My name is Ami Engel and I am fortunate to work in partnership with all of you as principal. Westfield is a great school because of the amazing people that are part of it. We must continue to work in tandem to provide excellent education to our youth and safe, comfortable environments for them to develop into citizens we can all be proud to know.
I am proud to say that I have served the Algonquin community for my entire educational career. I taught at Jacobs High School for seven years and was passionate about success for all students. Over time I moved into administration at Jacobs where I was able to focus on the social and emotional growth of our students and the comprehensive education of our children through my work as a Dean of Students, Associate Principal, and Principal at HDJ. Starting at Westfield in 2015/2016, I have had the opportunity to engage with the younger students and support them on their path through education. It has been very rewarding!
All my work in schools has continually pointed to one overarching need: the need to work together (home, school, and community) to maximize the potential of our students.
- We need to:
- know what we expect of our students (based upon what they need to be successful at the next stages in their lives),
- set and communicate high expectations,
- provide various opportunities for them to practice,
- give feedback and support to help them along their journey, and
- have the courage to give them room to reach the goals.
I liken our work to learning to ride a bike. It is a scary task to teach a student to ride, especially the first time you take off those training wheels (I can still see the scrapes, bumps, and bruises on my children as I envision this day in my personal history)! We had to give them supports but also let them struggle a bit to reach their goal. Over time they were able to make it and now they can ride circles around me (literally!). Riding a bike and education are not so very different. They are journeys that require the help and encouragement of many people to reach the goal!
To support our students we need to partner together. I promise to be an active listener, an advocate for our children, and a team player with our stakeholders for the collective good of our students. I am confident that if each of you plays a similar role together we will be able to make great things happen for all our students!
So, be true to the yellow and blue, GO WOLVES!!
Ami J. Engel