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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

Collegiate no more: Webb abandons new school name

Jenny Tran
Like other Webb students, Andrew Barrantes (‘25) is surprised by the decision made on the name of Webb Collegiate.

Our voices have been heard!  

In a message sent out to the Webb community on September 18th, Dr. Theresa Smith, Head of Schools, wrote, “We’ve heard from members of the Webb community, including alumni, current students and families… that while Webb’s mission and values continue to resonate with our community, the name ‘Webb Collegiate’ does not.”  

The email came as a shock for many Webb students, who thought that Webb Collegiate was set in stone.  

“On the one hand, I was surprised, because it came out at such a random time,” Andrew Barrantes (‘25) said. “But on the other hand, I’m happy that they listened to student feedback.”    

In March 2023, the sound of Outlook notifications echoed through classes, as a STAS email chain blew up with dismay at a new name change. Many students believed that the name, “Webb Collegiate” would sit on their diplomas, and be the name of the school for the next century. That infamous week and STAS chain has become ingrained into the minds of returning Webb students. 

“People were mad, everyone went to STAS complaining. Everyone agreed that as a school, ‘Webb Collegiate’ was bad,” said Jonathan Rosales-Cardenas (‘24), student government executive.  

In contrast, students seem much more content with the decision to backtrack, which is evidenced by the fact that nobody showed up to this year’s impromptu meeting. 

“I think it was a good move by the school to listen to the voices of the student population and I think this name will really resonate with the student body rather than Webb Collegiate,” said Brianna Stodghill (‘26), Class President of 2026. 

The reasoning behind the change, Dr. Smith explained, was primarily due to student, family and alumni feedback.  

“We heard from a lot of different constituencies in the school that the name just didn’t resonate with them the way we had hoped, and that it felt like they were losing their school,” Dr. Smith said.  

Many felt an emotional connection to The Webb Schools as a name that defined Webb and its community. They believe that while Webb’s new school model promises change and looking toward the future, the community must not forget its past, lest it lose its character.  

“The collegiate name didn’t feel opening and welcoming,” Andrew said. “It felt formal and stiff, different from the community.”  

Over the last few months, the Board of Trustees reviewed the feedback from different members of the community and held meetings with senior leadership, finally solidifying the decision with a formal vote. With “The Webb Schools,” we continue to honor the legacy of Webb School of California and Vivian Webb School. From a practical point of view, Webb is looking to refine the branding materials to fit the new model, but little will be changed. While Webb will no longer appear as two institutions to colleges, the official transcripts have already displayed the name “The Webb Schools” for many years. 

Rather than symbolizing sudden, drastic changes, the new name represents Webb’s gradual evolution into something new. Looking forward, the board will launch a 12-18 month-long process in February 2024 that looks forward to envisioning the next steps for Webb. 

Although Webbies did not get much say on the initial name branding, the administration hopes to include more opportunities for students to weigh in on future decisions. Avenues like the Head’s Student Leaders Council hope to establish a regular channel of communication between students and Webb’s administration.  

“I think the council is an effective way to bridge student-admin communication,” said Annie Han (‘24), a member of the Head’s Student Leaders Council. She explained that the issue, like students getting marked tardy or absent for taking pictures at chapel, is now being discussed by admin after it was raised at the Head Student Leaders meeting.  

Student leaders also acknowledged the significance of this change as the beginning of fostering a more productive student-admin relationship. This process showed that student voices do matter and can influence admin decisions. 

“This sets the precedent for when push comes to shove,” Jonathan said. “When students aren’t happy about a decision, the admin is willing to make a change.” 

