Thomas Osborn of Amherst has been selected as the first principal of the Westfield K-8 Virtual School, to begin on Aug. 2. “Dr. Osborn’s enthusiasm and energy for this new school will set the students and staff up for success,” said Superintendent Stefan Czaporowski in making the announcement. “I am honored to be joining the Westfield School District as the principal of the Westfield Virtual School. I am looking forward to providing students and families with the highest quality education at Westfield Virtual School and supporting children for whom virtual instruction is the best fit,” Osborn said. Osborn is entering his ninth year in administration and educational leadership. Originally from Queens, N.Y., he has leadership experience in both general and special education, as well as teaching experience in brick-and-mortar schools in New York and Massachusetts, and in virtual schools. “Virtual education has been around for a long time – we’re finally seeing the technology we need to fully embrace it,” he said, adding, “It’s my goal to provide students in Westfield the highest possible excellence in education. I’m really excited to join the team and become part of the community.” Osborn’s educational background includes a bachelor of arts in English literature, a master’s in teaching, a certificate of advanced graduate studies in educational leadership, and a doctorate degree in education. He resides in Amherst with his two children and wife, where he has a small hobby farm with chickens, ducks, geese, and three goats, and is working to grow his own vegetables. He hopes to harvest many cloves of garlic this year. “It is my privilege to lead the new Westfield Virtual Academy and the many talented teachers and students here. My goal is to begin strong with a well-researched and planned program to open the 2021-2022 school year,” Osborn said.
Mary Cieplik of Longmeadow has accepted the position as the Southampton Road Elementary School principal beginning on August 2. “Ms. Cieplik comes across as a positive and hard-working person who truly cares about the students and staff that she will serve,” said Superintendent Stefan Czaporowski in his announcement. “I was impressed that Ms. Cieplik transitioned from a central administration position to a classroom position during the COVID crisis. Her experience is unique and invaluable,” he added. For her part, Cieplik said she is thrilled to return to the district where she began her education, having attended Abner Gibbs in kindergarten through second grade before her family moved to West Springfield. “I am beyond excited to join such a dedicated group of educators. I look forward to enhancing the important work already being done at Southampton Road Elementary School,” she said. In 2005, Cieplik began her 16-year public education career as a middle school math teacher in the Hampden-Wilbraham Regional School District. She held that position for six years before being selected as the assistant principal at the Thornton Burgess Middle School in Hampden for three years, during which she also had a dual role as the math coordinator for grades K-8. Cieplik then served five years as principal of the Granite Valley Middle School in Monson, before becoming director of curriculum and instruction, a position she held for one year. When that position was eliminated due to COVID-19 budget cuts, she returned to the classroom as a grade 3 teacher in Longmeadow Public Schools for a portion of the 2020-2021 school year. Both her undergraduate and graduate degrees were earned at Western New England College. Prior to starting her career in education, Cieplik worked in the life insurance industry for 12 years, holding positions as a senior lifetime consultant, client advocate consultant and corporate trainer. Cieplik is looking forward to meeting members of the Southampton Road community. On Wednesday, Aug. 4, from 3 to 4 p.m., and on Thursday, Aug. 12, from 1 to 2 p.m., she welcomes people to stop by the school to have a “popsicle with the principal.” “I’m here to serve the students, families and the community. I love being a principal – it really is a gift to work in education,” Cieplik said.
Jonathan Scagel of Hatfield has accepted the position of principal of the Fort Meadow Early Childhood Center beginning on Aug. 16. “Mr. Scagel’s commitment to a ‘students first’ philosophy in all decisions was prevalent in his meeting with me and is evident in his work at Pioneer Valley Regional School District,” said Superintendent Stefan Czaporowski. He added, “I believe that with over twenty years of special education experience as a teacher, Mr. Scagel truly understands the inclusive practices at Fort Meadow Early Childhood Center.” “I’m very excited. I’ve worked with all ages, and I really enjoy working with the younger students. It’s important to build those foundational skills at an early age,” Scagel said. Scagel has been superintendent for the four-town Pioneer Valley Regional School District in Franklin County for the past three years, after serving as special education teacher and transition skills program supervisor in the district for one year. Altogether, Scagel has been an educator for 27 years, 24 as a special education teacher working in the Hadley, Springfield and Northampton public schools, LPVEC Career and Technical Education Center, and Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School. “I look forward to cultivating and maintaining unified relationships with all stakeholders to achieve common goals. I am a dedicated student advocate; continuously fostering, nurturing and maintaining a safe, positive and respectful learning environment conducive to academic success,” Scagel said. Scagel received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from UMass Amherst. He is currently enrolled in a School and Leadership Management Certificate Program at Harvard University. He lives in Hatfield with his wife and two sets of twins ages 15 and 13. “I was very excited that the superintendent is giving me this opportunity,” Scagel said, adding that Czaporowski has a strong reputation in the state as a superintendent for “thinking outside the box. I’m excited to be working for him.”
