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Chalkboard Drawings

PTAC has awarded the Golden Apple award to Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) educators since the 2021-22 school year. This honor shines a light on educators and staff who embody excellence in family and community engagement and partnership with the PTA. 


The process starts with an open call for nominations. Then a group of PTAC reviewers votes on the submissions and determines the winners for each category. The group also decides on honorable mentions (runners-up) for each category. 


The awards are presented during Teacher Appreciation Week each year. Principals and school PTAs help present the awards to winners. In addition, winners are featured in the ACPS Express.


Look below to see who has been honored each year.




Golden Apple Award recipients:


  • Ratna Hilscher, Charles Barrett

  • Heather Lindsey, Cora Kelly Elementary

  • Mary Whorl, John Adams Elementary

  • Victor Espinosa Sanchez, ACPS 

  • Anne Booth, William Ramsay Elementary

  • Susan Lathrop, James K Polk Elementary 

  • Jessica Sayler, George Washington Middle 

  • Desiree McNutt, George Washington Middle

  • Bridget Tomich, ACHS 

  • Michel Rollo, ACHS Minnie Howard


Honorable Mentions:


  • Tyrone McCutchen, James K. Polk Elementary

  • Beth Robson, William Ramsay Elementary

  • Stephanie Cruz, John Adams Elementary

  • Amy Creed, ACPS

  • Tahjia Gaskins, ACHS

  • Do Yeon Park, Patrick Henry 

  • Michiko Mull, Charles Barrett Elementary

  • Stephanie Santizo-Bonilla, William Ramsay Elementary

  • Stacy Hoeflich, Lyles Crouch Traditional Academy

  • Tricia Hribar, Lyles Crouch Traditional Academy

  • Leigh Dugan, Douglas MacArthur Elementary

  • Markeda Brown, Patrick Henry Elementary

  • Jill Phennicie, Mount Vernon Community School

  • Tara Moon, James K. Polk Elementary 

  • Dana Payton, Francis C. Hammond Middle

  • Jonathan Jones, George Washington Middle

  • Evan Sonoda, George Washington Middle

  • Matthew Henry, ACHS

  • John Maes, ACHS

  • Kristi Wooten, ACHS

  • Vilma Zefran, ACHS



Golden Apple Award recipients:


  • Heather VanKuiken, first grade teacher at Charles Barrett Elementary School

  • Carrie Drummond, EL teacher at James K. Polk Elementary School

  • Lisa Starling, sixth grade science teacher at Patrick Henry K-8 School

  • Gabriel Elias, teacher at Alexandria City High School International Academy

  • Matthew Zahn, AP English teacher at Alexandria City High School

  • Kristin Colozza, K-3 Citywide classroom special education teacher

  • Salma Ashmawi, family liaison at Ferdinand T. Day Elementary School


Honorable Mentions:


  • Kathy Bryant, James K. Polk Elementary School

  • Valencia Chenier, Lyles-Crouch Traditional Academy

  • Marian Avelar, Mount Vernon Community School

  • Kristi Altieri, William Ramsay Elementary School

  • Diazreen Ford, William Ramsay Elementary School

  • Emily Coffin, George Washington Middle School

  • Gregory Ransom, George Washington Middle School

  • Timony Grant, Alexandria City High School

  • RaAlim Shabazz,  Alexandria City High School

  • Adan Chicas, special education Citywide classroom



Golden Apple Award recipients:


  • Mount Vernon Community School (Mount Vernon) Fourth Grade Dual-Language Teacher Evan Dougherty.

  • John Adams Elementary School (John Adams) Librarian Emily Godfrey.

  • George Washington Middle School (GW) Sixth Grade History Teacher Gregory Ransom.


Honorable Mentions: 


  • Nathalie Agnant, Samuel W. Tucker Elementary School

  • Jonathan Clay, Cora Kelly School for Math, Science and Technology

  • Mary Davis, Douglas MacArthur Elementary School

  • Debbie Haiman, Cora Kelly School for Math, Science and Technology

  • Emily O’Hara, GW

  • Caroline Kelly, Douglas MacArthur Elementary School

  • Mandisa Bryant Morris, Jefferson-Houston PreK-8 IB School

  • Curtis Murray, Jefferson-Houston PreK-8 IB School

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