FH Weekly Update - 5/14/23


Principals' Message

Dear Freedom Hill Families,

Happy Mothers' Day to all of our Freedom Hill moms!

We want to extend a heartfelt thank you for your support making Staff Appreciation Week very special for our staff. Our PTA and families were instrumental in making it a great week! We truly appreciate the support that the Freedom Hill community shows to its hardworking educators. 

As we continue to fly through the month of May, we want to take a moment to tell you how proud we are of our students as they work through many end-of-year assessments. SOLs continue this week - make sure to double check the schedule for when your students are testing. 

A couple of things we know to have a positive impact on students taking tests:

  • A good night's sleep
  • Encouragement/belief from families and teachers
  • A healthy morning meal

Have a great week!


In partnership,

Nicholas Zapadka, Principal

Eric Kopacz, Assistant Principal

Upcoming Dates for Your Calendar

2022-23 FCPS School Calendar 

  • May 16 - 23 - SOL Testing Continues
  • May 29 - School Closed - Memorial Day
  • June 1 - PTA Meeting
  • June 9 - Field Day
  • June 16 - Last Day of School (2-hour Early Release)

2023-24 FCPS School Calendar 

2023-24 Staff Hiring

As you may have heard, a shortage of educators currently exists locally and nationally. We would appreciate our community's support referring future educators to our school! Prospective educators can always email their resume to Dr. Z. with interest in working at Freedom Hill. Our current vacancies for 2023-24 include:

  • Classroom Teacher - Upper Grades (4-6)
  • Special Education Teacher - Intellectual Disabilities

Yearbook Sales

Yearbook sales have opened! Please see our flyer for ordering information.


Positivity Project: Other People Matter




This week, we were working on reviewing our year-long exploration of Character through the Positivity Project. During these last thirty-four weeks, we have learned that our character is a family of thoughts, feelings, and actions that are recognized and encouraged across our different cultures for the values they cultivate in people and society. Our character is complex. It is the combination of our thoughts, feelings and actions. 

Just like other things in our life, we have strengths and weaknesses of character, as well. As you spend time together at home, now and throughout the summer, consider the following questions:

Character, not circumstance, makes the person.”

           ~Booker T. Washington

Girl Scouts

Interested in Girl Scouts? See this flier and join the informational meeting on May 22nd at 6:30 PM. 

Join Zoom Meeting   https://zoom.us/j/99585437362

Meeting ID: 995 8543 7362  

Passcode: 00506

Watch D.O.G.S. Signup

The signups for our daily Watch D.O.G.S. (Dad of Great Students) is ready! You can sign up to volunteer for a day at Freedom Hill with this link. Thank you to our "Top Dog" David Hay for organizing this for our community. If you missed it, you can learn more about the program in this quick video

The daily D.O.G.S. will report to the front office at 9:00 to receive their schedule. We look forward to it!


2023 SOL Calendar


SOL testing will be taking place in the month of May this year for students in grades 3-6. The SOL assessments are content assessments that measure a student’s growth in Mathematics, Reading, and Science (5th grade only). These tests will be conducted during the morning of the dates listed in the table above. It is important that your child attend school on the dates designated for them to test.  Please ensure your child gets plenty of rest the night prior. If you have any questions, please contact Mr. Kopacz, our school testing coordinator.

Kindergarten Registration Open

It is already that time of year to start planning for next year.  Our Kindergarten registration for the 2023-2024 school year is now open.  Please use the online portal to submit your initial information and our registrar, Ms. Sujo, will follow up with you.  



If you have a child at home who will be five by September 30th, please register now.  If you have any neighbors with rising kindergartners, please send this information to them, as well.  




PTA Updates

Happy Mother’s Day! However, you celebrate – know you are greatly appreciated for everything you do! Three cheers to an amazing Bingo Night on Friday! What a great, fun time had by many and the crowd was going nuts at the different bingo numbers called! 😊 See the recap below.



What a fun Bingo Night! We hope you had a great time. Big thank you to Gina Song, our lead Bingo Night Chair, Tina Crawford, who managed the 6th grade pizza and concession sales, Kerrey Olden, who helped with the P4SS and money and all the amazing volunteers (Mike Song, Will Crawford, David Hay, Aleksia Forster, Nicole Camara, Tina Helwig, Pei-Hsuan Tsai, Karen Hill, Sechin Lee, Andrew Halaka, Melanie Camara, Julian Helwig, Ms. Bliss, Ross Camara, Sara Haddad for social, Rachel Shabica, Sahar Javadi and anyone else we missed!) and Dr. Z for being a great announcer! Check out or add to the photo album here.



As we wrap up Teacher Appreciation Week, we want to say one more big thank you to our teachers and staff for everything you do! You are the heart of the community and we love you so much! If you are curious about what our Teacher Appreciation team did – here’s a quick recap. Thank you to Sara Lyons and Sechin Lee for leading this effort as well as all the volunteers that helped out last week by helping to “Raise the Bar” for our teachers and staff! Photos are here!

Monday – Parfait and Donut Breakfast Bar

Tuesday – Trail Mix Bar

Wednesday – Popcorn Bar

Thursday – Nacho Average Teacher Taco Salad Bar

Friday – Cure your Sweet Tooth Candy Bar



The following is the PTA Board slate for 2023-2024. Thank you to our nominating committee: Tori Draude, Angela Waugaman and Michelle Zahalsky! Thank you to Sahar Javadi, our outgoing PTA President for the past 4 years and Jeff Hoffman, our VP, Business Development the past year.  

President - Kerrey Olden

Vice President - Rachel Shabica

Secretary - Hyun Yoo

Treasurer - Emily Jacobs

VP, IT & Communications - Amber Halaka

VP, Membership - Angela Waugaman

VP, Business Development - Open



The end of the year is quickly approaching. Get ahead for next fall and skip back-to-school shopping with our Sprout School Supply Kits for 2023-2024. It's an easy way to save time and money on back-to-school supplies and support your school community. Check out the flier here or order online with school code: FHES001. Deadline to order is June 20th!



Nominations are open for the Harriette Best Award. Please email the name of your nominee to info@freedomhillpta.org and write a short explanation on why this person should get this award. Nominations due by Wednesday, May 16th. 

What is the Harriette Best Award? The Harriette Ann Best Award was instituted more than a decade ago by the Freedom Hill’s Parent Teacher Association as a tribute to honor our former Assistant Principal.  Mrs. Best was the epitome of dedication to the staff, students, and community of Freedom Hill from 1991 through 2003.  Since its inception, this award has been given each year since to the parent(s) and/or staff member(s) who best exemplify what Mrs. Best continued to accomplish until her retirement. Recent award winners include: Katherine Cadena-Gonce and Elizabeth Spinney (2022), Neda Sarafrazi and Lisa Bliss (2021), Diana Hernandez (2020), Tina Ejtemai Crawford and Louan Hassinger (2019). 



Marshall HS is is running a Boys Basketball camp June 28th – July 2nd this year and it is open to all rising 2nd – 10th graders.  Please see the informational flier and our online registration is here: Questions? Contact Jerry Lin at: clin@fcps.edu.