Teachers make the difference in children's lives. (Courtesy photo)

Extended-Year Students Back in Class

Classes began Aug. 8 for 11 elementary and middle schools that offer the extended year curriculum for the 2016-17 term. The schools — which are in session a month longer than traditional schools — were selected based on strong leadership in the facility, interest from the community and schools poised to make significant academic gains. Students enrolled in the extended-year program will have gained an extra year of learning by the time they reach the 8th grade.

Participating extended-year schools include:

  • Garfield Elementary School (Ward 8)
  • H.D. Cooke Elementary School (Ward 1)
  • Hart Middle School (Ward 8)
  • Hendley Elementary School (Ward 8)
  • Johnson Middle School (Ward 8)
  • Kelly Miller Middle School (Ward 7)
  • King Elementary School (Ward 8)
  • Randle Highlands Elementary School (Ward 7)
  • Raymond Education Campus (Ward 4)
  • Thomas Elementary School (Ward 7)
  • Turner Elementary School (Ward 8)

First Day of Classes for Traditional-Year Schools

The first day of school for K-12 students is Monday, Aug. 22.

The first day of school for pre-K3 and pre-K4 students is Thursday, Aug. 25.

New Teachers

New Teacher Orientation took place on Aug. 11 at Columbia Heights Education Campus in Northwest where outgoing Chancellor Kaya Henderson addressed attendees with overviews of DCPS initiatives and the five-year Capital Commitment plan.

During the new school year, DCPS will provide high-quality tools for teachers and sufficient flexibility that will enable teachers to adapt resources for their students’ interests and needs, officials said.

DCPS Administration

With Chancellor Kaya Henderson’s late-June announcement that she will leave the system effective Sept. 30, schools Chief John Davis will serve as interim chancellor beginning Oct. 1, while DCPS engages in the search for Henderson’s replacement.

Meanwhile, Mayor Muriel Bowser has announced the formation of a 17-member committee that will make recommendations for select a new chancellor.

“We are moving full steam ahead in our search for the next DCPS Chancellor,” Bowser said. “The DCPS Rising Leadership Committee is composed of principals, teachers, students, parents and community members and is truly representative of our diverse city. I look forward to working with them and thank them for their dedication to our students.”

To assist the committee, a series of community forums have been scheduled:

  • 6:30 p.m.-8 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 30
    Roosevelt High School – 4301 13th Street NW
  • 6:30 p.m.-8 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 7
    Eastern High School – 1700 East Capitol Street NE
  • 6:30 p.m.-8 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 14
    Savoy Elementary School – 2400 Shannon Place SE

Who’s Who in DCPS’s Top Tier of Leadership

  • John Davis, Interim Chancellor
  • Pete Weber, Chief of Staff
  • Nathaniel Beers, Chief Operating Officer
  • Emily Durso, Chief College and Career
  • Jason Kamras, Chief Instructional Practice
  • Brian Pick, Chief, Teaching and Learning
  • Crystal Jefferson, Chief Talent and Culture
  • Josephine Robinson, Chief Family and Public Engagement
  • Scott Barash, General Counsel

Key Administrators:

  • Gene Pinkard, Deputy Chief School Turnaround program
  • Harry Hughes, Instructional Superintendent, Elementary
  • Angela Chapman, Instructional Superintendent, Elementary
  • LaKimbre Brown, Instructional Superintendent, Elementary
  • Aileen Murphy, Instructional Superintendent, Elementary
  • Janice Harris, Instructional Superintendent, Elementary
  • Shawn Stover, Instructional Superintendent, education campus
  • Natalie Gordon, Instructional Superintendent, Middle School
  • Drewana Bey, Instructional Superintendent Secondary
  • David Pinder, Instructional Superintendent, Secondary

New Principals for 2016-17

DCPS said it has created a culture where school leaders have a clear understanding of what defines excellence in their work.

As part of their leadership training, DCPS principals are provided with constructive and data-based feedback regarding their performance, as well as support to increase their effectiveness.

New principals for the upcoming school year include:

  • Michael Alexander
    Washington Metropolitan High School
  • Sah Brown
    Eastern High School
  • Stephanie Byrd
    Payne Elementary School
  • Tia Corniel
    Burroughs Elementary School
  • Greg Dohmann
    Jefferson Middle School Academy
  • Vanessa Drumm
    Langley Elementary School
  • Kristie Edwards
    Randle Highlands Elementary School
  • Eric Fraser
    Anacostia High School
  • Terri Fuller
    Plummer Elementary School
  • Aqueelha James
    Roosevelt High School and MacFarland Middle School
  • Johann Lee
    Kimball Elementary School
  • Andrea Mial
    Miner Elementary School
  • Justin Ralston
    LaSalle-Backus Education Campus
  • Andrew Smith
    Ludlow-Taylor Elementary School
  • TaMikka Sykes
    Amidon-Bowen Elementary School
  • Clinton Turner
    Walker-Jones Education Campus
  • Isamar Vargas
    Eliot-Hine Middle School
  • Courtney Wilkerson
    Sousa Middle School
  • Benjamin Williams
    Ron Brown College Preparatory High School
  • Kiana Williams
    Smothers Elementary School

New Teachers

DCPS added approximately 125 new teaching positions for the upcoming school year, bringing the total number of teachers to just over 4,600.

Of that total, nearly 500 are new to the DCPS system, many of whom have teaching experience in nearby school districts.

DCPS Teachers, Principals Changing Students’ Lives

Kathy Hollowell-Makle, pre-K teacher, School Without Walls at Francis Stevens Elementary School

It’s no surprise that Hollowell-Makle was selected as the 2013 DCPS Teacher of the Year. Not only does she consistently help her students — many of whom begin kindergarten already behind — to enter first grade at or above proficiency, but she cares deeply about helping them develop socially and emotionally.

Frank Medley, Spanish teacher, Whittier Education Campus

Not only is Medley an extraordinary teacher — he received a Rubenstein Award, one of the District’s highest honors — but the 18-year educator also mentors new colleagues, opens his classroom for peer observations and helps hire new teachers for DCPS.

Shira Fishman, calculus and geometry teacher, McKinley Technology High School

A former mechanical engineer, Fishman always excelled at math and science. But it wasn’t until a summer coaching job that she found her true passion: teaching and mentoring young people. Fortunately for the students of DCPS, she decided to switch careers.

She now teaches calculus and geometry at McKinley Technology High School, helping her students consistently achieve over 90 percent proficiency on state assessment tests.

Maria Tukeva, principal, Columbia Heights Education Campus

Thirty-five years ago, Tukeva founded the school now known as Columbia Heights Education Campus to address the unique educational needs of D.C.’s growing immigrant population from Central America. Her vision and passion are the reason the school has grown from a 40-student startup to a thriving campus, serving over 1,300 students in grades six through 12.

Tukeva is known across the city as having the highest of expectations, and she does everything possible to help her students meet them.

Natalie Gordon, principal, Jefferson Academy Middle School

In just four years, Gordon has turned Jefferson Academy into one of the premier middle schools in DCPS. Under her leadership, Jefferson has added a broad array of advanced and enrichment classes, with the goal of becoming the highest-achieving middle school in D.C.

Eric Bethel, principal, Turner Elementary School

Bethel’s mother was a special education teacher and his father was a principal. After spending eight years as an elementary math teacher in DCPS, he went on to serve as a master educator and an assistant principal, and then earned one of the first spots in the Mary Jane Patterson Fellowship, the school system’s in-house principal training program.

Upon completing the fellowship in 2014, Bethel was selected as principal at Turner.

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