TNN • Tiger News Network • 18 October 2019

Dear Thayer Parents and Families,

It's been an exciting start to the new school year for us in Admissions as we welcome our new students and watch them bring their interests, talents, and enthusiasm to the Thayer community. It's been particularly gratifying to see how the Thayer community has embraced them in return and how much they are already contributing to Thayer’s classes as well as to the arts and athletics programs.  

As the calendar turns to October, Admissions is planning two fall Open Houses:

  • Middle School Open House: Saturday, Oct 26, 9 a.m. to noon beginning in the CFA
  • Upper School Open House: Saturday, Nov 2, 9 a.m. to noon beginning in the CFA

Tours leave every 20 minutes; no RSVP is necessary.

We invite you to join us if there are siblings in your house who may be considering Thayer Academy. We also invite and encourage you to share what you love about Thayer with friends you think may benefit from and contribute to the Thayer community. Please find a flyer here which you can use as an invitation and share through social media, email, or hard copy.

It's wonderful in this admissions season to announce some of the very exciting developments around campus: the new computer science and robotics wing in Glover; the completion of the Thayer Sports Center; and the new track.  

We thank you for your help spreading the word about our admissions events and look forward to connecting with you at the Open Houses or in the weeks that follow if you come in for a tour and interview.  

And do be in touch should you wish to talk further,

Jon White P ‘09, ‘11, ‘15 and the Admissions Team

To access a specific section in the TNN, click below:

Varsity girls field hockey takes on Lawrence Academy tomorrow (Saturday, Oct. 19) at 11 a.m. on Main Turf Field #1. 

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

Late Start Reminder: Because of Faculty Professional Development, classes in both the Upper School and Middle School will begin at 9:15 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 22. Students can arrive at the later start time or as early as 7:30 a.m. 

Dig Pink Fundraiser: Tomorrow (Saturday, Oct. 19) at 11 a.m., the Thayer Academy volleyball program will host a Dig Pink event during their game against Lawrence Academy. Many volleyball teams across the country dedicate one of their games toward Dig Pink, which was created to promote research and fundraising efforts in the battle against breast cancer. The event is free of charge and open the public. During this game, there will a 50/50 raffle, and organizers will also be raffling off gift cards to Panera, Chipotle, Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, and various other places. There will be a concession stand with food and drinks open during the games, so come hungry! All proceeds from the raffle, donations, and food will go toward Dana Farber’s breast cancer care and research efforts. 

The event will be held at Thayer Academy in Memorial Gymnasium. The junior varsity will start its game at 11 a.m., and the varsity will start at 12:30 p.m. Hope to see you there!

A Reminder from the Nurses: It's approaching the flu season soon, and now is the time to get a flu shot! An annual flu vaccine is the best step in protecting yourself against influenza and its potentially serious complications. CDC recommends everyone 6 months or older gets a flu vaccine by the end of October.

Regarding flu vaccines for students, the first place to check is with your pediatrician's office for scheduled flu clinics or perhaps at a scheduled physical exam appointment.

Another convenient option is to obtain the flu vaccine at a local pharmacy. For most of them, you can walk in without an appointment, and most insurances fully cover the seasonal flu vaccine.

It takes about two weeks after vaccination for your body to develop protection against the influenza virus infection, so it is important to get it soon. And though getting a flu vaccine does not guarantee protection against getting the flu infection, in most cases, if one were to get the flu in the season after getting the vaccine, it would at least result in a more mild illness.

Private Music Lesson Info: Private music lessons kicked off to a successful start in October. Below is additional information concerning payment for lessons.

  • Music lesson charges will be added to your Smart Tuition account the third week of the following month.
  • Music lessons are a weekly commitment. Students are required to notify their music lesson teachers directly when missing a lesson. Notification should be given as soon as possible. Payment credit will only be issued when lessons are cancelled 24 hours in advance. For more information, please click here

Campus Speaker: Max Stossel will present "We've Been Sneaking Into Your Brains" to all Upper and Middle School students and faculty THIS MONDAY (Oct. 21) from 10 to 11 a.m. in Memorial Gym, Cahall Building. Parents and guardians are welcome to attend the full-student-body assembly. Please follow this link to register to attend the event. The presentation is designed for teens distracted by social media. Stossel illustrates some of the specific ways technology is designed to be addictive and distracting, highlights how that's impacting our minds, gives an overview of how this extends to social media and gaming, and gives recommendations on how to improve focus, diminish distraction in learning environments, and have a healthier relationship with technology. If you have any questions, please contact Chrissy Dahlheimer at or (781) 664-2517. Please note: Given space constraints, this presentation is for students, faculty, and parents/guardians only.

