TNN • Tiger News Network • 26 January 2018

Dear Parents,

Next Wednesday Thayer is holding its first full-day Diversity Day Celebration with exciting speakers on both the Middle and Upper School campus and timely workshops at the Upper School. The theme for the day is Red, White, and You: Exploring Identity in these Changing Times. In the past, Diversity Day consisted of a 40-minute presentation in the CFA, but this year we are devoting the entire day to an exploration of diversity in its many forms. This change was born from students and faculty who wanted more time to engage each other in deep, meaningful conversation and hopefully make more of an impact on the school community - not just for one day, but for the entire year. 

In the morning, Upper School students will listen to keynote speaker Vishavjit Singh, an editorial cartoonist and actor, who will speak on issues of identity, what it means to be American, and using art as a tool for social change. Upper School students will choose two workshops to attend out of the 36 offered. Workshops will be facilitated by a range of Thayer staff, faculty, and friends of the community. The workshops will cover a breadth of issues related to diversity such as gender identity, privilege, minorities in the military, the Olympic and Paralympic movement, alternative methods of growing food - among many others! At the end of the day, students will hear closing remarks from Thayer alum Tanisha Sullivan ‘92 who serves as the President of the Boston branch of the NAACP.

Across the street at the Middle School, students will take part in a “Celebration of Life” honoring Jackie Robinson and his contributions to sports and society. The event is run by Take the Lead, an organization which works with the Boston Red Sox, the Patriots, and other Boston sports teams to combat racism and hate in local communities in an effort to bring about change. During the assembly Wednesday, students will be hearing from a panel of speakers who will discuss the legacy of Jackie Robinson and how he impacted race in sports and society.  

I’m thrilled with the dynamic speakers and workshops that are taking place, and I know this event will prove to be enlightening for students, faculty, and staff alike. My hope is this year’s Diversity Day sparks honest conversation about inclusion, diversity, and equality among students throughout the year, and will mark the beginning of a tradition of a continuing discussion around these important issues.


Jenn Welch

Director of Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity

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Gymnastics, Varsity Girls, Friday, Jan. 26 @ Joan's Olympic Gym, 7:15pm. Go Tigers! 
See upcoming games and meets for Thayer teams by clicking here on the Athletics page.

Reminder: Modified schedule today. Middle School dismissal will be at 2:15pm. There will be no athletic games or practices, so students may leave for the weekend at 2:15pm. Buses will still run at the usual time, 4pm, and shuttles to the Braintree T station will run throughout the afternoon. All Upper School classes will meet, but the day will be shortened slightly. Students will be dismissed one hour early, at 2pm. We ask that any students who drive to school vacate the CFA parking lot at the end of the school day to free it up for reception guests. If student drivers choose to remain on campus after dismissal, we ask that they move their vehicles to the Glover student lot. Buses will still run at the usual time, 4pm, and shuttles to the Braintree T station will run throughout the afternoon.

The Thayer Science! Book Fair at the Braintree Barnes & Noble was a success. Thank you to all the students, parents, and faculty who came and participated. We were able to add over 20 new science titles to the Middle School Library thanks to the purchase of books from our wish list that day, and we also raised over $500 dollars to update the S.T.E.M. sections of the library. A special thanks goes to Middle School TAPA volunteers Jen Cedrone, Maureen Driscoll, Lori Gaffey, Karen Hisenberg, and Martha McNally who dedicated time and effort to help organize this event. Our presenters Fari Khalili P ‘99, ‘07, ‘11, Alyce Richardson ‘09, and Kathleen Regan helped everyone learn new and interesting things about science. Thayer Middle School students dressed as scientists: Meg Dugan as Jane Goodall, Gabriel Guerrero as Jacques Cousteau, and Julia Pickel as Rosalind Franklin. Zachary Gondelman and Jordyn McNally provided the live Twitter feed. These combined contributions made the Thayer Science! Book Fair exciting and fun. Thank you again, and to view photos go to Thayer's Facebook post on the event. 

