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Archive for June, 2013

Fairfax High School Softball Field Sound System Q & A

Here are some answers to frequently asked questions regarding our new sound system for the Fairfax High School Softball Field. Have more? Let us know in the comment section or send us an email at

SchoolBoard (at) FairfaxVa.gov

When is the public hearing for the Special Use Permit for the sound system?

The public hearing date is to be determined. Once we are aware of the date, we will be sure to post it on our website and Facebook page.

What is the decibel level of the sound system?

During the second of the two sound test evenings the decibel level was measured by a member of the FHS physics department and it was determined that the sound level (in centerfield) was equivalent to a conversational level.

Will the sound system be used for events outside of the softball games?

No – The sound system will only be used for games sanctioned by the Virginia High School League (VHSL). The VHSL is the governing body for high school sports in Virginia. Therefore, the only games that sound will be used for announcing will be high school softball games. Further, there will be no sound available for community use scheduled on the softball field. This is similar to the provision currently in place for the lights.

How many nights per school year are there games and what months do they take place?

There are approximately 14 nights that games will take place.  Traditionally the games are played on Tuesday and Friday. Game begin at, or about, 6:30 p.m. and games usually only last 2 hours. The season starts at the end of March and will go through early May.   

How long does a softball game last and/or what are the times of the games?

A typical softball game will last between 1.5 and 2 hours. Most games begin at, or about, 6:30 p.m. and end at, or around, 8:30 p.m.

Will the sound system be used to play music before, during, or after the game?

Yes – just like the boys baseball team, music will be played before, during, and after the game. However, the level of music can be adjusted in an effort to be sensitive to the community.

Can the volume of the sound system be adjusted manually from the press box or is it a fixed volume?

Yes – the sound system can be modified from the press box.

Where are the speakers mounted and what direction do they face?

The current plan is to have the speakers mounted on the top corners of the press box and facing toward the stands (not the field). This directional speaker decision was based on feedback from the first sound night where they were initially pointed toward the field.

Do other softball fields in the area have sound systems?

Yes – This is a major portion of the problem for FHS.  All have, or are in the process of getting, press boxes and sound systems in an effort to be proactive and avoid potential issues with Title IV. Girl’s sports must have equity to boy’s sports and currently the baseball team has sound and a press box.

How much relief to the decibel level does the tree buffer provide?

Sound travels until it hits a solid object. The tree buffer, particularly when “leafed out” provides some sound mitigation as the speaker sound hits the trees and bounces back.

Why wasn’t a sound system installed when the lights were installed?

This past year the Athletic Booster club embarked on a capital improvement plan to include building a press box/storage facility for the softball program.   Prior to the completion of this facility, there was no easy method or process to provide sound.

Lanier Middle School’s Julio Dejo Named Support Employee of the Year

Julio Dejo, after-school program specialist at Lanier Middle School has been named Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) 2013 Support Employee of the Year. The announcement was made at FCPS Honors, a ceremony established to recognize the winners of FCPS employee awards.

Dejo has served as the after-school specialist since 2007 and runs a comprehensive after-school program that is attended by 90 percent of the students. He is known for his interpersonal skills, developing relationships with the students, and learning their names, interests, skills and strengths. His lunchtime conversations with students often result in the development of a new after-school program, as he constantly works toward the goal of finding events and clubs to reach all students.

“When Mr. Dejo was hired as Lanier’s After-School Specialist, he inherited a program that was small, disjointed, and largely ineffectual,” said Dr. Scott Poole, principal of LMS. “Under Mr. Dejo’s leadership, it has grown into one of the largest and most respected After-School programs in FCPS. Whether the program is intramural basketball, Model United Nations, TSA/Lego Robotics or babysitting, Mr. Dejo has created a cycle of programmatic improvement that meets the needs of Lanier’s extremely diverse student body.”

Fairfax High School Wins Two National Capital Area Cappies

On the eve of the Tony Awards, Fairfax High School cast members of Hello Dolly! attended the National Capital Area Cappies Awards last night at the Kennedy Center. Members from the Fairfax High School Orchestra won Best Orchestra for a Musical for their performance in Hello Dolly! and Alexandra Nicopoulos won the best female vocalist, also for Hello Dolly!

The Cappies, “Critics and Awards Program” is designed to encourage both high school theatre programs and high school journalism. Journalism students from around the area attend shows at other schools, write reviews and publish in local papers such as the Washington Post. At the end of the year, the student critics vote for awards in a variety of categories including best performance, choreography, set design and costumes. The awards are presented at the Kennedy Center to a sold out audience.

“It was a great night for and the arts in the City of Fairfax Schools were once again on display,” said Dr. Peter Noonan, Superintendent of the City of Fairfax Schools and Cappie presenter. “On behalf of the City of Fairfax School Board and the City Schools staff, I congratulate everyone at Fairfax High School involved in the production of Hello Dolly!”

City of Fairfax Schools Mourns the Loss of Robert Russell

Robert C. Russell, former superintendent of the City of Fairfax Schools from 1984-1995, died Sunday, June 2nd in Elkins, West Virginia. Mr. Russell was 83.

Bob Russell began his career as a music teacher in Fairfax County Public Schools following four years of military service with the United States Air Force Band. In 1960, Mr. Russell began his twelve year administrative career as assistant principal and principal of the new Lanier Intermediate School (now Lanier Middle School). Following his principalship and retirement in 1984 from Robinson High School, Mr. Russell was appointed Superintendent of the City of Fairfax Schools where he remained until 1995.

“Bob’s passing is a great loss for the Fairfax City community,” said Dr. Peter Noonan, Superintendent of the City of Fairfax Schools. “Bob was a dedicated servant to the Fairfax City students and he will be missed.”

During his tenure as superintendent Mr. Russell oversaw the design and construction of the theatre at LMS to be used by students and the community for artistic performances. In 1996, the City of Fairfax School Board unanimously voted to name the theatre the Robert C. Russell Auditorium.

Mr. Russell, a city of Fairfax resident for over 30 years, was also an active member of the Rotary Club of Fairfax, where he was “Rotarian of the Year” in 1993.

“Bob Russell will be remembered for his leadership as a school administrator and city school superintendent,” said Janice Miller, Chairman of the City of Fairfax School Board. “He was a consensus builder with a keen sense of humor and had an uncanny ability to connect with people with his folksy charm. He will be missed.”

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