The Alexandria Education Partnership and the City of Alexandria teamed up to celebrate education and educators on May 8.
The event brought together more than 600 private and public school employees for a luncheon at the Chart House and then a party on the city’s dock, just outside the restaurant. At the luncheon, seven Alexandria City public school teachers were recognized.
Those honored included:
Tara Crittenden teaches special education at Charles Barrett Elementary School. She is a second generation public school teacher in Alexandria whose classroom is known for its color and friendly atmosphere.
Angela Green teaches first grade at George Mason Elementary School. Her students performed an original song about how much they love their teacher and about how much she helps them with homework and every other thing that they need to learn.
John Nunn is a crisis resource teacher at the Secondary Training and Education Program. He works closely with students in this alternative program to assist them with college applications, finds them tutors and provides many other types of support.
Linda Porter teaches language arts to sixth-graders at Francis Hammond Middle School. Her principal, Kris Clark, said she would like to clone her so that every middle school student could experience such a dynamic educator.
Mary Catherine Sawyer teaches first grade at Samuel W. Tucker Elementary School. She finds innovative ways to teach her young students the names of the continents and other information that they are required to learn to pass the Virginia Standards of Learning exams.
Henry Stancil is a physical education teacher at T. C. Williams High School. For 20 years, he has worked with students at T. C. Williams as a teacher, coach and mentor.
Richard Ceracino is the band director at George Washington Middle School. Under his direction, the band program at G. W. has become one of the premier music programs in the area. His symphonic bands consistently receive the highest ratings at competitions.
GUY GARDNER, an astronaut, a fighter pilot and a test pilot, was the master of ceremonies at the luncheon. “I have had the opportunity to do a lot of things during my career but the hardest job I have ever had is as a teacher,” he said. “And I mean that sincerely.” Gardner attended public school in Alexandria, graduating from George Washington High School in 1965.
Andrew Blair, the Education Partnership’s chairman said, “This is one of our most exciting events each year. This is our opportunity to recognize the best and the brightest of our educators and to pay tribute to all of the employees of our public and private schools who work so hard each day to educate our children.”
The seven honorees received a wall map from National Geographic, a poster to hang in their school from Fastsigns and a monetary award from the Rixse Foundation. At the dock party, school employees enjoyed free food and drink a variety of entertainment.