Weaving the Tapestry of Proctor: Evolving Identities

Posted by Scott Allenby


The start of each school year rapidly shifts from a universal experience (Wilderness Orientation) to a highly individualized one (classes, afternoon activities, advisories, dorms) for students. We are three days into the academic schedule, and within each area of life, students are starting to figure out a rhythm to the school year. 

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As this transition takes place, students are asked to take increased ownership of their own Proctor journey. Where will they plug into the giant puzzle that is Proctor? Programmatically? Athletically? Academically? Artistically? Socially? This finding of place and forming of identity within a community can, at times, be a stressful proposition for young people, but our hope is students come to understand in their core that their identity at Proctor will be fluid. 


Proctor is a tapestry of people and programs whose intersections, both planned and unplanned, weave us together into a remarkable learning community. While the overarching patterns of our community fabric remain consistent from year to year, individual threads take time to find their place alongside each other.


As a school, we simply want to put in front of our students a breadth of opportunity that inspires exploration, and to then support that exploration by building a culture that genuinely encourages it. There is no “right” path through Proctor, but rather a path that fits each student and their evolving identity. Students (hopefully) will shift their afternoon program interests, courses of study, off-campus programs selection, and decide to try out a new art elective. When they do, it shows they have the confidence to try something new and potentially risk failure, qualities we want each of our graduates to possess. 


This on-going sorting of identity will only occur when students trust that their friends, family members, advisors, and mentors see them as more than that which they have been in the past. When we are able to zoom out and see the whole of our students and the whole of that which is at their fingertips, unimaginable beauty in this year’s tapestry of Proctor will emerge. 


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