FCCPS Announces Award Nominees

Support Staff & Professional Specialist Employee of the Year
Posted on 03/21/2019

FCCPS is pleased to recognize five nominees for the Support Staff Employee of the Year Award and four nominees for the 2019 Professional Specialist of the Year Award. Colleagues, parents and community members nominated these outstanding employees in appreciation of the exceptional service to the school community. The nine nominees were surprised by the FCCPS Prize Patrol in their schools and offices.

Support staff employees assist teachers and administrators in providing services to the instructional program and facilities. They include paraprofessionals, office staff, health aides and central office specialists and administrative assistants, as well as employees in these departments: Transportation, Food Services, Day Care, Maintenance Services and Custodial Services.

Professional Specialist of the Year is a new award that recognizes certified education professionals, who are not classroom teachers or on administrator pay scale: School Social Workers, School Counselors, School Psychologists, Behavioral Specialists, Occupational, Physical and Speech Therapists, Academic Coordinators, Librarians, Reading, Math and Technology Specialists.

A panel of judges selects the winners and announces in April. Recognition of all nominees occurs at the FCCPS Celebration of Excellence on May 9, 2019.

The 2019 nominees for Support Staff Employee of the Year are:

  • Jennifer Lee, Food Services Manager, Food Service Dept. and Bus Aide, Transportation
  • Brian Fowler, Maintenance Supervisor, FCCPS
  • Molly Narburgh, Human Resources Specialist - Licensure
  • Noel Obusan, Bus Driver, Transportation Services
  • Norma Sorto, Special Education Paraprofessional, Thomas Jefferson Elementary School

Jennifer Lee, Food Services Manager, Food Service Dept. and Bus Aide, Transportation
Jennifer Lee, Food Services Manager, Food Service Dept. and Bus Aide, Transportation

“Every day, with a smile and a great attitude Jennifer Lee represents the best of Foodservice at FCCPS.” Richard Kane, FCCPS Food Services Director

“Jennifer has turned our cafeteria into a well-oiled machine. With current TJ enrollment at 781 students, it is mandatory that lunch run smoothly and efficiently in the 20 minutes allotted for each grade level to purchase and eat. Jennifer's leadership is paramount to the success and organization that takes place each day in the cafeteria.” TJ Second Grade Team

“Jennifer is a dedicated employee whose work in food service and as a bus aide is just a bit of what others see looking from the outside in. Her paperwork is always immaculate and is used as a model for the rest of the staff to follow.” Sindy Morel, FCCPS Food Service Operations Manager

“Mrs. Lee arrives at school in the early hours before any of the teachers and students arrive to start preparation for breakfasts and lunches that are served to hundreds of children and staff members.” Julie Huber, Health and Physical Education Teacher Thomas Jefferson Elementary School



Brian Fowler, Maintenance Supervisor, FCCPS

Brian Fowler, Maintenance Supervisor, FCCPS

“He truly is the glue that holds our buildings together and the list of things he does to help our students and staff behind the scenes would be too long to type...but.... If you have ever driven into a freshly plowed parking lot after a snow storm, chances are Brian had a hand in it. If you ever visited one of our schools for an event and saw tons of tables/chairs, chances are Brian had a hand in bringing them there.” Seve Padilla, FCCPS Facilities & Security Director

“He doesn’t wear a cape or a fancy uniform, just his pride on his sleeve and determination to keep our schools running up to par.” James Lyons, FCCPS Maintenance Staff


Molly Narburgh, Human Resources Specialist  - Licensure

Molly Narburgh, Human Resources Specialist - Licensure

“She is the licensure expert and thoroughly reviews every new hire to make sure each individual has any necessary and applicable certifications.” Amy Hall, HR Director

“For the past 6 years, I've watched Molly walk in the door with a laugh and a smile. From that moment on, the same tune plays throughout the day. Her positive beat is contagious and anyone she talks to during the day seems to get an extra pep in their step.” Devita Godette-Eason, HR Benefits Specialist

