Nobles Parents' E-Newsletter

November 2010

Nobles Parents E-Newsletter November 2010

Questions at Open House by Bob Henderson, Head of School

On the third Saturday morning of every October we host an Open House for the purpose of admissions. No doubt many of the parents reading this once attended one of those events. This year we had a very successful day, welcoming a record number of visitors to this community. A large number of faculty, students and parents are mobilized for the purpose of covering various panels, tours, and information sessions and posts, giving up a precious part of a weekend for the school, all on top of their many other obligations and duties. Yet it is these folks who most effectively present this place, answering honestly and passionately every question, sharing their perspectives and the depth of their commitments and experiences here. As guests end their visits, I hear over and over how impressed they were with the people in this community, and how these volunteers made the Nobles experience tangible and hugely enticing.

My most important role at Open Houses is to sit on the stage in Vinik Theatre and answer questions about the school for about an hour and a half. Visitors drop in during that window, fire a few questions at me, size me up, and leave when they have had enough. I respond as best I can to whatever is on their minds. Queries range from curiosity about independent school education in general to very specific and provocative attempts to find out if I know very much about this school in particular. Some people try to stump me, but after 11 years of doing this for Open Houses and other admission forums, I can pretty much anticipate what I will face. I thought parents might be interested, however, in three of my favorite questions this year (and my responses), in part because a current parent who happened to be in the room told me that everyone might like to hear what I said. So below are the questions and a rough approximation of how I addressed them.

Why is humor in the school mission statement?

I love our school mission statement, and I think it is distinct among independent schools to assert that Nobles is dedicated to inspiring leadership for the public good. Yet I understand that when you visit and study a lot of schools, much of the mission language from one campus to the next can sound similar. Humor as a value is unique to Nobles. And we truly believe it is critical. Expectations for both behavior and achievement are very high in this school. This is by design, because we believe confidence and self-esteem are most securely built through sustained effort and genuine accomplishment. While a great deal of support and nurturance from adults in this community accompanies the hard work that kids invest, there is simply no substitute for humor to bring joy and meaning to the journey. Humor provides perspective, release of anxiety, and bonding experiences. It allows everyone to view their circumstances and challenges with greater meaning and insight, and to discover our shared humanity and fallibility. Humor, therefore, is essential to a happy and balanced intellectual community.

Like all elements of our mission, the emphasis we place on humor is at once a description of reality and an inspiration. We do it well, but we must always aspire to do it better. The place we do it best is in morning Assembly. Not every day, but most days we laugh together at some presentation or announcement. Sometimes Bill Bussey leaves us laughing so hard that tears are streaming down our faces. Sometimes we have loony Long Assemblies like “The Regurgitator.” Sometimes entire school days, like Halloween, are about fun and chuckles. Sometimes the humor is spontaneous, in Assembly or in the hallways or in class or on the playing fields, and therefore is particularly rewarding. And sometimes there are days, or weeks, that are long and difficult when we all wish that a little more humor could be injected. But we will always have that inspirational objective before us.

Do you actually know any students or do you spend all your time raising money?

This question actually was posited to me this bluntly this year. I was indeed tempted to respond with humor, but I restrained myself and simply addressed the gentleman with a straightforward account of my responsibilities at school. I teach an academic class, AP European History. I have seven advisees. I advise a club. I mentor a student leadership group, the Class I Prefects. I run Assembly nearly every Monday morning. I spend part of every day in the hallway talking with students, and I greet students for a while on most mornings as they enter the school before Assembly. My office door opens onto on a main school hallway, without a secretary or assistant buffering me from the world, and for much of every day my door is open for drop-ins. I attend games and plays and concerts. I figure I can keep the names of close to 400 students straight in my head, with greater knowledge of older students in the school than younger. Students are why I entered the school business, and they still are the most interesting part of my day, every day (with all due respect to teachers, administrators, staff members, graduates, parents, trustees, etc.).

To be completely fair to the man who asked this question, he was right to infer that school leadership has changed over the last couple of decades and that many heads are increasingly removed from the daily life of their communities. Schools are ever more complex places, medium-sized businesses really, in a very demanding business environment. The job requires many of the skills and interests of a CEO. Inescapably, something like 20-25 percent of my time in any given month of the school year is directly dedicated to development-related tasks. Yet there is still a fundamentally pastoral element to school leadership. This school is also a village, and I am, for lack of a better anthropological term, the village chief. For me at least, if I could not have meaningful relationships with kids, I would stop serving as a school head.

