Leon's efforts. IT PMP is grateful for Leon's willingness to jump in and help tackle all facets of this project."

- Michelle NewRingeisen, Sprague Technology Center

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Nancy LucasHeck, Lake Braddock SS

"Nancy has been my mentor for the past 5 years. She has been an incredible person to work for. She always puts the students first and always goes above and beyond. She has the biggest heart and has been working with the Special Education population for the past 12-15 years. I have learned so much and everyday I continue to learn more. I am honored to work with her and I wish everyone had a great Department Chair like this. Thanks for all you do, Nancy, and I hope I am half the teacher/educator you are one day!"

- Candace Jones, Lake Braddock SS

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Ananth Chawan, Gatehouse Administration Center

"AC is the ultimate professional. EVERY interaction I have with him, and it is usually a couple of times a week, is wonderful. Most of our interactions are concerning postings on MySchoolBucks.com and he processes our requests quickly and with a level of expertise that is very appreciated. He communicates with me to ensure that all is correct and will even reach out to me by phone to ask if I would like him to add an attachment, i.e., field trip form, student permission form, guest student request for the homecoming dance. He thinks like an employee, a parent, and a community member, and that is priceless. He makes South Lakes HS look good and I know he does the same for all the schools and departments within the FCPS family. He makes a bad day good and a good day even better."

- Joan Carboni, South Lakes HS

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Robert Wagner, Marshall HS

"Mr. Wagner was a great help after my computer decided to stop working. He went above and beyond to replace it and ensure I retrieved all my data. I greatly appreciate him always having a positive attitude and going the extra mile to help. Thank you for all your support!"

- Mira Tadros, Marshall HS

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Lakeyta Smith, Willow Oaks Administrative Center

"I had the opportunity to be on the 2019 Summer Experience Staff and appreciated the outstanding work Lakeyta Smith did in preparing and organizing a great summer program for College Partnership Program Students. The students truly benefited from the well planned and informative college visits lead by Lakeyta Smith."

- Bruce Walker, Longfellow MS

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David Schonberger, Woodson Complex

"Mr. Schonberger came to Rose Hill to change some locks for us. He checked in asked for me as I had put in the work order. He told me what he could do and proceeded to explain everything to me. He was helpful, kind and professional. His level of customer service was stellar! Thanks so much for all you do Mr. Schonberger! We at Rose Hill appreciate you."

- Linda Layton, Rose Hill ES

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Justin Huff, Sprague Technology Center

"Justin has been a joy to work with! He is collaborative, organized, and proactive. In an effort to provide schools with an accurate list of approved, functional tools within AppV, Justin worked with us to identify the most up to date versions of software that should be available to schools. He then crafted an organized, succinct message for AppV teams that helped to clearly convey this information so schools can access the software they need."

- Leslie Borkenhagen, Willow Oaks Administrative Center

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Mercedes Amaya, Greenbriar East ES

"Ms. Tina, Ms. Nasri, and Ms. Aitcheson appreciate Mercedes' hard work in the building. She consistently goes above and beyond to make sure all needs are met at the school. She has a positive attitude and is a joy to be around at GBE!"

- Sarah Aitcheson, Tina Sedghi and Kawtar Nasri, Greenbriar East ES

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Liz Caligiuri, Greenbriar East ES

"Thanks, Liz, for your time. I know it was your planning period, but you took time out of your busy schedule to check my laptop, answer my questions and reimage my PC. You also cleaned my keyboard. I appreciate your help and positive attitude!"

- Lilly Shin, Greenbriar East ES

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Willa McGrath, Floris ES

"Willa is new to our school. She went above and beyond to help me get our HR Award information ready. We are now a team. This was once a daunting task and now Willa is taking the work and running with it.  I am so grateful to Willa graciously helping with the workload. She is a great coworker. Floris is lucky to have her on our team."

- Heather O'Neal, Floris ES

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Lindsay McQuaid, Robinson SS

"Lindsay is constantly going above and beyond to support our students with special needs. She is accommodating and inclusive of all student needs, and she recognizes the importance of building relationships and showing empathy towards all of our students."

