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2017 Commencement Speakers: Coleen Martinez '86 and Steve Shenbaum '88

On Saturday, June 3rd, The Webb Schools will graduate the Class of 2017. At the 34th commencement exercises of Vivian Webb School, nearly 50 young women will receive their diplomas and more than 50 young men will be handed their Bibles and diplomas at the 95th commencement exercises of Webb School of California.
In the morning on Faculty Field, Coleen Martinez ’86 will give the commencement address at the VWS graduation ceremony. A Vivian Webb graduate, a Webb parent to two WSC boys, and a Webb spouse to the Director of College Guidance Hector Martinez, Coleen is a triple threat in classic Webb fashion. Coleen spent her four years at Webb involved in various activities including: swimming, volleyball, theater, and chamber singers, all while finding the time to travel abroad in Spain and achieving academic success.

After graduating from Webb, Coleen attended Pitzer College where she majored in Spanish and international relations. She graduated with honors in 1990 and was immediately hired by the Employment Training Agency, a federal program sponsored by the Bush administration and written by Senator Ted Kennedy. The agency helped disenfranchised individuals gain full employment and helped individuals get off federal and state subsidies. Work for the federal government was not easy, but Coleen proved to be a champion for a good cause. After several years of service to the agency, she decided to attend graduate school with hopes of becoming a school teacher.

She earned a Master’s degree from Claremont Graduate University in education as well as a lifetime teaching credential. Her inner call to serve and be of service put her in the public school system for 10 years as a teacher for the Ontario-Montclair School District teaching grades Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd before making the switch to the independent school sector, spending the past 13 years at Foothill Country Day School as a 2nd grade teacher and leader of the lower school. Her deep love for Webb has been evident since her days as a student and continues to show through her consistent devotion and loyalty to the Webb community. Her service on the Alumni Council and her endless volunteer hours dedicated to everything Webb, from sports and birthday celebrations to hosting Webbies in her home, have made Webb a better place. A beloved teacher, mother, wife, community leader, and volunteer, Coleen Martinez is truly a great example of Vivian Webb Schools’ “Daughters Strong.” It is our great pleasure to welcome back Coleen as this year’s VWS commencement speaker.
Later in the afternoon on Alamo Lawn, Steve Shenbaum ’88 will address the Webb School of California graduates at the WSC graduation ceremony. Steve is a classically trainer actor-comedian and the President and Founder of the nationally acclaimed communication/leadership firm game on Nation.

Over the past 20 years, Steve has developed a unique game-based curriculum called MILE, powered by the science of improvisation and game theory. He is considered one of the industry’s most respected presenters and curriculum designers for experiential leadership, communication, team building and authentic empowerment. Some of Steve’s current clients include the Dallas Cowboys, Pittsburgh Pirates, NASCAR, Hilton, USO, Florida State Football, 2015 World Cup Champion US Women’s National Soccer Team, and all four branches of the United Stated military. Steve has helped prepare ten #1 overall draft picks and over 50 2nd round NBA, NFL, and NHL draft picks. He also serves as a communication/media consultant for the NBA Pre-Draft and Rookie Transition Programs, and is on the advisory board for Derek Jeter’s The Players’ Tribune.

In 2013, Steve presented at TEDxSarasota where he spoke about “The Power of Honesty, Humility, and Humor.” Steve graduated from Northwestern University with a bachelor’s degree in theater and performance studies and trained at the British American Drama Academy in Oxford, England before starting a career in acting. He appeared in numerous sitcoms and films including American Pie 2, Will & Grace, EDtv, Space Jam, Dharma and Greg, and numerous national commercials.

While at Webb, Steve was involved in various activities around campus. He was a chamber singer, an honor committeeman, captain of the varsity baseball and football teams, and class president his sophomore and junior years. He presented at Webb’s Unbounded Days in 2012, 2014, and 2016 where he led students through group exercises to develop and increase their communication skills. A true example of Principes non Homines, it is with great honor that we welcome him to the podium as this year’s WSC commencement speaker.
VWS Commencement is at 10:30 am on Faculty Field.
WSC Commencement is at 5:00 pm on Alamo Lawn.
Share your memories from this year using #Webb2017 on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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