FCPS Cares - April 2019

By Department of Human Resources
April 03, 2019

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

To view past submissions, please visit our previous submissions page

FCPS Cares of the Month Recipients

Central Office: Stephanie Tamashiro – Transportation – Stonecroft Transportation Center

"Stephanie is the most amazing bus driver Fairfax County has.  She is always prepared and always has a great attitude. She has trained several of my children for safety patrol and has been the substitute bus driver on several occasions. She brings her ukelele to play for the students and, on many occasions, helped calm down students with disabilities, with her songs. I don't even know how long she has been a bus driver, but it has been a long time.  My kids love her, their friends love her and she is known for her ukelele and singing to the students. Sometimes we don't realize how much of an impact the bus drivers make on our students, as they are the first people they see from the schools every day. Stephanie is just an all-around amazing person and I wish I could have her as my bus driver every day!"

- a parent of students at Waples Mill ES, Franklin MS, and Oakton HS

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Region 1: Meghan Ehrman, Terraset ES

"Mrs. Ehrman is an exceptional teacher. She is dedicated to providing the best education to her students as well as creating an environment in which students are encouraged to participate in their learning. Mrs. Ehrman also goes above and beyond to communicate with parents to keep them aware of all of the important events and updates about the class. She is welcoming of all parents and children. Mrs. Ehrman truly shines and creates a lasting impact on her students."

- a Terraset ES parent

"My 4th-grader missed 6 weeks of school due to a serious health condition. Ms. Ehrman did everything imaginable to make this as easy on my daughter as possible. She provided emotional support both before and after, giving up her planning periods while the rest of the class was in specials on several occasions when my daughter was upset. She texted my daughter while she was out of school. She maintained frequent communication with my husband and me during the whole process, especially letting us know how my daughter was doing when she returned to school. She made a very difficult time much easier because of the support we had at school."

- a Terraset ES parent

"Mrs. Ehrman is a very kind, professional, motivating, compelling teacher. She does an outstanding job while teaching her students."

- a Terraset ES parent

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Region 2: Maria Degadillo, Annandale HS

"Maria Delgadillo has gone above and beyond in her efforts to make Princess for a Night at Annandale High School a success. She spent a multitude of hours cleaning and organizing the Parent Resource Center to prepare for the event.  She helped sort dresses, accessories, and shoes for the pop-up dress shops and came up with the idea of offering these items to any student who might need a formal dress for an event such as a Quinceañera or other special celebration in addition to prom.  Moreover, she continued to handle the food pantry, attend student conferences, and call parents for teachers and administrators while being temporarily the only parent liaison on duty. Thank you, Maria, for all the time you spent making this event possible for our students!  We appreciate your dedication to our students and community!"

- Monica Bentley, Annandale HS

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a photo from hollin meadows fcps caresRegion 3: Ann Jopke, Matt Rivera, Tamara Wilson, Tonja Walden, Maura McVeigh, Viki Wilson, and Anna Webb, Hollin Meadows ES

"Ms. Jopke, Mr. Rivera, Ms. Wilson, and Ms. Walden, have all been coaches for our Girls on the Run team this spring season. We have 34 girls on our team, in the second season for our school. Being a coach requires several training sessions, and 10 weeks of practices, twice a week for nearly 2 hours after school...and they commit to run a 5k with these girls. Ms. Wilson and Ms. Walden are also first-year teachers at the school.  All of these teachers not only put in a full day at work, but they go the extra mile to do this club for the girls and do an amazing job. Mrs. McVeigh, Ms. Viki Wilson, and Ms. Webb, have all been regularly volunteering with our Girls on the Run team and committed to being Buddy Runners (an adult runner) for one of the girls, during the end-of-season 5k.These teachers also are dedicating their time after school to be with the girls in the club, putting in the physical effort to help push the girls, and committing weekend time to ensure girls have a Buddy Runner. All of these teachers are putting in so much extra time and effort into an already long day for them, and really impacting the lives of the girls in our program. It is not going unnoticed by any of the parents of the girls in the program, or the other parents who coach alongside them. We are so thankful for their commitment to the girls in this program and school."

- a Hollin Meadows parent

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fcps cares kings parkRegion 4: Eileen Voss, Kings Park ES (pictured)

"Ms. Voss is truly one in a million. When others might run the other direction, she runs TOWARD the chaos and the mess! In the lunchroom, a little boy had a spontaneous (and very leaky) bloody nose. I balked, not knowing what to do, and she appeared like a fairy godmother with a paper towel and a hug and words of reassurance for him. When my daughter threw up in school a few days later, it was Ms. Voss to the rescue, helping her into fresh clothes and getting her to the nurse. She has endless patience for Kindergarten shenanigans and the (sometimes very yucky) stuff that goes hand-in-hand with tiny kids. She has a smile and a laugh that are both contagious, and she loves our children as though they were her own. As the parent of a Kindergartner, I couldn't ask for anything more. She treats our kids with unconditional kindness and love, whether they're at their worst or their best. I'd love for Ms. Voss to be recognized for always stepping forward in those moments when the rest of us are inclined to take a big step back!"

- a Kings Park ES parent

Region 5: Gabrielle Auza and Alexandra Dilldine, Daniels Run ES

daniels run"After school, on the late afternoon of the Friday before Spring Break, we realized that a lot of families had not been able to pick up their bags of food for the week long vacation. These bags of food were for the families of our students who participate in the Food 4 Thought program. Because of the vacation, these bags were larger than regular Friday F4T bags and they were too heavy to send home with the students. An announcement went out to the school asking for help and Gaby answered the call.  Along with another teacher, Gaby delivered ten bags of food to some of our most vulnerable families. Trudging up and down sets of stairs the two teachers delivered all ten bags and ensured that the families received this support. All of this extra work on a day, and at a time, when most people are eager to head home and start their Spring Break vacation!"

- Beth Lonergan, Daniels Run ES

"In the late afternoon, Friday before Spring Break, we realized that a lot of families had not been able to pick up their bags of food for the week-long vacation. These bags of food were for the families of our students who participate in the Food 4 Thought program.  Because of the vacation, these bags were larger than regular Friday F4T bags and they were too heavy to send home with the students.  An announcement went out to the school asking for help and Alex answered the call. Along with another teacher, Alex delivered ten bags of food to some of our most vulnerable families. Trudging up and down sets of stairs, the two teachers delivered all the bags and ensured that the families received this assistance."

- Beth Lonergan, Daniels Run ES

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Other FCPS Cares of the Month Recipients

Bill Deavers, Anissa Crump, Monica Quintana, and Cathy Chubb, Gatehouse Administration Center

"You know those people that drop everything to help you when things get crazy busy? The kind of people you love to know and work with - that’s these four. My team was already in the deep planning for the upcoming Retirement Ceremony and we needed to get the Service Awards sent out to schools and departments as soon as possible, so we asked if anyone in Salary Services next door might be able to help us out a bit if they had some time. Not only did they just help, but they also came in and spearheaded the operation! They worked together to organize and prepare 250 shipments of service award lanyards and certificates to all of our schools and departments and they took ownership and set a deadline for themselves and managed to get it done in half the time it would’ve taken us while we were also trying to stay on top of planning for Retirement. They were invested in the project and were friendly, kind and had a good time doing it as well. I am thankful for colleagues that not only want to help to make sure the job gets done but see a need to take some of the pressure off other colleagues that are swamped. They are truly the epitome of the best kind of FCPS employee. Thank you again, Bill, Anissa, Monica, and Cathy!"

- Beth Boivin, Gatehouse Administration Center

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Junpei Yuan, Tico Barclay, Jerome Ware, Sara Guerra Chirinos, Cindy Powell, and Ann Bonitatibus, Thomas Jefferson HS 

"The We Honor You retirement ceremony was held at Jefferson Science and Tech HS this evening and the TJ staff and administration went above and beyond to accommodate the Employee Programs team during the setup process. Cindy in the front office was amazing and took time out of her busy day to direct the vendors to my location for items being dropped. She always had a smile and provided world class customer service. Sara saw me in the hall with one of the vendors and dropped what she was doing to help translate the conversation. She assisted me with the logistics of unloading for minimal interruption to the students and staff. She unlocked doors, directed the vendor to the correct location and came up with a plan that helped make a setup that afternoon quick and easy. Junpei, Tico, and the custodial staff go out of their way to make us feel like we are part of the TJ family. When Junpei sees me or a member of the team he goes out of his way to say hi with a smile on his face, asks if there is anything we need, or how he can help to make things easier. During the event, they are quick to clean up spills, take out the trash, and refresh the bathrooms all with a friendly smile and nod. When the event is over and we are cleaning up the reception areas Junpei and Tico are right there with us.When the retirees and the guests leave the ceremony the place is spotless. Once the ceremony is over, their staff is in the auditorium ready to assist. Jerome has the hard job of making sure that the temperature in the building stays cool. He works that evening to override the system so that the retirees and guests are comfortable. Ann, the principal, stayed that evening to be sure that we had everything that we needed. Based on my interaction with Ann, you can tell why TJ has excellent customer service! If there was a customer services award, TJ would have my vote! There are lots of moving pieces at this event and TJ epitomizes an FCPS Caring Culture, while enriching the experience for guests and retirees. They build positive relationships with other offices within FCPS while making sure that student academics and lunchtime is not impacted. We are honored to work with such a flexible, collaborative, dedicated group of employees who always willing to go above and beyond to help make this event a total success."

