Outstanding Elementary New Teacher, Finalists, and School Recipients

The outstanding elementary new teachers recognized at 2018 FCPS Honors

2018 Outstanding New Elementary School Teacher 

Emily Burke, Multiple Disabilities Teacher, Marshall Road Elementary School, Region 1

a photo of emily burkeIn her short time at Marshall Road, Emily has impressed everyone with her dedication to helping kids with disabilities. When one of her non-verbal students was making progress, but couldn’t get additional funding for home speech therapy, Emily used her lunchtime to continue to work with him. Fellow teachers praise her positivity, collaborative nature, and ability to remain patient in the face of challenging behavior. She’s sought community-based help for overburdened parents while guiding their children to new levels of achievement. “Emily completely understands our students,” said a colleague, “and for a first-year teacher, she has an incredibly large bag of tricks to pull from each day.”



2018 Outstanding New Elementary School Teacher Finalist 

Julianne Braden, Physical Education Teacher, Laurel Hill Elementary School, Region 4

a photo of julianne bradenEven the students who put up the biggest walls find it hard to resist Julie’s physical education classes. In her two years at Laurel Hill, she’s upped the fitness quotient of the entire school. Her Fitness Fuel Up Videos not only encourage a brain break, but get students moving in class; many have designed their own fitness moves to be included in future videos. She instills a desire to learn with her “Lion of the Week” awards and was named Coach of the Year for taking South County High School’s gymnastics team to Regionals. Fellow staff members describe her as a “kinetic ball of energy,” always ready to pitch in. “Our school would not be the amazing place that it is to work and learn without her,” said one.


2018 Outstanding New Elementary School Teacher Finalist

Adrianne Focke, Second Grade Teacher, Oak Hill Elementary School, Region 5

a photo of adrianne fockeAdi is a gifted teacher, with a knack for presenting material in a way that is enjoyable and effective. “When I learn something that sounds like it is boring,” said one student, “Ms. Focke always makes it fun.” Parents credit her ability to foster community from day one and her creative methods of encouraging good behavior (she gives a “MAGIC” award to students for “Making Awesome Great Impressive Choices”) with helping their children thrive. Coworkers, meanwhile, are impressed by the intuition and maturity she brings to the job. “Adi is the strongest first-year teacher I have worked with in 18 years of teaching,” said one. “I couldn’t dream of a better teammate.”


2018 Outstanding New Elementary School Teacher Finalist  

Kirsten Looney, Art Teacher, Parklawn Elementary School, Region 2

a photo of kirsten looneyKirsten’s goal is to inspire every student to pursue their creative endeavors. She does this by trying to connect their lives with the art they create, be it picture book illustrations or designs from around the world for Family Reading Night. Kirsten seeks to build relationships with students in and out of class, showcases their art on social media, and helps run the yearbook. She even started an afterschool program to develop a schoolwide mural that students will design to help boost pride in Parklawn. “Ms. Looney’s art room is a haven for students,” says a teacher. “It’s a place where everyone has the opportunity to work at their own level and grow as artists.”


2018 Outstanding New Elementary School Teacher Finalist

Grace Rubright, Fifth Grade Teacher, Woodley Hills ES, Region 3

a photo of grace rubrightGrace asks herself the same question each day: What were my students able to do as a result of my teaching? Those who work with her at Woodley Hills would say, “a lot.” In her three years there, Grace has proved an innovative teacher who is always looking for new ways to help students succeed. Whether she’s taking a class on math instruction at George Mason University, refocusing a challenging child, or working with ESOL students after school, Grace understands that her kids often come from unstable environments, so she strives to make school safe and predictable. “She sees the good in everyone,” says a colleague, “and has a knack for helping students see their own potential as well.”


