Westfield welcomes new teachers

Photo by David Prenatt Westfield Academy and Central School Board of Education members welcomed four new teachers to the faculty. Pictured left to right are: Aryle Goss, pre-school special education: Amanda Wachter, first grade; and Jody Wilmarth, high school art. Not pictured is Susan Harris, high school special education teacher.

WESTFIELD — Westfield Academy and Central School Board members welcomed four new teachers to the faculty. Attending the meeting were Amanda Wachter who will teach first grade; Jody Wilmarth, high school art; and Aryle Goss, pre-school special education. Susan Harris, who will teach high school special education was not able to attend.

In other business, the board reviewed Policy #5230, which deals with the acceptance of gifts. Members agreed that gifts must add to the overall welfare of the district and should benefit the greatest number of students as possible.

Board members also discussed the feedback they’ve received on the district’s open house, which was held prior to the first day of school. Sixth grade teacher Mrs. Karen Belcher told the board it was particularly good for students entering sixth grade because “the students’ lockers were all set and they practiced with their locks, so the first day of school went really, really well. There were only six children who did not attend.”

“I heard from parents that it got rid of all the angst. It was a good change,” Board Member Phyllis Hagen said. Board President Steve Cockram said, “There certainly was good attendance. It was actually packed.”

District Superintendent David Davison told the board, “For the most part, it was very positive, people enjoyed it, and there was an excellent turn-out. I think it ran very well for the first time that we’ve held open house before school started,” he added.

Davison also spoke to the board about staff development. State troopers Kelly and Campanella presented on-school safety and security procedures, and crisis response, including lock-downs and lock-outs.

Davison also told the board that the catch drains in the parking lot were completed last week. Work on the tennis courts is slated to begin this week, he said, and they are planning to paint the courts blue surrounded by green like the courts for the US Open.

Bids for the trench drains in the bus garage and the interior locks should be ready by the next board meeting, Davison said. He said the locks may be installed in-house, depending on how much contractors want to charge.

Board member Brenda Backus asked board members if they had seen the televised special on high school reform which aired on Friday evening. She noted that the show focused on how troubled America’s schools are and on what is lacking in our public education system.

“It really made me realize that we’re doing great at Westfield,” Backus told her fellow board members.