March 2022 APS All Stars Announced

APS all stars logoAPS is excited to announce the March 2022 APS All Stars, selected out of over several hundred outstanding staff nominees! These individuals demonstrate excellence in collaboration, equity, inclusivity, integrity, innovation and stewardship. They are members of the APS team who are the first to pitch in, who bring a positive attitude to their work, and go above and beyond to serve students. Congratulations to these individuals!

Chris McDermott, Teacher, Williamsburg Middle School

Five Words to Describe Employee: Caring, enthusiastic, inclusive, stimulating, inspiring

chris mcdermott, APS staff and studentsWhy they are an APS All Star:  Mr. McDermott connects with his middle school students like no teacher I have ever seen. He inspires them to be good people and to love learning. He goes beyond his job requirements to create students who to want to learn by treating them with respect, providing them with enthusiasm, and presenting them with academic material in a way they enjoy. He has taught my son to love world geography and also has given him a new appreciation for music at the same time. He has helped my son find the confidence you sometimes can lose while in middle school. He is a teacher my son will always remember and I am so thankful as a parent to have encountered him at WMS. Additionally, your principal highlighted your dedication, your excellence as a teacher and just how much you contribute to making Williamsburg a great place to learn! Thank you for bringing so much positivity to the community.

Kristen Patterson, Extended Day, Discovery Elementary School

Five Words to Describe Employee: A calm, caring, champion of kids
kristen patterson and aps staff posing for photoWhy they are an APS All Star:  Ms. Patterson is invested in every child with whom she works. She carefully plans activities and ensures student safety. She is ALWAYS willing to help out in any way. She worked with several students during the Pandemic during the Phase 1 return to school. She is flexible and adapts to all situations. She is ALWAYS willing to go above and beyond. Since she has been assistant supervisor, teacher and parents have had positive comments about Extended Day.  Ms. Patterson, your work makes a true difference in the lives of our students and has made our Extended Day Program a wonderful place for the students to be. They are safe, supported and engaged in fun and learning while in your care and in the care of your team.

Alam Lainez, Bilingual Family Liaison/Instructional Assistant, Kenmore Middle School

Words to Describe Employee: Innovative, flexible and passionate
alam lainez, aps staff and a student posing for a photoWhy they are an APS All Star: Mr. Lainez is an amazing Bilingual Liaison and Instructional Assistant. Not only does he ensure that announcements sent to the community every morning are translated into Spanish, he helps to communicate with families regarding academic and behavior concerns. Because of his flexibility and willingness to work with students in small groups, he is responsible for helping about ten eighth-graders pass this year. His passion for math, as well as his passion for helping students be successful, has helped Kenmore students make up for some of the learning loss that was seen during the pandemic.

Lyzbeth Monard, Bilingual Family Liaison, Carlin Springs Elementary School

Five Words to Describe Employee: Passionate; innovative; resourceful; inclusive; forward-thinking.

lyzbeth monard and aps staff posing for a photoWhy they are an APS All Star: Ms. Monard is our Bilingual Family Liaison who puts families first. She works hard to ensure she is well informed and educated on all the fronts families may interact with the school (registration, communication, community resources, special education, assessments, report cards, mental health services, health services, after school enrichments, summer school, etc.). She thoughtfully and regularly shares out information with families in hopes our community feels well informed and empowered to engage with our school. Her passion is to support families in being true partners with the school. The foundation for her success is having strong relationships with families, community leaders and school staff so she can connect all parties successfully. We are so very lucky to have such talented BFL at our school and our school community is a better place because of her talents and dedication.

Morgan Payne, Pandemic Coordinator

Five Words to Describe Employee: Caring, dedicated, thorough and thoughtful

Why they are an APS All Star: Ms. Payne is recent graduate of George Washington University’s Miliken Institute of Public Health and was hired during the height of the pandemic to serve as the school division’s COVID-19 pandemic coordinator. Ms. Payne is an amazing young woman with so many talents that extend beyond her formal education; jumping into this temporary role as pandemic coordinator based on a referral, Ms. Payne has been able to learn quickly, implement swiftly and support all members of the community from her first day.  Morgan has been committed to helping students, families, and employees to ensure that everyone remains healthy and safe during these difficult times. Regularly going above and beyond her responsibilities, Ms. Payne has been able to recruit and train an additional four temporary staff that have supported pandemic response including contact tracing for over 4,110 positive cases and over 7,340 close contacts. In addition to all the response work Ms. Payne has led, she has also been passionate about ensuring health equity for our students and families by collaborating with the public health team to set up school-based clinics for vaccination. Supervising the administration of over 200,000 antigen or PCR tests, Morgan has provided opportunities for every member of the Arlington Public Schools community to live up to their APS All Star potential during a pandemic.

Ms. Payne was not available during our APS All Stars tour. She will be awarded in the near future.