Nobles Parents' E-Newsletter

April 2011

Nobles Parents' E-Newsletter April 2011

Nobles' Marathon Fund Event and The Boston Marathon: Patriots' Day, April 18!


Here’s the math: 26.2 miles (marathon) = 6 student scholarships!

Parents, join our students, grads and faculty for this fabulous day of community and fundraising. Our quarter- and half-marathon runners will cross our “finish line” at Pond Road in Wellesley, where your cheering and support, along with a great view of the marathon, will make this an amazing day for all.

Nobles vans will shuttle runners to starting points in Hopkinton and Framingham. Spectators can park at Wellesley College lots with continuous shuttle service to our Pond Road location (for directions to these lots, visit ( If your student is participating, you will be getting an email with more information.

Final call for:
• ParticipantsRun: Quarter- (6.2 miles) or half-marathon (13.1 miles) distances on the marathon route and “finish” in Wellesley; Bike: Cycle with Nobles group the morning of the marathon, stopping in Wellesley to see the runners finish before returning to Nobles; Row: Participate with the Nobles rowers in the Newton-Wellesley Hospital (NWH) ERG Marathon to benefit the Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Program. An anonymous Nobles donor will match all contributions to NWH with an equal contribution to the Nobles Marathon Scholarship Fund!

To participate, please email Megan Ryan, Associate Director of Graduate Affairs, at

*Student participants must download the waiver and gift forms from the marathon website at Parents are asked to sign the waiver, and students can turn them in and pick up their t-shirt at Gleason Hall on April 11-13 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

 Race Day Volunteers: Parents are welcome to help out at our Pond Road location in Wellesley. 

To volunteer, please email Faith Pongor, Parent Coordinator, at
For more information about race day logistics, visit

Not Either/Or, but Both/And by Ben Snyder, Head of Upper School

In the last issue of the Parents' E-Newsletter, I wrote about the importance of high school students getting a summer job – to gain some "real world" experience, to take on some personal financial responsibility, to be held accountable in new ways and to develop different interpersonal skills. And then I promptly got on a plane and took 18 Nobles Class I and II students to Vietnam and Cambodia to cycle a few hundred miles, do some service, learn important history and expand their view of themselves and the world.

Some might accuse me of being somewhat hypocritical in promoting two very different agendas, but the efficacy of both types of experiences is undeniable. Sarah and I have been fortunate to take Nobles students to New Orleans, India, South Africa and Southeast Asia, and each time we do so we are overwhelmed by the impact these immersion experiences have on kids and on us. Adolescents are incredibly self-centered, and often the best way to help them break away from that focus on self is to put them in a context where nothing is familiar and where all assumptions are challenged. Whether swinging a hammer in New Orleans, holding an abandoned child in Romania, building a library in Cambodia or helping in a South African township (and many other experiences of this sort) our students are brought face to face with the challenges (and opportunities) that many face in our country and in the world today.

At our farewell meeting in Cambodia one student said that she’d always wondered why people would go outside of Boston to do service "when there is so much to do in our own backyards." As we talked about this conundrum, we came to the conclusion that there are many ways to make a positive impact on the lives of others and that the goal is simply to find the vehicle that is right for each individual. Nobles' mission of trying to develop "leaders for the public good" makes no mention of priority of cause or location – we simply want to help people find a place and a way to make a difference that is meaningful to them and to others.

My advice to parents would be to try to help your child try on different service experiences for size and see what fits best. Some will find satisfaction in their neighborhoods while others will find opportunities in the developing world. But armed with the intellectual and analytical skills developed in Nobles classrooms and a range of experiences that push them out of their "comfort zone," Nobles students will develop into leaders of the future.

Side note: And the connection to summer jobs? We always made our children work in the summer to help pay for these kinds of experiences – when they had some sweat equity involved, it made an obvious difference.

