Onthank Awards Recognize Fairfax County Employees

June 27, 2008

News Highlights 

  • Ten Fairfax County employees are recipients of the 2008 Onthank Award, the highest county honor


  • The Onthank Award was established by the Board of Supervisors to honor the memory of Col. A. Heath Onthank, the first chairman of the Fairfax County Civil Service Commission (1957-1962).

More Information 

Ten employees have been selected to receive the Onthank Award, the highest honor Fairfax County bestows on its employees. Six recipients are from county government and four are from the school system. The awards were presented at today’s regularly scheduled meeting of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.

Fairfax County Government Employee Awardees:

Willie F. Bailey, fire lieutenant, Fire and Rescue Department

Jesse F. Bowman, police officer II, Police Department

Mark P. Dale, police officer II, Police Department

Karen P. Diviney, animal shelter director, Police Department

Beverly J. Howard, social worker III, Department of Family Services

Jan Kikuchi, social worker supervisor, Department of Family Services

Fairfax County Public Schools Employee Awardees:

Keith Buchanan, coordinator III, English to Speakers of Other Languages, Instructional Services

Oscar F. Calagua, management technician, Instructional Services

James A. Collins, building supervisor, Benjamin Franklin Middle School

Thau H. Nguyen, technology support specialist, Waples Mill Elementary School

The Onthank Award was established by the Board of Supervisors in 1966 to honor the memory of Col. A. Heath Onthank, the first chairman of the Fairfax County Civil Service Commission (1957-1962) and guiding force of the county’s career merit system.

onthank awards
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The Onthank Award recognizes accomplishments of outstanding worth in advancing and improving public service in Fairfax County government and the school system by an individual county employee. No more than 10 awards may be given each year.

Eligibility for the Onthank Award is open to merit system employees of county government, and contracted unified salary scale and food service employees of Fairfax County Public Schools. School teachers and instructional assistants are not eligible for this award.

Since its inception in 1966, 305 employees have received the Onthank Award. Recipients have included managers, public safety employees, administrative assistants, human services personnel, custodians, librarians, school bus drivers, building inspectors and others from agencies throughout county government and the school system. Nominations have come from residents, fellow employees, civic groups, and business and professional organizations.


Fairfax County Office of Public Affairs
12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 551
Fairfax, VA 22035-0065
Contact: Merni Fitzgerald, Director of Public Affairs
703-324-3187, TTY 711, Fax 703-324-2010
Media Pager: 703-324-NEWS (6397)

Fairfax County is committed to nondiscrimination on the basis of disability in all county programs, services and activities. To request this information in an alternate format, call the Office of Public Affairs at 703-324-3187, TTY 711.

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