FCPS CARES – June 2022 – Fairfax County Public Schools

To recognize an employee with an FCPS Cares, please visit our submission page.
To view past submissions, please visit our previous submissions page
Katie Tardiff, Bull Run Early Childhood Center
“My son, Jonathan, will be moving on to kindergarten next year and was successfully taken out of the IEP program. I can’t begin to express my sincere gratitude for Mrs. Katie. The tools she has taught Jonathan that I am able to see daily brings tears to my eyes. Seeing my son struggle to explain something or get his point across, was heartbreaking. He doesn’t have those troubles anymore, and I credit ALL OF IT to Mrs. Katie. She deserves an award for her expertise. I am forever grateful!”
– a Bull Run Early Childhood Center parent 
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We had just a wonderful experience with Katie Tardiff as our child’s speech teacher this past year!  My son had major difficulties with a number of letter sounds and speech pronunciation, and Miss Katie worked so hard with him and made every day and every activity fun!  He looked forward to her visit each week, and grew so close to her through her sweet, friendly, and entertaining personality!  She taught me so much too with how to help my son develop his speech!  I will never forget, after much practice with Miss Katie, the moment my son was finally able to pronounce his name correctly! It was amazing, and I will be forever grateful to Miss Katie for all she did for our son and for her kindness and joy she brought to our house every single day she visited. She is a treasure!”
– a Bull Run Early Childhood Center parent 
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I would like to take the opportunity to thank you Ms. Katie Tardiff for being my daughter’s teacher this year. She was so patience on teaching her taking turns, reading book to her, and asking questions and helping her to answer. Ms. Katie even brought toys to make the class more fun and excitement. My daughter was very excited to wait at front door for her teacher to come every week. Thank you so much Ms. Katie and I hope you have a great summer 2022. We are looking forward to see you as her teacher in the next school year.”
– a Bull Run Early Childhood Center parent 
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Kyung Kim, Crossfield ES – View the Celebration!
Mr. Kim (Charlie) makes an extra effort to get to know the students and connect with them, especially if someone is looking down or sad. At a recent event where parents came to school to see their child’s big written project, Charlie was walking by our event. He noticed a boy was sad, likely because he did not have an adult with him like all the other kids. Charlie immediately went to that child and asked him about his work. The child was clearly so proud that Charlie took an interest in his writing and he was very proud to share it with Charlie. Every day in the cafeteria Charlie greets our students and makes real connections with them. These connections have allowed Charlie to help children later when the opportunity is there, when a child is left out and alone.”
– Nikki Buermeyer, Crossfield ES 
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Elizabeth Snyder, Camelot ES – View the Celebration!
Our family has been lucky enough to have gone through Ms. Snyder’s first grade class twice (17-18 and 21-22), and her dedication to her students, her ability to differentiate for individual students, and her example of life-long learning should be recognized. Not only does Ms. Snyder make time outside of school to cheer her students on during their extra-curricular activities, but she also truly gets to know the academic and social-emotional needs of each of her students; she meets her students where they are and pushes them to grow. What is truly exceptional about Ms. Snyder however is that while she expects her students to grow and learn she also exemplifies this expectation for herself and models it in her own work. In the past five years since we first had the honor of having experienced Ms. Snyder first-grade class, Ms. Snyder has continued her own growth and development in service of her student’s learning. Ms. Snyder has found a way to make everyday “the best day ever” for each of our children, and she should be recognized for her dedication to ensuring all of her students have what they need to grow and learn in her class.”
– a Camelot ES parent
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Allen Dunn, Groveton ES – View the Celebration!
Mr. Dunn has consistently gone above and beyond in helping our students and families. I’m a FCPS School Social Worker who worked directly with him the entire school year. In my professional experience,  I have not worked with a pair of counselors who are so in sync and committed to helping students receive the individual and group support they need to be academically successful. He has introduced our school community to many resources that can help students to regain emotional regulation, learn coping skills and return to class easily after a crisis situation. Thank you, Mr. Dunn!”
– Chelsy Pelletier-Blain, Groveton ES 
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Kristine Griswold, Groveton ES – View the Celebration!
Ms. Griswold has consistently gone above and beyond in helping our students and families. I’m a FCPS School Social Worker who worked directly with her the last two years. In my professional experience,  I have not worked with a counselor who is so caring and committed to helping students receive the individual and group support they need to be academically successful and emotionally regulated.  She knows how to advocate for student needs and provides stellar advice to students and staff alike. She has introduced our school community to  the mentor program that has been successful in improving attendance. She implemented the kimochi program in the classrooms in order to help children learn feeling identification, coping skills. Furthermore, she modeled to teachers how to bring SEL lessons into the classroom. Ms. Griswold responds to any crisis in a timely manner and she helps students return to class easily after a crisis situation. Thank you, Ms. Griswold, for your outstanding contributions to Groveton!”
– Chelsy Pelletier-Blain, Groveton ES
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Katie Crewse, Tessa Dean, Lindsay Leahy, Brittany Hunt, Maura Donahue, and Dotty Lin, Kings Park ES – View the Celebration!
As a parent of a special needs child, the last two years have been extremely difficult for our daughter. We knew she would not thrive in the virtual environment, so we opted for a private school. Once FCPS returned to in person learning, we kept in contact with Kings Park ES where Katie Crewse, Tessa Dean, Lindsay Leahy, and Brittany Hunt all went above and beyond as we decided to bring our daughter back into public school this January. This Kings Park special education team reassured our family of how they would meet her needs and how they truly recognized the joy and love that our daughter could bring to their building. They never once made our family feel like this would be a difficult transition but instead, they answered my emails and phone calls to reassure me that they would take good care of our little girl and help her grow. Our daughter’s classroom teacher is Ms. Leahy who has helped us see remarkable progress this year. She is now writing out her name and even recognizes when she needs a break and utilizes the great safe space Ms. Leahy has created in her classroom. The trust and level of communication between the school and parents has really made this year go smoothly. As parents we also recognize that great staff comes from great leadership and for that we thank Dotty Lin and Maura Donahue for their guidance and collaborative school culture. We will be forever grateful to the Kings Park team for making our daughter feel nurtured, loved, and for helping her grow. We cannot wait for what next year brings
– a Kings Park ES Parent 
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Region 5
Jessica Yaman, Wakefield Forest ES – View the Celebration!
My son was a bit behind in reading and writing starting off 3rd grade. I wanted to share that after a year with Mrs. Yaman, that is not the case. Through her wonderful teaching ability and relationship-building skills with her students, our son, is doing well. So well, in fact, when he shared with me the poems he had written during their poetry lesson, I was blown away at how good one of them was. I googled some scholastic poetry competitions that were open in the spring and he entered them. We found out at the beginning of May his poem was accepted to be published in “A Celebration of Poets” and is in the running to place top 10. The contest is a nationwide competition held by Creative Communication. Taylor Swift entered when she was in 5th grade. In sharing our family’s proud moment, I wanted to take the time to write and express our gratitude to Mrs. Yaman and recognize her teaching impact. This opportunity for Joe to experience and have so much excitement to say “Let’s gooooo!” when I told him this news is all because of Mrs. Yaman. We have truly had a wonderful school year and experience with Mrs. Yaman and her diligent care and love for her students.”
– a Wakefield Forest ES parent
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Robert Besceglia, Forte Center
Robert has gone above and beyond in helping Information Technology with the PreK-2 computer device project. Accepting receipt and delivering over 43,000 devices to over 140 individual schools and centers with a short timeline. He organized shipments with ease and responded immediately to any requests both by FCPS staff and vendors. Much appreciation for all his hard work!”
– Jean Welsh, Sprague Technology Center
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Marisa Torres, Centreville ES 
We are so lucky to have Marisa as one of our ESY preschool teachers at ESY Laurel Ridge this summer. Today, she showed enormous compassion to two students who got sick first thing in the morning. Not only did she help clean up both students, she made them feel better all with a huge smile on her face! After she finished cleaning up the second student and getting him dressed he was still upset, she showed him so much care by getting down on his level and giving him a little hug, and walking around with him until his family showed up. As a parent of a preschool-aged child, she exhibited the love, care, and compassion all parents hope our children get when we send them to school! Our whole ESY community is so grateful to have Marisa here this summer!”
– Daisy Gomes, Key MS 
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Aaron Curtis, Forte Center
We recently closed our office and converted to a fully remote workplace. When we decided to explore the option of donating furniture and other items we no longer needed to FCPS, Aaron was the person who became our main point of contact and worked with us to determine what items would be best for donation. He visited several times to check the inventory, and was able to quickly find homes throughout various schools and administrative offices. We had a lot to donate, and a relatively short period of time to do it, and all the work to find people who could use it throughout FCPS needed to happen at the same time as graduations and other end of year activities. Aaron was a great communicator and very flexible with working out the timing for the removal of the items. He did a fantastic job finding homes for furniture that would have otherwise gone to a landfill, and was also responsible enough to only take things that he knew would be useful to FCPS. We very much enjoyed working with him.”
