Season of Celebration and Success Stories

Season of Celebration and Success May 1-24
  • I would like to thank everyone at Evendale Elementary School for creating such a family atmosphere and all the team work. I am thankful I have been able to work for Frederick County Public Schools for 13 years and meet such wonderful coworkers.

    Apple Pie Ridge Elementary School Instructional Assistant Debra Rotz is a crucial part of the fourth grade team. She goes above and beyond on a daily basis to make each day memorable for our students and staff. She is amazing! I don’t know what we would do without her. 

    Our son has grown and learned so much this school year! Greenwood Mill Elementary School Kindergarten Teacher Allison Yost has done a fantastic job teaching him how to read. We are blown away by his successes this year. She always does fun things with the class. Thank you for all you do, Miss Yost! 

    Redbud Run Elementary School Fifth Grade Teacher Stephanie Hart is an amazing, dedicated and caring teacher. It’s been a great school year!

    Middletown Elementary School Instructional Technology Coach Denise Orndorff is such a great addition to our school! She is always learning and sharing wonderful ways to integrate technology into our classrooms. Our students and staff benefit from her hard work and dedication and it's always a great time when she comes to teach us something new! We've enjoyed using BeeBots, Read&Write and all the behind-the-scenes websites and tools she has shown us. Middletown is so lucky to have her!

    Our son has loved every moment of kindergarten and his teachers. Greenwood Mill Elementary School Instructional Assistant Jennifer Volkmann plays a HUGE role in the classroom. We appreciate all she does on a daily basis to help our class. She goes above and beyond to help in the classroom. 

    After a difficult year last year, we were apprehensive about what our daughter’s third grade year would bring, but boy were we wrong to have any anxiety! Our daughter was truly blessed to be placed in Indian Hollow Elementary School Third Grade Teacher Candice Henry’s class. Ms. Henry’s classroom structure, superior communication and positivity have made this one of the best school years yet. Our daughter has grown so much thanks to Ms. Henry’s guidance and teaching, and she comes home from school every day telling us how much she LOVES SCHOOL! We are so thankful for Ms. Henry. She is a true asset to Indian Hollow Elementary! Thank you, Ms. Henry, for all you do!

    James Wood Middle School Lead Teacher Gino Marchese goes above and beyond for students and staff every single day. He wears many, many hats and does it with a smile and a positive attitude. He is a positive role model for students and is the first to lend a helping hand to staff. Oftentimes, he works behind the scenes, but his dedication to our school community does not go unnoticed. We are so thankful that he is a part of our Bulldog Family. 

    Middletown Elementary School Student Support Coach Cassie Ogle has been an outstanding member of the Middletown community. Her support for students and teachers alike shows her dedication to the success of all! She is incredibly patient and spends time building relationships with all the students she interacts with. Our students have experienced positive social emotional growth through her intervention and intentionality. Thanks, Mrs. Ogle!

    James Wood High School Chorus Teacher Melissa Legge Mauck helped me a lot this year by putting me as a section leader in concert choir. It has helped me become more of a leader in multiple ways. Sight-reading, patience and seeing things from other students' perspectives are just a few ways I have grown. Thank you for an amazing senior year!

    Middletown Elementary School First Grade Teachers Heather Walther, Ashlee Anton, Shannon Combs, and Meghan Gore are absolutely amazing and have made my first year of teaching feel like a success. I don’t know what I would have done without them. They are so quick to help me with anything I ask on a day-to-day basis. I haven’t told them THANK YOU enough. I am incredibly grateful for everything they have done for me. They are amazing educators who make a difference in their students' lives EVERY SINGLE DAY and I am grateful to witness it. I am so lucky to be on a team that is so kind and supportive. They deserve all of the celebration in the world! 

    Redbud Run Elementary School First Grade Teacher Jennifer Burke was in charge of a large kindergarten class and did an excellent job communicating about what was happening in the classroom. When issues arose, she advocated for my child, communicated with me and the administration and made sure my child was loved and supported. 

    A student at James Wood High School will be traveling to the Netherlands with her dog to represent the United States at the WAO (World Agility Open Championships) later this month! She has worked so hard this year and her exemplary character, work ethic and sense of motivation has led her to many successes, and this opportunity is one to be celebrated! Best of luck! 

    We are so very grateful for James Wood Middle School Lead Teacher Gino Marchese. My daughter, who is now in 7th grade, started at James Wood last year as a sixth grader. Upon starting, she struggled greatly with social issues as well as grade concerns. We tried multiple strategies, which eventually led us to a 504 plan. Throughout the last year and this year thus far, my daughter has found a safe staff member to communicate with and who has been such a great advocate, point of contact and friendly face in this whole process. It brings much comfort to both a student and her parents when a staff member is genuinely caring and holds a positive attitude! We are so very grateful for Mr. Marcese. He is a genuine, positive staff member that my child has learned to trust and depend on when needed!

    I want to thank James Wood High School Science Teacher Amanda Fordyce and Special Education Teacher Toni Arthur for always helping me with my work in my Earth Science class and for always believing in me, always supporting me and for helping me study for every important test. I can't ask for more than their support and for the advice they give me to always pass my tests. They always tell me to do my best on the tests and in all the work we do in school. I am very grateful for them. Thank you so much for everything and for always believing in me! 

    I would like to thank Orchard View Elementary School Music Teacher Catherine Oldham for making sure that I have access to a sign language interpreter for concerts. 

    Middletown Elementary School Kindergarten Teacher Katie Lamb has accepted my child for who he is. She found his strengths and worked on his weaknesses, using these strengths. He adores her because he knows she cares about him and each student she has. I am forever thankful for the bond she created with her class and with my child.  Middletown is so very lucky to have her! Thank you, Mrs. Lamb, for the love you pour into your profession and for the love you have given your students! 

    Indian Hollow Elementary School Second Grade Teacher Heather Cammer has been a phenomenal teacher for our daughter. She is very knowledgeable and works extremely hard to provide solid instruction for her students. She is very compassionate and empathetic as well.  Our family went through some really difficult things this year and Ms. Cammer was amazingly supportive and encouraging every step of the way. We are so thankful for her and couldn’t have asked for a better teacher. Our daughter absolutely adores her and has learned so much this year. Ms. Cammer is also an awesome teacher to work alongside. I am so happy to have her as a coworker! She adds so much to our school! 

    This year I have had the pleasure of seeing my seventh grade daughter go from despair over having to learn anything historical to respect and even enjoyment! She has learned so many fun facts and had genuine excitement over sharing information about artists and musicians from the past, art and music being her passions. Thank you to James Wood Middle School Social Studies Teacher Brian Barbour for showing her how history ties into her favorite things and making history come alive! Dare I say, fourth period this year may have been a favorite! Stay golden!

    Gainesboro Elementary School Title I Instructional Assistant Belinda Jones is so kind. You bring so much joy to my day, so you should be appreciated. Mrs. Jones always says hello and asks how my day is going.  I'm so glad she joined the Gainesboro Eagles this year. She is so awesome and beautiful! 

    I cannot say enough good things about Gainesboro Elementary School Kindergarten Teacher Lisa Affuso. Whether it is staying in communication (even when outside of school hours) or providing her students with snacks and supplies, she makes the school day great. My son went from being home every day to being so excited to go to school. He was upset when he found out he has to have a new teacher next year, because Ms. Affuso has made the transition from little kid to kindergartener, and now an almost first grader, the most amazing experience. He loves all the teachers and administrators and is always happy to share what they did in school every day.

    Over the past two years, NREP Early Childhood Special Education Teacher Tina Knapp has truly been a guiding light for our family and an incredible teacher for our son. Her dedication to her students goes beyond the classroom, as she consistently goes above and beyond to ensure their well-being and growth. Not only does she create engaging lessons that ignite my son's curiosity and love for learning, but she also takes the time to check in on our family and offer support whenever needed. Miss Tina's genuine care and warmth have made a profound impact on us, and it's no surprise that my son absolutely adores her. Her unwavering support and encouragement have helped shape his early years in the most positive way possible. Our son has made remarkable progress from being reserved to becoming outgoing thanks to Miss Tina. He now loves school, especially because of his strong connection with Miss Tina. One memorable moment was when he gave her flowers from the playground and joked that they were married. It's moments like these that highlight the special bond they share and the positive influence Miss Tina has had on his social growth. As he prepares to move on to kindergarten, we can't help but feel a twinge of sadness at the thought of leaving Miss Tina's classroom behind. We are forever grateful for her presence in our lives.

    Thank you to James Wood Middle School Math Teacher Michelle Foura for sharing your expertise in math with my daughter! She left elementary school feeling like math was overwhelming and she would always be behind. She improved so much last year in sixth grade, but this year she considers herself a "smart kid" because she understands all of the concepts so clearly. She has clearly benefited from your ability to break it down into parts she understands and can apply. I appreciate you giving her the gift of confidence in math! Thank you!

    Redbud Run Elementary School Kindergarten Teacher Jennifer Burke made kindergarten such an adventure for my nephew. Mrs. Burke created a warm and positive environment where he flourished and loves learning.  

    Thank you to Apple Pie Ridge Elementary School Kindergarten Teacher Emily Teese for the patience she had with my girl to become an even smarter little cookie! It was a tough start, but Ms. Teese is so wonderful and nice and had patience with my daughter instead of treating her differently because of how her behavior might be! 

    Thank you to James Wood Middle School Basketball Coach Aaron Santamaria. During the 2023-24 basketball season, the eighth grade boys played exceptionally well and ended with a championship win. My understanding is that it has been many years since a JWMS eighth grade boys team won a championship. It was an exciting, nail-biting season. His coaching skills, his "cooler than the other side of the pillow" (quoted by the late Stuart Scott) attitude on the court and his believing in the players is amazing. He definitely has the admiration of the team.

