PA Qâ€‰/A ANDOVER STUDENTS AND FACULTY ANSWER THE QUESTIONS EVERYONE ALWAYS ASKS
WHY ANDOVER? BECAUSE YOU’LL BE WELCOMED INTO AN INSPIRING COMMUNITY OF SMART, MOTIVATED, CURIOUS, OPEN-MINDED, AND GENUINELY NICE PEOPLE FROM ACROSS THE COUNTRY AND AROUND THE WORLD. BECAUSE THIS IS A HIGH SCHOOL THAT CELEBRATES DIFFERENCE AND PRIZES ORIGINALITY. BECAUSE AT ANDOVER YOU CAN BE YOUR MOST HONEST, AUTHENTIC, DARING SELF. And because we take a balanced approach to academics, extracurriculars, and just plain having fun; because our talented, caring teachers, coaches, house counselors, and advisors are always ready to help; because we have a renowned art gallery, archaeology institute, and observatory right on campus; and because we offer the best of high-tech, low-tech, and multidisciplinary learning plus more than 15 “Learning in the World” opportunities for every student in fascinating places on nearly every continent.
Because this is a place of limitless opportunity. THATâ€™S WHY.
IS IT EASY TO MAKE FRIENDS?
is a copy editor for The Phillipian (one of the nation’s oldest student newspapers), a board member of Out of the Blue (a forum on aspects of identity—race, class, gender, national origin), and a member of Alianza Latina. He also coordinates Project VOICE, a citizenship education program in the nearby city of Lawrence.
YES! PEOPLE ARE COMING FROM DIFFERENT PLACES, BUT EVERYBODY WANTS TO MAKE FRIENDS. A shared interest, a similar sense of
humor—simple things like that can spark a conversation. And a friendship. Jair, upper, Santa Ana, CA It is. For me, the process of finding friends just flowed. It’s important not to rely on first impressions. TAKE TIME, GET TO KNOW A LOT OF PEOPLE, AND DISCOVER PEOPLE WHO MAKE YOU HAPPY AND OPEN YOUR WORLD. There are a lot of those people here.
Gracie, lower, Garden City, NY
coordinates the Andover chapter of Jumpstart, a national literacy organization; it’s her favorite community engagement project. “The school I came from was really tiny,” she says. “I wanted to be exposed to lots of different ways of thinking. I wanted to have an international roommate—and I did. And we’re best friends.”
YOU’LL FIND FRIENDS OF EVERY BACKGROUND, CULTURE, AND PERSPECTIVE.
Savor your differences while broadening your mind and spirit. And always hold yourself to this high, simple standard: Speak and act toward one another with respect and love and kindness. John Palfrey P’21, head of school
[Footnote] At Andover, we call 9th-graders “juniors,” 10th-graders “lowers,” 11th-graders “uppers,” and 12th-graders “seniors.”
JOHN PALFREY P’21
is our head of school. He is a former professor and academic administrator at Harvard Law School, where he earned a JD degree. He’s also the author of several books about contemporary learning and teaching, most recently Born Digital: How Children Grow Up in a Digital Age (coauthored) and Safe Spaces, Brave Spaces: Diversity and Free Expression in Education. Easygoing and approachable, he also coteaches a U.S. history class.
WHAT ARE CLASSES LIKE? My first term here was eye-opening. In my previous high school, I was at the top of my class. I could sit in the back, take the test, and get an A. IT’S DIFFERENT HERE. Everyone is at the same level—really smart. WE’RE LOOKING FOR A CHALLENGE. We want to push ourselves. Alex, upper, New Canaan, CT CLASSES ARE SMALL, so there’s not really any way to “hide.” That
may seem intimidating at first, but I think it really pushes people to be positive contributors in all their classes, which benefits everyone. Ava, upper, Woodland Hills, CA The really exciting thing about teaching here is the chance to dive into COMPLEX TOPICS with INQUISITIVE STUDENTS. They’ll do the hard work that leads to discovery. And I get to learn alongside them. Chris Jones, instructor and chair, history and social science My 9th-graders, fresh to campus, approach new and tough material collaboratively—with the MOST DIVERSE SET OF CLASSMATES and perspectives they’ve ever had. It changes how we all read a text. I love that. Steph Curci, instructor and chair, English
is copresident of the Motor Sports Club and a member of Mock Trial, the Competitive Robotics Team, and the astronomy research program. He’s also copresident of the Makers Club, where he’s working on building an LED sign for PA’s makerspace.
