Inside our schools: Willow Field Elementary

Teamwork is of the utmost importance at Willow Field Elementary, and it's obvious in the efforts of the staff as well as the students.

"One of the hallmarks of this building and its staff and the school community is that everyone values collaboration," said Principal Henry "Chick" Quattrini. "People are always working together as partners on behalf of the kids."

The second-largest elementary school in the district with an enrollment of 475, WFE is also the district's newest building, having opened in 1990. Quattrini is the school's second principal and has been at WFE since 2000.

"I didn't create that environment [of cooperation]," Quattrini said. "It's been part of the culture of the school since the building opened."

Reading teacher Pam Acee agreed. "What's great about this building is that everyone really does work together to support the programs," Acee said. "Everyone is really willing to work together to put together the best possible program for the kids."

On a recent visit to WFE, The Review saw firsthand the caring environment in which kids learn at the school.

Happy birthday, Dr. Seuss!

The big excitement on Friday March 2 was the celebration the school hosted in honor of the birthday of Theodore Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss. The day also marked the 50th anniversary of the publication of "The Cat in the Hat."

In honor of the literary great and in conjunction with the National Education Association's Read Across America Day, Willow Field students took part in a number of events to promote literacy and to celebrate the children's author. Guest readers were welcomed in almost every classroom, ranging from former WFE Principal Roger Phillips to fourth-grade teacher Cynthia Durheimer's 4-year-old daughter. At lunch, students enjoyed goldfish crackers in honor of "Red Fish Blue Fish" and green Jell-O to accompany "Bartholomew and the Oobleck." The day culminated with a reading of "The Cat in the Hat" by Principal Quattrini at precisely 2:36 p.m. (the book has 236 words) broadcast to the entire school, followed by the distribution of 500 cupcakes to students and staff.

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