PROCTOR PULSE Proctor Academy | May 1, 2017 | Issue 2 | Edited by Nathaniel Perkins ‘17, Addy Shannon ‘17 and Matt Slick ‘17
Where are the Seniors After Dark?
Inside this Issue:
By Grey Bechok
Senior Study Hall. Three words that historically bring joy and excitement to seniors at Proctor Academy in the spring. Those words signal the beginning of the end and give seniors the opportunity to make some decisions about how they’ll spend those extra two hours every night. As many of my classmates struggled to come up with a plan to fill that newfound freedom, I came up with a potential solution: Basketball. And so, what I hope will be a new tradition at Proctor was born. With week three now in sight, the Proctor Academy Senior Study Hall Basketball League (PASSHBL) is well under way. There are four teams; each drafted with a Proctor Varsity Basketball starter as captain. Drew MacInnis, Tshiefu Ngalakulondi, Caleb Green, and Geo Baker picked their squads from a cast of over thirty senior guys and faculty members. Teams are made up of eight or nine players, taking injuries (suffered during their official spring sports) and school work into consideration with the understanding that on a weekly basis, any given team may have only seven or eight available. The number one pick in the draft, Matthew Slick said, “It was an honor going number one. When I heard about the idea of the league I was really excited. Rumor had it that senior study hall could be pretty boring.” He went on to say, “There is not typically a lot that happens on campus past 8:00. Now we have something to look forward to every week that is actually really fun and competitive. I can’t wait to see how the rest of the season turns out.”
1: “Where are the Seniors After Dark?” by Grey Bechok 2: “Keep the Debate Team Alive” by Harry Makovsky 3: “Politics Compromising Core Values” by Drew MacInnis 4: “The Voice of Proctor” by Grey Bechok
Proctor Academy Senior Study Hall Basketball League
PASSHBL will run for six weeks of “regular season” games, held in the cage on Thursday nights. Each team plays one game per week and the games consist of two sixteen minute halves with a running clock until the last two minutes where it is stopped on a whistle or foul. Tip off for game one happens at 8:00 PM ET. Provided the first game runs smoothly, the second game, each week, will tip off at 8:45 PM ET. Regular season play will be followed by two weeks of what I have dubbed as “May Madness,” our post-season tournament play which will culminate on May 18 when one team is crowned as world champions.
First round pick Matt Slick
With the standings all knotted up at one win and one loss apiece, teams are looking forward to six more weeks of competition, and trying to bring home the first ever Proctor Academy Senior Study Hall Basketball League trophy. If you are interested in following, but cannot be there live, follow our Twitter account @ PAmensleague, created by sophomore Henry Bechok, for the latest stats, player buzz, and interesting facts from around the league.
Senior Basketball Update! The Proctor senior’s time in class is coming to an end and so is the basketball season. The last couple weeks have had some ups and downs. The underdog story of Team Drew was put to a quick end when they were eliminated under a hot performance by Team Caleb. And in the other division there was a battle between team Tsiefu and team Geo. Both of them had the hot hand as Tsiefu dropped 57 points but ultimately Geo’s 62 would turn out to be the difference maker. The championship game is still to be determined but the stage is set between Team Geo and Team Caleb.
Simon, Ross, Raizel, Harry, and Luke
Keep the Debate Team Alive By: Harry Makovsky
After this year, the Proctor Debate Team is going to run into some trouble. As a team entirely made up of seniors, we lack a younger generation to take control after we graduate this year. Due to our unfortunate position, we need interest from current and prospective students to join. If you want to win more arguments, raise your GPA, and meet a ton of other cool and interesting kids, then the Debate Team is perfect for you!
The team came to life three years ago when Ross Kesselman boldly stood in front of assembly and implored the students to take interest in Proctor debate. Ross notes, “When I first came to Proctor I was facing one of the biggest challenges of my life creating a program that had no foundation-- I would have to start from scratch.” Fast-forward two years and now we stand six members strong with multiple tournaments of experience under our belt; we even made it to the Massachusetts state final this year as a student run
team! All the team members, except for Ross, had never debated before. Simon Carruthers says, “I joined the debate team because I had never tried it before and I wanted to involve myself in something academically and socially enriching.” “My analytical writing and public speaking improved drastically,” confirms Simon. By practicing speech and argumentative skills, your aptitude for public speaking and persuasiveness will multiply ten-fold. Also, every month brings a new relevant topic to be studied and argued. For every
tournament, we prepare two cases that are around 1000 words each, fully packed with information about the topic. Simon furthers, “It helped me learn about current events and the pressing matters in our present times.” If academic skills aren’t what you are interested in, debate can help you socially as well. “The debate team is a good way to meet new people,” senior Luke Lockwood adds. Along with having more confidence, you can make new friends on the team and meet others at the tournaments. There are so many opportunities to become a more outgoing and charismatic person. This is a perfect way to engage yourself and connect with students inside and out of our small community. All the team members agree that Proctor Debate Team has given us so much and we want it to remain for future generations to experience. If you have any questions about the team, don’t hesitate to inquire. Keep the Proctor Debate Team alive!
