Potomac Shores Middle School students posing for a photo

Prince William County Public Schools (PWCS) held the 2024 Educators Rising® Student Leadership Conference at Potomac Shores Middle School on Saturday, March 2. This conference allowed students from across the Commonwealth to come together to learn, network, and demonstrate their skills and knowledge. A total of 140 PWCS students attended from Brentsville District, C.D. Hylton, Charles J. Colgan Sr., Forest Park, Gainesville, Gar-Field, Osbourn Park, Woodbridge, and Unity Reed High Schools.

Fifteen Virginia school divisions and 28 high schools attended the conference. The event featured various competitions and session workshops, 15 college exhibitors, a keynote address, and an awards ceremony. Session workshops touched on important topics like professionalism, pathways to teacher certification, boosting student engagement, and mastering communication and teamwork. Current college students also served on a panel and shared tips and strategies to picking the right college and major, campus life, and more.

Congratulations to the following students who received first, second, or third place awards. First and second place winners are eligible to represent PWCS and the state of Virginia at the Educators Rising® National Conference that will be held in Washington, D.C. from June 28-July 1, 2024.

First place winners:

  • Evie Anderson, Gainesville High School
  • Gabriela Ardon Diaz, Osbourn Park High School
  • Natalya Barnwell, C.D. Hylton High School
  • Khadijha Barrie, C.D. Hylton High School
  • Yuliana Bonilla, Unity Reed High School
  • Autumn Brown, C.D. Hylton High School
  • Amy Cosme-Guzman, Gainesville High School
  • Kaydence Costello, C.D. Hylton High School
  • Sage Crawford, C.D. Hylton High School
  • Diego-Emanuel Fiz Ocampa, Gainesville High School
  • Madelym Florian Najarro, Woodbridge High School
  • Rachel Gordon, Gainesville High School
  • Lauren Motter, Charles J. Colgan Sr. High School
  • Raquel Qura, Gainesville High School
  • Isabella Sabia, Unity Reed High School
  • Viviana Saez, C.D. Hylton High School
  • Beulah Sarsah, C.D. Hylton High School
  • Yuridia Sosa Antunez, Woodbridge High School
  • Quanetta Stoelting, Charles J. Colgan Sr. High School
  • Sofia Stolmeier, Osbourn Park High School
  • Kayla Taica, Charles J. Colgan Sr. High School
  • Ashlyn Tate, Charles J. Colgan Sr. High School
  • Katie Toth, Brentsville District High School
  • Vannessa Turcios-Lopez, Unity Reed High School
  • Brooke Worth, Charles J. Colgan Sr. High School

Second place winners:

  • Lizeth Andrade, Osbourn Park High School
  • Jocelyn Burgos, Gar-Field High School
  • Alton Guinn, Osbourn Park High School
  • Esther Gyamfi, Osbourn Park High School
  • Adeena Jilani, Charles J. Colgan Sr. High School
  • Pricilla Johnson, Osbourn Park High School
  • Megan Kaess, Osbourn Park High School
  • Samantha Mazariegos Maldonado, Unity Reed High School
  • Sophia Mueller, Forest Park High School
  • Isabella Parra, Osbourn Park High School
  • Stacy Reyes, Gar-Field High School
  • Rebecca Spencer, Gainesville High School
  • Jacqueline Viera-Reyes, Osbourn Park High School
  • Isabelle (Izzy) Vierkant, C.D. Hylton High School
  • Emerson Zepeda Sorto, C.D. Hylton High School

Third place winners:

  • Melina Barrientos-Llano, Osbourn Park High School
  • Briana Bernedo, Gar-Field High School
  • Audrey Blevins, Osbourn Park High School
  • Leticia Carneiro, Osbourn Park High School
  • Soza Faeq, Gainesville High School
  • Ava Harvey, Gainesville High School
  • Mya Interlicchia, Osbourn Park High School
  • Alicia Johnson, Osbourn Park High School
  • Tate Jordan, Gainesville High School
  • Ava Paarfus, Gainesville High School
  • Hector Rojo, C.D. Hylton High School
  • Makynze Smith, C.D. Hylton High School
  • Andrew Sowell, Gainesville High School
  • Eliana Taborga, Gainesville High School
  • Margaret Yates, Charles J. Colgan Sr. High School

Educators Rising®, with affiliate chapters in 50 states and at the national level, is a career and technical student organization available for middle school, high school, and college students to join through clubs at their school. It offers students professional learning opportunities, annual conferences, and access to a state-of-the-art social networking website. Educators Rising clubs are active in most PWCS high schools for students in grades 9-12 and the program continues to grow each year.

The PWCS Growing Our Own Teachers program supports and mentors high school students who are interested in pursuing a career in education. Among its advantages is the facilitation of the Virginia Teachers for Tomorrow (VTfT) courses available to 11th and 12th grade students. VTfT is monitored through the Virginia Department of Education. Students explore the teaching profession and experience the classroom as they become acquainted with teachers and teaching on a personal and professional level, including a brief internship in a classroom setting.