    I want to thank Bass-Hoover Elementary School Kindergarten Teacher Kelly Griffith and Instructional Assistant Denise Christian for being outstanding teachers. My son has been in their kindergarten class this year and has made incredible progress under their guidance. They made him feel comfortable, and he has always reported back good things about his time in class. 

    Jordan Springs Elementary School Kindergarten Teacher Summer Greene has been such a wonderful teacher this year for my son. She has taught him so much to prepare him to succeed in first grade. She taught him to read, write his first and last name, and do math. Mrs. Greene has been a wonderful teacher and taught my son to do so many things he could not do before. 

    I know James Wood Middle School is considered to be a small town school, but where we came from prior to living in this area, it’s a pretty big school. Transitioning from a tiny town in the mountains to school in the Winchester area was definitely a bit of a change for my kids. The staff at James Wood Middle School has been amazing. They always seem to have the kids' best interests at heart. My oldest son has been lucky enough to get tangled up in FFA. James Wood Middle School Ag Teacher Samatha Stern has been an amazing advisor. She has gone out of her way to help him get involved with several activities and even allowed his younger brother (who will be in middle school next year) to tag along. I was scared that my small-town kids were going to stumble along the way, but she has really done a great job of helping them feel like they fit in. I look forward to spending a handful more years interacting with the staff and administrators at this school. Hopefully, they all know how appreciated they really are.

    Frederick County Middle School Science Teacher Sarah Stone (long-term sub) was kind and helped me with all my math work.

    Middletown Elementary School Assistant Principal Robin Shrum loves and thrives in what she does. Middletown Elementary couldn't be more blessed to have such a wonderful person be their assistant principal. She was my music teacher in elementary school and her passion for education over the last 20 years has only gotten stronger. She deserves to be celebrated. 

    Greenwood Mill Elementary School Music Teacher Phoebe Herreid was a first year teacher this year. On top of doing a fabulous job at making connections with students and showing them a new way to enjoy music, she directed her first musical (Finding Nemo Kids) extremely successfully with a fabulous turnout both nights. She has turned this year from good to great and I know she inspires so many people, including myself. I'm proud to know and work with her, and I hope she is equally proud of herself for all the energy she has put into this year. Ms. Herreid is such a wonderful coworker. The students and staff all admire her and think she is doing an awesome job. She is a fabulous collaborator and musical director and deserves to be celebrated! Long may it continue!

    Greenwood Mill Elementary School First Grade Teacher Trisha Archer is a fabulous teacher and collaborator. Being able to be in Mrs. Archer's classroom was an inspiration and seeing how she ran things made me a better teacher. She finds new and fun ways to get her students interested in learning and will often include something art related! She is an extremely hard worker and a delight to collaborate with. 

    Orchard View Elementary School Fifth Grade Teacher Connor Kingdom really helped bring my daughter out of her shell this year. He helped her grow in so many ways. She is more confident and outgoing. She finally started to believe in herself. 

    Robert E. Aylor Middle School Art Teacher Victoria Carmina has taken Aylor by storm! She is an absolute pro at pulling the very best art from her students. Her sunny, outgoing personality and her easy-going nature makes Ms. Carmina a joy to work with. She has inspired me as both a teacher and an artist.  Her lessons are meaningful and make real-world connections while allowing voice and choice for her kids. We are lucky to have her at Aylor!

    I want to thank Middletown Elementary School First Grade Teacher Ashlee Anton and Third Grade Teacher Maria Kelly. After transitioning my boys to a new school, in a new county, I was worried that they wouldn’t like their school and teachers, or that they wouldn’t make friends. Mrs. Kelly and Mrs. Anton made this transition seem less. I remember walking into both of their classrooms before the school year began and being impressed with how welcoming both of them were. All their colorful decorations and brightness in their rooms. They both supported my children across the board and helped them strive to be the best they could. They are both very communicative and make sure we are kept in the loop on everything. You truly can see how much they care for their students. Even outside of school, they make an effort to support their students at activities like coming to sports games even though they both have kids of their own. My kids have had zero complaints and truly have loved going every single day. Both teachers have given me ideas and ways to support both of my children academically outside of school. I know both boys are truly going to miss them next year as they transition to a new grade with new teachers. 

    Stonewall Elementary School Third Grade Teacher Jaime Ratliff is an incredible teacher. She spends countless hours working for her students, for them to be successful. Seeing the growth in my daughter from second grade to third grade has been incredible. She shows responsibility and participates in class. She’s not being shy because she might have not known the correct answer or said the word correctly. She is learning to write in cursive. Ms Ratliff is amazing at what she does best and I couldn’t have asked for a better teacher for third grade. 

    Stonewall Elementary School Second Grade Teacher Amanda Williamson has been a great first year teacher in second grade. She has done an amazing job at everything in her classroom, from teaching to controlling her classroom by showing her students respect so they all respect her. The second grade team took her under their wing and she did amazing. Great first year of teaching. You rocked it. Keep up the great work. 

    Stonewall Elementary School Second Grade Teacher Ashlee Myers is a wonderful second grade teacher. I am so happy to have another one of my kids have her, just at a different grade level. I have watched my son grow in his academics this year!  Thank you for a wonderful year! 

    Thank you to Robert E. Aylor Middle School English Teacher Danielle Proko for helping me to learn more stuff. 

    I would like to thank Gainesboro Elementary School Principal Patricia Black and Special Education/Therapy Teachers. My son has multiple disabilities. When he entered kindergarten this year, no one really knew what to expect. There were some days he could walk, and some days he couldn't. His gait was unsteady, and his head would drop some days uncontrollably. He was also easily distracted and liked to get into things he shouldn't. To say I was nervous was an understatement. But Gainesboro staff jumped right in. They got my son a mobility chair to wheel him around. They put him in a special chair at lunch and accommodated his bathroom breaks. One day, I came into school and Mrs. Black was sitting in the middle of the hallway with him and talking to him to soothe him because he'd gotten upset at something. Special Instructional Assistant Trent Dickey (his aide) and others bought him books and sent him home with tokens that made his day and served to calm him down. His hearing teacher, Jen Delawder, sends emails with updates and successes. There are just so many who help him that it's hard to name them all, but there I also want to thank Kindergarten Teacher Kristen Reynolds and Special Education Teacher Lisa DeHaven. I just can't say enough about how quickly Gainesboro staff pivoted and adapted to make sure my son was able to go to school and have a pretty traditional school year. And how they were amazing at accommodating his needs.

    My son learned workforce skills and enjoyed the two classes he took with Sherando High School Tech Ed Teacher Thomas Sager. He was proud of a character he made on a 3D printer. Mr. Sager’s classes were meaningful and my son mentioned them a lot at home.

    In the short time I’ve known James Wood High School English Teacher Jeremy Derflinger, I have seen that he is dedicated to challenging our students to express their thoughts and ideas in an articulate manner. He is a wholesome role model to the students. He is kind and supportive to other teachers and staff. 

    James Wood High School Special Education Teacher Stacie Labrozzi has become like a workmom to me since she came to James Wood. She is knowledgeable in biology and challenges me to do my best. She is gentle and kind with our students. She is an asset to have at JWHS!

    Middletown Elementary School First Grade Teacher Shannon Combs has been a great teacher for my daughter. She is very communicative. She always lets parents know what's going on and when things are needed. She was great when my daughter broke her ankle and had to be wheeled around and monitored on crutches. 

    Navigating the challenges of our school’s renovations has been a wild ride. One good thing that has come out of it has been getting to know James Wood High School Science Teacher Walter Davis since we share a room. He is always willing to lend a helping hand to staff and students. He also is a walking encyclopedia of gardening knowledge. 

    Our daughter struggled with intense anxiety around school, and particularly reading. The dedication and passion of Orchard View Elementary School First Grade Teacher Alexia Frey, Intervention Resource Teacher Elizabeth Bostic and Literacy Coach Heather Campbell and other staff in the building was MONUMENTAL in her journey as a learner and in mine as a mom. There is no worse feeling than watching your kid hit themselves and cry about how stupid they are. But there is also no better feeling than being able to talk with their teacher and other staff members who are dedicated to figuring out what we can do to support her and make her feel proud of herself. I am endlessly and forever grateful for every person who has played a hand in navigating our journey this year. From the day to day to the SSRT to the interventions to the one-on-ones. I can’t tell you what it’s meant for our little family to know that you’ve got our girl’s back. To know that you care about her as a human and value all her little quirks is what I wish for every child in the world when they come to school. I admire each of you so much and am so thankful that our girl has been loved on by you this year. Thank you for letting her be creative and being the best of the best. All three of them have worked so hard to get our girl excited about reading and writing by leveraging her silly, creative side. 

    I would like to thank James Wood Middle School Special Education Teachers Greg Gaylor and Ingrid Egnot and the entire staff of the Bulldog Learning Center. My son has been in their classroom for three years and we have watched him grow and learn, all while building confidence and creating friendships! The entire staff have pushed him and other classmates to go beyond expectations that others place on them.  Also, Mr. Gaynor and Mrs. Egnot took time after school to help my son keep up with his learning while dealing with his extensive medical issues. I couldn’t be happier with his time at JWMS and Frederick County is so fortunate to have them in our community! 

    Big shout out to Millbrook High School Social Studies Teacher Robert Whitehead for making the subject come alive with engaging lessons in my son’s senior US government class.

    We would like to extend our appreciation and gratitude to Evendale Elementary School First Grade Teacher Erica McCall. Our daughter has thoroughly enjoyed first grade. Not only is Mrs. McCall a wonderful educator, but she has also been a genuine, caring presence in our daughter’s life. She’s truly an asset to our education system.