- Samantha Tolan, Robinson SS

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Donna Desaulniers, Willow Oaks Administrative Center

"We want to thank Donna Desaulniers for her efforts to coordinate extra support staff to conduct our wellness screening today. Having an extra specialist to meet with students that were in immediate need had a huge impact on our ability to ensure that we supported the wellness of all students."

- Linda Shannon, Frost MS

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Dede Bailer, Willow Oaks Administrative Center

"We want to thank Dede Bailer for sending us extra support staff today to conduct our wellness screening. Having an extra specialist to meet with students that were in immediate need had a huge impact on our ability to ensure that we supported the wellness of all students."

- Linda Shannon, Frost MS

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The Staff at Justice High School

"We are an amazing staff. Our staff goes above and beyond for kids and each other. Recently, we began our Den Time. This is the time during the day where teachers and counselors provide additional support and enrichment for kids. Our staff has been working together to develop structures to do this at the high school level. On October 1st, we began our Den Time. Our kids are lucky to have a dedicated staff willing to take risks and create a great place for learning."

- Maria Eck, Justice HS

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Kristin Danzenbaker and Regina Thomas, Oakton ES

"We notified our child’s teachers of some sensitive issues going on at home last week. A few days later Mrs. Danzenbaker emailed us saying our child had a rough morning. Ms. Thomas comforted her until she felt better and they kept an eye on her at lunch and recess to make sure she was doing ok. We communicated back and forth and we decided there was no need for us to come up to the school. We can’t thank Mrs. Danzenbaker and Ms. Thomas enough for not only being fabulous teachers but showing our daughter how emotionally safe she can feel in her new school. Thank you for helping her little heart heal!"

- an Oakton ES parent

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Richard Barker and Chris Ramos, Merrifield Support Center

"Mr. Barker and Mr. Ramos have done an incredible job over multiple days of nursing our school's HVAC systems back to health. They kept their cool in the heat and we are overjoyed with the results. We thank them both for their dedication and expertise, true professionals!"

- Doug Pielmeier, Justice HS

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Danielle Early, Bull Run ES

"Danielle is a first-year teacher. I am a twenty-year teacher. Danielle joined our team full of ideas and a passion for teaching. As an experienced math lead teacher, I felt my math instruction was set. Danielle has brought new ideas and enthusiasm to our day to day instruction. She has changed my way of thinking for the better and I know our students and our team are so fortunate to have her. She is bringing a new perspective and enthusiasm to our team. We, and our students are so very lucky."

- Patricia Lucas, Bull Run ES

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Stefan Slavov, Energy Zone Fod Services Center

"Stefan catered breakfast for the kick-off of the Middle Managers RoundTable, a collaborative leadership development program hosted by  Fairfax County Government, Health & Human Services, Public Safety, and Public Schools (FCPS). He went above and beyond to ensure everything would be perfect. Our county government counterpart was also impressed with his attention to detail and customer services. I think you are a model of operational excellence! Thank you, Stefan!"

- Tiffany Lee, Willow Oaks Administrative Center

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Erin Dunn, Lemon Road ES

"My son has been struggling at school with bullying, with a particularly difficult incident on Friday afternoon after school. I emailed Ms. Dunn and the school principal at 4:00 p.m. to report the incident. Both responded quickly and Ms. Dunn spent a considerable portion of her Friday evening texting with this distraught mom. She checked in over the weekend and during the school day to let me know how he was doing. Above and beyond!"

- a Lemon Road ES parent

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Kathleen Young, Lake Braddock SS

"Kat Young coordinated SAT testing in our building this past Saturday. This meant organizing room use, recruiting proctors, and day-of management. Historically, this is a difficult role as teachers get very picky about their rooms being used, many of which are Mrs. Young's peers. However, Kat did a great job of notifying teachers early to help them prepare to help ease the burden. Additionally, Kat strategically scheduled to ensure that there was as low an impact as possible to teachers. When presented with pushback and frustration from some of her peers, Kat displayed a great level of empathy with frustrated teachers and provided solution-based feedback. She did an incredible job of juggling all of the responsibilities of this role while maintaining great relationships with her peers. Overall, Kat did an incredible job."

