Logan Brings Experience to CCO

Sean Logan, Phillips Academy’s newly appointed Director of College Counseling, will bring an interesting life story and career path in education when he joins the school in July 2011. Logan hopes to spend his first year at Andover “really getting to know the school, getting to know the culture of the school and getting to know the people at the school.” He said, “I plan on being very visible. I plan on being at plays, being at musicals and attending games.” “There are a lot of pieces exciting to me about this job, and I think Andover is a place where I can see myself…for years and years,” Logan continued. Logan hopes to make Andover “a place that not only has great diversity in students but also is a place where they can all coexist, a comfortable place for everybody.” He said, “Andover was very appealing to me because I think that the school, including the trustees, is really committed to doing that.” Logan wishes to spend his first few months as Director of College Counseling “understanding what the College Counseling Office currently does and how they do it.” “Obviously, it’s a tremendous and very well-respected office, so I’m walking into a terrific situation. I’m going to do a lot of listening before I start saying that I’m going to do this, this and this,” said Logan. Logan’s ideal college counseling environment is one that is very accessible to both students and parents. He noted that many of the high schools he has visited have college counseling offices located “right where people are, so staff can easily grab kids when you need them and see them when they swing by.” “But in a boarding school, where things are more spread out, you don’t quite see people walking by your building all the time. It may already be this way, but I want to make sure that kids are thinking, ‘I can go into the office and see my counselors whenever I need to,’” said Logan. Logan said that education has always been an integral part of his life. Logan said, “My dad passed away when I was young, and it was very clear to me that my family was able to stay together because my mom had her education and could go back to teaching.” “I always knew that education was something that was very important to me, and it was a field that I was very interested in going into as a career,” he continued. After stumbling into an admissions office at Williams, his alma mater, Logan began working as an interviewer and eventually took on a full-time position. Logan said working at Williams allowed him to visit more than 20 states and observe different learning environments, “from places that are as spectacular as Andover to places where you need a picture ID and have to go through a metal detector to get into the school.” He said, “Some of the inequities that students have to deal with and the different educational environments across the country really struck a chord within me and made me think.” Drawing from his experience as a student on full-financial aid, Logan was able to relate to the issue about access to higher education. According to Logan, his interest in the issue of access to higher education naturally led to a desire to work with students facing socioeconomic or racial challenges on their path to higher education. Logan said that he was motivated to reach out to help students realize “the options they have and what might be available to them” by guiding them through the college application process. While working at Williams, Logan participated in the local A Better Chance (ABC) program. In the ABC program, Logan informally took on the role of college counselor for the couple of uniors and seniors in the local house, which gave him insight into college counseling “on a very small scale.” Logan said that he particularly enjoyed his daily contact with students and the less rigid environment of a high school setting, compared to that of a college admissions office. However, his desire to work with a broad range of students drew him back to working at the college level. Logan saw characteristics of both high school and college in Phillips Academy’s listing for a new Director of College Counseling. He said, “If you would have said to me, ‘Sean, write down what a really good job description would look like to you, something that you would jump at,’” what I would have written is not far from what is written in that Andover write-up.” “At Andover, not only do I get to work with students again, but I also get to work with one of the most diverse student bodies, perhaps even at the college level. Andover offers such a rich, interesting array of students,” he continued. The job description also described candidates willing to participate in the national conversation on education issues, one of Logan’s passions. Logan was also attracted to the school because when he visited campus, “everybody he met seemed committed to making Andover a very dynamic institution.” Logan said, “It’s great to be a part of a school with hundreds of years of history like Andover or Williams but there’s also a downside to that. Sometimes that means change is very difficult.” “You see a lot of colleges that want to become diverse. They broadly recruit kids, but they haven’t done anything within the college to make it a more comfortable and workable place for the type of students who haven’t been there,” he continued.