Two civic groups have named citizens of the year.

* The Braddock District Council selected Vernon B. Sones of Chapel Square West and Ray Steele of Fairfax Villa as co-recipients of this year's Braddock District citizen of the year award.

Sones has served on the board of the Chapel Square West Community Association 17 times, 15 of those as president. He is a veteran volunteer at the neighborhood, district and county levels.

Steele is credited with revitalizing the Fairfax Villa/Cavalier Woods Civic Association. He has been active in the Braddock District and has served on the county's Human Services Council.

* The Mason District Council of Civic Associations recently named Annandale resident Frank Vajda the Mason District citizen of the year.

Vajda has been active in the Camelot Civic Association and its neighborhood watch program and was a founding member of the watch program at Pine Ridge Park in Annandale. In addition, Vajda has served as a member of Friends of Mason District Park for several years and is the district representative on the Fairfax County Park Authority board.

J.E.B. Stuart High School in Falls Church has been named one of 30 model high schools as part of a project honoring the nation's schools for innovative thinking and best practices. The project, called "Bringing Best Practices to Scale," was sponsored by the International Center for Leadership in Education, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Council of Chief State School Officers.

The schools selected were required to demonstrate that they provide a learning environment that promotes high achievement; use data to make instructional decisions; have an academically rigorous and relevant curriculum; and offer professional development opportunities for teachers. They also had to have parental involvement, community support and an expanded school calendar to increase students' learning time.

Divya Nettimi, a senior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, was selected as one of 40 finalists in the nationwide 2004 Intel Science Talent Search. Nettimi, whose project was called "Connecting the Macro-Scale to the Nano-Scale: New Insights Into the Kinetics of the Myosin-Actin Molecular Biomotor System," won a $5,000 scholarship and a notebook computer.

The National Merit Scholarship Corp. recently named six county students winners of college-sponsored scholarships. They are:

* Joshua Doherty, South Lakes High School, University of Richmond merit scholarship.

* Meghan Coffee, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, Wheaton College merit scholarship.

* Rosalie Kendall, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, Boston University merit scholarship.

* Sean Mackesey, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, Northwestern University merit scholarship.

* Corey Sullivan, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, Vanderbilt University merit scholarship.

* Ian Taylor, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, Virginia Tech merit scholarship.

College-sponsored merit scholarships provide between $500 and $2,000 a year for up to four years of undergraduate study at the institution financing the scholarship.

The Washington Post has named Hayfield Elementary School Principal Barbara Vaccarella one of six recipients of a 2004 Italian Culture and Language Fellowship. The fellowship program, conducted in cooperation with the Embassy of Italy's Education Office, includes 10 days in Italy to study the Italian educational system and to visit historical and cultural landmarks in Milan and the Campania region.

Recipients of the fellowship are principals and supervisors of foreign language programs in Washington area schools who have shown an interest in introducing Italian studies into their schools. Hayfield offers an after-school Italian program for its students.

-- Compiled by C. WOODROW IRVIN


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Frank Vajda of Annandale was recently named citizen of the year by the Mason District Council of Civic Associations.