Steamboat Springs It’s a good thing that Chris Taylor, who will take the helm at The Lowell Whiteman School in June, enjoys the outdoors.
He’ll have plenty of opportunities to do so in Steamboat.
Taylor, 62, will replace Head of School Walt Daub, who is retiring after spending 12 years at Whiteman, the school’s Board of Trustees announced Tuesday.
Currently the interim head of school at the Independent School in Wichita, Kan., a position he took for only a year, Taylor was looking to get back to Colorado. He spent 10 years at the Alexander Dawson School in Lafayette, east of Boulder.
Taylor said he was impressed by what he called “extraordinary programming” at Whiteman.
“I have been in private school education for more than 30 years,” he said. “I don’t think I’ve seen a more interesting program. It has a very strong academic program and has set up a schedule for a highly competitive program for kids to ski and snowboard. It has an extensive foreign travel and service program.
“You put all those together, and you’ve got a very exciting program and a very exciting community.”
Taylor added that with his love for skiing, mountain biking, cycling and hiking, Steamboat would be a great place to live.
Whiteman put together a search committee to find Daub’s replacement shortly after he announced his retirement in mid-December, said Nancy Ventrudo, chairwoman of Whiteman’s Board of Trustees.
Ventrudo said there was a lot of interest in the position. She said Whiteman received 25 to 30 applicants when the search began in January. The search committee, which consisted of four board members, two staff members and a parent, conducted telephone and on-site interviews before narrowing the list to three finalists. They were invited back to campus, with their spouses, for final interviews.
Taylor’s experience set him apart, Ventrudo said.
“He’s been head of several independent schools,” she said. “He brings a wealth of experience to Whiteman. His educational philosophy is in line with the mission and core values of Whiteman, so he’ll fit in well.”
With the exception of one three-year stint as the national director for youth services for the Sierra Club in San Francisco, Taylor has spent his entire career as an educator in independent schools.
Taylor grew up in Providence, R.I. He has a bachelor’s in philosophy from the University of Rochester; a master’s in education, with an emphasis in educational administration, from Harvard University; and a master’s in liberal studies from Wesleyan University. He also was a Klingenstein fellow at Columbia University’s Teachers College.
When Taylor and his wife, Ginger, move to Steamboat in June or July, they’ll be close to their son Colin, who works at Bucking Rainbow Outfitters. The Taylors have another adult son, Alec, who coaches soccer in San Francisco.
Taylor said he’s looking forward to getting involved in the Steamboat community, joining organizations and meeting people in town.
“We really wanted to settle down in a community,” he said. “There couldn’t be a better place to settle down than in Steamboat.”
Ventrudo said the board was excited about the next Whiteman chapter.
“Of course we’re sorry to see Walt retire, but it seems this transition is as smooth as it could be,” she said.