Some Strings Attached by John Gifford, Head of the Middle School

relationships, general classroomHow we think about students facing adversity in the Middle School years

My daughters, now 6 and 8 years old, finally wore us down and we made the family pilgrimage to Disney last week. One day, after a long day of walking, one child leapt from a short stone wall onto my back in an attempt to catch a ride. I was taken by surprise, stumbled, and snapped my three-year-old $9.99 flip flop sandals. They were useless. It appeared that I’d be hopping home.

Then the Disney magic kicked in: A woman appeared from nowhere and started yammering on her walkie-talkie. She approached me and, with a Magic Kingdom smile, gave me my directions: “Take this N.S.A. Form to the nearest gift shop. Pick out a pair of new sandals, hand the form to the cashier and you’ll be all set – no strings attached.”
I was still wondering where the woman had come from as my wife steered me to the shop and in three minutes I was walking around with new $40 sandals on my feet. It took me some time to put together that the “N.S.A.” in “N.S.A Form” stood for “No Strings Attached.”

We began to fantasize about a life, outside the Magic Kingdom, with N.S.A. Forms. The speeding ticket? Hand Officer Krupke an N.S.A. Form and you’ll be on your way. That big investment in Enron? Your kid’s college fund is magically restored! And just think about the number of N.S.A. Forms students at Nobles would go through! And yet…

Like most fantasy fixes, it would be wonderful in the short term and awful in the long term. We’d feel elated by having been given the “free pass” and as soon as humankind realized that the there were no consequences to our actions, intentional misdeeds and chaos would reign. We would become careless and irresponsible.

Careless and irresponsible. Those are terms that I hear parents use, in moments of frustration, to describe their middle-school-aged children. At times they are behaving in a foolish way, but often young teens are just providing a reminder of where they are developmentally. Life’s experience hasn’t yet taught them how to consistently make good choices. Some students intuitively sense the right direction, or can better anticipate the outcomes of certain choices. Others need to have the implications of their decisions smack them straight between the eyes. In short, some messing up is a vital component of the growth process for middle schoolers.

That is why a zero tolerance policy for young people is, to my mind, inappropriate. Zero tolerance allows a youngster to turn a learning opportunity into a contentious moment. The shame at having made a poor decision can be focused as anger at the institution rather than a cause for reflection and learning. That said, it is wrong to hand out “free passes,” as well. It must be quite clear to young people that unsavory consequences are the result of their poor decisions.

I believe that the Nobles Middle School provides a salutary balance as we help kids make good decisions. We work to, in effect, meet them where they are and help them achieve the next emotional and intellectual step in their personal development. When the first bump in the road comes for a student, it is not met with a one-size-fits-all policy. Faculty members work exceedingly hard to establish relationships with Nobles students and then use those relationships to connect with the student. They leverage their connection while explaining the implications of the student’s action and delivering the news about the resulting consequences. Missteps in the Middle School are not the end of the world but students must show that they take them seriously and that they work assiduously to not repeat errors in judgment.

I have said before that the Nobles Middle School is a wonderful place to fail. Many new students who join us from public schools report that this is the hardest they have ever had to work. They meet academic challenge here that they have never faced. It takes some time and the great support of the faculty to adjust their learning strategies. In the interim, they may have to become comfortable with results that they had not yet seen in their academic career. While we hope that the “failure” is short lived (and history tells us that this most often the case), the Nobles Middle School is a wonderful time and a supportive place to be comfortable with that adjustment.

I contend that the students who came to Nobles from an independent elementary school have a better opportunity to face challenge at Nobles than they would if they’d stayed at their old school. If they'd remained at a school that finishes in the eighth grade, those middle school years become loaded with significance in terms of the “next step.” High schools will be looking closely at the results from seventh and eighth grades. While this can often provide positive incentive, I want to work with young people who are willing to risk a new and untested study methodology. I want the faculty to be able to do what is best for the student without worry about the future implications of a poor grade.

