Westfield High School is destined for amazing things in 2019-20. I am so fortunate to lead a school with teachers who are passionate and committed to helping our students learn and grow. I am also fortunate to have such focused, responsible and gifted students, supported by parents who see the value in a quality education. This is clearly a winning combination that allows us to follow the path of excellence. Excellence is not the result of a good intention or clever slogan. It is not a vague value that is easily achieved. It comes from a strong, urgent desire to improve how we do things when we see something we can do better. We are working hard to ensure that Westfield High School will be recognized as a top performing school in academics, athletics, and student activities. It has been said that: “Tentative efforts lead to tentative outcomes. Therefore give yourself fully to your endeavors. The trials you encounter will introduce you to your strengths. Remain steadfast...and one day you will build something worthy of your potential.” As we strive for excellence, we will not be tentative.
As we evaluate and celebrate our past success, we also know that we can be even better this year. We are working hard to ensure that our students are prepared for the day after graduation - to be Life Ready. Within our wellness initiative, we are striving to improve the physical and mental wellness of each student now and for their future by connecting them to their passions and purpose in life and teaching them to separate their identity from their performance. We will connect students to caring adults, extra-curriculars, and community involvement. My staff and I have also been discussing the importance of career and college readiness. We believe that proficiency in an identified set of skills- literacy, analytical reasoning, communication, and problem solving to name a few- are necessary for ALL students to be prepared for the day AFTER graduation. We are striving for ALL students to be CAREER ready. Students need to understand the reason why they are attending college is to continue their preparation for a career. All educational roads- at WHS and at the post-secondary level- lead to a career. Westfield High School will be purposeful in developing comprehensive strategies that bridge the gap between education and career/workforce preparation. This shift in how we view preparation will be yet another layer in ensuring our students have every advantage necessary for their success that day AFTER graduation.
Westfield High School is a great place to be. I believe that strong community-school relationships are essential to high academic, extra-curricular and athletic achievement. Find any successful school and you will also find parents and community members that are involved and supportive of the school. This community recognizes the value of educational, athletic and extracurricular activities. Therefore, Westfield High School expects our students to excel both inside and outside of the classroom. I hope you are proud of our students as they reflect these expectations through their character, courage, and commitment. Your support is greatly appreciated and remember - IT’S GREAT TO BE A SHAMROCK!
Shamrock Save A Life Walk and October's Month of Kindness
Beloved WHS Innovation Specialist, Mr. Joel Bruns, signs off of the daily PA announcements the same way each and every day. Ask a WHS student and they will likely recite his salutation verbatim… “Be kind, work hard, and make the world a better place.” Those words seem to really resonate at WHS and in our community during the months of September and October.
In accordance with national Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, WHS hosted our third Shamrock Save a Life Walk on September 10 at Riverview Health Stadium.
There are some startling statistics surrounding suicide:
- Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for ages 15–34
- About every 12 minutes, someone in this country intentionally ends his/her life
- 19% of Indiana HS students report they seriously considered suicide
- 11% of Indiana HS students report they actually attempted suicide – this is 2nd highest of the 43 states surveyed
SOURCES: CDC 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Survey & Community Health Network
At WHS, we believe that suicide prevention may be a matter of a caring person with the right knowledge being available in the right place at the right time. That is why we collaborated with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and brought various students, staff, and community members together to share important information about suicide and suicide prevention. We also were able to use this opportunity to bring our school community closer together and show students they are not alone.
Westfield Washington Schools also hosted the Health & Wellness Symposium one week later, where different experts shared critical information related to mental health, substance awareness, and healthy relationships/social media.
Building off of our efforts in the month of September, we have declared October as our “Month of Kindness” at WHS. October is also Bully Prevention month. In addition to various anti-bullying messages and videos shared with the entire student body, various clubs have been leading kindness campaigns, with more to come as the month goes on. Accordingly, mentors shared a message on kindness with the Freshman class in CORE advisory on October 7 and we are encouraging all students to practice THE WESTFIELD WAY. Built on a foundation of love, each day as a Shamrock, we make a pledge to be kinder, more positive, more grateful, and more present. We want all students to treat others with respect and dignity, as well as embrace and celebrate diversity. Kindness is contagious. Let’s all do our part and pass it on.