- Tony DiBari, Lake Braddock SS

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Jennifer Owens, Sprague Technology Center

"Jen has been extremely helpful and very responsive to the implementation of the new Destiny Library System. She is very clear and concise in her explanation of inquiries that our office has had, and I am very thankful for ALL she does for FCPS! Many kudos to her!"

- Rita Berlin, Dunn Loring Center

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Lani Morris, Fort Hunt ES

"Ever since I first came to Fort Hunt, Lani Morris has always been remarkably helpful when I had questions about helping her students succeed in art. With her pleasant personality and positive attitude, it’s a pleasure to have her as a colleague. Additionally, I enjoy seeing (and learning from!) her interactions with students. It’s clear how much they love her. That’s one of the many reasons we’re all lucky to have her at our school!"

- Andrew Green, Fort Hunt ES

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Linda Lauderdale, Justice HS

"Linda is always kind and thoughtful. As a team leader, she ensures that CT meetings are productive and democratic. She's the nicest, most giving teacher I know. To top it off, she bakes the best brownies I've ever eaten."

- Matt Levi, Justice HS

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Ashley Mangan, Shrevewood ES

"Ms. Mangan took time to write and have a call about a stressed out student who is working on adjusting to a changing home situation. Ms. Mangan was so compassionate and informative and available to advise/connect with both the student and family. She made a big difference."

- a Shrevewood ES parent 

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Caitlin Tucker, Shrevewood ES

"Ms. Tucker provided a welcoming and motivating environment for her new 3rd-grade class and ensured a wonderfully smooth transition. Grateful for her kind and thoughtful leadership of this group."

- a Shrevewood ES parent

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Francisco Nolasco, Lemon Road ES

"Francisco is an incredibly thoughtful and caring building supervisor. He consistently supports all employees at Lemon Road with a smile and a positive attitude and is always thinking one step ahead. Last week I had a scare when a very large spider created a web that blocked the entrance to my trailer door. When I asked him to help out, he dropped what he was doing and immediately helped remove the web so my students and I could learn without being disrupted. While Francisco has more on his plate than he has time for, I really appreciate that he puts his teachers first and is always there when we need him. He has always gone above and beyond but has especially made the transition to the trailer smoother than I could have imagined. Thank you, Francisco, for all that you do!"

- Marissa Troiano, Lemon Road ES

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Lori Dove, Quander Road School

"Ms. Dove is the PE teacher at Quander Road School. She works with the kids where they are to try to instill a life-long pattern of healthy habits. My son has stuggled with PE his entire school career and Ms. Dove has really made an effort to connect with him and she has made a difference. It is evident the care and concern she has for her students and her school community."

- a Quander Road School parent

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Lisa Huebner, Freedom Hill ES

"Mrs. Huebner is a very kind and caring teacher. My child always mentions that she is the nicest teacher. She also cares about helping each child grow in her class. My child is a bit on the quieter side and Mrs. Huebner took the time to ask to meet with me after school. She wanted to know more about him in order to help him feel more comfortable and more confident in class."

- a Freedom Hill ES parent

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Myria Shipman, Lanier MS

"Middle school can be a hard transition especially for a child with ADHD. Things that would not bother most children can cause a meltdown in an ADHD child. When my child was experiencing stress and that stress was causing a full-blown attack, Mrs. Shipman remained calm. She found the item that was needed for my child; in this case, a bag to carry on the field trip, and helped my child turn a disaster into a fun learning opportunity. She saw the whole student and went above and beyond for a student. BRAVO!"

- a Lanier MS parent

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Kathleen Schroeder, Stone MS

"Mrs. Schroeder called to inform me that my daughter was working diligently in her class. My daughter struggles in math and she is a hard worker but not a 'straight A student'. Mrs. Schroeder made my day and my daughter's day by recognizing all her hard work. It was so unexpected and refreshing to have a middle school teacher call and compliment her effort. Compliments and praise for hard work help tremendously to motive struggling students like mine. We need more teachers like her!"

