In my first month I have met wonderful people from all areas of the Westfield Friends School community. In most cases we have started our time together with a brief period of silent worship, in the manner of unprogrammed Friends. After this I ask people to tell me two things, how they came to Westfield Friends and what they believe are the foundational strengths of this school. Much as the early morning sunlight coming through the stained glass windows in the church of my childhood would take the images from faint, grey outlines to brilliant, sharp colorful images, the stories people tell me and the strengths they lift up are beginning to fill in for me the details, contours and colors of this wonderful school. One of these images (to extend the metaphor) is the deep theme of service to and for the school. Students all have jobs to do to help in the smooth working of the school day; teachers offer to take on new initiatives; parents provide hours of volunteer support to programs throughout the school; and members of the school board and Westfield Friends Monthly Meeting provide the necessary leadership and care for our school to thrive. The second theme I have heard from everyone I have met concerns the care of the students for each other. One of the formal expressions of this care is the buddy system where older students in grades five through eight are paired with younger students. These partnerships are given space and time to grow through regular cross grade activities and weekly meeting for worship. I had a young, adult alum tell me that her older buddy remains a friend and confidante to this day.
Throughout the stories people are generously sharing with me about Westfield Friends is the belief that there is the Divine Light within each and every person. The promise of Friend’s education is to nurture each and every person’s gifts -- their Divine endowment -- to help them grow and stretch their strengths and their areas that need shoring up.
I invite you to come and explore Westfield Friends. Discover how we will partner with you in developing your child’s intellectual, physical, emotional, and spiritual life. How might we as members of the school community and wider surrounding community join together to create the world we seek for children? I believe that world starts here at this Friends School.Dr. Margaret Haviland, Head of School