A former South Lakes High School assistant principal has taken over the reins at Langston Hughes Middle School. One of Aimee Monticchio’s long-term goals is to create an environment for one of the strongest middle school to high school transitions with her former school.
"The possibilities are endless," said Monticchio, 39, of the working relationship with the South Lakes principal Bruce Butler. "We can really improve on articulation between Langston Hughes and South Lakes," she said.
Butler said Monticchio’s appointment as the middle school’s principal will allow the two schools to continue to develop the connections and streamline instruction for students from 7th to 12th grade. He said Monticchio’s characteristics would make her a strong principal at Hughes. "She is passionate about kids learning and a strong role model in terms of staff development," said Butler. He added that Monticchio stays on top of all of the new research in the field of education and instruction and is also an advocate for students who do not have a strong voice.
Prior to her assignment as the assistant principal at South Lakes where she administered last year’s graduating class for four years, Monticchio held other administrative positions in the Fairfax County Public Schools. She was also a department chair and a Spanish teacher at Irving Middle School.
A TOP PRIORITY for Monticchio in the early months will be making a connection with the students, "so they’re motivated to continue to perform at the highest level," she said. Monticchio was notified Thursday, Aug. 9, of the selection and will meet with her leadership team, department chairs and other administrators, next week, before the start of school. Her long-term goals include increasing the rigor of the academics and improving the academic assessment process at Hughes. She also hopes to increase the behavioral expectations of the students and be a part of building the community at and around the school. "This is a long-term commitment," said Monticchio.
Monticchio said her knowledge of Spanish would be a helpful tool in bringing some parents into the school process. "This community is so diverse and there are so many programs for the students," she said. She hopes to connect students to programs that would benefit them most.
While the student body diversity is a strong point for Hughes, it is also one of the main challenges of meeting the Monticchio’s goal of connecting with the students. "Because of the diversity and the fact that numbers are not to capacity, we are stretched thin," she said, referring to the number of students, which then dictates the number of staff. "It is a challenge to meet the needs of the students and it requires a lot of dedication on the part of our students and on the part of our staff," said Monticchio.