Proctor Acadmey's athletic teams concluded the regular season this weekend with some outstanding performances. Three of Proctor's teams (with boys' basketball narrowly missing a bid) earned spots in the NEPSAC Tournament this week! For a complete listing of all NEPSAC tournament brackets, visit their website HERE. Proctor's teams will play their quarterfinal games on Wednesday afternoon. Read on for a preview of each team's first round match-up!
Last week Proctor's Mountain Classroom group enjoyed themselves at Winter Count and then drove to Cochise Stronghold, east of Tucson, to be challenged rock climbing on gorgeous granite. Now the group has moved north to collaborate with Prescott College and wrap up the academic term while camping at Arcosanti. To conclude the term the group will spend two days and nights on a hiking expedition departing from Arcosanti into the adjacent public land in search of hot springs. Enjoy student reflections on Winter Count below!
The measure of 'success' in athletics varies by individual athlete, and to many degrees each of our students are successful when they work alongside teammates and coaches to improve individual skill and collective teamwork. The end of each athletic season affords an opportunity to recognize specific athletes whose mindset, performance, and commitment to their team go above and beyond.
Every year one spine-tingling moment rises above others. We all have our Proctor highlight reels – Hays speeches, Pete Talks, buzzer beaters in basketball, robotics presentations, social entrepreneurship pitches, a painting in Slocumb – moments that prickle the forearms and back of the neck. Ghostly moments, spiritual moments, what-just-happened moments. Last Sunday’s choral performances certainly gave me a new one.
Each winter Proctor’s theater department puts on a wonderful production. Check out highlights from last year’s production of To Kill a Mockingbird to see for yourself! This winter, the drama tech crew has built an elaborate set and actors have worked incredibly hard to produce Harvey showing Friday and Saturday nights at 7:00 PM in the Norris Family Theater!
The New York Times published this article discussing the frustration of parents dealing with feigned incompetence in their children. We each struggle with this challenge with our own children, but at boarding school we have the unique opportunity of serving as in loco parentis to 360 Proctor students who are not immune to this phenomenon either.
Curious George is one of my children's favorite shows. Maybe it is the way that silly monkey always gets himself into trouble, or perhaps it is how the man with the yellow hat loves George regardless of the mischief he has caused, but there is something wonderful about how George consistently thinks outside the box. Unfortunately, the curiosity that fuels George’s insatiable desire to learn is an attribute we too often teach out of our students as they progress through school.
The best things happen when least expected. That has been a phrase tossed around here and there, but I never really thought too much about it and how true it actually is. After the group ventured to our second professional soccer match of the term, Málaga vs. Getafe on Zack’s 18th birthday, we were in search of food. Some of us broke off to get some sushi, but I always stay with Ryan because I always assume he knows the most and will pick the best places to eat. He trusted the loyal app “TripAdvisor” to uncover an Italian restaurant not too far from where we were. “It has good reviews,” he said, but somehow he missed the one that said, “Don’t be scared.” We walked into this restaurant in soccer spectator attire, and I would say that the vibe of the restaurant and the people in it did not match that sense.
After solos Proctor Academy's Mountain Classroom group headed to the Tohono O'odham Reservation on the Arizona/Mexico border. Taking day hikes in the midst of the stunning natural beauty was the perfect way for everyone to process their solo experiences. The reservation also provided an ideal location for jumping into the term's final academic chapter where we are studying Native American history and fire ecology. From the reservation we drove north to Maricopa for the primitive skills gathering Wintercount.
The Proctor Ski Area has been a bastion of ski talent this winter, hosting top level USSA/FIS races and welcoming current US Ski team members, Nolan Kasper and AJ Ginnis (below), to train on Proctor's one-of-a-kind facility.
This week’s reflection comes partially from watching Southwest gate A19 turnaround in Chicago, partially from having dinner with Phil McNichols the former head coach of the U.S. Men’s Ski Team, and partially it comes from A Harvard Business Review article by Michael Porter called What is Strategy? Collectively it made me think about who we are, what we do, and what’s in our wheelhouse?
We talk to our athletic teams about mental toughness all the time; the ability to face adversity with confidence and determination. The same conversations echo through our classrooms. During this final stretch of the Winter Term, classes work toward culminating projects. Students synthesize research, thesis statements, and body paragraphs into term papers, conduct labs in science courses, and begin to prepare for final exams. Challenges abound.
While regular updates continue to flow from Proctor en Segovia, European Art Classroom, and Mountain Classroom, four sophomores are in the midst of a life-changing adventure at the Cloud Forest School in Monteverde, Costa Rica. Unlike Proctor's other four off-campus programs, Proctor in Costa Rica partners with an existing school, and therefore, students are fully immersed in their school work, life with host families, and Costa Rican culture. Program director, Brooks Bicknell '77, and Livia '18 provide reflections for this mid-term update from Costa Rica!
