Parents’ Association News, February 2017

The Parents’ Association monthly meetings are generally held on the first Monday of each month throughout the school year. Those meetings—in the CSG Conference Room, beginning at 7 p.m.—are open to all parents and include a presentation by a member of the faculty or administration, as well as a discussion of Parents’ Association business.

At our January meeting, we spoke with Director of Counseling Lisa Morin. She elaborated on the services counselors provide, as well as the various ways in which they are involved in our children’s lives. They make connections with students, empowering them to make good decisions and helping them to shape a safe, healthy high school experience. They provide educational services, keeping students informed about the resources available to them. The Counseling Center provides support and intervention for students in need. It offers a comfortable, approachable space where students can find warm, empathetic and experienced counselors. Ms. Morin emphasized her team’s commitment to helping students develop their intellectual, social and emotional potential.

Our February meeting was cancelled due to snow. Contact the Parents’ Association at for more information about our meetings or programs.


Baby Animals For Everyone!

17-01_barnbabiesFor the last few years, Barn Babies has been an exam week draw for students. Drawing on the growing body of research that spending time with animals is a great way to reduce stress and anxiety, the Parents’ Association happily hosts a mini-petting zoo in the lobby of the Pritzker Science Center during exam week. This year we had over 300 students (and faculty!) who enjoyed holding and playing with the animals, including kittens, puppies, bunnies, chickens, and even a goat who walks on a leash! Thank you to Linnea Engstrom who worked with Parent-Student Activities liaisons Bridgette Minicus and Eileen Hogan, to bring this favorite stress-buster to campus.

Our hard-working students also appreciated a table full of sweet treats provided by the Parents’ Association during exam week and for Valentine’s Day.


Class II Dinner and College Presentation

On January 6 and 7, the college counseling office held its annual Class II College Weekend—a two-day program for juniors and their families to gain an understanding of the college admission and application process. The college counseling office highlighted the delicate balance between getting Class II families started on their college process, and keeping students focused on their end-of-semester coursework and final exam preparation. The balance was well-struck, and parents and students alike found the “official start” to their college search process fun, exciting, and demystifying.

The weekend began on Friday night with the Class II Parent Dinner. The guest speaker, Debra Shaver, dean of admission at Smith College, talked about the role of parents in the college process. The dinner had record attendance and provided an opportunity for parents to connect and learn about the upcoming college process. Special thanks to Class II representatives Heidi Handler and Alicia Cleary for chairing this event. Saturday offered a full morning program for juniors and their parents. The program began with Jess Lord, vice president and dean of admission and financial aid at Haverford College, reviewing the college admission landscape and providing advice and insight about how students and parents can best navigate. After Jess Lord’s presentation, students and parents attended two sessions: 1) a review of the nuts-and-bolts of the college process at Milton by Rod Skinner, director of college counseling, and 2) the perennial favorite, a panel of seniors reflecting on their experiences with the college process. Rod’s presentation was calming and clarifying, and the student panel gave everyone a glimpse of the process through the students’ eyes. The students’ honest and uninhibited thoughts, anecdotes and observations about the process—along with their lessons, successes and disappointments—help to focus and stimulate the newly-initiated. In all, the weekend was a great way to start the college process with the key stakeholders all hearing the same information at the same time.


Senior Showcase

The Senior Showcase and raffle was held on Saturday, February 4. Proceeds from the raffle will help defray the cost of the senior prom. Thank you to Class I reps, Christine DiMartinis and Lisa O’Connor, for all their hard work on this event, and to the many parents who generously donated items for the raffle.


Faculty and Staff Appreciation Day


On Wednesday, February 8, the Parents’ Association hosted our favorite event of the year—Faculty and Staff Appreciation Day! A wonderful opportunity for parents to thank those who help and encourage our children every day, the event was a great success. This year’s theme, Celebrating the United States of America, brought a bit of warmth and whimsy just when we needed it! Faculty and staff took a road trip around America and sampled foods from various regions—from Idaho corn casserole to California cobb salad to Massachusetts whoopie pies. In short, every aspect of the day was perfect. Many thanks to Ann Marie Oliver who worked countless hours and whose attention to every detail ensured that the day was enjoyed by all. Special thanks to Maria Murphy and Bridgette Minicus who masterminded the amazing menu; Amy O’Connor who coordinated the beverages; Ann Jenness for transforming Straus into an exotic valley complete with Route 66 and a model car; Jean Piazza and Eileen Hogan who organized the entire raffle process and procured an amazing list of raffle items. What a SUPER job! Thank you to all who contributed to the raffle. Your generosity continues to astound us. Finally, the faculty and staff appreciation event could not be a success without the scores of Upper School parents whose generosity of time, skill, monies and raffle items demonstrate, each year, the sincere appreciation we all have for those who care for our children.


Upcoming Events

Monday, February 27: Class I Parent Coffee in Straus, right after drop-off from 8 to 9:30 a.m.

Tuesday, February 28: An evening of conversation and insight into our Upper School with Todd Bland, David Ball and Indu Singh, 7 p.m., Straus Library. Kindly let us know if you’ll be attending at

Monday, March 6: Parents’ Association Meeting, 7 p.m., CSG Conference Room. Rod Skinner, director of college counseling, will be the featured speaker.

Monday, April 10: Parents’ Association Meeting, 7 p.m., CSG Conference Room. Jackie Bonenfant and José Ruiz will be the featured speakers.

Wednesday, April 13: Donut Day for students. Student Center at recess.

Monday, April 24: Class II Parent Coffee in Straus right after drop-off. No agenda. Just join us to meet friends new and old.

Monday, May 5: Parents’ Association Meeting, 7 p.m., CSG Conference Room. Heather Flewelling, director of multiculturalism and community development, will be the featured speaker.

Saturday, May 13: Class II Boat Dance for students

A favorite event, the boat dance departs from the Boston docks and provides a lovely evening on the water with delicious food, planned and donated by the Parents’ Association. Contact Class II parent representatives Bea Sanders and Lisa O’Connor if you are interested in volunteering to send food treats or to help with set up for this wonderful tradition.

Thursday, May 18: Special Treat Day for students. Student Center at recess.

May 22: Class III Parent Coffee in Straus right after drop-off. No agenda. Just join us to meet friends new and old.

Friday, May 26: Milton-Nobles Day sports tables, along the athletic fields.

Friday, June 2: Spring Fling on the Quad for all students.

Saturday, June 3: Class I Parent Reception / Senior Prom

A Class I Parent Reception will take place at 7 p.m. in Wigglesworth Hall. Class I parents can enjoy one another’s company after sending students off on trolleys to their Senior Prom at the Boston Marriott Long Wharf. Parents will first have an opportunity to see (and photograph) the students adorned for prom night and then relax with fellow parents at a dinner sponsored by the Parents’ Association.

Monday, June 6: Parents’ Association Meeting, 7 p.m., CSG Conference Room. Rod Skinner, director of college counseling, will be the featured speaker.

Friday, June 9: Graduation!

Centre Connection

Centre Connection, Milton's online newsletter for parents, is published five times each year through the efforts of the Milton Academy Communication Office and Parents' Association volunteers.

Communication Office


Erin Berg
Marisa Donelan
Cathy Everett
Liz Matson
Greg White