At Nobles, there are some strings attached. The strings are meaningful to students and provide consequences to their actions which lead to better future decisions. But there is also an understanding of where students of this age are developmentally. Finally, the Nobles academic environment is not stymied by the pressures of feeling that a middle schooler’s results become part of an important academic résumé. That feels right. While I love my new sandals, there will be no N.S.A Forms in the Nobles Middle School any time soon.

From the Foster Gallery


We're pleased to announce that our new exhibition, Family Portraits, is on view until April 22. Curated by Evelyn Rydz, the show brings together the work of seven artists - Cobi Moules, Christine Rogers, Megan and Murray McMillan, Dustin Williams, and Tanit Sakakini - who explore complexities and possibilities of family structures and interactions, both real and constructed. A family portrait is a visual account of each family’s dynamic world and the systems, roles, relationships and stories that are part of them.  Through staging, altering and reinventing, the artists in this exhibition investigate themes of family and identity. These works play with the boundaries and assumptions that typically define this familiar piece of our collective culture.

The opening reception will be Friday, April 8, 6-8 p.m. There will also be an artist talk and Q&A session with curator Evelyn Rydz, Cobi Moules, Christine Rogers, and Megan and Murray McMillan on Friday, April 1, from 2:30-3:30 p.m. Both events are open to the public.

Next up in Foster: one of our most anticipated shows of the year, the 2011 AP Student Exhibition, featuring works by this year's AP Ceramics, Photography, and Drawing students. The show will run from May 9—June 4, 2011. The reception will be Wednesday, June 1.

Save the Date!

Optimist, Pessimist or Paranoid? by Erika Guy, Dean of Students

Amidst a lengthy conversation with my sister during the recent spring break, our talk turned to the trials of parenting a 16- and a 19-year-old, each at different but equally difficult periods of their lives. After a long and heartfelt lament, she stated that she felt that “as a parent, you are only as happy as your most miserable kid.” I asked her if she thought that as a parent she was an optimist (sees the glass as half full), a pessimist (sees the glass as half empty) or simply paranoid (thinks someone spit in her drink). 

She estimated that she was all three in equal measure, depending on the day.

This conversation led me to think about the work I do with students at Nobles every day - how easy it might be to lapse into the realm of pessimism (or paranoia, for that matter!). We often deal with students at particularly difficult times in their lives (perhaps struggling with family issues, dealing with the aftermath of a lapse in judgment, coming to terms with disappointment or failure, perhaps coping with the burden of depression, etc.). I began thinking about how we do what we do in the Student Life area of the school. If we did not believe deeply in the redemptive power of the high school years and the resilience of most adolescents, ours would be a truly miserable job.

While so much of what we do is reparative, it often is all too easy to become overwhelmed by what is going wrong. A while back, our consulting psychologist, Dr. Rick Wilson, referenced a book we had both recently read -Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard by Chip and Dan Heath. He challenged our Student Life team to make a very slight but conscious shift in our approach to each and every circumstance with students. By becoming the optimists and identifying “the bright spots” with each student, our counseling challenge became so much clearer: identify and build on the bright spots. This ever-so-slight shift in the process paradigm has helped us create the necessary change in many instances. A tertiary benefit has been a more positive climate and environment for all of us.

While we still face the ever-present challenge and tension of defending the process of adolescent development in an environment that is more solution/outcome driven each day, the effect that “searching for the bright spots” has provided is heartening. Given the opening conversation about optimism, pessimism and paranoia, I would encourage all parents to continue to consciously work to find those bright spots.

Thanks for reading, 
Erika Guy

Visit the Parents' Calendar for Event Details & Information

Join Us!


Last Chance!  Our final Cradles to Crayons volunteer spot is on Tuesday, April 12, from 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. in BRIGHTON at the new location of C2C's Giving Factory. Whether you have volunteered before or have been meaning to all year long but have yet to actually come along, please consider joining us for this meaningful and fun service experience.  To sign up, please contact Jill Dalby Ellison at  And if you can't volunteer, but the spring cleaning bug has bit and you have loads of old clothes or children's items to donate to C2C, contact Jill to arrange a handoff. 

