Outstanding Elementary School New Teacher, Finalists, and School Recipients

The outstanding elementary school new teachers recognized for 2021

2021 Outstanding Elementary School New Teacher 

amelia kristen carrAmelia Kirsten Carr
Kindergarten Teacher
Bucknell Elementary School, Region 3

Walking past Amelia’s kindergarten classroom, you’ll probably hear singing, see children dancing, and multiple hands raised proudly ready to add into the current discussion. Amelia equally cares about her students’ emotional development and their academic growth. She understands children learn best when they feel welcomed, loved, and represented. Due to the classroom community Amelia has created, her students debate in Socratic Seminars, discuss current events, interview community helpers, play, and elevate their math and reading skills. Amelia allows her students to bring their individuality into her classroom and collaborates with other teachers. She makes silly videos for brain breaks and to teach sight words along with using arts integration lessons and culturally responsive teaching to reach and connect with every student.

2021 Outstanding Elementary School New Teacher Finalist 

oliva dowdOlivia S. Dowd
Music Teacher
Ravensworth Elementary School, Region 4

Olivia’s core values are fostering relationships with students and colleagues, centering on equity and inclusion, and modelling empathy. Each morning she greets students by name from kindergarten to sixth grade, engaging them and welcoming them to our school community. She continues this engagement throughout the school day by creating a caring culture with each class she sees, providing students a space to be enthusiastically themselves and to take risks. She has been focusing on teaching music through an antiracist lens and celebrating the diverse world of music. Olivia remains a lifelong learner—she is an active researcher and presenter on the ethic of care in music education and has presented at multiple domestic and international conferences.

2021 Outstanding Elementary School New Teacher Finalist  

Jenelle JonesJenelle Nicole Jones
Fourth Grade Teacher
Mosby Woods Elementary School, Region 1

Jenelle celebrates and shares her appreciation for diversity with her students. She regularly reads a selection of read-alouds; with authors, narrators and characters that reflect diverse racial and economic backgrounds and perspectives. Jenelle has created engaging lessons that allow students to make connections with each other, and impact their community, including creating a class book blog for students to share their favorite books with younger students, and collaborating with teachers across the county. Jenelle makes
building student relationships and family engagement the focal point of her instruction and works to make all students feel valued and heard. One colleague expressed “I don’t believe there is any challenge that would stump Ms. Jones. Teaching is not only her skill, but her talent.”

2021 Outstanding Elementary School New Teacher Finalist 

Catherine LyCatherine Kim-Anh Ly
Second Grade Teacher
Olde Creek Elementary School, Region 5

Catherine is exceptional in establishing an inclusive classroom where students exude joy and appreciation for learning daily. From exploring sign language for Deaf History Month to discovering perilous mountains, students are challenged in diverse ways. Catherine’s passion for promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion is undeniable at Olde Creek where she is Equity Lead. She originated lessons and resources that supported families and staff with navigating significant cultural events throughout Olde Creek and the Woodson Pyramid. Her dedication to her community is evident through strong relationships with students, families, and teammates. A parent said, “my child’s confidence has grown incredibly in Miss Ly’s classroom” and a colleague added, “she makes a real difference in the lives of her students and school.”

2021 Outstanding Elementary School New Teacher Finalist 

Kristen WilliamsonKristen A. Williamson
Learning Disabilities Teacher
Camelot Elementary School, Region 2

Kristen’s priorities as an educator are advocacy and the promise of intervention along with access to grade level instruction for students with disabilities. Students learn that “disability” can be a superpower when Kristen incorporates their pre-existing strengths to learning opportunities, so students gain new skills and confidence. Kristen has vertical knowledge of curriculum and continues to research instructional innovations to benefit her students. Data driven approaches ensure instruction is meaningful for, and in, students’ zones of proximal development. Kristen builds and maintains relationships with students and caretakers to help meet social-emotional needs. Students know “Ms. Williamson” is a person they can always turn to for a bright moment in their day or to support them academically and emotionally. 

