Nobles Parents' E-Newsletter

November 2012

Nobles Parents' E-Newsletter November 2012

The Syllabus and the School Year Calendar by Bob Henderson, Head of School

This is the first week in November, so that means that it is also time for Oliver Cromwell and the English Civil War. The passage of my school year can be measured by the progress of my syllabus in AP European history. Back To School Night for parents in September always occurs simultaneously with the Black Death (entirely a coincidence!). At Veterans Day I am immersed in the Scientific Revolution. When I return from winter break I am dealing with Napoleon. And by mid-April, just as I am doing battle for the seniors’ waning attention, I am slogging through the Cold War. For more than 20 years I have been teaching this class, and the timing and sequence of the course changes little from one year to the next. I inescapably associate certain historical events, dilemmas and personalities with specific times of the year. It is a depressing fact, for instance, that I will spend time right after the delightful rejuvenation of spring break discussing the horrors of 20th-century dictatorship and warfare. The amazing thing is that I never seem to tire of it.

When I was in my graduate degree program my advisor kept pushing me to consider continuing my studies and completing a Ph.D. He thought I would enjoy working at a university because it was a career centered on the life of the mind. He argued that the great advantage at the college level was that you didn’t have to immerse yourself in the daily developmental issues that confront teenagers. Instead, as a professor you could do your research and present your lectures without significant interruption or distraction from the actual students, and every year you could master your field with greater intimacy. This man was a wonderful intellectual mentor and a great scholar, but he could not begin to understand why I wanted to continue to work at the secondary school level. I told him that I genuinely enjoyed wading through the peculiar challenges faced by adolescents, far more than I liked doing research. Moreover, teaching for me was not about deepening my mastery of subject matter so much as it was about honing the craft of teaching itself.

I will read two or three books on topics in European history each summer, improving my familiarity with current thinking in the field, but it is highly unlikely that I will attempt to write and publish an interpretive article. Rather, I will reflect on the way I handled certain classroom relationships and how I might navigate such situations better in the future. I will consider new classroom strategies, revise my reading list, update my class website, and contemplate more productive ways to use the iPad. And I certainly will press myself to improve my presentation of various topics. In more specific terms, in order to make January a better month for my class next year, I need to rethink how I approach the Industrial Revolution.

These are the sorts of considerations that motivate secondary school teachers to excel in their profession. While the focus may vary from one academic discipline to another, the central concern of the best secondary school teachers is the search for better ways to engage the passion and talent of adolescents, and to launch a lifetime of curiosity and learning for young people. This drive, in addition to a deep and genuine love for and intuition in regard to this age group, are the critical factors that lead to great teaching.

"The Studies Show"

“The Studies Show” is a podcast series hosted by Nobles Learning Specialists Gia Batty and Sara Masucci. Through this series, the two hope to share information about some of the research they have come across in their work.

To listen to this month's podcast about using the weekend wisely, visit

The Importance of Word of Mouth by Jennifer Hines, Dean of Enrollment Management

In Admission, we pay close attention to the source of the inquiries we receive requesting information about Nobles. People are inspired to request information about Nobles by our website, meeting us at a school visit or calling us on the phone. Without fail, however, one of the top inquiry sources we have is “friend,” meaning that a family learned about Nobles through someone that they happen to know, most often a Nobles parent.

I don’t think that the importance of this fact can be overstated. While Nobles employs a number of us to represent the school, we couldn’t come close to reaching the number of prospective families as those of you who are living the life of a Nobles parent every day. You are an amazing resource to prospective families just by virtue of having a child at the school. You know all about things like the homework load and can speak from experience about things like carpools and what “chitting” means. You have built-in trust with the people who you are speaking to because they know you. Through you, word spreads and before you know it, Nobles is on the tip of everyone’s tongues!

In an ideal world, I would be able to arm you all with enough details to answer any question that you are asked. Knowing that that is much easier said than done, I want to encourage you as parents to direct people to the Admission Office. We exist to answer questions! Some other resources to direct them to:

  1. The Nobles website— It is the rare question that can’t be answered by the wealth of information found on our website. It also gives people the opportunity to browse at their leisure and find information they didn’t even know they were looking for.
  2. The fall and winter Open Houses—I imagine many of you attended these events when you were considering Nobles as an option for your family. It’s a great way to get an overview of the school and our programs without the “pressure” of the interview or group activity session. Our October Open House was a great success and the remaining Open House this year is scheduled for Tues., Dec. 4, from 6:30-9 p.m. No RSVP is necessary.

