Nobles Parents' E-Newsletter

November 2014

Nobles Parents' Newsletter November 2014


Common Fire by Head of School Bob Henderson

Official, formal school mission statements were not in vogue until the 1970’s. Through the years of Eliot Putnam’s headship, from the 1940’s until his retirement in 1971, Nobles had a “statement of purpose,” which I suppose served much the same function as a mission. It had evolved and was derived from previous such statements that dated back to the founding of the school in 1866. The Putnam era statement of purpose opens with this assertion: “The central aim of the school is to prepare boys (the school was all male in those days) for a future life of service to their communities…” Today, the mission statement says, “Noble and Greenough School is a rigorous academic community dedicated to inspiring leadership for the public good.


From the Middle by Dean of Students Marcela Maldonado

A colleague recently asked what has been most surprising since going from full-time teaching to being dean of students. My response was that, interestingly, I spend far more time talking to adults than I do to kids. This is hardly a complaint; indeed, getting to know my colleagues in new ways has opened up a window into the heart of this school that I simply had not anticipated. 


Preparing Students for the 21st Century by Head of Upper School Michael Denning

One of the privileges of my new position is that it allows me to talk about Nobles with lots of people—faculty, students, parents and guardians, graduates, and prospective families. While I have been at Nobles for some time, the lenses through which I now view and evaluate our community are more wide-angled, and I have spent much of the last few months speaking with folks about our values, programs and people. In these anthropological exchanges, I have come to expect the following question: “What do you see as the greatest challenge facing Nobles today?” In one sense, I believe people use a question such as this one—or perhaps “What keeps you up at night?”—to gain some insight into my values, priorities and ways of thinking about schools and education, in general, and Nobles, in particular. And given my new responsibilities, this seems fair enough.


Why Nobles? by Dean of Enrollment Management Jen Hines

I grew up in Amherst, MA. Amherst is known for a lot of things (The current town tagline is “Amherst, MA: Where only the ‘h” is silent.”), but it is probably most known for being the home of three colleges (Amherst, UMass Amherst and Hampshire) with another two very close by (Smith and Mt. Holyoke). Education is literally the business of the town and, as a result, its public schools are taken very seriously and supported by the community. It was the strength of the schools that helped my parents to decide where they wanted to settle in the late 1970’s when my father’s job meant we would be relocating to Western MA. I went on from elementary school to graduate from the public high school feeling good about the education that I received.

From the PA Co-Chairs

“Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.” Voltaire

Happy November! The above quote seems appropriate to offer at this time of year when giving thanks is on the minds of all. We especially give thanks for and deeply appreciate all the wonderful volunteers and parents in our community who keep our Parents’ Association strong and vibrant.


Class Notes

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

Class Deans' Corner

Class III Deans


From the Community Service Office: What You Can Do to Make "Common Fire" a Success

"Above the fold" of this newsletter, I am sure you read from Bob Henderson about "Common Fire", the all school service day we are planning to execute on April 14. As adults who manage hugely busy lives supporting your work and vibrant family lives I know you are aware that events like this are long in the planning.


Don’t Recycle that Spiral Notebook! by Director of Academic Support Gia Batty

From where I sit, which is usually in an orange office chair across from a student who is struggling academically, there is so much that is good about the increased role technology plays in education.  




Nobles Blood Drive

On Tuesday, November 11, 2014, the MGH Bloodmobile will be on campus, at the beach, from 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

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Nobles Night is almost here!

A festive evening to celebrate Nobles. Please note:  This is NOT a student event

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Nobles Dance Concert

The Nobles Fall Dance Concert is approaching! 

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Grandparents Day 2014 Portrait Information

Portraits will be available online October 10, 2014 through February 6, 2015

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Nobles vs. Milton 2014

Celebrate an autumn tradition on Friday, November 7, 2014.

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Putnam Library Offers Audiobooks

Would your child benefit from having his or her class texts in audio format? The library can help! 

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