By Donna Milani Luther, Head of School
I’m very proud to announce that Inly School has become the first Montessori school to join NEPSAC, the New England Preparatory School Athletic Council. NEPSAC was established in 1942 as an organization of athletic directors from accredited New England independent schools. There are now over 175 schools in the league and four districts. Starting next fall, Inly’s soccer team will compete in 3–5 games against other NEPSAC schools in our district (District 3) and Inly’s running team will compete in 3–5 races in the spring.
This exciting athletic milestone is in large part thanks to the work of Jabari Scutchins, Inly’s new Athletic Director. Since joining Inly’s faculty last year, Jabari has worked hard to bring our athletic programs to the next level. This has included offering Boot Camp, continuing our Play60 Youth NFL football program at the South Shore YMCA in Hanover, and starting Team Inly.
Inly Bootcamp, or “IBC,” is an early morning exercise program designed to stimulate brain activity and prepare students for concentrating on the school day ahead. IBC has been offered this year on Mondays and Wednesdays to LE students and Tuesdays and Thursdays to UE and MS students for 30 minutes.
Inly offered a Play60 Youth NFL football program at the Hanover YMCA in the fall, coached by Jabari Scutchins and Inly parent, Mike Benning. We have also included a flag football team this spring as part of our after-school programming. The flag football team is co-ed and has been very popular with both our male and female student athletes.
Jabari has also initiated Team Inly, which is comprised of faculty and staff, students, and parents who represent Inly at local sporting events including road races, walks, bike rides, and more. The goal of Team Inly is to unite the Inly community around healthy physical activities. Thus far, members of Team Inly have participated in the Holly Hill Farm 5K this fall, the Feed the Need 5K this spring, and plan to participate in the Hingham 4th of July Road Race this summer.
In addition to competing in NEPSAC, Inly’s fall soccer team will continue to compete in the Massachusetts Montessori Athletic Conference (MAC). The Montessori Athletic Conference is celebrating its 5th anniversary this year and is hosting a 5K in Lexington Montessori this weekend to commemorate the achievement. (All are welcome to participate and race details can be found here).
Last month, Julie Kelly-Detwiler, our Assistant Head of School, wrote a very interesting and personal perspective piece debunking some of the misconceptions about Montessori and competition (see “Misconceptions About Montessori and Competition.”)
“It is clear to me that Maria Montessori was not against competition. As the first female physician in Italy, she was a woman of great drive and accomplishment. Rather, Montessori held a revolutionary idea that the adult’s role is to create a learning environment that entices children to explore and develop their potential through intrinsic motivation, and not one that uses the artificial construct of competition as motivation. She understood what behavioral scientists in the 21st century have come to know as well, that extrinsic rewards and punishments—such as grades, class ranking, and awards—are the worst kinds of motivators to sustained achievement and often work against the children they are meant to serve.”
As our athletic programs grow, it is our hope that our students continue to learn about teamwork, respect, competition, and many other valuable life lessons. It is also our hope that our participation in NEPSAC not only complements but enhances our existing athletic programming and gives students who crave additional competition the chance to challenge themselves.
Please stay tuned for future updates about more exciting changes in Inly Sports & Athletics!