– Nannette Henderson, FCPS Community member
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Jennifer Atkins, Gatehouse Admin Center
I was tasked with adding one additional contract day to all less-than-12-month position keys and pushing the contract increase down to employee records. Jennifer Atkins took time out of her hectic day during year-end processing to listen to my concerns and quickly assist to resolve errors on almost 800 employee records. With assistance from a member of our technology team, she was able to correct the employee records in a timely fashion and more importantly keeping me from going in to panic mode. I sincerely appreciate the support during this huge task.”
– Jody Goodson, Gatehouse Admin Center
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Deedre Day, Gatehouse Admin Center
This week, one contract day was added to less-12-month contracted positions. As I was in panic mode that employee records had the incorrect information, I reached out to Deedre Day for assistance and she quickly found a resolution for our office to correct those records without having to manually process almost 800 reversals with a very short processing window. Deedre sits behind the scenes in Human Resources and is always willing and eager to assist with making processes easier if possible. Most importantly as I have discovered on more than one occasion, her calm demeanor and knowledge of Lawson during a moment of crisis is an invaluable asset to Human Resources and FCPS. I cannot begin to express my gratitude and appreciation enough for Deedre’s willingness to provide guidance and support.”
– Jody Goodson, Gatehouse Admin Center
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Scott Simmons, Marcey Lopez, Ethan Davila, and Stacy Delaney, Sprague Technology Center
We want to thank Scott, Marcey, Ethan, and Stacy for providing feedback and publishing asynchronous modules in MyPDE for Resilience for Educators. It was a quick turnaround during a very busy time for them, and their support has allowed us to greatly enhance our materials and delivery in this course. They responded to our request with grace, and the team’s efficiency will impact many teachers as they engage in this course to support their students’ and their own resilience. Thank you!!
– Sara Royer, Willow Oaks Admin Center
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David Hallmark, Woodson IT Center
David Hallmark is a Field Services Technician who exhibits ” Excellence.” Over the years, he has maintained a reputation that if he is working on your equipment, you know he will do it right the first time and even if need be, follow up to make sure that you are pleased with his work. On more than one occasion, he has gone beyond replacing equipment. He has gone as far as troubleshooting the bios and software, finding solutions that may not have unveiled themselves by basic troubleshooting. In addition, he finds ways to accommodate his customers by communicating vital information so as not to leave you, the customer, clueless about your ticket request. He deserves significant kudos, and he should have received this sooner! Great job, David. I commend you for showing up every day and only giving your best!”
– Philip Jefers, Sprague Technology Center 
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Arman Nikmorad, Sprague Technology Center
Arman is currently an hourly technology support employee. His services at the FCPS Advanced Placement Summer Institute last week exceeded our expectations. Arman went above and beyond expectations by helping out with all APSI tasks, regardless of whether or not they were technology issues, and was delightful to work with. I think what was really special about his services was that he not only completed the expected tasks with ease, but he worked to recommend ideas to make the event even better. He helped with a variety of tasks even when the work was after hours. Specifically, he helped the event with his overall vision to live stream our guest speaker. Our consultants and participants found his services to be superb. He was a true asset in all aspects of the event and having him on the team made a big difference. Arman is a delight to have work with us. He gets an A++ in our books.”
– Rebecca Small, Willow Oaks Admin Center
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Colleen Taylor, Thoreau MS 
Colleen is the After School Specialist & Building Use Coordinator at Thoreau MS and she is a joy to work with. Her professionalism and forethought for planning on summer programs (as well as previous projects) have been invaluable as without it we would be behind and unable to catch any foreseeable problems. The Thoreau Tech Team appreciates and recognizes all your preparations.”
– Alicia FyfeThoreau MS
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Meg Rogers, Instructional Programs Support Center
Meg has gone above and beyond to assist me with library materials being cataloged, and various assistance needed with this process. She is very kind, thorough, responsive, and professional all in one. I appreciate her “why.” Thank you for all she does for FCPS!!!”
– Rita Berlin, Dunn Loring Center
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Philip Jeffers, Sprague Technology Center
Once again, Philip has out done himself with his customer service and patience. He set up my phone and a new monitor. When there was an issue with a new monitor and finding the right cable, he searched high and low, but was able to come up with an alternative solution so that I was up and running in no time. He makes IT transitions seamless and always with a smile and positive attitude.”
– Jean Welsh, Sprague Technology Center
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Evelyn Faustino, Jeff Stratford, Jack Kelly, Margret Washington, and Eric Nicolais, Powell ES 
I want to thank this team for their caring responsiveness to my child’s medical needs. When I emailed Miss Faustino to ask about these needs at the beginning of the school year, she immediately called me and developed a plan to keep my child safe. Throughout the school year, she proactively communicated with me about upcoming events and any adaptations. She is very dedicated to all her students’ well-being and creates a welcoming community in her classroom. Mr. Stratford and Mr. Kelly have been similarly responsive to my concerns. They both go out of their way to check in with students during lunch and facilitate fun group activities during recess, fostering a sense of belonging. Ms. Lindsey and Mr. Nicolais are also very conscientious and flexible, answering my questions in detail to ensure my child’s safety. Their creative activities make learning fun. I am very grateful to all the staff at Powell for their dedication and adaptability.
– a Powell ES parent 
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Angela Day, Fort Belvoir ES 
Mrs. Day is an incredible teacher. Strict but loving and kind. Instilled respect, responsibility, and mindfulness in my daughter. She provided plenty of opportunities to advance my daughter’s education. She communicated when needed. The evidence of her passion in teaching was evidenced by my daughter’s anecdotal accounts of her day at school. We are so thankful for our experience and that our daughter was fortunate enough to end up in Mrs. Day’s class.”
– a Fort Belvoir ES parent
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Michele Anwyll, Forbes Place 
I had been struggling to speak with an actual person at ERFC, between my teaching schedule and the office being busy there was a lot of phone tag going on. What an absolute joy to be connected to Michele Anwyll who took the time to answer my questions and who also gave me things to consider and explore that hadn’t occurred to me!  She was patient, extremely knowledgeable and tremendously good humored and lovely to talk with. The wait to talk to an ERFC rep was well worth it!  Many thanks to the person who transferred me to Michele’s extension when I said “I’ve done the videos and workshops, I really just need to speak with a human being please.” Michele has what we all need right now, the combination of tremendous competence, exceptional people skills and a willingness to help and explain in a manner that is respectful and patient. Many thanks and best wishes to Michele and her colleagues at the ERFC office!!”
– Stacie Wickline, Mountain View AIM
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Tracy Ritenour, Gatehouse Admin Center
Tracy has built a community among the SB staffers and the LT EAA/AAs as far as I know was never there before last year. She has scheduled speakers so we all share common knowledge and skills to make us better at our jobs. She has provided fun and fellowship at these meetings too, so key. Tracy maintains a drive where we can find this valuable information. All her efforts are appreciated and I wanted her to know we are better for it.”
– Wendy Biliter, Gatehouse Admin Center
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Beth Beavers and Janae Belcher, Kings Park ES 
I got to participate in field day and wanted to thank the PE teachers for a wonderful experience! My kids talked about Field Day every day before it came up and for several days afterwards. All the kids and parents had a great experience. Additionally, my kids LOVE their regular PE classes. Thanks for the smiles and happy times!”
– a Kings Park ES parent 
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Pamela Parker, Wilton Woods Center
Pam is extremely integral in ensuring how our students and staff can access various applications. She supports and monitors many data exchanges for various applications that students use to support learning and her communications to various stakeholders are critical to the success of many programs.  Our team values her expertise and solutions as she is always looking for ways to improve the FCPS Digital experience!”
– Paul Downey, Sprague Technology Center
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David Magee, Stratford Landing ES 
Mr. Magee has been one of the PE teachers at Stratford Landing for many years. Besides teaching PE and engaging students physically with fun activities, like field day, which students love, he is in charge of the Safety Patrol Program. Our kids enjoyed having him as a teacher and being part of the Patrol Program. They loved being patrols and it truly helped them build confidence and a sense of responsibility towards the community. Older patrols serve as “trainers” for younger patrols, which makes student aware of the importance of mentorship. Mr. Magee takes the time to recognize patrols who have shown diligence and dependability, thus reinforcing the value of hard work. Mr. Magee creates opportunities for students to develop their confidence and sense of community service, as well as give them occasions for socials and fun (like an outing where new patrols receive  training before the beginning of the school year and they learn to evacuate an upside down bus, hot chocolate on some mornings, outing to see a DC United soccer game). His students have tremendous respect for him and love the program. We believe that his commitment to his students and the patrol program truly makes a difference for his students. He always has a smile on his face and continues to inspire young learners.”