- Shelli Wayland, Gatehouse Administration Center

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Pilar Zamora and Jennifer Craft, Montrose ALC

"Two teachers to recognize and should get an award are Pilar Zamora and Jennifer Craft. I have known Jennifer Craft for some time. She has catered her teaching style to suit various levels to sustain, challenge, and ignite the passion for learning in all students. She is an insightful educator who deeply cares about her students regardless of their ability. She is invested and dedicated to fostering the student’s growth and learning, sets high expectations for the students. Jennifer takes the time to understand the challenges her students are encountering in class and analyzes each student’s test to address challenging areas collectively for a class and individually for the student. Pilar Zamora is full of energy and loves data. She is passionate about data-driven dialogue to drive instruction. The first time I met her, I saw that twinkle in her eye when it came to assessments and data. Her classroom is welcoming, and she has an eclectic collection of chairs. The ambiance in her classroom makes any student who may feel anxious or whatever mindset/emotions they might have, feel welcomed and help calm them down. Pilar uses strategies to make them feel at ease. Both teachers, Pilar and Jennifer are one of the most dedicated and hardworking teachers I have encountered, and both have taken the time and effort to dedicate their passion for teaching and for their subject to changing student’s lives. Both have truly devoted the time to see the students grow intellectually and morally."

- Shilpi Patel, Willow Oaks Administration Center

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Russ Wright and MacLean Wilson, Sprague Technology Center

"I would like to thank the dynamic duo - they are awesome! Anytime, I have a problem, they are responsive and quick to resolving the issues/concerns with ease. They do a great job of explaining things to help us understand the different nuances which we would have not otherwise. It is worth heeding their advice and tips! Thank you, Russ and Wilson!"

- Shilpi Patel, Willow Oaks Administration Center

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Erika Davis, Montrose ALC

"I have known Erika for some time. I think this quote is befitting for her, We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.- Winston Churchill. Erika listens to her students, staff members, and families to provide insight and to help navigate rough patches and decisions. Her room is welcoming for the students where she encourages reflective thinking, fosters a growth mindset, and involves them in collaborative problem solving while thinking about positive and negative consequences. She goes above and beyond to ensure the families are also supported and shares resources that might be of help to them. Most importantly, Erika listens with an empathetic ear where she is strategic and passionate to any work she approaches. Her concern and genuine desire to help others and have a good influence in other’s lives hasn’t gone unnoticed. I am so glad I got to work with Erika! A shout out for Erika - YOU ROCK!"

- Shilpi Patel, Willow Oaks Administration Center

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Kyle Jimenez, Falls Church HS

"Kyle is our GCI Coordinator. She truly believes in helping all students earn a diploma and advocates on their behalf. The last student she helped to enroll at the Plum Center was late to meet her for her first class. Kyle was there to greet her and share a gift bag of goodies to get her on a good start. When the student was late, Kyle decided to follow the Fairfax Connector bus route that the student had planned to take. She found the student at a stop; she had gotten off the wrong stop. Kyle then proceeded to make the necessary arrangements to get the student to school, and, although late, she had her first day as planned. This is one of the countless times Kyle has gone above and beyond to support and encourage a student’s pursuit of a diploma."

- Jessica Grenfell, Falls Church HS

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Dave Long, South County HS

"Dave is our international and gourmet foods teacher at South County and, wow, he is unbelievable! I have now been to three of his PBL activities and they are amazing! Dave truly exemplifies all of the attributes FCPS would want in a teacher. We are so lucky to have him at South County HS. He is simply amazing!"

- Brett Garner, South County HS

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Cynthia Lowry and Johanna Meadows, Gatehouse Administration Center

"CeCe is always so nice and helpful with any questions I may have and the expertise provided by Johanna Meadows is always comforting when I run into challenges with My Time. They are a great team working to make everyone's job easier as it relates to My Time. I truly appreciate them both."

- Angel Scott, South Lakes HS

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McClain Herman and Sasha Duran, Annandale HS

"Since October 2018, Sasha Duran and Herman McClain supported the English National Honors Society to completely clean, organize and classify the English department novels/books. Their dedication and commitment to complete this task in a timely manner was meaningful and beneficial for all stakeholders. The book room looks absolutely amazing!"

- Donna Higgins, Annandale HS

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Alex Winiewicz, Braddock ES

"For the past five years, Braddock Elementary School has had the good fortune to be involved with the KPMG Family for Literacy (KFFL) Program where guest readers visit students to share favorite books, color a bookmark, and make new friends. KFFL also awards our school a grant to purchase books for each student's home library. Braddock Elementary also has the good fortune to have a wonderful educator in "Mr. W", who is never too busy to lend a helping hand (and impressive voice) to make sure our student ambassadors and guest readers meet up and get where they need to go. Mr. W is a big part of this annual event and everyone looks forward to seeing him. His gentle and kind manner towards our students is evident to all who participate. But Mr. W's assistance is not limited to this KFFL event. Mr. W is a true leader everyday helping with arrival and dismissals, volunteering for BINGO night caller, and numerous other Braddock traditions. Mr. Winiewicz is truly an FCPS educator who CARES!"

- Noel Foley, Braddock ES

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Willis Gardner, Santiago Urias, Bartholomew Aboagye, Inmaculada Morales, Marta Alfaro Cosme, Maria Alvarado, Pedro Amaya, Kwaku Asumadu, Mark Bailey, George Jackson, Otto Manik, Theresa Mensah, Emmanuel Otchere, Truong Phan, Francisco Rosario, Aubrey Supinger, and Thanh Tran, Justice HS

"A malfunctioning water fountain flooded the social studies hallway over the weekend. Willis Gardner and his staff leaped into action Monday morning and had us ready to greet our students by 8:10 a.m. A phenomenal effort which is commonplace for Mr. Gardner and his staff. Many thanks!"

- Douglas Pielmeier, Justice HS

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Tara Taylor, Willow Oaks Administration Center

"It was a great pleasure working with Tara for our 3rd BYCTW day event last week. Tara demonstrates great care to our students and employees. She is always on top of planning and carrying on tasks with great resolution. With high expectations and goals, Tara always strive to do the best herself as well as bring the best out of others. Tara is reliable, committed and resourceful. I am very grateful for having her in the planning committee."

- Yubo Zhang, Willow Oaks Administration Center

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Brigid Williams, Willow Oaks Administration Center

"I was very impressed by Brigid when working together with her together for our 3rd BYCTW day event. Brigid is a rock star, caring administrative assistant, who helps maintain a positive office culture. She is not only on top of all tasks but also very resourceful and creative in problem-solving. She interacts with people with proper etiquette. She is extremely well organized and demonstrates great flexibility when things do not go as planned. I am very grateful to have her in our BYCTW day planning committee."

- Yubo Zhang, Willow Oaks Administration Center

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Jennifer Burns, South Lakes HS

"Jen Burns is a phenomenal human being and teacher. Jen takes caring for her students to a high level. As a social studies teacher who teaches Government and Strategies for Success, Jen knows her students and their needs as well as anyone in the building. On more occasions than I can count,  she has brought students to my attention because of her deep care and concern. She works well with students, their parents, counselors, and administration. She is constantly working as a problem-solver and she's always willing to think outside the box. More than a few times, I have gotten an email or a message from Jen in the evening, after school hours, about a student who is clearly on her mind and she wants to start problem-solving as soon as possible. Jen's students trust her and with good reason; she is their true advocate. Jen Burns is a true definition of a caring teacher."

- Chrissy Kelley, South Lakes HS

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Courtney Tucker, Woodley Hills ES

"Ms. Tucker is always willing to help out! She is playing drums for my students on the spring concert and was an incredible help when I had a large group during a fire drill. We should all be lucky enough to have a colleague like Courtney Tucker!"

- Mary Hobbs, Woodley Hills ES

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Julie Thompson, Mountain View AHS

"During a tornado evacuation, I had to isolate and attempt to deescalate a student. While the student remained with me away from her peers, the student remained angry.  Ms. Thompson came to assist me by taking the student to the front of the building for transport home. She was very calming and assured the student as they walked to the front. Ms. Thompson had the skills to connect with the angry student and escort her to a safe place. Her approach and professionalism allowed me to focus on the security of the students in my 2 programs during the tornado warning. As the administrator for the ALC and AIM, I am very grateful for Ms. Thompson's understanding and support."

