Amalia Harte of Herndon, a fifth-grade student at Fox Mill Elementary School, has won first place in a Weekly Reader magazine national essay contest.

Harte's was one of four winning essays from more than 1,000 submitted.

Students who entered were asked to write an essay called "Eyewitness to History." Harte interviewed her grandfather, who survived the Holocaust with the help of French farmers who hid his family in their farmhouse during World War II.

"I think that my grandfather has a much different outlook on life now that he survived the Holocaust," Amalia wrote. "He is so happy to see his grandchildren growing up safely in this country. I am grateful, too. But it makes me feel sick to know that six million other Jews died."

The Washington Regional Transplant Consortium has named Emily Miller of West Springfield High School as a $1,000 scholarship winner for her essay about a teacher who received a heart transplant.

The Legacy of Life scholarship program asks area high school seniors to write an essay persuading someone to say yes to organ and tissue donation. The consortium is a nonprofit organ procurement organization for the Washington area.

The county school system has announced two of its top individual awards.

Heather Miele, a fifth-grade teacher at Lynbrook Elementary School in Springfield, has been named Fairfax County Public Schools' outstanding first-year teacher. And Tim Stanley, assistant principal at Parklawn Elementary School in the Alexandria area, has won the outstanding new administrator award.

Miele started a club that teaches students positive communication and human relations skills and trains them to welcome new students. In addition, Miele teaches a Standards of Learning after-school remediation program. She also volunteers and supports the Lynbrook community at the Marine Corps Marathon fun run, family craft night and bingo.

Parklawn principal Susan Akroyd said of Stanley, "Our continuously improved instructional practice at Parklawn and increased achievement by each child within these walls is a direct result of the time Tim has spent listening to and sharing thoughts with each teacher, assistant, custodian, office assistant, team, collaborative group, family member, committee and others outside of Parklawn who might be of help to us in our efforts."

Stanley began his career in 1978 as a classroom teacher at the county's Flint Hill Elementary School and has taught at Hutchison, Crossfield and Parklawn elementary schools.

VSA Arts has named Tomoko Endo, a senior at Robinson Secondary School in Fairfax, a winner of its young soloists award.

The award, sponsored by Panasonic Corp., recognizes outstanding musicians age 25 and younger with disabilities who have exhibited exceptional talent as vocalists or instrumentalists. VSA Arts is an international nonprofit organization.

Endo, whose vision is impaired, recently performed at the Kennedy Center. Tomoko began studying piano at age 4 in Japan and has studied in Thailand and Singapore, according to a news release.

Mahmood A. Khan and Larry French, professors at Virginia Tech's Northern Virginia Center in Falls Church, have received Fulbright Scholar awards to teach and conduct research abroad next year.

Khan, of Great Falls, a professor of hospitality and tourism management, will teach courses to students pursuing a master of business administration degree at the Indian Institute of Technology in Chennai.

French, an associate professor of management, will teach MBA courses in small business management and entrepreneurship in Lisbon. He lives in Maryland.

About 800 faculty members and professionals from throughout the United States go abroad each year to lecture and conduct research as Fulbright recipients.

The Fairfax County Human Rights Commission has honored four individuals, a nonprofit organization and an international business with its annual awards recognizing accomplishments in human rights. The winners:

* In the individual category, Ernestine C. Heastie, a former School Board member, the Rev. James A. Papile of St. Anne's Episcopal Church in Reston, and Paula Prettyman and Kelly Schlageter, leaders in the county's gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.

* In the nonprofit organization category, the Fairfax Area Christian Emergency and Transitional Services, or FACETS, a faith-based group that helps the county's homeless and low-income residents.

* In the business category, Booz Allen Hamilton Inc. The company was cited for expanding job opportunities for disadvantaged and disabled people.

The American Association of University Women of Virginia has named Elizabeth Lodal, principal of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, the 2005 educator of the year.

The award is given to a teacher, administrator or guidance counselor who is a positive role model for girls and devotes extra time to focus on girls' achievement and success, according to a news release.

Lodal began her career with Fairfax County public schools in 1972 as an administrative intern at Robinson Secondary School. She was named Thomas Jefferson's principal in 2001.

The Community Leadership Association has given its distinguished leadership award to Susan B. Horne, president and chief executive of Leadership Fairfax.

Horne is one of 45 people across the country to receive the award, which recognizes the spirit and goals of civic involvement and trusteeship.

Leadership Fairfax identifies current and emerging leaders and brings them together to study community issues.

-- Compiled by DIANE MATTINGLY


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Amalia Harte of Herndon won a Weekly Reader contest for an essay based on her interview with her grandfather, Holocaust survivor Benno Harte.