Mayor Muriel Bowser and Deputy Mayor of Education Jennifer Niles introduce Antwan Wilson as the new DCPS Chancellor at a press conference held at Alice Deal Middle School in Northwest on Feb. 1, 2017.
Mayor Muriel Bowser and Deputy Mayor of Education Jennifer Niles introduce Antwan Wilson as the new DCPS Chancellor at a press conference held at Alice Deal Middle School in Northwest on Feb. 1, 2017. (Roy Lewis/The Washington Informer)

On his first official day as the new DCPS chacellor, Antwan Wilson accompanied Mayor Muriel Bowser to Alice Deal Middle School in Northwest where they surprised Teacher of the Year Jan Schuettpelz.

The visit was part of the time Wilson has spent getting acquainted with the DCPS community since his confirmation in November by the D.C. Council. He has also met with students and teachers in 18 schools throughout the city.

“Not only is Chancellor Wilson an experienced leader, he is a role model for our students,” Bowser said during the Feb. 1 visit to Deal. “His success shows that with hard work, they too can achieve whatever they set out to do.”

Wilson joins DCPS as graduation and enrollment rates continue to rise. The system remains the fastest-improving urban school district in the country.

“I am excited to be in DC and to have the opportunity to work with such a passionate and committed community,” Wilson said. “I have spent the past few months hearing ideas from students, families and community members, and now I am excited to get the work started.”

Teacher of the Year

Jan Schuettpelz, a 7th-grade science teacher at Deal Middle School in Northwest, has been named DCPS Teacher of the Year.

Schuettpelz was honored at a surprise ceremony on Feb. 1 at the school, where she received accolades from Mayor Muriel Bowser.

Schuettpelz is credited with going the extra mile to bring real-life experiences into her classroom. She also supports her students both inside and outside of the classroom with after-school tutoring and small-group lunches.

‘Walkability Preference’

Mayor Muriel Bowser visited DC Bilingual Public Charter School in northeast on Jan. 30 where she kick off “Education Week” on the city.

During the event, Bowser announced the establishment of a “walkability preference” in D.C.’s school lottery, which will enable a public charter elementary school to offer a preference in admission to families living within a half-mile of the school, and more than a half-mile away from their DCPS-zoned school.

The optional preference goes into effect for the 2018-19 school year.

State of Pre-K in D.C.

The Office of the State Superintendent of Education has released its 2016 pre-kindergarten report, “The State of Pre-K in the District of Columbia,” which highlights the District’s leadership in pre-K access and investment.

Of the estimated 16,753 3- and 4-year-old children in D.C., 12,910 were enrolled in public pre-K programs in fiscal 2016 — an increase of nearly 300 children since fiscal 2015.

“Access to high-quality pre-K is critical to the success of our young people,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser. “This report demonstrates the progress we are making in delivering early childhood services to District residents, across every ward. We will continue building an even stronger foundation for families that ensures a pathway to the middle class.”

The report also shares for the first time, data on the health, development, and school readiness of pre-K 4-year-old students using the Early Development Instrument, which showed that 73 percent are developmentally ready for kindergarten.

‘Standing Ovation’

Twenty-nine DCPS teachers, administrators, staff, and schools have been named “Standing Ovation” award winners by the school system and the DC Public Education Fund for their dedication and excellence.

Each of the winners will be honored at the annual Standing Ovation ceremony March 23 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, where they will also be awarded cash prizes totaling $230,000.

“Each student is successful at DC Public Schools because of great principals, great teachers, and great staff who educate, mentor, and help our young people get a great education,” said Chancellor Antwan Wilson. “I’m honored to celebrate 29 outstanding members of the DCPS family who work each day to deliver on our promise of an excellent education.”

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