Victoria D. de Sanchez Northern Virginia Annual Teacher of the Year Award 2007

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Alexandra Schiavo Wong

Alexandra Schiavo Wong was born in Washington, D.C. to South American parents and attended Fairfax County, Virginia schools. She began to learn to speak English for the first time at school. Thanks to her mother’s strict rules about speaking only Spanish in the home, Alexandra remained bilingual as she grew up. Frequent travels with her family to visit relatives in Peru helped strengthen the connection to her Latino roots.

After graduating the College of William and Mary with a B.A. in Education in 1991, she returned to Fairfax County Public Schools to teach third grade at Dranesville Elementary in Herndon. However the demographics of Fairfax County were changing, and Alexandra began to feel a pull toward the schools with programs that served the growing Latino community in the area. She earned licensure to teach English as a Second Language and then an M.S. in Education in Curriculum and Instruction with an ESL Specialty.

When Alexandra transferred to Centre Ridge Elementary School, her work at this culturally diverse school helped crystallize her philosophy of education for ESL students. English language learners learn best when they are taught in the regular classroom using active lessons that are developed, implemented and assessed by both the ESL teacher and the classroom teacher working together as a team. Special projects that target ESL students while including them in the mainstream classroom are her passion.

Since 2005, she has worked as an ESL teacher at Sugarland Elementary in Sterling, Virginia, a school with one of the largest and fastest-growing ESL populations in Loudoun County Public Schools. The school’s demographics reflect the burgeoning Hispanic community in the area.

Teaching philosophy

  • I’m passionate about fostering creativity and independence in young learners while building foundational skills that will last a lifetime.
  • Integration into the regular classroom is paramount for second language learners

Accomplishments

  • 2007 Honorable Mention USA Today All-USA Teachers Member of SIOP Team (English as a Second Language inclusion for language arts) Sugarland Elementary, Sterling, Va.