is copresident of the African Latino American Society (Af-Lat-Am) and a board member of the Psychology Club and CAMD’s Out of the Blue. Through the Rise Against Hunger student group, she plans an annual event to help feed people around the world. “The first year we packaged 10,300 meals. This year we did 25,000 meals. Our goal next year is to double that.”
has spent a long time studying and teaching about slavery, race relations, and the American Civil War. “Right now, I’m having a blast coteaching an interdisciplinary class about its most significant antecedent—the Haitian Revolution.” Chair of the history and social science department, he’s also an advisor, house counselor, and coach.
is chair of the English department and has been visiting Haiti for 40 years. The class she coteaches with Chris Jones (see above) “helps students grasp the full impact of the Haitian Revolution.” She also teaches electives on dictatorship, post-colonial India, and the graphic novel. And she’s an advisor and house counselor, too.
[Footnote] CAMD = Community and Multicultural Development, a place and a program that raises awareness and encourages understanding of our differences, such as race, gender, ethnicity, religion, and socioeconomic class. Interdisciplinary = a class team-taught by faculty from two departments that blends insights from each. 7
[Footnote] We are the Big Blue â€” and Blue Key heads are our spirit leaders! There are 10 of them, and every Friday they wear blue field hockey kilts (guys, too!), party fanny packs, and every piece of blue gear they own. They fire up fans and athletes alike!
WHAT GOES ON OUTSIDE OF CLASS? There are SO MANY CLUBS you can get involved with, SO MANY EVENTS you can go to, SO MANY CULTURES AND IDEAS YOU CAN EXPLORE. But you can also just enjoy being with friends— sprawling on the Great Lawn, relaxing in your dorm, talking about school stuff and hometowns and families. Lauren, lower, Hong Kong MY FRIENDS KEPT TELLING ME I SHOULD DO A DRAMA LAB. Finally I did
one—a spoof of Romeo and Juliet, where everyone dies at the beginning and then comes back to life. The whole thing was student-run. That experience was so liberating. Aditya, upper, Darien, CT The town of Andover feels almost like a college town. You’ll see students at the restaurants and shops. AND THE TRAIN TO BOSTON IS AN EASY RIDE. You can walk to the train station from campus. Darian, senior, Andover, MA
is a member of Andover Dance Group, Azure (an a cappella group), and the tennis team. She really likes her proctor, who’s “like an older sibling,” and she has fond memories of her junior year prefect, who “always had a big tub of pretzels by her door.”
plays with the Jazz Band and is a member of the soccer, Nordic skiing, and Ultimate teams. He also volunteers with ARC, a community engagement program. Sometimes he takes the train into Boston on weekends to visit his sisters at college and see a play or a movie.
plays soccer and Ultimate and possibly wants to go into engineering. How has he changed at Andover? “I’m a lot taller, a lot faster, and a lot stronger. But the biggest change is internal. I’m more confident.”
[Footnote] Great Lawn = beautiful open space in the center of campus. Drama Labs = weekly student-run productions of short plays. ARC = program for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Community engagement (formerly known as community service) = dozens of programs in which student volunteers listen, learn, empathize, and do.
ANY ADVICE FOR NEW STUDENTS?
is a proctor, a board member of both the Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA) and the Philomathean Society (i.e., debate team), and a stand-up comic. She ran for school copresident with Jair (p. 4). “Andover has given me the eyes to see people fully—and with empathy.”
