Nobles Parents' E-Newsletter

November 2011

Nobles Parents' E-Newsletter November 2011


Teaching, Change and Nobles by Bob Henderson, Head of School

The craft of teaching is still, at its core, very much the same as it was when I was a high school student. And yet, it has also been transformed, requiring skills and adaptations that were only on the fringe of the profession as I jumped into the field.

At the tender age of 22, I began a career as a full-time classroom teacher. I was very fortunate to land a job at a boarding school in California, a great place that was willing to take a risk on a total neophyte.


Homework and the "Average" Nobles Student by Ben Snyder, Head of Upper School

Over the last few years there has been a wide-ranging national discussion about the value of homework. Does homework improve learning? Do schools give too much homework? How could the value of homework be measured? Education pundits around the nation debate this topic ad nauseam.

Homework has been the subject of wide discussion and deliberation among the Nobles faculty in recent years as well.


Why People Rebel by Bil Bussey, Provost

Recently, I was fortunate enough to have a front row seat for a Malcolm Gladwell lecture about "a forgotten hero and an unlikely…radical” of the suffragette movement, Alva (Vanderbilt) Belmont. Gladwell soon revealed his main thesis: “Why do people of apparent weakness choose to rebel?” In his examination, Gladwell cited NYU psychologist Tom Tyler’s Why People Obey the Law.

From the PA Co-Chairs

We would like to extend our thanks to all members of the Nobles community who donated their attic treasures, spent countless hours sorting, pricing and selling items, baked delicious treats, and made numerous deliveries of leftover items to local charities on behalf of the Nobles’ Yard Sale.


Class Notes

Find out what's going on and how to become involved with your student's class. Click to access your class:

Class Deans' Corner

Class III Dean's Report


From Community Service: Giving Thanks, Globally and Locally

It is especially hard to know where to start, isn't it? I thought that yesterday as I sorted through the mail, one pile for immediate bill paying, the other for looking at "later." The second pile was huge. AMFAR, OXFAM, The Heifer Project, Seva Gifts of Service, Kiva Microfinace Loans, March of Dimes, WUMB, Casa Nueva Vida, Home for Little Wanderers—oh, there was more!


From the Nobles Theatre Collective

Please join us at one of the performances of Romeo and Juliet, Nobles fall mainstage play. The dates for the play are November 9, 10 and 11 at 6:30 p.m. and November 12 at 2 p.m. only. We are pleased to recommend this production to theater goers of all ages.

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Introducing Two New Staff Members to Nobles

Please join us in welcoming two staff members to Nobles. This month, Heather Sullivan will join the Office of Communications as the Director of Communications, and Casey Hassenstein will join the Development Office as the Director of the Annual Nobles Fund. Learn more about the newest members of the Nobles community.

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From the Foster Gallery: Save the Date and Join Us for a Great Hands-On Workshop!


WORKSHOP: Pottery Basics with Doug Casebeer and John Gill at the Foster Gallery and Ceramics Studio, Noble and Greenough School. Saturday, November 12, 2011, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

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Flu Vaccination Clinic

There will be a flu vaccination clinic held in Morrison Forum on Friday, November 11, 2011 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m., for students, parents, staff and faculty.  It is being provided by Maxim Health Systems. ONLY VACCINATIONS WILL BE OFFERED—NO FLU MIST

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From the PIN Reps

The Parents' Independent School Network (PIN) has an exciting year ahead, featuring a new program of “webinars” on issues that face upper school parents, as well as the traditional educational meetings.

Continue reading to find out how everyone in the Nobles community can watch the PIN webinars, and to pick up pointers from the first meeting of the year: teaching teens about personal money management.

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Grandparents Day Portrait Information

Portraits from Grandparents Day will be available from October 12, 2011, through January 31, 2012, to view and purchase at

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Personal Development/Character Education in the Middle School

The Middle School students attend a weekly Personal Development class that runs the duration of the school year. PD classes are single-sex and are co-taught by two teachers who work to foster an atmosphere of trust and confidentiality, allowing all students to feel safe and comfortable enough to discuss the issues that are important to them.

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If you have questions, comments or suggestions for this newsletter, email Kim Neal at