Nobles Parents' E-Newsletter

September 2017

Nobles Parents' Newsletter September 2017

"A Fresh Sense of Purpose" by Head of School Catherine J. Hall, Ph.D.

As our students and teachers return this week to our hallways and fields, there is a tremendous energy and renewed sense of purpose and opportunity that has filled the school. Summer always has an eerie quality in schools for me. The campus feels like an empty swimming pool, sitting idle waiting for life to return. The students are the center of our work, and it is so great to have everyone streaming back to start what will be a fantastic year.

I asked our faculty and staff this summer to share with me a reflection about why they came to Nobles and why they stay. The responses were all deeply moving and inspiring, highlighting what a very special place Nobles is. It will not surprise you to know that the resounding theme for our faculty for why they are here is the students. It is the relationships they forge, the lasting connections they make and opportunities they have to impact children’s lives in positive ways. Being an educator is a tremendous gift, and being an educator here at Nobles is something truly extraordinary.

When I spoke with the senior prefects earlier this week and asked them what they think is special about Nobles that should never change, the answer was unsurprisingly similar to what I heard from teachers. Without hesitation, the students talked about their teachers and the relationships they make that are unique and something they treasure. They are acutely aware of how Nobles is different from other schools in the ways teachers and coaches invest in students, and in how the community is defined by strong interwoven bonds and support structures that enable each student to be his or her best possible self.

As a new member of this community, I am eager to dive in and build these relationships quickly, and it is challenging to come in brand new to a job that is all about people. While this creates some sense of urgency to get to know everyone instantly, I am also very mindful that authentic relationships and connections take time and cannot be rushed. They come from time and experiences together, from opportunities to struggle and laugh, from events that push us to celebrate or mourn and from those wonderful moments where we learn and discover together.

I am deeply proud to lead a school that has been committed over a very long history to keeping our mission squarely focused on what matters most. Our students are our purpose, and it is through powerful teacher-student relationships that extraordinary learning happens.

I am excited to start the journey of getting to know our students, faculty, staff and parents as this school year begins, and to discover many opportunities to begin to build relationships across our community. I look forward to getting to know each of you well in the coming months and years.

Volunteer in the Library?

Would you like to volunteer in the Putnam Library at Nobles?

As we amp up to move into our beautiful new library space this winter, we would love your help with a variety of projects. No special knowledge is needed—we'll provide training. If you're interested, please contact Talya Sokoll.  

"Learning From (and Living Like) a Genius" by Head of the Upper School Michael Denning

The aim [of education] must be the training of independently acting and thinking individuals who, however, see in the service to the community their highest life problem.
                                                                                                 —Albert Einstein, 1936

As I awaited the solar eclipse that dominated the imaginations of so many this summer, I became immersed in Walter Isaacson’s magnificent biography of Albert Einstein, Einstein: His Life and Universe. A brilliant storyteller, Isaacson brings to life this most influential of individuals—his joys, passions, triumphs, bad habits, struggles and shortcomings as a friend, father, colleague and partner. I picked up this work hoping to learn more about physics and Einstein’s theories, and I am grateful to Isaacson for making these complex ideas accessible. As I worked my way through this book, however, I found myself focusing on not only Einstein’s amazing ideas, but also Isaacson’s descriptions of Einstein’s character and what we can learn from the habits of heart and mind of Time magazine’s “Person of the Century.”