Ross Kesselman, ‘founder’ of Proctor Debate
The Voice of Proctor By: Grey Bechok
Have you ever used the Proctor Academy website? What about the numerous Proctor Academy social media accounts? Have you ever wondered who makes it all happen and keeps everything running? The man in charge happens to be my advisor and coach. Scott Allenby lives in Andover with his wife and three kids. Because Scott wears so many hats at Proctor, I was interested to see what he’d say when I asked him what he does. “I have a number of roles at Proctor. I am the Director of Communications and Marketing, but I am also an advisor, the boys’ varsity basketball assistant coach, and I teach a finance class in the spring.” Scott has also coached boys’ varsity soccer, been a dorm parent, and taught economics classes. Susan Currier and Scott Allenby working with a current Parent. Scott continued, “Our role as a communications team is to help parents feel as though they are a part of their son or daughter’s daily life... in a way that allows them to witness the growth their children are undergoing on a daily basis. Livestreaming games/performances, blog posts, Flickr albums, social media posts, and assembly podcasts all help to bridge this gap and reinforce why trusting their child at Proctor was a good decision.” Most of the blogs for the Proctor website and the Parent Page are written by Scott, and he and his team also manage the Proctor Academy social media accounts. Given how much of Scott’s professional life is based on the digital world, his thoughts around it are particularly interesting. “I think despite all of the technology available to us, the most effective communication is still face to face. We often lose that skill or lose attention to that in such a digital world.” However, the blogs, and especially the parent page are excellent ways for the entire Proctor community to get in on the buzz. Bebe Casey, P’18, said, “As a parent of a day student who spends most of her time on campus, I rely on the parent page to get a peek at what she is doing and what is going on in the community.” Students also rely on Scott’s communication. Senior Griffin Delprete says, “I love following the social media accounts, especially the Instagram page, and reading the blogs every week. I like how Scott incorporates student’s work into his blogs and social media posts.” Each week, Scott writes numerous pieces for the school, but his favorite topic to write about is, “Proctor’s educational model and how it fits within the larger educational landscape. I enjoy identifying and articulating Proctor’s unique strategic fit within a complex market place, and relating that fit directly back to student and faculty stories in action.” He goes on to say, “I think our website has made significant steps forward over the past three years, especially in the integration of video throughout. As we continue to evolve our site, I want to keep bolstering the student voices throughout
Scott watching soccer with his son, Camden.
each program page. Students have the most powerful testimony of the impact of Proctor’s educational model...” Senior Eamonn Healey says, “I really look forward to reading the blogs and the Parent Page every week to see if I, or any of my friends, made it into any of the writing or pictures. Scott keeps us all connected...”
low student expression, but at the time of the election, it seemed to me that conservative students weren’t met with an open mind and were often put down, even by faculty, for speaking out about what they believe in.
As my advisor and coach, Scott has taught me a lot of valuable lessons about life. Part of that has included countless reminders about why it is so important to be smart about how we use our technology. He has taught me that while technology is a very powerful tool that can and should be used to enhance my life, the more important skills for me to have a handle on are the human to human connections. Through his very strong and present voice at Proctor, Scott sets an impressive example for young people.
To me, during this election cycle Proctor didn’t feel like the Proctor I had been a part of for the last four years. I asked Scott about how he felt about my thoughts of Proctor not being as open minded during the time of the election. “I’m not saying there is a right or wrong answer to your question, but rather it is something we must continue to wrestle with as a school, and as a community.
Politics Compromising Core Values By Drew MacInnis
This past election has caused a lot of conflict in the world and has tested many communities. Donald Trump’s principles violate basically all of the core values that Proctor believes in, but so does scorning the Trump supporters in the Proctor community. The election made me feel like Proctor isn’t as open as it was before. I talked with Scott Allenby, the Director of Communications at Proctor, and he also felt that this is a really tough issue. From my experience as a student at Proctor, I didn’t feel as though there was much conversation between faculty and students about the results of the election. In my eyes there seemed to only be tension and frustration rather than any insight into people who believe in what Trump is trying to do for the country. Proctor prides itself on their four core values which are honesty, compassion, respect, and responsibility. Proctor intends to be open minded and al-
As soon as we don’t openly accept somebody else’s beliefs we become [a] close-minded institution… and if we’re not careful, we become a walking contradiction of our own core values. It’s a challenge every educational institution has to wrestle with in its own ways.” After Scott said this, it made me think what it would be like at other schools, and my guess is that it was very similar to the experience I had here. When you go to Proctor’s website, one of the first things you see is a photo with the caption, “Teachers and Students; TOGETHER,” but that is not entirely true in the wake of the election. In some instances if you were showing your support for a certain candidate you were looked down upon by some faculty and it did not feel as though teachers and students were together, actively wrestling with the complexities of our political system. For example, students at a New Hampton football game were scolded by teachers for waving Trump flags. I didn’t feel the compassion from others, which is one of Proctors core values, perhaps because they felt that the candidate I supported didn’t show compassion towards others. I am a Trump supporter and I am not afraid to express that; I have a Trump sticker on my iPad that I use in almost every class. I was very disappointed in the community when certain faculty and students wouldn’t listen to why I support him when the topic of poli-
tics came up. I was always open to listening to others points of view if they were on the left, but I felt like nobody wanted to listen to my point of view. There could have been a lot of valuable conversation that would have been great for all students to hear, but instead the conflict was completely avoided by all members of the community including myself. Scott observed, “I’m not just going to link you as a Trump supporter, or you’re not going to link me as a Bernie supporter or a Hillary supporter, but instead we need to get to the issues and actually have issue-based conversations. Unfortunately, these conversations were entirely missed in the past election cycle because we couldn’t get past the personalities of the candidates. It feels as though this was a miss for all of us.” I agree completely with this, but I also understand why people acted the way they did in such a tense and edgy situation. Truthfully, I felt betrayed by a place that emphasizes how great a strong community can be. But I also let myself down by not trying harder to create conversation about the election. A way this conversation could have happened was if a teacher or student decided to have a town hall during an assembly so that everyone could be in one space to talk about the issue of politics. Unfortunately that did not happen and that is everybody’s fault. It was obvious to me that teachers and students in the school were unable to make the minority group, students with conservative beliefs, feel like they were being treated with respect, compassion, and honesty, three of the four core values at Proctor.