LEA May 2019

We, the members of the Loudoun Education Association, are the voice of education professionals.
Our work is fundamental to the county, and we accept the profound trust placed in us.

May 2019 Newsletter

President’s Notes

Not a member? Join LEA!

Happy Member Appreciation Month!

I appreciate having valuable and meaningful conversations with LEA members like you! With the help of LEA members and leaders, I have become more knowledgeable about all levels of LCPS. I am continually amazed at the wide variety of jobs in LCPS. Over the past two and a half years, I have been able to cultivate meaningful relationships with the administration, school board members, and community leaders to better lead and advocate for all members.

Community Partners
Below, you will read about our community partnership with the Capital Community Church. For the second year, we have partnered with the Ashburn church for their recognition and appreciation event for educators. LEA selected from our active Association Representatives and the church visited each school to record video testimony of the impact our members have at their schools. 

Advocating for You
During the recent VEA Delegate Assembly, it was inspiring to watch your colleagues advocate and work to set LEA as one of the preeminent associations in Virginia. Having a part of setting VEA's agenda is a vital part in our success (See the article in this newsletter).


David Palanzi, President
Loudoun Education Association

Pastor Mitchell, Chair Randall, Dave Palanzi
@ Educators' Appreciation Sunday
Photo by George Cassutto

School Board Update

From LoudounEA Facebook Live Post April 9 & 23

At the School Board Meeting. Tonight’s topics include: budget reconciliation discussion and various policy updates.

Public Comment: 
There are 11 speakers tonight for public comments. Speakers spoke about the need to retain standalone computers connected to the Promethean board, and communication with community.

•    Principal of the year, Mrs. Short, Sterling Elementary
•    Teacher of the year, Mrs. Rodgers, Dominion High 
•    School highlight, Sugarland Elementary from Focus School to Model School

Public Comment: 
There are 15 speakers tonight for public comments. They spoke about the admissions process at the Academies of Loudoun, school safety, equity, and textbook adoption.

Superintendent’s Time:
Dr. Williams discussed changes to the board calendar. He commended Dr. Richards, Chief of Staff, who is leaving to be the Superintendent in Harrisonburg, Virginia. The entire board share positive accolades about Dr. Richards.

Action Items:
•    FY20 Operating Budget Reconciliation and Adoption adjustments were made to account for the $2.15 Million reduction due to a reduction in the forecast of the State allocation. (passed 9-0)
See the rest of Dave's notes for the SB Meeting

Updated LCPS Grading Policy

The School Board Curriculum and Instruction Committee has been presented with initial policy language to update the grading policy which can be found here. There is also a draft of the guidelines.

Since the Fall of 2018, a focus group has met to develop updated policy. The group is made up of:
  • Central Office Staff
  • School Principals (ES, MS, HS)
  • Teachers (1 group representing ES, and 1 group representing MS/HS)
  • Students (2 MS groups, 2 HS groups)
  • Parents (2 groups representing K-12)
  • College and university professors (Individual Conversations)
Guidelines used by the group include:
  • Articulated purpose
  • Aligned to philosophy of assessment
  • Provided definitions for Assessment, Grading, Formative, and Summative
  • Consistent guidelines regarding reassessment, late work and use of zero
  • Provide clarity on midterms and finals
  • Expanded gradebook expectations
    • Number of assignments
    • Grading homework
Your Input
LEA had a couple of members who were on this committee and they have kept us looped in to some of the discussion. This policy is a work in progress. We would encourage you to share your input so it can be shared with this committee.

May 5 - 11

"Thank you for being 
extraordinary and inspiring students
to reach for the stars."

Click here watch a message of gratitude from NEA President Lily Eskelsen García.


NEA Member Benefits is celebrating you all month long with daily giveaways, freebies, special offers, inspiring videos and more! Visit neamb.com to join the celebration.


