GSEHD Alumni Honored for Excellence in Education

“Standing Ovation” gala celebrates D.C. educators.

November 13, 2013

Four alumni of the George Washington University’s Graduate School of Education and Human Development were among the 30 educators recognized for their success at the Standing Ovation for D.C. Teachers  gala.

The prestigious Rubenstein Awards and $5,000 cash prizes were given to exemplary D.C. Public School educators at the annual celebration of excellence in teaching and leadership held at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts last week.

The awards were funded through the support of David Rubenstein, co-founder and managing director of the Carlyle Group and chairman of the Kennedy Center.

“We are extremely pleased to see DCPS teachers rewarded for their work in and outside the classroom,” said Michael J. Feuer, dean of the Graduate School of Education and Human Development. “The alumni awardees are a testament to the commitment of GSEHD students and graduates to be engaged and creative educators and leaders.”

Principals Carolyne Albert-Garvey, M.A. ’02, and Janeece Docal, Ed.S. ’07, received the Rubenstein Award for Highly Effective Leadership.

Ms. Albert-Garvey was drawn to school leadership after 15 years of teaching. She is currently serving as the principal at the Maury Elementary School.

“I was honored to receive an award, and I’d like to thank the amazing students, staff and families at Maury because they empower me to be a change-maker,” Ms. Albert-Garvey said. “The whole concept behind Standing Ovation, to honor highly effective teachers and school leaders, is remarkable. I feel grateful,” she added.

Ms. Docal, who serves as principal at Powell Bilingual Elementary School, agreed.

“Knowing we have a school district and benefactors that recognize high-quality educators reaffirms my commitment to social justice,” she said. 

Kalpana Kumar Sharma, M.A. ’12, received the Rubenstein Award for Highly Effective Teachers, along with Read 180 teacher at Truesdell Education Campus Belinda Omenitsch, Ed.S. ’13.

“To win a Rubenstein Award brings tremendous joy and excitement in my life,” said Ms. Sharma, a pre-kindergarten teacher at Brightwood Education Campus. “I am inspired to increase my students’ knowledge and support their learning by setting higher expectations.”

Other recipients of the Rubenstein Award for Highly Effective Teachers include Amy C. Wertheimer, a second grade teacher, and instructional coach Kathleen Sheehy. Ms. Wertheimer and Ms. Sheehy serve as “cooperating teachers” in GSEHD’s elementary education program, hosting students in their classrooms for short-term internships.

Awardees were nominated by students, faculty, parents and community members and selected by DCPS.

To be considered, each honoree achieved a rating of “highly effective” on the IMPACT performance assessment, a measurement tool introduced by DCPS in 2009 to increase student achievement and the success of school-based personnel.

Since 2012, 1,300 teachers have achieved this rating, according to DCPS.

“This is more than a job; it is a profession and a mission,” Ms. Docal said. “Set your level of expectation high, and then move the bar even higher, the students will reach beyond any limit or boundary.”