School News and Notes

 Columbia Elementary students in Mia Moen’s fourth grade class, seen holding up their copies of The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman, were featured in a discussion of the book as part of Al Roker’s Book Club on the Today Show. The author was interviewed by Roker and answered questions from the class sent in via video. (Photo: Courtesy Mia Moen)

FC Resident Enters Colgate University

Peter M. Radzikowski, of Falls Church, son of Dr. John S. Radzikowski and Ms. Mary Ellen Radzikowski, is among the 746 students who entered Colgate University with the Class of 2011 in late August. The class is the most diverse to enroll at Colgate and is the result of the largest applicant pool in the university's history. Radzikowski is a graduate of Georgetown Preparatory School. Colgate, a highly selective, four-year private liberal arts college, enrolls some 2,800 undergraduate students from 46 states and 35 countries.


Beat the Odds® Awards Dinner
October 25, the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) and its President, Marian Wright Edelman, hosted the 2007 Beat the Odds Awards Dinner honoring five Washington, D.C., metropolitan-area high school seniors who have overcome tremendous adversity to demonstrate academic excellence and give back to their communities. The event was emceed by Desperate Housewives actor James Denton and hosted by actress and comedienne Ali Wentworth and ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos. Singer N’Kenge performed. This year’s honorees include: Kyle Corfman (Poolesville, Md.), Cerstin Johnson (Washington, D.C.), Yah-Lahne E. Thompson (Fort Washington, Md.), Cyd Fortune Rinonos (Falls Church) and Neelma Z. Qureshi (Fairfax). Award recipients received a substantial college scholarship, laptop computers, and other gifts to celebrate their success and promise.

Linda K. WhiteLinda White Named to USA Today All-USA Teacher Team
Linda White, a music teacher at Haycock Elementary School, has been named to the All-USA Teacher Team by USA Today. White was the only teacher from Virginia named to the 2007 team. White was named to the National Teachers Hall of Fame in 2006 and was named 2006 General Music Teacher of the Year by the Virginia Music Educators Association. She has taught music in Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) since 1989 and has been at Haycock Elementary for the past eight years. White also teaches a music class for FCPS music teachers. Teachers in grades K-12 are eligible for the team; each winner receives a $500 prize and $2,000 for his or her school. The All-USA Teacher Team was selected by a panel of judges from across the country. Teachers were nominated by administrators, students, parents, colleagues, and family members.

Rwanda Performers Visit Sunrise Elementary
Performer Jean Paul Samputu and his group, Ingeli
, from Rwanda, performed drum, dance and song at Sunrise Valley Elementary on Thursday, Nov. 1. Samputu began singing at the age of 15 and won the prestigious Kora Award—known as the African Grammy—in 2003. The group sings in six different languages: Kinyarwanda, Swahili, Lingala, Luganda, French, and English and combine musical traditions from all regions in Rwanda. Traditionally, family members in Rwanda gather together each evening to sing, dance, and tell about their accomplishments. All events in Rwanda are embellished with traditional songs and dance, including weddings, births, baptisms, anniversaries, and the welcoming of important visitors.

Students Participate in Today Show
Students in Mia Moen’s fourth and fifth grade class at Columbia Elementary were featured in a discussion of The Golden Compass as part of Al Roker’s Book Club on the Today Show on Friday, Nov. 2. Philip Pullman, author of The Golden Compass, was interviewed by Roker and answered questions from the class sent in via video. Moen’s class is currently reading the book and participating in FCPS 24/7 discussion board conversations about the story. Each member of the class received a complimentary copy of the book from the publisher.

