TNN • Tiger News Network • 03 February 2023


Dear Thayer Families,

Tuesday, Feb. 7, is Thayer Academy’s eighth annual Founders Day: A Day of Giving. Through the last seven Founders Days, we have raised over $1.8M for Thayer’s Annual Fund from more than 6,200 donors. This year our goal is to inspire over 1,000 members of our community to make a gift to the Annual Fund and, in doing so, help us to unlock a $50,000 matching challenge!
The Thayer Academy Annual Fund provides over $2M per year to Thayer’s operational budget, helping to cover costs associated with academic, athletic, and arts programming as well as faculty professional development, campus enhancements – including those underwritten by our annual Senior and Middle School Legacy projects – and financial aid. Each year we are honored to be the recipient of philanthropic support from parents, guardians, alumni, past parents, grandparents, faculty, and staff – members of our community who see Thayer as a place they want to invest in. Last fiscal year a record 82% of our current parents/guardians made gifts to the Annual Fund totaling $1.34M. This year we're hoping to beat that record and surpass 85% parent/guardian participation for the first time in Thayer history! Your gift could be the one that gets us there.
We are fortunate to have two anonymous donors who have once again come forward to create a $50,000 matching challenge. For each gift we receive for Founders Day, they will make a donation of $50 up to a maximum of 1,000 gifts and $50,000! In addition to that challenge, we have added the following exciting challenges and giveaways this year:

  • Taylor Swift tickets and other giveaways: Everyone who participates in Founders Day this year will be entered into a drawing for great prizes including autographed jerseys from three-time Super Bowl champions James White and Julian Edleman, Thayer Academy swag, and a pair of tickets in the Putnam Premium Club at Gillette Stadium to see Taylor Swift on Friday, May 19!
  • Senior Legacy Challenge: This year’s Senior Legacy Chairs, Diane & Joe Farmer P ‘23, have added a challenge for senior class parents/guardians – for each gift made to Senior Legacy, they will match it with a donation of $250 up to $20,000 (80 donors)! 
  • Middle School Legacy Challenge: This year’s Middle School Legacy Chairs, Martha & Michael McNally P ‘22, ‘24, ‘27, have added a challenge for 8th grade parents/guardians - for each gift made to Middle School Legacy, they will match it with a donation of $375 up to $15,000 (40 donors)!
  • Girls lacrosse challenge: Robin & Steve Hauck P ‘24 will match every dollar donated to the girls lacrosse program up to $10,000! These funds will help to cover costs for female lacrosse players with financial need to be able to participate in team travel opportunities this spring as well as underwrite other programmatic costs. 
  • Boys lacrosse challenge: An anonymous donor will match every dollar donated to the boys lacrosse program up to $5,000! These funds will allow students with financial need to be able to participate in team travel opportunities this spring as well as underwrite other programmatic costs.

There are other challenges we will be announcing throughout the day as well as fun and interesting content that will help you to connect with some of our amazing faculty, staff, and students. Keep an eye on your email and Thayer’s social channels to stay up to date on all of the fun and track our progress.
Your gift.
Any amount.
Every year.
It really is that simple. Please visit to make your gift now. I hope we can count on your support!

Melissa Forger ’92 P ’25, ’28, ’29
Director of Advancement and Engagement


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The boys varsity basketball team will host St. Mark's School tomorrow (Saturday, Feb. 4) at 4 p.m. on Rob Dixon '79 Court in Memorial Gym. The boys JV squad will take on St. Mark's at 2:30 p.m. in Memorial Gym while the boys 3rds team will host Middlesex School at 1:30 p.m. in Alumni Gym. Go, Tigers!

 See all upcoming games, matches, and meets for Thayer teams in the Athletics section.

Thayer Academy Film Festival Is May 5
Announcing the inaugural Thayer Academy Film Festival (TAFF), which will take place Friday, May 5, at 7 p.m. in the CFA's Hale Theater. 

The festival will show a select group of short films created by community members. Submissions are open to students (both Upper School and Middle School), faculty, staff, and parents/guardians. Organizers encourage everyone to attend the event and support our filmmakers.

Submissions are due Friday, April 14. Please visit the TAFF website for more information about submissions. 

Summer Opportunities for Middle and Upper School Students
Are you a Thayer student looking for a meaningful summer opportunity? The Pulsifer College Counseling Center has developed a database of summer programs for students in both the Middle School and Upper School. This database will be updated as new information about summer program opportunities is received.

Summer programs are a great way to stay engaged during the summer months, develop a passion, or try something new. Please check the list periodically for new updates. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Mrs. Shaw in the College Counseling Office. 