Capital Community Church recognized six outstanding educators for their dedication to student growth and learning.
  • Faye Sterling, Balls Bluff ES, Grade 2 Teacher
  • Jennifer Aubel, Hillside ES, Health & Physical Education Teacher
  • Keith Carter, Heritage HS, Special Education Teaching Assistant
  • Cindy Connell, Rock Ridge HS, School Counselor
  • Alison MacArthur, Brambleton MS, Special Education Teacher
  • Katie Rosenbrook, Smart’s Mill MS, Special Education Teacher
Brand-New Summer Training Will Build Your Leadership Skills

Leadership in an organization extends far deeper than a few office holders.

That’s why the VEA has overhauled our traditional officers’ retreat and launched the new VEA Leadership Academy.

The Academy, to run July 14-16 at the University of Richmond, aims to build our Union by growing the skills of officers and other Association members dedicated to the success of our cause.

The Academy is being redesigned to focus on leadership competencies, and all participants will leave the Academy with the skills and confidence to apply their leadership skills locally. Curriculum topics include membership growth and retention, local structures, mobilizing for change, and more.
More Information & Registration

May- Important Dates

 1 - Membership Committee
 7 - Board of Supervisors Teacher Appreciation Proclamation
 8 - LEA Board of Directors Meeting
14 - School Board Meeting
15 - Rep Meeting
20 - Government Relations/PAC Committee
23 - LEA Rep & Retiring Members Celebration
28 - School Board Meeting

**Next Association Rep Meeting 5-15-2019**

More Dates

Nearly 600 Educators Gather in Richmond for
2019 VEA Delegate Assembly

LEA second time attendee Bill Wilkin shares:
"I was part of the Loudoun delegation to the VEA state convention in Richmond. VEA calls these meetings the Delegate Assembly. There were 43 of us from LEA out of 593 total delegates (LEA is a big local: we have 3,511 members!).

I was impressed to hear about the full-time lobbying effort maintained by VEA with the state legislature through the entire session, at the committees and in the state budget process. Good things do not happen for Virginia educators unless VEA and LEA are there for us. Also good to visit with other counties and hear what they are doing."

Alexa Shirlita Accept LEA's Membership Award
LEA was once again recognized for our membership growth during the VEA Awards Dinner on Friday, March 29th.

Convention Highlights
Find Out More

LEA Scholarship

The LEA Scholarship table at the VEA Convention was a great success with a record breaking year.  Members contributed 12 gift baskets for a raffle which generated $602 going to our annual scholarships for future educators from Loudoun schools.  Thanks also go to the many volunteers who helped at the table.

Thanks to these creative delegates who donated gift baskets:

Loree Bendel, Secretary, Sterling MS
Heather Binkley, Science, John Champe HS
Tim Brown, Spanish Teacher, Woodgrove HS
Karen Castelli, Resource,Woodgrove HS
Helen Decker, Teaching Assistant, Forest Grove ES
Andrea Jordan, English Teacher, Heritage HS
Patricia Lockwood, IFT, Sterling MS
Melissa Muszynski, STEP Teacher, Sully ES
David Palanzi, President, LEA
Donna Parker, Special Education, Briar Woods HS
Sandy Sullivan, Grade 3, Legacy ES
Katie Rosenbrook, Special Education Teacher, Smarts Mill MS
Bill Wilkin, Social Science Teacher, Stone Bridge HS


Door Prize Winners!

At the April Association Rep Meeting these members were awarded door prizes.
  • Basket of Office Supplies - Rachel Strasburg, teacher assistant at Willard IS
  • Basket of Office Supplies - George Cassutto, Social Science teacher at Harmony MS
  • Book Bag - Christopher Demers, Grade 3 teacher at Rosa Lee Carter ES

Member Issues

When you talk to us, your information is confidential and we do not share your personal situation without your permission.
Suggestion Box

NEWS4 Survey on
Teacher Turnover

It’s no secret that the teacher shortage is growing, with multiple reports indicating that not only are a large number of teachers leaving their posts, but many schools are struggling to replace them. The News4 I-Team wants to hear from teachers in our area about this issue! We’ve developed this simple survey to better understand what local teachers believe is behind the troubling trend.
Survey Link



Political Action

Q: Do my dues go to Political Candidates?

