The Westview School Celebrates 40 Years of Big Dreams and Bright Futures for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Happy Birthday, Westview! The Westview School hosted an on-campus birthday celebration recognizing the school's 40 years of educating children with autism spectrum disorder. Westview’s theme for this celebratory academic year is “Big Dreams and Bright Futures.” The Westview School used their annual Founder’s Day event to commemorate the anniversary. Due to COVID-19 protocols in place on Westview’s campus, an all-student virtual assembly was held. Westview students learned about the school’s history and participated in a friendly in-class Westview trivia competition followed by class photos in front of the school. All staff and students wore the school’s signature Westview blue polo shirts. A birthday celebration was held with cupcakes and bubbles on the playground immediately following photographs.
Walk/Run to Support The Westview School this Fall
The Houston Walk for Apraxia is back for 2021 and will be held in person on The Westview School campus. Save the date for Saturday, November 6, 2021. The team coordinating the event, which includes former Westview staffer, Tiffany Indiero, is working hard to make sure the walk experience is safe, fun, and memorable for all participants.
Participating virtually is still an option for this event. Visit the Houston Walk for Apraxia online for more information and to register. Once registered , all walkers can still choose to celebrate from home.
Want to learn more about the Apraxia Walk? Check out footage from past Houston Walks here! You can also follow along on Facebook and visit their website for updated event information and details on how to register.
Save the date for the 11th Annual Alex's 5K Run/Walk & Kids K. This year's event will take place in-person on Saturday, November 6, 2021 at MacGregor Park. There will also be a virtual option for anyone wanting to participate at their own pace or from afar. Participants can run or walk the virtual 5k at any time or place between now and November 6, 2021.
Alex's 5K is a fun, family-friendly race event created as a tribute to the life of Alex Jamrich, who passed away suddenly in 2010 at the age of 17. The event not only celebrates Alex's life, but also promotes autism awareness, and raises funds for research and services in the Houston community.
The proceeds from Alex's 5K support three Autism-related charities: Autism Speaks, Avondale House, and The Westview School. We are so thankful for their generosity.
For more information and to register for the event, visit the official Alex's 5K website.
Westview Receives A Gift from Qatar
In April of 2021, Qatar's Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency Meshal bin Hamad Al-Thani, recognized World Autism Day and Autism Awareness Month by selecting several charitable organizations to be recipients of support. The Westview School was chosen as one of those recipients. As part of Qatar's generous support of the autistic community and their families in the United States, a three-year scholarship fund for Westview students was established. Westview is thankful to the State of Qatar for selecting our program to be a recipient of their generosity. We are excited to use this partnership as an opportunity to help us grow our mission and serve more students in the Greater Houston community.
Official Press Release from the State of Qatar:
Six U.S. Charities Benefit from over $3M Donation from the State of Qatar
We are excited to announce that we have named a new Head of School!
Please join us in welcoming Dr. Bevan Koch!
March 11, 2020
Dear Westview Family,
On behalf of the Board of Directors, it is my great pleasure to announce that Bevan M. Koch has been appointed the third Head of School for Westview. The Board’s unanimous decision to select Bevan was supported by the unanimous recommendation of the Search Committee.
Bevan succeeds Donna Marshall, who as you all know is retiring after nearly thirty years of devoted service to our wonderful school. We all owe a great debt of gratitude for her many contributions. As previously discussed, her career will be appropriately celebrated in a retirement party to be coordinated by POW. In the meantime, Donna and her team will work closely with Bevan in the months ahead to ensure a seamless transition of leadership and a smooth launch to the 2020-2021 academic year.
Our next Head of School comes to us from Sewickley Academy in Sewickley, Pennsylvania (outside Pittsburgh), where she has served in increasing positions of responsibility since 2013. Bevan has both a Masters degree in Special Education and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Sam Houston State University, as well as a B.S. in Mathematics Education from McNeese State University. You will find more details of her experience on her resume, attached.
Bevan is excited to have finally returned to her home state of Texas with her husband, Glenn, after years of corporate career moves for Glenn with Williams Companies. Glenn is now situated at regional headquarters in the Galleria, allowing Bevan to look forward to the opportunity of providing many years of service to Westview. Having accomplished the search process ahead of schedule, we have the exceptional advantage of a very useful period of overlap for Bevan at the end of this academic year, to allow her to begin her listening and assessment process.
