Welcome back to what promises to be an exciting year for Westmont. We are delighted to bring our new families into our community and know that all of our established families will embrace our newcomers into the Westmont family. Thank you to those of you who are buddy families this year. We look forward to seeing all of you on September 14 at our annual Back-to-School Social.
We had a wonderful summer camp experience and were pleased to have so many of you and your children participate. As I mentioned in my summer letter, we had 24 young alum return to participate in our Junior Camp Counselor program. This program, now in its 7th year, continues to grow in popularity. Our young campers and counselors benefit in so many ways through their daily interactions. Seeing the growth and maturity that our counselors brought to the table reinforces that a strong foundation is key. One of the great highlights for me this summer was the return of one of our alum as a social media intern and extended camp assistant. Samantha Bittman, a Fordham University Junior and my own Kindergarten student from the class of 2005, was also a founding junior camp counselor. Samantha has returned annually since and became a valued employee this year. If you followed her Westmont summer blogs or her Facebook and Instagram postings, you saw how she related her Westmont beginnings to her observations of a Montessori education up close and personal to the person she is today. I have watched her grow over the years and observed her come full circle this year in her role of teacher and writer. I am so appreciative of her deep insights, so proud of her efforts and in awe of her understanding of our philosophy. Like I always say, “don’t blink.”
On a more practical note, summer is always a good time for us to do any major updates or work on the school building in preparation for a new school year. We painted the Movement Room, had many rugs replaced or cleaned, had floors buffed, and the driveway resealed and painted. Earlier this spring, after years of discussion and investigation, our Board of Trustees approved a generator installation. As many of you know, when we lose power, we not only lose light, heat, ac, internet and phone service, but we also lose our water, due to our well. The state of NJ will not allow a school to operate for a specific length of time without water, and we have struggled with these challenges for years. Thanks to the detailed footwork of our Board Vice Chair and alum parent Dan O’Donnell the seamless installation occurred after camp ended and before our staff returned. You cannot miss this beautiful and welcome sight as you enter our driveway. We look forward to years of uninterrupted school days to come.
Stories like the above make us even more proud to be entering our 55th year of educating young minds and hearts in our beautiful facility. We have much to be thankful for and to celebrate. We have reached this milestone because of you and past parents like you who continue to support our mission and our school. This year, as you now know, coincides with my own Westmont departure plan. As I look at our school and where it is today, with its amazing community of supportive parents, committed faculty and staff, and a board of trustees dedicated to the ongoing strength and success of Westmont, I know that Westmont will continue to thrive and maintain its strong culture and reputation. All of us at Westmont plan to make the most of this celebratory year with all of you.
With warmest regards,