– a Stratford Landing ES parent 
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Erin Denton, Daniels Run ES 
I am a grandparent of a rising 5th grader at Daniels Run Elementary School. These past few years have been challenging for students and teachers. I am sure more than once you have heard disappointment from parents with high expectations of the teaching profession. Today, I wanted you to know something positive about one of your staff, Mrs. Denton. I had the privilege and pleasure to attend Mrs Denton’s 4th grade awards ceremony on Tuesday, June 7. It was a lovely experience, just weeks after a similar ceremony for fourth graders in Uvalde that were recognized as well. I am grateful our children had their moment without incident. Clearly, Mrs. Denton is a very dedicated and loving individual which was reflected from the moment we entered her classroom. She has a warm smile that never faded. During the course of a short hour, I realized I was in the presence of a very inspirational leader. Her demeanor reflects kindness and respect for each and every one of her students. It is evident this is a two way street that transcends to the interpersonal relationships among the young people in her class. As an observer, I could “feel” the pride of accomplishment, good and heartfelt joy those children shared as they closed the chapter on 4th grade. Those life lessons are take a ways for a bright future. From an academic stand point, I was struck by how many children thought their major accomplishment was improving their individual math skills, reading improvements as well as the developing relationships/friendships formed. Bravo to the teachers that can inspire the next generation in such a positive way. In conclusion, I would like to commend Mrs. Denton for being the “teacher of the year” in my book. Here’s to her as she has successfully launched “her kids.” I wish you and all the people that took great care of your students a restful and happy summer.”
– a Daniels Run ES grandparent 
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Mark Henderson, Stonecroft Transportation Center
I’m not a Parent. I’m an Employee at Harris Teeter. I want to give a nice comment to bus #771 Mr. Mark. I don’t know his last name. I work at Harris Teeter in McLean Tysons Corner shopping center. I arrive at work early so I can wait outside to see him waving driving by around 7:30a.m. before I clock  in at 8a.m. Seeing him makes me want to come to work. If I was one of his students on the bus I would be grateful and lucky to have him as a bus driver. Him waving and smiling always makes me happy.”
– a FCPS Community Member
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Erin Snell, Bull Run Early Childhood Center
The last few weeks of the school year is always jam-packed with IEP and re-evaluation meetings for our special education students. My teammate, Erin Snell, has gone above and beyond by serving as the Principal Designee for at least FIVE of my meetings alone. She took time out of her busy schedule to sit in on the meetings (sometimes at the last minute), answer any parent questions, and even help with all of the required paperwork. Thanks for being such a great team player, Erin! I really appreciate all you have done for me this year!”
– Katie Tardiff, Bull Run Early Childhood Center
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Preeta Pola, Falls Church HS 
Thank you, Mrs. Pola! Thank you for all that you have done for me, while I was in Biology. Thank you for not giving up on me. Thank you for showing that you care and that you want a good relationship with your student. I will miss you dearly. I will never forget you. I hope life treats you well, and I hope that many, many good things come your way as you helped me with things I struggled with. You deserve all the good things that are going to happen in your life. I hope you have a great summer and a wonderful start at Edison. May God continue to bless you.
– a Falls Church HS student
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Shehin Anoushan, Stonecroft Transportation Center
My son goes to Freedom Hill Elementary School, and takes the bus FH-06. The bus driver, Shehin Anoushan, has been just amazing. She was always on time, always had a smile on her face, made sure we could track the bus on ‘Here Comes the Bus’ app, and took care of the kids. The days she was absent, the bus was always late. She has been just the best through this 2021-2022 school year. I wanted to make sure you all knew how amazing she is. I echo all the parents whose kids are at this stop, FH-06 AM at MADRILLON RD & MADRILLON OAKS CT. We all really hope that Shehin Anoushan continues to be the bus driver for Freedom Hill Elementary FH-06 bus.”
– a Freedom ES parent 
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Kyle Kolbenstetter, Lewis HS 
With our utmost appreciation to Mr. Kolbenstetter, a fabulous PACE teacher at Lewis High School for all his support with our disabled son. Mr. Kolbenstetter is a calm, cool, and creative educator who works tirelessly to help meet the needs of a challenging population, of which our son is one. We are thankful our son had the supports and experience of Mr. Kolbenstetter. Thank you!!”
– a Lewis ES parent 
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Ben Wong and Gaby Salvatierra, Stonecroft Transportation Center
I wanted to take this opportunity to thank my son’s bus driver and the onboard aide for being so wonderful to my son, Aiden. He is in a wheelchair, so every morning throughout the school year they’d pick him up at the end of my driveway. They were always very courteous to me and attentive to Aiden (who is also nonverbal).  Overall, I just appreciated how they showed up every day with smiles on their faces and very welcoming demeanors. Please do what you can to reward them for a job well done!”
– a Lemon Road ES parent  
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Jasmin Salous, Bailey’s ES 
Jasmin Salous is a Pre-K teacher at Bailey’s ES. She is a hardworking, dedicated, and passionate educator. She goes above and beyond for her students and families, and she is a caring colleague. She has been the team lead for 4 years. She piloted the use of tablets in her classroom successfully, and she is always integrating evidenced based practices in her classroom such Second Steps and yoga. She is a member of the Changing Education Through the Arts (CETA) committee at Bailey’s ES. She is involved with the Bailey’s Community by presenting Read Alouds during the read-a thon and presenting ways to utilize CETA strategies to parents. Jasmin is an exceptional teacher, colleague, and leader. She shows her students, families, and colleagues that she cares every day.”
– Helen Rose, Bailey’s ES 
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Kimberley Andray, Oak View ES 
Ms. Andray did a fantastic job with the band students this year. The concert was fabulous and it was clear the students have so much respect for her. She has incentivized our child to not only practice his instrument regularly but also to teach himself the songs on the piano. She truly brought out the students’ talents. Thank you!”
– an Oak View ES parent 
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Corey Spinosi, Oak View ES 
We asked our child, “What was your highlight of the school year?” Without hesitation, he said “MR SPINOSI!”  He later told us that this has been his best school year ever. Mr. Spinosi had high expectations for both learning and behavior and he has had a profoundly positive impact on our child. Thank you so much to Mr Spinosi!”
– an Oak View ES parent 
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Linda Spencer, Johnson MS 
Ms. Spencer’s efforts to engage and mentor our 8th grade son throughout this school year have made a significant difference in his outlook on school. School is a challenge for him and I do not think there has been an adult thus far who has so generously and sincerely worked to find a connection with him. She invited him to lunches with her and her co-teacher, Ms. Coyne, on a regular basis. We believe Ms. Spencer and Ms. Coyne’s impact to have been profound. The time, energy, and care that was taken have helped him resist school less and to have a sense of belonging. We will forever be grateful for Ms. Spencer for going above and beyond as an educator where she saw this need in our child. She is the kind of teacher that will be remembered for years to come. Thank you, Ms. Spencer!”
– a Johnson MS parent 
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Candace Aylor, Lorton Transportation Center
Our family would like to recognize our elementary school bus driver Ms. Candy (Route 5, Bus #539, Area 1). She has been our bus driver for the four years we have been in this community. She always greets the children with a smile and you can tell they love her. Our kids say they feel safe when on the bus because Ms. Candy makes sure of that, and she keeps a watchful eye too. Ms. Candy is an awesome bus driver and kind person. Please recognize her and let her know that we appreciate her and the job she does each day.”
– a Lane ES parent
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Danielle McNamara, Stonecroft Transportation Center
Mrs. Mac is a treasure. She has always been so kind to my kids, and she really goes the extra mile to make a connection with the students on her bus. She makes each student feel welcome and loved. As the students got on the bus today, Mrs. Mac gave them each a piece of paper. It says: “While we’re away, there’s a few things I want you to remember: You are Loved, You are Brave, You are Kind, You are Funny, You are Strong, You are Beautiful, You are Smart, You are Capable, You are Enough.” What an incredible gesture. Mrs. Mac is a truly wonderful person and an incredible asset for FCPS.”
– a Cub Run ES parent 
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Johnny Delaine, Camelot ES 
Johnny made a very special effort to ensure I had a critical piece of Wireless equipment returned to me immediately. I really appreciated his awesome attitude and willingness to provide this super quick assistance. Thank you so much!”
– Melissa York, Sprague Technology Center
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Yee Choi, Kilmer MS
Mrs. Choi takes very good care of the community, faculty, and students at Kilmer Middle. She was outstanding and detail oriented this particular day, and has always been diligent.”
