Nobles Parents' E-Newsletter

May 2013

Nobles Parents' E-Newsletter May 2013

Are They Listening by Bob Henderson, Head of School

Frequently I wonder if my three boys are paying any attention to me.  I am so omnipresent in their lives as both parent and school head that I think they work especially hard to shut me off.  Moreover, the seductive power of the technologies to which they have access provides them with easy escape.  For those of you who missed the news of my infirmity, I managed to break my leg skiing back in December.  The damage was sufficiently severe that I am still in the midst of a long recovery.  Making it worse, this is my third time breaking my leg skiing.  Sometime in late May, hopefully, I will be able to get rid of the cast on my leg and walk in my own two shoes.  Despite the inconvenience of this, however, I am doing fine.  Indeed, there have been many positive lessons learned through this process.  One of those resulted from an enlightening encounter I had with one of my ninth grade twins, Patrick, a few weeks ago.

Through this winter, when I have been at my house, my nearly permanent position is parked on a couch with my damaged leg propped up in the air.  One day back in February, Patrick was sitting on the other side of the room, thoroughly engrossed in his computer screen.  Somehow I managed to distract him with an innocuous question and then draw him into an actual conversation.  The subject turned to skiing, something we both love to do.  Feeling some excitement at the prospect of skiing again someday, and with a flickering sense of determination to get back on the horse that threw me, I said to Patrick that I was looking forward to shopping this summer for new ski equipment.  He looked at me gleefully and cited right back at me the precise advice I give him every time I review his grades and comments.  He said, “Dad, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome.”  Checkmate.

Despite the rebuff, however, upon reflection I was delighted that he could regurgitate my words so precisely and creatively!  Over the years I can’t tell you how many parents have expressed to me their concern that their connection with their teenager seemed to be eroding, and that he or she was becoming someone unfamiliar.  Yet my observation of that same child while at school is often starkly to the contrary, and I see the values of the family reflected in behavior and relationships with confidence and clarity.  I opine that adolescents have to push parents away sometimes in order to become an independent adult, and although this process can sometimes be difficult, it is also often an essential part of a teenager becoming the sort of person we, as parents, always hoped they would be.  Good advice, but I have to admit that, like most parents, this process has been sometimes tough for me to experience personally.

So it is great when you have an insight that your child has been listening and the messages are registering.  Even when we feel we are appealing to a void, there are neural synapses that are processing and ingesting our values.  So it is important that we do not stop being parents when resistance grows.  I once had an exchange with a parent on this topic that comes to mind.  This father said to me that he was at a loss as to how to influence his son.  I told him, “You need to fire and fall back, then fire again.”  That does not mean retreat.  It does not mean change your values or negotiate.  It means we need to say what we think while standing firm, then stop and listen with real engagement and concern.  Then regroup, perhaps figure out a new way to articulate your expectations, and stand firm again.  Especially as the year draws to a close and the assault seems relentless, and you are at the end of your reserves, you need to do the right thing in order help them navigate well.  As I said in an earlier letter to parents, no matter how much they resist and complain, they count on us to do that.  They are listening.

Nobles Magazine Is Now Available for the iPad

The latest issue of Nobles—the official magazine for Noble and Greenough School—is now available in print, online and for the iPad. The iPad version has extended features and interactive content, including video, audio, slideshows and more.

Search "Nobles" in the App Store to download the iPad version; print copies are in the mail; or visit for the Spring 2013 issue, or to access the archive of past issues.

Nobles is published three times a year for graduates, past and current parents and grandparents, students and supporters of Noble and Greenough School. Letters and comments may be emailed to

Top Ten Tips for Surviving the End of the School Year by Ben Snyder, Head of Upper School

Typically in my Parent E-Newsletter pieces, I focus on aspects of Nobles that connect to our mission and have an impact on parents and parenting. As we get ready to close the school year, however, I want to get really practical about what the final weeks entail.

I am particularly concerned in the spring that students get "over-stretched" in their commitments as we enter arguably the most important academic phase of the year. So here are my "Top 10 Tips" to helping your son or daughter manage the last month of school.

