December 2022

The Spirit of Giving is Alive at Milton

The Spirit of Giving is Alive at Milton

The holidays usher in a season of giving for Milton’s Community Engagement Programs and Partnerships, beginning with a Hunger Awareness Event in November, which helps to remind the school community of the realities of food insecurity. 

During the event, all Upper School students, faculty, and staff who ate lunch in Forbes Dining Hall selected tickets at random, assigning them to an income category: low, middle, or high, which corresponded with global income distribution. Those who selected “low” tickets—the majority of people—were given a lunch of only rice; “middle” income recipients could have rice and beans; while “high income” people could enjoy a regular meal. Aramark, Milton’s dining services provider, donated the savings from offering a full service, and the Milton Bookstore also contributed a donation. The lunch accompanied conversations about food insecurity, justice, and inequity in assembly and advisories.

The event raised more than $2,000, “which is going to Partners in Health to support their childhood malnutrition work, as well as a portion to the Greater Boston Food Bank,” said CEPP Director Andrea Geyling-Moore. 

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A Thrilling Season (and Postseason) for Boys’ Varsity Soccer

A Thrilling Season (and Postseason) for Boys’ Varsity Soccer

Up until their final game of the year—the New England finals against Worcester Academy—Milton’s boys’ varsity soccer team was not just undefeated: They had never been behind at any point in the season.

Crowned Independent School League champions after a 14–0–1 ISL season, the team’s overall 2022 record was 15–0–4. Going into the NEPSAC Class A finals, Milton beat Exeter 3–1 in the quarterfinal. Milton then beat defending champions Northfield Mount Hermon by penalty kicks to advance to the finals against Worcester. The match again came down to penalty kicks, but Worcester prevailed.

“The end of the season was really exciting throughout,” said head coach Chris Kane. “In the finals, Worcester scored a couple minutes in, but our group did a great job responding and scored a little bit before the end of half, then a second time just before halftime. We were up 2–1 going into the half. Worcester scored again before it went into overtime. We just came up short on penalty kicks but it was a great, fun season ending in a thrilling set of games, as close as you can get.”

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Why I Teach

Why I Teach

History and Social Sciences teacher Matthew Blanton wants students to explore the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves.

Besides the threat and loss COVID continues to perpetrate, it has also laid bare the power and need to be together. Milton’s faculty, staff, and students alike have drawn from untapped reserves to remain connected. These past few years, however, have made abundantly apparent that virtual classrooms cannot replicate the importance of brick-and -mortar spaces. By now, we are all more than aware that a mosaic of faces on a computer screen generates neither the chemistry nor the accountability that Harkness Table neighbors demand. Even if a mask hides a classmate’s nose and mouth, they can still contort their face or shift in their seat or let out an audible clue or input that’s abundantly legible from only a few physical feet away. This unspoken vernacular—nonverbal cues of human exchange too often lost on Zoom—undergirds our social contract of learning—a tangible part of the on-campus, community-making process.

Past the pandemic horrors, how will historians look back on these years? At Milton specifically, what was it like for new students in the fall of 2021? How did they cultivate a sense of belonging? How did we collectively create community when it was so hard to be in community? What will our post-covid culture look like? These inquiries necessitate that we look to the past for guidance, and many of these concerns form the core underpinnings of what I ask students to contemplate in our history classroom. How did a particular society come into being? How is it bound? What factors contribute to its shape and function? Out of this structure, what realities emerge, and which ideologies do a people hold most dear? In their search for answers, students begin to differentiate between mythologies, facts, and truth, between the past and history.

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When The Weather Outside Is Frightful

When The Weather Outside Is Frightful

The inclement weather of a New England winter is inevitably approaching, presenting conditions that can sometimes prompt school cancellations and delays. In the case of a weather event, Milton administrators carefully consider forecasts along with safety and logistical concerns before determining whether to cancel or delay school.

If classes are canceled or delayed, Milton will notify families via Rave Alerts, which are sent to all School community members through phone, email, and text messages. Please read these announcements carefully. Students and parents should keep their contact information up to date in myMilton in order to receive alerts.

Details on any cancellations or delays will also post on our School Cancellations page. In addition, Milton shares weather-related delay and cancellation information with Boston-area media outlets that compile lists of local school closures and delays.

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Milton Robotics Is On a Roll

This past weekend, Milton’s Robotics Team—comprised of 11 students and three robots—attended Worcester Polytechnic Institute’s WAVE Tournament, a three-day competition against 78 other robotics teams from across the United States and Canada. One of Milton’s teams, self-dubbed Duct Tap & Dreams, advanced to the eliminations round and finished 16th in robot skills. Another of Milton’s teams, under name of Moonrise, won the Innovate Award, one of the top three awards given to a team based on overall performance, organization, and teamwork.

