PRINCIPAL Tracy Gaither


ap for drew elem

I have worked in the field of education for over 23 years in which I’ve served as a classroom teacher and a mathematics coach. I am originally from Brooklyn, New York where I taught for 13 years before moving to Arlington, Virginia. I’ve worked as a classroom teacher at Arlington Traditional School and served as a mathematics coach at Carlin Springs, Campbell and Oakridge Elementary Schools.

I have a Master’s Degree in Africana Studies (State University of New York at Albany), Math Education and Educational Policy (University of Virginia) and Education Leadership (George Mason University).

I am excited to be the Principal of Dr. Charles R. Drew Elementary School and look forward to continuing the great work we’ve begun with our Drew Elementary families, staff, students, and community.

QUOTE: “Students should actively create their learning rather than passively consume it.” – John Spencer



Email: james.welch@apsva.u

James Welch

Mr. Welch brings 17 years of experience in education. He presently serves as a STEM Teacher at Oakridge Elementary School for Arlington Public Schools. Mr. Welch has a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Georgia State University in Atlanta, GA and a Master’s degree in Elementary Education from Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, AZ. He also earned the Administration & Supervision PreK-12 License from Longwood University, and earned his Virginia Postgraduate Professional License this year.  Mr. Welch serves as the Senior Training Advisor for the Coaction Collective in Washington, DC supporting teams to develop new partnerships with school districts nationally. In this role he has facilitated family engagement training for Breakthrough School in Cleveland, Ohio and infuses equity, diversity, and inclusion content into family engagement approach. He also serves as the Family Engagement Teacher Trainer for the Flamboyan Foundation in Washington, DC where he delivers highly rated family engagement sessions to educators of all experience ranges. He also supports session development by delivering feedback, providing guidance, and sharing content expertise. Mr. Welch is excited to join Dr. Charles R. Drew Elementary School community as the assistant principal.