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Loudoun businesses recognized at annual schools-business partnership event

Nearly 800 people attended Loudoun school-business partnership recognition breakfast. Times-Mirror/Alex Erkiletian
Nearly 800 attendees packed into the National Conference Center in Lansdowne Friday morning for the annual Loudoun school-business partnership recognition breakfast, where the good work done between local businesses and the public school system is celebrated.

Jeff Morse, chairman of the School Board, gave opening remarks, speaking about the lines between high school, college and the workplace becoming increasingly blurred as more partnerships are formed and young people are equipped with skills that are valued by employers.

“Somewhere along the lines, someone helped you, and that is why I believe you are now members of the school-business partnership. You are paying it back,” Morse said. “We are here this morning to recognize you and your contributions to the future business leaders of Loudoun, state of Virginia and our nation.”

Members of K2M Inc. watching a documentary highlighting their contributions prior to receiving their award of excellence of service. Times-Mirror/Alex Erkiletian

A recognition ceremony was held with nine individuals or organizations honored. The partnership between Loudoun County Fire and Rescue Service, LCPS Head Start and C.S Monroe Technology Center were among those celebrated. The audience heard how high school students can gain entry-level skills to become a volunteer or seek employment within the fire and rescue service.

An accolade was also given to the National Conference Center, which has provided work to nine young people with disabilities who have come from the LCPS system. One of the graduates works alongside the center's chefs, while another is part of the maintenance team.

This year's Legacy Award went to the Claude Moore Foundation, which was praised for its multi-million dollar generosity toward the school system and its scholars.

David Herlihy accepting the Community Steward Award presented by Donna Fortier. Times-Mirror/Alex Erkiletian

Closing the event, LCPS Superintendent Eric Williams thanked the businesses for “choosing to really matter,” and to help graduates contribute to the world and help with the public school's mission of “empowering all students to make meaningful contributions.”

Williams asked more businesses to get involved in this year's theme of “an audience beyond the teacher." He provided an example of two biology teachers from Briar Woods High School who tasked their students with investigating the effects of a de-icer used after snow storms. The students were asked also to present their findings to experts in the field and to come up with more environmentally friendly solutions.

Williams added that the students felt having to present to an audience from outside school had made them work much harder.

“Thank you for all you do and thank you for joining us in this celebration this morning,” he said.

Loudoun Fire Chief Keith Bower addressing the crowd, speaking of the value of their volunteer program that involves Loudoun high school students.Times-Mirror/Alex Erkiletian

J Hamilton Lambert presenting his own Exemplary Leadership in Education and Community Services Award to Ms. Shirley Bazdar. Times-Mirror/Alex Erkiletian

Members of the National Conference Center in partnership with LCPS pupil services accepting an award for their efforts to help Loudoun students with special needs. Times-Mirror/Alex Erkiletian


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