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by Lorin Buck

Staff Writer

Vienna honors its volunteers

Vice Mayor Carey Sienicki proclaimed April 8 as Volunteer Recognition Day in the Town of Vienna, convening a special meeting of Vienna At Your Service in the Flame Room of the Vienna Volunteer Fire Department to recognize the individuals nominated as outstanding volunteers for 2014.

More than 35 individuals were honored: Maureen Alonso, Michael Amouri, Chuck Anderson, Jeff Bates and family, Celia Blalock, Marge Bradley, Peggy Brumsted, Joanne Burke, Kathy Clark, Taylor Claybrook, Laurie Cole, Marcellyn Daly, Christina Dangler, Laura Fowler, Tammy Funk, Judith Gallimore, Janet Gelb, Dennis Harrington, Olivia Hartt, Daill Day Hyde, Laine Hyde, Sharon Kallio, Tom Kyllo, Estelle McNeil, Anne Murphy, Douglas Noble, Don Park, Julianne Phillipp, Mike Polychrones, Jean Reavey, John Runyon, Audrey Samolis, Ross Shearer, Ed Tang and members of Girl Scout Brownie Troop 5972.

In addition, the Town/Business Liaison Committee presented the 2014 Carole Wolfand Award to Peggy James, owner of The Artful Gift Shop on historic Church Street. The award, open to any business within the town limits, recognizes businesses and business owners for outstanding contributions to the community life and spirit of Vienna.

This year also marked the inaugural presentation of the Mayor M. Jane Seeman Award. The award was presented in memory of the late mayor, in recognition of her enthusiastic support and appreciation for the positive contributions that volunteers make. The 2014 Mayor M. Jane Seeman Award was presented to the 2013 Vienna Business Association Board of Directors: Jeff Bollettino, Mary Kay Claus, George Creed, James Cudney, Kathy Georgen, Peggy James, Tracy Murphy, DH Scarborough and Carole Wolfand.

Kathie Lee lends voice to Herndon theater troupe

“Today” show co-host Kathie Lee Gifford is set to join the cast of NextStop Theatre Company’s production of Stephen Sondheim’s “Into the Woods,” running May 1 to June 1 at the Industrial Strength Theatre in Herndon.

According to NextStop Artistic Director Evan Hoffmann, Gifford will be the voice of the Giant’s Wife in the season-closing production. The addition of Gifford is a significant achievement for the emerging company as it closes out its inaugural main stage season, he said.

Hoffman and Gifford have worked together before.

“I have known Evan since he was in an early production of ‘Saving Aimee’ at Signature Theatre back in 2007,” Gifford said. “So I was happy when he asked me to record the voice of the Giant’s Wife.”

“I love the D.C. theater community, I adore Stephen Sondheim, and I am always thrilled to help a friend who is working to achieve his dreams,” she added.

Gifford joins the ranks of such celebrated actresses as Dame Judi Dench, Glenn Close and Angela Lansbury, who have each lent their voices to the role in past notable productions.

“Into the Woods” combines the iconic stories of Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Rapunzel and Jack (the giant killer) with the new tale of a childless baker and his wife. Their intertwining quests into the woods result in a funny but sobering musical about the cost and consequences of “happily ever after.” The original Broadway production garnered three Tony Awards and a Grammy, and inspired an upcoming Hollywood movie starring Meryl Streep, Johnny Depp and Anna Kendrick.

NextStop’s cast will be led by 2013 Helen Hayes Award winner Priscilla Cuellar as the Witch and 2014 nominee John Loughney as the Baker.

The creative team behind the production includes Elisa Rosman (music direction), Lorraine Magee (choreography), Steven Royal (scenic design), Frank Coleman (lighting design), Kathy Dunlap (costume design), Eric Kritzler (sound design) and Sierra Banack (properties design). Joan Lada serves as the production stage manager.

Fairfax firm acquires new business

Sierra Peaks, a privately held corporation in Albuquerque, N.M., with a satellite office in Fairfax, has acquired Tibbetts Industries of Camden, Maine.

Sierra Peaks is an engineering, design, prototyping and manufacturing company. For 50 years, the company has been a leader in the design, development, manufacturing and testing of electro-mechanical systems for the government and commercial industry, including the aerospace and automation industries.

The company opened its Fairfax office in 2006, to better serve federal government clients.

Seventeen FCPS students named National Achievement Scholarship winners

Seventeen Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) students are among more than 800 students nationwide who have won Achievement Scholarships from the 2014 National Achievement Scholarship program (NASP). The Achievement Scholarships are awarded to black American high school seniors to be used for undergraduate study at any regionally accredited U.S. college or university.

The FCPS students named National Achievement Scholars, with their probable career fields in parentheses, are:

* Christine Tamir of Annandale High School (undecided).

* Marvel Elisabeth Onga Nana of Centreville High School (biomedical engineering).

* Heather Lawrence of Edison High School (political science).

* Bezawit Yohannes of Hayfield Secondary School (law).

* Ade Samuel of Herndon High School (chemical engineering).

* Sarah Gutema of McLean High School (neuroscience).

* Lani Allen of Marshall High School (writing).

* Suha Suliman of Robinson Secondary School (pediatrics).

* Gelila Yitsege of South County High School (neuroscience).

* Derek Phillips of South Lakes High School (aerospace engineering).

* Anthony Carrington of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST) (medicine).

*Cheyanne Rivera of TJHSST (psychiatry).

* Comfort Sampong of TJHSST (development economics).

* Shalisa James of Westfield High School (English literature).

* John O’Connell of Westfield High School (computer science).

* Tolunimi Oyeleye of Westfield High School (chemical engineering).

* Tianay Ziegler of Woodson High School (biological engineering).

Each of the students received $2,500 National Achievement Scholarships supported by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC), which conducts the NASP, with the exception of Allen, whose scholarship will be underwritten by the Xerox Foundation.

The National Achievement Scholarship program is a privately financed competition founded in 1964 specifically to honor scholastically talented Black American youngsters and to increase their opportunities for higher education. The program is conducted by NMSC, a not-for-profit organization. These awards, totaling over $2 million, are financed by grants from 31 corporate organizations and professional associations, and by National Merit Scholarship Corporation.