As we prepare for our first international students to arrive this weekend, our excitement for the year ahead builds. Our work becomes more real, more tangible. The theoretical of summer reading and professional development gets to be put into action during opening of year meetings. This morning was the first time we have been all together in the same space in two years. Hanging on the wall in the Norris Family Theater where we gathered is a banner that reads TOGETHER. A version of this banner has adorned the wall of our meeting space for generations, but it has never felt more important than now.
As Proctor prepares to welcome new and returning students to campus for the start of the academic year, our community also welcomes new faculty and staff to Andover. This group of educators has been working hard to get to know Proctor during new faculty orientation. Please welcome these new community members to Proctor. Learn more about them below!
When any two random Proctor alumni run into each other on the street, exploring in a National Park, or at a music venue, their shared experiences create an immediate bond that transcends their years spent in Andover. Central to these shared experiences are the faculty and staff who make Proctor, Proctor.
We enter exam week with our noses pressed to the ground, focused intently on helping guide our students through final assessments, studying, and, our favorite, dorm cleaning and packing. This head-down, tirelessly-support-our students mindset has dominated our lives since Registration Day on September 7. As we cautiously lift our heads and see glimpses of the end of the term, we need to acknowledge the good, good work that has been done by so many over the past ten weeks to allow us to remain in-person.
We each have a story that led us to work at Proctor: we went to school here, grew up in the region, were attracted to a specific program or the school’s educational philosophy. For Proctor’s newest member of the community, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Coordinator Will Wamaru, his journey began as a nine year old on his first mountaineering adventure with NOLS on a summit attempt of Mount Kenya’s Lenana Peak (16,355 feet), just twenty minutes from his family’s rural farm. This early exposure to the philosophy of NOLS and the notion that learning, relationships, and the outdoors could be inextricably woven together through a formal program, and not just in his daily life in his village, planted a seed that led to his continued involvement in NOLS as a student, and eventually, a teacher over the next two decades.
We talk often about how it is the people that make Proctor such a kind, supportive, loving community. As we rapidly approach June 30 and the final official day of the 2019-2020 academic year, we bid farewell to eight talented faculty and staff who have dedicated a portion (or in some cases all) of their professional life to the Proctor community.
When Proctor made the decision to spend the Spring Term learning remotely, the immediate question that arose focused on our academic schedule. Would we attempt to stay synchronous in our learning? Or would that simply be too complicated with students scattered around the globe with varying access to technology? Ultimately, we realized that at our core as a school is human connection, and when we are deprived of that connection, we struggle, and a fully synchronous schedule was born.