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Thursday Morning Notes

NII Holdings hangs on — The Reston-based company is trading above the minimum share price to retain its place on the NASDAQ. But it hasn’t fully steered clear of financial trouble yet. [Washington Business Journal]

Hunting down traffic — For years, county officials have mulled plans to tackle backups on Hunter Mill Road near the Dulles Toll Road. A county commission is set to vote on a new solution tonight. [Fairfax County Government]

A shoutout to Ms. Anne — In honor of Crossing Guard Appreciation Day, the employee at Lake Anne Elementary School was selected as one of the top six crossing guards in the state. [Lake Anne Elementary School]

Honoring young artists — The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers selected 14 students from South Lakes High School for the annual Scholastic Art Awards, one of the most prestigious scholarships for creative teens. [The Connection]

Photo by Fatimah Waseem

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South Lakes Seniors Return to Elementary School Roots to Celebrate Graduation

Students who will be graduating from South Lakes High School next week walked familiar halls this morning to provide inspiration to the community’s youth.

In a new tradition, seniors were able to visit their elementary school alma maters and celebrate with the kids there. Schools documented via social media the occasion, which was described as a moving experience for all involved.

“This is the first year for this Graduate Walk but it went so beautifully that we hope to make it a yearly tradition,” said Emily Burrell, spokesperson for South Lakes High School. “It was an emotional experience for the soon-to-be graduates and their elementary teachers. And the elementary students were thrilled to celebrate the graduates. They even made signs in the South Lakes colors. There were tears of joy all around.”

Students who did not attend an elementary school in Reston were allowed to choose which school they visited, Burrell said.

South Lakes High School’s seniors will graduate during a ceremony Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at Eagle Bank Arena on the campus of George Mason University.

Photos courtesy South Lakes High School

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Aldrin ES Community Rallies Around Student in Battle With Leukemia

Lake Anne ES student Katie/Go FundMeCorrection: an earlier version of this post said Katie attended Lake Anne ES. She attends Aldrin.

After a fourth grader at Aldrin Elementary School was diagnosed with leukemia in August, the Aldrin students, parents and teachers have been rallying the community in support.

Young Katie (whose last name is not being used for privacy reasons) has been in the hospital since her diagnosis. During that time, her father lost his job, which has caused a great financial strain on the family, an Aldrin parent said.

“We miss Katie very much at Aldrin,” said Aldrin Principal Shane Wolfe. “She is a fighter, and with the support of our amazing Reston/ Herndon family, she will pull through this battle. We are asking for positive thoughts, prayers and for any monetary donations, small or large, to help her family during their time of need.”

A GoFundMe page started friend has a goal of raising $22,000 to help the family. It is almost at $10,000 as of Tuesday.

A group of fourth grade parents will be collecting funds to benefit Katie at the Family Fun Dance on Friday, Oct. 14. The third graders will also be having a bake sale on election day to benefit Katie and her family.

To learn more, please visit Katie’s GoFundMe site.

Photo of Katie courtesy GoFundMe

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Back to School: Meet Lake Anne ES’ Jill Stewart

Reston 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.

Jill Stewart with Lake Anne ES studentsToday’s chat is with Lake Anne Elementary’s Jill Stewart, who recently took over leadership of the school.

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

Jill Stewart: My name is Jill Stewart, and I am the proud principal at Lake Anne. I am excited to begin my first full year of school with the Lake Anne family.

I became principal at Lake Anne last December after serving in FCPS as an ESY Principal, an assistant principal, a Reading Specialist, and an Education Program Specialist for the U.S. Department of Education.  I began my teaching career in Fairfax County as a multiage teacher at Hunters Woods Elementary School for the Arts and Sciences in 1996.

RN: What’s in store for your school this year? Any big changes?

JS: Lake Anne will be celebrating 50 years of educational excellence this year!  I am honored to work alongside our talented, dedicated, and caring staff to continue the vision of Mrs. Beatrice Ward, the first principal of Lake Anne Elementary.

Mrs. Ward believed that all children should receive a quality education and hoped, “the community would continue to grow to have a wide range of backgrounds and abilities in it.” Fifty years later, the Lake Anne Elementary community is still dedicated to fulfilling those goals. 

We will be celebrating Lake Anne’s 50th throughout the school year with our families and community members, honoring those who set the standard for educational excellence while that torch into the future.

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

Lake Anne students with the school mascotJS: Lake Anne Elementary School is a wonderfully diverse learning community where we recognize, like Maya Angelou, that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength. We are a family of committed staff and parents who link together for the success of our students. We are Spanish Immersion school with an Eco School lens, which allows us to support the sustainability of our community.

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

JS: Lake Anne Elementary School is a school where our staff strives to provide our students with an exceptional educational experience. We are proud of our history, family feel, and inviting school environment.

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

JS: Any challenges that present themselves are opportunities for all of us to stretch and grow together.

Photos: Top, Principal Jill Stewart with Lake Anne students; Bottom, Lake Anne students at Spring Dolphin Dash/Courtesy Jill Stewart

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Lake Anne, Forest Edge Elementaries Win ‘Walk to School Day’ Challenge

More kids at Forest Edge Elementary School got moving Wednesday morning than at any other Reston school.

Students at the area’s eight public elementary schools got to class by participating in International Walk to School Day, created to promote physical activity and pedestrian safety.

Forest Edge had the most walkers, with 371 students participating, according to data compiled by Kelley Westenhoff, chairwoman of the Reston Association’s pedestrian and bicycling committee.

Lake Anne Elementary School was also recognized in the Reston Elementary School Challenge. The school had the highest percentage of students who walked to school Wednesday, with 364 of its 670 total students involved, for a 54 percent participation rate.

Thirty percent of Reston’s 5,583 elementary school students walked to school Wednesday, according to the data.

The winning schools will be awarded trophies at the November meeting of the Reston Association. A similar competition will take place in May, when kids will be encouraged to bike to school.

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Sen. Kaine Pays a Visit to Reston’s Lake Anne ES

Tim Kaine at Lake Anne ES/Credit: Sarah Peck

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Virginia) visited Reston’s Lake Anne Elementary School on Wednesday, where he discussed with administrators issues such as the need for more mental health services and early childhood education resources.

Kaine visited the school, which has a large Spanish-speaking population as well as a Spanish Immersion program, as part of Hispanic Heritage Month.

After the meeting, Kaine joined three classes — a first grade, a Spanish immersion, and a Head Start class — where he talked to students read to them in English and Spanish. Kaine is fluent in Spanish after spending time doing mission work in Honduras in the early 1980s.

Photo by Sarah Peck/Office of Tim Kaine

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