– Michael Ross, Gatehouse Admin Center
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Vickie Sands, Lake Braddock SS 
Mrs. Sands has gone above and beyond on multiple occasions (after school hours!) to assist me in locating my students when I was not able to find them after school. Mrs. Sands contacted teachers, after school study areas and also made announcements to assist me in locating my students. I am so grateful for her help and thoughtfulness. Thankfully, they had stayed after to do schoolwork but failed to communicate with me. There are so many students at LBSS but Mrs. Sands always knows if students have been by the front office to use the phone, etc. I greatly appreciate the extra care and awareness of students Mrs. Sands adds to her long list of responsibilities. Mrs. Sands is a stellar staff member and we are so fortunate to have her in LBSS to help keep our school safe.”
– Mary Richards, Lake Braddock SS 
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Julietta Luna Lopez, Davis Career Center
I wish I had taken the time to write about all the times Julieta has gone over and above at her position as a PHTA at the Davis Career Center. Every day she takes the time to engage meaningfully with each of the students. She takes on new assignments willingly and is grateful for each learning experience. Due to absences and lack of substitute teachers, she took on the teacher role with skill and compassion on many occasions. She became adept at working with students who require additional supports, including those that access augmented communication devices and follow detailed behavior strategies. Mrs. Julieta Luna Lopez brings joys to the classroom every day. I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to work with her!”
– Laurie Stiles, Davis Career Center
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Jennifer Baldesare, Langley HS 
We greatly appreciate Ms. Baldesare’s steady and guiding presence in our son’s pathway through high school. During recent years of turmoil with the pandemic, she is a constant for us that we have great faith in. She develops a full understanding of her assigned students and helps each of them think through their choices and the implications of those choices. Thank you for that steady and calm influence.”
– a Langley HS parent 
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Isabelle Brazell, Mclean HS 
Madame Brazell is not just an outstanding French teacher. She perceives her students as human beings,  sees their needs, addresses them. She took the initiative to help one of my children and I am convinced that students in her classes learn not only an elegant foreign language  but also how to be an empathetic person.” Chapeaux bas!”
– a Mclean HS parent 
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Frank Dominguez, Terra Centre ES 
Mr. Frank has been a wonderful driver for our community! He knows all the kids names, is patient, and very kind. All the kids at our stop have commented throughout the year about how much they love having him as their driver and wish he did all their runs. We are grateful for his consistency and for always being on-time, but also waiting for the kids are late and running for the bus. Thank you for the great example of doing work with excellence and a good attitude!”
– a Terra Centre ES parent 
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Susan Tampio, Hunt Valley ES 
Mrs. Tampio has been invaluable to the third grade experience this year. Having taught students who have not had a full year since kindergarten, and who are not only much older but also facing Sols for the first time, she was nothing but incredible. She was always patient, always making sure that extra help was given when needed, always encouraging, and always made sure that it was a learner centered environment. The students adored her and learned an incredible amount this year. There is no doubt that all of them are more than ready for fourth grade. School was a wonderful experience because of all of her efforts.”
– a Hunt Valley parent 
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Stephanie Almquist, Joshua Redford, Susan Kass, Susi Koppenhaver, and Stephanie Nicgorski, Clearview ES 
“This year proved quite challenging, not only due to returning to the school building after over a year of virtual schooling but also because of other challenges that presented themselves throughout the year. There were times when we truly wondered how we’d pull our child through, how to navigate all this. Times where we felt clueless and helpless, especially when we’d see the toll it was all taking on our child. Through it all, we were able to work as a team with the administration, the special education and the teacher, particularly Mrs. Almquist, Mrs. Kass and Mrs. Koppenhaver who really worked with us through so many conversations, emails and meetings, and they came up with creative solutions to put in place and were willing to try implementing things to see if that would help, thinking outside of the box and truly listening and caring. It is obvious Mrs. Almquist, Mr. Redford, Mrs. Kass, Mrs. Koppenhaver and Mrs. Nicgorski truly care about our child, and about all the kids in our school and they are dedicated to supporting them, and us as parents, the best they can. We are so very grateful and thankful. We can hardly believe we are here, at the end of the school year, and it is ending on such a positive note thanks to their hard work and dedication. So thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”
– a Clearview ES parent 
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Deborah Porter, Robinson SS
Mrs. Porter provided my student with a fun, interesting, and educational experience in home economics during the 2021-22 school year. My student loved learning to sew and to cook and has expanded on what she has learned to completing sewing projects at home and cooking for her family. She had a really good time in this class and learned valuable skills she can use for the rest of her life. She got a nice boost of self-confidence by learning that she can make things to wear or use, and eat, all by herself. Mrs. Porter was warm, patient, and helpful. My husband and I are so glad that she was our daughter’s teacher.”
– a Robinson SS parent 
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Roisin Burford, Robinson SS
Mrs. Burford has worked tirelessly with my student throughout the entire 2021-22 academic year to help her improve her understanding of algebra. She was encouraging and patient and my student has greater confidence in their ability to be successful in math courses. Mrs. Burford also got to know our student on a personal basis, forming a positive relationship that has been very good for our student’s self-esteem. My husband and I are so grateful for Mrs. Burford’s time and attention. She has truly made a difference in our student’s life.”
– a Robinson SS parent 
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David Arndt, Robinson SS
Mr. Arndt has worked tirelessly with my student throughout the entire 2021-22 academic year to help her improve her understanding of algebra, which led to an increase of nearly two letter grades from the first quarter to the final quarter. He was encouraging and patient and my student has greater confidence in their ability to be successful in math courses. My husband and I are so grateful for Mr. Arndt’s time and attention. He has truly made a difference in our student’s life.”
– a Robinson SS parent 
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Ryan Chapman, Robinson SS
Ryan has consistently stepped up as a IEP team member. He is flexible and jumps in a moments notice to help out a colleague. I truly appreciate his willingness to be a team player! He is a valued member of every team. THANK YOU RYAN!”
– Cary Seago, Robinson SS 
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Ryan Chapman, Robinson SS 
Ryan has consistently stepped up as a IEP team member. He is flexible and jumps in a moment’s notice to help out a colleague. I truly appreciate his willingness to be a team player! He is a valued member of every team. THANK YOU RYAN!”
– Cary Seago, Robinson SS
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Rajaa Hassan, Riverside ES
Ms. Hassan is a current substitute that comes to Riverside Elementary School every day. She works with our most youngest students in preschool and kindergarten. Ms. Hassan is always willing to help out any way that she can and will jump in to help when she sees someone needing support. We appreciate everything Ms. Hassan does to help our youngest Rockets grow! Thank you for your Effort and Attitude!”
– Kaila Wise, Riverside ES 
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Nighat Sultana, Riverside ES 
Ms. Sultana is a current substitute that comes to Riverside Elementary School every day. She works with our most demanding and challenging students in our preschool autism classroom. Ms. Sultana is always willing to help out any way that she can and will jump in to help when she sees someone needing support. We appreciate everything Ms. Sultana does to help our youngest Rockets grow! Thank you for your Effort and Attitude!”
– Kaila Wise, Riverside ES 
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Sandy Piper-Gagnon, Riverside ES 
Sandy is new to Riverside and Fairfax County as a preschool autism teacher instructional assistant. She is hardworking and committed to the students in her classroom. She jumped right into her role as an IA and has become a positive contributing member of the preschool team. Recently, due to being short staffed, Sandy demonstrated a team player attitude and worked with students from both preschool classrooms. We appreciate Sandy and all of her hard work and jumping into a classroom with both feet with a smile on her face. Sandy truly embodies Riverside moto of Effort and Attitude!”
– Kaila Wise, Riverside ES 
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Kayana Jones, Riverside ES 
Kayana is new to Riverside and Fairfax County as a preschool autism teacher. She is hardworking and committed to the students in her classroom. She jumped right in to start her work as a teacher. Kayana understands the demands of the job and does it with a positive attitude and a smile on her face. Recently, due to being short staffed, Kayana demonstrated a team player attitude and taught students from both preschool classrooms. We appreciate Kayana and all of her hard work and jumping into a classroom with both feet with a smile on her face and a growth mindset attitude. Kayana truly embodies Riverside moto of Effort and Attitude!”
– Kaila Wise, Riverside ES 
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Ariana Dailey, Terra Centre ES 
Ms. Dailey is my son’s special education teacher. Through every challenge and victory she has supported my child in a respectful and kind manner. I received communication nearly every single school day which greatly helped our ability to support our kid at home. She never shied away from a challenge and she thought outside of the box many times to try things that would help my kid engage, learn, and thrive in class. Ms. Dailey worked with us as teammates striving toward the goal of helping my son not only learn but also feel good about himself and his year. We valued her feedback and were often amazed at the observations she would relay to us. It was clear that she was looking out for all parts of my son’s growth in school, not just academic but socially and emotionally as well.  I am so thankful for her kind, calm, and level disposition this year.”