Global Programs Open House: Thayer Academy will host Global Programs Open House: A Taste of Global Opportunities Monday, Oct. 28, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. (Doors open promptly at 5:30 p.m.) in Southworth Library. The event will feature Middle and Upper School enrichment opportunities available to Thayer students at home and abroad. Featured programs include but are not limited to: 

  • International Travel (China, India, Greece, Quebec, Italy)
  • Exchange Programs (China, France, India, Spain)
  • Service Travel (Dominican Republic, Peru)
  • Thayer's Partnership with Students Shoulder-to-Shoulder
  • International Student Host Programs
  • Global Scholars Program at Thayer
  • Selected Senior Projects
  • Various Clubs

All families and students are welcome! Global fare and refreshments will be available. For questions, please contact Lynette Sumpter, Upper School Director of Studies. 

Last Chance!: A limited number of Homecoming 2019 Gildan Fleece Stadium blankets remain available. If you are interested in purchasing a blanket (cost: $40), please reach out to TAPA Merchandise Co-Chairs Maureen Hayes and Jennifer Casey by Sunday, Oct. 20. These blankets may be especially appealing to parents of the Class of 2020, creating a memento from your child's last Academy Homecoming as a student.

MyKidsSpending Reminder: Please note that a student's ID card will operate as a debit card for making purchases as the Campus Store. In addition, please note that when adding funds to your student's account, you will not be charged a convenience fee. Want to fund your student's account on the go? The MyKidsSpending app is now available to manage your account on iOS and Android devices. The iOS app is available or free from Apple's App Store and features Apple Pay funding. The Android app is available for free on the Google Play Store.

Please make sure funds are available on all student accounts as the Campus Store will not issue invoices for purchases. 

Parking for Athletic Events: We look forward to seeing you all on campus, but on particularly busy days, parking will be at a premium. Please use the Middle School, Glover, or CFA parking lots if at all possible. There is no parking allowed along Hobart Street (the street between the Middle School and turf fields). If the lots are filled, please park on the side street along the track (Tremont). Please do not block any private or public driveways or park in the Bus Drop-Off area on game days or practice days. This area is designated for visiting teams and Thayer vehicles — this is our emergency vehicle entrance to the turf fields. Thank you.

Print Option: Not only does Thayer Academy's online calendar have the most up-to-date information about events, but it also has a convenient printing option. Click here to access the calendar and then look for the Print Element icon just above the "Saturday" listings. Post a month's worth of event details on your fridge for handy reference. 

Social Media: Don't forget to follow us to see pictures and videos of what's happening all over campus every day. Simply click these links to access Thayer's official Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Recruiting Process Info: The Athletic Department and College Counseling Office will host a joint informational coffee Thursday, Nov. 7, at 8:15 a.m. at Thayer Sports Center to explain the college athletic recruiting process. Parents and guardians are welcome to learn more about the NCAA, the timeline for the recruiting process, and Thayer's overall philosophy on athletic recruiting. This meeting is open to all families in grades 9-11. For more info, please contact Nellie Brennan Hall. Please note: Thayer Sports Center is located on the Academy's South Athletic Campus, 1535 Washington St., Braintree. 

College Visits: Please click here to see the college visits for Oct. 21-25. If you are a senior and would like to attend a College Rep. meeting, clear your absence with your teacher and register through Naviance. If you are a junior, you may attend if you have a free period; you may not be excused from a class. Attendance will be taken before a visit begins. 
Log onto Naviance to register and see who else will be here this autumn!

Parents of Seniors: A friendly reminder to parents of seniors: If you have not completed your Parent Response Form, please do! As we put together a Counselor Recommendation Letter for your student, we seek input from teachers, advisors, coaches, the students themselves, and YOU! Be funny; be serious; be proud. Follow the link and and enjoy the experience.

Financial Aid Forms Available: Financial aid applications are now open. All colleges require submission of the the FAFSA form for students to be considered for financial aid. You can access the FAFSA by clicking here. Some colleges also require the CSS Profile, which can be found by clicking here. Check with the colleges where your senior is applying for the specific deadlines and requirements. 

