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 winter tree print





Lighthouse School 

January 2012!
Contact Us
1 Rugged Road
Nantucket, Massachusetts 02554

Winter Semester Visiting Instructor WORKSHOPS

Join Lindsey Toft for Extended Day after school from 2:30-5:10 with visiting instructors on Tuesdays and Thursdays:

  • 1/3-126 Miniature Building Workshop with Tobias Glidden
  • 1/31- 2/23 Yoga for Children with Susan Lazarus
  • 3/6-3/29 Ceramics with Aaron Pszwaro

To learn more about the Extended Day Program or to register, visit our web site.  (Thanks to Georgen Charnes for updating our Web site with this information!)     

Grant News

The Nantucket Lighthouse Middle School is grateful to the Nantucket Land Council for funding granted to the middle school science program. Thanks to the NLC Supported Science Grant, NLMS students will enjoy the use of new microscopes and related science materials in their ongoing studies of pond and microscopic life.


Lighthouse School welcomes a grant from the Nantucket Community Foundation which will enable us to create an extracurricular theatre program for Nantucket's middle school aged children. We also thank NLS alum and current CPS middle schooler Blake Lazarus for inspiring this initiative!

Open House

The Nantucket Lighthouse is hosting an Open House Thursday, January 12, at 5pm at both 1 Rugged Road and the Middle School at St. Paul's Vestry.  Please encourage your friends with school aged children to attend this Open House to learn more about the Lighthouse School.   

Enrollment Season

January, February and March are busy months for enrollment, re-commitment and financial aid for the 2012-2013 school year.   


The series of deadlines in place for re-commitment and new applicants are essential to our ability to serve our students.  The deadlines allow us to prioritize classroom space for already enrolled families and to know how many students we can accept. Once these commitments are in hand, the school proceeds to make critical and expensive decisions about the faculty and resources that will best serve the unique constellation of children filling each classroom.   


Important deadlines include: 



  • 2012-2013 Tuition set by the Board
  • Open House January 12, 5pm 
  • Interviews with prospective families and enrolled families with eligible siblings
  • Financial Aid Information distributed to enrolled and prospective families


  • Re-commitment packets mailed to enrolled families
  • Financial Aid Personal Financial Statements due Feb. 10
  • Financial Aid Letter of Need due Feb. 10  


  • Re-commitments due March 5 
  • Financial Aid Tax form 1040 and W-2 due March 5
  • Acceptances announced March 12 
  • Financial Aid Awards announced March 23
  • New Family Commitments due March 30

If you have any questions or concerns about Admissions, Re-Commitment or Financial Aid, please do not hesitate to contact me to discuss by email, phone: 508.228.0427 or by appointment.   

Cheryl Evans 


Lighthouse Tree!
Did you see it? Special thanks to Sharlene Rudd and Yvonne Gorman for creating the most beautiful tree for the NHA Festival of Trees on behalf of Lighthouse School. Another thank you- the beautiful felt flower decorations were personalized with the names of each student and then given to them as a back to school gift! THANK YOU!!
whaling museum tree 2011
January 2012
Tues. 3rd - Classes resume
Wed. 4th- NLS Board Meets
Th. 12th NLS and NLMS Open House*- 5 p.m.
Mon. 16th- M.L.K. Jr. Birthday- No School
Tues. 24th- Parent Administrative Eve -7-8:30 p.m.

Dear Lighthouse Parents,


Holiday season on Nantucket is like none other I've ever seen, replete with Stroll weekend, our Yuletide Fair and a thrilling assortment of other island festivities bringing families together.january Lighthouse children bring us such joy during the holiday season as they excitedly take part in family holiday events from Santa's harbor-side arrival, to Yuletide Fair craft activities and the presentation of the annual Winter Celebration. Our students exude the anticipation of Christmas that I remember. The joy they experience from these holiday traditions bring smiles to our faces. On behalf of the school, I thank our extraordinary and dedicated parents and staff for their efforts to realize the month's wonderful festivities.


