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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

School news: Celebrating success

An occasional series highlighting programs and activities at schools in the Annandale/Mason District area. The information and photos are from Fairfax County Public Schools and individual schools. In this edition of School News, weve also got a story from a private school. 

Staff members and students at Annandale Terrace Elementary observe Autism Awareness Month with special T-shirts
A winning schoolFalls Church High School is among the five FCPS high schools that have qualified to compete in the Virginia Governor’s Challenge in Economics and Personal Finance, scheduled for April 20 in Richmond.

The Falls Church team includes students Christopher Boose, Elizabeth Mensah, Nhat-Lan Nguyen, and Calathea Pacifica and coach Sonya Or.

The Governor’s Challenge is conducted in partnership with the Virginia Council on Economic Education. 

The cast of "The Little Mermaid," a sell-out show put on by the Stuart High School theater program.
Run for the Atoms – The Annandale Atoms Athletic Booster Club is seeking the public’s support for the Atoms 5K Run/Walk, an annual event that raises funds for four $1,000 college scholarships for exemplary student athletes at Annandale High School.

The race will be held on Saturday, May 19, 8 a.m., at the school. To participate, sign up here.

The Atoms Booster Club is a Section 501(c) (3) charitable organization made up of volunteers – parents, alumni, and neighbors – who are committed to enriching all the team sports offered at Annandale High School. Seniors selected for scholarships show exceptional athletic skills, leadership, and academic performance throughout their high school careers.

For more information about taking part in the 5K – or how donors can be recognized – contact the Booster Club at

Contributions can be sent to the Annandale Atoms Booster Club 5K, P.O. Box 1283, Annandale, VA 22003. Checks should be made payable to the Annandale Booster Club. Or if it’s easier, a Booster member can pick up your donation. 

Second--graders at Belvedere Elementary School take part in a science symposium.
Grad does goodAnnandale High School graduate Sameen Yusuf has been awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to explore the cultural, systemic, and technical barriers that prevent implementation of a patient-centered, rapid health screening system in Nepal. As part of the project she will study the efficacy of a new paper-based urine sample collection kit for TB screening. 

Yusuf earned an IB Diploma from AHS in 2013 and served as president of the school’s Just World Interact Club, among other activities.

She earned a degree in bioengineering at George Mason University. While at GMU, she organized two campus-wide events, MedX Global and a Model World Health Organization Conference, both of which promoted multidisciplinary collaboration and deeper understanding of global health policy.

Educators needed – FCPS is looking to hire educators “with a strong academic background and a passion to make a difference.” Applicants for all instructional areas will be invited to interview for position openings at a job fair April 28.

To participate, potential candidates must meet Virginia Department of Education licensure requirements and must fill out an online application.

Help fill the pantryFall Church High School, in collaboration with the PTSA, has opened a food pantry, where students in need can discreetly “shop” for basic necessities at no charge. Once the pantry is fully stocked, it will be available for students and families. Meanwhile, community members can contribute by shopping online on the Falls Church HS Pantry Amazon wish list. Orders will be shipped directly to the school. 

Congressional students with their sustainability project.
Greenovation winner – Students in a sixth-grade global perspectives class at Congressional School won a Project Green Schools 2018 Green Difference Award. Their project, “Blueprint for a More Sustainable School,” won the award in the category Outstanding Commitment to Greenovation (Green + STEM + Innovation). Teacher Denise Yassine attended a ceremony in Boston April 13 to receive the award on behalf of her students.

After completing the research-based phase of the project, students created small models of sustainable elements relating to water conservation, landscape management, and solar, wind, and  geothermal energy and combined them to form a large-scale model.  


  1. I love this series! Thank you so much for shining a light on some of the wonderful things going on in our local schools. :)

  2. I agree with Anon! Love this series!

  3. Great to be getting some good positive news on our FC public schools.

  4. Now fold into that the 60,000+ opioid deaths-by-despair of displaced American workers, plus the increase in suicides of all types in that demographic, add the untold thousands of Mexican, Central and South American men women and children forced from their ancestor homes by government sanctioned cartels, intelligence agencies, international trade agencies and non-profits as well as the marked increase in ethnic hatred here in America and the sunshine dims a bit.