Latin Bids Farewell to Mr. Tebbens

Peter Jones, Co-Editor-in-Chief

He’s typically decked out in Vineyard Vines or delivering announcements alongside his fellow dean Mr. Edwards, and this year will sadly be his last at Latin. There’s no telling how different the Latin community will be without Mr. Tebbens next year.

Tebbens is the current 9th and 10th grade Dean, and his well-known energy and humor will be a startling loss for Latin. After the tragic events that transpired at Stoneman Douglas High School, Mr. Tebbens offered some comforting words at a gathering during a time when many students were emotional. This is a prime example of his role in keeping the Latin community together.

Aside from his academic role, he has coached the Varsity Baseball team through many successful seasons, never failing to spread motivation throughout the team. Mr. Tebbens’ teaching, coaching, and leading styles are all inspiring and remind us that our success is a product of our actions and hard work.

As some students and team members put it:

“Mr. Tebbens constantly pushes me to do my best and reach new levels by putting in work,” said senior Alec Kotler, a captain of the Baseball team. “Because of him, I understand how valuable working hard is.”

“Mr. Tebbens is a great dean, and a really fun guy,” remarked freshman Will Bowman, who was on Mr. Tebbens and Mr. Edwards’ recent Project Week trip to Southwest Florida. “He’s very motivating but also laid-back when he should be.”

“Mr. Tebbens is an incredibly important member of the Latin community and it will be sad to see him go. I can’t imagine what it will be like here without him, and I wish him the best at his next occupation,” said one student who wished to remain anonymous.

When Mr. Tebbens moves on to the next chapter of his life, the position as 9th and 10th Grade Dean will be filled by Mr. Cronister, who is currently the Director of Student Life. Mr. Cronister was Dean of Student Life at North Shore Country Day before coming to Latin and served as our Upper School Director from 2002-2007.

According to Cronister, he is “going to become the 9th and 10th Grade Dean as an interim, so it’ll be pretty year by year. We’re trying to be fiscally responsible as a school, and this will allow me to continue some of the programs I started, like the mentoring program and student government.”

As the Director of Student Life, Mr. Cronister oversees the service projects from K-12th grade, he supports the buddy initiatives across the three divisions of the school, and is involved with a number of other programs and committees throughout Latin.

“I’m going to try to keep all that going, but obviously as a Dean I’ll have to cut back a little bit and get a little more help overseeing the Middle School days of service,” he said.

While his position is currently on a year by year basis, Cronister could end up as a permanent Dean. He explained, “I’m really looking forward to being able to interact with students more directly [than in my previous job]. In my current position I do teach some, but I miss the time with the students and I’m excited for that.”

Mr. Cronister has already gotten to know many 8th graders in his Leadership unit of Affective Ed, so they’ll see a familiar face in the Upper School administration next year. “I care about the Latin community, I care about kids making good choices, and I care about the environment – I’m not shy to talk about the things that I think we should be upholding . . . I’ve already dealt with the discipline part as a principle, so I’m not really worried about that. Kids make bad choices, but it’s part of growing up. Just because you make a bad choice doesn’t automatically make you a bad human being.”

Mr. Cronister clearly exemplifies his love for the students at Latin. He exhibited this when saying,  “I’ve always been impressed with the student body at Latin. It was what drew me here, and I continue to be impressed by it every day.”

Mr. Tebbens will be a big loss to the Latin community, and there’s no doubt that things won’t be the same around school without him. However, Mr. Cronister is prepared and excited for his role as a Dean in the coming school year, and it is clear that he has a genuine love for our community.