Nobles Parents' E-Newsletter

April 2013

Nobles Parents' E-Newsletter April 2013

The Studies Show Podcast Series

This month's podcast is entitled, "To-Do Lists in the Digital Age and the Death of the Assignment Notebook." Visit to access the latest episode, along with helpful resources reccomended by Learning Specialists Gia Batty and Sara Masucci.

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

From the Nobles Theatre Collective

Greetings from the Nobles Theatre Collective (NTC)!  We hope you had a wonderful spring break. Please mark your calendar for the 2013 Spring Musical—The Drowsy Chaperone, music and lyrics by Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison, book by Bob Martin and Don McKellar.


Tues., May 14–Fri., May 17 at 6:30 p.m.
Sat., May 18 at 2 p.m.

More information on the production and ticket sales will be in the May newsletter.

We look forward to seeing you at the show.

Maureen Shiels Norment,
John DeVoy,
NTC Parent Reps

Go, Nobles, Go!

Patriots Day, DevelopmentPatriot’s Day is Monday, April 15, and families are invited to join the Nobles community to watch the Boston Marathon and to cheer on the Nobles Marathon Fund Team. Students, faculty members, graduates and parents will be running, biking and rowing in support of the Nobles Marathon Fund, which currently supports seven Nobles students annually.

For more information on participating or attending the event, check out or contact Michelle Lynch at or 781-320-7007. Please note that this year's gathering will be at 22 Croton Street in Wellesley. Come by anytime after 10 a.m.; no need to RSVP, and all are welcome!

Lunch in the Castle, Anyone?

If you've ever wondered what lunch in the Castle is really like, join us for a Parent Lunch on Thurs., April 25.  We will meet from 12-1:30 p.m. in the lower dining room, apart from the students, to eat, relax and socialize with fellow parents from all classes. Parents will be chitted $5 per meal.  Click here to RSVP for the event.

We are looking forward to seeing you there!
Dana DeAngelis and Rikki Conley

Still Making Summer Plans? Information from Nobles Specialty Programs

Check out our 2013 Nobles specialty programs that are being offered this summer.  While many of you may be familiar with our traditional Nobles Day Camp, these programs are for older campers and offer a concentration in a specific area. 

Nobles Basketball Camp for Girls, June 24-28
Alex Gallagher, head coach Nobles girls' varsity basketball

Nobles Summer Service,  August 5-9
Sandi MacQuinn, Coordinator of Community Service at Nobles and Linda Hurley, Coordinator of Service Activities at Nobles

Nobles Soccer Camp, August 19-23
Mass Premier Soccer Coaches

Feel free to contact any of the program directors if you have any questions.

Visit  if you are interested in learning more about our traditional summer programs for campers ages 3.5-years-old through those entering ninth grade.

All necessary health forms to be submitted WITH the registration materials in order to be registered. 

Contact the Nobles Day Camp office at 781-320-1320 or if you have any questions.  We hope to see you this summer!

Emily Parker
Director of Nobles Day Camp

PA Green Team Cleaning Tips

Spring is FINALLY here! Throw open the windows and let the fresh air in. But before you begin this year’s spring cleaning, consider these ideas from the Nobles PA Green Team.

Recycle and Re-use: 

The Issue: Americans discard an estimated 68 pounds of clothing a year and, of that, about 99 percent of it could actually be recycled. 

The Solution: Donate unwanted items to organizations like Cradles to Crayons who reuse and “down cycle” your goods.  (FYI: The Nobles PA will be volunteering at C2C’s Giving Factory on Wednesday April 24 from 10 a.m.-12 p.m.  Items can be dropped at the school in advance of the date OR you can bring them with you when you volunteer. To sign up, email Jill Dalby Ellison at

Curious to learn more clothing and landfills, check out this site:

Use Water Wisely:


The Issue: The water it takes to produce the average American diet alone—approximately 1,000 gallons per person per day—is more than the global average water footprint of 900 gallons per person per day for diet, household use, transportation, energy, and the consumption of material goods. 