A couple of other ways to “spread the positive Nobles word” that may not have occurred to you:

  1. Post a “testimonial” about Nobles on the web—There are websites that exist to help families investigate different schools. Here are just a couple of popular ones on which it would be great see some comments from Nobles parents. The links will take you directly to the Nobles pages on these sites:


  2. “Tag” any Nobles photos that you place on Facebook—I won’t bore you with the details of search engine optimization (SEO) but Google is smart enough to know how frequently the word “Nobles” appears anywhere on the web and ranks us accordingly. If you are putting a photo taken at Nobles on Facebook, take the extra second to tag it as such and you’ll help us rise in the world of Google searches.

Any other questions, from future Nobles families or otherwise, feel free to drop me an email!

Jennifer Hines
Dean of Enrollment Management

"The Most Important Thing I Learned at Nobles" by Ben Snyder, Head of Upper School

During the first full week of school this fall, Nobles presented the Distinguished Graduate Award to Seth Goldman ’85—founder of Honest Tea. Seth’s accomplishments speak for themselves: after a successful career in socially responsible investment management he started Honest Tea in his kitchen with a few thermoses and the nerve to walk into the buyer at his local Whole Foods store.

We gave Seth 10 minutes to speak in Assembly—which can be an eternity for someone uncomfortable on the stage. That was definitely not the case with Seth. In those few minutes he made two critical impressions on the Nobles student body.

His first message was simply this: “…one can do very well while also doing good,” and that the world needs creative, ethical leaders who can recognize those opportunities and create strong businesses. His goals of supporting sustainable agriculture worldwide and battling the obesity epidemic in the U.S. were messages that resonated with our students (and kept many faculty and students talking throughout the day). Seth spoke clearly and powerfully about how Nobles can help shape those future leaders who will identify opportunities that will have broad economic and social benefit.

Seth’s second message revolved around his Class II wrestling experience at Nobles: “The most important lesson I learned at Nobles in becoming a successful entrepreneur was going 1–10 (with my one win being a forfeit) in my first year of wrestling.” While said with a self-deprecating smile, which elicited some positive response from kids, Seth focused on how that one struggling season had taught him the resilience he needed to bounce back from disappointments that he has faced all along in his life.

Those parents who heard Joann Deak speak will recognize the scientific basis of Seth’s statement—the need for adolescents to immerse themselves in uncomfortable and unfamiliar situations in which they can make some mistakes and then grow from them.

At Nobles we often find young people who don’t want to try something new (a performance, a new sport, a different service project, auditioning for a musical group, heading off on a trip to an unknown part of the country or world) because “I’m not good at it” or “I don’t think I’d be comfortable doing it.” The breadth of our requirements push young people to try new things. Hopefully some of those new experiences will take root and flourish into new interests. However, we also hope that these new experiences will create some disappointments and challenges so that students can develop the grit that will be necessary to persevere through the inevitable challenges that life gives us all.

I hope that in the coming years or months of your child’s life at Nobles, you’ll encourage her or him to try something new. While they may not be so good at it and could take some hard knocks along the way, research (and Seth Goldman) shows that those difficult experiences could be some of the most important events of their high school years.

Class I Surprise Lunch

Check out photos from the annual Class I Surprise Lunch on Halloween. Thank you to all parents who volunteered or donated treats!

Through the Past Brightly by Bill Bussey, Provost

Back in the mid-70s, I spent a couple of college summers working as a bar waiter in a high-end restaurant on the Maine seacoast. One day a busload of folks in their mid-70s and 80s wandered in all at once for lunch and took up the entire room. My heart sank as I scrambled to take orders. Most senior diners kept a close eye on how much they spent and particularly on how much they tipped. I had been through this before: I would be rushing around for the next 90 minutes without much to show for it by the time they made it back to their bus. As I was taking an order, one woman told me that they had just travelled all the way from New Bedford. I froze in my tracks and surveyed the room with new eyes. One of these people must have known him.

“My grandfather came from Michigan but he practiced medicine in New Bedford," I said. “Floyd Bussey?”

Her jaw dropped and her eyes widened. Without taking her eyes off me, she clutched the arm of the man seated next to her and cried out, “My God, this is Dr. Bussey’s grandson.”

