Nobles Parents' E-Newsletter

October 2016

Nobles Parents' Newsletter October 2016

Grandparents Day 2016 Slideshow

More than 400 grandparents joined students in their classrooms on September 30. From those arriving for their first visit, to those who fondly recalled their own school years on this campus, all enjoyed a special glimpse of "a day in the life" at Nobles through the eyes of their grandchildren.

View the slideshow.

"Everything Works" by Provost Bill Bussey

I remember when Bob Henderson first arrived at Nobles. That first Saturday morning, following the opening of school, both of us were standing at the base of the ’56 Path looking across the emerald fields. We stared silently at a distant employee preparing the grass for future contests. No one else was within view. He seemed in awe of the expanse before him and was taking it all in as if he was staring at the Alps. And then he said aloud, more to himself, I suspect, than to me, “Everything works.” 

Those words rang so true over the course of four hours just a couple of weeks ago.

I’d been sick in bed for the better part of two days, but with FallFest kicking off in two hours, I found myself sitting outside of the MAC waiting for the mechanical bull and reevaluating my life. If someone had come along and thrown a tarp over me, I would have gladly curled up in the fetal position until morning. I was that miserable.  Just then Alex Gallagher strode by, and without missing a beat said, “I guess someone set up a whole slew of folding chairs where the dance is going to be held.”  I slowly rose, and he held up a hand and told me to stay put.  “I’ve got it,” he said.

Mike McHugh, the head of Buildings & Grounds, along with Daryl Shumway, showed up at five o’clock, an hour after their duties were officially done, to help with the unloading of the bull. Just so you know, the mechanical bull comes in many sections, with two or three pieces weighing in at several hundred pounds. To navigate these pieces onto a dolly, through the doors, onto an elevator, and roll it the length of the MAC, only then have to put it all together…well, there’s nothing pleasant about it.  At 5:15 there was still no sign of the bull. Not good.

I decided to head into the “dance hall” (wrestling room) only to find Class I students and SLC reps Kayla Getter and Sara Keene getting “Dance, Dance, Revolution” ready to roll. Something didn’t seem quite right. I couldn’t imagine what could be wrong as tech meister Dan Donnelly had set it all up the day before. “Well, we didn’t want to get you anxious, “ Kayla began. “Amazon sent us the “Dance, Dance Revolution “ case, but the disc inside the package was NBA2K12.” This disc was a basketball video game released in 2011 and featured Larry Bird, not known as a dance icon. “Don’t worry,” Sara reassured me as she pulled out her cellphone. “I know where I can get one. I just have to get it here.”  I stared at her in disbelief. She added, “Seriously, we’ve got it.”

I walked outside and still no bull. I apologized to Mike and Daryl, and they shook it off and told me, “It’s all good. We’ve got it.”  Just then the guy with the bull and a large video game pulled up in a large van. The company sent only one guy (admittedly, a behemoth) instead of two, and I realized that if we had any hope of starting on time, we were going to need more hands. Without being prodded, Jake Calnan, a Class II student, asked if we needed any help. A small but willing group of students took note and dove in while the adults helped with the main pieces.

The doors opened at seven o’clock sharp and the room was filled to the rim with hundreds of kids. I stood outside as one mother, Erin Epker, a 1990 Nobles grad, watched her child scurry out of her car and into the MAC. I waved her over, and she joined me at a window that allowed us to share a bird’s eye view. We watched in silence, pressing our faces up against the glass and marveled at all the unbridled energy and joy that bubbled before us. As we walked away, I asked her, “Remember that?” She replied, “I never remember anything that big.”  And we traded knowing smiles in recognition of the past and present.  Later at nine o’clock, Nurse O’Connor took one last look at me and said,  “You look pale. Go home. We’ve got this.” Old pros Mark and Tilesy Harrington were out the door strolling the perimeter of the MAC, Jeremy Kovacs was carrying a load of pizza boxes out to the dumpster, and the other seven chaperones were covering every nook and cranny in the building. There was no need to stay.

