The Association of Boarding Schools (TABS) encompasses thousands of residential life leaders among their 236 member schools. Each year, the organization selects three who exemplify outstanding “commitment, creativity and excellence in the area of Student and Residential Life” above and beyond the rest.
One of those honored this year is Brooks School’s very own Andrea Heinze!
In Chapel yesterday, TABS’ Executive Director Susan Baldridge (below on right) spoke about the recognition, the Burch Ford Kaleidoscope Award.
The honor recognizes “professionals who have exemplified commitment, creativity and excellence throughout their career,” she said before naming a very-surprised Athletic Director and former Associate Head for Student Affairs Andrea Heinze as a winner and presenting her with a custom glass kaleidoscope keepsake.
“I am incredibly honored to have been nominated and chosen for this award,” Heinze shared the following day — after the shock wore off from seeing that her parents, sister and one of her sons had secretly returned to Brooks to attend her award ceremony.
“I am so moved by my colleague Susanna Waters for thinking of me and nominating me for this. The support, kindness, thoughtfulness and enthusiasm in her nomination letter is beyond words,” she said.
Waters, Brooks' associate head of school for academic affairs, wasn’t shy in showing her admiration in the letter she submitted nominating Heinze for the award. Among her praise, Waters wrote: “Andrea has long been the bedrock of our Brooks School community and selflessly dedicated her time, energy and insight to improving the student experience and supporting the efforts of her colleagues. . . ”
Head of School John Packard added to the sentiment in his introduction to the Chapel ceremony on October 5. “She has poured her life into the school from the first day,” he told the assembled Brooks School community — a fact made all the more impressive considering that her first day was more than 30 years ago.
Since 1992 she has served in a variety of roles on campus including math teacher; basketball, field hockey and softball coach; dorm parent; advisor; assistant dean of students; dean of students; associate head for student affairs and now director of athletics.
“She does not know how to give anything other than all of herself to the school each and every year,” said Packard. “She leaves students she works with certain she cares about them in ways that also leave them feeling like they matter to her to their school and beyond.”
Yesterday, Heinze was able to experience an outpouring of attention herself. “I have always felt supported and cared for at Brooks, and this award extends this feeling far beyond this campus,” she said. “I'm extremely appreciative of the recognition that has been extended to me.”
Heinze will be honored officially at TABS’ annual conference in Boston next month.