Nobles Parents' E-Newsletter

December 2015

Nobles Parents' Newsletter December 2015


"What We Preach (and Practicing It)" by Assistant Head of School and Head of Middle School John Gifford

I feel like people have been asking me since the first week of school: “So, you countin’ down the days?” I have a sabbatical coming up starting in January. It is an almost embarrassingly generous gift that Nobles is able to offer faculty who have been plugging away for a long time. I should, on a daily basis, light incense and praise the members of the Board of Trustees who decided to start the program in the early 1980s. They were the ones who started the endowed fund which makes this opportunity available for a small group of Nobles faculty members each year.


"Safe Places" by Dean of Faculty Maura Sullivan

Thanksgiving is always a time for families to gather and my family is no exception to this rule.  We typically spend the holiday at the home of my oldest brother. In any given year, there are between 20-25 people around the table. My sister, who is not typically one of the faces at the table, joined us this year. This was an unusual occurrence, as she lives in Bethel, Alaska. She almost never comes to the east coast for less than a full week, as it takes nearly a full day of travel to get here. This year, she decided to take a relatively quick trip and visit for five days.


"Timing Alone Is Not Everything" by Provost Bill Bussey

We all hold dear those moments when someone who mattered shared something that mattered. Those moments for each and every one of us made all the difference.  Yet, memory is a tricky thing. More likely, those steppingstones of epiphanies were connected by a silo of similar moments that simply didn’t take hold. Maybe first time around we didn’t want to hear it. Maybe we just needed to grow up. Or hit bottom. More often than not, we just needed the time to believe in ourselves. Yet, to be able to act upon a shared truth takes a great deal more than just good timing and desire. 


"Taking Stock of What's Good" by Director of College Placement Kate Ramsdell

In last weekend’s New York Times there was an Op Ed on “choosing to be grateful” by Arthur C. Brooks. In it, he quoted Epictetus, “He is a man of sense who does not grieve for what he has not, but rejoices in what he has.” As I imagine he hoped it would, Brooks’ ideas got me thinking over the Thanksgiving holiday.


"5 Good Reasons to Laugh Right Now" by Director of Academic Support Gia Batty

It may seem unconventional, but one of my best study tips these days is for students to remember to laugh, even if they have to fake it. I spend a lot of time with kids who are having trouble managing their work, who are feeling stressed and overloaded, and while laughing isn’t going to solve the problem of how best to prepare for an HHC test or when the Chemistry lab report will get written, recent studies have shown what we’ve known all along--that laughing (even fake laughing) is good for you!


"What Nobles and Harvard Business School Have in Common" by Director of the Anderson/Cabot Center for EXCEL Ben Snyder

There is a small bumper sticker that has been on my office bulletin board for many years that reads “Do Your Country a Favor – Leave.” Oftentimes visitors see it and are taken aback, yet once we engage in a conversation about it’s simple encouragement to disengage from one’s “comfort zone” to explore, learn, and grow, the message makes perfect sense.

From the PA Co-Chairs

A lot goes on within the greater Nobles community every day, not only for our children, but for parents as well. We hope that everyone has managed to spend some time at school and experience a part of this community. At this time of both giving thanks and celebrating the holiday season, we would like to recognize all of the hard work done by parents this fall to bring our community together.


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 IV Deans' Report

Class IV students are beginning to read Homer’s classic epic, The Odyssey.  As a classicist, this is one of my favorite -- among many great -- reads of the years.  Beyond offering a phenomenal introduction to Greek mythology and mythic history, a serious reading of The Odyssey brings together discussions across various disciplines, and encourages students to tie together threads from numerous classes into a deeper and more enriching understanding of Homer’s work in our time.


Concert Calendar: Save the Date

Usher in the holiday season with the sounds of Nobles' choral groups! And don't miss the January Jazz/Blues/Guitar/Drum Concert.

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Honoring Casey Dunne '17 with a Gift to Achieve

Casey Dunne tutors an Achieve student
Casey, the epitome of compassion and dedication, made Achieve a priority in her life. 
In remembrance of her joyous spirit, the partnership with Nobles student tutors has been named The Casey Dunne Achieve Tutoring Program. FInd out more about honoring her through Achieve.

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Grandparents Day 2015 Portrait Information

Grandparents Day portraits are available to view and purchase online through February 3, 2016. Click through to find out more.

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