Westfield Public Schools Superintendent Stefan Czaporowski announced this week the hiring of several key administrators in the district. Thomas Osborn of Amherst will be the new principal of the new Westfield K-8 Virtual School, Mary Cieplik of Longmeadow has been hired as the new principal of Southampton Road Elementary School, and Jonathan Scagel of Hatfield will be the new principal for the Fort Meadow Early Childhood Center. All three are new to the district. Czaporowski also announced that Abner Gibbs Elementary School Principal Stacy Burgess has been appointed as the new principal of Paper Mill Elementary School. Southampton Road Principal Kathleen O’Donnell, who will be retiring on Oct. 12, will serve as the interim principal at Abner Gibbs while a search committee for that position is formed. “My five years at Abner Gibbs have been wonderful. I am grateful for the time I spent there. I am very excited to be joining the Paper Mill community. I look forward to building relationships with students, staff, and families,” Burgess said. Rena Piper has also been selected as a new elementary assistant principal for the district. She will be serving four days a week at Southampton Road and one day at Abner Gibbs. Piper has taught in Westfield Public Schools since 1993, most recently as district math coach for three years. “I am happy that we filled these positions. I think we have some quality candidates. There are a lot of openings all across the state, and we have been fortunate to find high quality candidates,” Czaporowski said. The superintendent said the district is still needs to hire for several key positions, including a health and safety coordinator, and a supervisor of counseling and social emotional learning. Both positions, as well as staffing and supplies for the Virtual K-8 School and eight new school adjustment counselors will be paid for out of the three-year Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER II) funding, of which Westfield has $4,808,471 over the next three years. Czaporowski said funding for new counseling positions is available through ESSER grants to districts across the state. “Counselors are in high demand; they can work for any district they want,” he said. Other positions that the district is having difficulty filling include paraprofessionals for all the schools, and a Spanish language and two biology and life science teachers at Westfield High School. Available jobs are listed on the Westfield, MA Public Schools Facebook page and at schoolsofwestfield.org. https://thewestfieldnews.com/new-principals-hired-for-westfield-schools/
Westfield Public Schools is accepting applications on a rolling basis for Westfield Virtual School. Westfield Virtual School is a K-8 school serving up to 210 students who reside in Westfield. There is one virtual classroom at each grade level, with up to 20 students per classroom in grades K-2 and up to 25 students per classroom in grades 3-8. The student day will be 8:00 am - 2:30 pm. Lunch and Exploration time will be scheduled from 11:30 - 12:30 daily at all grade levels. WVS is our newest district school, and we are pleased to offer this remote learning opportunity for our students and families. If you are interested in this school and would like to learn more, please contact the Office of Curriculum and Instruction at 562-2298. https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSczruZf57IEVWEmxYqQazy5PbrA2AshOwEoZaaufLkH8HJz_Q/viewform?fbzx=3712542770176237598&fbclid=IwAR2vJ9VY7zI2la2_pW1Io_Ojy5jqXOEWhxa7p5S1paATdJG6NsX9izk1cIw
Last night was a great night of Westfield Starfires baseball for staff and students at Franklin Avenue Elementary School. Ms. Baker sang the national anthem and Principal Tolpa threw out the first pitch. Staff and students cheered for our hometown team. Special thanks to Ms. Annalise Eak for organizing this fun filled event for Franklin Ave School.
KEEPING KIDS SAFE AND SECURE ONLINE: A PROJECT SAFE CHILDHOOD PRESENTATION FOR PARENTS IN COLLABORATION WITH THE US ATTORNEY’S OFFICE, THE HAMPDEN DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE, THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, AND THE WESTFIELD POLICE DEPARTMENT. Scan the QR Code to register JOIN US FOR THIS VIRTUAL PRESENTATION: WEDNESDAY, JUNE 16, 2021 6:30PM-8:00PM (Login begins at 6:15PM) This presentation is for ADULTS ONLY. Content is inappropriate for children.
Westfield Public Schools is pleased to offer a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination clinic to our students (age 12 and up) and community this Thursday, May 27th. The clinics will be at Westfield High School (WHS) from 9:15 a.m. - 11:45 a.m., and Westfield Middle School (WMS) from 12:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. There is no cost for this service or the vaccine.
The last day of school for the 2020-2021 school year is June 16. It will also be an early release day. Thank you!
Earlier this week, Kindergarten staff and students at Southampton Road Elementary School suited up (scrubs and all!) and performed vowel surgery.
Congratulations to Colton Rowe, the grand prize winner of the first Highland Husky Buck raffle. Colton has perfect attendance for the school year so far. Students have been earning Husky Bucks throughout term 2 for having PAW-some attendance. Congratulations to all our raffle winners!
If you missed "Superintendent's Spotlight" yesterday, click on the link below. This week we talked about MCAS and the work of our Attendance Task Force to improve student attendance throughout the district. Thanks for watching! https://youtu.be/TdID-c8dHfQ
Students at Advantage Truck Group (ATG) through Westfield Technical Academy’s (WTA) co-op program have the opportunity to work on trucks up close and gain the experience of working in a real garage. Riley Sullivan, a senior in WTA’s Automotive Technology shop and lone member of the co-op with ATG, said his job involves working on the various parts of each truck. “I do everything from oil changes to engine work, sometimes some transmission work, I do brakes, basically whatever they tell me to do I do it,” he said. Once he graduates in the spring, Sullivan said he wants to stay with ATG for as long as possible. Click here for the article in The Reminder: https://bit.ly/3cS7PVo.
Adopt a Classroom, an initiative of Westfield Education to Business Alliance has gone virtual again!! Bridget Leahy, Education Manager at Amelia Park Children's Museum, took students from Megan Hysler's 1st Grade Class on a virtual tour of Amelia Park Children's Museum! During the student's science block the last two days, students were not only able to tour the Museum but launch into the field of Space Exploration. The culminating activity was a STEAM project where students got to create and launch their own straw rockets. Megan Hysler- 1st-grade Teacher Abner Gibbs and Highland Avenue- "This virtual field trip program was a unique, hands-on experience my students will never forget. During this time of distance learning, I have found so much value in the ability to connect students with their community even while they are stuck at home. Thank you, Bridget, from Amelia Park, for giving my students this opportunity and engaging them in the world of space exploration!" Bridget Leahy- Education Manager of Amelia Park Children's Museum- "It was an amazing experience working with very bright children and educators from Westfield Public Schools. Their willingness to learn and adapt to virtual learning continues to amaze me!"