For an organization like Proctor Academy, one rich with tradition and with employees who have chosen to make the town of Andover their home for decades, an incoming Head of School must adopt a long-run view of implementing incremental change. As Mike Henriques stepped into his role of Head of School during the summer of 2005, he inherited a school in need of physical plant upgrades, but an incredibly rich community. Over the past 16 years, Mike has served as chief steward of this community, all while helping the school navigate challenges, tragedy, financial crises, and so much more.
As Mike turns over the keys to his office in Maxwell Savage Hall to Brian Thomas on July 1, he leaves Brian, Proctor’s employees, students, parents, alumni, and other stakeholders a school that is well positioned for the future and a community who knows who it is and how it can make a positive impact on those it touches. A few evolutions at Proctor during Mike’s tenure as Head of School include:
Off-Campus and Experiential Learning Programs
Proctor in Costa Rica Program (since 2009)
European Art Classroom Program (since 2012)
Summer Service Trips (since 2012)
Summer China Program (since 2016)
New Ocean Classroom partnership with the World Ocean Classroom (2016) and Sailing Ships Maine (2021)
Student Life and Residential Life
Formal Residential Life Program developed and Dean of Residential Life position created.
Comprehensive Wellness Program and Wellness Department Chair appointed.
Supported the launch of the student-run Proctor Coffee House.
Construction/repurposing of four new dormitories: Peabody House (2009), Sally B Dorm (2013), West End Dorm (2016), Cortland House (2016).
Construction of the Brown Dining Commons (2016) as a net-zero dining facility.
Facilitated the purchase of four new faculty/staff residences, housing six faculty/staff families: Cangiano House (2008), Ferguson House (2017), Shirley House (2017), and English House (2018)
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Recommitted Proctor to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice Coordinator position and work.
Renewed Native American Connection, including annual faculty/staff trips to Rosebud, South Dakota for Sundance Festival (since 2014)
Conducted National Association Independent Schools Assessment of Inclusivity and Multiculturalism (2019 and 2020)
Adoption of Environmental Mission Statement by Board of Trustees (2008)
Construction of Walt Wright ‘48 Biomass Plant utilizing wood chips from Proctor land for central heating plant (2008)
Oversaw installation of more than 430 kW of solar production on campus (since 2012)
Developed Proctor Woodlands management partnership with Bronnenberg Logging (since 2018)
Revived annual Alumni Magazine (since 2015)
Expanded Alumni Reunion Programming and Alumni annual giving to 15% (from 4%)
Supported Director of Alumni Relations position to help drive Alumni Association structure and engagement alongside President of the Alumni Association
Arts, Academics, and Athletics
Commitment to Board of Trustees Committee on the Arts
Expansion of art exhibits space around campus for visiting artists
Supported the development of the Academic Concentrations Program
Resurrected Holderness Day festivities to cap the Fall Athletic season each year
Expansion of the Proctor Ski Area into one of New England’s premier alpine and Nordic training and racing venues
Construction of the Farrell Field Complex (2013)
Expansion of the Teddy Maloney Rink ‘88 (2014)
Renovations to the Farrell Field House (2019)
Construction of the Proctor Outdoors Center (2020), making Proctor’s comprehensive athletic facilities the finest in the Lakes Region.
Tangible evolution to programs and financial stability fail to capture the whole of Mike’s impact on Proctor, however. It is through individual relationships — with colleagues, with students, with parents, with community members — that Mike has left his greatest impact. Mike shared the following reflection on the importance of leaders stewarding the communities they lead. We carry these words forward as we help the school navigate this transition in leadership:
“Stewardship. It’s about caring, compassion, respect, and a sense of responsibility. It’s about those values that we hold to be core at Proctor, and when I look around at this community of adults and the attention to details and responsibilities they take up, I am reassured. I know that the time is right for me to step away.
“There are so many who are tending the orchard, helping to ensure the light will continue to penetrate this community for a long time. I am awed by the talent, the academic acumen and community awareness, the selfless commitments that stewardship requires. You give and give and give to let the light in.
“It’s intentional, careful, and strategic in nature, but when it is done well the harvest takes the shape of students finding community awareness, intellectual curiosity, life direction, and a strong sense of self.”
— Mike Henriques, Proctor Academy Head of School (2005-2021)