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City of Fairfax School Board Awards 2017 Janice Miller Scholarship to Kinza Mahmood

Photo of 2017 scholarship recipient Kinza Mahmood with school board members.

Photo of 2017 scholarship recipient Kinza Mahmood with school board members.

Kinza Mahmood was recognized as the 2017 Janice Miller Scholarship winner. Kinza will attend the University of Maryland, College Park next year to study Food and Biological Sciences. Kinza took many AP courses at FHS, was active in student government, UNICEF and volunteered throughout the community. Kinza was praised by Principal Goldfarb and her teachers for being kind, hardworking and for her passion to help others.

FAIRFAX HIGH SCHOOL PRINCIPAL DELIVERS STATE OF THE SCHOOLS REPORT

“We hope our students leave our school with discovered passions and realized potential”

Dave Goldfarb, principal of Fairfax High School, delivered his eighth state of the schools report to the City of Fairfax School Board on Monday, March 6, 2017. Mr. Goldfarb highlighted student achievement, discussed FHS “Project Aware” efforts to support students’ emotional development and welcomed English as a Second Language (ESOL) department chair Carrie Zill to explain the changes in ESOL programming. The presentation concluded with Principal Goldfarb welcoming Sydney Suarez, City of Fairfax School Board student representative to discuss the Student Advisory Committee.

Fairfax High School welcomes over 2400 students from over 87 countries that speak more than 60 languages. Along with 200 staff members, Principal Goldfarb said FHS is dedicated to provide students with a wide range of opportunities to grow and thrive. This year, FHS offered new courses such as animation, applied calculus, broadcast journalism and Arabic.

Principal Goldfarb highlighted recent student achievement such as the eight-year consecutive conference champion field hockey team, the nationally recognized DECA (marketing) team, sending 20 science fair projects to regional competition, the Forensic team conference champions, student artists with the most Scholastic awards in Northern Virginia and the theater program which recently won third place in a state competition.

Fairfax High School is in its second year of “Project Aware”, a grant program along with four other FCPS schools to offer emotional support to students. This year Project Aware is allowing FHS teachers and administrators get quicker access for students to local psychiatric professionals. In addition, FHS staff members are being trained to help students recognize and identify emotions that may be interfering with their academic and social success. “Emotions often serve as barriers or boosters to our achievements in learning even we don’t want to acknowledge them,” said Goldfarb. “Being in touch and control with our emotions leads to overall effectiveness, health and performance.”

ESOL Department Chairman Carrie Zill presented the school board the updates in the ESOL programming. In the past, ESOL students had a difficult time graduating in four years because they were unable to take courses until they passed English proficiency levels. Now students are able to simultaneously work on their proficiency while also taking courses such as Government and English 9 that opens a four-year pathway to graduation. The courses have the same standards, but the instruction is differentiated to the student’s level of English understanding. Zill, a 2002 FHS graduate thinks the changes will be beneficial to students. “The new course programming offers students opportunity to take and earn graduation-required credits much earlier.”

Principal Goldfarb concluded his presentation by discussing his work with the Student Advisory Committee. The twenty-member committee now in its seventh year, is designed to provide the administration with a variety of student voices about a wide range of topics. School Board Student Representative and four-year committee member Sydney Suarez talked about her experience. “It sets a really good tone. I leave the meeting with a lot of new insight and it gives a unique way of giving the administration information about what students are feeling,” said Suarez.

Fairfax High School Student and Wrestling Team Profiled on WJLA Channel 7

Watch Channel 7 “Rising Star” segment on Asliddin and the wonderful Fairfax Wrestling program! Watch here.
Photo of FHS senior Asliddin A of FHS wrestling

FHS Senior Asliddin A

Asliddin is one of many student-athletes on the Fairfax wrestling team who have immigrated to the United States. Asliddin emigrated from Uzbekistan when he was eight years old.
As a senior at Fairfax High School, Asliddin has become a contender for a Liberty conference title. He’s compiled a 25-3 record, and recorded two tournament victories this season, with one runner-up finish out of 70 wrestlers at the Holy Angels Invitational in Charlotte, NC. He’s earned Most Outstanding Wrestler honors

at the St. Stephens-St. Agnes Holiday Classic, and wrestler of the week accolades 3-times this season. 

Getting accustomed to western culture was a daunting task: he didn’t know the English language, he didn’t have any friends, and he had to assimilate into an entirely different schooling system. This was especially challenging since his family still spoke Russian at home.

In the summer of 2015, Asliddin moved from New Jersey to Fairfax where he joined the Fairfax wrestling program. Second year head coach Tanner Sewell and Athletic Director Nancy Melnick have invested in building the wrestling program at Fairfax and providing student-athletes with  various educational and developmental opportunities. With grants and support from the Eric Monday Memorial Wrestling Foundation, Asliddin has been able to capitalize on invaluable opportunities through the sport: traveling the east coast, visiting institutions of higher learning, working and learning from wrestlers at George Mason University. As a student-athlete from a one-parent immigrant household, wrestling has ultimately provided Asliddin a platform for future success in the United States.

Asliddin has applied to New York University, George Mason University, James Madison
University, and Virginia Tech. He plans to major in Computer Science.
“Asliddin is a remarkably resilient kid, and his commitment to growth is what makes him special,” says Coach Sewell. “His “American dream” story is not uncommon in our program, and I think he’s proven that capitalizing on the opportunities that wrestling provides can give anyone a platform for success in the United States.”

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© 2017 City of Fairfax Schools