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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

After 3 years at the helm Rick Duque looks towards the future with his decision to step down from WSC Dean of Students

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Sydney Mildon
Rick Duque, WSC Dean of Students, poses in front of his office. Dean Duque is also one of this year’s student government faculty advisors, along with Dean Sarah Lantz and Dean Ken Rosenfeld.

Recently at a WSC assembly, Rick Duque, WSC Dean of Students, announced his plan to step down from his position as Dean of Students at the end of the 22-23 school year. As someone adored by the students for his fun and caring personality, and ability to make people feel comfortable and welcome at Webb, Dean Duque’s announcement brought shock, confusion, and sadness to many students and faculty. 

“It really makes me sad,” Aaden Mozia (‘26) said. I’ve only gotten to know him for a year but from what I’ve seen he’s an amazing Dean of Students and he has helped me through a lot of stuff, he’s also introduced me to a lot of teachers, and he even got me into his jerky business. So, I really appreciate Dean Duque and he’s an amazing person. It’s sad to see him go.”  

“I’ve always loved working with Dean Duque,” said Dr. Mark Dzula, Director of Teaching and Learning Resources. “Especially during the pandemic, he did a lot to keep people together. I particularly appreciate his ability to connect with people. He’ll do the work of a dean, and he will come up and join you at Jubilee on stage and dance.” 

Another hanging question that the community is yearning to hear the answer to is why Dean Duque decided to step down from his position. 

“As we all know, Webb is becoming one school, and the Dean of Student’s office will be reorganized,” said Dean Duque. “There will be a dean of students, a Dean of Campus Life, and a Dean of Residential life. Anytime I take a job, I look whether I will truly enjoy it. Looking at those, I didn’t feel like they were the right fit for me,” said Dean Duque. “I have always been a teacher and a coach and Webb is kind enough to allow me to go back to that job.”  

Although Dean Duque did not take up the offer that Webb gave to him, he explained that he really enjoyed the binary school system and wants to see if there are other potential schools to continue working at.  

He also talks about wanting to try new things and exploring what else he can do.  

“I know what I have here at Webb, which is really good, but I also want to see what else is out there,” Dean Duque said. “I didn’t know what boarding school was, but I have really embraced it. For me to leave, it has to be a perfect situation for everyone. There are lots of aspects for everyone.”  

He also mentioned his excitement about continuing his new jerky business, Hammered Foods, with Ken Rosenfeld, the Dean of Student Life.  

“Hammered foods would be exciting as well,” Dean Duque said. “Who knows what the future holds.”  

He expressed that his stepping down as a dean is a big part of the transition for The Webb Schools to become just one co-ed school on campus 

“Next year, Dr. Smith wants to have the leadership in place, so it gives the individuals in those positions a full year before we actually become one school in 24-25,” Dean Duque said. “Obviously, the Dean of Student’s office is all about the students and how we can transition from two separate schools to one, knowing that there are a lot of exciting opportunities, while realizing that change is difficult. The switch from two schools to one is gradual, so my stepping down is part of this transition.” Finally, Dean Duque believes that his decision can help bring diversity to the Administration of Webb. 

“Webb has made a great commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion so maybe bring in someone who reflects the diversity of students that we have Webb,” Dean Duque said. 

Although everybody in the Webb community is very upset and shocked by this big announcement and Dean Duque himself is sad to leave Webb, he looks forward to new opportunities in his future and watching how a new Dean will hopefully help Webb transform for the better.  

 

Note: Dr. Dzula is the co-adviser for the Webb Canyon Chronicle 

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About the Contributors
Narineh Madikians, Public Editor
Narineh Madikians (23) is coming back to Webb for her senior year as a completely new person. Along with her new position as the Webb Canyon Chronicle's new Public Editor, Narineh is also a head peer advisor and a member of the VWS varsity volleyball team. Even though her senior year is full of change, Narineh still loves humanities courses from past years such as Advanced Studies Creative Nonfiction. She encourages everyone at Webb to take this class as it has made a significant impact on her writing techniques. This year, she is focusing on the future while also trying to stay present at the moment, hoping to make as many lasting memories as she can before she leaves for college. After a long and busy week at school, Narineh uses her weekends to recharge. She loves to go out with her friends or stay at home and watch movies with her parents and three dogs: Jeckie, Dash, and Rex. At the end of the day, Narineh unwinds by listening to her favorite artists such as Mac Miller, Frank Ocean, and Childish Gambino. Narineh will use her new and old experiences throughout Webb, the WCC, and outside life, to make her senior year unforgettable.   Favorite Song: "Crimson and Clover" by Tommy James and The Shondells
Sydney Mildon, Co-Editor of Features
When speaking with Sydney Mildon (‘25), you should always expect the unexpected. Usually quiet in class, Sydney can be strikingly loud when the vibe feels right. A bubbly and talkative person, she likes to hang out with friends, go on weekend runs, try different foods, and watch Gilmore Girls on replay. This summer, she traveled with her family to the Bahamas, Utah, and back to her home in Las Vegas. While enjoying the lighthearted side of life, Sydney also takes on many responsibilities in the Webb community. As a prefect for Jones dormitory, she takes care of her fellow boarders and ensures that they can fully engage in residential life. As an admission ambassador, she introduces prospective Webb students to the campus family. As a scholar, she is passionate about women's rights and is interested in becoming a lawyer to pursue the legal aspects of feminism and rape culture. Returning to the WCC as Editor of Features, Sydney is willing to have fun with her role while ensuring WCC articles’ quality. Additionally, she wants to increase the amount of her article outputs this year. With so many different aspects coming together in her, let us expect the unexpected articles from Sydney Mildon this year!   Favorite Song: "Lovers Rock" by TV Girl
Eric Luo, Co-Editor of News
A skilled conductor Eric Luo (‘25) adeptly orchestrates a symphony of diverse talents, weaving together creative writing, music, and culinary arts. This summer, he not only sharpened his writing skills at a Kenyon College creative writing camp but also explored African history at a Stanford summer camp. As a multi-instrumentalist, he is proficient in saxophone and is self-taught in bassoon and piano. He takes this musical passion a step further by creating compositions on digital audio workstations, such as Logic. Alongside his commitment to composing music and writing, Eric is a cooking enthusiast, dedicated to both the scientific and artistic aspects of gastronomy. Eric’s cooking skills venture beyond conventional recipes as he channels his passion toward cheese-making. Driven by his curiosity for food chemistry and biology, Eric started making cheese during the pandemic. While he loves Brie and Gorgonzola, a timeless classic mozzarella is his favorite to create. From his experimentation in culinary science to writing styles particularly in creative nonfiction essays Eric continually challenges himself. This year, he also aims to experiment in the Webb Canyon Chronicle and transition from feature articles to publishing more opinion pieces to foster change by promoting underrepresented points of view in Webb and the world at large.   Favorite Song: "Big Toe" by The Growlers

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    Doug Gregg | Jul 14, 2023 at 5:37 PM

    Dean Duque is a good guy with a special presence and contact with all of the students. Being on the Webb AC I’ve had many opportunities to meet with and watch his interactions on campus. What a pleasure and my thanks.
    All my best,
    Doug ’66

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