It turned out that at least a half dozen of them knew my grandfather pretty well. He died about 10 years before I was born. I knew that this opportunity would never present itself again. I hopped from to table to table, anxiously trying to gather as much information, to squeeze every memory and anecdote out of them, without being a nuisance. By the time they had left, I had learned more about my grandfather than I had from all of my family gatherings put together.

For whatever reason, I have found that fathers generally share very little about their own fathers with their children, particularly with their sons. When I first started teaching, I asked a simple question in class and happened to stumble upon a cultural truth that initially caught me off-guard. The question was this: “Raise your hand if your father has spoken in much detail about his relationship with own father?” I have asked this question in almost every PD class (all males) over the last 15 years or so. I rarely get more than two hands raised.

There were far more hands raised during Dr. JoAnn Deak's presentations at Nobles, particularly when it came to parenting. Dr. Deak was quick to point out that studies show that children raised by one parent, or by two fathers, or two mothers were just as likely to find happiness and success as those children in two parent homes. Yet, men, more often than we might admit, end up being something of a mystery to their own children. Dr. Deak observed after her visit at Nobles that she had never seen so many fathers from a co-educational institution show up to hear her speak. Of all the facts that were shared that evening, that one lingered the longest. I hope that is a trend that will continue and one that we can build on. The one message that came through loud and clear to me as a father is that the real key to my children’s happiness and success comes in the form of spending real one-on-one time with my children. There is nothing that trumps it.

Save the Date!

Nobles Night in the Castle

A festive evening to celebrate the opening of the restored and expanded Castle
Friday, November 16, 2012
6–10 p.m.

Please note: This is not a student event

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

Go Dawgs! Nobles-Milton Weekend

Save the Date! From 11:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. on Sat., Nov. 10, stop by the Nobles/Milton Tent for a cup of chowder or hot chocolate.

Hosted by the Nobles Office of Graduate Affairs and the Milton Academy Alumni Office.

Class III Reps: Ruth Gilleran (left) and Jennifer Potter

Dear Class III Parents,

We would like to begin by thanking Karen and Brian Conway for opening up their beautiful home for our fall social. The evening was a huge success, with more than 80 parents enjoying a wonderful evening. It was nice to see so many of you there. If you haven't had an opportunity to attend the fall parent functions, don't worry—there are more to come! In fact, we will be organizing meetings soon to plan the Class III surprise lunch and the Head of School Dinner.

We are looking for some creative and energetic folks to help us with these events. If you are interested, please let us know. Also, if you have ideas for bringing either the Class III parents or the kids together, we would love to hear from you!

It is now time to mark your calendar with the following important November dates:

  • Nov. 7-10: Fall Production, The Importance of Being Earnest
  • Nov. 10: Milton vs. Nobles Day
  • Nov. 12: No School—Veterans Day
  • Nov. 13-14: Advisor/Parent Meetings (optional)
  • Nov. 15: Parents' Association Meeting, 8 a.m.
  • Nov. 15: Fall Dance Concert, 7 p.m.
  • Nov. 16: Nobles Night in the Castle, 6-10 p.m.
  • Nov. 21: Thanksgiving break starts
  • Nov. 26: School resumes and winter Afterschool Program begins

We hope the 2012-2013 school year is off to a good start. If we can help in anyway, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Warm regards,

Ruth Gilleran,
Jennifer Potter,

Thank You!

We want to express our appreciation to all the participants of the Multicultural Fair. Parents, faculty and staff members, and students who attended and contributed in so many different ways: setting up tables, cooking amazing food, preparing displays, contacting artistic performers or groups, sending in clothes for the fashion show, coordinating set-up for the gym, promoting the fair or volunteering to help in many other ways. The support was phenomenal and the afternoon was enjoyable, fun and a great success. This is always a wonderful community event that provides us the opportunity share the diverse and rich cultural heritage of our families.

Thank you, Nobles community, for working together to make this event possible!

Steven Tejada, Dean of Diversity Initiatives, and Miguel Ureña P'12 '16, Chair Multicultural Fair

Class III Deans' Report

It is hard to believe that it is already November and that Thanksgiving is only a few weeks away! It does not feel like two full months have passed since your children, our colleagues, Amy and I were volunteering at the Greater Boston Food Bank, Cradles to Crayons and the Franklin Park Zoo on the first day of school. The first quarter always passes by very quickly, and this year certainly was no different. Although we only have been in school for eight weeks, we get many things accomplished in this short period of time.

