Two New Directors Named for Alexandria Schools

Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) Superintendent Morton Sherman has begun a transformation of Alexandria schools with the aim of strengthening curriculum and instruction, developing strong relationships and establishing a culture of college readiness for all students. Superintendent Sherman has directed numerous reassignments of personnel and department restructuring. ACPS has added math and language arts teachers and counselors and has reduced the number of high-level central office positions.

"My goal is to focus our reduced number of personnel on the areas where we have the greatest potential and need," Sherman said. "I have not rushed to fill central office positions. Instead, we have placed resources in the schools; for example, Elementary Lead Principals to build strong professional collaboration."

In keeping with the goal of placing resources where they are needed, Sherman has announced a new position, director of middle schools, instead of filling another vacant position. He also announced a new director of English Language Learners (ELL) to replace Janine Sadki, who is on extended leave.

T.C. Graduate Greg Hutchings Named New Director of Middle Schools

Sherman named Gregory Carl Hutchings Jr. the new director of middle schools. He will begin work on Jan. 3.

Greg Hutchings "Dr. Hutchings is a remarkable find for us," Sherman said. "Currently a principal in the Metropolitan Nashville, Tennessee Public Schools, he was the Tennessee Middle School Principal of the Year in 2009. He is recognized as a transformational leader, and he has experience leading an International Baccalaureate school in an urban setting."

"Our middle schools are off to a good start this year," said Sherman, "but we know as a school division that the path from good to great is a difficult one which needs energy, intellect, vision, attention to details, and a love of our ACPS students. There is no doubt in my mind that Dr. Hutchings will help us get to the next level."

Hutchings received a Doctor of Educational Policy, Planning and Leadership from The College of William & Mary and a Master of Education in Educational Leadership from George Mason University. A native of Alexandria and a T.C. Williams graduate, he received a scholarship from the Scholarship Fund of Alexandria, which later named him a T.C. Portrait of Success.

"I am looking forward to returning to Alexandria. Though my mother is no longer in the city, she is nearby and I still have relatives in Alexandria. I appreciate the opportunity to lead Alexandria's five middle schools during this transformational period," Hutchings said. "It will be exciting to explore the IB Programme and lead the effort to establish it in ACPS middle schools."

Hutchings has been a middle school administrator since 2004, currently at West End IB World School in Nashville Metropolitan School District. Prior to that, he was a teacher in the Prince William County Public Schools. In addition to being named Middle School Principal of the Year in 2009, he was awarded the Environmental Educator of the Year Award in Prince William County in 2004. He is on the Mayor's Advisory Council on Special Education in Nashville and is a fellow in the Urban Leadership Institute at Harvard University, and at Vanderbilt University, University of Richmond and Appalachia Educational Laboratories.

As director of middle schools, Hutchings will oversee the operations, instruction and curriculum at the five middle schools.

New Director of English Language Learners Is Bethany Nickerson

Bethany Nickerson Sherman selected Bethany Nickerson to lead Alexandria schools in all issues related to ELL.

"Dr. Nickerson is an experienced educational leader, bilingual, with a breadth of knowledge that will help us to increase achievement for our approximately 34 percent of students for whom English is a second language," Sherman said. "There is no doubt that as the most diverse school division in Northern Virginia, we have a significant opportunity to deliver on the American dream for many of our students who are new to this country and whose English language skills still serve as a barrier to academic success."

Nickerson most recently served as state director for ELL in the District of Columbia Office of the State Superintendent of Education, where she managed the Title III grant and provided guidance to schools in support of academic achievement for ELL. Before that, Nickerson led the Data, Assessment and Compliance unit in the District of Columbia Public Schools Office of Bilingual Education. She has taught English as a Second Language at the middle school level and teacher preparation courses.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Affairs, a Master of Education and a Doctor of Education from The George Washington University. She is bilingual in English and Spanish and was awarded the 2005 George Washington University Bilingual Special Education Award.

Nickerson began her duties on Nov. 8.

"I am very excited about the possible opportunity to improve educational achievement for English Language Learners in ACPS through this position," Nickerson said.