Above and Beyond

Tiffany Cooper, Service Writer, Support Services

Nominated by Grant Skidmore, team leader

"I wanted to highlight one of our Service Writers, Tiffany Cooper. Tiffany has been a tremendous asset to the service department at Transportation. With summer here, she has helped me keep track of the constant bus movement and has excelled in communicating with Areas about the buses. Tiffany is always going above and beyond to help her coworkers and keeps the operation flowing smoothly."

Jennifer Petrusky, teacher, Belmont Station Elementary School

Nominated by Deana Griffith, community member

"Ms. Petrusky is an amazing reading teacher. Not only did she help my daughter to read within a couple of months, I watched her sit outside classes with other students helping them as well. She has been teaching at Belmont Station since we opened the school 20 years ago. She has taught a total of 25 years at LCPS and this year was her 30th year of teaching. Her early childhood was spent in New Jersey, but lived in Virginia most of her life. She attended Mary Baldwin College where she earned an undergraduate degree in elementary education. She attended James Madison University where she earned a graduate degree in reading. She also earned a graduate degree in educational administration from Shenandoah University. Ms. Petrusky has a passion for literacy and literacy instruction. Nothing makes her happier than spending time with her family! Let's congratulate Ms. Petrusky on her fantastic tenure with LCPS."

Leah Vagnoni, teacher, Cedar Lane Elementary School

Nominated by Jessica McCracken, colleague

"Leah Vagnoni transitioned to Cedar Lane Elementary School this school year from another LCPS school. This was her first year teaching 2nd grade and focusing heavily on foundational phonics instruction to support her students' reading. Leah participated in LETRS Vol 1 to learn more about how students learn to read and write and learned how to deliver multisensory phonics interventions personalized to her students' needs. Through her hard work and dedication to her craft, Leah has supported her students by meeting them where they are at and pushing them to move their learning forward. I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to work alongside such a stellar educator at Cedar Lane Elementary!"


Alexis Schaeffer, ESY coordinator at Cardinal Ridge ES

Nominated by Zahida Iqbal, Angela Crawford, Bassma Elshaer and Chonlatip Vuttilerdanum, ESY staff

Zahida writes, "She is amazing. I loved how she is so organized, and how she runs the ESY. She is spectacular!!!!"


Angela says, "Alexis Schaeffer is an amazing site coordinator for ESY. I have worked under her for a few years now and she always creates a positive, supportive environment where we accomplish great things for students in a positive environment where everyone feels supported and cared about. Alexis sends frequent communication and encouragement. She reaches out to families to inquire and express concern when students are absent or do not attend. The main thing that sticks out to me is the positivity and encouragement between bus drivers, office staff, teachers, supervisors and students and I believe the coordinator sets the tone for the site. She is amazing and always helpful and positive."

Chonlatip says, "I am thrilled to nominate Ms. Alexis Schaeffer for her outstanding contributions and leadership as the Coordinator for the Extended School Year (ESY) program. Throughout the duration of ESY, Ms. Alexis has exemplified what it means to be a dedicated and effective leader. Her proactive approach and quick response to any challenges or issues that arise have been instrumental in ensuring the smooth operation of the program. Whenever there was a problem, big or small, Ms. Alexis was always ready to jump in and provide assistance with professionalism and expertise. Her exceptional organizational skills have been evident in the seamless management of every aspect of the ESY program. From scheduling and logistics to coordinating resources and support for students and staff, Ms. Alexis has consistently demonstrated her ability to handle responsibilities efficiently and effectively. Beyond her managerial prowess, Ms. Alexis has shown a genuine care and concern for the well-being of both students and colleagues. Her approachable demeanor and willingness to listen and address concerns have fostered a supportive and collaborative environment within the ESY program. Ms. Alexis truly embodies the qualities of a wonderful coordinator—dedicated, proactive, professional, and compassionate. It has been a privilege to work under her leadership during ESY, and her contributions have undoubtedly made a significant impact on the success of the program."


Bassma writes, "Alexis Schaeffer is the best supervisor for ESY I have ever had. She was great at communication and well-skilled management so made ESY a friendly, fun, and comfortable place for the students and for the staff."


