By Kathleen McGinty and Marina Renton         

Dr. Christopher Lord was named the incoming Andover High principal Thursday afternoon during a faculty meeting in the media center.  Dr. Lord is currently the principal of Shea High School in Pawtucket, R.I., and he has also worked as an education technology consultant and an assistant principal in the past.

Dr. Lord has just been named the next principal of AHS.

To AHS Dr. Lord will bring experience and knowledge gained from presiding over Shea High School for the past eight years.  According to him, this inner city school of 1,000 students abounds in passion and interest. “What we lacked in numbers we gained in diversity,” he said. Next year, Dr. Lord hopes to bring some of this vibrancy to AHS.

In addition, he would like to further integrate technology into the school.

“We need to learn how to work [cell phones] into high school responsibly,” he said of the common distraction among adolescents.

Dr. Lord has three specific goals in mind for next year. What are these three goals?

“Listen, listen, listen!” Dr. Lord said.  “I need to learn your culture…and that takes time.”

In an effort to get a jump start, Dr. Lord encourages faculty members to set up one-on-one meetings with him after he officially takes the reins from interim principal Dr. Sharkey on July 1, 2012.

“I’d like to paint a little canvas of Andover in my mind,” he said. “That goes with listening, and I hope we can make the painting even better.”

Dr. Lord hopes that AHS will end up shaping the future of its students.

“My goal for [the students] is that in 50 years you will walk through these hallways and say, ‘Who I am now was forged here,’” he said.

Over the next few months, Dr. Lord will pay occasional visits to Andover High, and he hopes to attend the graduation ceremony in June.

“I am delighted to be the next principal,” said Dr. Lord.  “I want to thank everyone on the committee…. Dr. McGrath has been absolutely outstanding throughout this process…. This was the right fit for me. I feel better every time I’m here.”