Proctor Academy - Review #4
About the Author:
|Years Attended Boarding School:||2011-2015|
|Sports and Activities:||Tennis, field hockey, hockey, choir group, 3 abroad programs (Spain, Costa Rica and Mountain). Team captain of tennis team my senior year. Also dorm leader for a term my senior year.|
|College Enrolled:||Queen's University|
|Home Town, State:||Sherborn, MA|
1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
Called teachers by their first names. Had 5 unique abroad programs including Mountain Classroom, Ocean Classroom, Proctor en Segovia, Costa Rica and Euro. Also had learning skills. More of an experiential learning school.
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
The three abroad programs I took part in truly changed and shaped who I am. I would never take those moments back and constantly wish I could relive some of my experiences. The one that truly impacted me was Mountain Classroom. Before high school I had been stubborn about camping or hiking. I had demanded that I would never go on this abroad program. But, when I heard how much everyone loved it I decided to apply for my junior year. Once I was on the trip, I realized I was truly changing in an amazingly positive way. I loved everything about the trip. It taught me how to communicate with others, enjoy the outdoors, appreciate everything people have to offer me, and meet some of the most influential people in my life. I would never trade those three months for anything. Also, to note, before boarding school I was having a hard time at middle school. I felt like I was not being myself and was not happy with who I was amongst my peers. I was a much less outgoing, happy, and positive person before boarding school. As soon as I got to school, I grew and changed as a person in the most beneficial way. My parents saw a dramatic change in my character and outlook. I was exponentially happier and I could never thank Proctor enough for doing that for me.
3.) What might you have done differently during your boarding school experience?
My main piece of advice would be to take every opportunity to meet new people and get involved. Going into a new place is always really scary, but it's important to remember that everyone is in the same position as you. At Proctor, the teachers are extremely involved and are always there to support you, so take advantage of these amazing people and really find what makes you you. I personally would not change much about my boarding school experience. I would just suggest to seriously consider Proctor because it is truly one of the most amazing and unique places for any student to go to.
4.) What did you like most about your school?
What I like most about my school is the community I felt a part of. There was something so seriously special about this school. I could not have felt more supported and cared for than I did at Proctor. Every single teacher was there for me if I ever needed them. The opportunities that were available to me helped me grow exponentially. I have my some lifelong relationships which will always influence the way I see the world and how I belong in it. It sounds incredibly cheesy but Proctor was one of the most amazing things to happen to me. The community is something like nothing I have ever experienced before or after.
5.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
Appreciate the cookies at lunch because I seriously miss those. Also, make sure to try a photography class because that was a favorite of mine. Also, 100% take advantage of the abroad programs, I promise it will be one of the best parts of your experience at Proctor. Overall, try to do everything you possibly can before it's over, because you will miss it more than you know.
1.) Describe the academics at your school - what did you like most about it?
The academics at Proctor are truly unique. I have no heard of any other school that appears to prioritize experiential learning quite the same way. As soon as you get on campus, there is an immediate feeling that the teachers truly want you to succeed and forge a strong relationship with you. I had great relationships with a majority of my teachers. There is a wide variety of classes everyone is able to take, and each class is as difficult or manageable as you make it. Teachers are always available outside of class time. Teachers encourage students to go outside and find new ways of learning. Throughout most of my classes we utilized different forms of learning, from going outside and inspecting the campus pond for science class, to doing a scavenger hunt around campus to measure flagpoles and signs to find their mathematical degrees. I also feel like there are some classes you could not find at other schools, like forestry with Dave Pilla, where students go out every single day into the campus grounds and identify trees and other wildlife. Also, Proctor offers multiple AP classes which gives it the competitive edge that might attract others. I always felt challenged but supported at the same time.
1.) Describe the athletics at your school - what did you like most about it?
I have always been an athlete that enjoys being a part of a team. So, I took part in three sports teams every single year I was at Proctor. I had amazing experiences on all of these teams. Playing sports helped me meet a large range of people each trimester. Being on a team fostered a sense of belonging in smaller areas of school. All of my coaches were supportive yet assertive in their teaching which maintained the competitive nature. My favorite sport was field hockey and we ended up making it all the way to the finals of NESCAC in my senior year, which is one of my most memorable experiences. Students were required to play at least two competitive/active sports for freshman and sophomore year. After that students were required to play one for junior and senior year. If students did not want to play two other terms of active sports, they could do a variety of things from the play to ceramics.
1.) Describe the arts program at your school - what did you like most about it?