Sometime in the not so distant future our seventh head of school, Dr. Cathy Hall, will be held fast by some aspect of this community, and in that moment so many seemingly disconnected things will come together, and she will say to herself, just loud enough so that the person next to her picks it up, “Everything works.” And like Eliot Putnam, Ted Gleason, Dick Baker and Bob Henderson before her, she will embrace it all and lead us forward.

Grandparents Day 2016 Portrait Information

Grandparents Day photos will be available October 14 to view and purchase – go to and enter:

Username:  noblesgp16 
Password: 22507-93016

Questions? Contact Colleen Penkala in the Development Office at 781.320.7004 or

"Building Resilience In the Amazon" by Assistant Head of School and Head of the Middle School John Gifford

Fausto and the Giffords

We took a relatively short flight from Quito (where, due to the altitude, a walk to the hotel elevator was like a trek up a mountainside) to Coca. From there we flung our bags on top of a bus which drove us for 30 minutes to the banks of a tributary of the Amazon River called the Rio Napo. Long, thin canoes are the preferred mode of transport on the Amazon — not just for two but for much larger parties as well so approximately 15 of us boarded a motorized version that was no wider than six feet but 25 feet long. For two and a half hours we churned up the roiling Amazon, miky with silt and dotted with hidden rocks and snagged branches that our “capitán” knew and avoided — seemingly without paying any attention.

From there we hiked for 30 minutes (although, I sheepishly acknowledge that the luggage I referenced before was hauled by two men with a large wheelbarrow-like contraption). Each yard we’d travelled from Quito brought us further away from what we call “civilization.” We went from crowds to scattered numbers to individuals standing along the banks of Rio Napo waving as if they’d been expecting us.

From there we were met by two sturdy and pleasant men who (by now, you are undoubtedly relieved) were to paddle us the 25 minutes to our final destination; the Sacha Lodge in the Amazonian jungle of Ecuador.

All that, a somewhat indulgent way of saying that we were really out there. This was beautiful, largely untouched land. Sacha Lodge was well equipped, but it seemed like a guest to the surrounding wildness, we couldn’t escape the feeling that if left untended for even a short period of time, the jungle would reclaim anything that man had carved out.

The location was extraordinary but the experience was “made” by the guides. Fausto and his father-in-law are members of a nearby tribe that has become greatly modernized over the past 50 years. While they are nostalgic for their youth when fresh water pink dolphins were abundant and the sky was free of the steady plumes of white smoke from the oil fields, they appreciate and enjoy jobs with the growing ecotourism economy. It has provided them with a better life for them and their family. They work to embrace the changes that are helpful and, like many peoples whose culture is being challenged by outside influences, they struggle to hold onto traditions that are important.

It is one of those traditions that caused me to write a note to myself last spring.
April 16 - Should do some more research, but consider the story that Fausto told me last night. The “rights [sic] of passage” that his people put their children through. A potential Parents Newsletter topic...”

Ten days before Fausto’s tenth birthday his father came to him while holding a small bowl. He’d been muddling a locally grown species of pepper. It was an extraordinarily hot species of pepper. Fausto knew that it was coming. He felt a mixture of pride in the fact that he was about to undertake an important rite of passage, meant to usher in “adulthood.” He was told to look at the ceiling and his father held open his eyelids with his thumb and one finger and put two drops of the pepper fluid in each eye.

The pain, Fausto remembered, was excruciating. He lost vision for a short period of time. Later he could see, but stars also streaked across his vision.  It was six brutal hours before the pain subsided. The relief was blissful but relatively short lived. This would be a daily ritual for each of the ten days leading up to his birthday.

My daughter Olive was with me, listening intently. She is 11 years old and I imagined holding her eyes open to inflict lasting pain. I don’t think I could do it. But Fausto did the same to his own children and he was adamant in his reasoning.

The basic idea was that living in the Amazon is hard in all ways. The jungle can be unforgiving where tasks that are easy in the city are a huge burden. And the poverty, he said, was demoralizing. When Fausto completed those 10 days he felt changed. He had survived unspeakable pain but he was on the other side of it. It showed him that he could be a survivor and that pain doesn’t last forever. It gave him great confidence in his ability to persevere.

