School Board Makes Several Administrative Appointments

The School Board made the following appointments at its Aug. 18 meeting.

Dr. Dimar Brown has been appointed as Director, Talent Acquisition & Management (Classified Staffing), effective Aug. 19. Dr. Brown was recently hired as the Talent Acquisition Coordinator (Classified Staffing). He has over 13 years of experience in the design, implementation and measuring of education (college access), workforce development and talent acquisition programs. His work in K-12 consulting as well as post-secondary administration has allowed him to convene and lead diverse cross-functional teams and projects. Dr. Brown served as the recruitment strategist for Baltimore City Public Schools (City Schools). In that role, he implemented data-driven talent acquisition strategies that helped City Schools, for two consecutive years, achieve the lowest day-one teacher vacancies in the organization’s history. Dr. Brown earned a doctorate in organizational leadership from Northeastern University; a master’s in public affairs from Indiana University Northwest; and a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Iowa State University. He also has certifications in quality improvement and change management.

Erin Wales-Smith has been appointed as Assistant Principal of Claremont Immersion School, effective Aug. 29. Wales-Smith is presently the Director of Talent Acquisition & Management (Classified Staffing) in the Office of Human Resources. She has successfully led the recruitment and management for classified staffing for APS. In the past, she has also served as the assistant principal at Patrick Henry Elementary School and Oakridge Elementary School. She will be returning to the school environment where she will continue to lead instructional programs and strategies as well as focused on the implementation of school management plans and professional learning. She has enjoyed presenting at symposiums on instructional models and best practice to ensure student success. Wales-Smith is looking forward to returning to the school setting where she will have the opportunity to interface directly with students, staff, parents and the entire Claremont community.

Sarah Putnam has been appointed as Executive Director of Curriculum & Instruction, effective Aug. 19. For the past five years, Putnam has served as the Director of Curriculum and Instruction in APS where she has contributed to the academic success of our culturally and linguistically diverse students. She recently completed her 20th year with APS and previously served as the K-12 Mathematics Supervisor, Elementary Math Specialist, math coach at Hoffman-Boston Elementary School, and a classroom teacher at Arlington Traditional School.  Putnam holds a bachelor’s degree in Inclusive Elementary and Special Education from Syracuse University, a master’s in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus on Mathematics Education, and master’s degree in Education Leadership from George Mason University.

Putnam is a strategic and collaborative leader who values the stakeholders with whom she works. She uses data and resources to inform how to create learning opportunities that are meaningful for students, teachers, and administrators with the purpose of positively impacting learning. Her recent work has included internal curricula review process, supporting the implementation of performance-based assessments, leading the examination of our grading practices and revision of policies, and collaboration with the Office of Special Education to enhance the district’s accessibility practices. Putnam’s experience and skills will transition well into the role as Executive Director of Curriculum & Instruction.  

Matt Thompson has been appointed as Labor Relations Specialist, effective Sept. 16. For the past 11 years, Thompson has worked in the Labor Management & Employee Relations (LMER) department at the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS). In this role Thompson managed the investigations and disciplinary process for employee misconduct; executed settlement agreements and third-party decisions to resolve employee grievances; advised Principals and managers on labor issues; mediated employee disputes; and served as the primary budget and data manager for the department. Prior to DCPS, he managed sales and account management teams for a healthcare consulting firm. Thompson earned his B.A. from The College of William and Mary. He brings a wealth of knowledge and skills to the position of Labor Relations Specialist for Arlington Public Schools.