Stott Plans to Reinstate Original Landscape as Manager of Grounds

Russell Stott will bring his experience as a landscape architect to Andover as the new Manager of Grounds.

Stott joined Andover on September 24, replacing Ron Johnson, former Manager of Grounds, who left Andover on June 15.

Johnson left his position to become the Grounds and Equipment Manager at Phillips Exeter Academy, in order to be closer to his home in New Hampshire, according to Heather Thomson, Senior Manager for Operations and Maintenance.

As the Manager of Grounds, Stott will direct the Grounds Department, a group of 10 staff who are responsible for the management and repair of the school. He will also be in charge of the operational budget for the school’s day-to-day maintenance and will oversee care for all of the school’s vehicles.

Stott will also oversee the campus elm tree maintenance and replacement programs, which are working to restore the Academy’s elm tree collection after it was partially destroyed by a snowstorm in October 2011.

Stott’s long-term goals include continuing preservation efforts in the Moncreiff Cochran Sanctuary and restoring unkempt faculty homes.

Due to recent budget cuts, the Grounds Department has not prioritized restoring the Cochran Sanctuary, according to Stott.

According to Stott, he will also cooperate with the Campus Beautification Committee and the Campus Design Review Committee to preserve Andover’s original, historic landscape.

“With a limited crew for such a vast area, I think the biggest challenge for me is finding a way to be more efficient,” said Stott. “I hope to continue maintaining the grounds at a high level. I will look for more efficient ways so that [our work] can be more sustainable,” said Stott.

He added, “Many [staff members] have been here for over 20 years. They have a wealth of knowledge of the landscape and how things work. They have been instrumental in helping me settle in and wrap my head around the job at hand. I am very fortunate to have such a good crew.”

For the past four years, Stott worked at ZEN Associates, a landscape architecture firm, where he worked with clients in the Boston area and abroad.

“I love the design process. It’s amazing to see a project evolve and come to fruition. It’s an awesome feeling and sense of accomplishment to create a beautiful work of art for people to enjoy. I really look forward to bringing my background in design to the role of Manager of Grounds,” said Stott.

“I want people to say without hesitation that the grounds at Phillips Academy are the nicest in the country,” he added.

According to Thomson, the search for a new Manager of Grounds began immediately after Johnson’s departure in June and continued through the summer until Stott was hired in early September.

“His background in landscape architecture, experience working with maintenance crews and his personality, coupled with his work experience… contributed to his appointment. He came into [his] interview very well prepared with a lot of knowledge about Phillips Academy beforehand,” said Thomson.

Stott currently resides in Methuen, Mass., where he was born and raised.