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Principal's Message

Photo of Suzanne Coyne, Interim Principal of Western Middle School.

Dear Western families,

I am excited to become the Interim Principal for Western Middle School.  I have been fortunate to have worked at Western for the last 10 years as the Assistant Principal. I can’t imagine working at any other school. I love working with the teachers, students and families, and I truly believe there is no better school in town. My husband and I chose to send our three daughters to Western as magnet students instead of to the middle school in town we are zoned to attend.  My daughter, Ella, was one of the first magnet students to come to Western and so many people did not understand why I would choose to send her here. I already knew how special Western was before most people in town discovered this and then decided to send their own child as magnet students once the secret came out.   It turned out to be the best decision my husband and I have made for our children. To say that I am invested in Western and its success is an understatement. 

I look forward to working with this talented, dedicated staff to continue to push Western to remain the best middle school in town.  I am extremely fortunate to have Ms. Erin Montague as my administrative partner as Assistant Principal. She is just as invested in the success of Western. She has also been here for 10 years and even went to Western herself as a student. Her leadership and hard work since she has been at Western is a reason why Western is the school it is today.  I welcome Mr. Matthew Cerruto as our Interim Assistant Principal through the end of this school year and appreciate the district’s quick action in getting someone experienced to replace me.  Ms. Montague and I will be working with Mr. Cerruto to readjust aspects of our roles to allow us to best meet the needs of the students, parents and staff here at Western.

Now it is time for me to share my thoughts on the importance of middle school. As a parent, as well as an administrator, I believe that the middle school years are the three most important years in a student’s life.  There is nothing like being in middle school and watching the students grow and mature in so many ways over the three years they are with us.  This is the time for your child to learn effective student habits, how to become a good friend, how to advocate for themselves and how to problem-solve situations that arise. We are here to help them with all of this. It is also a time where they will naturally start pulling away from their parents and want to be more independent, which is expected and what we actually want them to do. We are here to help you with this. Personally, I am lucky if I can get my three daughters to come out of their rooms long enough to give me one word description of how their day was or to find out what is going on in their lives. However, I know that they are doing what they need to do as high school students based on how well they transitioned to Greenwich High School and are handling the demands that come along with it. I also know that their success is strongly correlated to their attending Western and how our staff prepared them to become capable, responsible students who know how to manage their time and advocate for themselves. Our goal is to send your child off to high school performing at their full potential and not needing to rely on you as much. We know our students will come in with different needs, but our goal is to help them improve their skills in order to make them as independent as possible.  During their middle school years, your child will most likely make one or more bad choices, have a conflict with a friend, not hand in some assignments, do poorly on one or more assessments and experience a challenging situation in a class or with a teacher. They are supposed to make mistakes during these years, but what they learn from these mistakes and how they respond to similar situations in the future is what middle school is all about. 

The staff and I look forward to continuing our partnership with you to help both you and your child navigate the middle school years. You know your child best and we need your involvement and collaboration to ensure that we are pushing your child to reach his or her full potential and learn from whatever mistakes they may make.  Please do not hesitate to email or call me with any questions or concerns during the upcoming months. 

Thank you.

Suzanne Coyne, Interim Principal
Western Middle School
(203) 413-8432