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APS Announces 2024 Employees of the Year

Today, Arlington Public Schools announced the 2024 division-wide APS Teacher of the Year, Principal of the Year, Assistant Principal of the Year, Leader of the Year, and the Support Employee of the Year, as well as school-based Teacher and Support Employee honorees representing every school across the division.

“I am incredibly proud to announce our 2024 Employee of the Year honorees—they represent the leadership, passion and dedication to student success that make APS a top school division,” said Superintendent Dr. Francisco Durán. “This year’s honorees support our schools in many different capacities, each making a tremendous difference by serving as mentors and role models for our students, their colleagues, and the community.”

This year’s award winners, along with the school-based Teachers of the Year and Support Employees of the Year, will be recognized at the annual Celebration of Excellence on May 21 at Washington-Liberty High School.

Teacher of the Year: Danielle Day, Washington-Liberty High School

Danielle Day, 2024 Teacher of the YearDanielle is a special education teacher, the lead teacher of the Secondary Program for Students with Autism and the Special Education Department Co-Chair at Washington-Liberty High School.  Born and raised in Arlington, Danielle began her 11-year career with APS as an after-school aide at the Shriver Program while working to earn her master’s degree in special education. Danielle gets to know each of her students, learning what they are interested in, their likes and dislikes and what keeps them motivated. She uses this information to help them set and work toward achievable goals. Danielle can always be counted on to make time to connect personally and meaningfully with students, parents, and staff. Danielle is extremely committed to her students, their families and Washington-Liberty High School.

See below for the complete list of Teacher of the Year honorees for all schools.

Principal of the Year: Catharina Genove, Montessori Public School of Arlington

Catharina Genove, 2024 Principal of the YearBorn in Havana, Cuba and immigrating to the US at the age of three, Catharina received her Master’s in Montessori Education from Barry University in Miami. As Principal of the Montessori Public School of Arlington since its opening, Catharina is known for her exceptional leadership. She led the transition of APS’s Montessori program into Virginia’s first designated Montessori school building. Implementing the Montessori curriculum while meeting the state and county curriculum requirements, Catharina allows for independence within the Montessori philosophy. She ensures that teachers can connect community learning to the curriculum to help students understand that they are part of a larger community that has an impact on Earth. Catharina is thought of as approachable, thoughtful, caring and a highly skilled administrator who knows how to balance high expectations for academic achievement with the ethos of putting the whole child and community at the heart of education.

Assistant Principal of the Year: Cory Mainor, Arlington Career Center

Corey Mainor, 2024 Assistant Principal of the YearCory has been with APS for 14 years and has served as Assistant Principal at the Arlington Career Center for four years. Colleagues note that he brings a personal touch to his work and thrives as a mentor to students and staff.  His background as an English teacher and as a dad to his seventh-grade daughter creates a personality combination that is ideal for mentoring students. He is thoughtful, considerate and an innovative leader. Cory works diligently to promote equity and inclusivity across the many different programs at the Arlington Career Center. He created a Restorative Center at Arlington Career Center where students can engage in restorative circles with one another, and staff can obtain the resources they need to feel empowered in these practices.  The Restorative Center makes the Arlington Career Center a safer, kinder, more welcoming space for all and helps to address the needs of every child. Cory is a well-regarded leader whose passion for education, strategic vision and ability to inspire positive change make him an exceptional Assistant Principal.

Leader of the Year: Renee Harber, Assistant Superintendent, Facilities and Operations

2024 Leader of the Year Renee HarberFormer APS teacher and Principal of Swanson Middle School, Renee began her career with APS 26 years ago. Renee started her role as Assistant Superintendent of Facilities and Operations in February 2022. She immediately embraced and managed several complex projects involving extensive family and community engagement including the Bell Time Study. Since taking on the role of leading Facilities and Operations across all APS facilities, Renee has initiated countless positive changes that have helped strengthen the culture and climate within and throughout the department and across all schools. Renee is consistently acknowledged by maintenance, facilities and transportation staff as being a trusted ear and advisor who truly celebrates and appreciates their work. She leads with a servant-leader mindset and brings her experience as an exceptional school principal into her work overseeing facilities and operational matters, ensuring staff understand the work of the department should always be focused on what is best for students.

*Support Employee of the Year – Amy Jones, Account Specialist, Facilities and Operations, Trades Center

2024 Support Employee of the Year Amy JonesAmy works as an account specialist in the Design & Construction Department of Facilities & Operations and has been employed with APS for 16 years. Her engagements with all stakeholders are professional and usually come with a delicate humorous touch. Amy takes great pride in the work she does daily to positively impact Design & Construction work. She is a partner in ensuring that project managers, design consultants and management maintain deadlines and budgetary obligations. Amy is described as a collaborative team member who helps with many department initiatives and projects that impact the entire APS community. She embodies support for Design & Construction, Facilities & Operations and APS.

See below for the complete list of the Support Employee of the Year nominees.

