Newcomb takes on new role in the community

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Newcomb takes on new role in the community

Lexi Wachen

Lexi Wachen

Lexi Wachen

Lexi Wachen, Contributing Writer

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There is a new but familiar face in the Head of the Upper School’s office. Peter Newcomb, the dean of students since the fall of 2016, took on a new role as interim head of  Upper School for the 2019-2020 school year.

As the dean of students, Newcomb’s previous position demanded him to be an accessible advocate for the student body. Whether that meant praising successes, enforcing disciplinary actions or any other issues students faced, Newcomb dealt with it all. Now as Interim Head of Upper School, Newcomb works with the faculty, administration and parents to ensure the Upper School runs smoothly.

Working as Dean of Students prepared Newcomb for his new role this year. Jeff Carnevale, the current interim dean of students, said, “As the Dean of Students, Newcomb got to know the student body, the needs of the school well and worked with faculty really closely so I think that’s a huge advantage going into the head of school position. He understands Masters and is really connected to the community.”

Before coming to Masters, Newcomb worked in various positions during his 11 years at King School in Stamford, Connecticut. He spent two years as a middle school English and history teacher and then moved to the high school where he taught Advanced Placement (AP) World History and was also the associate head of college counseling. Three years later, Newcomb worked as the academic dean and associate head of Upper School. 

Now beginning his fourth year serving Masters, Newcomb went on stage during morning meeting in early September to announce his new open door policy, where he encourages students to come in and speak with him.

Moving from his previous office in the McKnight Room, where it is often very loud and vibrant with the senior class, Newcomb also adjusted to a new environment. He said, “It’s quieter in this part of the building so I actually have to actively seek out students. I hope with the new office hours, on Days   one and five, kids will stop by in the morning.”

Working with Mr. Newcomb is great. We have a really strong partnership. We see eye-eye and are on the same page a lot, which helps us support the school and support the students really well. He’s also a really great, fun person to work with.”

— Jeff Carnevale, Upper School Dean of Students

Newcomb shared his insights on what he enjoys most about coming to school each day. He said,“ The best part about coming to work every morning is seeing a lot of joy in the hallways and I think that’s what I appreciate most when coming to school each day.”

Newcomb’s love for the work he does is evident in his dedication and involvement in student lives. Sophomore Isabella Shinkar said, “He’s very invested into the school. He cares about everyone and everything. If you see him on a weekend walking with his family, he will always say ‘Hi.’ If you had a sports game, he will ask how it went, despite him being with his family on his own time.”

Newcomb’s presence around Masters has had an impact on some of his colleagues as well, especially Carnevale. When reflecting on what it’s been like working with him, he said, “Working with Mr. Newcomb is great. We have a really strong partnership. We see eye-eye and are on the same page a lot, which helps us support the school and support the students really well. He’s also a really great, fun person to work with.”

Masters isn’t just the place where he works, it is also Newcomb’s home. He has lived on campus for the past 12 years with his wife, Marianne van Brummelen, a mathematics teacher at Masters for 15 years. Together, they are raising their three young sons, Finn, Cole and Chase. Newcomb said, “Being at Masters has given me endless opportunities and has really strengthened my belief in the power of idea and community.”

He reflected about how his Masters experience has impacted him. He said, “Seeing the kids, and their incredible sense of kindness and compassion has made an incredible impact on my time here.”