What do you want all graduates of the school to leave understanding?

There are really two things. The first is something that I heard historian David McCullough say several years ago in a commencement address. To paraphrase, he asserted that no one is self-made, and there is no greater myth in our culture than that of the self-made man. We are all of us complete and successful human beings because of the care and support of other people. We were all pushed, cajoled, inspired, encouraged and motivated by others at critical times or in critical ways that made us who we are. Parents certainly fill that role, but I would venture that teachers did so as well for nearly all of us. A graduate usually does not look back with equal gratitude and affection at all teachers, but almost to a person they leave here with an intense awareness of some adult, or much more commonly several adults, in this community who made a profound difference. Sometimes that influence is not even entirely clear at the time of graduation; older graduates often tell me how only later in life, after considerable reflection, did they recognize the positive power of their experience with a specific teacher. But I want all graduates to grasp that it is through mentoring relationships that we reach our real potential in regard to character and intellect.

I also want all graduates to come to grips with the fact that the real measure of our character is not success; rather, it is how we handle failure and disappointment. We all know that the moments of our greatest learning in life have been when we came up short, or when we had to reconsider our path and goals, or when have navigated a task or challenge unsuccessfully. No one would wish failure on anyone, yet, as the adage admonishes, “to err is human.” Learning how to adjust, adapt, and bounce back successfully from setbacks and, sometimes, abject failure, is an important part of traversing adolescence and preparing for the inevitable challenges of adult life. As Tim Carey pronounced more than a decade ago in a Nobles graduation speech, we need to learn to “fail proudly.” In those moments we all need the support and friendship of others, but we also need to discover and tap our own reserves of resilience, courage, flexibility, intelligence and optimism. I want all our graduates to leave here understanding that those personal resources are always available and how to access them.

Class I Notes, November 2010

The Class I Parent Dinner held on Friday, Oct. 1, was a wonderful event attended by more than 80 parents and guardians of our Class I students. The warm ambiance of the Castle was a perfect backdrop for this great opportunity to make new friends and reconnect with old ones.

The next parent event on the Class I schedule is a Parent Coffee to be held on Friday, Nov. 5, at 8:15 a.m. in the MAC. Please join us. We would love to see you there.

Yvette Shakespeare -
Amy McLaughlin-Hatch -
Lori Giandomenico -

Visit the Parents' Calendar for Event Details & Information

Flu Clinic

There will be a flu clinic in Morrison Forum on Tuesday, Nov. 9, from 12 -4 p.m. for students, staff and faculty, at a cost of $30 per person. It is being provided by Novartis Pharmaceuticals and Maxim Health Care.

If you have any questions please don't hesitate to call or e-mail, Trish Koningisor , RN, at 781-320-7070 (office) or 781-789-6474 (cell).

Influenza vaccine is recommended for all adolescents. As a parent, you should be aware that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommends annual immunization of all people aged 6 months and older. Additionally, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) distinguishes adolescents as a high-risk group.

Every year, children are at risk for developing serious complications from seasonal influenza. Flu vaccination is one of the best ways to help protect children from getting the seasonal flu, and has been shown to significantly reduce the incidence of student illness, impaired school performance, and missed class or work days.

Many people are not aware of the true dangers of the flu. On average, every year:

As many Americans die of influenza as breast cancer
Two to three times as many Americans die from influenza than HIV/AIDS
65 million Americans fall victim to influenza and flu-related complications, such
as pneumonia, resulting in 200,000 hospitalizations and 36,000 deaths per year
This season, one flu vaccine protects against both H1N1 and seasonal flu strains. In February, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced the requirement that the influenza A H1N1 (2009) strain be included in the seasonal flu vaccine. Therefore, for this coming flu season, only one flu shot will be necessary.

The cost for a seasonal influenza shot at this event is $30, which is comparable to the cost at your neighborhood pharmacy. Check with your insurance provider, as the cost may be reimbursable. Payment will be made on the day of the event.

You must complete two copies of a consent form per child for this event. One is for Maxim Health Systems to use for its records. The second consent form is your verification if you choose to submit it to your insurance company for reimbursement.

