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Frank Tipton to Become Assistant Head of School at Gann Academy

Concluding a decade of teaching and mentoring, Frank Tipton will be leaving Andover at the end of the current academic year to become the Assistant Head of School of Gann Academy in Waltham, Mass. Tipton said, “I really hope to celebrate the good work of that school. It’s a Jewish school that is hoping to be both a source of pride for the Jewish community, as well as a progressive school.” In particular, Tipton, Dean of West Quad North Cluster and Instructor in History, said he was drawn to the school’s mantra of “tikkun olam,” a Hebrew expression meaning “repairing the world.” “[‘Tikkun olam’] is about making the world a better place, thinking about social justice, thinking about human dignity. Those are important elements of this school’s philosophy. I think that philosophy is also present here at Andover, but there’s an opportunity to work at [Gann Academy] as Assistant Head [of School] and be part of the vision and help to shape that vision,” said Tipton. Tipton said he greatly enjoyed his work as a teacher at Andover, citing his fondness for his History 100 and 200 classes. He said he would in all likelihood continue teaching history at Gann Academy. “History is a unique lens into the human condition…. I think we learn about ourselves when we learn about others, and I think history is one critical way to ultimately learn about ourselves through understanding the lives of others. History also to me is a development of ideas on the way the world works and the way human beings connect with each other, and to be able to understand how those ideas and relationships develop over time is especially enriching to us in the 21st century,” said Tipton. For the past six years, Tipton has immersed himself in the Andover community as an advisor to LGBTQ students at Andover, one of his many campus roles. Additionally, Tipton has had extensive experience with connections with diversity as an advisor to LGBTQ students, as a staff member and as a Cluster Dean. “I really think we have promoted profound conversations on [Andover’s] campus connected to gender, race and ethnicity, and I want to bring the spirit of those conversations to everywhere I’m going to be working in the future. Gann is my next stage, and I am excited to bring some of those ideas there,” said Tipton. Tipton said that his ten years at Andover have significantly shaped him into a more empathetic person, becoming more attuned to the psychological, emotional and the intellectual needs of the people in the community. “I’ve become more attuned to the physiological, emotional, as well as intellectual needs of the people in the community. I have also been humbled by the amount of talent that is in this community, and I enjoy attending performances and presentations by people in the community… because I really enjoy the opportunity to see other people’s knowledge and talents expressed,” said Tipton. He will replace current Assistant Head of School Ralph Van Inwagen at Gann Academy starting fall 2015. Before arriving at Andover, Tipton completed his Bachelor’s in Middle East Languages and Cultures at Columbia University and his Master’s in Arab Studies at Georgetown University. He has pursued his academic interests across the globe, having researched in the Middle East, Africa and China. Notably, he spent six months in Yemen studying the seaport of Aden. He first joined Andover as an Instructor in History in 2005.