Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

Education

May 30, 2013

So long, high school

Campout prank, ice cream signal end for seniors

Andover High School’s graduating seniors weren’t about to let their last day of classes pass without notice last week.

Chanting “five more weeks” to the underclassmen getting off the bus Friday morning, the graduates-to-be made sure to rub it in that it was their last day of school — and their high school careers — while the rest of the student body still had more than a month of classes to endure.

The seniors kicked the day off by blocking the front entrance of the high school and holding a “campout” both outside and in the main lobby, senior class adviser Aixa de Kelley said.

Bill Hutchins, another senior class advisor, said the prank was done with the approval of Principal Chris Lord, who is reaching the end of his first full year at the helm of Andover High. An ice cream social in the gymnasium capped off the day, ending with a controversial ceremonial “last lap” around the school for some students, who faced suspension for their actions. See related story, page 1.

The final events surrounding the 456-member-strong class of 2013 will wrap up Monday, June 3, with a graduation ceremony at the Tsongas Center in Lowell. The ceremony, which starts at 5 p.m., will honor two beloved Andover High faculty — one as a commencement speaker and the other as an award recipient.

Spanish teacher Thomas Powers will speak for the class.

“The students felt overwhelmingly that he’s an approachable person. Whether you’re in his class or not, he made an effort to know you,” Hutchins said.

The Distinguished Citizen Award will be given to veteran social studies teacher Brian Parker, who recently took a leave of absence from school due to a medical issue.

Parker is known around the high school and town because “he basically runs Pomps Pond and has been highly active with community service projects,” Hutchins said.

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