Announcing our 2017 Play Champion and Playmaker of the Year!

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Playworks DC recently held our inaugural PowerPlayers Breakfast where we invited play supporters from across the region to come together for play, food, and inspiration before work. During the event, we took the time to honor two women who have contributed to the play movement in amazing ways.

2017 Play Champion,  Aimeé Cepeda, Ed.D.

Principal, River Terrace Special Education Campus

This award honors a school administration that has made outstanding contributions to the play movement. Play Champions go above and beyond to ensure their school allows time and space for play. Principal Dr. Cepeda is an exemplary partner. Even though this is her first time collaborating with Playworks at River Terrace Special Education Campus, she has worked to ensure that students of all ages and abilities are engaged in active play.

Dr. Cepeda has been serving students with exceptionalities since 2003 when she transitioned from IT to the field of education. She was a special education teacher in Prince George’s County Public Schools from 2003 – 2010. She joined the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) as a Special Education Coordinator in 2010 and has grown to the capacity of school leader during her tenure with DCPS.

Dr. Cepeda leads the only city-wide public school dedicated to serving students with profound different abilities and medical complexities.

Dr. Cepeda holds a BS in Computer Science from Strayer University, MS in Special Education from Johns Hopkins University, and a Doctor of Education degree from Howard University.

It’s a privilege to work with Dr. Cepeda and we are thrilled to announce her as our 2017 Play Champion.

2017 Playmaker of the Year, Nicole Preston

President & CEO, Special Olympics District of Columbia

Nicole Preston’s work with Special Olympics DC brings joy, fitness, and community to over 1,600 adults and children with intellectual or closely related developmental disabilities. Through sports and fitness training, Nicole and her team at Special Olympics DC hope to empower participants to lead healthier lives and develop valuable life skills. We are honored to have her as our Playmaker of the Year and celebrate her commitment to healthy play and inclusion.

Nicole Preston came to Special Olympics DC with nearly thirty years of experience in corporate and nonprofit organizations both in the U.S. and abroad. She is a lifelong athlete who has competed in many sports and continues to be an avid cyclist and tennis player. She serves on the board of the League of American Bicyclists and volunteers with several local organizations.