“Molly exemplifies the highest degree of professionalism. She is kind, courteous and efficient. She is a team player,” Miguel S. González, TJ Spanish Teacher



Noel Obusan, Bus Driver, Transportation Services

Noel Obusan, Bus Driver, Transportation Services

“Mr. Obusan is the proverbial “6th man” and our boys have benefited from him greatly this basketball season. He relishes his role of getting the team to game sites safely and always on time. He watches every game directly behind the bench as the team’s and school’s biggest fan.” Kate & Eric Nesson, Parents

“Mr. Obusan played an integral role in our team's success and energy this season. Not only did he always drive the grueling, round trip bus rides without complaint, but also had tremendous energy and passion before, during, and after games. It is easy to take his cheering, hydrating, and fistĀ­bumping for granted, but it is impossible to imagine varsity basketball without it. “ Bobby Asel, GMHS basketball player

“Noel maintains a positive attitude every day, he gets along great with his students and coworkers and remains one of my 'go to people' when I need something done immediately.” Nancy Hendrickson, FCCPS Transportation Director


Norma Sorto, Special Education Paraprofessional, Thomas Jefferson Elementary School

Norma Sorto, Special Education Paraprofessional, Thomas Jefferson Elementary School

“Norma tirelessly supports students and staff the very moment she enters the school building until she walks out. She is unyielding in her pursuit to make her students' school experience the best it can be, no matter the time of day or class.” Miguel González, TJ Spanish Teacher

“Norma's dedication to the profession and her love for our students is shown throughout the entire community through her hard work, empathy she has for others, and her love of learning. Norma always accepts a challenge and is willing to nurture the most difficult students until they are able to flourish on their own. “ Alex Raines, TJ Special Education Teacher

“Norma has supported FCCPS classrooms to ensure inclusion, dignity and life-long learning for students with special needs for over 15 years.” Liz McCarthy, GMHS Transitions Coordinator

“As a mother, knowing that a generous, kind, nurturing, and an extremely capable person like Norma is helping my daughter with her many challenges brings me so much peace.” Cady Jardine, parent



The 2019 Nominees for Professional Specialist of the Year are:

  • Sharon Hoffman, School Psychologist, George Mason High School
  • Mary Manzione, Speech Language Pathologist, Jessie Thackrey Preschool
  • Carol Seaver, School Counselor, Thomas Jefferson Elementary School
  • Adam White, Special Education Administrator and Dean of Students, Mary Ellen Henderson Middle School
Sharon Hoffman, School Psychologist, George Mason High School

Sharon Hoffman, School Psychologist, George Mason High School

“Sharon approaches her work with sensitivity, patience, and heart. Her approach is one of calm and she models this for her students. Additionally, she runs a Morning Mindfulness session early every single Wednesday morning which is open to both staff and students. This is such a wonderful and peaceful place to be and a great way to start the day.” Rebecca Sharp, FCCPS Director of Special Education & Student Services

“Sharon is well known for her ability to connect with parents and they often refer to her work with them as the most helpful that they have experienced. Sharon always focuses on student's strengths and encourages others to do that as well. Parents often report that they were able to get a deeper understanding of their child after Sharon met with them and with that deeper understanding could move forward to helping them.” Robin Borum FCCPS School Social Worker

“Sharon also has been instrumental in developing a Mindfulness program that our daughter, who is in 6th grade, relies upon routinely to calm herself and prepare for difficult challenges while employing techniques Sharon has either taught her or via teachers Sharon has trained in the techniques” Terri Tornell, parent


Mary Manzione, Speech Language Pathologist, Jessie Thackrey Preschool

Mary Manzione, Speech Language Pathologist, Jessie Thackrey Preschool

“Mary has an incredible way of instilling confidence in children who often come to her without any confidence whatsoever, who are scared or refuse to talk, or who talk but are frequently frustrated because others struggle to understand them. She works with them, patiently, gently, playfully, helping them to move forward and gain social confidence, even when real progress isn’t yet occurring.” Chrystie Swiney, parent

