Parents and families of Tabor students converged upon the Tabor Academy campus this past weekend for the annual Winter Family Weekend. This event, which takes place over three days, allows parents to reunite with their students and get a better sense for the lives their sons or daughters live every day.
Classes became considerably more crowded on Friday as parents joined their children for a full academic day. Parents were fully immersed in the general conduct of classes, answering questions from the teacher, analyzing literature, and participating in class-wide discussions and debates.
While parents and families are given the opportunity to visit classes during the Fall Family Weekend, those classes are created as an introduction to the course rather than a realistic example of day-to-day proceedings.
The Winter Family Weekend is especially important for the parents of juniors, who are invited to several events to familiarize them with the College Counseling process at Tabor.
The first was a dinner hosted by new Director of College Counseling Tim Cheney and open to all parents of juniors, welcoming them to the college journey that awaits them.
The main event was a program featuring Lee Coffin, Vice Provost for Enrollment and Dean of Admission & Financial Aid at Dartmouth College, as the keynote speaker. Coffin’s talk gave parents an insider look at the college admissions process that is often hidden to students and families.
During this Winter Family Weekend, the musical Grease drew significant crowds to the Fireman Performing Arts Center in Hoyt Hall. Though all three nights of performances left the audience scrambling to find a seat in the 650-seat auditorium, the show on Friday night very well may have exceeded that. Though no tickets were sold to the event, unofficial estimates argue that the audience may have been the largest ever for a Tabor musical, topping that of Tabor’s previous performance of Grease in 2000.
“I can only recall one other performance in over twenty years when Fireman Auditorium was sold out. Last night may have topped that,” said Director John Heavey in an email to the Grease cast on Saturday.
In addition, parents and families had the opportunity to attend a number of presentations and discussions hosted by Tabor faculty members on a variety of subjects pertaining to their students’ lives at school.
Topics for these events included: “Tabor’s Athletics Today & Tomorrow” hosted by Athletic Director Conan Leary; “Not Your Average Library: Beyond Books and Ssshhh!” by Director of Library Services Ann Richard discussing the many unique offerings of Tabor’s Hayden Library; and an informative talk regarding an upcoming overhaul of the academic schedule by Dean of Studies Eileen Marceau.
Throughout the school year, many parents can often become disconnected from Tabor’s faculty and the details of academic, athletic, and social life; these types of discussions work to close that gap and inform and engage parents to the greatest extent possible.
While many of the sports teams traveled away from Tabor for athletic contests this weekend, two exciting matchups took place on campus this weekend.
The first was a Boys’ Varsity Basketball matchup between Tabor and Milton Academy, a game Tabor won handily 82-63 with the help of a strong, enthusiastic crowd of students and families.
The second was a duel between Tabor and rival Holderness School for Boys’ Varsity Hockey on Saturday, which Tabor also won by a margin of 4-1.
The hockey team may have gotten some motivation from the game that was played before them, a Men’s Alumni Hockey Game featuring Tabor Hockey alumni of all ages reliving the glory days. The week before, the Women’s Alumnae Hockey Game was held; this was also followed by a convincing 4-1 win over Pomfret School.
Though parents and families are always welcome on Tabor’s campus and visit frequently for numerous events and activities, the Winter Family Weekend provides an opportunity for the entire community to open it to the people that make it possible for the students to come to Tabor in the first place.
By Jack Gordon