To the Editor,
I applaud Head of School John Palfrey’s reaction to the recent scandal involving former Medical Director Dr. Keller. I vividly remember that when Dr. Keller announced his resignation in April 2011, much of the student body was left searching for the reason for his resignation. The administration offered no information for his departure, allowing the students to wonder why a seemingly outstanding member of our community would leave out of the blue (no pun intended).
Last Thursday, when the news broke that Dr. Keller was arrested for child pornography, we got our answer. Within hours of the news, Mr. Palfrey sent an e-mail to students, faculty, alumni and parents, assuring the safety and well-being of the Andover community. His quick reaction quelled the community’s rising concerns. And, when he sent another e-mail detailing the circumstances behind Dr. Keller’s departure in May 2011, Palfrey laid everything out in the open and cleaned out Dr. Keller’s proverbial closet. In doing so, he made it clear that Phillips Academy is a school for its community—one that trusts its students, faculty, alumni and parents enough to deal with this challenge openly. This small gesture had an immensely calming effect on everyone impacted by the shocking news of Keller’s arrest.
I had wondered last year what the school would do without the tender love and care of Mrs. Chase, a staple of the community for years. After this incident and the response of the administration, I can see now that we are in the best of hands.
Benjamin Manuel ’12