- Kimberly Taylor, Mountain View AHS

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Jennifer Owens and Kim Lacy, Sprague Technology Center

"Jennifer and Kim both worked above and beyond to figure out why one of our parents was not receiving text messaging from the eNotify system. I sincerely appreciate the time they took to really look at the logic of the system, figure out what was wrong and then communicate in a clear way why the parent wasn't receiving messages. I was able to solve the issue quickly and then communicate back to the parent what was preventing the system from sending her text messages. I was very impressed with their professionalism and attention to the issue and not just giving me a canned reply. THANK YOU, Jen and Kim!"

- Celeste Jones, Woodson HS

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Nitin Bhatia, Sprague Technology Center

"I would like to recognize Nitin Bhatia for his support. I appreciate the enthusiastic spirit and the attention to problem-solving, verifying some things on Reading Inventory as well as taking the time to expand my learning. He was very helpful, and his gentle approach was welcomed. I am fortunate to have worked with such a terrific person! Thank you, Nitin!"

- Shilpi Patel, Willow Oaks Administration Center

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Meghan Hyland Eddy, Lanier MS

"Meghan is an incredible ESOL Department Chair and is always thinking of our students first and how we can best serve them. She has spent countless hours over the past few weeks trying to help plan for our ESOL students so that they know what to do and where to go during some new initiatives at our school such as Career Day, Learning Seminar Clubs, and SOL testing using our 1:1 devices. She has made these transitions for our students and ESOL department smooth and seamless. Additionally, she has gone out of her way this year to ensure our highest need ESOL students have food each weekend and has lead the efforts in starting Lanier's first food program. She is passionate, caring, empathetic, and supportive of all of her students and ESOL teammates. Our ESOL Department is so lucky to have her. We want her to know that we appreciate and recognize everything she does for us and how incredibly hard she works. Thank you, Meghan!"

- Greer Mancuso, Lanier MS

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Jill Barlow, Plum Center

"Jill is the weekend building coordinator at the Plum Center where I recently finished teaching an SAT Test Prep class for ACE.  She went out of her way to help accommodate my request to have a SmartBoard to use for my class.  She moved my class to a room with a SmartBoard on the Saturdays when one was available.  She even found a way to get a mobile SmartBoard moved over from Pimmit Hills Center when there were no rooms with a mounted one in Plum Center available.  Her efforts greatly enhanced my teaching experience and the students' learning experience."

- Susan Lemarie, Plum Center

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Gary Simmons, Rolling Valley ES

"Gary is our fantastic PE Teacher and Special Olympics Coach! All our athletes and buddies showed great athletic ability at the Special Olympic Track and Field Event on 4/27/19. This event is a culmination of practices that take place during the school day leading up to this event. Not only did all the athletes and buddies place in their events, but they were also very proud of their accomplishments. Even more important, they showcased sportsmanship, teamwork, and pride in their efforts. Gary works very hard with the entire school (general education and special education students), throughout the year to promote health, fitness, teamwork and trying your best. He does live the Special Olympic motto, Let me win, but if I can't win, let me be brave in the attempt."

- Jennifer Clark, Rolling Valley ES

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Megan McKnight, Key MS

"Megan McKnight is such an important part of our school. There is nothing she won't do to help students and teachers as her role as librarian and so much more. Last week, she helped me with a lesson at the spur of the moment and planned a whole unit with three teachers in our department. She wants students to have the best instruction possible and she contributes her expertise to help classroom teachers accomplish so much more than we could alone. What an awesome collaborator!"

- Nancy Batchelder, Key MS

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Lisa Robertson, Lorton Transportation Center

"Lisa Robertson is an awesome, caring, funny, warm, dedicated, passionate, giving, concerned, direct, sincere, driven, loves the kids, gotta have the right attitude kind of person; and did I say funny? Thank you for allowing me this GREAT opportunity to work with her!"

- an FCPS colleague

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Marcos Salinas, Sprague Technology Center

"Marcos has done an extraordinary job installing and upgrading our TV studio at Woodson High School. He has dedicated long days in the building, hanging lights, wiring and finding solutions. Our sound and light boards are labeled, the control panel and all computers are in easy reach. Most of all, he has been accessible to train the teacher and students on our schedule. Our first broadcast was today and Marcos was on call to help with an early morning issue. It's clear that he cares about the experience and learning environment for students. A big thank you for such enthusiastic support."

- Joan Brown, Woodson HS

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Kenneth Trotman, Lee HS

"Kenneth has gone above and beyond to help out one of my students. After having a brief encounter with this student, Kenneth made time in his schedule to meet with the student, research what could be done at this point of the year to help this student and has been an advocate for him ever since. Kenneth did not have to dedicate all of his time to help this student, but he did, and I am grateful for all of his support!"

- Rachael Altekruse, Lee HS

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Gwendolyn Vichness, Churchill Road ES

"Ms. Vichness has reached out to my son all year long to ensure that he understands the class content and to help him not feel too much anxiety about his school day. My son has dyslexia and school is really hard for him but he feels supported and encouraged by his teacher and that has made all the difference this year."

- a Churchill Road ES parent

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John Bordenkecher, Herndon MS

"Mr. Bordenkecher is so much more than our new Discipline Dean. His approach with students, teachers, and administrators, is warm, firm, consistent, and thoughtful. He follows through and supports us in so many ways. I look forward every day to working with him because he is always curious and also so solid. I feel challenged in a very positive way and like I am also always learning from him."

- Karyn Niles, Herndon MS

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Bonnie Wannett, Chantilly HS

"Bonnie spent quite a bit of her own time planning a full day of activities for the children of CHS staff for National Bring Your Child to Work Day. Our big kids in the Chantilly Academy had an opportunity to share their learning with staff's children. The little kids had an amazing and inspiring day at their parent's second home and our Chantilly Chargers got to make connections with both our staff and their own courses.  It was such a positive experience for everyone involved and Bonnie and her Academy team did a wonderful job!"

- Sarah Travis, Chantilly HS

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Nicole Wheeler, Lorton Transportation Center

"Nicole is kind, caring, and attentive to others' needs on a daily basis. Nicole has such a magnetic personality. She brings so much happiness to transportation! Even on the most challenging of days, Nicole maintains a positive attitude, and lifts our spirits with delicious brownies! We are so fortunate to have Nicole as a member of our team! I look forward to working with her each day. She is always caring with the attendants, and she is incredibly supportive with any issue they may have. Nicole's positivity and pleasant disposition is absolutely contagious!"

- Maya Calip, Lorton Transportation Center

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David Campbell, Centreville HS

"With the exciting announcement of a colleague expecting her first child, David volunteered to take a very difficult schedule to help her next year."

- Anthony Hanrahan, Centreville HS

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Stephanie Shimp, West Springfield HS

"Stephanie Shimp continues to dazzle at West Springfield High School with her commitment to and success with the National History Day Program. As our coordinator, Stephanie is in charge of organizing and running not only the actual fair but all the work behind the scenes that goes on. This valuable program helps students become amateur historians as they conduct original research, draw conclusions, and present their findings through a variety of mediums. Thank you, Stephanie, for all your tireless effort in this endeavor!"

- Bradley T. Swain, West Springfield HS

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Jack McAuley, Justice HS

"Jack always is willing to pitch in and help and today is no exception. I am out of the building for a meeting today and we have several teachers out for a variety of reasons and Jack is holding down the hallway. Many thanks!"

- Doug Pielmeier, Justice HS

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Patty Courtney, Willow Oaks Administration Center

"Career and Transition Services cares about Patty Courtney! An immense thank you to Patty for making Flash Forward such a huge success. The time and energy she put into inviting exhibitors and preparing materials is much appreciated. Thanks to Patty, more than 30 exhibitors hosted resource tables to over 100 students and parents. Thank you, Patty, for empowering students with the resources to be college and career ready!"

- Sarah Blake, Willow Oaks Administration Center

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Jen Sharp, Willow Oaks Administration Center

"Jen Sharp is a phenomenal resource! It's wonderful to know there is someone like Jen just an email away. This year I have emailed her regularly with questions and ALWAYS receive a response the same day; even if the response is just to let me know she is working on it. Thank you so much, Jen!"

- Emily Phelan, Chantilly HS

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Chris Lyons, Frost MS

"Frost recently became a Positivity Project partner school. Positivity Project encourages its partner schools to bran their building. Mr. Lyons was willing to use his time to paint a large mural in our cafeteria, OtherPeopleMatter. Mr. Lyons used his off-periods and stayed after school to complete this project. Not only does his mural send the correct message to students, but it helped bring a dash of color to an aging building. He truly represents the Other People Matter mindset!"