The Solution: Reduce your water footprint by choosing from 100 tips at 

Curious to know what your water footprint actually is? Calculate it at: footprint-calculator/

Safe Cleaning Supplies:


The Issue: Many household cleaning products contain dangerous ingredients loaded with strong, artificial colors and fragrances and harsh cleansing agents like bleach, ammonia and acids and that these chemicals can produce indoor air pollution by off-gassing toxic fumes that can irritate eyes and lungs. (Children and pets are most at risk.)

The Solution: Make your own cleaning supplies. Even the biggest messes and toughest stains can be attacked effectively with baking soda, borax, lemon juice, vinegar and other simple ingredients. Even ketchup!  Sound crazy?  To learn more, go to

Learn more about what is in the popular arsenal of household cleaners, check out the Environmental Working Group’s database of more than 2,000 cleaning products at

From the PA Co-Chairs

Welcome back!  We hope you enjoyed some rest and relaxation over the break.  Spring is always a busy time at Nobles and this year is no exception.  We hope you will join us for an array of parent activities coming up as well as the class specific dinners and coffees.

Our monthly PA meeting is on Thurs., April 11, at 8 a.m. in the Castle Library.  Linda Hurley and Sandi MacQuinn will present on the Nobles Community Service program—how it involves our students and school community and what it accomplishes in a year.

Patriot’s Day is Mon., April 15, and families are invited to join the Nobles community to watch the Boston Marathon and to cheer on the Nobles Marathon Fund Team. Students, faculty members, graduates and parents will be running, biking and rowing in support of the Nobles Marathon Fund, which currently supports seven Nobles students annually. For more information on participating or attending the event, check out or contact Michelle Lynch at or 781-320-7007. Please note that this year's gathering will be at 22 Croton Street in Wellesley. Come by anytime after 10 a.m; no need to RSVP, and all are welcome!

On Wed., April 24, please join the Nobles PA for our final outing to Cradles to Crayons in Brighton from 10 a.m.–12 p.m.  For further information, contact Jill Ellison at  Do a little good while catching up with fellow parents!

On April 25, there will be a PA-sponsored lunch in the Castle dining room.  “Parent Lunch in the Castle” will be from 12 to 1:30 p.m., so we can experience the fabulous new facility!  There will be a chitted amount to cover your lunch.  Please watch the weekly emails for the sign up.

Also on Thurs., April 25, from 7 to 9 p.m. come to the Jazz, Blues and Percussion Concert for a wonderful evening of entertaining music.

We look forward to seeing you!

Kris Ganong and Lisa Soule
Parents’ Association Co-Chairs

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

Hello Class II Parents!

Welcome back from spring break.  Spring is finally in the air, especially now that most of the snow has melted!

The Class II Parent Social will take place on Fri., April 5, from 6:30-9 p.m., in the Castle. Please RSVP if you have not done so already.

PA Meeting is on Thurs., April 11, 8- 9:30 a.m., in Castle Library.

Please note that there will be no school on Patriot’s Day, Mon., April 15.

Plans have been finalized for the Class II Pre-Prom Dinner which will be held at Maggiano’s in Boston from 7:15-8:45 p.m. on Sat., April 27.  Students MUST RSVP to dinner by Wed., April 24, at noon. 

The Junior-Senior Prom will take place on Sat., April 27, starting at 9 p.m., at Fairmont Battery Wharf, Boston. 

Your Class II Parent Representatives,

Suzie Montgomery,
Eileen Orscheln,

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

We hope all of the Class III students enjoyed their March break and much deserved time off with their families.
Please mark your calendars for the following important Class III events:

  • Fri., April 5,  7-10 p.m.—Techno Dance
  • Sat., April 6,  6:30-10:30 p.m.—Class III Head of School Dinner Dance
  • Thurs., April 11, 8-9:30 p.m.—Parents' Association Meeting
  • Mon., April 15—Patriots Day, School Closed

Looking ahead, our Class III parent social will be held on Sat. , May 4, in the Castle.   We hope to see many of you at that event.   By then, we might even be able to venture out onto the balcony and enjoy the much anticipated warm weather!