Teachers just finished writing comments for the first quarter, and by the time you read this newsletter, your children will have reviewed their comments and grades with their advisors. In our opinion, the teachers’ comments are more important than the grades themselves, and we hope that you will take the time to review the comments at home with your son or daughter. While the grade is only an indication as to how your child is doing, each comment is filled with genuine observations of strengths and areas of growth, and incredibly useful feedback for how to improve. Please do not be alarmed if your child’s grades have declined in certain subjects. As you may know, the curriculum of Class III year is challenging in new and different ways as students transition from concrete to abstract thinking in several courses. Additionally, it takes time for students to adjust to the curriculum and to new expectations in each class. By the time the December comments are written, most students will have grown accustomed to the demanding curriculum and to expectations of their teachers, and they will have discovered what they need to do in order to meet their personal goals.

At the beginning of the year and throughout the fall, we have emphasized to Class III the importance of community involvement. During sophomore year, it is important for students to pursue their interests and to participate in clubs and other extracurricular activities at Nobles. Now that students have more free time in their schedule, they should view X-Block as a time to get involved. There are a wide variety of clubs, and if students join and are active this year, they may be able to take on leadership roles in upcoming years. As the two people who oversee Nobles trips, we were very pleased to see many sophomores apply to travel this year. Although not all students have been selected for their first choice, we are encouraged by how interested Class III students are in the travel opportunities offered. We hope to see many students traveling this year and in the future because we know what a lasting impact these journeys can have on those who experience them.

A change from previous years, Class III meetings this fall have not been full of presentations from representatives of study away programs. In order to give Class III students more time to bond and to do class activities during their class meeting time, we have changed how we schedule these presentations. On Wed., Nov. 7, during our morning X-Block, all Class III students will remain in Lawrence Auditorium to hear presentations from the following programs: School Year Abroad (SYA), the Mountain School of Vermont, the High Mountain Institute of Colorado, CITYTerm of NYC, and NuVu of Cambridge, MA. Likewise, representatives from each of these study away programs will set up a table in Gleason Hall from 9 a.m.-12 p.m., so that students may speak to them, gather more detailed information, and have their specific questions answered.

In addition to these X-Block presentations, a representative from the School for Ethics and Global Leadership of Washington, D.C. will be visiting our class meeting on Tues., Nov. 20, since she is unable to attend on Nov. 7. If your child is interested in studying away from Nobles during junior year, he/she should begin thinking about that now and planning for the future. It would be a good idea for your child to touch base with his/her advisor and with Amy or me if this may be a possibility.

We hope to see you at a game or performance in the near future. Enjoy the month of November and have a happy Thanksgiving with your family.

Tara McDonald & Amy Joyce

Class IV Reps: Isabelle Loring (left) and Cindy Trull

Dear Class IV parents and guardians:

It has certainly been a whirlwind of a fall! We hope that you and your ninth graders are settled in and are feeling connected to the Nobles community. We also hope you have been able to attend a PA meeting, a class get together or simply cheer for your child at some of his/her games. The Yard Sale, the Multicultural Fair, and the Parent Education night with Joann Deak were all very successful, and we hope you were able to attend some of these wonderful community-building events. Our first Class IV coffee was a great ice breaker and a lot of fun. Our Class IV Fall Social at the Ito/Katz home was fantastic! Thanks to all who came and we’re hoping that everyone (especially those who couldn’t attend the Fall Social) will put April 19, the Spring Social, on their calendars.

Please note two important things:

1) The marking period has ended and it is time for parent conferences. You may want to email your child’s advisor to arrange a time to talk—either by phone or in person—during the afternoons of Nov. 13, 14, 15.

2) As the fall sports season draws to a close, please be mindful of changes in the afternoon sports schedule. The winter Afternoon Program will begin on Mon., Nov. 26.