Proctor Academy's Mountain Classroom arrived in Southern Arizona last Thursday for solos at the Cascabel Conservation Association. On Friday, we organized our solo gear, helped the community dig holes and plant trees at their orchard site, and then transitioned to the trailhead where we would next hike to our solo sites. On Saturday morning, students walked out to their solo sites after a sage ceremony. They made their homes in the desert with the company of the sun, saguaros, and provisions of their choosing. On Tuesday afternoon we came back together as a community, shared stories, and feasted. On Wednesday we drove farther south in Arizona to spend time at the Tohono O'odham Reservation (read about this adventure in our next blog)!
We posted a blog last week highlighting the valuable conversations students had with Board members during Proctor's recent Trustee weekend. The text that follows in this post was shared as an unprompted thank you note and reflection by Chandler Devaney '17 to trustees and coaches who attended a forum on the role athletics plays at Proctor Saturday evening.
I have spent this week in Texas – Austin, Houston, and Dallas. When skipping from one city to the next, meeting different Proctor families to talk about the school and capital campaign initiatives, time breaks down into blocks. And then there are the spaces in between when I pull out my iPhone to fill the small moments with small news: political updates, emails, sports scores, text messages. This week I have looked to change the habits of these micro moments with a copy The Best American Short Stories of 2015. Something more than a news feed, the collection has proved useful.
My absolute favorite part of Proctor en Segovia is our afternoon activities. When I learned how many options there were, I was thrilled! I’ve been taking classical Spanish guitar lessons with a man named Oscar. Using a combination of Spanish and English we have been able to communicate flawlessly. Our most recent lesson was a blast. We used a program on his iPad to set up a drum beat, record a chord progression on his bass, and then switch between playing the chords and playing a solo on the guitar. I don’t even think of my “lessons” as lessons anymore, I feel like I’m just going to go jam out with a friend and learn guitar along the way.
At the core of Proctor’s DNA is a deep commitment to environmental stewardship. From its earliest years to recent solar installations around campus, an appreciation for the relationship we, as a community, have with our environment has been central to our mission. Former Head of School David Fowler (1970-1995), reflects during a recent conversation on this long-standing focus on environmental stewardship in the video below. Student appreciation for Proctor’s Environmental Mission Statement as seen in this AP Environmental Science blog post by Hannah Brochu ‘17, mirrors our institutional commitment.
The New Hampshire Primary is finally here! It is a day to celebrate for many reasons, not the least of which being our phones will stop ringing at all hours from pollers looking to get predictive data on the election. It is incredibly exciting to live in New Hampshire as the first Presidential primary votes in the country are cast. Of course, the Proctor community is taking full advantage of the learning opportunities that accompany the Presendital primary process.
It’s very ironic that I have the blog this week for Proctor Academy's European Art Classroom because Dave always makes fun of me for not reading them. I click the blog for the pretty pictures like these:
As Proctor's Mountain Classroom group continues their journey westward, their travels took them to White Sands National Monument in a 60mph windstorm where they had sledding adventures galore on the gorgeous white dunes. Now the group has transitioned to Cascabel, Arizona for their solo experience. Read the student reflections from White Sands below:
A fickle New Hampshire winter grips us. Rain this week, record December and January warmth, tendrils of snow instead of banks – these are not promising signs. Global warming? El Nino? Pinning the blame doesn’t lift spirits of the powder hounds. We know it’s bad when the Weather Channel’s “mixed precipitation” forecasts look…well…promising.
There are few people who have been a bigger cheerleader for Proctor Academy over the past sixty years than Artie Pratt '56, former captain of the Proctor football team. Not only has Artie hosted Proctor events at his home in Naples, Florida, championing all that is Proctor to anyone who will listen, but he has also shaped student lives on campus through his steadfast commitment to Proctor Athletics, and especially the Proctor Football program.
Last week, we published a post on the need to practice social courage in our day-to-day lives. As we unpack this complicated concept of social courage, the notion of helping establish boundaries for our students becomes increasingly important. Students may dislike the boundaries adults impose in their lives, but deep down inside, they know they need them. Our role as educators and parents is to help them understand why.
When we pause and look at our lives, it is fascinating to see how various events unknowingly prepared us for where we are today. As Annie Waterman ‘00 embarks on a new venture AOW Handmade, an international consultancy connecting artisans and buyers around the globe, she sees how each step in her journey prepared her for this new adventure.
Proctor Academy's Mountain Classroom group was joined by program director, Patty Pond, last week at the Annunciation House where they immersed themselves in their Border Awareness Experience. World Language teacher Alejandra Young joined the group at the end of the week, at which point leaders Coco and Timbah took a well-deserved weekend off, and the Mountain crew traveled to Hueco Tanks to admire the stunning natural beauty, seek out petroglyphs, and go bouldering. The group is now driving north into New Mexico to spend the next two nights exploring White Sands National Monument with their backpacks!