  • Self-confidence: Einstein believed in himself when many others did not. In 2005, we celebrated the 100th anniversary of Annus Mirabilis, Einstein’s four papers that revolutionized theoretical physics. In speaking for themselves, these works distract us from realizing that Einstein published these, not from an academic position at a university, but while working as a patent clerk in Bern, Switzerland. Einstein was turned down for one academic job after another, told he had neither the temperament nor the intellect to be a teacher and scholar. Thus, he spent days working at the job he could get, using his evenings and weekends to pursue his intellectual passions. Einstein persevered where others would have given up, changing the course of human history in the process.
  • Process Over Outcome: Einstein welcomed struggle, believing that short-term failures were essential elements of scientific advancement. Many of his most important discoveries came after working through countless roadblocks and backtracking from intellectual dead ends. These obstacles were immensely time consuming, but many of these, he believed, made later breakthroughs possible. In our quest to help students to do the right things, to master many skills and ideas, and to achieve in and out of our classrooms and in the college process, do we provide enough opportunities for them to learn through struggle, experimentation, risk-taking and trial and error, learning experiences we would all agree to be essential for innovation and new discoveries?
  • Willingness to Learn from Others and to Collaborate: While often recognized by lay people as being among the world’s greatest mathematicians, Einstein was, according to many scholars, significantly weaker in math than many of his peers. Indeed, while his genius was his ability to see complex theoretical constructs that others could not, he struggled to develop mathematical models that proved these ideas. Among physicists, however, it seems to be well known that Einstein often sought help from other supremely talented folks, including his first wife, Mileva Maric-Ajnštajn, as well as his friends at the Swiss Federal Polytechnical School in Zurich, Marcel Grossman and Michele Besso. Later in his life, Einstein relied heavily on the work of, and his relationships with, famed scholars such as Max Planck, Fritz Haber, Carl Friedrich Gauss, Max Von Laue and Bernhard Riemann, just to name a few.

    Einstein had a big ego, and we should not overstate a case regarding his collaboration. However, the years he spent working and engaging actively with others speak to his self awareness and knowledge of his limitations, as well as his ability to make his ego subservient to the needs of the work at hand. In an era when individual accomplishment seems to marr and prohibit effective teamwork, can talking about Einstein’s limitations and spirit of collaboration help us to teach students of the important role teamwork can play in their endeavors? If one of the 20th century’s brightest minds sought the help of others, shouldn’t we all try to do so, too?
  • Courage and Resilience: Einstein was enormously resilient. Along with experiencing great personal loss—some of which, one might argue, was of his own making—Einstein was also a European refugee who became stateless more than once and was deprived of his German citizenship by the Nazi regime. Indeed, while Einstein was a man of the world, he was more than once a man without a country or home, and his courage and adaptability in the face of those exceptional hardships is something to be emulated and taught.

    Einstein stood up for what he believed was right. With both strength and humility, he protested against war, nuclear weapons, antisemitism, fascism and other evils and injustices. While some of his positions might seem less courageous because of his fame, Einstein, we learn, was a person of principle long before he had either the reputation or economic stability to render his courageous positions less risky. Einstein took important stands when they mattered, regardless of how hard or expensive they might have been for him. In so doing, he reminds us of our obligations of citizenship.  

Save the Date: Nobles Night

Save the Date!

Nobles Night—a special evening to celebrate Nobles
Thursday, November 9, 2017
6:30 p.m. in the Morrison Athletic Center

***Please note: this is NOT a student event

For further information, contact:

Special Events Coordinator Katherine Minevitz or 781-320-7009

Foster Gallery: Artist in Residence

We are pleased to announce that Boston-based photographer Tommy Matthews will be our artist-in-residence for 2017. We look forward to having him join us on campus this fall.

Learn more about his work and join us at the opening reception on Thursday, September 14 from 5:00-7:00 p.m. in the Foster Gallery.

Find out more about Foster Gallery.

"Learning to Listen" by Dean of Students Mark Spence

I absolutely love the pace of summer. I am fortunate to love what I do for a living, but I find great value in stepping away for a while each summer. In a blink of an eye, here we are, back for another school year.

Inside and outside of Nobles, a lot has transpired this summer. On campus, our new head of school has joined our community alongside new faculty, staff and students. Beyond Nobles, national and international events have challenged us all in uncomfortable ways, leaving us searching for explanations and a way forward.

This summer, I spent a lot of time thinking about discussion and debate. Discussion, of course, is the process of talking about something, often to make a decision or share information. Debate is more formal and public, typically, often with opposing voices. Recently, as I’ve observed discussions and debates in various settings, I notice that those in the conversation or on the stage are frequently not being good listeners. When the involved parties aren’t listening carefully and respectfully, everyone leaves more frustrated and entrenched in their ideals than they were before. More importantly, they haven’t advanced their point of view or come to better understand the other’s. Practicing respectful discussion—which requires becoming a good listener—is key to being a good student. It’s also a requirement for being a good citizen.

