By Margaret Sisler
October 22, 2019

FCPS Excellence Awards celebrate the efforts and achievements of employees whose job performance produces exceptional results that support the mission and vision of FCPS. The Excellence Awards recognize multiple pathways to results by using nomination categories based on the school system’s goals. 

Westfield's HACE team and Brittany Burke were both recognized and celebrated for the great work they do supporting our students! 

Hispanos Al Camino Exitoso (HACE) is an intervention program for Westfield ESOL level 1-4 students, comprised of 30-50 participants, designed to give them a voice in our school so their concerns are heard and addressed. HACE participants meet twice a month and are encouraged to regularly attend school with the goal of graduating. HACE has open enrollment to encourage inclusivity. Activities are designed to give students a sense of belonging and purpose while encouraging them to graduate. For example, Hispanic community members are often invited to share their stories about coming to America and how they navigated their way to success. Overall, HACE participants improve their overall attendance by as much as 45%, and many speak openly about their plans to graduate from high school and attend college.

In the six years that Brittany has been teaching at Westfield High School, the American Sign Language program has expanded in several ways – the program has gone from four small classes to six full classes, the ASL Club is reaching beyond academic classes and the ASL Honor Society has become more involved in the local Deaf community.  Brittany goes above and beyond for her students by creating authentic learning experiences and looking to further their opportunities. After school, you can find Brittany supporting her students at their extra-curricular activities, planning fun, personal and creative lessons, and finishing her Master’s degree in Teaching American Sign Language.  Brittany’s love for ASL and the deaf community shines through her teaching to truly impact her students.