The Silicon Valley Voice

Power To Your Voice

Washington Open

Washington Open Elementary school is celebrating its 40th anniversary on Saturday April 26th from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Alumni, students, staff and the community are invited to attend the event at the campus on 270 Washington St. “Open” started at the Westwood campus in 1973, as a parent participation alternative school.

The Washington Westwood celebration in April is a great way to reconnect with school friends and staff. Barbara Berman, Principal, will host the celebrations. Steve Zell, the first teacher and architect of the program, will lead Open Sing. Retired teachers Beth Heidemann, Anna-Marie Boucher and Linda Boucher will be there. Visitors can say hello to current staff too, including the longest-serving teacher on staff, Sherry Ernst, a teacher at Open for 30 years.

Also in attendance will be three generations of one family at the school – a teacher, a student and a volunteer/specialist.


Jennifer Jenkins has been teaching 5th grade since 1996, originally at Westwood. “I was drawn to teaching because both of my parents were teachers and clearly enjoyed their careers,” she says. “I continue to love my job because children bring so much curiosity with them each morning”

Jennifer’s mother, Jane Tankersley, was a teacher in the District for 31 years until she retired in 2003. Jane taught at the school, and still works as a reading intervention specialist for kindergarteners. She is also a grandparent volunteer.

“I enjoy the child-centered experiential approach to learning,” she says. “I also like working with parents and appreciate the community spirit they bring to the school.”

Jane’s two grandchildren, Mary Jane and Lucas, went to Open, with Lucas graduating this year. “You stay here for six year and you get to know people, you make relationships. You really never forget them when you leave.”

Alumni can connect on Facebook at Open Alumni Washington Westwood.

Photo caption: Jennifer Jenkins, Lucas Jenkins and Jane Tankersley.


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