The Catholic University of America Alumni Association has given a 2005 Alumni Achievement Award to Ed Gillespie of Alexandria for his professional accomplishments in politics. Gillespie, a former chairman of the Republican National Committee and a 1983 graduate of the university, was honored at a dinner Oct. 14.

Middle school teacher Charlene Pritzker of Burgundy Farm Country Day School in Alexandria and eighth-grade teacher Eric Tarquinio of Swanson Middle School in Arlington were among 600 educators selected to participate in the Japan Fulbright Memorial Fund Teacher Program. The teachers spent three weeks in Tokyo promoting cultural understanding between the United States and Japan.

Sarah Bluestein, a fourth-grader at Arlington Science Focus School, has won the D.C.-area "This Amazing Woman Inspires Me" contest from Charlesbridge Publishing in Watertown, Mass. She read her award-winning essay on early-20th-century aviator Amelia Earhart aloud at A Likely Story Children's Bookstore in Alexandria on Nov. 4.

The Arlington Chamber of Commerce e-Council announced the winners of the annual Tech-E awards Nov. 3. Winners included SRA International Inc. as Technology Company of the Year; Dan Marks of Sun Microsystems as Innovator of the Year; Decisive Analytics Corp. as Corporate Citizen of the Year; and Judy F. Sebastian of Pro-Telligent LLC as Technology Executive of the Year. Wakefield High School student "Ace" Koumtakoun and Washington-Lee High School student Phi Tran received the Technology Young Mind Award and $1,250 scholarships.

The Temple Rodef Shalom Fund for the Community awarded six grants to Northern Virginia nonprofit organizations: $2,735 to Alternative House; $4,000 to the Arlington Free Clinic; $2,536 to the Arlington Partnership for Children, Youth, and Families; $3,000 to the Northern Virginia AIDS Ministry; $3,500 to Stop Child Abuse Now of Northern Virginia; and $5,000 to the Tenants' and Workers' Support Committee (recently renamed Tenants and Workers United) in Alexandria. The competitive grants are intended to help the groups increase their capacity and effectiveness.

Two students at Kenmore Middle School were recognized in the 2005 Hispanic Heritage Local Art and Essay Contest on Nov 7. Eighth- grader Michelle Graham won second place for her research on Salvador Dali and oil-on-canvas painting; seventh-grader Bernard Yves A. Bagalso won third place for an illustration representing the farm workers whom Cesar Chavez helped.

Bishop Ireton High School Crew Coach John Imperial received the OARS Community Outreach Award Oct. 22. The award from OARS -- Organization Anacostia Rowing & Sculling -- recognizes rowing and paddling initiatives, activities, programs and events conducted on the Anacostia River.

Leadership Fairfax Inc., a nonprofit organization that works to identify leaders and bring them together to study community issues, recognized Shannon Nicole Scott of Alexandria with its Youth Leadership Award for an individual under 21 who helps other young people through service.

The organization's Community Partnership Award was given to the after-school program "A Space of Her Own," which serves high-risk teenage girls in Alexandria. The program was created by Alice Merrill, development director for the Art League in Alexandria, and Linda Odell, program coordinator for Alexandria's Court Service Unit.

The Arlington County Bar Foundation selected Betty A. Thompson to receive its William L. Winston Award, given annually to members of the Arlington community who have given long service to U.S. jurisprudence. Thompson served as the first chairman of the Virginia State Bar Family Law Section and was the first woman to be president of the Arlington County Bar Association. She was recognized at a luncheon Nov. 15.

The Soroptimist International of Arlington, an organization of professional women who volunteer in the community, is offering a Women's Opportunity Award to help female heads of households return to school. The winner will receive $1,000 to offset educational expenses and will be eligible to enter a regional competition for an additional $3,000. Candidates should be attending or be accepted to attend a vocational skills training program or an undergraduate degree program. The deadline is Feb. 10. For more information, call 703-404-0932 or e-mail swilliams@siarlington.org.

-- LILA DE TANTILLO

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