From the NTC


Greetings from the Nobles Theatre Collective (NTC)! We hope you had a wonderful Spring Break.

Please mark your calendar for the 2011 NTC Spring Musical – Urinetown: The Musical!, music and lyrics by Mark Hollmann, book and lyrics by Greg Kotis.

• Tuesday, May 17 – Thursday, May 19, at 6:30 p.m.
• Friday, May 20, at 7 p.m.
• Saturday, May 21, at 2 p.m.

Below is a synopsis of the play from the publisher:

An untempered satire wherein no one is safe from scrutiny, Urinetown depicts a world wracked by ecological disaster, caught in the throes of corporate greed and ultimately felled by the best intentions. In a Gotham-like city, a depletion of the earth’s water supply has led to a government-enforced ban on private toilets. A single malevolent company profits by charging admission for one of humanity’s most basic needs. Amid the people, a hero has risen who will lead them to freedom. Urinetown won three Tony award during its run on Broadway in 2002.

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

We look forward to seeing you at the show.
Lisa Pisano,
Miguel Urena, 
NTC parent reps

Nobles Specialty Summer Programs


Our 2011 Summer Scene brochure, which highlights the Nobles specialty programs offered this summer, is now available at 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. Many of these programs are attended heavily by Nobles students. We are extremely excited about the highly qualified staff (many of them Nobles faculty) who will be running the following programs:

• Nobles Basketball Camp for Girls: June 27 – July 1
Alex Gallagher '90, Head Coach Nobles Girls Varsity Basketball

• Terrier Training Soccer Camp for Girls: July 5 – 8
Nancy Feldman, Head Coach, Boston University Women’s Soccer

• Nobles Theatre Collective, Summer Intensive: July 11 – 23
Dan Halperin, Nobles Performing Arts Department Head, and Jillian Grunnah, Dance/Theatre Nobles Faculty

• Nobles Summer Service: August 8 – 12
Linda Hurley, Nobles Coordinator of Service Activities

• Nobles Soccer Camp: August 22 – 26
Mass Premier Soccer Coaches

Please click here for the brochure and more information about each program. Feel free to contact any of the program directors directly, if you have any questions about their programs. We are requiring all necessary health forms to be submitted WITH the registration materials in order to be registered, so please download ALL necessary forms.

We hope to see you this summer!

Emily Parker
Director of Nobles Day Camp

Host Program for New Nobles Families


Thank you to the nearly 80 families who have already volunteered and registered to be a host family. What a great show of school spirit! Believe it or not, we could still use a few more volunteers, given the large number of new families admitted to Nobles this spring. To sign up, visit the password-protected Parents’ page of the Nobles website. In the box on the right-hand side, select “Click Here for Volunteer Forms” and then click on the “2011 Volunteer Registration Form-Host Program for New Nobles Families.” You may also email Deborah Kenealy at if you prefer to answer the short questionnaire over the phone or by email.

The next few weeks will be busy. Accepted students will be finalizing their plans by mid-April, after which time the matches will be made between incoming families and our current volunteer host families. Our families will meet each other on either April 25 at a light dinner reception, as part of the Nobles Orientation Night for new Upper School students, or on May 10 over dinner in the Castle, as part of the Middle School Orientation night. We look forward to working with all of our volunteers and making these two important events fun and productive for everyone. Thank you again for donating your time and energy to this worthwhile program.

Deborah Kenealy and Rosita Fine, Co-Chairs, Host Program for New Nobles Families.

April 2011: Middle School


Welcome back! We hope that everyone enjoyed the break and is ready for a fun-filled, busy spring. April is a particularly busy month for the Middle School:

Spring athletics have begun! Please consult the athletic schedule for practice and game times and dates.

