There’s No Place Like Home By Jackson Buscher !
I have always imagined Proctor fitting in very well in a small, ski town somewhere
in the west, such as Colorado. Mountain country, open land, blue sky, and opportunity is what comes to my mind when I reflect on my life in the West. But, in the midst of the busy East Coast culture with thick forests, four seasons, less sunshine, and a fastpaced life, many westerners have found the spirit of the West and comfortable home right here at Proctor Academy. This small community is so far yet so close to the West. !
Proctor attracts and supports a unique community with a wide variety of students
and faculty from places as far as away as Spain, China, Columbia and Vietnam, as well as Idaho, New Mexico, California and Vermont. I have now spent the last two years of my high school career living in the Blackwater Valley in central N.H. The dense forest on Ragged Mountain and New England geography are very different from where I grew up in Santa Fé, New Mexico. I have found something unique and intriguing about Proctor. Proctor’s relaxed, friendly atmosphere is welcoming and creates a comfortable living and learning environment where strong connections and relationships are made. I feel close to home here, even when I am many miles away form my home. Proctor is not your stereotypical eastern boarding school with the blue blazer and white collar style
of life. I feel like this more relaxed atmosphere creates room for unique teacher and student friendships which in tern make for a comfortable and close community to live in. Proctor’s close nit community is also very close nit with the outdoors and the love for being outside and active. These two major parts of proctor life has made my two years spent in the East, on the Proctor campus much smoother. !
Part of Proctor’s unique community wouldn't exist without
the diverse faculty and staff from all corners the country. They have found what Proctor has to offer so appealing that they have dedicated their lives to living in Andover and making Proctor’s one of a kind programs thrive year round. Laurie Zimmerman, one of Proctor’s English teachers, previously lived in California, before moving to the East with her young son. She discovered Proctor through friends, and well, in her own words, “...we fell in love with their lifestyle in Andover.” She has since, been living and working in the Proctor community for twenty-three years. “I never expected to stay more than a year, but the campus and people were so great.” Laurie recalls feeling welcomed into the community immediately. She loved the closeness and camaraderie of the town of Andover. !
Hunter Churchill, the dorm parent in
Carr House, moved to Proctor last year with his wife and two kids from Idaho. Hunter points out that moving is never easy but, “Ultimately we
wanted to find a community where we could continue the things we enjoyed; ski, hike, camp, bike, hunt, fish.” Hunter Graduated from Proctor in 2001 and the great aspects of the school never left him, “This school had a huge impact on my life. What I liked most about Proctor were the incredible opportunities to learn beyond the classroom.” When comparing his home back in Idaho to Proctor, Hunter feels that, “Proctor and the West both have good people. Small towns and good communities tend to push out the bad! They both promote healthy lifestyles.” Another very lively character that has been giving to the Proctor community for many years is George Emeny who teaches math, as well as being an enthusiastic wood and metal shop instructor. George was my Geometry teacher last year, we had many, many conversations about our love of the West. I believe our common experiences living in the West is part of the reason I felt so bonded to George. Before rejoining the Proctor community in 2007, he spent four years in California and another fifteen living in New Mexico. He and his wife, Deborah, returned to New Hampshire to be closer to family and to become a part of the Proctor family once again. George told me that when he decides to retire he wants Proctor to be the last place he works, bringing his teaching career in a full circle back to this great community right here in New Hampshire. Zach Jones, a second year junior from Montana, is one of many students coming from the West. Zach’s response to his view of the East was that, “The East is definitely much smaller, feels much more compact and every thing seems to be in a hurry.” But
he found this unique unusual east coast community in the middle of New Hampshire different from the busy eastern culture, with its vast forests that surround the school and the community’s love for the outdoors. Zach is a member of the hockey team at Proctor and has embraced many of the unique class offerings at Proctor such as boat building and metal engineering. Zach recalls, “When I came to visit, it seemed to be a really good fit, and here I am.” !
As Zach, George, Laurie, and I all agree,
as much as we love Proctor, we miss aspects about the West. It is that powerful feel of the Proctor spirit that keeps us at ease and so comfortably settled right here in the small town of Andover. When Proctor fits, it fits, and you just know it.