A Partnership Grows

A Partnership Grows

West Potomac Academy program takes root.

What do West Potomac Academy Graphics and Television Production programs have in common with the Greenspring community and the Miss Greater Springfield Scholarship pageant? Recently, they have had a lot in common, and collaboration will continue to grow.

West Potomac Academy, the FCPS Career and Transition Services, and the Greenspring community have developed the "As One" partnership, which formally started in November 2003. Students from the Graphics, OT/PT, TV Production and Criminal Justice classes have had internship opportunities at the Greenspring campus.

Greenspring, located just off the Fairfax County Parkway in Springfield, is part of the Erickson national network, which develops and manages communities designed to provide people age 62 or better with a first-class lifestyle. The Miss Greater Springfield pageant was held at Greenspring's Village Square Theater on March 27. Jerry Burks, MGS Executive Director asked Pam McKinley, Public Relations Manager at Greenspring, if she could recommend someone to design a web page for the pageant. McKinley was aware that the Graphics Imaging and Design students at West Potomac Academy develop web design and editing skills. She called Manny Bartolotta, the Career Experience Specialist, to make the connection with Mike Emanuel, the Graphics instructor. Emanuel saw this project as "valuable, real life" opportunity for two of his students, Maria Baptiste and Naeem Ahmad, both of whom have shown promise with their graphics skills.

Today, readers can see the result of Maria and Naeemís labor at www.MissGreaterSpringfield.com.

BUT THAT'S NOT ALL. Jerry Burks further needed assistance in videotaping the pageant as well as on-stage light and sound assistance. Tony Lilly, TV Production teacher and his students came to the rescue. Lilly assigned Lindsey Aitcheson and Meredith Muckerman to take on the video for the project, and Stuart Trouton to do the audio/visual work.

Even after the pageant is over, the Graphics students will continue to maintain and develop the web site and the learning process will expand for West Potomac Academy students. Students have been able to apply the skills learned at the Academy to create needed services for community organizations, Miss Greater Springfield and the Greenspring community.

To learn more, visit www.fcps.edu/WestPotomacAcademy. For more information about school-business partnerships for learning, call or email Manny Bartolotta 703-718-2753, manny.bartolotta@fcps.edu. To learn more about Greenspring and Erickson Retirement Communities, visit www.ericksoncommunities.com.