Nobles Parents' E-Newsletter

September 2011

Nobles Parents' E-Newsletter September 2011

September 11th and the Nobles Community by Bob Henderson, Head of School

Most of us remember with great clarity the cloudless, perfect, blue sky 10 years ago, early on the morning of September 11, as we headed off on our business with no sense of what the next several horrific hours would bring. The vast majority of the parents receiving this newsletter were not part of this community at that juncture, so I think it is important to let everyone know how profoundly the events of that day impacted the people who were here. Moreover, the story says a great deal about Nobles and how we navigate and endure such a crisis. This September 9, during a Friday morning Assembly, we will take some extra time for our 10th remembrance of those events, and hopefully your students will arrive home that evening with a fuller understanding of the importance of that day in a national context, as well as how deeply and indelibly September 11, 2001, is etched into the experience and consciousness of this school. The opening of school is a joyous time, full of anticipation and promise, yet it is also important to remember those sacrifices and powerful experiences that have forever shaped our identity.

We all recall exactly where we were and what we were doing at the moment we heard the news. I find it somewhat sobering that now, when I talk about this event in Assembly, many of the youngest students in the audience do not remember that day, although they probably have many impressions shaped by the media. My own memories are crystal clear—I walked out of a trustee committee meeting at 9 a.m. and my assistant at the time, Angela Camp, was listening to NPR. She informed me that a plane had struck the World Trade Center. As information began to flow in, it was accompanied by an immense amount of rumor, wild speculation and fear. Later that morning, as the situation in New York and Washington became steadily more horrifying and confusing, we assembled our crisis management team—a group that included our school counselors and senior administrators—and we outlined our response. We prepared messages for parents, and informed faculty how to be appropriately and fully supportive of students. We set up places for students to meet with counselors, and briefed everyone answering phones on how to reassure parents and others that everyone was safe and cared for. We established limited access to and from the campus, with security at our gates. And we made the decision to proceed for the time being with our normal daily academic and afternoon program schedules, to provide a predictable environment where we could easily account for everyone.

While the events that unfolded that morning were frightening for everyone, several students were more directly affected. These were students who knew they had a parent or relative in New York or Washington, or who knew they had a parent who had boarded a plane that morning. We quickly became aware of this, and we worked with counselors and families to help those young people manage the anxiety of that day. Gradually folks were accounted for, as phone calls got through and planes were swiftly brought back to airports all over the country. Very sadly, however, we learned that not everyone in our extended school community was safe.

Shortly after lunch on September 11, at 1 p.m., we gathered the entire school in Lawrence Auditorium. I related the facts as I best understood them, and I tried to lend perspective to the overwhelming horror of it all. The next morning we had an extended Assembly that ran for a couple of hours where we opened up the stage to anyone who had a thought to share. This was a special, powerful and cathartic moment for the community, as students of every age and their teachers came forward and spoke about the full range of topics and emotions that those events elicited, from the impact on individuals and families, to broad reflections on problems in the world. In the days that followed, there would be other gatherings, wrenching for everyone, as we headed off to funerals, memorial services, and receptions for those who were lost and their families.

By September 12, we had confirmed that three current and former Nobles parents had lost their lives on a doomed plane that left Boston headed for Los Angeles on that beautiful and terrible morning. They were Richard Ross, father of Franklin of the Class of 2002; Cora Hidalgo Holland, mother of Nate of the Class of 2001 and Jessica of the Class of 1997; and Sonia Puopolo, mother of Mark of the Class of 1990. While she was not a member of the Nobles faculty at that time, once she joined this community we learned that Spanish teacher Meg Jacobs had lost her brother, John Randall, in the North Tower of the World Trade Center. These losses brought the impact of September 11 especially close to home for everyone here at Nobles, and it has meant that our annual remembrance Assembly is particularly poignant and important.

This year, on the 10th such remembrance, Meg Jacobs will speak about her brother. We annually, in a gathering of all school employees, present to a particularly dedicated member of the school staff an award named for Cora Hidalgo Holland, given by her family in honor of Cora’s love and support for those individuals — this year, for the first time, we will also do this in the memorial Assembly. And annually I share the two paragraphs that follow about the victims connected to our community. These words address in many ways what I think is most important about a Nobles education and the values that bind us together:

“Richard, Cora, Sonia and John were victims of the deepest sort of intolerance, of fanaticism, of hatred driven by irrational ideology. They were all loving people whose lives were dedicated to their families. All four were aware of and thankful for the blessings that this life had bestowed upon them, grateful for the love with which they were surrounded, and for the opportunity to love others. In their own different traditions, they took solace in their faith. They were also generous and giving, with commitments to service and helping others less fortunate. These four were from different ethnic backgrounds and religious traditions, yet they all shared a connection, through the tragedy of that day, with this community and with each other. They represent a microcosm of all that is best in this country, and in this extended school community. Their loss was a stunning waste.

