Keith Evans learns about, fits into new school


Among the new members of the faculty this year is Keith Evans, the newly elected president of the Westminster Schools. Previously head of Richmond, Virginia’s Collegiate School, Evans is a graduate of Davidson College, Harvard University, and the University of Tennessee.

“I would say, it’s felt like a very smooth and overall fun beginning . . . I feel like I’m still learning a lot about the school, even as we’re several weeks in,” said Evans. “I’ve been fully initiated really quickly.”

While school officially started in August, Evans’ actual first day was July 1. Teachers began with meetings prior to the students’ return, but to Evans, the empty structures lacked the energy provided by the students.

“It’s been fun to see [the faculty] all in one place,” said Evans. “But . . . well, the school’s just a bunch of buildings until the students come to it.”

For Evans, the most enjoyable part of the beginning of school was taking part in WCAT video, especially being tackled in front of the consecrated Westminster seal.

“The whole making of the video was a fun,” he said. “In one of the scenes we had to go up on the high dive… It was, uh, a unique experience.”

While the student body certainly delighted in watching the WCAT video, Evans described the production as a particular “highlight” despite the long hours of commitment it required.

“We probably took three days in front of the camera. What everyone saw in terms of five or six minutes represented five or six hours,” said Evans. “The WCAT kids really did well in representing the story. There was a lot of improvisation . . . so there were moments when we didn’t necessarily know what each other was going to say.”

While Evans remained modest on his involvement in the video, according to senior Ruwenne Moodley, Mr. Evans was the mind behind the masterpiece.

“He . . . told . . . of the idea for an introductory video . . . and he wanted to make it funny,” said Moodley. “At this point Nate [Gibson] and him sat together and tried to brainstorm funny ideas . . . Nate came up with a script, but ultimately it was Mr. Evans who decided [what he wanted to do].”

Although it took time out of her summer vacation, Moodley described the video as completely “worth it.”

“It was a super impromptu way of getting to know this formal character,” she said. “The best part going out of it is that now I feel like I know Mr. Evans.”

Although multiple aspects of his first day—designated as “really fun” by Mary O’Gara, assistant to the president—were memorable, Evans will always recall a certain event: singing Billy Joel at the pep rally.

“I had heard the song before but wasn’t able to capture the lyrics of ‘Uptown Girl,’ then I was glad I didn’t because I’m not much of a singer,” Evans said. “Overall though, I thought that [the pep rally] was really fun to watch and obviously there’s a really great group of seniors this year.”

Furthermore, Evans is excited for the many great experiences to come during the remainder of the school year, including the infamous Westminster and Lovett football rivalry.

“There are things that I’ve heard students, parents, and alums talk about that I feel like I can imagine but I want to be there to see them,” he said. “You hear about it [the rivalry], but you can’t really exactly feel it until you’re at the game.”

As his time here has just begun, Evans wants to get to know the school even better over the course of the year. Throughout his term, he hopes to become fully involved in the community and to ultimately experience what Westminster is all about.

“I will understand the school a lot better. You don’t want to get too far ahead of yourself. You want to understand the place and where it’s been and what it’s like right now,” Evans said. “I want to see what people have loved so much about Westminster.”