Phillips Academy

Parent Bulletin

Phillips Academy Head of School Office
Rebecca Sykes, associate head of school

January 20, 2012

What, you might ask, is new at Phillips Academy in the third week back from break, now that academic, work duty and sports and exercise placements for the winter term are done and students are happily settled into their routines?

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was celebrated on Monday in fine fashion, with highlights including the inspirational all-school meeting talk by Dr. Freeman Hrabowski; the performance by the Phillips Academy Gospel Choir; the one-man show by Dr. Michael Fowlin, “You Don’t Know Me Until You Know Me,” performed for juniors and lowers; numerous workshops led by students, faculty and outside guests for uppers, seniors, faculty and staff; and Brace Fellow and CAMD Scholar presentations that were open to all.

Staying Healthy

Although our weather on Andover Hill is not typical, the seasonal illnesses certainly have struck as expected. Director of Nursing Katie Vozeolas recently sent a “staying healthy” message to the community with the following information:

As is typical of this time of year, Isham is seeing an increase in visits and overnight stays for colds and viral illnesses. You all are familiar with basic infection control measures, but let’s review:

  • Wash your hands frequently, wash your hands frequently, wash your hands frequently…
  • Use hand sanitizer when you cannot wash your hands.
  • Cough into your sleeve.
  • Limit prolonged periods in close proximity with others. Stay 3-6 feet away from someone who is ill.
  • Eat well and don’t share beverage containers or utensils.
  • Get plenty of rest. (Ok I am dreaming…)
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Get your flu shot. (Available at Isham Health Center)

The reality is we are all spending more time indoors, in closed spaces, which increases our risk of illness. Apply some these suggestions to prevent a cold or other illness.

Further, I want to take this opportunity to remind all that unpleasant creatures like head lice and scabies, on rare occasion, make an appearance on campus. These pests like all kinds of people in all kinds of places even Andover! Contracting lice or scabies is not uncommon for youth. If you are concerned about an itchy head, or a rash, please come to Isham to be evaluated!

In Touch With…
Chris Capano, Director of Student Activities

By all accounts, the daily life of an Andover student can be an unbelievably busy experience. The Student Activities Department aims to give our students a chance to relax and unwind in a fun and safe atmosphere.

At the hub of the activities department are our office and the student center, affectionately known as “The Den,” and located in the lower level of Paresky Commons. Here students can grab a snack, catch the game on our giant projection screen or just hang out.

Our student-run Student Activities Board (SAB) schedules a calendar full of performers and other exciting events. Every year the SAB hosts bands, magicians, hypnotists and comedians, organizes student coffeehouses, game show nights, carnivals and a multitude of themed dances, just to name a few on-campus happenings. All of these events are highlighted in our student produced “Weekender” which is emailed weekly to all students. (The Weekender is available to parents on the Parent Portal.)

Students are also encouraged to join one of over 100 student-led clubs and organizations. Our list of organizations is as diverse as our student body, and includes groups for musicians, gamers, the politically minded, as well as student publications, cultural clubs and philanthropic collectives. Club meetings are open to all, and students can join at any time during the school year.

Of course, no discussion of student activities at PA would be complete without a mention of our inimitable Blue Key Heads! This group of ten seniors serves as the school’s spirit leaders, cheering squad, and supporters of all things Andover Blue. Recognizable by the blue skirts they wear (boys and girls) as they root for our Big Blue athletes, these exuberant seniors help new students through orientation, and lead their classmates through pep rallies and Andover-Exeter weekend.

Jewish Cultural Weekend, January 26th to January 28th

One of the highlights of this year’s Jewish Cultural Weekend will be the Laugh-In-Peace Tour, presented by Rabbi Bob Alper and Mohammed Amer on January 26th at 8:00 p.m. in the Tang Theater.

Laugh-in-Peace is the brainchild of Rabbi Alper, self-described as “The world’s only practicing clergyman doing stand-up comedy…intentionally.” Rabbi Alper performs across North America, London, and at The Hollywood Improv. He is heard daily on Sirius/XM Radio, and seen on Showtime, The Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN, and Extra. Recently the tour was profiled in a CBS News feature.

Rabbi Alper will be performing with Mohammed (Mo) Amer. Mr. Amer was born in Kuwait to Palestinian parents, and fled his birth country at the age of nine during the Gulf War. His family settled in Houston where, as a teen, he developed his comedy craft after observing that Muslim moms, dads, and uncles are funny, too! Mo has performed to rave reviews in 16 countries, and in USO shows for our troops in Iraq.

This event is made possible by a grant from the Abbot Academy Association and is free and open to the public.

Upcoming Events

Friday, January 20 & Saturday, January 21
College Counseling Kick-Off Weekend for Parents of the Class of 2013 (see the Parent Portal for details).

Friday, January 20
Jazz Concert featuring Pete Robbins ’97, 7:30 p.m., Graves Hall
Free and open to the public. For more information, email

Sunday, January 22
Summer Opportunities Fair, 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., Smith Center
Free and open to the public.

Wednesday, January 25
Addison Gallery Concert, featuring Lesley Flannigan & Tristan Perich ’00, 6:30 p.m.
Free and open to the public. For more information, email

Friday, January 26
Opening Reception for Winter Exhibitions, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., Addison Gallery
Free and open to the public.

Laugh-In-Peace Tour, 8:00 p.m., Tang Theater
Free and open to the public. For more information, email

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