News Briefs

November 22 – 29, 2007

Deputy Chief Named for F.C. Police Department

Mary Gavin, a veteran of 21 years with the Arlington County Police Department, has been appointed Deputy Chief of Police for the City of Falls Church Police Department effective Dec. 3. F.C. Police Chief Harry Reitze made the appointment late last week. Gavin will command the Operations Division and supervise all internal affairs and department personnel investigation. She will be responsible for acquiring and monitoring grants and make executive decisions in Reitze’s absence. Since 2005, Gavin was Commander of the Vice, Narcotics and Identification Unit dealing with narcotics, prostitution and gambling for the Arlington P.D. She joined the Arlington P.D. as a patrol officer in 1986. She has a strong record of community policing and created Arlington’s first Youth Police Academy. She received a bachelor’s degree in law enforcement from Eastern Kentucky University.


T.J. Principal Wins Leadership Award

Trudy Taylor, principal of Falls Church’s Thomas Jefferson Elementary School, was named recipient of the 2007 Distinguished Leadership Award by the Washington Post. The Post selects from nominees annual winners of the award for every school district in the D.C. Metro region. Taylor joined the Falls Church City Public Schools in 1978 and rose through the ranks over many years, becoming T.J.’s principal in 2003. Under her leadership the school has repeatedly been recognized as a Distinguished Title I School by the U.S. Department of Education.


Fundraising Goal Met for Wilden Program

The Falls Church Education Foundation announced this week that a fundraising challenge issued last summer to fund the Wilden After School Program at the Falls Church City Public Schools has been met. The program, set up by City resident Bob Wilden, involves the use of laptop computers, field trips and supplies for the program, which mentors 12 students from grades 4 through 7 three days a week. Working closely with bilingual teachers and student mentors, students receive one-on-one literacy and math tutoring, homework support, test preparation, technology-based activities and a nutritious snack. Last summer, Falls Church citizens Doug McGregor and Jen Kern McGregor offered to match all contributions dollar-for-dollar up to $10,000. It was announced that the goal was met at a reception in the McGregor’s home last week.


77 Complete Medical Mission in Honduras

Seventy-seven volunteers in the Virginia Hospital Center’s annual medical brigade to Honduras completed 11 days of intensive medical treatment and services in the village of Comayagua, Honduras, and surrounding areas last week, according to brigade organizer Dr. Barry Byer of Falls Church. The team provided 7,297 patient services in adult medicine and pediatrics, 357 in physical therapy and 2,278 in eye care. Eighty-nine surgical procedures were performed, many life changing, including plastic surgery procedures for cleft palates and webbed fingers, correction of wandering eyes, colostomy closures, and complicated gynecological and obstetrical procedures. Some 225 hearing services were provided, including the fitting of 54 hearing aids.


Wodiska Named Regional Board Chair

Falls Church School Board member Joan Wodiska was named chair of the Virginia School Boards Association Northeastern Region at the VSBA convention recently in Williamsburg. She was vice-chair last year.