It made some sense to me. His tribal tradition was an exercise in safe pain.  It was a controlled painful event meant to teach resilience. Resilience is a hot topic nowadays in large part because we think that some of our children are lacking it. Many fear that it is the result of an over-protected, perhaps over-parented, culture shift. We want the best for our children and when it doesn’t happen we feel their pain almost as acutely as they do (maybe more so). Our reaction is often to try to dull the pain or fix the situation.

I suppose the lesson from Fausto’s hot peppers in the eyes is not too far from Wendy Mogel’s Blessing of the B-. In that book, Mogel suggests that the act of facing down fears, pain and disappointment is what allows young people to become healthy adults. Absence of difficulty and even pain means that the resilience-building opportunities are missed.

Unfortunately, adolescence comes with plenty of opportunities for pain, shame, guilt and disappointment. I’m not suggesting that we need to rush down to the supermarket for a fresh habanero. But I am suggesting that when the inevitable painful moment comes down the pike, while it may be something that needs solving, it might be something that just calls for sympathy. Then, the hope is, that with time and perspective, the pain recedes and vision is restored.

Upcoming Performing Arts Events

Please mark your calendars for the Nobles Theatre Collective's fall productions. Up first, with six separate performances of a 30-minute play, will be our student-directed production. Led by Arunima Prasad, Class I, this small cast will perform on 10/14, 10/19, and 10/21 at 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. each of the three days. Come to the Arts Center to enjoy some intimate theatre!

Next up will be our fall mainstage production, titled Absurd Shorts. This collection of short plays by Samuel Beckett and Eugéne Ionesco will be presented in an non-traditional and hopefully highly enjoyable manner. Performances are scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on 10/26 and 10/27, 4:00 p.m. on 10/28, and 2:00 p.m. on 10/29. Admission is free! We hope to see you at the show!

And don't miss the fall dance showcase on November 10 and 11 from 6:30-8:00 p.m.

7th Head of School Announced

On September 23, 2016, the Noble and Greenough School Board of Trustees announced the appointment of Dr. Catherine J. Hall as Nobles’ seventh head of school. The nearly yearlong international search culminated with unanimous recommendation of the search committee and unanimous vote of the board to appoint Hall, whose leadership will begin July 1, 2017.

Learn more about Dr. Hall. Click through to watch the welcome video, read the letter from the Nobles Board of Trustees President Beth Reilly and read the news story.

Find out more.

"Tweeting from 10 Campus Drive" by Director of College Counseling Kate Boyle Ramsdell

Big news: We have joined the Twitter revolution – eagerly and with quiet nightly prayers for more followers. We are sharing both practical information (upcoming deadlines and events) and more philosophical musings (links to articles we think are worth your consideration). Follow us @Nobles_CC.

In other news, the U.S. News and World Report rankings were released, and with them a flurry of responses. The University of Chicago, now at #3, presented their latest bump up the rankings ladder by humbly asking families to consider the various methodologies used, “Prospective students and parents should consider rankings in that context, and look beyond them to the university’s academic program, culture and opportunities for enrichment. A successful education depends more on finding an institution that best fits a student’s needs and goals than upon any statistical formula.” I try hard to suppress my characteristic cynicism in these moments, but I would imagine that the tied-with-Yale #3 ranking has someone on campus doing a happy dance followed by a “How do we get to #1?” discussion.

Juniata College’s president wrote in a letter to alumni, “Are our students ready for the world? Do they gain value while here, and are they seeing that value in their lives after Juniata? The answer, more and more, is a resounding yes…. We held relatively steady at 108 on the list of national liberal arts colleges. I know we have to work toward making our reputation (which is really what U.S. News measures) match our results.” I imagine many colleges ranked in the 70s, 80s, 90s and 100s are having similar conversations. Then, there was Frank Bruni who penned an Op-Ed entitled, “Why College Rankings are a Joke.” It is vintage Frank Bruni and worth a read. In fact, @Nobles_CC retweeted it.

