Each year approximately 20% of the Proctor Academy's graduating class goes on to compete in collegiate athletics. The Class of 2019 is no exception as 31 members of the class (of 113 students) are pursuing careers at the next level, including seven NCAA Division 1 athletes! Thank you to all members of the Class of 2019 for their contributions to Proctor's athletic programs over the past four years. Be sure to take note of the names below and follow their careers in college and beyond!
There is a place about halfway up the Calle Real where a stone wall overlooks the city and the wind is ripe with nostalgia. The cute Segovian homes are scattered in all directions, weaving an incredible maze of streets and alleyways and tile roofs. To the right, the sea of buildings suddenly turns to a field of emerald green grass. And to the left, there is a scarlet mountain range topped with snow.
A slight breeze, blue skies, and temperatures in the low-70s; Saturday was only the sixth or seventh sunny day we’ve had since March. For once this spring, the weather matched the occasion (it snowed at Prom a few weeks ago), and as the 115 members of the Class of 2019 gathered in Alice’s Garden prior to Commencement, every face was wearing a smile.
Hours remain until we can official begin celebrating the Class of 2019 with Senior Dinner and Senior Recognition Night. Commencement will follow in the morning, and then campus will be empty. An eery quiet will descend upon campus for the summer, a quiet we simultaneously crave and fear as we feel the energy of our students leave us until September. As our seniors take their final steps toward graduating, we reflect on the past week of culminating projects, visiting speakers, awards, and end of year rituals.
We never want to become a school where isolated pockets of academic novelty trump the whole of the work done in our classrooms. We simply want to be who we are, to be who we have always been, long before buzzwords like innovation, maker-spaces, and collaboration saturated our lexicon. We want to be a school where these buzzwords happen naturally through the work we do with our students.
The spring athletic season in Northern New England is not for the faint of heart. It snowed on May 14th this year, and rained nearly every day throughout the months of April and May. The patience of our grounds crew, coaches, athletes, and athletic director were tested as game after game was canceled or postponed due to unplayable conditions. Even though the weather did not cooperate, the lessons our athletes learned on the playing fields this spring undoubtedly will last a lifetime, as will the relationships built within teams.
In the midst of celebrating the end of the school year, student accomplishments, the performance of the spring musical, art show, and saying goodbye to retiring faculty and staff, we pause to honor the life's work of former faculty member and legendary coach, Spencer "Spence" Wright P'72, '75 who died at the age of 94 on May 14, 2019.
I’ve called these places soul corners in the past, the pockets where energy coalesces in a particular way to reveal something of a community’s heartbeat, its delight, its potential. They are not often manicured spaces, prim and dolled up. They have an aura of work surrounding them, of student effort expended and adults guiding. Slocumb is one of those spaces. The tech lab, the woodshop, the machine shop, the forge - all soul spaces. So, too, is the Norris Theater with its paneling, the wooden beams that hold up the grid, the scene shop. It’s one of those spaces that invites lingering. It’s calming and energizing. It’s a place of music, of singing, of acting and set magic, of students making birthday announcements and game recaps. It’s a place of laughter and sometimes somber talks. It’s one of those places that makes Proctor…well, Proctor.
Over the past decade, a shift toward competency based education (CBE) has flooded the world of higher education as universities look to become more efficient in developing a graduate’s skill set while ensuring each student possesses baseline proficiencies. Plenty of obstacles exist to implementing a competency-based educational model in higher education, however, Proctor’s World Language Department continues to pioneer a rethinking of the traditional approach to assessing and evaluating student development used by most high schools.
Proctor's Spring 2019 Mountain Classroom group is nearing the end of their nine-week road trip across America, and share a window into the daily operations and roles that allow the group to function on the road. Read Maura's '20 description of a day in the life of Mountain Classroom and Bella's '20 Top 10 gear necessities for future Mountain students.
For the final three and a half weeks of the Spring Term, roughly two-thirds of Proctor seniors take advantage of a unique opportunity to create their own learning experience called Senior Project. Focusing on their interests, seniors can do projects relating to professional development, community service, or any other adventure they propose that is approved by the Senior Project Committee. We are currently in winding down second week of projects, and as part of my project interning with our Communications Team, I am sharing this blog update from a few projects around the world.
This one starts with baseball. Again, baseball. I missed the end innings of the Red Sox as they eventually won Wednesday night against the Baltimore Orioles 2-1, but I caught the replays Thursday morning. I saw the catch Jackie Bradley Jr. made, robbing Trey Mancini of a homerun in the bottom of the 11th by scaling a wall and reaching over into the bullpen to make a spectacular backhanded catch.
We have never been more connected to each other (digitally), yet we have never been more disconnected from the world around us. Whether it is the food we consume, the natural world, the fuel we consume, or the waste stream we leave behind, it has become far too easy to glaze over the externalities we create as someone else’s problem.
Proctor in Costa Rica affords a language and cultural immersion experience to Proctor sophomores every winter and spring. Studying at the Cloud Forest School in Monteverde, Costa Rica and living with local host families, students not only learn an incredible amount of Spanish and continue their regular sophomore level courses, but immerse themselves in one of the most biodiverse regions of the world.
I could not have come close to anticipating the level of beauty we encountered this weekend. After spending two days exploring the city of Barcelona, we left for our lovely rental house nestled away in the Catalonian countryside. Although I was reluctant to leave Barcelona behind, this new location would prove to be one of the most incredible places I’ve ever visited.
We have a choice as an independent school:
- Create a facade that we are a perfect school community in order to attract prospective families and hope they don’t see our flaws too soon. OR
- Present openly the challenges that accompany educating 370 adolescents in a boarding school setting within an incredibly competitive boarding school market.
It happens all the time. I am walking from my house to the office, maybe one of the shortest commutes in New England, and in the brief stroll from house to Maxwell Savage, inevitably there are scraps of litter, refuse tossed up on asphalt shore lines from the window of a passing car. The rolling, casual wave of a hand (that I never see) leaves behind beer cans, cigarette stubs, water bottles, candy wrappers, plastic bags. The colored bits of trash sprout like a 21st century algae bloom amidst Route 11’s shoulder grit. Wasn’t there yesterday, but there today.
A few summers ago, I had the privilege of building dry stone walls with fellow faculty members Josh Norris '92 and Peter Southworth. It was hard work. Really hard work. But the results of that work were tangible. Each day, we would walk away from the job site seeing what we had built; the perfectly placed foundation rocks, tetris-like fits locking the wall into place, flat tops and square corners that made you appreciate the miles and miles of centuries-old stone walls lining New Hampshire’s woods. There was an immediate gratification with this summer job, a satisfaction that provided a welcomed contrast to the feedback mechanisms associated with teaching adolescents.