Westchester Today By Cobb Atkinson, Head of School
Chuck and Carol were very much a team, and their love of school life was evident from the moment they stepped foot on campus. They, too, like so many of us, quickly fell in love with Westchester and its warm, comfortable community. Chuck’s leadership, kindheartedness, and wisdom permeated the school family; he brought a steady hand in a challenging moment. The Hamblets shared immeasurable love and care with our school family, leaving us all a rich legacy. To this day, I still hear anecdotes about their time at WCDS, stories of generosity, kindness, service, and joy. Opal, the Hamblets’ standard poodle, spent her days with Chuck in his office; occasionally the two of them would slip outside to play fetch with a tennis ball. Chuck loved a good conversation and was an excellent listener: inviting, generous, and warm. He had an eye for details and was deeply committed to taking care of the little things. For Chuck, no job was too small, and staff remember his habit of picking up bits of trash around campus as he would walk about.
Middle and Upper School Music students’ Holiday Concert is at 7:00 p.m. Monday, Dec. 3, at 7:00 pm. in Rives Hall. Grades PreK-2 Holiday Concert will be at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 18, in the Finch Center. Grades 3-5 Holiday Concert will be at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 18, in the Finch Center.
Independent school life was in the Hamblets’ blood long before Chuck took over as Head of School at WCDS. He loved high school athletics and could be found after school and in the evenings in the stands watching the Wildcats play. Baseball stood as a particularly passionate pastime, and on most spring afternoons Chuck could be found sitting between the home dugout and home plate watching the Wildcats play. I never had the chance to meet Chuck; he Continued on page 3
In 2006, Chuck Hamblet came to Westchester with his wife, Carol, to be the interim head of school, accepting a one-year appointment while the school completed a search for a permanent head. Chuck and Carol had most recently been at St. George’s School, a boarding school in Providence, Rhode Island, for 16 years before Mr. Hamblet “retired” as their Head of School.
Chuck’s Fund Honors Legacy
Students Serving the Community A group of intrepid WCDS students and faculty members woke up early on a recent Saturday morning to volunteer at the GoFar race.
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Meet Your Wildcats Name: Kay Chapman
Title: Director of Health Services
> Lunch Menu
Family: Husband of 22 years, Jeff; son, Grayson, 9th grade; daughter, Addison, 7th grade
Favorite Subject in High School: Math and science
Wildcat Hoops at HPU
Currently Reading: The Power of Moments by Chip Heath and Dan Heath
Varsity Girls and Boys Basketball teams will take on Caldwell at HPU’s Millis Center on Saturday, Dec. 8, at 5:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., respectively. Tickets are $5 each and are available from Mrs. Argo in the Front Office through Dec. 7. Tickets must be purchased in advance; they will not be availble at the door. Go, Cats! WAPA Holiday Gift In lieu of purchasing holiday gifts for teachers this year, consider a cash contribution to the WAPA Holiday Gift fund. The funds are distributed evenly among the entire staff as a holiday “bonus” that is greatly appreciated! Click here to contribute.
Last Movie Watched: Momma Mia! Here We Go Again Favorite Restaurant: Hutchins BBQ in Frisco, Texas (I love a tomato base BBQ sauce!) Dream Vacation: Any place that includes exploring with family, excludes electronics, and is warm! Something most people don’t know about you: I love doing yard work and gardening. (Yes, that includes mowing!) Favorite Thing about WCDS: Getting to know the families. They have welcomed me with open arms by providing a sense of community that was missing when we moved to North Carolina. It’s refreshing to be around students eager to learn and enjoying class. I feel very blessed to have the opportunity to serve the Westchester community.
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Leaders like Chuck Hamblet come along only so often and leave behind powerful and lasting legacies of care, kindness, leadership, and love. We all live now as beneficiaries of his leadership; his impact on our school resonates daily with each kind remark, each avid fan, each piece of trash picked up and thrown away. Despite his passing, he is with us still, challenging us to be at our best, to take care of the little things, to love one another and our school passionately and generously, always keeping our students first and foremost in our minds.
So I’m asking for your support in this effort. Our timing is a little different than years past, but the goal is the same--to equip me to invest in our teachers so that they can continue to go above and beyond for our students, your children and grandchildren. A paddle raise for Chuck’s Fund will be the centerpiece of our our upcoming Gift of Giving Holiday Bash on Saturday, December 15, at Centennial Station Arts Center. I hope you all will be able to join us for this fun, festive evening. Tickets are available at www.bidpal. net/giftofgiving, as well as an opportunity to donate if you are unable to attend. Raffle tickets also are available for purchase via this link. Thank you for your support.
Save the Date - Homecoming 2019! Thursday, January 3 - Pajama Day Friday, January 4 - Blue/White Spirit Day & Homecoming festivities: • • • •
Pep rally - 12:50 p.m. Basketball games - 4:00, 5:30, and 7:00 p.m. Athletic Hall of Fame - 6:30 p.m. Homecoming Court - Immediately following Varsity Boys game
became ill in the spring of 2009 and passed away the following winter on January 9, 2010. Many members of the Westchester community traveled to Rhode Island to attend services in his honor at St. George’s. When I began my service as WCDS Head of School in July of that year, I sensed early on the powerful mark he had left on the school and the still-palpable sense of loss at his passing.
Chuck brought our annual Head’s discretionary fundraiser--now known as Chuck’s Fund--to the Auction Gala in the fall of 2007. He knew, as I have come to know, that teachers as skilled and passionate as ours would always have great ideas for innovation and creativity that arise apart from the annual budget cycle. He knew as well that investing in our teachers’ ideas always pays dividends for years to come. His ask each year at Auction, which has become my ask now, is that parents and supporters give each year funds to be placed at the Head’s discretion that will allow him or her to say “yes” when a teacher discovers a new technology to help students learn, to say “yes” to a teacher asking for above-andbeyond professional development, to say “yes” to new ideas, new tools, or new programming.
Westchester Today December 2018 4 BUDDY TIME! Buddy pairs enjoyed making crafts, wrapping books, reading, and sharing in a Thanksgiving feast during the C.A.R.E.S. Crews event Nov. 16. Be sure to follow WCDS on social media for daily updates and photos from school life.
Westchester Country Day is a college preparatory school that seeks to educate each child toward moral, academic, artistic, and athletic excellence in a nurturing, family environment where students, teachers, and parents support one another. By respecting the student and honoring learning, Westchester aims to cultivate informed citizens who are ready for a rapidly changing world and to graduate students who view the pursuit and wise use of knowledge as a lifelong joy.