January serves as a "back to normal" month. With all of the time and energy that we expend during the holidays, we all feel a need to pause, exhale and get on with normal life. This makes January an excellent month to focus on family and children in a more relaxed way when we can take the opportunity to focus on our children. It provides the ideal time for reflecting on our children's inner wonders and celebrating their individual qualities. While greeting Lighthouse School youngsters back to school, I noticed they seemed especially animated and ready to share their holiday experiences. For them, the holiday

spirit carries on so why not capture their delight and share it together? One can do this on these cold, dark wintery nights while nestled together reading a book. Just think of the additional joy we can reap from each and every child in these months without the distractions and madness of holiday deadlines if we make it a daily goal to listen to them and all their new found glory.


Let's find time to be at one with our children. I guarantee your child will provide all the necessary energy, entertainment and laughter to make January as spirited a month as December was.

-Charlie Clark


Head of School

Hand and Heart at Work


After waking up early and opening all of his Christmas presents, Eli sat near the tree and said, "I wish it was dark out and heart workI could open my presents again." I knew what he meant. That sentiment was echoed in conversations with adults who concurred with the idea that the best days were those leading up to Christmas rather than the day itself. The spirit of anticipation, which encompasses feelings of hope, excitement, and purpose, is afire in the stringing of lights, baking of gingerbread, and gathering up of tokens for others. In its most materialistic translation, and stripped of its religious roots, Christmas can represent raw materialism for some. Without balance, children can lose its greater meaning. One might feel that it is all about the 'stuff.' However, the magic, generosity and abundance that Santa Claus personifies and the spirit that Christmas elicits can feed the imaginative heart which believes in hope, goodness, and joy... and that there is more to human experience than meets the eye or hand. Part of what children love about Christmas is that the workaday world around them pauses for a moment, people take a break from their pragmatic pursuits, and the festive playfulness and joy that they feel within is reflected, for however so briefly, without.


It is at Christmas that the 'heart and hand' aspects of our Lighthouse curriculum come to the fore as we seek to establish that balance, changing the focus from 'getting' to giving. At Lighthouse School December is a flurry of felting, stitching, glitter and play practice. We harness the bustling energy of the season in those few short weeks leading up to the holiday, engaging children's hands in the work of the heart in the creation of things for those we love. These projects, and many that comprise a Lighthouse student's work the year round, often involve multi-step processes and are executed over a series of days. They represent lessons in focus, patience, perseverance, and working over time to achieve a goal. (See the article 'Crafting a New World' below!) Often we talk about keeping our gifts a surprise and waiting to give them until Christmas morning. Some children don't want to or can't wait. "I already gave it to my mom and she already opened it!" While it may seem insignificant as to whether the gift is given and opened when it comes home or is put away until the 'appointed' day, the waiting until is part of the fun... and part of the lesson.


In the years preceding Lighthouse, I had my own pre-school turned Kindergarten program- A Small School. Returning from Christmas, one mother relayed one of my favorite-ever stories. Her daughter awoke early on Christmas and ran down the stairs and stood gazing at all of the presents under the tree. "Wait!" she exclaimed and turned right around to run upstairs and rummage under her bed. She came down bearing the handmade gifts she had hidden the week before. "I forgot- your presents!"


presentsThis story illustrates what we are working towards- generosity of spirit, a sense of meaningful purpose, the realization of a goal over time. The waiting and anticipation are significant and, interestingly but unsurprisingly, recent studies underscore the importance of these capacities. A study that renewed interest in the capacity for 'delayed gratification' was published recently in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science and originated in one initiated by Walter Mischel and fellow researchers at Stanford University in the 1960's. A group of four-year-olds were asked to delay eating a marshmallow given to them. If a child succeeded for 15 minutes he/she would received additional marshmallows. Why the big deal about marshmallow saving or eating? Well, they decided to track those pre-schoolers in later life and here is what they found (following are excerpts from Sarah D. Sparks' article in Education Week Magazine- link provided below):


  • The findings add to a growing body of research suggesting that a student's ability to delay gratification can be as important to academic success as his or her intelligence.
  • Numerous follow-up and variation studies have found that the preschoolers who managed to delay gratification were also more likely later on to do well in school, avoid substance abuse, maintain a healthy weight, and even perform better on the SAT than peers who couldn't resist temptation.
  •  The studies ...have helped change the way scholars and educators think about why students succeed academically. In a separate self-control study, Angela L. Duckworth, an assistant psychology professor at the University of Pennsylvania, even found that self-control was a better predictor of a student's academic performance than an IQ test.


