by Robert Romano
This year, WHS welcomes three new assistant principals to its administrative staff: Ms. Mary Asfendis, Mr. James DeSarno and Mr. Derrick Nelson.
Asfendis arrived at WHS last year and previously taught Spanish at EIS for five years. Most recently, she served as a foreign language supervisor in the Bernards Township School District prior to coming to the school.
“As a teacher, I enjoyed working with students.... As an administrator, you can be involved in all areas of educating students: athletics, activities and academics,” said Asfendis.
Asfendis is also examining the use of technology in education. “We’re exploring the use of iPads in classrooms ...internet class sites and judicious use of social networking and blogging,” she added.
Prior to becoming an administrator, DeSarno served as a physical education teacher and football coach at WHS for five years. He became an interim assistant principal at the beginning of the school year.
Said DeSarno: “I always knew I would enter this [administrative] aspect of education. My experience in coaching has also played a role in my decision to become an administrator.”
DeSarno said that WHS is a special place to work, and that he “enjoyed [his] time as a teacher.”
Nelson joined the WHS administration during the summer. Before coming to WHS, he served as assistant principal at Park Avenue School in Orange, NJ, and RIS from 2010-2012.
“My educational career has always been in urban education.... Being in Westfield helps me see education from the suburban side, and it allows me to grow professionally,” said Nelson. “My main goal is to understand how WHS works…. I understand that there are certain things that make each school unique.”
Said Principal Mr. Peter Renwick::“I believe that this new administrative team will continue to bring new ideas and positive energy to our school community....I very much look forward to supporting their efforts this year and believe we will achieve great success.”