Lillian Orlich, who served PWCS students for 64 years and passed away on March 7, 2024, left a $1 million donation to SPARK, the education foundation for PWCS. Known to thousands of students as Ms. O, Lillian Orlich is a true Prince William County legend in education. Orlich retired in 2017 at 89, after serving as a teacher and counselor. She spent all but three years at Osbourn High School in Manassas City and Osbourn Park High School in Prince William County.  

“We are deeply saddened by Ms. Orlich’s passing, but the footprints she’s left in our hearts and minds can never be erased," said PWCS Superintendent of Schools Dr. LaTanya D. McDade. “Her legacy lives on in the lives of the students and staff she impacted.”  

The $1 million donation will support SPARK’s purpose to promote, aid, encourage, and engage in educational activities and endeavors for PWCS' students, teachers, and administrators. The donation will be distributed across the foundation’s six focus areas (Educator Preparedness, Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) Education, Social and Emotional Learning, Innovative and Digital Citizenship, Career Pathways to Global Citizens, and Partnerships for School Improvement) with a heavy focus on Educator Preparedness, as Orlich was a long-time educator. 

“Miss Lillian Orlich’s devotion to this community is unprecedented because she dedicated her life’s work over the course of the last 3 quarters of a century investing in our future leaders. This donation to SPARK is unsurprising considering her passion for supporting our students.  We are so very honored and proud to continue her legacy through this generous gift. This is a rare and an inspirational moment in this school system,” said Melissa Boyle, President of the SPARK Board of Directors. 

 “Ms. Orlich is truly missed by our PWCS community,” said Prince William County School Board Chairman At-Large Dr. Babur Lateef. “Her compassion and unwavering commitment to selfless service has profoundly impacted countless generations of PWCS students. We are immensely grateful for Ms. Orlich’s dedication and contributions to PWCS during her lifetime and beyond, as her memory lives on.”