Anderson to Receive Award From NACAC

John Anderson, Director of the College Counseling Office, is among several recipients of the 2006 Margaret E. Addis Award, one of the most highly regarded awards in his field. The award honors a member of the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) who has been of exceptional service to the Association. The award will be formally presented to Mr. Anderson during the NACAC’s 62nd annual meeting, a gathering of over 4,000 college counselors, financial aid consultants, and other professionals in the field, to be held October 5–7 in Pittsburgh. Head of School Barbara Landis Chase appointed Mr. Anderson as Director of the College Counseling Office in March 2002; since then, he has assisted hundreds of PA students through the often anxiety-filled college process. According to Mr. Anderson, the award came as a complete shock. His colleagues, however, were less surprised. Ms. Purington said, “I didn’t know that he was going to receive this award…neither did he…but that is just like Mr. Anderson…to be part of something to help students move more confidently through the college admission process, without looking for any pats on the back or recognition.” Mr. Anderson is known for his genuine interest in his students and colleagues. He said, “I believe strongly that our role is much greater than just trying to match students with colleges. The [college counseling] process gives students an opportunity to grow and discover things about themselves and, to some extent, find out who they are.” Mr. Anderson feels that the Academy’s approach is particularly individualized. He said that PA’s approach is unique because “we [at the CCO] listen hard and try to understand exactly what students want and help them to achieve it.” He also works closely with colleagues at other secondary schools and colleges, represents the College Counseling Office in the Academic Council, and is a member of the senior administrative staff at Phillips Deans Council.       According to Ms. Purington, Mr. Anderson is giving considerable thought to the direction and goals of the College Counseling Office and how outsiders perceive them. According to Mr. Anderson, the College Counseling Office is always looking to become a better resource for students and to meet all their needs during the college admissions process. This award affirms that the department is on the right track, as Anderson said, “In all modesty, I think that the Phillips Academy College Counseling Office is the best there is!” The Margaret E. Addis Award, formerly known as the Executive Board Award, has recognized outstanding members of NACAC annually since 1973. In 1996, NACAC renamed it to honor Margaret E. Addis, a hardworking and dedicated member of the NACAC. College Counselor Alice Purington said, “Margaret Addis was one of the most outspoken and beloved members of our profession. . . She devoted her life to serving the students and families she worked with in Newton, Mass. . . She was without peer in her efforts to keep students and their needs and issues at the forefront [of the process].”