The day of the event your child must bring the following:

A check made out to Maxim Health Systems for $30 or $30 in cash
Click here to download the permission form, which must be returned and signed by a parent or guardian in order for a student to receive a flu shot. Please send the form to the Nurse's Office prior to the day of the vaccination or fax it to: 781-459-0336.

Teenagers and Motivation by Ben Snyder, Head of Upper School

As teachers and parents we are often faced with the challenge of how to get our students and children to "work harder," "care more" or "get stronger" (or a million other ways in which we, as adults, think they can improve). All of us undoubtedly want what is best for the teenagers in our lives. We often find ourselves knowing what our student/child needs to do, yet being continually frustrated by the recalcitrant nature of our kids.

Our challenge as educators and parents is to find the key to what motivates young people – and if there were a simple formula for that it would surely be common knowledge. There has, however, been significant research done in recent years around motivation. Daniel Pink (author of one of my favorite books, A Whole New Mind) has recently published Drive – The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, and there are many lessons to be learned from his work in our interactions with adolescents. (For an engaging summary of the book, click here to watch an eight-minute YouTube clip.)

First, Pink’s research has shown that giving people autonomy increases productivity and performance. With adolescents, this increasingly means giving them independence around their work (How many times have your children asked you to stop bugging them about their homework?). Although our parental intentions are good, our children often see us as meddling. If students run into challenges with a particular subject at school, we want them to become autonomous (with support from their advisors) in how they respond to that challenge by initiating extra help from teachers, rewriting papers or tests when allowed to by teachers, or being more conscientious about homework. While there appears to be an increase in the number of students who are receiving tutoring help, we see this as a "measure of last resort" when the actions of the student have not led to results that they – students – feel good about.

Second, Pink believes that the desire to become better at something that matters can produce mastery within whatever domain someone feels important. This requires a mindset that through effort one can become better at something. At Nobles we try to present these kinds of opportunities across the breadth of our program – academic and otherwise. Helping kids find that place where one seeks mastery (be it with a fascinating research project, an all-consuming role in a play, or a unique responsibility on a team) is one of our most important tasks as adults.

Finally, a sense of purpose is vital in our ability to lead fulfilling and productive lives. Our mission insists that we consider ways to use our Nobles experiences to benefit the larger public good; but that sense of purpose and meaning can be achieved in infinite ways depending upon the interests and strengths of the individual.

So as you work with your children to consider responses to the whole variety of challenges that adolescence presents, see if you can help them take greater responsibility for their performance, develop a mindset that understands that hard work can lead to mastery, and always keep in mind that, in the long run, there is a higher purpose that we can use our education for.

Welcome from the Parents' Association Co-Chairs

We would like to extend our thanks to all the members of the Nobles community who donated their attic treasures to the Yard Sale and volunteered their time to sort, price and sell goods. Those who attended the sale were very complimentary of the display and the friendly sales help. We also greatly appreciate the efforts of those who sorted leftover goods for donation to many local charities, made endless deliveries and helped with cleanup.

We congratulate Yard Sale Co-chairs, Barbara Ito and Genie Thorndike, on a very successful event and thank them for their service to Nobles and the greater Dedham community. They are truly leaders for the public good.

November Events

On Monday, Nov. 1, from 7-8:30 p.m., Ben Snyder and Tara Cocozza will present travel and study away options for Nobles students. This informational meeting will take place in Morrison Forum and will take the mystery out of the process and highlight the different types of programs available. This evening is open to all parents – Class VI through Class I. Students at Nobles may participate in selected travel programs as early as Middle School.

Join the Parents’ Association during the morning of Wednesday, Nov. 3, at Cradles to Crayons (C2C) in Quincy. C2C provides basic necessities for children in need. To sign up, or if you have additional questions, contact Jill Ellison at

This year’s Fall Mainstage Play, Matamorphoses, based on the Myths by Ovid, written by Mary Zimmerman, runs from Nov. 10-13.

Plan to attend Nobles/Milton weekend on Saturday, Nov. 13, at Nobles, followed by a school holiday on Monday, Nov. 15, in observance of Veterans' Day.

The November PA meeting is Thursday, Nov. 18, in the Castle from 8:15-9:30 a.m. Erika Guy, Dean of Students, and Bill Bussey, Provost and Ombudsman, will be speaking about their roles and answering questions.

