Aquita Winslow, Former Instructor, Librarian, and Lawyer Named First Dean of CaMD

Aquita Winslow brings experience as former librarian, dean, coach, and faculty club advisor to the role of the Dean of CaMD.

Aquita Winslow will serve as the new Dean of the Office of Community and Multicultural Development (CaMD), a newly established position, starting in July 2023. 

Originally from Polytechnic School in Pasadena, California, Winslow emphasized her commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. She expressed how Andover’s dedication to similar values drew her to this position. 

“I think it’s really important for students to feel seen, heard, validated, and supported in all areas and aspects of their lives. So that’s something that I just feel is a core belief that I hold. It’s something I’ve done a lot of work in [Polytechnic School for,] and I’m really excited about being able to continue that work. I think creating spaces where students can really be their authentic selves is really important and it feels to me like that’s something that the CaMD office supports,” said Winslow.

During her 12-year tenure at Polytechnic School, Winslow fulfilled a variety of roles, including a librarian, a tenth grade dean, a coach, and a faculty club advisor. She was also involved in many affinity groups, the most recent one being the Black Student Union. At Andover, Winslow aims to uphold CaMD’s mission by fully understanding and adapting to the needs of the student body.

“I want to support the work that’s already been done [at CaMD]. I know there’s been incredible people there, and I want to continue to support that work. I want to find out the best way for me to help students really make the CaMD office feel like their own. And if they already feel like it’s their own, how do I continue to support them feeling [this] way?” said Winslow.

Hector Membreno-Canales, current Director of CaMD and Instructor in Art, commented on the position’s promotion to the Dean level. Considering the substantial expansion of the CaMD office over the years, recommendations from the Andover Anti-Racism Task Force Report greatly influenced this decision. CaMD has also extended its involvement to the summer sessions, reflecting the office’s increasing significance.

“Ms. Winslow’s position as a Dean of CAMD rather than a current model as a Director elevates the profile, scope, responsibility, and potential of the office and its leadership… Ms. Winslow will bring her expert lens to champion and further advance the CaMD mission beyond the typical school year to include the summer sessions. The goal here is to increase continuity from year to year, month to month, and week to week,” wrote Membreno-Canales in an email to The Phillipian.

Membreno-Canales also noted Winslow’s rich background in school leadership positions. He believes her diverse prior experiences render her a valuable addition to the Andover community.

“Ms. Winslow brings more than 25 years of school leadership experience to Andover. She is trained as both a lawyer and librarian — this unique set of skills uniquely positions her to be both intellectually curious while asking the tough questions,” wrote Membreno-Canales.

Winslow hopes to be an approachable and supportive presence. In an interview with The Phillipian, she expressed her excitement to interact and build connections with students and wishes to establish CaMD as an environment where all students can comfortably express themselves.

“I think my job is going to be about working with students very specifically. I’m really excited about that [because] one of the things about being a librarian is we’re really good at working with students… For me, working with students is about getting to know students, about finding out what’s important to them, about creating a space where we’re communicating effectively. Hopefully, they see me as someone who is supporting them where I can, and someone who is able to help them navigate issues around diversity, equity, [and] inclusion,” said Winslow.

Winslow continued, “In the same way that I jumped into the [Polytechnic School] community, I hope to jump into the Andover community… I want kids to be able to walk into the CaMD Office and feel like they are welcome there. To know that we’re happy they’re there. That’s the whole point, right? I want happy kids.”