Schools May 16-23

Schools May 16-23

Send announcements to the Alexandria Gazette Packet, by e-mail to Deadline is Friday at noon for the following week’s paper. Photos are encouraged. Call Rebecca Halik at 703-917-6407 with questions.

The Alexandria Campaign on Adolescent Pregnancy (ACAP) invites Alexandria youth in sixth through ninth grades to attend its third annual Teen Summit from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 19, at Minnie Howard School, 3801 West Braddock Road. The summit is free and its theme this year is "Get Real: Let's Make Healthy Decisions." Teens will be presented with lively entertainment, informative workshops, a scavenger hunt and resource fair, great door prizes and peer-to-peer discussion about issues such as decision-making and self-esteem, college preparation and career planning and reducing risky behavior and developing healthy relationships. Breakfast and lunch will also be served at the event, and free transportation will be provided from several locations throughout Alexandria. To obtain more information or sign up online, visit To request registration brochures for the event, contact Becky Griesse at 703-838-5030 or email her at

A free workshop from 1:30-5 p.m. on Sunday, May 20, will present topics related to Twice Exceptional Students, defined as students who may qualify for both gifted and special education services in the library of George Washington Middle School, 1005 Mount Vernon Ave. Participants should arrive at 1:15 p.m. for registration and a book signing by Weinfeld, whose books include "School Success for Kids with Asperger's Syndrome: A Practical Guide for Parents and Teachers," "Smart Kids with Learning Difficulties: Overcoming Obstacles and Realizing Potential" and "Helping Boys Succeed in School." To register in advance, contact Anne Lipnick at 703-706-4552 or, or register online at

Five Alexandria City Public School (ACPS) teachers and three Alexandria private school teachers will be honored on Tuesday, May 17, at the Excellence in Education Awards dinner.

Kathleen Baker, music teacher at George Mason Elementary School, wrote and will soon lead the Dragon Tones chorus in an adaptation of Mozart’s "The Magic Flute," a project inspired by her National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship in Vienna, Austria, last summer. Her students learn music by singing, dancing, reading notes and playing a variety of percussion instruments and recorders. They also learn to connect music with geography, cultures, mathematical concepts and language. Principal Nancy Sparks says, "Ms. Baker loves it when her students say, "But that’s math," or ‘That’s social studies,’ and she can explain that all subjects interrelate in life."

Karita S. Evans, a Multi-age first- and second-grade teacher at Cora Kelly School for Math, Science and Technology, involves parents as partners in their children’s educations, inviting them to share family traditions and stories and their children’s birthdays or to participate in class activities. In her 31 years of teaching in Alexandria, Evans has developed an extensive network of loyal former students, grateful parents and other community members upon whom she draws extensively to relate learning to real life. Her colleagues say of her, "Community and family partnerships are as much a part of teaching for Karita as reading and writing."

Maury Elementary School third-grade teacher Tonya Green, described by her fellow teachers as a "relentless inspiration," is a master at differentiated instruction, utilizing an array of teaching techniques to engage a variety of learning styles and developing individualized study packets for her students. She is passionate about helping students outside the classroom, visiting students in their homes, tutoring after school in a "Homework Club" and spending time during her summers to facilitate student book clubs. She shares time and expertise with her fellow teachers by serving on and chairing the Leadership Committee and supporting her colleagues and school events.

Anne Mackiewicz Panek captures her Samuel W. Tucker Elementary School kindergartners’ attention and engages them in such creative activities as donning "newspaper person" hats to deliver weekly self-written newsletters to other classrooms or stringing cereal "beads" for 100th-day-of-school necklaces. The teacher and her 19 "friends" enjoy learning together, often employing the silent "golf clap" or cheerleaders’ pompoms to applaud each others’ efforts and successes. Panek’s enthusiasm and expertise are shared with her students’ parents by means of daily assignment sheets, conferences and home visits. One student describes her as "the bestest teacher in the whole wide world. She always makes us happy and not sad."

As a fourth-grade teacher at Cora Kelly School for Math, Science and Technology, Sandra F. Quick Reeves employs a wide array of approaches to reach and engage every student. Her techniques include buddy systems, weekly academic contracts, differentiation folders, group challenges, laptop computer activities and a "Feast of Knowledge" open house for parents and administrators. Outside the classroom, Reeves teaches an after-school remedial math class, is a consistent participant in evening events at the school and has conducted several parent workshops. Assistant Principal PreeAnn Johnson says that "she possesses that genuine God-given gift to inspire others to more than they ever imagined they could" accomplish.

Three Alexandria private-school teachers also will be honored at the event. Viviana Rodriguez Davila, a Spanish teacher at Episcopal High School, developed and has frequently led the school’s annual 10-day trip to Mexico and five-week summer program in Spain, providing immersion experiences for her students. Katherine Heyder, an energetic first-grade teacher at Alexandria Country Day School, engages her class with creative lesson plans and a variety of instructional techniques, and is always eager to share ideas with her fellow teachers. Elena "Nina" Patterson Tyree led the transformation of the St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes Upper School science curriculum into one in which all ninth graders take physics.

The recognition event on Thursday, May 17, at the Belle Haven Country Club, 6023 Fort Hunt Road, Alexandria, features a mixer and silent auction at 5 p.m. followed by dinner at 6 p.m. Admission is $50 for educators, $75 for individual business/community seats.

