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Foundation raises $22,081, names Mahoney, Byrne stars

Heather Mahoney

Michael ByrneTop Ottoson, AHS teachers

The strength of Arlington’s schools is directly related to the caliber of its teachers, and two were recently named stars --Heather Mahoney, sixth-grade English at Ottoson, and Michael Byrne, drama, Arlington High School. 

For 18 years, the Arlington Education Foundation (AEF) star-teacher appreciation program has given families an opportunity to recognize and honor teachers by making a donation to the foundation in the names of teachers at Arlington High School and Ottoson Middle School.

Mahoney’s students erupted with applause recently when she was presented with her award by AEF’s Glendalys Gandhi. In addition to teaching English language arts, Mahoney is also the coach of the girls’ junior varsity soccer team at Arlington High School. 

Byrne, AHS drama teacher and director of AHS theatrical productions, was a co-recipient of an AEF Innovations in Education grant to fund the Unity Public Art Project in the fall of 2017.

The Unity Project raised consciousness about the labels we give ourselves and others and explored how those labels both support and limit building interconnected communities.

Those who receive the most star certificates receive the award.

All money raised through the program pays for AEF’s grant-making mission to enrich the Arlington Public Schools, a June 22 foundation news release says.  

This school year, nearly 800 AEF star certificates were awarded, recognizing teachers and staff in every school across the district and raising $22,081 for the foundation. 

For more than 25 years, AEF has been advancing public education in Arlington. The nonprofit foundation awards approximately $120,000 annually in grants, funding systemwide initiatives and creative new projects that enhance public education throughout the school district.  For more information or to make a donation, visit

This news announcement was published Sunday, June 24, 2018.

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