Westfield Virtual School’s inaugural principal, Thomas Osborn, started his tenure in August. Since then, he has hired a group of teachers including Sarah Monroe ’21 and Caitlin Coffey ’16. The school consists of 110 students from kindergarten through eighth grade, but they hope to expand enrollment soon.
Originally from Florida, Sarah Monroe earned her bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from Westfield State in 2021 and is now a first and second grade teacher at the virtual school. For the last four years, she has focused on Montessori curriculum that she looks forward to implementing in her classes.
Caitlin Coffey also earned her bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from Westfield in 2016. Now she is a kindergarten and first grade teacher at Westfield Virtual School. In the past, she worked at Abner Gibbs Elementary School as a paraprofessional and a literacy assistant.
Westfield is one of seven public school districts in Massachusetts to open a virtual school since the Covid-19 pandemic began. Although the school is virtual, the teachers have in-person offices at the First Congregational Church in Westfield. They plan to host a whole school virtual field trip to tour Whip City Animal Sanctuary, a non-profit animal sanctuary that provides homes to animals who have been neglected, abused, abandoned, or have special needs as well as animals who were in rescues or temporary homes that require a forever home.
“They are a great group, highly professional, a wonderful caring group of educators,” Principal Osborn said, describing the teachers as an innovative and creative group who put the kids at the center of every decision they make, and the best staff he has worked with.
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