This letter comes from an Andover High School senior who is concerned about the future of Andover High School with the proposal of the Steam Studio charter school.
As I sit at my kitchen table opening admissions letters that are coming in by the bundle, I cannot help but think how my high school has helped me get to this point. As an incoming freshman to Andover High School, I lacked the skills and abilities to think critically. I now leave a fine-tuned student of not only academics, but of the world. I reference two courses that were particularly vital to my growth: Democracy with Mr. Andrew Reis and Dominant Ideas with Ms. Josephine Goldin. These courses taught me to think on a global level and appreciate issues that reach far beyond the Andover community.
With Mr. David Birnbach’s proposed Steam Studio, I would have been left in the dust. I would have lacked the opportunity to take such humanities classes such as Democracy and Dominant Ideas. It’s not to say that I wouldn’t have enjoyed the engineering courses that will be offered at the proposed Steam Studio, but I wouldn’t have fully been able to comprehend them or put them into a greater global context. For me, education is a process, I developed my critical thinking skills through history and English courses, which I was then able to apply to my math- and science-based courses.
Under the new leadership of Dr. Chris Lord, the high school is headed in the right direction. He has a true vision as to the true potential of AHS and the good news is that we are growing stronger and more unified as a community every day. If Steam Studio was created, it would divert funding away from all the positive things happening at the high school. This worries me immensely as my sister is an incoming freshman and I want her to have the same great experience that I had at the high school, one full of academic and social growth.
With all due respect Mr. Birnbach, if I had attended your proposed Steam Studio, I would not have been the same person intellectually as I am now. I will forever cherish the well-rounded education I received at Andover High School and will always be a Warrior.
Being part of the class of 2014, I’m ready for college. I know how to think on a critical level. This is all thanks to the education that I received at Andover High School.
Andover High School