Campus Map and Facilities
Ohio State University - B.S.
Yale University - M.S.
Andrew Watson and his family came to the Academy from the Potomac School in McLean, Virginia in 2001. Prior to their ten years in the D.C. area, the Watsons taught and lived at the Fountain Valley School in Colorado Springs. A native of Ohio, Andy studied at Ohio State University and Yale University before beginning his teaching career at a public school in Dayton, Ohio. His interests include his family, reading, music, and outdoor activities. He and his wife Carol have three daughters, Madeleine '08, Elizabeth '10, and Corinne '10. Along with his Academy work, Andy shares and learns through professional outreach. Over time, this work includes chairing the Harvard Principals' Center National Advisory Board, teaching at the National Association of Independent School's (NAIS) Institute for New School Heads, serving on boards and advisory boards for the New Mexico Community Foundation and its Elev8 initiative, the United Way’s Center for Nonprofit Excellence, Albuquerque's Tricklock Theatre Company, and New York-based Educational Records Bureau (ERB). In addition, he has chaired Independent School Association of the Southwest evaluation teams for Kinkaid School (Houston, TX), St. Mark’s School (Dallas, TX), and Colegios Peterson (Mexico City).
Follow Andrew Watson on Twitter
The Academy Today
About Our Mission
|A Moment on Campus: 1973 and 2013|
Here on campus, we continue to explore initiatives like the Global Online Academy and our yearly themes, but we always remember that there are moments of inspiration, personalization, and life whose power comes from the presence of a teacher and students in small group or one-on-one settings. I was reminded of this today when History Department Chair Sid Stockdale passed along the short version of his family story, from forty years ago. A very special, personal moment at an independent school back then, echoing in the lives of students today:
I want to share an important anniversary with you that has personal significance to me. Today, January 23, 2013 is the fortieth anniversary of the cease-fire in Vietnam.
On this day in 1973 I was a senior (6th former) at South Kent School in Connecticut and as I was walking down the hallway in the dorm a faculty member, Henry Milton, raced out of his door, excitedly grabbed me and said, “Come in here, you’ve got to see this!” In his apartment the television was on and President Nixon was giving a news conference and announcing that a cease-fire had been arranged, that American troops were being withdrawn and that American Prisoners of War would be released in a matter of weeks. It was a surreal moment, and one that I thought back to many times in the following months and years. It was like a new starting point for the rest of my life; someone had thrown a switch and the old black and white image was suddenly technicolor.
I had last seen my father in the spring of 1964 when he left San Diego aboard the USS Oriskany with his fighter squadron (VF-51). I was in the fourth grade. So today, January 23rd, will always have special meaning to me. —Sid Stockdale
Sid’s father, for those of you new to this story, was Admiral James Stockdale, one of the most revered leaders in naval history. Part of his story was recounted by Jim Collins in Good to Great; it is a powerful lesson to consider, one that connects well with the challenges we face today at the Academy and in the world. Paraphrasing from Collins' book, in speaking of his time in captivity Admiral Stockdale relates that:
I never lost faith in the end of the story, I never doubted not only that I would get out, but also that I would prevail in the end and turn the experience into the defining event of my life, which, in retrospect, I would not trade.
When Collins asked who didn’t make it out of Vietnam, Stockdale replied:
Oh, that’s easy, the optimists. Oh, they were the ones who said, ‘We’re going to be out by Christmas.’ And Christmas would come, and Christmas would go. Then they’d say, ‘We’re going to be out by Easter.’ And Easter would come, and Easter would go. And then Thanksgiving, and then it would be Christmas again. And they died of a broken heart. Stockdale then added: This is a very important lesson. You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end — which you can never afford to lose — with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.
Collins went on to describe the ability to hold these two ideas at once as the Stockdale Paradox.
We often face circumstances as a school and as individuals that call for thinking such as Admiral Stockdale’s, that perhaps even call for his courage.
|I invite you to e-mail me with questions or reactions to these comments or to previous blog posts, or with your thoughts about any of Albuquerque Academy's efforts. Thank you!|