If anyone knows Proctor is a perpetual work in progress, it is Proctor’s Maintenance Department who has spent their summer months managing construction projects, caring for our 2,500 acres of land, and chipping away at a never-ending work order list from Proctor’s 45 buildings. As we prepare for the school year ahead (new faculty begin meetings Monday morning), we must remember our physical plant is not the only piece of this community that requires constant maintenance.
When a school has a series of strong enrollment years, like Proctor has, we are tempted to believe we have figured it all out. Clearly Proctor’s mix of experiential learning, off-campus programs, academic support, and a talented faculty and staff who know how to interact with students in a way that elevates students as co-owners of the Proctor community, not simply renters, is resonating with families. So why would we need to change anything?
The framework of our educational model is firmly rooted in a foundation of experiential learning, integrated academic support, and authentic relationships, but the programs and initiatives layered upon that framework are constantly being refined as we pursue the best experience for our students. Over the past ten years, Proctor has made considerable strides in our health and wellness curriculum, the structure and intentionality with which we approach experiential learning in our classrooms, and the support we provide coaches and teachers in athletics and the arts. However, the moment we believe we are ‘finished’ in our evolutionary process is the day we become a lesser school than we can be.
This intrinsic drive to remain forward thinking serves as the driver for faculty, staff, and administration’s development of new initiatives each year. A few highlights for the 2018-2019 school year include:
- A junior and senior seminar to round out our already robust health and wellness curriculum.
- The Athletic Department’s piloting of a performance initiative that weaves together research on sleep hygiene, nutrition, and fitness to optimize student performance on the athletic fields and in the classroom.
- SEED training for our faculty throughout the year.
- Increased synergy between the English and Social Science Departments as cross-curricular courses continue to populate academic offerings represent just a few of the new initiatives on tap for this fall.
In just over two weeks, our first students will return for Wilderness Orientation. The school year will be off and running with a wholly unique group of individuals, personalities, interests, and needs. Challenges will inevitably arise. Student leaders will share invaluable perspectives that will require initiatives to pivot. Faculty and staff will identify new programs that would benefit the student body. And through it all we will seek to balance intentionality and agility as an institution. Just as our Maintenance Department’s to-do list will be just as long at the end of summer as it was in the beginning, we will forever remain a work in progress. We don’t have it all figured out. We hope we never believe we do.