Fairfax County Public Schools presented six schools with 2021 Best of the Web Awards for excellence in website content and use of web-based tools. Winners were recognized at a virtual meeting on March 11.
The annual awards, organized by the FCPS Office of Communication and Community Relations, celebrate schools that create excellent websites to inform and engage readers. The winners remind us of the substantial talent that exists among the community of FCPS school web curators.
Educate Fairfax sponsored the awards, providing six $100 gift cards for the winners, who also received trophies and framed certificates.
Best of the Web award winners for 2021 are:
Shannon Hoff, school-based technology specialist, and Michael Astudillo, principal
Shannon Hoff and Michael Astudillo collaborate at weekly meetings to plan innovative content for the website. New webpages in 2021 include “What Makes Us Special,” which includes a slideshow and a listing of highlighted school programs, and “Why Work at Columbia,” which outlines why a prospective teacher or staffer would want to join the Columbia ES team. An improved Specials Section brings to life subjects such as art, music, physical education, STEAM Lab (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts Integration, and Math), and the Spanish language program. In addition, each staff person is featured in a short biography.
Melinda Snyder, school-based technology specialist; Lisa Warden, student information assistant; and Jessica Lewis, principal
Melinda Snyder and Lisa Warden work as a powerful team. Together they produced 30 exciting features this school year, including photo stories about school spirit days and Read Across America week. They created a school events page with unique filters for spirit days, PTA meetings, and testing dates, offering parents an opportunity to subscribe and receive notifications to their mobile devices. In-depth grade-level teams information is presented. For example, the sixth grade team webpage, includes a team photo, a welcome video, contact information for each teacher, and links to the school supplies list and FCPS curriculum resources.
Lisa David, first-grade teacher, and Lauren Badini, principal
While Lisa David has been teaching for several years at Graham Road Elementary, this is her first year managing the website. Early in the school year, she began profiling staff members in a Staff Spotlight feature; she’s published 12 to date. In addition, each school staffer is represented on grade level team pages. For example, the first-grade team page visually portrays each teacher in an instructional environment while linking to a staff spotlight, if available, and a teacher’s school Twitter feed. Monthly photo galleries offer a roundup of fun activities throughout the school.
Bonnie Wannett, career experience specialist, Scott Settar, Chantilly Academy administrator
Current and prospective students (and their parents) appreciate the detailed information Bonnie Wannett includes on webpages featuring the Academy’s 29 skills-based courses. For example, the Academy’s Dental Careers course webpage welcomes readers with a video from the instructor, a course description, a list of certifications offered, examples of student career pathways, and a list of industry connections and program partnerships. In addition, a registration page offers a 5-minutes virtual open house, as well as videos from both staff and current students, who speak of the benefits of taking Academy courses.
Pam Galietta, school-based technology specialist, and Amy Goodloe, principal
Pam Galietta posts lots of events on the website to keep the Rocky Run community engaged in school activities. Feature stories highlight the school’s unique offerings, such as Makerspace and the Global Classroom program. An academic advising section provides valuable resources to both current and rising sixth-grade students and links to the educational advising pages of its pyramid high schools (Chantilly, Centreville, and Westfield). A Department of Student Services page provides each staff member’s name, along with details about both the team and feeder schools that each school counselor represents.
Angel Mason, business & information technology teacher, and Ben Nowak, principal
For this school year, Angel Mason created 100+ events on the website, and they are filterable by athletics, performing arts, Student Services, testing, and PTA meetings. School features call attention to the many awards and honors received by staff and students. An inviting and consistent school administration page that identifies each team member with a photo and brief description about their responsibilities and areas of supervision within the school. The Student Services Staff page identifies each staff member with an image, multiple ways to contact each person, and links to other pages within the Department of Student Services.