West Side Elementary School

Skip to main content
About Us » Principal's Message

Principal's Message

Principal's Message 

Welcome to West Side Elementary School’s web page!  We hope this site provides you with the information that you are looking for whether you are just browsing or you are trying to learn more about our school.


It is my honor to be a leader of this great school community.  The Greater Johnstown School District enjoys a rich history of excellence that results from the hard work and supportive nature of our community.  Since my arrival at West Side in the 2012-2013 school year, I’ve been nothing but impressed with the support that our school has received from our school board, teachers and community.


West Side Elementary School is located in the Westwood neighborhood in Johnstown, PA and serves approximately 800 students from the neighborhoods of Westwood, Lower Yoder Township, Oakhurst, Coopersdale, Minersville, Tanneryville, Prospect, Woodvale, Old Conemaugh Boro, the West End and Downtown Johnstown.  


At West Side, we are proud of our positive and proactive approach toward teaching social and emotional skills.  We believe that through teaching behaviors and expectations, students learn the one of the most important life skills,  getting along with others! Beginning with our school’s partnership with Penn State University and the PATHS (Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies) program, students in grades K-5 are learning how to manage their emotions, empathy and how to respond appropriately to a variety of social situations.  


In addition, our school is very active in our Schoolwide Positive Behavior Interventions and Support Program where students are taught our schoolwide expectations: Be Respectful, Be Responsible and Be Safe.  Through this program, students are taught the expectations in a variety of settings including the classroom, restrooms, cafeteria, hallways and the school bus.  Our school even also offers incentives for following these expectations.  Over the past two years with these ideas and the amazing work done by our teachers, we have been able to reduce disciplinary referrals by 49%!


In addition, we are proud about our school’s dedication towards implementing a newly designed, 21st Century curriculum, that is closely aligned to the PA Common Core Standards.  Over the last two years,  our school team has worked with the other schools in the Greater Johnstown School District to completely rewrite and align our English Language Arts, Math, Science and Social Studies curricula. This alignment also includes our partnership with Johns Hopkins University and the Success For All Foundation.   Through this partnership, our school utilizes a research based program and emphasizes cooperative learning.  We believe that all people, including our students, learn with and through others.


In the past year, we’ve also added a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics course to our curriculum, which begins in kindergarten.  In this program, our students work collaboratively on projects that range from Legos in the primary grades to Vex Robitics systems in the intermediate grades.  The Vex Robotics program allows our students to create their own simple robots and program them for use in competitions.  This process begins for our students starting in kindergarten.


We also feel strongly about service learning and making connections to our community. Student and teachers in our school have continually impressed, making time to volunteer at social events like our annual clothing drive and even wrapping gifts at Christmas time.  In addition, our school offers plenty of events throughout the school year to bring our community to West Side, including annual Breakfast with Santa, Spring Concerts, Movie Nights, Father and Daughter Dances, Student Art Auctions and Vendor Fairs.  Our Kiwanis Kids Club has also been incredibly active in the community and a source of pride for our school.


I am honored to serve you and your family and am looking forward to working with you to continually improve West Side Elementary School.