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.
This weekend, the 26 cast members and 15 crew of the Proctor theater department will take the stage to perform In the Heights. With music and lyrics written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, the author and composer of famed Hamilton, the mix of hip-hop, salsa, and classic musical numbers make this show a good one “even if you’re not into musical theater” says lead Sam Wyckoff ‘19, “because it is so special - the message, the music, the dance - all of it”.
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.
I have this ability to fall asleep, to take a cat nap, and have had it since before I can remember. I could curl up in the space behind the passenger’s seat in a car (before seat belts), or tuck myself on the shelf behind the backseat and sleep for miles. I could sleep anywhere: boat, backseat, under the piano, and definitely on the sofa. Ordered to take an afternoon nap? No problem. But as I grew older, the habit slipped. Guilty about stealing a few minutes after lunch as an adult, I powered through and “coffeed up.” Why is that? Was napping a childish habit? Does the puritanical work ethos demand bulling ahead until the day is done? Is napping a sign of slothfulness, one of the seven deadly sins?
I’m a planner; always have been, and despite the constant encouragement of colleagues to embrace spontaneity, probably always will be. I like to know ahead of time what is on the day’s agenda (and may or may not have a compulsion to lay my clothes out for the following day each night before falling asleep). It’s, as chemistry teacher Ian Hamlet says, “Just how my operating system works.” As such, Sunday evenings are spent looking at the week ahead and planning what Proctor narratives will emerge given scheduled events. Off-campus program blogs, Mike’s Notes, Team Spotlights, guest posts by faculty or staff all laid out in a nice orderly fashion so our team can see what gaps may exist as we try to help share the Proctor story with others.
Vaping. It’s in the news and it’s something we have been paying attention to at Proctor. Although the technology has been around for longer, the mass production and marketing of Juuls and other “smokeless” devices has started to significantly impact campuses over the last couple of years. It’s not a good development. We started noticing a higher presence of these devices last year, and then a further shift this year. Our experience mirrors what is being reported in the NYT article on April 2nd: ‘I Can’t Stop’: Schools Struggle With Vaping Explosion. It’s a bit like trying to contend with an invasive species in your garden. Weed it out, chop it back, and it just keeps popping up.
The two most important days of the year are upon us: Admissions Revisit Days on Friday March 30 and Friday April 6. Over the course of these two Revisit Days, we will welcome more than 120 accepted students and their families to campus to attend classes, engage with coaches, teachers, dorm parents, and advisors, listen to student panels, and (hopefully) walk away with a deep appreciation for who Proctor is as a school.
Sometimes we forget how much talent surrounds us in this tight knit school community. We see faces walk by on the paths, interact with students in classes, advisory, at meals, and in the dorms, and just know them as regular kids. And then they step foot on the stage, the court, the ice, or the hill and a whole different set of talents are exposed. Whether it was Annie performing an original song at the Jazz/Rock Ensemble, Logan showcasing his growth as a vocalist at the choral concert, Cooper and the cast putting on a remarkable performance in the winter play, or countless students displaying their artwork at the Winter Art Show, the past week reminded us how talented our student body is, how passionate our arts faculty are, and how much this community values the intersection of the arts with academics, athletics, and afternoon program.