Each year gives reason to pause and reflect on the nature of community – what creates it, what allows it to flourish, what makes it resilient, and what makes it fragile. There are moments - locally, nationally, and globally – that challenge community. We had one of those moments this summer when we witnessed fire and the loss of a storied dormitory – Thoreau House. And yet in the aftermath some of the best of community emerged: outreach, compassion, and support for the school. Again and again we come to marvel at the latent strength within the Proctor family, whether to support a student in crisis or a faculty member battling a life-threatening illness, or a community after a fire.
Proctor’s sum total of its moving pieces operates in conjunction with community aspirations. We are a global school operating in four different countries around the world: France, Spain, Costa Rica, and China; we are a floating school, voyaging each fall from Gloucester, MA to San Juan, Puerto Rico; we are a rolling school, traveling with ten students through the Southwest and West in pursuit of answers to essential questions around water, big agriculture, border issues, and community; and we are a rock-ribbed New Hampshire school with commitment to core values and meeting each student where they are. One might think that this far-flung educational landscape dissipates community, makes it harder to hold together. Not so.
Maybe it is because we hire, support, and believe in faculty and staff who can contribute not only in the teaching of their respective disciplines and the needed skill sets to successfully maintain and run a campus, but who contribute to the making of a healthy community. It requires flexibility. It requires an acceptance of the other. It requires tolerance. It requires being able to look objectively at one’s bias. It requires a sense of humor. And it requires a belief that community matters.
In a world growing more complex and challenging, the art of teaching community by living community is an essential component, we believe, of a healthy living and learning school. We hope you see this play out in the following pages, and more importantly we hope that you see this when you step onto our campus.
Look around, watch videos, learn about Proctor, and come for a visit. I would love to connect with you, so do not hesitate to email
, call (603-735-6641
), or visit campus with your questions!