In November, Milton’s Robotics Team also attended a VEX Robotics tournament in Framingham, Massachusetts, where our students competed against 45 schools from across southern New England. Milton brought 21 students—divided into three Upper School teams and three Middle School teams—and six robots. All six Milton teams made it to the elimination round (top 32 teams). Three of the four semi-finalists in the tournament were Milton teams, and the final round match pitted Milton’s Upper School team against Milton’s Middle School team—neither of which had lost a match prior. Both teams in the final round qualified for the Southern New England Regional Championship.

Milton’s Robotics Team at the VEX Robotics Tournament in Framingham, Massachusetts, with Coach Hales and Coach Sitkoff

Premier Prep Teams Face Off During Winter Break

Every year at this time, the best teams in independent school hockey descend upon the rinks of Milton and Nobles for a chance to claim the coveted championship titles of the Flood-Marr Tournament and the Harrington Invitational Tournament.

The annual Flood-Marr Holiday Hockey Tournament is named for Dick “Lefty” Marr and his college roommate, longtime friend, and rival hockey coach Dick Flood. Lefty Marr was a member of the Milton faculty from 1957 until 1980. Now in its 57th year, the three-day competition for boys’ teams includes Milton, Nobles, Hotchkiss, Andover, Westminster, Deerfield, Kimball Union and Salisbury.

On the same weekend, top girls’ talent takes to the ice at Milton and Nobles to compete in the 41st Annual Harrington Invitational. Milton will face off against Nobles, Lawrence, St. Paul’s, St. Mark’s, BB&N, Westminster, and Williston-Northampton.

The tournaments run from Friday, December 16, through Sunday, December 18.

Download the schedules
Flood-Marr Tournament schedule
Harrington Tournament schedule

State of the School Address

Head of School Todd Bland was joined by incoming Head of School, Dr. Alixe Callen ’88, for a virtual State of the School Address. In case you missed it, watch this recording of the event.

A Message From the Parents’ Association

We want to make sure that our Upper School parents are aware of all the new ways they can connect with other Milton parents and guardians about issues that matter to them!

  • USPA Boarding Committee. USPA recently set up a Boarding Committee to offer a forum to discuss issues specific to boarding students. If you are interested in participating, please contact Diana Rodriguez at
  • Parent/Guardian Affinity Groups. The school recently set up affinity spaces for different groups of parents, guardians, and alumni across a wide range of identities. Affinity groups are open to alumni and current parents or guardians who can speak in the space using “I” statements. Each space is facilitated by trained alumni or parent volunteers who partner with school leadership to create and maintain spaces that are affirming for identity development and supportive of cross-cultural interactions. Currently offered groups for parents/guardians include the following 9 affinities: APIDA; Black; Caribbean; Christian; Jewish; LatinX; LGBTQIA+; Students of Color; and White-Identifying. To join an affinity space, please visit Questions? Contact Senior Engagement Officer Lindsay Villone at
  • USPA DEIJ Committee. The Upper School DEIJ Team and USPA Board are launching a USPA DEIJ committee to support the work of the Milton Academy Strategic Plan. The USPA DEIJ Committee welcomes any Upper School parent or guardian interested in supporting DEIJ. USPA is currently looking for parent/guardian representatives of Classes I, II, and IV. If you are interested in participating, please contact USPA President Teena Kamal at
  • Other ways to connect. If you have suggestions for other ways to keep Milton Upper School parents connected, or if you want to be more involved in other ways, please contact USPA President Teena Kamal at

To keep you up to date, the USPA hosts presentations frequently. Meetings are held at 7 p.m. Boston time by Zoom as follows (more details to follow):

  • Tuesday, December 13: Monthly update from Dean of College Counseling Rod Skinner
  • Tuesday, January 10: Head of School Todd Bland and Upper School Dr. Monica Benton Palmer.
  • Thursday, January 24: Monthly update from Dean of College Counseling Rod Skinner

Faculty, parent, and student events sponsored by the USPA are made possible by your generous contributions of time, funding, and gifts, as we are a self-sustaining organization led by volunteer parents and supported primarily by parent dues and donations. Thank you!

Enjoy the upcoming winter break, stay safe and well, and we look forward to seeing you at our December and January meetings!

Development News and Notes

Looking for ways to get involved on campus and connect with other Milton parents? Reach out to Alana McGrath at or 617-898-2267 to learn about opportunities to volunteer for the Milton Fund and the Office of Development and Alumni Relations.