BE DARING. First of all, don’t be afraid to apply. I never
thought I’d even get into Andover. But I got in—and I got financial aid. Without it, I wouldn’t be here. Karissa, upper, Coral Springs, FL ETHAN
Open your mind. Find your voice. AND LISTEN A LOT. There are so many stories here. Ethan, upper, Bethel, CT LOOK AT THINGS FROM A FRESH PERSPECTIVE—that’s why we’re here.
is a member of the Movie Makers’ Club, Astronomy Club, and track and crosscountry teams. He got interested in film as a lower; his most recent project explored gender roles, “a topic I learned about here. Now it’s become one of my passions.”
I love it when we’re talking about a problem and my students offer some new, creative, efficient solution that I hadn’t thought of before. Caroline Odden, instructor and chair, physics; observatory supervisor; head, Division of Natural Sciences CAROLINE ODDEN [Footnote] Proctor = student mentor/ confidant in lower, upper, or senior dorm; junior dorms have prefects. (Day students can also fill these leadership roles!) Honking = part of Andover’s traditional loud and rowdy welcome to new students in September. Not to be missed!
coaches girls’ ice hockey and loves to walk in Cochran Sanctuary. She and Andover astronomy students have been part of a NASA project—and even discovered new stars. She’s a big fan of “Honk if you love Big Blue!” madness. “I always find an excuse to drive by and honk. Sometimes twice.” (See footnote.)
WHAT ELSE SHOULD I KNOW?
is a prefect and a member of Af-Lat-Am, Cluster Council, and Mock Trial. He’s also a member of an affinity group for students heavily supported by financial aid. “One thing we do is read the book Outliers: The Story of Success, by Malcolm Gladwell. It’s a bit of reassurance that you can come from humble origins and still go on to do great things.”
REMEMBER TO BE BALANCED. I came to Andover so focused on
academics. It took me awhile to realize that having a social life is crucial. Your social self makes your academic self better, and vice versa. JayShawn, upper, Newark, NJ LILA
Forget your expectations; drop your stereotypes. BE WILLING TO TRY NEW THINGS. Grab onto new opportunities. Lila, lower, Yarmouth, ME TRUST THAT YOU BELONG. The amazing thing about Andover is
that everyone is so different; there isn’t a “right” way to be a student here. That means you can be who you are, not who you think you should be. Kate McQuade, instructor in English
[Footnote] Cluster = a dorm grouping (there are five) that creates a residential neighborhood. So you have a community (dorm) within a community (cluster) within a community (Andover). Cluster Council = student governing body of a cluster.
takes photos for the yearbook and is a member of Cerulean (an a cappella group), Women’s Forum, and three athletic teams, plus a tech group for girls—Technovation—that solves social problems with apps. “I came to Andover thinking technology was something I could never do. But the people doing coding here are so cool—and now I’m this person who works with technology.”
is the award-winning author of the novel Two Harbors and a story collection that will be published soon. She loves to support and embolden new writers, especially students in Creative Nonfiction, her English elective, and in Hiking and Writing, a spirited after-school “sport” she created.
FOUNDED IN 1778
5:1 STUDENT-TO-FACULTY RATIO
300 courses offered, including 8 world languages and 150 electives
APPLY! Find out more about Andover, ask for a catalog, and apply at
of demonstrated financial need met
400+ STUDENTS ENGAGED IN COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT PROGRAMS EACH TERM
of faculty live on campus 15+ PA faculty-led GUNGA our mascot
and affiliate Learning in the World programs
48% OF STUDENTS RECEIVE FINANCIAL AID 16
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125+ student-run clubs and organizations
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5 RESIDENTIAL CLUSTERS (LIKE NEIGHBORHOODS)
46% STUDENTS OF COLOR
17,000 objects in the Addison Gallery of American Art
students in the average class
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Application deadline: February 1
sports 85-acre Cochran Sanctuary 3 ORCHESTRAS
21 miles to Boston 10-minute walk to the town of Andover
600,000 objects in the Peabody Institute of Archaeology
Principal photography by Yoon Byun 2018â€“2019
180 Main Street Andover, MA 01810-4161 www.andover.edu 978-749-4050
Nondiscrimination Policy: Phillips Academy admits students of any gender, race, color, disability status, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, genetic information, religion, and national and ethnic origin, and provides them all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, color, disability status, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, genetic information, religion, or national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admission policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.