Seeking Star Students

Patch and T-Mobile are partnering to celebrate Star Students who make life better in their community

Look beyond report cards, although future problem solvers who excel academically fit the definition, too, and Patch love to hear about them. You’ll find Star Students not only in classrooms, science fairs and math olympiads, but also on theater and concert stages and before a palette of paint. They’re at debate lecterns, and out in the community doing good things to make life better for all of us.

Patch has partnered with T-Mobile to recognize these Star Students for their achievements and service to the community in big and small ways.

Shouting out a Star Student is simple. Just fill out this simple form — photos are appreciated — and Patch will do a story, so the whole neighborhood can celebrate what makes them special.

Cooking Class

Shipgarten, February 10, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. ET

Make Shrimp Tacos with Mojito Magic

Coastal flavors are just a bite away in this exciting hands-on cooking class from Chef Adrian. He’ll get you in the spirit with a kitchen session where sweet seafood and tangy citrus lead the menu.

Begin by creating your own homemade tortillas from scratch using fresh ingredients and a hearty helping of traditional magic. Then, transform shrimp into a sizzling taco filling sensation with a tantalizing lime-mojito tingle, topped with black bean and mango salad for a taste of the tropics you can enjoy without leaving home.

Cooking classes on Classpop! are designed to be social events that do not require any previous experience. Guests are welcome to purchase beer to enjoy during the class.



Fresh Tortillas

With masa harina, water and salt

Taco Fillings

With shrimp, cilantro, mango, black beans and tomato

More Info

  • Minimum Guests 4
  • Maximum Guests 25
  • Event Duration 2 hours
  • Activity Level: A mix of chef demonstration and hands-on cooking
  • Restrictions Must be 21 years of age or older to attend

Northern Virginia Career Fair

Don’t just look for a job. Connect with the right employers. This career fair is a great recruitment event to connect with top employers in the areas of Government, Sales, Retail, Education, Information Technology, Engineering, Healthcare, Financial Services, Management, Manufacturing, Customer Service as well as other career paths.*

June 15, 9:30 a.m. ET at The McLean Hilton

Professional Dress and an updated resume are strongly recommended. Register here!

Advance applications and interview scheduling is available for some positions. Forward your resume to today. Our recruitment team can match you to open positions that fit your background and salary requirements.

To inquiry about a specific employer or to research what employers and positions are participating please register on our website (A list is provided to registered attendees the week before the career fair)

Are you an employer looking to hire? Visit our employment page:

Career Fair Connection encourages every job seeker to provide your resume prior to attending the career fair. This allows our recruitment team to review your experience and advise you on the best career path available for the attending employers. Thank you. We are looking forward to seeing you there.

Talk: Sue Christie

In this week’s TALK series, McLean Today sits down with Sue Christie, co-president, the McLean branch of the American Association of University Women [AAUW]. Founded in 1969, the McLean branch has a strong program in support of AAUW’s mission to advance equity for women and girls. In June 2022, the McLean branch achieved the distinction of being named a 5-Star Branch of AAUW. The recognition came in response to the success of their work in five areas: Programs; Advancement: Fundraising and Membership; Communications and External Relations; Public Policy and Research and Governance and Sustainability. Nationally, AAUW began in 1881. Nonpartisan, though not values-neutral, the group fights to remove the barriers and biases that stand in the way of gender equity. 

Q. Why and when did you first become a member of the McLean branch of AAUW?

I joined in June 2013 looking for both kindred souls and to level the playing field for women and girls.  It is easy to forget in a place like McLean that many girls and women in our community are hitting barriers every day and at every turn.

Q. What is your professional background?

 I have a BA from the University of Michigan.  My last position was Deputy Executive Director of the American Public Human Services Association where I ran the management and leadership consulting department.   Other jobs included Secretary of the Utah Department of Social Services and COO of the Colorado Department of Social Services.

