Former admissions officer, college counselor to replace Wimbish as dean

By Lara Sokoloff

College counselor and former admissions officer Christopher Jones will replace Upper School Dean Jon Wimbish for 2012-2013 school year. Wimbish will serve as Head of Middle School following the departure of current Head of the Middle School Ronnie Codrington-Cazeau.

Jones first worked in admissions at Kenyon College from 1994 until 1996, and again from 2000-2002, where he met members of the Harvard-Westlake community. He later served in admissions at his alma mater, Williams College, and at American University. Jones has worked as a college counselor for over a decade at Columbus Academy in Columbus, Ohio, where he coaches basketball in addition to his college counseling duties.Jones has been asked to fill openings in the past, but has never had significant enough interest to act on the offers, he said.

Although Columbus Academy, a pre-K through 12 independent co-education college preparatory day school, is similar to Harvard-Westlake, the counseling system divides the roles of guidance and college counselors. In his 10-year tenure, Jones served as a college counselor, but said he has recently involved himself in other programs that will help him transition to his role as a dean.

“[Harvard-Westlake’s] model is very, very different from what you will find across the country,” he said. “My responsibilities have been as a college counselor, but I’ve taken on some responsibilities that will prepare me for what I’ll be doing at Harvard-Westlake.”

Jones said he was incredibly invested in Columbus Academy and hopes to become equally invested in the Harvard-Westlake community.

“It’s not tough to be invested, but it’s tough to be invested to the degree that I’d like to be,” he said. “It’s just going to take some time to learn exactly how to do it.

“I’ve been at [Columbus] Academy long enough for folks to know that when they come in the door, I’m one of the folks that they can come to,” he said. “It will just take time for folks at H-W to learn they can do the same with me.”

Despite the challenges of the transition, Jones said he is excited to enter a place with the reputation Harvard-Westlake has.

“Obviously its commitment to education is unsurpassed, but I remember being struck by how committed they are to excellence in extracurriculars, from the arts to athletics to other arenas as well,” Jones said. “Just to be a part of something like that is pretty fantastic.”