School History Sources

Fairfax County School Board Minutes

December 10, 1964: By motion of Mr. Clark, seconded by Mr. Lyon and carried, the Board authorized negotiation for acquisition of a site for the Fairhill Elementary School, with authorization to condemn if necessary; staff to proceed with plans to adapt Wakefield Chapel School construction to this site.

January 28, 1965: Since 1959 the Fairfax County School Board has been proceeding in an orderly and gradual manner to desegregate completely the County’s educational program. The School Board has stated in court proceedings and in public announcements that it intends to establish school attendance areas strictly on a geographical basis with a goal of assigning pupils to the schools nearest their residences… The School Board wishes to announce its proposed program for desegregating the County’s remaining five Negro elementary schools. In formulating this proposed program, the School Board has considered the special problems presented by each individual school. As a result, the proposed action is not identical for each of the schools. However, the proposals for each school and the proposals as a whole represent in the Board’s unanimous judgment the soundest approach to the problem from educational and other points of view. Accordingly, the School Board announces the following proposals: James Lee Elementary School: The James Lee School raises somewhat different problems because of its geographical position in the extreme end of the County and because of its surrounding community complex. This school will continue to operate as an all-Negro school for 1965-66, but with fewer numbers of pupils. Pupils remaining in this school will be those within customary walking distance. Other pupils currently there will be assigned to schools on the basis of their residences. At the end of the school year 1965-66, James Lee will be phased out as an all-Negro school and another use made of the building. Its pupils will be assigned to other schools. During the school year 1965-66, schools receiving pupils now attending James Lee include Fairhill, Stenwood, Woodburn, and Pine Spring.

March 11, 1965: By motion of Mr. Clark, seconded by Mr. Hudgins and carried, the Board confirmed earlier contract award (by telephone poll majority of the Board] to Burroughs & Preston, Inc., in the amount of $508,300 for construction of the Fairhill Elementary School.

July 24, 1975: The School Board approved the Superintendent’s recommendation to located the new center for the physically handicapped (to replace the Belle Willard School) at Fairhill Elementary School.

October 9, 1975: A lengthy presentation of the conceptual design for the center for the physically handicapped at Fairhill Elementary School was recorded in full. See minutes for details.

October 23, 1975: The School Board approved the conceptual design for the center for the physically handicapped at Fairhill Elementary School. This center construction was anticipated to exceed the allocation of $500,000 for this project and the staff had estimated an additional $125,000 would be required. Dr Davis indicated in his memorandum the increased funding could be made partially available from the $100,000 which was reserved for contingencies and possible overruns in the four modernization projects now being completed and partially from residual 1973 bond funds. Dr. Davis suggested the Board wait until the bids were received on the pool for the hydrotherapy unit before talking about the funding for that particular factor. Mr. Morris indicated a recommendation from the parents' group had been requested on that unit. In response to a question from Mr. Christians, Mr. Hlavin indicated the size of the gym was 50 feet by 70 feet or a total of 3,500 square feet.

June 24, 1976: The School Board awarded the contract for the construction of the center for physically handicapped children at Fairhill Elementary School with a hydrotherapy pool to the low bidder, V. F. Pavone Construction Company, for $621,642. The architectural firm of Abrash and Eddy had designed the special education center.

July 14, 1977: The Chairman recognized Mrs. Dell who moved approval of the following resolution: WHEREAS, the Advisory Committee for Exceptional Children and the Fairfax County School Board wish to recognize the efforts of the Fairfax County Public Schools staff, parents, and students of the Fairhill Physically Handicapped Center, and Fairhill Elementary School; and WHEREAS, these efforts have ensured the successful integration of the two facilities and programs, and included the following activities:

