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April 24, 2012 Published in Schools, Top Stories

ACPS Superintendent Morton Sherman Receives Esteemed VAESP Pathfinder Award

Dr. Morton Sherman, Superintendent of Alexandria City Public Schools , is the recipient of the prestigious Virginia Association of Elementary School Principals  2012 Pathfinder Award. VAESP presents only one Pathfinder Award each year. The honor recognizes Virginia educators who have provided leadership in educational reform at the elementary and middle school levels and who have, by their deeds, enhanced the quality of education in their districts or in the state.

Dr. Sherman reads with ACPS students. (Courtesy Photo)

"I am deeply honored and humbled to receive this award, which I share with the many ACPS staff members who work so tirelessly to ensure that our efforts always focus on doing what is best for our children," Dr. Sherman said. "We have accomplished so much together during my tenure, and I look forward to continuing our pledge of success for each and every child."

To select a Pathfinder winner, the VAESP Board of Directors screens nominees chosen by VAESP members. Lyles-Crouch Traditional Academy Principal and VAESP member Patricia Zissios submitted Dr. Sherman's nomination, which every ACPS principal co-signed.

ACPS is "a school district that is undergoing a breath-taking transformation, with positive results, in a short period of time. The driving force behind this transformation is Dr. Morton Sherman," the team of ACPS principals said in their nomination letter. "He is a true visionary who is leading the Alexandria City Public Schools to provide a relevant, rigorous and internationally benchmarked education that enables its students to succeed as citizens in a global community."

At the helm of the district since 2008, Dr. Sherman set out to provide a clear vision and specific mission necessary to ensure the success of its students, especially those most in need. He immediately refocused the energy of all ACPS personnel to support the achievement of every student in the system without exception.

In Dr. Sherman's words, "All means all; no exceptions," the nomination team wrote. "He set out to create a school system from a system of schools."

Dr. Sherman's accomplishments include creating five middle schools from two, launching Individualized Learning Plans for every at-promise student and, subsequently, every K-12 student.

He encouraged every school to adopt a research-based exemplary program such as Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, International Baccalaureate  or Changing Education Through the Arts  to enrich every child's education, and he launched a task force to write the ACPS 21st Century Curriculum, which emphasizes creativity, higher-order reasoning and project-based learning and ensures that every student is challenged and engaged while developing positive relationships and self-reliance.

"Through it all, Dr. Sherman showed empathy, compassion and passion for 'doing the right thing for our kids,'" the nominators noted.

The award will be presented during the Awards Luncheon on June 29 in conjunction with the VAESP Annual Conference, June 28 to 30, at the Virginia Beach Resort Hotel.

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