To me, rankings are not the devil. Nor are they the sole guideposts by which one should navigate a smart, holistic, and realistic college process. They offer a data point, albeit a potentially flawed one, that can occasionally help a student move forward in meaningful ways. I had a counselee a few years ago who was devastated to learn that he would likely not be able to gain admission to Bowdoin College. We had determined that it was a “Far Reach” using our office’s expectation methodology. I urged Chris (not his real name) to consider other possibilities for a smart early decision strategy. Chris had loved his visit to Trinity College (a “Possible”) but was reticent to, in his words, “spend my ED on a school I know I can get into!” It was a sentiment I’d heard many times before.

Chris and I had been looking at rankings together earlier in his process, and so I pulled up the U.S. News website. Bowdoin ranked in the top 10, and Trinity hovered around 30. I printed the rankings, and we reexamined them using his key criteria. By the time we’d crossed out the women’s colleges, military academies, schools further than a 5-hour drive, and places that simply weren’t a good “school culture” fit for him, Bowdoin was right next to Trinity. I’ll admit that it was utter luck that the exercise ended so perfectly, but it certainly proved the point.

Indeed, we all fall prey to “talking out of both sides of our mouths” when it comes to selective college admission. Even the most practiced and objective among us can see why a college might lean heavily on rankings when promoting itself, or a family of a college applicant might lean heavily on rankings when navigating a process that is totally unfamiliar or seems to become more complicated every year.

When the Nobles’ college counseling team presents our students to colleges, we use a number of different methods for advocacy, the central pieces being our individualized letters of recommendation and the Nobles Profile, a public document that colleges use to understand the context of our school. In the profile we look for ways to highlight just how selective and interesting we are. A 17% admit rate, our curriculum overview, standardized testing results and 5-year matriculation list all send that message. We aim to clearly define the Nobles experience to our students’ advantage, and we want every student to be seen as a highly qualified applicant.

Perhaps most of all, we want colleges understand that we develop students of the highest character. We want them to see how diverse our community is, how devoted to service our students are, and how deeply we care about nurturing leaders whose eventual aim will be the betterment of the public good. Though I would like to think a ranking could capture all of that, it cannot, and that is what makes our work so challenging and gratifying.

"Paying Attention" by Dean of Faculty Maura Sullivan

One of the things that I enjoy most about working at Nobles is that I am constantly learning. I know that many of my colleagues would echo this feeling. As teachers, we are charged with educating the students. We can be confident that a Nobles graduate will be well versed in how to write a good essay, support a thesis with evidence, communicate in another language, perform in front of an audience, analyze data and appreciate art. But the real learning that happens at Nobles is not about content or skills. I am constantly humbled by what I see around me and the “teaching” that occurs in the everyday moments. These are the things that happen in the ordinariness of our days that we need to train ourselves to look for and appreciate.

As Dean of Faculty, part of my job is to run faculty evaluations. I get to spend time sitting in my colleagues’ classes, watching them teach. Throughout my years of doing this, I have learned to pay attention to the subtleties in the classroom. It is always these subtleties that frame the evaluation experience. While the class content is important, the delivery and the classroom experience are more significant. It is amazing how much can be learned when we slow down and listen. I do not need to understand a word of what is being said in an Aya Anderson Japanese class to have a clear sense of her creativity and innovation. Bill Kehlenbeck’s passion and Kim Libby’s dedication are obvious, even if you aren’t a mathematician or a poet. By cultivating necessary attention skills, the school experience becomes increasingly richer. The times of greatest learning for me come in the quietest moments, when I am least expecting it. Perhaps this is true of all of us. In fact, in just the first month of school, I have observed endless teachable moments. 

