Commons, Huybrechts address Parents’ Association

Jonathan Seymour

Head of School Jeanne Huybrechts said in the first Parents’ Association meeting Sept. 17 that she wants to make current students the next greatest generation like those in “The Greatest Generation” by Tom Brokaw who were born between the two world wars.

President Rick Commons introduced the new mission statement by recounting his experience seeing Ben Platt ’11 in “The Book of Mormon” on Broadway.

Huybrechts said she read “The Greatest Generation” by Tom Brokaw.

“Having just spent a school year thinking deeply about our school’s mission and purpose and values, the idea of a greatest generation resonated strongly,” Huybrechts said. “What my colleagues and I really want to give the children in our care is the capacity for greatness. Why aspire for less?”

Commons recapped his experience watching Platt perform the “Book of Mormon” this summer and the deeper meaning in the show’s ending.

“The brilliance of this show is that it makes missionary zeal and unquestioning belief look absolutely absurd, and then it cuts back against its own irreverence by bringing the story around to quite a moving statement about the power of community believing in something together,” Commons said.

When introducing and explaining the mission statement, he underscored the importance of the word “joyful” in all aspects of school life.

He ended his speech asking parents not to let him be the only missionary to their children.

“The mission of Harvard-Westlake isn’t the ‘Star Wars’ silliness that Ben Platt spins into gold every night on Broadway,” Commons said. “It’s what you chose already for your children’s education, and it might just help in making the next greatest generation. For the mission to have its effect, we have to be partners.”