Don’t miss the Dance Concert on Thursday evening, Nov. 18. This event was a standing-room-only favorite when it debuted last year. Finally, join in the spirit of giving and help out with or order pies from the Middle School Pie Drive from Nov. 18-20.

We wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Melanie Mace ( and Fiona Roman (
Parents’ Association Co-Chairs 

Order Your All-School Photo

The Road More Traveled by Bill Bussey, Provost

In high school, I was, for some unfathomable reason, selected by the faculty to be one of eight male students to represent the school at a three-day governmental conference called Boy’s State. The other kids selected from my school were the talented cross-the-t’s-dot-the-i’s types with whom I never shared detention. I wondered whether perhaps my indiscretions had been forgiven by the powers-that-be in my school, that perhaps with time a little perspective had seeped in from their end, that maybe they had come around and thought I could see the big picture. Those vain illusions were quickly dashed when soon after my arrival the conference director, who bore a menacing resemblance to Otto Preminger, let me know that he was “keeping an eye on me.” Clearly I needed an ally - and fast.

On my way up to my dorm room, I met a guy from South Portland who seemed pretty sophisticated. He declared that “jazz was the only music,” possessed a full beard and a head of hair that went in a thousand different directions, and flashed a wildly charismatic grin. We arrived a little early and found that although we weren’t roommates, our rooms were just a few doors down from each other. And then I did something that I have never forgotten. I looked at the nametag on my door, saw that my roommate hailed from the unsophisticated little nowhere town of Milo, checked out his hick boots that stood next to our doorway, and then carefully slid my nametag off my door. The kid from South Portland’s roommate hadn’t shown up yet, so it was a done deal. I had my ally, a cool kid who was entertaining, cynical and sophisticated to a degree that piqued my curiosity.

But here’s how it turned out. The cool guy was insufferable, and while he and his buddies from his hometown were bright, quick-witted guys, they treated everyone, including people that I liked, with such condescending disdain that I found myself hanging out elsewhere. And who turned out to be the nicest guy in the dorm? Yup. The guy from Milo, Maine. One more thing: I sensed the guy from Milo knew what I had done with the room switch, and I suspect on some level he knew why, but he did the gracious thing and never called me on it. He also gave me a great place to hang out and let me stay late.

This fall, there’s a lot of talk going on about bullying and what to do about it. It has become a national conversation. Yet I might suggest that an equally egregious social dynamic exists that is every bit as hurtful, yet far more subtle. Too often we allow our own prejudices, often based on few experiences and dominated by our own insecurities, to justify taking the road “more traveled,” the route that allows us to maintain an inner circle of like-minded people, often gathering on familiar territory, without ever considering just how narrow our contact with other parts of society has become and at what cost. Let’s not forget that the knee-jerk assumptions that all of us often employ, the social demarcations that we erect without a second thought, serve for our children as a blueprint for navigating their world. If we want our children be true citizens of the world, then we all must make a concerted effort to connect with those around us in a way that will allow our children to recognize and appreciate “our common humanity and the liberties that bring us together.”

Volunteer with the PA

Nobles Theatre Collective

Please join us at one of the performances of Metamorphoses, Nobles’ fall main stage play. The dates for the play are Nov. 10 and 11, at 6:30 p.m., Friday, Nov. 12, at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday, Nov. 13, at 2 p.m. only. Each performance will run a little more than 75 minutes. We are pleased to recommend this production for new and experienced theatergoers of all ages.

Tickets are $4 and may be purchased beginnging on Nov. 2 by visiting and clicking on the Metamorphoses link on the homepage or at the box office in the Nobles Arts Center Lobby in the hour leading up to each performance start time.

The NTC production will be led by a student/faculty team of directors, designers, and stage managers. Costumes, lighting, scenery and sound will be built and run by eight student technicians while a cast of 15 Nobles students perform.

Below is a synopsis of the play from Todd Morton, Director:

Metamorphoses, written by Mary Zimmerman based on the myths of Ovid, is a retelling of classical Greek mythology, and mixes the ancient stories of pathos and tragedy with contemporary language, humor and thought. The play offers a compassionate view of the human condition. In Zimmerman’sMetamorphoses, we witness the transformative power of love, redemption and forgiveness in the stories of Midas, Orpheus and Eurydice, Eros and Psyche and others, all enacted in a unique and memorable stage set.


We look forward to seeing you at the shows!