Below are some important upcoming dates and events you’ll want to mark on your calendars:

  • Tues., Nov. 6: "Athletic Recruiting and the College Process" seminar, 7-8:30 p.m., Morrison Forum.
  • Wed., Nov. 7Sat., Nov. 10: Fall mainstage production: The Importance of Being Earnest.  See Nobles Calendar for times.
  • Thurs., Nov. 8: Nobles PA at Cradles to Crayons, 10 a.m. -12 p.m.
  • Sat., Nov. 10: Nobles vs. Milton Day at Nobles. Come cheer on the DAWGS!
  • Mon., Nov. 12: Veterans’ Day (observed)—No school.
  • Tues., Nov. 13, Wed., Nov. 14, and Thurs., Nov. 15 afternoons:  Advisor/Parent meetings.  Please arrange a specific time with your child’s advisor.
  • Thurs., Nov. 15: PA meeting 8-9:30 a.m.
  • Thurs., Nov. 15: Fall Dance Concert 7 – 9 p.m.
  • Fri., Nov. 16: Nobles Night in the Castle 6-10 p.m.
  • Wed., Nov. 21: Thanksgiving break begins – no school.
  • Mon., Nov. 26: School resumes; winter afternoon program begins.

As always, please feel free to contact us with any questions, comments or concerns.


Izzy Loring (
Cindy Trull (

From Community Service: Just Do "One Good Thing"

Linda Hurley and I serve on the Educational Council for Cradles to Crayons, ( a local nonprofit that meets the clothing, baby and school supply needs for thousands of children in the Boston area. We often hear when a crisis need arises for youngsters, and one has just become clear to us. Cradles to Crayons (C2C) believes they will hear from social workers that about 17,000 children this winter will request coats from them in order to keep warm. That is a staggering number. Many organizations will attempt to help find these coats and get them to the warehouse, but it will take time and effort and some children, unfortunately, may not receive what they need—surely not before the snow flies.

At Nobles, we have to take notes every day in Assembly just to keep track of the generous, creative attempts to be of service that clubs and organizations are taking on. Athletic teams and the Graduates Council are marshaling their constituents for a variety of service efforts every season. Community Service Board students at both the Middle and Upper Schools strive every week to discuss issues and work on projects to both learn about the world and give of time and effort to make it a better place.

Doesn't "compassion fatigue" start to simply wear us out? Sure. We hear from kids that the endless discussion of one issue or another, both local and global, can make them feel either helpless (or let's face it) simply tired. In a meeting recently I heard Ben Snyder respond "Yes, unless its YOUR shoe drive, or YOUR bake sale." And that is the point I want to make here. The idea is to do what you can, when you can. A great educational opportunity about how to be a leader for the public good will come along in class, in Assembly, on the playing fields, and in an X-block discussion many times each week. NOBODY can do it all. The most richly resourced among us are given the same 24 hours a day as the rest of us, and we all have to make choices that feed our families, or finish our homework, or keep us healthy.

However, we all can do something. And we should choose that something based on what is clear to us at the moment and feels doable. When we get involved with a few good service initiatives and make them our own, we accomplish a great deal for the common good and feel wonderful about our participation. "OUR bake sale" for a cause we believe in becomes the learning curve about how to create and market our wares, follow through on our commitments, do the paperwork involved, and get the proceeds to the right place in a timely way. "OUR bake sale" makes us feel capable to create change in a world that needs our contribution.

The football team, (captains, coaches and players) are sponsoring a coat drive from Nov. 12-23. They hope to alleviate the suffering of kids without a way to keep warm. This may not be your child's initiative or passion. But it is only one of many cold weather service projects that your family could contribute to. You will hear of more as the frost collects and the wind whistles this winter. What you can do is help your son or daughter choose one that fits for them, and support the efforts to find that coat, buy that small gift for a child, deliver that turkey, make that pie or package that meal at the Milton Games. We don't have to feel so tired if all of us do just that "one good thing."

Sandi MacQuinn and Linda Hurley

Class II Reps: Suzie Montgomery (left) and Eileen Orscheln

Thanks to all who attended our Parent’s Social on Nov. 2. More than 70 Class II parents spent a fun evening together catching up with new and old friends. A very special thank you to Hilary and Carlo von Schroeter for graciously hosting all us for the evening.

We would also like to thank the College Counseling Office for recently hosting the first informational meeting for Class II parents. If you were unable to attend the meeting, please call the College Counseling Office for a copy of the handouts distributed.

It is hard to believe that the first quarter has already ended. Please remember to schedule a meeting with your child’s advisor on Nov. 13 or 14, or arrange for another mutually convenient time to meet.

A few other important dates:

  • Mainstage Play: Wed., Nov 7-Sat., Nov. 10
  • Nobles/Milton Day: Sat., Nov. 10
  • School Closed: Mon., Nov. 11 (Veteran’s Day)
  • Parents’ Association Meeting: Thurs., Nov. 15 at 8 a.m., Castle Library
  • Thanksgiving Vacation:  Wed., Nov. 21- Sun., Nov. 25
  • Winter Afternoon Program Begins: Monday, Nov. 26

As always, please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or concerns.