Stacey Ahmad and Belinda Knockett, bus driver and attendant

Nominated by Kelly Ross, librarian

"Stacey Ahmad and Belinda Knockett both arrived at RRD this morning hoping to congratulate a 5th grade student after his promotion ceremony. They made certain to show up and give him their best wishes, and he was so proud! The student was introducing these two amazing ladies to all his friends, proudly saying, ""This is my bus driver!" After the ceremony they stopped at the main office and asked if this student had been able to procure a yearbook, and when they learned he had not, these two ladies got their wallets and purchased one for him. It meant so much to see these ladies take the time and effort to make our graduate feel special!!!"

Kathleen Jagielski, teacher, Trailside School

Nominated by Julia, student

"Mrs. Jagielski is an amazing teacher who is extremely compassionate towards her students. She manages to be very funny during lessons, but also serious when it comes to her teaching. Her kind smile and warm personality leave a lasting impact on choral students, if not inviting them to return to chorus lessons again. She works very hard to support her students, beyond being a beautiful singer herself. Additionally, she offers a reassuring hand in any circumstance, always preparing her students whether it be a test or performance at hand. Her positive attitude has brightly affected my years at Trailside and has made a lasting impression on the lives of many others; I appreciate Mrs. Jagielski for everything that she does!!"

Jennifer Dunkin, teacher, Brambleton Middle School

Nominated by Maribeth Linmore, parent

"Mrs. Dunkin has done a fantastic job this year as our daughter's 6th grade math teacher. Her engaging personality and methods of teaching have instilled confidence in a child who doesn't naturally gravitate towards STEM classes and actually has her excited about math class! She teaches the foundations & logic behind math, helping students connect dots and establish a mathematical foundation. I'm so thankful our daughter had the benefit of learning from her this year!"

Erin Nesheim, teacher, Cedar Lane Elementary School

Nominated by Gabby, former student

"Mrs. Nesheim went above and beyond for my 5th grade year. Though I am in middle school now, Ms. Nesheim prepared me for middle school in the best way possible. She disciplines, but yet is still a very fun teacher. I hope whoever has Mrs. Nesheim now, and in the future, loves her as much as I do. Thank you, Mrs. Nesheim, I miss you very much!"

 Amisha Savalia, teacher, Leesburg Elementary School

Nominated by Michelle Hollenbach, parent

"I only have good things to write and wanted to share regarding second grade teacher Ms. Amisha Savalia. Her level of engagement with students is extraordinary. I have witnessed this through chaperoning on the field trip in the fall, volunteering with the class at field day, seeing her dropping off her students at the lunchroom, when she stays after to play in the adult versus student volleyball game or when she volunteered at the school-wide Bingo night, and the opportunity this past week when families were invited to hear presentations on the class's cross-cultural research. I am so impressed with her care for students and her skills at keeping their attention and focus. Beyond this student interaction, she is also highly responsive to parent communication. We are all so thankful for her dedication to teaching and hope that she is duly recognized by the admin! "

Jeannie Lambert, teacher, Hutchison Farm Elementary School

Nominated by an anonymous family

"We would like to recognize Mrs. Jeannie Lambert, who has positively impacted our daughter's reading skills and performance. Mrs. Lambert formed a great connection and relationship with our daughter. She took the time to always encourage our daughter's improvements, and to celebrate her growing achievements. This investment allowed our daughter to become a much more confident and fluid reader. Additionally, Mrs. Lambert always expressed a gracious spirit, and was a helpful resource to us, as parents. We thank you, Mrs. Lambert, for having such a positive impact on our daughter's reading education!"

Ronald Kling, HRTD Coordinator

Nominated by Gary Gearhart, HRTD Supervisor

"For over a decade, LCPS year after year onboarded as many new Bus Drivers as possible in order to continue our mission of providing stellar education to our students, but also keep up with the number of routes required in a growing district. In a recent Finance and Operations Committee meeting with the School Board, Transportation Leadership confirmed that LCPS is at a surplus of drivers. This is a wonderful accomplishment. Ron Kling, HRTD Coordinator, has directly overseen the onboarding and staffing component of every new bus driver, working tireless hours to make connections with each driver and ensuring every new hire is onboarded timely and professionally. He has gone above and beyond in his role, which resulted in such positive outcomes for the district!"

Chris Focer, teacher, J. Lupton Simpson Middle School

Nominated by Lily Brandriff, student

"Mr. Focer made a big difference in my life. Not only just for school, but for his color guard team which I did JV for. Also, in history, he makes his lessons and projects fun."

