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DC Public Schools Educators Honored with $230,000 in Awards

Wednesday, February 1, 2017
Standing Ovation Awards recognize teachers, principals, key staff, and schools for excellence

(Washington, DC) Today, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser and DC Public Schools Chancellor Antwan Wilson surprised Jan Schuettpelz, a 7th grade science teacher at Deal Middle School, with the announcement of the Teacher of the Year award. Last week, Chancellor Antwan Wilson honored Banneker High School Principal Anita Berger with the prestigious Principal of the Year award.

Twenty-nine DC Public Schools teachers, administrators, staff, and schools were named Standing Ovation award winners for their dedication and excellence by DC Public Schools and the DC Public Education Fund.

Each of the winners will be honored at the annual Standing Ovation for DC Public Schools ceremony at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on March 13, 2017, and provided with cash prizes totaling $230,000.

“Each student is successful at DC Public Schools because of great principals, great teachers, and great staff who educate, mentor, and help our young people get a great education,” said Antwan Wilson, Chancellor of DC Public Schools. “I’m honored to celebrate 29 outstanding members of the DCPS family who work each day to deliver on our promise of an excellent education.”

Standing Ovation, which began in 2010, has become a hallmark of DC Public Schools’ broader commitment to and investment in its people. Hosted by DC Public Education Fund, Standing Ovation brings together business leaders, philanthropic champions, civic officials, and corporate partners from across the city to celebrate the exceptional educators of DC Public Schools. The awards ceremony and reception is held at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and is made possible thanks to the generosity of numerous corporate and charitable sponsors. Alice and David M. Rubenstein generously donate the $230,000 in cash prizes for Standing Ovation each year.

“Not only does DC Public Schools pay more than any other district, provide top-notch professional development, and reward excellence with significant bonuses, but it also celebrates its talented teaching force in an unprecedented and spectacular fashion. Standing Ovation underscores the value and contributions of each and every one of DCPS’ educators,” said Jessica Rauch, Executive Director of DC Public Education Fund.

The 2016 Standing Ovation Excellence Award winners are:

  • Principal of the Year: Anita Berger, Banneker High School (Ward 1)
  • Teacher of the Year: Jan Schuettpelz, Deal Middle School (Ward 3)
  • School Staff Member of the Year: Burt Lancaster, Beers Elementary School (Ward 7)
  • Excellence in School Innovation: Truesdell Education Campus (Ward 4)
  • Excellence in Service: Ann Brogioli, Hart Middle School (Ward 8). Ms. Brogioli now works at Watkins Elementary School (Ward 6).
  • Excellence in Classroom Innovation: David Gesualdi, Walker-Jones Education Campus (Ward 6). Mr. Gesualdi now teaches at MacFarland Middle School (Ward 4).
  • Excellence in Family Engagement: Stanton Elementary School (Ward 8)
  • Excellence by an Academic Leadership Team: Bancroft Elementary School (Ward 1)

In addition, 21 teachers, staff, principals, and assistant principals were honored with Rubenstein Awards and each will receive $5,000:

Rubenstein Awards for Highly Effective Teaching

  • Bobbie Verdegaal, Cardozo Education Campus (Ward 1), New Teacher of the Year
  • Aneesah Saleem, Hendley Elementary School (Ward 8)
  • Mary Clayman, Eaton Elementary School (Ward 3)
  • Milton Bryant, Ketcham Elementary School (Ward 8)
  • James Edwards, Stuart-Hobson Middle School (Ward 6)
  • Jen Wang, McKinley Technology High School (Ward 5)
  • Sharon Scholem, Key Elementary School (Ward 3)

Rubenstein Awards for Highly Effective Leadership: Principals

  • Aimee Pressley, River Terrace Education Campus (Ward 7)
  • Maurice Kennard, Brightwood Education Campus (Ward 4)
  • Kathryn Larkin, H.D. Cooke Elementary School (Ward 1)
  • Eric Bethel, Turner Elementary School (Ward 8)

Rubenstein Awards for Highly Effective Leadership: Assistant Principals

  • Bruce Jackson, Cardozo Education Campus (Ward 1)
  • Anna Krughoff, Marie Reed Elementary School (Ward 1)
  • Diedre Neal, Deal Middle School (Ward 3)
  • Tiffany Johnson, Whittier Education Campus (Ward 4)

Rubenstein Awards for Highly Effective School Staff

  • Imelda Lopez-Diaz, Bancroft Elementary School (Ward 1)
  • Sandra Gutierrez, Oyster-Adams Education Campus (Ward 1)
  • Charles Robinson, Truesdell Education Campus (Ward 4)
  • Barbara Ochmanek, School Within a School (Ward 6)
  • Ricardo Neal, Eastern High School (Ward 6)
  • Eleanor Seale, Hart Middle School (Ward 8)

Standing Ovation for DC Public Schools will be held on Monday, March 13, 2017 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. For more information visit