March 31, April 5 and 7 - New Student Visit Days for newly accepted students (FYI: all Class VI students are assigned as hosts, but not all accepted students come to visit, so some students may not get to serve as a host student).

April 6 - Parents' Association Meeting, Castle Library, 8 a.m., Tim Carey and Dick Baker will be featured guests. 

April 18 - Patriots' Day - No School: Marathon Monday! Come join in the Marathon fun as a Nobles participant or fan! All members of the Nobles community are invited to take part in the 2011 Marathon fund. Each year, participants raise money and run the quarter-, half-, or full-marathon; bike alongside the route: or even erg on the sidelines. If you are interested in getting involved in the Marathon Fund, please email For more information, please visit

April 21 - Jazz/Blues/Percussion Concert, 7 p.m., Lawrence Auditorium

April 25 - Middle School Long Advisory Meetings, 2:30-4 p.m.; No Middle School Afternoon Program

April 26 - Middle School students and faculty will have lunch with Jason Urbanus, Ph.D., in the Morrison Forum at 10:50 a.m. Jason Urbanus is a Nobles grad (Class of '96) and is currently finishing his dissertation in Archaeology at Brown University. He spent four seasons (1998-2002) excavating in Pompeii and has recently spent the last four field seasons (2003-2007) working at the Roman and Iron Age site of Tongobriga, 
Portugal. He will talk about archaeology, the beginnings of his interest in the field while at Nobles and answer questions from the students.

April 28 - Wind, String Concert, 7 p.m., Lawrence Auditorium

April 29 - Middle School Arts Night and Bake Sale, 6:30-8 p.m., Morrison Forum. All are invited!

April 30 - Class VI Parent Social at the DiNovi residence, 7-10 p.m. More information to follow.

May 3 - 'Round the World Surprise Lunch: Please contact Heather Woodworth if you are interested in helping to decorate the Castle the morning of May 3rd for this event. Please email Heather at

May 3 - 'Round the World Culminating Event, 6:30-8 p.m., Pratt Middle School: Come help Class VI students celebrate all of their hard work and view their RTW projects. This is a must-see event for all families!

May 6 - Middle School Social/Dance, 7-9:30 p.m., Richardson Gym. While your students are at the dance, plan to attend The Class V Parent Social in the Castle 7-10 p.m.

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

Class V Reps
Anu Gulati (
Heather Zink (

Class VI Reps
Carol Taiclet (
Heather Woodworth (

April 2011: Class II Notes


Welcome back from Spring Break! We hope everyone is rested and ready for all the end of the year activities for both parents and students.

The Junior-Senior Prom will take place onSaturday, April 9. You should have already received a letter from Bob Hendersonoutlining the details and expectations for the evening.

The Class II Parent Social will take place onFriday, April 15, at the Castle from 6:30-8:30 p.m. If you have not seen the invitation in your email box, please contact Lynn Gilbert or Lisa Soule for more information and to RSVP.

Please note that there will be no school on Patriots' Day, which is Monday, April 18.

Next week on Wednesday, April 6Tim Carey and Dick Baker, two longtime Nobles teachers, will be speaking at the Parents' Association meeting at the Castle (8-10 a.m.)

Your Class II Parent Representatives,
Lynn Gilbert - 
Lisa Soule -

April 2011: Class IV Notes


Dear Class IV Parents and Guardians,

Welcome back from Spring Break! We hope you all enjoyed some relaxing family time. It promises to be a busy spring as we close out the Class IV year. Please note that student course registration forms for next year are due back on Tuesday, April 5. If you have any questions about your child’s course registration, please contact his or her advisor.

Spring Parent Social - Please join us for the Spring Parent Social on Friday evening, April 8, at 7 p.m. at the home of Carolyn and Eric Harthun. (Please note this event is for adults only - not students.) You should have received an invitation via Nobles email just before Spring Break. Please reply via email to Suzie Montgomery and indicate if you can bring an appetizer or dessert to the dinner.

