Wednesday Morning Notes

Woman arrested for intent to distribute narcotics — Police found marijuana, cocaine, MDMA, and THC wax during a search of the woman’s car. [Fairfax County Police Department]

Local walkouts at schools planned today — Students at Langston Hughes Middle School and South Lakes High School plan to leave class around 10 a.m. today to call for gun control legislation. Participants at SLHS will be marked for cutting class. [South Lakes High School]

Kindness rocks, coming to a place near you — Students at Aldrin Elementary School are spreading rocks they’ve designed throughout Reston. Keep an eye out for special handmade treasures. [Aldrin Elementary School]

A meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – Advanced students at South Lakes High School met briefly with Netanyahu during a visit to Capitol Hill. [Fairfax County Public Schools]

If you’re concerned about issues in Reston — The Reston Citizens Association, a civic, non-profit organization, is still looking for volunteers for various committees. [Reston Citizens Association]

Flickr pool photo by  vantagehill.


Wednesday Morning Notes

Northam, Gillespie Win Governor Nominations — Virginia’s lieutenant governor will face the former Republican National Committee chairman in November’s general election to fill the Governor’s Mansion. Their running mates will be Justin Fairfax (D) and Jill Vogel (R). [WTOP]

Herndon PD Establishes Drug Collection Station — The new unit at the Herndon Police Department (397 Herndon Parkway) will provide residents with a safe and environmentally responsible way to dispose of unwanted, unused or expired medication, including controlled substances. [Herndon Police]

Former Phys-Ed Teacher Gets Principal Job — Nick Napolitano, who was a physical-education teacher at Aldrin Elementary School from 2011-2014, has been named the principal of W.C. Taylor Middle School in Warrenton. [Fauquier Now]

Diversion First Info Session Tonight — Interested in learning more about the county’s Diversion First program, which was developed to limit the number of mentally ill and disabled people in jail? A presentation is slated for 7:30 p.m. at the Reston Community Center at Lake Anne (1609-A Washington Plaza N.). [Reston Now]

Farmers Market, Church Have Strong Partnership — Smart Markets operates out of the parking lot at St. John Neumann Catholic Community (11900 Lawyers Road) from 3-7 p.m. each Wednesday. [Arlington Catholic Herald]

Photo courtesy Radhika Murari/RSTA


Astronaut Buzz Aldrin Again Visits Namesake Elementary School in Reston

Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon in July 1969.

Now, 48 years later, he again has walked the halls of a school bearing his name in Reston.

The 87-year-old visited Buzz Aldrin Elementary School last week while he was in the area to attend the annual Humans to Mars Summit. At the school, Aldrin presented for students his thoughts and hopes for future travel to the Red Planet. He also gave them a large map of the planet.

Aldrin last visited the school for its 20th anniversary in 2015. In the school’s early years, he visited each year. He now comes more sporadically, maybe every two or three years, school representative Lesley Aschenbach said.

“Hopefully, kids get to see him twice in their career here,” she said.

After the recent presentation, Aldrin gathered on the Mars map with representatives from each grade level while a videographer recorded testimonials from the students on their thoughts about space exploration and what travel to Mars would mean for mankind. The students’ discussion will be used as part of an emerging program for Aldrin’s ShareSpace Foundation.

In addition, Aldrin Elementary School STEAM resource teacher Jackie Wheeler, school-based technology specialist Eve Davies and Principal Shane Wolfe printed a special bracelet for Aldrin on a 3D printer during his visit.

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Back to School: Meet Aldrin ES’ Shane Wolfe

Aldrin Principal Shane Wolfe/FCPSReston Now sent questionnaires to area elementary school principals so readers could get to know them and hear what is in store for the 2016-17 school year. We will be running them occasionally as they are sent back over the next weeks.

Reston Now: Tell us about yourself and how you came to be at your school?

Shane Wolfe: I’m embarking on my eleventh year as an administrator in Fairfax County Public Schools; I am very excited to begin this school year as the Aldrin Elementary School Principal. I LOVE working with the parents, teachers and especially the students in the Reston and Herndon neighborhoods.