1. Please try to help your child take some time each weekend to organize notes, tests, quizzes, old review sheets and syllabi so that when exam preparation time comes these materials will be readily available. As of this writing there are only five weekends before final exams and while it might feel unrealistic to create study sheets before the last few weekends, some students may have the time to start nibbling away at it (and some teachers set aside homework time for it—especially for Class IV). Creating a "finals folder" for each subject will help; this provides a repository for all of these papers that will be useful for studying.

2. If your child is "done" with homework early in the evening and is tempted to flick on the TV or get on the phone or online, encourage a quick half hour to review one or two subjects. Quick but regular review of material from earlier in the year can make a huge difference when it comes to exam time. Just re-writing study guides helps cement information; writing over is studying.

3. Find out if there are big papers or projects coming up—and help your child plan his or her time. Teachers have often already done this—but being "on schedule" can make an enormous difference.

4. If your child is having difficulty in a particular course, now is the time to see that teacher for extra help (if this has not already been set up), with special attention paid to exam preparation. Your child's advisor or individual teachers can give advice on preparation and organization for the end of year. Students feel "pressured" in different ways and communication with an advisor or trusted teacher can often prevent the "brush off" from kids around these issues—or the advisor can get the same message across.

5. Sleep and good food are critical. If your child is out or up late—especially on the weekends—this will hinder learning. Discourage sleepovers (I often say that the best thing that happens at sleepovers is that no one gets any sleep).  Returning to school on a Monday exhausted from a weekend of lost sleep is an incredible disadvantage in academic work. Especially on exam days, sufficient sleep and healthy food (a good breakfast is vital) will ensure focus and keep your child healthy.

6. Focus on effort rather than results. Kids can control their effort and preparation. If they do that, the results will take care of themselves—and they need to know that is what parents value most.

7.  Be careful of too many commitments. Spring is a time of athletic tournaments, outside recitals and performances, family gatherings and other commitments that can take big chunks of time. Gauge how much time these commitments will take—and then literally plan out on an hourly basis a few weeks in advance what the commitments are and when the academic work will get done. Make sure you’ve blocked out enough time for homework and studying!

8. Know where your child is at all times—keep calling fellow parents to ensure that your child is appropriately supervised. Our children live in mortal fear of being "horribly embarrassed" by us if we call. Know your children will still love you after you pick up the phone and call—they may just not show it in that moment.

9. Give them an assist on summer. Each year I write about (and get positive feedback on) the importance of kids getting summer jobs. But remember that many of our children have never looked for a job—so this is an area where you can be really helpful in terms of brainstorming, generating contacts, etc.

10. Find time to talk with your kid(s) about something other than school. So often young people feel that parents are only relating to them (and evaluating them) around school—and that their success (or lack of it) in school is the only barometer of how they will be judged. The topics don’t matter (movies, friends, extended family, etc), but we should try not to forget that our kids are much more than their grades and activities.

The basic principles of using the weekends to catch up, communicating openly and honestly with teachers at crunch times, and asking for help from the advisor when things feel overwhelming apply even more so as we head down the stretch. We look forward to seeing you at the many year end events as another successful school year draws to a close.

From the Foster Gallery:
2013 AP Student Show

Foster Gallery proudly showcases the work of 30 AP studio students in the annual Student Show, running from April 29 through May 31.  The largest student show since the inception of the gallery, works represent a year of technical and conceptual development in the AP ceramics, photography, and drawing courses.  Artists’ statements accompany the presentation of each selection of work, highlighting unique interests, approaches and challenges that shape the work and giving the viewer an insight into the process of creating a “concentration.” 

The exhibit will host an opening reception with the student artists on Wed., May 22, from 8:30-9:10 a.m., during X Block and a closing reception with the artists on Wed., May 29, from 5:30-7 p.m., before Class I Night.  For questions about the show or about Foster Gallery, please contact John Dorsey at

To see a selection of works and hear from several artists, click here.

Bouncing Back by John Gifford, Head of Middle School

Failure, in and of itself, actually does teach important lessons. When students get a question right, they don’t stop to consider why (even if it was simply a lucky guess).  When they get it wrong, they usually take the time to understand what went awry.  They learn from their errors and will hopefully not make the same mistake again. We have not, however, taken full advantage of failure if we leave it at that. Building resiliency in young people is the important dance partner of the value of failure.