    Bass-Hoover Elementary School Principal Darren Thomas and Assistant Principal Heather Hess are an amazing admin team. They both complement the other and they work well together. They pick up where the other needs help and they also support one another. Since they are able to do that for each other it radiates to their staff. They both support their staff in so many ways and it is seen and appreciated. They have done so much to help their staff in areas of safety for staff and students, supporting their teachers in new initiatives, trying to make changes as smooth as possible, trusting in their staff's abilities, being personable/caring when needed, but also giving tough love and holding accountability at times. They have made Bass-Hoover a great working and learning environment.  

    Frederick County Public Schools Supervisor of Special Instructional Services Abigail Ervin has already made an amazing impact on others, despite being fairly new to the position. She is kind, caring, understanding, and supportive to the parents, teachers, and students she works with. She is one that will be able to provide the knowledge needed or when she needs to will go find information needed. She does her best to be there for everyone and is great at communication. The schools that she supports are blessed to have her. She has a light that is brought to any school building she helps in. Keep being amazing Abigail, you have more of an impact than you know! 

    Bass-Hoover Elementary School Fifth Grade Teacher Stephanie Shipp and Special Education Teacher Amanda Orsini are co-teachers in a fifth grade classroom. They are an amazing team and help their students every day in academic skills but also with life and emotional skills which helps them get ready for middle school and life in general. They make connections with all their students and their parents in the best ways they can. They also are a success story as co-teachers because they support each other and this benefits the students in many ways. They are able to successfully run lessons together or separated in a parallel teaching model. They really put the students’ learning and interest first and try to make lessons as engaging as possible. They also plan fun and impactful lessons for students. They are a model for so many teachers and co-teachers as they not only embody the county's Inspire 2025 mission but also what it means to actually love teaching and love helping students. Any student that they have benefits from being in that classroom greatly and leaves with growth in academic skills, readiness for  middle school and general life, and also that they were respected and cared for by their teachers. 

    James Wood Middle School Counselor Cassie Vetter is an outstanding human and school counselor. She came to us at a time when we needed a little extra love. Ms. Vetter tirelessly provided support to our child and to our family. She would frequently call or email with updates and I knew I could reach her just as easily. She made such an impact on what was such a difficult school year. The world and especially schools could use more people like Ms. Vetter.

    Robert E. Aylor Middle School Special Education Teacher Katie Garrett was my son’s co-math teacher in sixth grade. My son is now in eighth grade.  As we end our time at Aylor and move onto Sherando I want to thank her for all the hard work she put in with our son.  She always made him feel like he belonged and was always there to help him.  You helped to mold my son in math like no other. Thank you Ms. Garrett for all the hard work you give the kids at Aylor. You are amazing. 

    Redbud Run Elementary School Fifth Grade Teacher Sarah McHenry really values her students and their opinions. She makes them each feel supported and loved. She keeps teaching fun and has made this year a wonderful one for my daughter to end her elementary school journey on. She's done a great job with her fifth graders this year!

    James Wood High School English Teacher Emily Fairchild was my daughter's ninth grade English teacher this year.  My daughter has had a difficult transition to high school and has struggled both academically and behaviorally.  Ms. Fairchild really sought out the best in my daughter.  Not only did she do well in her class but I never received negative feedback from Ms. Fairchild.  Ms. Fairchild seemed to genuinely like my child and motivated her to do her best in class.  I never had to worry about my daughter in her English class and that took a lot of stress off my shoulders.  An amazing teacher can make such a difference in the success of our children and I want to thank Ms. Fairchild for her dedication and positivity.  She is a great new addition to FCPS and to JWHS.

    Beginning fifth grade was challenging for my daughter. Greenwood Mill Elementary School Fifth Grade Teacher Natalie Davenport established a bond with my daughter from the outset, enabling her to feel at ease when attempting unfamiliar tasks. Whenever she encounters difficulties in class, Mrs. Davenport provides support and reviews the material with her to ensure she grasps the new concepts. She now possesses a fresh understanding of herself and independence. Thank you so much, Mrs. Davenport, for being such an incredible teacher. Your dedication to creating engaging opportunities for the class has truly made a difference. My child has grown in independence and developed a strong work ethic thanks to your guidance. We are so grateful for all that you do!

    I just want to say how impressed I was with Orchard View Elementary School Fifth Grade Teacher Connor Kingdom! He went above and beyond to make sure my son didn't fail every quarter! I know it can't be easy to stay on top of everyone but he definitely worked hard to keep my son on track for middle school! Thank you for helping my son be more organized and taking the time to teach him how to stay on track! Thank you for always sending out a weekly letter as well!

    Admiral Richard E. Byrd Middle School Librarian Kara Logan has been an exceptional librarian during this school year, as she assisted me with the professional hours needed for my library endorsement. She has given her personal time and shared her expertise with me.  She created opportunities for me to learn and challenge myself within the library.  Kara allowed me to try new ideas and work independently on projects.  It is easy for me to say that I would not have been able to complete my coursework and my required hours without her assistance. 

    It's obvious that Armel Elementary School First Grade Teacher Cathy Williams works hard to cultivate a top-notch learning environment that meets the needs of all learners. My daughter has shown tremendous growth this year in all content areas. She takes the time to challenge students and provides high-quality instruction. She's brought out a passion for learning in our daughter and also encouraged curiosity and exploration. Thank you, Mrs. Williams!  

    My daughter has thrived under Redbud Run Elementary School Fifth Grade Teacher Sarah McHenry's care this year. Ms. McHenry has encouraged and supported her throughout the year. My daughter is now a very strong reader, and she is excited to go to school every day. Thank you, Ms. McHenry, for all that you've done for my girl and the rest of your students every day. Your positive and laid back attitude makes learning fun and relevant.  

    The DARE program was a success for my daughter. She was engaged, curious and enjoyed the education and discussions. Some of the classes hit home with her and that made the discussions valuable for her. Frederick County Deputy Clark was very personable and genuinely cared about all the students. I was able to speak with him about some specific issues of importance to my student, and he was attentive to those concerns. Thank you so much, Dep. Clark!

    I'd like to thank Greenwood Mill Elementary School Gifted Resource Teacher Katherine Fune for her commitment to her students -- she holds the bar of academic excellence high, while providing appropriate supports for her students (when necessary) so they can be successful. Her enthusiasm for her job and delight in her students is inspiring! She is a teacher with many gifts and talents.

    Millbrook High School Math Teacher Benjamin Ratliff has the patience of a saint and has worked so hard to help my daughter excel and understand the content. He is kind and helpful and responds to her emails quickly explaining what she doesn't understand. He has truly taken so much time to help her understand and give her confidence in Calculus! He's invested in his students’ learning and really takes the time to understand them! I don't think we could have made it out of Millbrook without Mr. Ratliff and his help! He is truly a fantastic educator and is making huge differences in the lives of the kids he works with! We were VERY lucky to have Mr. Ratliff at Millbrook!

    Under the guidance of Greenwood Mill Elementary School Art Teacher Savannah Grammo, our daughter has blossomed into a confident young artist, expressing herself through vibrant colors and imaginative designs. Her love for art has exploded this year and we are very proud of her hard work. We thank Ms. Grammo for her achievement in fostering a love of art in children and for the wonderful mentorship she has provided our daughter. 

    I would like to thank Robert E. Aylor Middle School Band Teacher Sarah Paul, Art Teacher Victoria Carmina, Social Studies Teacher Kalley Bormann, Science Teacher Carrie Takarsh, Math Teacher Jeffery Reed and English Teacher Stefanie Kamerman. My daughter transferred to Aylor from another school system. From the start every single teacher made her feel welcome and cared for. My daughter attended elementary school at the school I work for so her elementary experience was one where she felt loved and cared for by her teachers. She did not have the experience at the intermediate school she attended last year. I am so very grateful to the sixth grade team at Aylor for the time they took to build a relationship with my child. Just seeing four to five different comments on her report card from every teacher that works with her tells me that they actually know her. She tells me stories every evening about the cool lesson that this or that teacher taught or funny stories that they told in class that day. She has learned and grown so much this year. The relationships with her teachers made all the difference. She is a very happy, well-adjusted sixth grader who loves to go to school every day. We are thrilled that we made the change to Aylor and are grateful that there are no more daily tears about going to school. These amazing teachers have done so much more than teaching academics. She says that coming to Aylor was like "coming home." She knows she has adults on her side and she feels seen by them which, for my very quiet and shy child, is everything. 

    Bass-Hoover Elementary School Title I Math Teacher Emily Coleman, Evendale Elementary School Title I Math Teacher Megan Schlarbaum, Indian Hollow Elementary School Title I Math Teacher Rachel Ratliff, Middletown Elementary School Title I Math Teacher Amy Whipkey, Stonewall Elementary School Title I Math Teacher Mary Crotti, and Redbud Run Elementary School Title I Math Teacher Sarah Matthews provided valuable professional learning opportunities for all teachers K-5 throughout the 2023-24 school year.  It's wonderful to see educators so invested in continually improving their practice and ensuring the success of all students. The math specialists are so dedicated to their work as they go above and beyond to support teachers and students. Their perseverance and willingness to take on additional responsibilities to make a positive impact on education are commendable. These efforts undoubtedly contribute to creating a more enriching and effective learning environment for our students. 

