Last week’s Ted Radio Hour discussed the concept of ‘nudge’, or how a small tweak in human behavior can shift outcomes drastically. References to Richard Thaler, Judson Brewer, Carol Dweck, Reshma Saujani, and Sendhil Mullainathan’s Ted Talks wove a fascinating narrative centered on the question: How can we encourage people to do what we want them to do? In this two-part blog, we will look at how the concept of nudge relates to our work at Proctor.
On Saturday June 25, we were reminded of how dangerous fire can be when flames broke out in the Thoreau House barn just before 3:00 pm and engulfed the rest of the building within minutes. The Andover Fire and Rescue squad was on scene within minutes, but the barn structure was already fully involved. With the help of fourteen other fire departments, crews were finally able to subdue the blaze by early evening.
Too often we fail to share gratitude for others at the time they directly impact our lives. Parents can certainly relate to this. When was the last time your child thanked you for driving them to the dentist or for buying and making dinner each night? Children and adults, alike, simply expect certain actions from others because the actions fall within that person’s job description or role. This habit of inadvertently taking others for granted is not a malicious one, but rather an unfortunate reality we all face as we rush through life.
Each year the Proctor community evolves as students graduate and faculty and staff move on to retirement or new careers. At the end of June, three long-time members of the Proctor community will enter a well-deserved retirement. Marie Montivirdi, Lida Beaudoin, Ed Barkowski represent a combined 96 years of institutional memory and incredible service to the school. They have impacted thousands of lives during their careers, and today we celebrate their immense contributions to the Proctor community!
Proctor Academy’s USSA/FIS ski program recently returned from a ten day training trip to Mammoth, CA where coaches and athletes continued to tighten the gap athletically between ski academies and independent schools by kicking off a four camp prep period for the 2016-2017 season. Traditionally, young ski racers have to make the difficult choice of pursuing elite level skiing at a ski academy or focusing on their academic development at a traditional independent or public school that does not offer the same training options. Proctor’s bold offering to aspiring ski racers is simple: you no longer have to choose.
Student speeches are a highlight of every Proctor Academy graduation, and this year's speakers did not disappoint! The polished, yet incredibly authentic voices of students provide a treasured informality to graduation ceremonies that mirrors life at Proctor perfectly. Trusting the voices of our students to shape Proctor's culture has long defined who we are as a school, but it's not always easy to trust the wisdom of youth.
As a boarding school in a small, rural, New England village, Proctor Academy is hard to separate from the town of Andover. Proctor’s campus lies at the geographical center of town, spanning both sides of Main Street and abutting residences on North Street. Our buildings, fields, and ski area visible to all passersby. Proctor's faculty and staff live throughout Andover, and our local elementary school has been filled with faculty and staff children for over a century. The work of Proctor and the work of the town go hand in hand.
On the heels of a phenomenal Senior Dinner and Commencement, Reunion 2016 continued the positive vibes on campus with the largest alumni reunion Proctor has ever held! This year's alumni reunion celebrating all graduating years ending in 1's and 6's brought record numbers of alumni to campus to reconnect with each other, faculty and staff, and the campus they called home during their time at Proctor.
Every commencement has a speaker, and most commencement speakers share a similar message of encouragement to graduates as they enter the 'real world'. Proctor's 168th Commencement welcomed Pudu '16's mother, Leymah Gbowee, to campus not only to watch her daughter graduate, but to share powerful words with the Class of 2016. Her message was less one of encouragement and more one of a directive to the graduating class, and we thank her for the impact she left on all of us.