As educators, we certainly need to cultivate skills that allow for better discussion and mutual understanding. At times, we also need to recognize that challenging discussions are more difficult to take on when they involve emotion or history: issues related to race or class would, for example, fall into this especially difficult category. For a discussion or debate around hard topics to be successful, all parties need to be open to understanding the other’s experience and perception—not an easy task but crucial as we try to bridge our divides, whatever those may be.

In helping students in my role as dean of students, these listening skills and a willingness to validate another’s experience and feelings is important. I try to model this willingness to hear and be heard every day in my office. I also model being trusting and giving the person opposite me the benefit of the doubt. A situation or a relationship can often be salvaged when we give ourselves permission to both disagree and respect others. If you can leave a difficult conversation thinking, “I completely disagree with this person, but I believe that they are coming from a good place,” that’s a good and important step forward.

So, where to go from here in a country that feels so divided? We remind each other to rely on our principles. As adults and teachers, we model those principles relentlessly. An education is about academics, for certain, but it’s also about the less palpable and sometimes more elusive accomplishments and attributes: listening and being respectful, while we remain true to what we believe.

Save the Date: Grandparents Day

Save the Date!
Grandparents Day
Friday, May 4, 2018

For further information, contact:
Special Events Coordinator Katherine Minevitz or 781-320-7009

"Afraid of Being 'Found Out'" by Director of Counseling Jen Hamilton

We all likely have vivid recollections of the last time we started a new school, even if it was decades ago. For many of us, there may be visceral memories of the excitement and nervousness we felt. If you were to talk with a group of people about these memories, you would likely come up with a list of commonalities such as having difficulty sleeping, feeling butterflies in your stomach, worrying that you might not know anyone or that you might not be able to find your way around. Yet there is one extremely common experience that students are much more hesitant to mention: The fear that we may be in way over our heads.

Why is it that something so universal is so difficult to talk about? The worry that "I'm not supposed to be here" is a very vulnerable thought to experience, and the secrecy around this fear only serves to make it bigger. This phenomenon is so common, in fact, that in the late '70s, psychologists Pauline Clance and Suzanne Imes of Georgia State University coined the term "Impostor Syndrome." Perhaps the most illustrative example of Impostor Syndrome is that each fall, students at Stanford Business school are asked the question, "How many of you in here feel that you are the one mistake that the admissions committee made?" And each year, two-thirds of the class admit to harboring this fear.

Every fall, as I meet with new students, part of the conversation usually goes something like this:  "It is normal, when you start a new school or join a new team or club or friend group, to feel like maybe you don't belong, or to worry that maybe you're not as good as you (or others) thought you were. Everyone feels like this sometimes. Where on this spectrum are you today?" The question, asked in this way, lets kids know that there's nothing unusual about fearing that you may be in over your head. In fact, it's very typical. Their answers are stunningly honest, peppered with a sense of relief. By opening this dialogue, we can quell some of the worries and talk about ways to cope with them.

Keeping silent about these concerns can cause us to be afraid to take risks and to feel anxious... so anxious, at times, that we go into "fight or flight" mode and can't perform to our full capacity. Recent research on this topic by Dr. Valerie Young has found that people actually develop coping mechanisms for Impostor Syndrome, which often include "procrastination, perfectionism, and other unconscious strategies... to avoid being 'found out.'" The antidote? First, recognize that this feeling is normal and that you're not alone!  Second, talk about these vulnerable feelings with someone who you trust as a way to shed some light on those dark corners. Next, remember that although this is a strong feeling, it does not mean that it is the truth. And perhaps most importantly, take risks to try new things, ask questions, and focus on taking in new information and experiences. By cultivating a growth mindset (nobody is born smart or gifted... each skill must be developed over time with practice and hard work, and all skills can be improved over time with practice and hard work), we retrain ourselves from the faulty thinking that if we aren't the best at something, or if achievement doesn't come easily, then it must mean that we don't belong or that it's not worth doing. If you'd like to learn more about this, psychologist Carol Dweck has some wonderful books and resources on cultivating a growth mindset.

