Sometimes the busiest weekends are the ones where our community shines most brightly. The past 72 hours were packed with games, activities, races, and moments where the best of Proctor was on display.
Proctor’s Varsity Football program has been the winningest program at the school over the past twenty years, year after year boasting a winning record. With their most recent NEPSAC Bowl Appearance taking place in the fall of 2019, Head Coach Ben Rulli and his staff are looking to make another run at a Bowl Game appearance behind a veteran, talented senior class.
During Monday’s assembly, five new members of the Class of 2023 were inducted into the Allan S. Bursaw Chapter of the National Honor Society. Recognized for their scholarship, character, service, and citizenship, these twelve students (Grace, Kally, Emma, Eliza, Ella, Grace, Sophie, Samantha, Ingrid, Phoenix, Henry, and Jonathan) include some of the highest academic achievers in the senior class, but perhaps more importantly represent the variety of experiences that makeup the Proctor journey.
After several weeks exploring connections between course material and experienced history, culture, and language in their “home region” of Castilla y León, Proctor en Segovia students traveled south to Córdoba and Sevilla. There they experienced firsthand the history, culture, and architecture of the region of Andalucía.
Pictures tell you things that written history never will or perhaps can. On my wall in my office just behind my left shoulder is a photograph taken in 1895. It is of the Proctor and Carr families of Andover, NH. During the opening weeks of school, I spoke at great length to our community about members of this family, but John Proctor is the person from whom we as a school get our name. When the picture was taken, John Proctor was gone from the scene for 12 years, he died in 1883, but his extended family and relatives were alive and well represented in Andover. What Proctor planted, the regenerated seeds and start of a new school, still stands today. Vibrant and prosperous.
When our time on this earth ends, we can only hope that we did our best to positively impact the lives of others. Our hope is that as former Co-Chair of the Board of Trustees Bill Peabody P’82, ‘86 understood the scope and depth of impact he had on those within the Proctor community. His ability to inspire, to spread kindness, to encourage, to hug, to love without condition, to create, to believe in the inherent goodness of others not only shaped Proctor, but will sit at our very core for generations to come.
During assembly this morning, guest Elena Terry, Executive Chef/Founder of Wild Bearies, a non-profit community outreach catering organization that supports participants to overcome alcohol and other drug abuse issues or emotional traumas, shared a story about her work gathering indigenous seeds and the importance of understanding the history and source of the food that nourishes us.
As with any ocean voyage, unexpected obstacles early in the term tested the crew's patience aboard the Harvey Gamage, however, the past two weeks of sailing, training, and educational experiences throughout the Gulf of Maine have quickly made up for lost time. As students learn to crew Gamage and begin to experience life at sea, their reflections in daily journal entries tell a powerful tale. Read more from the last two weeks on Ocean Classroom in the words of our students below!
As the forecast for Friday morning waffled between rain and potential clearing, we decided to move our planned outdoor assembly for Fall Family Weekend into the Wilkins Meeting House for the first time since the fall of 2019. Only the parents of our four-year seniors had experienced assembly in the theater, and we realized in that moment how much we had missed the shared energy of this space.
The east end of the Proctor campus has been a-buzz with activity since the start of the school year. Cruising into Slocumb Hall, as many folks around campus often will on any given day, you see the usual order and light. The first thing you notice is how peaceful and still the room feels, even as students file into the space.
After returning from Basque Country, Proctor en Segovia students have spent the past week closer to their home base in Spain. They are not lacking, however, in opportunities to continue their Spanish history education, first during morning history classes and then in the castle tower high above the old quarter of Segovia and in an underground basilica in the Guadarrama Mountains that separate Segovia and Madrid. Another highlight from this past week was the Thursday night cooking class featuring a parent visitor and guest chef and host mom Lujan!
If you spend enough time in the New England woods, you will run across old stone walls bisecting a dense forest. Follow those walls and you will likely find an old cellar hole that will immediately transport you back in time to a different era when Proctor’s 2,500 acres were clear cut pastures sprinkled with farms of hardworking families scraping a living off the rocky soil.
For two summers, I had the privilege of building dry stone walls with fellow faculty members Josh Norris '92 and Peter Southworth. It was hard work, but the results were tangible. We would walk away from the job site each day seeing what we had built; the well placed foundation rocks, tetris-like fits locking the wall into place, flat tops and square corners. There was an immediate gratification and instant feedback with this summer job that stood in stark contrast to the usual delayed feedback experienced by educators.
This past week was amazing, we spent 5 days in Amsterdam. Amsterdam is a gorgeous city, the architecture is beautiful and there is so much art and culture to learn about. The museums we went to were so cool! We went to the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh, Museum, the Kroller-Müller Museum, and the Stedelijk Museum, focusing on Modern to Contemporary.
After several weeks living and learning with host family and establishing a class and afternoon activity routine, Proctor en Segovia students traveled north to El País Vasco, Euskadi, or The Basque Country. To complement their History and English coursework, they studied Basque history and culture firsthand and contemporary art at the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao.
Three times a week we gather in the Wilkins Meeting House for an all-school assembly. The agenda for assembly varies each day, however, the purpose remains clear: come together as an entire community to hear announcements, spend intentional face-to-face time together, connect with advisories, and remind ourselves that we are in this journey of learning together, as an entire community, even though we are often going a million directions on our own.
Following the 1997 fall athletic season, Proctor faced a decision: would they find someone to revitalize a struggling football program or would they simply move away from the sport that had been a part of Proctor’s history for more than 90 years. Proctor’s leadership decided to choose the former and began a search for its next coach.