Partnership Update - May 2022

By Office of Communication and Community Relations
Ignite Partners
May 13, 2022

Incoming Superintendent to Focus on Community Engagement

In April, the Fairfax County School Board voted to appoint Dr. Michelle Reid to serve as the division superintendent of Fairfax County Public Schools beginning July 1, 2022. Dr. Reid has already started engaging with the FCPS community. On May 3, students, families, and staff gathered for an opportunity to get to know Dr. Reid at Annandale High School. Earlier that day, she met with roughly 200 FCPS students during a forum at Thoreau Middle School.

On Tuesday, May 17, incoming superintendent Michelle Reid, Ed.D. joined staff, families, and students for a multilingual virtual town hall.  Watch video recording.

Dr. Reid will be hosting additional engagement sessions throughout the county after her official start date on July 1. Stay informed about community engagement opportunities by visiting our website

Seizing the Opportunity to Cease Hunger  

Cease Hunger, Inc. was founded in 2021 by Nirav Ramchandani, a sophomore at Madison High School. Now, it is an FCPS Needs-Based Donations Ignite Partner. Nirav is passionate about addressing food insecurity in his community. He has led food drives and formed strategic partnerships with local nonprofits, food banks, restaurants, and other groups.

As an Ignite Partner, this Vienna/Oakton based nonprofit will provide food to Fairfax County public schools in Regions 1, 2, and 5, supporting their existing supplementary food distribution programs. Thanks to Cease Hunger, the pantry at Marshall Road Elementary School will be well stocked this spring and beyond. The nonprofit is already in discussions to expand to Mosaic Elementary School, with sights on supporting Oakton and Madison High Schools soon thereafter. 

Schools manage food pantries so that students who might otherwise experience food insecurity, don’t. Roughly 60,000 FCPS students receive free or reduced priced meals, representing 34% of our student population. 

Fairfax County Public Schools seeks and it’s easy to become a Needs-Based Donations Partner.

student standing by a car filled with donated food


Partners Helping Partners

Our Ignite Partner, She Believes in Me, has a mantra on their website that reads, “It’s time to say: Not in my backyard.” This call-to-action reminds people that they have the power to transform their community and the lives of children.  

Individuals heeded the call. Now, thanks to relationship building, hard work, and mission flexibility, She Believes in Me touts a list of partners helping them help vulnerable children. 

The organization received a large space in Herndon’s Worldgate Centre, where they can operate their food pantry and assemble emotional support packets that accompany food deliveries. The space has been donated by Rappaport who manages and leases more than 160 properties in the region. Learn more about She Believes in Me’s community partners

We thank them for supporting FCPS and others in the community.

Fairfax County Public Schools seeks and it’s easy to become a Needs-Based Donations Partner.

volunteers standing together holding donated food


AALEAD Expands Partnership

Asian American Youth Leadership Empowerment and Development (AALEAD) officially added mentoring to its list of support activities for FCPS. AALEAD originally signed to support students at Falls Church and Annandale High Schools, and Holmes Middle School, in a workforce development partnership. Thank you, and Happy Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

2022 FCPS Hall of Fame

On Wednesday, May 4, Educate Fairfax inducted eight new members of the FCPS Hall of Fame, which was established to honor distinguished alumni of Fairfax County Public Schools.

"Congratulations to this class of inductees," said Len Forkas, chair of Educate Fairfax’s Board of Directors. "We launched the Hall of Fame to demonstrate how our school system prepares students to become tomorrow's community leaders, business owners, and servant leaders. We believe our students are our strength and welcome the community to join Educate Fairfax in its mission to ensure that every student has a path to success.”

This year’s class of Hall of Fame inductees include a life-long diplomat, a war hero, local business owners and entrepreneurs, a lawyer and inventor, a young author and filmmaker, an Olympic athlete, and one of FCPS’s own leadership team.

For more information, please visit Educate Fairfax's website.

FCPS Alumni Hall of Fame awardees standing together


Thank You Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce and 2021 Citizen Bond Committee

The Fairfax County School Board honored the Northern Virginia Chamber and Citizen Bond Committee with a resolution at its April 14 Board meeting. The resolution acknowledged the groups’ time, energy, and commitment in support of passage of the 2021 $360 million school bond referendum. Seventy percent of Fairfax County’s voters voted in favor of the bond.

FCPS plans to fund the following school projects with bond proceeds.

Thank you to the chamber and committee for your leadership and outstanding service to Fairfax County Public Schools and Fairfax County. Thank you to voters in Fairfax County for your continued support of bond referendums.

groups of people standing together


Personal Outreach to Families Whose Children Did Not Return to In-Person Schooling

Ignite Partner Edu-Futuro took on a special role recently, engaging the Spanish-speaking families whose children did not immediately return to FCPS for in-person schooling. In collaboration with FCPS, Edu-Futuro’s bilingual staff has reached out to families to offer assistance.

Edu-Futuro is also partnered with Telemundo. Together, they are producing outreach programming featuring FCPS employees to amplify those messages and provide parents with information about the educational challenges associated with absenteeism.

The half-hour programming is part of Edu-Futuro’s Línea Directa public service television series, which airs Saturdays at 11 a.m., on Telemundo 44.

Thank you Edu-Futuro for supporting and expanding our efforts to build relationships with the community in support of public education.

Freedom Hill Elementary’s Principal Broadened His Community Engagement Overseas

FCPS employees engage in a lot of community giving. Freedom Hill Elementary School Principal Nicholas Zapdka took his engagement overseas, traveling to Germany for spring break to volunteer with the Red Cross assisting Ukrainian refugees. His school community was eager to help as well with students making cards written in Ukrainian, staff members making contributions, and one teacher’s mother knitting hats.

student holding a note


A Brightspot for Partners

A dedicated team of volunteers from Brightspot, a Reston-based technology services company, supports Aldrin Elementary School for a good reason: Return on Investment or ROI.

As most employers know, when an employee is connected to something larger than themselves, they feel like part of a team. High functioning teams tend to stay together, and that equates to employee retention. Additional returns on investment for our partners include:

  • Measurable public relations and marketing gains.
  • Support for your company’s mission.
  • New networking opportunities.
  • Learning new skills.

Brightspot regularly schedules opportunities at Aldrin Elementary and brings employees who lead landscaping activities, such as creating outdoor learning space and tending to the school’s vegetable garden; mentor students; volunteer in the STEM lab and elsewhere; and donate school supplies, backpacks, and other items.

Thank you, Brightspot.

volunteers in front of a school