The secret that most adults in the Nobles community quickly realize is that the students do as much of this type of “teaching” as the faculty. Since the start of this school year, I have learned about dedication from listening to Talia Kee’s impressive violin performance. The students in the Peer Help group modeled a great willingness to laugh at themselves with the pictures they shared of when they were in the middle school. New class IV student Hailey Brown taught me about courage through her assembly speech about alopecia. Each morning, as I walk up to the schoolhouse from my parking spot at the MAC, I observe siblings being gentle and loving with each other as they start their day. Each afternoon, my field hockey players teach me about compassion and support by the ways they interact with each other.

Nobles is a rich academic learning environment, but the real education happens outside of the classroom. In our very fast-paced culture this is not immediately obvious to kids. As Antoine de Saint-Exupéry so poignantly wrote, “what is essential is invisible to the eye,” and I would argue that it is the responsibility of the adults in the community, teachers and parents alike, to help them recognize this truth. While content and skills are certainly valuable and necessary, the intangibles that are gleaned from the “in-between spaces” are what we need to train ourselves and our students to see and hear, and most importantly, prize. 

From the Green Team

Did you Know?

More than half of Massachusetts is now experiencing an extreme drought (U.S. Drought Monitor 9/15/16) The area considered to be at risk of major crop losses and widespread water restrictions or shortages has doubled since August. meteorologist Dave Epstein said this year’s drought is the worst since 1965, with some areas falling 10 to 14 inches below their average rainfall over the past year. All Nobles families are affected by the current drought, and the PA encourages each one of us to do our part to conserve water.

What can we do to respond to this drought?

  • Have a family conversation about the drought and about what your family can do to conserve water
  • Be creative around the house with your water use, including “reuse” of household water such as what’s left in a water bottle, water left from boiling eggs or steaming vegetables or from the salad spinner, and water that runs while you wait for it to warm up
  • Limit the length of showers
  • Abide by town-enforced watering restrictions, either by not watering or by hand watering only
  • Run only full washing machine and dishwasher loads
  • Be sure the water is off during teeth brushing

Class I Parent Reps

With the blur of September behind us, we welcome you to settling into the school year in October. We enjoyed feeding many of your seniors at the Grab n Go Breakfast on retreat day even though they were understandably more interested in catching up after summer than actual eating! It was also great seeing many of you at Back to School Night and at our Class I parent coffee. Please mark you calendars for the three days that school is out this month which provide a great opportunity for rest, rejuvenation or all things college related.  Below is a list of important dates for October but please don’t forget to regularly check the Nobles Calendar each week for updates.

Monday, October 10 - Columbus Day – no classes. (Good day for college interviews and revisits)

Wednesday, October 12 - Yom Kippur – school closed

Friday, October 14 - Fall Parent Social, Castle, 6:30 – 9:30 p.m.

Monday, October 17 - PA Meeting, Castle Library, 8:00 a.m.

Monday, October 24 – Comment Writing Day – no classes

Friday, October 28 – Class I Surprise Halloween Lunch. Stay tuned to the Friday weekly email for more information if you are interested in volunteering for this festive luncheon.  We will need lots of volunteer help with decorating and with supplying treats.  It will be tons of fun!

Have a good October and please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. We look forward to our year together – hard to believe they are seniors!

Rikki Conley,, (C) 617-413-0064
Sherri Athanasia,, (C) 781-974-3735
Sarah Keating,, (C) 617-216-4770

From the Co-Chairs: Kennie Grogan and Anne Kelley

Dear Parents -

We hope you are all feeling settled into the routine of the new school year, and were able to enjoy some of the PA events in September. We had a great turnout at the All-School Parent Social, and really enjoyed welcoming everybody at our first PA Meeting and at Back To School Night. Several Class Coffees, the PA Fall Cookout and Grandparents Day concluded the month of September. Thank you to everyone who organized, helped and attended these events!

October promises to be an eventful month for the PA and our Nobles Community.  Please remember to read the weekly school emails for the latest details and reminders.  We hope you will try to show up to as many events as your schedule allows - you will be welcomed!

