Elementary school teacher standing in front of a classroom of students seated at their desks. Many of the students are holding up their hand waiting to be called on.

Dear PWCS Families, Employees, and Community,

As we kick off Teacher Appreciation Week, I reiterate my deep gratitude for the life-changing work of our teachers in ensuring our students are learning in a positive, rigorous, and safe culture. I encourage you to watch this inspiring video of our students sharing the incredible impact teachers have had on their lives.

Speaking of incredible educators, PWCS honored several dedicated educators through the annual Outstanding Educators Awards program. Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of participating in the ceremony, which recognized educators who received or renewed their National Board Certification, our mentors and lead mentors, and our finalists for the Support Employee, Novice Teacher, Teacher, and Principal of the Year.

These outstanding educators represent the extraordinary instruction happening in our classrooms that position our students for postgraduation success. As part of the annual donation by Apple Federal Credit Union to SPARK, the education foundation for PWCS, our winners each received a $1,500 award. Congratulations to our following winners:

  • Support Employee of the Year
    • Andrea Ilardia from C.D. Hylton High School
  • Novice Teacher of the Year for grades Pre-K-5
    • Rachel Pellegreen from Ashland Elementary School
  • Novice Teacher of the Year for grades 6-12
    • Sophia Hobbs from Freedom High School
  • Teacher of the Year for grades Pre-K-5
    • Angela Savage from John D. Jenkins Elementary School
  • Teacher of the Year for grades 6-12
    • Blake LoPresti from Ronald Wilson Reagan Middle School

I would also like to congratulate our Principal of the Year for grades Pre-K-5, Jennifer Perilla from Tyler Elementary School, and Principal of the Year for grades 6-12, Jim Dutrow from Lake Ridge Middle School.

Congratulations to all our winners, finalists, and nominees for being outstanding role models to PWCS students and staff. I appreciate the efforts of our amazing educators in ensuring every PWCS student receives the high-quality education they deserve.

PWCS honors a positive climate and culture built upon belonging and inclusivity. In recognition of National School Nurse Day, Wednesday, May 8, I want to thank our school nurses for their service and commitment to a positive climate for our students. I would also like to recognize May as Asian American and Pacific Islander as well as Jewish American Heritage Month, as we are proud of the diversity in PWCS and celebrate our rich culture and collective history.

At the May 15 School Board meeting, our transportation team will present the results of an independent study conducted to review and evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of our bus routes. Over the past two years, we have experienced many challenges with student transportation, listened to your feedback, and worked diligently to improve our service. Our goal is to increase on-time arrivals and continuously improve our services to students, families, and staff. We look forward to hearing the recommendations from the independent study and engaging the community in the coming weeks about several improvements we plan to make to strengthen our customer service for the upcoming school year.

Dr. McDade signature
LaTanya D. McDade, Ed.D.
Prince William County Public Schools