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!
The nature of the academic year sometimes causes us to forget all that has happened in the last calendar year. A look back chronologically at the past calendar year through highlighted blog posts from each month allows us to relive some of the best moments from the second half of the 2018-2019 school year and the most memorable events of the 2019-2020 academic year to date. Sit down and scroll through the images, click on the links, and read the stories below to remind yourself of all the good you have been part of as a member of the Proctor family during 2019. Here's to an equally powerful 2020!
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 where 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?
It was a breakfast joint that will remain nameless, but I can still see the coffee maker over Matt’s shoulder, and the way the waiter slipped it easily off the hot plate and filled mugs, replenished hot water for tea, scribbled an order on a small pad of paper; scrambled eggs with jack cheese, corn, hash browns and cilantro. Heaped plates, a pile of fresh fruit, toast. The tables shouldered up against one another. The kitchen about the size of a generous baker’s table. It wasn’t an airy place, but it was a comfortable place, a good cafe, an excellent breakfast spot. It was the perfect classroom.
Natural learning requires the transfer and construction of knowledge. Spend time with toddlers as they explore the world around them. They touch, feel, taste, form a hypothesis, test the hypothesis, evaluate their findings, and then explore again. Over the last two days, faculty have engaged in professional development conversations exploring the learning cycle and how we can deepen our own understanding of how to create classroom experiences that encourage students to ask questions and pursue understanding. How do we give our students the autonomy to act, to actively question the world around them? How do we pursue our best selves?
The power of Proctor’s academic model lies in both the breadth and depth of academic pursuits. A single student’s path through Proctor may take them on multiple off-campus programs, summer internships, AP courses, Project Periods, and a summer service trip. They will customize their journey by taking a minimum of three art courses and three technology courses in addition to English, Social Science, Science, Math, and World Language classes, all while benefiting from the nation’s leading integrated academic support program - Learning Skills. Despite over 135 course offerings, individual classes do not differentiate Proctor from other independent schools. Instead, the entirety of the Proctor experience, and the collective opportunities available to students, set us apart.