Anne Gardner becomes new chaplain

Will Sheehy

After leaving her position of 12 years as the Protestant Chaplain and the inaugural Director of Spiritual and Religious life at Phillips Academy, a boarding school in Andover, Mass., Reverend Anne Gardner will fill a two-year vacancy as the school Chaplain. At Phillips Academy, Gardner sat on various school committees and was a house counselor for an upper-class dormitory.

Gardner said she will embrace the transition to the school, which is far different from Phillips Academy in both its location and its identity as a day school. In addition, she said she must face the added component of virtual learning.

“Traditionally, ministry is thought of much as a vocation of presence, and to be separated and having to do things remotely is a significant challenge for a ministry,” Gardner said. “I’ll have to work extra hard to make sure that I make those connections as much as possible.”

Despite these challenges, Gardner said she is is ready and looking forward to her role in the community. She said she knew the school was the right place for her after coming to Los Angeles and discussing its culture with the prefects.

“It was after that meeting that I thought to myself, if I was lucky enough to be offered this job, I would take it because of these kids,” Gardner said. “You have to love the kids to love the job.”

As a new leader in the school community, Gardner said she hopes to support the ongoing social justice movement with compassion and action.

“We have to do something to move the ball forward,” she said. “We do this because we’re human. The amount of suffering is significant and it needs to change.”

Gardner is still in Massachusetts and is waiting until air travel is safer to make the move to Los Angeles. She said she is looking forward to that transition and the start of in-person learning so she can discuss baseball with her students.