STEM College & Career Fair: Students and parents/guardians are welcome to attend a free public fair for college-bound students interested in college majors and careers in engineering, medicine, computer science, and other STEM fields. The fair will take place Oct. 27 from 1 to 4 p.m. at Northeastern University. 

Students will meet face-to-face with hundreds of college representatives and industry professionals — all in one place. They'll get their questions answered about majors, degree programs, campus visits, internships, scholarships, financial aid, and much more. Plus, they can take advantage of STEMinars on topics such as writing a winning college essay and standing out in the admissions process. Students should register on the website prior to attending. For more info or to register, please click here

Early Dismissal Reminder: Friday, Nov. 1, has been designated as an ISL Game Day. As a result, the Upper School will see an early dismissal time of 12:10 p.m. 

Grades 11 & 12 Parent Social: The 11th and 12th Grade Parent Social hosted by Head of School Ted '70 and Karen Koskores P '10, '13 will take place Wednesday, Nov. 13, from 7 to 9 p.m. This reception is for 11th and 12th grade parents to provide an opportunity to come together and become better acquainted. An invitation was sent via email and requires an RSVP to Chrissy Dahlheimer, Director of Special Events, Stewardship & Parent Programming. Please contact Chrissy with any questions.  

Driver Education Info: Drivers Edge Academy provides on-site classes and pick-up service for Thayer Academy students. To register, book a class, or view the Drivers Edge schedule, please click here to visit their website. Two intensive classes have been added: Dec. 26 to 30 of this year; and March 16 to 19 in 2020.
Questions can be directed to Patrick MacKenzie or David Joseph at 781.767.3343 or  

Spain Trip: Announcing Thayer's trip to Spain in June of 2020. This 12-day trip is aimed at sophomores and juniors who have completed Level 2 of Spanish. A separate email will go out with itinerary, application, and financial aid information. Please contact Marc Rando P '18, '20 for more information or click here

Parent Ads for Yearbook: Parent ads for the Upper School yearbook are due no later than Friday, Nov. 1.
Attached is the form for creating and purchasing ads to congratulate and honor your senior. 

Grades 9 & 10 Parent Social: The 9th and 10th Grade Parent Social hosted by Head of School Ted '70 and Karen Koskores P '10, '13 will take place Thursday, Oct. 24, from 7 to 9 p.m. This reception is for 9th and 10th grade parents to provide an opportunity to come together and become better acquainted. An invitation was sent via email and requires an RSVP to Chrissy Dahlheimer, Director of Special Events, Stewardship & Parent Programming. Please contact Chrissy with any questions.  


Grades 7 & 8 Parent Coffee: An informal 7th & 8th Grade Parent Coffee will be held Thursday, Oct. 24, from 7:45 to 8:45 a.m. at Panera Bread, 400 Franklin St., Braintree. All parents and guardians of these classes are invited to the casual, drop-in coffee. Come to Panera right after drop-off, grab a cup of coffee, and head to the back of the restaurant to meet and talk with other parents. TAPA Middle School Representatives (Nancy Doyle P '16, '24; Nicole Horne P '26; and Melissa Smith P '23, '24) will be present.  

Grade 8 Parent Social: The 8th Grade Parent Social hosted by Head of School Ted '70 and Karen Koskores P '10, '13 will take place Tuesday, Nov. 5, from 7 to 9 p.m. This reception is for 8th grade parents to provide an opportunity to come together and become better acquainted.  An invitation was sent via email and requires an RSVP to Chrissy Dahlheimer, Director of Special Events, Stewardship & Parent Programming. Please contact Chrissy with any questions.   

Snack-and-Study on Annotation: The MS Hale Learning Center will present a Snack-and-Study on Annotation Tuesday, Oct. 22, from 3:45 to 4:45 p.m. in Room 107. This session will provide instruction on how to annotate text, another active reading strategy. Many students complain they don't remember or understand what they read or that their minds wander during reading. Annotating text keeps students focused and actively engaged in what they are reading. Students extract more meaning from text, improve their comprehension, and become more efficient and effective readers. The session begins immediately following sports, and students should arrange for transportation home. Please email Maryann Shafter to sign up or for further information. Feel free to suggest a snack your student might enjoy!

