Here are some people and events making news at your Fairfax County Public Schools.
- The fourth annual Pumpkin Pie Run, which includes 1K and 3K races for students, will be held at Fairhill Elementary on Saturday, November 10, beginning at 9 a.m. Parents are welcome to participate as pacers, and family members are invited to provide encouragement and cheers. Students in grades K-2 will run the shorter race; older students may choose either race. Everyone who finishes will receive a slice of pumpkin pie and there will be a mysterious Empty Pie Tin Award for the winners. Students who participate in Fairhill’s afterschool track program, the Fairhill Flyers, have been training for the event since September. The Pumpkin Pie Run is open to all students and is designed to encourage fun, fitness, and community.
- Fans of model aviation may want to check out Indoor Fun Fly, a day of flying model planes indoors, at West Potomac High on Sunday, November 11, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Run by the school’s Engineering Club and Aerospace Science students, this event presents model aviation to the general public and is open to radio control as well as free flight fliers. Students manage most of the fun fly, which includes a kids table for making foam gliders. Fliers are encouraged to bring models to display in the lobby for attendees to examine. With the support of many local flying clubs, this is the third year the West Potomac students have organized and hosted the Indoor Fun Fly, and is the first of three events planned for the 2012-13 school year. Admission is free and the public is welcome to attend.
- Kilmer Center teacher Stacy Kafka has been awarded a $5,000 grant from Walden University’s Educator for a Day program. Five grants are being given to pre-K-12 schools that are hosting Educator for a Day events during American Education Week, November 11-17. Employees of Homewood Suites by Hilton Dulles Airport will serve as Educators for a Day beginning at 8 a.m.; the hotel provides a vocational training site for Kilmer Center students. Grant funds will be used to purchase supplies for the school’s expressive arts program, a modified traditional music education class that includes drama, movement, poetry, circus arts, and puppetry and allows the students — who have severe intellectual disabilities paired with a medically fragile status or severe autism and behavioral-conduct disorders — to express themselves through different modes. Kafka’s wish list includes touch screen tablets, recordable communication devices, modified musical instruments and juggling equipment, costuming pieces and puppets, as well as funds to cover the cost of visiting artists for school-wide assemblies.
- Braddock Elementary will hold its annual Walk-4-Education walk-a-thon, a fundraiser that promotes health and fitness, on Monday, November 12, in conjunction with the school’s annual Thanksgiving luncheon. Students and staff members can walk for an hour, and parents are invited to walk with their children. Fun facts about the importance of health and fitness will be posted throughout the course for walkers to read. Donations will be used for educational enrichment programs, field trips, school assemblies, school safety patrol programs, and technology.
- Bull Run Elementary will celebrate the grand opening of its new Family Center on Monday, November 12, from 3 to 4 p.m. The Family Center provides access to school personnel and resources for parents while highlighting the importance of the home-school-community connection. Families can find information about community resources, how parents can help their children in school, help with completing forms, and computer access. Community organizations that work with Bull Run families have been invited to the grand opening so they can meet some of the parents.
- Dental Careers students from Falls Church Academy will teach second grade students at Fairhill Elementary about the importance of healthy teeth during a special presentation on Tuesday, November 13, at 9:45 a.m. The older students will present information they have learned in their own studies at the academy to the elementary students, including how to develop good dental habits. Students will learn facts about their teeth, the proper way to brush and floss, and will receive goodie bags of toothbrushes, toothpaste and floss so they can practice at home. This partnership is a collaborative effort between Falls Church High and its feeder schools in the Falls Church Pyramid, and supports Fairhill’s concentration on health and fitness.
- Herndon Middle students will take part in a week of activities to combat bullying November 12-16. Students will sign anti-bullying pledges and take part in a pinky campaign, making a pinky promise not to be a bully and to stand up to others. On Wednesday, three step teams will be on hand to encourage students to stomp out bullying behaviors beginning at 3 p.m. The Herndon Middle Step Team, the Herndon High Step Team, and the Howard University Step Team will join forces to encourage students to stand up to bullying. On Thursday, peer helpers will distribute balloons with positive messages to inflate self-esteem, and on Friday, they will distribute smiley stickers to students.
- The Election, a satire about a special election to replace a student body president who resigned in disgrace, will be presented by Rocky Run Middle students on November 15, 16, and 17 at 7 p.m. After the embattled student body president resigns in disgrace, student candidate Mark Davenport figures he will cruise to victory in the special election, defeating his opponent Christy Martin, who wants to eliminate football. But when a mysterious super PAC provides her with an unlimited budget, things start to get ugly. Mark must face total annihilation or accept the services of a slick campaign manager with questionable ethics and a million dollar super PAC of his own. The author of the play is Don Zolidis.
