ACPS teachers named Champions of Children

ACPS teachers named Champions of Children
From left to right: Martinez, Diggins, LaPaglia. (Photo courtesy ACPS)

By Arya Hodjat |

Three Alexandria City Public Schools staffers won awards for “establishing life-changing services for the children and families,” according to a news release.

Fredy Martinez, Leigh LaPaglia and Michael Diggins received the 2019 Champions of Children award from the city’s Children, Youth and Families Collaborative Commission for their work supporting children, according to the release.

Martinez, ACPS’ substance abuse prevention coordinator, was recognized for his work in improving the school system’s drug education and intervention efforts, according to the release.

LaPaglia, a social worker, was nominated for her work in creating food and clothing drives in the city, which had a 40 percent participation rate, according to the release.

“Social work can be such a hidden profession. It’s awesome for people to recognize the work. At the same time, it is a team effort,” LaPaglia said in a statement.

Diggins, the dean of students at Francis C. Hammond Middle School, earned the award for his holistic approach to education, encouraging students to learn beyond the test, according to the release. He is an ACPS alumnus, having graduated from T.C. Williams in 1990.

“Being recognized is a bonus. It really motivates me more to continue doing what I do,” Diggins said in a statement.

The awards will be presented at city hall Wednesday night at 6:30 p.m.

(Undefeated T.C. Williams girls’ soccer team heads to states)