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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Dedication ceremony held for Mason Crest Elementary School

Third-graders sing the Mason Crest school song.
The Mason Crest Elementary School gym was a sea of parents and teachers, plus a few students, many dressed in the school colors red and black, as local dignitaries officially launched the new school with a brief ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The Sept. 18 dedication for Annandale’s newest school, held immediately before Back to School Night, was facilitated by Mason school board member Sandy Evans.

U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly (11th District) presented an American flag that had flown over the U.S. Capitol to Principal Brian Butler. Connolly credited the high level of parent support here for helping make the Fairfax County school system “among the very best in the United States.” Noting that school bonds generally pass with an 80 percent margin, he said, “our community gets it.”

He said Mason Crest’s state-of-the-art technology will “give students a leg up as they move up in the pyramid” and applauded FCPS for making Mason Crest the first school in the county with a geothermal heating and cooling system.

State Del. Kaye Kory presented Butler with a yellow “Build Lacey Now” poster in recognition of the community leaders who started campaigning eight years ago to convert the old Lacey school administrative center into a new elementary school and worked to have the project included in a school bond.

“This school has been a dream of this community for a very long time. You can say, ‘we built this,’ ” Kory said. “It’s so important to have a school you can walk to and that can be used as a community center.”

Mason Supervisor Penny Gross reminded the audience of the ground-breaking ceremony two years ago, marking the beginning of the construction process, noting that the site had been school property for decades and “will serve the community for decades to come.” Gross donated a guide to Mason District historic sites to the school library.  

Butler thanked members of the community, the Parent Teacher Organization, the staff, and FCPS leaders for their support. “We have the most amazing kids,” and while educating them will be “a huge job,” it will be a bit easier, thanks to the way “you prepared your kids,” he told the parents, citing the students’ “willingness to lend a hand to a friend and their enthusiasm for learning.”

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