Andoverites (from left to right) Lilly Carlson ’22, Sasha MacKenzie ’22, Brynne Makechnie ’22, Lily Menard ’22, and Maura Kelly ’22 celebrate their graduation from Proctor Academy on May 28. Photo and caption: Scott Allenby

On Saturday, May 28, Proctor Academy celebrated its 174th commencement ceremony honoring the Class of 2022. Four years passes in the blink of an eye. 

The high school experience of this class has been as tumultuous as any in recent memory. This group of seniors had a “normal” freshman year, but then missed their sophomore spring due to COVID-19 and had an incredibly abnormal junior year. Their senior year was, again, heavily impacted by the pandemic, different rules and regulations on campus, and the background noise of a disrupted world.

During the 1990s, Proctor adopted an informal motto: Attitude is Everything. Every now and then you will see some tattered t-shirts on our most veteran faculty with the block print reminding us of the importance of this mindset. 

The Class of 2022, through their positivity and resilience, lived this motto to their core. Through quarantines, disappointment, and fear, they chose joy. It permeated each and every corner of campus.

Graduation serves as a culminating celebration of our collective work as a community over the past four years alongside this group of young people. The tears that steadily stream down our faces during the ceremony are this unique mixture of happy-, sad-, proud-, exhausted-tears. 

We cry because we care so deeply about these kids, because when we sit on the mountain top we appreciate the difficulty of the climb. We cry because this chapter of our lives with these kids is over, and because we are so excited to see how the next chapter unfolds. We cry because we see now that the Class of 2022 courageously taught us to choose joy when so many others chose despair. 

What a gift to their families, their classmates, and to us as a school!

Among those recognized at Proctor Academy’s end-of-year awards were the following Andover students:

Maura Kelly ‘22: Clara May Currier Award for Excellence in English; Visual/Industrial Arts Award

Brynne Makechnie ‘22: Alice S. Fowler Award to the student in the graduating class who best exemplifies strength of character, personal dedication, and commitment to the Proctor community; Robert J. Livingston Community Service Award; Andover Lions Club Award

Lily Menard ‘22: Lyle H. Farrell Award to the senior who has performed outstanding service to the school and to their fellow students

River Turnbull ‘22: June and William Noble Award for Excellence in Creative Writing; Stanley V. Wright Award for Excellence in Social Science; Award for Excellence in Spanish