TONIGHT!  Friday, January 26 - 21st Annual Valicenti Cup - beginning at 4:15 pm at the Warrior Ice Arena located at 90 Guest Street, Boston -  We hope to see you there!

  • 4:15pm Girls Varsity Hockey Game (vs. Dexter Southfield)
  • 5pm Reception
  • 6pm Boys Varsity Hockey Game (vs. St. Sebastian's)
  • 8 - 10pm Public Skate – "Rock n' Skate"
    • Skate on the same ice as the Boston Bruins!
    • $5 skate rental charge and $10 admission fee for the public skate – a portion of the evening's public skate sales will be donated to Thayer.
  • Parking for the arena is available on the north side (Mass Pike side) of the building. To enter the parking garage, use the access road to the west of Warrior Ice Arena or the extension of Arthur Street which is located just to the east of the New Balance Headquarters building. The arena offers validation for three hours so be sure to validate your ticket at the skate rental desk or at the concessions on Level 3 before you leave the arena. There are three available levels of parking: B1, 1, and Mezzanine. Click here for the parking map.
  • Entering the Rink from the Parking Garage: From the parking garage: You may enter the rink from the parking garage on either Level 1 or the Mezzanine Level. Take the elevator or stairs to Level 3 to access the reception space and the spectator area. 
  • In addition, the Arthur T. Valicenti Jr. '51 Fund was created to provide financial assistance to a Thayer student who demonstrates a commitment to academics, athletics, and sportsmanship both on and off the playing field.  This fund is now valued at over $200,000 because of the support of many in our community. If you would like to contribute to the Arthur T. Valicenti Jr. '51 Fund, please click here and make your designation.

Jan. 27-Free tickets are now available for the Thayer Trivia team's upcoming match versus the winner of the Brookline/Needham match.  The winner will advance to final four of the state tournament.  Doors open at 10:30 am on Saturday, January 27th and the match should be wrapped up around noon. Click here for tickets.

Jan. 31, Global Scholars Film Series, Sold, 7-9:30pm, Southworth Library. Free and open to all. Based on the book Sold by Patricia McCormick. 

Feb. 1- Reception for Faculty Art Show, 3:30-5:30pm. Thayer Gallery. Free, open to all.

Feb. 1- Reminder from the Admissions Office: Admission and financial aid applications for NEW students are due Feb 1.

Feb. 1 - Second Annual Bailey King Author Event ~ Cocktails & Conversation with Dominic Tierney - 6:00-8:30 pm, Southworth Library - Open to entire Thayer community!  
Dominic Tierney, professor, author, and contributing editor at, will explore how our perceptions of international issues—from terrorism to North Korea to global warming— are often based on illusions. Powerful psychological biases like overconfidence and the negativity bias can skew the beliefs of the public and leaders across the political spectrum, with dramatic consequences. Professor Tierney believes that wise and active citizenship starts with self-awareness of our own human psychology. As part of the author series, Tierney will be on campus for several days, speaking to senior history and English classes about international relations and his work as writer and columnist in these politically charged and complex times.  RSVP to Lesley Snyder.

Feb. 2 - PINK/BLACK OUT Girls Basketball Games v. Rivers- JV 4:30pm & Varsity 6pm  Come cheer on the Girls Basketball team in Memorial Gym before heading to the Hypnotist - all members of the Thayer community are invited!  Special t-shirts will be on sale in Cahall during the week of Jan. 29 with 50% of proceeds donated to the American Cancer Society.  Thayer’s Parent Athletic Council (PAC) will sponsor free pizza and drinks at 5pm. Half-time shooting competitions and prizes.  Free pom-poms to the first 100 fans.  All are welcome! 

