Outstanding Nonschool-based Leader and Finalists

The outstanding nonschool-based leaders recognized at 2018 FCPS Honors

2018 Outstanding Nonschool-based Leader 

Noël Klimenko, Director, Pre-K-12 Curriculum and Instruction, Willow Oaks Administrative Center, Instructional Services

a photo of noel klimenkoNoël is committed to ensuring FCPS continues to move forward as one of the best school systems in the country. In the past three years, she’s brought about significant changes in grading and reporting at the secondary level, helped establish literacy as an instructional focus, and is in the process of creating different pathways for students to graduate from FCPS. “She keeps student and teacher needs and experiences front and center,” says a supervisor. Principals and teachers praise her for being collaborative and bringing a solid understanding of curriculum and student achievement to discussions. “She’s still a teacher at her core,” said one. “She’s a leader and colleague people want at the table.”



2018 Outstanding Nonschool-based Leader Finalist

Michelle Andrews, Database Engineer, Wilton Woods Center, Information Technology

a photo of michelle andrewsMichelle has deployed her problem-solving skills to dramatically improve the efficiency of the student database system. Last year, she created a process to resolve enrollment discrepancies and also customized the summer student information system to make it easier to see snapshots of student data. As a “techie” with a background in special education, Michelle has also been instrumental in integrating IEP data into the system. “She has the uncanny ability to understand complex businesses,” said a coworker, “and an amazing ability to turn requirements into workable design.” Her efforts have helped FCPS cut costs and reduced workloads so teachers and students have more instructional time.


2018 Outstanding Nonschool-based Leader Finalist

John Gore, Field Construction Supervisor, Gatehouse Administration Center, Facilities

a photo of john goreJohn oversees more than 1,400 facility improvement projects throughout FCPS each year. Despite the stress of coordinating work at multiple sites with shifting demands, John is praised for his professional attitude. His construction expertise and strong relationships with outside vendors also enable him to meet challenges with flexibility. “John is a team player who exudes dedication and always offers new ideas and perspective to improve efficiency,” said a supervisor. He recently received kudos for moving an Early Childhood Center to Bull Run Elementary School, which involved new electricity, building walls, major repairs, and the relocation of specialty equipment on a tight schedule.


2018 Outstanding Nonschool-based Leader Finalist

a photo of brooke gustafsonBrooke Gustafson, Coordinator, Budget Compensation, Gatehouse Administration Center, Financial Services

Brooke is leading the charge to create a better budget system. In addition to making sure upcoming projections are accurate, he’s also mapping out the current budget processes while working in collaboration with a consulting firm to convert the legacy system to a new platform. Colleagues praise his supportive management style and sense of humor. They also credit him with having an innate ability to deal with detailed information while still seeing the big picture. This was on display in recent months when he served as acting director at several board meetings and work sessions. “His leadership is exemplary,” said one coworker. “He goes out of his way to provide guidance to all.”


2018 Outstanding Nonschool-based Leader Finalist

a photo of travis holderTravis Holder, Manager, Licensure, Gatehouse Administration Center, Human Resources

When the Virginia state legislature mandated new CPR training for teachers, Travis moved quickly to set up a course which allowed 3,000 of his colleagues to meet their licensing requirements without a hitch. His superior work ethic has made him equally effective at dealing with rule changes, recruiting at job fairs, and streamlining the work process with his team. “No matter the topic, good or bad news, he greets everyone with a smile and positivity,” said one. Recently, Travis served on a state task force concerning the teacher shortage; his expertise was recognized when he was asked to co-present recommendations to Governor Terry McAuliffe and the Virginia Board of Education.”


2018 Outstanding Nonschool-based Leader Finalist

Cindy Rivera, Communications Specialist, Gatehouse Administration Center, Chiefs Offices

a photo of cindy riveraCindy aims to support student success by communicating with as many parents as possible. Four years ago, she did this by creating FCPS en Español, a Spanish language Facebook page of news and parenting tips, which now has more than 5,000 members. More recently, she helped launch “News You Choose,” as a way for schools to share happenings with their communities. “She’s always the voice asking if information should be translated,” said one colleague. Thanks to Cindy, the FCPS newsletter is now published in eight languages, resulting in some schools reaching 50 percent more families. “She makes it look simple,” said one teacher.


2018 Outstanding Nonschool-based Leader Finalist

Kate Salerno, Coordinator, Nontraditional School Programs, Willow Oaks Administrative Center, Special Services

a photo of kate salernoAs the leader of 30 nontraditional school programs in the Department of Special Services, Kate has distinguished herself as a pro with an unyielding belief in others. Under her guidance, FCPS alternative schools have expanded learning options for at-risk students. She’s also recruited higher caliber teachers and local universities and businesses to support students as they work towards the goal of attending college. Last year, the George Mason “Dream Catchers” program that she helped revive mentored a record 29 students. “Kate is the type of educator who will look for the student others might give up on and fight side by side with them to overcome,” said a colleague. “She has a huge heart.”

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