As families filtered from dinner in the Brown Dining Commons to the large tent on Farrell Field for Senior Awards Night, a slideshow played on the big screen contrasting images from each student’s first weeks on campus and their last. The physical changes that take place during high school are remarkable, but they pale in comparison to the social and emotional growth that transpires. As the Class of 2022 walked across the stage this morning, we watched with pride at the humans they had become.
If you were to create a musical score for the school year, you would feel the cyclical crescendos building toward the end of each trimester. Over the past week, the beat quickened and volume intensified in the background music of our lives at Proctor as we celebrated student work and began preparations for commencement on Saturday.
The spring athletic season in Northern New England is not for the faint of heart. Rain, snow, wind, black flies, mosquitos, and other challenges abound, but the perseverance of our grounds crew, coaches, athletes, and athletic department were on full display as we navigated the term and provided a memorable afternoon program experience for our students. The lessons our athletes learned through victory, defeat, and simply spending time in relationship with each other on the playing fields, courts, track, and roads this spring undoubtedly will last a lifetime.
The signs of the end of school are everywhere. As I write this, I can hear the concluding strains of Act I of the spring musical wafting down the halls in the basement of the Wilkins Meeting House and Norris Family Theater. We have great representation of students and faculty from Proctor, as well as faculty children from Andover Elementary and Middle School; I, too, am in the play. “Shrek!” is Proctor’s spring musical, which opened last evening.
From faculty and staff (and their children) playing key roles in the show to our Head of School Brian Thomas making a cameo as Shrek's father in the opening scene to a talented cast of students from all corners of campus, Proctor Drama's production of Shrek! The Musical is truly a community-wide show. After two months of rehearsals, the cast and crew take the stage for opening night on Thursday, May 19 at 7:00 PM in the Wilkins Meeting House.
Members of the Class of 2022 are spending their final three weeks of high school engaged in Senior Projects. These immersive learning experiences range from full internships to explorations of personal interests. With the goal of solidifying the independent living and learning with our graduating seniors, Senior Project challenges students to propose their own course of study, manage their time effectively, and learn new skills along the way.
The Proctor community is filled with dedicated students, and awards can be a tricky topic at schools so committed to individual student growth. During Monday's assembly, we recognized underclass award recipients who demonstrated consistent excellence in their respective disciplines over the past academic year. Congratulations to the award recipients below.
Proctor Academy's Mountain Classroom program enters its final two weeks of the Spring Term. After winding their way across the Northern Plains, students embarked on a three day solo in the Vedauwoo National Forest. Lucy '22 and Maura '22 share beautiful reflections - each in their own style - of their time on solo. Enjoy this window into perhaps the most powerful experience Proctor students can have in the entries below.
Proctor's girls varsity tennis team put an exclamation point on a tremendous season with an absolutely stunning performance at the Lakes Region Tournament Saturday afternoon. In 90 degree heat, this group of girls pulled together to win #1 singles, #2 singles, and #2 doubles, while finishing runner up in #1 doubles. Never has a team had such a dominating performance in Lakes Region tournament play.
This past weekend, members of Proctor’s Administrative Team spoke in front of the Board of Trustees at the regularly scheduled meeting in May. Led by Academic Dean Derek Nussbaum Wagler, with a major assist from the Teaching and Learning Team, along with Learning Specialist Lori Patriacca, Head Librarian Heidi Thoma, Mathematics Department Chair Bill O'Brien, and chemistry teacher Sue Houston, we heard how Proctor’s experiential approach to learning transcends off-campus programs to our on-campus classes and programs.
Studying abroad comes with countless challenges and lessons. Each day brings new interactions, mistakes, laughter and growth. Throughout our last weeks in Costa Rica, we have come to love the local restaurants, the unimaginably beautiful scenery, the unpredictable weather, the welcoming people and our fun adventures. Read more reflections from Proctor en Monteverde Spring 2022 below!
After two years without league races, Proctor's cycling team is back in action this spring with a full race schedule, dedicated riders, and beautiful terrain to ride. Coaches Drew Donaldson, Derek Nussbaum Wagler, Kristen Farrell, and Allie Clarke '16 have inspired this year's team to not only push themselves on daily rides, but to work together during races to see the true collaborative nature of the sport.
As the Spring Term winds to a close, Proctor Academy's Mountain Classroom program winds its way east through Wyoming, Montana, and South Dakota. At this point in the journey, students are running the majority of daily operations for the group. In the journal entries below, Gunnar '22 and Romy '23 reflect on how their group has evolved during their seven weeks together. During the final two and a half weeks of the program, the group will continue their journey east immersing themselves in place-based learning along the way.
As we prepare to close out on the 2021-2022 school year, one thing stands out to me as I think about what makes Proctor uniquely Proctor. Of course, as mentioned in other pieces written across the Proctor Universe, the magic of connection and relationships drive everything that we do. Certainly, more so than any school where I have been or even schools that I have known from a distance. Affective connections and compassion matter.
The intersection of big, tough issues facing society, perfectionism projected into the lives of adolescents through social media and parental expectations, and a desire to support students through the COVID-19 pandemic has created an environment in our schools where we must delicately balance student well-being and expectations. How do we authentically manufacture adversity for young people who live in a world that seeks to shelter them from it?
Proctor en Segovia students travel south today to begin their second week-long excursion of their term abroad. They traversed the meseta of Castilla La Mancha and the Sierra Morena mountain range before arriving in Córdoba in the region of Andalucía. There they will study Andalucian culture and history firsthand.
Before leaving Segovia, instead of a traditional written reflection, students recorded this seven-minute video reflection on student life outside of the classroom in Segovia and living with a Spanish host family. They also take us on a quick tour of the Plaza Mayor and the Proctor en Segovia academic center.
As snow melt fills local rivers each spring, Proctor's whitewater slalom kayaking team loads up the trailer, hops on the bus, and chases the rapids wherever the water is running. With good water levels throughout the region this year, coaches Corby Leith 92 and Gordon Bassett '96 lead their group of intrepid paddlers into the fray each afternoon.