Phillips Academy

Parent Bulletin

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

February 3, 2012

Head of School Day

For the last time, Barbara Chase wielded her blue hockey stick to declare today, February 3, 2012, Head of School Day. Topping the drama of all other Head of School Day announcements in her tenure, Mrs. Chase slipped into Paresky Commons undetected…. Then came the Big Reveal. Students were thrilled at the end of a week of mid-term assessments to have a day off from classes. To catch a glimpse of last night’s pandemonium, we encourage you to “like” the PA Facebook page and watch the video of the Big Reveal.

News from PSPA

  • PSPA is currently seeking new board members for the following positions: President (previous PSPA board involvement preferred), 1st VP, 2nd VP, and Secretary. There are also non-board positions available on the 2013 Summer Opportunities Fair Committee and as Assistant Co-Director of Merchandise Sales. For more information on any of these positions, please e-mail:
  • The next PSPA meeting is an Introduction to College Counseling for Parents of Juniors and Lowers on Thursday, February 9, at 7 p.m. in Kemper Auditorium. Director of College Counseling Sean Logan will present an overview of the college counseling process.
  • Videos of all PSPA meetings and the Upper Parent Kickoff can be viewed at: Please note that videos are password protected so that they can only be viewed by members of the Andover community. The password is: PAparent

In Touch with…
Max Alovisetti, Ph.D., Director of Graham House Counseling Center

Avoiding the Winter Blues

For many students and adults, the winter’s cold, wet weather and diminished daylight all seem to conspire to make our daily responsibilities and tasks more difficult. Since hibernation is not an option, we need to do our best to maintain proper nutrition, exercise, and sleep, and to manage our stress levels, in order to remain both physically and mentally healthy this winter.

Stress is a normal part of life and is not a problem unless it becomes a chronic situation. One of the best ways to manage the academic stress at PA is for students to increase their sense of competence by staying on top of their work and getting help when needed. Whatever we can do to help our kids worry less and focus more will be welcome.

Parents and teachers also need to challenge our students’ often irrational beliefs about the importance of a grade, an athletic competition, or the end result of any selection process. Our students need to try their best, but there is never any one event or one course grade that will result in lifelong happiness or failure.

Students also need balance in their lives, whereby they alternate periods of hard work and intense focus with activities that are just enjoyable and relaxing. While the coming spring term will also have its challenges, we can be pleased that we have left behind the season where, according to an old Maine expression, “every mile is two.”

Travel over Spring Break

For Spring Break, Phillips Academy will be offering bus transportation to NYC with stops in Hartford and Darien, Connecticut. Buses depart on Friday, March 9, and return on Sunday, March 25. Cost is $90 one-way and $150 round-trip.

Shuttles to Boston’s Logan Airport on Friday, March 9, at 8 a.m. also will be offered at a cost of $30. We will NOT offer return shuttles at the end of break. Private taxi and limousine services are also available. See Flight Line for transportation specials.

Forms and further information are available on the Parent Portal’s “Student Life” tab under the Dean of Students section. Please contact Claudia Scofield at or 978-749-4175 for more information.

Upcoming Events

Tuesday, February 7
All-School GeograBee Finals, 5:30 p.m., Paresky Commons.

Wednesday, February 8
Screening of documentary Vincent Who?, 6:30 p.m., Kemper Auditorium. Free and open to the public. More info »

Thursday, February 9
PSPA Meeting, Introduction to College Counseling for Parents of Juniors and Lowers, 7 p.m., Kemper Auditorium. For more information, e-mail

Friday, February 10
Student recital featuring Miki Nagahara ’13, violin; Sasha Scolnik-Brower ’13, cello; and Paul Noh ’12, piano, performing works by Beethoven, Rachmaninoff, and Schubert, 7:30 p.m., Graves Hall. Free and open to the public. For more information, e-mail

Friday, February 10
Brace Fellow Presentation Investigates Gender Bias in Science, 7 p.m., School Room in Abbot Hall. Free and open to the public. More info »

Friday, February 17
Nimbaya Drumming Ensemble, 7:30 p.m., Cochran Chapel. Free and open to the public. For more information, e-mail

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