Bailey-King Author Series Event Is Feb. 9
Kirsten King '10, an LA-based screenwriter and co-writer of the film Crush, will be the guest author for this year's Bailey-King Author Series. A reception will take place Thursday, Feb. 9, from 6 to 8 p.m. in Southworth Library; the event will also be available via Zoom. 

Upcoming Athletic Spirit Nights
Save the dates for these upcoming athletic spirit nights! Wear your black & orange and come out to support our student-athletes!

As always, there will be free food and beverages for all in attendance. Dates are: 

  • Friday, Feb. 10, at 5 p.m.: girls varsity basketball vs. Austin Preparatory School (Memorial Gym)
  • Friday, Feb. 17, at 7 p.m.: coed swimming & diving vs. Pingree School (Blue Hills Regional Technical High School in Canton)
  • Friday, Feb. 24, at 5 p.m.: Valicenti Cup — girls varsity hockey vs. BB&N followed by boys varsity hockey vs. St. Sebastian's (est. 7 p.m. start time) (Thayer Sports Center) 

Virtual Event on Antiracism
In a few weeks the DEIB Office will facilitate an in-school "field trip" to participate in a conversation on How To Be a (Young) Antiracist with bestselling authors Ibram X. Kendi and Nic Stone. The event is open to parents and guardians as well. If you would like to participate, reach out to Assistant Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging Sarah Miller.

Driving Lessons During Spring Recess
For those families with students approaching driving age, there is a driver's education opportunity provided by Driver's Edge Academy during Spring Recess. More information, including schedule and pricing, is available to those interested. 

Tigers of the Week
Congratulations to our newest Tigers of the Week. Keep up the good work! 


Applications Accepted for Upcoming Environmental Conference
All Thayer Upper School students have the opportunity to be a presenter at the inaugural James Tufts Pener Environmental Stewardship Conference. The conference honors the life and legacy of James Pener '23, who died in July of 2022 in a car accident. 

Applications will be accepted until Friday, Feb. 10. The application form also contains additional information. 

The conference itself, which will focus on environmental stewardship, takes place May 19. 

Next Science Cafe Is Feb. 8
Mary Fran Olson, a software developer at Forsta, will be the guest at the next Middle School Science Cafe Wednesday, Feb. 8. Interested Middle School students should sign up and submit questions for Ms. Olson.

Students will be able to eat lunch together in the science room while meeting with the presenter. If you have any questions, please contact Mrs. Young

Another Middle School Science Cafe is scheduled for Feb. 23 when Jamie Fitzgerald, managing director of Beneath The Waves, will be the guest. 

Sign-up for Middle School Friday Night Social
The Middle School will have a fun night Friday, Feb. 10, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. as students are invited to cheer on the girls varsity basketball team, have some pizza, and play backyard games in the gym. Please note: this event is for Middle School students only.

Event locations are Memorial Gym (site of the varsity game) and Alumni Gym (site of backyard games) Drop-off and pickup will be in the Glover parking lot. Parents and guardians should complete the sign-up sheet by Feb. 7 so that organizers have a good idea of the numbers.  

Middle School DEI Conference at Shady Hill School April 1
The Thayer Academy DEIB Office looks forward to bringing a group of Middle School students to the AISNE Middle School Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Conference. The conference is scheduled for Saturday, April 1, from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. at Shady Hill School in Cambridge.

The DEIB Office encourages families to talk about this exciting opportunity at home. If you have questions and/or think your student(s) would be interested in attending, reach out to Sarah Miller or Destiny Palmer.

Middle School Start Time Reminder
As the new year begins, a reminder that Middle School students are expected to arrive at school by 7:55 a.m. to begin their day. This enables the students time to go to their lockers and settle in prior to their 8 a.m. Advisory or Morning Meeting.

Thanks for a Great Coffee!
Thank you to all who attended the Middle School coffee this past week. Attendees heard from Middle School Director Galen Hamann, Assistant Head of School for Student Engagement and Well-being Jed Wartman P ’30, Middle School English Faculty Brian Cibelli, and Director of Parent Giving Marchelle Jacques-Yarde P ’29. Mr. Wartman discussed the findings from the Challenge Success Survey given to students this past November. If you have any questions about the survey and/or the results, please feel free to reach out to him via email.

Ms. Jacques-Yarde spoke about Founders Day, which will take place Feb. 7. She also made a request for volunteers to help on that day. If you wish to participate, please contact her via email.

Parent/Guardian Affinity Groups
TAPA and the DEIB office welcome participation in upcoming affinity group meetings for BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ parents and guardians. Affinity groups are a resource to provide a sense of community and a safe space for parents and guardians to unite and support one another in meaningful conversations and activities.

