TNN • Tiger News Network • 9 February 2018

Dear Parents, 

The 18th Annual Winter Wars begins Monday, February 12 and continues all week. Every day Upper School classes gather in Memorial Gym for an hour of spirit, games, and camaraderie.  It is a super loud, energy-filled week. 

Each day has a theme: Monday is class colors, Tuesday is Black and Orange, Wednesday is Valentine’s Day colors, Thursday is USA day, and Friday is a Beach Party. Classes earn points by competing in various events such as Tug of War, Relay Races, Group Jump Rope, a Waiter War, and a Buddy Walk. New for 2018 is a student vs faculty tug of war and waiter war--a chance for both groups to earn bragging rights!

The other major component of Winter Wars is community service. Each day students are asked to donate one item to a local charity. Monday is canned goods, Tuesday is toiletries, Wednesday is multivitamins, and Thursday we collect athletic socks. The more items a class brings in, (up to 200 max) the more points they earn.

This year there also is a coin drive. Each class was given a 5-gallon water jug and they have until Thursday, Feb. 17 to fill it.  The last time Thayer did a coin drive some classes collected over 150 lbs of coins in their container!

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

The students bring their spirit in the form of decorating the gym each day (they are awarded points by the faculty for their spirit), their dress, and their competitiveness. At the end of the week, a champion is crowned and everyone is energized to make it through the remaining 4 weeks of the term.

Please help your child remember their donations, we are collecting coins right now, and check the Thayer student portal and Twitter feed for daily scoring updates.

We look forward to a great week.

Skip Schneider P '20, '22

Upper School Science Faculty


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TONIGHT Feb. 9 - PINK/ BLACK OUT Boys Basketball Games vs. Belmont Hill - JV 4:30 & Varsity 6:00.
Come cheer on the Boys Basketball teams in Memorial Gym.  Wear your event T-shirts (for sale in Cahall) - 50% of proceeds to the American Cancer Society.  Thayer’s Parent Athletic Council is sponsoring free pizza and drinks at 5pm. Half-time shooting competitions and prizes.  Free pom-poms to first 100 fans.  All are welcome!

 See upcoming games and meets for Thayer teams by clicking here on the Athletics page.

Feb 12, Tickets to the Upper School musical Merrily We Roll Along go on sale. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased here (search for Merrily We Roll Along). Families and friends are also invited to a free dress rehearsal on Thursday, Feb. 22 at 5:30. The show runs Friday and Saturday night, Feb. 23-24 at 7pm.   

Re-enrollment agreements will be issued early next week. Please keep an eye out for these important emails from the Business Office.


Monday Meeting: Winter Wars

Feb. 12-18, 2018 WINTER WARS!!!  The 18th annual Winter Wars begins Monday, Feb 12. These are class vs class competitions that take place for 1 hour each day that week. 

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


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

Feb. 9, Tonight! 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. 

Tickets are on sale now!

Three weeks until Thayer Auction 2018!!!!!
Our deadline is Friday, February 16, 2018
for Sponsors, Advertisements and Donations! Please submit your donations ASAP!

Ways to donate to this wonderful event!

  • Donate an Auction item!! 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
  • Become a Sponsor with your family, your business or a group of Thayer families. Click here
  • Take out an advertisement in honor of your child, your child’s sports team, a teacher or express your love for Thayer! Click here
  • Buy a brick for $1,000 and leave a part of your family behind at Thayer. Personalize your brick with your family name or your child’s name.
  • Purchase a seat in Thayer’s Performing Arts Center for $2,500 and have your family name, your name or your child’s name put on a plaque in the back of the seat.

All these proceeds go towards the Auction and the Faculty Excellence Fund.  
Thank you for all your support! We look forward to celebrating with you all on Friday, March 2, 2018!
Krista DiRico and Shannon Cashman, Co-Chairs

Feb. 26 - RESCHEDULED Upper School Student Screening of "If They Had Known" Documentary Screening - “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, and Lt. Michael Want P ’22, Braintree Police Department. 

Notes from the "If They Had Known Screening" on Feb. 6:

Parents gathered last Tuesday evening in the Center for Fine Arts Hale Theater for a screening of If They Had Known, a 30-minute documentary about the death of a 19-year-old college student, Clay Soper, who passed away in 2015 after mixing alcohol and prescription drugs.  

After the screening, Jess Matzkin, LICSW, our School Counselor, Mark Vonnegut, M.D., a pediatrician, and Lieutenant Mike Want from the Braintree Police Department, shared their impressions and reactions with the audience.  Parents asked questions and voiced their concerns with the panelists and one another about the inherent risks of the current party culture. 

There was a great deal of interest and discussion about how parents can help address these issues.  Dr. Vonnegut shared his concerns about how we support our children in dealing with underlying issues such as anxiety and self-esteem. He also noted that while this one tragic event took place in an affluent town in Massachusetts it could have happened in any kind of community from any background.  “All of our children are special,” pointed out Dr. Vonnegut.  Teenagers today face more pressures than ever before on a “Race to Nowhere” conveyer belt, trying to earn top grades and participate in a variety of extracurricular activities.  Kids are pushed to the edge of exhaustion by over-scheduling, too little sleep, and pressure to achieve.  Stress-related illnesses, depression, and anxiety are rampant.

One parent observed that we need to educate our children about the fact that there are many people who do not drink alcohol and that there are many different ways to have a fun social life without alcohol and drugs being the backbone of how they spend time socializing with their friends.

Lieutenant Want emphasized that parents are held responsible if there is underage drinking at parties held in their homes.  The Social Host Law makes it against the law to serve or provide alcohol to underage guests or to allow them to drink alcohol in your home. The criminal penalty is a fine of up to $2,000, imprisonment for up to a year, or both. Additionally, you can be financially responsible if your child or underage guest injures another person (or himself) as a result of having consumed alcohol.  Civil judgments can be for millions of dollars. He talked about the significant increase in overdoses the town of Braintree has seen in the past year.  Braintree saw 100 overdoses, which resulted in 4 deaths. 

Jess Matzkin noted that she often talks to students about the stress and pressures of high school life and her concern about alcohol.  The health and well-being of our children depend on our reaching out to them and helping them learn the tools they need to get through times of stress.  Social belonging, which includes having friends, family, activities, interests is key. Self-esteem comes from a sense of belonging. It is important for kids to be recognized and valued by others.  This can be achieved by an extracurricular activity, job, hobby, sport, or volunteer work.  Children need to know that it is OK to ask for help and guidance and have time and space to learn and do what they truly love.

Feb. 23, Parent's Independent School Network (PIN) Meeting, 9-11am, The Rivers School, Sally Taylor will discuss the importance of arts in education. Free, all are welcome. 

If you happened to miss the TAPA Meeting with Guest Speaker Joani Geltman, MSW, you may see Joani at these upcoming speaking engagements that are open to the public.

  • 2/15 - Belmont Hill 7-9 PM  
    Joani's Top Ten Parenting Tips For Raising Teens 

  • 3/5 - Dexter Southfield School  
    Joani's Top Ten Parenting Tips 

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

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

Carson Smith, Middle School Director, The Saboteur, Paul Kix

Diane Haigh, Upper School Graphic Design teacher, Promise Me, Dad, Joe Biden



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