• Columnists

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.

Think of yourself as on the threshold of unparalleled success. A whole, clear, glorious life lies before you. Achieve! Achieve!”

– Andrew Carnegie

If my mind can conceive it, and my heart can believe it, I know I can achieve it.”

– Jesse Jackson

I may not be able to change what takes place, but I can always choose to change my thinking.”

– Michelle Sedas

Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

The goal of Life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe, to match your nature with nature.”

– Joseph Cambell

We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”

– Joseph Campbell

Whatever you do may seem insignificant, but it is most important that you do it.”

– Gandi

It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.”

– William Shakespeare

Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.”

– Dalai Lama

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

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

– Alice Sebold, The Lovely Bones

He who wants to tear down a house must be prepared to rebuild it.”

– African Proverb

The critical ingredient is getting off your butt and doing something.”

– Nolan Bushnell, founder, Chuck E. Cheese's

The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer.”

– Nolan Bushnell, founder, Chuck E. Cheese's

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

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

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

The music is all around us. All you have to do is listen.”

– August Rush

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

– William Blake

This is the age when magical technologies make more and more radically fun ideas plausible, even easy. You’re only limited by your creativity.”

– Martha Beck

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

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 warrior cannot complain or regret anything. His life is an endless challenge, and challenges cannot possibly be good or bad. Challenges are simply challenges.”

– Carlos Castaneda

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

– Eleanor Roosevelt

If people like you they’ll listen to you; if they trust you, they’ll do business with you.”

– Zig Ziglar

We need to learn to set our course by the stars, not by the lights of every passing ship.”

– General Omar Bradley

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

– Marcus Aurelius Antoninus

Happy are those who dream dreams and are ready to pay the price to make them come true.”

– Leon Joseph Suenens

We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give.”

– Winston Churchill

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

– Anais Nin

Pretend that every single person you meet has a sign around his or her neck that says, ‘Make Me Feel Important.’ Not only will you succeed in sales, you will succeed in life.”

– Mary Kay Ash

Education is an admirable thing to have, but it is well to remember that nothing worth knowing can be taught.”

– Oscar Wilde

There are children playing in the street who could solve some of my top problems in physics, because they have modes of sensory perception that I lost long ago.”

– J. Robert Oppenheimer

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

– Chinese Proverb

Destiny is a name often given in retrospect to choices that had dramatic consequences.”

– J.K. Rowling

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

– Booker T. Washington

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

History is a relentless master. It has no present, only the past rushing into the future. To try to hold fast is to be swept aside.”

– John F. Kennedy

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

You take your life in your own hands, and what happens?
 A terrible thing: no one to blame.”

– Erica Jong

Inspiration and genius — one and the same.”

– Victor Hugo

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

– Marcel Proust

We need to learn to set our course by the stars, not by the lights of every passing ship.”

– General Omar Bradley

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

– William James

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”

– Thomas Edison

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

The fixity of a habit is generally in direct proportion to its absurdity.”

– Marcel Proust

The best hobbies are the ones that take us furthest from our primary occupation.”

– Dr. Evelyn Vogel, Dexter

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

– Lao Tzu

With ordinary talents and extraordinary perseverance, all things are attainable.”

– Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton