Community News at a Glance

FCPS Students Awarded National Merit Scholarships

 The National Merit Scholarship Corporation awarded 27 Fairfax County Public students $2,500 scholarships in the 69th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. The Fairfax County Public School winners are among 770 high school seniors who received corporate-sponsored National Merit Scholarships. Over 1.3 million juniors in about 21,000 high schools entered the 2024 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2022 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®), which served as an initial screen of program entrants according to a release by theNational Merit Scholarship Corporation. “Each scholarship winner was evaluated on his or her academic record, including difficulty level of subjects studied and grades earned; scores from two standardized tests; contributions and leadership in school and community activities; a personal essay; and a recommendation from a high school official,” stated FCPS.

The winning students with their probable career fields in parentheses, are: Chantilly HS: Leona Eunbi Kim (law), Siddhi Surawkar (medicine), and Jason Yoo (investment banking); Fairfax HS:Maya Kamat (medicine); Madison HS: Shivashish Das (medicine); McLean HS: Maya Pashai (veterinary medicine) and Clara Marks (mechanical engineering); Oakton HS: Aditi Bhattacharjya (law) and Nicole Deng (astrophysics); Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology: Cameron Ake (computer programming), Jacob Bowen-Glazeroff (law), Lakshmi Sritan Motati (computer science), Paul Hwang (aerospace engineering), Cierra Min (biomedical engineering), Benjamin Daniil Cohen (neurosurgery), Dylan Cheng (software engineering), Pranav Elavarthi (computer science),and Mihir Kulshreshtha (finance); Emi Zhang (computer science), Ayaan Siddiqui (software engineering), Aiden Cheong (mechanical engineering - robotics), Tristan Devictor (politics), Ronit Kapur (astrophysics), Grace Oh (medicine), Alexander O’Quinn (biomedical engineering), and Sebastian Emin Toro (computer engineering; and West Potomac HS: Lucy Marshall (law).


Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard Wins 1st Place.

The Fairfax County Sheriff’s deputies march in the 32nd annual Honor Guard Competition at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in D.C. on May 4. From left are PFC Benedict, PFC Sapp, PFC Harb, PFC Chong, and PFC Felder. 

Pictured with the competition team is Sheriff Stacey Kincaid, who is holding the First Place plaque, and Supervisor Rodney Lusk (Franconia), who serves as chairman of the Public Safety and Security Committee.

The Fairfax County Sheriff Honor Guard team placed first in the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments 32nd Annual Wreath Laying Ceremony and Honor Guard Competition at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in D.C. on May 4.

Three judges graded each team 1–5 in all Honor Guard Competition Scoresheet categories. This included hats, shoes, rifles, flags, and color movements like "attention, carry colors/shoulder arms, and forward march." The Fairfax County Sheriff Honor Guard team earned the highest point total. 

“We are so proud of their hard work year-round and in preparation for this event. They are an amazing team and very deserving of this recognition,” the Sheriff’s Office posted on Facebook.


VDOT’s Rt. 7 Shared-use Pedestrian and Cyclist Paths and Replacement Bridge.

 A seven-mile portion of the new shared-use path along Route 7 is open.

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) recently announced that the seven-mile shared-use path, which runs alongside the eastbound and westbound lanes of Route 7 (Leesburg Pike) between Reston Avenue and Jarrett Valley Drive, is operational. The mostly 10-foot-wide paved path connects the Fairfax County Parkway Trail to Tysons and enhances the mobility of pedestrians and cyclists.

Gerry Connolly Cross County Trail users can now cross Route 7 safely via a newly constructed Difficult Run bridge.


 ArtsFairfax Names 2024 Honorees

Last week, ArtsFairfax announced the names of its three 2024 honorees to be lauded at the organization’s awards ceremony at Capital One in Tysons on Oct. 25. Sponsorships and tickets are available at

ArtsFairfax bestows its highest honor, the Jinx Hazel Award, on the Peterson Family Foundation. The award recognizes a person or group whose vision and dedication have influenced Fairfax County's cultural life. “Most notably, the Peterson Family Foundation has made transformative gifts to the Life with Cancer initiative at Inova and to George Mason University for the College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA) and College of Public Health,” states ArtsFairfax.

Anne E. Kline will receive the ArtsFairfax Philanthropy Award. She is the director of the Pohanka Family Office with the Pohanka Automotive Group and is a passionate advocate and ambassador for the arts in Fairfax. Kline is a significant contributor to Wolf Trap Opera.

Shu-Chen Cuff, a recently retired professional dancer of 27 years, receives the Arts Fairfax Achievement Award. The award honors the exceptional career of an artist in any field who has left a significant legacy for their and/or community. Among her many achievements, Cuff founded Gin Dance Company, which performed at the Atlas Performing Arts Center, Lincoln Theater, Sindy Harman Hall, CenterStage at RCC, Kennedy Center, and others.


Safety Issues Raised for Leigh Road in Great Falls

A large truck overturned on Georgetown Pike in late March near the intersection of Leigh Mill Road.

At its May 2 meeting, the Great Falls Citizens Association Transportation Committee considered criteria for the Residential Traffic Administration Program managed by Fairfax County Department of Public Transportation. John Halacy, committee chair, and committee members reviewed complaints about safety in the Leigh Mill Road area.

“Speeding and reckless driving is observed on all roads in Great Falls. Members of GFCA and residents have reported numerous incidents of being run off the road by large trucks, illegal passing, and other types of aggressive driving. Leigh Mill Road residents have reported to GFCA similar incidents,” John Halacy, president of the Great Falls Citizens Association, said in a text message to The Connection.

Great Falls roads serve as convenient bypasses for busy Route 7. Residents have informed GFCA that large trucks have caused near collisions near the one-lane bridge on Leigh Mill Road. 

 Awe-inspiring Double Rainbow Arches over Herndon.

 On Saturday evening, May 11, a double rainbow formed over the Town of Herndon, with the sun low in the sky and rain falling. Sunlight reflected twice in the drain drops, causing two different reflections from different angles.

Double rainbows are not rare, but they are remarkable. One fact about double rainbows may elude folks gazing at the colorful arches in the sky—at least it did this reporter. Maybe I wasn’t paying attention that day in elementary school.

A single rainbow has red at the top and blue at the bottom, but the colors in the secondary rainbow, higher and lighter than the primary rainbow, are always reversed. Go figure.


 Fairfax Circuit Court Satellite Office Opened in Reston

Fairfax Circuit Court opened a new satellite location in Reston on Tuesday, May 14, thanks to an initiative led by Clerk of Court Chris Falcon in partnership with Fairfax County. “This expansion is a testament to our commitment to better serve the community and make Circuit Court resources more accessible, Falcon said.

The circuit court office offers marriage license application processing, access to certified copies of court records, and free notary services at the Cathy Hudgins Community Center at Southgate, 12125 Pinecrest Road, Reston. The center is open from 9 a.m. to noon on the second Tuesday of every month.

 Healthy Aging Options 

On Friday, May 10, Vienna's Parks and Recreation Department hosted 40+ professional groups at its Wellness and Safety Expo. Vienna Police Officer Celines Fitchue's scam and fraud prevention talk, Kate Mantoya's Essentrics Demo, Teresa Fletcher's joint-friendly workout demonstration, and the pickleball demonstration and open play provided valuable information.