ALEXANDRIA, VA – In Friday’s (Apr. 22) ACPS Express newsletter, Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) annouced its selections for the 2021-22 Principal and Teacher of the Year. Principal of the Year is Michael Routhouska and Teacher of the Year is Alexandra Bender.
Routhouska is Principal at William Ramsay Elementary. Appointed to the position in 2015, he started his career with ACPS as an English Teacher at T.C. Williams High School in 2000.
He has more than two decades of experience as an educator and administrator.
The newsletter describes Routhouska as an “equity focused instructional leader,” meaning he “considers the perspectives, strengths and needs of all students and stakeholders.”
Both passionate and personable, when he arrived at the school seven years ago, he worked hard to improve the on-campus learning environment. He continues to collaborate with students, teachers, the PTA, and the school’s community to give students an optimal experience.
Bender teaches first grade at John Adams Elementary. Having nine years of experience at the school, she uses positive behavior reenforcement, encourages academic progress, and works with each student to find ways to help him or her learn based on individual talents and abilities.
The educator’s knowledge allows her “to effectively support her English Language Learners in meeting grade-level objectives. She also has strived to help her students transition to life in the U.S., especially with our incoming students who are refugees from Afghanistan,” according to the newsletter.
To engage her pupils, she employs arts integration, having received training through the Kennedy Center’s Changing Education Through the Arts program.