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About the Contributors
Jenny Wang
Jenny Wang, Editor-in-Chief
Returning after a transformative summer at Northwestern University, Jenny Wang ('24) is rejoining the Webb Canyon Chronicle as Co-Editor-in-Chief, bursting with fresh journalism skills. Jenny is primarily humble when talking about her talents and interests, she occasionally forgets to flex that she is also a pianist, flutist, comedy enthusiast, and badminton pro. As a prominent figure at Webb, Jenny serves on the VWS honor cabinet, captain of the debate team, and chapel council. Finding comfort in shows like Grey's Anatomy and Gilmore Girls, she balances the demands of her busy life. Jenny's academic pursuits lean towards humanitarian issues; over the summer, she invested extra time into political risk research, specifically analyzing aspects of Israeli lifestyle. Beyond her academic commitments, Jenny's mission this year is to infuse WCC articles with potent and well-balanced viewpoints. Her intellect, vibrant personality, and unwavering laughter contribute to an environment full of energy and positivity. There is no doubt, Jenny Wang embodies a dynamic blend of talents, passions, and determination that enriches both the Webb community and the wider world. Through her versatile contributions and infectious laughter, Jenny's presence leaves an indelible mark, reminding us all of the power of embracing one's passions and sharing them with the world.  Favorite Song: "Welcome to Wonderland" by Anson Seabra
Stratton Rebish
Stratton Rebish, Editor-in-Chief
Stratton Rebish (‘24) is a man of many titles. Holding positions as Head Peer Advisor, Editor-in-Chief of the Webb Canyon Chronicle, the founder and president of the Webb Thespian Group, Stratton is, “kind of a big deal around town,” according to him. But within these responsibilities, he has two main passions: football and theater. As a varsity defensive end and football captain, you might not immediately think of Stratton as a theater kid. A single conversation with Stratton will brighten your day with his bubbly and dramatic tones. His hysterical jokes come from his love of stand-up comedy and comics like Hasan Minhaj. As for sports, he is an avid New York sports fan; the New York Jets and Knicks will forever hold a special place in his heart, even when they disappoint him year after year. Aside from getting grilled for his poor sports team taste, he is a self-proclaimed “aspiring grill savant”. He aspires to be a grill dad and loves a Southeast Asian dish called Satay. And when you hear, “So guys, funny story, right,” be ready for Stratton’s theatrics, because he will always be in character, playin’ his role.  Favorite song: "Life" by Sérgio Mendes
Jenny Tran
Jenny Tran, Public Editor
Whether it is popping on a new vinyl or traveling across the world, Jenny Tran (‘24) likes to immerse herself in the moment and explore the culture around her. You can find her hanging out with friends in the South Hutch common room or listening to various music genres at any place and time. Her favorite artists include Suboi, Keshi, Tyler the Creator, and Blackpink. Whether across the Pacific Ocean in California or in her hometown of Hanoi, Vietnam, Jenny is probably watching the radiant moon listening to Super Rich Kids by Frank Ocean. At Webb, Jenny shines a light on women’s issues in different countries, Asian rights, and ESVI. As she moves into her third year on the Webb Canyon Chronicle, she hopes to continue advocating for her beliefs while exploring new mediums like poetry or photo galleries. As a Public Editor, Jenny also wants to bring more inventive and comedic ideas to the table. If you are ever in need of a good laugh, a music recommendation, or someone to go thrifting with, you should call Jenny Tran.  Favorite song: DO4LOVE by 52Hz & Willistic 
Emily Li
Emily Li, Chief of Media
Emily Li ('24) is not your usual iPad kid. You might see her using her tablet, but trust me: she isn't playing Roblox. She is a passionate artist who loves to create artwork on her iPad. Emily's favorite thing to draw is the people around her, focusing on experimenting with colors. She also enjoys dancing to popular K-pop stars IU and Mamamoo. Just like her top-notch dancing skills, she has a crazy tolerance for spicedo not be surprised when you see her empty bottle of sriracha. However, Emily's dynamic personality is not confined to her personal endeavors. As head peer advisor, she steps into a leadership role that suits her naturally empathetic and social nature. She finds joy in building bridges, fostering connections, and offering a sympathetic ear to those around her. One of Emily’s main goals this year is to give as much love as she can to the world. At the Webb canyon chronicle is to improve the diversity of articles and further refine the website after designing it. In a world where each stroke of her digital pen, every dance step, and all her interactions paint a picture of her vibrant self, Emily Li stands not only as a multitalented artist, leader, athlete and beacon of positivity, illuminating everything she touches with her unique and colorful perspective. 
Eric Luo
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
Kathy Duan
Kathy Duan, Copy Editor
In both the classroom and at your local law firm, Kathy Duan (‘25) radiates an aura of unwavering positivity, always prepared to offer a listening ear or a supportive shoulder to those in need. Serving on the Honor Committee and contributing to the Webb Canyon Chronicle as a Copy Editor, Kathy showcases her dedication and dependability, readily addressing any questions from political theory and philosophy to the finer points of the Webb Canyon Chronicle’s style guide. During the summers of her sophomore and junior years, she immersed herself in an internship at a community law firm, deftly managing client communications. Beyond her legal pursuits, Kathy shines as a passionate debater, and is an integral part of the Webb debate team. Most notably, she founded a non-profit organization, Roundtable Debate Academy, that makes speech and debate classes more accessible. Apart from the newsroom, leadership, or debate, you may sometimes find Kathy at the pool practicing water polo with friends or in Fawcett Library researching the next big story in today’s political scene. As a passionate advocate for rectifying injustices around educational equality, Kathy dedicates herself to finding solutions constantly. The next time you walk by the Fawcett Library or take a nice stroll by Stockdale Center, be on the lookout for Kathy’s next big article! Favorite Song: "Passionfruit" by Drake

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