Steve Andrews '70
Steve Andrews '70 reflects on Pike through three lenses- as a student, an alumnus, and now, as a parent. "The teachers are still so passionate and skilled at their profession," said Steve. "The facilities are more colorful; there's more sunlight in the classrooms but the essence of Pike remains the same." More than forty years have passed since Steve graduated from Pike and he's glad to have the chance to experience Pike again, through the eyes of his daughter, Jessica.
When Jessica was old enough to go to school, Steve and his wife Lisa were living in Michigan. "She was in a Montessori school and didn't want to leave her friends," said Steve. However, they decided that they wanted to be nearer to family and therefore moved back to Andover in 2008. Luckily for Jessica, she had an easy transition to Pike. She entered Pike as a first grader, just as Steve did almost fifty years earlier. "Her teacher was Mrs. Addesa. You couldn't have asked for a nicer person to welcome her to Pike," said Steve. Steve is immersed in the daily life of the school and enjoying his time back "home."
Steve's path back to Andover took him all over the world. He is a pilot for Delta Airlines. Since college, Steve has lived in five states- Florida, Minnesota, Massachusetts, Hawaii, and Michigan with travel routes to cities on nearly every continent. "When I was living in Hawaii, I flew passenger trips to Asia a lot. I got a real feel for cities like Bejing and Singapore," said Steve. "Vacations included scuba-diving in Australia and hiking in New Zealand." Today, his winter route is a flight from the United States to Amsterdam to Mumbai and back. In the summer, he flies to ten different cities including: Paris, Barcelona, and Rome. "It's great for the first few times. I take advantage of the sights," said Steve. "I enjoy my schedule because there is a lot of free time to pursue other things."
It's hard to imagine what those "other things" are though- Steve has been flying since his sophomore year of college. "I was halfway through my time at Harvard, when a friend of mine who was a pilot asked me if I wanted to fly with him," said Steve. They flew out of Lawrence Municipal Airport and headed to Martha's Vineyard. "He let me fly part of the way and I was hooked. This is something I'd like to do!" He majored in psychology. "My first love was creative writing but I didn't want to be an English major," said Steve. "My advisor recommended that I study psychology because it was a way to look at the world and influence my writing." But after his adventure in the plane, he knew flying was his real passion. His parents supported his decision and the rest is history.
Steve had the skills he needed to succeed in trying something new because of the strong educational foundation he received at Pike. "I gained confidence at Pike. I learned that with hard work, I could achieve anything," said Steve. "At Pike, teachers pushed us. They didn't settle for substandard work." Steve reminisces about how caring the faculty at Pike were and how often they put the students first. One memory that exemplifies Pike for him is of the sixth grade hockey team that almost never came into being. The coach at the time, Bill King, stepped down and it seemed like there was no one who would take his place. "The whole program could have been axed," said Steve. "And then, another teacher, Bill Stevens, who couldn't skate at all, sacrificed his lunchtime to take us rink rats over to Phillips Academy to play. He held onto the sides the whole time!" Steve attended Pike from first through eighth grade and then headed to the Fenn School in Concord, Massachusetts for one year as a 5-day boarder. He spent his high school years at the Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, Connecticut where Liza Waters' father, Bill Olsen, was the Head of School. "I remember going to have tea at his house," said Steve. "He was a well-respected Head and a great guy."
His journey back to Pike began in New England and then led him around the world. When he and Lisa moved back to Andover, he reached out to Pike classmate, Leslie Dumont '70. Her daughters were well into their time at Pike and enjoying their experience. Steve knew Pike would be a good fit for his daughter too. "As a parent, I see how Pike has evolved along with the world," said Steve. "I see how insightful and courageous the Head of School must be to adapt. It would be easy for the Head to say 'we've always done it this way' but that's not what Muddy Waters does at Pike." When asked what he enjoys most about his work as a pilot, Steve said, "I love new places, new challenges, new routes in different aircrafts." He went on to say, "I love bringing people together and connecting the dots." Steve enjoys connecting the dots between his time at Pike and his daughter's too.