Bobby Walker Jr. to take over leadership reins at Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich

Town resident Bobby Walker Jr. is ready to take the reins of leadership of the Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich. —Ken Borsuk

Town resident Bobby Walker Jr. is ready to take the reins of leadership of the Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich. —Ken Borsuk

In July, the Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich (BGCG) will say farewell to current CEO Bob DeAngelo and welcome a new leader, lifelong educator Bobby Walker Jr.

A Greenwich resident who attended the club as a youth, Mr. DeAngelo will be departing after 16 years in charge with no shortage of vocal supporters. So while many would agree that Mr. Walker has some very big shoes to fill, he told the Post he is confident he is up to the task and excited for the job ahead.

Mr. Walker enters this organization in a markedly different climate from the one that Mr. DeAngelo stepped into more than a decade ago. Mr. DeAngelo said earlier this year that when he took over his goal was to weave the club into the community, to really incorporate it into the fabric of young lives, just as the club had been for him while growing up in Greenwich.

His second goal was to improve the building, which was in serious need of repair. Looking back, Mr. DeAngelo commented in January that he felt satisfied that those goals had been achieved. The BGCG has grown and evolved over Mr. DeAngelo’s tenure, and with the changing of hands, the club hopes to continue to extend its service to the community.

Now it’s Mr. Walker’s time to lead, and he has also experienced firsthand the importance of the Boys & Girls Club. When he was a kid growing up in Dallas, the program had a big impact on him. Today, he still counts many good friends from that program, and he sees it as instrumental in his own personal development.

“When I began that program at 12, it was probably the rock that really kept me grounded in who I was at that time and who I wanted to be. Being surrounded by a lot of adults who cared about me and about me being successful, understanding that there are always people there in your corner, led me to my work with kids later on. … It is one of the most important organization structures that I ever went through,” said Mr. Walker.

He said he aims for the BGCG to provide this same guidance and support for all kids who walk through its doors.

“I think that one of the things the club talks about is creating a space where kids belong. Every child needs to belong somewhere. Belonging means not only that you feel safe, cared for, but people are leading you and helping you find out where you are, where you want to go,” Mr. Walker said. “Way back in 1985, the program helped me do that, and I believe the club has the power to do that today.”

For Mr. Walker, his new position in Greenwich is the “fulfillment of a dream.” He said he sees the position as an opportunity to continue the work he’s been doing with youth, as his life has been dedicated to helping students.

After graduating from Williams College in 1995 with a bachelor’s degree in history, he launched his teaching career at his alma mater, St. Mark’s School of Texas in Dallas. There, he taught history, language arts and life skills, and became assistant head of the school in 1998. From 2000 to 2005, he moved on to be the dean of middle school students at McDonogh School, a boarding school in Maryland. Currently, he is the head of the middle school at King School (which was formerly known as King Low Heywood Thomas) in Stamford, where he has worked since 2005. He also teaches eighth grade history and serves on the admissions committee and strategic plan task force.

In other words, it can be confidently said that Mr. Walker is a seasoned educator, administrator and coach with many years of experience under his belt.

“Bobby’s background is perfectly suited to the Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich,” said Lisa Stuart, BGCG’s board president, in a press release. “We are thrilled that Bobby has agreed to lead the club as it continues to extend its service to our community. He has spent most of his career working with young people, and he and his family have deep roots in the Greenwich community. He has a true passion for leading, teaching and encouraging kids. Bobby will be an outstanding role model for our club members.”

Throughout his career, Mr. Walker has balanced being both an administrator and an educator, and he is adamant that he will continue to do so.

“One of the things I really believe in is good leadership that also works hard. One of things I’ve also strived to do is to be a part of every decision I’m making that involves someone else’s life,” Mr. Walker said. “I don’t ever see myself as removed. I will always lead, but I will always lead from within.”

He counts his experience as an educator as the best possible preparation for his new role. He is prepared to “continue that work by helping students continue to be the people they’re destined to be.”

Mr. Walker has dedicated his life to helping students in all aspects of their lives, and not just in the classroom. Now that he and his family live in town, he feels invested in helping the kids of Greenwich. He and his wife, Becky Mallory Walker, who is the middle school head at Greenwich Academy, have lived in Greenwich since 2010 with their three young children, who attend private schools in town.

Mr. Walker plans on delving deeply into the community of the BGCG, and spending his first months learning as much as possible about its members, culture and staff. He plans on keeping very busy and spending as much time as possible asking questions and observing the club’s programs, so that every decision that needs to be made is “based on what needs to be done.”

His first goal is to “get to really understand the place” by taking a look at the club’s history and all of the people invested in it. He hopes to be as rooted in the culture as he can, and to ultimately become someone that people view as a presence there, whom they can approach.

“Collectively we’ll come up to goals together, because it’s about what the club is about, not necessarily about me,” said Mr. Walker. “I’m really focused on becoming a fully fledged day-to-day member on everything that happens here. … I value their experiences, their hopes and dreams for their place.”

Overall, he hopes to build on and continue the work that’s already taken place, to “discover new ways to prepare Greenwich youth” while also remaining true to the club’s storied history and unique culture.

“I can’t stress how excited I am and honored to be given this opportunity. … I can’t think of a better organization to be a part of. … I can’t wait to delve in,” Mr. Walker said.

[email protected]

By participating in the comments section of this site you are agreeing to our Privacy Policy and User Agreement

© Hersam Acorn. All rights reserved. The Greenwich Post, 10 Corbin Drive, Floor 3, Darien, CT 06820

Designed by WPSHOWER

Powered by WordPress