- Daniel Clements, Frost MS

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Patricia Freeman, Longfellow MS

"I would like to recognize Ms. Freeman for overall performance. During spring break, my child and I talked a lot about school. He mentioned to me that Ms. Freeman is an outstanding math teacher. She is fair and consistent. She uses some extra materials to get students challenged and draws in students interest in learning math. I'm very happy to hear all that and appreciate Ms. Freeman's contribution to students' learning. Thank you!"

- a Longfellow MS parent

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Sandra Larivee and Roenia Brown, Lorton Transportation Center

"I want to share my experience with two of the bus drivers I have known this year. I work at Woodley Hills Elementary as an IA for IDS students. Sandy and Ronnie drive bus 97 in the morning and bus 98 in the afternoon. They are wonderful. They know the students very well and greet them personally every day. They are patient but do not “baby” them. They are cheerful, concerned, friendly, always helpful and professional. I feel they are partners with the staff who work with our students. I appreciate the chance to let you know what an important and helpful role they play here."

- Ruth Gerloff, Woodley Hills ES

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Audrey Gordon, Churchill Road ES 

"Miss Gordon is an incredibly sweet First Grade teacher. She is very enthusiastic and positive, and always has a smile on her face. She is a wonderful teacher, and we are very lucky to have her at Churchill Road school."

- a Churchill Road ES parent

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Phillip Jeffers, Sprague Technology Center

"I had a major issue with my desktop computer. Phillip immediately ran a malware scan and discovered a virus. He backed up all my information and re-imaged my computer.  It was seamless and I am up and working. Phillip is a pleasure to work with, especially patient and thorough. Thank you!"

- Jean Welsh, Sprague Technology Center

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Susan Savage, Willow Oaks Administration Center

"Susan is one of the most hardworking, patient, kind employees that I have worked with at FCPS. She has a wealth of knowledge and always available to answer any questions and assist no matter what she has going on. She is a true pleasure to work with and I am lucky to have her as a resource and mentor."

- Leigh Bergman, Willow Oaks Administration Center

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Liz Croy and Ernie Herring, Oak Hill ES

"A big thanks to Ernie and Liz for making the fun run special for our preschoolers. Everything you did - the music, the tower, the cheer at the end, the kids had a blast!"

- Jeanette Burpoe, Oak Hill ES

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Amna Hamad, Holmes MS

"Ms. Hamad does a wonderful job with her CAT B students. They are engaged in learning executive functioning skills. Amna is creative in the methods that she uses to teach her students. She uses a hands-on approach and incorporates learning into helping the teachers' at Holmes MS with tasks. As a school testing coordinator, I am logistically prepared because of Ms. Hamad, her students, and her Instructional Assistants."

Donna Starace, Holmes MS

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Kristy Nam, Lorton Transportation Center

"Kristy has been the aid on the morning bus for my preschool son this year and our experience has been so wonderful that I wanted to share. Kristy and her partner arrive every morning on time, smiling, friendly, and excited to see my son. During the holidays, Kristy and her partner gave the kids bells (tied to the zipper of my son’s jacket), and it was his treasure for the entire holiday season. The bell was such a thoughtful and fun gift and shows the genuine love they have for the kids in their care. When people ask my son, “How’s school?”, his answer is always an excited, “I ride the yellow school bus!”, which surely is a testament to the good work Kristy does. She never rushes my child to board the bus and sit down, instead, she gently and kindly encourages him which helps him start his school day off on the right note. I am so thankful for Kristy and the work she does."

- a Terra Centre parent

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Debra Fredericks, Lorton Transportation Center

"Debra has been the driver on the morning bus for my preschool son this year and our experience has been so wonderful that I wanted to share. Debra and her partner arrive every morning on time; smiling, friendly, and excited to see my son. During the holidays, Debra and her partner gave the kids bells (tied to the zipper of my son’s jacket), and it was his treasure for the entire holiday season. The bell was such a thoughtful and fun gift and shows the genuine love they have for the kids in their care. When people ask my son, “How’s school?”, his answer is always an excited, “I ride the yellow school bus!”, which surely is a testament to the good work Debra does. As a parent, it is often stressful to watch your small child ride a bus without you but Debra inspires confidence. I am so thankful for Debra and the work she does."

- a Terra Centre parent

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Charlotte Hanrahan, Viki Wilson, and Francesca Gilley, Hollin Meadows ES

"On the first evening of spring break, these HMES teachers brought their families out to our PTA Restaurant Night at Chuck E. Cheese. A sincere thank you to Mrs. Hanrahan, Mrs. Gilley, and Ms. Wilson! We appreciate their time and presence at the event. It is always special for kids and families to see their teachers out in the community. We appreciate their support of our HMES PTA!

- Hollin Meadows ES PTA Board

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John Ford, Sideburn Support Center

"We had a move going on in our building and needed the power removed from two cubes. This department was very busy during the week of spring break, but John Ford knew how important this was to our office. He made the time to work us in on his busy schedule. Within an hour, he just showed up to take care of our problem. He made our problem his problem. What a great employee to have working for FCPS. Excellent service with a smile!"

- William Leon Jackson, Sprague Technology Center

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Pam Gehle, McNair ES

"Ms. Gehle is in her second year as a special education teacher here at McNair.During her short time with our school community, she has quickly established strong relationships with her colleagues, administration, the students on her caseload, and their families. In fact, this year, she was nominated by our school community for the Region 5 First Year Teacher Award. She is one of the most giving and compassionate people with whom I have the pleasure of working alongside. She shows up to work every day with a smile on her face and sees her role as a Special Education teacher as her personal duty to make an impact on the lives of children who need an advocate, a cheerleader, and someone to encourage them. She maximizes her time effectively and stays in constant communication with families about their child's progress. When students meet their goals, she celebrates them. When students are struggling, she is the first to collaborate with families, administration, and her team of Special Education colleagues to identify ways to better meet the needs of her students. If this requires taking part in professional development beyond contract hours in order to do so, she is the first to sign up. As principal of McNair, having someone like Ms.Gehle as a member of my staff, is a blessing. As a parent of a child with special needs, she serves as a model for the type of Special Education teacher I would want for my son because of her unwavering dedication to our profession. She is a consummate professional who reflects what the vision and mission of both the McNair community and that of Fairfax County Public Schools represents."

- Melissa Goddin, McNair ES

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Sue Collins, Willow Oaks Administration Center

"Ms. Collins is very student-focused and creates individualized learning plans for students based upon their career goals. She recently set up an informational interview and job shadow experience for a student whose interest is culinary arts.This connection to careers and the world of work makes learning relevant and makes a difference for students."

- Ann Long, Willow Oaks Administration Center

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Eric Welch, Justice HS

"Eric leads an AWESOME AVID program at Justice. He spends time on his weekends and after school organizing college visits for kids. He recently organized an amazing trip to UVA with my 9th-graders. He’s a great role model to me as a teacher and really embodies what AVID is all about!"

- Corey Haynes, Justice HS

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Gregory Patterson, Lorton Transportation Center

"Mr. Patterson created a reference book for an incoming acting supervisor to my team. Mr. Patterson does not currently work with my team but took it upon himself to assist and it is greatly appreciated!"

- Carole M. Phelps, Lorton Transportation Center

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Elena Musial, Groveton  ES and Hollin Meadows ES

"Mrs. Musial has been a consistent source of assistance for a particular student who has proven to be quite challenging even after we have implemented a behavior plan. She is calm and firm while providing the student the time to get back on track after speaking with her. Although she is only with us at Groveton half time, she has proven again and again that her goal is to make sure this student is held to the same standards of other students while being supported by her. She also assures the student apologizes for the off-task behavior and is specific when doing so as he returns to class. This behavior from the student is beyond what is typical and can be quite disruptive to the rest of the class. Her assistance is valued and so appreciated."

- Kara Nindl, Groveton ES

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Julie Calhoun, Willow Oaks Administrative Center

"Julie works with our teachers to help students who are struggling with behavior She has worked especially hard with one of our students who was adopted and new to the country. She truly cares about her schools and always makes students a priority. We couldn’t function without her support. We appreciate everything she does."

