Principal's Welcome Letter

Principal's Welcome Letter
Posted on 07/31/2019
Principal's Welcome Letter

Welcome back to the 2019-2020 school year!

I hope you are still enjoying a wonderful summer and are feeling relaxed, recharged, and ready to start a new school year. Personally, I am excited for this leadership opportunity as principal here at West Jeff Middle and I am looking forward to working in partnership with our families and mountain community.

This is going to be a great year! Our incredible instructional leadership team is hard at work planning learning and activities for our teacher work days. Many of our teachers have gotten together over the summer to plan curriculum and learning activities for your student.

Our Work This Year

As a school, we will be focusing our work in the following three areas:

  • Responsive Instruction (using formal and informal data to focus our instruction on student needs),

  • School Culture (positive, welcoming, safe), and

  • Instructional Technology (tools for learning).

We appreciate family input and feedback so please watch for opportunities to share with us in the upcoming year.

New Staff

Each year brings positive change and this includes new additions to our staff. We are delighted to welcome the following new staff:

  • Dr. Britni Dawson-Giles, social worker;

  • Sarah Dignan, art teacher;

  • Kelly Grall, speech-language pathologist;

  • Mitch Hahn, Composition, Yearbook, and 6th grade English/Language Arts;

  • Marie Hughes, learning specialist;

  • Dan Keane, counselor;

  • Jen Knolmayer, speech-language pathologist;

  • Jen Nickerson, 7th grade English/Language Arts and social studies;

  • Jessica Popejoy, PE teacher;

  • Dawn Wheeler, 6th grade math and science;

  • Amanda Woods, 7th grade social studies; and

  • Jennifer Hodges, returning to West Jeff Middle for 8th grade math.

Facilities Update

If you have driven past our school recently, you may have seen a few mountains of dirt in the middle of our field. Thanks to our Jeffco voters and their support of the mill and bond initiatives, we are getting a new turf field here at West Jeff Middle. While it does not appear that it will be ready for the first day of school, we are looking forward to many afternoons of soccer, flag football, and zombie tag at recess and evenings of practices and games with our local youth sports teams.

Another exciting change is our brand-new student furniture. Every classroom has a combination of desks, tables, and chairs designed for student collaboration and movement. It is heartening to see how a simple thing like new furniture can brighten up our “seasoned” classrooms.

With a few weeks to go, we are looking forward to watching the students stream off the buses and out of cars and to have the hallways filled with the hustle and bustle that has been absent all summer. Old friendships are quickly rekindled and new friendships made as they swap stories about their summers, new interests, and the latest media sensation. Ah, middle school.

As excited as I am to offer this monthly newsletter, it is the face-to-face interactions that we value most. Please know that we welcome opportunities to meet with you, starting with our Back to School Community Barbecue on August 12th sponsored by our incredible PTA. We are looking forward to our collaboration in providing a safe and nurturing environment as well as an engaging and challenging learning experience.

Please watch for our first Weekly Update at the end of this week with all the important Back to School information and new policies.


Kim Halingstad
West Jefferson Middle School



Principal's Welcome Letter (PDF file)

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