HEAR WHAT PARENTS HAVE TO SAY
"What a gift your program is!" L.M.
"Westfield Academy of Debate, Model UN and Leadership is one of the best academic enrichment schools on the east coast." K.W.
"This experience has been fantastic for my kids. Thank you for being so dedicated to the kids!" D.U.
“Ann Henderson is a brilliant teacher. I highly recommend her program, based on my son's past two years' participation in her weekly debate program.” P.S.
"I think you are offering our young people one of the most unique and powerful opportunities they could come across." L.B.
"I'm so happy that my daughter is part of this wonderful educational and social experience." R.W.
"I'm amazed by the Westfield program. It's depth and varied opportunities have opened a whole new world to my son." M.N.
"I have been so delighted with the skills he is learning at Westfield. It has been a wonderful experience for [my son]." C.H.
"Westfield has been a life changing experience for our family. [Our daughter] has learned life long skills, our family has made lifelong friends and somehow along the way our worldview became much broader and our appreciation of all the little moments more precious." K.G.
"I just wanted to let you know how HAPPY my daughter is about debate!!!!!! And I wanted to Thank You for all your efforts, all the little and big things you do for these kids." C.P.
"What you are offering is so much more valuable to me than ANYTHING [my child] has at school. And it's a highly rated school!" C.H.
"[T]hanks for all of the great work that you and your team do - amazing is a quick word that comes to mind." W.D.
“We are thrilled with the class and the school and you…Thank you for everything you do. The school is a absolute gem and we tell everyone about it.” A.P.
"I love the way my daughter listens and thinks about what she says. These are skills she learned in your classes over the years. Thank you." R.W.
"Thank you for your positive presence in our world." (Parent of former debater; email sent 6 years after her child graduated from Westfield)
"I loved what you did with the children -- so precise, so thorough... There's just no substitute for a great teacher." H.S.
"You have a way of staying oriented in a positive direction, which is constructively powerful. I am impressed. Thank you for the impact you are having in all the these young people's lives!" J.B.
"Just sending you gratitude and appreciation for the work you’re doing with children! You are offering the world a very valuable service!! Thank you!!" E.R.
"Westfield Academy is the "real deal"! They will help get our children better prepared for high school and college! I never knew all the opportunities that one could receive by participating in debate and Model UN." K.W.
“[My son] is doing great at Tufts, he loves it. He mentioned to me just the other day that his experience with Westfield has helped him significantly with his philosophy class and his essay writing. He also made the Varsity debate team at Tufts that was very competitive. Approximately 100 folks tried out and they only accepted 20, so you should be as proud as he and we are!!!” S.F. (Parent of freshman who was a former student at Westfield and debated with Westfield throughout high school).
"I want to thank you for the opportunities [my daughter] has had over the years while taking your classes. It seemed like just another class at first but it's amazing to watch the progress over the years. It's more than confidence in public speaking, it's learning how to think and communicate. We have some pretty interesting discussions around the supper table. I find that I have to do my homework sometimes. Just wanted to say thank you." R.W.
"We are so grateful that we found you and this program. Thank you for all your efforts." D.M.
“My daughter loves [debate] class! She is very inspired and motivated to attend weekly.”
"I am so grateful to you for giving [my daughter] a voice. She has acquired skills in public speaking that many adults, including myself, have never achieved. In addition, MUN has provided wonderful opportunities for her to learn about the world." R.W.
“I am so glad my son has the opportunity to interact, learn from and be surrounded by such wonderful people! He loves debate class and I have seen his overall confidence grow and that is quite a gift, so thank you!”
"According to my son, debate is the 'only' class that's important in life!" K.K.
"I am writing to thank you so much for everything you've been teaching my daughter. She enjoys debate class very much, and is lucky to have you for a teacher... She has learned so much in just the short time she's been with you, and debating skills will be so helpful to her in so many aspects of her life in the future. We are so grateful to you for your excellent teaching style; our daughter has grown as a person through your teachings."
"[My boys] are learning so much. I feel grateful for you and your program!" D.B.
"Thank you for offering the great learning opportunity for kids. My son loves to go there every Thursday for the intro debate and public speaking class. I plan to send him for the summer camp too." L.D.
"I am so grateful to you for the way you guide and support my daughter. You have a gift." A.S.
“My son had such a wonderful time today. He turned to me this afternoon and said, ‘I can hardly wait until next class.’” J.O.
"[My son] is enjoying the experience so much! Thanks for making it so great for him!" S.L.
"Thank you so much for letting us come to Westfield today. I thought your class was wonderful. I was impressed with your ability to correct the children in a direct but gentle way, and with the depth and range of ideas covered. The children were so engaged! You even had [my younger son's] attention. I had passed him a book to occupy himself and he passed it back with a whisper: 'Do I have to read this? It's so interesting, what they're saying!'" H.S.
"Please know that you are an amazing instructor and we are thankful to you for the experience!" E.D.
"Thanks for being an awesome mentor." R.G.
"I loved the whole feeling in the building, the things you were teaching, the way you asked a lot of the kids but at their level. I can see why people rave about Westfield." C.H.
