The Admissions process at boarding schools has shifted considerably over the past decade with technological advancements and the advent of a common application. Students are applying to more schools, their resumes more full than ever, as they weigh options and try to find the school that will prepare them best for college and life beyond. For schools vying for the most talented, diverse, interesting group of students for the 2018-2019 school year, Revisit Days are critical to helping provide families a transparent window into who we are as a community.
A fall, a whoopie pie, and the art critic dog - lessons from a birthday.
I am used to birthdays announced in assemblies, used to shout outs in the dining commons, know that advisors often have a card or treat for students on the celebratory day. I love that about this school. I like seeing students swing through Maxwell Savage to pick up the cakes baked by the Andover Service Club. But what I am not used to is a couple of advisories cramming into my office to sing happy birthday to me. What I am not used to is Barb calling me down in the middle of lunch because Edna wants to say hello (which she did want to do), then rustling up more birthday song during the lunch rush. There’s an age, and let’s just say I have reached that age, when birthdays….well, you like to see them slide by without much fanfare. No notice is just fine. Really. Who needs reminding that the next decade has begun? Not me.
All the non-weather related signs of spring are here. You can hear birds chirping above the soft dripping of sap into buckets hung on sugar maples around campus. Daylight has reclaimed the early evening hours it abandoned back in November. Spring athletic teams have dispersed around the country for spring training trips. Andover’s annual town meeting has come and gone with the usual small town issues that remind us of the importance of the greater community in which we live. It feels as though spring should be here, but Mother Nature has other plans this March, and, once again, a powerful lesson in patience is bestowed upon us as we hurry up and wait for spring to arrive.
The long-awaited admissions decision date for the independent school world has arrived. Emails were sent to all 600+ applicants at 6:00 PM this evening notifying each prospective student of our Admissions Team’s decision. We are incredibly excited about the group of individuals we have chosen to make up the Proctor Community for the 2018-2019 school year!
Gun violence. I would rather not write about this topic. I would rather write about listening to the singers who performed in the chapel last Sunday, or Corby talking about his art, or The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (performed tonight and tomorrow night). I’d rather write about ski jumping or basketball, women’s hockey or Nordic races. I’d rather update on the construction in the Field House or the latest heroics on Maintenance. I’d rather sing the praises of the artists who dominated the art show up at the Ava Gallery in Lebanon. But my weekly Notes can’t always be whipped cream and bonbons.
Four times a year Proctor’s Board of Trustees arrive on campus for two days of meetings, conversations, and planning. They are parents, alumni, and friends of the school and their relationship can stretch back decades or just a year or two. They come to Andover to share their talents and their love for the school, bringing invaluable perspective from different worlds. Renovations or running an endowment? What it takes to be a successful entrepreneur or artist? They’ve got that. They are not on campus four times a year to be prescriptive but to help, and their wisdom and work contributes mightily to the success of Proctor.
It’s the mountain that clanked and rattled and almost shut down. The t-bar gears clattered so much you could hear them across the valley. The cement slabs across the Hameshop Brook, the “bridge”, was slowly settling to become a beaver dam accessory. The “groomer,” better suited to smoothing snowmobile trails, labored up and down the hill, coaxed along by Garry George. The snow making was first generation, vintage at best, and when the lights flickered on at dusk, dusky corners held their ground. A dozen years ago this was the question on everybody’s mind: Why keep the little big mountain going?
In mid-October (oh to feel that autumn sunshine and crisp breeze right now!), I shared thoughts on the annual ninth grade hike to the Proctor Cabin in a blog titled, Shaping and Sustaining Culture (read it here if you’re so inclined), in which I reflected on the intentionality required of crafting the culture of a school like Proctor. Specifically, the blog explored the challenge facing our first year students: “Do I passively embrace the culture that exists here at Proctor or am I willing to actively shape it?”