I took part in the musical classes at Proctor. I was in the choir my senior year which was really exciting for me. I had always loved singing but never felt confident enough to join a group. But, Proctor made me push myself and I became instantly comfortable and happy to be a part of choir. I never took part in any plays but all of my friends that did only had positive things to say about it. I also never knew that I liked to paint until I fulfilled a require art class for graduation. I was shocked to realize that I actually loved painting and found great joy from taking the class. The art studio, Slocumb, is another special area of the campus. The building has so much to offer, including a photography center, painting classes and a ceramic area. My art teacher definitely had a great impact on the way I viewed my artistic capabilities and confidence in myself. I definitely felt like Proctor had a strong commitment to students having the opportunity to be artistic and find new passions.
1.) Describe the extracurriculars offered at your school - what did you like most about it?
I was pretty busy with sports and other class work, so I did not have a big part in any school organizations or clubs for the most part. I went to meetings for PEA ( Proctor Environmental Action ) but was not a permanent member. However, everyone that was in PEA spoke highly of the ability they had to run a club which they felt had an impact on the way the school managed environmental actions. I did take part in a summer volunteer program in Thailand. There, me and 10 other students from school helped to build a cement playground in a small village. It was a great opportunity for me which I really appreciated Proctor giving me.
1.) Describe the dorm life in your school - what did you like most about it?
Living in a dorm was one of the best aspects of going to boarding school for me. Some of my lifelong friends were girls that lived on my floor. I remember really appreciating the extensive list of questions that Proctor considered when pairing roommates for my first year. I felt like I was definitely going to be matched with someone that I would be comfortable living with. The dorm selections process for your first year is random but I was happy with where they put me. Another aspect I really liked about the dorm process was that each dorm had rooms set aside for all four grades, therefore the dorms were typically evenly mixed from freshman to senior. This helped me make relationships with every age of students. Choosing dorms the following years were ranked by senior - sophomore and then within each grade it was based on grades. I felt like this was a fair assessment, and most of my friends were happy with their dorm selection each year. Each room was a decent size and had desk, dressers, closets and beds. I lived in a single for part of my senior year which I really liked. Some dorms are more renovated and updated than others, but I lived in the older ones and was completely satisfied and happy with my living conditions. There is also a kitchen in every dorm with a fridge so if I was ever hungry I could go and eat the food I had bought.
1.) Describe the dining arrangements at your school.
I graduated right before the new dining hall was finished. I really liked our dining hall though. There was always seats available and the set up was nice. I did not have a problem with the food. I felt like there was almost always something that I could eat. There was a variety of food stations, from the hot bar to the cereal station, salad bar and sandwich bar. There was also always these amazing cookies at lunch that everyone loved. The only thing I would improve on is the salad bar. I normally love eating salads but never liked the add ons that the bar had. The dining hall was also open all day which was great because between classes you could go and get cereal or sandwiches. There was never any assigned seating.
1.) Describe the school's town and surrounding area.
Andover is a nice, small town. Some of my day students took me on trips outside sometimes which was nice to see the town we lived in. The campus itself had a lot of land in some beautiful parts of the town, like Elbow pond. I loved going to Elbow Pond; it is stunning body of water where we could go swimming at in the Spring and Fall. Proctor also has a huge amount of forest property which allows for some really great hikes. I always enjoyed going and exploring different areas of the forest, including a small cabin where students could camp overnight if they wanted to. There was also many opportunities to be involved in the town's community. I volunteered at an elderly home a few times. However, I would have liked if Proctor had been a part of a slightly bigger town with a few more things to do in it. But, throughout my four years it never really bothered me because I was so busy on campus everyday and on the weekends there was always activities planned like going to the local mall, movie theater or even an amusement park nearby.
2.) Describe the social life at your school - what did you like most about it?
I had a really great social life at Proctor. I felt like there was constant opportunities to meet new people, and I knew everyone's names on campus. Sports teams gave me the ability to make friends will all sorts of people each trimester. Then, my classes and abroad programs that I took part in allowed me to meet even more people. Some of my best friends I got to know on my abroad programs because they were small groups which really let you get to know each other. The student center, the Wise, was also a fun place to go to after all our daily commitments to sit and hang out with our friends. I do wish we had a few other things we could sometimes, but for the most part I was really happy with my group of friends and ability to get to know a majority of my student body.
|8:15 AM||First class|
|9:00 AM||Second class|
|10:15 AM||Assembly/ advisory meeting|
|11:00 AM||Third Class|
|12:00 AM||Fourth Class|
|2:30 PM||Fifth class/ art|
|8:00 PM||Study Hall|
|12:00 AM||Go on activity/hang out with friends|
|3:00 PM||Do some school work|
|7:00 PM||Go to the wise/maybe have a dance/some other weekend love activity planned|
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