I boarded the Roseway on Thursday morning at 6:30 am with trepidation. I had signed up for the day sail from Portsmouth to Boston on a glorious hot, still, calm July day in Andover. But this morning was fogged in, rain and thundershowers were predicted and big swells were inevitable. We sign up for things, sometimes, with a romantic notion of what they will be—an AP class that will impress our parents and colleges, a summer service trip that will be fulfilling and profound, an off-campus program that will challenge and inspire. And then when we get to the class, or the airport, or the dock, our feelings sink—why did we ever think this was a good idea?
“Grief is the price we pay for love, and when you feel the weight of the grief we are all feeling right now, you recognize just how much love lived in the one you are grieving.” These words were shared by Proctor’s counselor, Kara Kidder, during an informal gathering for faculty and staff Tuesday morning in the wake of longtime forestry faculty member Dave Pilla’s sudden passing. Just as Proctor’s Maintenance Department approaches the tireless clean up of downed trees from Tuesday night’s microburst that ripped through campus, the path to healing for our community will take time.
No one is having a busier summer than Jim Cox, our Director of Technology and Information Services. With the installation of a new phone system and regular technology maintenance issues, the past month has been non-stop work for Jim and his tech team. A member of the Proctor community since 1990 when he first served as a Mountain Classroom instructor, Jim has played a vital role in the evolution of our technology integration and use on campus over the past 30 years. Each week throughout the school year, we feature a faculty/staff profile in our weekly Parent Page and will start sharing some of those profiles to a larger audience this summer. Read about Jim's Proctor experience and the technological changes that have occurred during his time at Proctor in the interview below!
June's blooming flowers and grassy green hues mark a time of gratitude at Proctor Academy. As we approach the end of the month and the end of the fiscal year, our every day thankfulness for the beauty of our surroundings is coupled with our gratitude for the many ways our community receives support; as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, we rely on the incredible devotion of our financial supporters to make all that we do at Proctor a reality.
During the school year, Proctor’s campus is a hub of activity: class schedules, athletics, off-campus trips, afternoon programs, and dorm life keep our community in perpetual motion. One may expect the summer months provide an opportunity to slow down, take a breath, and wait for life to pick up again in the fall. There is certainly a smaller population on campus and less visible action with students’ absence, but below the surface, Proctor’s campus continues to be a thriving destination for learning all summer long.
Stewarding a community like Proctor is never the task of an individual, but rather the responsibility of every person whose life has intersected the school. Whether you consider yourself an alum, a student, a parent, a faculty or staff member, a grandparent, or a parent of an alum, your stewardship of the Proctor community matters. Today’s celebration of the Class of 2018 at Proctor’s 170th Commencement was a reminder of how the collective work of everyone in the Proctor community, past and present, has shaped Proctor into the perfectly imperfect place it is today.
The role of parents within a boarding school community has changed dramatically over time. Until the 1970s, parents “sent” a child to an independent school, entrusting the educational, moral and spiritual development of their son or daughter to the masters. A report card documenting progress and disappointments arrived by mail at the end of a term.
Our Admissions materials encourage students to choose their own path. While this customized approach to education is central to our model, the benefit to the Proctor community is not a bunch of individuals blazing their own trails. Instead, when students join the Proctor, they simultaneously contribute to, and are supported by, the community surrounding them. Through connections to others, students find themselves and are empowered to grow in ways they never thought possible. Weekends like this one are testament to the efficacy of Proctor's educational model as we enjoy the richness this type of diversity of talents and passions brings to our community.