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Alexandria PTAC Presents Second Annual Golden Apple Awards

The Alexandria PTA Council (PTAC) honored its 2023 Golden Apple Awards recipients during Teacher Appreciation Week, May 8-12, 2023. The awards were presented by PTA unit presidents and principals to shine a light on educators who embody excellence in teaching, family engagement and partnership with the PTA.

The second annual Golden Apple Awards recipients are:

  • 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.

“We are so pleased to award the PTAC Golden Apple Awards for the second year running to another group of exceptional teachers and staff at ACPS,” PTAC President Missy Estabrook said. “We received so many heartfelt nominations this year that we had to increase the number of winners from three to seven! We are truly fortunate to have so many ACPS educators who excel at family engagement by partnering with parents and caregivers to make every child’s potential a reality.”

Honorable mentions were awarded to: 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.

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