Outstanding Secondary Teacher, Finalists, and School Recipients

The outstanding secondary teachers recognized at 2019 FCPS Honors

2019 Outstanding Secondary Teacher

Heather Brueggen, English Teacher, Edison High School, Region 3

Heather BrueggenHeather Brueggen has been teaching English for twelve years, and she takes enormous pride in her role as an educator.  Rather than shying away from a challenge, she routinely asks to work with remedial students, making every effort to build their confidence and help them succeed.  Her high expectations for all students are clear, which consistently creates a safe, personable, positive, and supportive learning environment in the classroom.  Ms. Brueggen does not see teaching as merely a job, but as an innate desire to serve society. Furthermore, she is an expert in content delivery and possesses a knack for communicating and conceptualizing significant ideas to every type of learner.



2019 Outstanding Secondary Teacher Finalist

brandon clarkeBrandon Clarke, ESOL Teacher, Franklin Middle School, Region 5

“Brandon is creative about providing students authentic learning experiences, so they can share their voice,” said a colleague. Through the Capstone Portfolio, his English Learners integrate Project Based Learning with Portrait of a Graduate skills.  In their final presentation of learning, students showcase their academic language in the roles of engineer, researcher, advocate, and diplomat.  He is encouraging in class, “He always reminds us to never give up!” reflected one student, and he writes individual notes of encouragement before exams.  As Equity Lead and ESOL Department Chair, he collaborates with colleagues to build a community that supports and rigorously engages all English Learners. Always seeking to grow as a teacher, he looks for new strategies to increase students' thoughtful engagement.



2019 Outstanding Secondary Teacher Finalist

Amanda Herlihy, Multiple Disabilities Teacher, Thoreau Middle School, Region 1

Amanda HerlihyAmanda, or Ms. H, as her students call her, demonstrates patience and love, and promotes inclusivity and fun.  In her six years as a Thoreau teacher she has helped to develop the school’s program for students with low incidence disabilities.  Her innovation, creativity, and passion has facilitated the creation of new and exciting educational, pre-vocational, and inclusion opportunities for her students. Ms. H’s goal is to foster independence and push her students past their academic potentials.  At Thoreau, she has succeeded in meeting this goal.  A firm believer that “inclusion should be the expectation, not the exception,” Ms. H has helped to make her program a vital part of the Thoreau community and provide her students with a vibrant middle school experience.



2019 Outstanding Secondary Teacher Finalist

Diane Hughart, Alternative School English Teacher, Transition Support Resource Center Vienna, Non-Region

Diane HughartOne of the first Nationally Board-Certified teachers in the country, Diane inspires students to become not just enthusiastic readers and writers, but better versions of themselves.  Diane encourages students who have been unsuccessful in traditional settings to develop unique voices and enjoy learning. Colleagues rely on her advice in dealing with the most challenging students in a thoughtful and supportive way.  A student recently wrote to Diane: “I just wanted to let you know that the kindness and patience you showed me when I was an angsty fourteen-year-old has inspired me to pursue a career in teaching high school English.  I pray one day I can make one kid as happy as you make everyone every second of every day.”



2019 Outstanding Secondary Teacher Finalist

Jessica Ittayem, STEAM Teacher, Poe Middle School, Region 2

Jessica IttayemJessica is a devoted STEAM teacher that delivers real world experiences to her students every year.  By making it her mission to bring a vast array of opportunities to Poe Middle; Jessica gives her students the opportunity to engage and to understand how important a piece they can be to solving many real-world issues.  Jessica’s passion extends out of the classroom and into supporting many humanitarian organizations. Her after school club has been recognized by Fairfax county board of supervisors for helping raise awareness about human trafficking during Human Trafficking Awareness Month.  “The experiences that our students are receiving from Jessica and her commitment are phenomenal”, said a colleague.



2019 Outstanding Secondary Teacher Finalist

Katie Munive, ESOL Teacher, Mountain View High School, Region 4

Katie MuniveKatie knows it is a privilege and great responsibility to be an educator.  Her patient, kind, and caring personality fosters self-efficacy and resilience in a supportive environment that nurtures students' development, engagement in tasks, and the importance of becoming a life-long learner.  Listening to students she adjusts instructional methods, modifies assessments, and uses technology to develop their intelligence.  She cautions, though the world may appear punitive and unrelenting, it doesn’t need to be so.  Empowering oneself to see challenges as opportunities to incorporate a Growth Mindset and using critical thinking skills, solutions can be found. Katie hopes her students will always operate under Jung’s adage, “I am not what happened to me. I am what I choose to become.”