Our not to be missed second PA meeting is on Monday, October 17 at 8:00 a.m. in the Castle Dining Hall.  Athletic Director Alex Gallagher and Visual Arts Department Chair John Hirsch will speak. We encourage all parents to come to hear Alex and John give insight to these vibrant programs. It is a great way to connect with other parents and learn more about your child’s experiences at Nobles. 

Many of the Classes have Parent Socials this month. Class Reps are in planning mode to help everyone feel connected and welcomed, so we hope you will be able to attend.

We also hope to see you at our PA Book Discussion on Wednesday, October 19. We will have a fun and casual discussion of this summer's community book, The Wright Brothers, by David McCullough. An optional dinner will be at 6:30 (chitted $5) and book discussion beginning about 7:00 p.m. Now is the time to read the book your child read this summer and come enjoy a casual evening with fellow Nobles parents!

Also, our popular Fall Monday morning PA walks will be on Tuesdays during the month of October (skipping Tuesday, October 11).  Meet parents right after drop-off in front of the Castle for conversation and fresh air as you briskly walk the Nobles’ cross country trails. 
In addition to our PA activities, we hope to see you at these Nobles Community Events: All are welcome. More details in the weekly school emails.

October 14 -  Multicultural Fair, 3:00 – 6:00 p.m., in the MAC

October 28  - Friday Night Lights, 5:30 - 9:00 p.m.  The girls’ varsity field hockey and boys’ varsity soccer teams take on Lawrence Academy.

And one last note as we support the sustainability efforts at Nobles...did you know…nearly half of all bottled water is reprocessed tap water, sold at prices up to 3,000 times higher than consumers pay for tap water. Nobles has filtered water dispensers at a number of drinking fountains on campus. Please keep using your refillable water bottles and remind your children to do this too!

We are just a phone call, email or a by chance or scheduled meeting away if you have any questions or suggestions for the PA this year.  Please do not hesitate to reach out - we will welcome you!

Warmest Regards,

Anne Kelley and Kennie Grogan
Parents’ Association Co-Chairs

Middle School Parent Reps

We hope that the school year has gotten off to a great start for you and your children.  It was so nice to see all of you at the annual Parents’ Association Fall Social, the first PA meeting and Back-to-School Night in September. Thank you for your participation!

October is a busy month in the Middle School filled with sports, ramped up homework, many parent and student social activities, and several opportunities for parents to continue to get involved and learn more about the Nobles community. 

Before we list a comprehensive catalog of the key dates in October, we would like to highlight three significant events for you to consider attending:

Fall Middle School PA Coffee, Wednesday, October 5 at 8:00 a.m. in the Castle Library
Please join us for this event. Our guest speaker will be Middle School Head John Gifford. The coffee is a low-key chance to meet fellow middle school parents. It is also the perfect time for new Class VI parents to ask any questions, big or small, of returning Class V parents.

Middle School Event: An Evening with Dr. Jenny Berz, Tuesday, October 18 at 6pm in the Middle School Forum
Please join us for this event as adolescent development expert, Dr. Jenny Berz, will discuss the inner workings of the teenage brain. Below is a more detailed schedule of the evening’s event:

6:00 - 6:45 p.m. Meet & Greet in Forum while enjoying hearty hors d’oeuvres
6:45 - 7:45 p.m.  Dr. Jenny Berz - Presentation

If interested in attending, please email to RSVP before October 13.

Friday Night Lights, Friday, October 28 at 6-9pm by Wayne Field and Field Hockey Turf
Friday Night Lights, frequently referred to as FNL, is one of the most spirited, school-wide Nobles traditions.  The whole Nobles community, students, faculty and parents, are welcome to watch the athletic games played at night under the bright lights, while mingling and enjoying delicious treats provided by local food trucks. This year we will have a chance to cheer on the Girls’ Varsity Field Hockey Team and the Boys’ Varsity Soccer Team.  Come join the fun!

In addition, middle school students will enjoy a brief social in Morrison Forum from 4:45 – 6:00pm. This will allow for a festive and safe atmosphere for MS students to mingle post afternoon activity and prior to the main FNL event.  More information on this will be available in future Wednesday emails. Finally, this year FNL happens to fall on the same day that Nobles celebrates Halloween. Middle school students are encouraged to come to school in costumes, but no group costumes, please!

