June 2022 APS All Stars Announced

APS all stars logoAPS is excited to announce the June 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!

Renee Harber, Leadership, Trades Center 


Words to Describe This APS All Star: Leader, Positive, Integrity, Professional and Diligent
About this APS All Star: Ms. Harber is the true definition of an All Star. She is relatively new in her role as Assistant Superintendent, Facilities and Operations, but definitely not new to Arlington Public Schools providing service as a teacher and school-based administrator for over 20 years. In her short time within the Department of Facilities and Operations, she has already made a difference in so many ways. She has shown her leadership in helping to foster a more positive work culture and climate at the Trades Center and within her department, and she’s always thinking about her colleagues, students and families.  Ms. Harber took on a major project immediately when she stepped into her new role – organizing the bell time schedule study and navigating a significant, high pressure community engagement process. She worked through a high volume of Engage messages and School Board questions – this is a significant undertaking and Ms. Harber managed the project with professionalism, integrity and diligence. She took complex information about schedules, analyzed feedback and prepared and delivered Board presentations that made sense and were more easily accepted than they would have been without her leadership. We are fortunate to have her as a leader in APS. 

Patty Tuttle-Newby, Teacher, Dorothy Hamm Middle School


Words to Describe This APS All Star: Dedicated, Supportive, Helpful, ABSOLUTELY AMAZING
About this APS All Star: Ms. Tuttle-Newby gives everything to the staff and students at DHMS. Not only is she an outstanding teacher, but she really goes above and beyond to support each one of her students.  She sees where they have challenges, meets them where they are and really helps them to rise to their potential.  Additionally, she has truly supported the DHMS staff with her outstanding work making our TA program cohesive, user-friendly, and beneficial. She doesn’t have to do what she does with our TA program, but she has taken on this role and our school is better because of it and her.

Megan Sorrell, Teacher, Drew Elementary School 

Words to Describe This APS All Star: Caring, Intentional, Supportive, Knowledgeable, Safe
About this APS All Star: I am nominating Ms. Sorrell who serves as a reading specialist for kindergarten and first grade students at Drew Elementary.  Each day, Ms. Sorrell comes to work to ensure that these students are growing as readers. When you see Ms. Sorrell working with her small groups of students, they are always engaged and feel safe to take risks.  Ms. Sorrell loves to talk about the growth of her learners as readers and her excitement is contagious. Ms. Sorrell’s love for the students is evident in how she intentionally prepares for their literacy growth. It is a joy to watch the confidence of the students as Ms. Sorrell tells them much they are growing as readers! 

Joanna Yamashita, Teacher, Montessori Public School

Five Words to Describe This APS All Star: Caring, professional, exceptional team player
About this APS All Star: My kids don’t qualify for gifted services, but our gifted teacher works with everyone in our school! Ms. Yamashita reaches into every classroom to help students practice creative ways to think about problems.  Last year, she was a familiar face during virtual school, providing outside-the-box activities for each class and offering enrichment lessons for individuals that went beyond what was in the core curriculum. She was a huge supporter of the rest of her teaching team- creating content to supplement their work and perhaps even giving them a chance to walk away from the screens for a few minutes.  Recently, she pulled one of my children to work one-on-one on material that he fell behind on during virtual schooling. I know some parents have felt a lot of pressure trying to get their kids access to gifted services, but I’m grateful to be in a place where the gifted teacher provides support for gifted students while nurturing everyone else’s gifts as well.  I would not know about some of Joanna’s work with my child if I didn’t spot them working in the hall, and I was just so touched at the level of care that she brings to all her students. Both my kids get so excited when they know Ms. Yamashita is going to be teaching them a lesson. She’s one of so many All Stars at APS, and I’m so grateful she is at MPSA!

Thai Nguyen, Food Services Specialist, Syphax Education Center

Words to Describe This APS All Star: Hardworking, Supportive, Passionate, Approachable, Caring
About this APS All Star: Mr. Nguyen has been a mentor to me and countless other employees in the food service department. He arrives early for work every day. He is always ready to pitch in and help everyone. He is always there for all his staff, and always goes above and beyond to provide the best service to students and staff! His loyalty, dedication and hard work are evident as he visits schools to ensure that meals are ready to be served and staff has the support, they need to be successful. His humor and attitude strengthen our food service team and make it a pleasure to come to work to serve our students. Mr. Nguyen is a true and authentic APS All Star!