Starting May 9, Beth Friedman will assume the position of Director of Outreach and Summer Session. Friedman’s new responsibilities will include overseeing Andover’s Summer Session program as well as the school’s four outreach programs.
Friedman brings more than a decade of experience in education to her new position. Previously, Friedman was a senior project manager at the education consulting firm School Works, working closely with clients like the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Friedman also worked as a teacher and then a middle school principal at Boston Collegiate Charter School.
Hailing from Manchester, N.H., Friedman is a graduate of Williams College and received a master’s degree in education from Harvard University.
“I’m interested particularly in the idea of combining my [experience as a principal] with my love for summer and out of school time experiences,” said Friedman in an interview with The Phillipian. “I was a summer camp counselor for many years. I went to a summer program similar to Andover Summer Session when I was a high schooler, when I went to St. Paul’s in New Hampshire, and just loved the opportunity to try something totally different and experiment a little as a student without the pressure that comes with the regular session that I had for the school year.”
Founded in 1942, Andover’s five-week Summer Session exposes 650 students from 54 countries to boarding school life and allows them to participate in a multitude of enrichment courses, according to the Andover website.
In addition to the summer program, Andover also runs four primary outreach programs that serve both the national and local community, including the Institute for Recruitment of Teachers, Andover Bread Loaf, (MS)2, and PALS.
Friedman said, “Having been in a very high stakes world of education reform as a principal, I loved the idea of coming to meet people who are very interested, who want to learn without the pressure of standardized tests looming over their heads.”
The Institute for the Recruitment of Teachers is made up of a board of both students and faculty from Andover or externally. The program finds promising minority candidates interested in becoming teachers and provides them the training and experience necessary for both graduate school and the job market.
Andover Bread Loaf helps students develop their critical and creative writing skills. The program is modeled after another program of the same name founded at Middlebury College in the 1920s and it caters to hundreds of local kids every year.
(MS)2 is aimed towards exposing underprivileged youths to more advanced topics in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. The program lasts three summers and takes place on campus. It is completely tuition free for all of its participants.
PALS (Phillips Academy and Lawrence Schools) program is a personalized tutoring network that helps about 40 of Lawrence’s middle schoolers learn essential studying habits and skills. The program also pairs them up with another student mentor whom they stay with for two years.
“[Students who enroll in the program] receive some college access support as they go about applying to colleges because this is really designed to promote advanced students across the country and bring them together and give them what Andover can give them,” said Friedman.
She will replace Fernando Alonso, who served as the Director of Outreach and Summer Session but will take on the role of Dean of Administration and Finance at the start of summer.
“I want to capitalize on all of the great things that have been done by Fernando Alonso and his team and all of the people who do Summer Session, (MS)2, and IRT and all of the summer programs,” said Friedman. “ I just want to get to know the way that things are run and also spend some time identifying really what’s the most effective, what could be improved… and then, eventually, look to think about ways that we can expand our impact, particularly through the outreach programs, and participate in the sort of education reform and initiatives that are going on in cities close by like Lawrence and Boston.”