I doubt there is anything as important to future success as resiliency. After a setback of any type, the individual who is able to persevere is far better positioned to reach their ultimate goal.  The young person who is not debilitated by an embarrassing event or a thoughtless slight of a peer, can focus on their goals and not be stymied by setbacks.

While resiliency can come with age and experience, there are also ways that adults can nurture its development. What follows are a few suggestions of “dos and don’ts”.  Common sense perhaps and I’d wager that you are already enacting some version of this advice.

Boys and girls may deal with adversity in very different ways. While the “fight or flight” paradigm has been widely accepted for some time as a human strategy to cope with great stress, more recent studies focused on girls suggest that they react quite differently.  Researchers have found that girls are more likely to “tend and befriend” during times of crisis, working to solidify their social networks as a way of protecting themselves from a threat. This could help to explain what we know intuitively.  Boys and girls work out their differences in very different ways.  Boys may verbally shut down, avoid and deny the event that was painful or perhaps even react in a physically aggressive manner.  Girls may take tallies of the opinions of their peers.  They often need to verbalize the event—sometimes only with a close peer or adult and other times quite broadly. There are positive aspects to these (very generalized) coping mechanisms of both boys and girls and there are clear deficiencies.

Whether the impacted youngster is male or female, it seems clear that a mentoring connection to adults is vital. Studies led by Michael Resnick, Phd. have suggested that adult connection is the most important factor in young people who are able to resist high risk behaviors. Dr. Judith Jordan asserts what we so passionately believe at Nobles: that parent/child and student/teacher relationships are also essential to young people developing resiliency in the face of adversity.

But when trouble bubbles, what might that mentoring relationship look like? How can you help your child bounce back from a sticky situation? Each situation is exceedingly different, but here are a few quick strategies to think about.

Listen and Sympathize
The first step is to listen. They need to know that you are taking the situation seriously. You should sympathize and validate their feelings. This doesn’t mean that you should validate their anxietydon’t ramp it up even more!  You are simply taking the time to listen and not dismissing how they feel. If they feel that you have (truly) heard them, they are more likely able to switch gears to treat the event as a teachable moment rather than a tragedy.


Set the Context
We need to remember that the life-context is lacking for young people. They have little more than a decade under their belts and, hopefully, they have not experienced great hardship. A young person’s definition of “disaster” is all relative and a situation that 10th grader would take in stride can feel truly horrifying to a middle schooler. It is the adult’s job to try to provide broader context.

You can help provide context. If your child failed a test, talk through how many tests there are yet to take. If they are upset by a comment that a peer made in the hallway, talk through the complicated nature of how things are intended and interpreted.

Turn it into THEIR Game Plan
Focus on what was learned from the process. Was it an organizational problem? A communication problem? Sure, you can suggest strategies, but also get your child to problem solve different ways to handle a similar situation in the future.  Encourage them to come up with a plan to make the current situation better.  Make sure that they are solving the problem as much as possible. Put simply: there is no more important time to teach self-advocacy than when the chips are down. 


You know your child. It is important to keep in mind that the strategies of how to work with any young person are nuanced and should shift depending on what you think would prove most effective. In the end, the most important over-arching message that I hope resonates is the one about adult mentorship as a key component of building resilience.

Jordan, Judith V. "Relational Resilience in Girls." Ed. Sam Goldstein. Handbook of Resilience in Children. Ed. Robert B. Brooks. New York: Springer, 2006. N. pag. Print.

The Studies Show Podcast Series: Modern Language and Oral Assessments

To listen to this month's podcast—featuring modern language teacher Jodi McQuillan— about studying for modern language, visit

“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.

From the Nobles Theatre Collective

Please join us as we present our spring musical, The Drowsy Chaperone, on Tues., May 14 through Fri., May 17, at 6:30 p.m., and on Sat., May 18, at 2 p.m.

              performing arts

At once a bright, colorful 1920s style musical and a send-up of old Broadway musicals, The Drowsy Chaperone boldly addresses a great unspoken desire in all of our hearts: to be entertained. If you've ever sat in a dark theatre and thought, "Please, please let it be good," this is the show for you!

