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September ACPS Student and Staff Recognitions

September ACPS Student and Staff Recognitions

EVERFI Empowered Seal Recipient

Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) has earned  EVERFI's 2022 Empowered District Seal which has been awarded to just 10% of school districts across North America this year. This designation can only be earned by K-12 school districts and individual schools that have demonstrated exceptional commitment to whole-child education through the use of EVERFI programs.

EVERFI programs help to inform and empower students on various issues to include financial literacy, social-emotional learning and college and career readiness. This whole child approach provides a positive impact on how healthy and engaged students’ success is during and beyond their K-12 years. It is used as part of ACPS Career and Technical Education (CTE).

"CTE teachers have worked diligently to integrate EVERFI digital resources that add real-life skills training into existing CTE program area curricula by increasing literacy around finances and life decisions," said ACPS Director of CTE and Workforce Development Dr. Tricia Jacobs.

Students from Empowered Seal districts who complete an EVERFI program and entry form will be eligible to be awarded scholarships up to $1,000 this year.

Five Cafeteria Staff Named School Lunch Heroes

Serving up meals each day in Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) cafeterias, five members of the Office of School Nutrition Services are now honorees in the No Kid Hungry School Lunch Heroes Virginia Hall of Fame.

These ACPS employees wear aprons instead of capes, but their work to fight hunger in their school cafeterias is that of a superhero:

  • Shadia Mustafa, cafeteria hostess, William Ramsay Elementary School
  • Mirtha Navarrete, cafeteria manager, George Washington Middle School
  • Laura Purdy, cafeteria manager, Lyles-Crouch Traditional Academy
  • Marta Wisniewska, cafeteria manager, Mount Vernon Community School
  • Mirna Zalles, cafeteria manager, Patrick Henry K-8 School

All of these cafeteria staff members do their best to make certain every child gets healthy and nutritious foods every day.

Relating the story of one cafeteria manager, Patrick Henry K-8 School Principal Dr. Ingrid Bynum explained how Zalles came to speak to the administration about a “special child who touched her heart.” She said Zalles went above and beyond in asking if there was some way the school could help make sure the family of a student who had been coming back in line for a second lunch had enough food at home. These are the kinds of amazing feats that ACPS’ nutrition services team members carry out and that is what makes them real school lunch heroes.

National Merit Scholarship Semifinalist at ACHS

Congratulations to Nathaniel P. Burkhead, an Alexandria City High School (ACHS) senior who is among the more than 16,000 semifinalists in the 2023 National Merit® Scholarship Program. Nathaniel plans to pursue post-secondary studies with a concentration in physics and mathematics. He is an avid learner with aspirations to pursue a doctoral degree. “Nathaniel is grateful for this recognition that highlights his academic achievements as he continues to make his family proud and honor their sacrifices,” said ACHS Director of School Counseling, R. Briana Hardaway.

The nationwide pool of semifinalists in the 68th annual National Merit Scholarship Program represent less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors. A semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, write an essay, and earn SAT® or ACT® scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test.

These academically talented students now have an opportunity to compete for approximately 7,250 National Merit Scholarships worth nearly $28 million that will be offered next spring. About 95 percent of the semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing, and approximately half of the finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar® title. Finalists will be notified in February. The National Merit Scholarship winners for 2023 will be announced in four nationwide news releases beginning in April and concluding in July.

  • 2022-23
  • Alexandria City High School
  • George Washington Middle School
  • Lyles-Crouch Traditional Academy
  • mount vernon community school
  • Patrick Henry K-8 School
  • Student and Staff Recognitions
  • William Ramsay Elementary School