These are particularly pertinent findings when we have grown accustomed to the speed and instant gratification that we expect in our increasingly technological times. Modern culture and our evolving lifestyle are not cultivating the qualities our children most need to sustain them in life. As a result, parents and teachers need to thoughtfully create and provide experiences which do. The art of being human is complex in its simplicity and we have a responsibility to educate the whole person- head, heart, and hand. While it is heartening to see research that speaks to the work we do with children, we see the results of this work in the world.


Last Christmas I ran into a Lighthouse alum, now a teenager, browsing the yarn selection at the knit shop. He was starting a project as a Christmas gift. This Christmas, one of his fellow graduates was found doing the same for someone special- and this was a boy who was not a fan of knitting when at Lighthouse. "I know- I didn't like to then but I actually like it now ...and I'm good at it."



Happy New Year,


Lizbet Carroll Fuller

Director of Education/Co-Founder


Related articles worth taking a look at:

Study Reveals Brain Biology Behind Self-Control by Sarah D. Sparks/Education Week



Don't! By Jonah Lehrer/The New Yorker


Crafting a New World-

 Excerpted from an Utne Magazine article by Suzanne Ramljack

 (See link below for entire article.)


There is a craftsperson in everyone, according to heart and handRichard Sennett. But don't spend too much time plumbing your psyche for a latent woodworker, quilter, or metalsmith. Craftsmanship, according to Sennett, a sociologist at New York University and the London School of Economics, both includes and eclipses the endeavors that might jump to mind. It is an "enduring, basic human impulse, the desire to do a job well for its own sake," he writes. It's also an impulse that contemporary culture, with its obsessive embrace of efficiency, financial reward, and the bottom line, has devalued-to its own detriment.


Since the 1990s, Sennett has worked to dissect and illuminate how capitalism affects us. His latest book, The Craftsman (Yale University Press), explores how "making is thinking," and what is lost in a society that fails to recognize craftsmanship and what is learned through using our hands.

The author sees in craft and craftsmanship the development of critical thinking, imagination, the ability to play, a source of pride, even validation of our existence. And there may be no better time than now, as people are engaged in a broad discussion of "what next," to take heed of his ideas. One emerging theme of the post-financial-meltdown world is that many of us do not wish to return to the way work was.

In this interview, reprinted from American Craft, Sennett speaks with Suzanne Ramljak, a writer, art historian, and editor of Metalsmith magazine. They discuss his work, his diagnosis of American culture, and a craft-based prescription for change.


-The Editors/Utne Magazine

For complete article, click on the link below:

Crafting a New World/Utne Magazine/Suzanne Ramljak


Spotlight on our Lighthouse Faculty:

Middle Primary Teachers Kate Pelletier and Courtney Nemeth


Kate Pelletier

Kate was born on Nantucket and returned to the island in the summers to work, many times caring for children. She earned her B.A. at Lafayette College, majoring in English and Art History, Kate moved back to Nantucket year-round after living in Brooklyn NY, where she was painting and taking classes at Parsons School of Design. She worked for island architects and designers, commuted to Rhode Island School of Design to take kateclasses in interior design, and fulfilled her goal of traveling internationally before pursuing her interest in working with children. Kate felt right at home walking into Lighthouse and soon took over the position of Primary Class Teaching Assistant mid-year before taking on her own Small School class the next year. While moving on with many of her Small School students to teach Kinderclass and then Primary, Kate earned her M.Ed. from Bridgewater State University through a program with fellow island educators. Kate now teaches a Middle Primary class and, in her spare time, paints and plays (a.k.a. walks) with her dog Nelson.