As a way to engage your children in conversation about this topic, I encourage you to share stories with them about times when you have felt unsure of yourself and worried about being "found out," yet persevered.  They just might open up and share more about their own experiences. They may also be relieved to learn that literally hundreds of accomplished professionals have written about working through feeling like an impostor.  Even Justice Sonia Sotomayor, when asked about this topic, said, "I have that initial insecurity but I’m capable of stepping outside of it and proving to myself it’s wrong.”

As always, I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic, or to talk with you about ideas or concerns that you may have regarding your children.  Please don't hesitate to email me.

"A Nobles Parent Guide to EXCEL" or "What Does EXCEL Stand For, Anyway?" from Director of the Anderson/Cabot Center for EXCEL Ben Snyder

Since Nobles adopted “EXCEL” as the moniker to describe the broad variety of experiential programs the school offers, I have gotten all sorts of attempts at what EXCEL stands for. Most people get the “experiential” right, but after that, all bets are off. While most understand Nobles’ commitment to service, the “s” for service isn’t present, there is no “t” for travel, our classes and projects that are more process- and project-based aren’t easily identified, and our Achieve and Upward Bound programs don’t seem to fit easily.

So what does EXCEL stand for?

EXCEL stands for Experiential and Community Engaged Learning—programs include:

  • Service learning opportunities,
  • Travel/cultural immersion programs and study away options,
  • “Applied learning” classroom experiences along with Class I projects, and
  • Achieve and Upward Bound—our two programs for low-income/first-generation college-bound students (from Boston and Lawrence, respectively).

The depth and breadth of these programs are unmatched in providing opportunities for Nobles students and, in fact, embody the Nobles mission of teaching “leadership for the public good.”

However, EXCEL represents much more beyond a simple acronym.

First, and perhaps most importantly, EXCEL reflects Nobles’ institutional commitment to being a private school with a public purpose. Our mission of “leadership for the public good” is more than simply flowery language. EXCEL compels us to create meaningful opportunities for students and to use our institutional resources to serve the greater good and empower our students to ultimately make their own positive difference wherever life takes them.

Second, EXCEL programs broaden student perspectives and the ways in which they see themselves and their place in the world while building critical skills—empathy, advocacy, creative problem-solving, adaptability, resilience, gratitude and humility.

Third, by requiring student service and providing a wide range of travel and study away opportunities, each student finds their own way to make a meaningful contribution somewhere that is important to them. Nobles is not in the business of defining the “best” service, but we are in the business of helping students identify opportunities that can make a difference and that resonate with the student. There is a “culture of service” at Nobles and our 80-hour service requirement is ultimately exceeded by more than 75 percent of each graduating class.

Fourth, EXCEL programs allow Nobles students to “fail” without the perception of a “fatal” transcript consequence. As adults, we all recognize that the most important lessons in life often come from significant setbacks, yet most Nobles students perform so well in the classroom that “failure” doesn’t happen very often. So whether in a class where the “process” of learning is central to the pedagogy (and there are many classes at Nobles with that approach—from computer science to advanced arts classes to many science electives to journalism, etc.) or on a trip or at a service site where the original plan or approach doesn’t work, EXCEL provides the opportunities for students to “fail,” recover, learn, and grow.

Finally, EXCEL often puts our students (your children!) in uncomfortable and challenging situations where the real risk is quite low (click here for a piece on “Safety First” in EXCEL) but the perception of risk for an adolescent feels high. When a student does a homestay for the first time in a foreign country or delves into a completely new culture or environment on a service project or trip or takes a semester away from the confines of Nobles, we often see exponential growth in student maturity and perspective. Over the last five years roughly 75 percent of all graduates have taken advantage of the travel/cultural immersion/study away opportunities at Nobles; the impact of these programs is real.

Every EXCEL opportunity requires student reflection and some sort of contextualization.  Below is a recent student reflection that captures so much of what EXCEL stands for at Nobles.

“The people I met and interacted with made me realize what the important things in life are. I am forever grateful that I had the opportunity because I know I will remember the experience for the rest of my life.”

As you consider the remainder of your child’s time at Nobles, we hope you will work with your child and our faculty to find the most meaningful and impactful EXCEL opportunities —and if you’d like a quick video overview of EXCEL click here

Class IV Notes

Dear Class IV Parents and Guardians,

Welcome to Class IV (freshman year, ninth grade) at Nobles! We would like to extend a warm welcome to all of the new families joining this wonderful community, and to say welcome back to all of the returning families. The start of high school represents a new experience for all of our children. We hope to meet you personally this fall, however, please feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions or concerns. We are very excited about our roles as Class IV Representatives, and are looking forward to getting to know you and working with you throughout the year.