Lindsay Petsch, teacher, Trailside Middle School

Nominated by Patty Yeboah, student

"I would like to nominate Ms. Petsch. She is very kind helpful and caring. She always helps my whole class by telling everybody about what they need to do so they don't forget. When I need help with my math homework, she is always there to help me. She has helped me a lot and I do not know how to repay her. Thanks Ms. Petsch!"

Shelly Graves, math interventionist, J. Lupton Simpson Middle School

Nominated by Michael O'Connell, colleague

"Ms. Shelly Graves, math interventionist at Simpson Middle, goes above and beyond every day with her students. It has been truly inspiring to see her work, and incredibly helpful to me and my fellow Mustangs to have her on the team! She works before school, after school, and every second of the school day to make sure her students will succeed."

Brigid Rosenberger, teacher, Woodgrove High School


Nominated by Sara Williams, parent

"Mrs. Rosenberger is not just your average high school math teacher. She excels at her job by going above and beyond to ensure that her students not only understand the concepts, but are successful in applying them. Her dedication, hard work, and caring nature is what all high school students need from their teachers. She goes out of her way to provide additional help before school, during class, and during her planning period. She takes the time to get to know and understand each of her students so she knows their strengths and weaknesses. She believes that all of her students can be successful and she does everything she can to make sure they reach their full potential. Her passion for math and her ability to make the most complex concepts seem simple are what make her stand out. Her classroom is a safe and welcoming learning environment where her students feel comfortable to ask questions, make mistakes, and be themselves. I have been blessed to have had Mrs. Rosenberger educate three of my kids and provide additional help even after they have left her classroom. Their success is her success and we are so grateful for her. We need more educators like Mrs. Rosenberger.

Kristen Tham, teacher, Heritage High School


Nominated by Clark Carr, teacher assistant

"Kristen Tham has been doing her job as well as coaching another new teacher in the Special Education Department! She has always been great but has gone above and beyond this year assisting the new teacher! Always with a smile and love for her students."

Zachary Freeman, teacher, Madison's Trust Elementary School


Nominated by Marissa Kaczmarczyk, colleague

"Zachary Freeman is a veteran Art Teacher here at Madison's Trust and has worked he for several years. He is such a staple not only to Madison's Trust but the whole community. You will never meet a kinder, gentler, more inclusive, patient, and understanding teacher. His students ADORE him and create some of the most interesting and beautiful art pieces. His colleagues absolutely love working with him. He is an excellent team player and collaborator. He also goes so far and beyond for the school community. He designed the whole year book practically by himself. He designed school mascot original artwork to auction off for charity at our Thanksgiving community event. He also designed character artwork to make trading cards that students can earn as a positive behavior incentive. The students (even the older ones) are obsessed. Mr. Freeman is always there when you are in a pinch to lend a helping hand and is the most positive person. We are so lucky to have a teacher like him at the school. Mr. Freeman sees hundreds of students (MTE is a BIG school) yet still somehow made the time to help me create large-scale coin replicas to use as props in our Kindergarten Graduation grade-wide show. I tried to buy these props online, but they were insanely expensive. I asked Mr. Freeman if he could help me design the front of the coins to look like the actual penny, nickel, dime, and quarter. He went ahead and did just that and not only designed it, he cut, colored, and created 5 large custom coin props. You can see what a talented artist he is. That wasn't my reason for nominating him. It's that he took the time from his own personal time to create, cut, color, and prep this project for us. He did this out of the goodness of his heart because he wanted to help our Kindergarten class (and the teachers like me who can't draw). He's done projects like this in the past for us, too. Last year he helped me design a giant scale planet Earth for another project. If you need something done, he is your guy and I am so so so grateful.

Amanda Hudson, principal, J. Michael Lunsford Middle School


Nominated by Paul Pack, prinicpal, Liberty Elementary School

"In the wake of the devastating house explosion that severely injured Brian Diamond, a dedicated volunteer firefighter and teacher at J. Michael Lunsford Middle School, the unwavering love and support from new Principal, Amanda Hudson, and the Lunsford Middle School staff have been nothing short of extraordinary. Amanda's tireless efforts, spearheading fundraisers and rallying the cluster schools, have provided immense relief and comfort to Brian and Lisa Diamond during this incredibly challenging time. Her organization of the "Go Red Day" not only showcased a powerful unity but also embodied the strength of our community's compassion. The continued support and solidarity from Amanda and the Lunsford Middle School staff serve as a beacon of hope and resilience for the Diamond family, reaffirming that they are not alone in their journey towards recovery."