“We are left to derive meaning and purpose, not from death, but from the richness of their lives. It is our obligation to continue that dialogue and quest, to affirm life and direction from an act still so incomprehensible, for if we do not seek to understand, it will control and direct us against our will. From insanity and grief we must seize and restore rationality, morality and aspiration, and that will be the most profound measure of ultimate victory. With steady determination, we must affirm our values and principles as Americans and as human beings in the face of this most stark and egregiously violent challenge.”

What's New at

We're sure you noticed—everything is new about! After more than a year of research, focus groups, brainstorming and hard work, the school is proud to present the new and improved Nobles website. The goal is for this site to do more than just tell the story of Noble and Greenough School; we want to show people what makes this place special. The stories, photos and videos featured on the public pages showcase the depth of our programs and personality of our community. And, while there's no way to learn everything there is to know about Nobles just from visiting the website, we hope helps encourage people to want to learn more.

A lot of planning and thought went into each section of the site (and each section will continue to evolve over the course of the website's first year!). One of the most robust and resourceful sections of the web is undoubtedly the Nobles Community. Located at the far right of the navigation bar, the password-protected Nobles Community pages will be your go-to spot for personalized information. Whether you are a parent, student, faculty or staff member, or graduate, once you log on to the Nobles Communtiy page you will find helpful information, tools and resources, schedules and notices tailored to your needs. 

We know there will be questions and suggestions throughout the year, and especially during the opening weeks of school. Please don't hesitate to contact us. If you have trouble logging on, email and someone will get back to you as soon as possible. If you have other comments or suggestions, please contact Julie Guptill, Director of Digital Communication and Assistant Director of Communications, at

Throughout the year, this monthly E-Newsletter will highlight new or different features from In the meantime, we encourage you to explore the site and all that it has to offer.

This Month's Top Tips

1. Keeping Track of the Calendar: You'll hear this directive often—log in! In order to see everything going on at Nobles, both school-wide and specific to you, you must log in first. Once you are logged in, you will have access to "Featured Events," "My Sports" and "My Events" tabs in the Community page and full access to the Calendar, located at the top of any page.
2. Newsworthy Notes: One of the hallmarks of has always been its dynamic "coverage" of day-to-day events. You can still find news stories online. Check out large image, general interest homepage stories (which will refresh every few weeks) and the Featured News (located at the bottom right of the homepage). Also, click the "News" section at the top of any page for up-to-the-minute news, photo and video galleries, Parents Newsletters and online versions of the Nobles Bulletin. Still looking for more? There's also a "News" tab on your communtiy page.
3. On the Playing Fields: The Athletics web page is a fan favorite. Click on Athletics for program overviews, partnerships, team information, videos, photo galleries and more. Also, be sure to check out the "Nobles @ the Next Level" to follow the college athletic careers of recent Nobles graduates.
4. Report an Absence/Tardy/Dismissal: When you log in and visit the Parents Community Page, click the "About Me" section. Next to each of your children's name will be links to his/her schedule, class list, etc. There is also a link to submit an absence, tardy or early dismissal. If you know ahead of time that your child will be away from school, you can schedule the submission for a later date.

Hoping for Some Bumps and Bruises by Ben Snyder, Head of Upper School

An occupational hazard for me is encountering countless articles and books on teaching, learning, adolescent behavior, the brain, education and parenting. It is rare when something strikes me as so simple, so clear and so relevant that, if I could, I would make it mandatory reading for Nobles parents. Yet this summer I came across two pieces that I would recommend without hesitation to every family connected to Nobles.

Wendy Mogel’s The Blessing of a B Minus (Click here to check it out on and the July/August cover story of The Atlantic: "How the Cult of Self-Esteem is Ruining our Kids – How to Land your Kid in Therapy" (Click here for the article) are simply the two best pieces on parenting I’ve encountered in years. The central themes presented in both revolve around how important it is for our children to develop—on their own—the skills and capacities of resilience and perseverance they will need to develop their identities and ultimately lead fulfilling lives.

Unfortunately, resilience and perseverance are often best developed when things don’t go well and one has to find ways to respond positively to disappointment or setback (for me, this was the primary value of initially being cut from and ultimately playing for teams in high school and college). As I read these two works I couldn’t help but think back to when our own children were in elementary school and at Nobles; Did Sarah and I rush to their defense too quickly if something went wrong or rationalize their misdeeds or mistakes in some way? Did we give them enough independence to make their own mistakes and learn from them? It is in those bumps and bruises of adolescence (not getting the desired role in the play, not receiving the hoped-for grade in a tough class, not making that aspired-for team, and/or making mistakes or bad choices) during which resilience and perseverance are developed.

During the course of this excruciatingly difficult summer for our nation politically and economically, I kept thinking about what we need to teach Nobles students to be effective leaders in that kind of environment, and I kept coming back to two things. First, we need to teach our students to be people of utmost integrity and character. Second (and more salient to this newsletter article), our children need to learn to weather tough storms on their own, finding (for themselves) ways to move forward from disappointment and to be realistic about the problems they face.

Go buy the book, download the article and find some time to sit, read, and reflect. I look forward to the ongoing conversation and a good 2011-'12 school year.

