This past weekend, the Menlo community gathered together to celebrate the beloved Norm Colb. He has been Menlo’s head of school for 20 years, and will not be returning for the 2013-2014 school year. The event on Sunday was to honor his time here at Menlo. The gym was full of students, parents, alumni, friends, and family. “I think that it showed that even though it is so sad to see him go, his career at Menlo is something to be appreciated and celebrated so it’s bitter sweet, but [was] a great time to reflect on the amazing things he has done for our school,” junior Melissa Cairo said.
Many people spoke about Colb’s personality, describing him as visionary, caring, passionate, kind, loveable and more. The event opened with a video honoring Colb’s character, accomplishments, and time at Menlo. The video included students, alumni, faculty, and Colb. “I was especially impressed and interested by the video the event started out with which interviewed both former and current members of the Menlo community,” freshman Andy Parker said. To end the video, various groups of people thanked Colb for everything he has done for the school.
After the video, Chair of the Board of Trustees Susan Ford Dorsey spoke about Colb recalling many stories and their daily conversations. Colb’s longtime friend from the East Coast, Rob Evans, spoke about how Menlo stole him from them, and commented on many of the “flaws” Colb has, like his poor driving skills. While Dorsey’s speech expressed Colb’s attributes, Evan’s mentioned the Colb we don’t see at Menlo. “Having his long time friend joke around gave the event a light heartedness that I personally loved,” sophomore Alexandra Walker said.
Evan’s speech was cut short by a surprise flash mob by middle and upper school students. They danced to the Black Eyed Peas “I Have a Feeling” and then proceeded to build an image of Stent Hall, which then was flipped to be a picture of Colb. As the students were building these two images, spanish teacher Janet Tennyson, senior Heru Peacock, and others presented speeches as well.
After this flash mob presentation, Colb was presented with a framed picture of the image from the presentation. He then spoke about his time at Menlo as he was touched deeply by this community. “We could easily see how grateful he was that everyone cared so deeply,” Walker said.
The event concluded with the Menlo Chorus singing “It Takes a Whole Village” featuring soloists junior Hannah Lambing and senior Manny Walton.
Sunday’s event accurately honored Colb’s 20 years at Menlo. “It celebrated his time at Menlo and highlighted his achievements really well,” Parker added. A committee of faculty and parents worked together to work on this event. “You could tell how much he meant to the school just by how much time and effort went into making it a heart felt, personal event,” Walker added.