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Summer Portals Reaches Historic Enrollment

Summer Portals Reaches Historic Enrollment

Summer Portals Reaches Historic Enrollment


Summer Portals students picked from 14 different courses offered on campus.

Staff Writer

September 28, 2023

Ethan Choi '26

This summer, the school hosted over 300 students on campus for its Summer Portals Program. This year’s enrollment was the highest in the program’s twenty-year history and included approximately 250 students who attended a single session and over 50 students who participated in multiple sessions. 

As a result of the Covid pandemic, Portals was conducted online for the 2020 and 2021 sessions. In its return to in-person programs in 2022, Portals was more sparsely attended than it had been pre-Covid. 

This year Portals welcomed a new Dean of Summer Programs: Mr. Rick Hazelton, who previously served as Senior Associate Director of College Advising for 17 years. Mr. Hazelton said, “This year, the goal for the Summer Portals was to increase our student enrollment. Our program offi ces made huge strides to reach out to students and schools.” Spencer Humes ’24, Paige Dzenutis ’23, and 15 other alumni served Summer Portals as volunteers and mentors. 

Portals 2023 offered 14 different programs, including “Physics of an Electric Guitar” with Mr. Bill Fenton, instructor in Physics; “Speech & Debate” with Mr. David Conti, Head Coach of Speech & Debate; “Robotics” with Dr. Jeffery Lacosse, instructor in Physics; “Coding & Software Engineering” with Ms. Tammy Andrew, the Music Program with Mr. Fabio Witkowski, director of the visual and performing arts department, and Dr. Gisele Witkowksi, instructor in piano, and a new Fly-Fishing program with Mr. Pierre Yoo, instructor in chemistry. 

The Fly-Fishing program was fully enrolled during its initially-planned one week session. As a result, Mr. Hazelton decided to expand the program to two weeks for next year. Portals in 2024 will continue to expand and offer additional classes, including a DNA Science program. 

Campus also hosted a variety of non-school sponsored programs. The Arsenal Soccer Camp took place between July 3-7. The Rafa Nadal Tennis Academy returned to Hotchkiss after its break due to Covid. The Concord Review, a journal that publishes the academic research of secondary school students, offered a workshop on writing historical research papers. 

Campus also hosted students and faculty from Prep-for-Prep, an organization that helps prepare African American and Latino students from New York City for boarding high schools in the northeast. Mr. Hazelton said, “You probably have classmates who are part of Prep Nine, which is an organization that helps students from under-resourced areas, get access to independent school education.” 

Mr. Hazelton credited this year’s success to many members of the school community. He said, “Ms. Lisa Brown, chief of staff to the Head of School, all the people in groundskeeping, the physical plant staff, the housekeeping staff, the fellows and volunteers, and the people who were always there to help were truly the reason this year’s program was the most successful.”

Ethan Choi is a staff writer for The Record.

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Editor's Note: This article was recovered from The Record's online archive. There may be stylistic and visual errors that interrupt the reading experience, as well as missing photos. To read this article as it appeared in print, view our print archives.

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Editorials are written by members of The Record's Executive Board. They typically center on issues related to the school or student life on campus.

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