FCPS Cares - September 2018

By Department of Human Resources
FCPS Cares
September 05, 2018

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

To view past submissions, please visit our previous submissions page

FCPS Cares of the Month Recipients

a photo from the fcps cares celebration at sideburn support center
Central Office FCPS Cares of the Month recipient Steve Hotaling (left) and nominator Robert Bargar.

Central Office: Steve Hotaling - Sideburn Support Center

  • "When I came into the office early this morning the air conditioning in the front part of the building was not cooling. Because all of the HVAC Technicians were busy addressing school A/C problems, I went to Steve Hotaling in our Engineering section here at Sideburn Support Center and asked him about the issue. Steve immediately stopped what he was doing to check the A/C control program on his computer. When everything in the program looked correct, he took the extra initiative to go onto the roof of our building and reset the unit to get it cool again. Before Steve promoted into our Engineering section he was previously an FCPS HVAC Technician. He utilized those skills and took the initiative to get the A/C back up to prevent us from having to wait for an available HVAC Technician even though it wasn't his job. I appreciate his efforts and thank him for making us cool again."

- Robert Bargar, Sideburn Support Center

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Region 1: Kirk Treakle - Carson Middle School

  • "Kirk Treakle is our amazing head librarian. What makes Kirk so special is that he is one of the most genuine people I know. He is kind, courteous, and always helpful. Kirk has a can-do attitude. I have never heard him say no to a request from a staff member, especially when the request is related to helping our students learn. Not only does Kirk promote a love for reading with our students by keeping an up-to-date library full of fiction and nonfiction books that the kids love, he is also a teacher extraordinaire. Kirk is always encouraging teachers to bring their kids to the library for research. He gives lessons on how to research, he helps teachers and students use technology and print materials effectively.  He has a depth of knowledge on science and helps me with ecology lessons all the time. He is a great resource for not only science classes, but all subjects. Kirk truly embodies our school's namesake, Rachel Carson. Kirk runs our school's recycling program and teaches all of us the dos and don'ts of reducing, reusing, and recycling. He advises the going green club and has several winning groups participating with local watershed competitions. He helps with the Garden club and is always out and about our school grounds planting gardens, trees, and helping with watershed projects.  Kirk is a role model for all. His love for our planet and for reading mesh wonderfully together.  It is because of people like Kirk that I know there is hope for saving our planet.  Back to the librarian thing...Kirk is always there to recommend YA books for me to read. He has a great knowledge of knowing exactly what to recommend to the person asking.  I am able to connect with my students by having read common interest books and it is all thanks to Kirk for truly knowing Middle Schoolers!  Kirk is an example of how FCPS employees care and take pride in their work."

 - Moosa Shah, Rachel Carson MS

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Region 2: Joan Swanson - Fairhill Elementary School (Pictured)

  • "I’ve been a Fairhill parent for 11 years with my two kids and Ms. Swanson has thoroughly impressed me with her amazing motivation and enthusiasm for her students! She sends classroom updates with pictures almost every day, set up a 6th-grade class Twitter account, and has come up with so many creative ways to energize and motivate the 6th graders and keep their families engaged. For example, they have a “bank account” where students get rewarded for going above and beyond like supporting fundraisers and Fairhill community events. She motivates them to achieve goals with fun incentives like having a camp-out day in the classroom, complete with a video of a campfire, s’mores, and sleeping bags. This week, the students had a real author visit the classroom, and she shared updates and pictures with parents. I really appreciate all the effort that Ms. Swanson puts in to make 6th grade a wonderful learning environment for the students and the parents."

- a Fairhill ES parent

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Region 3: Kelly Altman - Key Center

  • "Kelly Altman developed a Special called “BodyWorks” 3 years ago. Bodyworks takes Key Center students on a journey to understand the 6 inter-related systems of the body: Circulatory, Digestive, Integumentary, Muscular, Nervous, Skeletal. As students begin to learn about the function of each system, Kelly incorporates related extension activities in the areas of movement, cooking, and science - to name but a few. Thanks to Kelly, students are gaining understanding of their own bodies and how they relate to the world around them. The students are also learning to develop a sense of responsibility for their own health. Kelly strategically adapts her lessons to meet the many unique needs at Key Center School. Kelly has also created a Key Center Run/Walk club and she is a driving force to raise funds for our Sensory Room.  Kelly you ROCK!"

- Emily Kaltenmark, Key Center School

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Region 4: Nicole Falardeau-Ulrich - Cardinal Forest Elementary School

  • "I wanted to highlight Nicole, our librarian, because she dedicates so much of her time and effort to our school. Nicole lives over an hour and a half away from school but always arrives early to meet with teachers and begin the school news show. Within the first year of teaching at Cardinal Forest, she completely restructured the morning news show where it is now solely student-run. The 6th graders train the 5th graders and know how to do each job with confidence. At the end of each morning show, they give constructive feedback to one another and set goals for the next day. She has truly built a community and structure around the news show. Additionally, Nicole has turned our library into a complete maker-space for students. She anchors her lessons around the curriculum but uses outside of the box materials and technology to engage students and infuse rigor into her class. Students are consistently using Portrait of a Graduate skills when they are in the library. When you walk into the library, you will almost always find students working with one another to build something, being challenged in their thinking, and problem solving with one another through a blended learning activity. One of her latest lessons was with Breakout EDU boxes, where students had to work together to solve puzzles that would unlock different lockboxes. The enthusiasm and teamwork were just magical! She inspires teachers in our building to push their thinking and pedagogy. Additionally, Nicole is the sole person to run the School Government Association (SCA) for the students. She organizes all of the meetings and fundraisers that the SCA runs and guides students to become leaders in our school. She takes the time to video record each student's speech that would like to run for the SCA and runs the voting on Google Forms with each class in the school. What a cool way to vote! Overall, I think Nicole is someone who deserves a shout out for how much dedication and love she pours into our school. She is a leader who does not often get recognized and teaches in a relevant and engaging way. Thank you, Nicole!"

- Michele Meshover, Cardinal Forest ES

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Region 5: Kevin Smith - Fairfax High School Academy

  • "I've known this teacher for 3 years and this is my 2nd year having his class. Mr. Smith is the most genuine teacher I've ever had. He is attentive to each and every one of his students and truly cares for their success. There is no one experience I wish to describe because every experience in his class is special. Mr. Smith is patient and understanding, unlike many teachers I've had in the past he's very encouraging and I know that I'll never feel judged or a lesser person in his class. In conclusion, Mr. Smith's class atmosphere is a strong educational and inspirational environment, I am at most myself in his class and I believe myself and many other students have come out of their shell as a result of Mr. Smith's strong personality."

- Evan Dick, Fairfax HS

Other FCPS Cares of the Month Submissions for September 2018

Nichole Beheiter, Robin Anstice, Kelli Allen, Lisa Slugg, Joan DeLaurentis,  and Jackie Osbourne, Newington Forest ES

"The Kindergarten team at Newington Forest ES are amazing. When Alexis Stoyanova and I started, and we were in the same hallway with the three Kindergarten classroom, everyone on the Kindergarten team has been so warm and welcoming since day One. Though I will be starting a new adventure, I wanted to thank all of them for being so helpful and guiding me through the Kindergarten learning process. With the Enhanced Autism students I've been working with, you want to see them grow, and within a short amount of time, they all have. What really amazed me was that when we were outside for recess in the afternoon, the Enhanced Autism class had recess along with Ms. Beheiter and Ms. Anstice class. Our students love bubbles, and one of them asked for bubbles on the Blacktop. I thought it would be fun, as we've done it once, and the kids enjoyed it. As soon as I pulled out the bubbles, the other Kindergarten class came out and played along with our students as well. Ms. Beheiter was even kind enough to bring out more bubbles, so we could have bubble fun with our students. I want to thank every one of them for welcoming me and Alexis to the team, and though I'm sad to leave, I'm grateful that they were kind enough to help me grow to where I will now be teaching students with disabilities at another school."

- Tessa Damron, Newington Forest ES

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Alexis Stoyanova, Newington Forest ES

"Alexis and I were both brand new, starting an Enhanced Autism program together. When we met, we were both coming from different background, but we got along very well, and we learned a lot from each other. Though it's a bittersweet feeling that I will be leaving the school to start a new adventure, Alexis is there to support me 100%, perhaps even more. Alexis was very welcoming to me, and taught me a lot of things in the short amount of time we've worked together, and I appreciate everything's she's done for me. She's told me that even though she's sad to see me go, she's happy that I will now have an opportunity to teach students with disabilities at a new school. Alexis is amazing, and the students we have are lucky to have a great and dedicated teacher like her."