As always, please contact either one of us if you have any thoughts, questions or concerns. Happy Spring!

Ruth Gilleran,
Jennifer Potter,

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

Welcome back!  We hope that everyone had a restful break.  With a week of school under our collective belts, the sprint from April to June is already underway.  For Class VI students, April can be summed up in three letters—RTW (Round The World).  This exciting project culminates in an evening showcase where Class VI students present their “travels” to their peers and parents on April 30, at 6 p.m.   Class V will be revving up for the solar car races; stay tuned for the final event in May.  The sports fields, rivers and courts are already full of activity, as are our performance halls.  April also features a night for Middle School parents to mix and mingle at the Middle School Parents’ Social, April 26, at 6:30 p.m.  The April calendar is full of activities for the students and the parents alike, and we hope that you will take advantage of many of them.

Important Upcoming Dates

April 2, 4, 8 Admitted Students’ Visit Days
April 3 “To Kill a Mockingbird” performance by the New Repertory Theater, 8 a.m, Vinik Theater
April 3 Basketball Shoot-out and Ping-Pong Tournament to raise money for Hurricane Sandy victims
April 12 Imani Concert, 7 p.m., Lawrence Auditorium
April 15 Patriot’s Day – NO SCHOOL
April 17 “Romeo and Juliet” performance by the New Repertory Theater, 8 a.m., Vinik Theater
April 22 Middle School Long Advisory, 2:30-4 p.m.
April 25 Jazz/Blues/Percussion Concert, 7 p.m., Lawrence Auditorium
April 26 Middle School Parents’ Social, 6:30 p.m., the Castle
April 30 Class VI “Round the World” Culminating Evening, 6 p.m., Middle School
May 2 Wind/String/Orchestra Concert, 7 p.m., Lawrence Auditorium
May 3 Middle School Dance, 7 p.m.

We look forward to seeing you this month!  As always, please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions.

Class V Reps—Rhonda Kaplan ( and Sarah Paglione (
Class VI Reps—Michele Abrecht ( and Janet Nahirny (

From Community Service

If you're anything like us, you are already looking at the summer family calendar with increasing panic and leaping into planning mode. You are on the web searching for opportunities for your children, while you balance vacation options, work schedules, camping trips, sports skill-building challenges and service hour requirements. In an effort to help you search for idea, an agency called TeenLife has compiled a website to help you look for summer programs for your son or daughter. They sent us this helpful compendium in the hopes that you might hear about programs unknown to you before. The best part about the site is that you can sort it before viewing, by type: gender, age, or location. (Be sure and check out the community service ideas). Please see below for the website, and their note to you. This is a great resource, and we hope it can help you to find just the right way for your child to enjoy the summer hours and be productive at the same time.

Linda or I will also be glad to answer any questions you might have about what counts for our service hours at Nobles. Here's the quick version: service hours will count if 1) the work is for a non-profit that regularly uses volunteers to help with their work 2) the child is not paid, and 3) the hours are recorded by an on-site supervisor who can attest to the quality and type of work. If you wonder if any particular program or site will fulfill the service hour requirement, please do not hesitate to give either Linda or me a call: 781-320-7262/7261.


Summer is around the corner! Introducing, the largest online resource for summer programs and other enrichment opportunities for students in grades 7-12. Simply go to and start searching. Access is free! You can request more information from many programs that interest you. If you have any questions, feel free to contact Chris Connolly at

Happening Soon at Nobles! Save the Date!

  • Stamp Out Hunger Drive, May 11
  • Tenacity Tennis Tournament (fundraiser), May 5
  • Art Street (fundraiser for many different charities and causes), May 17

Happy Service Spring,

Sandra MacQuinn and Linda Hurley

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

Welcome to senior spring!  We hope you had a relaxing, rejuvenating March break and are ready to officially begin our countdown to graduation. You should have recently received a letter in the mail from Bob Henderson, outlining all the important Class I events for the remainder of the school year. In that mailing, there was also a letter from us which covered the Class I parent events from now until graduation as well as some useful details about graduation dress code. 