Tickets can be purchased using the following link:

We look forward to seeing you at the show!

Maureen Shiels Norment
John DeVoy
NTC Parent Reps

Addressing the Concern of Learning Style Differences and Stigma by Jennifer Hamilton, School Psychologist

For kids with learning style differences, learning and studying often become a real chore.  They are trying as hard as they can, yet they can feel like they are spinning their wheels and not seeing the kind of results they (and others) expect from them.  As their school work shifts from concrete tasks to abstract reasoning and analytical thinking (usually around eighth grade), the methods they have employed in the lower grades no longer get the job done.  It can feel like they suddenly hit a wall.  I have talked to countless kids who feel that they "used to be smart," or that something is wrong with them.  This can be a huge blow to self-esteem and can cause students to experience real anxiety.  We know that all learning is emotional; when you are interested in what you are studying, it is like your brain is ignited to want to learn more.  When you respect and connect with your teacher, you want to participate more in class and go the extra mile on your homework.   But when you feel anxious or "not good enough," the "emotional brain" (amygdala) becomes activated, making it extremely difficult to focus on learning new material.  This creates a vicious cycle:  You are having trouble because of a learning style difference, you feel anxious that you can't learn, and your brain shuts down, making it even harder to learn.

At Nobles we are so fortunate to have learning specialists, Gia Batty and Sara Masucci, whose job it is to help students understand that we all have strengths and weaknesses in our learning profiles.  They are willing to work with students to help tease out why they might be struggling in a particular area and are armed with insightful strategies to help remediate weaknesses and capitalize on strengths.  Techniques at their disposal might include working one-on-one with a student, making recommendations to teachers about different teaching methods that might be helpful, and helping families implement strategies at home. In some cases, Gia or Sara may recommend that a family pursue some formal educational testing for their child to better understand his or her learning style. In the past, everything from using the Learning Center to educational testing to doing a PG year were avoided for fear that a student might feel stigmatized. Today, it's clear that our society is now moving toward a model in which optimizing learning strategies is the priority.  When we use all of the tools at our disposal to help a student feel successful, he or she gains confidence as a learner and this sets in place a positively perpetuating cycle.

Working with Gia or other members of the AAC team provides students with an explanation for why they have been struggling.  Instead of "I need to try harder" or "I'm too lazy" or  "I'm just not smart enough,"  it becomes "My brain processes information in a different way but if I apply some new strategies I can be successful!"

Often in a challenging academic environment we need to remind ourselves (and our kids) that using the resources at our disposal is not a sign of weakness.  If you feel that your child might be struggling in one or more academic areas, I encourage you to reach out to your student's advisor or to Gia Batty.  In addition, members of the counseling team are always available to talk with you or your children about the emotional aspects of working through learning difficulties.

The Warm Weather is Here! Spring/Summer Tips from the Green Team

Nobles is committed to reducing its carbon footprint and promoting healthy habits on campus. We need to take care of the world around us! The success of the single-use plastic bottle ban—introduced this fall—is just one example of the campus-wide programs and green initiatives in place. The Nobles Green Team is thrilled with the work on campus and wants to encourage Nobles families to continue the commitment at home. Here are a few helpful tips for staying green during the warmer months:

  • Plant a tree. A single tree will absorb one ton of carbon dioxide over its lifetime. And shade provided by trees can reduce an air conditioning bill by 10 to 15%. To learn more about the benefits of trees, visit The Arbor Day Foundation website at
  • Buy locally grown food.  The average meal in the United States travels 1,500 miles from the farm to your plate. Buying locally will save fuel, reduce carbon emissions, and keep money in your community.  Read more about why buying locally is so important at
  • Forego the car and ride your bike for transportation.  For short trips to the store or to visit a friend in your town, take the time to be good to yourself and to the planet.  In addition to getting exercise and reducing your carbon footprint, you could also add years to your life when eliminating the stress of parking!  Test your knowledge of the benefits of bicycling at The International Bike Foundation's website:
  • Support your neighborhood farmer's market both because they're fun and reduce the amount of energy required to grow and transport food to you by one fifth. To find a farmer's market in your area go to this USDA website:
  • Eat less meat. The Environmental Working Group released its Meat Eater's Guide to Climate Change and Health, looking at the carbon footprint of eating beef, pork and poultry. According to the study, if a family of four gave up eating steak for just one day a week, it would be the equivalent of taking their car off the road for three months. Visit for more information.

