Lee District Newsletter - Summer 2019

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

Tamara Derenak Kaufax

Contact Tamara:

Phone: 571-423-1081


Cheryl Austin
Executive Admin Assistant

Welcome Summer! It's hard to believe that another school year has already finished.


I had the wonderful opportunity to witness over 2,300 Lee District high school students who graduated this month from Edison, Hayfield, Lee, Mt. Vernon, and West Potomac High Schools. In addition, I also attended the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, Bryant High School and Key Center graduations. I wish all of our graduates much happiness and success in your next steps, whether you are off to college or trade school, starting a new job, or heading into the military. We are so proud of you!


I also want to thank all my colleagues who came out to support all our graduates.


Left to Right: School Board Member Karen Keys-Gamarra, Region 2 Assistant Superintendent Fabio Zuluaga, School Board Member Janie Strauss, Chief Equity Officer Francisco Duran, School Board Member Tammy Derenak Kaufax, TJHSST Principal Ann Bonitatibus, Region 2 Executive Principal Penny Gros, School Board Members Dalia Palchik and Ilryong Moon


At the end of this past school year, Lee District students were offered over $19 million in scholarship monies.


I hope everyone is enjoying some rest and relaxation this summer whether it's at the beach or even in your own backyard. Take this time to enjoy quality time with family and friends.

Looking forward to seeing everyone in the fall.



3 to Succeed: The Factors That Matter

No matter who you are and what role you play in the lives of the children and youth you interact with, there are easy ways to help them excel. Some examples include:



  • Be available to help
  • Know where your children are
  • Involve your children in family decision-making
  • Show respect for all family members
  • Communicate clear disapproval of drug and alcohol use


  • Recognize and praise good effort
  • Present opportunities to talk one-on-one
  • Discourage bullying and cultivate a feeling of safety
  • Foster open communication with parents, even when students are doing well

Neighbors, Coaches, Community Youth Leaders:

  • Be a caring community member who is available to talk
  • Communicate clear disapproval of drug and alcohol use
  • Encourage participation in after-school activities
  • Give positive feedback and recognize good effort

For more information, please watch the following video: https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/health-humanservices/3-succeed

2019 FCPS Outstanding Employee Award Winners

At our annual FCPS Honors event on June 12, we recognized 569 of our employees, including 64 finalists and 12 winners in 12 different award categories.


Two of our teachers from Lee District received top honors. Please help me congratulate Outstanding New Elementary School Teacher- Hanna Nguyen. Hanna is a fifth-grade teacher at Garfield Elementary School; and Outstanding Secondary School Teacher- Heather Brueggen. Heather is an English teacher at Edison High School.

Free Lunch During the Summer Through FEEDS

Hunger doesn’t take a vacation and neither do we! The Office of Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) will be hosting the 2019 FEEDS (Food for Every child to Eat During Summer) program at various locations across Fairfax County this summer.


FNS will offer no-cost lunch to all children 18 years of age and under, as well as low-cost adult meals. There is no registration involved and everyone is welcome!


Meal service will be provided at the following sites on Monday to Friday from 11:30-1:00 pm starting June 14 to August 23 (some sites start on June 17), with no service on July 4-5:



For the addresses and times for the above locations, click on the FEEDS Flyer (English): https://www.fcps.edu/sites/default/files/media/pdf/FEEDS-Flyer-2019-English.pdf, or for Spanish: https://www.fcps.edu/sites/default/files/media/pdf/FEEDS-Flyer-2019-Spanish.pdf.

School Board Student Leadership Program

TDK Student REp

The School Board’s Student Leadership Development Program is a wonderful opportunity for our sophomore or junior high school students who are planning to pursue a future in law, government or public policy.


These students work with the School Board at our various events to gain valuable experience in leadership and policymaking. I had the pleasure of working with Gwendolyn Gagner from Edison High School and want to thank her for her time and dedication this past year.


Students interested in applying for the 2019-2020 school year may contact Cheryl Austin for more information, or watch for further information in one of my early fall newsletters.

Key Middle School "Now or Never" Student Club Welcomed Senator Kaine

Senator Tim Kaine came to Key Middle School this past May to speak with the Now or Never student club about school safety. The students were very engaged and asked Senator Kaine some great questions.


I also had the wonderful pleasure of meeting with this student club back in January, where they asked me intriguing questions about my role on the School Board and my thoughts on school safety. These students are inspired to make positive changes in both their school and community.




Media Links for the Tim Kaine Visit to Key MS:


Click here for WTOP

Click here for B101.5

Click here for WUSA9


Click here for photos from Senator Kaine's visit.

Lee District Citizen Advisory Committee Openings

I have a couple of openings for Lee District residents who may be interested in serving their community. If you are interested in either opportunity listed below, send a statement of interest and resume to Cheryl.Austin@fcps.edu or call 571-423-1069.


School Readiness Resources Panel


A panel is being established that will work this summer to help identify school readiness expansion goals and long-term funding strategies for early childhood services in the coming years. The panel will be comprised of 15-20 community, County, or FCPS representatives. The panel should include families, early childhood educators, providers of early childhood services, business leaders, and experts in funding opportunities for school readiness programs, activities, and support. For more information, click here (refer to page 18).


Minority Student Achievement Oversight Committee (MSAOC)


This committee advocates for minority student achievement by identifying, reviewing, and assessing issues affecting minority student academic achievement within the policies, curriculum, practices, and procedures of FCPS. The committee’s responsibilities also include: making appropriate recommendations to the School Board; reviewing strategies and proposing solutions for closing the achievement gap; evaluating progress towards goals set by the School Board for closing the achievement gap; and ensuring outreach to parents and guardians about resources available through FCPS. For more information, click here