April will begin and end with a festive bang this year, as we start the month with our Class I Mexican Fiesta Lunch and end it with the Nobles Prom. Please fill in your calendars with the dates below and contact us with any questions or concerns during these very busy, exciting days ahead!

Important April Dates:

  • Wed., April 3, 8:30 a.m.: “The Way We Were” kick-off meeting, Castle Library.
  • Thurs., April 4, 4-6 p.m.: Decorate the Castle lower dining room for Class I Fiesta Surprise Lunch.
  • Fri., April 5, 10:30 a.m.– 1 p.m.: Class I Mexican Fiesta Surprise Lunch, Castle lower dining room. It’s not too late to join the fun, but please hurry!  Contact Elaine Sobell at
  • Sat., April 27, 7-9 p.m.: Class I Pre-Prom Dinner, Smith & Wollensky, 101 Arlington Street, Boston. See Bill Bussey’s notes in this newsletter for specific details.
  • Sat., April 27, 9 p.m.-midnight: Nobles Prom, Fairmont Battery Wharf Hotel, Boston.

Looking ahead into May, please mark your calendars for the Class I Spring Parent Social on Fri., May 17, 6:30-9:30 p.m.. The festivities will be held in our gorgeous new Castle dining hall and balcony. Those attending will be chitted $25 per person. Please RSVP here:

Now on sale at the Nobles bookstore—Graduation notecardsare $1.25 each or 10 for $12, and feature the graduation scene with the Nobles Castle in the background.  They would make perfect thank-you notecards for your new graduate!

Marion Mussafer,
Linda Courtiss Rheingold,
Elaine Sobell,

Class IV Deans' Report

Dear Parents and Guardians,

This March, Dedham was the backdrop for the best that New England weather has to offer.  Drizzles of rain, hints of springtime sunshine, and loads of snow to remind us that we are indeed still in the thick of winter.

I woke up this morning, surprised to find almost a foot of snow blocking my driveway.  Meteorologists had been issuing conservative updates, not willing to stake anything greater than an accumulation of five inches for the Boston area.

Anything can happen.

Endless possibilities seem to be the theme of the week.  I spent the majority of this week charting out the course of study with my advisees for the 2013-2014 academic year.  The breadth of courses offered to our students continues to surprise me.  Having availed myself of the opportunity to sit in on the classes of my colleagues, I know what wonderful pedagogical opportunities await my advisees come September.  I encourage them to take risks, to explore the new areas of interest, and to put themselves into an arena in which they might develop a new passion.

Anything can happen.

Back to the snow.  As I struggled to get two cars out of our driveway and navigate the slippery roads to attend a conference, I chuckled to myself, knowing that many of the sessions would be–fittingly–dedicated to resilience and overcoming obstacles.  The messy morning commute was a perfect metaphor for the importance of will and stamina as we confront the challenges of life.

Anything can happen.

That can be scary.  I noticed on my drive the bright yellow lights and clunky blades of snow plows, beacons of hope and stability in the winter of our despair.  I was reminded of my class deans' report of a conference in San Francisco, that “helicopter parenting” had been replaced by “snow-plow parenting,” a practice in which all obstacles are removed from the path of our child’s academic and social development. 

While the urge to protect, shelter and “plow” the path for our students is understandable, we often forget that the greatest satisfaction comes from the moment when our car crests the ridge of snow, climbs the hill, arrives at the destination.  The journey may have been harrowing, but the success gained by reliance on individual wit and resource is the true act of learning.  We all appreciate the presence of the snow plows, but we have to try to dig ourselves out first.

I wish you and your children a warm and relaxing spring.  May the temperature inspire your growth as you encounter all that can happen.

Dave Ulrich
Class IV Dean

Experiential Learning – So What? by Ben Snyder, Head of Upper School

Imagine these scenes:

  1. A team of Nobles students arrives at an elementary school in a country where they don’t speak the language. Ten minutes later they are paired up and asked to teach English for two hours. The teacher walks out of the room and leaves it to them.
  2. Another group of students shows up at a home construction site. The foreman of the site divides them up in to teams of two and three, gives each group a quick primer on the discrete jobs that need to be done—and then leaves them to it.