- Suzanne Bond, Bush Hill ES

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Sandra Martin, Lorton Transportation Center

"One day earlier this week, bus driver Sandra Martin was seen comforting one of our parents who was very upset. Sandra gave her a big hug! She showed amazing compassion and understanding, and we appreciate her helping our parent feel better. "

- Julia Ruskin, Wakefield Forest ES

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Melissa Montgomery, Twain MS

"Ms. Montgomery always goes above and beyond her responsibilities. I know I’m writing this today, but she does this constantly every day. She is the most caring AP anyone can ask for. She is always there to listen to us (teachers/students) with issues, concerns, and comments. She always takes action after listening to my concerns and always tries her best to resolve them at her earliest convenience. I always see positive influence from her presence and smiles that she displays to our students and teachers by greeting them, no matter how busy she is or what she is doing. I think she knows all the students by name in this building because I always hear that she is calling them by their name. I think she has the best ideas about classroom expectations. I asked her to observe my class a few times to give me suggestions on how to improve in several areas and she did give me some outstanding ideas. I tried out her suggestions and it works very well. I’ve even shared the ideas with other teachers who have classroom management issues as well. She never says no to us and she is always there to support us to become a better teacher. She makes me feel like she is my guardian rather than a boss. I feel welcome & safe at my workplace. She is like a roof on top of our heads here. I always see her in the hall monitoring students and making sure that they get to class on time. She not only monitors students in the hallway during the transition time, but she also walks around during the day to see that students aren’t wandering around the hall during instructional time as well. She would direct students to the class with positive feedback. Thank you so much, Ms. Montgomery, for being an amazing person."

- Aynun Nahar, Twain MS

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Deb Boullianne, South County HS

"Deb, you have stepped up selflessly to the plate serving the entire school community since one of our offices was vacated, while still maintaining the same level of excellence with your own responsibilities. You are appreciated and loved.  Thank you so much for all that you do to make our place such a special space, and thank you for being you!"

- Gary Morris, South County HS

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Kelli Watkins, South County HS

"Kelli Watkins is the truly the backbone of South County High School and Student Services. Her role as SIA is complex and she navigates student and staff issues beautifully. We are so lucky to have her as part of the Stallion family!"

- Marci Norem, South County HS

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Kevin Smith, Fairfax HS

"I personally believe Mr. Smith is one of the most astonishing teachers in the whole community. He has a perfect balance of fun and strictness and is always making the classroom a more comfortable place to be. In his photo class, he implements project-based learning where students have more freedom from boring classroom lectures and they acquire more skills by working with each other. Of course, Mr. Smith is helping us all the time, however, most of the students are actually learning thanks to the classroom environment. Pro Photo is always the one class I look forward to at the end of the day and I feel it is the only class that is setting me on track for a good career. Mr. Smith is possibly one of the only teachers who is loved by almost everyone but still gives students practical knowledge that they’ll need later in life. He may seem like that teacher who doesn’t care about students at times but this is very incorrect. I would like to add that teachers can’t control students entirely and with the photo class being a combined photo 1 and photo 2, the kids do get out of hand at times. As I said, he has the perfect balance of fun and strictness, so when students aren’t doing what they’re supposed to, Mr. Smith will try to resolve the situation immediately. In conclusion, I think Mr. Smith surpasses the average teacher and deserves more attention for the significant work he does."

- a Fairfax HS student

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Aly Al-Shammari, Gatehouse Administration Center

"Aly is the first person that people meet when they step off the elevator and onto the second floor. People aren't always coming to Gatehouse because they want to be here. Many times I have walked out to speak with someone and Aly is politely chatting with them, which I believe helps puts people at ease. Aly also has upbeat words and a smile every morning for those of us that work in the office. She is a wonderful addition to FCPS."

- Lisa Alexander-White, Gatehouse Administration Center

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Kelley Brown,  Willow Oaks Administration Center

"For months, Kelley has worked tirelessly to help the Annandale English 12 teachers organize and plan our first senior portfolio share fair, where students had an opportunity to receive feedback on their resume, cover letter and work samples from community members. The event was a huge success and received praise from students and volunteers alike. It was a great way for students to demonstrate their Portrait of a Graduate skills to an authentic audience. It would not have been possible without Kelley. She worked closely with the English department and the volunteers to make this a meaningful opportunity for the students."

- Kathleen Mathis, Annandale HS

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Sean Mignano, Frost MS

"Sean visits our school regularly to support our teachers through instructional ideas, guided conversations, and another ear to help with a situation. He always arrives with such enthusiasm and positivity that it spreads through the department. Thank you!"

- Joe Berret, Frost MS

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Julie Healy, Frost MS

"Ms. Healy has taken the reigns on our courtyard cleanup project with a group of students to help transform a little-used space into a viable outdoor classroom. She's done this in addition to her teaching duties, recruited students to help out, and even wrote grants to help fund these projects. We are looking forward to the finished project!"

- Joe Berret, Frost MS

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 Sue Murphy, Frost MS

"Ms. Murphy has been putting in a lot of extra time with two groups of students to help them with environmental stewardship projects.  This is outside of her job duties, but very meaningful to her students and supporting the overall mission of Frost MS. We appreciate all of her hard work and efforts!"

- Joe Berret, Frost MS

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Brandy Campbell, Westgate ES

"On Monday, the cafe was shorthanded. The cafe manager called the office to let them know there were potential service disruptions. Brandy took the call and a short time later came to the cafe to see what she could do to help. Brandy was able to operate the cashier's terminal and was very instrumental in helping to keep us on schedule. The day was very smooth and it is to Brandy's unselfish commitment, to being student-centered, that she richly deserves this special recognition."

- Wes Speer, Energy Zone Food Services Center

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Rebecca Van Vranken and Eun Ji, Justice HS

"ESOL teacher Becky Van Vranken and Librarian Eun Ji partnered to provide their ELD Level 3 students with an incredible opportunity to participate in a Fairfax County Government Shark Tank competition. The contest challenged students to design innovative products and applications that make the world more user-friendly for older adults and adults with disabilities. Becky and Eun dedicated many extra hours of co-planning and coordination to integrate this project-based learning experience into the curriculum. They leveraged the expertise of colleagues school-wide to create a dedicated team to support the students. From the initial county-wide group of 30 teams, five of the six teams selected to present to the judges were from Justice and two of those teams were awarded 2nd and 3rd places. All students felt an incredible sense of accomplishment and experienced a quantum leap in their language development. Through tireless dedication, Becky and Eun gave their students the gift of an opportunity to challenge themselves and to accomplish what they wouldn't have thought possible before the experience. Amazing teachers, amazing kids, amazing school!"

- Greg Thomas, Justice HS

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Erich Gunderman, South County HS

"Mr. Gunderman duels as your HPE department chair and head coach of our boys' soccer program. I want to commend him on his investment and the expectations he sets for our kids to be student-athletes. Mr. Gunderman was able to develop a plan with a struggling learner alongside his teachers and counselors to help a student improve academically in the third quarter. This academic improvement led to this student being able to join the soccer team in the 4th quarter. This was a wonderful example of the impact our coaches and activities can have on our kids' lives. Thank you, Mr. Gunderman!"

- Brett Garner, South County HS

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Melody Rose, a Lanier MS

"I am the guardian for one of her students. One that hasn't had the greatest support or home situation.  Since December Ms. Rose has helped me to navigate all of the systems to help make him successful. She has supported him through the transition and continues to support him and me.  Her kindness, caring and compassion is unwavering. She answers every email and question I have.  Her consistency and patience with him both academically and socially has made a difference. When I took him out of his previous school, he had 4 F's. He has greatly improved. This is due to her help, collaboration, and commitment to his and all of her students' success!  It hasn't gone unnoticed or unappreciated!"

- a Lanier MS guardian of a student

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Michelle Devoti, Lake Braddock SS

"This is not a brief description of one event. I believe that Mrs. Devoti deserves serious recognition for what she has done for her classes. Mrs. Devoti is a fantastic teacher overall. I have her for World 1 HNs, but I know that she teaches another course, too. Throughout the school year, it has been very prominent that she cares a lot about her students and how her teaching style and the way she runs the classroom effects us. My first impression of her was very good. Her classroom has Christmas lights and color and creatively organized whiteboards with taped-off borders and posters and world maps on the walls. I have many examples of how she's aware of multiple ways teachers can stress students out. A few times at the beginning of the year, she gave us a disclaimer about how she won't call on us if we don't raise our hands because she knows how stressful it can be if the teacher suddenly calls on you and you haven't raised your hand (but she wouldn't give us the answers if we just sit there in silence waiting for her to feed it to us, either). Her teaching style is also very engaging, and strict at times, but always fair. When Mrs. Devoti is walking around the room talking about the notes as we fill them in, we have enough time to absorb what the notes are, write them down, and listen to her all at the same time. That takes thoughtful planning. Her teaching style is so engaging it feels like she's telling us stories, not teaching history. More importantly than having a creative classroom environment, not stressing us out, and having an engaging teaching style. I kid you not, she has only made ONE mistake this year (that I've noticed, save typos on assignments/exams). The reason I even noticed this mistake, I realized, was because they're just so rare from her. And it was so tiny, too! I won't even mention what the mistake was, only that it was something quite small on Blackboard and solvable by my own means. There has quite literally never been any inconveniencing from her at all. Any problems I have faced this year in her class have been generated by myself, not anything she's done. All the project packets she has given us have been perfect, explaining things clearly and articulately. If a student asks for clarity on something, she is happy to oblige to explain. And it's not the neurotic type of perfection where every single thing has to be perfect. The desks aren't aligned using a tape-on-the-floor system, nothing like that is in her classroom. It's like it's effortless perfection. When we walk in the classroom, things are organized nicely for us (in terms of picking up the worksheets); it's simple. Her class feels like a clean and fresh space and it never feels like a downer when I think about going to her class. She provides ways for us to organize our binders and it helps so much, but she understands that her organizational strategies aren't helpful for ALL students so keeping the table-of-contents for each unit up to date is optional. In conclusion, I believe that Mrs. Devoti deserves serious recognition for what she has done for her classes. I've noticed over time during my experience as an FCPS student that most of my fellow students don't really recognize the efforts made by teachers. I think that as a student recognizing her efforts, it speaks volumes of what she has done for her students. Thank you for your time and consideration."

