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Glancing Back to 2014, Looking Forward to 2015: Springfield Town Center, World Police and Fire Games, Occoquan

A crowd of eager shoppers gathered Oct. 17, 2014, for the grand opening of the Springfield Town Center, a completely revitalized version of the long dilapidated Springfield Mall.

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Burke Centre Festival, World Police and Fire Games, and Neighborhood Enhancements among top events and developments.

The ever-larger two-day festival returned for its 37th year at the beginning of September 2014. Drumming, Japanese dancers, local dance groups, bands and Irish dancers comprised a live performance slate, while free and minimal cost activities including face-painting and a photo booth offered attendees plenty of ways to enjoy the pleasant fall weather.

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South County High School Swim and Dive Team Donates Toys at South Run

Before filling the pool for warm-ups, members of the South County High School Swim and Dive team filled the Toys for Tots collection box at South Run RECenter. The team decided to give collectively at their final dual meet before Christmas break, a Dec. 19 face off with the team from Robert E Lee High School.

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Gift Bags, Handmade

Churchill Road kindergartners in Erin Thurston’s class are proud of the gift bags they made for kindergartners at their buddy school, Dogwood Elementary in Reston.

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A Perfect Score

Ellen Kim, 16, from McLean achieves perfect score on the PSAT.

Every year in October, roughly 3.5 million high school students across the country take the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT). The test is used for entry into the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) Competition, which can provide college scholarships to eligible students who achieve high scores.

Letter to the Editor: Hateful Tweets Call for Action

To the Editor: I would like to applaud the Reston Connection for its coverage of FCPS Superintendent Garza's meeting with concerned parents on Dec. 3 (“County Superintendent Listens to Reston,” Connection, December 10-16, 2014).

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Addressing Growing Student Population in Arlington

New schools and boundary changes in the works in Arlington Public Schools.

While the rest of county moves into the new year, Arlington County Schools are finding themselves in the middle of a challenging one. Arlington schools have faced a 21 percent increase in student population over the last five years and anticipate a 19 percent increase over the next five. This has put a strain on school resources, and consequently has forced the schools to ask for budget increases. Meanwhile, the schools have begun plans to shift school boundaries to spread the student population as evenly as possible.

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Alexandria Budget Looms Over 2015 Plans

Alexandria city officials discuss goals and funding for 2015.

For Alexandria City Council, 2015 kicks off with a continuing discussion of the budget and the city’s priorities. With an anticipated decrease in federal spending, city officials are preparing for a difficult budget process.

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Children's Connection 2014

This week, the Connection turns over its pages to the youth and students.

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Four Plays to Offer Drama and Comedy

Fairfax High presents Winter One-Act Festival.

Both comedy and drama will take the stage when Fairfax High presents its student-directed, Winter One-Act Festival. The curtain rises Thursday-Friday, Jan. 8-9, at 7:30 p.m. Four plays are offered; tickets are $5 at the door.

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Students Think Twice About Spending

Eighth graders learn the cost of financial responsibility.

That Christmas check from grandma will probably be spent on the latest video game or that trendy pair of boots a typical teenager has been saving to buy. But for eighth graders in Fairfax County, they might think twice before splurging on that one luxury item.

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New Shoes for Children at Hutchison Elementary

The Council for the Arts of Herndon joins with the Dranesville supervisor’s office every holiday season to gather new shoes for children at Hutchison Elementary School in Herndon. Hutchison is a Title I school serving many students with challenging social and economic issues.

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‘Peter Pan’ Recreated

Herndon High produces “Peter Pan,” or the “Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up.”

What do fairy dust, a vengeful pirate, and a flying boy have in common? The answer would be Herndon High School’s production of “Peter Pan,” or the “Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up.” The show, debuting in London in 1904, was J.M. Barrie’s most famous work, along with his 1911 novel version of the same story.

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Langley Principal Leaves for South County

Matthew Ragone created “Saxon Country,” says school family network committee co-chair.

For six years, he was the glue that brought Langley High School (LHS) together. LHS Principal Matthew Ragone has left the school to boost South County High School’s academics as its new principal.

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Irresistible? How Karen Garza Creates Change in Fairfax County Schools

Karen Garza is a good listener. And once she’s listened, she is, admittedly, not very patient. “If there's a real issue, I don't think it has to be debated for 10 or 15 years,” Garza said in an interview. “Either we're going to do something about it or not.”