2021 Outstanding Elementary School New Teacher - School Recipients

  • Aldrin Elementary School
    • Raju Tiwana, Second Grade Teacher
  • Bailey’s Upper Elementary School for the Arts & Sciences
    • Alexandra Rotello, Third Grade Teacher
  • Beech Tree Elementary School
    • Lyly Lieu, Second Grade Teacher
  • Bonnie Brae Elementary School
    • Kathryn Moore, Fourth Grade Teacher*
  • Braddock Elementary School
    • Lacy McCleskey, Learning Disabilities Teacher
  • Bren Mar Park Elementary School
    • Carly Voeller, Third Grade Teacher
  • Bucknell Elementary School
    • Amelia Carr, Kindergarten Teacher*
  • Bull Run Elementary School
    • Danielle Early, Sixth Grade Teacher
  • Burke School
    • Sara Beaver, Emotional Disabilities Teacher
  • Bush Hill Elementary School
    • Elayna Cross, Multiple Disabilities Teacher
  • Camelot Elementary School
    • Kristen Williamson, Learning Disabilities Teacher*
  • Cameron Elementary School
    • Erin Ingeholm, First Grade Teacher*
  • Canterbury Woods Elementary School
    • Dana Desposito, Third Grade Teacher
  • Centreville Elementary School
    • Brigid Hamilton, Fourth Grade Teacher*
    Cherry Run Elementary School
    • Kendall Bonsall, Kindergarten Teacher
  • Chesterbrook Elementary School
    • Kaitlin Beggan, Fourth Grade Teacher
  • Churchill Road Elementary School
    • Lindsey Bolger, Fourth Grade Teacher
  • Clearview Elementary School
    • Kristen Nolan, Sixth Grade Teacher
  • Cunningham Park Elementary School
    • Lauren Drew, Third Grade Teacher
  • Daniels Run Elementary School
    • Cheryl Mazmanian, Second Grade Teacher*
  • Deer Park Elementary School
    • Jessica Vorndran, Multiple Disabilities Teacher*
  • Dogwood Elementary School
    • Morgan Farber, Art Teacher*
  • Dranesville Elementary School
    • Shelbi Cervenec, Multiple Disabilities Teacher*
  • Eagle View Elementary School
    • Pam Sipher, Multiple Disabilities Teacher
  • Fairfax Villa Elementary School
    • Melissa Torres, Music Teacher
  • Fairview Elementary School
    • Kristen Schuler, Third Grade Teacher
  • Flint Hill Elementary School
    • Jacqueline Radin, First Grade Teacher*
  • Floris Elementary School
    • Madison Potter, Fifth Grade Teacher
  • Forest Edge Elementary School
    • Kayla Cruz, First Grade Teacher
  • Forestdale Elementary School
    • Nicole Legere, Kindergarten Teacher
  • Forestville Elementary School
    • Carleigh Johnson, Second Grade Teacher*
  • Fort Belvoir Primary School
    • Lauren Seger, Second Grade Teacher
  • Fort Belvoir Upper School
    • Megan Grzywacz, Fourth Grade Teacher*
  • Franconia Elementary School
    • Karli Strei, Fifth Grade Teacher
  • Freedom Hill Elementary School
    • Melanie Callihan, First Grade Teacher*
  • Garfield Elementary School
    • Stephanie Pareja, First Grade Teacher
  • Greenbriar East Elementary School
    • Mike Gilligan, Multiple Disabilities Teacher
  • Greenbriar West Elementary School
    • Joe Silva-Curry, Multiple Disabilities Teacher
  • Groveton Elementary School
    • Michaela Wheat, First Grade Teacher
  • Halley Elementary School
    • Gabriella Anders, Third Grade Teacher
  • Haycock Elementary School
    • Janet Brown, Learning Disabilities Teacher
  • Herndon Elementary School
    • Rachel Barranco, First Grade Teacher
  • Hollin Meadows Elementary School
    • Sabina Chlus, Kindergarten Teacher
  • Hunt Valley Elementary School
    • Thea Fraser, First Grade Teacher
  • Hunters Woods Elementary School for the Arts & Sciences
