June 2017 Newsletter from School Board Member Karen Corbett Sanders

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

Mount Vernon District Newsletter banner

Contact Karen:

Karen Corbett Sanders

Phone: 571-423-1086


Lisa Tolstykh

Executive Admin Assistant


Karen Corbett Sanders's Newsletter


Dear Families,


I would like to start off by congratulating the class of 2017! I have had the pleasure of attending graduation ceremonies at Quander Road, the Key Center, Bryant, Hayfield, Lee, Mount Vernon, South County, and West Potomac High Schools.


CONGRATULATIONS Graduates, you did it! Your hard work,  dedication, and all the challenges you’ve worked through has led you to this day.  I would like to thank all of the parents, teachers, coaches, mentors and family members that have supported our graduates. I wish each and every one of you continued success in your future endeavors. Congratulations on your outstanding achievement!


Summer is just around the corner, and this school year is coming to an end very quickly. I would like to thank all of our parents, teachers, and staff for making the necessary sacrifices throughout the school year and going above and beyond to ensure that all oif our children K-12 receive the best education possible. I wish you all a safe and restful summer break. 


Looking forward to summer break, please make sure that your children are safe.  Make sure that your children wear helmets when bicycling,  that a lifeguard is on duty when swimming, never swim alone and encourage your child to read over the summer.  Fairfax County Public Libraries are a great place to visit during the hot months of summer.  Other great places to continue your child's learning over the summer include our community's historic sites of Gunston Hall (birthplace of the bill of rights), Mount Vernon (home of our first president) and Lorton's Workhouse Art's Center.  Woodlawn also is the home of the Arcadia Farm and a Frank Lloyd Wright home.  Our local parks are a great place to learn about our environment (Huntley Meadows), Dyke Marsh, Fort Hunt Park and Mason Neck Parks provide great spaces for the whole family.


New Leadership for FCPS and Our Local Schools


The Fairfax County School Board has voted to confirm Scott S. Brabrand as Division Superintendent of Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) for the period July 10, 2017, to June 30, 2021.  Dr. Brabrand brings a wealth of experience in education in Fairfax County and the Commonwealth of Virginia. Brabrand returns to FCPS after spending five years as Superintendent of Lynchburg City Schools, where he oversaw increases in the Virginia Standards of Learning (SOL) pass rates in math and reading and in the graduation rate, particularly for economically disadvantaged students and for Black students.


Brabrand began his career in FCPS as a social studies teacher in 1994, a career changer who was inspired by doing volunteer work in the schools. His tenure in Fairfax County Public includes 5 years teaching at Herndon High School before being promoted to an assistant principal,  associate principal at Lake Braddock Secondary School, principal at Fairfax High School and

Cluster Assistant Superintendent in the Mount Vernon and Lee area responsible for 29 schools and more than 22,000 students, and provided collaborative leadership for 27 principals and administrators.


Brabrand is a graduate of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, where he earned a bachelor of science degree. He earned a master’s degree in education from George Washington University, and an education specialist certification from Virginia Tech. Brabrand completed his doctorate in educational administration as part of Virginia Tech’s Educational Leadership and Policy Studies Program. His dissertation was on “Virginia Principals and School Law.” He has taught courses on public school law at Virginia Tech and George Mason University, and on instructional issues in K-12 education at the University of Virginia.


A Warm Welcome to Our Newest Principals

FCPS welcomes three new principals to their positions. All of the appointments are effective July 5.


Tanganyika Millard has been named principal of West Potomac High School. Millard, who has more than 20 years of experience as an educator, is currently serving as principal of Bryant Alternative High School. Previously, she was director of student services at Glasgow Middle School and served as assistant principal at Hayfield Secondary and Lee High Schools. Prior to becoming an administrator, Millard served as a school counselor at Falls Church High School. She earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Carnegie Mellon University and her master’s in counseling psychology from Bowie State University. Millard holds a Virginia professional license in K-12 administration and supervision and a K-12 school counselor endorsement.


Katie Reynolds has been appointed as principal of Waynewood Elementary School. Reynolds, who has more than 15 years of experience as an educator, is currently serving as an assistant principal at Lane Elementary School and was a LEAD Fairfax intern. She began her teaching career with FCPS as a teacher at Belvedere Elementary, where she was an advanced academic program teacher for three of the 10 years she worked there. A graduate of James Madison University, Reynolds earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology. She earned a master’s in education, curriculum, and instruction, and master’s in education, education leadership from George Mason Univeristy. She holds a Virginia preK-12 administration and supervision certificate.


Communication to Parents and Students about the Blue Whale Challenge

A potentially deadly game called the “Blue Whale Challenge" has reportedly been posted on different social media platforms and assigns players a series of progressively more intense tasks for 50 days. Participants are required to post photo proof that each task has been completed. To “win” the game the player must take his or her own life on the 50th day. Users are encouraged to tag each other on social media and then challenge others to participate in this dangerous game.


The game has been seen across Europe and in more recent months in the United States, targeting youth aged 10-14. Vigilant parents and guardians in Fairfax County have also reported seeing information about the Blue Whale Challenge or similar game on their children's phones and have alerted school authorities.


Please talk to your child about this game, and check his or her phone or other device for signs of an app or communications with anyone telling them to do specific tasks.


If you have concerns about your child, please contact your school counselor. As vacation approaches, please be aware that a number of mental health resources will be available throughout the summer and include Fairfax County Public School resources: School Counseling Services at 571-423- 4420, School Psychology Services at 571-423-4250, and School Social Work Services at 571-423-4300 and Fairfax County resources: Crisis Link Hotline at 703-527-4077, Merrifield Emergency Services 703-573-5679 (available 24/7) or Entry and Referral during business hours at 703-383-8500. The Fairfax County Police Department non-emergency number is 703-691-2131.


More about the Blue Whale Challenge is available at this link: http://trustedk12.com/blue-whale-challenge/


Important Dates to Remember

June 23 - Last Day of School


June 24 - August 27 - Summer Break


August 28 - First Day of School


August 29 - Special Election for School Board Member At Large


School Board Meeting

The next School Board Meeting will be held on June 22, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. at Jackson Middle School.  Information about upcoming meetings and agendas can be found here