Happy Retirement, Dr. Westinghouse.
A special Sawyers Salute goes out to District Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment Darlene Westinghouse, Ed.D, who will officially retire on August 31, 2021. Since March of 2018, Dr. Westinghouse has served the Saugerties District with dedication and passion for education. She brought new math, ELA, and social studies curriculum resources to grades K through 8; held after school workshops for teachers to develop new cutting edge skills; and initiated the Seal of Biliteracy program at the High School, a distinction which recognizes high school graduates with a high level of proficiency in more than one language.
In addition, Dr. Westinghouse initiated the purchase of new chrome books for students; held a three-week Robotics Camp in the summer for students in Grades 3-6; and facilitated several constructive workshops for parents on topics such as anti-vaping solutions, anxiety in children, mental health, nutrition, bullying, and dating violence. She also was responsible for creating a Central Registrar position, which helped the District centralize the registration process, ensuring accuracy in the student's information system and improving communication with parents.
“My favorite part of the job was the work, and the staff I worked with,” said Dr. Westinghouse. “I love the staff. I loved making a difference for the students.” One of these differences included improving the K-2 phonics program to enhance and promote a love of reading. “Besides literacy for all,” she continued, “my heart's desire is to see students engaged in the learning and acquiring a love for life-long learning.”
Additionally, she was very excited to facilitate a book study, which led District administrators in developing a “growth mindset” as a model for students. “I believe if students understand how the brain functions in learning, it will allow them to stop labeling themselves in comparison to others, and instead, know that with hard work, they can grow that area of their brain as well. It's the power of the word 'yet,’ instead of ‘I can't,’ or ‘I'm not good at that’ that powers that valuable growth mindset.”
In retirement, Dr. Westinghouse hopes to spend quality time with family and do some traveling. After she experienced the death of her son, Dr. Westinghouse became a Certified Grief Counselor and wishes to use it to help people through the very difficult time of grieving. She says she “thoroughly enjoyed” her time at Saugerties CSD and will miss the work. We will miss you, too, Dr. Westinghouse. Enjoy your retirement!