10 Questions News

10 Questions with Julie Powers

Administrative Officer Julie Powers has worked at Andover for the past 19 years in the Brace Center, the Math Department, the former counseling center at Graham House, and the Dean of Studies Office where she currently works. Alongside her dedication to the school, she is also a fervent supporter of the salad bar in Paresky Commons.

  1. What is your perspective of Andover?

“I think Andover is a really tough place for kids, [and] it’s important for kids to ask for help when they need it… [Since] I used to work in the counseling center, I always, laughingly, say I put my counseling hat on [as an administrator], because I think that [Andover’s] a tough place for kids. And I get how to be a teen, it’s not easy to ask for help. I’ve seen a change in that, [but I would like to see more].”

  1. What is the craziest thing that you have seen at Andover?

One of the senior stunts was that the seniors left ziplock bags with goldfish, one goldfish in each ziplock bag, and there [were] hundreds of them found at Gelb… [Our] office ended up adopting some fish… so we ended up having goldfish in our office for a while.

  1. How has working at Andover affected how you see the school?

“Well, I am in my 19th year at Andover. And I’ve been very lucky and grateful to move through Andover as my own children at home needed me. I started at the Brace Center…and then when my oldest was going to college, I wanted to do a full year job. And I got a position where I am currently in the Dean of Studies Office, which is a great place [and] student-centric. I have a front row seat to the kids when they come in the door, and I love it.”

  1. How have you seen your work pay off overtime?

“Well, I mean, honestly, it’s so funny, Back in the day, my first ‘kids at work,’ as I call them, set me up with Facebook. [Now some of] those kids have kids of their own, and it’s just amazing. It’s a full circle moment of me seeing the scared Junior, Lower, or new Upper, and then to see you at commencement and think, ‘Wow, what a change.’ It’s just amazing. I love it. It brings my soul joy.”

  1. Outside of your role, how have you interacted with the people at Andover?

“I’ve been lucky that, because I’ve worked in so many different offices, I know lots of folks on campus, both faculty and staff… I like when people come into my office to visit, [and] they stop and we catch up about their kids or their work or what’s going on in their life. I love that. I love that I’m so lucky to be positioned in [George Washington Hall] where I am, that I have a front row seat to everybody that comes in, kids or adults or visitors. I love it.”

  1. What is your favorite thing that you have done at Andover?

“Well, as a staff member I’ve been working on different committees and various groups to help the staff’s voice be heard a little bit more… When I think about the Covid pivot that all our staff had to do, [it] was super hard to try to do the unknown, and I don’t think staff get appreciated as much as they should… I think that’s my thing, to try to leave a mark and [have] people understand that staff are super important, and that they should be appreciated and not overlooked.”

  1. How do you think we, as students, can apply ourselves more to interact and understand the staff more?

“I love when kids just say, ‘Thank you.’ I think it’s so great… I see kids in [Paresky] Commons thanking people for the food that they are being served. I think it’s just important to sort of be aware of that kind of stuff… And it’s just so nice to just be recognized and say, ‘thank you.’ I think that’s really important. I know it means a lot to me.”

  1. What advice would you give to a new student?

“I think my major advice to new kids is to try it, go out of your comfort zone, join a club, take a different language… It’s really important to spread your wings at high school, step out of your comfort zone and just try it. The worst that can happen is you don’t like it, or that you fail at it. But [at least it will] be something that’s just fun. You know, just try it.”

  1. What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about the Dean of Studies Office?

“I think people think it’s a scary place. And I think kids think ‘I’m coming in there for something heavy’… When I came to [the Dean of Studies], it [had a different design]. We had very dark artwork. It [was a] very black and white kind of place. And I asked [the former Dean of Studies] if I could redecorate, and he was like ‘Go for it.’… I tried to make it less scary because I think the misconception about our offices is that it’s not a fun place to be because there’s some heavy stuff that may be discussed.”

  1. Outside of work, what is your favorite thing to do at Andover?

“I love Grasshopper. I love a play. I love the arts. I love to see the dance groups. It’s hard for me because I don’t live on campus, but I do love to come back to that kind of stuff. Or if I really know a kid, to see their Brace presentation or to see their CaMD presentation, it just brings me immense pride. I do love to come back and see kids’ presentations. Or even on MLK day…if I go to a kid’s [workshop] and I see what they’ve worked so hard for, it’s amazing. That makes me super happy.”