April noteworthy dates:

• Wednesday, April 6 - Parents' Association Meeting in the Castle, 8-9:30 a.m. 
• Friday, April 8 - Spring Parent Social, 7 p.m. Carolyn and Eric Harthun’s House
• Monday, April 18 - NO SCHOOL- Patriots' Day
• Thursday, April 21 - Jazz/Blues Concert, 7 p.m. in Lawrence Auditorium
• Thursday, April 28 - Wind/String Concert, 7 p.m. in Lawrence Auditorium

Please feel free to contact us with any questions.

Betsy M. Allen – mother of Jason -  
Kathy Fitzgerald – mother of Audra & Julia -   
Suzie Montgomery – mother of Max -

April 2011: Class I Notes

Welcome back from Spring Break! Hope everyone enjoyed the downtime. We are rapidly approaching the end of our time together at Nobles and things are getting busy!

First of all, we would like to extend our thanks to Shyla Shrinath and Sadhana Downs for chairing the Class I Surprise Lunch on March 4. It was a wonderful event catered in part by Anna’s Taqueria (A big thank-you to them!) and the many parents who generously donated items for this event. Thank you to all who contributed their time as well. It was thoroughly enjoyed by the class.

April has many dates you should be aware of so please mark your calendars.

April 1 - Class I Parent Dinner at the Dedham Hilton (for parents and guardians)
April 4 - Class I Dinner (for students and faculty)
April 9 - Prom
April 26 - Transitions Night

This is a busy time for all but especially for those parents and students in Class I. If you have any questions or concerns about any of the above dates, please feel free to contact one of us. We want to make these last days at Nobles memorable and fun.

Yvette Shakespeare -
Amy McLaughlin-Hatch -
Lori Giandomenico -

Community Service

“Education should not be the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.”
-William Butler Yeats

One of the foundations of the Nobles mission statement is to foster in students a commitment to others. The Community Service Program requires all students to give of their time, talents and energy to help people in need. During Spring Break, four of the Nobles trips had service components that cultivated an awareness of human circumstance and established an increased understanding of pertinent issues in the world today.

In Romania students observed the impact that the dedicated caregivers of the Romania Children’s Relief Organization ( are making to help better the lives of abandoned infants and children.

In South Africa, the NGO Grassroot Soccer ( works to fight the spread of HIV/AIDS through soccer-based health education activities. In addition to working with GRS, our students repaired local homes with Willing Workers in South Africa (

The travelers on the fifth post-Katrina New Orleans trip worked in a local community center , school and rebuilt homes with the St. Bernard Project. ( They made an environmental impact on coastal Louisiana’s wetlands by planting cypress trees with Bayou Rebirth (

Inspired by Cambodian citizen activist, Mu Sochura, students worked with a local NGO ( in the coastal village of Kampot.

Nobles travelers observed ordinary citizens doing extraordinary things in their communities, true leaders that have galvanized their ideas into reality for the public good.

Update - Outreach to Japan
Our hearts and minds are with the citizens of Japan dealing with the aftermath of the devastating earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear catastrophe. Student groups are planning activities to increase awareness of current events and developing long term ideas to support recovery efforts. The proceeds from the April 1st Techno Dance sponsored by the Student Life Committee will be donated to relief efforts. On Wednesday, April 6, the community is invited to “Gambare Japan” in Gleason Hall. The Asian Culture Club will have a food sale and participants will be asked to make paper cranes for peace and paint pebbles with words of hope and love. Please watch the Nobles webpage for information regarding ongoing outreach efforts.

Save the Date(s)
April 14 - Between Worlds: Paintings from the South Sudanese Refugee Community
Reception 4-6:30 p.m., Arts Center Lobby

April 14 - “More Than Just a Game,” 7-9 p.m., Towles Auditorium
Join us for an inspirational movie and conversation.