DEIJ Speaker Series: Dr. Howard Stevenson
Thursday, January 19

Milton Basketball at TD Garden
Saturday, January 21

DEIJ Speaker Series: Grace Chan McKibben ’86
Tuesday, March 7

Giving Day
Thursday, March 9

DEIJ Speaker Series: Dr. Rev. Chloe Breyer ’87
Tuesday, March 28

The Milton Fund provides funding for the school’s core priorities, including general support for the school’s greatest needs, financial aid, faculty support, facilities, DEIJ, and student experience. It is because of the ongoing generosity of Milton Academy parents that the Milton Fund continues to make a tangible and immediate impact on the school’s exceptional K–12 education and our community of students, faculty, and staff. Please support the Milton education we all believe in this giving season and make your gift to the Milton Fund by December 31 at

If you have questions about the Milton Fund or making a gift, please contact Alana McGrath, Annual Giving Officer, at or (617) 898-2267.

Holidays Mean Music

Families are welcome to join Milton Academy—either in-person or virtually via a live stream—to experience the Jean McCawley Orchestra and Chorus Winter Concert. This annual event is a celebration of music by the students of Milton Academy’s vocal and orchestral program. The concert features seasonal tunes to celebrate the holidays, alongside repertoire ranging from Baroque to Contemporary, and classical traditions representing a diverse range of cultures and geography.

This free event begins at 7:30 p.m. this Friday, December 9, in the Kellner Performing Arts Center. Click here to register for in-person attendance. For families who can not travel to campus or prefer a virtual attendance, Milton will host a livestream of the event via Zoom. Join the live stream here.

Milton’s musicians practicing for the concert.

Just For Fun

Mascot Multi-Verse Travel

Milton-Nobles Weekend kicked off with this fun video of the schools’ rival mascots accidentally traveling through the multi-verse.

Featured Videos

Red Wagon Rocket

Class IV Physics students create a homemade propulsion system to launch themselves across the South Tennis Courts. They will use video software analysis to measure accelerations, net Forces, and frictional forces acting on these propulsion systems.

Jazz in King Theatre

Milton Academy jazz students celebrated the music of the amazingly innovative and spirited Horace Silver during a concert in King Theatre. Watch this small sample of their performance or view photos from the event.

Pep Rally Dancers

Three of Milton’s dance teams performed in front of a packed ACC crowd during November’s Pep Rally event. Watch small snippets of each performance in this video. View photos from the Pep Rally event.

Parents' Project Adventure
During Family Weekend, parents participated in a team-building challenge similar to the types of challenges their students tackle during their Project Adventure class. View photos from Family Weekend.

Featured Photos

Drawing and Sculpture Show

Student exhibits give Milton’s artists the opportunity to share their work with peers. View photos of pieces now on display at the Drawing and Sculpture Show in the Arts Commons. The exhibit runs through the start of winter break, closing on December 15.

Lobby Hero

This fall’s 1212 play was Kenneth Lonergan’s Lobby Hero, a dialogue-rich play set entirely in the lobby of a Manhattan apartment building. Directed by Performing Arts Department faculty member Darlene Anastas, the show features four main characters whose lives intertwine during the investigation of a crime. View more photos of the performance.

Wicked Sketchy

Wicked Sketchy has become a Milton favorite since it started in 2014; the show is composed of funny sketches and musical parodies that the cast members write, edit, and perform. View more photos of this fall’s Wicked Sketchy performance.

Class IV Play

This year’s Class IV play, The Old Man and the Old Moon, took audiences along for a ride on an adventurous quest through perils of storms, sea monsters, and ghosts. View more photos of the performance.

Street Memorials

Street Memorials, an exhibit featuring the work of artist Cedric “Vise1” Douglas, is on display through December 16 in Milton’s Nesto Gallery. The Gallery, located on the lower level of the Arts and Media Center. is open to the public weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.   

Cheer On Our Teams

The winter sports season has begun. Below are links to teams’ schedules. For photos and updates, follow Milton on Instagram (@MA_athletics) and Twitter (@MA_Athletics).

Boys’ Basketball
Girls’ Basketball
Boys’ Hockey
Girls’ Hockey
Boys’ Squash
Girls’ Squash
Boys’ Swimming
Girls’ Swimming

Need a Holiday Gift Idea?

The Milton Academy Bookstore is selling “Milton Football” hats to commemorate Coach Kevin MacDonald, who ended his long-standing career as Milton’s head football coach this fall with an exciting 38-26 victory over Nobles. Call the Academy Bookstore at 617-898-2110 for information about purchasing.

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

Sarah Abrams
Marisa Donelan
Eileen Newman
Esten Perez
Gregory White