Q. What are your goals as co-president of the McLean branch of AAUW?

My goal is the organization’s goal. My fifteen second sentence is that we at national and within the communities are trying to level the playing field for girls and women either in the classroom or the workplace. National has gotten very focused, and we have tried to follow suit, in doing things that speak directly to that mission.

Q. What are some of those “things” your organization is doing to speak to that mission?

We give grants, scholarships to two schools who have a lot of women returning who have had their education disrupted, who face more barriers than probably I or perhaps you faced, letting them start with a little more level playing field as they go back into the workplace. We recognize high school students in four schools. We’ve added two Title 1 schools [Title I is a federal education program that supports low income students throughout the nation.] in Northern Virginia, where those kids and those teachers have lots of resources but not equaling the ones sitting in the middle of McLean. We are looking for young women who are excelling in science and math and in computer sciences that’s offered in the school. We do an  essay contest for middle schoolers who are asked to identify and write about a woman scientist who we might not have heard about. I think we won’t see the end of that for quite a while given the number of women who have done good work that sit on the sidelines. We  try to be both in schools and with women in the workplace. We try and have programs that speak to that vision and we are now going fairly heavy into community involvement that is putting boots on the ground.

Q. Which colleges do you support?

The colleges are Trinity Washington University, Marymount University and Bennett College in North Carolina. We clearly are putting an emphasis not only on leveling the playing field in general but leveling that playing field for girls and women of color. They have an even bumpier road as it were.

Q. What does your membership look like here in McLean?

Our membership is sitting at just about 117. That is the largest in the state of Virginia. We have a a lot of women who care about these issues, very generous people who who care about these issues. As you would in most organizations, we also have a social component because that’s how people build relationships and learn to work together and find common cause. We have mostly retired women but not all. We are going heavy after the next generation because as all organizations know if we don’t pull in that next generation… .We welcome any individual who has earned an associate or academic equivalent, bachelor’s or higher degree from an accredited college or university. Undergraduate students who do not already hold a bachelor’s degree can join as student affiliates.


From left to right: Juanita Cullen, liaison to Trinity Washington University; Anita Booth, branch co-president; Eva Salmeron, Marymount University; Saba Hashemi, Marymount University; Shandale Scott, Trinity Washington University; Katherine Healy, Trinity Washington University; and Sue Christie, branch co-president.

Q. What fields are the McLean AAUW members in?

We have women in journalism, psychology economics, mathematics, nursing, medicine, law, publishing… We have what I would call a pretty powerful set of women here. They care, they bring extraordinary  experience to the table. As we start to reinvest in the community and otherwise, we bring a lot of people who know how to make things happen. That’s basically about the best you can ask from an organization that’s volunteer.

Q. A lot of organizations find themselves changing, evolving — coming out of the pandemic. Did your organization shift in anyway?

One of the things we’ve done coming out  of the pandemic is sort of reorient ourselves, get a more rigorous strategic planning process and put the people in the right spots, branding. If anyone knew anything about AAUW, it was synonymous with book sales as our fundraiser. People know us as having done Stemtastic for high school kids but it spoke to the need for better branding. We’re in the process of upgrading our social media, piece by piece, we’re upgrading our look, making it  more dynamic as the need is clearly there in this area. We’ve tried to spend the last two years probably resetting; recalibrating; reenergizing.

Members of the McLean Area Branch have a long history of giving their time, energy, and voices to advocate for issues at the local, state, and national levels.

Q. What are some of the social events you mentioned earlier?

We have branch meetings; in December and May we do luncheons. We have a  potluck where we bring in the national fellows and grant recipients that we have endowed with national. So every year when they give those, we celebrate those women — who are really pretty heavy duty women coming in with their PhDs in some very esoteric areas —  that we all find very fascinating and they’re all going to take that back into the community generally to the benefit of women wherever they land. Then the various interest groups where small groups of people meet: book clubs; current events groups; things that keep us individually and collectively on top of  the issues; invested in issues; knowledgeable in issues.