– a Terra Centre ES parent 
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Elizabeth Bentley, Terra Centre ES 
Mrs. Bentley is my child’s first grade teacher. Her kindness, support, and encouragement have made a huge difference to my son’s first grade experience. She kept communication open and let us know when he struggled and when he overcame challenges. She made it a point to spend a few one-on-one minutes each day with my son because she noticed that his days were better when he had some time with her. She has gone above and beyond to celebrate the first grade experience with seemingly tireless energy for the farm field trip, class musical, and family picnic. She has shown creativity with her lessons and true compassion with kids who struggled. We are so grateful to be in her orbit this year and to have worked together as a team.”
– a Terra Centre ES parent 
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Joshua Ruccio, Bren Mar Park ES
My son has always been a shy, quiet student but this past year, Mr. Ruccio has brought my child out of his shell. Mr. Ruccio has made it so my son is excited to go to school because he loves what he is learning about. Mr. Ruccio has given my son the opportunity to express himself in the way he is able, as well as, encouraged him to step out of his comfort zone. Mr. Ruccio challenged my son and allowed my son to show what he didn’t even know he was capable of doing. Mr. Ruccio has helped my son get ready to face middle school. I thank him for being an awesome teacher to my son and helping through this past year.”
– a Bren Mar Park ES parent 
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Jefferey Scales, Lorton Transportation Center
Jefferey has gone above and beyond this school year to help support a student with transportation needs. Jefferey has answered questions, responded to emails, and dealt with the parents in the most calm and knowledgeable manner. He has been an advocate for this student and a pleasure to work with throughout the whole process. Thank you!”
– Stephanie A’Hearn, Fort Belvoir PS 
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Jen Mattice, Willow Oaks Admin Center
Jen is an exceptional employee and colleague. She was instrumental and responsive to an urgent request for updating the SIIP/ESSER Hub site. This valuable resource will provide schools with essential information when crafting and monitoring their SIIP/ESSER plans. Bravo Jen!”
– Claire Silva, Willow Oaks Admin Center
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Maggie Sawaya and Nichole Beheiter, Canterbury Woods ES 
Both of the teachers assisted my daughter very well and she now feels comfortable and confident to work with her peers and teacher. Teachers had very good impact on her and their approach to calm her down and explain each and everything in detail have been crucial to her developmental growth.”
– a Canterbury Woods ES parent 
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Gabrielle Munns, Lake Braddock SS 
Mrs. Munns has been a wonderful support and advocate for my daughter this school year. My daughter really enjoyed having Mrs. Munns as a teacher and was more successful because of her. Mrs. Munns does a great job connecting with students and helping them in very unique ways allowing students to achieve more than they thought they could before, she believes in them and the students know it! Thank you for your efforts this year, they are greatly appreciated!!”
– a Lake Braddock SS parent
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Kayla Ibanez, Lake Braddock SS 
Mrs. Ibanez has gone above and beyond to support my daughter all school year. Yesterday, Mrs. Ibanez provided lovely feedback to my daughter on her final project for English. My student worked very hard on this project and we greatly appreciate Mrs. Inanez‘s thoughtful and thorough feedback.  It meant so much my daughter. Thank you for support all year, it’s been tremendous.”
–  a Lake Braddock SS parent
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Curtiss Barnes, Johnson MS 
“Thank you for being such a caring person and for helping our family when we needed it most! Glad we got to meet one day when dropping off my son. We are thankful for you!”
– a Johnson MS parent 
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Charile Burts, Johnson MS 
Thank you for encouraging my son’s development in band this year! You were the first teacher to give him a SOAR Ticket which he hung on the refrigerator with pride. Music was a good outlet for him after a tough year and you made it fun. He played “Combined Chaos” for weeks as he loved it so much!”
– a Johnson MS parent 
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Corey Knight, Johnson MS 
Thank you Mr. Knight for recognizing my son’s efforts to get “caught up” on his assignments after a very tough year. He really responded well to the SOAR ticket you gave him and it made him want to work hard!”
– a Johnson MS parent 
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Jacob Uden, Centreville HS 
My child has had a lot of anxiety about attending school this year. They missed a lot of days, and Mr. Uden took the extra step of reaching out to them multiple times to offer support. Knowing that someone noticed that they were not there helped my child to work to return to school. Mr. Uden’s actions exemplify the caring culture of FCPS.”
– a Centreville HS parent 
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Mensah Afrane and Nicholas Salvi, Lewis HS 
We appreciate these two wonderful P.E. teachers who have supported our son in his Adapted PE class over the past four years. We are thankful for their dedication and hard work helping students learn cooperation, motor skills, team building, and the overall importance of physical fitness in their lives. Despite all his challenges, our son has always communicated to us how much he enjoyed P.E. class. Thank you, Mr. Afrani and Mr. Salvi!”
– a Lewis HS parent 
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Katin Owen, Lewis HS 
We appreciate Mrs. Owen, the ETR at Lewis High School, for all her  support in securing a community based worksite at Macy’s for our son over this past school year. Our son was able to develop employment skills as he learned to sort and hang clothes, arrange items on shelves, and develop more flexible thinking through his participation in this WAT placement. Thank you, Mrs. Owen, for all you do to support our students who have disabilities!”
– a Lewis HS parent 
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Laurie Aleman, Lewis HS 
We extend a thankful shout-out to Mrs. Aleman for all the support and instruction she has provided to our son who has significant disabilities. Mrs. Aleman is a true professional who understands the unique needs of a special population, and our son significantly benefitted from her organization, talent, and skill during his time in her PACE classroom. Thank you, Mrs. Aleman for being an amazing teacher!”
– a Lewis HS parent 
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Mary Charlton, Hollin Meadows ES 
After nearly two years of near neglect, Mary came in as our Outdoor Education teacher this year and within months transformed our overgrown garden spaces into thriving and bountiful gardens again. Her vision for the spaces not only propelled her to clean the spaces up, but to add new features, produce and uses.  Our students are excited to get outside with Ms. Charlton and dig, weed, harvest, explore and plant. She lead our school community in another successful Earth Day work day again, which brought out hundreds of families from our school and neighboring community to work in our school garden spaces.  Additionally, Mary has been an angel sent to our school to help our students with food insecurity. Not only has she taken the lead on distributing the Weekend Backpack Bags to our designated students, she has taken the produce grown in our gardens, that would normally make it to our salad bar in the cafeteria, and found a way to distribute it to our students facing food insecurity. To date, Mary has distributed over 7,000 lbs. of produce. When our gardens were dormant in the winter months, her resourcefulness found organizations to partner with to allow fresh produce to be distributed throughout the school year. For all of her efforts, Mary was also awarded a Distinguished Educator of the Year from NOVA District PTA. We marvel at her dedication and work ethic and do not know how she does this as a part-time employee. We can only imagine how much more of an impact she would have if she were full-time!”
– Erin  Anderson, Hollin Meadows PTA president
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Andrew Drake, Gatehouse Admin Center
This school year, I had many questions for Andrew regarding my position, licensure, and salary. Each time I emailed him, he replied right away with a detailed answer and linked the sources so that I could access them as well. I appreciate all he has done. Thank you, Andrew! Have a fun and restful summer!”
– Christine Johns, Colvin Run ES 
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Steven Myers, Willow Oaks Admin Center
I am writing to recognize Mr. Steve Myers. Throughout the academic year, Steve consistently provides teachers with key updates and insights regarding service, public engagement, and student recognition opportunities. Steve’s work is ultimately a reflection of things that profoundly matter to all, rigorous, relevant learning that promotes student leadership and service to others.”
– Patrick Ward, Lake Braddock SS 
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Karin Stamper, Sprague Technology Center
Karin was so patient with supporting the Discipline audit errors. She answered all questions with ease! She was prompt in her replies and called to help me step by step with a few issues! THANK YOU KARIN!!”
– Cindy Agner, Kings Glen ES
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Anjali Sharma and Veronica Lowe, Lorton Transportation Center
I just can’t stay quiet after this morning for bus cleaning and check out. I showed my bus yesterday to Baker 251 Veronica and she told me what I have missed. This morning, after the morning runs I took a mop and a bucket from West Springfield High School and when I got to my bus, Veronica came with her cleaning supplies and directly started to clean my stairs “whites “. Soon after that Baker 253 Anjali showed up and started helping and brushing too. I must say that since I’ve started this job, I have never seen a Baker to help a driver to clean the bus! And off course I wasn’t the only one who got help. They’ve been helping to all the drivers who was there at West Springfield. I want to say a big THANK YOU to Veronica and Anjali! You guys are above and beyond! Thank you! I have never seen a bus so clean as it is right now! I’ve been always keeping the cockpit clean, but never so much into the details in the back, so, wow!”
