As young parents raising small children, my wife, Lindsey, and I were frequently reminded by our colleagues and friends with older children, “The days may be long, but the years are short. Don’t blink.” In the midst of endless diaper changes, waking up five times a night to night-parent, dealing with toddler tantrums, and then showing up at work as if we were well rested and ready to think creatively, we found ourselves blindly trusting our friends and repeating their advice as a means of maintaining sanity.
As my third alarm of the morning goes off, I realize it’s probably time for me to wake up, especially since I kind of forgot to pack for Paris. Did I mention we were leaving in two hours? I rolled out of bed and began stuffing enough clothes to last me a month into my duffel bag, for a five-day trip.
More than a decade ago, Proctor experimented with an integrated arts course as a Freshman Seminar. Students were able to experiment in different arts disciplines within the context of self-exploration that sits at the core of our ninth grade wellness curriculum. While our wellness seminars have evolved from this model, maybe we were onto something back then that current research is now reemphasizing: immersion in the arts and improved wellness are inextricably linked.
Proctor en Monteverde, Proctor's revitalized sophomore study abroad off-campus program in Costa Rica, welcomes five students to one of the most biodiverse regions of the world for a nine week term abroad. River '22, Patrick '22, Bella '22, Katherine '22, and Cassidy '22 share reflections from their first weeks in Costa Rica below. Enjoy!
Proctor's boys’ varsity basketball team has no place to hide on their schedule. Playing in the nationally recognized Lakes Region and with a non-conference schedule of NEPSAC AAA and AA teams, this year’s squad faces challenging games every week. Under the leadership of veteran head coach Gregor Makechnie ‘90 and first year assistant coach Ben Bartoldus ‘10, the boys’ basketball team is well on their way to reaching their team goals of helping one another maximize their potential, improve offensive and defensive execution each day, and playing the best basketball at the end of the season.
What if we, as an imperfect society, sought justice for the oppressed with the same conviction that those in power seek to stay in power? What if we took time to honestly reconcile the racism and oppression on which America was built? What if we, as individuals, made the conscious decision to choose love in our daily decisions? Would we accelerate the slow bending arch of history toward justice that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. promised more than fifty years ago?
Proctor's European Art Classroom is preparing for an excursion to Paris, and in the meantime shares a window into their daily life in Aix-en-Provence as the group of eight students and two faculty settle into a routine. Enjoy photos from Dave and Vienna, and Tori's reflections on the importance of this group sitting for dinner together each night.
A Morning in Segovia - Tuesday, January 14th
Tuesday, January 14th was such a nice day and super fun. I started off in kind of a scramble waking up at 8:45 and needing to meet Ngan downstairs at 9. Luckily I had packed my bag and laid my outfit out for the day. I quickly got dressed and ready for the day and dashed down the stairs. I made at 9:00 am on the dot, and we walked out onto the beautiful street. Ngan and I live in the same apartment building; I live on the top floor and she lives a floor below me. It has been nice having someone in the same boat, trying to get used to everything in Segovia and navigating a new small city. As we walk to school we pass a couple of little city squares, one by the aqueduct which constantly seems to have people hanging out, talking, and listening to music.
It’s hard to imagine a school that’s more dialed into the outdoors. It’s not just the land, the nearly three-thousand acres that we use for academics, sports, and recreation. It’s not just about the 50 year tradition (next fall) of Wilderness Orientation, the off-campus programs of Ocean Classroom and Mountain Classroom. I believe our students spend more days in the outdoors, in total, than any year-round school I know of save for NOLS or Outward Bound.
The Hays Speaking Prize is the brainchild of former trustee, parent, and teacher, John Pendleton, who served as a judge in tonight’s competition alongside Andrea Costanzo, Ewa Chrusciel, Joan Katz. Named in honor of former Bowdoin College debate team standout and former Proctor Academy Board of Trustees Member, Bill Hays, this annual speaking competition among sophomore American Literature students remains a highlight of the Winter Term in its 21st year. Read excerpts of this year's finalist speeches below.
The brain child of former faculty member and trustee, John Pendleton, the Hays Speaking Prize has been a right of passage for all sophomore American Literature students at Proctor over the past 20 years. Founded to honor the gifted orator and former board member Bill Hays, the speaking contests affords each student the ability to embark on the speech writing process and explore personal journeys, influential moments, or social commentary. As finalists from the Class of 2022 ready themselves to deliver their speeches at tonight’s Hays Speaking Prize, we catch up with Hays Speaking Prize winners of the past!
With a young squad comprised of only two seniors, Proctor’s girls’ varsity hockey team is gaining experience daily that will prove valuable as the season progresses. The team’s philosophy centers around playing with intensity every shift, excellent and open communication, having a positive attitude, and having fun. Head Coach Maggie Kennedy looks to build off of the hard work in practice and the lessons learned in games thus far this season.
European Art Classroom, Proctor's term-long art immersion program based in Aix-en-Provence, France enters their second week of living and creating abroad. Read Nikki's realistic mini-story and enjoy the photos taken by European Art Classroom co-director , Dave Fleming, and Kaley "Gwyneth - Lady Guinevere" '20.
There’s no real easy way to do this, to make this announcement. I have wrestled it, spent time journaling, talked with a few folks in a very tight circle, but it simply comes down to this: the 2020-21 school year will be my last as Head of School at Proctor Academy. It is a decision that I have come to in consultation with the Board of Trustees, and it is a decision that I have moved towards over the last six months. It is not an easy decision, but I have made it with a full measure of pride in the accomplishments of this community and complete confidence that the school has the leadership and the wisdom to continue on with its current success.
Proctor's Mountain Classroom has reunited following winter break and has begun their westward adventure after reconvening in Albuquerque, New Mexico. As the group heads out on their next adventure, we journey with Sophie '21 and the group back to the Okefenokee Swamp during their mid-December camping trip. Enjoy and check back soon for another update from Mountain Classroom Winter 2020!
The Proctor Nordic team has a long and storied history. This year’s squad led by veteran head coach Buz Morison looks to capitalize on early season snow and a recent training trip to Quebec to become a contender for the Lakes Region Championship. The team recently returned from five days in Mont Ste. Anne, the premier Cross Country ski site in all of Canada, where they enjoyed training each day, a night ski and a predawn ski before heading back to Proctor. During their trip, the team also visited the Old City of Quebec for sightseeing, ice slide, and dessert crepes, as well as a visit to the Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupre.
We enter a new year (and decade) with resolutions to be better. More exercise, less sugar. More time with family, less on technology. I have mixed feelings about the concept of New Year’s resolutions. While I appreciate the opportunity for reflection and the notion of self-improvement, I also recognize real self-improvement happens incrementally and is a far more complex process than a simple declaration as the calendar flips to a new year.