Navigating the Uncharted Path by Bill Bussey, Provost

About six months after my wife Nan and I moved into our first home, we were held hostage by a massive blizzard. At that time we hadn’t really gotten to know the couple across the street, but I could see that he had just bought a truck with a plow to earn a little extra cash. I couldn’t believe my good luck when my neighbor told me that if I got my cars out of the driveway, he’d plow it. I pulled the cars out and, in five minutes, he took care of it. He wouldn’t take any money; said it was no big deal. Excited and energized by my good fortune, I waved thanks, backed out of my driveway and nailed the rear of his parked truck. As we stood staring at the damage done, I stammered out an apology and said I’d take care of it. I then waited for him to explode. Without missing a beat, he shrugged, “Ah, forget it. It’s just a truck.” And with a pat on my shoulder, he said nothing more and disappeared back into his house.

I have often felt the true measure of any individual is how they respond when bad fortune comes to visit. In that regard, this guy set the bar.

People have different reasons for sending their children to an independent school like Nobles, but how we as parents, choose to navigate our children when things go awry has, in my mind, a far more lasting and profound impact on this community than all the college acceptances stacked together. At critical junctures we are capable of being our own worst enemy. The “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” question for most parents is: how much involvement is too much? With this in mind, I hope you will find what follows of some use.

You must outlast your child. As you get older and lose a little of your fastball, they grow stronger, as if almost feeding off your demise. They are energized by the sheer fact that you are in the other room snoring as they are typing away on Facebook well past two in the morning. They own the night. They will wear you down about how late to stay out and with whom, berate you when you want to call the parents of the child hosting the party, push the buttons that make you say something instantly regrettable and a month later throw it back at you, and remind you time and again that you “don’t own them.” They will, at any given moment and for no apparent reason, find fault with the following: you, Nobles and everybody. Stay the course. Be the parent not the friend. Know that despite what they say and do, they love and need you more than anything else in the world. Above all, be ready for those important conversations that they seem to quietly initiate just as the house catches fire or the cat is giving birth. On those occasions, you must drop everything and just listen or you will blow your chance. They often are not seeking advice. They need you to just listen.

It is important that your child owns his/her setbacks. I cannot stress just how important this one is in the grand scheme of things. Kids need to face their setbacks without demonizing others or making face-saving excuses. Nobles is as solid a place as any that I have ever known for a kid to experience setbacks or make mistakes. The sooner they learn to face the facts, accept responsibility, and most importantly, get to the heart of why things played out the way they did, the better. By learning to advocate for themselves (not to be confused with self-promotion or currying favor), students learn not only valuable social skills but also how to build genuine, demystifying relationships with the intimidating adult world. The students who can find the self-confidence to engage adults in conversations, employing the same honest attitude and tone that they use with their friends, are often viewed among their peers as the most respected and trusted students in the community. If your child finds it difficult to advocate for him/herself for whatever reasons, reach out to the advisor for a little help.

Don’t let them put all their eggs in one basket. The one regret that most graduates acknowledge is that they did not participate in a play or musical. They also wish that they could have gotten to know certain teachers and some of their classmates better. Yet, one could argue that the one understandable misstep that many kids make, even more pronounced these days in the era of specialization, is that they often allow what they believe to be their area of expertise and/or a certain group of kids to define them far past the expiration date. Once it becomes clear that they may not make the J.V. squad or bring home high marks, many students understandably struggle with their own identity and where they fit in. Friendships can turn on a dime, too, and arguably there is nothing more wrenching than sensing that your child has had a falling out or does not seem to be connecting with peers. Don’t hesitate to reach out to someone at the school if this becomes a growing concern, but know that there are limitations and real pitfalls with social engineering. Know, too, that the shame and anxiety that kids feel at falling short in any area that also causes you to be anxious often results with two things taking place, neither one ideal. They will shut you out in large measure to spare themselves the agony of seeing your disappointment or they will dish the inside scoop, often omitting or adding key elements, about everything and everybody in order to assuage you that things could be worse. That’s not bonding; that’s binding. You need to be patient and allow your children the time and room to find their way. The wider your children’s experience at this School and the more opportunities that they seize to “play well with others”, from clubs to Community Service to Ultimate Frisbee, the greater likelihood they will evolve into the confident and empathetic adults that they were meant to be.

Plan for the unexpected. Your child is going to make mistakes and some of them may test you in ways that will rattle the family dynamic. Do you have a plan if your child repeatedly lies to you, swipes a bottle from the liquor cabinet, or plagiarizes a school assignment? Before you initiate the conversation in which all the cards are laid on the table, make sure that you know exactly what you are going to say, what actions will follow, and what is the endgame. If the School is involved, let’s agree at the outset to be partners: we both want what is best for your child.

For me, as a kid, the most indelible, life-changing moments came out of nowhere, when my own actions had painted me into a corner, leaving me staring at someone who had a firm grip on all the facts and who had every right to tighten that grip and leave me deservedly breathless. But the ones who made a difference, the folks I thought about years later, were the ones who at that moment chose to loosen their grip, and with a few well-chosen words figuratively throw an arm around my shoulder. And then they let go.

