As I pen these last Notes, I think about the art of listening. Stepping away after 16 years of being the Head of School, I am filled with gratitude and a sense of deep appreciation for the many partnerships and relationships forged that helped steward Proctor forward. This community has been a blessing in my life - not always an easy one to be sure - but it has been instructive about much that is meaningful in the education and life journey: decency, caring, grace, resilience. These characteristics I will work to carry forward to build into the next life chapters. This church for decency and kindness has left deep impressions on me as it has so many others.
A seemingly uneventful turn of the calendar to July next week is actually quite significant for those of us who work on the “business” side of Proctor’s operations. Like many academic institutions, Proctor's June 30 fiscal year end marks the end of the 2020-2021 annual giving cycle. We do not talk often about school finances, but as a 501(c)3 non-profit, Proctor relies on tax-deductible donations to meet its operating budget, a budget that unlocks a world of opportunities for our students.
When any two random Proctor alumni run into each other on the street, exploring in a National Park, or at a music venue, their shared experiences create an immediate bond that transcends their years spent in Andover. Central to these shared experiences are the faculty and staff who make Proctor, Proctor.
Proctor’s faculty recognizes there is a considerable benefit to sustained learning when students remain engaged in academic pursuits during the summer months. Understanding our students also need down time, summer jobs, time with family, and plenty of time to adventure, we limit summer academic expectations to three components each year: summer literacy, summer math review, and AP course/off-campus program specific reading requirements.
It’s been just over two weeks since we celebrated the Class of 2021. We each have taken a deep breath, spent plenty of time at Elbow Pond floating under the watchful eye of Ragged Mountain alongside friends and reflecting on the school year. We’ve written much about Covid-19 and the impact on Proctor, the resiliency and grit and perseverance that were required of students and adults alike, but maybe our success was more about human connection and collaboration than we thought.
Temperatures on campus over the last three days hit 90 degrees with a humidity percentage matching that of a tropical rainforest. The thought of skiing or spending time on snow was about as far from our minds as possible. But that was not the case for the 18 USSA/FIS athletes and four coaches spending ten days training on Mount Hood in Oregon right now.
During a normal year, Proctor's campus would be buzzing with activity as we prepared to welcome hundreds of alumni to campus for our annual Alumni Reunion. For the second straight year, however, we have had to offer a virtual reunion due to Covid-19 and limitations on campus gatherings. Proctor's Alumni Office continues their series of virtual events this weekend with Proctor Reunion 2021!