Bob Riddle, Assistant Headmaster and Dean of Faculty at Crossroads School for Arts & Sciences, will become the third headmaster of the K-12 school in July 2009 after Roger Weaver steps down from the position.
Riddle, a 24-year veteran of Crossroads, joined the school in 1984 as a Middle School math and life skills teacher and became an Upper School math teacher in 1986. He was promoted to Upper School Academic Dean in 1988 and became Upper School Assistant Director and Academic Dean in 1995. In 1999 he was named Upper School Director. Since 2003, Riddle has served as Assistant Headmaster and Dean of Faculty.
“The single greatest responsibility of the Board of Trustees is to select the most effective possible leadership for the institution,” said Peter Norton, Chairman of the Board. “Bob’s strengths as an educator and his vision for Crossroads School will allow us to build on the steady trajectory of ever increasing strength and effectiveness that was established by co-founder Paul Cummins and continued by his successor, Roger Weaver.”
“As an educational institution we know who we are and how and why we do the business of education as we do,” said Roger Weaver, Headmaster. “Bob has had a long and distinguished career as an educator and leader at Crossroads. I am confident that he will preserve the clarity of Crossroads values, mission, and identity and provide outstanding leadership in the future.”
When asked where he saw Crossroads, founded in 1971, headed in the coming 10 years, Riddle said, “My goal is to protect and maintain the mission and philosophy of the school,” which is based on five basic commitments, which are of “equal importance,” he said – to academic excellence; to the arts; to the greater community; to the development of a student population of social, economic, and racial diversity; and to the development of each student’s physical well-being and full human potential.
Riddle added that he expects substantial campus redevelopment in the next five to 10 years on the 21st Street campus, although “we’ll still be a campus with an alley going down the middle of it.”
The Crossroads Middle and Upper Schools and administrative offices are on 21st Street just south of Olympic Boulevard, largely in remodeled industrial and apartment buildings. They include fully equipped laboratories, a student resource center, a black box theater, music performance space, computer centers, the 32,500-volume Paul Cummins Library, and other facilities. The Elementary School and K-12 Sports Center are located nearby at the Norton Campus on Olympic Boulevard, opened in 1997.
“Crossroads has such a rich history of progressive education as well as a strong sense of mission in its founding commitments,” Riddle observed, “I’m proud to be able to build on the legacy of co-founder Paul Cummins and current Headmaster Roger Weaver to not only honor that history and protect those core values but also move the school forward as we continue to provide a strong and well-balanced educational experience for our students.”
Prior to joining Crossroads, Riddle was a math teacher at Haverford Jr. High School in Havertown, Pennsylvania, from 1980 to 1981 and a math teacher at Bedford Jr. High School in Westport, Connecticut, from 1981 to 1983. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and Bachelor of Science degree in secondary education (mathematics) from the Pennsylvania State University in 1980. In 1993 he was one of only 12 independent school educators nationwide to receive the prestigious Klingenstein Fellowship from Columbia University Teachers College, where he received a Master of Arts degree in educational administration in 1994.