Any given day at Proctor is filled with a thousand interactions: teachers, friends, dorm parents, roommates, parents, coaches, teammates, advisors, dining staff, housekeepers in dorms. It is these varied conversations, and the energy they generate, that make up the many pieces of the jigsaw puzzle that is our life at Proctor.
At the beginning of last spring, I had the opportunity to observe Tom Morgan’s Creative Nonfiction class in action as students worked in small groups to create podcasts. Their assignment was to document the collective Proctor response to the first weeks of the war between Russia and Ukraine. Tom invited me to his class to discuss the basics of digital storytelling and audio sequencing, including how to select, trim and arrange different audio elements into a cohesive story.
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 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.
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.
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.
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?