Proctor Celebrates Independence and Interdependence Along with Andover

Andover’s Fourth of July Celebration is a testament to the interdependence of individuals and community groups in small towns. Caption: Scott Allenby. Photo: Lindsey Allenby

Celebrating the Fourth of July in Andover should be added to everyone’s bucket list. The sign on the way into town from the east notes, it is a “Dawn ‘Til Dusk Celebration,” and that is exactly what it is: an endurance sport. 

Kicking off with the annual Lions Club Pancake Breakfast at Andover Elementary/Middle School and ending with fireworks over Carr Field (delayed this year due to rain, but spectacular nonetheless), it is a day when residents of Andover beam with pride. We are not only celebrating the signing of the Declaration of Independence, but the role of active volunteer organizations in creating a supportive local community.

Volunteer firefighters, police officers, local business owners, nonprofits, schools, teachers, sports coaches, local newspapers like the Beacon, historical society leaders, and so many others keep Andover running. We rely on each other to do our part to help our neighbors when they are in need. We certainly each have our own views on how America could do better, but at the microlevel of community, days like today remind us that independence and interdependence are far more closely tied than we are led to believe by the media.

As floats and fire engines carrying veterans, preschoolers, local service organizations, and firefighters paraded down North Street in front of Gulick, MLS, and Sally B, it was hard not to  appreciate this place where we get to live and work: a true community. Even as the rain pelted our umbrellas and soaked the candy thrown from floats to children lining Main Street, we relished the ability to celebrate our freedom.

At Proctor, we take great pride in our nation’s independence, as well as our independence as a school. As an independent school, we set our own curriculum, can start new programs, and shift direction with relative agility. We celebrate learning differently, with our own flare of independence, acknowledging the work we do as a school would not be possible without the support of our families and those within the local community who come to our aid when we need it most. 

If our students were to leave Proctor having only learned one thing, we hope it is a deep understanding of what it means to be a part of a community. No matter how independent we feel in our own lives or as an institution, we will always rely on the support, counsel, and connection of others as we seek to be our best. Thank you to all those in the Town of Andover who help this community thrive.