Reston Hospital Center Awards Scholarships to Local High School Graduates

Seventeen area high school seniors were recently awarded scholarships by the medical staff at Reston Hospital Center.

The student, who are from Fairfax and Loudoun County high schools, were recognized for academic excellence and excitement for pursue careers in healthcare.

RHC offers $15,000 in scholarships to local schools annually. The program has been in effect for the last 21 years.

“We are thrilled to be able to support these young adults as they venture into the world in search of their dream careers,” Dr. Avisesh Sahgal, president of Reston Hospital Center’s Medical Staff, said in a statement.

This year’s scholarship recipients are below:

  • Ansel Sanchez – Briar Woods High School
  • Lindsay Marie Burns – Broad Run High School
  • Anna Kate Erstling – Chantilly High School
  • Ashley Arely Reyes – Chantilly High School
  • Lillian Tran – Dominion High School
  • Riya Hadvani – Herndon High School
  • Christopher Ngo-Khang Nguyen – James Madison High School
  • Mariana Fernandes Gragnani – Langley High School
  • Yanni George Conomos – McLean High School
  • Maxmine Irmhild Ayompe-Mody – Oakton High School
  • Jasmine Chiann Foo – Oakton High School
  • Allison Armstrong – Park View High School
  • Rayness Mollinedo-Rodriguez – Park View High School
  • Chelsea Lazatin – Potomac Falls High School
  • Nicole Post – South Lakes High School
  • Olivia Nicole Chandler – Westfield High School
  • Daisy Allison Lopez Rosa – Westfield High School

Photo via Reston Hospital Center

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Friday Morning Notes

Local Venture Firm Perfects Fundraising Methodology — Reston-based venture firm Proof.VC, which raised $34.5 million in the first round of funding could exceed that total in the second round. The company aims to perfect its fundraising strategy to invest in businesses like Beyond Meat Inc. and Bird Rides, Inc. [Washington Business Journal]

Reminder: Absentee Voting Deadline is Tomorrow — The last day to cast an absentee ballot is tomorrow at the county’s government center. Satellite absentee voting locations will also be open tomorrow only, including the North County Governmental Center. [Fairfax County Government]

South Lakes High School PTSA Nominated for Family Engagement Award — The group was nominated for the 2019 VA PTA Family Engagement Award. Members are thankful for families who volunteer throughout the year. “The recognition of the Virginia PTA is for you,” the group wrote in a statement. [South Lakes High School PTSA]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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South Lakes HS Food Pantry Offers Healthy Eating Workshops

The food pantry at South Lakes High School, which was established by the school’s PTSA in 2017, is now offering healthy eating workshops.

The workshops are funded by a $7,000 Delta Dream Grant from the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation and aim to educate students about healthy eating.

Recently, nutritionist Kristen McGill of Giant Food gave a cooking demonstration and answered students’ question about how to eat healthy on a budget. Students learned about differing cutting techniques, how to make vegetarian chili, and the best and fastest way to cook rice. She also walked students through sources of healthy fats.

Students were given goodie bags with coupons, avocados, a wooden spoon, and informational material on healthy eating on a budget.

The pantry was created to help students who are eligible for free and reduced-price meals — nearly 30 percent of the student population. The pantry is also open to South Lakes Pyramid students and their families.

Currently, the pantry needs the items below. Drop-offs are accepted at the school’s main office.

  • Toiletries
  • Canned goods
  • Boxed or dry goods
  • Cooking oil
  • Laundry detergent, dish soap

Photo via YouTube/FCPS

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Relay for Life Returns to Reston Next Week

For the 22nd year, Reston is preparing to host its annual Relay for Life Fundraiser to fight cancer next week.

This year’s event will be held on May 18 at South Lakes High School (11400 South Lakes Drive). All proceeds raised from the event are donated to the American Cancer Society to support local community programs and research.

The event kicks off at noon with a luncheon for cancer survivors and caregivers. To RSVP, email Anna Ungar.

The opening ceremony starts at 2 p.m. by recognizing cancer survivors and organizers who helped this year’s relay season. The ceremony will be followed by a walk in honor of survivors and their caregivers. Other planned activities include zumba, a pie eating contest, a talent show, and a lip sync battle.

More information about the initiative is available online.

