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Kindergarten returns to Westwood
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A tradition that dates back to the 1960s will continue in August at Westwood Church of Christ.
After a one-year hiatus, kindergarten will return to Westwood Day School under the direction of certified teacher Catherine Stubblefield Bryant.
The Westwood school calendar will mirror that of the Warren County School System. The first day of kindergarten is set for Aug. 7.
“We started kindergarten here at Westwood in 1967 before it was mandated by the state so we were ahead of the game,” said Bill Webb, who helps oversee Westwood Day School. “Back then, there were so few kindergarten programs available, you pretty much had to get your child’s name on the waiting list as soon as they were born there was so much interest.”
Linda Gilbert was Westwood’s first kindergarten teacher. Faye Hickey had the job for more than 30 years before retiring prior to the current school year.
Without time to find a quality replacement for Hickey, Westwood leadership decided to suspend the program for one year so a new teacher could be found. That new teacher is Bryant.
“One of the things that’s so exciting about Catherine is she’s gone to church at Westwood her whole life and she went to pre-school here,” said church secretary Pat McClaren.
Webb said Westwood kindergarten will follow all the rules and regulations established by the Tennessee Department of Education. The church has also made a heavy investment in technology with a computer for every child and an interactive smartboard which has been purchased.
“The smartboard allows kids to become more actively engaged in the lesson,” said Bryant. “It looks like a dry erase board, but it’s a touch-screen computer. There’s an unlimited amount of educational material that can be downloaded and used with this system.”
Bryant received her degree from Tennessee Tech in multidisciplinary studies, curriculum and instruction, and elementary education K-6. She did her student teaching at Morrison Elementary.
She is married to Jon Bryant and they have one daughter, Avery, 8 months.
Anyone interested in meeting Catherine and finding out more about the kindergarten program can come to Westwood graduation May 22 at 6:30 p.m. There will be a kindergarten open house later in the summer on Sunday, Aug. 3. You can also contact the church office at 473-8434 for more information.