School News and Notes

 The springfield Women’s club will team up with Garfield Elementary second graders this Thursday to celebrate author Katherine Childs. Childs helped the students write and illustrate their own books last fall in a weeklong workshop on the writing process. (Photo: Elizabeth Obester)

Falls Church Teachers Nominated as 'Outstanding'

Falls Church nominees for the Agnes Meyer Outstanding Teacher Award have been announced. FCCPS Superintendent Lois Berlin surprised each of the seven nominees with the news and a bouquet of flowers. Nominees were also given a copy of their nomination packet, including letters of recommendation from students, colleagues and community members. This year’s nominees are Art Teacher Debbie Baird of Mary Ellen Henderson Middle, French Teacher Julie Bravin of George Mason High, 3rd Grade Teacher Jed Frei of Thomas Jefferson Elementary, P.E. Teacher Vicki Galliher of George Mason High, 2nd Grade Teacher Mary Kay Howard of Thomas Jefferson Elementary, Kindergarten Teacher Nan Hof of Mount Daniel Elementary and English Teacher Karin Tooze of George Mason High.

A local four-person committee is reviewing the nomination packets to determine which FCCPS teacher will win this year’s honor and cash prize. One teacher from each of the 19 metro area school divisions and one private school will be given the award, presented annually from the Washington Post. Agnes Meyer defended public education and was wife of Eugene Meyer, who bought the Post in 1933. The award is meant to recognize excellence in teaching and creative instruction. The Post will announce the winner sometime this spring, who will then be recognized with his or her fellow nominees by the school board with a reception in May.


Locals Make University Dean’s Lists Nationwide

College seniors Benjamin Andrews and Clark Britan of Falls Church, both attending Lafayette College, were named to the 2007 fall semester Dean’s List. Andrews and Britan had to achieve a 3.45 GPA or better to be honored by Lafayette of Easton, Pa.

Cardinal Forest elementarty students’ art is being displayed at the General Assembly building in Richmond. Paintings and prints from 20 students from Cardinal Forest and other area schools are being sponsored by Del. Dave Albo. Shown here is a painting of an ‘Altered Landscape’ done by a Cardinal Forest 6th-grader. All artwork was made by K-6 graders. (Photo: Rebecca Miller)Julie Hill of Fairfax received Highest Honors status, along with Dean’s List bragging rights, from McDaniel College for the fall 2007 semester. McDaniel, located in Westminster, Md., gives highest honors to students who achieve a GPA of 3.9 or above.

Arlington local Marion DeCarlo, studying at the University of New Haven in Connecticut, received Dean’s List honors for the fall 2007 semester. In order to be eligible, New Haven’s policy is that students must have a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher to be named to Dean’s List.

Falls Church native Zaria Stott made Dean’s List at Mitchell College for the 2007 fall semester, which honors students who received a GPA between 3.5 and 4.0. Mitchell is located in New London, Conn.

George Mason High graduate Eric Brooks has been named to Cornell University’s Dean’s List, which requires a minimum GPA of 3.7. Brooks is a pre-med student majoring in Human Biology, Health and Society.


Students’ Art at General Assembly Building

Artwork created by 20 students from Cardinal Forest Elementary and other area schools is being sponsored by Del. Dave Albo. The display of paintings and prints can be seen at the General Assembly building in Richmond. All artwork was created by students in grades K-6.


Shampooing For a Good Cause

Cosmetology students at Chantilly Academy recently participated in a fund-raiser that raised more than $2,500 to help a young cancer victim. The students, members of Skills USA, selected the son of a Chantilly High alumna, as the beneficiary of their community service project for the 2007-08 school year. They provided shampoos and blow-drying services for a Cut-A-Thon, held at the Jolie Laide Salon in Bristow. Another Cut-A-Thon is planned for March. 


Elementary Kids Learn Technology

Students at Cardinal Forest Elementary are learning computer programming by using ‘Scratch,’ an improvisation tool to create programs, sounds, songs and movement of characters. Students were encouraged to think in logical, programmatic steps to analyze and solve complex problems by both working in a group environment and using independent skills. Students K-6 are now able to understand what the code tells the action to do and how to troubleshoot faulty code based on what they are being trained to observe. The school hopes to task the students with creating a new code for a longer-term project with further training. A senior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology is serving as a student mentor, completing his senior project and learning how to teach computer science concepts to the students. Thirty-four high-end PCs were donated from over 15 federal agencies, making this venture possible


First Place Medals Won at ‘Science Olympiad’

At the recent George Washington University Invitational Science Olympiad, sixth grade students from Haycock Elementary earned six first place medals in individual events, leading to a third place finish for the team. The event is a nationwide science competition where teams compete in 23 events covering scientific knowledge, lab skills and creative engineering. Challenges span over the disciplines of biology, Earth science, chemistry, physics and technology.

Every team member won at least one medal. Haycock ranked among the top six of 20 competing teams at the middle school level in nine events. Individual first place winners were Roshan Sajjad and Daniel Fontenot in Food Science, Roshan Sajjad and Daniel Fontenot in Meteorology, Peter Steele and Victoria Xia in Oceanography, Nisha Swarup and Daniel Suzuki in Reach for the Stars, Owen Gray and Daniel Suzuki in Scrambler and Peter Steele and Victoria Xia in Simple Machines. The Haycock team will compete in the Virginia Invitational Science Olympiad in February.


HS Locals Recognized for DECA Leadership

Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) members from Chantilly High and Marshall High were recently recognized for their work at the annual DECA District Leadership Conference. Over 800 marketing students participated in the conference.  First place winners from Chantilly High included Katie Barger, Auri Hughes, Dorthy Marie Kerr, Idil Omar, Jasmine Shelton, and MacKinnon Twomey. Second place finishers were Nikki Ferraro, Annelyse Gast, Charlie Hafner, Skylar Korby, Faiq Malik, Kuda Matinhari, and Kelsey Rhode. From Marshall High, first place winners were Mike Beaman, John Carmichael, Diana Fleeter, Matt Freeman, Caroline MacDonnell, Sarah Noll, Haley Plotner, and Josh Rennert. Second place finishers were Alex Bramet, Tara Cappiello, Scott Hoffman, Morgan MacDonnell, Sara Meoni, Alexandra Monge, Toria Montano, Misha Smarzik, Martynas Verbusaitis, and Bryan Whittington. First and second place finishers will represent FCPS at the DECA State Competition in Norfolk in early March.