Superintendent's Weekly Reflections

By Dr. Michelle C. Reid
Superintendent's Messages
November 27, 2023

Hello Team FCPS,

Welcome back to a bountiful new week ahead!!

I trust this note finds you each enjoying the last hours of this beautiful holiday weekend. As we approach the coming week, I am mindful of all that we have to be grateful for, and the many challenges that we have faced together and still have ahead of us, so many opportunities for our powerful mission driven work to make a difference for so many in our community in each of our different roles. We are Team FCPS!! Let's enjoy the closing of November and the page that turns us toward December ... 

The chill of the upcoming winter season is starting to creep in. Most especially at this time of the year, I am drawn to reading by the fire and contemplating the comfort of the rhythm of the changing of the seasons. Given the weather this afternoon, I remember how much I love the Carl Sandburg poem entitled Fog:

The fog comes
on little cat feet.

It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.

For me, I am hoping the warmth and sunlight will last as long as possible ... Even so, it is definitely time to break out the mittens, scarves and heavy coats ;>)

And so as we prepare to start this week off, I am reminded of former First Lady Rosalynn Carter who quietly shared “Do what you can to show you care about others, and you will make our world a better place.” This was great advice then and is still great advice now. Here in FCPS we do seem to care just a little bit more, and for that I remain profoundly grateful. Thank you.

And in a timely example shared with me by Great Falls Elementary School Teacher Ava Walter, there is wonderful and caring community work that a number of our Langley High School students are doing this fall. Her daughter, Lina Liakakos, founded a club last year, called Delivering Hope. This club is comprised of more than 70 caring students. After coordinating with shelter and food bank staff, they collect monthly donations and she and other club officers deliver them to local shelters.

Students in the Langley HS Delivering Hope club

Today, these students made, delivered, and served food to the Loudoun County Homeless Shelter. Ava shared; “I'm very proud of Lina but more importantly, seeing these kids today filled my heart with hope for the future. Good things are happening with our youth!” Well Ava, we couldn’t agree more. Thank you. 

In another example of caring for one another, Bush Hill ES Principal Mary Duffy shared that the Duffy Family hosted four of our Ambassador Teachers and their families for Thanksgiving this year. The four teachers come to us from Jamaica, so this was their first Thanksgiving celebration! In addition to a traditional meal of turkey and all the sides, everyone watched the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and sang karaoke.

FCPS Ambassador Teachers and their families join the Duffy Family for Thanksgiving '23

According to Mary, “Our teachers were thrilled when my four year old requested Bob Marley’s “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright” - and knew all the words! The Duffy Family learned about Jamaican celebrations and traditions and enjoyed the Jerk Chicken one of our guests made. I watched the longest and most competitive round of Uno I’ve ever seen in my life!” Learning happens best in community and as we show care for one another we continue to make our community and world a better place; together all things are possible. 

Let’s have a great week!!

Take good care,

Michelle Reid, Ed.D.
Fairfax County Public Schools