ACPS Announces 2021-22 Principal of the Year and Teacher of the Year

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Principal of the Year: Michael Routhouska, William Ramsay Elementary School
The 2021-22 Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) Principal of the Year is William Ramsay Elementary School Principal Michael Routhouska who was appointed to the position in 2015. He began his career in education as an English teacher in 2000 at T.C. Williams High School (now Alexandria City High School) and has more than 20 years of experience as a classroom teacher and school administrator. As an equity focused instructional leader, Mr. Routhouska considers the perspectives, strengths and needs of all students and stakeholders. During his first year as principal at William Ramsay, he worked with students, families and staff to develop a vision and school credo — “Running our Road to Success” — to frame expectations as he transformed the learning environment. He values his students, staff and support personnel and has worked closely with the school’s bilingual parent liaison, PTA and the community.

Known as a passionate and personable educator, Mr. Routhouska inspires and nourishes innovative ideas that are in the best interests of students and has a positive impact overall at his school.

Teacher of the Year: Alexandra Bender, John Adams Elementary School
The 2021-22 ACPS Teacher of the Year recipient is Alexandra Bender, who is in her ninth year of teaching first grade at John Adams Elementary School. Ms. Bender is a fierce advocate for the needs of her students as she helps them to realize their own success in school. In the classroom, Ms. Bender reinforces positive behavior, encourages academic progress and finds unique ways to celebrate the individual talents and personalities of each of her students. Her knowledge and skills have enabled Ms. Bender to effectively support her English Language Learners in meeting grade-level objectives. She also has strived to help her students transition to life in the U.S., especially with our incoming students who are refugees from Afghanistan. This deserving honoree also uses the arts integration strategies learned in her coursework through the Kennedy Center’s Changing Education Through the Arts to engage her students in arts integrated learning. Ms. Bender is more than teacher of the year to her students who call her their “favorite teacher of all time.”