  • During the 1975-76 school year, each Fairhill staff members spent two hours at Belle Willard observing classrooms and therapy programs, and discussing the program with the Belle Willard staff.
  • Visits by Fairhill parents to Belle Willard to observe and learn about the physical handicapped program were arranged.
  • Inservice programs for Fairhill administration, staff, and parents were provided.
  • A principal exchange day familiarized each administrator with the operation and management of special and general education programs.
  • Participation by members of the Belle Willard PTA executive council in Fairhill PTA executive council meetings was initiated.
  • Joint Belle Willard and Fairhill parent/teacher meetings were held.
  • Involvement of students from both schools was arranged (two-day in-service for Fairhill students conducted by Mr. Clifton Munn, principal of Belle Willard and three teachers of the physically handicapped--Mrs. Barbara Kirby, Ms. Ellen Rosenbaum, and Mrs. Sharon Demallo). A bag lunch on the Fairhill school grounds and school visit was arranged.
  • Continual and close communication between both school principals, staffs, and parent/teacher groups was ensured.
  • Two hundred eighty-four (284) out of 300 survey questionnaires prepared by the FCPS Planning Services Department (Dr. Ron Hoekstra) on the transition of Belle Willard to Fairhill have been returned by parents and teachers with pertinent comments; and

WHEREAS, these efforts were exemplary and evidence the sincere commitment of the Fairfax County school community to the education of all children; NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the School Board of Fairfax County, Virginia, hereby express its appreciation to the pupils, parents, and staff who contributed to the development of the Fairhill program. The motion was seconded by Mrs. Kahn and carried unanimously. Chairman Page stated that letters would be prepared from the Board to the two PTAs mentioned in this resolution indicating the Board had adopted his resolution of commendation.

February 25, 1988: Resolution Naming the Library at Fairhill Elementary School "The Sarah P. Somers Library" Mrs. Collier recognized Mrs. Fleetwood for the purpose of offering a resolution. Mrs. Fleetwood presented the resolution honoring former Fairhill school secretary Sarah Somers. Resolution Naming The Fairhill Elementary School Library "The Sarah P. Somers Library" WHEREAS, Sarah P. Somers joined the Fairfax County Public Schools in 1957, served as the secretary at Fairhill Elementary School from 1965 to 1987, and retired in July 1987 after more than thirty years of exemplary service, and WHEREAS, she served as a community liaison, welcoming newcomers and encouraging Fairhill children and families, which has contributed significantly to the academic and emotional quality of life in the community, and WHEREAS, she has been a dedicated professional who has earned the admiration and respect of those who worked with her, and WHEREAS, she has shown true support to all the school activities and programs, and has cooperated willingly with the PTA, staff, faculty, and administration, NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the library at Fairhill Elementary School be named "The Sarah P. Somers Library," in recognition of her generous sharing of time, energy, talent, and counsel to benefit the Fairhill community. Mrs. Fleetwood moved, and Mrs. Michener seconded, adoption of the resolution. The motion passed 9-0, with Mr. Lane not present. A framed copy of the resolution was presented to Mrs. Somers, who was accompanied by her husband and other members of her family. Fairhill principal Kay Eckler and former principal Joe Ross, along with several members of the Fairhill staff, were also present to congratulate Mrs. Somers.

January 25, 1996: The School Board awarded the contract for renewal of Fairhill Elementary School to Caldwell and Santmyer, Inc., in the amount of $4,935,000. Mrs. Heastie said that she had participated in the 30th Anniversary Celebration at Shrevewood Elementary School on January 24; that it had been an exciting evening; that she had enjoyed it very much; that she had visited the special education centers at Fairhill, Mantua, and Oakton Elementary Schools earlier that day with the Area II Director of Special Education; that the school principals all worked very hard to involve the general education teachers with the teachers from the special education programs; and that she had been very favorably impressed.

