Our Dynamic Duo!

Gaby and Judy
Gabriela Rivas and Judy Apostolico-Buck

Judy Apostolico-Buck, Principal

Judy Apostolico-Buck

Judy Apostolico-Buck, who has touched the lives of countless young people through her visionary leadership as principal of Ashlawn Elementary School and Barcroft Elementary School, was named the 2019 Principal of the Year by Arlington Public Schools. A graduate of James Madison University and the University of Virginia, Judy Apostolico-Buck first worked at Arlington Public Schools as a student-teacher and has spent her entire 32-year career with the school district. She held a variety of positions in Arlington Public Schools, including itinerant resource teacher for gifted students, assistant principal of Taylor Elementary School, and supervisor of early childhood education programs, gaining a wealth of experience that has served her well as a school administrator. From 2010 to 2017, Judy Apostolico-Buck served as principal of Ashlawn Elementary School, which earned numerous accolades and maintained a tradition of academic excellence under her leadership, and in 2017, brought her creative approaches to problem solving, commitment to collaborative leadership, and passion for lifelong learning to Barcroft Elementary School. Ms. Apostolico-Buck strives to build trust and understanding with students and parents, using her knowledge of early childhood development and the importance of treating each student as an individual to create a responsive, supportive classroom environment. In addition to advocating for research-based teaching practices, Ms. Apostolico-Buck facilitates open discussion among faculty and staff members to ensure that teachers have the resources they need to properly support their students.

Gaby Rivas, Assistant Principal

Gaby Rivas

Gabriela “Gaby” Rivas is serving her fourth year as assistant principal at Barcroft Elementary in Arlington, VA. Before that, Gaby worked at the Arlington Public Schools’ Department of Teaching and Learning, where she served as the ESOL Elementary Specialist for the district’s 23 elementary schools. Gaby designed and facilitated professional development on literacy workshop, math workshop, co-teaching, and instructional coaching at the local, state, and international level. Gaby holds a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University, a Master’s in Education from Marymount University, a Reading Specialist post-Master’s from the University of Virginia and a post-Master’s in Administration Leadership from George Washington University. Gaby is currently pursuing a Doctoral degree in Education Leadership and Policy Studies at VA Tech University. Gaby came to the United States when she was 10 years old and learned English as her second language. In fact, Gaby has always loved studying different languages since she was a child. She speaks Spanish fluently and also studied French and Japanese. She lives in Arlington, VA, with her husband and six children. Gaby Rivas loves to learn and credits this to past and current teachers and mentors who inspire her every day.