Here is a snapshot of Class IV:
• 127 students
• 64 boys, 63 girls
• Class comes from 44 cities and towns

Part of our job as class reps is to ensure that parents get to know one another. This can be accomplished in a number of ways: attending Parents' Association (PA) meetings, parent coffees and socials, volunteering for a number of different activities, and attending any of the numerous school events (art openings, theatrical performances, musical concerts, athletic games, etc.).

We highly recommend attending the first Nobles all-school Parent Social, September 9, 6:30-9:30 p.m. This is a wonderful party and a terrific way to meet other parents.

Volunteer opportunities can be found on the Nobles website, under the parent portal, on the left side. Please feel free to contact us anytime during the year with ideas, suggestions and questions—or just to chat.

A few dates/events to remember:

Wednesday, Sept. 6: First day of classes. Students should bring their books to school.

Saturday, Sept. 9, 6:30 – 9:00 p.m.: Nobles All-School Parent Social: This fun event is complimentary and dress is casual. You will receive an email with a link to RSVP online. This is a great opportunity to meet new parents and catch up with old friends. 

Thursday, Sept. 14, 8:00 – 9:30 a.m.: First Parents Association Meeting: Castle Dining Room. Dr. Cathy Hall will be our speaker. This is always an informative meeting and a great way to start the school year. 

Tuesday, Sept. 19, 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.: Back-to-School Night. This is your opportunity to sit in on all of your student’s classes and to meet the teachers as well as his/her advisor. BTS night is a great way to learn your way around campus, to put faces to the names of your child's teachers, and to visit with other parents. 

Thursday, Sept. 21: Rosh Hashanah—School is closed.

Monday, Sept. 25, 8:00 – 9:30 a.m.: Class IV Fall Coffee: A wonderful way to make connections within the class. Class coffees meet in the Castle, after morning drop-off.

Monday, Oct. 9: Columbus Day—School is closed.

Thursday, Oct. 12, 7:00 p.m.: Parent Lecture—“A Digital Coming of Age.” Lawrence Auditorium. 

Friday, Oct. 20: Class IV Fall Parent Social. Come join other Class IV parents as we mingle and get to know each other in an informal setting in the Castle. An invitation will be emailed to you soon.

Monday, Oct. 23: Comment Writing Day—School is closed.

As always, the Nobles website,, is a great resource for the entire school calendar. Many of these events are supported by parent volunteers. Volunteering is a great way to get involved and connect with other families, and there is an opportunity for everyone however you choose to engage.

Thank you in advance for your support and participation. We look forward to meeting you in the next few weeks.

Warmly, your Class IV reps,

Lori Shaer (mother of Ben),
Heather Steele (mother of Aidan),

Class I Notes

Welcome Class I parents to Senior Year 2017-2018!  As we wind down our collective summer activities, we wanted to give everyone an overview of the year ahead.  As your Class I PA Reps, we’d love to see everyone get involved and volunteer for all the great Senior events throughout the year.  We will be using SignUpGenius links and subsequent weekly emails to let you know about upcoming volunteer opportunities. 

Class I events for your calendars:

Thursday, October 5, 8:00-9:00 a.m., Parent Fall Coffee, Castle (with our Class I Deans)

Friday, October 27, Halloween Surprise Lunch, Castle*

Tuesday, November 14, 5:00-7:30 p.m., Transition Night for Students*

Friday, November 17, 6:30-9:30 p.m., Class I Parent Social, Castle

Friday, January 12, 8:00am-9:00 a.m., Parent Winter Coffee, Castle

Wednesday, February 14, Valentine’s Surprise “Breakfast for Lunch,” Castle*

Monday, March 26, 5:00-7:30 p.m., Senior Transition Night for Students

Thursday, May 17, 7:00-9:30 p.m., Spring Parent Social, Castle

Tuesday, May 29, 11:00-1:45 p.m., “The Way We Were” Lunch BBQ for students, McLeod Field*

Tuesday, May 29, Class I Project Night**

Wednesday, May 30, Class I Night**

Thursday, May 31, Awards Night**

Friday, June 1, Graduation**

Friday June 1, 8:30 p.m. - 11:30 p.m., Graduation Party (parent-sponsored event)*

*Volunteer help and/or food donations appreciated
**Details will be forwarded by Nobles in early spring

We need your help to make this year fun and successful, so consider volunteering your time and talents!  If you have any questions now or along the way, please let us know.  We are looking forward to a great senior year and to seeing you on campus soon. Go Dawgs, and here’s to the Class of ’18!

