The Origins of Nichols School’s Yellow Shirt Friday

By Ronald Montesano, Nichols Upper School Spanish teacher and golf coach

Like other private schools around the country, one of the bits of collateral damage from COVID-19 was the absence of traditions and loss of institutional memories. Teams, clubs, and other organizations lost seasons to the pandemic, and with them, the inability to hand down positive traditions that shape our school community. One of the most important faculty traditions at Nichols School is a visible one: the wearing of yellow tops on Friday, also known as “Yellow Shirt Friday.”
This was handed down to me by William F. “Kim” Kimberly, a legend at Nichols. Kim was a Nichols student in the 1940’s, then returned to 1250 Amherst Street to live out his days. He served as a Middle School teacher, school photographer, and helped the development office, among other roles.

William F. "Kim" Kimberly

Back in the day, as they used to say, Friday night at the rink was a big green deal. All the cool kids from First Form (seventh grade) through Sixth Form (12th grade) would unite to cheer Nichols on to frozen victory. The faculty would patrol the decks, and many took to wearing a yellow shirt. Kim was known as the Sheriff of the Rink, and if you saw that yellow shirt headed your way, you were assured of this: he was there to help you, or he was there to hold you accountable for your misdeeds and transgressions.
In memory of Kim, George Truscott, and so many others, and in honor of David Strachan, I and others wear the yellow shirt on Fridays. You can find them in our bookstore, and we hope that you have a special blouse, shirt, polo, sweater, or hoodie that you will save for the fifth day of each school week, to preserve a unique tradition at this institution. You can read here to learn more about Mr. Kimberly.

Former Middle School teachers Kim Kimberly (back left) and George Kloepfer '68 (back right) with students, taken during the 2010-11 school year.

Upper School teachers (from left) Daniel Rabb, Tyler Bosch, Phil Coburn, Andrew Zajdel, Jake Morris, and Jason DeGroat.

Upper School visual arts teacher Andrea Mancuso.

Middle School teachers Kari Achatz (left) and Kate Olena (second from right) and Interim Head of Middle School Greg Plumb '96 (right) pictured with a student joining in Yellow Shirt Friday.

Math and science teacher Josh Ring teaching fifth grade science.

Middle School Spanish teacher Rebeca Redondo.