Feb. 2 - Hypnotist Show, 8-9:30 pm in the CFA's Hale Theater -  Comedian-hypnotist Jim Spinnato ( returns for his annual show in the Hale Theater! Jim has been coming to Thayer for many years, and while his show is pure entertainment for the entire Thayer community, only seniors have the opportunity to be hypnotized on stage. All students are welcome to attend, and in spite of what your children might tell you, many parents also attend each year, so please know that you are welcome to come. Tickets are $10 and may be purchased online via (search Hypnotist & Comedian Jim Spinnato) or with cash on the night of the event. Parent Volunteers are Needed for the Hypnotist!  We will need help checking students in as well as with directing students on where to sit in the Hale Theater.  Volunteers will be needed from 7:15 - 8:15 pm.  Please sign up here!

Feb. 3--Boston Stair Climb, For Parents, Students, Faculty, Friends of Thayer, Please consider joining Team Thayer in the American Lung Association’s FIGHT FOR AIR CLIMB on February 3 at One Boston Place! This is a 41-story (that’s 82 flights or 789 steps!) stair climb that raises funds for life-saving education, research, and advocacy so we can beat lung disease. For more information, click hereContact Debbie Siegel with questions at

Feb. 5th - Third Annual Founders Day: A Day of Giving - All Day Event! VOLUNTEER, DONATE, PARTICIPATE! Mark your calendars for Monday, February 5th for Founders Day: A Day of Giving, Thayer's one-day, community-wide celebration of our history and mission in support of the Thayer Annual Giving Campaign.  This year, we have received a $50,000 Challenge gift from an anonymous donor, and have set a goal of 1,000 gifts for this event.  If 1,000 gifts are received then $50,000 will be unlocked to benefit Thayer's amazing students, faculty, and community as a whole.  For each donor who makes a gift, of any amount, we will receive $50 from our anonymous donor, up to a maximum of $50,000. We need your help to make this day a success! 

Volunteer - Volunteers are critical to the success of this one-day celebration.  With your help, we will conduct outreach to Thayer community members through phone calls, emails and social media.  We will also need volunteers to sign thank you cards to our Founders Day donors.  Please consider participating in this high-spirited day.  We will use the Tiger's Den as our volunteer command center on February 5th.  Click here to volunteer! 

Donate - If you would like to help us get a head start on reaching our goal of 1,000 gifts.  Click here to give!  (Each gift, of any amount, will unlock $50 from our anonymous donor!)

Feb. 6 - "If They Had Known" Documentary Screening - 7-8pm (7:00-7:30 screening followed by a panel discussion) CFA, Free, Open to all - “If They Had Known” is a documentary film that focuses on the risks of the current party culture. It is not a film about addiction or substance abuse. It addresses the risks of recreationally mixing prescription drugs with alcohol. Our kids live in a world with too many options. The common trend of experimenting with prescription drugs and alcohol is unfortunately very common in high schools and college campuses across the country and is resulting in tragic accidents. This screening will be followed by a panel discussion with Thayer’s Director of Counseling, Jess Matzkin, LICSW, Dr. Mark Vonnegut P ’21 and Lt. Michael Want P ’22, Braintree Police Department. (The Upper School will have a screening for the students on Friday, February 2nd during the school day.)

Feb. 9 - PINK/BLACK OUT Boys Basketball Games v. Belmont Hill - JV 4:30pm & Varsity 6pm  Come support the Boys Varsity Basketball teams in Memorial Gym - all members of the Thayer community are invited!  Wear your Pink/Black Out shirt (available for sale in Cahall) and support the American Cancer Society.  Special activities planned - mark your calendars - you won’t want to miss this fun event!

