The Webb School will begin its 150th school year on Aug. 12 with a total of 317 students. The number includes 203 day students and 114 boarding students. The student body represents 18 different countries and 12 U.S. states. There are 91 new students enrolled for the 2019-2020 school year.
On Aug. 9-10, new boarding and day students and their families participated in orientation. They attended parent and student meetings and took class schedule tours led by student orientation leaders. They also met student advisors and heard a welcome address by Head of School Ray Broadhead.
“This is a great year for The Webb School -- our 150th year. We have many wonderful activities planned,” he said.
“It is my tenth year at Webb, and I am proud and honored to serve you as Webb’s Head of School. This is a great place to learn, for students and adults. At Webb, the balance of academics and activities, the emphasis on honor and character, and the accomplished and caring faculty will work in synergy to help provide your student with a life-changing experience here.” He added, “Parents, we are delighted to see you today, and we appreciate that you entrust your son or daughter to The Webb School for his or her education.”
The new students hail from many different countries and states. The student body represents Bahamas, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Germany, Ghana, Grand Cayman, Guatemala, India, Jamaica, Korea, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Ukraine, United States, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.
The head of school noted the value of a diverse community – students are “world ready” and there is an understanding of different cultures and cultural values. The interactions occur in classrooms and clubs, on athletic fields, in rehearsals, at meals, and in dorms.
“One of our chief goals, echoed throughout the past 149 years of The Webb School is the notion of character. In our vision statement for Webb 150, we wanted to look at how we can best influence our students with regard to character in the 21st century,” said Broadhead. “We formed a character committee, and students will be hearing from the character committee members, and others, throughout the year in chapel. Character is not taught in a classroom; it is how we live at Webb. We are not perfect, but we aspire to be better in this area every day. It is a community dogma, it is fundamental to who we are. We value integrity. We value honor. We value respect for self and others.”
Speaking about academics, Broadhead explained that the work will be challenging, more abstract and analytical, and include more synthesis of material, critical thinking and students sharing their thoughts in class. There will be more writing and more homework, and, while the academics are challenging, Webb is also supportive, he noted. There is extra help offered in the afternoon, and for boarding students, residential faculty members are available in the evening.
“I am honored to be here, excited to learn more about our new students, and I am anxious for classes to begin. Since I was in kindergarten, this has been the rhythm of my life. Most of our faculty can say the same. The faculty and I will do all that we can to make this 150th year of Webb’s history the best ever.”