10 Questions with Kenneth Shows

Kenneth Shows is an Associate Dean of Studies for Scheduling and has been a house counselor in Bishop Hall for the past six years. He also serves as an Associate Director of College Counseling. In his free time, he enjoys cooking, basketball, and playing board games. 

 “Add/Drop is only a tiny piece of the overall scheduling puzzle, but it’s one of the most fun because it allows me to interact with so many students. It’s a busy few days but a great way to kick off the term… Scheduling takes up my time even when I’m not working on Add/Drop. I work with department chairs to build each term’s schedule, work with students and advisors during the course selection process, and then do the actual work of scheduling students into classes. And, of course, I do my other work here at Andover: I’m a college counselor and a house counselor in Bishop, most notably.”


“I didn’t attend boarding school myself, but I was drawn to the idea of a 24/7 community. As someone who was moving from college admission to college counseling, I was excited about the idea of a school with a large college counseling office, because there would be more opportunities for mentorship and skill-building. And I liked the idea of Andover’s size and diversity overall. We’re big enough to present a wider array of opportunities and experiences for our faculty.”


“I still think of myself primarily as a college counselor, but for the last six years I’ve also been the Associate Dean [of] Scheduling, and for the last nine years I’ve been a house counselor in Bishop.”


“It’s a close call between my colleagues, who are wonderful, and the opportunity to meet and work with so many great students. [Outside of my job,] hanging out with my family definitely comes first, but I also love to play board games.”


“Fried okra.”


“I can juggle. I’m also a pretty good cook.”


“This changes all the time for me. Right now, I’ll say ‘The Royal Tenenbaums,’ because I just saw a Wes Anderson movie and was reminded how great this one is.”


“Back in my time in college admissions, we saw a fair amount of stunt applications, students sending in zany applications to try and stand out. Those are not my favorite essays. I prefer ones that are genuine, where students really put themselves out there and show their feelings. I read a great essay in the form of a thank you note over the weekend — that’s my preferred style.”


“It’s all about sleep, I think. As a house counselor, I think all of my students who are well-slept are pretty healthy and happy, and I can rarely remember a student who stays up late all the time who isn’t also anxious and stressed. Because workload is heavy at Andover, sometimes finding that balance can mean putting off an assignment or turning in work that is a bit less than your best, but if it keeps you healthy in the long run, it’s a worthwhile tradeoff.”


“I think all of our experiences shape our work, but I guess the two most significant would be my own high school experience, at a large public high school, and my time working in college admission… Looking back, my own college admission process was pretty strange.  I’m a big basketball fan, so I refused to apply to any schools unless they had power-conference Division I basketball teams.”

Editor’s Note: This interview was conducted over email.