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There are myriad ways to connect with Nobles online. Visit for news, events, information and more or visit our social media page ( to connect through sites including Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.


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

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

Dear Class I Families,

A wonderful prom has come and gone, May is here, and graduation is finally around the corner! This is a busy month full of exciting, memorable events and we hope that you will all have a chance to join us in celebrating the many outstanding accomplishments of the Nobles Class of 2013.

What a terrific year this has been! First and foremost, we’d like to thank our Class I Deans, Meg Hamilton and Michael Herring. Meg and Michael have been there every step of the way, adding wisdom, logistical support, and invaluable advice to all our Class I activities. They helped us at every turn, and our senior events would not have been a success without them! Of course, the success of these events was also totally dependent on our outstanding Class I parent volunteers. We have been so lucky to have such a creative, generous and supportive Class I parent volunteer group. Thank you so much for everything you have done to make this such a memorable year for our seniors.

We hope you can all find time to stop, take a deep breath, and truly enjoy these last special days with your Nobles seniors. We look forward to seeing you at many of the events listed below—ALL are parent friendly!

May Class I Events:

  • Fri., May 17: Class I Parent Social, 7:30-10 p.m., new Castle dining hall. Those attending will be chitted $25 per person. Please RSVP here:
  • Tues., May 28: "The Way We Were" Celebration, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., McLeod Field
  • Tues., May 28: Senior Project Night, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Lawrence Auditorium
  • Wed., May 29: Class I Night, 5:30-9:30 p.m.; AP Art Show in Foster Gallery at 5:30 p.m., BBQ on the Beach at 6 p.m., followed by performances in Lawrence Auditorium.
  • Thurs., May 30: Awards Night, 7-9 p.m., Lawrence Auditorium
  • Fri., May 31: GRADUATION, 10 a.m.-Noon, Greene Field; Procession will begin at 9:30 a.m.

                         Graduation Dress Code:

                         -Young men: White pants (and white underwear!), white shirt, navy blazer, Nobles tie and crest (available at bookstore).
                         -Young women: White dress with thick straps or sleeves, no more than a dollar bill's length above knee or longer. If dress is strapless, please wear cardigan or jacket
                         (shoulders must be covered for graduation). Proper dress shoes.

  • Fri., May 31: Class of 2013 Graduation Party, 8:30-11:30 p.m., Elm Bank Reservation, Wellesley. This is a parent-sponsored event. If you are interested in participating, please contact Pat Burns at

A special reminder that Nobles graduation notecards are available at the school bookstore, $1.25 each or $12 for 10. Please contact Erin Conlon at to place your order.

Finally, we want to thank everyone for a wonderful year. We have so enjoyed interacting with all of Class I. They are a truly remarkable group of young adults, and we are so proud to count our kids among them. We look forward to seeing you all at the special events in the weeks ahead!

Marion, Linda & Elaine

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

Greetings Class III Parents,

This is our final newsletter for this year, and it's hard to believe that sophomore year is coming to a close.  We have enjoyed being your class reps and want to thank all of our fellow parents who have made our job a pleasure by contributing in so many ways.  We have enjoyed working with so many of you on events like the fall parent social at the Conway's home, the surprise lunch, and the head of school dinner dance.  These events were a great success, and we are grateful for your tremendous generosity, teamwork, creativity and spirit.  It was great to see many of you at the spring parent social May 4. It was a wonderful evening in the Castle!