As I have said to you before, each chapter in the Westview story has been better than the ones that came before it. We have immense reason for confidence that the next chapter will be very bright indeed.
On behalf of the entire Westview community, I would like to express sincere thanks to the Search Committee, including Stacy Anderson, Walt Christopherson, Tim Harris, and Louis Mogas – all from our Board. But especially to Search Committee members Sarah Chauvin and Katie Hazeldine for their tireless and imminently professional contribution to our success. We simply could not have achieved such an outstanding outcome without them.
Please join me in celebrating and welcoming Bevan and Glenn to the Westview family – and in expressing our continued support and gratitude to Donna and her entire team for their assistance in this substantial effort.
Fred Frost, Chair
Westview Head of School Search Committee
Westview a 2019 NASET School of Excellence
We are excited and honored to announce that Westview has been distinguished as a 2019 NASET School of Excellence! This is the highest honor a private special education school can achieve through this professional association. The recognition is bestowed on private special education schools that meet rigorous professional criteria and have demonstrated truly exceptional dedication, commitment and achievement in the field of special education. Learn more about this award at https://www.naset.org/index.php?id=5111
Westview Featured on FOX 26
April 25, 2019
Many thanks to Melissa Wilson from Fox 26 for spending time with us in honor of Autism Awareness Month! Check out the wonderful piece on The Westview School here.
HOUSTON (FOX 26) - As we wrap up Autism Awareness Month, we focus on a local school that believes early intervention is the key to reaching children with autism spectrum disorder.
They're busting out pom-poms at The Westview School for light-hearted fun. Students and teachers at The Westview School in Houston throw a pep rally during Spirit Week. They're taking time to not only recognize, but celebrate Autism Awareness Month.
Mimi Le is a Student and Staff Support Specialist at Westview and says it's important for the students to have fun.
"Our kids work so hard to get through their day and learn and academics aren't always the funnest things to get through, and so times like this, they're excited to be here and we're excited to share that with them," Mimi says.
The program at Westview is offered to high-functioning students with autism. Kelly Simmons works with some of the youngest students as an early childhood development teacher. Her personal experience with autism benefits her at work, as her son, Pierce, is on the spectrum. Many other teachers also have a child with autism, which helps them all better understand one other.
"The compassion, the patience, and understanding they (students) aren't having typical behaviors and that their minds just work differently," she explains.
We met up with Isobel Adams, the president of her eighth grade class, and she sure loves her school. She's enjoying a playground that was created to stimulate their young minds. Her favorite thing about the school? "My teachers! They're cool and sweet and fun to hang around with," she exclaims and says she has made a lot of friends here.
Sarah Chauvin is the People of Westview (POW) President. Her son has gone to Westview the past nine years. She says it has benefitted her entire family.
"Autism can be somewhat isolating, but I think having a place for parents to go where everyone is walking the same journey, where parents of small three year olds can look up to these middle school parents who have walked exactly where they have walked and are on the path. It's so great to see that, model that behavior and be able to see and share those experiences," says Sarah.
Students are taught how to communicate through art, as many children with autism are visual thinkers. Art helps them communicate with their peers, as they can see how others think through their artistic creations. Students also learn to excel in a motor lab. Instruction is focused on developing their motor skills, and they learn important things like how to take turns. Teamwork is even accomplished through climbing, swinging, and jumping. All of that is definitely something to cheer about.
Autism is the fastest growing developmental disability and has shot up 120 percent in the past 20 years. Now, 1 in 59 children is diagnosed with autism. Boys are more likely to be diagnosed with it.
For more information, https://www.westviewschool.org/
The 2019 Westview School Fundraising Luncheon
The Annual Westview School Fundraising Luncheon was held last Wednesday at River Oaks Country Club. Over 200 guests were on hand for the program and were treated to moving speeches from current Westview Student Quint Rule, Westview alumni Gregory Khuri and Westview Parent, Kathryn Hilton. This year's event has brought in over $161,000 to date. Special thanks to our event underwriters Rex and Karen Burch, Walter and Catherine Christopherson, and Mrs. Donita Choate. And get those calendars out. Next year’s Fundraising Luncheon is set to take place on February 26, 2020 at River Oak Country Club. (Thank you to Ms. Jaana Eleftheriou for the wonderful photography!)