As spring sports get underway on campus, we reflect on the winter athletic season and the tireless efforts of coaches, athletic trainers, athletic staff, ski area crew, hockey rink staff, and students, the winter athletic season requires a remarkable amount of energy and commitment.
Sunshine and blue skies, with temperatures flirting with 50 degrees, is a good reminder that the stubborn New Hampshire winter is gradually releasing its grip on campus. March is an ugly month around these parts, but as we launch the Spring Term, we jump into classes and spring athletic and afternoon programs with excitement and anticipation. It is a chance to start fresh, and an opportunity to reflect on our “why” as a school. Why do we do what we do, in the way that we do it?
During an address to the Board of Trustees on October 9, 1971 in Holland Auditorium second year Head of School David Fowler stated, “Proctor has always been more interested in people and their potential than in test scores. We will continue this policy. What we are trying to make clearer is our personality as a school. Every student must understand what we stand for, who we are, and why we are doing what we are doing.”
For Proctor folks, coming out of the winter months and into spring can be the toughest time of the year. The months of January and February tend to be some of the darkest around because of the way the light recedes from dorm rooms and classrooms, making the nights seem excruciatingly longer. Mercifully, with half of the school on snow, getting out into the natural world gives everyone the shot of energy they need to thrive in a climate that seems to be getting more and more mercurial with every passing year.
Over the course of five days, with more than 35 faculty-sponsored projects across the country, Proctor Period kicks off our spring trimester at Proctor. Why do we allocate 10% of our Spring Trimester to Project Period? Because we believe deeply in the value of immersion learning, and this week provides an opportunity for us to dive into learning experiences that simply do not fit into our regular academic schedule.
Day began on the Schooner Harvey Gamage at 5:00 AM with the loud clanking of the windlass above my clammy bunk in the forward most compartment of the ship called the fo'c's'le or forecastle. As the crew pumped the arms up and down in a seesaw fashion to retrieve the anchor chain, it made its characteristic deep rumbling sound as they fed the heavy links into its wooden housing box above my cramped quarters where I bunked with Gabe and Madoc who were gracious enough to share their space with me for my leg of the Ocean Classroom adventure from Key West up to the Gulf Coast.
As they have for decades, Proctor en Segovia students closed out their winter 2022-2023 term abroad by traveling south to Andalucía and the city of Granada. There they explored its UNESCO World Heritage sites and monuments and immersed themselves in the region's rich history and culture that has absorbed the influences of many groups, primarily from North Africa, over the centuries.
As a foot of heavy, wet snow falls on campus today, our dreams of cleared fields and tennis courts for spring sports are delayed for another few weeks. Spring snow storms are a reminder that our vision of how life “should be” and how life “is” are not always aligned. We need to become more comfortable living in this gap, of finding purpose, meaning, and connection in our here and now, rather than wishing we existed in an idealized version of reality.
Dear Future Hornet,
You just received an email from our Admissions Office sharing that you were accepted to Proctor for the 2023-2024 school. You will make up an incoming class that is one of the most talented, diverse, curious, and fun groups of students we could imagine. You found Proctor because you and your family believe that there is more to high school than a traditional classroom, and you see Proctor as the place where you want to “do” school differently.
Proctor Academy is excited to announce Alisa Barnard as its next Assistant Head of School, beginning July 1, 2023. A New Hampshire native and graduate of Colgate University and Harvard Divinity School, Alisa has spent the last nineteen years of her career at her alma mater, St. Paul’s School in Concord, New Hampshire, most recently as the Director of the Advanced Studies Program.
As we enter the final days of the Winter Term with Spring Break on our minds, more than 100 students and coaches begin preparations for Spring Training trips. Three of our winter teams will continue their seasons, while three spring teams will get an early start on the season ahead. Be sure to follow the adventures of Proctor’s athletic teams over Spring Break below!