Suzie Montgomery,

Eileen Orscheln,

Fall Arts Bonanza

It's time to level up, everybody!

Please join us on Nov. 15 for an evening of visual and performing arts at the Fall Arts Bonanza (FAB!). Events will include the First Annual Level II Open Studios Showcase followed by "Serious Play," a dance performance.

Come make a cyanotype in the photo lab, make a mono-print in the drawing studio, and stop by the ceramics room for the Tower Building Contest, all hosted by Level II visual arts students. Cotton candy and popcorn machines have been rented for the occasion, and there will be plenty of chilli and hot cider for everyone. And don't forget Pizza Fest 2012! There will be plenty of music, lights, couches and ambience to go around! And you have to be there for the unveiling of "The Immaculate Door." Nobody knows where it came from, how it got there, or where it opens to. Come watch an improv performance from students as they attempt to unlock the hidden mysteries of the magic portal.

After the Showcase, make your way over to Lawrence Auditorium for the world premiere of "Serious Play," a student-choreographed performance sponsored by the Afternoon Program and the Advanced Dance Ensemble.

It should be an amazing evening of fun for everyone!

Fall Arts Bonanza
Thurs., Nov. 15
5-9 p.m.

First Annual Level II Open Studios Showcase
Location: Art Wing of Pratt Building
5- 6:45 p.m.

Serious Play
Location: Lawrence Auditorium
7-9 p.m.

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. You are all extraordinary for giving so much of yourselves and making a difference for so many.

We deeply thank the Yard Sale Co-Chairs Nicola DiFelice and Camellia Bloch for their dedication and service to Nobles and the greater Dedham Community. They deserve a standing ovation for the outstanding work they did to make this year’s sale incredibly successful, raising money for Nobles scholarships and uniting the community.

November Events

Please join the Parents’ Association during the morning of Thurs. Nov. 8, from 10 a.m.-12 p.m., at the new Cradles to Crayons’ Giving Factory in Brighton. C2C provides basic necessities for children in need. To sign up, contact Jill Dalby Ellison at Join the fun; you’ll be glad you did.

It’s a busy time of year in the Arts Center. The fall mainstage play, The Importance of Being Earnest, opens Nov. 7, and runs through Nov. 10. Don’t miss the fall dance concert performed by our talented students who participate in the Afternoon Dance Program on Thurs. evening, Nov. 15. This event has been a standing-room-only favorite. Come see our devoted actors and dancers and support the arts at Nobles

Plan to attend the Nobles-Milton Weekend, this year held at Nobles, and celebrate the tradition with graduates, family and friends on Sat., Nov.10. Come for a cup of hot chocolate or chowder and root on your favorite Nobles sports teams.

Come learn what’s happening in athletics at our next PA meeting on Thurs., Nov. 15, in the Castle Library from 8-9:30 a.m. We are fortunate to have Alex Gallagher '90, Director of Athletics, speaking with us.

Finally, join in the spirit of giving and participate in the Middle School Pie Drive Nov. 14 and 15.

We wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Kris Ganong,
Lisa Soule,

Order Your Yearbook Today!

1. Order directly through Jostens with a credit card. Click to order your yearbook now!

2. Don't wait! We will have a very limited number of extra books available.

3. Yearbooks are not just for seniors—they are for all classes, including Middle Schoolers. We made an extra point to get more Middle School coverage this year!

Class I Reps: (from left): Linda Courtiss Rheingold, Marion Mussafer, Elaine Sobell

October was a special month for Class I, as they enjoyed their final visits to such fall favorites as the Multicultural Fair, Friday Night Lights, the fall cookouts, and the Nobles Yard Sale. Many were out on the fields cheering (or being cheered on!) as varsity athletes, while others were working hard on what promises to be an outstanding mainstage production of The Importance of Being Earnest.

Our seniors wrapped up the month with a Spooktacular Halloween Lunch in the Castle. A huge thank you to all the Class I parents whose time and generosity brought this terrific event together. We had a blast transforming the lower Castle dining room with our extensive PA collection of spooky decorations, and our Class I students (in costume!) equally enjoyed their delicious lunch and multiple visits to the Halloween candy dessert buffet.

