For Claudia Koochek, a leader in learning disabilities (LD) education, empowerment is at the heart of the Westmark School community. “We empower our students to cultivate their strengths and exercise their voices as learners,” she explains. “With self-confidence, self-esteem and caring support, we believe they can accomplish anything.”
The Los Angeles college preparatory school uses a research-based curriculum to nourish the bright minds of more than 200 neurodiverse learners with language-based learning differences such as dyslexia, dysgraphia and dyscalculia. Westmark celebrates the distinct learning styles of its students.
“My greatest joy is to see children discovering their unique talents and passions,” says Claudia, who has been head of school since 2015. Her dedication to LD education stems from her teen years, when she volunteered for the Special Olympics in her native El Salvador. This inspired her to pursue a career teaching kids with learning differences, which she has done for more than 30 years—including a successful tenure leading the Charles Armstrong School in Northern California.
A beloved mentor to countless educators and families, Claudia has made it a priority to empower Westmark’s teachers, providing top-notch professional development informed by the latest neuroscientific findings and best practices in LD education. She believes teacher training is crucial to ensuring the best academic and socio-emotional outcomes for each learner. “We empower the faculty to continually fine-tune our methodologies so our students can benefit from an innovative, nurturing environment and reach their full potential,” she shares.
Claudia is grateful that even during these exceptional times, Westmark School has remained true to its mission: to provide the tools necessary for students to achieve successful and fulfilling futures. She is confident that Westmark will fulfill its commitment to transforming the lives of its students and families for many years to come.