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Principal's Message

August 22, 2018

Dear Students and Families,

Before I can welcome you all back to another exciting year of learning at West Hempstead Middle School, I must introduce myself.  I am honored and privileged to begin the 2018-2019 school year as your new principal.  I am eager to meet all of you and would like to share my diverse and interesting background as an educator.  For the last 3+ years I served as the Director of Elementary Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment for the Long Beach Public Schools.  Prior to that, I spent 4 years as principal of East School in Long Beach following 4 years as the AP at Lakeside School in Merrick.  My career began as a classroom teacher in Elmont, Franklin Square, and New York City at both the primary and intermediate levels.  I look forward to serving the students and staff of WHMS so that all our children will learn, grow, and thrive.

I see my primary role as ensuring that every child at West Hempstead Middle School is treated with respect and kindness, and that every student receives the instruction and support he or she needs to meet with success.  The WHMS staff and I will support each child’s emotional, social, and academic needs as they navigate the challenges of adolescence in preparation for high school and beyond.  I believe these needs can only be met through a partnership between the home and school, which requires open lines of communication.  As G. Santayana said, “A child educated only at school is an uneducated child.”  Please do not hesitate to contact me, or another staff member, about any concerns you have about your child’s emotional, social, or academic needs.  I greatly look forward to meeting and getting to know the children and families of WHMS as the year progresses.  I am joining a welcoming and vibrant community and school family, and feel privileged to be a new member.

This year we will continue the practice of teaming our students and teachers.  These smaller communities of learners are proven to support the learning, engagement, and feelings of belonging in early adolescents.  Along with this team approach, we will continue to focus our instructional practices in ways that bring the best out in every one of our students.  While we will miss having the sixth grade in our building, the smaller community of learners remaining will be that much better able to work and thrive together with the care and attention of the teachers and staff.  I am excited to spend a lot of time in these classroom communities this year!

Again, I warmly welcome you all back to WHMS for the 2018-2019 school year.  It will be an exciting year for learning, growing, and getting to know each other.  On that note, I strongly urge parents to attend our annual “Back-to-School” night on Thursday, September 27, at 7pm.  This will be a great opportunity to meet me, your child’s team, and partner with us in ways that support your child’s learning.  I wish all of you a wonderful last week of summer and a very successful start to the new school year.


Sean K. Murray