Q. Besides, scholarships/grants, how does the local branch support national’s goals?

We do policy advocacy based on national and state of Virginia priorities We will  both inform our members; ask our members to act —  what we call 2 minute activists, like pick up the phone now. We are involved in Richmond’s Lobby Day and we can do that easier than national because we are physically located in the Washington, D.C area. We have been very very active — and again there  may be differences in different localities,  where are the pressure points in this area? Do we have  lot of companies giving maternity leave but nobody doing anything about child care? Do we have equal access to healthcare for women?  Although national doesn’t push on health care,  it clearly is a determinant for economic security. We used to — and are thinking about whether we continue— attend all the Fairfax County School Board meetings. We have in fact —  as National did —  put out a statement when the new educational requirements came out from the state of Virginia relative to teaching history and social studies. 

Gayle Jo Carter is the editor of McLean Today.

Do you know someone in McLean who would make an interesting interview for TALK? Tap us at

Diversity Hiring Fair

Saturday, February 4 at The Potomac School in McLean

The Potomac School, East Ed, and the Association of Independent Schools of Greater Washington (AISGW) are proud to host the eleventh annual Diversity Hiring Fair to support employee diversity in the independent school sector. 

This hiring fair is an opportunity for candidates to meet with representatives from over 30 independent schools in the DMV area. Everyone is welcome to attend the fair. Registration is free for all candidates and one-on-one interviews will be conducted on site. InterestedReply

MCC Board Seeks Candidates

2023 MCC Governing Board Elections: Nominating Petitions Now Available

Residents of Dranesville Small District 1A who are looking for ways to give back to their community are encouraged to consider running for a seat on the McLean Community Center (MCC) Governing Board. The 11-member, volunteer board establishes goals and aligns strategies for MCC programs and facilities, including the Robert Ames Alden Theatre (“The Alden”) and The Old Firehouse Center (OFC).  In 2023, three adult positions and two youth positions are open on the board. To run for election to the board, candidates must reside in Dranesville Small District 1A, a special tax district that supports the center. Candidates are required to obtain the signatures of 10 tax district residents in their respective categories (either adult or youth) to have their names placed on election ballots. 

Petition packets are available at MCC starting at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, January 18 and completed packets must be returned in person to MCC by 5 p.m. on Friday, March 3. Adult candidates must be at least 18 years of age as of Saturday, May 20, the date of the election, which is held at MCC’s annual community festival, McLean Day. Youth candidates must be 15-17 years of age on that date. One youth member will be elected from the McLean High School boundary area and one will be elected from the Langley High School boundary area. Youth candidates are not required to attend either school, but they must reside in the boundary areas served by those schools respectively, as defined by Fairfax County Public Schools. The three adult candidates who receive the highest vote counts will serve three-year terms. Youth members who receive the highest vote count will serve one-year terms

Key Election Dates: Wednesday, January 18: Candidate Petition Packets are available for pickup at MCC.Friday, March 3: Completed Petition Packets must be returned by candidates in person to MCC by 5 p.m. Saturday, March 11: Candidates’ Orientation will be held at MCC. Wednesday, March 15: Absentee Voting begins at MCC. Wednesday, May 17: Absentee Voting ends at 5 p.m. Saturday, May 20: In-Person Voting held at McLean Day at Lewinsville Park from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information on the MCC Governing Board Elections, call the Center at 703-790-0123, TTY: 711, or visit the McLean Community Center Governing Board Candidate Information website.

American Red Cross Blood Drive 

February 22: The Boro

The Boro is partnering with the American Red Cross to host a blood drive. Blood donated from the last drive at The Boro helped save 72 lives and we have saved 219 lives through blood drives to date! Reserve your spot at the next one here.

When & Where:  Wednesday, February 22nd, 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m in the Boro Station Conference Room E/F, 1775 Greensboro Station Place, McLean, VA 22102

Collage Making Demo

Collage Making demonstration by Iranian-American Artist, Parinaz Bahadori

McLean Art Society will host a demonstration of collage-making by artist Parinaz Bahadori at McLean Community Center on Friday, January 27 at 11 a.m. Bahadori will show how to make a quick collage using magazines and newspapers that everyone has lying around the house. Plus, she’ll offer some tips on how to create other fun collage works. This event is free and open to the public.

