Principal's Message

Principal's Message

Happy New Year!! It may seem odd and a bit out of season to be greeted with such a salutation, but for those of us involved in education, whether as a student, parent, or staff member, we realize that in many ways this is the start of a brand-new year.

As the new year begins, we take time to reflect on the past year. We reflect on our year, remembering both our victories and challenges. We set goals and put plans in motion to achieve our dreams. Specifically, for Westwood, it was a year of changes with new administrators and teachers in new positions. It was also a year rooted in traditions such as the school musical, the Westwood Walk, and Fifth Grade Graduation. We all celebrated with Andrew Elias as he progressed from winning the school, district, and regional spelling bee to representing West Geauga Local School District in the Scripps National Spelling Bee. We welcomed another enthusiastic, bright-eyed group of kindergartners and sent off fifth graders with well wishes and fond memories. As an educational team, we experienced great success with state testing; our achievement levels and performance index is one of the highest in school history. Our students experienced personal and academic growth. As learners, students became more independent and reflective. They took ownership of learning, were willing to take more risks, and grew in their ability to persevere when concepts and tasks were rigorous. As active members of a school community, students became excited about learning and wanted to share their learning with others.

So as our new year gets started, we celebrate and we look forward with excitement and anticipation to new opportunities and challenges. As a staff, we are beginning to set goals for the year. We are examining our instructional practices and considering the needs of our students. We always strive to be better; to meet students where they are as individuals and move them forward. We will work to prepare students for the twenty-first century with critical thinking skills and academic stamina. We will continue to focus on empowering students to map out the road to their academic success; we will set our sights on students expressing their thinking orally and through their written work. We will make student talk and collaboration a priority. We will focus on conceptual understanding instead of the memorization of rules and algorithms. So, here’s to a new school year; a year full of opportunities and possibilities; a year of working together and learning from each other; a year filled with hope, wonder, and endless opportunities to learn. May it be the best year yet.

Deborah Nanney

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