About Athene Bell

Athene Cooper Bell, PhD in education

Manassas City Public Schools (MCPS)

Accomplishments & Celebrations

  • 1985—1995—Middle School Teacher/English/Grades 6, 7, 8
  • 1994-‘95—MCPS Teacher of the Year
  • 1996-’97—Gifted and Talented Teacher of the Year
  • 1998-’99— one of the first teachers in Virginia to receive National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Certification (NBCT)
  • 2006—Reading Specialist Certification
  • 2011—Doctoral Degree from George Mason University/Literacy Concentration
  • 2006—Present—K-12 English/Language Arts Content Specialist/MCPS
  • 2009—2017--Adjunct Professor for George Mason University

Most Recent Initiatives/Projects

Manassas Reads—Manassas Reads is an annual community-wide reading festival hosted by the City of Manassas and Manassas City Public Schools and the Prince William County Public Library System.  The event takes place every spring at the Harris Pavilion in Old Town Manassas, and the primary goal each year is to collect gently-used books for student ages pre-K through young adult to give away to event attendees in an effort to continue to promote reading in the community.  The hope is that all who attend can leave with 10 free books.  The event features reading focused game booths created and attended by MCPS reading coaches K-6, face painting, a photo booth, local author chats, vendor displays, live music presented by MCPS employees and well as student choral and instrumental presentations. MCPS School Board and City Council members, including the Manassas Mayor, participate regularly by attending and reading aloud to young children. Books donated by citizens of the Manassas community are collected and distributed. Over the past three years, approximately 25,000 gently used books have been distributed to the children in Manassas. I sincerely hope that this initiative continues to thrive and grow for the children of Manassas.

Snoopy reading_0.JPG

MCPS Writing Committee—The MCPS writing committee was originally formed during the fall 2016 and consists of K-12 teachers across the division. The group’s primary goal was to review various writing programs and if deemed appropriate, the committee would recommend a writing program(s) for appropriate age groups across the division.  After review of 13 writing programs over a two-year period, the writing committee made two final recommendations for purchase. The two recommendations were intended to meet the needs of specific age groups’ writing needs, across buildings and throughout the division.

During the two-year period, K-12 committee members created a rubric for scoring writing programs and visited classrooms within the division’s schools to gain deeper insights into the writing needs of teachers and students within the division. After much review and discussion, the committee ended the second year with two writing recommendations in order to accommodate the needs of multiple grade levels.

Recommended Focus Areas for 2018-2019

  • Specific writing instruction and PD at Elementary and Middle Schools to include writing type and text structure
  • Writing lab at the Middle School with peer writing tutors from OHS assisting the Metz students (This would be a continuation of the program that began in 2017-2018.)
  • PD for all K-8 teachers in understanding how to integrate grammar instruction into writing for students.  Grammar should never become a series of random grammar worksheets.  Students must learn to apply rules of grammar to writing.