After a busy summer season running camps of all kinds and their Orientation at Sea Program on SSV TABOR BOY, Tabor Academy will open its doors on September 3 to new and returning students from 26 states and 21 countries from around the world for its 143rd academic year. Seventeen new faculty have joined the community, as well.
The campus has been polished up in anticipation of the students’ return: tennis courts have been resurfaced, dorm rooms repainted, and classrooms refurbished. The school has re-roofed and re-painted many of the dorms and classroom buildings along Front Street and Spring Street and everything is ready for a great year ahead.
Perhaps the most exciting change for the community is the opening of a new dorm, Cornelia Hall, opposite the Fire Station on Spring Street, which has allowed the school to repurpose Daggett House dormitory into use as office space. Four faculty families will welcome twenty-five girls into the new residence on September 3, creating an expanded living/learning community on the south side of campus which now includes three dormitories.
Before settling into classes, student proctors and athletes, as well as new international students, will arrive a few days early to campus for preseason sports practices, orientation, and leadership training. “Preseason is always a fun few days as we enjoy reconnecting with students after the summer and before classes begin. The students are energized as they prepare for new roles and opportunities in the year ahead, help new students learn about their new home, and show improvement in their athletic skills to their teammates and coaches,” shared Kerry Saltonstall, Director of Communications. “There is a lot to defend this fall in sports,” said Saltonstall. “Our Boys’ Cross Country team will be working hard to maintain their position as the ISL League champions, while our Girls’ Soccer team will work to stay on top and win the New England Championship again this year. We hope people will come out and enjoy the games with us.”
When classes begin on September 4, the faculty and staff will have already been hard at work at opening meetings, preparing for the start and organizing their 10-year accreditation visit from the New England Association of Schools & Colleges (NEASC), a process they have been working on for over a year. The NEASC Visiting Team, made up of educators and administrators from like schools, will be on campus September 29 – October 2 to interview faculty, parents, students, and trustees. Saltonstall shared, “The visiting committee’s role is to ensure that what Tabor says about itself in its Self-Study Report is accurate, seeking proof of the narrative through interviewing members of the community, including faculty, staff, parents, alumni, students, and trustees. After all their discussions, the committee will provide a written report that can help the school zero in on areas for growth and improvement.”
With the accreditation visit behind them, Saltonstall shared another area of focus for the school community. “We will continue our ongoing efforts to be a more inclusive learning community by encouraging healthy and informative conversations about different opinions, backgrounds, and cultures. To facilitate this, the theme of perspective has been chosen for the year. We hope to engage students in a wider sharing of opinions, world-views, and personal experiences at community forums and small group discussions in order to take best advantage of the learning opportunities our incredibly diverse and international community provides.”
As the fall arrives, Saltonstall encourages the area community to join Tabor for games, performances, and lectures that will occur throughout the year. “The first event is coming up on October 17th at 7:00 pm in Hoyt Hall. Our visiting author, Rachel Slade, will share a reading from her book Into the Raging Sea, a harrowing tale about the sinking of the container ship El Faro, on which Tabor alumnus Jeff Mathias ’92 served among the crew of 33 souls who were lost at sea. This is a great book to begin a discussion about perspective, leadership, ethics, and responsibility. I invite you to pick up the book and come join us.”