Monday Meeting: Open Mic

Reminder: Driver Education students are reminded that there is a 24-hour notice required in the event you need to cancel an appointment.  Also, students must sign out for the in-school lesson with Mr. Murphy. The Driver Ed office number is: 781-664-2267

Students Shoulder-to-Shoulder: Applications Are Open! Students Shoulder-to-Shoulder is now accepting applications for its 2018 summer courses.  You can find information about the 10 courses offered by SStS here, and you may submit your online application by visiting  Through Thayer's membership in SStS's Global Schools Coalition, at least one spot in each of the 10 SStS courses is reserved for a Thayer student as long as applications are submitted by February 15.  Programs can fill up fast, though, so do not procrastinate!  If you have any questions, contact Ms. Archabal

Mindfulness Morning Practice for Middle School Students --This week Middle School students were introduced to “Mindfulness” with a morning practice Wednesday and Friday of this week. Mindfulness is a practice of bringing attention to this moment in time, deliberately, and without judging the experience. Benefits of practicing mindfulness include increased self confidence, self acceptance, increasing experiences of calm and relaxation, and increasing our abilities to focus and pay attention. All students in the Middle School are encouraged to participate or try this practice to increase their preparedness for their school day. We will continue this practice next week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday starting at 7:40am to 7:55am.  For additional information or to sign your child up for the morning practice, please contact Middle School Counselor Mr. Wyche.

Click here for important dates for students participating in the Winter play "Fools."

Jan. 29-Feb. 2, FCD Week - All next week in the Middle School Freedom from Chemical Dependency (FCD) educators will join us for educational sessions for all 3 grade levels. FCD prevention educators will present the most up-to- date information available on the physiological and psychological effects of various drugs, and provide a forum for discussing social, cultural, and personal issues that relate to the choices young teenagers make each day. Our 6th and 7th grade students will participate in classroom sessions on Monday, January 29th and the 8th grade students will participate in classroom sessions Tuesday, January 30th through Friday, February 2nd. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this upcoming program please contact Middle School Counselor Mr. Wyche.

Jan. 29, 3:45-4:45, Hale Learning Center Snack & Study: MacBook Organization. Room 105. Your child will learn how to properly create, save, store, and organize their documents and assignments on their MacBook.  If they lose important documents, have to redo work they've already done, or spend too much time looking for notes, assignments, or papers, this Snack and Study will solve those issues.   Click here to sign up.  Please email Maryann Shafter ( with any questions.

Jan. 31 - Coffee with Carson sponsored by TAPA @ 8:15 am in the Middle School Library:  Please join Middle School Director Carson Smith for coffee and conversation. John Tummon, Freedom from Chemical Dependency Educator, will present as Thayer observes January's Freedom From Chemical Dependency Week.  

Feb. 1, 5:30-7pm, FCD Parent Night for 8th Grade Students and Parents 8th grade parents are invited to participate in an FCD presentation that will include parent/student discussions concerning the effects and pressures of substance use. This evening event will give parents the opportunity to learn more about the trends and impact of alcohol and other drugs on overall health as well as engage with non-related 8th grade students for small group discussions. This is a mandatory program for all 8th graders, but if there are conflicts please contact Middle School Counselor Mr. Wyche.

Feb. 9, 5:30-8pm, There will be a social event for Middle School students from 5:30 - 8:00 p.m. on Friday, February 9. We will have pizza, bouncy houses and games in Alumni Gym, and a movie, and Middle School kids will also have the opportunity to join in on the Upper School "blackout" night at the boys' varsity basketball game (featuring Middle School history teacher Mr. Odom) against Belmont Hill at 6 p.m. Please save the date, as this has traditionally been a great evening.

Auction: Friday, March 2, 2018 - Thayer Academy Auction 2018 -Tickets are on sale now!

