TAPA coffee welcomes Thayer families
The Thayer Academy Parent Association (TAPA) held its First Friday Coffee and Meeting with School Leadership today (Sept. 8) in the CFA lobby. There, TAPA President Kim Millian P ‘26 joined Head of School Chris Fortunato P ‘26, ‘28 and other school leaders in welcoming parents and guardians and highlighting goals and initiatives for the new school year.
“Engagement is the key,” said Fortunato, explaining that students in all grades engage more when they are truly known by their teachers and their community. In his remarks, Fortunato discussed recent construction efforts on campus, the rollout of the new academic schedule, phone use during the school day, the strength of the Academy’s Scholars-in-Residence program, the growth of the entrepreneurship program, and the need to teach 21st century leadership skills like effective communication, team-based problem-solving, and relationship-building across lines of difference — human skills which can’t be replicated by artificial intelligence or other forms of technology.
Millian also touted the incredible benefits of involvement and community, both key aspects of TAPA’s mission. She encouraged all Thayer families to have some fun at Homecoming Sept. 23, but she also put out a call for parents and guardians willing to lend a hand that day.
“It takes many volunteers to make that happen,” said Millian, pointing folks to a Homecoming Volunteer Sign-up Sheet as well as a TAPA Volunteer Sign-up Sheet for events taking place throughout the school year.
In addition to Millian and Fortunato, speakers addressing the well-attended event included: Co-Director of College Counseling Cicily Shaw; Assistant Head of School for Academics Peter Brooks; Assistant Head of School for Engagement and Well-being Jed Wartman P ‘30; and Director of Advancement & Engagement Melissa Tuthill Forger ‘92 P ‘25, ‘28, ‘29.
The event ended with a Q&A session; among the topics discussed were the future renovation of Thompson Hall, the decision to hold separate Convocation events this year, and the late-start days at the Upper School. Speakers answered the questions and urged parents and guardians to contact any member of the leadership team with any additional questions they might have.
“I want us to figure this out together,” Fortunato told families.