By managing our own expectations and taking a long view of things, we are better able to give our kids the breathing room that will allow them to maintain their dignity as they navigate the thousand paper cuts that come with being a teenager. When they are at their worst—that is when we must love them the most.

Summer and The Myth of the Agrarian Calendar by Erika Guy, Dean of Students

Earlier this summer, 11 eager Nobles students, colleague Jess Brennan and I ventured out on Nobles' first-ever Farm and Food Systems Service trip. It was seven days of working in the fields of a small organic farm in rural New Hampshire, supplemented with daily trips to food-related industries in the region (cheese makers, mushroom growers, bread makers, orchards, etc.). It was a glorious time, filled with the sights and smells of farm, the joy of discovery (i.e. farmers never get a day off), and the thrill of ending the day with sore backs, sunburned faces and a genuine sense of having contributed. I like to think that the students became as enamored of the gentle ways of dairy cows as I. The gift that enabled our learning is called SUMMER.

Every now and again, there erupts an educational movement that takes aim at our summer hiatus. I now feel marginally qualified to weigh in on the perennial debate about summer vacation. To say that summer break is modeled on antiquated agrarian needs is absurd. Anyone who knows anything about farming, knows that the busiest times on the land are spring and fall: planting, calving and lambing in the spring and harvest in the fall.

But according to "A Brief History of Summer Vacation," a Time Magazine article written by Alex Altman several years ago, the summer vacation we know and love has not always been the norm:

“In the decades before the Civil War, schools operated on one of two calendars, neither of which included a summer hiatus. Rural schooling was divided into summer and winter terms, leaving kids free to pitch in with the spring planting and fall harvest seasons. Urban students, meanwhile, regularly endured as many as 48 weeks of study a year, with one break per quarter. In the 1840s, however, educational reformers like Horace Mann moved to merge the two calendars out of concern that rural schooling was insufficient and—invoking then current medical theory that over stimulating young minds could lead to nervous disorders or insanity. Summer emerged as the obvious time for a break: it offered a respite for teachers and alleviated physicians' concerns that packing students into sweltering classrooms would promote the spread of disease.”

While the various plans to eradicate summer predict bold and considerable benefits (higher SAT scores, increased high school graduation rates, etc.), many schools that adopted year-round calendars during the 1990s have returned to the traditional model. What those towns and school districts learned was that there is healing balm in the slowed pace, the change of scenery, and the temporary suspension of the nomos.

Soon enough, the pace will quicken, the patterns will return and we will head full speed into a new school year, but for just a little while, I hope you all can cling to some of the luxury of an institution that glorifies childhood.

Welcome back and thanks for reading,

Erika Guy, Dean of Students

Class III Reps: Hillary von Schroeter (left) and Lyndsay Charron

September 2011: Class III Notes

Dear Class III Parents,

Hello and welcome to your student’s sophomore year at Nobles! Class III has seven new students entering this fall, so please join in welcoming them and their families. We are looking forward to serving as your 2011-2012 Class III Parent Representatives. Please call or email either of us with questions.

Below we have highlighted just a few of the important school and Class III dates for the year. Several of these events need volunteers and we encourage you to get involved in whatever way you feel most comfortable. We will have sign-up sheets for these opportunities at Back to School Night and at our first Parent Coffee.

One very helpful piece of advice for parents: Please check the Nobles website,, often in order to view the entire calendar of events throughout the year. Make sure to log into the website to view parent and class-specific calendar events! This will keep you up to date and well informed of your student’s life at Nobles.

Here are a few important dates to remember:

  • First Day of Upper School Classes: September 7, 8 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • Fall Parents’ Association Social: September 10, 6:30-9 p.m.
  • Back to School Evening: September 20, 6-9:30 p.m.
  • Class III Parent Coffee: September 22, 8-9:30 a.m.
  • Grandparents Day: September 30, 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
  • Multicultural Fair: September 30, 2:30-6 p.m.
  • Class III Parent Fall Social: November 4, 7-10 p.m.
  • Head of School Dinner Dance: March 31, Class III Students only

We look forward to seeing you at the start of school and enjoy the final lazy days of summer!


Hillary von Schroeter,
Lyndsay Charron,

Save the Date: Nobles Night

Thursday, October 27, 2011 at 6:30 p.m.
Please note: This is NOT a student event

For further information, contact Katherine Minevitz, Special Events Coordinator at 781-320-7009 or

Traffic Advisory

Due to the ongoing road construction on Rte. 128/US 95 and Exit 18 (Great Plain Avenue), all campus visitors should use Exit 16 (Rte. 109) to get to Nobles.

Class I Reps: (from left) Amy Reiner, Jane Rigoli and Lynda Macdonald

September 2011: Class I Notes

Dear Class I Families,

Welcome back to Nobles! We hope you all had a wonderful summer and are ready to embark on an exciting Class I year. Senior year is an exhilarating and dynamic time for both students and parents. Nobles has many wonderful Class I traditions that help create lasting memories for students and their families.

