By Rosemary Russo
As the end of the year quickly approaches I wanted to take a moment to reflect on some accomplishments of the West Haven Public Schools. All of our students and staff should be proud of the events that occurred in 2018.
The year began with the construction of the new high school becoming a reality. By early spring the G wing was demolished, mid-summer you could begin to see construction taking shape and by October a Topping Off Ceremony was held. The Shops moved into their “Swing Space” in January so students were able to continue with hands on experiences in Wood, and Automotive.
February brought exciting academic news for our schools. State Report Cards were released and West Haven Public Schools growth was outstanding. Forest Elementary school achieved a ranking of “1” and all other elementary schools, the intermediate school and the middle school all achieved a ranking of 2. Forest would later be named a Blue Ribbon School by the Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. A huge honor for Mr. Thomas Hunt and all of his teachers and staff. Congratulations to the students at Forest Elementary School for working so diligently.
The spring months brought the regular struggles of the budget. As we all know this was a difficult year for West Haven. Once again employees of the BOE made sacrifices to insure our kids would still have everything they needed. Services or staffing would not be effected because of these sacrifices. Employees from the top down took pay freezes. The assistant superintendent took a pay cut. Teachers agreed to a 0 step movement and no raise. The Nurses followed with the same deal.
In June we celebrated student achievements and graduations. Bailey, Adult Ed, and of course West Haven High School students moved on to the next level of their education. Many of these students graduated with Honors.
August came and the new school year began. The record-high heat was a challenge but we made it through.Academics and sports were back in full swing.
October brought overwhelming sorrow in the passing of Mrs. Pam Gardner, Principal of West Haven High School. Hundreds of mourners paid their respect to this courageous woman who made such a difference in so many lives.
In November, Mrs. Dana Paredes was named Assistant High School Principal of the year. A well-deserved honor to a very hard working woman who wore many hats the past year at the High School.
Each of these achievements are noteworthy but achieving so many in one school year is spectacular. Thank you to our teachers, paras and administrators for all that you do for our children.