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Finding the Right Fit: Unabashedly Proctor

Scott Allenby

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.”

Proctor Academy Students

Proctor has long believed a student’s attitude is paramount, and that we each bring unique learning styles and experiences to the educational process. We believe immersive learning experiences around the globe are optimal for student growth and that the wilderness is a powerful learning tool. We believe there are many paths to, and definitions of, success and that cookie cutters are not made for adolescents. We believe that when adults in a school are truly passionate about what they do, those sparks will carry over to the student body. 

A school community is only as strong as those who embrace it as their own, and thankfully, Proctor continues to unabashedly embrace ourselves as the quirky, imperfect, transformative place that we are. We shift and change and evolve, but never compromise our core, regardless of what winds may attempt to blow us off course. Our Admissions Team has identified a group of amazing students who we believe will help us become an even better version of ourselves, but that is just half of the match-making process. The responsibility now falls on each accepted student and their family to make sure Proctor is the right fit for them. 

Proctor Academy Students

Here is the challenge we share with our Accepted Students: Think critically about whether Proctor’s identity fits your vision for your high school experience. Here are five statements to help you better understand who we are and what we believe school should look like. 

1. Be Confident In You 

We believe the goal of high school is to take chances, fail, learn, and take more chances. Therefore, being curious is a prerequisite to joining the Proctor community. No one here expects you to have all the answers, we simply expect you to enjoy the pursuit of knowledge as much as we do, and to allow your curiosity to guide your exploration of your life at Proctor. 

Proctor Academy Students Academics

2. Have Fun

Every school makes sure they post plenty of pictures of smiling students, but not every school refuses to compartmentalize fun like we do. Regardless of whether it is in chemistry class, in the dorm, in the dining hall, hanging out with your advisor, or on that long bus ride home from an away game, laughter fuels us and brings our community to life. Sure, there is a time to be serious, and we know how to do that too, but we have found those students who are willing to inject ‘fun’ into all areas of their life at Proctor have a disproportionately positive high school experience. 

Proctor Academy Campus Andover New Hampshire

3. Embrace Adventure 

Certain adventures at Proctor are not optional (Wilderness Orientation), but most are. With nearly 80% of our students choosing to spend at least one term on an Off-Campus Program, embracing adventure is an absolute must if you decide Proctor is the right fit for you. These adventures will connect you to those individuals around you with whom you are sharing your Proctor experience. The personal relationships you will develop will not only last a lifetime, but will shape the direction of your life. Be ready to say ‘yes’ when the opportunity to embrace adventure arises.

Proctor Academy Campus Andover New Hampshire

4. Step Outside Your Comfort Zone

Joining the Proctor community is like stepping into the white space on the edge of a map - you know there is something pretty amazing out there, but it is unknown and a little scary. Whether it is making an announcement in assembly, trying a new sport, enrolling in an art class, or choosing to study off-campus, if you choose Proctor, you will quickly come to appreciate and understand our deeply rooted culture of ensuring every student steps outside their comfort zone.

Proctor Academy Campus Andover New Hampshire

5. Love Where You Live

Those of us who have chosen to make Andover, New Hampshire our home truly love where we live. We love the changing of seasons, the mountains, the three swimmable lakes within walking distance of campus, maple sugaring, the trail system, Proctor Ski Area, the beauty of rural New Hampshire, and we even try to find a place in our heart for late-March snowstorms like the one we had last weekend. We have chosen to love the fifteen minute drive to the grocery store, the one pizza place, gas station, and bank in town. Proctor is not located in a metropolis. It never will be. You cannot Uber to the movies or to your favorite restaurant, so choosing Proctor means choosing the rural community of Andover. Know this. Embrace it. Making the decision to love where you live is one of the most liberating decisions you will make in your life.

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