    Greenwood Mill Elementary School Kindergarten Teacher Sarah O'Dell has been such a wonderful teacher for my son. Her personality and his just go hand-and-hand; she is perfect for these younger ones! She has created an atmosphere in her classroom that is welcoming and caring. She understands how kindergarteners work and that they often need a little extra love. Mrs. O'Dell takes the extra few minutes to communicate the positives of the children with parents which so often get lost in the course of the day. My son comes home from school with a smile on his face and stories to tell. I could not have asked for a better teacher, and I could not be more happy that his first experience in public school has been such a positive one and has set the tone for the importance of education in the years to come. Thank you, Mrs. O'Dell!!

    Thank you to Greenwood Mill Elementary School Third Grade Teacher Joy Campbell for a great year! My son really struggled with school at the beginning of the year. Up until this year, he enjoyed school; however, his good friend was placed in a different class this year. You, Mrs. Campbell, were able to bring him in with your positive attitude and caring personality. You have an ability to connect with the kids and pull the good out of them. My son would come home with stories of how different student behavior had been highlighted, giving each student a chance to stand out and be rewarded. Those days in which his behaviors were highlighted have made all the difference. You have shaped him into a strong leader and given him the confidence to speak up and use his voice for the positive. Thank you for your patience and guidance as the kids grow into the individuals they were meant to be! Thank you for showing my son the value of education!

    I would like to thank Robert E. Aylor Middle School Band Teacher Sarah Paul. As I think back on my daughter’s time at Aylor, Ms. Paul has always shown a sincere interest in the students that she comes in contact with every day. My daughter has been in the band every year and she has become interested in volunteering with concessions and other band events. I believe this is because Ms. Paul makes sure every student feels included and comfortable in the school setting. She is a great person and teacher.  We will definitely miss her as we move onto high school. Thank you, Ms. Paul. We will also miss all your jokes. Keep being the fantastic person that you are. 

    Apple Pie Ridge Elementary School First Grade Teacher Robin Stickley’s classroom had the perfect balance of fun activities and educational material to keep my son excited and engaged, but also prepared him for next year’s curriculum. Her consistent kindness with students and parents alike. My son loved first grade

    My son had such a positive experience in third grade and is excited and well-equipped to move on to fourth grade, thanks to Apple Pie Ridge Elementary School Third Grade Teacher Victoria Trenary’s creative and consistent classroom. Her assignments were always so well thought out and conducive to critical thinking. We also really appreciated her weekly updates and communication via SeeSaw. 

    My son was nervous going into fifth grade. Stonewall Elementary School Fifth Grade Teacher Joseph Svoboda is a strict teacher who does an amazing job of teaching the children about how respect is given to those who earn it. That can be challenging for some students. However, respect is a great quality that a  teacher can instill into our younger generation. My son absolutely adores Mr. S and has enjoyed being part of his class this year. 

    We would like to express our sincere appreciation for the exceptional dedication, care, and professionalism that Greenwood Mill Elementary School Special Instructional Assistant Sara Leverich has demonstrated in educating our daughter. Your unwavering commitment to her growth and development is deeply valued and appreciated. Mrs. Leverich demonstrates exceptional interpersonal skills and professionalism in her interactions with children. Her ethical conduct and unwavering integrity are highly commendable.

    I have to thank Middletown Elementary School Assistant Principal Robin Shrum for all her hard work and wonderful attitude! She has been a great addition to our school, and her willingness to dive right in has been so appreciated. We loved starting new traditions, like the SHRUMKIN mega pumpkin, and how open she is to all the ideas we bring her way.

    My son loves Middletown Elementary School Fifth Grade Teacher Darren Young, Librarian Jessica Witherspoon, Music Teacher Jennifer Robbins and Assistant Principal Robin Shrum. Mr. Young is my son's teacher. Ms. Witherspoon inspires my son to read more books. Ms. Robbins led awesome choir concerts. Dr. Shrum knows each student by name and shows her genuine love.

    Our son is graduating from elementary school! I would like to thank Greenwood Mill Elementary School Special Education Teacher Wendy Phillips, Special Instructional Assistant Jenna Fauver and Speech Therapist Lisa McClung. My son has differing abilities and entered Greenwood Mill Elementary in fourth grade. He had not been in a classroom since Kindergarten (a difficult and traumatic experience that led us to homeschool for four years). I was conflicted about putting him in a public school and very nervous about whether he would be able to survive. Because of the special education teachers mentioned above, he did more than survive, he thrived! There is nothing that I could give back to these three teachers that would equal the value of what they have given to our son and our family. I could write a book but I will keep it short! They have been patient, innovative, loving, supportive, and each of them have advocated for our son fiercely! Lisa McClung has accomplished things with Zechariah’s communication that no one else could—and celebrated every milestone with me and our family, no matter how small it seemed. Wendy Phillips was there during his first year ever in grade school and her patience and kindness and creativity during that difficult transition was saint-like—she is an angel on earth. Jenna Fauver was able to get to know him in a school setting probably almost as well as I know him in a home setting as his parent, and using that she has prepared him so well for middle school. I don’t know what we will do without this amazing team, but at the same time I am confident that they have prepared him well! I am so grateful for the answer to prayer that each of these educators have been and I am glad for the chance to recognize them publicly! 

    Electives are often overlooked as important features in a child's education but often it is the place where students get noticed, can be themselves and explore a passion. My daughter has been in band for two years and has found her place in the world with music through the nurturing of James Wood Middle School Band Director Noah Flanigan. Sixth grade was her first experience playing an instrument and she was determined to excel and she surely did with his focus on technique. She requested additional lessons, begged to stay after school for the band club days, wanted to help set up for the winter band concert and is more excited about marching in the Apple Blossom parade then she has been for any other event! Thank you for offering your expertise and these valuable experiences to your students, Mr. Flanigan!

    Greenwood Mill Elementary School Special Education Teacher Kimberly Schreckengost has been a huge part of my son's success in the last few years working with him. They have built an amazing bond and he feels so safe and comfortable opening up to her with what may be bothering him or what he needs help with. He has come such a long way and made so much improvement. We would have been lost without her. She is such an asset to Greenwood Mill!

    Redbud Run Elementary School Fourth Grade Teacher Ashley Sborz is doing a great job with the students. I’ve never seen my son so happy to go to school. He doesn’t want to miss class and asked me recently if he could go to school even though he was sick. That’s not something you see every day.

    I would like to thank Transportation Supervisor of Driver Operations Beth Brown and all the bus drivers. The transportation department often puts on an impressive display of teamwork. What most of FCPS doesn’t know is that this culture of teamwork is common at the transportation department.  It is this ongoing and consistent “all hands on deck” attitude that makes the FCPS transportation department a great place to work and an excellent provider of safe transportation for our students.  The FCPS community, staff, parents, and students are lucky to have such a caring, hardworking transportation department supporting them. They work tirelessly behind the scenes to make an integral part of the division run.  

    Sherando High School Coach Megan Roberts is one of the district's most dedicated staff members. While her day job may be as a Spanish teacher at Sherando, she still has plenty of heart and soul left to pour into her position as head cross country coach, head indoor track coach, and assistant outdoor track coach. She is an amazing role model for all of the athletes and cares more about these kids than anyone can imagine.  She is kind, caring, diligent, organized, and thorough.  Our daughter will be running at the University of Mary Washington next year and that is in no small part due to the guidance, advice, and mentoring she has received from Coach Roberts over the last four years. Coach Roberts is a sounding board for not only her students and athletes, but their parents as well. I know that I can come to her as a parent for advice in a sport I know nothing about and she has never led me wrong. She knows my kid, knows her strengths and weaknesses, and sees a future for her that sometimes we only dream of as a parent. To say she has been a positive influence on our family as a whole is an understatement. (She even helps us determine which courses are "grandma friendly" in terrain.) She may not get all the attention of the "bigger sports" head coaches, but in the running world, Coach Roberts is second to none! 

    My first grade son attended a U.S.-based school for the first time this year. We previously lived abroad and his preschool and kindergarten years were spent at an all-Spanish speaking school. At the beginning of the year, he did not know how to read much in English at all (only a few simple words like “mom” or “and”) and I expected that he would need a lot of additional support to catch up to his peers. When he brought home reading lists for kindergarten through fourth grade, we were so excited to learn that he could read all of the words! He has truly gained traction with his reading and his spelling since the beginning of this new school journey. Jordan Springs Elementary School First Grade Teacher Kelly Catlett has been so patient and supportive of his transition. Her open communication with me has allowed him to be as successful as possible this school year. She fosters an environment conducive of learning, which has allowed him the confidence to grow in many areas. 

    I would like to thank Bass-Hoover Elementary School Third Grade Teacher Michelle Mackey and School Nurse Heather Arnold. My son has struggled with severe anxiety. He has always felt comfortable with Nurse Heather and ended up in the clinic often.  We talked often about his anxiety. We worked together with Mrs. Mackey and all discussed a path forward. Because of their caring nature, my son has thrived in third grade. They have gone above and beyond and have made my son feel so comfortable and safe. I can't express how much it means to have them in my son's life and I will never forget the impact they have had on our family. 

    This has been a wonderful third grade year for my son thanks to his Bass-Hoover Elementary School Third Grade Teacher Julie Simmons. She has been an amazing teacher. Thank you so much for going the extra mile to make each student in your room feel loved and supported.  Our students have been incredibly lucky to have you as a teacher and we will miss you so very much!   I have no doubt that you will continue to touch the lives of many students. Best of luck in your new adventure! 

    Indian Hollow Elementary School Gifted Resource Teacher Mary Margaret Wilson cares deeply for her students and wants them to be challenged appropriately. She is an expert at scaffolding and extending work in ways that cause her students to think critically and creatively.

