Munari, Alarcon named 2018 VBCPS Instructional Leaders of the Year

Virginia Beach City Public Schools (VBCPS) Superintendent Dr. Aaron Spence named Hermitage Elementary School’s Angie Munari and Corporate Landing Middle School’s Dr. Freddie Alarcon as the 2018 Elementary and Secondary Instructional Leaders of the Year.

Announced each year at the division’s Administrators’ Conference, the honor highlights a building principal who is leading the way in innovative and consistent delivery of instruction as well as instituting best teaching and learning practices in their school for students and staff.

Photo of Munari, Spence and Alarcon

“Your work and your time is making students’ futures possible, and that work starts from when they begin with us in kindergarten or prekindergarten all the way through the final days of their senior year,” Spence shared with the more than 800 administrators, teacher leaders and staff members at the conference. “It is not a one-time change; it’s not a sprint to a destination. It’s an ongoing, day after day effort that we are all collectively giving. And, I am excited to highlight the two administrators who are showcasing the best of what this looks like in their buildings today, our Instructional Leaders of the Year.”

Munari was heralded for keeping her students at the core of her decision-making. Through her effort, her school is celebrating strong student performance on the spring SOLs, seeing overall increases in reading and mathematics – specifically with her students with disabilities’ performance, which saw a 20 percent increase in both subjects.

As a first-year principal, Munari accomplished this while engaging and building relationships in a new school community, which is highly transient as a military-connected school. In addition, Munari kept this instruction focus while also working with school division staff and administration on the logistics of having her school being designated the official swing space for Thoroughgood Elementary School.

At the secondary level, Alarcon was selected for his collaborative leadership at Corporate Landing Middle School. Alarcon opens his doors to allow new administrators to observe his school support meetings and collaborated with school teams on the processes utilized at his school. In addition, he is a frequent presenter at division and regional conferences, sharing his takeaways and insight.

This collaboration has led Corporate Landing to huge increases in SOL performance. For example, there were gains in students with disabilities’ performance on the SOL, including a 24 percentage point increase in reading. Similar increases were seen with the school’s African American students, who had a 22 percentage point gain in reading; 11 percentage point gain in history and 17 point gain in writing.

Previous winners of the Instructional Leaders of the Year award are: Bayside Elementary’s Cathy Brumm, College Park Elementary’s Dr. Sterling White, Thoroughgood Elementary’s Dr. Cheryl Zigrang, Bayside Middle’s Dr. Paula Johnson, Salem Middle’s Dr. Jim Smith and Salem High’s Matt Delaney.

As in years past, as a congratulations for this honor, both Munari and Alarcon were given a piece of artwork, created by a local artist, to hang in their office.

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