Administrative heads speak on their visions for the school

Kaitlin Musante

Administrative heads stressed the importance of fostering a supportive community and announced the introduction of various programs at the State of the School on Wednesday.

President Rick Commons addressed the visions for 2020 in the context of a letter written by a parent who felt there was an “all prep, no school” mentality at the school. He expressed his desire to create a community where excellence is magnified by happiness, balance and diversity, along with the other school visions.

“Prep and school need not be opposed to one another,” Commons said. “Excellence and balance can be and should be complementary.”

Head of Upper School Laura Ross introduced herself to the community and spoke about her views on education, stressing the importance of cultivating curiosity and valuing the diverse characteristics of each student.

“There is nothing I care about more than trying to establish a community where kids and adults feel known, valued and in a position to bring their best to school every day,” Ross said. “I believe deep within my soul that learning is one of the most joyful capacities that human beings have.”

Head of Middle School Jon Wimbish reflected upon the human aspect of education in the age of technology and robotics, and he discussed the hope that students give him for the future, especially in such challenging times.

“I don’t know of any machine or program that can provide a wellspring of hope the way that working in a school can,” Wimbish said. “As far as the adults who guide the students toward discovery, I have to believe that no matter how advanced the technology, no robot would be able to look at a student in the eye and respond to their thirst for challenge or recognize when a young person is overwhelmed and in need of compassion.”

Wimbish also announced the introduction of HW Bridge, a program which will work with Bright Star Schools to help to shrink the gaps between education communities across Los Angeles. The program will allow 27 students to participate in after school programs in subjects such as robotics and the arts.

Head of Athletics Terry Barnum discussed the new Athletics Principles, which are 15 statements that aim to guide the evolution of athletics within the community. Highlighting four particular principles, Barnum called upon parents to help children adhere to these rules.

Parent’s Association Head Jackie Klein announced the introduction of new, grade level community service events to help people in need throughout local community.