- Tessa Damron, Newington Forest ES

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Lisa Davis, Area III, Stonecroft Transportation

"Lisa, an FCPS school bus driver, had just completed dropping her last students off for the day. While she was traveling on Lee Highway near Stringfellow Rd, she saw a young child walking along the road by himself. She stopped and asked where he was going. He said no one had been at his home bus stop so he was walking to his babysitter's. This child was in 2nd grade. Lisa had the child board her school bus, notified dispatch and waited with him until dispatch could locate his parent. She then returned him to his home bus stop and waited until his parent could meet him. Thank you Lisa for protecting this young child, who knows what may have happened?"

- Tina Hunt, Area III, Stonecroft Transportation

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Janelle Ellis, Willow Oaks

"FCPS Career and Transition Services (CTS) cares about Janelle Ellis! Janelle is the CTS data expert and is working around the clock collecting, organizing, and analyzing IEP transition planning and post-school outcome data. Among other things, she has been creating spreadsheets and graphs, disseminating results, and presenting to staff on the facts. Because of Janelle’s hard work, CTS can showcase student success and has a better understanding on how to improve student outcomes. CTS cares about and is lucky to have Janelle Ellis!"

- Sarah Blake, Willow Oaks

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Edward Guardo, Lake Braddock SS

"Mr. Guardo a.k.a. CPT Guardo who I work with has expressed so much passion into his new position as an Army JROTC instructor that it has rubbed off onto the cadets/students within Lake Braddock. He turned down a much better paying position to take this job as an instructor to work at Lake Braddock because of his passion for working with children. His love of working with children is clearly genuine and sincere. Throughout this entire week he has been recognizing different children by presenting them with different tokens of appreciation such as water bottles, t-shirts and other items. He has managed to lift the morale of the students while building their confidence. Teachers such as Mr. Edward Guardo deserved to be formally recognized and it should be known that their efforts don't go unnoticed."

- Sherman Wayne Wiles, Lake Braddock SS

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Kristin Girardin, Elizabeth Mynar, Scott Darwin, Lake Braddock SS

"I just wanted to thank this team for the amazing and on-going support they are providing one of our MS students and his family. Today I was apart of an FRM that was so great and I know they family left feeling absolutely supported by our staff at Lake Braddock and FCPS. It has been a total team effort and each individual on this team is amazing to work with."

- Brett Garner, Lake Braddock SS

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Michael Dobbs and AmyBeth Kramer, South Lakes HS

"In my opinion, Michael Dobbs and AmyBeth Kramer are the BEST tech staff in FCPS. I say this because they are a lifesaver every day to all of us in our school. I love to appreciate good people and they are indeed good people. Always willing to assist at the drop of a dime. Never complaining and always demonstrating a united front. Teamwork makes the dream work at South Lakes HS."

- Angel Scott, South Lakes HS

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Pilar Alexander, Gatehouse Administration Center

"Pilar has been coming to a few IEP's and Re-evaluations for us in the Special Education department.  She was scheduled to come and provide interpretation services for us on 9/28 for two IEP's.  On 9/27 she emailed me to inform that she had to be out due to a sick daughter.  She proceeded to call LS Oral Services to secure subs for the times she had agreed so that I wouldn't have to do it.  Pilar went above and beyond and we are so very grateful that she did so, as it helped us with shorter staff already to continue to provide for our students needs.  She is always pleasant to staff, students and their families and professional in her services she provides."

- Gail Wood, Lee HS

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Margaret Welker, Bull Run ES

"Margaret is the best example of a life-long learner always looking to improve her instructional capacity.  She is consistently reflecting and seeks feedback and coaching to better her craft.  Margaret is always open to trying something new and giving something a go. By always keeping the needs of her students at the heart of her practice, Margaret is able to remain flexible in her approach to teaching and learning. She truly embraces each child as an individual and values learning alongside her colleagues. There should be a Margaret in every school."

- Carrie Brown and Christie Bohn, Bull Run ES

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Kim Starkey, Edison HS

"This week some students are going to the Mount Vernon Assessment Center and need to be brought to the bus in the morning and picked up in the afternoon. There are times that I am unable to be in the building to assist the students.  Kim has taken on the extra responsibility of escorting the students to and from the bus in addition to her regular responsibilities. I want to appreciate her for the help she has provided me."

- Melissa Hancock, Willow Oaks

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Kurt Kohls, Madison HS

"Mr. Kohls is always willing to help solve our technology issues. He is responsive to our needs and happy to help us. He is a pleasure to work with and we are delighted to have him as our TSPEC!"

- Beth Williams, Madison HS

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Jill Scharl, Longfellow MS

"School Counselor Jill Scharl has been a wonderful addition to the Longfellow Middle School Student Services Department.  She has made many new students transition to middle school much easier by leading the Newcomers Group Sessions.  Congratulations to her on a great start to the school year by her positive contributions to the Longfellow Learning Community."

- Bruce Walker, Longfellow MS

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Marissa Brooks, Longfellow MS

"Ms. Brooks is doing an outstanding job as the new Director of Student Services.  Her positive attitude, vibrant spirit, creativity, and assisting staff members have been vital in having a successful start to the school year."

- Bruce Walker, Longfellow MS

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Dustin Wright, Olde Creek ES

"Dr. Wright always puts his staff and students first. A prime example happened today when he decided to ride one of our buses because a student was struggling to get on the bus to go home. You could see a sigh of relief for the student that the principal decided to ride the bus and make the student feel heard about their struggle. We are so lucky to have such an amazing leader to do that for our students."

- Bianca Ramos, Olde Creek ES

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Berta Stamp, Holmes MS

"Ms. Stamp, for as long as I have known her (my first child started at Holmes back in 2014), has been the help and support I knew I needed but did not know how to find! I truly don't think my children, especially my son, would be doing as well as they are if not for her deep knowledge of FCPS and her willingness to share that knowledge. She has always gone out of her way to provide me with answers to my often complex, and occasionally stupid, questions. She has made me aware of programs and procedures offered by FCPS that I never would have known about if not for her. And most of all, she has always treated my family with respect and love. I'm pretty sure that the "respect" part is in her job description, but the "love" bit is all her doing! Please honor her however you can! FCPS really cannot afford to lose an employee of her caliber. Do anything you can to keep her for as long as you can! She is truly a treasure and deserves acknowledgement and reward for the effort and care she brings to an often thankless position. The staff at Holmes have always been great and they regularly impress me with their kindness and dedication, but Ms. Stamp is truly on another level altogether! If you do need specifics, please contact me."

- Traci L Hopkins, Holmes MS

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Stephen Giese, Fairhill ES

"Stephen is the school-based technology specialist and web administrator of the Fairhill Elementary School website. On my visit to the school site today, I was presented with a warm welcome picture with the heading, "Fairhill Elementary ~ Hear Us Roar". There were a variety of announcements and a number of before/after school activities on the events calendar. There was also a feature on an award that the school recently received. As I delved deeper into the site, I saw welcoming pictures on each page of smiling happy students. The About section was an inviting snapshot of the school. The Academics page was loaded with cards about the many different programs offered at Fairhill. There were up to date grade level pages with pictures of each of the teams, staff emails, and links to this year's school supply lists as well as the program of studies. It is obvious that to me that Stephen cares very much about his school's website and does a tremendous job of making it user-friendly and relevant with up-to-date information."

- Bryan Buser, Gatehouse Administration Center

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Erin Loudin, Poplar Tree ES

"Erin is an amazing 5th-grade teacher.  Her positive attitude and kind heart make students love learning. Every time that I walk into her classroom the students are engaged. One student told me “I love being in Mrs. Loudin’s class, she is the best”  I totally agree!  Thank you for being an amazing teacher.  #AmazingThingsHappenHere at Poplar Tree thanks to you!"

- Katrina MacWhorter, Poplar Tree ES

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Warren Jeffries, Woodson-IT

"Words can't express my gratitude for Mr. Jeffries.  This year was very challenging as far as the phone repair/relocations and clearing up the voicemails, due to a lot of classroom/teacher moves. Mr. Jeffries was prompt to respond to my requests/e-mails and tickets.
On behalf of WPHS and the Administrators, thank you so much Warren for your dedication to FCPS and for your excellent work ethic! You are the best and we appreciate all of your efforts and YOU! Thank you!"

- Joanna Copeland, West Potomac HS

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Pamela Walter, Stonecroft Transportation

"We are the parents of a kindergartener at Westbriar Elementary.  Our son and our neighbor’s daughter—who is also in kindergarten—rode the school bus to and from Westbriar during their first week of school.  It was during the second week of school that we and our neighbor were informed that our children could not ride the bus due to overcrowding on the bus, our houses allegedly being within what FCPS considered to be within walking distance of the school, as well as alleged safety issues—namely crossing the crossing the street.  We challenged FCPS transportation on these assessments and after multiple phone conversations and e-mails they took several steps to ensure that another bus route was installed for our son, our neighbor’s daughter, and the other children in the neighborhood.  The FCPS transportation recognized there were some legitimate concerns about asking children to walk from our neighborhood to the school.  With that said, we are writing this note to commend Pamela for helping to resolve this issue in a professional and prompt manner.  Pamela took a lengthy amount of time to discuss our concerns and various FCPS policies and supported the installation of a much needed bus stop in our neighborhood.  For all of this, we thank Pamela for her assistance."

