Howard to become new dean

Scott Nussbaum

English teacher Adam Howard ’93 will join the dean team next year, replacing Jim Patterson, Head of School Jeanne Huybrechts announced in an email to faculty and staff Monday morning.

Next year, Howard will take over counseling duties for Patterson’s rising juniors, as well as counsel sophomores. Patterson’s current juniors will still be counseled by Patterson, as he will remain on campus in his new position as Director of External Learning.

“As much as I love my time in the classroom, I only get three hours a week with about 30 sophomores and juniors, whereas as a dean I feel like I will be able to have more of a connection and influence over a three-year process,” Howard said. “I want to get to know them better as students, as citizens, as just overall members of Harvard-Westlake.”

After graduating from Kenyon College and earning his master’s degree in theater from the University of Texas at Austin, Howard returned to Harvard-Westlake to initially teach performing arts at the Middle School, but later switched to teach English, a job he has held at the Upper School for the past eight years.

“I know the college process pretty well because I went to a very small college and then went to a huge university for graduate school,” Howard said. “I loved my decision to go to Kenyon and I think one of the reasons I am so drawn to being a college counselor is that I want to help other kids find that perfect place for them.”

Howard currently teaches English II and English III: Living America, and also leads the H-W Sports Council, mentors playwrights for the annual Playwrights Festival and serves on the Senior Independent Study Committee. Howard is excited for his new position because “in the deans’ offices, the challenges are daily, and they’re unique and so unpredictable,” he said.

Howard was informed he got the position last Monday. He was not then aware that he was replacing Patterson, he said, but believed he was replacing Dean Mike Bird, who also plans to retire this year.

“There were still parts in motion, so I didn’t know exactly which kids I will be taking over,” Howard said.