- a Lake Braddock SS student

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Toshieba Ragland, Lake Braddock SS

"Ms. Ragland is a teacher who cares for all her students. She has gone above and beyond for my son and has built a great relationship with him. She has pushed him with such a positive energy that, thanks to her, he has overcome several challenges at school. As a parent, that is a great feeling and I know my son will never forget her as a wonderful teacher."

- a Lake Braddock SS parent

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Alice Long, Westlawn ES

"Successful art show!"

- a Westlawn ES parent

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Alice Long, Westlawn ES

"Mrs. Long and all of here wonderful helpers pulled off a fantastic art event last night. The interactive opportunities were fun and accessible to a variety of ages. The art demonstrated throughout the building was wonderful as always. The class items created for the auction were lovely and appropriate. The demonstrations and performances by students were a great use of the older kids. Congratulations!"

- a Westlawn ES parent

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Pierce Prior, Bucknell ES

"I just want to give a shout out to Mr. Prior! He was a huge support in the transition plan for a student. His constant and consistent empathy and compassion for our students is AWESOME! Every school should have a Mr. Prior."

- Katie Boxer, Katie Boxer, Willow Oaks Administration Center

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Alice Long, Westlawn ES

"Our Art Teacher went above and beyond establishing our school’s first Art Show tonight with an amazing community turn out. The event was complete with numerous art stations, art auctions, and even a parade. I cannot imagine the hours that went into preparing for this event. Mrs. Long is a treasure to our school and has been a staple for years. The love she has for our school, the community, and the kids was evident in the event and in the art. I am so thankful my kids have had the opportunity to learn from her."

- a Westlawn ES parent

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Alice Long, Westlawn ES

"Tonight was our first Art Festival conceived and executed by Mrs. Long. It was amazing! Every bit of the creativity and work that went into it was unbelievable. My child enjoyed all the art stations and came home with adorable pieces. I also got to work with Mrs. Long to execute the event, and she was a pleasure to work with. Her enthusiasm for the event was palpable from the first meeting. She is a joy to have at our school and we are so lucky to have her."

- a Westlawn ES parent

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Abbey Miller, Orange Hunt ES

"Abbey embodies the 'can do' spirit with contagious enthusiasm. She has supported the planning for and facilitation of six days of POG lab sites at Orange Hunt Elementary. This undertaking includes an extraordinary amount of communication and logistics, as well as the willingness and ability to collaborate with a variety of stakeholders so that teachers can experience job-embedded professional learning in classrooms with students and have time to reflect and grow from those experiences. Thank you, Abbey, for your leadership! All who are in your path benefit from your leadership and open-mindedness."

- Andrea Hand and Kristin Koelsch, Willow Oaks Administration Center

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Madiha Siddiqui, Freedom Hill ES

"Thank you to Madiha for her instructional innovation and leadership at our
POG County Support Teacher training.  As part of the POG learning community, Madiha volunteered to collaborate with a teacher at another school to model POG-integrated instruction in a classroom setting for teachers attending the lab site model of PD. Madiha embedded POG skills within mathematics instruction in a grade-4 classroom to empower students to deepen understanding through written and oral communication. The ten adult-learners benefited from observing and analyzing high-quality learning experiences for students. Madiha's openness in sharing about her thinking and evolution of teaching practices was much appreciated."

- Andrea Hand and Kristin Koelsch, Willow Oaks Administration Center

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Monica Bentley, Annandale HS

"Monica Bentley is a true team player. She is always willing to help a fellow administrator, teacher or any other staff member in our building and is often the first person in our building to volunteer to help. Monica is an amazing cheerleader for our staff and our building. She has spearheaded our Amazing Atoms recognition and has kept it going for several years, she has developed a shout-out bulletin board in our main office for staff appreciation, and she follows up with staff not even in her department when something happens in their life or their family. Monica works tirelessly to support students and staff and is one of the hardest working staff in our building."

- Jennifer Crump-Strawderman, Annandale HS

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Laura Walter, Annandale HS

"With all the testing changes that have occurred this year, I am grateful for the support and organization of Laura Walter, our Assessment Coach. It seems like every day we have new processes to figure out or discuss. However, through it all, Laura is willing and strongly advocates to do whatever is best for students (even if it means more work on her end or changing the plan we already established). In addition, Laura works closely with our teachers and provides support and advocacy. She is always willing to sit down and talk about plans and processes with teachers, and even in those meetings, continually communicates and advocates for what is in the best of our students. I am grateful (and so very lucky) to be working with such an organized, passionate and compassionate Assessment Coach."

- Jennifer Crump-Strawderman, Annandale HS 

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Marissa Williamson, Laurel Hill ES

"Miss Williamson has gone above and beyond in terms of helping my child access reading materials appropriate for his interests and reading levels at home. She sent home a set of on-level books and reach books to help him build his literacy skills. However, rather than picking random titles, Miss Williamson took my child's interests into account and selected books that would appeal to him and help motivate him to read more on his own. She also gave me strategies to reinforce at home and a list of popular book series to add to our home library to help foster a love of reading. She has been a great resource and support throughout this year - I'm so happy my son is in her class!"

- a Laurel Hill ES parent

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Meredith Hedrick, Annandale HS

"As the ESOL Department Chair, Meredith Hedrick continuously goes above and beyond to support teachers and students. At a moments notice, Meredith enthusiastically supported me with hosting a guest from the Japanese Education Ministry, Mr. Mitsuhisa Kishimoto. As a result, we received accolades from the Office of ESOL Services, as well as our guest. They were extremely impressed with our program for English Learners in Strategies for Success, English, and the Parent Resource Center. She is amazing!"

- Donna Higgins, Annandale HS

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Cragin Winkler, Karen Olarinde, and Jessica Arias, Annandale HS

"Thank you Cragin Winkler, Karen Olarinde, and Jessica Arias, for all your efforts that made the 2019 prom a spectacular event! It was well-attended by our students and the number of staff members that volunteered was impressive. We appreciate your dedication to our students and Annandale High School!"

- Monica Bentley, Annandale HS

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Katie Han, Gatehouse Administration Center

"We are grateful to Katie Han, Language Services Specialist at Gatehouse Administration Center, for supporting us as interpreters and giving us the opportunity of training. During the first week of April, training by the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health & Developmental Services was offered to some FCPS interpreters. Two more sessions are scheduled and more interpreters will be able to benefit from this training.This is the first training ever offered to interpreters by Language Services and Katie Han has made it possible. When we are appreciated and valued as professionals we feel encouraged to serve better in our schools and communities. Katie is definitely outstanding at doing this. Her continued support is highly appreciated. We know she is always there for us and we all want to express our gratitude to her. This message is on behalf of 23 grateful and Behavioral Health trained FCPS Interpreters: Zeina Chehade, Michelle Alzola, Pilar Alexander, Manuela Hawes, Patricia Barbery, Maria Victoria Rodriguez, Eugenia Garris, Jabbar Al Shuwaili, Maria V. Isaza, Patricia Moseley, Nil Karabulut, Margie Bruce-Miguel, Isabel Diaz, Marisela Castro, Anaisa Jauregui, Rubina Ahmed, Flor Vargas, Elisa King, Lydia Izquierdo, Dinora Gonzalez, Arlette Atalla, Bleda Quan, and Nhung Luong.Thank you, Katie!"