- a Westbriar ES parent

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Jaime VillamarinPerdomo, Stonecroft Transportation

"We are the parents of a kindergartener at Westbriar Elementary. Our son and our neighbor’s daughter—who is also in kindergarten—rode the school bus to and from Westbriar during their first week of school.  It was during the second week of school that we and our neighbor were informed that our children could not ride the bus due to overcrowding on the bus, our houses allegedly being within what FCPS considered to be within walking distance of the school, as well as alleged safety issues—namely crossing the crossing the street. We challenged FCPS transportation on these assessments and after multiple phone conversations and e-mails, they took several steps to ensure that another bus route was installed for our son, our neighbor’s daughter, and the other children in the neighborhood. FCPS transportation recognized there were some legitimate concerns about asking children to walk from our neighborhood to the school.  With that said, we are writing this note to commend Jaime for his resolving this issue in a professional and prompt manner.  Jaime took the time to determine if our houses were within walking distance of the school and whether or not the walk would be safe for school children—especially kindergarteners.  Jaime was good about e-mailing and calling us back to keep us posted on new developments regarding this situation. For all of this, we commend Jaime for his assistance."

- a Westbriar ES parent

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Jamila Hashi, Lake Braddock SS

"Ms. Hashi is a member of our fantastic instructional support team for our CATB program. This morning we had a student become very upset and refused to go to class. Ms. Hashi was called the situation and absolutely handled herself with care, compassion, and grace. She was there for the student, assured her everything would be okay, offered to take her for a walk/break and was able to calm her down so that she could enter the instructional setting and be successful in class. This was a clear demonstration of Ms. Hashi's commitment to our kids and the relationships she has formed as an instructional assistant. Great job, Ms. Hashi!"

- Brett Garner, Lake Braddock SS

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Gregory Frantz, Glasgow MS

"School counselor Mr. Frantz is an amazing school counselor who has been a wonderful resource for my son in previous years. This school year, my son was upset about something that had happened in class and he went to see Mr. Frantz because he knew that he was a safe person to go to talk to. After receiving a call from my son who was crying asking me to come to see him in his school counselor's office, I raced to school. By the time I had gotten to school Mr. Frantz had of course spoken with my son and was working to find an alternative to a current environment that wasn't working for my son. My son and I are so incredibly grateful for his kind way, warm approach, common sense attitude, and most importantly for providing a safe place/safe adult for whom my son can reach to and trust. Mr. Frantz is a complete stand out at Glasgow and we are GRATEFUL for all that he has done for my son. I am grateful that he's my son's school counselor."

- a Glasgow MS parent

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Laura Hanley, South County HS

"I have had the pleasure of working with Mrs. Hanley for the past four years.  I have/had two boys on opposite sides of the educational spectrum and Mrs. Hanley has been an amazing, vital partner in their educational success! Words cannot express her patience, knowledge, passion, and 'seethroughitness' that she has displayed for my children. If there is such an honor as School Counselor of the Year her name should be nominated!"

- Lautice Colbert, South County HS

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Ann Pritz, Sangster ES

"Ms. Pritz is very diligent returning emails when I need clarification about my son's homework. She took extra time to explain to me the 'new ways' of solving math problems. Ms. Pritz has extended her supportive nature beyond the classroom when we have bumped into her out in the local community. We truly appreciate you dedication!"

- Stacy Pollock, Sangster ES

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Chrissy Fulfaro, Lake Braddock SS

"Ms. Fulfaro has gone above and beyond by creating a checklist to help my son be successful in Spanish 2. She has also is wonderful with emailing directly with me on how to best guide my son at home. In addition, she sends out informative emails to all of the parents. Many Thanks Ms. Fulfaro."

- a Lake Braddock SS parent

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Wikly Jean, Stonecroft Transportation

"Wikly Jean drives bus 10 for UMES and is always positive and cheerful with everyone he meets.  He is kind, respectful, and courteous to students, staff, and parents. An example of Wikly's dedication to his job, his students, and his bus happened recently when a student became sick on the bus while waiting for it to depart from the school. Rather than get upset about the mess and the delay to his schedule, he calmly helped the student, maintained a positive attitude, and even cleaned up the mess for the custodians when they brought needed supplies to clean the bus. Mr. Jean put the needs of the students first and reassured them while maintaining his calm composure. He definitely showed the students on the but that #OtherPeopleMatter. Wikly Jean is an excellent example of how FCPS Cares on a daily basis."

- Kathleen Case, Union Mill ES

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Chrissy Fulfaro, Lake Braddock SS

"Ms. Fulfaro has gone above and beyond by creating a checklist to help my son be successful in Spanish 2. She has also be wonderful emailing directly with me on how to best guide my son at home. In addition, she sends out informative emails to all of the parents. Many Thanks Ms. Fulfaro."

- a Lake Braddock SS parent

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Jessica Shaddy, Lake Braddock SS

"Ms. Shaddy has taken great interest in helping my son adjust to the classroom expectations in middle school. She has gone above and beyond with the extra time she has spent emailing and collaborating with me to help him have a successful year. Many Thanks Ms. Shaddy!"

- a Lake Braddock SS parent

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Rachel Weaver, Bull Run ES

"Ms. Weaver is in her second year at Bull Run Elementary and has truly made herself an invaluable member of our community. This year we have a new kindergarten student who has never been in an education/daycare or even really a social setting with peers. Ms. Weaver has worked every single day with his teachers and staff, as well as his mother, to help get him acclimated to the school and to help identify additional supports for this student. She has lunch with him every day and provides ongoing guidance for developing social skills and appropriate actions throughout the school day. Some days have been a bit more challenging than others and she has always kept her cool finding new and unique ways to foster a deeper connection with him to best support his unique learning needs and challenges. I am so pleased that she is my amazing co-counselor. (We affectionately call ourselves Team Rachel.)

- Rachel DiBartolo, Bull Run ES

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Erick Davila, Gatehouse Administration Center

"Erick Davila is an indispensable support employee. He has always provided the IT support I have needed in the different roles I have held in HR. Most recently, I had to VPN from a school site during a crisis. I had just received a new computer and needed him to give me the new remote access authorization. Within minutes, he was letting me know that I could login and that he had set it up already. I am grateful to know that I never need to worry about technical support no matter where I have to work on a last minute basis with Erick and his team on the patrol."

- Helen Canepa, Gatehouse Administration Center

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Lindsay Ivey, Instructional Programs Support Center

"Lindsay Ivey provided exceptional service during the past seven months while she filled in for a staff member who was on maternity leave.  After performing her typical, full-time job for FCPS, serving as an AT resource teacher, Lindsay worked after hours to support the Department of Special Services as the web curator. While Lindsay was only working 5+ hours a week after hours to support DSS as the web curator, and I am sure I am not the only one who was making demanding requests, each time I worked with her, she approached the task with a “I can do this” attitude. With Lindsay’s support, we were able to ensure school-based staff members had the information they needed in a timely fashion. Lindsay, thank you for all of the support that you provided the last 7 months, especially: Updating OSEI training information (both summer and school year), DSS Back-to-School updates, and DSS School-based Support Contact page."

- Ellie Stack, Willow Oaks

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Sheila Gotti and Leslie Pilotti, Twain MS

"Ms. Sheila Gotti, Twain's Equity Lead and Ms. Leslie Pilotti, Lead Counselor, conducted an outstanding professional development on assumptions and biases. Their knowledge and compassion supported our staff through some difficult conversations. Thank you!"

- Melissa Montgomery, Twain MS

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Jane Miller, Twain MS

"Thank you for leading two very meaningful, well-planned, and focused Professional Developments for the staff of Mark Twain Middle School. Your planning and prep work was evident and you looked confident and poised up there. Great job, Jane."

- Steve Fitzgerald, Twain MS

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Grant Butters, South County HS

"Working with Mr. Butters over the last few years have been wonderful. During every show, he exhibits much positivity and encouragement to not just the percussion section of the marching band, but all marching band students. Mr. Butters displays a true sense of commitment and progress. Clearly, he strives for exceptional work by raising the bar of his students and encouraging them to believe they can succeed. Mr. Butters is a fine instructor exhibiting phenomenal instructional delivery for his percussion lessons. I am proud that my daughter is one of his students and is able to learn from one the best! Thanks, Grant for your persistence and believing in our children. They idolize you, recognize your genuine interest in them and work hard to make you proud! Your positive influence will last a lifetime."

- a South County HS parent

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Kevin Engdahl, South County HS

"Last night was the first marching band show for the season. Mr. Engdahl exhibited much enthusiasm and support for all students and proudly shared his delight during their performance. Mr. Engdahl exemplifies the true meaning of a dedicated and committed band director. I am thrilled that my daughter and many other children in the South County community are able to learn under the instruction of Mr. Engdahl. He has significantly impacted the lives of many South County Stallions and their families. Thank you Kevin!"