Lisa Pisano - 
Miguel Urena - 
NTC parent reps

Class I Co-Deans Meg Hamilton & Nahyon Lee

It was great to see and meet many of you at Back to School Night in September. We can’t believe that it is already November! In typical Nobles fashion, the first quarter went by very quickly, and your sons/daughters have jumped into being leaders of the school. They have a lot on their plates, from juggling school work with college applications and supplements, afternoon activities, club and sport leadership responsibilities, family commitments and time with friends. At times, there don't seem to be enough hours in the day to get it all done.

The good news is that this hectic period will soon be drawing to a close. Many students have already or shortly will submit one or more early applications and this winter colleges will begin rolling out decisions. Certainly, this time is stressful and full of emotions. If things go as planned, many students will feel on top of the world; if things do not work out as hoped, the world can feel like it has come to a shuddering halt. As hard as it might be, we ask that all students maintain dignity, humility and compassion throughout the process. We will talk to the seniors in the next Class Meeting about treating one another well, regardless of the outcome of their own application process. They must keep in mind that many of their peers won’t remember where they went to college, but will remember how they acted when the news arrived. Most importantly, we ask that they take care of one another as the news (good and bad) arrives. We also ask that you as their parents and guardians help them remember this, too.

One of the aspects of December that is most difficult is that it can be “the best of times” or “the worst of times” out there in Gleason Hall. Seniors who garner acceptances are thrilled and, in many cases, finished with the process. Others, who are disappointed with the outcome, must launch themselves into yet another round of applications. Of course we are urging all students, even those who have filed early applications, to continue working on their various regular decision applications and to be cognizant of impending deadlines. As always, we’re here for support if needed.

Outside of the college process, there is plenty on the horizon for Class I and the rest of the Nobles community – the end of the fall athletic season (for some it will be their last season in their fall sport and that can be emotional), the Mainstage theater production, the annual ACC Ping Pong Tournament, the second annual Dance Concert, and other upcoming concerts and community service projects of all kinds. Also, your seniors have one more opportunity to take advantage of various school trips. They should be on the lookout for Assembly announcements and the Friday, Nov. 12 trip application deadline (yes, another application deadline).

Though they seem to be a long way off, we wanted to keep the Class I Projects on your radar. These projects will begin in earnest in the fourth quarter, and the deadline for Class I Project Proposals will come up quickly after winter break. For those of you who are new to the concept of Class I Projects, here is a brief introduction to the concept.

The Class I Project, an option open to members of Class I during fourth quarter, is designed to allow students to pursue areas of interest that fall outside the School's formal curriculum. Such projects are an opportunity to explore educational or potential career interests. In addition, the School hopes that projects will further the students’ growth in areas articulated in the School's Mission Statement: intellectual growth, self-esteem, curiosity, self-reliance, and a commitment to others. We hope that students will choose projects that enlarge their understanding of a particular area, seriously engaging students in new experiences, and fundamentally deepening skills in previously declared areas of interest and expertise. Project proposals must reflect detailed and well-considered planning. The Committee will post project guidelines in early January on the Nobles website. In the past, projects have included: internships within a variety of professions; creative undertakings; volunteer work; travel and language study; and practical work in computers, film, art, crafts, and music. Students are not permitted to earn money—remuneration would, in the opinion of the Committee, compromise the spirit and intent of the educational objectives of the Project. In addition, students may not pursue an internship in a business or organization owned/operated by a family member, or have a family member as an off-campus supervisor.

Your senior will be receiving more information about the Class I Projects in December through email and Class I Meetings. When you think it is appropriate, please feel free to open the discussion as to what he or she might pursue or, of equal import, whether a Class I Project is an appropriate choice as a final, capstone experience. If your son/daughter decides to pursue a Senior Project, think about contacts that he/she will have to make to do a project as well. If you have any questions about Projects – or anything else Class I related – don’t hesitate to contact us at any time.

Thanks again to all of you for all of your work and care.

Meghan Cleary Hamilton and Nahyon Lee 

Halloween 2010

Write To Us!

Class III Dean Tara Cocozza


It’s hard to believe that it’s already November - it feels as if I were just sitting down to write a welcome-back letter in August and volunteering at the VA Hospitals with your children on the first day of school. The fall always passes by quickly, and it always amazes me how much we get accomplished in such a short amount of time.

