This past weekend was the fourth and final meeting of Proctor’s Board of Trustees for the fiscal year. In addition to approving the budget, discussing upcoming Campaign for Proctor initiatives, understanding the ever-changing dynamics of the boarding school admissions market, ensuring they are meeting their fiduciary responsibility with regard to financial decisions the school makes, the Board has a responsibility to ensure Head of School Mike Henriques and Proctor’s faculty and staff are best serving each of our students. It’s a remarkable leadership responsibility, and despite the frequent laughter from the Proctor Room over the weekend, is not a responsibility this group takes lightly.
Often, when difficult issues arise and injustice brushes our lives in the most personal of ways, we feel empowered to speak our minds. Finding the right medium to be heard is as much a challenge as finding the words to speak. Our responsibility as adults in this learning community called Proctor is to both model and encourage respectful dialogue that challenges the status quo while not compromising the integrity of our relationships with others within the community.
One of the best parts of the Hays Speaking Contest comes right after the last speech has been given. Sitting in the back of the auditorium it unfolds like a fan around the seven participants who stand in the front of the room. Family, friends, and teachers make their way down to congratulate the students who have spoken their truth, and from the back the fan seems to open up slowly, pushing its way across the stage, and the truth of the night’s words rise up and swirl.
On November 11, 1919, President Woodrow Wilson declared a national celebration of Armistice Day, a day Calvin Coolidge would describe in 1926 as, "A day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace." President Eisenhower would later change the name Armistice Day to Veterans Day in 1954 recognizing all those who had served in the US Armed Forces. For the 99th year, we will observe Veterans Day as a country tomorrow, but like many federal holidays, Proctor does not cancel classes, and business continues as usual. In the midst of our busyness, we want to pause and recognize those who have served our country.
While complaining there is “nothing to do on the weekends” seems to be a right of passage for every adolescent (enrolled at boarding school or otherwise), Proctor’s weekend activities council does a masterful job planning Weekend Love each week. The breadth of on- and off-campus activities offered varies week to week, taking on the personality of the faculty assigned weekend team duties, and there is always something to do.