Dear WTA Students, Staff, Parents, Families, and Community Partners,
I want to offer all of you my sincerest thanks for welcoming me into the WTA Family!
As we all know, change is difficult, and transitioning to an entirely different school system is always slightly terrifying. That said, from the moment I walked through the door on July 11, I have been overwhelmed by everyone’s enthusiasm, kindness, and generosity. And, truth be told, I feel that, rather than having come to an unfamiliar place, I have, in fact, come home!
Students and staff, because of YOUR hard work, professionalism, and dedication, WTA has built and maintained a reputation for success. I know that, by remaining committed to our high expectations and tradition of excellence, together, we can take WTA to the next level of achievement. As your principal, I am positively exuberant about the possibilities that lie ahead of us. More than anything, I am grateful for your invitation to become part of the WTA Family and to join you for the journey!
In closing, please know how grateful I am for all that you do on behalf of WTA!
Joe Langone, Principal
Hello WTA Family!
It’s hard to imagine, but we already have five weeks of school under our belts, and I’m pleased to report that the 2016-2017 School Year is off to an awesome start. In particular, our new freshman class has integrated itself very nicely into our school community, and the students have fallen into the routine of high school life and the exploratory rotations like pros. Congratulations on a job very well done!
October is shaping up to be a VERY busy month at WTA! On Monday, October 3, our student representatives will give a presentation to the Westfield School Committee on recent happenings at WTA. On Thursday, October 6, we will host our first annual Alumni Picnic from 6:00 to 8:00 in the evening. On Friday, October 21, we will be hosting officials from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education who will be touring our Aviation Tech Program and assisting us with the Chapter 74 Program Certification Process. Finally on Friday, October 28, we will be hosting Assistant Massachusetts Secretary of Education Robert Le Page, who will be touring our technical programs and joining us for lunch.
As I begin my first October as principal of WTA, I want to sincerely thank everyone—students, parents and families, faculty, staff, and community partners—for the warm welcome and ongoing support you have provided me since my arrival on July 11. Working with you and among you each day in this vibrant and dynamic community is truly a gift, and I count myself to be the luckiest guy in the world for the opportunity!
In closing, I encourage everyone in the WTA Family to tune into “Tiger Talk: The Rob and Joe Show” each Thursday morning at 8:00 on 89.5 WSKB FM Radio for news of all things WTA. Remember, “You’re in the flow with Rob and Joe!” Also, our very own Tiger’s Pride Restaurant will open officially for the 2016-2017 School Year on Wednesday, October 12. You can access the current menu here on the WTA Website or on our Facebook Page.
And, as always, please know how grateful I am for all that you do on behalf of WTA!
Well, as I look out my window onto Smith Avenue, the grounds are covered in a blanket of leaves. The days are growing shorter, and there is a fairly consistent snap in the air at all times. It’s November, no doubt about it!
November is going be a very busy month here at the Academy:
Please remember that there will be no school for students on the following days:
In closing—in advance of Veterans Day--I want to personally thank all of our active duty, reserve, and retired military personnel for your loyal and devoted service to our country. God bless you for your courage and generosity! I also want to extend to everyone my sincerest best wishes for a happy and safe Thanksgiving Holiday! Thanksgiving is our annual opportunity as a nation to adopt an “attitude of gratitude” for all of the blessings we have received. And this year, among the blessing for which I am most grateful is that of being principal of WTA, which has made me happier than words could adequately express!
Again, Happy Thanksgiving, and, as always, please know how grateful I am for all that you do on behalf of WTA!
‘Tis not the weight of jewel or plate,
Or the fondle of silk or fur;
’Tis the spirit in which the gift is rich,
As the gifts of the Wise Ones were,
And we are not told whose gift was gold,
Or whose was the gift of myrrh.
From The Spirit of the Gift, by Edmund Vance Cooke
Well, it's hard to imagine, but the Winter Holidays are upon us!
As 2016 moves toward its close, I find myself doing a lot of reflecting. In particular, I have been thinking about the things for which I have been most grateful during this year and the things for which I am most hopeful in the year to come. Without qualification, I am most indebted to all of the wonderful people—staff, families, community partners, and, MOST especially, students—who welcomed and embraced me as WTA's new principal this past July and who have truly become an extension of my own family. And equally without qualification, I am hopeful that we will approach the New Year 2017 as a blank book and—together—seize the opportunity to write the next chapter in WTA’s utterly amazing story!
