As the sun rose over the east side of campus on this final day of 2018, the simple joy of another day on this earth settled upon us. The peacefulness of quiet pathways, empty classrooms, and traces of late November snow storms clinging to shade cast on the north side of buildings is lovely, but leaves campus feeling incomplete. On Wednesday evening students and faculty will return from a two week break, filling the void we feel right now as we all dive into a new year. On this final day of 2018, we offer our New Year’s resolution for 2019: Pursue Happiness.
During these last days of 2018, we reflect on those moments that defined our year. Some challenging, others joyful, all beautiful in their own way. Enjoy these clips from the past year as you look at the year past for motivation to make the year ahead the best yet. Happy New Year to all in our Proctor Family. Here's to a great 2019!
Early snowfall in central New Hampshire and cold November nights has allowed Garry George '78 and his crew at the Proctor Ski Area to create amazing early season conditions on alpine and Nordic trails. A favorite run of mine, even in the winter months, reaches the halfway point after climbing the 600 vertical feet up the backside of the Proctor Ski Area. As you emerge from the double track access road to the top of Proctor’s little big mountain, heart racing from the climb, your eyes peer out over Proctor’s campus and the village of Andover. For so many of us in the Proctor community, this view never gets old. Nor does the feeling of a change in perspective it provides.
The past week was a critical one for Proctor’s boys’ varsity hockey team. In one of the most competitive high school hockey leagues in the country, I was wondering how confident players were feeling about the challenge that lay ahead of them. I was able to get my answer from captains Kevin Craig ‘19 and Jack Swarbrick ‘19, and Head Coach Mike Walsh in a recent interview.
Students depart for Winter Break on Friday December 14, however, many skiers and varsity boys' and girls' hockey and basketball teams will be in action over the weekend and into break. Be sure to follow Proctor Athletics on Twitter for game scores and highlights over break, and if you happen to be in the vicinity of any games or races, our Hornets could always use your support!
Proctor's Winter 2019 Mountain Classroom group survived their first two weeks on the road, including a canoeing adventure through the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. Sleeping on rafts in the middle of the swamp, out-paddling alligators, learning to cook meals and to trust each other were just a few of the challenges. Jane '20 shares the group's first reflection below.
Proximate learning does not occur without risk, but it is in those moments where students are living their education alongside the issues they are studying that world views are transformed. Tomorrow at noon, more than a third of Proctor's student body will submit applications to study abroad on one of our five term-long off-campus programs next year. Many will apply to study off-campus for the first time, while others will look to cap their Proctor experience with a second or third trimester abroad. So why is it that more than 80% of our students choose to study off-campus?
Roughly 40 prospective families arrived to a bitterly cold campus early Saturday morning, immediately feeling the warmth of the boarding school community into which they stepped. Boarding schools are an enigma for many who are unfamiliar with our holistic approach to education. However, for those of us who have chosen to make Proctor our home and have committed our life’s work to helping our students navigate adolescence, the immersive nature of boarding school life simply makes sense.
Who doesn’t know about the Chris Van Allsburg Polar Express? The story about a mysterious train arriving in the middle of the night, a trip north through jagged mountains and cold winter landscape to the North Pole is a classic. It should be required seasonal reading along with A Christmas Carol and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Yes, required. There, at the pole, Santa stands in a square, sleigh loaded and surrounded by throngs of elves to present the first gift of Christmas to a small boy. The sleigh bell that he gives out is promptly lost to the utter dismay of the boy, and if you don’t know the ending of the story...it’s time to dig up your old copy. It’s a children’s story, but it’s a timeless life reminder about the importance of belief, wonder, and the power of the imagination.
Sports information intern Ben Beinner '21 shares his first team spotlight of the winter term:
I was fortunate to be able to watch one of the most exciting teams this season. That of course is the Nordic ski team. As I arrived at their first race of the season, a scrimmage of sorts with other Lakes Region schools, it was very impressive to see all of the new comers really already looking like seasoned veterans in the way they skied and cheered on their team. With such a larger number of kids on the team, the group has really thrived during these first few weeks of the winter season, and look to be a threat in the Lakes Region.
When asked by old friends or new acquaintances what I do for a living, I usually state, “I work at a prep school in New Hampshire.” Most have a general sense of what a prep school is, and I am able to navigate the confusion accompanying my explanation that a boarding school like Proctor is far different than the image they have in their heads from Dead Poets Society or Hogwarts. Unintentionally, the ambiguity of my answer understates the complexity of the "prep" that takes place with our students here.
“Which path will you choose?” Each visitor to our website or admissions office encounters this question through our marketing materials. The intent of the question is simple: Demonstrate to each prospective family there is no single track through Proctor, but rather an infinite array of different paths through which a young person will encounter growth opportunities and develop attributes we believe to be critical to success in life after Proctor. But does this focus on breadth of curriculum and individualized approach to academics have unintended consequences for those seeking to better understand the value of a Proctor education?