Juls Dixon
AE Rueppel
Karen Volo

Notes from the Middle School

Welcome to the Nobles community and the 2017-2018 academic year!

One of our primary responsibilities as Middle School parent representatives is to keep you informed of the important events happening in the Middle School, as well as schoolwide events, through the Nobles Parents’ Association newsletter. You will receive this newsletter via email at the start of each month, and it can also be accessed on the school website. What follows is a list of key dates that you might consider noting in your calendar now.

Key Events for September & October 2017

Wednesday, September 6: Students should bring their textbooks to school. Also on September 6, students will attend afternoon program meetings from approximately 3:15-3:30 p.m.

Thursday, September 7: First Day of School. Dress code will be in effect. Afternoon programs will be in effect on this day. Please refer to the Nobles practice schedule for dismissal times. (

Saturday, September 9: Parents' Fall Social from 6:30-9:00 p.m. in the Castle. This is a schoolwide event, and it is the perfect way to meet new parents and catch up with old friends over cocktails and hors d’oeuvres in a fun, casual, and parents-only environment.

Thursday, September 14: First Parent Association Meeting, 8:00 a.m. in the Castle Dining Hall. This is a schoolwide, i.e. middle and upper school parent meeting. All parents are welcome.

Tuesday, September 19: Back-to-School Night, 6:00-9:00 p.m. All parents are invited to Nobles for an evening of classes and the opportunity to meet your child(ren)'s teachers, advisors and coaches. If at all possible, make this event your top priority.

Thursday, September 21: Rosh Hashanah—school closed.

Tuesday, October 3: Middle School Parent Event—Dr. Chris Willard will be speaking to MS parents in Morrison Forum starting @ 7:00 p.m. Event will begin @ 6:30pm. More detailed information to follow in upcoming Wednesday emails.

Monday, October 9: Columbus Day—school closed.

Tuesday, October 10: Middle School Coffee at 8:00 a.m. in the Castle.

Thursday, October 12: Parent Lecture Series at 7:00 p.m. in Lawrence Auditorium. Please come to listen to Dr. Jill Macquarrie Walsh ’96 talk about helping our children navigate their digital and social media lives.

Monday, October 16: Second Parent Association Meeting, 8:00 a.m. in the Castle. All parents are welcome.

Thursday, October 19: Middle School Parent Social at 6:30 p.m in the Castle. Please come and enjoy some hearty hors d’oeuvres and mingling.

Monday, October 23: Teacher Comment Writing Day—no classes.

Please keep in mind that volunteering at Nobles is a wonderful way to quickly become immersed in the community. You will meet other parents, begin to develop a sense of the outstanding teaching community, and become acquainted with your child’s classmates and friends. Log on to the Nobles website and please take a look at the available volunteer opportunities. Additionally, we will highlight those opportunities in the weekly MS emails from Maryanne MacDonald and these monthly school wide newsletters.

We look forward to reconnecting with returning parents and getting to know all the new families. 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
Cindi Fitzmaurice,
Elizabeth Clarke,

Class VI Reps
Sally Tyrie,
Chrissy Ducharme,

From the Class I Deans

Welcome back! We hope you and your family had a fantastic summer. We’re excited about the beginning of the new school year and are especially looking forward to working with the wonderful class of 2018. This class is special in so many ways, and we’re honored to serve as the Class I Deans.

Both of us had enjoyable and fulfilling summers. Kim spent her second summer teaching writing and storytelling at Upward Bound and got away to her home state of Maine to visit family and friends. Mike enjoyed spending lots of time with his baby daughter and also attended a few professional development workshops. We feel rejuvenated and ready to support all of our Class I students. The class will play an integral role in setting a positive tone both inside and outside of the classroom, and we’ll work closely with the students as they navigate their many responsibilities.