Teachers just finished writing comments for the first quarter, and by the time you read this, your children will have reviewed their comments and grades with their advisors. In my opinion, the teachers’ comments are more important than the grades themselves, and I hope that you will take the time to review the comments at home with your sons and daughters. Please do not be alarmed if your child’s grades have declined in certain subjects. As you may know, the curriculum of sophomore year is challenging in new and different ways, and it will take some time for the students to adjust to the curriculum and to the new expectations in each course. On Thursday, Nov. 4, I hope you will be able to join us in Morrison Forum for a discussion and a panel of Class III teachers on the topic of the cognitive leap that occurs between freshman and sophomore years.

Class III meetings this fall have been and will continue to be full of visits from representatives of study away programs. By December, students will have had the opportunity to speak with representatives from Student Year Abroad (SYA), the Mountain School of Vermont, the High Mountain Institute of Colorado, and the School for Ethics and Global Studies of Washington, DC. In addition, representatives from Maine Coast Semester (Chewonki) and CITYTerm of NYC will be visiting early in the second semester. If your child is interested in studying away from Nobles during junior year, he/she should begin thinking about that now and planning for the future. It would be a good idea for your child to touch base with his/her advisor and with me if this may be a possibility.

During Class III year, it is important for students to get involved in clubs and other extracurricular activities at Nobles. Now that students have more free time in their schedule, they should view X-block as a time to get involved instead of as a time to hang out with friends. There are a wide variety of clubs, and if students get involved this year, they may be able to take on leadership roles in upcoming years. Another way to get involved is to consider traveling with Nobles. In the past few years, the travel program has expanded, and students have many unique opportunities available to them. In the next few weeks, students will learn about the 2011 trips, which will take place in March or in June. Participating in a Nobles trip has become a valuable part of our culture here, and I hope that your children will consider applying to one or more of them. So that you are aware, student trip applications and financial aid applications for trips are due on Friday, Nov, 12. There will be a parent evening on Monday, Nov. 1 in Morrison Forum to learn about the trip opportunities for 2011. If your child is interested in studying away from Nobles next year, there will also be a panel of students who will be discussing their experiences in the different programs noted in the paragraph above.

I hope to see you at a game, at a performance, or at one of the upcoming parent evenings. Enjoy the month of November, and have a happy Thanksgiving with your family.

Class II Notes, November 2010

Thanks to all who attended our Parents' Fall Social last month. Dana McManus and his talented FLIK food services crew provided a wonderful evening to catch up with new and old friends. A very special thank you to the Brosseau and Ordonez families for donating the wine and beer. We look forward to seeing you all again around campus during the busy month of November.

We would like to thank the College Counseling Office for recently hosting the first informational meeting which officially “kicked off” the college season for Class II. If you were not able to attend that meeting, please call the College Counseling Office for a copy of the handouts distributed. Additionally, the Nobles website contains an abundance of information relating to college. Click on “Academics” in the lefthand column of the homepage and then “College Counseling” to access college application-related timelines, standardized testing dates, and other important information.

It’s hard to believe that the first quarter has come to a close. Please remember to schedule a meeting with your child’s advisor on Nov. 16 or 17, or arrange for another mutually convenient time to meet.

10 Campus Drive will be bustling with activity during the month of November, and we would like to draw your attention to the following important dates:

Nobles/Milton Day – Saturday, Nov. 13
Fall Mainstage Play – Wednesday, Nov. 10 through Saturday, Nov. 13
Veterans Day (school closed) – Monday, Nov. 15
Parents' Association Meeting - Thursday, Nov. 18 at 8 a.m. in the Castle Library
Thanksgiving Vacation – Wednesday, Nov. 24 – Sunday, Nov. 28

As always, feel free to call us if you have any questions or concerns.?

Your Class II Parent Representatives,
Lynn Gilbert -
Lisa Soule - 

From Community Service

The list of service projects continues to grow, especially as Thanksgiving approaches.

Here are a number of ways to contribute to the daily efforts.

