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A Year in Review
Today marks the final day of exams as underclassmen depart this afternoon for summer vacation. While seniors have a number of activities between now and Saturday's commencement ceremonies, the academic year is complete.

Over the past ten months, this blog has sought to articulate the academic mission of Proctor. Due to our breadth of curriculum, varied course offerings, and mixture of on- and off-campus learning programs, the content on the blog has varied tremendously, but has maintained consistent themes. 

We have communicated the unique role of support and rigor that exists at Proctor through discussing the Learning Skills journey, highlighting in-depth coverage of specific classes and through general commentary on the relationship between rigor and experiential learning.

We have looked at what 21st century learning looks like for our students, through the adoption of new technologies, use of innovative teaching practices and by looking at how Proctor encourages students to truly be independent learners.

Forming trusting relationships with students plays a critical role in giving students the confidence to step out into that unknown. Whether it is establishing trust between teacher and student, or appreciating the valuable perspectives of alumni, the relationships formed at Proctor clearly reach far beyond the formal classroom.

The notion of learning by doing drives every educational program at Proctor, and therefore, we have highlighted not only what our programs do, but more importantly why we do them and how they impact student learning.

Finally, this blog has spotlighted the tremendous work our students are producing in their classes. From peer tutoring efforts to the Hays Speaking prize to students directing the winter play, the willingness of Proctor's student body to fully engage themselves in the learning process is inspiring.

During our last assembly of the year, three-year senior Nicole Ampathy stood before the community and gave a short speech (part of Proctor's senior speaker series) on her experience at Proctor. The following excerpt of Nicole's speech speaks to the transformative nature of a Proctor education:

"Despite the diversity I had come into contact with while I was growing up in New Jersey, I maintained a narrow-minded, black and white perspective; a person was either right or wrong; a touch was either hot or cold. However, soon after I arrived at Proctor, I was thrust into stepping out of my comfort zone and I blame Tom Morgan for this. His American Literature class taught me to look at literature as an art, not just azoic scratchings on paper…Most importantly, he taught me a sentence could have numerous meanings, not just the obvious black and white representations. Through this I learned to look through the clear cut appearances to the world of gray I had yet to explore.

Did I enjoy every second of my Proctor experience? No, of course not, no experience is perfect, but I am incredibly grateful for the lasting memories and meaningful friendships I have built. I will depart here a different person, every one will, faculty and student alike. You may not want to admit it, but Proctor has altered each of our courses differently, pushing some of us into completely new interests and for others reaffirming passions we had already begun to develop. I have learned it is ok to fail sometimes. I realize the importance of stepping out of my comfort zone to try new experiences. I have learned the value in collaboration producing group minded results. However, the most noteworthy thing I have picked up from my Proctor experience has been the gray. The gray encompasses the concept of unlimited ways to interpret the same thing.

My Proctor experience has allowed me to bring the gray into the light. We live in a diverse world filled with choices and pursuits that are worth discovering. I am unsure where I will be propelled in the future, but I am sure the gray has emboldened me to write a new manuscript for my life."

Nicole's words should inspire all of us to pursue new adventures and to continually seek that gray area that lies between what we think we know and what we have yet to discover. It is that thirst for understanding; that continual pursuit of knowledge that drives this school to perpetually evolve.

Thank you to all students, faculty, and alumni for their contributions to this blog over the past year! During the summer months, we will not post on the same Monday/Thursday schedule we have maintained over the course the year, but please do check back for occasional updates throughout the summer. 
Peter Southworth's work to create a senior speaker series featuring voices of the senior class has produced some outstanding speeches during assembly this year.
Nicole's speech during the last assembly of the year shared valuable insights with the community.
She highlighted the impact of her varied experiences on campus as well as the impact of her term in Spain.
Throughout each of her experiences, Nicole commented that she has begun to better appreciate the 'gray' that lies between a black and white understanding of the world.
We can all take much from Nicole's perspective as we seek to pursue that gray area of the not-yet-understood through exposing ourselves to new experiences.
As the academic year concludes, we thank all those teachers, students, parents, and alumni who helped make the past ten months possible. Much has been accomplished, but the pursuit of knowledge is never complete!