    • Makayla Puzio, Fourth Grade Teacher
  • Hutchison Elementary School
    • Brenda Recinos, First Grade Teacher
    Keene Mill Elementary School
    • Alice Boyars, Music Teacher*
  • Kent Gardens Elementary School
    • Kristin Kennedy, French Immersion Teacher*
  • Kings Park Elementary School
    • Sarah Hertenberger, Second Grade Teacher
  • Lake Anne Elementary School
    • Meredith Moncure, Third Grade Teacher
  • Lane Elementary School
    • Madison Stello, Third Grade Teacher*
  • Laurel Ridge Elementary School
    • Ana Guzman Muro, Kindergarten Teacher
  • Lees Corner Elementary School
    • Marybeth Bond, Kindergarten Teacher*
  • Little Run Elementary School
    • Grace Chevalier, Sixth Grade Teacher
  • Louise Archer Elementary School
    • Tracey Tardif, First Grade Teacher
  • Mantua Elementary School
    • Skylar Robins, Fourth Grade Teacher
  • Marshall Road Elementary School
    • Anna Moore, Resource Teacher
  • Mosby Woods Elementary School
    • Jenelle Jones, Fourth Grade Teacher*
  • Mount Vernon Woods Elementary School
    • Sarah Howell, Fourth Grade Teacher
  • North Springfield Elementary School
    • Ellie Oxenreiter, Multiple Disabilities Teacher*
  • Oak Hill Elementary School
    • Lily Parshenov, Multiple Disabilities Teacher
  • Oak View Elementary School
    • Yasmin Wassel, First Grade Teacher
  • Oakton Elementary School
    • Alexis Schmidt, Multiple Disabilities Teacher
  • Olde Creek Elementary School
    • Catherine Ly, Second Grade Teacher*
  • Orange Hunt Elementary School
    • Taylor Gebauer, Sixth Grade Teacher
  • Pine Spring Elementary School
    • Sarah Strong, First Grade Teacher
  • Poplar Tree Elementary School
    • Nicole Glosner, First Grade Teacher
  • Ravensworth Elementary School
    • Olivia Dowd, Music Teacher*
  • Riverside Elementary School
    • Sarah Addo, Physical Education Teacher
  • Rolling Valley Elementary School
    • Sara Bailey, Kindergarten Teacher
  • Sangster Elementary School
    • Sara Phillips, Kindergarten Teacher
  • Saratoga Elementary School
    • Jenna Grazzini Pietrandrea, Music Therapy Teacher*
  • Silverbrook Elementary School
    • Julie Hopkins, Multiple Disabilities Teacher*
  • Sleepy Hollow Elementary School
    • Ashley Maginnis, Fifth Grade Teacher*
  • Stratford Landing Elementary School
    • Nicholas Brown, Third Grade Teacher
  • Sunrise Valley Elementary School
    • Amy Elfin, Sixth Grade Teacher
  • Terra Centre Elementary School
    • Maggie Lowe, Multiple Disabilities Teacher
  • Terraset Elementary School
    • Leslie Sogandares, Learning Disabilities Teacher
  • Timber Lane Elementary School
    • Cindy Abell, Preschool Teacher
  • Union Mill Elementary School
    • Sarah Mantel, First Grade Teacher
  • Waples Mill Elementary School
    • Christina Birtles, Third Grade Teacher
  • Waynewood Elementary School
    • Haley Gotcher, Third Grade Teacher
  • West Springfield Elementary School
    • Sarah Moore, Multiple Disabilities Teacher
  • Westbriar Elementary School
    • Zoey Lee, Learning Disabilities Teacher
  • Westgate Elementary School
    • Sarah Day, Multiple Disabilities Teacher
  • Westlawn Elementary School
    • Cristina Ahrendt, First Grade Teacher
  • White Oaks Elementary School
    • Bethani Ko, Art Teacher
  • Willow Springs Elementary School
    • Annie Park, Gifted Education Center Teacher
  • Woodburn School for the Fine & Communicative Arts
    • Limari Perez Castellanos, Spanish FLES Teacher

* Denotes Pyramid-Level Recipient

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