  3. A third team cycles out into the countryside of a developing country where they meet a local farmer who needs manpower to help him turn a soggy depression of mud into a well—with a couple of hoes, a few buckets and a shovel with half a handle. 

Each of these scenes—and plenty of others like them—happened for more than 100 Nobles students in New Orleans, Romania, China, Cambodia and South Africa over spring break. Without question, the work of our students helped and supported people around the country and around the world in real and substantive ways.

But what does the Nobles student learn (aside from the obvious fact that they are super-lucky to go to Nobles and live in the United States)?

Placing students in these kinds of situations teaches some critical lessons. 

First, Nobles students have to solve problems in real time without any road map or textbook to show them an answer. In safe, but challenging environments they have to rely on their own creativity, intelligence, and collaborative skills to sort out solutions in situations they have never experienced before.

Second, Nobles students discover that there are all sorts of kinds of intelligence and talent that make the world run. While one may be able to solve an advanced physics or math problem, that skill doesn’t necessarily help when faced with the challenge putting on a roof, driving a nail, or improvising when one doesn’t have exactly the right tool. 

Next, they begin to understand the complexity of problems that are out there in the world—and to understand that there are no easy solutions to them. While their academic lives at Nobles intentionally present many disparate arguments and streams of information, when they witness “real people” facing seemingly insurmountable challenges, they wrestle with issues in a more meaningful way. 

Finally, they discover that they can make a positive difference in a context they are not familiar with—their creativity, determination, and resilience can lead to a positive outcome for someone else. And in each case they have had to work through their own discomfort to accomplish something of value.

We hope these experiential learning opportunities will achieve the dual goals of making a positive difference for our service partners and teach our students important lessons. As someone who has taken more than 200 Nobles students to New Orleans, Vietnam, Cambodia, India, and South Africa, I’ve seen these experiences be transformative in many ways and thank the many Nobles parents who have placed their trust in us to help teach our students these—and many other—important lessons.


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

Dear Class IV Parents and Guardians,

Welcome back from spring break! We hope you all enjoyed some relaxing family time during that time. It promises to be a busy spring as we close out the Class IV year.

Spring Parent SocialPlease join us for the Spring Parent Social on Friday evening, April 19, at 6:30 p.m. in the Castle. Please click here to RSVP; we would love to see you there. We have a wonderful group of parents already registered to attend the social, and the only thing missing is you!  We are looking for volunteers to bring a dessert, so if you are interested, please email Cindy or Izzy. 

Volunteers are needed for the Nobles Host Family Program, which welcomes new families to the Nobles community. Volunteers are matched with an incoming family and attend one dinner reception to meet “their” family (April 22, for the Upper School) and follow up with a few phone calls or emails. Please contact Deanna DiNovi at if you are interested.

April noteworthy dates:

  • Fri., April 5, 7-10 p.m.:  Techno Dance
  • Thurs., April 11, 8-9:30 a.m.:  PA Meeting at Castle
  • Fri., April 12, 7-9 p.m.:  Imani concert
  • Mon., April 15:  NO SCHOOL, Patriot’s Day
  • Fri., April 19, 6:30-10 p.m.:  Class IV Spring Social at the Castle
  • Mon., April 22:  Host Family Night (Upper School)
  • Wed., April 24, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.:  PA goes to Cradles to Crayons
  • Thurs., April 25, 7-9 p.m.:  Jazz, Blues, Percussion Concert
  • Mon., April 29, 6:30-8:30 p.m.:  Voice Recital

Looking ahead to May, please don’t forget the final Class IV Parent/Guardian Coffee on Fri., May 17, from 8-10 a.m..

As always, please let us know if you have any questions or comments. We look forward to seeing you soon.  Happy spring!

Izzy Loring (
Cindy Trull (

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

The Prom, the Facts by Bill Bussey, Provost

Before we send out invitations to Class I and II students, before a letter from the Head arrives, I want to send this bare bones, just-the-facts missive to you all regarding the prom. Many thanks to the parents who helped organize the dinners.