“I have watched time and time again as Mary engages each child who walks into her room. It’s like magic. There is no other way to explain it. She gets even the most anxious students to engage with her within a 30 minute screening period, and in the end, they often do not want to leave her room. During screenings, she is able to identify not just the delays with which a child presents, but also the strengths, and she makes sure to weave those into the often difficult School Based Team meeting conversation.” Rachel Hamberger, JTP Director

“Mary was instrumental in transitioning the preschool program from Mount Daniel to its current home on Cherry Street. During the planning stages, she led the way by researching inclusive preschools around the country to see the components of successful programs. She sat down and spoke with the teachers about things they felt were needed to develop a successful preschool. Then, she lobbied in support of the teachers to obtain these things.” Erin Jones, Jessie Thackrey Preschool Teacher

“She is a seasoned early childhood professional and has so many strategies to enhance learning and communication, both in the classroom and in her pull-out speech sessions. I see so much progress with my students who go see her for speech services, and she really takes a look at the whole child when she works with them.” Macy McCabe, Jessie Thackrey Preschool Teacher


Carol Seaver, School Counselor, Thomas Jefferson Elementary School

Carol Seaver, School Counselor, Thomas Jefferson Elementary School (Carol wasn't in school, so the celebration was outside her door!)

“When we talk about the social well-being of our students, we seek the advice of our guidance counselor, Carol Seaver. From her small groups to her lunch bunch and her sage advice given at various meetings, from *Kid Talks" to Eligibility meetings, Carol has a way of helping everyone see the point of view of another person. She has a wonderful ability to support student needs when it comes to facing life's obstacles and bumps.” Lisa Allan, Heidi Lang, Miriam Schimmoller, Thomas Jefferson teachers

“Mrs. Seaver inspired me to return to graduate school and become a school counselor. Since that time, Mrs. Seaver has served as my mentor and role model. As I completed my coursework, my appreciation for Mrs. Seaver grew. She embodied all of the skills, characteristics, and qualities that I was learning about.” Jed Jackson, Mt. Daniel School Counselor

“The conversations with her students are rich and meaningful because she cares so deeply about their social well being and emotional needs. Her calm, gentle demeanor helps set a peaceful tone and allows her students to feel safe and open up to her. The students with which our team works range from struggling readers to highly gifted students to English as a second language learners and we can attest to the fact that Carol works effectively with all of them. “ Thomas Jefferson Specialist Team

“As a member of the School Based Team, she is an advocate for both students and teachers. She is in constant communication with teachers and often avoids email to take the time to talk in person about a student.” Thomas Jefferson Second Grade Team


Adam White, Special Education Administrator and Dean of Students, Mary Ellen Henderson Middle School

Adam White, Special Education Administrator and Dean of Students, Mary Ellen Henderson Middle School (Adam wasn't in school, so he received his award via Facetime.)

“Adam has strong expertise and focuses on building relationships with families. He is always there to help parents feel heard and reassure them that the school is their partner on their journey with their child. Mr. White is nicknamed by many staff and students as "Superman", nothing could be more accurate! He is able to "leap tall" mounds of paperwork and is "faster than a speeding bullet" in responding to needs.” Rebecca Sharp, FCCPS Director of Special Education & Student Services

“Adam White has become a critical support piece for the foundation of our school. We have co-taught with him in the classroom, planned collaboratively on the eighth-grade team, and worked together with him serving as an administrator. No matter the role, he was consistently a helpful and knowledgeable source. He knows all of the ins and outs of special education, providing solutions and advocating for all of the students.” Michael Vu & Nik Werkman, Mary Ellen Henderson Middle School Teachers

“I appreciate having Adam on my team as I know I can trust him to navigate the demands of school-based leadership with grace, compassion, and clear communication for all involved. I love that Adam finds a way to see the humor in our work and that he comes to work each day ready to find joy.” Valerie Hardy, Mary Ellen Henderson Principal

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