Please note: affinity group meetings are intended to be a safe space for those individuals in our community who self-identify as a member of that designated group and are able to speak from the "I" perspective. These meetings should only be attended by those individuals; they are not intended for those who identify as allies.
For any questions about the BIPOC Affinity Group, please contact TAPA DEIB Coordinator Sharisse Cail Perry P ‘24 ‘24 or TAPA Middle School Secretary JoAnn Brown P ‘27. For any questions about the LGBTQIA+ Affinity Group, please contact Julie Austin-Johnstone P ‘24.

Remaining BIPOC Affinity Group meeting dates (All meetings begin at 7 p.m.): Feb. 22; April 5; and May 3. 

Remaining LGBTQIA+ Affinity Group meeting dates (All meetings begin at 7 p.m.): Feb. 21; April 6; and May 10.

New Volunteer Opportunities: Wily Network
TAPA is looking for two sophomore or junior parents/guardians to shadow its spring Wily Network College Care Package event for the junior and senior classes. They would then serve as the parent liaisons for next year. The time commitment is minimal (less than five hours total in Feb/March 2024). The Wily Network is an organization that supports college students who have experienced unique challenges by distributing care packages (toiletries, treats, school supplies, etc.) to assist their college experience. Please reach out to Joy Denomme P ’23 to volunteer or for more information about the work of the organization itself.

Academy Jackets: On-site Measurement Day to be Rescheduled
Please note: Jostens will reschedule their on-site measuring day in the near future; check the TNN for more information.

If you have any questions, please contact: Mary Chenaur P ’24, ‘26; Martha McNally P ’22, ‘24, ‘27; or Jostens representative Kate Toman. Toman can also be reached at 508.248.9095.

TAPA Book Club Set for Feb. 15
Catch up on the latest literary works with your fellow parents and guardians when you stop by Southworth Library Wednesday, Feb. 15, at 6 p.m. and join the TAPA Book Club.

For more information, contact Mary Ellen Kilmer P ’99, ‘06.

Parent/Guardian Casual Get-Togethers — Walk or Talk
Winter is all too often a time when people tend to hibernate. If you find it hard to get motivated when the weather is cold or the nights are long, TAPA offers a reason for you to get out and socialize.

Check the TAPA list of 2023 Winter Walks and Coffees and then join your fellow parents/guardians on a brisk walk or gather together at a local coffee shop for a warm chat. 

Ongoing Volunteer Opportunities: Senior Activities
For our senior parents and guardians, this time of year brings thoughts of graduation as families are deep in the throes of college applications. Perhaps it has fostered some thoughts of all the activities that the school hosts on behalf of graduating students. TAPA sponsors The Last Hurrah! dinner, Senior Fest, and other spring activities. TAPA seeks a few parents/guardians to chair and volunteer for these events. Both senior and junior parents/guardians are encouraged to sign up. Please reach out to TAPA President Martha McNally P ’22, ‘24, ‘27 (last year’s chair) with questions or to participate.

For those interested in participating in the organization of the May Parent/Guardian Social, come ready to brainstorm in the new year. This committee will meet in January to start the planning process. TAPA also needs volunteers to help with decor, food selection, and auction item collection.

Review and/or sign up for all volunteer needs. 

Coming Soon: TAPA Scholarship Applications
Attention, all senior parents and guardians: please note that TAPA provides scholarship opportunities for those students who have demonstrated interest in, experience in, or aptitude for community service. Scholarships will be awarded at the Last Chapel in June.

TAPA encourages all to apply, and links to the application form will be placed in the TNN in the coming weeks.

Here to Help
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at

Martha McNally P ’22, ‘24, ‘27: President
Caroline Kuhlmann P ’25, ‘28: Vice President
Lee Sentnor P ’21, ‘24, ‘26: Treasurer
Kaityln Aiello P ’26, ‘28: Secretary
Heidi Barry P ’26, ‘28: MS President
Colleen Hernandez ‘90 P ’26, ‘28: MS Vice President
JoAnn Brown P ’27: MS Secretary
Sharisse Cail Perry P ’24, ‘24: DEIB Coordinator
Kim Millian P ‘26: Volunteer Coordinator
Dasan Harrington P ’27: Volunteer Coordinator
Nicole Arnold P ’24, ‘25: Parent Athletic Coordinator (PAC)
Yemi Talabi-Oates P ‘26, ‘29: MS DEIB Coordinator

Don't forget to follow us on social! You don't need to download any apps to see pictures and videos of what's happening all over campus every day. Simply click on the icons below to access Thayer's official Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Click the title of the book or article to read a book review or the article itself. 

Editorial Director Craig Salters '86 P '24 is reading Comin' Right at Ya by Ray Benson and David Menconi. 

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