One important note in advance: A fair number of students choose not to attend with "a date" and go with a group of friends instead. For some, it's a simple, stress-free approach .

What: The Class I and II Prom

Where: Fairmont Battery Wharf, 3 Battery Wharf, Boston. MA.


When: April 27,  9 p.m.-12 a.m.

Dress: Formal


Cost: $75 per person (chittable)

Other: Photographer, Photo Booth, D.J. and Desserts included


Faculty chaperones as well as hired security present.

Inquiries: Bill Bussey—781-264-1893


DINNERS BEFORE THE PROM: Class I and Class II each hold their own dinners prior to the prom, organized and run by parents. Dinners are optional but these make everything so much easier (and less expensive) and most students opt to attend.

Class I Dinner


Where: Smith & Wollensky, 101 Arlington Street, Boston, MA.

Time of Dinner: 7 p.m. seating

Menu: Mixed green salad/warm bread and butter/ choice of 10oz filet mignon, crispy organic chicken, or vegetarian option; fresh string beans/ whipped potatoes/ choice of soft drink/coffee/tea

Cost: $27.50 per person (chittable)

There will be several parents chaperoning this dinner.

Inquiries: Pat Burns—781- 259-7189, Marion Mussafer—781-899-7898

Class II Dinner


Where: Maggiano's Little Italy, 4 Columbus Avenue, Boston, MA

Time of Dinner: 7:15 p.m. seating

Menu: Family-style dinner, still finalizing menu, plenty of vegetarian options

Cost: $ 27.50 per person (chittable)

There will be several parents chaperoning this dinner.

Inquiries: Suzie Montgomery—781-383-1249

The Farm to Table Movement at Nobles by Erika Guy, Dean of Students

As we all impatiently and anxiously await the first glimpse of spring in New England, my mind is already focused squarely upon the upcoming growing season.  In the fall of 2011, after the first ever Nobles Summer Farm and Food Systems service trip, two brave students signed up for an entrepreneurial Afternoon Program option: organic gardening. The Castle renovation and construction project were in full swing so instead of breaking new ground for this venture, we opted instead to begin small: we resurrected two neglected raised bed gardens on the campus and spent much of the fall, cutting overgrown brush, tilling neglected soil, testing soil samples and providing the necessary fertilizer to nourish the beds for the following spring planting season.  We filled our afternoons with all manner of food-related activities: we went apple picking, we made apple crisp, we experimented with natural dyes for eggs, we visited farmer’s markets and community gardens, we made pesto, etc.  After building a hoop house for one of our gardens, we put them to bed for the winter.  In the spring of 2012, six adventurous students signed on for the Afternoon Program option of gardening  and NOW we had work to do!  We prepped and planted EARLY with our fingers crossed that a late frost would not thwart our overanxious efforts.  We were lucky.  The early plantings of tomatoes and peppers survived and as the end of the term arrived, we handed the reigns of the garden over to our summer Upward Bound program teammates, who weeded, tended and harvested in our absence.

In the meantime, the Summer Food Trip 2012 was a success and Food Trip 2013 is in the works for early June.  As with the previous two, this summer’s group will spend a week in rural New Hampshire, volunteering at an organic farm four hours each day.  During the remainder of the time, the group visits local artisanal food producers:  Grafton Village Cheese, Orchard Hill Breadworks, Wichland Woods Mushroom Growers, Walpole Creamery, Country Critters Goat Cheese, etc.  Over this past year, Nobles was also able to secure a gardening grant from the Whole Foods Company and beginning in early April, a group of faculty and students will break ground on the new and much improved,  Nobles organic garden.  The site is between the Castle and Wiggins Dorm and once the students depart campus in June, we have 16 Nobles faculty/staff families signed on to help tend our small farm over the summer months.  I hope you will wander by at some point this spring to see how the “farm to table movement” is progressing at Nobles.

Now, back to my day job…

Thanks for reading.
Erika Guy

10 Campus Drive,
Dedham, Massachusetts
tel: 781.326.3700
Site Map
Terms and Conditions
Privacy Policy
Connect with Nobles facebook twitter youtube

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