School News and Notes

 Chantilly Academy cosmetology students raised money   to benefit McKinley “Mac” Groseclose during a Cut-a-Thon for their annual community service project. Groseclose, shown here with his mom, a Chantilly alumna, and his friends, is recovering from brain cancer. (Photo: Wayne White)

FCPS Schools Receive Environmental Grants

Eighteen Fairfax County public schools have been awarded environmental grants through the Johnie Forte, Jr., Memorial Litter-Recycling Grant program. Grants will fund environmental projects, including litter prevention, control and recycling at schools. Each of the 18 schools will receive a grant of up to $500. Selected schools will present their projects at Fairfax County’s annual Earth Day-Arbor Day celebration on April 19 at Northern Virginia Community College. Winners of the grants include:  Armstrong Elementary, Bren Mar Park Elementary, Camelot Elementary, Deer Park Elementary, Floris Elementary, Haycock Elementary, Irving Middle, Kings Glen Elementary, Kings Park Elementary, Lake Anne Elementary, Lemon Road Elementary, Newington Forest Elementary, Oakton Elementary, Rose Hill Elementary, Wakefield Forest Elementary, West Springfield Elementary, Westgate Elementary and Wolf Trap Elementary.

The Johnie Forte, Jr., Memorial Litter-Recycling Grant program is a joint program administered annually by the Clean Fairfax Council and the Fairfax County Division of Solid Waste Collection and Recycling and is open to all Fairfax County public schools. Contributors to the 2007 Johnie Forte Grant Program Fund included the Clean Fairfax Council, the Fairfax County Solid Waste Management Program, Fairfax County Wastewater Management and Vantria Federal Credit Union.


Chesterbrook elementarty Prinicpal Robert Fuqua, Vice principal Michelle Sansome and GT Specialist Naomi Sweet stand in congratulations with this year’s honored placeholders in the Gold Division WordMasters Challenge, a national language arts competition entered by over 230,000 students annually. (Photo: Rachel deutsch)NSPA Pacemaker Finalists Announced

Yearbooks from five Fairfax County high schools have been named finalists for the National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA) Pacemaker Awards. The titles of the yearbooks named finalists include ‘Odyssey’ of Chantilly High, ‘The Shield’ of Lee High, ‘Paragon’ of Oakton High, ‘Sentry’ of Robinson Secondary and ‘The Guardian’ of Westfield High. Pacemaker Award winners will be announced at Journalism Education Association-NSPA National High School Journalism Convention in April.


Dr. Meeker to Speak at Oakcrest

The Oakcrest School Board of Directors and Parent Education Committee invite all parents and friends to a discussion presented by Dr. Meg Meeker, author of ‘Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters’ at Oakcrest School, an independent school for girls grades 6-12 (850 Balls Hill Road, McLean), on Thursday, Feb. 21, at 7:30 p.m. Dr. Meeker, teen health expert, will show parents how to rebuild their bond with their daughter. The discussion will demonstrate how having a strong father is the best predictor of academic achievement, successful marriage, a satisfying emotional life and the best protection against eating disorders, failure in school, STDs, unwed pregnancy and drug or alcohol abuse. Meeker has practiced pediatric medicine in northern Michigan for the past 20 years and has appeared on a number of television programs, including the Today Show and The O’Reilly Factor. This event is free and open to the public. For more information, email or call the Oakcrest admissions office at 703-790-5450.


HS Senior Aims to Cure Cancer

A senior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST) Sappho Gilbert has been named a finalist in the 2008 Intel Science Talent Search. Gilbert’s research project evaluated the expression of survivin, a protein that inhibits cell death in cancer cells, as a biomarker for prognosis and drug treatment of children and young adults suffering from Ewing’s sarcoma family of tumors (ESFT). Alternative treatments for ESFT may result from the student’s study. Gilbert was named one of the 50 finalists after being chosen among 300 semifinalists in the 2008 search. Notably, she is the only finalist from Virginia. Gilbert will attend the Intel Science Institute to compete for college scholarships and will receive a notebook computer.


Book Fair Comes to Mount Daniel

The PTA is sponsoring a Spring Book Fair at Mount Daniel Elementary just in time for Spring Break. The fair will take place from Feb. 25-29. This years' selection includes titles for pre K, easy, young and middle readers, science and non-fiction buffs, Spanish language, special interest books for the parents, discounted books and many titles that will appeal to upper elementary students. On Monday, Feb. 25 and Tuesday, Feb. 26, Mount Daniel students will have an opportunity to look at all the books and list their favorites on a “wish list” that will be sent home. Parents can order books by returning the completed order form with payment to school through their child's backpack or they can visit the Mount Daniel Library during sale times to peruse and purchase books. Buying days are 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 27 and Thursday, Feb. 28, and 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 29. Evening buying times will also be open from 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 27 and Thursday, Feb. 28. Day and evening volunteers for the Book Fair are also needed for set-up, assisting children with wish lists, story time readers and cashiers. For more information, contact Mary Beth MacKinnon at 703-533-1615 or email her at


McLean Rowers Take Home Trophy

The McLean Crew Club recently won the team trophy for earning the highest point total of 217 at the recent Mid-Atlantic Erg Sprints competition held in Alexandria this year. The club relies upon several fundraising events to raise money for coaches, equipment and regatta fees. This is the 6th Mid-Atlantic Erg Sprints trophy captured by McLean in its 11th year of competitive rowing. Nearly 60 McLean rowers participated in the event. The competition tests the physical and mental toughness of hundreds of rowers and coxswains on rowing machines called ergometers or “ergs.” McLean rowers earned nine gold medals, eight silver medals and seven bronze medals. The points that won them the trophy were awarded to the top eight finishers in each event. The top individual performers earning medals for Mclean were Steven Silverstein, Dominic Condello, Katherine Geithman, Victoria Geithman, Marla Brendley, Emily Smith, Joseph Smith, McKenzie Harper, Evan Martin, Caroline Hecht, Chris Salpeas, Michael Dong, Colleen Devlin, Ian Clark, Danielle Fisher, Kelly Hall, Sam Lockhart, Elizabeth Gholimasgarha and Aaron Lesher. Helping out with team points by finishing in the top eight of their event were, Pierce Wright, Michael Kitson, Nicole Russell, Cammie Meade, Michael Freeman and Cassie Mastrostefano. The Crew Club team will be giving up their spring break vacation time in order to train in South Carolina for the upcoming season, starting Saturday, March 29 at Occoquan Reservoir with the Polar Bear Regatta. As a club sport, the McLean Crew Club does not receive direct funding from either McLean High School or Fairfax County school systems. The club relies upon several fundraising events to raise money for coaches, equipment and regatta fees. The Crew will be holding an annual mulch sale beginning now with final orders by March 3 and driveway delivery on March 8-9. To place an order, visit