We (Amy Reiner, Jane Rigoli and Lynda Macdonald) are thrilled to be your Class Representatives this year and hope to make this a fun and memorable experience for every student and family. That being said, we are aware of the many stresses that can lurk beneath the surface at this exciting time and have planned a number of events to help keep the balance of work and fun close at hand. We will be working with Class I Deans Meg Hamilton and Nahyon Lee to keep you informed of upcoming events, activities for students and opportunities for getting involved. We welcome and need many helping hands and creative minds to make these events successful.

Please check each monthly Parent’s E-Newsletter for updates and information from us so that you can enjoy this year to the fullest. To start, please mark your calendars for:

Tuesday, September 6: CLASS I RETREAT
“Grab and Go Breakfast”

6:30-9 p.m.
The Castle

8 a.m.
The Castle

7-8:30 p.m.
Towles Auditorium

Friday, September 16: *CLASS I “SURPRISE” BREAKFAST"
7:30-9 a.m.
Location TBD

Tuesday, September 20: BACK TO SCHOOL NIGHT
6:20-9:20 p.m.

Monday, September 26: CLASS I PARENT COFFEE!!
8 am
The Castle

Monday, October 31: *CLASS I “SURPRISE” LUNCH
The Castle

Saturday, November 19: CLASS I PARENT DINNER
6:30-9:30 p.m.
The Castle

*Please remember that these events are SURPRISES FOR THE STUDENTS, so SHHH…our lips are sealed!

We look forward to participating and volunteering with you at Nobles this year! The Class I Volunteer Form can be found in the Parents' Community Pages of the Nobles website and we will have copies at the Parent Coffee and Back to School Night. Please feel free to contact us at any point during the year with questions or suggestions. Our emails and phone numbers are below.

Amy Reiner (; 781-431-8993)
Jane Rigoli (; 508-269-2433)
Lynda Macdonald (; 617-921-9889)

Class IV Reps: Anna Abate (left) and Marca Katz

September 2011: Class IV Notes

Welcome Class IV Parents,

We hope you are looking forward to an exciting beginning of your child’s high school years at Nobles. Welcome back to all returning families, and a warm welcome to the many new families joining this wonderful community. Anna and I are excited about our roles as the Class IV Reps, and look forward to working with you throughout the year. This year will be one of transition for everyone, as old friends become reacquainted and new friendships are formed. Part of our job will be to ensure the parents get to know each other, whether by attending parent coffees/socials, or volunteering in any way that suits you. During the first month of school, sign-up sheets will be available (at Back to School night and the Parent coffee), but feel free to contact us any time during the year with ideas, suggestions, or questions.

Below we have highlighted a few important school and Class IV upcoming events. We also encourage you to regularly check the new and updated Nobles website for additional happenings at school throughout the year. And, remember, you will get the most information from the Parents Pages and the calendar if you log in first! Visit for more information.

  • Sept. 6: School starts, Class Retreats
  • Sept. 10: Parent social
  • Sept. 13: First Parent Associations' meeting
  • Sept. 20: Back to School Night
  • Sept. 27: Class IV Parents’ coffee
  • Sept. 30: Grandparents’ Day and Multicultural Fair

Thank you in advance for your support and participation, we look forward to meeting you within the next few weeks.

Marca Katz (mother of Ian),
Anna Abate (mother of Toni),

Volunteer at Back-to-School Night

Back-to-School Night on Tuesday, Sept. 20, from 6-9:30 p.m. is a very well attended event during which parents attend classes, meet advisors, class deans and coaches. To pull off a successful evening, the Head's Office could use some help from parent volunteers.

If you are interested in volunteering at Back-to-School Night, click here to sign up. Thank you in advance!

From the Foster Gallery

Chasing Ideas: Art Without Boundaries in the Work of Whitney Robbins '86

ExhibitFoster Gallery is pleased to announce the first show of our 2011-'12 season, a solo show of works by artist and Nobles graduate, Whitney Robbins '86. Robbins is the consummate artist/teacher, having shown widely in the New England area and also active as a visual arts teacher/coach at Rivers. For this exhibition, she revisited “Art Without Boundaries,” a class she took during her sophomore year at Nobles which she found formative in the clarification of her ideas about art and teaching and ultimately helped her carve her own path in both. Robbins will transform the gallery space through drawings, paintings, prints, sculpture, and installation to celebrate the ways in which art can communicate, inspire and teach. Robbins will be on campus, visiting classes on Friday September 23. Please join us later that day for an opening reception from 5-7 p.m. The opening reception is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

Coming to Foster Gallery in October/November: Doug Casebeer and John Gill, two exceptional ceramics artists. More info to follow.

Class I Deans' Report

Welcome back! We hope that you had a wonderful summer and that you are ready to start a new school year. Having both taught the Class of 2012 in History class, we find it hard to believe that they are now about to start their final year at Nobles.

As Class I Co-Deans, we are excited for the upcoming school year and all that awaits. We both had fulfilling summers. Meghan spent much of June and July meeting with students and their families regarding the college process. She and her husband also bought a new home this spring and they have been busy getting settled before their first child arrives this November. In addition, Nahyon traveled to Korea on a three-week fellowship where she studied Asian history and culture through the Korean Society. At the end of her trip she visited Beijing where she was able to see the Great Wall, Tiananmen Square, the Summer Palace, and other famous landmarks. We both feel refreshed to start the new school year and to help Class I students set the tone as the new leaders of the Nobles community.

