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Sandwich Public Schools Curriculum Leadership Team

by Dr. Richard Canfield, Superintendent of Schools

In the Sandwich Public Schools, the focus is on students, and the work is about high quality teaching and learning.  Sandwich has a Curriculum Leadership Team, dedicated to continuous monitoring, development and support of high quality teaching and learning for every student.

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Maureen Wiklund to serve as Director of Curriculum, PreK-Grade 12.  This position is large in scope as it spans 14 grade levels.  The Director of Curriculum facilitates curriculum work in all of the schools, and helps to provide ongoing Professional Development across all grade levels.  The PreK-Grade 6 Science and Math Coordinators, and the Department Chairs in grades 7-12 work as a unified team with the Director of Curriculum.  Mrs. Wiklund previously served as the Language Arts Coordinator, a position that will not be filled, so the size of the Curriculum Leadership Team remains the same.

The Director of Curriculum position becomes a 12 month administrative position, and as an administrator Mrs. Wiklund will support the principals as a secondary evaluator in the teacher evaluation process.  The Sandwich Public Schools has a foundational relationship with the Lesley University Center for Reading Recovery and Literacy Collaborative and Mrs. Wiklund will continue as the district liaison with Literacy Collaborative.

Mrs. Wiklund earned her bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the University of Connecticut.  She started a career in publishing as a member of the Sales/Marketing team for an international publisher of Math and Science textbooks, located in Boston.

A few years into her position, she left publishing to enroll in a master’s program in Elementary Education at Lesley University.  Mrs. Wiklund started her teaching career in Concord, MA as a third grade teacher, and later taught fifth grade in Medford, MA. before moving to Sandwich with her family in 1998. Like many, she came to Sandwich for the Cape Cod lifestyle and beautiful environment – which was also an inspiration to her husband, a part-time artist.   Mrs. Wiklund taught 4th grade and 3rd grade and was a Literacy Coach at the Wing School.  Wing was also home to her three children, who graduated from Sandwich High School – classes of ’06, ’08, ’09.

At Wing, Mrs. Wiklund taught, and she coached a Destination Imagination Team for ten years.  Some of her former students, now at SHS, asked her to serve as faculty advisor for the Sandwich High School Key Club.   This gratifying opportunity reflects her professional commitment to students and her modeling of community service.

Mrs. Wiklund’s contributions to the town include her involvement in Sandwich Reads Together, the Sandwich Public Library’s community-wide reading initiative. She also was a founding member of the Grange Hall Coffeehouse, which operated a concert series that brought an eclectic mix of talented singer-songwriters to the stage at the East Sandwich Grange Hall on Old County Road.  Mrs. Wiklund was involved in the Sandwich 375th Celebration, volunteering in a variety of ways throughout the year-long event.

In her most recent role as the district ELA/Literacy Coordinator, Mrs. Wiklund and former Science Coordinator Trish Hill volunteered to be trained as grant writers for the district.  Together, they have written grants and they manage grants that provide support for students and educators.  Mrs. Wiklund is the Editor in Chief of Sandwich Learns Together.

When it comes to accolades, there is no greater honor than to be recognized by one’s peers, and Mrs. Wiklund was chosen as the Sandwich Public Schools employee of the year.

As superintendent, I believe the role of Director of Curriculum requires a person who is able to see the big picture, and to oversee the sequence and flow of district curricula across grades and disciplines; the choice of Maureen Wiklund for this position became clear as I observed her interaction with nationally published and recognized experts in literacy, and in her interactions with our teachers and administrators.

PreK-6 Science Coordinator

The curriculum leadership team was strengthened earlier this month, as interviewing was completed for the Science Coordinator position.   The position opened when Trish Hill applied and was appointed principal of the Oak Ridge School.  I am pleased to announce that Paula Chambers will serve as the Science Coordinator.  Ms. Chambers earned her BS degree in biology from UMASS.  She worked in the private sector as an analyst, environmental consultant, and technical service chemist for research and engineering companies.  She then pursued her passion to teach, working as a middle school math and science teacher in East Greenwich, Rhode Island.  She coached their Destination Imagination team to two state championships.

Ms. Chambers began her teaching in Sandwich in 2006, as a middle school science teacher.  She has experience in grant writing, and  she continues to study the application of technology within the sciences.  Committed to continuous growth, she is a trained member of the literacy team and has created interdisciplinary lessons that are project-based.  Her interest in supporting teachers included her being trained as a Mentor Teacher at UMASS -Dartmouth.

She wasted no time getting into her new role as she surveyed PreK-6 teachers  to determine what professional development needs they had and she has met teachers to assist them in addressing new science standards.  Teachers involved in the interviewing for the coordinator position, complimented Mrs. Chambers for her approach in seeking feedback from teacher needs, especially with the increased federal and state emphasis on science training and inquiry in the elementary grade levels.

The PreK-6 curriculum leaders share a common office space.  On many afternoon hours that space is filled with teachers working on curriculum, reviewing the latest research on best teaching practice, and considering benchmarking assessments used to monitor student knowledge, understanding and skills throughout the school year.   Principals serve as instructional leaders in their respective schools, and the curriculum team provides resources in the form of classroom observations, to assist principals and assistant principals in the teacher evaluation process.