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Fairfax County School Board elects new leaders

The Fairfax County School Board elected Tamara Derenak Kaufax as its new chairman at its July 10 meeting.

Kaufax (Lee), who served as vice chairman this past year, follows Ilryong Moon (at-large) in the role. Moon led the board for two years.

The board also elected budget committee leader Ted Velkoff as the new vice chair, succeeding Kaufax in the position.

Kaufax and Velkoff have both served on the board since January 2012. With four other members, they make up the newest cohort to join the 12-member board. The other six members have all served more than one term.

Before serving as vice chairman, Kaufax led the public engagement committee. Prior to joining the board, Kaufax was a member of the Fairfax County Childcare Advisory Council, the board’s advanced academic programs advisory committee and the Lee District Budget Advisory Council.

Velkoff comes to the vice chairman position after serving as chairman of the budget committee for the FY 2015 budget process and vice chairman in FY 2014. Before his election to the board, Velkoff served as president and treasurer of the Chantilly High School PTSA.

Small fire damages magnet school roof

An electrical fire burned a small section of the roof at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology on July 10, causing an estimated $15,000 in damage, Fairfax County fire officials said.

Firefighters responded at 7:20 p.m. to the fire and found heavy smoke coming from the top of the two-story building, located in the Alexandria section of Fairfax County. Fire officials said the fire was quickly brought under control.

A safety vest drawn into a fan motor caused the accidental fire at the magnet school, which is undergoing major renovations, officials said. No injuries were reported.

South County principal named assistant superintendent

Superintendent Karen Garza has named Jane Lipp, the current principal at South County High School, as the new assistant superintendent of special services.

Lipp will start in her new role Aug. 1, replacing Kim Dockery, who has been promoted to the position of the chief academic officer as part of Garza’s administrative overhaul of the school system.

The reorganization, which Garza first laid out in May, aims to streamline the school system’s leadership. Dockery started in the newly created position of chief academic officer when the new administrative structure took effect July 1, leaving a hole to be filled atop the Department of Special Services.

As assistant superintendent of special services, Lipp will oversee the school system’s special education programs, nontraditional school programs and mental health services, among other areas.

Lipp has served as principal of South County High School since 2008. After beginning her teaching career in Indiana, she has worked in the Fairfax County school system since joining Edison High School as a special education teacher in 1989.

Two FCPS teachers selected for museum summer residency program

Two teachers from Fairfax County schools have been selected to participate in the summer residency program at the Imperial War Museum in Duxford, England.

Aaron Faulx of Sandburg Middle School and Irv Katz from Lake Braddock Secondary School will head across the pond for the program, which runs from July 31 to Aug. 14.

The program is run through the Imperial War Museum’s American Air Museum, which honors the nearly 30,000 Americans who died flying from bases in the United Kingdom during World War II.

With the summer residency, the museum brings together middle school history teachers from the U.S. and U.K. to develop curriculum plans and classroom activities based around World War II. With the program, the museum aims to establish an ongoing partnership between teachers in the U.S. and U.K.