Last Saturday’s 80 degree temperatures saw students flying frisbees on Carr Field and a steady stream of eager swimmers parading to the swinging bridge while Proctor’s baseball team earned an 11-1 win over New Hampton School. With a backdrop of a snow-covered Proctor Ski Area, watching these swimmers traipse to a frigid Blackwater River in mid-April reminded us that, just like the seasons in New England, life with adolescents is filled with apparent contradictions.
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.
Proctor Academy's winter 2023 Mountain Classroom program has come to an end after ten weeks of exploring, adventuring, learning, and bonding as a group. The off-campus experience is like none other, pushing students so far outside their comfort zone that individuals learn to rely on each other, and to fully understand the impact of their individual actions on the well-being of the group.
How can we do this better? This is a question we are constantly asking ourselves at Proctor because we believe in a growth mindset not just for our students but for our teachers and our curriculum as a whole. Over the last several years, the Mathematics Department has shifted its approach to how teachers teach and how students learn.
With temperatures plummeting well below zero over the next two days, we find ourselves in the heart of winter; academic classes, research papers, projects, athletic schedules, and musical rehearsals fill our days and minds. With four weeks until the end of the Winter Term, this stretch of the school year can feel especially challenging for all of us.
New students arrived on September 6 for Wilderness Orientation, their faces filled with uncertainty. How would they fit in socially? Academically? Athletically? Artistically? How would they find their friend group, who would sit with them at meals? Today, during a packed Brown Dining Commons lunch, we look around and see connected faces, smiles, seemingly endless Spirit Week energy. We see young people who are finding their way through their high school experience, with the support of an amazing, tireless group of adults who keep this community running.
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.