- Pilar Alexander, Gatehouse Administration Center

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Jack Jennison, Annandale HS

"Jack Jennison has gone above and beyond in his attendance efforts at Annandale High School this year. Most recently, he has implemented a plan that addresses individual class skips and he has empowered other aspiring leaders with the opportunity to join him to help tackle attendance issues. He and our Attendance Task Force team work daily with students to stress the importance of attendance and to reduce chronic absenteeism. Jack has filled our hallways with informational attendance posters in both Spanish and English. His communication with staff, students, and parents/guardians has really helped to educate everyone. During his attendance conferences, all stakeholders come together to create a reasonable plan to improve the student’s attendance. Way to go Jack! You are doing a great job!"

- Monica Bentley, Annandale HS

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Carl Klein and Jessica Klein, Annandale HS

"Thank you to Carl and Jessica Klein who continue to go above and beyond for our students as Class of 2022 sponsors! The Kleins' long-term goal is to provide a free prom for Annandale HS students who graduate in 2022 by starting the fundraising efforts now as 9th graders. They have coordinated the first ever AHS Color Fun Run/Walk on April 27th with the PTSA. Carl and Jessica and the class officers are working hard work to coordinate this community event! There is an opportunity for all to either participate, volunteer, or just donate to the event. They are doing a great job marketing the event. In addition, they have secured a showcase and each month they have it beautifully decorated with communication about the Class of 2022 officers and events."

- Monica Bentley, Annandale HS

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Kathleen Young, Lake Braddock SS

"Kat Young is all that is good about teaching and teachers. Yesterday, I was working with one of my students who was completely overwhelmed as the quarter was ending with school, future plans, and life in general. One of the things weighing on her mind was a retake test for Ms. Young's class. We went together to look for Ms. Young and caught up with her in the hallway. She could not have been more supportive, more calm, and more understanding with this student. Her obvious decision to reduce her student's stress and anxiety, rather than add more pressure about a test resulted in an immediate, visible change in our student's demeanor. She was so grateful to Ms. Young, as was I. Kat put everything in perspective as the student continued to thank her. She simply said, "It's a test. It's just a test. We'll figure it out. We're all human and life just gets overwhelming sometimes." So proud to call her my colleague."

- Jacqueline Naughton, Lake Braddock SS

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Elaine Gonzalez and Sarah Travis, Chantilly HS

"Elaine Gonzalez, along with Sarah Travis, participated in a Google Hangouts video call about FCPSOn, with the Lake Braddock World Languages team on the 3rd-quarter teacher workday. They were able to answer a lot of questions and calm many fears about this initiative. They both did this out of the kindness of their hearts, giving up valuable time on their own teacher workday to work with and collaborate with a department in another pyramid. Elaine and Sarah embody the idea of a professional learning network and truly understand what it means to be collaborators. We can't thank them enough for their time and expertise."

- Carin Frank, Lake Braddock  SS

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Dannielle Hough, Lorton Center Transportation

"Dannielle does an amazing job in her position as Time & Attendance reporter for the Area I Transportation Office. Dannielle ensures that all employees time worked is reported and processed accurately. She goes above and beyond her assigned duties to accomplish this goal. Dannielle's diligence, self-motivation as well as dedication, is of great value. Thank you, Dannielle, for all you do!"

- Helen Resh, Lorton Center Transportation

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Hollis McDonald, Edison HS

"Hollis works with students in the community at job sites. A representative from one of the job sites, The Goodwin House, has expressed that she works very diligently with the students and promotes their success."

- Angela Davis, Edison HS

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Elaine Woo, Twain MS

"Ms. Woo has been invaluable to our SPED team as our Department Chair. She is the most caring person we could ever ask for in our team. When we come to her with questions, she would always be willing to provide us answers and support. In all the capacity that she can, she has directed us and our team with clear and concise procedures and directions. Her ultimate goals are always for the good of the students' needs. Thank you, Ms. Woo, for always reaching out to us even before we could ask for it. Ms. Woo has definitely demonstrated all the characteristics of CARING for the SPED team!"

- Marie Phu and Aynun Nahar, Twain MS

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Andrea Hand and Kristin Koelsch, Willow Oaks Administration Center

"Andrea and Kristin invited my team to visit the Portrait of a Graduate Lab sites that they are facilitating in the county. We were privileged to learn from their experiences as we strive to develop meaningful professional learning experiences for stakeholders across the county. Andrea and Kristin are dedicated to improving instruction and providing support to teachers who are working toward developing Portrait of a Graduate attributes in their students. They work tirelessly to provide as many opportunities as they can for teachers, in a variety of formats. They listen to feedback and are always willing to share what they have. It is a privilege to work alongside them in central office."

- Emily Preston, Willow Oaks Administration Center

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Patty Waters, Key MS

"She is a great teacher and awesome science department chair at Key Middle School. I am a long-term sub (pursuing a teacher's license for ESL and not science) for a science class. Mrs. Waters goes out of her way to provide lesson plans and support for my classes while carrying out her enormous take on academic responsibilities. I truly appreciate her efforts to support all Key Middle School students and not just her own classes. In all, Key Middle School is a great place to work due to its administration and wonderful staff."

- Murfoo Riaz, Key MS 

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Christina Winkler, Freedom Hill ES

"Ms. Winkler is a true collaborator and inspiration at our school. She is an IDIS teacher and has welcomed my students' interaction with hers, with open arms. Christina has included my kids on the playground as mentors to her students, and as a result, a true friendship has been born between our classes. She is kind and caring towards all kids and is a great role model for my students. I have students who want to be teachers of students with intellectual disabilities because of Christina! She exudes a positive outlook and welcoming mindset that is infectious.  We love our time with our IDIS friends and this is in large part because of Christina's open heart and willingness to teach others about inclusion and building a family community at our school."

- Lisa Bliss, Freedom Hill ES

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Jan Bonner, Susan Savage, Heidi Samaan, Mary Espinoza, and Bill McCauley, Willow Oaks Administration Center

"The Finance Team at Willow Oaks: Jan Bonner, Susan Savage, Heidi Samaan, Mary Espinoza, and Bill McCauley, carried the work of CTE and STEAM finance these past few months as we transitioned to fill an opening on our team. We were able to continue our CTE and STEAM programs without any gaps because Jan, Susan, Heidi, Mary, and Bill, put in countless extra hours behind the scenes for us to have the resources teachers and students need. They did all of this with abundant generosity of time and patience. Thank you, Jan, Susan, Heidi, Mary, and Bill for your exceptional commitment to FCPS students and teachers and for carrying the CTE and STEAM finance work this winter!"

- Alexandra Fuentes, Willow Oaks Administration Center

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Cheryl Coyne, Lanier MS

"Ms. Coyne always lets students have chances and she is an amazing teacher because she always wants you to do your best. She took time out of her day to make sure I was caught up in class when I wasn't there. She treats us fairly and kindly. Overall, she is a great teacher!"

- a Lanier MS student

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John Holloway, Willow Oaks Administration Center

"When a colleague went out on medical leave, Mr. Holloway was eager to assist. He has taken time out of his already busy schedule to provide transition support at another school until a substitute could be secured. His assistance has been critical for both the students and the staff as they work to develop strong postsecondary plans for the future."

- Ann Long, Willow Oaks Administration Center

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Fawn Tucker, Annandale HS

"On Tuesday, April 2nd, Coach Fawn Tucker was recognized at the Braddock Elementary Community Partners Reception for inviting selected 3rd, 4th and 5th-Grade girls to become a part of the Readers As Leaders program. Coach Tucker reached out to Braddock Elementary School in November of 2018 to participate in the Readers As Leaders program with members of the Annandale High School Girls Basketball Team, or Lady Atom Hoops. Thirty-six Lady Atom Hoops players mentored close to seventy girls in Reading from Braddock Elementary for ten weeks. The Readers As Leaders program provided free books to every girl each week they attended the program. The Annandale Lady Hoops Reading Buddies were AMAZING! The Braddock Elementary girls and their families were treated to basketball games and received t-shirts from their mentors. The Readers As Leaders event formed some very special relationships! Even though the basketball season has ended, the girls want to continue to provide Reading support for their Braddock Buddies! We are so very grateful to Coach Fawn Tucker for taking the time to support the program and encourage her teams to give back to their community. The girls are so amazing! They are like big sisters to their Braddock ES mentees. Coach Tucker has gone above and beyond her responsibilities as a Basketball Coach and has incorporated community service and Mentoring into her sports program. We are truly honored to have been invited to participate in this program and look forward to participating next school year!"

