Palfrey Declares His First Head of School Day

Cheers of delight erupted in Paresky Commons on Monday evening, as Head of School John Palfrey waved his squash racquet to announce his first Head of School Day at Andover.

Head of School Day cancelled all classes and extracurricular activities on Tuesday. Sports teams with Wednesday games this week held practices on Tuesday.

Mobs of students had gathered early around the entrance of Lower Right in anticipation of Palfrey’s arrival. Some students even held up signs already thanking Palfrey for the day off.

“I started in upper right to give the juniors and others there the chance to start the screaming. And then I slipped in the back of lower right. I was feeling impish and decided not to come straight in the front since so many seemed to expect me,” wrote Palfrey in his email to The Phillipian.

Palfrey waved his squash racquet instead of the blue field hockey stick that Barbara Chase, former Head of School, used to declare a day of rest for students and faculty.

“Squash is my favorite sport and I thought that would be a fun and personal way to declare HOS day,” wrote Palfrey.

Nancy Jeton, Special Assistant to the Head of School, said although Palfrey asked various members of the faculty and staff for suggestions and advice, he ultimately made the decision on his own.

Palfrey said that he chose Tuesday to be Head of School Day because Kevin Cardozo, Instructor in Chemistry, had the day in his syllabus as Head of School Day.

“I figured he must know when it was supposed to be,” said Palfrey.

Cardozo said, “I’m honored that Mr. Palfrey chose Head of School Day based on my syllabus. Maybe I can get us a second one by putting Head of School Day on my spring syllabus too!”

To make Head of School Day more memorable, a group of seniors set up speakers in Lower Right before Palfrey’s entrance and played music in celebration of the announcement. “It was really a collaborative effort on every senior’s part,” wrote Claudia Giles ’13 in an e-mail to The Phillipian.

“Reception in Paresky was awesome. I loved it. There’s no way to prepare for being received with a great dance party,” wrote Palfrey.