– Spas Goleminov, Lorton Transportation Center
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Aaron Curtis, Forte Center
Aaron always goes above and beyond. The magic he works is incredible. Just ask and lo’ and behold, the perfect bookcase was identified and delivered within just days. True professional in every aspect of his work. Thank you Aaron for all you do!!!”
– Rita Berlin, Dunn Loring Center
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Aziz Elhayani and Vinh Tran, Woodson IT Center
Last week I was asked by the administrators at my school to check on a projector in the Principal’s conference room. I noticed that the projector was not very clear. I submitted a ticket (thinking that the projector had malfunctioned). The very next day one of our Field Services Technicians (Aziz Elhayani) came to our school. He said that the picture didn’t look good, and he would take the projector back to the shop to see what he could do for us. One day later, I received a call from Vinh Tran. Vinh informed me that the bulb was replaced on the projector, but it was an older projector, so it didn’t make too much of a difference. Thankfully I had a slightly newer projector at my school and before I said anything, Vinh told me they would be willing to install the new projector (at no cost to the school). The next day, Aziz came and installed the newer projector in the Principal’s conference room. I feel like the luckiest person in FCPS, because of all the amazing interactions I encounter with my support partners. Aziz and Vinh made us feel like a priority, and the Principal took notice at how quick this whole process was (less than 3 business days). I am so thankful to work with wonderful people like Aziz and Vinh. I know I always say this, but this is what FCPS is all about. People like Aziz and Vinh motivate me to be like them. Thanks for always taking care of us at the schools.”
– Danny Mikhail, Sprague Technology Center 
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Saida Bouzaher and Patricia Gerstman, Cedar Lane School
My son had a very tough school day due to his disability of autism. The admins, teachers and staffs in Cedar Lane are so great, supportive and caring. I feel so grateful how awesome support my son’s getting. I am so thankful to the teachers who always stand by and help my son. In particular, Ms. Bouzaher and Ms. Gerstman. With constant communication, encouragement and comfort, Ms. Gerstman and Ms. Bouzher gave me a reason why I should continue to support my son with hope and passion. Thank you so much for taking care of not only my son but also me. I admire their understanding of my son’s disability and need, enthusiasm, passion, and constant effort to find the right education for my son. I can see how much my son is loved, cared and supported through our conversation and his smile. Thank you so much for helping me and my son to continue to do our best and work hard.”
– A Cedar Lane School Parent 
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Chad Clayton, Davis Career Center
The Davis Career Center has always been an incredibly special place. 5 years ago, Chad became our leader.  He took the time to embed himself in the community and observe before he made the impactful changes that were necessary and invaluable for our students. Because of Chad’s leadership, Davis students are receiving equitable and important workplace readiness instruction from our teachers. I have no doubt that DCC is the leader in career and transition programs for people with disabilities nationwide. Chad, thank you for your extraordinary vision and belief that all people belong and deserve joy in our world. Working with you has made me a better person, educator and leader. In gratitude always.”
– Ariel Matz, Davis Career Center 
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Christina Franco, West Springfield ES 
Christina was an amazing Kindergarten IA for my daughter’s class this year. She was always encouraging, calm, and cheerful every day. She knew each and every student extremely well, knew their needs, and was able to help each of them to be the most successful and reach their full potential. Thank you so much for everything you did for my daughter, this year.”
– a West Springfield ES parent
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Tae Cho, Eagle View ES 
Mr. Cho is hard working and passionate about his work and students. Mr. Cho is always willing to step in to support the school, in any capacity, even if it is outside of his every day duties. Mr. Cho has made a significant difference mentoring a student, with whom he has developed a very special relationship. Mr. Cho’s commitment to our school community is appreciated and valued.”
– Eva-Beth Levy, Eagle View ES 
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Adam Firebaugh, Eagle View ES 
Mr. Firebaugh first came to Eagle View as an one day substitute, which grew to be a long-term substitute job for the second semester. During his time at Eagle View, Mr. Firebaugh has contributed greatly to the Eagle View’s instructional program and community. He skillfully carries out everything that is asked of him and has formulated very positive relationships with his students and co-workers. Eagle View has come to depend on Mr. Firebaugh and we truly appreciate all the time and effort that he has given to our school.”
– Eva-Beth Levy, Eagle View ES 
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Yee Choi, Kilmer MS 
Thank you for a job well done Mrs. Choi. Your excellent observation and call, made sure that all would be good to go for students and staff. Thank you for your humanity, as it is appreciated.”
– Michael Ross, Gatehouse Admin Center
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Laure Grove, Terra Centre ES 
“Ms. Laure Grove was my child’s special education preschool teacher and deserves to be recognized by the world for her excellence. She has shown patience, kindness, compassion, and understanding not only to our kid but also to our family. At every turn she has been a cheerleader and a coach for the challenges our young student faced. Ms. Grove communicates the details of my child’s day, every day. I was always in the loop and definitely felt like we were working as a team. Nearly every day my child came home with fantastic and magical stories about his day at school. Ms. Grove organized a fantastic Earth Day celebration for all of the families to enjoy together. She not only nurtures preschoolers but also the larger community.
– a Terra Centre ES parent 
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Jessica Marsaw, Fairview ES 
What a year! We have a Kindergartener who we have discovered has some special needs. This was not something we were aware of prior to the school year, and our first adventures in Kindergarten turned out to be much more challenging than we expected. The news that our world was going to change is never easy for a parent to hear, but Mrs. Marsaw handled the situation with such grace, patience and kindness. We are so glad our son was with her for this year. Mrs. Marsaw was so very patient with my child and went above and beyond what I would have expected teachers to do. She quickly adapted to his behavior issues, while keeping us updated at home. When professional intervention was needed at home, Mrs. Marsaw was a willing participant in making sure we had all of her observations and feedback in order to work towards a diagnosis. In conferences, Mrs. Marsaw was patient with us as parents, and helped guide us through the process of what was happening to our child, and our family. She was always positive, and clear on what she was seeing in the classroom, and what was being done to support those challenges. Mrs. Marsaw made a big impact on my son. He once told me his day was not so good because Mrs. Marsaw wasn’t there, and the day was always better when she was in the class. This was a big statement from a child that was so very anxious, stressed, and overwhelmed by the school environment. We’re grateful for all of the support given to us by Mrs. Marsaw and the staff at Fairview Elementary this year. It is the support and the care shown to our child and our entire family that got us through such a challenging time for us and our son.
– a Fairview ES parent 
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Ila Padheriya, Fairview ES 
Thank you to Mrs. Padheriya for all of her support with our challenging child this year. I know she spent a lot of time with him in the classroom and helped work to calm and redirect him. She made a special connection with my son by being his fitbit buddy so he could look forward to comparing steps each day. The support was so much appreciated in a year that we all needed it very much!”
– a Fairview ES parent 
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Burhan Abdulle, Stonecroft Transportation Center 
This year, we discovered we were dealing with some special needs of our Kindergartener. Riding the bus every day was sometimes frightening, challenging, and a struggle for our family. We also live in a dangerous spot along a winding road with poor visibility. Since day one, we have always felt Mr. B had a concern for safety. He would signal when it was safe to cross, and also waited for cars to appear and stop on a blind curve before letting us cross. However, it is everything else Mr. B did for our family that made him stand out. When my kindergartener was overwhelmed, Mr. B helped to welcome and calm him. He praised his efforts to get on the bus even though he was frightened. He would greet my son with such enthusiasm and warmth, that even I felt calmed. I don’t think we could have made it through the year as a bus rider without him! In talking with other parents of kids who ride Bus 10, ALL of the kids adore Mr. B. Even with a mask on, you can always tell Mr. B is smiling and welcoming to the kids on his bus. This makes such a difference for all of these kids, and especially frightened and overwhelmed ones. As a parent, Mr. B helped me, too. Knowing my challenging child was in a safe and positive environment helped ease my fears of sending him on the bus while we worked to navigate new special needs. He would take the time to reassure me, update me on how my child was doing on the bus, and I very much appreciate that support. Our family is absolutely grateful to Mr. B for what he has done for our Kindergartener and our whole family. We hope we have the gift of seeing him on our route again next year.
– a Fairview ES parent 
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Sarah Sliter, Thoreau MS 
According to Haven, “She will reteach if you don’t understand. She is relatable and has a friendly personality.” But this doesn’t begin to describe Mrs. Sliter’s talent as a teacher! This is the first year Haven has really understood math. In fact, she was literally shocked at the difference between Ms. Sliter and other math teachers. For the first time ever, she hasn’t hated math! Ms. Sliter has such a gift for teaching! Thank you!”
