Atlanta Public Schools teachers, administrators and staff tonight took a much deserved break to celebrate those among us who best demonstrate the efforts to prepare our beautiful children for college, career and choice-filled lives. I’m talking about the annual APyeS Awards, which were held at the Delta Flight Museum!
We’ve been teeing up the 2019-2020 awards season with stories about our finalists for the District-wide Excellence in Teaching Award and finalists for both Principal of the Year and Assistant Principal of the Year.
Many thanks to Delta Airlines for providing us such a beautiful venue for our event. Also much appreciation to all of our partners, who made tonight’s event possible: Family First Credit Union, Coca-Cola Bottling Company United, Inspire Brands, Four Seasons Hotel – Atlanta, the Atlanta Falcons, Ray Entertainment Design Services and Atlanta United.
Without further ado, here are our winners! Congratulations!
District-wide Excellence in Teaching Award:
Krissi Davis, Orchestra Director, Grady High School – Krissi Davis, our High School Teacher of the Year, has served as the Orchestra Director at Grady High School since Fall 2017 and has taught for 15 years. Before teaching at Grady, Davis taught at Sutton Middle School and served as the Lead Middle School Orchestra Teacher for APS. Under her direction, the Sutton Middle School Sinfonia Orchestra performed in the National Band and Orchestra Festival in Carnegie Hall in New York in Spring 2016.
Principal of the Year:
Eulonda Washington, Coretta Scott King Young Women’s Leadership Academy – Eulonda Washington, an educator for more than 28 years, has been a guiding force at Coretta Scott King for the last three years.
Under Washington’s leadership, Coretta Scott King has many areas to celebrate including an increasing the graduation rate from 89.7 to 100%, becoming a state Beating the Odds school and earning a National AdvancEd certification in STEM, the first all-girls school to achieve that in Georgia.
Students at Coretta Scott King Young Women’s Leadership Academy were the center of attention and recipients of several surprises when Good Morning America featured the school for its first-ever “GMA” Yearbook.
Assistant Principal of the Year:
Joy Antone, Inman Middle School – An accomplished instructional leader with more than 25 year, she has a track record of increasing student achievement through the use of strategic planning improvement cycles and supporting a positive change in school climate. In her paper, Using Student Ambassadors to Create and Maintain a Positive Climate, has been presented at educational conferences!
Students First winner:
Michelle Birdsong-Walker, Family and Community Engagement Specialist at Dunbar Elementary School – Birdsong-Walker has extensive experience developing parent empowerment and community outreach programs. As a result of her dedication, Dunbar Elementary has established an active PTA, a food and clothing bank and wrap-around services for families facing homelessness. She also serves as coach for the soccer team, bike club and Dancing Dolls dance team.
Schools First winner:
Sara Womack, Fine and Performing Arts Coordinator – In her third year as the fine and performing arts coordinator, Dr. Womack has worked toward making APS an arts-rich district with arts-rich schools by providing opportunities for student engagement, building the capacity of teachers, and partnering with community organizations to ensure that all students have access to a high-quality, sequential arts education.
GO Teams – Excellence in Leadership winner: Dr. John Waller, Principal of E. Rivers Elementary School
Outstanding GO Team: Hollis Innovation Academy, led by Principal Dr. Diamond Jack- Ford.
Excellence in Family Engagement Parent Award: Alicia DeCriscio
Excellence in Family Engagement Community Award: HTI CATALYSTS, Led by Dr. Folam Prescott
Excellence in Family Engagement School-Based Award: Hollis Innovation Academy Family Engagement Leadership team, led by Principal Dr. Diamond Jack- Ford.
Districtwide Partner of the Year: Atlanta Volunteers Lawyer Foundation, has tackled one of our district’s biggest barriers—transiency—through their efforts to provide stable, safe and healthy housing. Through their Standing with Our Neighbors program, the foundation embeds legal program staff inside seven APS schools to stop housing instability and work as a first responder so they can stabilize families, schools and the community. As a result, their work has dramatically decreased the mobility rate in their schools by double digits!
Cluster Partner Award Winners:
Carver Cluster – OneCoast
OneCoast has provided monthly
donations of food to stock the pantries at Finch and Perkerson elementary
Douglass Cluster – Buckhead Church
Buckhead Church has a longstanding history of service in the Douglass Cluster and continues to provide volunteers, mentors and monetary support for wraparound services at KIPP Woodson Park.
Grady Cluster – Wheat Street Baptist Church
Wheat Street Baptist has adopted the 4th grade classes at Hope Hill Elementary. Members serve as tutors and mentors and make regular monetary donations to support initiatives, such as the school’s game room.
Jackson Cluster – Wellspring Living
Wellspring Living has impacted the lives of over 120 students at Phoenix Academy by providing therapeutic services and sponsoring an amazing onsite clothing boutique for personal and professional needs.
Mays Cluster – Salesforce
Salesforce employees have provided service, such as volunteers and career experts, at Young Middle School and also donated $10,000 for needed uniforms and supplies.
North Atlanta Cluster – Station 16
Station 16 has supported Bolton Academy with its branding campaigns focused on IB so that students, parents and the community stay engaged and informed about school goals.
South Atlanta Cluster – Witherite Law Group
Amy Witherite and her team have made a long-term commitment to students at South Atlanta High School, including providing 10 renewable scholarships to the Class of 2019.
Therrell Cluster – The Speak Life Foundation
The Speak Life Foundation has been providing life skills development opportunities at Therrell High since 2007 to include offering over 20 tours of college campuses for students.
Washington Cluster – L.E.A.D.
L.E.A.D. uses the sport of baseball to support Black males to overcome barriers to academic achievement. To date, L.E.A.D. has served over 3500 APS youth in grades 6th-12th including many at Washington High School.