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FHS Teacher Named one of Washington Magazine’s Teacher of the Year

Photo of Mr. Ohta

Photo of Mr. Ohta, from Washington Family Magazine

Herbert Ohta, a special education math teacher at Fairfax High School, was named one of Washington Magazine’s Teacher of the Year. Mr. Ohta was nominated by a parent of his students.

The magazine interviewed Mr. Ohta with questions about his experience teaching, advice for young teachers and three things in his classroom he could not live without:

“The three things I need in my classroom everyday are grace, patience and faith. Grace because no matter how much I think I know—I still make mistakes and need the forgiveness of my students. Patience because, at times, the students will test every fiber of my being. Finally, faith because I need to believe that what we are doing has a far greater impact than what we could ever imagine or hope for.”


To read the entire article, please go to Washington Family website here.

Dr. Phyllis Pajardo Sworn in as Superintendent of City of Fairfax Schools

Photo of Superintendent Pajardo and City of Fairfax School Board

Dr. Pajardo and the City of Fairfax School Board

The City of Fairfax School Board voted unanimously to appoint Dr. Phyllis Pajardo as Superintendent. Dr. Pajardo’s will begin her work immediately. Dr. Pajardo is the former Assistant Superintendent for the City of Fairfax. Dr. Pajardo previously worked for Fairfax County Public Schools in a variety of leadership roles. Dr. Pajardo began her 30+ year career in education as an elementary school teacher.

Dr. Pajardo is also the co-author of The Principal Influence: A Framework for Leadership Capacity in Principals.” In addition to her work as superintendent and author, Dr. Pajardo speaks to educators and administrators across the country about the positive impact a principal can have on a school and community.

FHS Alumna Simone Askew Becomes First African American Woman to Lead West Point Cadets

Cadet Simone Askew, a Fairfax High School Alumna, has been selected First Captain of the U.S. Military Academy’s Corps of Cadets for the 2017-2018 academic year, achieving the highest position in the cadet chain of command. Her appointment marks the first time an African American woman will hold the position.

Askew is an International History major and member of the Army West Point Crew team. She is a graduate of Air Assault School, an EXCEL Scholar, a member of the Phi Alpha Theta Honorary National History Society, a recipient of the Black Engineer of the Year Award for Military Leadership, and holds the highest female Recondo score during Combat Field Training II for the class of 2018.

While at FHS, Askew was senior class president and founder of the Black Student Union.


The City of Fairfax School Board selected Dr. Phyllis Pajardo as their

Photo of Dr. Phyllis Pajardo

Photo of Dr. Phyllis Pajardo

finalist for the Superintendent of the City of Fairfax Schools. The Board will hold a special board meeting on Monday, August 7, 2017 to publicly vote for Dr. Pajardo, who is expected to begin her four-year term as superintendent the following day.

The superintendent position was made available in May when Dr. Peter Noonan stepped down to lead Falls Church City Public Schools. Ann Monday, former City of Fairfax Superintendent with experience assisting schools boards with superintendent searches, was hired as Interim Superintendent. The City of Fairfax School board sought community input from city residents, school staff and administrators, parents and City of Fairfax leadership. The board conducted interviews in June and made a final decision in mid-July.

“The City of Fairfax School Board is excited that Dr. Pajardo has accepted our offer to lead our schools,” said Jon Buttram, City of Fairfax School Board Chairman.  “Dr. Pajardo’s intellect, creative spirit and vast knowledge of our schools will ensure continued excellence and success.  Her strong commitment to serving our students, our schools and our community is unquestionable.  We look forward to working with Dr. Pajardo in her new role as Superintendent as we continue the board’s endeavors to expand advanced academics, STEM and innovative practices in our schools.”

Dr. Pajardo is currently Assistant Superintendent of the City of Fairfax Schools and previously held a number of leadership roles in Fairfax County Public Schools including Cluster Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources. Dr. Pajardo has worked in public education for over 30 years.

“I am very excited and deeply humbled to be named the finalist for the City of Fairfax Superintendent,” said Dr. Pajardo. “I greatly respect and admire the leadership of recent past City Schools’ Superintendents [George] Stepp, Monday, and Noonan. I look forward to building upon the City Schools’ past work and partnering with the City of Fairfax School Board, the Mayor and City Council, our principals and school staffs as well as each school’s community, and my colleagues in Fairfax County Public Schools, to develop new pathways to successfully serve our students and the city.”

Lanier’s Kirsten Buchner Named Finalist for FCPS Hourly Employee

The City of Fairfax congratulates Ms. Kirsten Buchner of Lanier Middle School for being named a finalist for FCPS Employee of the Year.

Photo of Ms. Buchner

Photo of Ms. Buchner

Kirsten is a master at coordinating resources and services to assist the at-risk families at Lanier Middle School. She coordinates free dental and health care for students in need, arranges food and clothing donations and helps families apply for assistance so that students don’t go hungry or cold. She has initiated projects such as the Family Reunification Group, a six-week support program for students who immigrate to the area to live with parents they barely know, and a Café Latino night where parents can meet with school administrators and counselors and where they are encouraged to become involved in the Lanier community. Because Kirsten is a dedicated student advocate, students know they have an ally who will help them over any hurdle that impedes their success.

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© 2017 City of Fairfax Schools