- Turkey Bingo, a night of games and camaraderie at Springfield Estates Elementary, is scheduled for Friday, November 16, at 6 p.m. The school hosts Turkey Bingo each year to bring together staff members, students, and their families, who can pre-order dinner to enjoy before the games begin. This popular evening provides lots of opportunities to win prizes and is almost always sold out.
- Laughing Stock, a farcical look at the backstage events of theater, will be presented by the Westfield High Theater Arts Department on November 16 and 17 at 7:30 p.m. and November 18 at 2 p.m. When the Playhouse, a rustic New England summer theater, schedules a repertory season of Dracula, Hamlet, and Charley’s Aunt, comic mayhem ensues. The show follows the well-intentioned but overmatched company from outrageous auditions to ego-driven rehearsals through opening nights gone disastrously awry to the elation of a great play well told and the comic and nostalgic close of the season. Seating is reserved; tickets are available for purchase online.
- Whitman Middle will demonstrate how STEM-STEAM (science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics) subjects are part of everyday life and help prepare students for college and careers at a special event on Saturday, November 17, at 8:30 a.m. The event will include a keynote presentation by Carl Mack, executive director of the National Society of Black Engineers, who will discuss the importance of STEM education and how engineering could be the key to engaging students to become more active participants in creating their own careers. Attendees will then be welcome to take part in interactive activities that focus on integrating STEM and STEAM concepts in everyday learning experiences. Included will be activities including robotics, forensics, rockets, Rubik’s cube, and Google Earth. Volunteers from Girls Excelling in Math and Science (GEMS), NASA, Mexican American Engineers and Scientists, Mount Vernon Estates and Gardens, 12th Aviation Battalion Fort Belvoir Installation, and the U.S. Army Program Executive Office of Enterprise Information Systems, Fort Belvoir, will be on hand to work with students.
- Members of Let Me Run, a running program for boys at Crossfield Elementary, will participate in the Vienna Turkey Trot 5K race on Sunday, November 18, beginning at 8 a.m. Let Me Run was the first running program established in a FCPS elementary school just for boys and was started in response to the popular Girls on the Run and Girls on Track running programs. The program uses the power of running and fun group activities to inspire boys to develop healthy relationships with friends, family members, and the community. They train together to participate in local races under the guidance of teachers and parent volunteers. Team members will run with a partner — either a peer or an adult.
- The Hayfield Secondary 2011-12 Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps Leadership Academic Bowl (JLAB) team has been recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Defense, Leon E. Panetta, for its participation in the June JLAB symposium. After advancing through two online phases of competition, the team, composed of Cadet Lieutenant Colonel Markley Grigg, Cadet Captain Brittany Johnson, Cadet Lieutenant Gabriel Rodriguez, Cadet Sergeant First Class Logan Thomas, Cadet Captain Justin Ong, and Cadet Lieutenant Victoria Gonzalez, earned top scores out of the 1,345 teams that competed from around the world to advance to the final championship round of the 2012 Army JROTC Leadership Symposium in Washington DC. In the fast-paced online rounds, cadets were tested on their knowledge of leadership values and skills; including leadership tenets from Gen. George C. Marshall. Hayfield was one of only forty leadership teams in the nation to advance to the finals. While participating at the national level, cadets were required to research an historical monument, develop a multimedia presentation, and brief the presentation to senior military and government service members. These products can be viewed on the College Options Foundation website, and are used as key research tools for SAT and ACT preparation. The event is sponsored by the Army Cadet Command and conducted by College Options Foundation.
- Eighth grade student William Furlong has received the Gold Merit Award and a first place Gold Certificate for his essay on “Why Every American Citizen Needs to Vote,” in the fourth annual For Love of Country: In My Own Words essay and poetry contest, sponsored by the Fairfax County Public Library and For Love of Country Foundation. Furlong, a student at Longfellow Middle, was recognized for his civic understanding and engagement and his knowledge of American history, as well as the high quality, creativity, and communications skills expressed in his essay.
- Marshall Road Elementary has selected Bowen McCauley Dance, a professional dance company, to serve as its second artist-in-residence for the 2012-13 school year. Bowen McCauley Dance has conducted arts-integrated workshops and multi-day dance tutorials for students, and has taught professional choreography to the students. The school partners with Bowen McCauley Dance for its studio to stage an afterschool program and will host an evening performance, featuring the professional dancers, in November.
- Seven students from three Fairfax County public schools recently competed in the Fall Sectional Tournament of the Northern Virginia Bridge Association (NVBA). Jackson Miller of Louise Archer Elementary and Quinn Eggleston of Thoreau Middle each won a $50 U.S. Savings Bond from the Clarendon Education Fund and a one-year student membership to the American Contract Bridge League. Key Middle Bridge Club president Arta Shala, along with vice presidents Helen Sande and Andrew Nguyen and club members Ashley Ann Mayer and Wilhem Smith, also competed in the tournament. Crossfield Elementary, Garfield Elementary, and Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology each have a bridge club sponsored by NVBA Bridge in Schools.