In closing, please accept my sincerest best wishes for good health, happiness, and much continued success throughout the New Year. And, as always, please know how grateful I am for all that you do on behalf of WTA!
Hello WTA Family!
Welcome to the New Year 2017! I hope you all had a wonderful winter vacation and were able to enjoy a lot of rest and relaxation in the company of family and friends.
Traditionally, the New Year has been a time for making “resolutions”, promises we make to ourselves or to do something different, especially with regard to improving our behaviors or lifestyles in some way. Incidentally, that reminds me of the story of a high school principal (not me, by the way) who decided to post his teachers' New Year's resolutions on the Main Office Bulletin Board. As teachers gathered around the bulletin board, a great commotion started. One of the teachers was complaining. “Why weren’t my resolutions posted?” She was throwing such a temper tantrum that the principal hurried to his office to see if he had overlooked her resolutions. Sure enough, he had mislaid them on his desk. As he read her resolutions, he was astounded. This teacher's first resolution was not to let little things upset her in the New Year!
As we enter 2017, filled with a sense of promise and possibility, and think about how we can “do things differently”, may I suggest that we spend more of our time loving each other; more of our time listening instead of talking; and more of our time remembering that our lives are not measured by the breaths we take so much as they are by the moments that take our breath away? Think about it…
Again, happy New Year, and, as always, please know how grateful I am for all that you do on behalf of WTA!
We begin the month of February here at the Academy on the heels of our annual Joint School Committee/General Advisory Committee Meeting, which was held on January 23. As part of that meeting, our Mayor and the members of the Westfield School Committee had the opportunity to tour our technical programs; interact with our staff, students, and community and business partners; and experience first-hand our technical programs’ many successes and accomplishments. I want to extend my heartfelt gratitude to Mayor Brian Sullivan, Mrs. Cindy Sullivan, Mrs. Diane Mayhew, Mr. Ramon Diaz, Mr. William Duval, Mr. Jeffrey Gosselin, Mr. Kevin Sullivan, and Superintendent Stefan Czaporowski for their on-going and steadfast commitment to the mission and work of WTA. In a word, we simply couldn’t do it without your support. Thank you!
Among other things, February brings with it the celebration of National Career Technical Education Week, which will take place from February 13 to 17. As part of our observance here at the Academy, we will be hosting visits for prospective Grade 8 applicants from North and South Middle School on Tuesday, February 14 and Wednesday, February 15. We will also continue our tradition of “Adopt a School” on Thursday, February 16, when a cohort of our students, accompanied by their CTE Teachers, will head to Southampton Road school to do live demonstrations and to read to all grade levels. We thank Principal Kathy O’Donnell for hosting us, and we are looking forward to spending the morning as part of the SRS Community of Learners! Finally, we will complete our CTE Week Observances with our annual Allied Health Department CNA Pinning Ceremony. Congratulations to our students who will receive their pins, and many thanks to program instructors Maureen Baillargeon, Heather Potito, and Sherry Ferrier for all their hard work in preparing this year’s recipients for this momentous occasion!
As a reminder, there will be a half day on Friday, February 10 for district-wide ERSD. Also don’t forget that schools will be closed from Monday, February 20, through Friday, February 24, for Winter Vacation.
Happy Valentine’s Day, and, as always, please know how grateful I am for all that you do on behalf of WTA!
Hello WTA Family!
As I look out my window on Smith venue, I see that, thanks to some relatively warm days, the snow is
really starting to melt. Here’s hoping we can get through March with as few—if any— flakes as possible!
Among other things, March is the month during which the annual state assessment cycle begins. Our
Tenth Graders will complete MCAS English Language Arts Testing from Tuesday, March 21 through
Thursday, March 23, with make-ups scheduled for the following week. Make up sessions will be
scheduled for the following week. Math and Science Testing occur in May and June respectively, and I
will provide more details as we get closer to those administrations.