Leeann Brockway, Sanders Corner Elementary School


Nominated by Nicole Anderson, community member

"Mrs. Brockway is the most caring, generous, empathetic and fun teacher. She makes learning fun and makes the kids feel loved and noticed. I only wish every child could start their learning journey with her. She deserves to be recognized every day! Watching her playing with the kids during the kindergarten field trip to Great Country Farm was so inspiring~"

Betsy Johnson, teacher, Meadowland Elementary School


Nominated by Lora Buckman, colleague

"Betsy Johnson goes above and beyond as an EL teacher. She is data driven and shares the data with our team to implement goals. She works hard with the entire team planning and making learning objectives for all subjects. She also plans with each subject. She is a calm, creative, knowledgeable, and fosters a learning atmosphere conducive to positive, fun, and academic learning. She and her co teacher plan fabulous lessons incorporating the standards so that the students accomplish their goals."

Erin Craddock, School Improvement and  Accountability Specialist, Department of Academics


Nominated by Dawn Haddock, principal, Emerick Elementary School

"Erin Craddock came to Emerick today to assist and guide us in planning our SIP for next year. I sent her a last-minute email yesterday, asking her if she had any time to guide us. She not only made time for us, but also came to my school and planned what the meeting would look like and what we needed to do. She came with such a positive attitude, knew what she was doing, kept us all on task and most of all, came up with a great plan to lead my SIP team on June 3rd. Today, I felt blessed to be working with someone who cares about the students here at Emerick. She is a true gift to Loudoun County Public Schools!"

Steven Colger, teacher, Round Hill Elementary School


Nominated by Letty Kayser, parent

"This week is my favorite week of the year! I wanted to take a moment to share our appreciation for Mr. Colger and why, as my son says, it is his "favorite year". In the past, he has had some pretty great teachers. Without minimizing their wonderful job as educators, Mr. Colger is the most exceptional of them all. I have never once received a call from teachers until this year. Absolutely nothing wrong with that. We know that students who need support in their education or behavior tend to get the calls. However, Mr. Colger has called me 3 times this year, all with positive communication. The first call was just to tell me how great of a student my kid is. The conversation turned into a collaboration of how to meet his individual needs. That was the theme of all the calls that followed. I just really appreciate the time, care and effort Mr. Colger has put into my son and communication. This alone is enough to stand out as the best teacher but that's not all. My son is a shy kid who needs constant words of encouragement and support to build his confidence. I have seen tremendous growth in him this year and I would like to attribute that to Mr. Colger. When it comes to supporting and showing up for his students, Mr. Colger is one of a kind. He proved this when he showed up to one of his football games in the fall. He took the time to support a student beyond the classroom, drove 20 minutes in the wrong direction and spent his very limited evening time on a weeknight to hang out on a field. Amazing. My son may not have words to understand how this has impacted him and if I am being honest- I am not sure I do either, but he definitely felt this moment. Although it seemed so casual and normal to Mr. Colger himself, it was a selfless act that won't be forgotten. I believe I speak for all the parents in Mr. Colger's class when I say he constantly goes above and beyond for us and our students. Between thoroughly communicating with us about lessons, classroom activities, and our children's progress, he has exceeded all of our hopes for fourth grade. I can't thank Mr. Colger enough for this, his genuine care for kids, and for creating such a meaningful, positive atmosphere in the classroom. I will absolutely be nominating him for teacher of the year at the next opportunity. I would agree with my son, this is my favorite school year too. He would also like to add, "Mr. Colger is funny and cool because he is good at all sports". 

Mary Ries, teacher, Broad Run High School


Nominated by Deborah Harris, colleague

"I would like to give a huge shout out to Mary Ries. Mary is a phenomenal educator who goes above and beyond every day. She loves teaching because she loves kids and roots for them every step of the way. Mary has been an LCPS educator since 1996. She graduated from Broad Run and has been the heart and soul of Broad Run ever since. I could feel her love and loyalty for the school from the day I met her in 2002. Mary always asks how she can help and does more and more every year. Most recently, Mary gave every second of her free time to help our most vulnerable learners prepare for their Algebra SOL. Watching her smile and laugh with kids while encouraging them to do their best was amazing. Mary truly rocks and there will never be enough words to adequately thank her for her dedication to this profession and to our awesome school."