School News and Notes


Cruz Wins Outstanding Educator Award

Jane Cruz, coordinator for adult high school completion programs of Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) Adult and Community Education (ACE) program, recently received the Outstanding Educator award from the Martin Luther King, Jr., Cultural Center. Cruz is also the principal of Woodson Adult High School and director of the FCPS Improv Troupe.


The center’s Board of Directors presented Ms. Cruz with the award for outstanding leadership in helping students develop positive attitudes about themselves as well as improved academic achievement. In nominating her, the Honorable Del. Kenneth R. Plum (D-VA) cited her 23 years of advocacy “for the poor . . . [and] for foreign-born adults and U.S.-born people of color who have not had educational opportunities because of the impact of personal, financial, tragic or political situations.”

Cruz co-developed the FCPS Instructional Plan for Diversity, created the Credit by Objective program to serve the needs of adult students, and formed a learning lab to serve the needs of Fairfax County residents. Plum attributed these initiatives and her inspired leadership to the large number of Woodson Adult High School graduates who go on to attend college, on average 75 percent. She also serves as a volunteer at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center, teaching English and facilitating a Spanish-speaking support group for inmates.

Film Festival to Premiere at FHS

It’s time for the butter and popcorn. The first Free4All Animation and Film Festival, featuring short form animation and film entries, will be held at Fairfax High School on Friday, May 16, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. The festival will showcase the top creative entries selected from more than 40 entries by Fairfax County Public Schools high school students. Judges from the Art Institute of Washington, Cox Communications, Marymount University, and V! Studios will select the Best in Show entries. Festival audience members will select winners of the People’s Choice awards in both animation and film. All winners will receive prizes and recognition at the festival. All entries submitted to the Free4All Festival have also been entered into the 2008 Shortie Awards national competition.

Kay Students to Attend Arts Festival

Students at Key Center have been invited to attend the 26th Reston Community Center’s Very Special Arts Festival on Thursday, May 15, and Friday, May 16. Half the students will attend the festival each day. Students will participate in free activities that promote the importance of projecting creative self-expression, mastering challenges and developing a sense of community. Festival participants will enjoy performances, workshops and hands-on activities relating to drama and music.

Holmes Alumni Celebrate 40 Years

Holmes Middle School will hold a 40th anniversary celebration with a reception for alumni, tours of the school, a golf tournament and a carnival on Friday, May 16, and Saturday, May 17. Alumni from Holmes’ first year, 1967, will attend; all Holmes alumni are welcome to participate in the anniversary festivities.

Fashion, Sports and Cake are ‘Key’

Key Middle School will host a Community Night on Friday, May 16, from 6 to 8 p.m., with activities for students and their families. An international fashion show, a basketball obstacle course, a showcase of after-school activities and crafts, performances, and a cake walk will be included in the festivities.

Students Get a Taste of ‘President’

So, You Want to Be President” will be presented to second grade students at Sangster Elementary School on Friday, May 16, to demonstrate the duties, powers and limitations of the job of president of the U.S. Students will be able to explore and act out the various roles of the president and members of the cabinet and will make decisions while re-creating significant historical and current events.

Colvin Runs for Fun

To promote healthful lifestyles and compassion through charitable giving, the Colvin Run Elementary Fun Run will be held at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 17, at Shouse Village Community Center. Families are invited to come together to run or walk in support of a charity of their choosing. This project is one of seven grade-level service projects Colvin Run students will participate in this year as part of a character education initiative jointly sponsored by the PTO, the school administration and staff members. Through service projects such as this one, the Colvin Run community strives to broaden students’ understanding of responsibility and compassion, two of the model character traits that are integrated into the school curriculum.

AHS Pay it Forward at Bailey’s

Three Annandale High School students, Lady Morales, Luis Inarra and Silvana Orellana, have been working with students at Bailey’s Elementary School for the Arts and Sciences on leadership skills and how to form a club. The Annandale students, who are leaders of their school’s Hispanic Leadership Club, are teaching the Bailey’s students how to establish their own club and lead its members.

Chesterbrook Plants ‘Seeds of Peace’

Chesterbrook Elementary School is striving to make a difference not only in the education of their students, but in their community as well. Planting seeds into their own students to teach them to use their time, talents and treasures to help make the world a better place, locally as well as globally. In particular, Mrs. Wilson’s students are performing a puppet show titled “Seeds of Peace” on Friday, May 16th at 7 p.m. that will be a benefit for the Atitlan Education Project. This project supports Escuela Caracol, in San Marcos, Guatemala. This is the first-ever evening performance for Mrs. Wilson’s locally famous puppet show. It will also be presented to current students during the school day on May 15th.

We are performing this show to cultivate our sense of community, locally and globally. We are taking this opportunity to honor the elderly of our local neighborhood, the residents at Vinson Hall Retirement Center, by inviting them to be VIP guests at our performance

Dale Presents FY 2009 Budget

Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) Superintendent Jack Dale presented recommendations to balance the FY 2009 budget to the Fairfax County School Board. The suggestions include additional cuts to balance the budget after the County Board of Supervisors approved an increase in the transfer to schools of $40 million. The supervisors’ increase was $23.7 million less than the amount requested by the School Board.