A few last events to remember…

  • Tues., May 14–Wed., May 15: All-school book fair. Students attend with their English classes
  • Tues., May 14–Sat., May 18: Spring musical, The Drowsy Chaperone
  • Mon., May 27: Memorial Day, school closed
  • Fri., May 31: Graduation, beginning with an all-school Assembly at 8:30 a.m.
  • Mon., June 3:–Thurs., June 6: Final exams
  • Fri., June 7: Comment Writing Day - No Classes
  • Mon., June 10: Final day of school

We hope the end of the year finishes smoothly and that you and your families enjoy a wonderful summer!


Ruth Gilleran -
Jennifer Potter -


From Community Service: Help Your Child Get Summer Service Hours

Popsicles, lemonade, a hammock and you! Ah, summer is so relaxing, isn't it? Or are you like us—in a car, air conditioner humming, the back seat full of children on their way to dozens of activities? If this is you, and you are also trying to fit in that conversation or helpful hint about service requirement hours, we're here to help. Here is the work flow, so you can help your child figure out how to have both a meaningful experience, and get those hours recorded in our database.

To do:
1. Check in to see what your son or daughter has already accomplished in this area. You may have kept a list or have it in your head. The deal begins during the summer after eighth grade if they want to get started early on Upper School hours, although younger children have a harder time getting placed. If you need information from us about what we have already recorded, we would be happy to look. Call us at 781-320-7262, or 7261 but email is maybe the easiest way to connect.

2. Understand what has to happen. The site your child chooses must be a not for profit organization that uses volunteers to help them do their work. If you have any question about whether or not this site will work, please email us with the name, and we will let you know quickly. Your child must not be paid in any way for his or her service (scouting credit, money, etc.) We would love to pre-approve the site, and record what your son or daughter is doing in the database so we can look for journals, and get the evaluation if the site forgets. The more we know, the more we can be helpful and supportive to your child's endeavor.

3. Communicate often and early about the result. Your son or daughter had an experience out there in the world. a) Reflection about it is best done at the time. Here are the specifications for the journal entries he or she should write: typed, (six entries in all), one and a half double-spaced entries due as soon as the service ends, sent via email to Linda Hurley or to Sandra MacQuinn. We keep them and credit them, and add the evaluation from the site to their page in the database. They only need one set of these for all four years of their Upper School Service. b) The evaluation: click here to access or you can also find it on the Nobles website, in both the student and parent protected pages. It asks the immediate supervisor to fill out a short report attesting to what your child did, and what he or she thought about the quality of your child's work. At the bottom it asks them to confer credit in hours served. We call many of these folks to check in, and thank them.

4. The requirement is 80 hours over the four years of Upper School. Your child can do this in small pieces, all at once, or in a couple of projects. Summer is a great time, but surely not the only time. All-year projects, runs and walks, student-sponsored events, and Afternoon Program options abound.

But if summer is your option of choice, we are here to support and inform and suggest ideas for completion. Now go get that glass of lemonade. Heck, make it iced tea! You'll earn it, helping your child decide on a project, and probably get there as well! 

Sandi MacQuinn and Linda Hurley
Service Directors

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

Although the end of the academic year is near, so many great events at Nobles will take place during these last few weeks of school.  Listed below are important dates on the Nobles calendar you won’t want to miss. 

One of the month's highlights is the Class V Solar Car Races on May 15.  Watching these creations speed, cruise or inexplicably sputter to a stop on the tennis courts is great fun for the whole school (parents, too!)  Graduation Day is May 31, and is a required event for all students.  The Middle School has its own celebration with the Step Up Ceremony for Class V Students on June 6, which marks their transition from the Middle to Upper School next year.  After the week of exams is over, and the teachers are busy with Comment Writing Day, the Middle School students can blow off steam at the Canobie Lake Park Outing on June 7, which is a parent-led event.

As you all are aware, Nobles is a busy place with many worthwhile and interesting events each and every month.  We would like to thank all of you for your help with these various Nobles events throughout the year.  We have a great community of parents who are always willing to help, and we really appreciate all that you do to make these occasions a success.

Important Dates for May and June


  • May 10: Middle School Day of Service, including all Middle School students and faculty
  • May 14-18: Spring musical, The Drowsy Chaperone
  • May 15: Class V Solar Car Races and all-school BBQ (rain dates: May 16 and May 17); located on the tennis courts.