The T.C. Williams High School Jazz Ensemble will perform during the silent auction, which will feature more than 25 items such as gift baskets, restaurant meals, overnight stays at local hotel, a dinner cruise and jewelry. If you are interested in donating a tax-deductible item toward the silent auction, contact Ann Huston at national@arta-tr.og or 703-683-9420.

Sponsorships, which include recognition in the program of events, are available at the following levels: Corporate Sponsorship-$3,000, Table Sponsorship-$2,000 and five reserved seats-$1,000. For more information about the event or sponsorship opportunities, contact Kerri Rogers at or 703-606-1193.

The 2007 Alexandria History Awards were presented by Senator Patsy Ticer at a meeting of the Alexandria Historical Society. The 2007 Alexandria High School History Awards will be presented to William Shafroth of T.C. Williams High School , Theresa Green of Bishop Ireton High School , Julia Ciavarella of St. Stephen's and St. Agnes High School, and Matthew Hurley of Episcopal High School. A reception will follow the awards ceremony and a lecture by Patrick Welsh. Mr. Welsh has been a teacher at T.C. Williams High School since 1970. Visit or 703-838-4994.

Jennifer Elizabeth Kaufman of Alexandria, a graduate student at Longwood University, was just rewarded with three awards while volunteering at the Crisis Line of Central Virginia and the Sexual Assault Response Program. The first award, The President's Volunteer Service Award and the Volunteer of the Year award for her volunteering at SARP.

The Volunteer Center of the Lehigh Valley recently honored Lafayette senior and Marquis Scholar Jonathan Farrar of Alexandria with a Someone Special Volunteer Award. Farrar, who is pursuing a B.S. physics and A.B. with a major in mathematics, was recognized for his work as a mentor at the Firth Youth Center in Phillipsburg, N.J., an organization that serves local youth with after-school and drop-in recreational programming, including homework help, music, computers, and games. He is the Firth Youth Center team leader for students volunteering through Lafayette’s Landis Community Outreach Center.

T.C. Williams Basketball Camp will offer boys and girls ages 7 through 15, who have completed grades one through nine, an opportunity to learn fundamental skills through intensive individual instruction combined with fun and creative drills. Sessions will take place daily from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 12- 15 and daily from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 18- 22 and June 25- 29 at George Washington Middle School, 1005 Mount Vernon Ave. $125/session or $300/all sessions. Payment for each session is due no later than May 25. The cost for late registrations and walk-ins is $150 per session. Each camp also will offer before- and after- care for an additional $25 per session. Each camper should bring a book to read during a 45-minute daily reading time. Campers may bring their own lunches or purchase items such as pizza, hot dogs, hamburgers and chips at the concession stand. Download the camp brochure and registration form at

Ursula Rocha, psychologist at Francis Hammond Middle School, was honored with a prestigious CARE (Commonwealth Academy Recognition for Educators) award. Rocha, fluent in English, Spanish and American Sign Language, works with students who speak English as a second language and/or have cognitive delays, autism, or hearing impairments. She also mentors girls who are new to the United States, helping them to adapt to a new culture. Rocha is a key member of the Reading Intervention Task Force and is an advocate for individual students while also supporting teachers by collaborating, consulting, and advising them in and out of the classroom. Her contributions to the community include volunteering at a domestic abuse shelter to facilitate groups for children and adolescents who have been exposed to domestic violence. She also developed a Web page in English and Spanish to help parents' understanding of the evaluation process for special education.

Sixty-seven students received awards during the Alexandria City Public Schools Department of Career and Technical Education annual Celebration of Achievement ceremony held on April 25 at Minnie Howard School. Students in sixth through 12th grades received recognition for excellence in their career and technical education classrooms.

Kate Moran, Alexandria City Public Schools secondary-level special education was honored with a CARE (Commonwealth Academy Recognition for Educators) award. This annual award recognizes outstanding educators who have made significant contributions to leaving no child behind in their local communities.

Moran, who was nominated to receive this award by U.S. Rep. Jim Moran, works with teachers, parents and students to ensure the success and implementation of special education programming for ACPS. She has dedicated her career to educating students with learning disabilities, mental challenges, and health impairments. In her own words, she tries to "meet the needs of students and families by making special education accessible to all types of learners." Moran's dedication to her special-needs students is unprecedented. Over the past six years she has made a lasting impression on her students by giving them the skills and support to lead a fuller, more rewarding life.

The Mayor of Alexandria, William D. Euille, presented certificates to the English class graduates of New Neighbors Education Center at a ceremony on Saturday, May 5, in the auditorium of historic Christ Church in Alexandria.

Samuel Tucker Elementary School has been named a Title I Distinguished School by the Virginia Department of Education for meeting federal benchmarks in reading and math under the No Child Left Behind Act, maintaining full accreditation for two consecutive years, and having mean test scores in both English and math at the sixtieth percentile or higher.

Four teachers at Alexandria Country Day School have been recognized:

* Kathy Heyder (1st grade) has received the Excellence in Education Award from the Alexandria Education Partnership. Kathy is a teacher who engages her class with creative lesson plans and a variety of instructional techniques. She is continually expanding her knowledge and is currently pursuing an advanced degree.

* Sara Stein and Bodo Heiliger (4th grade) were accepted into the Klingenstein Summer Institute.

* Tim Laramy (6th grade) has been accepted into the masters program in curriculum and instruction with a focus on the humanities K-12 at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Tim has been with ACDS for the past five years, most recently as head of the Social Studies department.