Brad Silnutzer to Be New Interim Director of Community Service

After a year-long sabbatical spent at the LEAP School in South Africa, Chad Green, former Cluster Dean of West Quad North and Director of Community Service, announced this past week that he will not be returning to Phillips Academy next year. In his absence, Elizabeth Davisson, former Teaching Fellow in Community Service, served as Interim Director of Community Service with a one-year contract this year. Brad Silnutzer, Teaching Fellow in Community Service, will replace Davisson as the new Interim Director of Community Service for the 2011-2012 school year. “I am incredibly excited about the possibilities of spending another year here at Phillips. Having already spent one year here, I feel that I have an understanding of what the role of community service is on campus and what it could potentially be,” said Silnutzer. Looking forward to next year, Silnutzer has hopes for the future of community service at Phillips Academy. Silnutzer said one of his main goals for next year is to have more people on campus talk about social justice and think about where service fits into their lives. “Non Sibi is a phrase that is tossed around a lot here on campus, but Non Sibi should not be limited to just going out on that one day a year to do community service. I think it is more of a lifestyle,” said Silnutzer. Silnutzer also hopes to engage more students in the weekly and monthly community service projects and to examine each project with a more comprehensive scope. “By developing each of these projects just a little further, I think it would really strengthen the learning experience for all of our students,” said Silnutzer. Davisson will leave Phillips Academy’s Community Service department as she pursues an elementary school teaching position. “It is going to be very sad leaving Andover, as I have become really close to a lot of students here, especially the Seniors involved in community service and the girls in my dorm. It is also very exciting though to look forward to this new opportunity ahead,” said Davisson. The news of Green’s departure from Phillips Academy, along with the preexisting knowledge of Davisson’s expiring contract and interviews for new community service coordinators, sparked an atmosphere of transition in the Community Service department. “There were many conversations last week about this transition period in community service at Andover, and what my role in that transition might be,” said Silnutzer. Silnutzer said that he originally thought about returning to the Peace Corps after his time at Phillips Academy. “Unfortunately, for the time being, I have closed the door on the Peace Corps, which is still a dream of mine….Working here at Phillips and being a part of this dynamic program that I could help develop in so many ways are opportunities that I am While serving as a Teaching Fellow this past year, Silnutzer also was a complimentary house counselor in Blanchard House. “Also, all of the relationships that I have made with kids in the dorm and kids who have worked with community service would be lost if I leave next year. I am very excited to spend more time with the students,” said Silnutzer. Looking to the future, Davisson reflected on the role of Community Service Director. Davisson said, “I am really anxious for the school to find someone who can fill Chad Green’s shoes on a permanent basis that would be well-respected in this community and in the nearby community. So my hope is that Brad will help select someone that could do a really good job here.”