National Educator Prize
During a recent school assembly, George Weiner, a fourth-grade teacher at White Oaks Elementary School in Burke, was caught by surprise when he found out he had won a $25,000 Milken National Educator Award.
The foundation recognizes 100 educators in 46 states for their talent, instructional practices, long-range potential for leadership and inspiration to students, colleagues and the community.
National Educator Awards were established in 1985; since then, the foundation has presented almost $44 million to 1,777 educators.
Wing Named After Her
The Fairfax County public school system has dedicated a wing of the Pimmit Hills Adult Center and Alternative High School to Elaine Baush.
The Elaine Baush Lifelong Learning Wing is named for the longtime educator, who retired from the school system's Office of Adult and Community Education in 2000. Baush developed English literacy, citizenship and life skills opportunities for the county's non-English speaking population.
Preschool Teacher of the Year
Sharon DeMello, a teacher at William F. Halley Elementary School in Fairfax Station, will be honored Nov. 20 in New York as preschool teacher of the year by the National Association for the Education of Young Children.
The award is sponsored by Scholastic Inc., the children's publishing and media company, and is the result of nominations by parents, teachers and directors of early childhood programs. The finalists were selected by a panel of Scholastic early childhood experts and advisers from the field.
As a grand-prize winner, DeMello receives the trip to New York, Scholastic products valued at $1,000 and Fisher-Price's "Kasey the Kinderbot," an interactive learning toy that helps children prepare for school.
"In order to forge partnerships and positive relationships with parents, Sharon encourages them to volunteer in the classroom," said Janet Funk, nominator and principal of Halley. "At the beginning of each school year, Sharon recruits helpers who fill out job applications and provides wonderful experiences for the parents and preschoolers."
Phi Beta Kappa Graduate
Faith Hillis of Fairfax Station has graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University, earning Phi Beta Kappa honors.
Hillis was a resident assistant, tour guide, a musician in the university orchestra and a tutor. She also received a top award for her thesis on European history.
The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace recently chose Hillis as a junior fellow, where her emphasis will be on Russian, European and Asian affairs. She will write articles and books for publication based on her research.
Recognized for Reading Program
Kay Miller, 18, is the first recipient of a special citation from the U.S. Agency for International Development for her efforts to promote reading in the developing world. Miller, a Vienna native and freshman at Georgetown University, is the founder of Reading Offers Amazing Rewards (ROAR).
Since founding the organization at age 14, Miller has helped oversee the distribution of more than 60,000 books to needy children in the United States and abroad. Her first international project sent 2,000 books to children in Nassau, and most recently her work with USAID placed 1,500 books in Armenia.
The USAID bureau citation recognizes and increases public awareness of volunteers who contribute to the agency's mission to provide economic, development and humanitarian assistance around the world.
Social Studies Teacher of the Year
Carla Garfield, a fifth-grade teacher at Columbia Elementary School in Annandale, has been named the Virginia social studies teacher of the year. Garfield has been the lead social studies teacher at Columbia for six years.
Columbia's principal, Stephanie Daugherty, credited the staff development training that Garfield conducts with helping to improve students' scores on the Virginia Standards of Learning social studies test.
Garfield "makes Virginia history come alive for students. She has the enviable ability to motivate them to want to attain high standards," Daugherty said.
Four Thomas Jefferson Students
National Science Honorees
Timothy G. Abbott, Geng Chen, Neal K. Gupta and Divya Nettimi were among the 24 national winners of Siemens Awards for Advanced Placement. Now in its fifth year, the Siemens Awards honor students and teachers with scholarships and cash for exemplary performance in Advanced Placement, or AP, science and mathematics courses.
National Art Honor
Diana Barrientos, a 13-year-old eighth-grader at Glasgow Middle School, won a U.S. National Award in the category of art from the United States Achievement Academy.
Each year the academy selects students in all grade levels, including college and graduate school, based on the recommendations of teachers, counselors, coaches and other educational sponsors for achievement in 18 categories.
Winners are included in the organization's annual year book and are eligible to apply for a scholarship from the academy.
F. Michael Munoz
Hispanic Program Honoree
F. Michael Munoz, a senior at W.T. Woodson High School in Fairfax, has been named a scholar in the National Hispanic Recognition Program, which recognizes the academic achievements of Hispanic high school seniors. From more than 200,000 students nationwide, Munoz made the final cut of 3,800 finalists based on college test scores.
Nine Fairfax Students
Reston Hospital Center Scholarships
Of nine students who demonstrated an interest in pursuing health care careers, seven received scholarships from the medical staff scholarship program and two, who served as volunteers at Reston Hospital Center, received scholarships from the volunteer services program.
The medical staff scholarship winners are Esraa Bani and Nam-Phuong Ly, Herndon High School; Stephen Ho, Langley High School; Jennifer McCarthy, Madison High School; Andia Nadimi, Oakton High School; and Ton Qui Ho and Sanda Chelliah, South Lakes High School.
The volunteer scholarship winners are Bethany Elan, Herndon High, and Jeremy Su, Langley.
For 10 years, the hospital has awarded $1,000 to each of the Fairfax County public high schools nearest it and $2,000 to South Lakes and Herndon high schools. The schools then select the recipients.
Madison High Wind Symphony
Heading for National Music Competition
Madison High School's wind symphony has been selected as one of 16 in the country to participate in the 2003 National Concert Band Festival in March in Indianapolis. Madison is the only Virginia band chosen.
Katherine R. Yohay
Wins Top Art Camp Award
Katherine R. Yohay, a senior at the Madeira School in McLean, was awarded Interlochen Art Camp's top leadership award at the end of the camp's summer session, during which she concentrated on voice and musical theater.
Katie was a featured performer in the camp's production of Gilbert & Sullivan's "Patience" and also recorded Brahms' "Requiem" in German with the World Youth Symphony Orchestra while there.
Four GMU Students
Bannister Scholarship Winners
The Northern Virginia Technology Council Foundation has awarded its Bannister Scholarships to four students of George Mason University's School of Information Technology and Engineering.
The council, which consists of technology company leaders, awards the scholarships to GMU students who have at least a 3.0 grade-point average in technology-related studies and who have demonstrated a commitment to the community.
The winners: Shannon Wagner, a senior, who plans to enter the computer graphics and design field; Abe Klinger, a senior, who tutors students in the information technology field and plans to pursue a graduate degree; Courtney Lake, a junior, who assists at a kindergarten and is interested in becoming an FBI agent to help fight computer terrorism and fraud; and Alicia Torkelson, a junior, who tutors fellow engineering students and is interested in pursuing a graduate degree in artificial intelligence at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
-- Compiled by C. Woodrow Irvin,
Diane Mattingly and Miya Wiseman
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F. MICHAEL MUNOZ