Proctor’s start to the school year is probably more staggered than most schools. The sequence of faculty/staff meetings, International Student Transitions Program, Wilderness Orientation, and Preseason Sports Camp culminates in a busy Sunday afternoon before the start of classes when the entire community joins together on campus for the first time.
After five wonderful days hiking and camping in the White Mountains, students and Wilderness Orientation leaders returned mid-day on Sunday to a cheering crowd outside the field house where groups debriefed their trip and set off for their dormitories for a much anticipated shower and nap!
Later Sunday afternoon, new students joined returning students on Farrell Field for an afternoon of activities, music, and fun under blue skies and perfectly crisp early fall air. A welcome dinner in the new Dining Commons (the first full meal served in the building) brought incredible energy to the new space, as well as a few long lines as we all began to learn how to navigate the facility. Kudos to Barbara Major and her remarkable Dining Services team for simultaneously moving into a new kitchen, learning how to use the new equipment, and serving an outstanding meal to more than 450 of us!
Today was an on-campus orientation day for both new and returning students. We gathered together in assembly for the first time as an entire community, and then split up to meet in advisory groups where we reviewed rule changes, heard about summer adventures, and set goals for the coming year. In assembly, Head of School Mike Henriques reminded us that we are on a journey as individuals, but also as a community, and in that collective journey, we must understand and apply our core values of respect, responsibility, honesty, and compassion each and every day.
Summer reading groups met prior to lunch, followed by an afternoon of activities organized by Student Health and Wellness Coordinator, Megan Hardie, including a backyard Olympics, conversations about healthy relationships among adolescents, technology training, and ImPact testing for all new students. Beginning at 3:30 pm, afternoon activities kicked off the fall season, and we were reminded of the breadth of offerings available to each student - who wouldn’t want to spend a day like today splitting wood with Woods Team, kayaking the Blackwater River, mountain biking or running cross country throughout Proctor's 2,500 acres, playing soccer, field hockey, or football?
Tonight, Proctor’s Big Sister and Big Brother programs will meet as all new students are paired with returning student mentors (more on this special evening coming soon!). Tomorrow, we finally jump into classes and begin to get a rhythm to the year. We are excited about the group of students who have chosen Proctor to be their home this year. Each brings with him or her a unique set of talents. While we know it will be filled with ups and downs (life tends to be that way working with adolescents), there isn’t a group of students, parents, and faculty/staff we would rather work alongside as we write another chapter in Proctor’s history together!