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Sunday, September 23, 2018

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July 27, 2012

Dear Westshire Families,

It is with great enthusiasm that I write this summer letter to the families of Westshire. I was asked this July to consider the Assistant Principal’s position at Westshire. Although I understood this meant leaving the Visions program, I knew almost immediately that I had to accept the position. I know many of your children through my work as Visions Director and the district’s Literacy Consultant, and I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to spend the next year supporting them. I have loved your small, wonderful school since I began at Rivendell in 2001, and I am honored to be part of its growth.

My role as Assistant Principal will include being the on-site supervisor with responsibilities for the day to day functions of the building. My duties will include handling discipline, communication with families, supervision of students, and classroom instruction. In addition, I will be team teaching literacy with Steve Crimmin in the 3rd/4th grade classroom. Spending time in classrooms and supporting teachers with instruction will be a priority for me.

One of our expectations at Westshire is that students participate in summer reading. Reading just six books over the summer can prevent the “summer slide” in your child’s reading progress and this can make a huge academic impact. Students in kindergarten through fourth grade had a reading bingo card. Students entering grades five and six had “must read” books too, that focused on the themes of acceptance, respect and belonging, core concepts of our elementary schools. Students will be discussing these books in their Language Arts class the first week of school so please make sure your child brings his/her summer reading to school on the first day

The Academy was buzzing with activity this July as many students attended our Summerscapes program. The grades one, two and three program was “wildly” successful as students learned about the science of animals, practiced their math skills through fun games, and read and wrote poetry during literacy time. They also had art class everyday and participated in a drama component. The highlight of their program was the final, culminating activity—a performance of scenes from the Jungle Book. More than one hundred people attended to cheer on our young stars! Our older students also enjoyed camp, spending four weeks creating projects about animal issues and completing their summer reading assignments. There was plenty of fun as well—they participated in exciting afternoon camps that included kayaking, Lego robotics, chemistry, abstract art and tennis. They also went on two very cool field trips to the Squam Lake Science Center and the Franklin Park Zoo. It was an amazing July!

You’ll be seeing new faces this year as we have added a few staff members to Westshire. Please take an opportunity to welcome them to our school:

  • Gordon Christie-Maples will be teaching 5th/6th grade language arts and social studies. Gordon joins us as an experienced educator having taught at both Rivendell Academy and Samuel Morey. His love of theater and local history will be a great asset to Westshire.
  • Kayla Konya also comes to us from Samuel Morey as a special education assistant. She has been at Rivendell for four years and is a community member herself. 
  • Alyssa Reiser will be teaching first grade. Alyssa recently received her Masters in Early Childhood Education from Wheelock College and has just moved to Tunbridge. She has taught in pre-school and has experience in responsive classroom and technology integration.
  • Anthony (Skip) Kunecki is our new physical education teacher. Skip graduated from the College at Brockport, State University of New York with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education and Exercise Physiology. He regularly participates in triathlons and marathons.

I know you will help me in welcoming them to our wonderful school community.

On Thursday, August 23rd, teachers will be working in their classrooms from 2:30-3:30 p.m. During that time families are invited to stop in and meet their new teachers. At 3:30, I’ll be doing a meet and greet in the library. Please join me for lemonade and an afternoon snack.

Here are a few notes and dates to help start our new year:

  • Meet Your Teachers & Assistant Principal—Wednesday, August 24th, 2:30-4:00
  • First day of school for Students—Monday, August 27th. We will all be meeting on the playground at 8:00 a.m. We invite parents to join us to see their children off and to wish them best for a new school year.
  • School begins at 8:00 a.m. and ends at 3:00 p.m. There is supervision on the playground starting at 7:30 a.m. Please do not drop your child off before 7:30 a.m.
  • Reminder: Thursdays are an early release day for students. Students are released at 1:45 p.m.

I am proud to be a part of this small community school and to work with such an experienced team of teachers. I am excited about my new role and about playing a part in the future of Westshire Elementary. Together we can make a difference for the children of Vershire and West Fairlee. I look forward to seeing you soon and beginning another engaging and enriching school year at Westshire.

Sincerely,

Tammy MacQueen,
Assistant Principal, Westshire Elementary School