Grade 8 Parents: Don't miss out on placing an ad in your child's 8th grade yearbook! Please click here for information regarding how to go about making, placing, and paying for your ad. The deadline for all ads and payment is Nov. 1. Please help to make this year's Evergreen Yearbook one to remember. This is always a favorite section of the yearbook for our departing 8th graders. For questions, feel free to contact Ms. Young

Grade 6 Greek Plays Info: Please click here to access important information about the upcoming production, including key dates and costume information. 

Diversity Day Bring N' Share: Everyone is welcome to the Middle School's Diversity Day Bring N' Share Tuesday, Oct. 29, from 6 to 8 p.m. in Cahall Dining Hall. Join us for an evening of food, culture, and friends. The whole family is invited! We encourage you to bring a dish that represents your family's background or heritage. RSVP and sign up to bring a dish by clicking this link. For more information, contact Mr. Ghiden

Important Once on This Island Jr. Info: Please click the following links for information regarding the Middle School's upcoming production of Once on This Island Jr: a costume list; a measurement form; and a guide for measuring

Science Cafe Schedule: The TAMS Science Cafe Program continues with the following dates: 

  • Tuesday, 10/22: Dr. Britt Pena '94 (Pediatrician). 
  • Friday, 11/15: Kristin Voldan '97 (Geneticist) 
  • Wednesday, 12/4: Kaela Leonard '03 (Biochemical Engineer)

Students will have the opportunity to sign up one week before the presentation on the Science Cafe bulletin board. The event is open to all MS students, but there is a limit of 15 students per lunch. Those with questions can contact MS Science Faculty Natalie Young.   

TAPA Seeks Parent Potluck Hosts: TAPA is working to revitalize the Parent Potluck tradition at Thayer! Grade-level potlucks provide parents with the opportunity to come together to get to know each other in a casual environment. It is often a chance to become acquainted with the parents of your children's friends as well as make personal connections. These are informal, community-building events, where the entire grade is invited and everyone brings a dish. The hope is to have the potlucks hosted in the winter months so folks can come in from the cold to enjoy some warm conversation. Members of TAPA's Executive Board will help the host with compiling the invitation list, drafting the electronic invitation, and setting up the SignUpGenius as well as any of the additional event logistics that the host may need assistance with. If you are interested in hosting a potluck or if you have any questions, please email Julie Wichern for Upper School Potlucks and Nancy Doyle for Middle School. (Hosts are needed for the 5th, 10th, 11th, and 12th Grade Potlucks.)

'Ask Joani': There are still spots available for the Feb. 6 and April 22  "Ask Joani" Sessions with Joani Geltman, MSW. Attendees will ask questions ahead of those sessions, and Geltman will tailor her focus to the topics of concern/interest for those in attendance. If you would like to reserve your spot, please email Chrissy Dahlheimer, Director of Special Events, Stewardship & Parent Programming. 

Volunteers wanted: Volunteer! We encourage all parents to volunteer and get involved in the Thayer community. You may volunteer for as many activities as you would like. Please click this link to review the parent volunteer opportunities for the 2019-2020 school year. If you have any questions, please contact TAPA's Volunteer Coordinators Today Baker P '24, '24 and Susan Donovan P '22.  

Parents' Independent School Network (PIN)

The Parents' Independent School Network (PIN) is a nonprofit organization of independent schools in the Greater Boston area that provides parent education opportunities for its member schools. 

MS PIN Meeting Summary: Caroline Maguire, PCC, M.Ed., presented "Supporting Your Child's Social Development" at the Oct. 2 Middle School PIN meeting. She discussed how children struggle with social skills. She shared her plan for teaching children (of all ages) and adults the skills they need to find social acceptance. Her new book, Why Will No One Play with Me?, was released last month, and it provides a detailed plan for parents to help their children develop these social skills. Please follow this link to the summary of her presentation.

PIN Contact Info: Interested in learning more about PIN? Please contact Thayer's 2019-2020 PIN Reps:

PIN MS Programming: Please click here to see the school year's PIN programming schedule for Middle School parents. The Upper School schedule will be shared soon. Also, please mark your calendars for the upcoming PIN meetings, which are open to ALL Thayer parents. 

Don't forget to follow Thayer Academy on social media! 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 on the book or article titles for the book review or full article.


Diane Haigh, Director of Audio-Visual & Graphic Support, is reading “Can a Machine Learn to write for the New Yorker by John Seabrook in the New Yorker. 

Sara Kelley-Mudie, Director of Southworth Library, is reading The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison. 

Questions about TNN? Suggestions? Please email

For a complete listing of current events, visit the online calendar.