Faculty Kids Share Stories Of Growing Up on Andover’s Campus

While most students at Andover are easily categorized as either boarding or day students, some, like Eliot Zaeder ’17, fall somewhere in between. Eliot Zaeder resides on campus in Bishop Hall where he lives with his family, which includes his father, Thayer Zaeder, Instructor in Art; his mother and his younger sister.

Unlike most Andover students, Eliot Zaeder has lived on campus since he was just one year old.

“I’ve lived here basically my whole life… It’s definitely an interesting experience. Mostly because I get to live with my family. I’d say it’s best of both worlds,” said Eliot Zaeder.

For as long as he can remember, Eliot Zaeder imagined himself as an Andover student.

“I always knew that I wanted to come [to Andover]. And I think that having my dad teaching here was kind of a plus because he could help me out with the application process and things like that. This was the only school that I applied to,” said Eliot Zaeder.

Even before becoming a student, Eliot Zaeder spent a lot of time with Andover kids.

“As a little kid, boys in the dorm would sometime babysit us. It was really fun, but I can’t really remember that much because I was so young. Also, before I was here as a [Junior], I sometimes went to the dorm munches and hung out with some of the boys. But not very often because obviously I was much smaller,” said Eliot Zaeder.

In contrast to Eliot Zaeder, Michaela Hagler ’16 finds living in a dorm to be the worst aspect of being the child of a faculty member. She lives with her father, Jeremiah Hagler, Instructor in Biology, her mother, and her two triplets in America House.

“I feel that I do not have privacy and my own space because I can always hear the [boarding students] above me… it is almost as if I am a [boarding student], but I am a actually a day student. I don’t have that same separation from campus that the other students, whether it be boarder or day student. It is a weird mix,” wrote Michaela Hagler in an email to The Phillipian.

Siblings Michaela Hagler and Alex Hagler ’16 also find having a faculty member as a parent to be both a positive and negative aspect of being a student at Andover.

“In classes it can sometimes be awkward if I know the teacher from before high school, and sometimes even, my classmates or teachers will put undue expectations on me just because I am a faculty kid. But that is very rare, and most of the time my classmates and teachers just treat me as another student,” wrote Alex Hagler in an email to The Phillipian.

Jordy Fenton ’17, daughter of Martha Fenton ’83, Dean of West Quad North Cluster, enjoys the mix of boarding and day life.

“[Having a parent who is faculty member] is nice in the fact that I can be on campus, and doing my schoolwork and everything, but also have the home life. So it’s kind of the mix between the day student and the [boarding] life, which a lot of the [boarding students] will tell me that being on campus that I’m very lucky to be here because my family is here… Plus the dog, it’s always nice to have the dog around,” said Jordy Fenton.

Another student who falls in the middle of the boarding-day student spectrum is Reuben Philip ’18. Unlike most faculty kids, Reuben does not have the same all-day accessibility to Andover’s facilities as other faculty members’ children do because he lives off campus.

“I think living on campus would be a benefit for me just being around the whole community at all times would be pretty cool… I think that’s good because you get to sort of be away from everyone for part of the day, and it’s nice to just go home… I know that some of my friends who are faculty students that live in dorms, their parents are on duty 24/7, and my parents get to step away from that,” said Philip.

Philip’s mother is Elizabeth Joseph, Instructor in Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science. On a typical day, Philip leaves campus at around 9:00 p.m. His mother will leave before him except for days when she has dorm duty. His father, Philip Theruvakattil, works as a network and firewall engineer on campus.

“[Being] able to rely on my parents being around here is good because… I rely on them a lot, and just them being close at all times is really securing,” said Philip.

Although Philip enjoys being close to his parents while at school, he said running into his parents during the school day can often be awkward.

“It’s also pretty awkward when your friends have your parents as teachers. But otherwise, I think that it’s not much different than being a regular day student,” said Philip.

Since coming to Andover, Philip has been able to see the difference between his peers at Andover compared to those attending other schools. He appreciates the overall friendliness and acceptance that is prevalent in Andover’s large but tight-knit community.

“Everyone goes into everything with a positive attitude. And when you meet someone, I know anywhere else someone would judge you at first sight, but here it’s a little bit different. They actually get to know you before they judge you,” said Philip.