Proctor Student Voices: Unfiltered

Posted by Scott Allenby


During Friday's Admissions Revisit Day, eleven students volunteered their time and to serve on a student-panel for visiting families. After Director of Admission Christina Dotchin opened the floor to questions from families, students responded without a script, prompts, or direction from any adults. It was a wonderful hour long window into the power of the Proctor experience from the student perspective. 

Proctor academy students

Perhaps the most valuable aspect of the student-panel conversation was the clarity of the questions asked by visiting families. Each question probed different issues students face on a daily basis: life in dormitories, off-campus programs, the impact of alcohol and drugs on campus, and the power of relationships with faculty. Below we share a sampling of student responses to questions posed during the open forum. 

Proctor Academy students

What is something you learned to do at Proctor you never thought you’d be able to do?

Elena '16:  "Before I came to Proctor I was a mediocre student, and just went through the motions. After my first few classes here, I realized people wanted to hear my voice. I’d never felt that before, and didn’t know I could participate like I do now. My teacher comments show this, and I’m proud of it."

Paris '16:  “I came to Proctor as an USSA/FIS skier, but Proctor has taught me to have balance in my life, and how to discover other passions. I’m leaving Proctor not just as a skier, but as a singer, a lacrosse player, and so much more!”

Proctor Academy students

What was your transition like to Proctor?

Daisy '16: “In many ways, you are thrown into the fire when you come to Proctor. You go on Wilderness Orientation, right into classes, and then into your afternoon activities and athletics. But this chaos created such a support network for me. My friends, dorm parents, advisor, and teachers surrounded me with encouragement and gave me the confidence to embrace all that was in front of me. Those stresses turned into amazing opportunities almost overnight and that feeling of being overwhelmed subsided into excitement about what lay ahead of me." 

Proctor Academy students

Can you describe a special relationship with a faculty or staff member and how it has changed your experience at Proctor?

Eliza '17: “I’ve spent the past term off-campus and the people I’ve been most excited to see since returning to campus have been faculty members. Megan has been my advisor for the past three years and has worked with me so much about how to be self-aware about what I can take on and what I can’t. Her impact on my life has been so significant and has allowed me to take advantage of new opportunities while keeping balance in my life.”

Proctor Academy students

You all seem like perfect students on the panel. What about the real hard issues of gaming and internet and balancing those issues?

Kiara '18: “There are certainly distractions, but I’ve never been at a school where the classes are so engaging that you want to do the homework and do well.”

Will '16:  “The internet is present, for sure. Yes, there are distractions and the internet can have negative connotations, but imagine what learning would be like without it?  It’s such a good thing in so many ways. Many of our assignments are online, research is available online and whether we like it or not, it's a part of our lives that is not going away." 

Daisy '16:  “I’ve seen not only our students change with technology over the past four years, but our teachers probably more so. My teachers who have embraced technology have changed its role in the classroom. It is not a battle of controlling it, but leveraging it to their advantage and to engage us as students. We love technology, and when our teachers find funs ways to use it, it's to our benefit for sure." 

Proctor Academy students

What are your experiences with drugs and alcohol on campus?

Jack '16: “Our community is setup to have our mistakes become learning opportunities. We don’t have a one strike policy because we know there is substance on high school campuses, and Proctor understands it is impossible to completely eliminate this stuff from our lives. What our community does, though, is help us make the right decisions and when we screw up, to use those mistakes to learn and grow.”

Proctor Academy students

What would you like to add to Proctor or take away?

Boomer '17: “There really isn’t this issue of wanting to add anything or take anything away. You have so many different opportunities that you can choose your own path. When your schedule gets busy, there are alternatives of designing your own independents. This winter I took Architectural Design class and my teacher, Brooks, encouraged me to expand this class into something more. This conversation evolved into me taking summer CAD courses and starting construction on a building I’ve designed myself. This doesn’t happen many places, but it is possible here.”

Proctor Academy students

What is one area you feel Proctor does really well and one area for improvement?

Daisy '16: "Proctor is really, really good at finding what you’re passionate about and providing you opportunities to explore that opportunity. It may not be in a class or an afternoon activity, but just through conversations with faculty that you discover these new passions. 

Check out more photos from life at Proctor on Flickr!




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