November has arrived, with the first quarter behind them (whew!), much college talk in the air, and the promise of Thanksgiving and the holidays in sight (double whew!). Please remember that the Class I yearbook ads are due Nov. 9. Whether you want to design your own ad or have Nobles design it for you, Violet Richards can help. Just give her a call at 781-320-7189 or email her at Also note that the deadline for ordering yearbooks is Nov. 2. Follow this link for ordering online at Jostens:

Looking forward, our next Class I event is the Class I exam snack table, Thurs., Dec. 13, Mon., Dec. 17, and Tues., Dec. 18. We will be setting up a special table of healthy treats for our seniors in the lower lobby of the MAC during these exam dates. If you are interested in participating or donating, please contact Elaine Sobell at

Thank you all for your wonderful help with our Class I fall events. We wish you and your loved ones a warm and happy Thanksgiving Holiday!

Marion Mussafer,
Linda Courtiss Rheingold,
Elaine Sobell,

Or contact any of us at

Class I Deans' Report

It was nice to see so many of you at Back to School Night in September. The brevity of the first quarter, wrought with events like Back to School Night, Grandparents’ Day and numerous holidays, forged a pace here that has been even more intense than usual as teachers, coaches, and students try to pack so much into their days. A former parent once compared the fall of senior year to drinking out of a fire hose and, at this point in the calendar, his words could not be more accurate. Class I students have a lot on their plates; they are juggling school work with applications and supplements, afternoon activities, leadership responsibilities, family commitments and time with friends. For many, there doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day to get it all done.

It is hard to believe that in a matter of just a few weeks, the storm will pass. Many students have already or will shortly submit one or more early applications and very soon thereafter, colleges will begin rolling out decisions. Certainly, this time is stressful and full of emotions. If things go as planned, many students will feel on top of the world; conversely, if things don’t work out as hoped, it is so easy to feel like the world has come to a shuddering halt. As hard as it might be, we ask that all students maintain humility and dignity throughout the process. We will talk to the seniors in the next Class Meeting about treating one another well regardless of their own outcomes. They must keep in mind that many of their peers won’t remember where they went to college, but they will
remember how classmates acted when the news arrived. Most importantly, we ask that they take care of one another as the news (good and bad) arrives. We also ask that you as their parents and guardians help them remember this, too.

One of the aspects of December that is most difficult is that it seems to be a “feast or famine” out there in Gleason Hall. Seniors who garner acceptances are thrilled and, in many cases, finished with the process. Others, who are disappointed with the outcome, must launch themselves into yet another round of applications. Of course we are urging all students, even those who have filed early applications, to continue working on their various regular decision applications and to be cognizant of impending deadlines. As always, we’re here for support if you need it.

Outside of the college process, there is plenty on the horizon for Class I and the rest of the Nobles community—the end of the fall athletic season and beginning of the winter season, the Nobles Theater Collective mainstage theater production, the Fall Dance Concert, the Choral Concert, Halloween, and all manner of upcoming community service projects.

The Nobles trips process recently came to fruition and decisions are now public knowledge. Though these trips do not occupy the same “realm” as college decisions, the outcome may produce excitement and angst in not dissimilar fashion to the college process. Again, we ask Class I students to act with the appropriate measures in relation to their peers. We hope that all seniors who aspire to travel this year will eventually gain an opportunity to do so.

Though they seem to be a long way off, I wanted to keep the Class I Projects on your radar. These projects will begin in earnest in the fourth quarter, and the deadline for Class I Project Proposals will be due quickly after winter break. For those of you who are new to the concept of Class I Projects, here is a brief introduction to the concept and goals:

The Class I Project, an option open to members of Class I during fourth quarter, is designed to allow students to pursue areas of interest that fall outside the school's formal curriculum. Such projects are an opportunity to explore educational or potential career interests. In addition, the school hopes that projects will further the students’ growth in areas articulated in the school's mission statement: intellectual growth, self-esteem, curiosity, self-reliance and a commitment to others. We hope that students will choose projects that enlarge their understanding of a particular area, seriously engaging students in new experiences, and fundamentally deepening skills in previously declared areas of interest and expertise. Project proposals must reflect detailed and well-considered planning. The Committee will post project guidelines in early January on the Nobles website. In the past, projects have included: internships in a variety of professions; creative undertakings; volunteer work; travel and language study; and practical work in technology, film, art, crafts and music. Students are not permitted to earn money— remuneration would, in the opinion of the Committee, compromise the spirit and intent of the educational objectives of the Project. In addition, students may not pursue an internship in a business or organization owned/operated by a family member, or have a family member as an off-campus supervisor.

