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October 2023 Student and Staff Recognitions

October 2023 Student and Staff Recognitions

Our October student and staff recognitions column highlights some outstanding work in Alexandria City Public Schools. These achievements reflect what ACPS is all about, and we are proud of our students and staff.

ACHS Student Among Girls Leading Change at White House

Alexandria City School Board student representative Zahra Rahimi was among 15 young women recognized during the Girls Leading Change ceremony at the White House on Oct. 11, 2023, in celebration of International Day of the Girl Child. First Lady Dr. Jill Biden acknowledged their work that impacts serious challenges and helps shape a brighter future in their communities.

“Zahra does outstanding work every day at school and in the community to make the world a better place. She brings light to each and every endeavor and always focuses on solutions to support our students and their families,” ACHS International Academy Assistant Principal Dr. Michelle Campiglia shared. “She is a voice for the Afghan community and the International Academy, and we are so proud of her.”

Northern Virginia Resettling Afghan Families Together (NoVA RAFT) nominated Rahimi for the award, citing her outstanding work at school and in the community to make the world a better place. The Alexandria City High School (ACHS) junior was recognized for her leadership roles at ACHS’ International Academy, her service on the Alexandria City School Board and her volunteer work with NoVA RAFT. Rahimi helped found a literacy program at NoVA RAFT that supports newly-arrived Afghan refugee middle and high school students to improve their reading skills.

Rahimi came to the U.S. four years ago from Afghanistan and has since dedicated herself to supporting refugee resettlement in the Alexandria community, including access to English as a second language services in our schools. Rahimi also organized cultural events and staff training to ensure schools were prepared to receive new refugee families from Afghanistan. In addition to her refugee resettlement efforts, Rahimi is a passionate advocate for advancing women’s rights globally, especially in areas of conflict.

ACPS Student Receives Perfect Score on AP U.S. History Exam

Alexandria City High School (ACHS) senior Mohommed Abir Rhaman earned an incredible perfect score on the Advanced Placement (AP) U.S. History exam, making him one of only 13 students to earn every point possible on this college-level examination.

"During my 28-year career, with 22 years as an Advanced Placement (AP) U.S. History teacher and six as an assistant principal, I have never seen or heard of a student who earned a perfect score on the AP U.S. History test," ACHS Assistant Principal Maggie Tran said.

AP U.S. History is one of the first courses the College Board offered in the 1950s. The test consists of 55 multiple choice questions, three short answer questions, a long essay and a document-based essay. Students are allotted three hours to complete the test and are scored on a scale from one to five. 

The challenging nature of the course is evidenced through its historically low pass rate. Of the 512,000 students who took the AP U.S. History exam last spring, only 48% of the students who tested passed the AP U.S. History exam. One tenth of the students who took the test earned a five.

Mohommed’s reaction to his accomplishment was sheer joy. "I made the wall", he exclaimed, referring to a wall of stars his teacher Erin Hudson has in her classroom for students who earn a five.

ACHS Student Receives Financial Literacy Ambassador Award

Alexandria City High School (ACHS) student Joshua Smith is one of five recipients to receive the 2023 Financial Literacy Ambassador Award.

“Joshua was a pleasure to have in class, and I'm extremely proud of the hard work he put in to receive this award. To my knowledge, he is the first person at ACHS to have been selected for this award,” ACHS Economics and Personal Finance Teacher Victoria Stowell said.

The Working in Support of Education (W!SE) award is presented to high school students for exemplary applications. Students who passed the W!SE Financial Literacy Certification Test with a score of 95% or better are eligible to apply. Applications are reviewed and scored over three rounds by a distinguished panel of judges. The five winners each earn a $1,000 monetary award.

W!SE created the award with generous sponsorship from Financial Literacy Outreach (FLO) mentors, a group of W!SE volunteers who are passionate about helping young people improve their personal finance knowledge. The W!SE Financial Literacy Certification program, now in 49 states, supports personal finance instruction in high schools.

ACPS Financial Services Team Honored for High Standards in Financial Reporting

Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) was awarded the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada’s (GFOA) Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for its annual comprehensive financial report for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2022. The report met the high standards of the program, which includes demonstrating a constructive "spirit of full disclosure" to clearly communicate its financial story and motivate potential users and user groups to read the report.

“Receiving the GFOA Certificate of Achievement is a significant accomplishment and serves as yet another example of the commitment to excellence displayed by the ACPS Financial Services Department and its Chief Financial Officer Dominic Turner,” Superintendent Dr. Melanie Kay-Wyatt said.

The Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting. GFOA advances excellence in government finance by providing best practices, professional development, resources and practical research for more than 21,000 members and the communities they serve.

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  • Student and Staff Recognitions