Photo courtesy of American Cancer Society

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Wednesday Morning Notes

South Lakes High School Among Best Schools in the State — SLHS was ranked the 39th best high school in Virginia, according to rankings by the U.S. News & World Report. The rankings were released Tuesday and evaluate more than 17,000 schools across the country. [Reston Patch]

Police Investigate Shots Fired in Parking Lot — Last night, officers were on the 1500 block of Cameron Crescent Drive after receiving a report that a man fired shots in a parking lot. No one was hurt and the police department is investigating the incident. [Fairfax County Police Department]

Semi-Annual Book Sale at Reston Regional Library — Reston Friends get first dibs on the book sale today from 5 to 8 p.m. Thousands of books will be available for purchase. [Fairfax County Public Library]

Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Approves Budget — The board “gave preliminary approval to the $4.4 billion 2020 fiscal year budget. The proposed budget fully funds the operating budget request from Fairfax County Public Schools and holds the real estate tax rate at its present level.” [Fairfax News]

“Black America Again” and “Letter to the Free” Tonight— Enjoy a free screening at CenterStage at 7:30 p.m. “Black America Again” explores the perseverance of the black community and “Letter to the Free” documents the stories of talented jazz musicians at the Queens Detention Complex. The film is presented with promotional support from the Washington West Film Festival. [Reston Community Center]

Photo by Wade Gilley Sr

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Tuesday Morning Notes

Farmers and Makers Market Kicks Off Today — Local farmers and artisans will sell a mix of items in Reston Town Center today. The market is open Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. through November. [Reston Town Center]

County Weighs More Housing for Amazon Workers — “Fairfax County officials are weighing new steps to beef up their investments in affordable housing programs, with the promise of even more ambitious spending next year. The Board of Supervisors’ budget committee signed off on the changes at an April 26 meeting, ensuring they’d be included when officials vote on a full spending plan for fiscal year 2020 next month.” [Washington Business Journal]

South Lakes High School Sophomores Learn About Careers — Around 50 career professionals came to the high school to talk to sophomore about education, training, and career experiences. The event was coordinated by the career center and local parents. [Fairfax County Public Schools]

County Guide: It’s Snake Season — “Fairfax County is home to an array of snake species, most of which are non-venomous and pose no threat to people. Among the most frequently observed resident snakes are the Eastern rat snake, Eastern garter snake, Dekay’s brown snake, Northern water snake and Northern ring-necked snake; common and important predators in our ecosystems. These snakes, and others, are beneficial and provide a valuable service in our communities in the way of pest control.” [Fairfax County Government]

Photo via Charlotte Geary 

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Wednesday Morning Notes

“Explore the Universe” — A program at Turner Farm Park in Great Falls will offer people ages 9 to 18 an opportunity to learn about stars and galaxies; dark matter and dark energy; and the physics that helped shape the universe from 7:30 to 8:25 p.m. The cost is $8 per person. [Fairfax County]

Students heading to All-Virginia Honor Groups Concert — Four students from South Lakes High School and six from Herndon High School have been named along with more than 200 students from Fairfax County public schools to the 2019 All-Virginia Concert Band, Symphonic Band, Chorus, and Orchestra. The groups will perform on Saturday, April 6, at the Dominion Energy Center for the Performing Arts in Richmond. [FCPS]

Absentee voting map — The Virginia Public Access Project has a data visualization showing where Virginians cast the most absentee ballots. [VPAP]

License plate database — “A Fairfax County judge on Monday ordered the Fairfax police to stop maintaining a database of photos of vehicle license plates, with the time and location where they were snapped, ruling that ‘passive use’ of data from automated license plate readers on the back of patrol cars violates Virginia privacy law.” [The Washington Post]

Photo courtesy Tim Boone

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Thursday Morning Notes

Students score art awards — “South Lakes High School students swept the Fairfax County Art Region’s 2019 Regional Scholastic Art Awards, securing 24 honors. Twenty students earned a total of twenty-four awards, eight Gold Key, ten Silver Key and six Honorable Mentions.” [Connection Newspapers]

“Ambient Eye” performance — Ambient Eye is a multimedia collaboration between visual artist Monica Stroik and musician Doug Kallmeyer. They will improvise visual and auditory techniques at 7 p.m. at the Greater Reston Arts Center at Signature. The performance is free. Prosecco and petits fours will be provided by Balducci’s Food Lover’s Market. [GRACE/Facebook]

Run/walk from Reston Town Center — The Reston Runners will spend 50 minutes out and back from Potomac River Running in Reston Town Center starting at 6:30 p.m. [Reston Runners]

Photo courtesy Mark Yates

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With End of School Year in Sight, South Lakes HS to Host Teen Job Fair

The end of the school year is approaching, which means that many students are thinking ahead about summer jobs.