"The kids are a complete pleasure. I always walk away more hopeful about the future of humanity. I have the utmost respect for everything you are doing." N.M.
"This experience has been fantastic for my kids. Thank you for being so dedicated to the kids!" D.U.
"Westfield Academy is one of the jewels of homeschooling in CT." V.V.
"Thank you for serving the kids in our community!" E.B.
“I just love how much debate has done for my daughter and for her self- confidence.”
"What a great job you are doing for these students." L.L.
"I have tremendous admiration for the program you have built, and can only guess at how much of yourself you have invested in it. Westfield makes me wish my own public school had had a debate team!" G.G.
"I am convinced that public speaking and respectful debating is a very valuable skill. Too bad our politicians don't set a better example. I wish I had had the opportunity to develop skills in public speaking. I thank you for helping [my daughter] find her voice." R.W.
"Thank you for nurturing and building confidence in these young minds." D.C.
"We want to get [our son] to your classes as soon as we can- he was so fired up after coming back from the summer camp this year." S.G.
"A couple of family members have commented to me that my son has matured and is participating more in adult conversations. I know this is in part due to his involvement in Westfield Academy! So, he still may be the quietist kid you have with you, but he’s finding his voice! S.C.
"Congratulations on all these wonderful outcomes. I know it's not about the awards but they are an indicator of the caliber of the kids' training and the depth of the education you're giving them. So glad you are doing this work in the world...You're an inspiration!" B.D.
"I am so glad that my son is a part of Westfield Debate family not just for debating but more for the values, passion, commitment and hard work that you all stand for." P.Y.
"I just wanted to send you a personal note of thanks- my daughter had her first MUN conference this weekend since moving out of state and starting high school and she won outstanding delegate on the ECOSOC committee. I know she was well prepared and confident going into this conference due to her experience at Westfield. She has also stated many times since starting school that the skills she learned in the Westfield classes were excellent preparation for her high school classes. Thanks for all you have done and continue to do to prepare students for school and life!" A.L.
“My son is begging to do more debate.”
"Ann, you and Michael are truly amazing!!!! Your vision and support are unparalleled. I can't thank you enough." K.G.
"Just wanted to say thanks for everything. My son has grown and matured so much and I know he'll take these lessons with him throughout his life. As I am sure you know, my son has absolutely adored Westfield Academy since the very first day he started. Of everything about Connecticut, this is what he will miss the most. Thank you for running such a wonderful program." (from a family moving out of state). TB
" My daughter is REALLY enjoying debate! Says she had fun every time I pick her up and says that math and debate are her 2 favorite classes. So thank you so much!" D.U.
"My kids have learned so much from you (and your family), so you deserve a huge amount of credit for how they conduct themselves. They are a reflection of all those good things" A.M.
"Fantastic program -- Ann does a great job engaging the kids' interest & minds. Totally recommend, 2 thumbs up!" J.P.
"My kids absolutely loved your classes and even though we're ready to move back to our favorite place--the desert, they know that they will miss all of their classes and friends at Westfield Academy. Thank you for everything!" K.S.
"Ann, your work to empower youth to find their voice, inspires me to find mine and support others to be brave and find theirs." L.L.
"Thanks again for today. Both boys had a great time......I have been trying for years to get my son's teachers to see in him what you saw in an hour and a half. I started to give up hope that I would ever be able to communicate his talents in a way that they could be fully exploited so he can grow to be the best kid he can be. What you showed me today is that I DO know him well and that it is not HOW I was delivering the information it was WHO I was delivering it to. For that I am grateful." D.
“What a great group of kids!”
"Thank you so much for everything you are doing with the kids. Their success begins with you!" M.H.
"[My son} really likes going to class and talks a mile a minute all the way home about the class and topics." W. D.
"I wanted to let you know what an amazing time my daughter had at the competition on Saturday. She says she loves debate and can't wait for the next competition. She also had such a good time with her fellow Westfielders!" D.S.
“Thank you for being the amazing coach that you are. Our kids are lucky to have you!”
"My husband and I just want to thank you for making today's day successful for our daughter: not because her team won, but because her self esteem won. It was important that this day would be positive and it sounds like it was way beyond expectations for her. So, again, thank you for making it possible." V.V.
"I think there is no greater compliment than hearing a student who wants to spend time learning! Thank you for providing that atmosphere for him (& others)!!!" H.K.
"The kids love their classes and I want to thank you for being such a fabulous teacher." K.S.
"Just wanted to write a special note of thanks for all the work you have put in making the girls so good. My daughter is delighted as this is her first ever debating competition." R.B. (sent after daughter got 2nd Place Overall Team at her first debate competition).
"So thankful to be a part of your school of debate!" A.B.
"Oh fine Ann Henderson! Fine, fine, fine no longer do I have a child who accepts things at face value, is overwhelmed by global issues or believes a history book tells the whole story. No longer are events a dot on a time line instead they are multifaceted diamonds with lots of sides to be explored and challenged. Thanks for an amazing and empowering year." K.G.
"Thank you for all the work you put into this - it is a truly valuable way to change the world!" J.B.