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Principal's Message

August, 2019

Dear Students and Families,

Welcome to West Hempstead Middle School!  I am proud to enter my second year as your principal, having joined the #RamFam in August, 2018.  I bring with me experience as a classroom teacher, elementary school principal, and director of curriculum and instruction.  Each of these roles has helped inform my beliefs about learning and students’ needs, which are always the primary drivers of the decisions we make at WHMS.

My primary role as principal is to ensure 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.  As the lead learner of WHMS, I serve students, teachers, and families so that all are able to learn, grow, and thrive in a nurturing, yet demanding environment.

We are guided by the “This We Believe” attributes and characteristics from the Association for Middle Level Education (AMLE).  Among the most important of those beliefs are that every young adolescent:
  • has the capacity to learn, grow, and develop into a knowledgeable, reflective, caring, ethical, and contributing citizen;
  • must be engaged in learning that is relevant, challenging, integrative, and exploratory; and
  • faces significant life choices and needs support in making wise and healthy decisions.

With the reinstatement of the 9-period day, we will have even more opportunities to focus on our practice of “teaming” at the middle school.  These smaller communities of learners are proven to support the learning, engagement, and feelings of belonging in early adolescents.  In concert with our dedication to principles of Visible Learning, we strive to create a school culture that engages our students in learning every day. 

Another key element of student success at WHMS is an active, vibrant partnership between home and school with open lines of communication.  Please do not hesitate to contact your child’s teacher, counselor, or me if you have any questions or concerns about your child’s emotional, social, or academic well-being.

Again, I warmly welcome you to West Hempstead Middle School for the 2019-2020 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 19, at 7pm.  The evening is an invaluable opportunity to meet me, your child’s team, and embark on the partnership necessary to make the most of the school year.  


Sean K. Murray