Courtney Nemeth  

courtneyCourtney grew up in the Mid-West and landed on Nantucket after studying in London and securing an internship with Maria Mitchell Association in environmental education. She then returned to Ohio to finish her B.A. in Early Childhood Education at Ohio University and taught for a year while earning her M. Ed. in Reading Education and Diagnostics. She searched for a school where she could share her love of nature with children and fulfill her wish to educate the whole child. She found and joined the Lighthouse School in 2010. Courtney tutors children privately, chairs the Youth Committee for the Nantucket Triathlon Club, and co-owns and runs Nantucket Bike Tours. She loves to run, read, bike and cook.

December's Creations in the Middle School


The creation of holiday gifts and projects occupied us through the few short weeks of December- sewing, cross-stitch, and felting were some of the activities students worked on for the Yuletide Fair. This work inspired quiet and collaborative conversations and teamwork as students focused on their handiwork. At the same time classes were working on theatrical projects related to their history and language art studies which they performed at  our Winter Celebration.


The sixth grade Cultural Studies class wrote a script based on the Ancient Roman myth of Romulus and Remus and painted scenery for their play. Having been introduced to the beginnings of Rome through Virgil's epic tale of Aeneas, students learned aboutshe wolf his wild descendants who were raised by a She-Wolf. The class was inspired by the story of the twin founders of Rome and took it upon themselves to write a play for Winter Celebration based on the tale. 


The eighth grade English class adapted scenes from a Shakespearean play they had read this fall, A Mid-Summer Nishakespeareght's Dream. With the expert help of Spanish teacher and actor Bradford Garrison, students brought parts of Shakespeare's play and his use of iambic pentameter to life as they practiced scenes with attention to meaning, expression, and voice intonations. They painted scenery and designed and stitched their own costumes. Art serves not only a means of creative expression,  it encompasses an array of intellectual and social learning opportunities as well. Working together to create a theatrical presentation takes thought, teamwork, and patience. It teaches us to transform 'mistakes' into learning experiences. 


Gail Clark

NLMS Program Director




'Twas the Season...


THANK YOU to all who worked so hard on behalf of Lighthouse School over the past weeks! The annual Wreath Sale successfully raised $4,500. Thank you to Denise Riseborough for organizing the Wreath Sale and to the many families who supported this fundraiser and solicited wreath orders within the community.


This year, the Yuletide Committee, chaired by Liza Ottani and Nicole Bousquet, and  Yuletide Posteroutdid themselves by not only putting on a wonderful Yuletide Fair but also a 'pop-up' Yuletide Shop for stroll! Lighthouse thanks Gerry White for so generously allowing us to use the open shop space on the corner of Centre and Chestnut Streets. The shop proved to be a popular addition to Stroll Weekend and expanded upon the success of the annual fair, held this year at the Great Harbor Yacht Club. THANK YOU Liza, Nicole and Syd for your incredible leadership, dedication and enthusiasm. Additionally, thank you to Sydney Fee Barsanti, Georgie Sharman for her crafting and leadership, Georgen Charnes for her beautiful graphics and assistance with advertising and PR, Yuletide Bake Shop Chairs Sheila Carroll and Mary Taaffe, Volunteer Organizer Mary Casey, Children's Activities Organizer Lisa Wisentaner, Carlos and Joelma Moreira and family for overseeing the Yuletide Café, Berta Scott for donating massages, and Cary Hazlegrove and Alix Houghton for festive holiday photos.

Lighthouse thanks the AAN and artists who participated in the art show. Special thanks to Amy Roberts who energetically jumped into her first events as our new Events Manager.


We had nearly 100% of the parent community participating in this event, resulting in the success of the pop-up Stroll Store and the Yuletide Fair. Thanks to all who worked pricing, crafting, baking, basket making, posting flyers and signs, and volunteering in various capacities throughout the set up and day of the event. Yuletide is truly a reflection of the dedication and support of every parent and family involved with Lighthouse School. As a result of the school's efforts, the pop-up store and Yuletide Fait raised over $21,000!


lorraine mrs santaThe Yuletide Fair was departing Events Coordinator Lorraine Milstead's farewell performance for Lighthouse School. We thank Lorraine for lending her capable and gracious hand to our fund-raising events over the last year and wish her the very best in her new endeavors. Speaking of which, does Mrs. Santa look somehow familiar?