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Daniels Run ES students at Jingle Walk DRES students dressed like super heroes FHS band Photo of three Providence students Photo of students reading to each other. Photo of panther made out of recycled materials Photo of FHS graduates Photo of Innovation sign Photo of Fairfax High School

City of Fairfax Schools Counting our Blessings

The City of Fairfax Schools released its final CloseUp of the 2017 year with a summary of some highlights from the 2017-2018 school year. To see the list, please visit here. To sign up for CloseUp, please send an email to CloseUp (at) with the words “sign up” in the header.

City of Fairfax Taps into Providence Elementary School to View into the Future of Fairfax

PES students trying to find their street on the city map.

PES students trying to find their street on the city map.

Providence ES student government representatives helped the City of Fairfax Parks and Recreation and City Planning departments plan Fairfax in 2035

City of Fairfax Community Planning and Development planner Kelly O’Brien has made presentations all around the city to residents, community members and associations. But on Wednesday she might have met her toughest audience yet – 45 students from Providence Elementary School. The students, spanning across grades 3-6 met with Ms. O’Brien to discuss their vision of what the City should look like in the year 2035.

On today’s agenda was Van Dyck Park. Students were able to view the future plans of the park from a large map and see what direction the city is heading for the park. The kids approved the expansion of sidewalks, the increase in trees and the sunken skate park, but did offer a few suggestions of their own.

“Can we get a water park,” asked one student.

“Maybe a roller coaster or a castle,” whispered one student to her friend.

“I would like to have bumper cars and a milkshake machine,” her friend whispered back.

While the park might not be able to integrate all the student ideas, the morning was a success for O’Brien.

“It is great to get your feedback and suggestions because you are the experts,” said the City planner to the students.

The kids were engaged throughout the meeting and enjoyed finding their street or neighborhood on the large map provided by the Parks and Rec department. Principal Dan Phillips later tweeted about the morning. “What a great opportunity to practice civic responsibility, public policy development, and leadership!”

Kelly O'Brien speaks with students.

Kelly O’Brien speaks with students.

FHS National English Honor Society Participates in The Great Thanksgiving Listen

On Tuesday, November 14, ten members of Fairfax High School’s National English Honor Society participated in The Great Thanksgiving Listen, sponsored by StoryCorps, in the FHS Library with a select group of Fairfax City senior citizens. FHS Librarian Anne Nolan, co-sponsor of NEHS, worked with members to prepare questions and practice using the StoryCorps recording app. EHS members then gathered in the library, each paired with a senior citizen. The elders, some of whom took a shuttle from the Heatherwood Retirement Community, shared memories and experiences from their lives and provided unique oral history perspectives.

 Students heard about all kinds of experiences, ranging from what it was like to live in Alaska before it became a state, to memories about living and working abroad for the Department of State, to what it was like living in segregated Virginia, to what it was like to be a graduate of Fairfax High School in 1946 and a FCPS principal in the 1970s (former FCPS William “Bill” Martin was one of the interviewees!). As Libby Powers, current President of the FHS chapter of NEHS observed, “It was impressive to be able to hear about the fascinating experiences that our senior citizens have had – we all learned so much and were so surprised at the cool things they had done.”

The event celebrated the art of storytelling with the nuances of interviewing and successfully preserving oral history. NEHS members will upload their interviews to the StoryCorps Archive at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. They will be a part of the “The Great Listen 2017” collection. After starting with a small group of seniors this year, NEHS hopes to continue The Great Thanksgiving Listen next year with a larger group of seniors and more NEHS members.


City of Fairfax School Board Recognizes FHS Students

The City of Fairfax School Board recognized over 45 students at their regular school board meeting on Monday, December 4. The Fairfax High School students earned achievements in athletics, academics and cultural arts.

Awards include:

  • National Skills award winner in photography
  • Performer in “The Nutcracker” at the Kennedy Center
  • Scholarship with Foundation for Korean Language & Culture
  • Professional development intern for ThinkGeek
  • Virginia Space Coast Scholars
  • Patriot and Occaquan region golf champions
  • Army All American Marching Band
  • National Merit Scholarship Semifinalist
  • National Merit Scholarship Corporation Letter of Commendation

FHS Alum Awarded Fulbright Award

Mason Pazhwak of George Mason University and Fairfax High School Alumni has received a Fulbright U.S. Student Program award to Malaysia from the U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. Mr. Pazhwak will teach English, promote community engagement, and act as a cultural ambassador at a post assigned by the Malaysian-American Commission on Educational Exchange (MACEE) as part of the Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship (ETA) Program.

Mr. Pazhwak is one of over 1,900 U.S. citizens who will conduct research, teach English, and provide expertise abroad for the 2017-2018 academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. Recipients of Fulbright awards are selected on the basis of academic and professional achievement as well as record of service and leadership potential in their respective fields.

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to build lasting connections between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The Fulbright Program is funded through an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations, and foundations around the world also provide direct and indirect support to the Program, which operates in over 160 countries worldwide.

Since its inception in 1946, the Fulbright Program has given more than 370,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists, and scientists the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas, and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.

Fulbrighters address critical global challenges in all areas while building relationships, knowledge, and leadership in support of the long-term interests of the United States. Fulbright alumni have achieved distinction in many fields, including 57 who have been awarded the Nobel Prize, 82 who have received Pulitzer Prizes, and 37 who have served as a head of state or government.

For further information about the Fulbright Program or the U.S. Department of State, please visit or contact the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Press Office by telephone 202-632-6452 or e-mail


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