2018 Outstanding New Elementary School Teacher - School Recipients

  • Annandale Terrace Elementary School
    • Brooke Morris, Third Grade Teacher
  • Bailey's Upper Elementary School for the Arts and Sciences
    • Theresa Yenouskas, Special Education Teacher
  • Beech Tree Elementary School
    • Kate Pflager, Third Grade Teacher
  • Belle View Elementary School
    • Lauren Marasti, Fifth Grade Teacher
  • Braddock Elementary School
    • Marissa Goldman, Third Grade Teacher
  • Bren Mar Park Elementary School
    • Allison Kaye, Third Grade Teacher
  • Bush Hill Elementary School
    • Mary Beth Parks, Fourth Grade Teacher
  • Camelot Elementary School
    • Aimee DeSoto, Art Teacher *
  • Cameron Elementary School
    • Ashley Blenz, Sixth Grade Teacher
  • Centre Ridge Elementary School
    • Andrea Lobo, Third Grade Teacher *
  • Cherry Run Elementary School
    • Emily Miller, Learning Disabilities Teacher
  • Chesterbrook Elementary School
    • Natalie Mabile, Fourth Grade Teacher
  • Columbia Elementary School
    • Caleb Gildea, Fourth Grade Teacher *
  • Crossfield Elementary School
    • Heather Sasala, Second Grade Teacher
  • Daniels Run Elementary School
    • Patricia Cotter, Sixth Grade Teacher *
  • Dogwood Elementary School
    • Ashley Ayala, Sixth Grade Teacher
  • Dranesville Elementary School
    • Caroline Hester, Learning Disabilities Teacher *
  • Eagle View Elementary School
    • Sarah Erbes, Kindergarten Teacher
  • Fairfax Villa Elementary School
    • Christy Fesak, Special Education Teacher *
  • Fairview Elementary School
    • Carolyn Smith, Third Grade Teacher
  • Flint Hill Elementary School
    • Kathleen Allen, Multiple Disabilities Teacher
  • Floris Elementary School
    • Heather Einset, Fifth Grade Teacher
  • Forestville Elementary School
    • Kari Vollmecke, First Grade Teacher
  • Fort Belvoir Primary School
    • Kaitlyn Falstad, First Grade Teacher
  • Fort Belvoir Upper School
    • Jenny Reisinger, Special Education Teacher
  • Fort Hunt Elementary School
    • Sarah Goings, Enhanced Autism Teacher *
  • Franconia Elementary School
    • Kenan Brod, Physical Education Teacher
  • Franklin Sherman Elementary School
    • Nicole Nersten, Fourth Grade Teacher
  • Garfield Elementary School
    • Kelsey Nichols, Special Education Teacher
  • Halley Elementary School
    • Hemanalini Keshava, Fourth Grade Teacher
  • Hayfield Elementary School
    • Elena Nolton, Kindergarten Teacher *
  • Hunters Woods Elementary School for the Arts and Sciences
    • Vanessa Beverage, First Grade Teacher *
  • Island Creek Elementary School
    • Lindsey Miller, Physical Education Teacher
  • Keene Mill Elementary School
    • Erika Guevara, Special Education Teacher
  • Kent Gardens Elementary School
    • Catalina Moore, Third Grade Teacher *
  • Kings Park Elementary School
    • Alyssa Tower, Second Grade Teacher
  • Lake Anne Elementary School
    • Megan Danielson, Fourth Grade Teacher
  • Lane Elementary School
    • Sarah Gunter, First Grade Teacher
  • Laurel Hill Elementary School
    • Julianne Braden, Physical Education Teacher *
  • Lees Corner Elementary School
    • Nicole Donohoe, Fourth Grade Teacher
  • Little Run Elementary School
    • Christina Norico, Second Grade Teacher
  • London Towne Elementary School
    • Stephanie Carey, Fifth Grade Teacher *
  • Lorton Station Elementary School
    • Christina Cabrera, Second Grade Teacher
  • Louise Archer Elementary School
    • Katelyn Werley, Kindergarten Teacher
  • Lynbrook Elementary School
    • Taylor Heil, Third Grade Teacher *
  • Mantua Elementary School
    • Cristy Flynn, First Grade Teacher
  • Marshall Road Elementary School
    • Emily Burke, Multiple Disabilities Teacher *
  • Mosby Woods Elementary School
    • Yoni Lee, Third Grade Advanced Academics Program Teacher
  • Mount Eagle Elementary School
    • Alexandra Hoge, Fifth Grade Teacher *
  • Mount Vernon Woods Elementary School
    • Juliana Sorrentino, First Grade Teacher
  • Navy Elementary School
    • Kelli Taranto, First Grade Teacher
  • Oak Hill Elementary School
    • Adrianne Focke, Second Grade Teacher *
  • Oak View Elementary School
    • Brooke Brylawski, Kindergarten Teacher *
  • Oakton Elementary School
    • Kelly Baucom, Kindergarten Teacher *
  • Olde Creek Elementary School
    • Kate Pyatt, First Grade Teacher
  • Orange Hunt Elementary School
    • Emily Slovensky, Fourth Grade Teacher *
  • Parklawn Elementary School
    • Kirsten Looney, Art Teacher *
  • Poplar Tree Elementary School
    • Andrea Williams, Art Teacher
  • Providence Elementary School
    • Samantha Kehn, Special Education Teacher
  • Ravensworth Elementary School
    • Erika Peterson, Spanish Immersion Teacher
  • Riverside Elementary School
    • Helen Lang, First Grade Teacher
  • Rose Hill Elementary School
    • Caelyn Waffird, First Grade Teacher
  • Sangster Elementary School
    • Victoria Winkler, Special Education Teacher
  • Saratoga Elementary School
    • Lori Rodriguez, Kindergarten Teacher
  • Shrevewood Elementary School
    • Thomas Hearin, Third Grade Teacher
  • Silverbrook Elementary School
    • Jordan Britcher, Fourth Grade Teacher
  • Sleepy Hollow Elementary School
    • Camille Battah, Third Grade Teacher
  • Springfield Estates Elementary School
    • Jillian Domenech, Sixth Grade Math and Science Teacher
  • Stratford Landing Elementary School
    • Jacque Wagner, Fifth Grade Teacher
  • Sunrise Valley Elementary School
    • Tina Bowser, First Grade Teacher
  • Terra Centre Elementary School
    • Tara Worth, Special Education Teacher
  • Union Mill Elementary School
    • Christine Waters, Fourth Grade Teacher
  • Virginia Run Elementary School
    • Amanda Dey, Second Grade Teacher
  • Wakefield Forest Elementary School
    • Catherine Wilkerson, Special Education Teacher
  • Westgate Elementary School
    • Katherine Esselburn, Special Education Teacher *
  • White Oaks Elementary School
    • Erin Morency Special Education Teacher *
  • Willow Springs Elementary School
    • Jessica Boger, Learning Disabilities Teacher
  • Woodley Hills Elementary School
    • Grace Rubright, Fifth Grade Teacher *

* Denotes Pyramid-Level Recipient

HR Connection

Question for Human Resources? Submit it through the HR Connection portal or call 571-423-3000 or 1-800-831-4331.