Defining the Nobles Community by Dean of Faculty Maura Sullivan
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a community as a group of people with a common characteristic or interest, living together within a larger society. By this definition, Nobles is definitely a community. I have no doubt that the reason why many of you chose Nobles for your child is because of some aspect of this community, be it academic, extracurricular, athletic or the arts. Perhaps you have been associated with Nobles long enough to have a sense of the “common characteristics” that define us.
It doesn’t take long for someone new to the Nobles community to recognize the care and concern that the adults on the faculty and staff show for students. The people who work here love what they do and enjoy working with middle and high school age children. They put in long hours not only as teachers but also as coaches, directors, mentors, counselors, advisors, organizers, trip leaders and tutors. When they get home at night there are emails to answer, lessons to prep, papers to grade, recommendation letters to write and meetings to schedule. These are all in a day’s work for a Nobles faculty member.
As the dean of faculty, and someone who has been at Nobles for close to three decades, I realized long ago that what makes this school tick is far more than the work ethic and high standards of the employees. What I have come to understand is that the supportive environment we brag about in our admission brochures is not reserved exclusively for our students.
I am constantly impressed by how willing my colleagues are to lend a hand to each other at the drop of a hat. On a fairly regular basis, a faculty member will send out an email early in the morning to ask for help because of illness or a family emergency. Within minutes, colleagues will respond and offer to cover. A recent email reminded me of how important it is to acknowledge that these gestures are not taken for granted. Earlier in the semester, a colleague needed to lean on others for help when a situation necessitated that he miss school for a period of time. In his email to say thank you, he recognized that what makes Nobles a model community is the way we “step up and take care of others without blinking an eye.”
Over and over again I have been amazed and humbled by the generosity of the people with whom I work. They give their time, they share their talents, they are genuinely concerned for each other when things aren’t going well, and they never hesitate to do what they can to help.
The “common characteristic” of this community is that people are giving…they are noble. This characteristic transcends the experience for everyone at Nobles, both adult and student. And at a time of year when we all can get caught up in our busy lives and stressed about how much we have to do in our own little universes, there are plenty of reminders within our stone walls of how much we have to be grateful for and what a wonderful place this is to spend your days.