Having previously been the principal at Armstrong Elementary School, I am keenly aware of the enormous focus our teachers, parents and school administrators place on student academic and emotional wellness.It was my honor to return to the Herndon High School Pyramid five years ago, and I look forward to many more years to come.

RN: What’s in store for your school this year? Any big changes? If you are a school under renovation, give us an update.

SW: Expansion of BOB (Band of Brothers), is a mentoring program for fifth-grade boys, will be expanded and include a group for fifth-grade girls.

Focus on Project Based Learning (PBL) — Aldrin, along with many schools, will begin to focus on PBL, an approach to teaching where students explore real-world problems and challenges. PBL’s active and engaged learning encourages students to reach a deeper knowledge of the subjects they’re studying.

“Aldrin READS” — A program where teachers and volunteers deliver many books to the neighborhoods to give students a chance to have a library at home — will continue.

Student-run Middleburg Bank — The Aldrin branch re-opens in September.

Outdoor Learning Environment – -We’re looking at options for an outdoor learning environment. A committee will be formed to help us create an outdoor learning space to go along with our garden.

Cafeteria Salad Bar — We will also open one of the first salad bars in FCPS in early November for students and adults.

RN: What are you most proud of at your school?

SW: Partnership with students, families, and staff as Family.

Reaching every child to ensure they thrive and succeed.

Focusing on a holistic education which models the FCPS “Portrait of a Graduate.”

Business Partnerships and Foundation support–Middleburg Bank, Worldgate, Reston Rotary, Reston Community Orchestra, Honey-Baked Ham

RN: What do you want newcomers to your school to know?

SW: Everyone who walks through the door is treated with respect and a true feeling of being welcome.

Every student is treated as an individual kiddo deserving of the very best we can provide.

Our teachers are incredible professionals who seek out new resources in order to provide instruction to match every student’s need.

RN: Are there any particular challenges your school is facing? How will your tackle them?

SW: Our changing demographics provide us with an opportunity to learn about diverse cultures and broaden our own understanding of our responsibility as global citizens.  The Aldrin staff, in partnership with our PTA, established a Diversity and Inclusion Committee to support a growing understanding of the diversity among us.


Reward for Reading: ‘Sliming’ the Principal

Aldrin Principal Shane Wolfe at year-end assembly/Credit: Aldrin ES

Aldrin Elementary School Principal Shane Wolfe ended the 2015-16 school year by allowing students to “slime” him.

For a Read Across America Challenge, Wolfe offered to be “slimed” by every student who read the most books from their class — but only the student body as a whole read 15,000 books.

The students read voraciously through the spring and as a result, reached their goal — surpassing 15,000 books, Aldrin teachers report.

Wolfe — who let the kids turn him into a human ice cream sundae last year — is pictured here disguised in wig and mustache, as is his trademark for the year-end assemblies.


Why Aldrin Students Turned the Principal Into a Human Sundae

Aldrin Principal Shane Wolfe is an ice cream sundae/Credit: FCPS

A couple of weeks ago, students at Reston’s Buzz Aldrin Elementary School dumped chocolate sauce, marshmallows, whipped cream and other ice cream sundae accoutrements on school principal Shane Wolfe.

The kids were not suspended. In fact, they were applauded.

Earlier in the 2014-15 school year, Wolfe told the kids that he would allow them to turn him into a human ice cream sundae if they they read 3,000 books in the month leading up to Read Across America Day in March.

Not only did the students meet the goal, they surpassed it by 3,878 books, said Wolfe.

On the last day of school, students brought all types of toppings to school to transform Wolfe into a sundae at an end-of-the-year assembly.

“Anything that gets the students excited about reading and learning is fine by me, even if it means I get to wear tons of sticky ice cream toppings”, Wolfe said.  “It was a great way to end the school year and it didn’t taste too bad either,” said Wolfe.


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