- a South County HS parent

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Llexel Evangelista, Sprague Technology Center

"I most recently worked with Llexel to produce imagery in support WT Woodson's Activities Office. First and foremost, his level of expertise is second to none and the guidance he provided proved sage. Layer in his customer centric persona and it makes for a fantastic experience. Thank you Llexel for caring so deeply!"

- a Woodson HS parent

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Sara Lunasco, Garfield ES

"Sara is an amazing ESOL teacher. She goes above and beyond her typical day of servicing ESOL students. She makes it her mission to mentor students who have limited English or are new to the county. She learns each and every one of the child's names (with correct pronunciation), takes the time to meet families in the parent resource center or during conferences and really builds a special bond with children. She truly cares about the culture of a child and their religious beliefs. Recently, an activity was done in science fourth and fifth grade classes and Sara made sure to inform teacher's the importance of not using marshmallows with gelatin because it is against student culture and religious beliefs to eat or even touch items with gelatin. Sara is also a strong believer in students having equitable opportunities, as Dr. Brabrand stated, "Every child by name and by need." This is a philosophy Sara has always stood by."

- a Garfield ES parent

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Stephanie Pepper, Frost MS

"Stephanie has taken on the responsibility of Equity Lead at Frost and yesterday she conducted her 2nd training of Frost staff members in Cultural Proficiency. The session was positive, informative, and enjoyed by all. She's been a great fit for this position!"

- Joe Berret, Frost MS

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Torey Diggs, Holmes MS

"This is my first year at Holmes MS and Mr. Torey Diggs has had a large impact on my satisfaction at the school. I've been away from FCPS for a few years and a lot has changed! Torey has made every effort to make sure that ALL of us (not just the newbies like me) are up to speed on how to manage everything tech-related; I can't overstate how important it is for teachers to have those technology skills. If we don't have them, we really suffer. Torey also participates in my CTs and makes suggestions that I hadn't thought of before about how to talk to kids, teach kids and assess kids. Further, he facilitates the PLN I participate in on staff development days! It's obvious how much work he has done behind the scenes so that we, the teachers, are able to be independent learners when we meet as a group. I think Torey was one of the first people I met here at Holmes and he continues to be someone I interact with on a daily basis. He is always helpful, reassuring and thoughtful. (He's also funny.) I truly hope he has been recognized multiple times before. He is someone who goes above and beyond every day."

- Cara Bremer, Holmes MS

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Kurt Kohls, Madison HS

"Anyone at Madison High School would agree with me in saying that our Technology Specialist, Kurt Kohls, is a miracle worker. On top of every task he accomplishes related to hardware, software, and leading technology-related plans, he always has a smile and keeps the students and teachers at the forefront of his work. He goes above and beyond to teach others new skills, stay up-to-date with instructional tech, and work with our tech assistant students in meaningful ways. Did I mention he’s a phenomenal colleague? As his “tech” counterpart I reap the benefits of his dedication, kindness, and jokes. We are so lucky and thankful to have Kurt!"

- Suzanne van der Eijk, Madison HS

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Chris Dunkel, Forte Center

"Chris arrived at Walt Whitman to take the pony mail. I was in a panic because I was trying to get a package ready to be sent out, and the mail was being picked up. I spoke with Chris asking if he was able to wait just a few minutes until I had the package ready for delivery. He was very kind, and polite. He reassured me he would wait and it was not a big deal. He was very professional, and knowledgeable about his job. He went above and beyond to help a teacher when he didn't have to. I greatly appreciate his calming, reassuring demeanor and patience's . Thank you!"

- Katherine York, Walt Whitman MS

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John Greenwood, Frost MS

"John is incredibly helpful and is always quick to respond to computer issues when they come up in class! THANKS!"

- Cristina Piccinino, Frost MS

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Janet Hampton-Loomis, Lorton Center

"Today and every day, Janet Hampton-Loomis, Special Services Transportation Specialist helps drive the county - literally!  Janet works diligently to support the unique needs/situations of individual students by advocating for their safety and well-being all across the county.  Janet's knowledge and expertise is a welcome addition to the countless meetings she attends.  She is quick to respond to a phone call/email and is always collaborative with any situation that should arise!  Janet - you ROCK!"

- Emily Kaltenmark, Key Center School

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Kelly Durso, Olde Creek ES

"Kelly Durso is an amazing administrator at Olde Creek Elementary School. She is supportive of all her staff members and assists in helping them with any situation that may arise. Kelly is always available when a staff member has a question or wants to meet for guidance. She is a great leader for her staff members and students at Olde Creek."

- Bianca Ramos, Olde Creek ES

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Joshua Richards, Olde Creek ES

"Josh Richards is a key member of the Comprehensive Services Site Team at Olde Creek Elementary School. Josh is always there for our students and works closely with all staff to the benefit of our students. He helps in the behavior support of when our students are in crisis and also coming up with solutions on how to assist our students in those moments. Working together, we have been able to create fun activities for our students which involve fun Friday, physical brain breaks and master mining the positive quotes in our hallways to make a positive environment for all of us to walk into each and every day. Josh is such an asset to the team and Olde Creek is so lucky to have him on board!"

- Bianca Ramos, Olde Creek ES

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Dave Worst, Rose Hill ES

"Dave is one of many rock-stars amongst the itinerant adapted PE teachers in FCPS.  As a teacher, he provides students engaging, meaningful and active lessons for all learners to participate regardless of ability.  As our appointed ‘tech guru’ he aided in developing a process to streamline files and share relevant information which was paired with step-by-step directions.  Additionally, he continues to manage our website, an invaluable tool for our staff.  His willingness to help others, work behind the scenes, problem solve and collaborate with staff is a true asset to all those who have the fortune of knowing him. Simply, Dave is AWESOME!"

- Manda Krimmer, Willow Springs ES

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Mike Baber and the entire Area 1 Transportation Office, Lorton Center

"I would to like recognize Mike Baber and the entire Area 1 Transportation Office.  In addition to getting the bus routes and drivers in place for the start of the new school year, there have been many challenges that this group has faced.  With the extreme weather conditions that are area recently experienced and the threats that we escaped, Mike and the transportation staff have gone above and beyond with the changes that had to be made. Most of the changes and rescheduling had to be done at the last minute. These revisions were handled in an efficient and timely manner.  Thank you Area 1 Transportation for all you do for our students and for FCPS."

- Mary Allan, Hayfield SS

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Andrea Martin Jones, Willow Oaks

"Thank you so much for stepping up and lending a hand last week. I really appreciate it. You were invaluable."

- Heather Crouch, Willow Oaks

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Warren Jeffries, Woodson-IT

"Mr. Jeffries was very helpful in fixing our phone in our office. The problem was fixed quickly."

- Joslyn Waldron, Mount Vernon Woods ES

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Corey Haynes, Justice HS

"Mr. Haynes has supported me in creating a volunteer program for her high school students to come read to my preschoolers. She's recruited a great group to work with us!"

- Daphne Bolotas, Bailey's ES

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Courtney Buchanan, Providence ES

"I recently started working with Courtney. She is a Special Education teacher at my school and she is AMAZING! She is organized, dedicated, consistent and patient. These are all qualities that enable her third grade clients to thrive. In addition to being a great teacher, Courtney is also an asset to her team. She regularly checks in with the teachers and shares plans and ideas. This cohesiveness is not only helpful to the team but to the students as well. Courtney has a great working relationship with adults in the building, myself included. If I make a mistake on something, she is patient and offers calm guidance and support. All the above qualities are an example of Courtney showing that FCPS Cares. I am glad that you are at PES and I am grateful to be working with you this year!"

- Stacy Greene, Providence ES

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Courtney Buchanan, Providence ES

"I recently started working with Courtney. She is a Special Education teacher at my school and she is AMAZING! She is organized, dedicated, consistent and patient. These are all qualities that enable her third grade clients to thrive. In addition to being a great teacher, Courtney is also an asset to her team. She regularly checks in with the teachers and shares plans and ideas. This cohesiveness is not only helpful to the team but to the students as well. Courtney has a great working relationship with adults in the building, myself included. If I make a mistake on something, she is patient and offers calm guidance and support. All the above qualities are an example of Courtney showing that FCPS Cares. I am glad that you are at PES and I am grateful to be working with you this year!"