    Thank you to Robert E. Aylor Middle School Senior Lead Teacher Jill Coutrieaux, Science Teacher Hannah McBain, Art Teacher Tori Carmina, English Teacher Alicia Heare, Special Education Teacher Katie Garrett, Math Teacher Lily Kimble, Special Instructional Assistants Katie Tice and Donna Affleck, Reading Specialist Diana Colbert-Somerville, Counseling Secretary Christina Hughes, School Resource Officer Chase Smallwood and Instructional Resource Teacher Laura Zygmunt. We were approved to buy our first home! Their support has been phenomenal while my family has been dealing with so much over this year. I am unbelievably blessed by you all (If I forgot someone, I apologize!)

    My daughter had an excellent year playing the trombone as a freshman winning multiple awards. Sherando High School Band Director Joel Cosner has done an excellent job directing the Sherando Band, making it one of the best in the region! 

    My son and daughter both have had excellent success in music at Byrd. Admiral Richard E. Byrd Middle School Band Teacher William Norris has really made music fun and engaging.  The bands perform excellently. 

    Thank you to James Wood High School Biology Teacher Charles Wilson for an awesome year.  I learned so much and enjoyed the fun labs.  Thanks for being creative with your assignments.  You have a great sense of humor, too.

    James Wood High School CTE Teacher Kristin Guthrie is always willing to help support others and student programs. She goes above and beyond her job and never shies away from a challenge! Her students are always engaged in AWESOME projects. If you haven’t seen what they are doing, stop in and be amazed! Thankful to have such an incredible colleague! 

    Apple Pie Ridge Elementary School Special Education Teacher Maria Grimm means the world to our family. She works so hard and loves her students even harder. Our daughter can have some strong emotions and Mrs. Grimm has helped her work through every one. Not only has she done so much for our daughter, but she has been such a blessing to our son. He does not attend Apple Pie Ridge but she answers any questions I have when I need some guidance. She truly loves her students, and they all know it. Being a teacher is not easy, and we will never take it for granted that we were blessed knowing one of the best ones! She has changed our daughter’s life, not just her education! 

    Thank you to James Wood High School Social Studies Teacher Susan Grove for being such a good teacher.  You’re always organized and it’s easy to find stuff in your Google Classroom.  Thanks for all the notecards you have mailed to me and for always congratulating me on my wrestling.  You’re always so nice.

    I want to thank Greenwood Mill Elementary School Music Teacher Phoebe Herreid for directing the school play.  I know it took a lot of planning and effort, most of it likely uncompensated.  Our oldest, who is no longer at GMES, was introduced to acting after leaving GMES and now loves it.  Had someone not taken the time to show her, I don't think she ever would have known about that wonderful world.  I can only imagine the number of kids Miss Herreid just did that for through her dedication and true love of the students.  The play was incredible.  Thanks again for making that effort.  We all really appreciate it.

    Indian Hollow Elementary School Secretary Deanna Whitacre is the glue that holds Indian Hollow together. She is so helpful, knowledgeable, and kind.  Thank you, Mrs. Whitacre, for being such a joy!

    Apple Pie Ridge Elementary School Principal Megan Dodd always goes above and beyond to make every child feel like they have a place at Apple Pie and that their contributions are noticed and celebrated. A community is grown by providing events where families are invited into the school to get to know each other and the staff and see their students' peers. This is compounded by the fact that my children are SO excited to share their work with their family and friends. Apple Pie Ridge has created a community focused on families and educational success for ALL students in the school. Through the back-to-school fair, where students get to meet teachers and have a block party that includes a free book, the pajama-rama, and book fair where each grade-level's teachers develop an educational activity for students and their families to participate in, followed by a trip to the book fair, and an end-of-year celebration of learning where each student from every grade has a chance to showcase an end-of-year project. Through these events and the support shown to parents and staff alike, we can all be proud to be a part of the Apple Pie community. 

    I would like to thank Gainesboro Elementary School Special Education Teacher Lisa Dehaven and Special Instructional Assistants Annette Dickey and Tiffany Whitacre. The 3-5 Learning Center goes above and beyond to make sure the learning and needs for students are met. 

    Middletown Elementary School PE Teacher Michael Carter is a first year teacher who has brought new life to our Physical Education Department. His first BIG success was a fundraiser, "Fun Night Out" in December. This event was an evening of fun for students and an evening for parents to do their holiday shopping. Mr. Carter also organized our first "Paralympic Games." This event was widely enjoyed and happily shared in The Winchester Star. In addition he secured a grant to purchase archery equipment for our school, as a result we have a new archery unit added to our PE rotation. What a way to start off a promising teaching career!

    Thank you to James Wood High School Health and PE Teacher Carla Milton for being a good gym teacher.  I enjoyed your fun activities.  Thanks for allowing me opportunities to make up my missed work when I was out.

    Thank you to Sherando High School Business Teacher Kitty Crosby. With my journey through high school, I have encountered many things, some good some bad. One thing I knew ever since I had Dr. Crosby for my Econ class my Junior year was that I had someone by my side. While many teachers have been able to make an impact in my schooling career, Dr. Crosby has made an impact outside of school hours. From the funny lessons she has taught in class, to the valuable life lessons she taught me during class and even just making small talk with her. Although I was only able to have Dr. Crosby for one year, she still treats me as one of her students, not just a student but as a person, an individual, and a friend. I could not be more thankful for the lessons she has taught me and she truly has had one of the biggest impacts on my life, and I will continue to remember her even after I graduate this year.

    While in high school, all students are required to take four years of English. Lucky for me Sherando High School English Teacher Christine Welch has been my English teacher for two out of those four years. Considering I had her my sophomore year, and now again my Senior year, I can assure you Mrs. Welch is still the amazing person she was when I walked in on the first day of school my Sophomore year. Mrs. Welch is not just a teacher who teaches her students and goes home, she takes the time even out of school to say hi to her students, myself being one of them. From seeing her at New Town Creamery to getting Dunkin every morning during my senior year and wanting to scare me in the morning. Mrs. Welch’s room is not just a classroom, it’s a second home, a comfort space, and a safe space for all students. I truly couldn’t be more happy to call Mrs. Welch one of my teachers I will remember forever. 

    Middletown Elementary School Special Instructional Assistant Hannah Shark deserves all the thanks and more for helping our students and teachers. She takes such good care to check in, ask questions and does great with all our students. She's always willing to be my twin on twin day, even when I insist that we dress as sharks! On top of all that she never minds having to track down my copies (which I have a special kind of knack for misplacing or forgetting). I don't know what I would do without Ms. Shark!

    I wanted to recognize my daughter who is a wonderful human being who works endlessly. She is a kind and selfless person and has continued to maintain tenacity and overcome obstacles. My daughter has been offered support by Sherando High School Counselor Candice Longoria and Business Teacher Jason Uhry. She appreciates what they have done for her as well. My daughter has developed such strong leadership skills since the beginning of her high school journey. I am excited to witness the beautiful journey that life has for her. I am honored to know you as my daughter! 

    Jordan Springs Elementary School Instructional Assistant Lisa Nelson is always available and there to help any student. She works in classrooms and is a great sub. She monitors the lunchroom and helps keep lunch fun by making sure students are being respectful. I have enjoyed having Mrs. Nelson as the fifth grade instructional assistant. I will miss her next year. 

    James Wood Middle School Math Teacher Jay Germeyer has been a cool teacher. He taught me seventh grade math. He made math as easy as 3.14! Thank you, Mr. Germeyer, for helping my son be confident and take risks with his learning. We appreciate all you did to him during his time at JWMS. 

    Huge thanks go out to Middletown Elementary School Special Education Teacher Beth Himelright! She is a trustworthy teammate we all can count on. She is always willing to lend a listening ear and offers advice and she is a wonderful, thoughtful educator we are lucky to have at our school. Her ability to build relationships and help our students grow is admirable. She helps me be a better educator and I am so grateful to have her on my team.

    I want to thank Jordan Springs Elementary School Bus Drivers David Zirke. David never hesitates to help us out whenever we are short on drivers and no sub drivers are available. He is always willing to go the extra mile and as a bus duty staff member, I appreciate him!! The kids also LOVE to ride his bus, he is such a kind driver. THANK YOU David, for all that you do!

    My child has always loved going to school and has enjoyed every single year. She has REALLY loved third grade this year. Greenwood Mill Elementary School Third Grade Teacher Danielle Homans makes every student feel loved and welcomed in her classroom. She makes connections with her students and truly gets to know them. My child has grown so much academically but, even more so, socially and that's a huge thanks to her teacher. Mrs. Homans makes every part of her day enjoyable and I can tell really loves her students. Thanks to her for continuing to make school for my child and others the experience it should be. Being a teacher these days is no easy task. Mrs. Homans seems to do it with grace and poise. She has had such a memorable and positive impact on my kid. 

    We want to give a special thank you to Greenwood Mill Elementary School Special Instructional Assistant Sara Leverich for her amazing dedication and caring nature to our child. My husband and I are convinced that, because of you, our daughter LIKES to attend school. She always looks for you in the mornings and calls you her friend. We can see the warm welcome you give her in the morning every day. It makes us feel so comfortable sending our child to school knowing there are people like you there to care for her! You are irreplaceable and we hope FCPS knows how lucky they are to have you! We do!

    Thank you to the Gainesboro Elementary School Family for making this an amazing year. This has been a year of new family additions as many staff have added to their families, new additions to our GES staff family and we prepare to say farewell to those who are retiring and wishing them the absolute best on their new chapter in life. We've shared happy moments and sad moments, crazy upside down moments as we struggled with staff shortages but managed to pull it together as any family does in a trying time. Another year is coming to a close as we send off our fifth grade class to their next journey up the hill, and open our doors to new littles who will be coming into kindergarten. 