Your senior will be receiving more information about the Class I Projects in December through email and Class I meetings. When you think it is appropriate, please feel free to open the discussion as to what he or she might pursue or, of equal import, whether a Class I Project is an appropriate choice as a final, capstone experience. If you have any questions about Projects—or anything else Class I related—don’t hesitate to contact us at any time.

Thanks again to all of you for all your work and care.

Meghan Hamilton and Michael Herring
Class I Deans

Middle School Reps: (from left) Rhonda Kaplan, Sarah Paglione, Janet Nahirny, Michelle Abrecht

It is hard to believe that the first academic quarter is behind us and we are heading into the final month of the fall Afternoon Program.

We would like to thank all of the parents who attended the first Middle School coffee that was held in the Castle. It was great to meet new people and hear about the Achieve program.

The fall parent socials are also a great way to socialize with other Middle School parents. We extend a special thanks to Jill and Dave Ellison for hosting a very successful Class VI social. The Class V Parent Social is coming up on Sat., Nov. 3, from 7-10 p.m. at the home of Lynda and Kevin Macdonald. 

One of the highlights of the Middle School experience at Nobles is the annual Pie Drive on Wed., Nov. 14. It is an important community builder that every Middle School child participates in and is also a great way for parents to volunteer and get involved at Nobles. The Pie Drive is a community service event bringing students, parents and teachers together to assemble hundreds of apple pies for Thanksgiving. Approximately 100 pies will be donated to the Single Parent Outreach Center in Boston and 200 or more will be sold to the Nobles community, the proceeds of which will go to Kliptown Youth Program in South Africa. Please consider getting involved in this important event at Nobles by volunteering your time on Nov.14 at either 1-3 p.m. or 3-5 p.m., donating supplies or ordering some of these delicious pies!  Parents, if you are interested in volunteering for the Pie Drive, please contact Pie Drive 2012 Coordinators, Sherri Athanasia at or 781-974-3735, or Anne London at or 781-239-9991.

Need donated ingredients:  If you would like to donate ingredients please email Sherri or Anne directly. We seem particularly in need of apples as the weather has led to slim harvests. If you have any connections to local orchards/supermarkets, please let Sherri or Ann know! The items must be dropped off to the Middle School Forum no later than Fri., Nov. 9. Thank you for all your support with this worthwhile endeavor. To place your pie drive order please go to

Class V Reps

Sarah Paglione (
Rhonda Kaplan (

Class VI Reps

Michelle Abrecht (
Janet Nahirny (


Important November Dates

Fri., Nov. 2

Early Release: 1:05 p.m.—pick-up at Upper School

Sat., Nov. 3

Class V Parent Social

Thurs., Nov. 8

PA at Cradles to Crayons

Fri. and Sat., Nov. 9 & 10

Nobles vs. Milton Weekend

Mon., Nov. 12

Veterans Day Holiday—School Closed

Wed., Nov. 14

Middle School Pie Drive

Thurs., Nov. 15

PA meeting

Fall Dance Concert at 7 p.m.

Fri., Nov. 16

Nobles Night!

Mon., Nov. 19

No Middle School Afternoon Program due to faculty meeting at 3:15 p.m.

Wed.—Sun., Nov. 21—25

Thanksgiving Break

Mon., Nov. 26

School resumes, Afternoon Program begins

From the NTC

The NTC invites you to attend the fall main stage production, The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde. Performances are scheduled for Nov. 7, 8 and 9 at 6:30 p.m., and Nov. 10 at 2 p.m., only. This part-satire and part-comedy of manners, this “Trivial Play for Serious People” (as Wilde subtitled it) seems ostentatiously artificial. However, below the surface of the light and witty comedy lurks an attack on self-righteous moralism and hypocrisy.

We are pleased to recommend this production to new and experienced theatergoers of all ages.

Tickets for the performance are $7.00. Click here to purchase tickets.

We hope to see many of you at both performances.

Maureen Shiels Norment at
John DeVoy at

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Dedham, Massachusetts
tel: 781.326.3700
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If you have questions, comments or suggestions for this newsletter, email Kim Neal at