*The division-wide Support Employee of the Year is a new award this year. Each school and department put forward a Support Employee of the Year and the overall winner was chosen from that group.

Teachers of the Year by School

  • Abingdon Elementary: Allison Marie Barnes
  • Alice West Fleet Elementary: Amanda Murray
  • Arlington Community High: Jamie Elizabeth Odeneal
  • Arlington Science Focus: Sydney Ann Lewis
  • Arlington Traditional: Monica Wollheim Hirschberg
  • Ashlawn Elementary: Montana Wrigley
  • Barcroft Elementary: Elizabeth Sosby Aspacio
  • Barrett Elementary: Abigail Emily Crain
  • Campbell Elementary: Lauren Michelle Kleifges
  • Cardinal Elementary: Marykate McDonald Girardi
  • Carlin Springs Elementary: Heather Meijer Sox
  • Claremont Immersion: Chelsea Marcelin Shocknesse
  • Discovery Elementary: Tamatha Sue Stoker
  • Dorothy Hamm Middle: Kathleen Ascenzi
  • Charles R. Drew Elementary: Douglas H George
  • Escuela Key Elementary: Mariana Serrano Rosado
  • Eunice Kennedy Shriver Program: Marissa Kenyetta Graham
  • Glebe Elementary: Rebecca Margaret Van Hook
  • Gunston Middle: Caitlin Rachel Wittig
  • HB Woodlawn Secondary Program: Daniel Lee Paris
  • Hoffman-Boston Elementary: Brenna Marie McGreevy
  • Innovation Elementary: Perry Lang Meade
  • Integration Station: Melissa Anne Leupp
  • Jamestown Elementary: Susan Mary DeMatties
  • Jefferson Middle: Devon Shea Riley
  • Kenmore Middle: Israel Jesus Salas
  • Long Branch Elementary: Alexis Davae Robinson
  • Montessori Public School of Arlington: Emily Strojny Hall
  • Langston: Katherine Ceceila Lippmann
  • Nottingham Elementary: Dina Saad Lewin
  • Oakridge Elementary: Kristen E Wolla
  • Randolph Elementary: Joanne Marie Krisko
  • Swanson Middle: Catherine Michelle Wilkes
  • Taylor Elementary: Tamera Lea Thomason Taylor
  • Technical Education & Career Center: Jerri Anne Cupero
  • Tuckahoe Elementary: Sarah Ann Will Parrish
  • Wakefield High: Michael W Lutz
  • Williamsburg Middle: Emily Sternisha Mctavish
  • Yorktown High: Kimberly Freund Graver

Support Employees of the Year by School/Department

  • Abingdon Elementary: Amanda Loayza Vela
  • Alice West Fleet Elementary: Marshall L Cunningham
  • Arlington Community High: Maria Rosario
  • Arlington Science Focus: Olga Almengor
  • Arlington Traditional: Wafa Bashir Ahmed
  • Ashlawn Elementary: Nancy R Hawkins
  • Barcroft Elementary: Maribel Carmela Vilela
  • Barrett Elementary: Jennifer S Buckley
  • Campbell Elementary: Khadijah Jeanette Cameron
  • Cardinal Elementary: Beth Ellen Hooser
  • Carlin Springs Elementary: Darlene W Garretson
  • Discovery Elementary: Nicol Andrea Bermudez-Flores
  • Dorothy Hamm Middle: Crystal Chantell Richardson
  • Charles R. Drew Elementary: Isabel C Majewsky
  • Escuela Key Elementary: Carlos Rene Campos
  • Eunice Kennedy Shriver Program: Isabel Castellanos
  • Glebe Elementary: Rosa Esmeralda Galeas
  • Gunston Middle: Karen Layone Mullin
  • HB Woodlawn Secondary Program: Daniel Alberto Degracia
  • Hoffman-Boston Elementary: Tarica G Mason
  • Innovation Elementary: Emma D Hernandez
  • Integration Station: Rocio M Priale
  • Jamestown Elementary: Karin Diane Bloss
  • Jefferson Middle: Dana Marie Brundidge
  • Kenmore Middle: Angelica Karras Elder
  • Long Branch Elementary: Ivonne D Villarroel Miquilena
  • Montessori Public School of Arlington: Leslie Ann Whiteside Elgendi
  • New Directions: Michael A Moore
  • Nottingham Elementary: Laurie Renee Sinton
  • Oakridge Elementary: Hanim Abdalla Magzoub
  • Randolph Elementary: Karen Nathaly Novello
  • Swanson Middle: Barbara Nicholas
  • Taylor Elementary: Reyna Lissette Berrios
  • Tuckahoe Elementary: Mirna Patricia Lopez
  • Wakefield High: Howard L Smith III
  • Washington-Liberty High: Bidkar Jimenez
  • Williamsburg Middle: David Everett Sydney
  • Yorktown High: Danielle Renee Young Jones
  • Syphax Education Center: Lidia Isaura Gomez Chavez
  • Technical Education & Career Center: Patricia Ann Roseboro-Shackleford

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