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Judith Thompson, a Springfield resident, has served as principal of Garfield Elementary for 11 years. She is this week's People Profile.

Number of years in the Springfield Community. I have lived in Springfield for 17 years.

Family: Married to Barry Thompson, a pilot for Northwest Airlines. We have two children, both graduates of Lee High School. Blake, 29, lives in Arlington and is a financial analyst for MAFC. Lia, 28, recently married Trent Garrison, and both are Fairfax County Public School teachers. Lia teaches special education at Woodley Hills Elementary School and Trent teaches chemistry at Chantilly High School.

Education: Bachelor of arts degree in elementary education and sociology from Coe College, Cedar Rapids, Iowa; M.Ed. in special education from Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas; and Ph.D. in educational leadership and policy studies from Arizona State University in Tempe, Ariz.

Current job/primary occupation: Principal of Garfield Elementary School, Springfield, for the past 11 years

Achievements:

* led Garfield School to full state accreditation through the SOL testing program and met all requirements for Adequate Yearly Progress under the federal No Child Left Behind Act

* Garfield School recognized by receiving the Virginia State Reading Association Exemplary Reading Program Award for 2000

* Phi Delta Kappa "Educator of the Year, 2003"

* Recently presented with Outstanding Service Award from Fairfax County

* nominated by Garfield staff for Principal of the Year 2000

Activities/interests/hobbies? Reading fiction and professional journals — never enough time to read; walking daily with Sharen Jones, my walking partner of 13 years; traveling whenever to wherever; playing non-serious bridge with neighbors, church groups and teachers.

What community "hidden treasure" do you think more people should know about? Our county libraries! They have so much to offer in the field of literacy encompassing much more than books. Everyone needs to check out the Richard Byrd Library right here in central Springfield.

What are your community concerns? What are some ideas you have on ways to improve your community? I am concerned about the way many of our young adolescents spend their leisure time after school. Fortunately, there are dedicated groups of leaders such as the Community Resource Team, who are working hard to create opportunities for children who don't yet drive, work, or participate in sports. At Garfield, we have developed several after-school programs in academic remediation, crocheting, running and fitness.

Who has inspired you most in life? Without a doubt, my family has influenced me most. They have supported my passion to serve teachers and children. They have given me the confidence to pursue all my dreams. I hope that I have been the kind of wife and mother that encouraged them to strive for their personal best. My love of family has spilled over into the Garfield family, a place where each student, staff member and family member shares the love and joy of learning together.

Personal goals: At this point in my life, I can't imagine not being in a school surrounded by children and teachers. Of course, my walk in faith is a life-long journey.

Know someone who should be acknowledged or recognized for his or her accomplishments or his contributions to the community? Send People Profile nominations to springfield@connectionnewspapers.com or call 703-917-6422.