Guess which group is the first to reach 100% participation for Annual Giving?

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TOWN’S FACULTY AND STAFF!

Congratulations and thank you to all the faculty and staff!

Sixth grade humanities teacher David Kyle organized the effort as chair of faculty and staff annual giving.  To celebrate the successful drive, Mr. Kyle directed and produced a video that captures the spirit of Town’s faculty and staff.  Please click on the link below; we bet you can’t watch without a smile on your face! We hope you enjoy the video as much as we do.

We asked Mr. Kyle to tell us a little bit about Annual Giving at Town, and the process of creating the video.   Take a peek at the video and then check out his answers below.

 

 

  •  Why do you volunteer to coordinate teacher giving each year?

I volunteer to coordinate faculty and staff giving to the annual fund every year for a few reasons. Number one, I love this school. Before I was an intern here, I was floundering around as a dot-commer, a personal trainer, a political consultant, and a fundraiser. I have always wanted to teach but never had the guts or the opportunity to get into the profession. I still remember the two wonderful and poignant days when Anne Ayers called me to offer me a spot as an intern, and Brewster offered me a spot as a Head teacher. Town finally allowed me to realize my calling.
Now, I’m happy as a clam in mud in my classroom. I’m part of a community of educators that are passionate about what we do. I’m around 12 year-olds all day who have the same sense of humor I do. The more joy I have in my classroom, the better I do at my job.

•  How do you approach your role in annual giving (and maybe what your secret is to getting 100% participation)?

There are many reasons why an employee might give; it’s just finding which one is the right reason for each individual. Most of us have similar reasons, such as believing in the mission of the school, or being an alum, or just wanting to give. Also, people don’t like to be in the last 5% who have not yet given!

•  What made you think of this video idea, and would you care to share any production details (we heard you did it in only a few takes)?
I usually try and get people involved in my Cross Country videos, and was trying to come up with a similar way to get as many people as possible involved. Then I thought, why not just get the whole faculty involved? I had heard about lip dubs, and then it just became a matter of finding the right song. The shoot was interesting; we did three takes in 45 minutes. In the first take, people were under-confident and didn’t know their lines or where to stand. In the second, they knew their lines and where to stand, but weren’t confident. The final take had all three elements and it was by far the best.

 •  Is there anything else you’d like the Town Community to know?
Yes. If you could please remind your sons that if they bring in birthday cupcakes to class, I’d be okay if they dropped one off for me. Room 20, second floor. Thanks.


 

A video love note from Mrs. Ganem’s boys to Town School.

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The wonderful teachers at Town School continue to amaze our community with their creative ways of showing how they love the school.  Recently, Annie Reddick (Mrs. Ganem) produced this video with her 1st grade boys.  When we saw it, we knew just the person to introduce the video and share a bit more about Mrs.Ganem.  Thank you Anne Ayers for reminding us all why she is indeed so special.

“Annie Reddick (Mrs. Ganem) walked through the doors of Town School in the spring of 2002. She was a senior at Bates College, an applicant for the New Teacher Institute, and I met her in the lobby as I do all applicants. Annie glowed with genuine enthusiasm, positive energy, and she made astute observations on our tour. By the time we got to my office on the 3rd floor, I knew this special young woman would be a great fit for Town!! That fall, Annie joined the New Teacher Institute and spent a year in Kindergarten and the following year in second grade. After completing her training at Town School, Annie was hired at The Bentley School to be a head kindergarten teacher and she taught there for 6 years. During this period she was married and had a son, Henry. We who knew her as an exceptional intern are thrilled to have this talented teacher and experienced mentor back at Town in first grade.”

Do Town boys really love broccoli??

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Ping M., a mother of a kindergartener and a 2nd grader,  admits that her sons are on opposite ends of the food spectrum.  As much as one is a picky eater, the other is a foodie.   She is in awe of Chef Ric because of the ease in which he can get the boys to try new foods and inspire them to love what they eat even more.  Recently, her five year old came home and asked her an important question about broccoli.  When she shared the story with us, we knew that whether children were picky eaters or  foodies, all parents could relate. Just another reason to love Town School!

“Recently, after school one day, my five year old came home and suggested I connect with Chef Ric on how to best prepare broccoli.  He said to me:  “Mommy, maybe you can ask Chef Ric what ingredients he uses for the broccoli because it tastes better than yours”.  Yes, my 5 year old came home and used the words ‘ingredients’.  Of course, I made the broccoli as specified by Chef Ric (no secret ingredients, just water and broccoli and a sprinkle of salt, but I did learn how to cook them properly), but he still says – “Well, it’s not as good as Chef Ric’s.  But then he is a Chef”.

If you have a story or love note you would like to share, please do email us – we would love to showcase all that is wonderful about Town School.