From the Community Service Board:
We have chosen to support the non-profit organization Kick for Nick. Kick for Nick was created in honor of an American soldier, Nick Madaras, who was killed in Iraq by an IED in 2006. On a visit home during the summer of 2006, Nick worked to collect as many soccer balls as he could to bring them back to the Iraqi children. Nick hoped that soccer would be able to help end the war, as it had with the war on the Ivory Coast. Nobles is now working to support Nick’s cause. We hope to collect more than 200 soccer balls and lightly used soccer equipment (cleats, shin guards, shirts, etc.) to send to the kids in Iraq. Your involvement and generosity would be greatly appreciated, in any capacity. From now through the end of the fall sport season (Nov. 15) please consider donating a new or gently used soccer ball and/or equipment. Check out the collection buckets at all of the remaining home sports games. A special thank you to Jonathan Bloch '14, for introducing us to this organization. (

From the Young Republican Group:
Support the Troops Drive (ongoing through the end of November). The club will be putting together holiday packages. They are collecting snacks, toiletries, and entertainment items suitable for mailing. Some examples include the following: slim jims, granola bars, instant oatmeal packs, travel size baby wipes, eye drops, lip balm, hard candy, batteries, DVD movies and 35mm disposable cameras. Contact Braden Tierney '11 or Zachary Soule '11 for more information.

From Mason Pulde '13:
Sled Hockey is coming to Nobles. It is a sport that was designed to allow participants who have a physical disability to play the game of ice hockey. We will be hosting a number of clinics throughout the winter season. Volunteers (10 per session) are needed to welcome and assist players on the following dates: Nov. 7 (Veteran’s Group, 9 a.m. to noon); Nov. 14 (Clinic, 9 a.m. to noon); Dec. 5 (Clinic, 9 a.m. to noon). Contact Linda Hurley for more information/sign up.

From South Africa Partners:
Do you want to help children learn about Africa? Volunteers are needed to host "Story Circles" at various Boston Public Library Branches on Saturday, Nov. 20. We need student volunteers and adult drivers/coordinators. Training (TBA) will be held at the Putnam Library. Celebrate National Family Volunteer Day and make a difference in youth literacy. Contact Linda Hurley for more information/sign up. A special thank you to Jonathan Sands '13 for inspiring us to be involved with this unique partnership. (

The Varsity Football Team volunteered many fall Sunday hours hosting the Dedham Pop Warner Football League during a season of Town of Dedham field construction. The Multicultural Students' Association (MSA) continues their work on behalf of The Single Parent Family Outreach Organization (SPFO). Both MSA and our Middle School Pie Bakers are planning to provide Thanksgiving turkeys and dessert to SPFO. These student groups listed, among many others, exemplify the true definition and spirit of service to others. 

May you and your family continue to acknowledge the small and large things that make life meaningful. Happy Thanksgiving!

Linda Hurley and Louis Barassi

Class III Notes, November 2010

Dear Class III Parents and Guardians,

Thank you to everyone who has so generously donated their time to the many fall Nobles events. Your involvement helps to make these events both successful and enjoyable for everyone in the community.

We have a busy month ahead, beginning with our Class III Parent Forum Night on Nov. 4, in the Morrison Forum. This lecture, “Understanding the Cognitive Leap and What it Means For You and Your Child,” is sure to be informative and enlightening. The very next night, Nov. 5, we will have our first Parent Social in the Castle. Urgent: Please contact Kris Ganong at if you have not yet RSVP’d!

Please review carefully the calendar below, as well as the parents' calendar and full calendar on the Nobles website:

Monday, Nov. 1, 7 – 8:30 p.m. - Travel and Study Abroad Night, Morrison Forum
Thursday, Nov. 4, 7 – 8:30 p.m. - Class III Parent Forum, Morrison Forum
Friday, Nov. 5, 7 – 10 p.m. - Class III Parent Social, the Castle
Tuesday, Nov. 9, 6:30 – 8 p.m. - Workshop on Athlete Recruitment and the College Process for Class II and III Parents and Guardians, Morrison Forum
Nov. 10 – 13, Fall Mainstage Play, Vinik Theatre
Monday, Nov. 15, Nobles Veterans Day – School Closed
Nov. 16 and 17, Advisor Parent Meetings
Thursday, Nov. 18, 8 – 10 a.m. - Parents’ Association Meeting, Castle Library
Thursday, Nov. 18, 7 p.m. - Dance Concert, Lawrence Auditorium
Nov. 24 – 28 - Thanksgiving Break; Classes resume on Monday, Nov. 29 at 8 a.m.

