Barcroft Elementary School’s Judy Apostolico-Buck has been named Arlington Public Schools’ 2019 Principal of the Year.
“Judy is a highly effective and influential instructional leader who has made an enormous impact as an elementary school principal, having served at Ashlawn for 7 years and now in her current role at Barcroft,” said Superintendent Dr. Pat Murphy. “She has established strong relationships and trust with students, families, staff, the community and her colleagues, and her experience, knowledge and intuition regularly lead staff to seek her counsel and guidance.”
Apostolico-Buck received a Bachelor of Science in early childhood education, special education and developmental reading from James Madison University. She received a Master of Arts in gifted education from the University of Virginia and a Certificate of Administration and Supervision from George Mason University.
“Recognition as the Arlington Public Schools Principal of the Year both humbles and thrills me. I’m very humbled to receive this award and to represent all my equally deserving colleagues within APS,” said Apostolico-Buck. “Thirty-three years ago I received a coveted spot in APS for my student-teaching and fell in love with all that is Arlington: eager children, engaged parents and, most exciting, a culture that encourages and demands innovation, pushing boundaries and accepting nothing short of excellence for all. To be selected as a leader within the APS community is truly an honor.”
Apostolico-Buck has been an educator for 32 years, all of which have been with APS. During her time with APS, Apostolico-Buck has served in a variety of positions including a resource teacher for the gifted, assistant principal at Taylor, supervisor of Early Childhood Programs and principal of Ashlawn Elementary School.
“Having an experienced teacher as your principal is truly a blessing,” said supervisor of Mathematics, Shannan Ellis. “Judy was the first principal I witnessed modeling effective, researched-based teaching practices with a group of students in a classroom to support teacher learning.”
Apostolico-Buck has a proven ability to facilitate discussions among her colleagues and staff so that everyone’s voice is heard, and decisions are student-focused and supported by research. “I began my administrative career under the guidance and mentoring of Ms. A-B,” said Ashlawn Principal Breonna McClain. “She empowers her staff to take risks and provides them with needed resources and professional development, while also keeping them accountable.”
As an Early Childhood Coordinator for several years, Apostolico-Buck’s understanding of child development and the importance of meeting the individual needs of young children has carried into her role as principal at Barcroft Elementary School. “Judy has brought new instructional approaches to her teachers, including implementing Responsive Classroom and The Workshop Model. These instructional changes have improved both student learning and teacher-student relationships in the classroom,” said Wendy Pilch, Interim Director of Elementary and Early Childhood Education.
“Those of us who have had the honor to work under Judy’s instructional leadership will often share how, because Judy believed in us, we went after our dreams. Judy is that beloved teacher who makes such an impact in one’s life and then one’s story is changed forever,” said Barcroft Assistant Principal Gaby Rivas.
Apostolico-Buck will be recognized by the Arlington School Board along with the 2019 Teacher of the Year and Support Employees of the Year on Tuesday, May 14, at Washington-Lee High School.