FCPS Musicians Named to VMEA Honors Choir
Vocal musicians from 17 Fairfax County public schools have been named to the Virginia Music Educators Association (VMEA) Honors Choir for 2007. The 32 students will perform as part of the 121-member choir at the VMEA convention on Saturday, Nov. 17 at the Sheraton Norfolk Waterside. The following students were selected for the 2007 VMEA Honors Choir: Annandale High School: Derick Elmore, Eric Jurenas, Daniel Kwon, and Amber McCoy. Centreville High School: Morgan Britt, Allison Elliott, Jessica Miller, and Megan Mohyla. Chantilly High School: Ashley Holcomb. Hayfield Secondary School: Robert Shropshire. Herndon High School: Meagan Carrick, Colleen Rice, Elizabeth Smith, and alternate Emily Skinnell. Langley High School: Kelly Chung, Alex Lim, John Marsh, Andrew Paulson, James Rosenquist, and Melissa Solomon. Madison High School: Ann Louise Thaiss. McLean High School: Marisa Cavin, Kate Comey, Leah Towarnicky, Samantha Winter, Joel Wood, and alternate Kelly Flick. Oakton High School: alternate Andrea Williams. Robinson Secondary School: alternate Hyejin Sul. South County Secondary School: alternate Anne Custodio. South Lakes High School: Marshall Severin and alternate Valerie Saba. Stuart High School: Rachel Dady. Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology: Edward Rice. West Potomac High School: Hunter Bales and Francisco Robles. West Springfield High School: Kelly Snow. Woodson High School: Cassy Byrne. Auditions were open to seniors enrolled in choral programs at their respective schools.

Six FCPS Students Advance in 2007-08 Siemens Competition

One student at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST) has been named a regional finalist and five TJHSST students have been named semifinalists in the 2007 Siemens Competition. The regional finalist is Jacob Steinhardt, whose project was among the top 30 individual projects in the nation. The five semifinalists are: Jeff Chen, Francis Deng, Bo Fan, Sappho Gilbert and Renfei Liu. Students can achieve national recognition for math, science, and technology research programs that they complete in high school. Regional competition is held first; semifinalists and regional finalists are identified after a three-week review of their research papers. The Siemens Competition in Math, Science, and Technology recognizes extraordinary talent in these fields, fostering individual growth for high school students who are willing to challenge themselves through science research. The competition is administered by the College Board and funded by the Siemens Foundation.


George Mason HS Alumni Selected to Travel to MA

Emma Goetz, 2007 graduate and runner, has had an outstanding freshman season running at St. Vincent College in Latrobe, PA. She improves each time she runs the 6K in a cross country meet. Based on her performance this season she was selected to travel with the top 7 runners to compete this coming Saturday in the 2007 ECAC Women’s Cross Country Championship hosted by Williams College in Massachusetts.


Chantilly, Oakton High School Journalists Win Trophy Class Honors in VHSL Competitions
Student journalists at Chantilly High School and Oakton High School have won Trophy Class honors—the highest honors awarded—for their 2006-07 school literary magazines, newspapers, and yearbooks from the Virginia High School League (VHSL).The Chantilly literary magazine, Andromeda; its newspaper, the Purple Tide; and its yearbook, Odyssey, were all named Trophy Class publications by the VHSL. The Oakton literary magazine, Opus; its newspaper, Oakton Outlook; and its yearbook, Paragon, were also named Trophy Class publications by the VHSL.

Yorktown HS Band Performs at UVA Halftime Show
A group of six student musicians from Yorktown High School recently had the opportunity to participate in the annual Band Day activities sponsored by the University of Virginia's Marching Cavalier Band. Over 300 high school music students from throughout Virginia participated in this year’s program. The highlight of the day long event was the opportunity to perform with the Cavalier Marching Band during the halftime show at the recent UVA vs. Wake Forest football game. Yorktown High School band students participating in this years program included: Noah Aldonas, Joe Donahoe, Nick Haring, Chris Hunt, Kelly McCoy and Frances Meadows. Benjamin Williams serves as the Director of Bands at Yorktown High School.

Fishburne Military School Announces Scholarship Recipient
Fishburne Military School, the oldest and most student-focused of Virginia military schools, is pleased to announce the first recipient of its newly launched Fishburne Military School Academic Scholarship Program, Cadet Nathan Thomas Winn. A current Fishburne sophomore, Winn is the son of John and Deborah Ann Winn of La Grande, Oregon. A member of the football team, Winn is also on the school’s Color Guard—a highly unusual and very special achievement for a first-year cadet. Established in 2007, the FMS Academic Scholarship Program offers competitive, merit-based awards that recognize and encourage academic achievement in students who wish to pursue a military secondary education. The program offers a limited number of scholarships for the first year of study at Fishburne – paying up to 75 percent of tuition and uniforms – for cadets who have demonstrated academic excellence and strong participation in school activities and community service.