Head's Letter

Punxsutawney bummer

Head’s Letter 2/2/2018

Dear NNS Families,

Kindergarten has had such fun running morning meeting this week that it’s been hard for me to focus on a single day to include in my letter.  Each day showcased their confidence with public speaking, their emerging reading and writing skills, and their flat-out command of the crowd!  They were awesome, and Aly did a great job.  However, today was the best because we streamed in the feed from Punxsutawney, Pa. to see if winter was coming to an end or not.  According to The New York Times this morning, “the Feb. 2 tradition predicting the arrival of spring actually predates any groundhog link, stretching back to the ancient Christian holiday of Candlemas. According to an old English rhyme:

“If Candlemas Day be fair and bright,

Winter will have another flight;

But if it be dark with clouds and rain,

Winter is gone and will not come again.”

The idea arrived in the U.S. with European immigrants. Though there are many events, the most celebrated is in Punxsutawney, Pa.  Each year, a groundhog named Punxsutawney Phil emerges from his winter’s nap at a place called Gobbler’s Knob. (In fact, he’s looking for a mate.)  According to a local groundhog club, Phil speaks in “Groundhogese” a language understood only by the club president, who translates Phil’s prediction.  This morning, Phil saw his shadow, meaning six more weeks of winter. If he hadn’t, an early spring would’ve been on the way.  It’s all in fun, of course. That’s a good thing for the groundhog: Since 1887, according to one tally, he’s been right only 39 percent of the time.”

The mood in the building was not particularly glum when the news broke that winter is sticking around, and the weather this week certainly seemed to reinforce Phil’s prediction.

Though it may be dark and gloomy outside, the second grade’s study of Matisse has brightened things up inside.

Groundhog Day wasn’t the only mid-winter tradition we observed this week.  The Upper School STEM-X took place this afternoon and the completion was fierce.  I’m glad I’m not a judge for lots of reasons, but even if I wanted to, I don’t have the credentials.  Thanks to the professional scientists on island for volunteering their time!  Stay tuned for the celebration of our winners.

And…speaking of celebrating, LET’S GO EAGLES!

Have a great weekend,


Nantucket New School
15 Nobadeer Farm Road
Nantucket, MA 02554