September 12, 1996: Mrs. Heastie said that she had visited Mantua and Fairhill Elementary Schools which were both under construction, affording her the opportunity to wear a hard hat; she commended the principals and staff of those schools as well as the Department of Facilities Services, all of whom were working very hard under challenging conditions yet had managed to open the schools as planned

October 24, 1996: Mr. Frye moved, and Mr. Emery seconded, that the Board approve the continued use of tile flooring material in the gymnasiums as part of the renewals at Fairhill, Mantua, and Marshall Road Elementary Schools. Mr. Frye said that he had participated in the Fairfax County School Board wars over whether or not to carpet school gymnasiums; that he was delighted to see that the Board was allowing local option; that he was a safety official and had not given up on the issue of carpeting gymnasiums; that it was the position of indoor air quality experts that carpeting should not be used in gymnasiums; and that since it was so late he would not belabor the point. The motion that the Board approve the continued use of tile flooring material in the gymnasium as a part of the renewals at Fairhill, Mantua, and Marshall Road Elementary Schools passed 9-0, with Mr. Reese and Mr. Ward not present for the vote; and with Mrs. Heastie absent.

November 18, 1997: Mrs. Heastie, Chairman of the Legislation Committee, said that the legislative breakfast on November 12 had been very successful; that a number members of the of U.S. Congress, the Virginia General Assembly, the Board of Supervisors, and the Fairfax City School Board had participated; that the School Board’s 1998 Legislative Program had been presented and issues of paramount concern--which included technology resource teachers, pre-Labor Day opening of schools, funding, and the SOL and SOA--had been discussed; she said that the event had been held at Fairhill Elementary School; and she expressed her thanks to Principal Janis Paushter, staff and PTA members, and the students of Fairhill, for having been such gracious hosts. Mrs. Heastie said that the previous evening she had spoken at a public hearing convened by the Commission on the Future of Public Education in Virginia; that she had asked the School Board Office staff to distribute copies of the Commission’s report and her remarks to her colleagues; that she was disappointed that the Commission’s lengthy report contained no recommendations that the state provide financial assistance for public school construction; and that while FCPS was fortunate that the Fairfax County community had overwhelmingly supported the school construction bond, the Board felt that the state’s role in funding should be expanded. Mrs. Heastie said that she planned to attend a seminar on lobbying and legislation at the Virginia School Boards Association (VSBA) Annual Convention the next day; that the General Assembly would convene in less than two months; and that the staff members of the Office of Government Relations were working diligently to prepare.

June 17, 1999: Mrs. Heastie offered the following resolution: RESOLUTION HONORING ROXANNE BAULAND WHEREAS, Roxanne Bauland is a fifth grader at Fairhill Elementary School; and WHEREAS, while at her safety patrol post on February 22, 1999, Roxanne performed the Heimlich maneuver on a first grade student who was choking on a piece of hard candy and thereby saved the child's life; and WHEREAS, for her heroic efforts, Ms. Bauland is one of six safety patrol members across the United States to receive the American Automobile Association's Lifesaving Award for saving a child's life while on patrol duty; and WHEREAS, she was honored at a ceremony at the Rayburn Building in Washington, D.C., after participating in a school safety patrol parade, visiting Washington, D.C., monuments, being greeted at the White House, and participating in a Congressional tour and luncheon; and WHEREAS, Roxanne, by her concern, her quick thinking, and her heroic behavior, became a role model for her fellow students at Fairhill Elementary School; NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Fairfax County School Board extends its highest commendation and deepest appreciation to Roxanne Bauland for her dedication to helping others. Mrs. Heastie moved, and Mrs. Strauss seconded, that the Board adopt the Resolution Honoring Roxanne Bauland. The motion passed unanimously, with Mr. Braunlich absent.

May 25, 2000: Mrs. Heastie said that she had attended a retirement party for Nancy Sayers, a teacher at Fairhill Elementary, who was retiring after 29 years.

April 11, 2002: Ernestine Heastie, Providence District Commendations: To Greg Whitaker, sixth-grade safety patrol at Fairhill Elementary, for receiving the American Automobile Association’s National School Safety Patrol Lifesaver Award, the highest honor awarded to a safety patrol; that he had saved a Fairhill first-grade student from a possible kidnapping; that Fairhill principal Janis Paushter and staff were very proud of Greg and she congratulated his family for raising such a fine young man

