Created by Delia E. Racines, Ph.D.

A lifelong learner, an eternal optimist, and a lead-by-example individual, Jackie Fassinger Rossell flourished in her chosen career as an ESOL Teacher and ESOL Department Chair. Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Jackie relocated to Virginia in the 1980s after she graduated, with honors, from John Carroll University in Ohio with a major in Elementary Education and a minor in Math/Accounting. During her early years with Fairfax County Public Schools, she served as an Educator at various schools and at various grade levels, including a position as a Step Up (Title One) Math Teacher – a role she loved not only because she was a whiz at math, but also because it gave her the opportunity to be creative in the instruction of a subject that is traditionally considered pretty cut and dried; in this role, Jackie was able to design individualized, engaging instruction plans for learners who processed material differently and at a different pace. When she transferred to Herndon Middle School in the 1990s, Jackie served as a Fast Math Teacher, a Co-Math Teacher, and an ESOL Teacher; in 2001, she embraced the opportunity to reach and help more ESOL students by accepting the position of ESOL Department Chair. In this role at HMS for over a decade, Jackie provided collaborative leadership, cutting-edge initiatives, strategically-mapped directives, and creative solutions as challenges arose throughout all facets of developing, providing, and building exceptional ESOL services that helped the school's 230+ ELs from all over the world develop English proficiency and enhance their academic achievement, while also building teachers' skills and confidence to employ and deliver best instructional practices for all of Herndon's ELs. Jackie Fassinger Rossell unexpectedly passed away after a short and sudden illness in 2017.

In loving memory of this inspiring and dedicated educator, The Jackie Fassinger Rossell Scholarship has been created to continue to support the very students Jackie supported, relentlessly advocated for, and truly believed in throughout her career. An eradicator of naysayers, Jackie wholeheartedly and steadfastly believed that all ELs could pursue whatever their dreams were – no matter how many obstacles may seem to be in the path to bringing those dreams to fruition. Jackie believed that determination and self-discipline turned dreamers into doers. Instead of looking at a child’s native non-English-speaking language as a barrier, Jackie saw it as an asset. She advocated that a second, third, or even fourth language, in addition to English, was an asset for the student – a tool, a resource, a gift that could be leveraged to change the world through communication and collaboration and by embracing the awesomeness of each person’s diverse perspective, experiences, and culture.

Contributions welcome. Click here for details.

Criteria:

  • GPA: 2.5 Cumulative
  • A short essay of no more than 500 words describing any life challenges they have overcome and why this scholarship would help them make a difference.
  • Each applicant must now be classified or must at some point in the past have been classified, as an English Learner or someone who has taken ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) classes; if no students classified as ESOL apply, the scholarship will be opened up to students who do not apply to ESOL.
  • Each applicant must be applying for 2 year or 4 year degree/certificate programs in accredited, not-for-profit colleges/universities/trade or vocational schools anywhere in the domestic US.