South Lakes High School will host a job fair for teens on Thursday (March 28) to help connect students to potential employers.

The fair is set to take place in the main corridor outside of the cafeteria during the school’s four lunch sessions, according to Fairfax County Public Schools.

Reston-area employers will set up tables to offer applications and answer students’ questions about part-time employment.

Employers that have signed up already include:

Some of the employers are looking to hire teachers during the summer, according to FCPS.

File photo

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Tuesday Morning Notes

South Lakes JROTC Team Wins Award — “The South Lakes JROTC Marksmanship Team won the Spicer Cup, the Fairfax County rifle team championship, finishing the 2018-19 season undefeated.  Team members are Kridsada Cheunchom, Julie Pasette, Noah Davidson, Alexandra Perez, co-captain Isbella Dunkle, captain James Liddle, Victor Pineda, Mishal Khattak, Aiza Shabaz and Logan Jones.” [Fairfax County Public Schools]

W&OD run or walk — At 6:30 p.m., the Reston Runners will start and end a 50-minute walk or run at One Life Fitness Gym in Isaac Newton Square. [Reston Runners]

PJ party at the library — The Herndon Fortnightly Library will host pajama party storytime from 6:30-7:15 p.m. [Fairfax County]

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Honeygrow Hosting Fundraiser Today for South Lakes HS Baseball

Diners today (March 20) at Honeygrow can support the South Lakes High School baseball teams.

You will need to choose the “cash” option when you order at the kiosk and then either show the flier or mention “giving local” to the cashier to have 20 percent of your order go to the baseball team.

Honeygrow is a chain that serves up locally-sourced salads, stir-fries and fruit-honey desserts.

The spot in RTC West at 12100 Sunset Hills Road is open until 10 p.m. daily.

If you want to catch one of their games, the next games are against Centreville High School on Friday (March 22). The Boys Varsity one is an away game, while the Boys Junior Varsity is on home turf.

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South Lakes High School Teen Earns Silver Medal for Self-Portrait

A South Lakes High School teen was among the 21 students from Fairfax County public schools who earned national medals in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards program.

Gabrielle Baughman will receive a silver medal for a painted self-portrait, FCPS said in a press release.

In June, an award ceremony at Carnegie Hall in New York City will honor the national medalists, according to the press release.

The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards recognize student artists with categories including architecture, ceramics and glass, comic art, design, digital art, drawing, editorial cartoon, fashion and more.

Image via Scholastic Art & Writing Awards/Facebook

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Former Female Athletes to Talk Title IX, Women’s Sports

In celebration of Women’s History Month, the Reston Historic Trust and Museum will bring together four women from a variety of athletic programs to discuss how Title IX affected their careers and women’s sports overall.

Enacted in 1972, Title IX had a dramatic impact on women’s sports by guaranteeing by law equality in federally assisted athletic programs.

Since its founding, Reston’s recreational facilities have been available to all of its residents, according to the museum.

The free event features the following panelists:

  • Vicky Wingert, a documentary producer and former coach for college and high school basketball teams
  • Skye Eddy Bruce, a collegiate and youth All-American goalkeeper, state champion track athlete and founder of the Soccer Parenting Association
  • Valerie Lister, the South Lakes High School assistant coach for track and field and a former sportswriter
  • Jennifer Volgenau Wiley, a former varsity soccer and basketball player at South Lakes High School in the 1980s. She also played Division I soccer at William and Mary.

“Women Playing in Reston: The Effect of Title IX on Women’s Sports” is set to take place on Wednesday (March 13) at 7 p.m. at the Jo Ann Rose Gallery (1609-A Washington Plaza).