– a Thoreau MS parent 
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Katie Hardy, Terra Centre ES
Katie has gone the extra mile to ensure our son had a happy transition to kindergarten. We loved that she also worked with the mindset of us working together as a team for the goal of his success. She has had multiple conversations and brain-storming sessions and sent countless emails back and forth on how we could help make it a great year for him. We so appreciated her positive attitude and desire for each student to reach their highest potential. She diligently took notes during our conversations and always followed up. The small daily notes home about the activities that happened each day made a big difference for us and allowed us to connect with our son so he felt seen in both places. As our son can struggle with transitions and anxiety, having her volunteer to mentor him as he moves into first grade next fall was a huge relief. He’s loved her “fast talking” and he knows she’s on his team and that is not an easy thing when it comes to his personality! We wish we could have her again next year, but know more students will benefit from her enthusiasm and diligence!”
– a Terra Centre Parent
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Alicia Hawks, Fort Hunt ES
I have many nice things to say about Ms. Hawks, but in a few words I want to express what I have learned from her. She is, a person who is passionate about education. Her commitment to support students in all academic areas is reflected. Appreciates her colleagues, listens to them, and even more, go the extra mile to support them. Alicia: This year has been challenging for me; however, I’ve learned a lot from you, your support is very appreciated, thank you for being who you are.”
– Carmen Muniz, Fort Hunt ES 
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William Gregg, Sprague Technology Center
Thank you so very much for running sound at our Oak View event on Friday. Having you there brought peace of mind, to say the least. I appreciate your professionalism, your expertise, and your jumping in with your awesome playlist to give the event pep and the right mood. Thank you for setting the choir up for success, as well! I couldn’t have asked for a better sound experience for this event and I am ever grateful for your and your team’s willingness to support Oak View on such short notice.”
– Elizabeth Sweet, Oak View ES 
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Stephanie Willerth, Willow Oaks Admin Center
Stephanie Willerth has been an invaluable resource and support at Holmes Middle School over the past three years. She has worked to build relationships that help people feel safe to take risks and try new things, is flexible in her support, and is focused on helping our teachers and students be successful. This year Stephanie supported a monthly learning circle around implementing tasks that provided space for teachers to experiment with a variety of strategies and reflect on their experiences together. Her thoughtful preparation, deep expertise, and unwavering support gave teachers a space to ask questions and problem solve together. Additionally, when we were preparing students for their expedited retakes, Stephanie was flexible and never hesitated to jump in and lend a hand. Calm as always, Stephanie would come in at the start of the day, and without skipping a beat ask which students she was working with and in which rooms; she worked alongside our teachers to support our students. Stephanie’s ability to build trusting relationships, be responsive to people’s needs, willingness to lend a hand, and focus on student achievement are exceptional and the staff and students at Holmes are lucky to have her support.”
– Angela Florio, Holmes MS 
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Alexandra Schwartz, Camelot ES 
This year our child was lucky enough to have Ms. Schwartz for all of her core classes. Ms. Schwartz worked hard to ensure her students had the support they needed to be successful as they returned back to in-person instruction this year, however she should be recognized for her ability to build relationships and truly get to know her students. Ms. Schwartz took the time to really see our child and got to know her academic interests, specifically those around social justice. Ms. Schwartz provided opportunities for our child to examine the world through a social justice lens and supported her in thinking about how to frame difficult ideas in ways that were accessible for her classmates. We have truly appreciated the way that Ms. Schwartz recognized and affirmed our child’s interests and helped our child find a way to incorporate her perspectives into the ideas that they were learning about in class.”
– a Camelot ES parent 
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Michelle Paper, Columbia ES 
Working with Ms. Paper has always been a highlight of my son’s week. She is so kind and supportive and she makes sure that his ideas are heard and valued. Her passion for STEAM clearly inspires him. Over the years that we’ve known her, Ms. Paper has provided an amazing variety of creative and engaging projects which our son is always extremely excited to share with us. She deserves to be recognized for bringing out the best in her students!”
– a Columbia ES parent 
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Laura Leydon and Carleigh Peterson, Robinson SS
I wanted to spend a moment to thank you for the progress that you’ve made with my daughter this year. She is really starting to show some great leadership traits and in all of the classes that she takes, your class seems to have made the most impact on her. I am attentive to leadership development and am particularly concerned that my daughter is prepared to be successful in life. I never thought I would say this about a student government class. Your positive impact on my daughter in terms of communication skills, leadership, and confidence is incredible and will impact her long term success more than anything. Great Job with her. You rock more than you know.”
– a Robinson SS parent
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Stephanie Howell, Armstrong ES 
Today, our family attended a Patriotic Play / End of the Year celebration for 1st grade at Armstrong Elementary. Our daughter has been singing and dancing to the most beautiful patriotic songs for weeks in preparation for this day. It was obvious how much time and effort went into the planning for this performance. Each child had an opportunity to display their patriotism by dressing in patriotic clothing, singing patriotic songs and reciting words of patriotism from memory on an outdoor stage, words of equality, freedom and unity. The play was followed by a well-organized craft activity with family participation and a pizza and popsicle party. The 1st grade students were so very proud of their performance as were their families. I am so grateful for Mrs. Howell’s positive spirit and dedication to her students. She has nurtured the children in so many ways. The performance has been recorded and should be shared with other students in our county.”
– an Armstrong ES parent 
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Emily Vanderhoff, Hunt Valley ES
She has been so wonderful with my daughter and with her transitioning to a new school and has helped her so much, she worked hard with my daughter and results were seen at the end of the year.”
– a Hunt Valley ES parent 
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Margaret Rafle, Hunt Valley ES
I wanted to reach out to express my family’s delight with Ms. Rafle at Hunt Valley throughout the entire 2021-22 school year. My second grader had a wonderful experience this year and Ms. Rafle was the main factor. She blended a culture of caring with academic rigor to create a fantastic learning environment for my 2nd grader and their peers. Our only regret is we will not have Ms. Rafle for the next 4 years! Thanks to her and the entire Hunt Valley staff for a great year and we’ll see you all in August!”
– Hunt Valley ES parent 
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Elinor Pretsch, Lewis HS 
Our son’s teacher and Special Ed. case manager, Ms. Pretsch, is an amazing educator who goes above and beyond to make sure her students are engaged and thriving. She is always responsive and creative in her approach to solving challenging situations. She connects well with her students and has high expectations for them regardless of what challenges they have. Our child has always enjoyed her classes and appreciates the way she presents material. Thank you, Ms. Pretsch, for making a positive difference in the lives of our students!”
– a Lewis HS parent 
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Stacy Pete, Lewis HS 
“Ms. Pete is the absolute best Speech-Language Pathologist in the entire school system! Our child has been lucky to have her positive influence in his life for the past four years while attending Lewis HS. Ms. Pete is super smart, creative, hard-working, and a tireless advocate helping students get the best education possible. We appreciate all that she has done to help our disabled son have the best educational experience that FCPS can provide. Thank you, Ms. Pete!!”
– a Lewis HS parent 
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Daryl Byrom, Lewis HS 
Mr. Byrom has been an amazing resource, educator, case manager, and department chair for our child who has significant disabilities. Mr. Byrom always takes initiative and goes the extra mile to make sure our child receives the best support and education to meet his needs. We appreciate how helpful, kind, and supportive Mr. Byrom has been throughout our child’s time at Lewis High School. Mr. Byrom never backs down from challenges and has always come to every meeting with a positive “can do” attitude. He puts students’ needs first, and for that, we are thankful for the impact he has made. Thank you, Mr. Byrom!!”
– a Lewis HS parent 
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Karen Kratz, Kate Guan, Patrick Clark, Lindsay Rusnak, Gabrielle Munns, and Carlos Landazuri, Lake Braddock SS
This school year has proved to be so different than any other as students transitioned and acclimated to five in person learning days. As we noticed many students continued to struggle, we implemented a program in the evening from 4:30-7:00pm, Monday through Thursday beginning early February and running through the end of May. Our students were SO lucky to have content teachers who were committed to their learning, growth, and success in math, English, History, Science and Economics and personal finance. Kate, Karen, Pat, Carlos, Lindsay and Gabrielle, please know how appreciative both Jacquie and I are. You collaborated, motivated, and most definitely made it your life’s mission to ensure our students were able to thrive throughout the standards based/mastery learning program that was implemented. You’re the BEST!!”
– Amy Soos and Jacquie Naughton, Lake Braddock SS
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Caitlyn Saunders, Kings Park ES 
Ms. Saunders has been a wonderful first grade teacher to my son all year long. Her compassion, kindness and talent has allowed and gently pushed my son to excel and improve all year. She was attentive and responsive to all my questions and concerns. Thank you Ms. Saunders.”