We will help students kick-off their senior year at the annual Class Retreat held at Camp Bournedale. Every year the goal of the retreat is to give students time to reconnect with their classmates after the summer, enjoy time with each other, and help them think about their goals for the upcoming school year. Students will engage in a successful program which focuses around the theme “Telling Our Stories.” By sharing their stories, we believe that students will learn more about one another and as a result have stronger relationships and become even better leaders. In addition to the stories, we will provide time for students to set personal goals for the school year. Also, the college office will give a presentation of the “Nuts and Bolts of the College Application Process.” It sounds like a packed schedule, but there will be plenty of time for them to hang out, relax, and have fun before the busy fall begins.

Class I students have many new things about which to be excited. In just a few short days, they will have a fresh schedule, a line-up of different teachers with higher expectations, an altered Assembly seat, and new leadership roles to assume. With everything new comes some anxiety and we can all agree that this fall will be stressful at times for seniors as they will have to balance their academic, extracurricular and social commitments with the foreign terrain of the college application process. Because all that comes with senior year can be daunting, we want to remind you that your child will be well supported. Throughout the fall, a good portion of Class Meetings will be dedicated to helping students stay on task, however, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to call one of us, the College Counseling Office or the student life team.

We would also like to give a big thank you to the Class I Parent Representatives, Lynda MacDonald, Amy Reiner and Jane Rigoli, who have already been busy planning for the year ahead. We are sure they will be in touch with you soon about upcoming senior events.

Finally, we look forward to seeing you at Back to School Night on September 20, if not before then. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with this dynamic, creative, and very talented senior class.


Meghan Cleary Hamilton and Nahyon Lee

Class II Reps: Pat Burns (left) and Kristi Geary

September 2011: Class II Notes

Welcome back, Class II parents! Let’s reconnect, celebrate Fall and kick off junior year together at the following two events:

Class II Parents Coffee – Thursday, September 8, 8 a.m., Castle Library. Please drop by to say hello to Michael Denning, Director of College Counseling, mingle with other parents, and help plan our Class II Parents Fall Dinner.

Class II Parents Fall Dinner – Friday, September 16, 6:30 p.m., Bill and Kristi Geary’s home, 7 Longmeadow Road, Wellesley. Invitation and details to follow.

Look forward to seeing everyone!

Class II Parent Reps,

Pat Burns,
Kristi Geary,

Nobles Theatre Collective

Welcome back! We hope you had a great summer! The Nobles Theatre Collective (NTC) would like to extend a warm welcome to our new families. During the 2011-2012 school year, the NTC will produce three mainstage shows, as well as a student-directed and Middle School production. 

  • The fall mainstage play, Romeo and Juliet, written by William Shakespeare will be performed November 9-12.
  • The winter mainstage play, the title of which is yet to be announced, will be performed February 22-25.
  • The spring musical, Hairspray, will be performed May 15-19.
  • Also, the student-directed plays will be performed February 2 and 3 and the Middle School play will be performed February 16 and 17.

There are many ways to get involved and to meet members of the Nobles community, including organizing family potlucks, providing snacks for participants, helping to sell refreshments at intermission and/or ushering. If you would like to volunteer or have any questions please contact the 2011-2012 NTC reps, Miguel Urena at or Maureen Shiels Norment at You can also volunteer using the NTC Parent Volunteer Form on the Parents’ password-protected page on the Nobles website.

The NTC's motto for the year is "Theatre for YOU" and we hope that your children will take a class, act in a production, work backstage, and/or bring you to see some shows. Here’s to a great start of the school year. We are very excited to be a part of the NTC team and working with all of you.

Thank you,
Miguel Urena and Maureen Shiels Norment

From Community Service

As summer winds to a close, it is easy to get focused on what follows: backpacks, last minute reading assignments, new shoes and high hopes for the year to come. There is at least one summer item, however, that needs closure if your child has been doing some useful service commitments during the past few months. Not only do we need to verify and record the hours and site information—including an evaluation form from the agency attesting to your child's volunteer service—from summer work, but, even more importantly for your child, we are collecting their reflections on the service itself.

I have wonderful sabbatical memories of the volunteer hours I performed at the Lilla G. Frederick Middle School in Dorchester from September through January, and a few pictures on my phone of the students whom I came to love. But I have to admit, that I did not adequately note in words the feelings as they happened for me during this important experience. I regret it. I did better when I went to Louisiana to work in the Community Center of St. Bernard in the spring, and I noticed with pleasure when I talked about the Nobles NOLA trip experience with Linda Hurley that her admonition to her youngsters was to write about the moment while they still were in the moment before the details of each day slipped by. The other adults on the service trip kept the spirit of writing alive for themselves and, therefore, so did the Nobles kids. They will be able to share their weeks in New Orleans with specificity and depth, due in large part to the expectation that they needed to turn in sections of their journals.