Extended Day respects traditions – even when it involves hanging donuts from the ceiling!

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Nicky DeCesare is the director of the After School Program and Town School and has the pleasure of experiencing the boys in their most playful moods. She is a master at wrangling their after school energy and loves that so many boys like to come hang out even if their parents do not need them to be there.   When she first took the helm two years ago she caught on right away to the power of the Extended Day traditions.  So, when we asked her to share with us what she loves about her job, she knew just the story to tell.

“This past Halloween, I spent the majority of the afternoon hanging three dozen donuts from the ceiling of our classroom with the amazing Extended Day Team (Dain Vogel ‘98, and Caitlin Bicknell). As I stood high atop the back of a chair, hands covered in donut glaze, struggling to tie an anchor string from the highest point in the room, a fellow faculty member stopped in the doorway to admire our spectacle. After a few minutes of careful observation, he asked the obvious question: “So why do you do this again?”

Great question. There is, of course, the obvious answer: Because it’s fun! There is something about a donut dangling from a string that creates the perfect storm of silly and delicious and puts a smile on the face of every single person who walks into our classroom on Halloween, regardless of age.

But the real answer is more than that.

When I took over the position of Director of After School Programs four years ago, the boys, eager to know how things would be different (and how they would remain the same) without founding director Elaine Blair, started asking questions almost immediately. “Are we still gonna do the donut thing on Halloween?”

I had no idea what they were talking about. I had spent my first two years at Town as an intern teacher in the lower school, and had not been privy to the rituals of the Extended Day Program. Thankfully, I had Stefanie Stoddard, a five year Extended Day veteran teacher, by my side. “What are they talking about?!” I asked her.

“Oh,” she answered. “Every Halloween, we hang donuts from the ceiling and the boys have to try to bite them without using their hands.”

I was baffled. In my mind, the headache I had from running through the logistics of executing such a feat for more than thirty boys over the course of 3 hours (at the end of the day. ON HALLOWEEN.) could certainly not outweigh the benefits. Until I thought a little harder about the true purpose.

We needed to do it because it was a tradition. Like so many traditions, it’s more about the feeling than the actual act itself. Elaine manufactured a little bit of Halloween magic when she first decided to start the tradition of bobbing for donuts in Extended Day, and it’s recreating that magic that fosters a feeling of connection; between the boys and our program, their school, a certain place and time during the year, and each other.  It is, like so many here at Town, a tradition that started long before the arrival of us who continue it, and will hopefully continue on as long as it serves its true purpose, which, for Extended Day, is to create a warm, fun, safe, enriching environment for our boys after-school.

I love that our Upper School boys will come back and visit on Halloween – they help tie donuts to strings, demonstrate the most effective “donut-bobbing” techniques, and tell ridiculous stories of “that time in third grade when we were bobbing for donuts and…” (use your imagination to fill in how that story ends!) It’s something that our boys look forward to every year – they start asking about it in early September, and talk about it all the way through June. While we create our traditions, they shape our identity as a community as much as we do them. I am proud to be part of a community of faculty, administrators, families, and students that strives to create, shape and maintain traditions that act in the best interest of our boys, their growth, their learning, their emotional well-being, and their connection to their school. And sometimes, that can be as simple as donuts.

A sweet love note from a 7th grade mother.

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Michael H., currently a 7th grader, has been a part of the Town School community since Kindergarten. His mother, Jocelyn C., reached out and shared her positive experience at Town School. Thank you for your kind words!

“I have immensely enjoyed watching our boys grow up.  I feel so lucky that Michael been able to stay at the same school for the past seven years.  It’s hard to believe how little our boys once were when they arrived for kindergarten.  Now some of them have deep voices and stand taller than their mothers!  It’s been a great experience, from the Build a Bear Workshop field trip to the Midweeklies carpools.  I look forward to the coming months and the project of moving Michael to the next step: the right high school!  Town has been a great place for us.”

A love note from a 4th grader.

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Thank you Max D. from 4B for sharing why you love Town School.  If your you or your son would like to submit a love note, please do email us the quote and a photograph.  We are excited to showcase as many as we receive.

“I love Town School because the classrooms are warm and friendly and the teachers understand and are fair, nice and fun to be taught by.  Once you get into the school groove, you want to just get up and go everyday because it is so much fun.  Town School makes learning fun for me.”


Love notes from a few second graders.

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It is always fun to hear what the boys themselves love about their school.  Here are what a few 2nd graders in Ms. Cordingly’s class had to say.  Check back during the year for more love notes from the boys.

Roger A.

“I love that we can have fun and play outside”

Anthony  M.

“I like PE at Town School.”

Alesso M.

“I really like reading groups at Town School”

Colin R.

“I love art class because we do fun art projects.”

Andrew L.

” I think I like the library the best”