Yesterday, we helped students kick-off their senior year at the annual retreat held at Camp Bournedale. Every year the goal of the retreat is to give students time to reconnect with their classmates after the summer, enjoy time with each other, and help them think about their goals for the upcoming school year. Students engage in a program that focuses around the theme of “Telling Our Stories.” By sharing their stories, students learn more about one another and, as a result, build stronger relationships and become even better leaders. We had a great day with Class I!

The beginning of every school year is a time of excitement, change, and inevitably some anxiety. In just a few short days, students will have a fresh schedule, a line up of different teachers with high expectations, a new assembly seat, and challenging leadership roles to assume. We recognize that the first semester can be a stressful time, and we want to reiterate to you that we’ll support your student to the best of our abilities. As one way to support the class, we’ve planned a few evenings as part of our Transitions program that will help equip students with information about making the most of their passage from Nobles to their respective college or university. You’ll hear more about these evenings over the next couple of months. If you ever have any questions or concerns about your son or daughter, please contact us, the college counseling office, or the student life team, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

We would like to express our immense gratitude to the Class I Parent Representatives: AE Reuppel, Juliet Dixon, and Karen Volo, who have already provided a great deal of support in our efforts to make the 2017-18 school year a successful one. They will be in touch with you soon about upcoming events.
Finally, we hope to see you at Back to School Night on Tuesday, September 19, at 6:00 p.m. Thank you in advance for entrusting us with your son or daughter. It will be a genuine pleasure to work with such a kind, considerate, and talented group of young men and women!


Mike Kalin and Kim Libby

From the Parents' Association

Welcome, parents, to the 2017-2018 school year!

As this year’s co-chairs of the Nobles Parents’ Association, we are excited for the new school year, and we would like to extend a warm welcome to you and your family.

All Nobles parents and guardians are automatically members of the Nobles Parents’ Association (PA). Although the PA has many different roles at Nobles, it is our goal to help all families feel welcome and integral to the everyday functions of our school. One of the best ways you can become connected to the Nobles community is to volunteer your time. Whether you have an hour to spare or would like to commit to an ongoing role, your support of Nobles activities and events will surely be rewarding.

We hope you’ll join us as we kick off the school year on Saturday, September 9, at the Nobles Parents’ Association Fall Social, from 6:30-9:00 p.m. in the Castle. This annual tradition is a casual and fun way for new and returning parents to meet one another, and a great way to reacquaint with old friends after the summer months. Kindly RSVP by using the link in the weekly emails you will receive.

The fall at Nobles is bustling with activity. To find out more, please read your respective Parent Class Representatives’ letters in the Class Notes section of this monthly e-newsletter. Each week upper school parents will also receive a Friday email from Patricia Aliquo and middle school parents will receive a Wednesday email from Maryanne MacDonald with news and reminders for the week.

Please take a moment to log onto the “Parents” portion of the “Nobles Community” tab on the right side of the Nobles website at Select the “Volunteer at Nobles” link in the left navigation pane. On the “Volunteer at Nobles” page, you can browse numerous opportunities that include class-specific as well as schoolwide events. Once you have selected the function you would like to volunteer for, the committee chairs will be in touch with further details. The Nobles website is the center of all news in the busy Nobles community. Please make it a habit to check it for afternoon program announcements, athletic schedules and calendar updates. Be sure to log in so you can see all aspects of the website, not just the public pages. If you have any problems, please contact ISS via email at

Finally, as you plan your fall schedule, please save these dates on your calendar:

Thursday, September 14
Parents’ Association Meeting, Castle Dining Hall, 8:00 a.m.
Please join us for our first PA meeting of the year. Have a cup of coffee and learn about the PA’s many planned activities for the year and meet the Class Reps and Committee Chairs that make up our dedicated PA board.

Tuesday, September 19
Back to School Night, 6:00-9:00 p.m.
This night gives you the opportunity to meet teachers and experience your child’s day in an abbreviated form.

