Commons announces interim Associate Head of School

Jenny Li

Debbie Reed will assume the position of interim Associate Head of School, President Rick Commons announced in an email to students, parents and faculty this morning.

Reed will take the office during the 2019-2020 school year, Commons said. During that time, the administration will search for a long-term appointment for the position, Commons said. 

“In addition to partnering with me in the overall leadership of our school, [Reed] will focus on teaching and learning, working closely with the division heads on faculty hiring, professional development and curricular oversight,” Commons said in the email. 

Reed is currently a member of the Board of Trustees and served as an English teacher at Harvard School, as well as Head of Middle School, Director of Admissions and seventh grade dean after the merger.

“She was beloved by colleagues for her wit and her warmth and her work ethic,” Commons said. “When I was a young teacher, I went over to the Middle School to coach soccer every afternoon in the fall. As I would leave practice, there was only one person left in the building, and it was always [Reed.] I would always pop in and ask her about what it was to be a school leader and how it was that she came to her responsibilities. At that early juncture, she was very clearly a role model to me.”

After working at Harvard-Westlake, Reed took on the role of Head of Seven Hills School and later, Head of Polytechnic School. Reed retired from her position at Polytechnic School in 2014 and is currently a search consultant with Resource Group 175.

“It’s a tremendous service to Harvard-Westlake and to me that she is willing to come back to some of the joys but also some of the challenges of full-time work at school,” Commons said. “As someone who was Head of two different schools, she understands not only who we are and what we are at our best, but she also has seen other schools that I’m sure do some things as well or even better than Harvard-Westlake. She will help us see what’s possible.”