- Joyce Matthews, Braddock ES

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Jakelin Lake, Braddock ES

"Braddock Elementary School is so very fortunate to have a very dedicated and determined Parent Liaison! Jakelin Lake is an AMAZING Women! Jakelin has truly made such a tremendous difference in providing for the needs of the Braddock Elementary Families! On Tuesday, April 2nd, Braddock Elementary hosted a celebration for the school Business, Community, FCPS Partners, and volunteers. Jakelin has created such a dynamic network of support in meeting the high needs of the families and students of Braddock Elementary School. Jakelin was able to receive donations from numerous community organizations to provide lite snacks for the Partners Recognition. All of the donations (food, table decorations and small tokens of appreciation) made the reception such a sensational event! All of the Braddock ES Partners were so appreciative and felt very special to be a part of the celebration! We are so grateful for all of the hard work and dedication from Jakelin Lake of providing necessary resources for all students to feel successful. The resources and community outreach support Jakelin has been able to connect with the Braddock Elementary School has truly made a difference for all members of Braddock Elementary School!"

- Joyce Matthews, Braddock ES

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Cody Mellinger, Braddock ES

"Cody Mellinger is the Adaptive Physical Education teacher at Braddock Elementary. Although Cody is assigned to many schools, Cody has made the importance of exercising daily so much FUN for all of the schools he supports. Each Monday, Cody provides a video segment Mondays with Mr. Mellinger for the school news show. Cody is so creative with his themes! He includes students and teachers in his weekly exercise segments. For the month of April, Cody created an April Fool's segment featuring teachers. Everyone enjoyed it so much and LAUGHTER became the best exercise of all during this segment! Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the segment and the teachers who participated had so much fun! Cody went one step further by including the George Mason University Men's Basketball team in his March Madness focus. Braddock ES has a partnership with GMU Athletics and Cody has taken his own personal time to meet with the Basketball team to record his segment. This has been such a hit that Cody will now meet with the Men's Volley Ball and Women's Soccer Teams! We wanted to recognize Cody for going above and beyond to get EVERYONE focused on the FUN of Physical Fitness and daily exercising! Cody's segments have truly been inspirational and FUN!"

- Joyce Matthews, Braddock ES

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Nathan Poumade, Franklin MS

"As an educator and SBTS in an FCPSOn school, Nathan has many demands on his time. I'm extremely appreciative that he is willing to pay it forward and share his experiences with others. He answers questions, connects teachers who are interested in learning and more. While this is in response to one specific action,  I don't want anyone to think that this is the only way he shows he is an employee who cares. Most recently, he dropped what he was doing and made time to record some thoughts about the lessons he's learned at Franklin about communicating about FCPSOn distribution and schoolwide expectations. This information will be incredibly helpful for others beginning this journey! THANK YOU, NATHAN!"

- Margaret Sisler, Willow Oaks Administration Center

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Pam Galietta, Rocky Run MS

" As an educator and SBTS in an FCPSOn school, Pam has many demands on her time. I'm extremely appreciative that she is willing to pay it forward and share her experiences with others. She answers questions, connects teachers who are interested in learning and more. While this is in response to one specific action, I don't want anyone to think that this is the only way she shows she is an employee who cares. Most recently, she dropped what she was doing and made time to record some thoughts about the lessons she's learned at Rocky Run about communicating about FCPSOn distribution and schoolwide expectations. This information will be incredibly helpful for others beginning this journey! THANK YOU, PAM!"

- Margaret Sisler, Willow Oaks Administration Center

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Jennifer Cory, Annandale HS

"As an educator and SBTS in an FCPSOn school, Jen has many demands on her time. I'm extremely appreciative that she is willing to pay it forward and share her experiences with others. She answers questions, connects teachers who are interested in learning and more. While this is in response to one specific action, I don't want anyone to think that this is the only way she shows she is an employee who cares. Most recently, she dropped what she was doing and made time to record some thoughts about the lessons she's learned at Annandale about communicating about FCPSOn distribution and schoolwide expectations. This information will be incredibly helpful for others beginning this journey! THANK YOU, JEN!"

- Margaret Sisler, Willow Oaks Administration Center

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Sarah Olson, Justice HS

"As an educator and SBTS in an FCPSOn school, Sarah has many demands on her time. I'm extremely appreciative that she is always willing to pay it forward and share her experiences with others. She answers questions, connects teachers who are interested in learning and more.  While this is in response to one specific action, I don't want anyone to think that this is the only way she shows she is an employee who cares. Most recently, she dropped what she was doing and made time to record some thoughts about the lessons she's learned at Justice about communicating about FCPSOn distribution and schoolwide expectations. This information will be incredibly helpful for others beginning this journey! THANK YOU, SARAH!

- Margaret Sisler, Willow Oaks Administration Center

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Summer Johnson, Lee HS

"As an educator and SBTS in an FCPSOn school, Summer has many demands on her time. I'm extremely appreciative that she is always willing to pay it forward and share her experiences with others. She answers questions, connects teachers who are interested in learning and more.  While this is in response to one specific action, I don't want anyone to think that this is the only way she shows she is an employee who cares. Most recently, she dropped what she was doing and made time to record some thoughts about the lessons she's learned at Lee about communicating about FCPSOn distribution. This information will be incredibly helpful for others beginning this journey! THANK YOU, SUMMER!"

- Margaret Sisler, Willow Oaks Administration Center

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Angela Cueto, Kings Park ES

"My daughter has been having some medical issues and Mrs. Cueto has been instrumental in helping us through this. She keeps me informed of her symptoms, makes sure to follow up and ask questions and just shows a great amount of concern for my daughter. She has even reached out to me during the school day with a quick message letting me know everything is ok. We feel confident sending her to school knowing there are caring and capable hands to watch over her. Additionally, my daughter adores her immensely. She is exactly what my daughter needed for her kindergarten year."

- a Kings Park ES parent

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Kimberly Schulter, Chesterbrook ES

"Mrs. Schulter, our son’s 2nd-grade teacher has been an incredible part of a transitional process for our student. She has been incredibly communicative, looking out for his needs and identifying ways he can be successful. She takes time out of her workday to communicate with us which has been critical to his success and we are grateful for all of her hard work in managing a large class while also providing one on one attention during the school day."

- a Chesterbrook ES parent

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Anne Brosnan, Willow Oaks Administration Center

"Anne is an amazing human being. I first met Anne when my son had an appointment with her. She was welcoming, kind, and patient with me and my son.  I was beyond satisfied with her work. Anne is professional, and caring at the same time. I am grateful for everything she has done for us."

- an FCPS parent

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Amy Sheldon, Willow Oaks Administration Center

"Amy is one of the kindest and most understanding social workers I have met. She made me feel very comfortable and I was able to share even more information than she needed. Amy was also very comforting and professional. I am very lucky to have met Amy. Thank you for your services."

- an FCPS parent

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Chris Green, Virginia Hills Early Childhood Center

"Chris is my child's case manager. We first met Chris 2/25/19.  I went into the building with heavy shoulders and worries. After meeting with Chris, I felt allow the worries being lifted off me. She is an excellent advisor and a very observant. Chris is also gentle and friendly.  She is well organized and informative. She has made the process very easy for me and my son. Thank you, Chris!"

- a Virginia Hills Early Childhood Center parent

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David Hill, Bren Mar Park ES

"My son was in the afternoon bus line and was accidentally hit in the mouth by a laptop. Mr. Hill happened to be walking by right when it happened, and he quickly grabbed my son out of line and took him to the clinic. I’m not sure how Mr. Hill remembered that my son had a brother at the school, but he did, and he ran back to the buses and pulled my other son off right before the buses were leaving. When the clinic called, they had said that they thought my son might need stitches, so I was pretty stressed and wasn’t thinking of making arrangements for someone to be home for my other son. It was a huge relief when I got to the school and saw that both of my boys were sitting in the clinic. I can’t thank Mr. Hill enough for going above and beyond to not only make sure that my son was quickly brought to the clinic but for also taking a little stress off my plate by making sure that my other son was not going to walk into an empty house. I truly appreciate Mr. Hill’s compassion and his quick thinking! Thank you, Mr. Hill!"

- a Bren Mar Park ES parent

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Jamal Zahir, Lorton Transportation Center

"Just wished we could make Jamal our permanent driver, but unfortunately for us, he is a floater and therefore not available. With only a few interactions, Jamal already seemed very familiar with our special needs kiddo. He demonstrates that he has the perfect temperament for this job."

- an FCPS parent

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Ann Long, Willow Oaks

"When an unexpected need for school support came up, Mr. Christensen was the first to volunteer to help.  He is supportive and conscientious, but most of all, he remains focused on student learning as his first priority. We greatly appreciate his clear vision!"

- Trevor Christensen, Willow Oaks

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Amie Jenkins, Laurel Hill ES & Halley ES

"Amie Jenkins is exceptional at her job. I worked with her when I was an elementary SBTS. Now I am a high school art teacher and I can always count on her to help with technology questions and concerns even two years after leaving the school where she works. She goes above and beyond to assist everyone with their technology needs and she does it with a warm attitude and a smile every time. She deserves recognition for her excellent support!"

- Tiffany Duncan, West Springfield HS