- a Stone MS parent

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Nancy Borick, Dranesville ES

"My daughter began 6th-grade this year and has severe school anxiety in addition to slacking grades from undiagnosed ADHD. Ms. Borick has been so easy to reach and insists on helping my child and other children outside of the classroom. In a short period of time, Ms. Borick has raised my child’s confidence and oddly enough, my child can’t wait to get to school to take Ms. Borick’s math class. My once withdrawn, struggling child is now able to understand her classwork, complete homework assignments, and most importantly, be present! The extra effort Ms. Borick has provided to my child for math has inadvertently helped my child in all her other subjects! Ms. Borick is the best example of the phrase 'teachers who love teaching teach children to love learning'. Finally, we see the light at the end of our struggling tunnel!"

- a Dranesville ES parent

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Tim Roberson, Woodson - IT

"Tim has been a great support partner to work with in my short time at Kent Gardens. Being the new TSSpec at Kent Gardens Elem I had one of those moments of knowing a little bit of troubleshooting, but not enough to determine the full issue. Tim came out to my school, tested the TV system, and immediately identified the problem. Teachers were very happy with the quick turnaround and that the problem was resolved.  He went above and beyond to make sure that I got the needed support for my school.  In addition to fixing the problem, he also offered some suggestions for improving our school's TV Studio. A win on all accounts. I want to thank him for all his support."

- Terri Pendleton, Kent Gardens ES

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Damion Dawson, Woodson - IT

"Being the new TSSpec at Kent Gardens Elem I was in one of those situations where things are new - new people, new work environment, new challenges. Damian went above and beyond to make sure that I got the needed support for my school. He truly delivered exceptional customer service when he made a trip out to my site (last minute) and helped me with some setups for our new quads, plus answering my many questions about cabling. I can't thank him enough for all the support and knowledge-sharing that he has provided me for the last few months."

- Terri Pendleton, Kent Gardens ES

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Marie Esguerra, Rose Hill ES

"I have an inclusion classroom this year. I was given an Instructional Assistant to work with who was new to our school. I quickly learned and observed that Marie would be more than an assistant in the classroom. She helps tremendously with a student who has diabetes. She assists every student in the classroom when they have a need. She is always patient, caring, and attentive. We are blessed to have 'Miss Marie as a part of our class. I hope this in a small way lets her know how much I appreciate her."

- Danny Adams, Rose Hill ES

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Renee Ruggles, Hayfield SS

"Ms. Ruggles is always lending a helping hand to staff members and students. She is flexible, kind and a true team player that advocates for and assists students in any way she can. For example, today she rearranged her morning to accompany a student to a work experience off-campus and not during the scheduled class meeting time. This was a meaningful, real work, hands-on job that was a great experience for the student. While there, Renee offered appropriate support to the student - encouraging the student to be independent and making comments to build the student's self-confidence. Thank you so much, Ms. Ruggles!"

- Margaret Autry, Hayfield SS

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Andrew Green, Fort Hunt ES

"I would like to nominate Andrew Green for FCPS Cares because I love his energy, he’s awesome and he’s always positive. He jumps in to help whenever and wherever he can."

- Izza McDonald, Fort Hunt ES

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Jackie Gaston, Mountain View AHS

"Thank you, Jackie, for taking time out of your busy schedule and sharing your knowledge with parents on post-secondary education options. It was a full house at the parent resource center and evaluation feedback was extremely positive! On evaluation forms, parents stated: I have been waiting for a workshop like this; Jackie was clear and concise; she answered all my questions; Jackie didn’t let attendees to get lost; This was awesome!; I loved the step-by-step instructional information; Great info!; and well worth taking a day off to attend! Career and Transition Services is lucky to have Jackie Gaston as an employment and transition representative and as a rock star presenter!"