  • May 22: MS Milton Games — please refer to for times and locations
  • May 23: MS Visual Arts Opening prior to Spring Choral concert in the Performing Arts Center and Lawrence Auditorium

  • May 27: Memorial Day — school closed
  • May 31:  Graduation Day —more information to follow in the Wednesday emails.

  • June 3-6:  Final exams — morning exams, 9-11 a.m.; afternoon exams, 1-3 p.m.
  • June 6:  Class V Step Up Ceremony in Vinik Theatre & BBQ to follow on “the Beach.”

  • June 7:  Comment Writing Day -— no school
  • June 7: Canobie Lake Trip — This is a parent-led event.  Any questions please contact Lydia Kankkunen at  More details to follow.

  • June 10: Last day of school — all-school Assembly, mini classes and individual advisor meetings.  Students are dismissed after their advisor meetings.


Happy Summer!

Please contact us if you have any questions.

Class V Reps
Rhonda Kaplan,
Sarah Paglione,

Class VI Reps
Michele Abrecht,
Janet Nahirny,


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

Dear Class IV Parents and Guardians:

It is hard to believe that this is the last monthly E-Newsletter of the 2012-2013 school year.  Where did the time go?  In the blink of an eye, our children have gone from hesitant new high schoolers to confident students ready for sophomore year. 

Since this is our final E-Newsletter as your class representatives, we want to extend our gratitude and appreciation to all of you for your outstanding participation and support this past year —which has made our job very easy and most pleasurable. Your generous donations of time, resources, ideas and energy made a significant difference and were sincerely appreciated.  Our heartfelt thanks to all the volunteers who made sure our class activities were both successful and enjoyable. 

Special thanks to the Brousseau family for donating their marvelous Mayflower beer, and another thank you to Barbara Ito and Jonathan Katz for hosting the wonderful fall social.  Dave Ulrich and Jillian Grunnah were terrific as Class Deans.  Finally, we would like to recognize Matthew Burek and the FLIK staff for everything they have done for our class. They are wonderful to work with and always go above and beyond what is required. 

As you all know, the spring social was canceled due to the events surrounding the Boston Marathon bombing.  The newly rescheduled date for the social is Thurs., May 16, from 6:30-9 p.m.  It will still be held in the Castle and we are all hoping for a lovely night so we can enjoy the terrace.  Please join your fellow Class IV parents and guardians for some fun and good food on May 16.  Please use the following link to RSVP:

Some highlights for May:

  • Tues., May 14 – Sat., May 18: Nobles spring musical, The Drowsy Chaperone, Vinik Theater. Times vary, so please check the website for specific details about purchasing tickets.
  • Thurs., May 16: Class IV Spring Social, 6:30-9 p.m., in the Castle.  Please RSVP and come join us! 
  • Fri., May 17:  Class IV Coffee canceled—To be rescheduled
  • Thurs., May 23: Choral Concert, 7-9 p.m., Lawrence Auditorium
  • Mon., May 27: Memorial Day, school closed
  • Fri., May 31:  Graduation
  • Mon., June 3 – Thurs., June 6:  Exams (the full exam schedule is on the website, check the calendar for details)
  • Mon., June 10: Final day of school (shortened day)

We hope the remainder of your school year is great, and that you all have a wonderful summer. It has been a pleasure being your class reps this year, and we look forward to sharing the many experiences and adventures that await our students in the coming years at Nobles!

Best to you all,
Izzy and Cindy

From the PA Co-Chairs

It’s hard to believe the school year is almost over! But before we get to June, we have a busy May with many opportunities for you to enjoy the Nobles community. May started off quickly with the Wind, String and Orchestra concert on May 2, followed by the Middle School dance on May 3.  

The final meeting of the Parents' Association will be held on May 7, in the Castle Library. All are welcome to join for coffee and conversation as we thank outgoing members and introduce the new board.  This is a transition meeting during which current board members meet with incoming committee chairs and class representatives to exchange notebooks and information.  There will not be a guest speaker at this meeting.