  • The next committee meeting is Monday evening, January 29, 7pm in TAPA Room.
  • Calling on all Thayer families for your support with this year’s Auction! Looking for Sponsors and ­Advertisements in our auction catalog! The deadline is Friday, February 16!!! Our dynamic auction committee is busy putting together this exciting event for the Thayer community!  Please mark your calendars for Friday, March 2, 2018.
  • We are looking for families who would like to be a Sponsor at this year’s Auction. We have wonderful sponsorship opportunities outlined for you. Sponsors are critical to the success of the Auction. These significant funds allow more opportunities for Thayer’s faculty to continue growing, learning, and sharing with our students. Please click here to learn about the many sponsorship levels available.
  • In addition, we are looking for anyone who would like to provide an Advertisement in our auction booklet. You may advertise your business, congratulate your child’s sports team, or promote whatever your imagination suggests. We have full-and half-size pages available in our catalog, and your logo will be visible on all Auction-related digital media the minute you sign up. Please click here to advertise in the Auction Catalog.
  • And we are looking for donations of Auction items!  At Auctions in the past, the Thayer community has delighted in wonderful weekend getaway trips, sporting and concert tickets, autographed sports memorabilia, golf packages--to name a few! We are also in need of items such as gift certificates from restaurants, local merchants, or movie theaters.  Please click here to donate an Auction item.  If you have any questions about donating an auction item, please contact our Acquisitions Co-chairs, Jodi Petrucelli P '18, '21 or Karen Klaff P '21
  • We also have the wonderful opportunity to purchase a brick in our courtyard that will be personalized with either your name, family name or your child's name for $1,000.00. We also are offering an opportunity to purchase a seat in our Performing Arts Center and have your name, family name or your child's name put on a plaque in the back of the seat for $2,500.00. All the proceeds would go towards the auction and the Faculty Excellence Fund. 

RECAP of Tuesday, January 23rd’s Special TAPA Coffee and Presentation by Joani Geltman, MSW 

  • This past Tuesday, January 23, Joani Geltman spoke to a large group of parents gathered in the Tiger’s Den. Joani is a clinician, an expert in child development and teen-parent relationships, parenting coach, author, and college professor.
  • Joani discussed brain development of children and how to understand the physical, cognitive, emotional, and social issues of adolescence.  She explained the many changes that occur during these developmental changes as a basis for learning how to navigate the teen years and maintain a close, loving relationship between teens and their parents. She described ways to make connections with your teen and used real-life examples with a good dose of humor thrown in.  The Tiger’s Den erupted in laughter with parents identifying with all the scenarios.  She said, “When we feel understood, a connection is made.”  She also recommended that parents “don’t let your child’s response deter you from sharing your feelings."
  • Joani suggested trying to look underneath the reaction or response that your child may be giving you to see whether something else is going on underneath the outburst or distress.  “Being understood is the most powerful tool you have to give… and your voice.”
  • She discussed effective strategies for dealing with your teen including validating their disappointment and not getting into a battle of sarcastic wit. She talked about cell phone use and parental control services, and stated that teens should not take their cell phone to bed.  You should limit the number of apps they download and enforce a two-hour cell phone break, and monitor cell phones for inappropriate pictures and texts.
  • She discussed effective strategies for helping your teen stay safe as they encounter new social opportunities.  She suggested creating a ritual by asking your teen when they go out at night “What’s your safety plan?”  It is up to us as parents to set the limits and guidelines.  If it is a plan that you feel is unsafe or unreasonable you can say, “I get that you’re disappointed.  I’m sorry.” Joani’s website is filled with great information including to links her two books A Survival Guide to Parenting Teens and I Get It: Three Magic Words for Parents of Teens.  She writes a blog twice each week on Tuesdays and Thursdays that you can follow here:  Joani also provides a number of services, please click this link to view.

Save the Dates for TAPA's Spring Programming:

  • April 4 - 8:15am - Coffee with Highley Thompson (US) – CFA
  • April 12 - 7-9pm - Ryan Klingensmith, CFA   Ryan is a Licensed Professional and Nationally Certified Counselor and Founder of Shape the Sky. He will be speaking to parents about teen use and misuse of technology, guiding and educating teens, and the effect of social media culture on teens in schools.
  • April 25 - 8:15am - Coffee with Carson Smith (MS) MS Library

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Click on the book or article titles for the book review or full article.

Selene Eymer, Upper School Registrar, A Gentleman in Moscow, Amor Towles

Nellie Brennan Hall, Associate Director of College Counseling, 1776, David McCullough


Remembering Marilyn Legg P'88 and Assistant to the Headmaster with love.
Click here for today's funeral arrangements and for the obituary.

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