Saluting SPARK Business Partners of the Year

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Provided by Prince William County Schools

Several corporations, agencies, the Prince William County Police Department, and schools are among those honored by the School Board as Business-School Partnerships of the Year. The annual awards spotlight community and business leaders who significantly influence student achievement, enhance the school environment, and encourage creativity and innovation.

Business partners are nominated by Division schools and departments and are reviewed and selected by a committee coordinated through the Office of Community and Business Engagement and SPARK, the Education Foundation for Prince William County Public Schools (PWCS)

Congratulations to the 2017 Business Partnerships of the Year:

  • C & A Scientific and the PWCS Office of Science. C & A Scientific donated over $300,000 in new scientific equipment that was distributed to every school. In addition, C & A Scientific provided professional development to over 90 PWCS teachers.
  • United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and Mountain View Elementary School. Employees of the USPTO Office of Education and Outreach gave countless volunteer hours mentoring the students at Mountain View and guiding them through the process of trademarking or patenting their own products. This partnership provides an innovative platform to support science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics, also known as STEAM.
  • Wells Fargo and Benton Middle School. Wells Fargo spearheaded the science, technology, engineering, and math—also known as STEM—events at Benton to introduce girls and boys to a multitude of careers with a STEM focus. In addition to providing funds and resources, Wells Fargo gained support of other Northern Virginia companies for the Benton Middle School STEM events. Over 1,350 students have benefitted through mentoring, career exploration, and enhancement of the curriculum to showcase industry best practices.
  • The 2017 Business Partner in Education award, given to an individual who goes above and beyond for our students, was presented to Dr. Robert Melvin, who represents the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), Junior Chapter of Prince William County. Dr. Melvin was nominated by Graham Park Middle School. He also serves on the SPARK Board of Directors. Dedicated to bettering the lives of our students, Dr. Melvin has volunteered along with members of the NSBE to teach Graham Park’s “Young Men of Distinction” club members how to refurbish computers and encourage participation in volunteer opportunities in the community.
  • The inaugural Community Partner of the Year award was presented to the Prince William County Police Department, represented by Sergeant Dennis Jensen. Sergeant Jensen and a group of committed police officers started the Minnieville Athletic Club, an after-school activity for Minnieville Elementary School students. During club hours, police officers give pep talks, engage in exercise, and promote good behavior in the classroom. Students learn that members of the police community are positive influences that keep our schools and neighborhoods safe.

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