“Told through the stories of five former prisoners, “More Than Just a Game” portrays how political activists, unjustly imprisoned on the notorious Robben Island where Nelson Mandela and other leaders were held, create the Makanda Football Association as a way to fight against the deprivation and the disempowering nature of prison life. A conversation with students who traveled to South Africa will follow and Offiong Bassey '03 will share some of her music. $10.00 suggested donation, with all proceeds supporting Grassroot Soccer, Kliptown Youth Program and Kuyasa Literacy Project

May 1-5 - Annual Tenacity Tennis Tournament, 11 a.m.- 2 p.m.
Mixed Doubles Tournament to support the efforts of Tenacity Inc. (
Tenacity works to provide a winning combination of literacy, life-skills, and tennis instruction that enables at risk youth to succeed.

Thank you for your continued support of the service program at Nobles.

-Linda Hurley and Louis Barassi

From the PA Co-Chairs


Welcome back! We hope you were able to enjoy some rest and relaxation over break before we begin the final busy weeks of the school year. The month ahead offers an array of parent activities:

On Wednesday, April 6, visit with legendary teachersDick Baker and Tim Carey at the Parents’ Association Meeting in the Castle Library at 8:15 a.m. Come and see why these two teachers are so special to Nobles students and grads!

On Tuesday, April 12, please join the Nobles PA at Cradles to Crayons in its new location in Brighton from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. For more information, contact Jill Ellison, PA Outings Co-chair, at

Also on Tuesday, April 12, please donate to the annual Faculty Appreciation Lunch, chaired by Mary Dunne and Kennie Grogan. We are asking for volunteers to bake or buy desserts or provide fruit salad. We also need a few volunteers to help gather items and set up the morning of the lunch. The main course will come from the PA budget and be provided by FLIK. Please let Mary Dunne know what you can do to help show the faculty and staff how much we value them at

Join the Nobles community on Monday, April 18, to watch the Boston Marathon, or better yet, participate in “26.2=6,” during which students, parents, faculty and alumni run, bike, walk, jog or erg for segments of the Marathon. Supporting a participant in the event will contribute to the goal of providing six scholarships per year to the school. For more information on participating or volunteering, contact Faith Pongor at

Please come to Middle School Arts Night on Friday, April 29, in the Morrison Forum at 6:30 p.m. The talents of Class V and VI will be showcased in an intimate and relaxed setting. Great fun for participants, parents and friends as well. 

Please join us. We look forward to seeing you this spring!

Fiona Roman ( and Melanie Mace (
Parents’ Association Co-Chairs

April 2011: Class III Notes


Hello Class III Parents!

Welcome back from vacation! Class III has a number of events this month as detailed below.

- Class III Parent Intro to the College Process: Please mark your calendar for this very informative evening and join the College Counseling Office to learn about the college process. Members of the College Counseling staff will discuss their services and give an overview of standardized testing and the "College Calendar."??Date: Tuesday, April 26, 6:00-7:30 p.m. Location: Towles Auditorium.

- Class III Surprise Lunch: Each year in the spring, the parents host a surprise lunch for the students. We planned this year’s Class III Surprise Lunch for Thursday, April 28. Please keep this special event a secret! Thank you to Laura Monrad who has offered to chair the lunch. Please let us know if you would like to be involved with the planning, set up and/or clean up on the 28th! We will hold a brief planning meeting on Wednesday, April 6, directly after the PA meeting in the Castle if you can join us.

- Class III Parent Spring Dinner: Our final event for this year is a Springtime Tuscan Feast, graciously hosted by Stephen and Jeryl Oristaglio at their home in the city. The menu looks fabulous and we hope you can make it for this fun and festive evening! You can RSVP by locating the invitation on the parent calendar (go to April 30 and click on the link). Please try to RSVP by April 14 if possible. Date: Saturday, April 30 from 6:30-9:30 p.m. Where: 287 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston.

