TNN • Tiger News Network • 10 February 2023

Dear Thayer families,

Welcome to Winter Wars 2023!

The 23rd annual Winter Wars begins Monday, Feb 13, and continues through Friday, Feb 17, in the Upper School. Each day next week the classes gather in Memorial Gym for an hour of highly energized games and spirited fun! This event has been running continuously for the past 23 years; it has created amazing memories and brought so much energy and school pride to Thayer. It truly is one of the main highlights of the year. Rumor has it that ESPN and FOX Sports are bidding for the rights to livestream it. 

The 2023 Winter Wars Class Schedule and the 2023 Winter Wars Info Flyer provide detailed information, including what's happening each day as well as what to wear and bring in each day. 

Each day has a theme: Monday is Class Colors; Tuesday is a fun theme of each class's choosing; Wednesday is either a Black Out Day or White Out Day; Thursday is USA Day; and Friday is Beach Party Day. The classes earn points in a variety of ways, such as competing in events including Tugs of War, Relay Races, Group Jump Ropes, All Class All Aboard, Waiter Wars, and a Buddy Walk.  

Classes also earn points with the community service component of Winter Wars. Each day students are asked to donate one or two (or more) items to a local charity. Monday is Canned Goods; Tuesday is Toiletries; Wednesday is a Coin Drive; and Thursday is New Socks. The more items a class brings in (up to a maximum of 200 items), the more points that class earns.

All of the collected items are donated to local nonprofits such as the Braintree Food Pantry, South Boston Neighborhood House, and Team MR8 as well as a local animal shelter. These organizations are very grateful for the support that Thayer Academy provides. We are so blessed to be able to support the work of these wonderful institutions!

The third way to earn points is when students bring their spirit in the form of decorating the gym each day, dressing up for that day's theme, and showing up with a high level of competitiveness (each day the faculty votes on student efforts). At the end of the week, a champion is crowned and everyone is energized to make it through until Spring Recess. 

This year we will be unveiling a new surprise for the winning class!

Please help your child to remember their donations (we want every class to try and get max donation points every day this year), to dress in the theme, and, as always, to check the Thayer website and Twitter feed for daily scoring updates.

There will be a livestream link for all the games in Memorial Gym. Check the times on the 2023 Winter Wars Info Flyer above to see when the games will take place each day.

We look forward to a great week. 


Skip Schneider P '20, '22

Upper School Science Faculty
Sustainability Coordinator

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The girls JV basketball team will host Tabor Academy tomorrow (Saturday, Feb. 11) at 3 p.m. on Rob Dixon '79 Court in Memorial Gym. Go, Tigers!

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

No School Feb. 20
There will be no school Monday, Feb. 20, in observance of the Presidents Day holiday. Administrative offices will be closed. 

No School Feb. 21
There will be no school Tuesday, Feb. 21. This is a professional development day for faculty and staff. 

Winter Musical Set for Feb. 24 & Feb. 25
Into the Woods, the Upper School's winter musical, will be held Friday, Feb. 24, and Saturday, Feb. 25, from 7 to 9 p.m. in the CFA's Hale Theater. 

An open dress rehearsal, which is free, will take place Thursday, Feb. 23, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. 

Faculty/Staff Art Exhibit Begins Feb. 13
Monday, Feb. 13, will kick off Thayer's first All Faculty/Staff Art Exhibition since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Come to the Karen and Ted Koskores Gallery to view Emergence; Has the Last Three Years Changed Me? This is a multimedia presentation of a variety of work by Thayer faculty and staff. There will be a closing reception open to the entire Thayer community Thursday, March 9, from 3:30 to 6 p.m.

For more information, contact Gallery Director Steven Branfman P '00, '02 at or 617.447.3500.

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.  

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. Remaining dates are: 

  • 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! 


Application Deadline for 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 today (Friday, Feb. 10). The application form also contains additional information. 

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

Upper School Sports End Feb. 25
Saturday, Feb. 25, is the last day of the regular season for Upper School winter sports programs. 

No MS Sports March 6-10; Academic Dress That Week
For the entire week beginning Monday, March 6, there will be no sports at the Middle School. In addition, academic dress is required of students. 

Middle School Grand Night Out: Dinner and a Show Feb. 23
On Thursday, Feb. 23, Middle School organizers will host a pizza party followed by attendance at the Upper School's final dress rehearsal for Into the Woods! This musical promises to be a fantastic show, and all Middle School students are welcome. 

Middle School students will leave from After School Study Hall and head to the Upper School art room in Frothingham Hall at 4:45 p.m. The show itself begins at 5:30 p.m. and will finish at approximately 7:45 p.m.  

RSVP to Mr. King or Ms. Hancock if you plan to attend.  

Snack & Study Is Feb. 16
The Middle School Hale Learning Center will hold its next Snack & Study session Thursday, Feb. 16, from 3:45 to 4:45 p.m. in Room 219 of the Middle School. "Active Reading Strategies" will be the topic of the session. 

Learning to read and comprehend nonfiction texts requires a different approach and strategy than that of fiction. Students need to set a purpose for reading, preview text features and vocabulary, monitor their comprehension, and summarize what they've read. This session will teach these strategies explicitly and is geared toward 7th and 8th graders.

The session will begin immediately following sports. Pickup will be at the Middle School at 4:45 p.m. To reserve a spot or if you have questions, please email Learning Specialist Maryann Shafter P '15 by Wednesday, Feb. 15.

Next Science Cafe Is Feb. 23
Save the date: Jamie Fitzgerald, managing director of Beneath The Waves, a nonprofit dedicated to marine science research, will be the guest at the next Middle School Science Cafe scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 23. More details to follow. If you have any questions, please contact Mrs. Young

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.

TAPA Speaker Series: A Chat with Ali Michael
TAPA's second speaker engagement of the year will take place Tuesday, March 7, at 7 p.m. in the CFA's Hale Theater. TAPA, in partnership with the DEIB Office, will welcome Ali Michael, Ph.D.

Michael is an educator, researcher, and author as well as a parent. She works with schools and organizations across the country to help make research on race, whiteness, and education more accessible and relevant to educators, parents, and guardians. She is the embodiment of her work, and all of Michael's research and writing comes from questions she has asked as a parent and a teacher or that parents/guardians and teachers have asked her.

Please join TAPA and the DEIB Office for an interactive discussion and workshop with Michael as she shares her knowledge and experience about building community, creating inclusive spaces, a healthy multiracial society, and how to talk to our children about creating the same. 

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 between Feb. 22 and Feb. 24; more specifics to follow, and 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. 

Hale Learning Center Director Erica Dunne P ‘27 is reading Bewilderment by Richard Powers.

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