Demon Dispatch

Class of 2022 finishes school career with purpose

In the coming days, our seniors will be walking across the stage in their caps and gowns to accept their diplomas and leave their high school careers behind. Some will head to college, while others will start careers or embark on different adventures of their own. After graduation, no matter their direction, they will be moving with purpose, just as they always have. 

At Westlake, our students maintain a sense of purpose throughout their careers as learners, confronting challenges with grace and keeping their minds focused on their goals. This sense of purpose is present outside of the classroom, as students navigate their everyday lives. 

Westlake students demonstrate purpose by setting and committing to future goals and pursuing them continuously. They display determination in all aspects of life and make decisions that help them achieve self-fulfillment.

Read Full Story
Volume 14, Issue 10, Posted 9:49 AM, 05.17.2022

Globally-minded Westlake students prepare for new adventures this summer

As we approach the end of the school year, many of us eagerly look toward the future. Our soon-to-be graduates prepare to head off to college or embark on entirely new experiences in new careers. They will be living on their own for the first time and meeting peers from varying cultures and backgrounds. Their worldview will continue to expand. 

Our younger students are experiencing transitions of their own. They may be trying out new hobbies or planning to participate in summer activities that will expose them to individuals outside of their traditional social circles. Many will be traveling with their families and exploring foreign destinations. Some students may even look farther ahead to the next school year when they shift to a new grade level or academic building. 

Some of these life changes may seem overwhelming, but our globally-minded Westlake students welcome all challenges with open arms. They understand that each life transition exposes them to exciting new ideas and experiences. They embrace the possibilities.

Read Full Story
Volume 14, Issue 8, Posted 9:27 AM, 04.19.2022

Innovative students drive school community forward

Over the past two years, we’ve all needed to be flexible as we learned to adapt to a new normal. We’ve had to find creative ways to approach once-familiar situations. We’ve needed to rely on our ingenuity to solve problems.

In short, we’ve had to be Innovative. When faced with roadblocks both inside and outside of the classroom, our Westlake students, teachers and administrators rose to the occasion and approached each situation with unparalleled grace and purpose. 

Even through countless challenges, our school community was Innovative, engaging in problem solving and remaining resourceful while thinking critically. They worked together to uncover new ideas and form solutions that contributed meaningful and impactful changes for themselves and others. All the while, they embraced intellectual curiosity and remained focused on education, whether they were the ones providing it or the ones receiving it.

Read Full Story
Volume 14, Issue 6, Posted 10:32 AM, 03.15.2022

Balance is key for students in Westlake City Schools

Many of us experience a mood shift during the cold, dark days of winter. It’s common to feel tired, withdrawn and simply less happy in response to more time spent indoors.

While it can be tempting to want to slow down this time of year, our Westlake students remain busy, juggling academics and extracurricular activities. Not only is it a challenge to accomplish all that needs to be done, it’s even harder when motivation is in short supply. That’s why it’s important to remember the mind-body connection and stay Balanced both physically and mentally as we make the slow transition to spring.  

Balanced Westlake student expresses a connection between physical well-being and makes conscious decisions that lead to a healthy lifestyle. They establish and maintain positive relationships by being mindful of others. They retain the ability to organize and self-regulate the demands of daily life.

Read Full Story
Volume 14, Issue 4, Posted 9:57 AM, 02.15.2022

Sense of purpose guides Westlake students

When the clock strikes midnight on Jan. 1, many of us set intentions for the year to come. Whether these are resolutions, personal goals or simply promises we make to ourselves, we commit to improving our lives. 

For Westlake students, the new year marks the second half of the school year and offers the potential for a new beginning. It provides an opportunity to take healthy risks and try something new. It is an excuse to give up old habits and create new ones. It is a chance to approach life with a renewed sense of purpose.

"Purpose" is a pillar of our Portrait of a Lifelong Learner, and one that Westlake students demonstrate time and again, year after year. A Westlake student with Purpose commits to future goals and pursues them continuously. They display determination in all aspects of life, not just at school. They make decisions that help them achieve self-fulfillment and recognize that while academic success is important, it’s only part of the formula for becoming the best version of themselves.

Read Full Story
Volume 14, Issue 2, Posted 10:13 AM, 01.18.2022

Wrapping Up 2021

If the past two years have taught us anything, it’s how to remain strong when faced with great challenges.

As the Westlake City School District prepares for a new year on the horizon, we once again look to our Portrait of a Lifelong Learner – our vision of what we expect from our students inside the classroom, and how we anticipate them contributing to the wider world outside of our hallways – to help set our course for 2022. 

Reflecting back on 2021, I’m reminded of all the ways we have found to be "Resilient." Whether we were dealing with our own health problems or caring for others, rolling with the punches as policies shifted and changed, or accepting the challenges that come with an altered learning environment, we all found ways to persevere. I know the determination of our teachers and staff is observed by our students, who are learning to model that same behavior when confronted with their own struggles.

Read Full Story
Volume 13, Issue 24, Posted 9:52 AM, 12.21.2021

Integrity is highlighted in Westlake City Schools

Our Portrait of a Lifelong Learner has been a guiding light as we navigate the waters of this school year. The traits we highlight in our Portrait continue to provide needed direction and ambitions as our teachers and staff strive to Educate for Excellence, while our students continue to Learn with Purpose.

As we continue into the month of November, the trait I think of most is Integrity. 

A Westlake student with Integrity develops “empathy, social awareness and accountability to understand how behaviors and actions impact others.” With all our students have been through – not just in the last two years, but throughout the entirety of this generation’s academic lifetime – the idea of understanding and empathy carries so much importance. I’ve seen students lift each other through difficult times; I’ve experienced students demonstrate character beyond measure; I’ve observed our students’ ability to reach out to each other and truly listen to their peers.

In short, I’ve witnessed our students’ growing integrity.

Read Full Story
Volume 13, Issue 22, Posted 10:24 AM, 11.16.2021

Westlake City Schools shine light on mental health efforts

In October, we recognize World Mental Health Day. This day is meant to raise awareness of the importance of mental health issues around the world and to mobilize efforts in support of mental health.

We’re so proud of our Westlake City School students and the work they do in class and in our community. We sometimes forget the importance of mental health and how that can have an effect on the student's growth and education.

We are also proud of the openness with which people are now discussing these issues. It wasn’t that long ago that such topics were considered taboo. We are learning more and more about mental health, both how to recognize certain issues, and how to help those who are looking to improve this aspect of their health.

Read Full Story
Volume 13, Issue 20, Posted 10:15 AM, 10.19.2021

A new school year begins

The Observer is proud to introduce a new monthly column, "Demon Dispatch," focusing on the Westlake City School District, penned by Superintendent Scott Goggin.

It’s an exciting time for Westlake City Schools, and the 2021-2022 school year will see us all continue our upward trajectory of being a leader in education in our area. As we embark on this foundational year, we lean on the attributes that provide opportunities for student growth intellectually, emotionally and socially.

When we crafted our Portrait of a Lifelong Learner, it was with the intent of providing the vision of what we expect from our students inside the classroom, and how we anticipate them contributing to the wider world outside of our hallways. Westlake City Schools offer our students a unique opportunity to learn with purpose, and our teachers and staff share the same ideals in providing a learning environment in support of this vision. This Portrait of a Lifelong Learner is a promise to our students, our families and the entire Westlake community.

Read Full Story
Volume 13, Issue 18, Posted 10:17 AM, 09.21.2021