While none of us want our Tenth Graders to become overly anxious about testing, it is still extremely
important to remind them that successful completion of the MCAS is, in fact, a graduation requirement
in Massachusetts. You can help us ensure your children’s success by making sure they
If you have any questions and/or concerns about this year’s MCAS Testing, please don’t hesitate to call
me at (413) 572-6533 or email me at email@example.com.
As always, please know how grateful I am for all that you do on behalf of WTA!
As we enter into April—and hopefully spring—I would like to highlight WTA’s association with and participation in SkillsUSA.
SkillsUSA Massachusetts is a state association of SkillsUSA, a national organization serving more than 300,000 high school and college students and professional members who are enrolled in training programs in technical, skilled, and service occupations, including allied health occupations. Here in Massachusetts, SkillsUSA serves more than 34,000 students, teachers, and administrators within 51 high school and college programs. The mission of SkillsUSA is to prepare high performance workers by providing quality learning experiences for students in leadership, teamwork, citizenship, and character development. It builds and reinforces self-confidence, work attitudes, and communication skills. It emphasizes total quality at work, high ethical standards, superior work skills, life-long education, and pride in the dignity of work. SkillsUSA also promotes understanding of the free enterprise system and involvement in community service activities.
Here at WTA, we have a vibrant and active SkilsUSA Cohort of approximately 40 students. On Friday, March 17, together with their advisor, Mrs. Maureen Baillargeon and the other members of our faculty, to participate in SkillsUSA District Competitions. Participants who earned gold or silver medals at this level move on to statewide competition, which takes place in Marlborough this year from April 27 through 29. I am thrilled to announce that the following juniors and seniors received gold and silver medals in district competition and will be advancing to states:
Additionally, sophomore Jasmine Brooks was awarded a bronze medal for Customer Service.
Congratulations to all of our SkillsUSA participants on a job VERY well done. We are SO proud of your accomplishments and we wish you good luck and continued success at states. Go Tigers!!!
In closing, as always, please know how grateful I am for all that you do on behalf of WTA!
Well, it’s May, which means were officially in the home stretch of the 2016-2017 School Year!
Last month, I was pleased to highlight the accomplishments of our WTA Skills USA Cohort. For May, I’d like to call your attention to two amazing accomplishments on the part of our students:
Congratulations on a job VERY well done! Special thanks to Ms. Karen Tyburski and Mrs. Deborah Falcetti for their dedication and support!
Among other things, May is also the month during which our Tenth Graders will complete MCAS Math Testing on Tuesday, May 16 and Wednesday, May 17, with make-ups scheduled for the following week.
While none of us want our Tenth Graders to become overly anxious about testing, it is still extremely important to remind them that successful completion of the MCAS is, in fact, a graduation requirement in Massachusetts. You can help us ensure your children’s success by making sure they
If you have any questions and/or concerns about this year’s MCAS Testing, please don’t hesitate to call me at (413) 572-6533 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As always, please know how grateful I am for all that you do on behalf of WTA!
The Westfield Public Schools is committed to the social and emotional health of our students, and we are contacting you today to inform you of an issue that may be of concern. You may be aware of the new NetFlix series, 13 Reasons Why, which is raising concern from suicide prevention experts about the potential risks posed by its sensationalized treatment of youth suicide.
In recent days, a number of our students have been talking about 13 Reasons Why. The story’s main character is a high school student who commits suicide and leaves behind thirteen tapes which detail the reasons behind her taking her own life. The series deals with challenging issues including bullying, cyberbullying, depression, and abuse. The series is rated Mature Audiences and contains graphic scenes.
We are writing to you today to inform you of the show and to offer you some guidance on having a discussion with your son or daughter should the topic arise. Teenage suicide is an extremely sensitive topic that both children and adults struggle to understand. If the topic of 13 Reasons Why or suicide is brought up by your child, we encourage you to:
Our school counselors and staff have been made aware of the impact this show and are prepared to provide you any supports you may need. If you have a concern or questions, we encourage you to contact your professional school guidance and adjustment counselors at (413) 572-6533.
And, as always, please know how grateful we are for all that you do on behalf of WTA and the Westfield Public Schools!
Superintendent of Schools