This expectation extends to all service work for Nobles credit. During the course of the 80 hours of experiential learning on a service site, each student should be submitting six typed, double-spaced, two-page memoirs describing the type of agency for which they worked, how they felt about the assignment, and what they believe about this kind of volunteering. It can be honest; not all service work elicits rave reviews! But it should be an authentic set of thoughts from the student submitted before the experience fades in the fast pace of academic and athletic experiences.

We hope you will call or email us with any questions you might have about the work for which your child would like credit. We can discuss whether this particular service stint is the one that would best suit a set of journals and we can make sure to keep accurate data for your child as he/she pursues service credit. You can find the Community Service Form in the Parents Community Page of the website. Log in, and visit the "Odds & Ends" section under "Parents' Association." Your child also has access to this form in the Students Community Page. Questions or comments can be emailed to or

Remind your youngster that now is the time to get this done. Later, too much will be on the schedule, and it could get pushed to the "not now" category. The result will be less than satisfying for your child to write about, and surely less meaningful in terms of product. Norbet Platt said, "The act of putting pen to paper encourages pause for thought, this in turn makes us think more deeply about life, which helps us regain our equilibrium."  I think serving one's community does this too, but unexamined, the work itself cannot alter us much.

We look forward to reading your son's or daughter's reflections. Hopefully, soon!
Sandi MacQuinn and Linda Hurley

Save the Date! Spend Sunday, September 11, in Western Mass with the Community Service Dept., helping to reconstruct damaged sites after the June tornado. We will transport Nobles people. More details to follow.

Save the Date: Multicultural Fair

Events, MSA, Parents Association, ALANA
Thanks again to all those who made last
year's fair a huge success!

Mark your calendars for a great community event on September 30, 2011!

We would like to extend the invitation to host a table for the 2011 Multicultural Fair. This year the Fair is going to take place from 2:30 to 6 p.m. at the MAC.

Planning for the fair has already begun; representatives from Mexico, France, and the Dominican Republic have already signed up to host tables, and we hope to have many more with your help!

If you would like to host a table, volunteer, suggest cultural performances or to donate to the event, please click here for the volunteer form or email Miguel Ureña at 

More information will follow. It is going to be a great Fair and we can't wait to see you there!

Thanks for your support,
Miguel Ureña
Multicultural Fair Co-Chair

Write to Us!

The E-Newsletter is a monthly resource for parents. If you have comments, submissions or suggestions, please contact E-Newsletter Editor Julie Guptill at

You can find the current issue, along with back issues in the archive at

Nobles Yard Sale

Back by popular demand, the Nobles Yard Sale will be held again this Fall! Please clean out your closets, garages and basements and save us your BEST stuff!

We are looking for items in GOOD CONDITION, only including clothes, toys, books, jewelry, sports equipment, homegoods, etc. (NO ELECTRONICS please). We will start collecting contributions in the Bliss Omni Rink in October.

Please come to our organizational meeting on Tuesday, September 13, immediately following the PA meeting. 

We are also looking for volunteers to sort, price and organize the week of October 11th. It is a very fun event and a great way to meet other families. All proceeds benefit scholarships and faculty enrichment. All hands welcome on Thursday, October 13, after the PA meeting to begin to set-up the rink!

Remember, Reduce, REUSE and recycle!

Thank you for your support!
Rikki Conley,
Heather Woodworth,

Grandparents Day

The PA Special Events Committee is busy planning for Grandparents' Day on
Friday, September 30, 2011. The daylong event gives grandparents (or in lieu of grandparents, a significant adult figure other than the child's parents) an “inside view” of a typical day at Nobles. Grandparents received an invitation/schedule of events by mail during the week of August 8. If your parents did not receive an invitation, please call Kathy Johnson at 781-320-7001 and she will send one out promptly.

Many parent volunteers are needed. If you would like to help out on Grandparents' Day, click here to complete the Grandparents' Day Volunteer Form.

If you have questions regarding Grandparents' Day schedule and activities, please contact Katherine Minevitz at

2011-2012 PA Co-Chairs: Pam Notman (left) and Carolyn Harthun

Welcome to the 2011-’12 school year! We hope you’ll join us as we kick off the school year on Saturday, Sept. 10, with a Parents’ Back-to-School Social. The social is a casual and relaxing way for new and returning parents to meet one another and a great way to reacquaint with old friends. It is sure to be a spirited evening.

All Nobles parents and guardians are automatically members of the Nobles Parents’ Association or “PA”. The PA plays many roles at Nobles but most importantly it is our goal to help Nobles’ families feel welcomed and integral to the everyday workings of our school. We encourage you to take advantage of the myriad opportunities for parental involvement at Nobles — they are a great way to carve out your own relationship with the place that very quickly becomes a second home to your children.

