LaShawn Springer, a current college counselor and faculty advisor, will assume the position of Director of the Office of Community and Multicultural Development (CAMD) this coming August.
Springer will work towards CAMD’s goal of equity and inclusivity as part of Andover’s Strategic Plan.
“It’s an exciting time once again for the school [while it] goes through the Strategic Plan, which makes it a very exciting time for CAMD to look at all our programs and clubs and resources. We don’t, [however, want to] lose people feeling comfortable in the space as well [while] we think about expanding,” said Springer.
In particular, Springer will utilize her experiences as both a former student and admissions officer at Wesleyan University in her work with student recruitment programs at Andover, such as Prep for Prep and A Better Chance.
“I’m really going to pay attention to what our students are saying they need from the office and recognizing that Andover is a very different place from what it use to be. We always constantly need to reassess what the needs are of the community and how best to meet those needs as we go forward,” said Springer.
In addition, she will examine CAMD’s various programs, clubs and organizations to see if they need refining or expanding.
“I think my biggest goal is going to be coalition building and [seeing] how we can work collaboratively to make our students feel as if their voices are represented both in and out of the classroom and in and out of every space they inhabit here,” said Springer.
Since taking on the role, Springer has been most excited about the chance to work with a wider array of students. She has already developed relationships with Uppers and Seniors while working as a college counselor and faculty advisor, but she looks forward to meeting more students of all grades.
Springer felt motivated to take the position based on her history as a student activist at Wesleyan.
“There was a lot of classism [and] ableism on campus, and we were figuring out how to have those conversations, and I would’ve been grateful to have an adult on campus whose position was specifically geared towards helping us really grasp all of that since we didn’t have that at all,” said Springer.
Springer recalled a movement from her freshman year in college in which she and her fellow students tried to force the institution into hiring a Dean of Diversity. During their efforts, the participants took over the School President’s office and building.
“I’m not suggesting that it’s the most effective and the best way, but I think it was a process that I needed to go through to get me where I am now in terms of finding more effective ways to make change,” said Springer.
“I see [my new position] as a full circle moment for me in terms of knowing that… in college I didn’t have [the knowledge and ability to properly make change] but now this opportunity presents itself here on a high school level. It excites me to think about how now, our kids will be prepared when they get to college to really make an impact,” added Springer.
Springer was picked from a pool of four candidates for the position as Director of CAMD, wrote Patrick Farrell, Dean of Faculty, in an email to *The Phillipian*. The search committee for the new position included Linda Carter Griffith, current Dean of CAMD, Paul Murphy, Dean of Students, Patrick Farrell, Dean of Faculty, David Gardner, Instructor in English, Aya Murata, Advisor to Asian and Asian American Students, Patricia Russell, Dean of Studies, and Mary Jane Lewis, CAMD Administrative Assistant.
“Ms. Springer is awesome, has lots of energy, connects well with students, is thoughtful and articulate. She is not afraid to tackle difficult questions/situations and always wants to move the conversation forward, opening up opportunities for dialogue across campus,” wrote Murata in an email to *The Phillipian*.
Springer has been at Andover for three years, all whilst serving as college counselor and faculty advisor for Af-Lat-Am and the Sisterhood. She previously worked in the Admissions Office at Wesleyan University and was involved in the recruitment of students of color.