Raj Mundra, Interim Deputy Head of School, will be leaving Andover at the end of the 2022-2023 school year. Mundra will assume the position of Head Of School at Lick-Wilmerding High School in San Francisco, Calif. starting Fall 2023.
Since joining the Andover community in 1991 for one year as a teaching fellow and returning in 1996, Mundra has served many roles on campus for 25 years, including as a house counselor, Varsity Football Coach, and many administrative positions. Having served as Associate Director of the International Academic Partnership, Assistant Dean of Community and Multicultural Development (CaMD), Cluster Dean of Pine Knoll, and Associate Dean of Students, Mundra has worked to develop a culture of curiosity and creativity and has been committed to supporting the Andover community.
Mundra reflected on his Andover career and the sense of belonging that the community provided him and his family with. Mundra most valued the connections he made with a diverse group of students and faculty.
“I’ve had different administrative and teaching positions at Andover, and this was a unique opportunity to lead a community in a different part of the country and I was ready to make a move and explore. My favorite moments have just been interactions. I don’t know if there’s one favorite moment, but interactions with amazing colleagues and students with different backgrounds have helped me learn more about myself and learn more about the world in different ways,” said Mundra.
Arun Kapoor ’25 appreciated Mundra’s efforts to build inclusivity and support for international students on campus. Kapoor believes that Mundra was a mentor for the South Asian community and was well-connected with many Andover students.
“He was the first South Asian teacher here. He started a lot of things. He said that when he came to [Andover], there were only 11 South Asian students and now there’s around 80. He helps make an impact on how teachers at this school are viewing different groups. As the Dean of Studies also last year he was able to basically assist us with whatever we want and he gave us a lot of inside information about what was going on around campus to a lot of other students too,” said Kapoor.
Different from Andover, however, Lick-Wilmerding is a day school in San Francisco, which will present a new work environment for Mundra. Thus, he hopes to learn more about Lick-Wilmerding’s school missions and to interact with a new community of students.
“It’s a day school, so it’s different. I’m interested to see how having students who all come from a particular area is. Their focus is on citizenship and service, so I’m very interested in how they connect their curriculum. I’m also interested in learning more about the Bay Area. There’s lots of students here from there, so I’d love to connect with them so they can help me think about the transition there,” said Mundra.
Maddie Garfinkle ’24, a student at Lick-Wilmerding High School, pointed out that there is currently a lack of communication between students and faculty at the school. After learning about Mundra’s roles and work at Andover, she expressed excitement about Mundra becoming the Head of School.
“I adore my school, and the current school environment is definitely the perfect fit for me. But as far as admins, teacher, and student relationships go, there are a lot of communication issues. I’m definitely excited about a new perspective on it all. I found that [Mundra’s] approach to integrating himself with the community so far has been really great. He met with our Black Student Union and a couple of other family groups which was really profound. It’s really cool to see this new Head interact with students and have a very present presence on campus…. I’m really looking forward to this new era,” said Garfinkle.
Regarding his upcoming departure from Andover, Mundra expressed gratitude for having had the opportunity to be a part of a school that fosters growth, meaningful connections, learning, and diversity. In the future, he hopes to return to Andover and visit his graduating advisees and friends.
“I’ll miss the people. I’ll miss the commitment to Andover’s mission. I’ll miss the geographic diversity of students here and I’ll miss a lot of my friends. I have two kids and they both were born while I’ve been on campus, and then graduated from Andover also, so the feeling of belonging here was very strong for me and my family. I’m grateful for the opportunity to teach in this incredible environment with these incredible people. I’m grateful for the resources that the school has to be able to conceptualize and develop really innovative programs that bring out the best in each of us. I’m grateful for being able to teach students around the world and explore different places,” said Mundra.