Bahadori a has had a passion for art since her youth and although she practiced architecture for almost 30 years, she transitioned to becoming a full-time artist seven years ago. While she works in acrylics and mixed media focusing on still lifes, abstract paintings and modern Persian calligraphy, she enjoys exploring the shapes of things that go into collage making and offers workshops in her “barn studio.”

Her works have been exhibited at local venues in St. Louis and the D.C. area. She has been featured in Elan magazine and was invited to collaborate with In Series Opera in D.C. to create backdrop panels for their original opera, Handel’s The Tale of Serse, painting symbols of leaves on a tree in Persian calligraphic form. Her goal as an artist is “try to stay loose enough for happy accidents to happen on my canvas.”

Stuff the Bus

Saturday, February 4 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Benefitting Share of McLean

McLean Giant

1454 Chain Bridge Road

McLean, VA 22101

For the full list of events, most requested items, and more information, visit the Stuff the Bus website.

Stuff the Bus began in 2011 in response to a critical need to help restock the shelves of local food pantries after the holidays. This collaborative program is a partnership between Fairfax County Government and local nonprofits. Now in its 12th year, Stuff the Bus continues to support food assistance efforts for families and households. Since inception, Stuff the Bus has collected more than 220 tons of food to feed people experiencing food insecurity in Fairfax County. 

Book Signing & Scholarship Awards

Educational and Charitable Foundation’s 2023 Book Signing and Scholarship Awards Presentation featuring Sadeqa Johnson.

Sadeqa Johnson is the international best-selling and award-winning author of four novels. Johnson’s forthcoming novel, The House of Eve (February 7, 2023), is a daring and redemptive story set in 1950s Philadelphia and Washington, DC, that explores what it means to be a woman and a mother, and how much one is willing to sacrifice to achieve her greatest goal. 

Her previous novel, Yellow Wife, follows an enslaved woman forced to barter love and freedom while living in the most infamous slave jail in Virginia. Inspired by a true story, Yellow Wife depicts “the physical, psychological, and spiritual damages wrought by slavery” (Kirkus, Starred Review) and determination in the face of oppression. Johnson’s moving book resonates with audiences as we still grapple with issues of race today, and has been named a “Most Anticipated Historical Fiction Book of 2021,” by O, The Oprah Magazine and SheReads, as well as a “Books We Love” pick by PARADE and BuzzFeed. Yellow Wife joins the canon of bestselling fiction including Wench by Dolen Perkins-Valdez, The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom, and Solomon Northup’s Twelve Years a Slave. J

Johnson’s debut novel, Love in a Carry-on Bag, was the recipient of the 2013 Phillis Wheatley award for best fiction, OOSA best book award, and USA best book award for African-American fiction. Second House From the Corner, was hailed by Essence magazine and a Go on Girl! Bookclub selection for 2017. And Then There Was Me, won the National Book Club Conference fiction book of the year award, and was a finalist for the Phillis Wheatley award. Johnson also received the Black Pearl Magazine Author of the Year award in 2017.

Offering ample space for discussion, Johnson’s novels are frequent book club selections. She is widely requested to speak at schools, conferences, historical organizations, and more, discussing the historical significance of her stories, writing, research, and personal journey. A former public relations manager, Johnson spent several years working with well-known authors such as JK Rowling, Bebe Moore Campbell, Amy Tan, and Bishop TD Jakes. After years of unsuccessfully getting her own publishing deal, Johnson took matters into her own hands and started a small press with her husband, where she published her debut novel. A motivational and inspirational speaker, she discusses how to be your own best advocate, and why never giving up is quintessential to success.

Johnson is a Kimbilo Fellow, former board member of the James River Writers, and proud member of the Tall Poppy Writers. She also teaches fiction writing for the MFA program at Drexel University. Originally from Philadelphia, she currently lives near Richmond, Virginia with her husband and three children.