    Gainesboro Elementary School Second Grade Teacher Caitlin Walkup is an amazing teacher. She has gone above and beyond to encourage my daughter to do new things inside and outside of the classroom. My daughter loves being in class and there is no struggle to go to school each day. 

    My daughter has enjoyed social studies so much this year, thanks to Frederick County Middle School History Teacher Anthony Boring. He has made her transition to middle school so much easier. We truly appreciate all of his hard work for his students!

    I am sure James Wood High School Coordinator of Student Activities Brian Sullivan has a very HIGH stress job. You must hear the bad way more than the good. Not today. I have personally watched Mr. Sullivan start this job as the assistant to the former Coordinator of Student Activities to where he is now. He works very hard day in and day out to do what is best for our students. I just want him to know he is seen and to let him know we think he is doing a fantastic job! 

    Bass-Hoover Elementary Gifted and Talented Teacher Sarah Curtis has a heart for her students and wants them to succeed. She knows her students well and challenges them to meet a high bar, supporting them as they work through any difficulties.

    Thank you to James Wood High School Latin Teacher Samuel Powell for always putting up with our class.  Thanks for all the fun activities and for your cool teaching techniques.  Thanks for teaching us about Greek history. It was cool.

    I would like to thank NREP Early Childhood Special Education Teacher Ellen Dalton, Special Instructional Assistant Felicia Cooper, Speech Therapist Christine Roberts and Occupational Therapist Adrienne Stewart for going above and beyond with my daughter’s education this year! My daughter started NREP this year in preparation for kindergarten. I was very worried about leaving her for the first time. This year has been absolutely amazing.  She started the year with very few words, now she is communicating more, she knows all her colors and she’s even starting to write the first letter of her name. This may seem like a small victory to many, but as a parent of a child with special needs, this is huge to us. We can’t thank her teachers, speech therapist and occupational therapist enough! It has been life changing. From the bottom of my heart, thank you!!!!!! 

    Robert E. Aylor Middle School Special Education Teacher Amanda Forsyth has worked with my son all three years he has been at Aylor. She has done amazing work, helping him grow as a student and as a person. He always comes home telling funny stories about their interactions. She makes learning fun and has a great way of building relationships with her students.  I couldn't ask for a better support person and cheerleader for him. I only wish she could follow him to high school. 

    Middletown Elementary School PALS Aide Erica Anderson came to Middletown during the year and has done amazing work helping students read. The kids love her and have improved greatly since she has started working with them!

    Middletown Elementary School Student Support Coach Cassie Ogle has been amazing with the kiddos at Middletown! She is always super responsive and helps the kids through their struggles by relating to them. Her lessons in the classroom are always fun and engaging. Middletown is very lucky to have her! She’s AMAZING.

    Thank you to the Dowell J. Howard Center Administration Team and CTE staff. They have an unwavering drive and possess the knowledge and patience to help the students compete and excel. Special thanks to the students for absorbing, and applying the taught skill sets under pressure. This is from classroom instruction to hands-on training and is no small task.  The results speak volumes with a continuous improvement process, we have just begun. Great job team!

    Thank you to Greenwood Mill Elementary School Intervention Resource Teacher Shelly Miller, Fourth Grade Special Education Teacher Wendy Phillips, and Special Instructional Assistants Sara Leverich, Katherine Bohler and Jennifer Richards for always going above and beyond to keep our students safe during times of need. Your willingness to jump in any way you can to support our students does not go unnoticed. 

    Thank you to Greenwood Mill Elementary School Student Support Coach Marlena Kotynski-Neer for always going above and beyond for our students and staff. Your willingness to jump in and support students and staff in times of need does not go unnoticed. Thank you for everything you have done for our school.

    We need to celebrate and appreciate Middletown Elementary School Kindergarten Teacher Elizabeth Nail! Not only is she a dedicated educator who works hard to help students grow, she has also worked tirelessly with our FAM group as a parent. We've certainly felt the love and appreciation with the treat trolley and pampering during teacher appreciation week. It has been wonderful to have the FAM group grow and a greater connection being built between the school and home. Mrs. Nail has been a huge part of that and we are blessed to have her and the rest of FAM as partners!

    Middletown Elementary School First Grade Teacher Shannon Combs has put in hours of work starting the running club at MES. It has been a program that pushed each student to be the best version of themselves. She creates a bond with each member of the club. I am so thankful that MES has her as a member of their staff. Thank you, Mrs Combs, for your dedication to the school and for putting the effort in. Each student will remember the first year of Mustang Running Club and the great mustang mile. 

    Middletown Elementary School Title I Instructional Assistant Amanda Cabazolo came to MES to support the students. This is no simple task. She has taken time to form a bond with each student she meets with and any student she sees. She is such a light at Middletown. Middletown is so lucky to have her!!! 

    Greenwood Mill Elementary School Music Teacher Phoebe Herreid and Art Teacher Savannah Grammo may only be in their first and second years teaching, but they have created an amazing arts program at Greenwood Mill! The Finding Nemo kids musical was AMAZING and they put countless hours into making it happen. I’m so thankful for them!

    Thank you to Kindergarten Teachers Allison Yost, Adrian Auten, Hope Krueger, Julie Morris, and Instructional Assistant April Roderick. My first year back teaching, and my first ever as a working mom, was overwhelming and my kindergarten team members have carried me through it with generosity, patience, and kindness. I can’t thank them enough for helping me through it.

    The entire staff at Gainesboro Elementary School works so very hard to make the day turn out great. Great administration, great staff, great everything!

    Thank you to Middletown Elementary School Principal Kristi Diminuco for all that you do for MES! When a school has amazing and supportive  leadership, a school will do great things.  Middletown is blessed to be led by Kristi Diminuco.  They are doing great things because she believes in her staff and supports her staff day in and day out.  Even with the school being over capacity, she continues to build relationships with the staff and students.  

    Thank you to Middletown Elementary School Assistant Principal Robin Shrum for all that you do day in and day out! Having an AP with experience, enthusiasm, and knowledge is imperative to any school.  Then add in creativity and positivity and you have Robin Shrum. The staff and students are so blessed to have her as a Mustang. 

    Middletown Elementary School Student Support Coach Cassie Ogle has made a remarkable contribution to Middletown Elementary. Her leadership during events like Kindness Week has been exemplary, and her ability to connect with students makes it hard to believe she's new to the position. Middletown is blessed to have Cassie Ogle as part of the Mustang Team

    I would like to thank Robert E. Aylor Middle School Ag Teachers Susan Harrison and Kimberly Black and all they do for the FFA program at Aylor. These two women guide and mold our young students into responsible members of our community.  Students who go through the FFA program at Aylor learn the importance of leadership, caring for others, public speaking, and how to carry themselves in society.  This program is extremely important for our students, and it would not be possible without the exceptional leadership of these two women.  

    I would like to recognize the entire staff at Indian Hollow Elementary School and Instructional Coaches Ashley Rudolph and Nicole Surface. I have had the privilege of serving as the Instructional Coach at Indian Hollow for the previous three years. Throughout this period, I have fostered professional and personal relationships with every individual within the school community. The prevailing atmosphere of camaraderie and unwavering support surpasses all expectations. The educators exhibit a profound dedication to mutual assistance and collaboration, consistently going above and beyond to ensure the success of every student. A palpable sense of Collective Teacher Efficacy is evident among each member of the teaching staff and the broader school team. My family is set to relocate to Florida during the upcoming summer, and I will deeply miss each and every person I have had the honor of working alongside. Their influence on me, both in my professional capacity and on a personal level, has been immense. Saying goodbye to such an exceptional group will undoubtedly be a poignant challenge. My professional development has seen substantial growth, thanks in large part to the invaluable contributions of the staff, with particular recognition to Nicole Surface and Ashley Rudolph. These esteemed individuals have played a pivotal role in cultivating my professional demeanor, empowering me to advocate for both myself and my colleagues. I extend my deepest gratitude for embracing me wholeheartedly and fostering my personal and professional growth.

    Armel Elementary School Second Grade Teacher Molly Durham has fostered an environment that consistently reinforces skills and teaches new ones in such a way that my daughter has been able to continue to grow her skills as a reader and build her love of math.  Between her classroom instruction and the additional before school tutoring made available this year, second grade has been our best year yet.  Thank you, Miss Durham!

    Thanks to James Wood High School Math Teacher Leanne Leonard for being funny, nice, and providing a positive environment to learn in.  I learned a lot from your teaching strategies.

    Middletown Elementary School Nurse Laura McQuaid is the best! She handles it all with such kindness, compassion and care. She keeps calm even amongst the craziness and it is such a relief knowing she is there to care for us all!

    Evendale Elementary School Kindergarten Teacher Nicole Mc.Gowan taught my son very well this year. He has improved a lot and learned many new things.

    I would like to thank Sherando High School Special Education Teacher Brittany Crabtree for all her help with my students in Algebra 1.  It was a difficult subject for them to grasp, but Mrs. Crabtree put it in ways that made it easier for them to understand.  She was always willing to stay after school to help, pull them in small groups, and also scaffold the work to make it understandable.  I am so thankful for all of Mrs. Crabtree's help in Algebra 1. Without her, I don't think my students would be doing as well as they did. She really knows math and a way to teach it so that students grasp the concept.  

    Middletown Elementary School Third Grade Teacher Criste Allen is an excellent educator who put on an amazing show this week with her students. She worked closely with our ITC to have her students create and edit videos and put on a movie premier for families and visitors. Her students used Canva to create movie posters and hosted a wonderful experience! She worked so hard and had so many special touches, from a walk of fame, photo booth, posters, balloons, interactive videos to popcorn and ushers. It was an event we will always remember!