– a Kings Park ES parent 
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Maura Donahue, Kings Park ES
Ms. Donahue provides excellent compassion and authority as the Assistant Principal to my son’s school. She is kind and exudes this kindness to her students and staff.”
– a Kings Park ES parent 
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Dotty Lin, Kings Park ES
Ms. Lin went above and beyond to explain and reassure me concerning her school’s security and safety measures. She was kind and patiently detailed how FCPS and Kings Park keeps the students safe. Thank you for all that you do for our kids.”
– a Kings Park ES parent 
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Christine Franco, West Springfield ES
Christine was an amazing Kindergarten IA for my daughter’s class this year. She was always encouraging, calm, and cheerful every day. She knew each and every student extremely well, knew their needs, and was able to help each of them to be the most successful and reach their full potential. Thank you so much for everything you did for my daughter, this year.”
– a West Springfield ES parent 
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Sarah Ummen, Sandburg MS
Sarah Ummen goes above and beyond each and every day. She is always there for students regardless of whether they are her students or not. She has created a safe environment where all students are welcomed and are truly cared for. Her dedication does not end with the students; Sarah shows great support for her colleagues and is always willing to help when help is needed. She has a strong commitment to her school community!”
– Yessenia Donlon, Sandburg MS
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Karl Gussow, Sandburg MS 
Dr. Gussow was extremely helpful with the implementation of the Algebra final, and it was greatly appreciated!!”
– Dan Terwilliger, Sandburg MS 
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Paula Clark, Lorton Transportation Center
My son, husband and I want to thank Paula Clark and the other bus drivers for working hard everyday. Paula used to be our sons bus driver from 8th – 12th grade, now she’s a baker. She’s great with all the kids on her bus and doesn’t leave until her job is done everyday. Paula goes above and beyond her job and FCPS is lucky to have her as a baker.”
– a Pulley Center parent 
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Leigh Cole, Eagle View ES 
My son has grown so much during his time in Leigh Ann Cole’s class. He is able to verbally express himself and it has helped a lot for our family. We are appreciative of all the hard work the teachers put into our son.”
– an Eagle View ES parent
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Jenny Jung, Eagle View ES 
My son has grown so much during his time in Jenny Jung’s class. He is able to verbally express himself and it has helped a lot for our family. We are appreciative of all the hard work the teachers put into our son and look forward to him going back next school year.”
– an Eagle View ES parent
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Emely Phelan, Chantilly HS 
As I finally have a moment to put my thoughts into words following several challenging school years beginning in March of 2019, I would like to acknowledge the outstanding contributions of Emily Phelan, an SBTS at Chantilly High School. Emily’s unflappable patience and understanding of the angst, fears, and challenges teachers faced as we all did our best to offer meaningful lessons and comforting exchanges with our students, both intellectual as well as emotional, was incomparable. As a veteran teacher, yet one with limited technological skills, I would have been lost without Emily’s expertise. She was readily available offering wisdom and step-by-step guidance during the implementation of Blackboard, Blackboard Ultra, and oh, then go ahead and throw in Schoology and Zoom as well as various other forms of technological communication and interactions during these past few years of pandemic related obstructions. As my colleagues and I would text a GIF of The Poseidon breaking in half and going down when Blackboard crashed, an email from Emily would pop up with a remedy to help us reconnect with our students. Her clear and direct instructional videos eased our concerns (torment) and offered us hope and inspiration to keep chugging along! I want the county and Chantilly High School to know that Emily is a treasure. She’s a powerhouse of tips, solutions, and cool, fancy pants ideas! To Emily, I appreciate you and all you’ve done to keep me and all of us afloat!”
– Michelle Harris, Chantilly HS 
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Megan Lister, Willow Oaks Admin Center
Megan Lister is someone who has welcomed and guided me into the FCPS community, supported me throughout the school year, and is someone I admire for their caring, nurturing, and supportive personality. Throughout the school year, Megan has been valuable in my development and growth as an instructional coach. She listens attentively, asks questions to push my thinking, and stays curious in the conversation. Without Megan, the growth and changes that were seen in my CTs would not have been possible. Megan is one of a kind, and I have been so lucky to work with her.”
– Rose Stephens, Holmes MS 
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Shannon Dumont, Columbia ES 
Shannon has taken time to assist me with the SBTS process. Having the opportunity to co-teach with Shannon a few years ago, I knew I could trust her suggestions and guidance. Shannon, with your help, I was prepared. I look forward to working with you in the future. Thank you!”
– Tawanya Scarboro, Colvin Run ES 
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Venetia Edwards, Lake Braddock SS 
Venetia Edwards loves teaching; however, her original profession was not in the field of education. Rather, she proudly served her country in the military before she became an instructor. Both the U.S. military, and FCPS have benefitted from Ms. Edward’s commitment to serving others. She has transitioned back and forth several times to teach seventh grade and eighth grade Social Studies, not because this was easy to do, but because she was needed. Ms. Edwards assumed the roles of CT Leader and National Junior Honor Society Club Sponsor, not because this was easy to do, but because she was needed. Her students will tell you that she is tough on intentionally difficult behavior, and soft on honest mistakes. (Her colleagues will attest to that fact as well!) Ms. Edwards is equally as excited as her students when they are engaged and successful about what  they are learning. She strives to be a life-long learner with her love of personal and professional field trips to museums, monuments, and venues of historical significance. Those of us who have worked with Ms. Edwards, and learned from Ms. Edwards, hope that she finds as much joy and fulfillment as she leaves Lake Braddock, as she brought to us.”
– Lisa H Williams, Lake Braddock SS 
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Faith Angove, Robinson SS
I want to thank Ms. Angove for helping me study for my Geosystems SOL retake. I really liked the way Ms. Angove explained things to me so I could understand them. She gave me a lot of helpful practice activities that I could study to prepare for the test. Because of Ms. Angove’s help, I passed the SOL and I am now graduating.”
– a Robinson SS student 
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Sean McDonald, Gatehouse Admin Center
Sean McDonald has been the interim assistant superintendent for Human Resources for the past 23 months. He has gone above and beyond for our HR family and the division! He is an amazing leader who is the epitome of a caring culture and premier workforce! He led HR with grace and looked at us as contributors and not just workers. He always had an open mind and, better yet, an open heart. Sean looked on the bright side and assumed the best. Each of the attributes below harmonizes with the concept of grace. Sean as a leader puts the needs of the whole team and organization ahead of the wants of just one.
• Generosity is the spirit of openness and sharing. When leaders give of themselves, others feel it. Generosity is generative. The more you give, the more others are given the opportunity to respond in kind.
• Respect is the ability to assume the best intentions in others. Invite divergent views. Be inclusive. It is the willingness to show trust and expect it in return.
• Action is the power to mobilize. A leader’s job is to pull people together for a common cause and to make things happen.
• Compassion is the ability to care and to love. You care about how people are doing at work and outside of it.
• Energy is the drive that teams need to have to succeed. It falls to the leader to pull as well as push people forward in order to get the job done.
It wasn’t so much of what he always said but what he always did. Sean allowed us to learn and grow our skills and develop new skills in the process. He helped us learn from our mistakes and treated each one of us with dignity and respect. We were able to pivot when necessary and we all knew that no matter what Sean had our back. We were in it for a collective purpose, and Sean was the glue that held us together through the rough patches and the good times.”
– anonymous
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Philip Jeffers, Sprague Technology Center
Philip set up my new laptop with ease. He was thorough, helpful and patient. Philip always has a positive attitude which is key when technology can often be frustrating. Philip is a pleasure to work with and we are lucky to have him at FCPS!”
– Jean Welsh, Sprague Technology Center
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Joseph Suarez, Wilton Woods Center
Last week I mentioned to Joe (the network engineer for my site) that I was having difficulty getting more than 9 computers to start the imaging process. He told me he would investigate it. Two days later, he came to my site and worked with me to figure out what the issue could be. Within 30 mins he diagnosed the issue and took the time to educate me. I have known Joe for a long time, and I know the hard work that he offers to FCPS. I am so thankful for him and the network engineers that work behind the scenes to make everything so seamless for us at the schools. Thanks for all you do Joe!
– Danny Mikhail, Johnson MS 
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Steve Passino, Mike Lind, Craig Carney, John Ford, Dan Raymor, and Charlie Richardson, Edison Support Center
I wanted to express my gratitude and appreciation for the hard work, dedication and support that our school receives from the HVAC Team. We have had multiple AC issues with units in various classrooms, and this team moves quickly and responds to make sure repairs are made in a timely manner, and they do it with a smile. Thank you-you guys are the BEST!”
– Ellen Lambert, Hayfield ES 
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