A temporary exhibit at the Reston Museum to accompany the panel discussion will be on display throughout March.

Photo via Reston Historic Trust and Museum/Facebook

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GRACE Student Art Exhibit Debuts This Weekend

(Updated at 5:05 p.m. on March 4) Starting Saturday (March 2), a student art exhibition will be on display at the Greater Reston Arts Center (GRACE).

The exhibit features art by students at Fairfax County public schools, who are participating in GRACE’s education program called “Emerging Visions.”

GRACE reworked the program to include grades K-12, inviting elementary and middle schools to participate for the first time, according to a press release from the arts center.

“We are now able to take the best parts of our existing programs, expand those in close conversation with FCPS and make a greater impact on more young artists,” Executive Director and Curator Lily Siegel said in the press release.

In addition to the three longstanding participating FCPS high school schools — Herndon, Oakton and South Lakes high schools — the exhibit includes student art from Dogwood, Hunters Woods and Hutchinson elementary schools and Rachel Carson Middle School.

The exhibit is based on Caitlin Teal Price’ exhibit last year titled “Green is the Secret Color To Make Gold.”

GRACE worked with art educators at the schools to develop content and concepts to include into the curriculum, according to the press release. After educators, students and their families had the chance to view the exhibition and meet the curator and artist, students were able to respond to the theme by creating their own artwork.

FCPS released additional information about the students and their art on March 4:

One student, who is non-verbal, experiences art and, primarily painting, as a ritual or routine, according to this teacher. He makes repetitive marks with varying color and layers them to refer to different subject matter, such as a landscape. Another student has made at least one artwork a day for multiple years on topics from space-like environments to designs that involve flags of the world. South Lakes students shared their artist statements, explaining the process for creating their works.

[Another] student described the artwork as expressive of the mental illness she has been diagnosed with and says her work shows “that I’m locked inside myself and can’t get out of the emotions in my head.” She uses symbols indicative of psychological and emotional states. A team of two students uses found objects to which they apply paint, glue, and other materials, embracing their sense of humor and love of experimentation to provoke a sense of play and curiosity in their audience.

A third student uses her art to define herself through her own values and beliefs, not through the culture of her home country. She uses layering as a metaphor for memory and experience relevant to her life today. One student used a found piece of wood to which she responded with color and brush strokes ranging from tumultuous to more gentle; another uses her responses to daily events, observations, and feelings to create her paintings. One student submitted a photography display using a camera from a bin of broken cameras, kept by his teacher for spare parts, and fabricated a pinhole lens for the camera. Using a 30-second exposure, he took a series of photos that didn’t meet his expectations but he came to like for their abstract quality and colorful texture that “had a kind of painterly approach.”

Several free events are based around the exhibit.

The opening reception for the exhibit is set for tomorrow from 5-7 p.m. GRACE plans to host an open mic for kids on March 16.

The exhibition will be on display until March 30 at the gallery located at the Reston Town Center (12001 Market Street #103).

Photo via FCPS

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Herndon, Reston High School Students Win Peace Awards

Students from South Lakes and Herndon high schools are among the 22 students from Fairfax County public schools who won the 2019 Student Peace Awards of Fairfax County.

The award recognizes junior and high school students “who have made a positive contribution to their school or wider community by promoting mutual understanding and respect for all people,” according to the award’s website. Currently, the awards are given out to students in Fairfax and Frederick counties.

FCPS said the following about the winners from South Lakes and Herndon high schools:

Herndon High School: Lydia Goff, president of her school’s Best Buddies chapter, organizes monthly social events, one-to-one get-togethers and fundraisers for the 90 students in the program. She is also a leader in the Spread the Word to End the Word campaign to end the use of the demeaning ‘r’ word.

South Lakes High School: Sophia Liao founded the Young Democrats Club, serves on the Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council and is a member of her school’s Student Council.  She organized a trip for students to go to China to volunteer at a panda center and organized her school’s participation in National Walkout Day in response to the school shooting in Parkland.

The awards began in Fairfax County in 2006 at Herndon High School and, by 2013, were offered to every public high school in the county. Each recipient receives a monetary gift, along with another one for a peace-focused charity of the student’s choice.

The winners will be recognized at a reception on March 10 at the Sherwood Community Center in Fairfax.

File photo

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