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Loudoun School Board adopts budget cuts, recognizes teacher and principal of the year

The Loudoun County School Board adopted approximately $5.5 million in recommended reductions on Monday after considering the superintendent’s proposed budget reconciliation framework for the 2018 fiscal year.

Ashburn District Representative Eric Hornberger moved to amend the list of recommended reductions to increase the co-curricular stipend for faculty by 2 percent, for approximately $120,600.

“Co-curricular stipends have only been increased by 1 percent over the last five years. These stipends are paid to teachers and staff who take on the additional responsibilities necessary for the effective operation of student programs,” Hornberger explained. “Without them, a lot of the programs that directly benefit students would not be able to happen.”

“[This stipend] is not pay that is equivalent to the salaries of these teachers, not even close. [Teachers] do this because they love what they do, and this stipend is just a way to support them,” Blue Ridge District representative Jill Turgeon said.

The motion passed unanimously, and the School Board unanimously approved the amended reductions for the 2018 fiscal year.

Before successfully adopting budget cuts Monday night, the School Board recognized Loudoun County’s Teacher of the Year and Principal of the Year for 2017. Both are also finalists for the Washington Post’s Teacher of the Year and Principal of the Year for 2017. The nominations were selected by a committee of LCPS teachers and administrators.

Kathy Thompson, who teaches English and Public Speaking at Stone Bridge High School, was recognized as teacher of the year.

Thompson began teaching at Park View High School, before moving to Stone Bridge when it opened in 2000.

“She’s an expert of Macbeth, she’s an expert at Beowulf,” said fellow Stone Bridge English teacher Steven Bills, who nominated Thompson for the award. “She’s still working very hard to improve her craft and be the best possible teacher that she can be for her students,” said marketing teacher Monika Guerrero.

“She always expects your best,” Stone bridge senior Maddie Feigels said. “Those expectations are very clear and sometimes they are intimidating but in the end it makes everybody a better student and everybody brought their A-game to the class.”

In response to the nomination, Thompson said that after being a teacher for 31 years, she is in the business of teaching, but she is constantly learning from her colleagues and from her students. “Each year I meet amazing young people who challenge me to be better. They make me laugh, and yes sometimes they frustrate me,” she said. “If I could convey one message to the non-teaching community, it’s this: Please don’t underestimate the amount of space your children take up in our hearts. We take home so much more than their essays and projects. We take home their struggles,” Thompson said, “and revel in their successes. Teaching is exhausting, but in the best possible way.”

This year’s Principal of the Year is John Champe High School’s John Gabriel. Gabriel has been principal of John Champe since 2011 when it was still in planning before opening in 2012. Before that, he was assistant principal at Park View High School, English department chair at Falls Church High, and has taught high school English in Virginia and New Jersey.

“Your brain must be huge, you’ve got so much going on,” said John Champe seninor Baseem Zeweri from the dais – Zeweri is the School Board’s student representative and John Champe SCA president. “You get to know everybody and remember everything about them.”

“I think if you were to take that knight on the wall of the gym and flip up his visor, you would see your face there,” chairman Jeff Morse said of Gabriel. “When I asked you if you could handle a few more kids—a few more middle schoolers in your high school—you said ‘we can make it work.’ You always make it work.”

“Everybody thinks their school is special and unique, but, trust me this is different. We are special and unique,” said Gabriel of John Champe High School. “Frankly I am humbled and very thankful.”


Comments


Thanks for the direction, this will be entertaining..


Yes, LCPS has a budget page for the budgets. But they don’t publicize the spending. The auditors can’t lie and show what really is spent. Search for “CAFR” on their website (boarddocs) or I have links to these on my Virginia SGP Facebook page.


Is there somewhere to see the proposed budget and perhaps actual spending from previous fiscal years?

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