It is a privilege to accompany these children and families on their journey as they find their strengths, achieve what they may have considered impossible, and build a future for themselves marked by health, accomplishment, and pride.
Back to school!
Life at Walker is never dull. Graduation season blends right into the summer term at Beacon High School, where students attend classes until the end of July. On the Needham campus, children participating in our Summer Program head off on field trips, nature walks or excursions to local swimming holes, or participate in arts and crafts projects. And there always is the buzz of young boys and girls splashing in inflatable pools and racing around the playground.
But as we move closer to September and summer fades into fall, there is a different feeling in Needham and Watertown. The beginning of a new school year, and the excitement that it brings, is around the corner. New friends, new adventures, and new opportunities await all our students.
The Walker School
More than 75 students will begin at The Walker School on Wednesday, September 5. With the help of teachers and specialists, these boys and girls will begin to discover their own special abilities and talents, and learn strategies to cope more effectively with their challenges.
This year, under the leadership of Principal Paula Shea, the Walker School features familiar faces in new positions in a revamped leadership structure:
- Nancy McNallyhas returned to Walker as the new Associate Principal for classrooms 201, 203, and 204 in the New School.
- Sarah Simoni(classrooms 211, 212, 215) and Danielle Wetmore (202, 214, Carriage House) both of whom have been teachers at Walker for the last few years, will be the new Educational Coordinators.
- Maryellen Pambookian is the new Curriculum, Assessment, and Training Specialist.
“We hope everyone is as excited as we are to begin a new school year,” says Paula. “We believe our new leadership model will provide more support for our students and their families, and will allow us to be more flexible in responding to the individual needs of the boys and girls in each classroom.”
Beacon High School
Beacon students will arrive just as the paint has dried on the first- and second-floor corridors, thanks to the wonderful volunteers of Zurich North America who recently spent an entire day in Watertown with brushes and rollers. The school also sports new clinician offices and an expanded art room.
Beacon will welcome 65 students to a supportive, therapeutic environment that builds hope, health, and resiliency in young men and women, helping them thrive academically and personally. Director Pam Travers, along with Educational Coordinator Melinda Roberts Isaacs, has begun an overhaul of the Beacon curriculum that already has produced results: most students scored in the Advanced or Proficient categories in English on the recent MCAS test.
“What a wonderful way to begin the school year!” says Pam. “These results are a testament to our belief that the students at Beacon are very bright, and that they can succeed in a nurturing environment. We can’t wait to get started next week and continue this trend.”
Beacon welcomes two new teachers to the staff this year: Jean Wallace(Art and Photography) and David Tersegno (Math and Science).
Walker Partnerships has 25 staff members working in classrooms in 13 districts, including Brittany Carreiro, the new Therapeutic Intervention Specialist at The Farley Elementary School in Hudson, and Jennifer Moran, an elementary-level social worker/case manager for a new district-wide inclusion support model for the Ashburnham/Westminster Regional School District. Walker Partnerships also provides consultation and professional development to an additional 19 school districts.