Principal's Message

  • ​Dear GQES Families and Friends,
    WELCOME to Garland R. Quarles Elementary School (GQES), home of the Chameleons!   At GQES, our vision is to be a THRIVING LITERACY COMMUNITY in a STEM SCHOOL!!! The faculty and staff of Garland R. Quarles Elementary School (GQES) is committed to providing a rich, supportive learning environment where students thrive by developing deep understanding of content while becoming even more kind, empathetic and caring citizens.  GQES is fully accredited by the State of Virginia based on the 2018-19 Standards of Learning Results.  

    At GQES, reading, writing, math, science, social studies, technology, and engineering are at the center of each instructional day for our students in grades PreK-4.  We continuously monitor our school’s highest priorities:  what we teach (guaranteed and viable curriculum), how we teach (rigorous lessons) through authentic literacy (purposeful student engagement).    All decisions are connected to our school’s vision, thriving literacy community in a STEM school.  Our faculty and staff work with administration to review data, make instructional adjustments, and share what is working during grade level professional learning communities, data team meetings, vertical and horizontal teams and Title I School Leadership team meetings.

    It is my distinct pleasure to serve as Principal at Garland R. Quarles Elementary School.  Thank you for taking an interest in our school and community!  Please feel welcome to contact us at 540-662-3575, email us, or come by our school for a visit!   

    With gratitude,
    Joanie Hovatter


Education & Experience

  • Mrs. Hovatter has a Bachlors Degree in ECED Prek-4 from James Madison University.  She also has a masters in Reading Specialist from Shenandoah Unversity as well as an Administration/Supervision K-12 endorsement from the University of Virginia. Mrs. Hovatter has been in Education for 35 years.  She has served as a elementary teacher, reading specialist, assistant principal, and principal.  Mrs. Hovatter is also a teacher consultant for the National Writing Project.  

Chameleons S.O.A.R

  • Striving for excellence and continuous improvement is a hallmark of Winchester Public Schools.  WPS’s motto of Learning For All is a cornerstone of effective schools research.  Dr. Lawrence W. Lezotte’s Research on Correlates of Effective Schools includes:

    • Instructional Leadership
    • Clear and Focused Mission
    • Safe and Orderly Environment
    • Climate of High Expectations
    • Frequent Monitoring of Student Progress
    • Positive Home-School Relations
    • Opportunity to Learn and Time on Task

    To insure a safe and orderly environment, GQES has an effective positive behavior intervention school wide system as its discipline program called CHAMELEONS SOAR! CHAMELEONS SOAR stands for SAFE, ORGANIZED, ACCCOUNTABLE, and RESPECTFUL.   Each day of the week, we discuss how to be safe, organized, accountable, respectful as well as being kind.   Our positive behavior intervention system is built on teaching and reteaching Chameleons SOAR principles as well as recognizing students with specific praise daily.   We hold school-wide CHAMELEONS SOAR CELEBRATIONS monthly.