APS News Release

APS Announces 2020 Support Employees of the Year

Arlington Public Schools is pleased to announce its 2020 Support Employees of the Year. These are employees who make exceptional contributions to APS and demonstrate commitment, excellence and initiative in their respective fields of work to support students and instructional programs. They also foster cooperative relationships with colleagues and the community while contributing to the APS mission and goals.

Support Employees of the Year are nominated by supervisors or colleagues and selected by their peers and represent all areas of the organization, from instructional assistants and bus drivers to extended day, custodial and food services staff.

“I want to congratulate all of this year’s APS Support Employees of the Year,” said APS Interim Superintendent Cintia Johnson. “These employees represent the best of APS and help make Arlington’s schools among the best in the state. They go above and beyond in a variety of critical roles, from food services and transportation to special education and extended day, from classroom assistant to registrar, and from learning specialist to custodians. They often work behind the scenes to make sure our students succeed in and out of the classroom, and we congratulate them on this well-deserved recognition.”

In previous years, APS has held an annual Celebration of Excellence event in May to honor the Support Employees of the Year honorees and nominees, as well as the Principal of the Year and Teacher of the Year honorees. This year, due to the school closure as a result of COVID-19, award recipients will be honored virtually across APS social media channels with videos and photos. The virtual celebration will kick off Tuesday, April 21 and extend through May.

This year’s Support Employees of the Year are:

  • A-Scale – Aquasha Mitchell, Special Education Assistant, Oakridge Elementary
  • CScale – Sandra Doyle, Food Services, Barcroft Elementary
  • DScale – Alethia Fields, Bus Attendant, Transportation Department
  • EScale – Hildi Pardo, Distance Learning Production Specialist, Information Services
  • G-Scale – Nadia Vasquez, Registrar, Claremont Elementary
  • M-Scale – Todd McDaniel, Custodian, Arlington Traditional Elementary
  • X-Scale – Kia Martin, Extended Day Supervisor, Williamsburg Middle

Support Employee Nominees
The following is the full list of nominees for each scale for their outstanding contributions.


  • Leasi Stroud, Resource Assistant , Washington-Liberty High School
  • Kristi Henshaw, Special Education Assistant, Ashlawn Elementary School
  • Katherine McFail, Special Education Assistant, Kenmore Middle School
  • Anne Coia, Special Education Assistant, Williamsburg Middle School
  • Cheryl Butler, Library Assistant, Dr. Charles R. Drew Elementary School
  • Olivia Green, Special Education Assistant, Jefferson Middle School
  • Erika Saravia, Resource Assistant, Glebe Elementary School
  • Christian Burrios, Special Education Assistant, Ashlawn Elementary School
  • Mary Sible, Library Assistant, Tuckahoe Elementary School
  • Shakina Hardy, Montessori Assistant, Montessori Public School of Arlington
  • Sean Martin, Library Assistant, Carlin Springs Elementary School
  • Keith Powell, Instructional Assistant, Wakefield High School
  • Lori McFail, Resource Assistant, Arlington Career Center
  • Roxana Alfaro, Instructional Assistant, Gunston Middle School
  • Denis Vasquez, Interlude Resource Assistant, Campbell Elementary School
  • Maria Mena Mendoza, Library Media Assistant, Key Elementary School
  • Lisa Chamness, Library Assistant, Long Branch Elementary School
  • Natalie Pulsifer, Instructional Assistant, Yorktown High School


  • Lisa Powell, Food Services Aide, Jefferson Middle School
  • Tarana Aktar, Food Services Manager, Arlington Career Center


  • Elhag Shamat, Bus Driver
  • Ronald Galloway, Bus Driver
  • Rashida Begum, Bus Driver


  • Benjamin Burgin, Assistant Director of Design and Construction, Facilities and Operations
  • James Sterns, Facility Manager, Washington-Liberty High School
  • Michelle Maurer, ITC, Alice West Fleet Elementary School


  • Joy Gardner, Administrative Coordinator, Randolph Elementary School
  • Sandra Del Cid, Administrative Assistant, Discovery Elementary School
  • Tamika George, Educational Administrative Assistant, Jamestown Elementary School
  • Karen Weaver, Administrative Assistant, Washington-Liberty High School
  • Andrea Villarroel, Registrar, Gunston Middle School
  • Lesley Fuller, Administrative Assistant, Taylor Elementary School
  • Kertrenia Lynch, Educational Administrative Coordinator, Abingdon Elementary School
  • Elizabeth Palomo, Administrative Assistant, Langston
  • Carla Bran, Administrative Assistant, Jefferson Middle School
  • Lai (Terry) Lau, Finance Officer, Arlington Career Center
  • Reyna Berrios, Educational Administrative Specialist, Wakefield High School
  • Nora Ellison, Administrative Assistant, Nottingham Elementary School
  • Lisseth Mosquera, Administrative Assistant, Teaching & Learning
  • Karla McGhee, Educational Admin Coordinator, Swanson Middle School


  • Guillermo Moran, Lead Custodian, Randolph Elementary School
  • Rene Escobar, Building Supervisor, Discovery Elementary School
  • Manuel Sanchez, Custodial Supervisor, Wakefield High School
  • Ana Funes, Custodian, Arlington Career Center
  • Oswaldo Barahona, Custodian, Facilities and Operations


  • Danene Vasseell, Extended Day Supervisor, Campbell Elementary School