There are volunteer opportunities at Nobles for all, whether you have lots of time or just a little. To find your niche, log in to the newly designed Nobles website ( by clicking “Nobles Community” (top right hand corner) and then “Parents”. You will see many opportunities in the "Volunteer at Nobles" section and you will be able to download or submit forms. To accomplish this, you will need your username and password that all families received in an email from Julie Guptill. For returning families your usernames and passwords remain the same. (If you have any problems logging in, please contact

The fall at Nobles is bustling with activity. To find out more, please read your respective Parent Class Representatives’ letters in the Class Notes section of this monthly E-Newsletter. Also, each week, Upper School parents receive a Friday e-mail from Judith Merritt and Middle School parents receive a Wednesday e-mail from Maryanne MacDonald with news and reminders for the week. Finally, get in the habit of checking the Nobles website daily for afternoon program news, athletic schedules, updates to the school calendar, etc.

Please join us for our first Parents’ Association Meeting of the year on Tuesday, Sept. 13 at 8 a.m. in the Parents' Lobby in the Morrison Athletic Center (MAC). Julie Guptill, Director of Digital Communications and Assistant Director of Communications, and Lauren Bergeron, the Assistant to the Head of School, Bob Henderson, will be speaking about our redesigned Nobles website, which provides much of the information you will need throughout the year. In addition, you will learn about the PA’s parent outings, ask questions about the upcoming year, and enjoy a cup of coffee or tea with old and new friends. We hope you will be able to come!

Mark your calendar with these other key dates:

• Back to School Night, Tuesday, Sept. 20, 6:20-9:20 p.m., when you will have the opportunity to experience your child’s school day in an abbreviated form.
• Grandparents Day, Friday, Sept. 30, a wonderful day that spans the ages. Volunteer and you will be able to experience the true joys of the sandwich generation; just fill out the Grandparents' Day volunteer form in the Parents section of the website.

With warmest regards,

Carolyn Harthun,
Pam Notman,
Parents’ Association Co-Chairs

Middle School Reps: (from left) Leslie Del Col, Sarah Paglione, Brooke Sandford, Carol Taiclet

September 2011: Middle School Notes

Welcome to the 2011-'12 school year! The beginning of the school year is an exciting time for the entire Nobles’ community. Nobles keeps its students busy, but there are also a lot of activities for parents, including Parents' Association meetings, volunteer opportunities and parent social events.  You will receive this Parents' E-Newsletter once a month in your email, and it can also be found at  In addition to this monthly newsletter, you will receive an email on Wednesday of each week from Maryanne MacDonald updating you on upcoming activities.

The Middle School has four parent representatives: Carol Taiclet and Brooke Sandford for Class V, and Sarah Paglione and Leslie Del Col for Class VI. We will be organizing the Middle School parent events as well as coordinating volunteer opportunities.  Volunteering helps the school, but it is also a great way to meet other parents. You can sign up for volunteer opportunities in the password-protected Parents’ Section of the Nobles’ website.  To sign up online, click on “Nobles Community,” and click "Parents" to log in. Click “Volunteer at Nobles” in the lefthand navigation bar. There are volunteer opportunities for the entire school or just at the middle school.  

Middle School Events in September
Sept. 6 & 7 Class V & VI Retreat Days
Sept. 8 First Day of Classes in the Middle School
Sept. 9 Fall Afternoon Program begins
Sept. 10 Parents' Association Fall Social, 6:30 p.m.
Sept. 13 Parents' Association Meeting, 8 a.m.
Sept. 20 Back to School Night, 6:20 p.m.
Sept. 29 No School, Rosh Hashanah
Sept. 30 Grandparents Day
Sept. 30 Multicultural Fair, 2:30-6 p.m.

We look forward to seeing returning parents and meeting new parents in September.  We hope to see you at some of the above events.  In addition to these events, another great way to meet other parents and faculty is to park your car at pick up time and come into the middle school.  Nobles takes pride in their community and it is easy to become a part of it.  Please contact us with any questions you have regarding the above dates or about life in the Nobles Middle School.

Carol Taiclet
Brooke Sandford
Sarah Paglione
Leslie Del Col

Middle School Parent Repesentatives 2011-'12

Join us for the Nobles Parents' Association Annual Fall Social

Saturday, September 10, 6:30-9 p.m. at the Castle

Meet new Nobles parents and see old friends. Cocktails and hors d'oeuvres will be served. Please RSVP to

From Your PIN Reps

Nobles is pleased to be a member of the Parents’ Independent School Network, Inc. (PIN), a volunteer group of parents with children currently enrolled at New England-area independent schools. PIN was formed to help parents share ideas and promote worthy programs at these independent schools.

As your 2011-'12 PIN Reps, we are looking forward to attending a series of meetings during which schools and invited experts share information about non-academic issues. In past years, these issues have included such topics as environmentally green practices, teen moral development, bullying, and “gap” years before college. After each meeting we will share what we have learned with the Nobles community.

PIN’s goals include:

  • To discuss topics of mutual concern
  • To share ideas and practices that have benefited member schools and their students
  • To sponsor educational events
  • To support and foster PIN member schools’ community service programs
  • To encourage representatives to work closely with their schools and the schools’ parent organization to disseminate ideas and information learned from the meetings

We look forward to the upcoming year of PIN meetings and welcome any questions or input. Please feel free to contact us.

Allison Matlack,
Lee Collins,

10 Campus Drive,
Dedham, Massachusetts
tel: 781.326.3700
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