    Being a new student in school is not easy, but Jordan Springs Elementary School ELL Teacher Michelle Snyder’s caring nature makes the transition so much easier. She makes learning fun, ensures everyone’s voice is heard, and works to help students grow and thrive at their own pace. Ms. Snyder goes above and beyond to ensure that all of her students know they are loved, valued, and their thoughts and education matter so much to her!

    With all the changes coming down the pipe from the VDOE, FCPS Elementary Instructional Supervisor Tanessa Carter never hesitates to be available for a question, conversation, or to think through things as a team! Her funny, warm, and caring demeanor shines through in all that she does for everyone she can in FCPS! She makes new information that could be incredibly scary, so understandable. She is always available for conversation, to laugh, or tell you what you may not want to hear, but need to!

    Redbud Run Elementary School Assistant Principal Jennifer Ralls opened our library at Jordan Springs Elementary during a very difficult time, but you would never know it. She was always ready to greet her students with a smile, get them excited for what they were going to learn, and encourage and nurture their love of learning and reading. She has left an imprint in the hearts of all the Jordan Springs Wolves she’s met since 2020. 

    To know Millbrook High School Social Studies Teacher Hillary Suire is to love her. Every single student that she teaches is the most important student, and they are made to feel that way! She doesn’t put a student into a box and expect them to fit. She plans engaging and exciting learning experiences, and allows students to showcase their new learning in ways that work for them while holding high expectations. Mrs. Suire is a shining light in the hallways of Millbrook High School. She leaves a legacy in the hearts of all students she encounters or teaches of what a caring human really is. Even students that do not have her wish they did, and most often know her already!

    Thank you to James Wood High School Art Teacher Danielle Snapp for being fun and always having cool projects to do. Thanks for letting me join Art II this year.

    My daughter has severe anxiety. Middletown Elementary School Third Grade Teacher Christe Allen went above and beyond to help find her resources to help her this year. My daughter has grown leaps and bounds because of Mrs. Allen! Not only in learning, but being able to manage her anxiety and work through it. I can’t stress enough how AMAZING Mrs. Allen is! 

    Thank you to Armel Elementary School Third Grade Teacher Jamie Pasquale. We have been blessed with phenomenal teachers and staff members at Armel Elementary in each of our daughter's first three years there. Every teacher she has had is special in its own unique way. This year is no different as Mrs. Pasquale has given her the chance to experience so many new things like Destination Imagination and SCA. She has pushed her to be a leader and we have seen our daughter flourish because of it. We are so thankful for all of the staff at Armel, but this year, Mrs. Pasquale is our celebration because she has been a champion for our sweet girl. Thank you, Mrs. Pasquale - We appreciate you.

    Thank you James Wood High School English Teacher Mary Reeves for all the wonderful books and stories that we read.  Thanks for helping me with my spelling and grammar.  I always looked forward to going to your class.

    Greenwood Mill Elementary School Kindergarten Teacher Sarah O'Dell and Instructional Assistant April Roderick have been so great to my son and helped him thrive so much. He comes home and is always very happy and it is clear that he is in a loving and caring environment every day. 

    I would like to take this opportunity to recognize and thank Sherando High School Biology Teacher Zachary Lahart for being an incredible teacher this year. His dedication and passion for teaching have had a profound impact on my learning experience. Mr. Lahart is not only an excellent educator but also a wonderful person. I am truly grateful for everything he has done for us. I hope he continues his amazing work and achieves all his goals in life. I will always remember and appreciate his efforts.

    Redbud Run Elementary School Second Grade Teacher Michelle Gordon keeps her class engaged while keeping it fun! My child has learned so much this year and looks forward to school everyday! 

    I would like to thank Evendale Elementary School Head Custodian Angel Mitchell for always keeping the school clean and helping with lots of other duties! She is a very hard worker and I appreciate her greatly!

    James Wood Middle School Social Studies Teacher Brian Barbour has been an amazing history teacher. My daughter has learned so much and really gained a love for history because of him. She looks forward to class every day. Mr. Barbour also regularly supports his students at their school plays and sporting events. Making sure to engage with students and parents, he's just wonderful! 

    Middletown Elementary School Instructional Assistant Stephanie Gore spends quite a bit of time in my son’s fifth grade class. With the Science SOL approaching he expressed concern to her about not being prepared to take the test. She went out of her way and offered for him to come into school early the day of the test to prepare and go over his notes. This gave him the confidence needed to do his best. After contacting the teacher I was notified that he received a passing score. 

    I'd like to take a moment to recognize our Middletown Elementary School Counselor Victoria Dandar. She shows up every day ready to handle some of our toughest situations. She is an empathetic ear for both students and staff and goes above and beyond every day. She is dependable, organized, thoughtful and a true caring heart. Whether we need help navigating big emotions or just more glue sticks, Ms. Dandar handles it all with a smile on her face. Middletown is so lucky that she is a part of our Mustang Family!

    Sherando High School Band Director Joel Cosner has created an atmosphere where students WANT to excel.  His music program gives students multiple avenues to express themselves. His enthusiasm is infectious and it keeps students engaged.  For the last four years my daughter has flourished under his guidance.  She goes to school an hour early each day to participate in jazz band.  Getting teenagers up and out early in the morning shows his dedication to the craft and the positive effect he has on students.  He also spends countless hours after school and on most weekends with the students. This drive and determination is not only appreciated but has taught our high schoolers grit while providing them engaging experiences during their high school years. Thank you, Mr. Cosner.

    My son absolutely loves art! He is always drawing things everywhere and is talking about art and what Greenwood Mill Elementary School Art Teacher Savannah Grammo has taught him. 

    My son is always singing the songs and rhythms that Greenwood Mill Elementary School Music Teacher Phoebe Herreid has taught him and talks about how kind his music teacher is! 

    Greenwood Mill Elementary School Third Grade Teacher Danielle Homans has been the best third grade teacher for my daughter. The love she has for her students is immeasurable and she goes above and beyond daily to meet their needs.  She has the most uplifting and positive personality, building and growing relationships with each of her students on a daily basis.  She has taken the best care of my daughter this year and for that I am so incredibly grateful.  She fosters a learning environment where my daughter has felt safe to learn and grow and most importantly, be herself.  She is excited to go to school because of Mrs. Homans.  Thank you for taking care of her heart and helping her shine bright.  You are the best!   

    Middletown Elementary School Third Grade Teacher Criste Allen is amazing. She, along with the rest of MES, goes out of their way to create a nurturing and loving environment. She is always smiling, kind, and goes above and beyond to make school fun for her students- and that is evident in their excitement after school each day! My daughter is always excited to go to school and I know a large part of this is due to her teacher, Mrs. Allen. 

    James Wood Middle School English Teacher Madelynne White has come out as the MVP in our book! While eighth grade has been the biggest challenge we have faced when it has come to our son, she has been a constant of making him believe in himself, making him see how smart and amazing he is. The challenge has been huge but my appreciation for her is even bigger. 

    My daughter has severe anxiety.  Middletown Elementary School Third Grade Teacher Criste Allen went above and beyond to help find resources to help her work through her anxiety and learn to manage it!  My daughter has grown leaps and bounds this year because of Mrs. Allen, not only in the classroom, but also with managing her anxiety throughout life!  Thank you, Mrs. Allen!!  

    James Wood Middle School History Teacher Eric Miller has proven to be so much more than a history teacher to my sixth grade son this year! He has spent significant one on one time with my son, fostering and encouraging his love for history and the military. My son’s father often travels for work, and Mr. Miller has been an EXTRAORDINARY male role model in my son’s life. He has taken a genuine interest in my son’s ambitions, interests, and I simply cannot thank him enough. Teachers play so many parts in their students' lives, oftentimes without knowing how significant their role is beyond the classroom. Mr. Miller is one of these teachers and our family is eternally grateful for the positive impact he has had on our son’s life. 

    My daughter started NREP this year not knowing colors, pre-writing strokes and she even struggled with communication skills. All of these areas have tremendously improved. NREP Early Childhood Special Education Teacher Ellen Dalton and Special Instructional Assistant Felicia Cooper have contributed so much to the foundation of her education and deserve appreciation for their dedication and passion. They’ve provided her a comfortable and safe learning environment that met her needs and emotions. You can just tell the classroom is filled with love. I can’t thank them enough. 

    I'd like to take a moment to thank and celebrate Middletown Elementary School Substitute Sara Beth Ridings. We have counted on Mrs. Ridings for years. It's never easy to leave your students but I know that they are in very good hands when she is there. She is dependable, organized and takes great care of our students. She's been an unofficial, under-recognized part of our school family at Middletown for years. It is such a relief and great peace of mind when I know she is in my classroom when I can't be.

    James Wood High School Social Studies Teacher Robert Reed, Science Teacher Amanda Fordyce, Business/Marketing Teacher Paul Hvozdovic, English Teacher Amy Snapp, Assistant Principal Elizabeth Fout helped get my son to graduation and accepted to college! Ms. Fout, you are the reason my son made it through the school years impacted by COVID. Your kind attention and solutions to the never-ending issues were a godsend!! Your kindness has continued to help my son feel supported. I am so thankful! Mr. Reed, Ms. Snapp, Ms. Fordyce, and Mr. Hvozdovic, you have demonstrated your passion for teaching, each of you in your subject area. You have not only held my son's attention throughout the school year, you have ignited a curiosity in him I have not seen before! This has been yet another challenging year in so many different ways. I am so very grateful for all your efforts and patience in guiding my son through his senior year. Thank you all for ALL YOU DO!!!