We hope that you will attend the many all-school events this month.  Always in Broadway fashion, this year’s spring musical is The Drowsy Chaperone, performed May 14 through 18. Class V has worked hard on their solar cars and will race in fury against each other on May 15, followed by an all-school cookout.  We also have the Choral concert on May 23, the AP Art Show in the Foster Gallery and the final Nobles Milton games being played on May 22, for Middle School and May 24, for the Upper School teams. We congratulate graduating seniors and welcome Class I parents to the Senior Arts Night and Senior Project Night the week of graduation.  Please refer to the weekly parents' email and the parent’s calendar on the website for more detailed listings of all dates and events.

Finally, we want to thank the Nobles community for their support, time and energy this year.  In particular, we give special thanks to our current PA board for their tireless effort, enthusiasm and invaluable help in making this year such a great success.

Enjoy the rest of the school year and have a wonderful summer!

With best wishes,
Kris Ganong
Lisa Soule

Class I Deans' Report

Dear Class I Parents,

It’s May! We can’t believe spring is already here and that it is time to write our final newsletter to you. We’re sure that the time has passed even faster for you and your family. We wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for such a wonderful year. We can remember many of the seniors as ninth- and 10th-graders in our HHC and U.S. history classes or on our teams, and it has been fun seeing them grow over these past four years. We feel lucky to have had the opportunity to work with them in their final year at Nobles. We also wanted to thank the Class I parents representatives, Marion Mussafer, Linda Rheingold and Elaine Sobell, for all of their work and planning this year.

As we head into the homestretch, please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about everything that is happening on campus. This time of year is jammed packed, so it might not hurt to double check the calendar, as well as the letter from Head of School Bob Henderson, and check in with your senior(s) and us. Please remind your son/daughter to check emails from us, as there may be last minute changes to plans.

Though it seems like a long way off, your student’s transition to college is just around the corner. Over the years, we have collected a reading list of books that discuss various aspects of the college transition for students and parents. We offer these titles below with a little description. We hope you find some of these resources helpful!

Whether it may be a casual conversation in the Alcoves, a quick coffee trip, or a walk down to the MAC, we look forward to spending the remaining few weeks with this group. Each member of this class has accomplished so much during his/her time here and given so much to Nobles. We are extremely proud of how this Class I has led the Nobles community. Now it is time to celebrate! Congratulations to you and your families.


Meghan Cleary Hamilton and Michael Herring

Reading List:
College of the Overwhelmed by Richard Kadison and Theresa Foy DiGeronimo (Jossey-Bass, 2004). Dr. Kadison, one of the co-authors of this book, was our guest speaker for "Transitions Night." The book discusses mental health concerns on campus and outlines stresses that college students can face. They give suggestions for parents and students on coping mechanisms, as well as tips for parents on how to help their children with the college life.

Don't Tell Me What to Do, Just Send Money: The Essential Parenting Guide to the College Years by Helen E. Johnson & Christine Schelhas-Miller (St. Martin's Griffin, 2000).
Written by two women involved with parent programs at Cornell, this book touches on virtually everything from the summer before first-year to post-college planning. The format consists of pairs of hypothetical conversations between parent and child on an issue: the first disastrous, the second, based on the principles the authors espouse, more effective.

Getting the Best Out of College: A Professor, a Dean and a Student Tell You How to Maximize Your Experience by Peter Feaver, Sue Wasiolek, and Anne Crossman

Letting Go: A Parents' Guide to Understanding the College Years by Karen Levin Coburn and Madge Lawrence Treeger (Harper Perennial, 1997). A slightly dated but still useful summary of the psychology of late adolescence followed by practical tips drawn from students and parents from a number of colleges.

Making the Most of College: Students Speak Their Minds by Richard J. Light (Harvard, 2001). A fascinating and highly readable account of the results of a project at Harvard in which students were asked what had been most useful to them in their college careers.

Transition Year: Your Source for Emotional Health at College. New online resource that helps students and parents focus on emotional health before, during and after the college transition. Includes articles, resources, and various checklists. Visit

When Your Kid Goes to College: A Parents Survival Guide by Carol Barkin (Avon Books, 1999) A straightforward look at the issues, from the "Summer of Anticipation" to "Advice from a College Senior."

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