Parent Update: Dec. 14, 2017

NMH Head Of School To Leave In June

Dec. 11, 2017 — Head of School Peter B. Fayroian announced to the campus community today that he will leave Northfield Mount Hermon after the 2017–18 academic year ends. In July, he will return to Ann Arbor, Michigan, to lead Greenhills School, the day school he headed for seven years before coming to NMH in 2012.

“It’s been a difficult decision, because my heart and soul are so aligned with NMH’s mission and the great work this community does every day,” Fayroian said. “My wife, Rachael, and I want our family to be closer to our elderly parents and to the rest of our large extended family.” Fayroian will work at NMH through June 30, 2018, completing six highly successful years at the school. Associate Head of School Charles A. Tierney III P’16, ’19, ’20 will serve as interim head starting July 1, 2018. In the near future, the NMH Board of Trustees will begin the process of selecting a new head of school.

“Peter has helped steer NMH into a position of strength among boarding schools,” said Stephen S. Fuller ’58, P’98, chair of the NMH Board of Trustees. “He has totally embraced NMH’s mission and history, deeply engaged our alumni, and celebrated all that makes the school so unique.”

Under Fayroian’s leadership at NMH, the school created The Center for Learning Through Action and the Rhodes Fellowship Course in Social Entrepreneurship, and recommitted to sustainability initiatives and the farm program. Fayroian also oversaw the creation of a five-year strategic plan and construction of new faculty houses for six families and an early childhood education center that serves both NMH families and the surrounding community. Fayroian developed plans, with faculty, for three forthcoming building projects: a new boathouse and riverfront facility; a new fitness center; and the Gilder Center for Integrative Math and Science Education, for which the school received the largest cash gift in NMH’s history.

Fuller said that, going forward, Tierney has the expertise and support to continue NMH’s momentum as a leader among independent schools. With 18 years at NMH, including a year as interim head of school in 2011–12, Tierney has been immersed in all aspects of school life for nearly two decades.

“We will miss Peter’s limitless energy and his deep commitment to NMH,” Fuller said. “Now, we will work diligently to make the transition seamless, and I’m glad that Charlie is ready to help us do that.”

Debater Makes NMH History

Congratulations to Patrick Rochford ’19, the first debater in #NMH history to qualify for the annual World Individual Debate and Public Speaking Championships!

It happened on Sunday, Dec. 3,when eight members of the NMH Debate Society traveled the familiar path down Route 2, to Cambridge and the Buckingham Browne & Nichols School to take part in their invitational parliamentary extemporaneous tournament.

This event, comprised of three rounds of debate, seeks to emulate the activity in the British House of Commons and the Canadian Parliament. The format combines stylistic niceties and nuances of speech but also rewards agile thought and having a broad range of knowledge when it comes to current events, because the topics are unknown until the start of each round. Pairs of debaters competed in novice and advanced divisions based on ability and experience.

At the end of the day’s action, three of our four pairs of speakers emerged with one win and two losses. Our second novice pair, though they did not win, gained valuable experience at their first ever tournament.

The big story of the day was Patrick Rochford ’19. Competing in only his second league tournament and debating in the advanced division largely because Christmas Vespers commitments prevented many of our more seasoned debaters from participating, Patrick took the tournament by storm, finishing as the second-place individual speaker.

Eight tournaments on our league schedule count as “world’s” qualifiers, meaning that the top speaker at the tourney earns a berth at the World Individual Debate and Speaking Championships. The BB&N tournament is one of these qualifiers. Because the first-place speaker was representing a Canadian school, she could not qualify for a world’s spot on United States’ team. The spot went instead to Patrick.

The world championships will be held this coming April in Cape Town, South Africa.

Winter Family Days Just Around the Corner

Winter Family Days will take place on Friday, Feb. 2, and Saturday, Feb. 3. This is an opportunity to meet your student’s teachers and to experience firsthand the classes and activities that make up his or her life during the second semester. Parents, grandparents, siblings, and other family members and friends are welcome to join us. Registration for winter Family Days, and sign-ups for teacher conferences, will open the week of Jan. 15, and you will receive an email with a registration link.

Winter Family Days kick off our long winter weekend. Students are free to depart as soon as their last athletic, arts, and workjob commitments are complete. Students who don’t have Saturday obligations may leave on Friday after meeting all commitments. There are no classes on Monday or Tuesday. Classes will resume on Wednesday, Feb. 7. Boarding students are expected to return to campus between 2 and 7:30 pm on Tuesday, Feb. 6.

Plan Ahead to Do Sugaring During Spring Break

Students interested in working in the maple sugaring program over spring break must submit their applications by Friday, Jan. 12. Sugaring is a great way to earn two terms of workjob credit during non-school time. It’s hard but satisfying work that requires being able to walk as far as 50 yards carrying a full sap bucket in each hand. The work is mostly outdoors and takes place regardless of the weather.

The work program director will select and assign students to weeks based on their preference, applicant-pool composition, and housing availability. Please note that there is limited housing available. Meals will be provided for all student workers. If you have questions, please contact Kensey Batchelder, director of work and service learning.


Winter Break: Winter break begins Thursday, Dec. 14, at 5 pm. Dormitories close Friday, Dec. 15, at noon and reopen Wednesday, Jan. 3, at 2 pm. Get more details.

PSAT 8/9 and PSAT Scores: They are now available to students on their College Board online account. Detailed score reports will be available after the holiday break from advisors/college counselors. Read more.

Growing Good Lives: As 2017 comes to a close, we hope that NMH students are at the top of your mind. Ring in the new year with a gift that grows good lives. Support NMH students today!

Last Chance to Buy the Yearbook: This is your final chance to purchase the NMH yearbook. (Our school’s code is 4557.) It is free for the Class of 2018, but must be purchased by others. Orders will not be accepted after 12/31 and extra books will not be printed.

ACT and SAT Test Prep Class: Summit Educational Group will offer test-prep classes for the Apr. 14 ACT and May 5 SAT. Juniors are encouraged to consider the ACT and SAT classes. Financial aid is also available. Please contact Diane King with questions.

End-of-the-Year Reminders from the Health Center: See announcements from the O’Connor Health and Wellness Center.

Athletics live streaming schedule: Interested in watching NMH athletics from the comfort of your own home? See the schedule of athletic events that will be live streamed.

Host families still needed: Local NMH families are needed to host Uruguayan students visiting Feb. 7–Mar. 1 for a language/cultural exchange. We are asking day families to consider hosting an exchange student. To express interest, please contact Bea Garcia.

Upcoming Events

12/14 Fall semester ends at 5 pm
12/14 Christmas Vespers in New York City
12/15 Charter buses depart and dorms close
12/19 Fall semester report cards available on NMHOnline
1/3 Students return between 2 pm and 7:30 pm
1/4 Classes begin
2/2 Deadline for ACT prep class registration
3/21 Deadline for SAT prep class registration

A bird's eye view