What follows is a more comprehensive list of important dates and events that you might consider noting in your calendar now.

Key Events & Dates for October 2016

Wednesday, October 5: Middle School Parent Coffee, Castle Library, 8:00 – 9:30 a.m.

Thursday, October 6:  Travel and Study Away Info Session, Morrison Forum, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.

Monday, October 10: Columbus Day, school closed

Wednesday, October 12: Yom Kippur, school closed

Friday, October 14: Multicultural Fair, Richardson Gym, 3:00 – 6:00pm

Tuesday, October 18: Middle School Parent Social with Guest Speaker, Morrison Forum, 5:45 – 8:30 p.m.

Monday, October 24: Teacher Comment Writing Day, school closed.

Tuesday, October 25: Faculty Meeting, Morrison Forum, 3:15 p.m. No afternoon program. Students dismissed at the end of the academic day.

Wednesday, October 26: Middle School Advisor / Advisee Individual Meetings

Friday, October 28: Halloween Dress Up Day; MS Social in Morrison Forum, 4:45 p.m.-6:00 p.m. and Friday Night Lights, Wayne Field and Field Hockey Turf, 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any questions or concerns about anything parent-related at Nobles. 

Thank you,
Class V Reps
Kate Saunders,
Kristin Welo,

Class VI Reps
Melissa Janfaza,
Sarina Katz,

Class II Parent Reps

Dear Class II Parents,

It was so nice to catch up with many of you at our Class II Parent Coffee as well as Back to School Night. It’s hard to believe we are through September already! Junior year can be filled with expectations and sometimes anxiety for our children (and ourselves!) Spending time with fellow parents can help ease some of our anxiety as we are all going through this process together.

With this is mind, please keep November 18 in mind as it is our Class II Parent Social.

Along with Class Deans, Brian Day and Julia Russell, we hope to make this a great junior year for our students and families. There will be some opportunities to volunteer for Class II specific events and we will provide links to Signup Genius when the time comes.

Also, please refer to the Friday parent emails to keep abreast of all the events involving college counseling, testing and the many opportunities to become involved with the Nobles community. For now, please mark you calendar for the Class II Parent Social!

Class II Parent Social: Friday, November 18, 6:00 p.m. in the Castle

We hope that your children have settled into their routines and are enjoying being back together.  Please let us know if we can help in any way.

Your Class II Parent Reps,

Gretchen Filoon
Jessica Patterson

Class II Dean's Report

The school year is off to an excellent start. First of all we have welcomed eleven wonderful new students to the Class of 2018. Everyone seems to have adjusted well from the slower pace of the summer months to the quickened one of the school year. They did a wonderful job at the retreat, jumping right into the challenging day of team-building, innovation, and public speaking.

There is obviously a period of adjustment that everyone goes through, but we have yet to see any students who have had much difficulty adjusting to the increased demands of junior year. If that changes for anyone, we will be sure to let you know. As we explained to the class at the start of the retreat, graduating seniors often have this to say: the time went by so fast and they wish they had reached out earlier to people that they did not know so well. We urge these new juniors to begin now, especially as they take greater ownership of the school as leaders—in classes, on teams, and in many other areas of the school. How will they treat each other? How do they want to be remembered as a class?

One of our hopes is that they will become better advocates for themselves as they develop greater independence and self-motivation. Please join us in encouraging students to reach out to their teachers early on to begin to forge relationships with them. We, along with the college counselors, advisors and the Dean of Students, are here to offer additional layers of support and guidance. They will have to balance the drive for individual achievement with the needs of the other members of their various groups—their academic classes, their teams, and yes, their families.

Additionally, our hope is that they understand that they will only be able to work to their fullest potential if they are well rested and healthy. We fully understand that the students have a lot to do, sometimes too much, but they need to be reminded that their bodies and their brains need rest in order to function optimally. If they can plan ahead, stay organized, and prioritize their efforts, we know they will not only survive, but thrive. Clear and honest communication goes a long way. We ask it of them and of you, and we promise the same in return.