Best Regards,
Kris Ganong -
Valerie Kolligian Thayer -

Class IV Notes, November 2010

Dear Class IV Parents and Guardians,

Now that the temperatures (along with the leaves!), are falling, we hope that you and your ninth grader feel more connected to the Nobles community. We also hope you have been able to attend a PA meeting or cheer on your child at some of his/her games. The Multicultural Fair, the Yard Sale, and the Transitions Night were all very successful, and we hope you were able to attend some of these wonderful community-building events. Our first Class IV coffee was a lot of fun; it was great to spend a morning chatting over coffee cake together (thank you, Eileen Orscheln!) and getting to know one another.

We have several important events coming up this month; please be sure to mark the events listed below in your calendar.

Please note two important things: 1) The end of the marking period is here and it is time for parent conferences. You may want to email your child’s advisor to set up a time to talk – either by phone or in person during the week of Nov. 15. 2) As the fall sports season draws to a close, please be mindful of changes in the afternoon sports schedule. The Winter Afternoon Program will begin on Monday, Nov. 29.

Please feel free to call or email us with any questions, comments or concerns.

Betsy M. Allen – mother of Jason -  
Kathy Fitzgerald – mother of Audra & Julia -   
Suzie Montgomery – mother of Max - 

  • Monday, Nov. 1: Study Abroad & Travel Program Meeting – 6:30 p.m., Morrison Forum. Learn more about how to apply for these fantastic study away & travel programs
  • Nov. 10 – 13: Mainstage Play – See Nobles Calendar for times
  • Saturday, Nov. 13: Nobles/Milton Day. Come cheer on the DAWGS!
  • Monday, Nov. 15: Veterans Day – School Closed
  • Nov. 16 and 17: Parent/Advisor Meetings
  • Tuesday, Nov. 23: Thanksgiving Break begins after classes
  • Monday, Nov. 29: Classes resume, Winter Afternoon Program begins

Middle School Notes, November 2010

In October we had our Middle School Parent's Social, and we are glad that so many parents were able to come. Also in October, The Regurgitator returned once again to our school. Our kids will be talking about that Assembly for a very long time. November is also a busy and exciting month. This month includes the mailing of the report cards, Nobles/Milton Day, Thanksgiving Pie Drive and the Middle School Social.

Thanksgiving Pie Drive: Once again, the Middle School will be conducting the Pie Drive, an important community builder that every Middle School child participates in. Please consider getting involved. It’s a great chance for you to watch your kids in action as they assemble hundreds of apple pies for this significant fundraiser. Approximately 100 pies will be donated to the Single Parent Family Outreach Center in Boston, and up to 200 more will be sold to the Nobles community, the proceeds of which will go to the Greater Boston Food Bank, the charity chosen this year by the Middle School students. We need everyone’s help, large or small, to donate ingredients or funding, help assemble and bake, and to order pies. Pie Drive baking and assembly dates are Nov. 18 and 19, from 2:30-5 p.m. and Saturday, Nov. 20in the Castle. Please contact Anna Abate ( or Elizabeth Clarke ( for more information or to volunteer.

Important Dates For November:

  • Nov. 5 - Middle School Social (The first one of the year!) Game Nite. Game Nite will begin in Morrison Forum and end in Richardson Gym. Pick up at the MAC by 8:30 p.m.
  • Nov. 10 - MS Pie Drive Volunteer Planning Meeting in the Castle Study starting at 8:15a.m. If you have any questions, please contact the Pie Drive Coordinators, Anna Abate or Elizabeth Clarke.
  • Nov. 12 - Middle School Milton Games; Check for game times and locations.
  • Nov. 5 - Nobles will be closed on Monday, Nov. 15 in observance of Veterans Day.
  • Nov. 16 and 17 - Parent/Advisor meetings. Your son/daughter's advisor will be in touch with you to arrange a time to meet with you during this time.
  • Nov. 18, 19 and 20 - The Annual Middle School Pie Drive. Please watch the weekly Tuesday emails for updated information.
  • Nov. 22 - No Afternoon Program. Students will be dismissed at the end of the academic day. Faculty meeting will begin at 3:15 p.m. in Morrison Forum.
  • Nov. 23-28 - Thanksgiving Break will begin at the end of the academic day on Tuesday, Nov. 23. Our wishes for a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday to you and your family!
  • Nov. 29 - School reopens

    Class V Reps
    Anu Gulati (
    Heather Zink (

    Class VI Reps
    Carol Taiclet (
    Heather Woodworth (

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