New head of athletics & P.E. pursues projects

Outgoing students not to be part of new school era

New Head of Athletics & Physical Education Anthony Thomas has promised several changes for the athletic department, some of which, will not be seen by outgoing seniors.

Thomas’s position is a symbol of the ongoing shift from the four-independent-school model to the aligned-four-division model.

“I am looking to establish a philosophy that will cross all divisions,” Thomas said. “We will have one athletic department that will serve the entire school, bringing about a unity and an equity to all programs.”

The need for equally weighted and equally enriching athletic programs among the four divisions prompted the search for the position last school year, according to President Dr. Ann Marie Krejcarek.

“I am looking to establish a philosophy that will cross all divisions. We will have one athletic department that will serve the entire school, bringing about a unity and an equity to all programs.”

— Anthony Thomas

With the aligning of the four schools, now considered divisions, it falls on Thomas’s shoulders to lead the effort in rebranding the school’s athletic department. Currently, each division has its own mascot: Stuart Hall for Boys is the Lions, Stuart Hall High School is the Knights and both Convent Elementary and Convent High School are the Cubs.

“The move to select a united mascot will be one that will include all stakeholders in this process,” Thomas said.

The process will involve a group of high school students known as the Captain’s Council that will meet in conjunction with Student Council to brainstorm ideas. Separately, alumni, faculty and staff will also meet to discuss student-introduced ideas. The final mascot and colors are expected to be determined  before the end of the school year, but their implementation will not be seen by current upperclassmen.

Thomas projects that the complete rebranding process will take one-and-a-half to two years to complete.

While current upperclassmen will not be able to see these changes in effect during their times at the school, freshmen and sophomores will most likely be members of the new age of Convent & Stuart Hall.

“I think it’s a bit disappointing that [the Senior class] won’t be able to represent the new mascot,” Athletics Representative William Kahn ’18 said, “but, I feel proud of the work past classes, the current junior class and my class have done to pave the way for this to happen.”

Through the schedule changes between the 2015-2016 and 2016-17 school years, the Health & Wellness course was eliminated. Therefore, the majority of students at Stuart Hall High School have never experienced a high school physical education class. That will not change, according to Thomas.

“Official P.E. classes are not likely to return,” Thomas said. “I am instead focusing on establishing a strength and conditioning program that high school students will be able to take advantage of.”

Thomas’s final project consists of securing athletic facilities for teams. In San Francisco, teams are at the mercy of Rec and Park for field scheduling. This can sometimes lead to 3:30 p.m. practices at Crocker-Amazon, a field which can take up to 40 minutes to reach from school, which ends at 3:15 p.m.

While this is not a problem for indoor sports like basketball or wrestling, who have the Dungeon and Columbus Room to themselves, The Hall’s 10 other outdoor athletic teams consistently struggle with this issue.

“I think that Mr. Thomas has done a phenomenal job in his previous positions at other schools,” Kahn said. “Through these experiences, he has not only made a lot of connections, but has learned how to use those connections to their full potential.”