We have really enjoyed the opportunity to meet this class and are excited to work with them throughout the year. Of course, if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Enjoy the autumn months.

Sincerely yours,

Karen Gallagher, Brian Day and Julia Russell

Class II Deans

Class III Parent Reps

Hello fellow Class III parents!

As we flip the calendar to October we hope that everyone has had a good start to the year. We have enjoyed seeing many of you at the PA Parent Social, Back-to-School Night, and Class IIII Coffee. For those of you who attended the coffee, it was a great opportunity to hear from our Class III Deans, Amy Joyce and Edgar DeLeon. Together we are looking forward to making this a great year for our sophomores and their families!

Our role as your class reps is in part to keep you apprised of opportunities to connect with other Class III families as well as the broader Nobles community. To that end, you should have received an email invitation to our Class III Parent Fall Social coming up on Thursday, October 20 from 7-9:30 p.m. in the Castle. Please save the date as we would love to see as many of you as possible at this event as it is a great way to get to know other parents in the Class. If you have not RSVP’d already, you can do so through Class III:

Another great way to connect with the School is by volunteering. There are great opportunities available through the website, but we would like to highlight two opportunities specifically for Class III families to get involved. Please know that we welcome any level of involvement in planning these events:

On Friday, January 27 Class III students will enjoy a Surprise Lunch put on by the Dining Staff…shhhh. We would love help in coming up with a fun theme, menu and decorations for this lunch. There will be a planning meeting in November and we will send out more details in a few weeks.

On Saturday, March 4 students will attend the Class III Head of School Dinner and Dance. This is a very fun event for the sophomore class made even more special as it is Bob Henderson’s last year at Nobles. We will have a planning meeting for this in early January and will be in touch with details in December.

If you haven’t already done so, please bookmark the Nobles website and check that calendar often and keep an eye out for the Friday weekly email updates. Both are great ways to keep current on school happenings, announcements and schedule changes. As we look out at October there are some important dates to mark on your calendar:

Monday, Oct. 10 – Columbus Day – school closed (Varsity Home games)

Wednesday, Oct. 12 – Yom Kippur – school closed

Friday, Oct. 14 – Nobles Multicultural Fair

Wednesday, Oct. 19 – Nobles PA Book Discussion – The Wright Brothers

Thursday, Oct. 20 – Class III Parent Social

Monday, Oct. 24 – Comment Writing Day – no classes

Tuesday, Oct. 25 – Trip applications due

Friday, Oct. 28 – Halloween at Nobles and Friday Night Lights

Thank you in advance for your support and participation. We look forward to hopefully seeing and meeting you in the next couple of weeks. In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to reach out of we can help in any way.

Warm regards,

Susie Winstanley,
Heather Markey,

Class IV Parent Reps

Hello, Class IV parents and guardians,

It was nice to see so many of you these past couple of weeks at the PA Social, Class IV Coffee and Back-to School Night.  Our children seem to be transitioning well into high school life.   

October promises to be another busy month – please mark your calendars with the events listed below.

Monday, Oct 10:  Columbus Day – No School

Wednesday, Oct 12: Yom Kippur – No School

Thursday, Oct. 13:  Class IV Parent Social, Castle Dining Hall, 7–9:30 p.m.
Click here to register

Friday, Oct. 14: Multicultural Fair, 3–6pm, in the MAC

Monday, Oct. 17:  Parents Association Meeting, Castle Dining Hall 8–9:30am

Monday, Oct. 24:  Comment Writing Day - No Classes

Friday, Oct. 28: Friday Night Lights

We look forward to seeing you at many of these events.  As always, please feel free to call or email us with any questions, comments or suggestions.


Catherine Walkey  (
Deanna DiNovi  (

10 Campus Drive,
Dedham, Massachusetts
tel: 781.326.3700
Site Map
Terms and Conditions
Privacy Policy
Connect with Nobles facebook twitter youtube

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