Thursday, May 2, 2013
In fifth year, week-long pledge between seven of Vienna's elementary schools prepares for biggest turnout yet.
Karen Marlo has always had an interest in keeping kids active. But the odds seemed stacked against making fitness a part of her children's most fundamental routine: going to and from school. Marlo, a working mom, has two kids in two different schools. Her son takes the bus to Westbriar Elementary in part because it's the safest route: There aren't sidewalks between the family's home in Northeast Vienna and the school just off of Old Courthouse Road, a busy commuter cut-through. But last year, Marlo recommitted to the effort, finding a safe route to bike to school with her son and scheduling the trip with enough time to return home and head to work. Soon, it was their new routine. "Having to find the time isn't easy," she said. "It's part …
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Vienna community celebrates opening of $800,000 Candace Leyton Innovation Learning Lab, a gift from a former student of the late teacher.
When Chris Shumway started third grade at Wolftrap Elementary School in 1973, he had no real academic goals, he said. He was into sports, and lived them — but that was just about his only focus. Luckily, he said, his teacher Candace Leyton recognized a competitive spirit in him and used it as a tool to teach. "She saw in me I think an unlimited potential," he said of the late educator, who taught for more than 30 years in Fairfax County Public Schools. "I didn't realize it at the time, but she changed the direction of my life and help shape who I am today. I came into third grade an average student and ended believing I could do anything." The investment Leyton made in a young Shumway changed the direction of his life, he said. And while …
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Vienna parent wants area residents to support Del. Barbara Comstock bill that would change how Fairfax County calculates class size average.
Wednesday, January 23
To the editor: Our world-class schools are the number one reason businesses and families come to Fairfax County. But people will not move here once they see many of our overcrowded classes. We now have the distinction of having among the largest class sizes in the area and Virginia state law does almost nothing to protect our children. Current student to teacher ratios are calculated at the county level and afford administrators way too much leverage where they can place as many kids as they want in a classroom, just as long as divisionwide, they do not exceed the state ratios. Given that Virginia already has the highest caps in the country, we are headed down a very slippery slope. How are children expected to learn and teachers to …
Friday, August 17, 2012
Anita Blain ends 20-year career in Fairfax County
Students will soon come bounding up the steps of Wolftrap Elementary School for the first day of classes, welcomed, per tradition, by teachers and staff holding signs and balloons to kick off a new school year. But for the first time since 2005, Anita Blain won't be waiting outside the building. Blain ended a 20-year career with Fairfax County Public Schools this summer when she stepped down as principal of Wolftrap — a "dream" made even sweeter by following a single class from kindergarten through sixth grade during her seven years as principal at the school on Beulah Road. "It's bittersweet, but it's wonderful," she said, sitting in her office on the last day of classes in June. "I never thought I'd be able to follow a group of children…
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Special Education teacher Shirley Mabon has helped Vienna families learn for decades
It was just more than four decades ago that Shirley Mabon walked into an orphanage in Western New York looking to lend a hand, not realizing at the time her life was about to change. Mabon, who had just completed an English degree, was having trouble finding a job and decided to do some volunteering. “They were starting a school and they asked if I would like to interview for a position. I did, and ended up working at the school for kids with emotional disabilities for two and a half years," Mabon said. That training would be the catalyst for a career in special education, the last 37 years of which has been at Wolftrap Elementary School. But when the school year comes to an end this June, Mabon will be saying goodbye to Wolftrap, along …