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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.

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

Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”

– Christopher Robin to Pooh

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

– Bruce Lee

A person who learns to juggle six balls will be more skilled than the person who never tries to juggle more than three.”

– Marilyn vos Savant

Destiny is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.”

– William Jennings Bryan

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

– Leonard Cohen

Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.”

– Eleanor Roosevelt

To follow, without halt, one aim: There’s the secret of success.”

– Anna Pavlova

What is the point of having free will if one cannot occasionally spit in the eye of destiny?”

– Jim Butcher, White Night

Don’t wait for someone else to lead you to your right life; that privilege—and responsibility—is yours alone.”

– Martha Beck

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

– Marcus Aurelius Antoninus

Always be on the lookout for the presence of wonder.”

– E.B. White

When we speak we are afraid our words will not be heard or welcomed. But when we are silent, we are still afraid. So it is better to speak.”

– Audre Lorde

Do not follow where the path may lead. Go, instead, where there is no path and leave a trail.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

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

– Charles Dickens

Friendship is the only cement that will hold the world together.”

– Woodrow Wilson

Do not be afraid of mistakes, providing you do not make the same one twice.”

– Eleanor Roosevelt

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”

– John Quincy Adams

We are not meant to resolve all contradictions, but to live with them and rise above them.”

– William Blake

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

– Charles Dickens

If you do not tell the truth about yourself
, you cannot tell it about other people.”

– Virginia Woolf

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

By your stumbling the world is perfected.”

– Sri Aurobindo

I have spent a good part of my life convincing people that a blank sheet of paper is the greatest opportunity in the world, and not frightening at all.”

– Marty Skler, executive vp, Walt Disney Imagineering

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

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.”

– Albert Einstein

I don’t do very well without fear. There needs to be a part of me saying, ‘That’s going to fail,’ so I can prove myself wrong.”

– Harry Potter's Daniel Radcliffe

No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself, or to get all the credit for doing it”

– Andrew Carnegie

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

He who knows he has enough is rich.”

– Tao Te Ching

Sometimes the dreams that come true are the dreams you never even knew you had.”

– Alice Sebold, The Lovely Bones

The only dream worth having is to live while you’re alive and die only when you’re dead.”

– Arundhati Roy

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

– Lao Tzu

The best reason to start an organization is to create a product or service to make the world a better place.”

– Guy Kawasaki

That which grows fast withers as rapidly; that which grows slowly endures.”

– J.G. Holland, novelist

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

– Carl Rogers

There are risks and costs to a program of action. But they are far less than the long-range risks and costs of comfortable inaction.”

– JFK

Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”

– Seneca

Remove those ‘I want you to like me’ stickers from your forehead
and, instead, place them where they truly will do the most good—on your mirror.”

– Susan Jeffers

Look at everything as though you were
seeing it either for the first or last time.
Then your time on earth will be filled with glory.”

– Betty Smith

Ripeness is all.”

– William Shakespeare

The awakening to the mystery of life is a revolutionary event; in it an old world is destroyed so that a new and better one may take its place.”

– J.J. Van Der Leeuw, The Conquest of Illusion

‎Excellence is to do a common thing in an uncommon way.”

– Booker T. Washington

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

Most people never pick up the phone and call. Most people never ask, and that’s what separates the people who do things from the people who just dream about them.”

– Steve Jobs

Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any one thing.”

– Abraham Lincoln

You’ve got to be willing to crash and burn. If you’re afraid of failing, you won’t get very far.”

– Steve Jobs

Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love.”

– Jalaluddin Rumi

My job is my hobby. I come to work to play.”

– Uli Becker, president, Reebok International

The journey is the reward.”

– Greg Norman