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Home Editor's Pick Honoring Excellence, Celebrating Momentum in Our 150th Year: APyeS! Awards Gala 2022

Honoring Excellence, Celebrating Momentum in Our 150th Year: APyeS! Awards Gala 2022

by Dr. Lisa Herring

APS Family, please join me in congratulating the 2022 – 2023 winners in our annual APyeS! Awards.

From the Booker T. Washington High School, our deserving district-wide Teacher of the Year is Candace R. Henry, a veteran science educator, who leads with vibrance and with compassion.

And, the award for Principal of the Year went to David A. White, now in his seventh year of leadership at Burgess-Peterson Academy. David has been a part of our APS team for 25 years, and has served with distinction in many roles and at many levels.

True to tradition, this year’s APyeS! Awards Gala showcased the unbridled talent, ongoing excellence, and unwavering dedication in the staff of Atlanta Public Schools.

Emmy Award winning comedian and radio personality Ryan Cameron and I played host to a dazzling audience of APS educators, leaders, support staff, and dedicated partners who held the spotlight at last Saturday’s event, in the beautiful ballroom of the Atlanta Marriott Marquis.

Our award winners embody the best of us. They are our shining examples of commitment, passion, and servant leadership, joining forces to positively impact student achievement and sustain our momentum in this milestone 150th anniversary year.

I was impressed with our Teacher of the Year’s moving remarks as she graciously accepted this year’s top honor. She was clear that the torch she now carries as our district level Teacher of the Year is lighting the way for all APS students, alongside those of her fellow educators, who show up and perform with distinction each and every day.

As the APS Teacher of the year, Ms. Henry will represent APS in the Georgia Teacher of the Year Awards next spring.

We welcomed two new categories to our APyeS Awards roll this year: Pre-K Teacher of the Year and the Service First Award. These awards recognize and honor the critical groundwork of our Pre-K teachers, in providing a solid foundation for early learners, as well as the diligence and professionalism of the many many support professionals providing essential services across our campuses, in non-teaching roles.

The inaugural award for APS Pre-K Teacher of the Year went to Ashley Lockett-Davis of Cleveland Avenue Elementary School, and our Service First Award went to, none other than, Clifford A. Jones, Building Manager in our Operations Division!

Because of the collective work of outstanding APS employees, scholars in our district are achieving breakthroughs!

Congratulations again to all our nominees, finalists, and winners! Here is a roundup of the 2022 – 2023 APyeS Awardees:

Teacher of the Year  Candace Henry, Booker T. Washington High School
Principal of the Year  David White, Burgess Peterson Academy
Pre-K Teacher of the YearAshley Lockett-Davis, Cleveland Avenue Elementary School
Assistant Principal of the Year Mary Benton, Mary Lin Elementary School 
Students First AwardAzure Walker, West Manor Elementary School
Schools First Award  Dr. Valencia Beckley Hildreth, Director of Comprehensive Health Services
Service First AwardClifford A Jones, Building Services Manager, Center for Learning and Leadership
GO Team Leader of the Year  Dr. Andrew Lovett, Principal, Benteen Elementary School
GO Team of the Year  Price Middle School, Led by Principal Luqman Abdur-Rahman
Family Engagement Award (Schools)The BEST Academy Family Engagement Leadership Team, Led by Principal Dr. Timothy Jones
Family Engagement Award (Parent)Ms. Consuelo Hutchings, J.W. Dobbs Elementary School
Family Engagement Award (Community Partner)Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students
District Partner of the Year Family First Credit Union
Cluster Partners of the YearCarver Cluster – Central of Faith Church of God in Christ
Douglass Cluster – Deloitte
 Midtown Cluster – The Eisenberg Firm
 Jackson Cluster – RSJI Education Group at the Temple
 Mays Cluster – Chick-Fil-A Cascade Road
 North Atlanta Cluster – Second Ponce De Leon Baptist Church
 South Atlanta Cluster – Witherite Law Group
 Therrell Cluster – United Parcel Service (UPS)
 Washington Cluster – Grape Roots

I have a few thank you’s to give!

Our very own Eric Giles, Music Teacher at Peyton Forest Elementary School, delivered a masterful treat on saxophone to usher in the mood for the evening.

Students from Long Middle School, North Atlanta High School, and South Atlanta High School punctuated the event with spectacular tributes in dance.

The Gritz and Jelly Butter Band entertained with hit after hit through dinner and after the ceremony.

To our sponsors – Four Seasons Atlanta, Thompson Hotel, Atlanta Ballet, Family First Credit Union, Slater Hospitality – The Roof at Ponce City Market, Atlanta Hawks, Atlanta Influences Everything, Cirque du Soleil, and Home Depot Backyard – a BIG thank you! Your partnership made this celebration possible.

And finally, to our team behind the scenes, your months of hard work have paid off! Thank you for all you do.

The 2022 APyeS Awards Gala was truly a night with our STARS!

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