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Peter Noonan, Assistant Superintendent for Instructional Service, Fairfax County Public Schools

COLUMN = EDUCATION

In 2006, Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) Superintendent Jack D. Dale named Peter Noonan, Cluster VII assistant superintendent and former principal of Centreville High School, as the new assistant superintendent for instructional services, effective August 1.

Prior to that, Noonan has served as assistant superintendent for Cluster VII schools, including the Centreville, Chantilly, and Fairfax High School pyramids. In this position, he initiated instructional and organizational change using professional learning communities, increased accessibility to educational technology resources for students and staff members, and school leadership development to support diverse learners.

Noonan served as principal of Centreville High School from July 2004 until April 2006, where he developed a principal’s round table for aspiring student leaders, initiated a freshman transition team for rising ninth grade students, and secured funding for an Honors and Advanced Placement Summer Institute. Prior to that, he served as principal of Lanier Middle School. Noonan came to FCPS in 2001 to serve as assistant principal at Langley High School.

Prior to joining FCPS, Noonan served as dean of students, assistant principal, and principal of several schools in Albuquerque. He began his career as a special education teacher at Roosevelt Middle School in Albuquerque, where he was named Teacher of the Year in 1993.

Noonan has made numerous professional presentations, including workshops on establishing professional learning communities, providing extra time and support for students, and integrating technology into education.

Noonan earned a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from the University of New Mexico and completed studies to earn the education specialist designation in educational administration from that institution. He was named a Danforth Scholar at the University of New Mexico. He also completed advanced studies of contemporary British and Shakespearean literature at the University of Essex in England.

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands, but in seeing with new eyes.”

– Marcel Proust

Some things are destined to be—it just takes us a couple of tries
to get there.”

– J.R. Ward, Lover Mine

If you wish success in life, make perseverance your bosom friend, experience your wise counselor, caution your elder brother, and hope your guardian genius.”

– Joseph Addison

Instead of loving your enemies, treat your friends a little better.”

– Edgar W. Howe

By your stumbling the world is perfected.”

– Sri Aurobindo

Letting go of expectations is a ticket to peace. It allows us to ride over every crisis—small or large—like a beach ball on water.”

– Martha Beck

A discovery is said to be an accident meeting a prepared mind.”

– Albert Szent-Gyorgyi

How do you stay resilient? It’s about momentum. Like riding a bicycle. If you stop you fall over. So I keep pedaling.”

– Diane Lane

The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.”

– Carl Rogers

It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”

– Charles Darwin

Just don’t give up trying to do what you really want to do.
 Where there is love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong.”

– Ella Fitzgerald

The less effort, the faster and more powerful you will be.”

– Bruce Lee

If your success is not on your own terms, if it looks good to the world but does not feel good in your heart, it is not success at all.”

– Anna Quindlen

The great use of life is to spend it on something that will outlast it.”

– William James

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently.”

– Steve Jobs, Apple, Inc.

An entrepreneur tends to bite off a little more than he can chew hoping he’ll quickly learn how to chew it.“


– Roy Ash, co-founder of Litton Industries

The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

But all the while I was alone, the past was close behind, I seen a lot of women, but she never escaped my mind, and I just grew, tangled up in blue.”

– Bob Dylan

I’ve come to confirm that one’s title, even that of president, says little about how well one’s life has been led. No matter how much you’ve done, or how successful you’ve been, there’s always more to do, to learn, and to achieve.”

– Barack Obama

Almost anyone can start a community, but it takes real talent and commitment to get people to show up and keep coming back.”

– Andy Sernovitz

The quality of your life is directly related to the amount of uncertainty you can comfortably live with.”

– Tony Robbins

Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”

– T.S. Eliot

Don’t follow, lead. Don’t copy, create. Don’t start, finish. Don’t sit still, move. Don’t fit in, stand out. Don’t sit quietly, speak up. (Not all the time, sure, but more often.)”

– Seth Godin

At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.”

– Lao Tzu

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.”

– Anais Nin

Many people prefer to play it safe when it comes to business matters. Are you willing to take risks in the pursuit of entrepreneurial success?”

– Steven Schussler

When you are asked if you can do a job, tell ‘em, ‘Certainly I can!’ Then get busy and find out how to do it.”

– Theodore Roosevelt

Inspiration and genius — one and the same.”

– Victor Hugo

The biggest flaw in our existing theory of capitalism lies in its misrepresentation of human nature.”

– Muhammad Yunus

We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations.”

– Charles R. Swindoll

Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid.”

– Basil King

A man who strikes first admits that his ideas have given out.”

– Chinese Proverb

Death is to lose the earth you know, for greater knowing; to lose the life you have, for greater life; to leave the friends you loved, for greater loving; to find a land more kind than home, more large than earth.”

– Thomas Wolfe

If it isn’t good, let it die. If it doesn’t die, make it good.”

– Ajahn Chah

Are you willing to help other people succeed even when it’s not a requirement of your job to be of assistance?”

– Steven Schussler

There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.”

– Leonard Cohen

Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which obstacles vanish.”

– John Quincy Adams

Success is about finding a livelihood that brings joy, self-sufficiency, and a sense of contributing.”

– Anita Roddick

Let us seize the day and the opportunity and strive for that greatness of spirit that measures life not by its disappointments but by its possibilities.”

– W.E.B. Du Bois

If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. 
Now put foundations under them.”

– Henry David Thoreau

Challenge is a dragon with a gift in its mouth. Tame the dragon and the gift is yours.”

– Noela Evans

Women once had the goal of being Superwoman; I think most of us now simply strive to have a super day.”

– Author, Activist Lee Woodruff

A man without a smiling face
 should not open a shop.”

– Chinese Proverb

That which does not kill us makes us stronger.”

– Friedrich Nietzsche

It is easier to fight for one’s principles than to live up to them.”

– Alfred Adler

Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”

– T.S. Eliot

Anything not worth doing well is not worth doing.”

– Warren Buffett

No longer talk at all about the kind of man a good man ought to be, but be such.”

– Marcus Aurelius Antoninus

Our deepest wishes are whispers of our authentic selves. We must learn to respect them. We must learn to listen.”

– Sarah Ban Breathnach

‎No one is useless in this world who lightens the burden of another.”

– Charles Dickens