Proctor Academy Bids Farewell to Six Long-time Employees

"Working at Proctor is a lifestyle, not a job"

By Scott Allenby
This year, Proctor celebrated the retirement of six long-time employees, representing over 250 years of service to the school! Here, Peter Southworth does one final walk out of the assembly alongside other departing employees. Photo: Lindsey Allenby

Working at Proctor is a lifestyle, not a job. This year, we have six employees with more than 250 years of service to Proctor retiring. They have shaped countless lives and have shaped the culture of this school we all love. As we bid farewell to this year’s group of retiring educators, we know their impact on Proctor will live on in future generations of employees and students.

Garry George | 1980-2024
This summer, Garry George ’78 retires as the most senior member of our staff or faculty with 44 years under his belt. For four and a half decades, Garry has been a critical member of Proctor’s Maintenance/Facilities Team and has managed the Proctor Ski Area (formerly the Blackwater Ski Area). Whether it was coaching alpine skiing, grooming trails in the middle of the night, creating hands down the best race surface in New England each winter, welcoming collegiate teams and area youth to train at our little hill with a huge impact, or making sure our grass playing fields are among the best in the Lakes Region, Garry’s pride in his work is unparalleled. While he is officially retiring from Proctor, we are confident he will be keeping a close eye on the Proctor Ski Area from his home on Bridge Road and that he will not be a stranger around campus! Thank you, Garry, for your dedication to Proctor and for all you have given of yourself to our mission.

Peter Southworth | 1985-2024
When Peter Southworth joined the Proctor community in 1985 as a Mountain Classroom instructor, neither he nor the school could project the impact he would have over the next 39 years. As a longtime English faculty member, soccer, lacrosse, and Nordic ski coach, dorm parent in Johnson House for a long stretch, Assistant Dean of Students for a period of time, and an invaluable culture keeper for the school, Peter, his wife Alex, and their three daughters Blair ‘09, Story ‘11, and Hallie ‘14, have been “Proctor” for so many alumni, colleagues, and students. As Peter retires this year, we thank him not only for his service to Proctor, but for his impact on student experiences in the classroom and on the Nordic ski trails. We will miss his energy, his smile, his sense of humor, his assembly announcements about the latest Hornet’s Nest, and his commitment to elevating student voices to a place of impact in the community. Thank you for all you have given to Proctor, Pete. We hope that we have been able to return just a fraction of the joy you have given to us.

Patty Pond | 1987-2024
Arriving at Proctor in 1987, Patty Pond’s 37 years of service to Proctor have truly shaped us. Through her work as a math teacher, an advisor, a coach, long-time Mountain Classroom Director, once-upon-a-time Assistant Athletic Director, dorm parent, baker extraordinaire, Java Hut barista, Project Period Coordinator, and so many more roles on campus, she has shaped our community, our understanding of who we are, and who we strive to be. As Patty teaches her last classes and heads into retirement, we say thank you! Thank you for making us better versions of ourselves, each and every day. Thank you for putting others’ needs ahead of your own, for making our students feel loved, and for always leading by doing. Thank you for stewarding Mountain Classroom, for being a mentor to so many young instructors as they guide our students in the backcountry, and for always, always having your pulse on what our community needs.

Keith Barrett | 1991-2024
Connected to Proctor for the vast majority of his life, Keith Barrett ‘80, P’14, ‘16 grew up in Andover while his mother served as the assistant to the Head of School for more than 25 years. He attended Proctor for four years as a day student, graduating in 1980. A graduate of Berklee College of Music, Keith returned to Proctor in 1991 as the Music Director, leading all aspects of the music program at Proctor, including the development of a steel drum band on campus. In 1998, Keith expanded his impact beyond students as he shifted to the Alumni and Development Office, eventually becoming the Director of Development in 2006. During his 19 years as Director of Development, Keith led Proctor through several successful capital campaigns that transformed the campus, grew the school’s endowment significantly, and, perhaps most importantly, shared the magic happening on Proctor’s campus with the greater Proctor Family around the world. While Keith shifted from serving as Music Director to the Development Office in 1998, his passion for music and the impact it can have on people’s lives never waned. Through leading Nick’s Other Band alongside other faculty members, Keith has combined his love and passion for both Proctor and the arts to build community and bring joy to others.

Greg Allen | 1999-2024
Since 1999, Greg Allen has stewarded Proctor’s woodworking program, helping students find their inner craftsman while creating remarkable pieces of art. We are not sure how many board feet of lumber have been turned into boats, furniture, jewelry boxes, or other pieces, but it pales in comparison to the impact Greg has had on Proctor. As he heads into retirement, we send a heartfelt thank you to Greg for being such an amazing educator, Woods Teamer, soccer coach, athlete, friend, and resilient human. The pride of his students as they complete a project, launch a boat they crafted with their own hands into the Proctor Pond, or return for alumni reunion and reminisce about piece of furniture that they still use in their home decades later is something that can only be built in a place like the woodshop alongside a remarkable educator like Greg.

Diane Benson | 1999-2024
While many of our retiring faculty and staff members are student and family facing, Diane Benson has steadfastly served the school behind the scenes as Director of Housekeeping for the past twenty-six years. Arriving on campus before the sun rises, Diane has led by example, working tirelessly to ensure that Proctor’s facilities are clean, functioning, and stocked with supplies for dorms and classrooms during the school year, and then doing the same throughout the summer months for Gordon Research Conferences. While there is very little glamor about the work, the pride Diane and in turn her team have in their work permeate all areas of the Proctor community. Thank you, Diane, for leading by example with grace and with confidence. You will be deeply missed!