    We would like to thank Frederick County Middle School Science Teacher Christopher Bosse. Our son has been lucky enough to have Mr. Bosse for two years in a row as his science teacher. Our son never displayed much interest in science before having Mr Bosse in seventh grade. He had challenged them to build a weather balloon. Our son loves science now. He loves going to class and will come home and detail what he’s learned in science and then challenge us. We both have science backgrounds so he likes to see if he can stump us. It is so amazing to see him excited about learning science. Thank you, Mr. Bosse! 

    Orchard View Elementary School Fifth Grade Teacher Bridget O’Malley has gone above and beyond this year by taking the time to make strong connections with my son and our family. From frequent personal letters home to playing with students on the playground, her care for students is outstanding.
    My son is going to miss her so much, and I want to thank her for making his 5th grade year a true success. His confidence and love for school is due to her time and care! 

    Bass-Hoover Elementary School Music Teacher Heather Sherman is such an amazing soul. Oftentimes, art and music teachers get overlooked but I am here to shout from the roof that Heather Sherman is an angel walking on earth. For the past six years we have been blessed to call her our music teacher!! She makes learning so much fun for the students. My son would come home and show me all the fun things he learned about the artist of the month and he would bring up their music so we could listen to it while driving or cooking dinner.  She inspires so many students to sing as often as they can. All of her performances from Chorus to Ensemble leave you feeling all the feels. We are so lucky to have her in the hive as our music teacher. She also is the teacher who is in charge of the Student Council. She wears many hats and deserves to be recognized!! 

    Middletown Elementary School Registrar Jeanne Foecking has been an amazing addition to our school. She is professional, friendly, organized and on top of it all. It's never easy to start in a new school after the year is already underway, but she has survived and thrived without breaking a sweat. She's always ready to help and answer questions and has helped our processes go smoothly!

    Middletown Elementary School Third Grade Teacher Criste Allen is an amazing human being inside and out. She is so kind to her students and incorporates different styles of learning to make the class welcoming and fun, yet educational. She always has a shoulder to lean on and a hand for helping! I had the pleasure of also having her as my mentor which I am so thankful for. She not only made me a part of her classroom family, she gave me advice, constructive guidance and gave me an example of the kind of teacher I want to be in my own classroom. She is compassionate, creative and her students feel a sense of belonging, success, and importance.

    I would like to thank the Jordan Springs Elementary School Kindergarten Teacher Summer Greene and Instructional Assistant Ravyn Merritt. Mrs. Greene has been a wonderful teacher. She has taught so much to our son that I can’t believe he can do it all.  He can do so much and we are so proud of him.  He thrives so much and I appreciate Mrs. Greene and Mrs. Merritt for teaching our son to do what he can do now. I can’t wait to see what he can do in First Grade.  Thanks again Mrs. Greene and Mrs. Merritt for all you do! 

    FCPS Supervisor of English Language Learning Emily Headley has been a great asset to FCPS.  She brings wisdom and an ability to navigate various personalities and challenges.   I look forward to watching her take the ELL program to the next level!  She is knowledgeable, kind, passionate, hard working and truly strives to help our ELL population.  

    Under Sherando High School Business Teacher Jason Uhry’s guidance, support and help, I have had the chance to participate in DECA and attend the international conference twice. This has provided opportunities to network and meet people, build leadership skills and have experiences I have never had before. I want to thank Mr. Uhry for all he does for Sherando and the DECA team. Without Mr. Uhry, the DECA program would not be what it is. He trusts us to lead the school store, manage the instagram page, helps us prepare for conferences, and provides feedback and lessons to help us become better. In Sports Marketing and Management class, he incorporated fun activities to help us learn. He’s a great teacher - thank you!

    Sherando High School English Teacher Christine Welch is the best English teacher and I passed AP English!! Taking AP English can be intimidating, but she provides support and encouragement throughout the class. She is understanding and compassionate. We read many books and she did a good job keeping the class engaged. Thank you Mrs. Welch! I’ll miss you! 

    Apple Pie Ridge Elementary School Special Education Lead Teacher Bonnie Bennett and Fifth Grade Teacher Amanda Clouse are true advocates for differently-abled children. Being the parent of a unique child, you always worry about how your child will be included and accepted in school.  A thousand "what ifs" run through your mind.  From the day I enrolled my special needs child, the entire IEP team at Apple Pie Ridge went above and beyond to help him find success academically and socially.  They listened to our vision and goals for my child and collaborated and worked tirelessly to help him achieve.  In the walls of Apple Pie my child has found true acceptance and community that accepts and celebrates his contributions.  They see the whole child and are committed to helping each child find success.  They both have played such a pivotal role in helping my son find success and they will forever hold a special place in our hearts. 

    During this school year, James Wood High School Assistant Principal Shelly Andrews was only a quick phone call or email away. She takes the time to listen to the students and what they have to say. She is able to understand from the student perspective and works to find a solution with the student while still upholding the FCPS and JWHS standards. Ms. Andrews is always willing to sit down with a student and commend their growth and encourage them to keep going. She was the one to talk to my child when he was feeling defeated and was able to motivate him to keep going and continue to put in the work.  I am very thankful for Ms. Andrews and the time she took to communicate with my child and myself this school year. Without Ms. Andrews my child wouldn't have been able to complete this school year successfully. 

    We would like to thank Orchard View Elementary School Assistant Principal Alan Cline for his hard work and dedication to all students and staff at OVES. Mr. Cline takes the time to get to know every student and their family, goes out of his way to help and provide support when needed, and is such a positive presence in our student's lives. Mr. Cline has reached out to us personally regarding our child and always makes us feel heard as parents. We have heard he does the same for his teachers and staff as well. Mr. Cline is always professional, even in the most difficult situations. He is an incredible leader who always puts the students first. We are very lucky to have Mr. Cline at Orchard View and we hope he gets the recognition and thanks he deserves!

    We would like to thank Orchard View Elementary School Second Grade Teacher Jen Ebert for the incredible year our son has had! Mrs. Ebert is so incredibly kind and calm each and every day. Our son is a bright kiddo who often needs a little extra challenge. Mrs. Ebert recognized that right away and created fun and engaging activities for him and a few of his classmates to ensure they were learning at a level that was appropriate for them. She gives the students a voice in their educational journey but does it in a very appropriate manner for their age. Our son is thriving and looks forward to school every day thanks to Mrs. Ebert. He has struggled with some anxiety and resistance to school in the past but never once expressed any issues this year. We feel so lucky that Mrs. Ebert taught two of our children and OVES is extremely lucky to have such a dedicated and caring educator. Mrs. Ebert is truly the best second grade teacher. She works so hard to differentiate, remediate, and enrich, all at the same time! It's incredible how good she is at meeting all students' needs while also making learning fun and engaging. 

    We would like to thank Orchard View Elementary School Fourth Grade Teacher Sara Dawe. As parents, we were very anxious about fourth grade and how our son would handle the additional academic rigor. In the past, our son has struggled in certain areas and often needs additional time to process information and complete assignments. While all teachers at Orchard View have been incredible, this is the first year in our son's education journey where we can say he is truly thriving academically! There are still areas of struggle but Mrs. Dawe always finds a way to reach our son so that he understands the material and is able to apply what he is learning. He loves coming to school each day and is excited about what he is learning. Even when things are difficult, he continues to stay positive and never gives up, which we contribute to Mrs. Dawe's constant positivity and support of him. Mrs. Dawe has also been extremely supportive and communicative with us and it means so much that she includes her student's families in so many ways. 
    Her love and dedication to her students. Mrs. Dawe makes every student feel loved, valued, and heard. She gets to know every student and goes above and beyond to ensure they are all learning in the way that works best for them. She is so kind and helpful to students and parents and she made this an incredible year for our son! We are so thankful to Mrs. Dawe and her hard work this year!

    We would love to thank and celebrate Orchard View Elementary School Music Teacher Cathy Oldham. She is an incredible music teacher but the fact that she leads choir for fourth and fifth graders is just wonderful. Mrs. Oldham planned and prepared not one but TWO concerts for the choir and students performed in December and in April. It is obvious that Mrs. Oldham puts a lot of her own time and resources into developing the chorus shows and it is such a wonderful opportunity for students. We are so lucky to have Mrs. Oldham at Orchard View because she provides all students with the opportunity to learn through music. She gives kids who may not shine in academics or athletics a chance to shine through music and instruments. Our son is shy so it was very moving as parents to see him perform with the choir in front of a large crowd. Thank you Mrs. Oldham for loving all kids and devoting so much of yourself to their growth and development!

    Greenwood Mill Elementary School Kindergarten Teacher Allison Yost and Instructional Assistant Jennifer Volkmann are absolutely wonderful and go above and beyond for their students! I was a very nervous parent as my son started kindergarten as a four year old. I knew there was a strong possibility he would be behind in several areas such as reading, writing and math. When assessment time rolled around sure enough he tested very low and I instantly began to panic. I was reassured by Ms. Yost that he would be fine and that he just needed a little extra help. She offered tutoring and spent extra time with him after school several days a week helping him catch up. She incorporated exciting games, provided snacks and some type of small toy which kept him engaged and wanting to go back. I know she spent her own money and a lot of extra time and effort to do this for him and I can’t express how much I appreciate it! As the year progressed we continued to see so much growth in our son and loved how much he enjoyed applying his knowledge outside of school. When we received his end of the year assessment he tested significantly better and is now currently at grade level. We could not be more grateful for the progress that has been achieved this year and for how happy our son has been being in her class! Beyond academics, Ms. Yost and Mrs. Volkmann are so nurturing and truly treat all students the same. I truly feel they love my son as if he was their own. I'm so grateful for all of their hard work and dedication to my son and to all of their students! They are a terrific team and amazing people and teachers, thank you from the bottom of my heart!