May 8, 2003: Resolution Naming the Playground at Fairhill Elementary School (Exhibit C) Mrs. Heastie offered the following resolution: RESOLUTION NAMING THE PLAYGROUND AT FAIRHILL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL “THE TOM SCOTT PLAYGROUND” WHEREAS, Thomas G. Scott, who passed away on January 1, 2003, served Fairfax County Public Schools with distinction for 25 years, the last five years being principal of Fairhill Center, until his retirement in 1996; and WHEREAS, he celebrated in the accomplishments of each of his students, staff members, and parents and was an inspiration to all; and WHEREAS, he was a caring administrator who was devoted to his staff and never lost sight of his primary mission that the children always came first; and WHEREAS, he was genuinely concerned and caring toward all students and an especially strong advocate for students with physical disabilities; and WHEREAS, throughout his career, his enthusiastic personality stimulated students and staff members alike to stretch toward and reach the highest of standards; and WHEREAS, he enhanced the feeling of family within the Fairhill community, WHEREAS, Fairfax County Public Schools has been served admirably through the tenacity, determination, and caring of Thomas Scott; NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Fairfax County School Board names the Fairhill Elementary School playground “The Tom Scott Playground,” in memory of Thomas Scott and in recognition of his dedication and commitment to the unique needs of students at Fairhill Elementary School. Mrs. Heastie moved, and Mrs. Kory seconded, to adopt the resolution Naming the Playground at Fairhill Elementary School. The motion passed unanimously, with Mr. Gibson absent. Mrs. Heastie invited Mr. Scott’s family and friends to join her for photographs.

May 8, 2003, Continued: Resolution Naming the Computer-Technology Laboratory at Fairhill Elementary School (Exhibit B) Mrs. Heastie offered the following resolution: RESOLUTION NAMING THE FAIRHILL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL COMPUTER-TECHNOLOGY LABORATORY “THE JANIS L. PAUSHTER COMPUTER-TECHNOLOGY LABORATORY” WHEREAS, Janis L. Paushter has served in Fairfax County Public Schools with distinction for 26 years, until her retirement in July, 2003, as specialist, coordinator of due process, director of administrative services, director of diagnostic and placement services, executive assistant to the superintendent, assistant principal, and—for the last 12 years—principal of Fairhill Elementary School; and WHEREAS, her tireless dedication to educational excellence has developed one of the strongest Fairfax County schools, which has consistently produced top-quality scores and topquality students; and WHEREAS, her leadership and vision created an environment of trust and openness in which parents have a true love for Dr. Paushter, as do the teachers, students, and staff members at Fairhill; and WHEREAS, it is through her genuine desire for the meaningful fulfillment of children's education that the school and the community are encouraged to work together in a real spirit of unity and reaching out that can be seen every day at Fairhill; and WHEREAS, Dr. Paushter recognized the technology needs required to meet Fairhill’s strategic academic goals and took a strong leadership role to overcome the tragic death of Fairhill’s technology specialist and to research and write a comprehensive technology plan for Fairhill called Project Tigers Grrr, a plan that has been the force behind Fairhill’s huge strides in the acquisition and implementation of instructional technology; and WHEREAS, Dr. Paushter has worked diligently and tirelessly with developers in the Fairhill district to garner commitments of funds to support Fairhill’s technology plan and is currently expecting donations of $150,000 from these developers this spring and summer; and WHEREAS, Fairhill Elementary School faculty and community members join in requesting that her unselfish and invaluable contributions to Fairhill and Fairfax County Public Schools be acknowledged; NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Fairfax County School Board names the Fairhill computer-technology laboratory “The Janis L. Paushter Computer-Technology Laboratory,” in recognition of her devotion to the entire Fairhill community. Mrs. Heastie moved, and Mrs. Thompson seconded, to adopt the Resolution Naming the Computer-Technology Laboratory at Fairhill Elementary School. The motion passed unanimously, with Mr. Gibson absent. Mrs. Heastie invited Dr. Paushter, her family, friends, and staff members from Fairhill Elementary School to join her for photographs.

May 27, 2004: Phillip Niedzielski-Eichner, Providence District Commendations: To Fairhill Elementary School teacher Roger Kingsbury on having been one of the top-five nominees for Teacher of the Year.