- Stacy Greene, Providence ES

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Cindy Howe, Pam Wagner, Courtney Buchanan, Nina Holton, Providence ES

"I am new to Providence Elementary School. Being new is usually met with a time of adjustment, getting to know the school and getting to know colleagues. At times, such a transition can be difficult. Thanks to Cindy, Pam, Courtney, and Nina this transition was seamless. I share office space with these four wonderful ladies and all of them have made me feel welcome from day one. They have, and continue to, answer countless questions, offer helpful insights about PES, and are generous in offering their hospitality, words of wisdom, and their time. All of you are an example of FCPS cares. I feel like I belong, and I know that the welcome and support I receive from all of you extends not only to me but to all students and staff who enter room 232. Thanks to all of you for being a reflection of FCPS Cares to all those at PES. I am so happy to be sharing office space with you this year!"

- Stacy Greene, Providence ES

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Ali Shah, Stonecroft Transportation

"Mr. Shah drives my children's FFX Bus. Yesterday, due to a traffic fatality on I-66, traffic was a nightmare. I just wanted to let you know that due to Mr. Shah's resourcefulness navigating around the traffic snarls, my two Fairfax High School students were only 2 minutes late to school as opposed to many of their classmates who were hours late. I am so appreciative of all his efforts. Thank you, Mr. Shah!"

- a Fairfax HS parent

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Pamela Gomez, Poplar Tree ES

"Pam is an amazing and positive teacher who is here for KIDS!  She works tirelessly to do what is best for all students. This was very apparent at a recent local screening meeting. I appreciate her dedication to that student and all of her students. Thank you Pam for making PTES a better place!"

- Katrina MacWhorter, Poplar Tree ES

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Laura Reed, Frost MS

"Ms. Reed is instrumental in helping organize and train teachers for our schoolwide professional development initiative. She takes great pride in helping teachers implement technology in their classrooms."

- Daniel Clements, Frost MS

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Matt Goldman, Sideburn Support Center

"Mr. Goldman saves the day!  Mr. Goldman responded to an emergency work order need for assistance with such quick action that he enabled our entire school to maintain normal operation without interruption. His incredibly quick response and expertise in our area of need allowed our administration to make an informed decision while maintaining safety for all students and staff.  This is actually the second time Mr. Goldman's attention to detail and quick response helped solve an ongoing issue that we did not even know we had. His thoroughness and professional response are to be commended and proof again that FCPS truly has a premier workforce in every field. Thank you, Matt!"

- Sarah Brooker, Oakview ES

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Nathaniel Bush and Tracy Vasquez, West Potomac HS

"I greatly appreciate these 2 PE teachers for their assistance on the date in question. I was in the building subbing for another PE teacher and had some trouble understanding a schedule that seemed complex to me. They were terrific in helping me understand it, and as a result, they made my day a lot easier."

- Jonathan Pick, substitute teacher

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Solomon Hailemichael, Mountain View HS

"Solomon is a TSSpec filling in for our regular TSSpec. He has been at Mountain View about a month, but he has had a huge impact. He jumped right into his job and has been outstanding at troubleshooting and fixing a variety of tech issues while he’s been here. He works well beyond his contract hours every day. If he doesn’t know how to fix something he researches until he finds the answer and it is completed. He has made the teachers’ jobs at our school so much easier."

- Sandra Valenzuela, Mountain View HS

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Wendy Williams, Frost MS

"Ms. Williams has been recognized for integrating, modeling, and sharing instructional practices that leverage digital resources to enrich student learning.  With the change to the math standards and resources, she is always proactively sharing instructional practices and ways to assess students to provide immediate feedback during instruction. Her initiative and passion have had a significant impact on the students and staff she works with. Way to go, Wendy!"

- Linda Shannon, Frost MS

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Terry Dade, Gatehouse Administration Center

"It has been a challenging year managing human resources and staffing our building to meet the needs of a diverse and transient student population w/ a 23% mobility rate.  Regardless of how diligent we were with projections, we still lost two Kindergarten classes over the summer while our numbers were low, only to exceed our student cap only days before school started for kids. While we did not qualify for additional staffing during the early September meeting, I explained to Terry what my recourse options would be and how they would negatively affect students and our caring culture among the staff. Terry really listened to address the problem and quickly recognized that additional support was needed to address the situation and I received permission to hire a new teacher within a day.  This is only one example of Terry's willingness to listen and respond in the best interest of kids. Throughout my 4 years as principal, Terry and I have always been on the same page w/ our philosophy and approach to school leadership.  This is likely because he is an excellent communicator with many excellent ideas to share. He always ends the conversation w/ "How can I support your work?" and I appreciate his follow through on helping me get what I need to develop as a leader and for securing what we need for our kids at Riverside. Terry provides the right balance of supervision and autonomy and I am thankful to work under his leadership"

- Paul Basdekis, Riverside ES

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Ghada Boctor and Yvonne Milan, Gatehouse Administration Center

"I attempted to shred paper which resulted in a huge paper jam. I began to hear a whirring and straining noise and thought to myself “Oh, NOOO!” After several attempts to wiggle the paper free, I assumed I’d broken our new shredder. (The max paper feed was 12; I unknowingly attempted to feed 15….sorry). Ghada quickly rushed over, turned off the shredder and emptied the wastebasket; while Yvonne switched the shredder to reverse and then back to forward to clear the jam in a matter of seconds. Paper was everywhere! Ghada replaced the trash bag and even helped me clean up the mess I'd made all over the floor. While some would walk by seeing my struggle to fix the shredder, Ghada and Yvonne did not hesitate to offer their assistance. The perception of who we (FCPS) are and what we stand for should always align with the FCPS brand - to engage, inspire and thrive; which is the epitome of what Ghada and Yvonne displayed today.  (They ENGAGED themselves, they INSPIRED me to pay it forward, and as a catalyst, we all THRIVE!!) A small deed, that made a big impact. Thank you for your selfless act of kindness which I could not let go unnoticed. You Rock!!"

- Octavia Seay

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Traci Kubo-Carrera, Stonecroft Transportation

"The #13 bus for Oakton HS has problems with overcrowding and being late. I was nearly irate when I called today, but Traci’s cheerful demeanor and professional behavior reassured me that the issues will be resolved. Her attention to detail is excellent, she put the matter in her tickler file and she explained how she plans to address the issues. Most of all, she kept calm when I pointed out that the bus arrived at the stop ten minutes after school started."

- an Oakton HS parent

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Samantha Vivian-Beck, Twain MS

"Miss VB has taken on a leadership position in our Comprehensive Services Site.  She is also very involved in coaching our teachers in a deescalating conflict between students.  Always working with a smile." 

- Charles Mill, Twain MS

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Jane Kim, Cedar Lane School

"Career and Transition Services (CTS) cares about Jane Kim.  She is a new PHTA for EFEO and after only a few days in the position, managed the class and facilitated lessons like an old pro when the teacher was absent.  Thank you, Ms. Kim, for stepping in for the teacher.  CTS is impressed with how quickly you have adapted to EFEO and with your leadership qualities.  Glad to have you on our CTS team'

- Sarah Blake, Willow Oaks

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Veronica Bonaccorsy, Laurel Ridge ES

"Today I was a visitor in Ms. Bonaccorsy's PE class. What an amazing role model for our kids!! Not only was her classroom well-run with clear expectations, but it was also fun for the kids! My daughter told me that she loves Ms. B because she's nice and funny and has strict rules. She clearly has a love for teaching and for helping kids, not only in PE, but also in life. She is a wonderful example for my daughter (and all of the kids) and I appreciate what she does!"

- a Laurel Ridge ES parent

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Dave Kish and Jimmy Bowden, Fort Center

"I went to the Warehouse "shopping" for several furniture pieces. Dave Kish and his supervisor, Jimmy Bowden, were so helpful. They assisted me to tag the items appropriately and they were delivered to our school very quickly. The Warehouse was very clean and organized!"

- Megan Bennett, Union Mill ES

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Bill Hurd, Fort Hunt ES

"Mr. Hurd came to us this year as one of our Kindergarten IAs. We already had the pleasure of working with him last year as a substitute teacher and for the past four years as a parent. It is so reassuring seeing him working with the students. The kindness he has when he talks to them even when the students are misbehaving is heartwarming. He always acknowledges everyone, has a kind word that make everybody's day better. He is teaching his kindergarteners the basics of politeness and courtesy by example by always greeting everyone in the morning and at the end of the day. Thank you to Mr.
Hurd for showing students how to be kind and caring.  We are so lucky to have him as part of our Fort Hunt family."

- Rosa Dobarco, Fort Hunt ES

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Jim Tipton, Woodson-IT

"A giant thank you to Jim Tipton in helping us work through a phone issue on 9/14/18.  He contacted me to get more information, testing a fix, and then to make sure we were all set. Thank you, Jim, for your attention to detail and hard work!  I appreciate it!"

- Rebecca Boyer, Sprague Center

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Fernando Belli, Mount Vernon HS

"Early Childhood Staff Development took place at Mt. Vernon High School this year, and Mr. Belli and his team could not have been more welcoming and accommodating. They were a pleasure to work with and Mr. Belli made himself available for support prior to and throughout the event. We appreciate all his help and professionalism!"

