Mrs. Winter’s Senior Send Off

Paige Paulikonis, Staff Writer

Sending off the seniors is always a bittersweet experience. For Mrs. Winter, it is a feeling of accomplishment as she is able to witness the class planning their next steps in life. She feels a great pride, but also a sense of sadness as she “will miss them immensely but will take this experience with her, and will never forget them.” Working at South Lakes has been such a joy for her, meeting so many brilliant people and beliefs. “No school compares to South Lakes,” she concludes.

Mrs. Winter is an assistant principal at South Lakes High School, more specifically, she works with the  Class of 2022. She has worked at South Lakes for seven  years. Mrs. Winter admires all aspects of the school. She thoroughly enjoys working with the student body and faculty, believing that it is the most rewarding part of her job. 

Mrs. Winter considers her biggest accomplishment as assistant principal to be receiving AP (Assistant Principal) 2 status, a nomination given to highly esteemed administrators. “This process was rigorous and demanded a lot of effort and thoughtful reflection,”  said Mrs. Winter. Additionally, her ability to master the nuances associated with school discipline was something she was proud of being able to accomplish. Throughout her career at South Lakes, she has most adamantly valued the ability to “act with consistency to ensure fairness”.

Mrs. Winter has had a long career in Fairfax County and has previous experience in other middle and high schools. She says that South Lakes is “one of the most supportive and inclusive communities to ever be privileged to be a part of.” Throughout her years working with the Class of 2022, Mrs. Winter has formed strong bonds with the class. However, when the Covid-19 pandemic struck, she, as well as many others, was faced with difficulties. She remembers one moment that will stick with her forever. She was at a football game, seeing faces covered by masks for the first time after quarantine and virtual school. She recollects how “One of the starkest memories I have from recent memory is when a student came up to me at a football game. This was the first one since the start of in person school this year.  The student said, ‘I wish I could hug you right now.’ It was just something that I will not forget any time soon.” It was a difficult moment not being able to do what used to be considered normal. Now, she is “so thankful to be able to see the students’ faces in person and to be back in the building.”