Greater Westfield Chamber of Commerce

Westfield State University announces Distinguished Alumnus Award winner Sylvia Abar


Westfield State University will honor Dr. Sylvia Abar of Westfield, Mass. with the Distinguished Alumna Award on Saturday, October 17 at 10:30 a.m. in the Horace Mann Center lobby.

“As an educator, Dr. Abar embodies the founding mission of Westfield State University,” said Kathi Bradford, director of Alumni Relations. “Her tireless dedication and commitment to public service serves as example for students, faculty, and alumni.”

Dr. Abar earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education at Westfield State and was inspired by her professors to continue her studies.Dr. Abar earned her M.Ed. in school psychology at Westfield State University and her Ed.D. at UMass Amherst.

After graduating from Westfield State, Dr. Abar began teaching within the Palmer Public School District where she remained for 29 years. She began as a teacher of grades four through six and was promoted to Teaching Assistant Principal of the Old Mill Pond School in 1997. During her time there, she developed and administered the After School Activities Program and served on the District/Schools Professional Development Committees. She also was chair of the Beginning Teachers Mentor Development Program and the Positive Reinforcement Committee.In 2000, Dr. Abar was appointed principal of Litwin Elementary School in Chicopee where she remained until her retirement in 2007.

In addition to her teaching career, Dr. Abar is a dedicated member of the community with various volunteering experiences. She has been a member of Kiwanis Club of Westfield since 2007 and established eight new youth service clubs for the city. She is chair of the Good Citizens Awards and founded the Edwin J. Abar-Kiwanis Communication Scholarship with husband Edwin and the Kiwanis Club of Westfield. She currently serves as a volunteer docent at the Storrowton Village Museum and the Springfield Science Museum.

Dr. Abar has remained connected to the university. She served on the Westfield State Alumni Council and on the Westfield State University Board of Trustees from 2007-2012.

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