- Erin Blake, Leis Center

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Catherine Fernandez Martell, Fairhill ES

"I cannot express in words how blessed we are to have Mrs. Fernandez Martell as our son's teacher.  It is only the beginning of the year, and I feel that she has truly wants to see my son succeed. On a Friday night when she could have been home busy with many other things, she chose to put her student as a priority and called me with concerns I had. This showed me solid dedication towards her students. Thank you, Mrs. Fernandez Martell, for believing in my son and for helping him in more ways than one."

- a Fairhill ES parent

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Lan Tran, Gatehouse Administration Center

"I have been lucky enough to have Lan as my Licensure Specialist the past few years. She has always been timely in her response, had an abundance of knowledge to help my license  situations, and always goes above and beyond to help me best understand what I need to do. She is personable, patient, informative, and is extremely supportive. She always spends a great deal of her own time ensuring I understand what needs to be done. Thanks so much for all of your hard work Lan!"

- Courtney Trowbridge, Timberlane ES

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Bobby McAllister, Merrifield Support Center

"Mr. McAllister takes the time to respond to schools personally. He maintains an open line of clear and concise communication, while ensuring jobs are completed in a timely manner.  He provides vital support as well as supervises top notch HVAC personnel, and doesn't hesitate to assist whenever possible. Thanks for your attentiveness in keeping schools and buildings comfortable!"

-  Terri Lynn Damon, Fairhill ES

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Joshua Raybuck, Merrifield Support Center

"Joshua consistently responds to our HVAC issues with professionalism and courtesy. He loops back with the office and staff to keep people informed of the progress he and his team have made. He gets things fixed in a timely manner and is able to relay any additional concerns to the appropriate departments. Thank you for your continued expertise Joshua!"

-  Terri Lynn Damon, Fairhill ES

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Sierra Miller, Hayfield SS

"Sierra reaches out to Counseling staff in times of need to support her students. She knows her students well and they feel comfortable sharing with her."

- Anna Brussel, Hayfield SS

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Caitlin Myers, Key Center

"With a continuously positive demeanor, Caitlin supports students with severe behavioral challenges in our 18-22 year old class. She calmly works through crisis to help her students develop appropriate behavioral, independent living, and work skills. Caitlin's work with students promotes better outcomes for them and for the community that will eventually welcome them full time."

- Cheri Sandford, Key Center

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Sarah Payne, Key Center

"Sarah works with our youngest students with severe behavior challenges. Her patience and persistence in supporting students in following classroom routines and communicating their needs and wants has already made a huge difference to this group. I know she will continue to expect and support positive behavior."

- Cheri Sandford, Key Center

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Therese Payne, Cedar Lane School

"Therese has dramatically changed our technology since coming to Cedar Lane. We asked her for automation, and she delivered that same day with much needed log on scripts. She never says something can’t be done, she figures out how to do whatever we ask of her, with a smile the entire time.  We are very happy to have her!"

- Nancy Gadd, Cedar Lane School

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Lauren Jones, Sprague Technology Center

"After calling the service desk for assistance, Lauren came to my rescue! In what was absolutely the last minute, Lauren helped resolve the problem. She provided exceptional customer service in a very short turn-around time. I very much appreciate the help and particularly appreciate the patient explanation of how and why I ended up in the predicament in the first place. THANK YOU LAUREN!"

- Emily Phelan, Chantilly HS

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Kate McGann, Poplar Tree ES

"Kate has made the hard transition from an extremely experienced kindergarten teacher to a 6th grade TEACHER!!!! She has always done a great job of keeping the school counselors in the loop regarding what is happening with her students. This has continued as a 6th grade teacher! Thank you Kate for being there for the students."

- Katrina MacWhorter, Poplar Tree ES

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Leslie Leisey, Poplar Tree ES

"Leslie is an amazing SBTS and has made such an impact on the students and staff here at Poplar Tree ES. Her positive, "yes, I can help attitude" is contagiousness. I wish we had 100 Leslie's at our school. It would be an even better place to work!"

- Katrina MacWhorter, Poplar Tree ES

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Warren Jeffries, Woodson-IT

"He is always available when I need something to be fixed and always quick to respond when I have questions or concerns. He is wonderful and resourceful. FCPS is lucky to have such wonderful employee."

- Rose Betita-Guevara, West Potomac HS

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Quynh Zupovitz, Gatehouse Administration Center

"Quynh, an overdue THANK YOU for all you did for the Caring Culture Committee last year! Thank you in particular for designing our flyers and thank you for helping to foster a caring culture at Willow Oaks"

- Evie Ifantides, Willow Oaks

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MacLean Wilson, Willow Oaks

"MacLean, you and Russ have been phenomenal! Thank you for assisting our office with technology issues and doing so with a smile."

- Evie Ifantides, Willow Oaks

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Russ Wright, Willow Oaks

"Russ, you and MacLean have been phenomenal! Thank you for assisting our office with technology issues and doing so with a smile."

- Evie Ifantides, Willow Oaks

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Tracey Wynn, Gatehouse Administration Center

"Tracey, A big THANK YOU to you for coming to Willow Oaks on May 11 and presenting such thoughtful and thorough session on Social Media Guidance. Thank you for helping to foster a caring culture throughout FCPS."

- Evie Ifantides, Willow Oaks

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Susan Riedinger, Lake Braddock SS

"Ms. Riedinger is one of our Category B teachers here at Lake Braddock. From the moment I met her last year, I could immediately sense her enthusiasm, passion and dedication to her students. She is absolutely hungry to help each and every student in our CAT B program reach their full potential and I am so excited to support her and her colleagues this year! Looking forward to a great year!"

- Brett Garner, Lake Braddock SS

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Alex Bryan, Lake Braddock SS

"Ms. Bryan is our after-school specialist and an extremely dedicated, committed and critical team member to Lake Braddock success. Ms. Bryan is always trying to find new ways to invigorate the daily and after-school experience for our students. She takes amazing pride in her work and it is a pleasure to work alongside her.
Keep up the great work, Alex!"

- Brett Garner, Lake Braddock SS

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Jodi Stewart, Key Center

"This year, Jodi Stewart created a Special called "Time Pop". The Special explores different decades throughout the school year. This month, the students are learning about 1910.  They have learned about the music, dances (they performed the waltz!), clothing and inventions.  To provide a hands-on experience, Jodi constructed an assembly line and the students learned the benefits of an assembly line, how it works and even participated in assembling trail mix! Jodi, you ROCK!"

- Emily Kaltenmark, Key Center

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Kurt Kohls, Madison HS

"Kurt provided excellent support during our ESOL In-service on August 22. All the rooms were set up and the AV equipment worked seamlessly. Thank you Kurt for keeping our office informed and managing our needs. We appreciate the time you took to ensure a successful ESOL In-Service."

- Evie Ifantides, Willow Oaks

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Andrea Jones, Willow Oaks

"Thank you, Andrea, for volunteering your time to lead and prepare for the monthly Lunch and Learn Tech Bite Friday sessions for our colleagues at Willow Oaks during the 2017-18 academic year.  You shared information on Google Classroom, Google Apps for Education, podcasting, Microsoft Office tips and tricks, and Social Media Guidance. We all appreciated learning about these resources.  A big THANK YOU to you putting together such thoughtful sessions and for helping to foster a caring culture at Willow Oaks."

- Evie Ifantides, Willow Oaks

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Angela Linker, Willow Oaks

"Thank you, Angela, for volunteering your time to lead and prepare the weekly fifteen minute Free Your Mind Friday activities on stretching, adult coloring, walking, and mindfulness for our colleagues at Willow Oaks during the 2017-18 academic year. We all appreciated taking a few moments to regroup with our colleagues. A big THANK YOU to you putting together such thoughtful sessions and for helping to foster a caring culture at Willow Oaks."

- Evie Ifantides, Willow Oaks

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Jen Mattice, Willow Oaks

"Thank you, Jen, for taking the time to assist Pat Sheffield and me and answer our FileMaker questions. We both appreciate your insight!"

- Evie Ifantides, Willow Oaks

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Dana Scabis, Frost MS

"Dana has been a great addition to the staff at Frost this year! She is always developing ways to help our processes here at Frost and frequently provides valuable input or ideas on the topic at hand. We appreciate her contributions and are glad to have her here!"

- Joe Berret, Frost MS

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Michael Dobbs, South Lakes HS

"Michael, Thank you for providing the proper technology for our ESOL students during the 2018 summer program. We appreciate the time you took to ensure a successful ESOL Summer programming at South Lakes High School."

- Evie Ifantides, Willow Oaks

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Rebecca Kingsley, South County HS

"Rebecca, Thank you to and Tiffany for providing the proper technology for our ESOL students during the 2018 summer program. We appreciate the time you took to ensure a successful ESOL Summer programming at South County High School."