Saturday, October 21
Nobles Yard Sale
Many volunteers are needed to make this biennial Nobles event a success. Declutter and bring your gently used apparel, sporting goods, home goods and books to Nobles. There are numerous volunteer opportunities during the week leading up to the event to sort, set up and sell. Please check the website and join us to meet new friends and support this wonderful Nobles tradition. All proceeds from the sale support the Achieve program.

We are fortunate to have such a dedicated and wonderful community of parents at Nobles. Thank you in advance for your help and participation. We look forward to seeing you on campus throughout the year.

With warmest regards,

Parents’ Association Co-Chairs,

Gina Doyle and Isabelle Loring

Class III Notes

Dear Class III Parents:

We hope you have had a wonderful and relaxing summer and that you are anticipating, as we are, a busy and exciting fall. We are pleased to serve as your Class III Parent Representatives and are looking forward to working with all of you to make this a great year for our sophomores.

Our role is to hopefully be a conduit of information from the school to your home regarding important dates and announcements. We’ll also try to continue to build our class community by scheduling a number of parent social opportunities throughout the year. It is also a good idea to bookmark the Nobles website and check the calendar. Be sure to keep an eye out for the Friday weekly updates as well.

Our class has nine new students joining us this year and a student returning from a year away. We hope you will welcome these families to Nobles. Whether you are new to Nobles this year, still feel new, or have been at the school for years, we invite you to attend this year’s Class III events. Below we have highlighted just a few of the important Class III dates for the first part of the year. As always, the Nobles website,, is a great resource for the entire school calendar. Many of these events are supported by parent volunteers. Volunteering is a great way to get involved and connect with other families and there is an opportunity for everyone however you choose to engage. For those who would like to volunteer, we will have sign-up sheets at our first gatherings or you can also do it via email using Sign Up Genius.

First Day of Upper School Classes: September 6

First day of Afternoon Program: September 7

Fall Parents Association Social: September 9, 6:30 – 9:30 p.m., the Castle
Entire Nobles parent community social event

Parents Association Meeting, September 14, 8:00 – 9:30 a.m., the Castle
First PA meeting of the year (speaker: Head of School Dr. Cathy Hall)

Back to School Evening: September 19, 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Preview your student’s classes while also meeting their teachers and advisor.

Rosh Hashanah, September 21: School is closed.

Class III Parent Fall Social: October 6, 7:00 – 9:30 p.m., the Castle
This is a great opportunity to meet new Class III parents and catch up with old friends.

Columbus Day, October 9: School is closed.

Class III Parents Coffee: October 19, 8:00 – 9:30 a.m., the Castle
An informal, drop-in opportunity to see other Class III parents.

Nobles Yard Sale: October 21

Comment writing Day: October 23, no classes

Class III Head of School Dinner Dance: March 3, 6:30 – 10:00 p.m. in the Castle
This is an event hosted by Dr. Hall and is specifically for Class III students. It is a mandatory event.

Grandparents Day: May 4
More information in the Nobles mailer.

We hope to meet you personally this fall at our various school events, but in the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact either of us at any time with questions. We look forward to a great year together!

Nathalie Ducrest (Paloma Ducrest’s mom)
Sylvia Kuzman Crawford (Finn Crawford’s mom)

Class II Notes

Dear Class II Parents,

It’s hard to believe that junior year is upon us! We hope you have had a fun and relaxing summer break.  Although this year is bound to be busy and sometimes stressful for both students and parents, we hope to keep you informed of all the upcoming important events.

As you plan for the fall, please put the following dates on your calendar:

Class II Parent Coffee: Thursday, September 28, 8:00 a.m. (Castle)
Please join us to reconnect with fellow parents and hear about our plans for the year. We will have sign-up sheets for some Class II volunteer opportunities.

Class II Parent Fall Social: Thursday, October 19, (Castle), 7:00-9:30 p.m.—Join Class II parents for an evening of cocktails, dinner and conversation. Look for an invitation and more details in October.

We look forward to seeing many of you back on campus in the upcoming weeks. If you have any questions, ideas, or suggestions please feel free to e-mail either of us.

Your Class II Parent Reps,

Mimi Eldridge,
Joan Weinsten,

10 Campus Drive,
Dedham, Massachusetts
tel: 781.326.3700
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