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Aspiring movie directors, producers and actors gathered May 4 at Stacy C. Sherwood Community Center in Fairfax for the 2012 Video Fairfax Awards Ceremony.

Video Fairfax, which launched in 1991, promotes student interest in film and technology and new media. Students learn the craft of storytelling and develop their creative ideas and expression into a tangible product: a short film submitted for judging.

This year, 100 students from more than 20 Fairfax County Public Schools submitted 45 entries. Those entries must be original productions and no more than five minutes in length.

Fifteen films won awards, which were given out in four grade-level categories: kindergarten to third, four to six, middle school and high school. First-place winners were

ŸK-3: "Grutune," Waples Mill Elementary School

ŸGrade 4-6: "No More Tears," Greenbriar East Elementary School

ŸMiddle School: "Procrastinators Unite ... Tomorrow," Rachel Carson Middle School

ŸHigh School: "A Screaming Cry in a Silent Room," George C. Marshall High School.

Video Fairfax "celebrates the creativity of our students," said Supervior Penny Gross (Mason District). The program is supported in part by Fairfax County, Fairfax Public Access, Fairfax Spotlight on the Arts and Cox Communications.

Inova doctor receives young physician award

The American College of Physicians has chosen Craig Cheifetz, associate dean for Medical and Student Affairs for Inova Health System and chair for the Association of American Medical College's Group on Regional Medical Campuses, as the recipient of its 2012 Walter J. McDonald Award for Young Physicians.

The McDonald Award is the organization’s national award for outstanding achievement by a young physician who is within 16 years of graduating from medical school.

“Craig is uniquely qualified and gifted for the instruction and mentoring he provides,” said Mark Stauder, president and COO of Inova Health System. “A top-notch clinician and academician, Craig is having a positive impact upon the future of Inova and the future of medicine.”

The award was established in 2003 to honor McDonald, a former American College of Physicians’ governor and regent, who served as its executive vice president from 1995 to 2002. Areas of achievement may include leadership, academics — publishing, teaching, mentoring — and volunteerism.

Conservationist accepts smart growth award

The Coalition for Smarter Growth honored conservationist Roger Diedrich of Fairfax with the Sanders-Henn Community Hero Award at the group’s annual event May 2 at the National Trust for Historic Preservation in Washington, D.C.

Diedrich, Smart Growth and Transportation chair of the Virginia Chapter of the Sierra Club, has demonstrated a lifelong commitment to preserving natural lands and the environment and to growing in a sustainable way. He has been a leader in the Sierra Club since the 1980s, in the Virginia Chapter and at the national level.

Serving as a strategic thinker in every major regional transportation and land-use debate, Diedrich played a key role in organizing conservationist support for Vienna Metro Station development and the Tysons Corner plan.

McLean student named Presidential Scholar

Priya Krishnan of McLean, a student at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, has been named a 2012 U.S. Presidential Scholar.

Krishnan is one of 141 high school seniors demonstrating outstanding academic achievement, artistic excellence, leadership, citizenship, service and contribution to school and community. One young woman and one young man are chosen from each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and from U.S. families living abroad. An additional 15 are chosen at-large, and 20 are scholars in the arts.

“Honoring Presidential Scholars is an important celebration of students showing the dedication, creativity and ambition to become future leaders,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

Of the 3 million high school students expected to graduate this year, 3,300 candidates qualified for the award, as determined by their performance on SAT and ACT exams and through formal nominating processes.

Scholars will be honored in Washington, D.C., next month. Students may invite their most inspiring and challenging teacher to the ceremony to receive a Teacher Recognition Award from the U.S. Department of Education. Krishnan chose Judith Bellow from TJ.

In March, Krishnan was selected as the 2012 AXA/U.S. News Achievement Scholar for the state of Virginia for her academic achievement and service to financially disadvantaged autistic children. She joins 51 other exceptional students from around the country and receives a $10,000 scholarship to college. Krishnan plans to apply her scholarship toward tuition at Princeton University.

Award is an encore for Madison band

The John Philip Sousa Foundation will present the 2012 Sudler Flag of Honor to the James Madison High School Band Program at a May 22 concert by the school’s Wind Symphony.

The Sudler Flag of Honor recognizes high school band programs internationally that have “demonstrated particularly significant high standards of excellence in concert activities over a period of several years.”

In the past 30 years, 70 bands have been chosen for the award. A 12-person panel of high school band directors and college and university conductors evaluate the applicants’ recordings and other supporting documents according to standards established by the foundation.

The Madison band, under the direction of Michael Hackbarth, is one of three band programs to win the honor this year. Madison also received the award in 1989.

The free concert begins at 7:30 p.m. in the high school auditorium.

School notesFive Fairfax County Public Schools students have been named National Award Gold Key winners in contests sponsored by the American Society of Newspaper Editors and Quill and Scroll, the international honor society of high school journalists.

In the 2012 International Writing and Photo Contest, these students were named winners:

ŸNoah Fitzgeral, Annandale High School, for Editorial Writing;

ŸPatricia O’Neill, Annandale High School, for In-Depth Individual Reporting

ŸAmy Ahn, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, for Feature Story

ŸRabia Idrees, TJ, for Editorial

ŸColleen Marshall, TJ, for News Story.

About 10 percent of the 3,039 entries were selected as national winners.

College congratsŸThe following area students were honored by Xavier University in Cincinnati.

Nicholas Albin of Chantilly received the Fr. Francis J. Finn, S.J. Award, presented to a member of the graduating class who best exemplifies strong spiritual values, leadership and breadth of interest.

Brian Armstrong of Fairfax received the Achieving Seniors Award, given to seniors who have participated in an NCAA Division I sports for four years and the Dean’s Athletic Award, given to student-athletes who have maintained a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.5.

Catherine McCafferty of Fairfax received the Dorothy Day Award, which honors two graduating students who embody a commitment to deepening their spirituality, pursuing justice and promoting pluralism.