The Student News Site of The Webb Schools

Webb Canyon Chronicle

The Student News Site of The Webb Schools

Webb Canyon Chronicle

The Student News Site of The Webb Schools

Webb Canyon Chronicle

New Assistant Head of Schools: Webb Enters a New Chapter

Dan Danylov
Dr. Theresa Smith’s office in the Admin Office building. Many administrators’ offices are located here. The building is easily accessible to the students; displaying transparency within the administration-student relationship. Students are always welcome to go into the building for a variety of reasons. The plaque currently reads “Associate Head of Schools” as Dr. Smith is in the process of transitioning into the role of Head of Schools.

The Webb Schools are undergoing remarkable changes. With Taylor Stockdale, Head of Schools, retiring and Dr. Theresa Smith, Assistant Head of Schools, succeeding him as the Head of Schools, our community faces the challenge of defining our future through a new school administration. As such, Dr. Smith’s transition into the position poses the question: Who will fill her role of the Assistant Head of Schools?  

The rigorous process behind the selection begins with Webb’s advertisement of the position on a multitude of websites. After receiving a barrage of applications, a selection committee consisting of key members of the community including Steve Wishek, Director of Athletics and Afternoon Activities, John Choi, Director of Equity, Michael Szanyi, Dean of Faculty, Melanie Bauman, Director of Wellness, and Dr. Smith reviewed each applicant’s resume and narrowed down the list of candidates to a select group of 10 to be interviewed via Zoom.  

Only half of those candidates made it to the final stage. The four finalists then visited campus to converse with student leaders and faculty before touring Webb to ensure they have a clear vision of the schools’ missions and values.  

While the Head of Schools, Taylor Stockdale, works with the community of alumni, parents, and board of trustees, Dr. Smith works closely with the community in its day-to-day operations, collaborating with students and faculty alike. These responsibilities range from reviewing academic programs to improving the culture and climate of the school.  

So, what is our community looking for in a leader within the administration? Students weigh in on the qualities needed for the new Assistant Head of Schools.  

“I believe that it’s the right time [for a leadership change] because we are having structural changes as well,” Julia Tyck (‘23) said. “I hope that the new candidate cares about including student voices because we are going through so many structural changes in the school. I just hope that they value what will benefit the students the most instead of what will make the school look the best.” 

Students seek a candidate who truly engages in the community by listening to all voices. Which strengthens the bonds across the school population by providing transparency to the sometimes-mysterious administration. 

“I hope that the new candidate is someone that embodies the spirit and values of Webb, as well as someone that will work to make Webb better in the coming years,” said Ale Fountain (‘24). “A specific candidate [which he toured around campus] has stood out to me because of his honesty, and it was very clear to me that he was being transparent, and he wasn’t the type of person to tell people what they wanted to hear.” 

With the advancement towards a diverse, inclusive, and equitable environment, the school must select someone ready to transform the culture, preserving important traditions and core values while determining the future of the institution.  

“[Webb] was based on white males back in the day, then we got Vivian Webb, so we had women coming in,” said John Choi, the Director of Equity. “Then we had more people of color and the population started to change and shift. We have to change the culture and the shape of the school without completely changing its mission statement and its original goals but to evolve and to be more relevant to the current population that is here. One of the challenges is – how do we make an inclusive environment for a very diverse range of people?” 

Candidates must fulfill Webb’s mission statement, which begs the question, will the new Assistant Head of Schools be hired from within Webb or from the outside? 

“There is value and benefit in both types of candidates [internal, Webb faculty, and external],” said Ken Rosenfeld, Dean of Campus Life. “Bringing in someone from the outside is valuable because, as someone who’s been here quite a while, you see everything through a specific lens, and that lens is very much colored by your experiences here. Institutional memory is valuable but at the same time, it is also very narrow and limited. Sometimes bringing in a fresh perspective allows us to grow and change in ways that we ordinarily would not be able to.” 

While the benefits of hiring candidates outside of Webb are great, the value of hiring within Webb cannot be ignored. Candidates within Webb harbor the knowledge of Webb’s life and culture; they understand the school’s traditions and their value to students, as well as an already established relationship with students. 

With the final decision announced a couple of days ago, Mr. Michael Hoe, the current Director of Studies, will rise to the position of Assistant Head of Schools starting next year. After an extensive process including candidates from all over the nation, the Webb community can rest assured that Mr. Hoe is ready to guide Webb with the community’s best interests at heart. As Dr. Smith said in her update email, “As [Webb] continues to balance innovation and tradition in our evolution toward the one school model, I can think of no one better to serve in this role.” 

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About the Contributors
Taylor Crawford
Taylor Crawford, Chief Editor of Culture & Lifestyle
Fitting for the Chief Editor of Culture & Lifestyle, Taylor Crawford (‘23)’s many interests help her create a vibrant presence in her section. As a resident of Glendora, Taylor enjoys playing soccer, shopping, and occasionally reading. She is a member of the VWS varsity soccer team as well as the soccer club Legends FC. She spent her summer in northern California with her church, spending lots of time hanging out with her family and friends cultivating meaningful relationships. Last year, Taylor wrote multiple articles, but she was most proud of iWebb, which is the Webb version of iCarly. Taylor also has leadership roles on campus, as she is a new member of the day student prefect group. Her commitment takes root in seminary, which she partakes in every day before school.  During her free time, she watches her favorite shows, Criminal Minds, Knight and Day, and listens to her favorite artist Justin Bieber. This year, Taylor hopes to leave her legacy in journalism by making more entertaining videos and articles.  Favorite Song: “Valerie” by Mark Ronson and Amy Winehouse 
Dan Danylov
Dan Danylov, Co-Editor of Sports & Co-Editor of Opinion
Most Webb students spend their summer at the beach or relaxing with friends, but Dan Danylov (‘23) is not like most Webb students. Dan spent his summer in Romania assisting Ukrainian refugees to obtain the proper documents and find flights. His willingness to help others in need highlights Dan’s dedicated humanitarianism and loyal friendship. At Webb, Dan is the head dorm prefect in Jones, which he claims is the best dorm on campus. He is a perfect fit for the prefect role; he loves helping his peers and is adept at making the lives of those around him just a little bit better. Dan also loves the arts, playing both drums and guitar, and is constantly listening to his favorite genre, post-punk, also known as soviet rock. Not stopping with music, Dan is an avid film enthusiast in his free time and recently enjoyed Sorry to Bother You, an Afro-Surrealist film from 2018. When he’s not watching movies or practicing the drums, Dan spends his time with friends. If you ever happen to drop by his dorm late at night, chances are he will be forgoing a good night's rest to speak with his friends and family on the other side of the world. Dan hopes to use his position as Co-Editor of Opinion and Co-Editor of Sports to improve his and his peers’ writing and advocate for issues he is passionate about.    Favorite Song: “Redbone” by Childish Gambino 

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