Proctor is not, and never will be, defined by a singular program. However, it is the individual programs that, together, create an unparalleled educational experience for our students. For the past 25 years, Ocean Classroom has quite simply changed the lives of well over 400 students, four of whom are now faculty members at Proctor. The launch of Ocean Classroom 2018 called for more than usual send-off with families on the pier as we celebrated the silver anniversary of the premier maritime education program for high school students in the country.
A San Francisco native, Roth Martin ‘91 first found himself on the east coast as a seventh grader at the Fessenden School (classmates there with fellow San Franciscan and Proctor alum Matt Nathanson '91, actually) before matriculating to Proctor for his sophomore year. From his first interview with Chuck Will in the Admissions Office until the moment he was greeted by Head of School David Fowler on graduation day, Roth describes his Proctor experience as remarkable. “My teachers, coaches, dorm parents, friends, everything at Proctor was so positive for me. I fell in love with ceramics and design aesthetics thanks to Patrice Martin, skied competitively, gained remarkable independence living 3,000 miles from my family, all while subconsciously absorbing Proctor’s ethos of environmental sustainability that would guide me throughout my life.”
For 86% of my life, I’ve lived with the rhythm of an academic year. Every September since kindergarten, I’ve readied myself for the start of school and the anticipation of possibilities that lie ahead, as a student for the first seventeen years and as an educator for the last fourteen. There’s something energizing, addicting even, about the clean slate that awaits us during those first days of a new school year. Rarely in other fields are you annually presented with an opportunity to start over, to redefine yourself, to set forth clear goals with a ten month timeline to achieve them.
For the 48th consecutive year, Proctor Academy has kicked off the school year with a five day hiking and backpacking trip to the White Mountains of New Hampshire. As is the theme of so much we do at Proctor, small groups work best as eight students and two faculty allow for relationships to develop that are simply not possible in a larger setting. Tech free, shower free, and with no shortage of challenges, Wilderness Orientation pushes even the most confident of new student outside his or her comfort zone.
Each fall, as the majority of new students take part in Wilderness Orientation (read more here), Proctor's Athletic Department hosts Sports Camp for seven fall sports: football, field hockey, girls' and boys' soccer, cross country, crew, and mountain biking. While each team approaches the preseason camp slightly differently, the benefits for all athletes and coaches are universal as skill development, fitness, and shared experiences establish a foundation for the season ahead.
Today started with a teary goodbye for my daughter’s first day of kindergarten and ended with a hug and pride-filled smile of a little five year old who knew she had encountered a really hard thing, and conquered it. As our new students said goodbye to parents yesterday afternoon and embarked on Wilderness Orientation (a five-day, tech free, small group hiking and camping adventure in the White Mountains), there were plenty of looks of uncertainty on the faces of both parents and students; looks not too dissimilar from the tear stained gaze my five year old had on her face this morning. Entrusting your child to a school, especially a boarding school whose first responsibility with your most precious possession is a five day camping trip, is an incredibly hard thing. And our message to all those new parents at home right now is we are proud of you!
Celebrating the life of one of our dearest colleagues alongside well over 1,000 alumni, neighbors, family and friends on Sunday afternoon. Being welcomed by an incredible breakfast from PAPA this morning. Sitting through insurance presentations. Hearing about faculty Summer Enrichment Program opportunities. Wrestling with difficult conversations as a faculty. Enjoying a most outstanding spread prepared by our dining services team at tonight’s welcome back dinner. We’ve given every emotion in our repertoire a workout over the past 36 hours.