- Sarah Blake, Willow Oaks Administrative Center

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Rebecca Cousins, West Springfield HS

"FCPS cares about Becky Cousins. Thank you, Becky, for taking time out of your busy schedule to present to College Partnership Program (CPP) advocates. Because of you, the collaboration between Career and Transition Services (CTS) and CPP is growing and students will benefit. CTS is lucky to have Becky Cousins as an Employment and Transition Representative!"

- Sarah Blake, Willow Oaks Administrative Center

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Chiffon White, Forte Center

"I wanted to let you know what a positive experience we had today with Chiffon White. Ms. White came to Haycock to deliver our passive order this morning. She could not have been more pleasant. She came to the office with a big smile and offered to unload the pallet so that it wouldn’t take up room in our hallway. This was such a nice thing to do. We really appreciate the extra effort from Ms. White."

- Debbie Felix, Haycock ES

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Isaac Randall, Wilton Woods Center

"I just wanted to take a minute to recognize Isaac Randall and his willingness to go above and beyond to help. In a meeting today, he was presented with a complex problem that we have been struggling with for a couple of years and he took it on. By the end of the meeting, we came up with a possible solution for the 'Institute for the Arts' summer scheduling that should not only benefit administrators but most importantly, our students and parents. Isaac is always willing to come to the table to hash-out these complex business processes and he works diligently to come up with a solution. I am so fortunate to get to work with him every day."

- Michelle Andrews, Wilton Woods Center

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Michael Stone and Brian Stagliano, McLean HS

"Michael and Brian show that FCPS Cares by responding to early morning emails with gusto and creativity to help a student access an online textbook AND find a better way to listen to the content."

- Diana Ree-Reeder, Instructional Programs Support Center

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Ashley Rosenlund, Sally Sommers, and Kristin Cady, Westgate ES

"The amazing 3rd-grade team, Ashley Rosenlund, Sally Sommers, and Kristin Cady, have created such a warm and welcoming environment for their students this year. I have been spending morning meeting time in their classrooms and am impressed each day for the cozy space that their students experience. Their classrooms feel like home and each student feels valued!"

- Michelle Scherbenske, Westgate ES

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Katelyn Donnelly, Sprague Technology Center

"Katelyn has routinely supported Annandale High School's students and teachers this summer and at the beginning of the school year. If she doesn't know how to help, she knows someone who will and sees you through until your problem is solved, all with a smile. Thank you, Katelyn, for all of your help and support."

- Jennifer Cory, Annandale HS

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Terry Gregory, Stone MS

"Ms. Gregory did a phenomenal job responding to my inquiry as a concerned parent of a new middle school student. My son, who has an active IEP, was not feeling challenged in his general education team-taught classes and she not only responded to my email very quickly, but she then set up a phone call to discuss the situation further. I emailed on a Wednesday and we discussed it on Friday. She had already done some research on the situation before our phone call and after she committed to doing even more. By the following Thursday, she had managed to have his schedule altered to give him the challenge of a Math Honors 7 class. She has been fabulously responsive, curious about the situation, and open to pursuing possibilities. I'm so grateful to her for how she handled the manner in such a professional way that really highlighted her ability to connect with her students and see their potential."

- a Stone MS parent 

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Michael VanWambeke and Emily Howard, South County MS

"My son has struggled with connecting with books that make him enjoy reading. This year, he raves about the books recommended by the SoCo MS librarians! He talks about how he loves the library and how the librarians have taken the time to get to know him and his interests to connect him with the right books. Now, he consistently looks forward to finishing a book and getting the next librarians’ recommendation!"

- a South County MS parent 

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Ernest Asante, Mount Vernon HS

"Mr. Asante always demonstrates poise, professionalism, and patience with our students with special needs and their parents. He has been an effective liaison between the needs of the students as translated by the parent, the school and their IEP. He proactively comes to our students with particular needs. He is also helpful in so many ways including hosting workout sessions for the staff as a track coach in FCPS. He hosts the staff vs student basketball games to help bridge the rapport between our students and their SpEd case managers, teachers, admin and support staff.  In addition, he is just an all-around good person with an effective aura of influence. He is one of many MVHS alumni that have come back to serve in his high school and gives back on a continual basis."