- Evie Ifantides, Willow Oaks

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Tiffany Heffner, South County HS

"Tiffany, Thank you to and Rebecca for providing the proper technology for our ESOL students during the 2018 summer program. We appreciate the time you took to ensure a successful ESOL Summer programming at South County High School."

- Evie Ifantides, Willow Oaks

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Joel Harrop, Falls Church HS

"Joel, Thank you for being available and providing a laptop for our ESOL students during the 2018 summer program. We appreciate the time you took to assist our students."

- Evie Ifantides, Willow Oaks

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Belinda Deville, Mount Vernon HS

"Belinda, Thank you for being available and providing laptops for our ESOL students during the 2018 summer program. We appreciate the time you took to assist our students."

- Evie Ifantides, Willow Oaks

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Michael Elion, Annandale HS

"Michael, Thank you for being available and providing laptops for our ESOL students during the 2018 summer program. We appreciate the time you took to assist our students."

- Evie Ifantides, Willow Oaks

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Marcia Donovan, Glasgow MS

"Marcia came to the rescue at the last minute to help the Justice HS PTSA after our Spanish speaking interpreter was no longer able to make the PTSA meeting that same evening. Even though she works at our feeder middle school, she made herself available to help out at the high school - a true reflection of how the entire Justice community takes care of each other! Thank you, Marcia! "

- Chrissy Spaulding, Justice HS

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Betsy Komoniewski, Instructional Programs Support Center

"Betsy Komoniewski is a perfect example of FCPS Premier Workforce and Caring Culture.  Throughout the startup of school this year, Betsy worked tirelessly to ensure that all special needs students on her large caseload received the equipment and communication devices they needed to start their year.  We all benefit immensely from the extensive knowledge and passion that Betsy brings to her job.  She routinely goes above and beyond to help students, staff, and parents."

- Nicole Bracken, Key Center

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Doug Anderson and Dianna DiPasquale, Gatehouse Administration Center

"A huge thank you to Doug and Dianna for their excellent work in helping us reconfigure portions of our office suite. Both have a terrific 'can do' attitude, and offered ideas and suggestions to maximize our available workspace.  Doug even sacrificed a couple of his weekends so that the reconfiguration had the least amount of impact on our business operations. You two are the best!"

- Terry Kellogg, Gatehouse Administration Center

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John Ellenberger, Annandale HS

"I wish to commend John for his extraordinary leadership and efforts in bringing the Annandale High School Athletic Hall of Fame to fruition. Though it had been talked about for years, it was John's leadership, hard work, and vision that came alive Saturday night as members of the first class of the AHS Athletic Hall of Fame were honored with class and dignity. The event was well-organized and executed with precision. What an honor to share the night with so many noteworthy individuals and teams. Congrats and to all and thank you, John, for making it happen. The amount of work done by you and your team and the Athletic Boosters is much appreciated. Go Atoms!"

- Tim Thomas, Annandale HS

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Carrie Sarsour, Gatehouse Administration Center

"Ms. Sarsour was AMAZING at helping a returning employee get through the system again. She endured my many insightful (complaining) emails regarding how difficult it was for a returning FCPS employee without an internet connection, a car, health insurance, or funds for a TB test to manage through the hoops of HR effectively without someone going the extra mile to make the whole experience manageable.  My employee told me if it wasn't for this HR team, he would have given up a LONG time ago. We are thankful for her kind nature and understanding and putting a human face on HR. A million thanks, Ms. Sarsour!

- Maureen Marshall, Stratford Landing ES

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Deirdre Miles, Gatehouse Administration Center

"Ms. Miles and her team were AMAZING at helping a returning employee get through the system again.  She endured my many insightful emails regarding how difficult it was for a returning FCPS employee without an internet connection, a car, health insurance, or funds for a TB test to manage through the hoops of HR effectively without someone going the extra mile to make the whole experience manageable.  My employee told me if it wasn't for this HR team, he would have given up a LONG time ago.  Ms. Miles even offered to throw in money to pay for a $50 TB test at the health department -- and she was quite empathetic of the process when you stack all these things to do up against someone who is just trying to work with kids.  We are thankful for her kind nature and understanding and putting a human face on HR.  A million thanks Ms. Miles!"

- Maureen Marshall, Stratford Landing ES

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Craig Brown and Taneisha Ng, West Springfield HS

"Thank you so much for welcoming us into your classrooms to try a new certification testing system. We appreciate your patience and your willingness to experiment with us! County implementation of this testing method will make industry credentialing for the WISE exam more efficient and accurate."

- Mary Lewis and Nicole Mooney, Willow Oaks

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Adam Schechter, Twain MS

"Adam, thank you for all of the hard work in preparing, editing, and presenting our BTSN video. We received comments all night about how well done it was. Our parents were entertained and it set a wonderful tone for the evening."

- Steve Fitzgerald, Twain MS

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Ellen Giblin, Twain MS

"Ellen's organization and professionalism keep special education department running at Twain.  She is an expert in her field and a valuable member of the Twain community."

- Lisa Milman, Twain MS

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Leon Jackson, Sprague Technology Center

"Leon remembered a request from months ago and found us just the right item we needed! Tha, Leon,u Leon for your fine attention to detail!"

- Rebecca Boyer, Sprague Technology Center

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Christine Ammirati, Kent Gardens ES

"Ms. Ammirati distinguished herself by openly welcoming the 2018-2019 Kindergarten class of children and parents during the "back to school" event. As first time parents getting ready to send our son to Kindergarten for the first time, I along with the other parents were welcomed and thoughtfully engaged by Ms. Ammirati throughout the evening. I was especially taken when upon official closing of the event, she stayed as long as it took to ensure parents questions were answered and a level of comfort was established. She obviously went above and beyond to prepare for the event and continues to stay engaged through constant dialog by sending parents photos of the children in class and highlighting what the children are doing. This communication occurs routinely and includes nights and weekends showcasing her dedication to a great experience for both parents and especially the children."

- Christian Gilbert, Kent Gardens ES

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Carlos Solares, Laurel Ridge ES

"Mr. Solares went above and beyond his job description to find Smart Response Units for our grade level to use. He went to different physical locations to borrow units in order for me to test those units to see if they would work with our current software. He then later went out of his way to find these units for our grade level to use to support our student's learning and giving them a new, creative way to show their knowledge of academic content."

- Leonardo Leonato, Laurel Ridge ES

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Terry Clark, Willow Oaks

"Career and Transition Services (CTS)  cares for Terry Clark. Thank you, Terry, for subbing in EFEO, surveying students on Indicator 14, and for being a superb job coach. You wear many hats for CTS so well!"

- Sarah Blake, Willow Oaks

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Cheryl Homer-Wilson, Willow Oaks

"Career and Transition Services appreciates Cheryl Homer-Wilson! Thank you so much for your preparation, expertise and acting skills in the Transition Planning Video!"

- Sarah Blake, Willow Oaks

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Anna Southworth, Willow Oaks

"Career and Transition Services appreciates Anna Southworth! Thank you so much for your preparation, expertise and acting skills in the Transition Planning Video!"

- Sarah Blake, Willow Oaks

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 Matt Goetz, Willow Oaks

"Career and Transition Services appreciates Matt Goetz! Thank you so much for your preparation, expertise and acting skills in the Transition Planning Video!"

- Sarah Blake, Willow Oaks

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Wil Lara, Gatehouse Administration Center

"Wil Lara went above and beyond to respond to my request for help getting translated versions of the science safety contracts ADA-compliant for posting to the FCPS internet site.  Schools and parents need these materials and Wil worked quickly to make them available."

- Jenay Sharp Leach, Willow Oaks

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Cheri Sandford, Key Center

"Cheri Sandford has started her 2nd year as the Behavior Resource Teacher at Key Center School.  She works hard every day to meet the many complex needs of our population. She is collaborative, intuitive, quick on her feet and a true team player. Students are making progress thanks to her behavioral expertise and staff and parents continue to learn and benefit from her knowledge and skills."

- Emily Kaltenmark, Key Center

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Pat Pence, Chesterbrook ES

"As the new principal of Chesterbrook Elementary, I arrived to my first day on the job with a smile from Pat and a vase of fresh flowers on my table. That was just the beginning to warm and compassionate support this wonderful lady has provided me in my new role.  Pat has helped provide me timely historical information, organize the requests for meetings, ensure I eat lunch when things get really busy all while taking care of ensuring our staff and students have the supplies they need.  The amount of work that is involved in opening a new school year is intense and she has led the charge and supported me every step of the way.  My success in stepping in as the new principal and having a successful first two weeks of school is highly attributed to the work of Pat Pence and I'm so thankful to have her by my side."

- Stacy Kirkpatrick, Chesterbrook ES

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Maeve Nash, West Springfield HS

"Ms. Nash, a 1st-year drama teacher in FCPS, went above and beyond in helping me repurpose -- some chalk easels. She had her theatre tech students build platforms and added paint trays; so that my high school SPED students can make use of these resources. They have now re-created a safe and "free to me" fabulous structure that my students can use."

