About a month ago, a mother robin built her nest directly above the entrance to Proctor’s Admissions Office. For days on end, I lugged a ladder out of the closet and tried to snap the perfect picture of the nest full of chicks. Alas, I was never able to capture a good enough of picture to post. Late last week, when I checked the nest on my way into the office, it was empty. Mama robin had done her job. She fiercely protected and successfully raised four babies until they were able to fly out of the nest and into a life of their own.
Crossing campus today, mindful of the shifting weather and some of the trees that have caught the slightest tinge of fall, the arrival of new and returning students over the next 10 days is much on my mind. You will come in waves: early wilderness orientation, sports camp, regular wilderness orientation, and returning students a week from Sunday. Some of you will walk onto the campus for the first time, put on a pack, and head into the wilderness. Others will come for their senior year, pulling together a final college list and starting to tinker with applications. But no matter the length of time at the school, no matter whether student, faculty, or staff, we stand on one piece of common ground that we collectively share: Proctor.
As late August arrives, a complete faculty and staff meeting in the Wilkins Meeting House officially kicks off the coming school year. Given the complexity of our respective schedules, rarely are all of the adults in the community in the same room, but this start of year meeting halts all other responsibilities on campus as we gather together to recenter ourselves on Proctor's educational mission and the individual roles we play as we seek to fulfill that mission. During this morning’s meeting, we recognized faculty and staff who have surpassed the 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30 year milestones working at Proctor and celebrated the retirement of two iconic members of Proctor Family who have been the ultimate stewards of community over the past four decades: Edna Peters and JoAnn Hicks.
Proctor is fortunate to have incredibly low faculty turnover each year, but with bittersweet retirements (we will miss you Brenda, Laurie, Phil, and Susan!) and shifting roles within the school, we are excited to welcome nine new faculty to the community for the 2017-2018 school year. Over the past few days, this group of dynamic, energized educators has enjoyed (we think!) a thorough orientation to all aspects of life at Proctor. With students arriving in just over a week, we asked each of our new faculty to share a few fun facts about themselves. Enjoy!
Even though students and faculty are away during the summer months, Proctor's campus is far from quiet! In addition to Proctor's Dining Services team and Housekeeping team hosting Gordon Research Conferences all summer, and the Development and Communications teams, Business Office, Technology and Support Staff working hard all summer, Proctor's Maintenance Team jumps into action with campus improvement projects. When combined with significant renovations to the Farrell Field House, the list of summer projects is truly impressive, ranging from major paving projects to significant technology upgrades to irrigation work to refurbishing dormitories and office spaces around campus. Below are just a few of the highlights from the projects on campus!
When I told friends my plans to spend four weeks in South Dakota this summer, I had more than a few people tell me I was crazy, but it was an amazing month thanks to the fantastic group of eleven students who ventured alongside Tim Miner P'10 and me to spend ten days living and working at the Rosebud Reservation in southwestern South Dakota. With daily temperatures hovering around 100 degrees, this group cheerfully responded to constant reminders about sunscreen and hydration while working incredibly hard in the heat, sun and wind without a single complaint. They pushed themselves and were proud of the work they accomplished at the Sinte Gleska Ranch for Tiwahe Glu Kini Pi Program, Tree of Life Organization and at Marlies White Hat's house. This group acted like a sponge, soaking up all that they could during their visit; meeting new people and exploring the Lakota culture with an open mind and a positive attitude. I was proud to be part of their group. The student reflections below provide a window into their varied experiences as a part of Proctor's Summer Service Trip to South Dakota, but I encourage you to seek these students out in person to see first hand the transformation that has taken place. You won't be disappointed.
Dominique Jordan Turner explores poverty as a superpower in her TedX Talk recorded earlier this summer (see video below). Her insights into the skills and strengths obtained by young people growing up in poverty not only prove valuable to us as educators of a diverse student body, but her underlying message applies to all of our students. We all share an understanding that young people need to experience an intersection of belief in their lives in order for learning to take place; belief in themselves, others believing in them, and belief in something bigger than themselves.
When Mrs. Eliza Butterfield gathered with a group of women in the her livingroom on Main Street in the spring of 1848, she shared her strong conviction that the village of Andover needed a school for its growing population of children. Throughout the 20th century, Proctor’s student population shifted to serve primarily boarding students, however, today, more than 90 day students (roughly 25% of the student body) are enrolled for the upcoming school year. Being a day student brings with it obvious benefits, and a unique set of challenges, so we asked our Day Student Leaders for 2017-2018, Sage ‘18 and Lance ‘18, to share insights into the world of being a day student at a boarding school.