Superintendent’s March 30, 2022 Update: Employees of the Year Announced

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Dear APS Families,

I am proud to announce the 2022 APS Principal, Teacher and Support Employees of the Year. This year, the Teacher and Principal of the Year nomination process was open to the entire community resulting in over 130 nominations for outstanding teachers and principals across the division. Thank you to all who took time to nominate staff for the awards. Based on the number of excellent nominees, we selected teachers for each level – elementary, middle and high school.

The Support Employee of the Year process was open for internal nominations only, and it also garnered many excellent nominations representing every employee scale. We look forward to celebrating the honorees in person at the annual Celebration of Excellence event on May 4.

Here is the list of 11 honorees:

  • Jessica Panfil, Principal, Claremont Immersion – Principal of the Year
  • Iris Gibson, Business Education Teacher, Langston High School Continuation Program – APS Teacher of the Year—High School
  • Katie Willet, Science Teacher, Williamsburg Middle School – Middle School Teacher of the Year
  • Brittany Oman, Special Education Teacher, Arlington Science Focus School – Elementary School Teacher of the Year
  • Aurelia Sicha, Instructional Assistant, Thomas Jefferson Middle School – Support Employee of the Year (A-Scale)
  • Estela Reyes, Food Services, Carlin Springs Elementary School – Support Employee of the Year (C-Scale)
  • Mariflor Ventura, Bus Attendant, Trades Center – Support Employee of the Year (D-Scale)
  • Keith Reeves, Instructional Technology Coordinator, Discovery Elementary School – Support Employee of the Year (E-Scale)
  • Jonathan Martinez, Administrative Assistant, Special Education, Syphax Education Center – Support Employee of the Year (G-Scale)
  • Rosaura Palacios, Custodian, Trades Center – Support Employee of the Year (M-Scale)
  • Irma Sierra, Extended Day, Arlington Science Focus – Support Employee of the Year (X-Scale)

View the press release and visit our website to view a gallery of photos from surprise visits and more information about each staff member. Join me in celebrating them!

Other updates and reminders:

Your Voice Matters Survey – Please complete the Your Voice Matters Survey, using the link sent by Panorama, before April 10. To date, fewer than 10 percent of families have completed the survey and we want to hear from all of you.

Calendar Change for Eid Religious Holiday – At next Thursday’s School Board meeting, the School Board will vote to adjust the APS calendar making Mon, May 2, a no school day for students and a holiday for staff instead of Tue, May 3, as currently listed on the 2021-22 school year calendar.

Ramadan (April 1-May 1) – Ramadan begins the evening of Friday, April 1, and I have shared guidance with principals and staff on supporting our students who are participating in the month-long practice of prayer and fasting.

Assessment Results and Timeline Reminder – Midyear testing score report letters are now available in ParentVUE.  For details about each assessment, please refer to the Parent Notification Letter for Student Score Reports shared at the beginning of the year in ParentVUE and also available on the ATSS webpage. Information on the end-of-year testing results will be shared via ParentVUE by June 15, 2022, and the testing dates will be as follows:

  • April 19 – May 20:  PreK and Kindergarten will take the Virginia Kindergarten Readiness Program which includes the Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening (PALS) used to assess students’ literacy skills, Early Mathematics Assessment System (EMAS) used to assess students’ mathematics skills, and the Child Behavior Rating Scale (CBRS) used to assess students’ social skills and self-regulation.
  • April 19 – May 27:  2nd through 8th Grades will take the end-of-year Math Inventory
  • April 25 – May 20:  1st and 2nd Grades will take the end-of-year PALS assessment
  • May 2 – May 27:  Kindergarten through 5th Grade will take the end-of-year DIBELS assessment
  • May 2 – May 27:  6th through 9th Grades will take the end-of-year Reading Inventory

Please note that the end-of-year assessments are administered before the SOL testing window.  Have great week as we head toward Spring Break.


Dr. Francisco Durán
Arlington Public Schools