- Becky Brandt, West Springfield HS

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Robin Griffin, West Springfield HS

"Ms. Griffin, our FACs Pre-school teacher, generously donated several chalk easels and supplies that her program no longer needed -- to benefit my SPED Art class. It is going to make a world of difference."

- Becky Brandt, West Springfield HS

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Lee Riley, Tyrone Turner, Corey Allen, Facilities and Transportation Services

"I greatly appreciate the dedication and thoroughness demonstrated by Lee Riley, Tyrone Turner, and Corey Allen, when they responded to a wasp problem in the Cherry Run ES Library. They not only inspected the roof but a small, separate second level of the roof where the nest was found. I am also grateful you let me know what you had discovered and that the nest was destroyed. Great job!" 

- Lisa Hammond, Cherry Run ES

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Amy Dodson, Riverside ES

"Amy Dodson is a valued member of the Riverside community.  Her official title is Special Education Instructional Assistant, but I can tell you that those who work with her know her to be much more.  Amy is a meticulous professional--she can be counted on to do any task given to her with precision. She asks excellent questions and contributes her own expertise which has in many cases made programming and testing go much more smoothly. Best of all, she is excellent with all students, but especially those that may exhibit some challenging behaviors at times. She is patient and makes everyone who works with her, staff, students and parents alike, feel valued."

- Dawn Champion, Riverside ES

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Melody Thorson, Willow Oaks

"The Office of Intervention and Prevention Services (IPS) in in the Department of Special Services recently had to relocate staff members within Willow Oaks. Melody was very helpful in all aspects of the move, including having new cubicles constructed.  She was innovative, responsive, and patient with all aspects of this big change, even those changes that happened at the last minute.  Her calm manner eased the anxiety of those who were moving. The staff members of IPS appreciate all of her efforts on our behalf."

- Elizabeth Hatt, Willow Oaks

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Heather Hitz, McNair ES

"Ms. Hitz is one of the most dedicated assistant principals that I have had the pleasure of working alongside. She consistently puts the needs of the McNair staff, our students, and their families first. She makes herself available to meet with staff to provide them meaningful feedback to support their professional growth and development; as well as support them in fostering positive relationships with their students and families. Every day, she ensures that our students arrive safely and leave happy by being a visible and welcoming smile throughout our building. I am grateful for her passion, commitment to our school, knowledge of best practices, positivity, and professionalism."

- Melissa Goddin, McNair ES

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Carla Watkins, Clearview ES

"Mrs. Watkins is an incredible and caring Kindergarten teacher who has continued to go above and beyond for her students and former students. My daughter had Mrs. Watkins in Kindergarten and is now in 3rd grade. Every single August, Mrs. Watkins mails a lovely personalized note to each of her former students.These notes are amazing and really show how much she cares and continues to care about her students. I can’t image how long these notes take her to write! The entire Clearview community is blessed to have a teacher like Mrs. Watkins in our school!"

- a parent at Clearview ES

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Jennifer Heiges, Marshall Road ES

"Ms. Heiges continues to inspire students at Marshall Road ES by maintaining a positive learning environment. In addition to continuing with the positivity project, this year the newest initiative is Yoga4Classrooms. All teachers have been trained in this remarkable program. Students are learning yoga poses, breathing exercises and other mindfulness activities to help settle them and aid them to find a more peaceful existence in both body and mind. As a parent and fellow educator, I can tell you - it works - my daughters came home the first week of school eager to share the poses and breathing techniques they have learned!  Thank you Ms. Heiges and MRES staff!

- a parent at Marshall Road ES

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Llexell Evangelista, Sprague Technology Center

"I’ve known Llexell Evangelista and worked with him for over a decade and he always demonstrate his professionalism and frequently go above and beyond. It was no exception this time when TMPC is in high demand. Llexell stayed late a few evenings—including the Friday before Labor Day weekend, in order to complete (printing, laminating, trimming) thirty-eight Strategic Focus SY2018-20 posters. Thank you, Llexell, for your dedication and positive attitude! Maraming salamat po! :)"

- Maple Chou, Gatehouse Administration Center

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Noel Fleming, Dranesville ES

"Before the 2018-2019 school year started Noel was working away to ensure the new itinerant adapted PE teachers would be well taken care of!  As the lead mentor, she has developed a fool-proof guide to being a first-year teacher which she continues to refine, an invaluable resource for our new staff.  As a veteran teacher, she provides wisdom, knowledge, and experience across the schools, staff, students and parents with whom she interacts. Most importantly, Noel is an all-around awesome human being! Her willingness to help others, celebrate differences, maintain an upbeat attitude and attention to detail continue to have a positive impact on all those who are lucky enough to be in her presence.  Thanks for all you do and keep up the great work!"

- Manda Krimmer, Willow Springs ES

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Teresa Dunbar, Ravensworth ES

"Ms. Dunbar is the registrar (SIA) at Ravensworth ES.  She worked diligently with parents of enrolling kindergartners and rising 6th graders to confirm that all required vaccines were submitted on time.  We began the school year with ALL kindergartners and ALL 6th graders having an assigned teacher because they were all documented as having the state required vaccines.  This is no easy task.  I have worked as the AA in the office for 11 years now and we have never had all these students be fully enrolled and assigned to classes on the first day of school! Ms. Dunbar deserves kudos for making this happen!  She is an awesome SIA!!!"

- Betty Morgan, Ravensworth ES

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Chiffon White, Forte Center

"Although I chose the date above, I want to emphasize Ms. White's incredible attitude and personality. She is the regular warehouse driver who makes deliveries to Holmes. Every time she comes into the building, she has a great attitude, a smile, and a friendly disposition. I am yet to hear her complain about anything or anyone, or not have a smile on her face when she walks into the office even on hot and humid days. She speaks to everyone with the utmost respect always. It is my pleasure to always greet her and ask how her day is going."

- Berta Stamp, Holmes MS

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Jason Daniels, Sideburn Support Center

"Jason has been a DAILY presence at Kings Park ES over the last two weeks working to ensure that the fix to our air conditioning system is holding. Each day he arrives with a smile and checks in with me to provide a daily report. He shares data with me and is willing to take time to explain the complexities of our HVAC systems so that I can understand. I so appreciate his commitment, professionalism, good nature; and most importantly his expertise!"

- Dotty Lin, Kings Park ES

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Rory McGlinnen, Westfield HS

"This science teacher has gone above and beyond for our ESOL students here at Westfield. Although it's not her job, she has taken it upon herself to look through every ESOL student's class load at WHS to make sure they are placed into the best science classes to meet their needs. She'll sit down one on one with these students whom she has never taught to make sure they feel comfortable, answer any questions they have, as well as take the time to actually get to know them. It's clear how much she cares about these students and how much she wants to help them succeed. I wish we had more teachers like Rory!"

- Cortlyn Bristol, Westfield HS

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Anith Muthalaly, FCPS Warehouse

"Anith has gone above and beyond the last two years, helping me secure furniture for my classroom that allows my students to have a choice in what they sit in. In July, Anith let me know about some desks and chairs that came in that he thought my students would love. I went to the warehouse and sure enough, I agreed! This past week I needed one more desk in my class, as our numbers grew, and Anith immediately contacted me and sent the desk over. His dedication, willingness to help, and friendly, courteous demeanor, is what makes him an outstanding employee in FCPS! I am grateful to him for going above and beyond!"

- Anna Wojcik, Fairview ES

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Melaney Mackin, Silverbrook ES

"Dr. Mackin has continued to provide guidance and support in ensuring we meet the specific needs of each student. Her professionalism, guidance, and trust have enabled me to perform my professional duty as a school counselor. Thank you, Dr. Mackin, for your support! It is greatly appreciated."

- Carmen Pangelinan, Silverbrook ES

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Kathy Murphy, Willow Oaks

"Kathy's attendance in my 504 meeting this morning is greatly appreciated. She has always made herself available to support me, via telephone, email or in person. It is evident that Kathy believes in collaboration and teamwork when it comes to providing services for all students. Thank you, Kathy, for your continued support!"

- Carmen Pangelinan, Silverbrook ES

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Sarah Travis, McNair ES

"Sarah is constantly going above and beyond to help her students. She offered extra help to any child, former or present to aid in their continued learning. She even enables students to bring younger siblings they are responsible for to her room when they get extra help. She is going above and beyond by mentoring a former student and working with the middle school counselors and admin as well as our admin to work out a time she can mentor her previous student. She truly cares about every student she encounters."

- Jessica Blanchard, McNair ES

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Ana Mack, Lake Braddock SS

"Ms. Ana Mack is brand new to our front office staff and she has been absolutely pleasant and enjoyable to work with. She is a critical piece to building a positive school community and she is doing great. We are lucky to have you at LB and I look forward to a great year working alongside you!"

- Brett Garner, Lake Braddock SS

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