A: Never. LEA has a separate Political Action Committee. All LEA PAC funds are voluntarily donated by LEA members and supporters. The LEA PAC members create questionnaires, interview candidates, recommend candidates, and raise funds. The LEA PAC philosophy is “issues driven and party blind”. The same holds true for NEA and VEA.

Hello, Goodbye, Thank You

In June we say goodbye to these members as they leave your LEA Board of Directors:

  • Janet Kent, Science teacher at Broad Run HS
  • Lisa Maxvill, Business teacher at Seneca Ridge MS

In August, LEA will welcome these members as they join your Board of Directors:

  • Dana Foddrell, Grade 1 teacher at Leesburg ES
  • Allyne Zappalla, Social Worker

Thank you to all of the Association Representatives.
If your Rep is leaving your worksite, please volunteer to be part of your worksite Rep team. Contact David Palanzi (President@LoudounEA.org) for more info.

Delegates to the VEA Convention 2019

Summer Opportunities

The following is information on professional learning opportunities taking place across the Commonwealth over the next few months.  Many are FREE and can be used as license renewal activities (with pre-approval from your school division).  Please contact the institutions/organizations listed for additional information.   

Library of Virginia

Save the date for this year's Brown Teacher's Institute, which will be held on August 1-2. This year's Institute will examine the history of women and their impact on the commonwealth, with a specific focus on suffrage and women's role in social reforms.
Additionally, the Library of Virginia has now opened the 2019 Brown Fellowship, where over the course of two weeks during the summer, Brown Fellows work with staff members of the Library to pursue research on the selected topic for the year. The Fellowship is open to Virginia 4th-12th Grade History and Social Science Educators and offers a $2,000 stipend. To learn more about applying, visit  http://edu.lva.virginia.gov/brown/brown-fellowship/brown-teacher-research-fellowship-information/

Applications Due May 11.

Shenandoah University

2019 Invitational Summer Writing Institute & 2019-20 Year-Round Institute
Summer: May 18/June 24-28/July 1-18 Year-Round launches July 25 & 26, 2019

Children’s Literature Conference
June 24 – 28, 2019


CodeVA offers a variety of coding and computer science courses for K-12 students and educators.  For details on course/training dates, visit www.codevirginia.org
CodeVA | Chris Dovi, executive director | (o) 804.727.9817
Virginia State University

2019 Summer Institute for
Aspiring and Practicing School Leaders

Conference theme: Equity Is Not the Problem: It’s the Prescription for Every Student’s Success  

Tuesday, June 18th, 8:30 am to 4:00 pm
Virginia State University, Gateway Dining and Event Center, 2804 Martin Luther King Drive, Virginia State University, VA 23806

Civics Workshops

Virginia Public Access Project (VPAP) is now accepting applications from middle and high school teachers interested in participating in our civics workshops this June. The sessions will focus on bringing VPAP's data visualizations and resources into the classroom. Apply online by May 17.

One-day sessions will be held across Virginia:
  • June 19 - Harrisonburg
  • June 20 - Loudoun County
  • June 25 - Ashland
  • June 26 - Norfolk

We are here to support you!

Call LEA immediately at 703-858-7700 when:
  • you are contacted by Child Protective Services, law enforcement, or are placed on administrative leave.
  • a student or parent threatens you.
  • you are being disciplined, reprimanded or dismissed.
  • you are placed on an improvement plan or have other evaluation concerns.
  • you have questions about LCPS policies or regulations.
  • you think you have a grievance. Grievances must be filed within specific timelines. Waiting may void your ability to file!
Remember: If you have a concern, be sure to contact LEA. We are here to work together for the school system we all deserve.

Loudoun Education Association

19465 Deerfield Ave. | Suite 206 | Lansdowne, VA 20176
Phone: 703-858-7700 | Fax: 703-858-7712