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

Kris Ganong - 
Valerie Kolligian Thayer -

Class I Co-Deans Meg Hamilton & Nahyon Lee


Welcome back from Spring Break! We can’t believe it is already the fourth quarter with two months left of your children's Nobles career – the year has probably flown even faster for all of you. It seems like ages ago that we were writing to your son or daughter about the Class I Retreat – getting them ready for the stories they would tell, preparing them to be leaders at Nobles, and advising them for their final year. And somehow it is now April, with just about nine weeks left until each senior walks across that stage to receive his or her diploma on graduation day.

All of us here at Nobles have (and will continue to) talked with Class I about the importance of finishing their Nobles career on a solid note. This has to do with everything from staying engaged in the classroom, to smaller issues like following dress code, getting to Assembly on time and signing in and out at the front desk. Please remind your son or daughter that the big and little things really matter and that how they act these last few months will impact the final impression they leave with Nobles.

We wanted to write about two main topics in this newsletter: 1) final grades and ending strongly; 2) some key events coming up in the spring.

We constantly remind students of the importance of a strong finish in their academic classes to their time at Nobles. We thought it might be a good idea to give you some talking points to help your senior stay motivated and focused for the remainder of the year. We will also reiterate these ideas in our next class meeting. Here are some of the reasons why second semester grades are so important. Please feel free to use this material when talking with your Class I student.

College – Whether a student has been accepted early decision, early action, rolling or regular, all acceptances are contingent on the student’s successful completion of his or her academic program. At the end of the year, all colleges will receive students’ final grades.

Waitlists – Second semester grades are very important if a student is placed on a waitlist.

Internships – Recent graduates have told us that when they (and their friends) have applied for jobs and internships during their first year of college, they often have been asked to submit their final high school transcript. There have been occasions when employers have not given a position to a candidate (in part) because he or she slipped in the senior spring and did not show consistent, sustained effort.

Faculty Relationships – By now, Class I students have developed strong relationships with members of the faculty whether it be a teacher, coach, or advisor. Students should remember that these adults have worked so hard on their behalf and have supported them not only this year but also throughout their time at Nobles. We hope that students will not want to disappoint those they are close to! 

Just as this year has flown by, the next nine weeks or so will go by even faster, with the first “Senior Send Off” officially on April 4 with the Class I Dinners. We wanted to highlight some upcoming events this month, but don’t forget to check the Nobles Calendar for other Class I events in the months of April and May.

Senior Projects – They have started for about 62 students! As usual, we have an interesting spread of projects from students learning about socially-conscious funds/investment to internships at the NICU (Neonatal Intensive-Care Unit). You are invited to listen to what they have learned on Senior Projects Night on May 31 at 6:30 p.m.

Prom is around the corner, on April 9 at the Copley Plaza, from 9 p.m.-12 a.m. Bob Henderson and Bill Bussey have already spoken to the class about expected behavior and parental vigilance, as well as keeping everything “in perspective.” We wanted to reiterate these points, so in our next class meeting, we will talk to the Class I seniors about taking care of and looking out for one another, reminding them that all of our seniors are still here, still healthy and still in one piece – and we want it to stay that way. If you could also emphasize to your kids about being safe, following school rules and having fun in the best sense of the word, we would greatly appreciate it. We look forward to seeing many of them on the evening of the 9th. If you have questions or concerns regarding the event, please do not hesitate to contact us.

On April 26, at 7 p.m. in Morrison Forum, Dr. Richard Kadison, the Chief of Harvard University’s Mental Health Services, will speak with Class I parents and guardians about what to expect as their seniors make the important transition from Nobles. Please join us for the discussion as you prepare your son or daughter for what will follow this summer and next fall. Dr. Kadison has recently written, College of the Overwhelmed: The Campus Mental Health Crisis and What to Do About It. If you are interested (and have the time), we encourage you to read his book before hearing him speak at Nobles.

As always, please let us know if you have any questions in the upcoming weeks. We have enjoyed working with this year’s senior class, and we look forward to a great spring with them.


Meg and Nahyon

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