Lawrence Auditorium was filled with butterflies this morning as the Nobles community gathered for the first assembly of the year. Longtime faculty member, Marcela Maldonado, who returns this year as dean of students, recognized her own first-day “butterflies,” but admitted comfort in knowing that everyone in the room had them, too. Whether joining a middle school retreat, taking one’s place at the helm of a classroom, or embarking on one’s senior year, “We’re all starting something new today, and we’re doing this together.

“Be patient, and be a little gentle with each other,” she said.

Head of School Bob Henderson emphasized the community principles on which Nobles is founded: honesty and respect. “This is how Nobles works. Beyond those, there aren’t a lot of rules here, and those we have stem from those expectations.” He empathized with students searching for their independence, who may feel that they are being guided by adults all the time. “If you’re wondering, ‘where am I making decisions?’…being honest and respectful are the things you can control."

Henderson acknowledged that people at Nobles work hard and are accustomed to doing well, but also cautioned: “Success is easy the challenge is what’s hard. How you handle it is a measure of your character. Can you look at a failure as an opportunity?” With a special welcome and congratulations to the Class of 2015, the crowd dispersed to retreats and first classes, energized for a new start.

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