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WPS Announces New Appointments

Tara Mason Winchester Public Schools is pleased to announce the appointment of Tara Mason as Assistant Principal at Daniel Morgan Middle School effective July 1, 2019.

Ms. Mason served 16 years in the classroom as a high school English teacher in Shenandoah County Public Schools and was recognized as the Shenandoah County Teacher of the Year in 2013. For the last two years, Ms. Mason has served as the Secondary Instructional Specialist in Winchester Public Schools.

Tara earned her B.A. in English from the University of Virginia and her Master’s degree in Education with a specialization in Curriculum and Instruction from Eastern Mennonite University. She obtained her certification in School Administration from James Madison University.

Ms. Jennifer Buckley, Principal at Daniel Morgan Middle School, stated, "Tara has worked closely with our teams over the past two years as an instructional specialist, we are excited to have her join the DMMS family." 

“I have been fortunate to work with our 7th through 12th grade teachers and administrators in Winchester Public Schools along with our Central Administrative Office staff for the past two years. The students, teachers and staff at Daniel Morgan Middle School are accomplishing great things, and I look forward to working together on a daily basis.”

Morgan Occhiuzzo Winchester Public Schools is pleased to announce the appointment of Morgan Occhiuzzo as Assistant Principal at Daniel Morgan Intermediate School effective July 1, 2019.

Ms. Occhuizzo began her teaching career in Newport News Public Schools as a teacher of gifted learners.  She has worked for Fairfax County Public Schools for the past 9 years. While in Fairfax she has worked as an educational specialist in the areas of gifted and STEAM and most recently has served as a School Administrator.

Her educational experience includes degrees in gifted education and educational leadership with a background in science curriculum development and large scale grant writing while working for Penn State University. She is a National Board Certified Teacher.

Dr. Matt Wygal, Principal at Daniel Morgan Intermediate School, commented “It is with great excitement to welcome Mrs. Occhuizzo to Daniel Morgan Intermediate School. We utilized an intense, multi-day interview process to bring forth the strongest candidate for this position. In addition to two days of panel interviews, each candidate had to also observe a classroom and provide feedback. Mrs. Occhuizzo proved herself as a strong instructional leader through this process while forming connections quickly with several staff members. Additionally, she is bringing with her a wealth of knowledge and experience on programs currently in place at Daniel Morgan, such as the Positivity Project, multi-cultural education and PBIS.  I am looking forward to working with Mrs. Occhuizzo and introducing her to the Winchester and Daniel Morgan Intermediate community.”

Ms. Occhuizzo  earned her undergraduate degree from Gettysburg College in Elementary Education, Gifted Education Certificate from the College of William and Mary and  Masters degrees from George Mason University in Gifted Education and Shenandoah University in Educational Administration/Leadership.

Cherish Skinker Winchester Public Schools is pleased to announce the appointment of Cherish Skinker as Alternative Education Administrator effective July 1, 2019.

Ms. Skinker has spent her entire 20-year career in education working to meet the needs of the most vulnerable learners. She currently serves as an Education Coordinator and Systems Coach  for the Virginia Department of Education’s Office of Students With Disabilities School Improvement Region 5 Training and Technical Assistant Center at James Madison University. Cherish works directly with schools and school divisions to provide coaching, training, and MTSS implementation to improve education for students with disabilities and at-risk populations. Prior to this work, Cherish served as a high school English teacher for 16 years (4 years as Department Chair). In that time she developed a transition program for at-risk freshmen. The program was replicated in all of the division high schools based on its qualitative and quantitative results.

Mr. Brian Wray, Director of Secondary Instruction commented “We’re delighted to have Cherish join the WPS team.  She brings a wealth of instructional knowledge and experience and expertise in alternative education.”

Ms. Skinker is a graduate of Shenandoah University with a Bachelor’s in English, and earned her Master’s in Educational Psychology and Ed.S. in Administration and Supervision from the University of Virginia. 

Angie Cain Winchester Public Schools is pleased to announce Angie Can’s transition from Preschool Coordinator to Early Childhood Coordinator covering PK-second grade effective July 1, 2019.

Angie looks ”forward to building on both the successes we've had and on the lessons we've learned from our preschool program to create better vertical alignment Pre-K to 1st grade . My goal is to support teachers, help them align their instructional practices and interactions, and promote self-regulation in students in the context of developmentally appropriate, engaging classrooms.”

Angie has served in Winchester Public Schools as an elementary teacher, lead teacher, program coordinator and most recently Pre-K Coordinator.

Director of Elementary and Intermediate Instruction Jake Boula commented, "Angie's leadership and expertise in the field of early childhood education has been an asset in preparing our students for their future in Winchester Public Schools.  Through her vision and dedication to leading our wonderful Pre-K team, our VPI+ program has been a beacon of early childhood education in Virginia.  By expanding her role, we can support all of our early childhood educators and influence the learning experiences encountered each day."

Angie earned her Bachelor’s from Shenandoah in Elementary Education, Master’s in Family Support Services Administration from NOVA Southeastern University and Pre-K-12 Administrative Certificate from James Madison University.

Emily Badman Winchester Public Schools is pleased to announce the appointment of Ms. Emily Badman as Secondary Instructional Specialist effective July 1, 2019.

Since 2013 Emily has taught Earth Science, Astronomy, and AP Environmental Science at JHHS. She is currently the Science Department Chair. She is a Graduate of Shippensburg University with a Bachelor's in Geoenvironmental Studies, earned her Master's in Secondary Education from George Mason University and an Educational Administration/Leadership certificate from James Madison University.

Mr. Brian Wray commented, “Emily has demonstrated how project based learning can be implemented in the science classroom.  It will be great for her to share this with teachers at Daniel Morgan and Handley High School.  Her knowledge of curriculum and instruction will be a great resource to WPS.”

Ms. Badman stated, “I'm excited to join a leadership team dedicated to providing teachers valuable tools and resources so that all students can achieve. There are some great things happening here at Winchester Public Schools and I'm thrilled to be part of it. “