- Irvin Kalugdan, Mount Vernon HS

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Carla Richter, Cardinal Forest ES

"Carla goes above and beyond to care for the people and students around her. She takes on responsibilities for teachers that are out during emergencies and helps plan and teach their classes.  When I was sick, she brought my family a full meal, including gluten-free options for me. She is planning a Heritage Night where our staff and families can share their cultural talents and gifts. Last year she was concerned about her sixth-graders having appropriate attire for their promotion ceremony. She went back and forth to the store many times trying to find the right size and style outfits for two sixth graders. Carla is one of the most caring individuals I have ever met and deserves this recognition."

- Daviana Greenberg Kye, Cardinal Forest ES

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Travis Thomason, Silverbrook ES

"Mr. Thomason continues to exhibit a significant level of commitment and integrity. During this time, however, the complexity of annual testing can be trying but Mr. Thomason continues to successfully plan, execute, and manage this process. Great job, Travis, on another testing period!"

- Carmen Pangelinan, Silverbrook ES

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Leon Jackson, Sprague Technology Center

"Leon went above and beyond to assist with an office move in our department, coordinating moving bins, assisting with the transition of office furniture and cabinets. And always with a positive attitude. We could not have done it without him!"

- Jean Welsh, Sprague Technology Center

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Cynthia Gavin, Lake Braddock SS

"Cynthia Gavin is a true asset to our art department at Lake Braddock Secondary. Time and time again she has been known to pitch in whenever there is a need and come through for us. If someone has an emergency, she will willingly and kindly provide coverage for us. Her sweet disposition and work as a team player prompted me to give her some special recognition."

- Victoria McGrath, Lake Braddock SS

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Craig Maniglia, Gatehouse Administration Center

"Craig Maniglia was asked to take the lead on a very important internal project to support future action planning for our Human Resources Office. Craig assembled a team of diverse stakeholders and facilitated several meetings to create work products and artifacts to share with our colleagues in ORSI. Ultimately, this work will serve to help shape some important initiatives going forward in the HR Office. Craig's professionalism, attention to detail, and ability to synthesize information have been instrumental in the success of this of work."

- Helen Nixon, Gatehouse Administration Center

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Cynthia Lowry and Johanna Meadows, Gatehouse Administration Center

I would like to thank Johanna and Cynthia in Time and Attendance for ALL their help! I love that they answer my questions with so much kindness and patience. You both are so very helpful and I really appreciated it. Thank you, ladies!

- Regina Johnson, Daniels Run ES

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Phillip Jeffers, Sprague Technology Center

"Phillip assisted our department during a transition, taking down work stations, setting them back up and all things IT related. Phillip assisted with the planning process down to the last computer setup. He is always professional, helpful and patient. Much appreciation!!"

- Jean Welsh, Sprague Technology Center

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John Lord, Sideburn Support Center

"John Lord is the coordinator of Energy Management for our school. This past Saturday was our Homecoming dance, and we had a major issue with the HVAC system that made it a little uncomfortable for the 1500 students and staff that were attending. I e-mailed Mr. Lord with our concerns and expressed my frustration with the issue as it has happened in the past as well. Here is where Mr. Lord shines: Rather than make excuses, explain off the event as a fluke, or talk to me as if I didn't understand the HVAC system, Mr. Lord took ownership of his department. He succinctly explained the mistake that occurred within the department, explained why it had happened, and laid out a plan to ensure that it doesn't happen again. He was both humble and cordial, where I might not have extended him the same courtesy in my initial e-mail. In a county the size of FCPS with the number of buildings that he must oversee, Mr. Lord could have provided a stock response and instead told me "these things happen, we'll work harder." He made it clear that he is personally invested in our specific issue which puts our minds at ease. We are truly thankful to have John Lord support us."

- Tony DiBari, Lake Braddock SS