2019 Outstanding Secondary Teacher - School Recipients

  • Annandale High School
    • Stephanie Hanson, English Teacher
  • Bryant High School
    • Ron Virts, History & Social Studies Teacher
  • Carson Middle School
    • Amy Allen, English Teacher
  • Centreville High School
    • Oliver Small, AP Computer Science and STEM Engineering Teacher
  • Chantilly High School
    • Joseph Clement, History & Social Studies Teacher
  • Cooper Middle School
    • Lisa Walsh, Mathematics Teacher
  • Davis Career Center
    • Dale L. Fila, Career & Transition Teacher
  • Edison High School
    • Heather Brueggen, English Teacher *
  • Fairfax High School
    • Ronnetta Lyons, Biology Teacher *
  • Falls Church High School
    • Ryan Michael Healy, Health & Physical Education Teacher *
  • Franklin Middle School
    • Brandon Clarke, ESOL Teacher *
  • Frost Middle School
    • Matthew Bower, History & Social Studies Teacher
  • Hayfield Secondary School
    • Maggie LeGendre, AP World History Teacher *
  • Herndon High School
    • Yasmin Petras, History & Social Studies Teacher *
  • Holmes Middle School
    • Bridget Cheatham, Health and Physical Education Teacher
  • Hughes Middle School
    • Hannah Converse, English Teacher
  • Interagency Alternative Schools
    • Diane Hughart, Alternative School Teacher *
  • Irving Middle School
    • Emily Geary, History & Social Studies Teacher
  • Justice High School
    • Tad Rauluk, Learning Disabilities Teacher *
  • Key Center
    • Sarah Bracken Payne, Severe Disabilities Teacher *
  • Key Middle School
    • Nancy P. Batchelder, ESOL Teacher
  • Kilmer Middle School
    • Margaret Dean, Learning Disabilities Teacher *
  • Lake Braddock Secondary School
    • Andrea Harmon, High School Music Teacher *
  • Langley High School
    • Christina Mitro, English Teacher
  • Lanier Middle School
    • Laura Bieryla, History & Social Studies Teacher
  • Lee High School
    • Elizabeth Evans, History & Social Studies Teacher *
  • Liberty Middle School
    • Jessica Chun, Seventh Grade History Teacher
  • Longfellow Middle School
    • Bomin Collins, Orchestra Director *
  • Luther Jackson Middle School
    • Taylor Johnson, Physical Education Teacher
  • Madison High School
    • Marissa Petty, History & Social Studies Teacher
  • Marshall High School
    • Rebecca Crawford, History & Social Studies Teacher
  • McLean High School
    • Linda Martin, Music Teacher
  • Mountain View High School
    • Katie Munive, ESOL Teacher *
  • Oakton High School
    • Meg Moran, English Teacher *
  • Poe Middle School
    • Jessica Ittayem, STEAM teacher * 
    • Beau Fay, Seventh Grade History Teacher
  • Robinson Secondary School
    • Kevin Crenshaw, Multiple Disabilities Teacher *
  • Rocky Run Middle School
    • Julie Tiss, Learning Disabilities Teacher
  • Sandburg Middle School
    • Shanae Hill, History & Social Studies Teacher *
  • South County High School
    • Ann Baylor, Mathematics Teacher
  • South County Middle School
    • Christina Pybus, Health & Physical Education Teacher *
  • South Lakes High School
    • Evan Millar, Mathematics Teacher *
  • Stone Middle School
    • Sandy Rogers, Learning Disabilities Teacher *
  • Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology
    • Michael Auerbach, Mathematics Teacher *
  • Thoreau Middle School
    • Amanda Herlihy, Multiple Disabilities Teacher *
  • Twain Middle School
    • Kelly Draeger, Mathematics Teacher
  • Walt Whitman Middle School
    • Freda Woods-Lawrence, Mathematics Teacher *
  • West Potomac High School
    • Eileen Bell, ESOL Teacher
  • West Springfield High School
    • Sam Donnelly Jonsson, Marketing Education Teacher *
  • Westfield High School
    • Glenn Rife, German Language Teacher
  • Woodson High School
    • Karla Eaton, English Teacher *

* Denotes Pyramid-Level Recipient

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