The annual convocation of the Falls Church City Schools, kicking off a week of professional development prior to the formal start of the school year for students in the system next Tuesday, was conducted with enthusiasm and optimism at the George Mason High School auditorium Tuesday morning.
“Engaging Every Learner Every Day” was the theme of the event, with many sponsoring schools-related organizations — PTAs, Athletic and Band Boosters, and the F.C. Education Foundation — dedicated to their collective theme of “180 Days of Gratitude” for the work of the school employees from administrators to teachers to custodial services and more.
Following welcoming remarks by Superintendent Dr. Toni Jones, F.C. Vice Mayor Marybeth Connelly, School Board chair Justin Castillo and F.C. Education Association president Amanda Blanchard, new administrators were introduced, including Erin Kelly (Mt. Daniel principal), Jeremy Ferrara (Mt. Daniel assistant principal), Paul Swanson (Thomas Jefferson principal), Rob Carey (Thomas Jefferson administrative intern), Matt Hills (Mason High principal), and David Serensits (Mason High assistant principal).
The highlight of the event was the recognition afforded teachers and staff reaching milestones of service in the system, including 18 who reached their five-year anniversary, 10 who reached their 10 year anniversary and 13 who reached their 15 year anniversary. Marking 20 years in the system were Tammy Chincheck, Jose Fuentes-Ortiz, Tom Horn, Rik Jowers, Chris Pikrallidas, Helen Tam and Alice Tam-Lee. 25-year milestones were recognized for Syda Chansombat, Bridget Dean-Pratt and Eduardo Molina, 30 years was celebrated by Mary Kelly and 35 years by John Ballou.