The event honored members of the Sureau family, Adam and Melanie Sureau, parents of Alexander TG’20 and Sophie ’28, and grandparents Carole and Jean-Claude Sureau. The family's multi-generational gift was instrumental in bringing the building to fruition. Adam Sureau remarks: “both of our kids love school and we know their experiences at Nashoba Brooks has helped to make them more thoughtful and caring people. This gift helps to honor how important this school has been to our family and to our children.” While they were initially hesitant to highlight their family’s participation in the project, the Sureau family hopes the naming will encourage and inspire other multigenerational gifts to the School’s capital campaign. “We are a very close-knit family. We ski together, we play soccer together, we play chess together; it makes sense that we would make this gift together,” remarked Carole Sureau. She adds, “one of my hopes is to help educate the students to take better care of the environment.”
The discovery barn’s design celebrates the natural environment through its use of natural light, outdoor learning spaces, and sustainable, green design; all elements that were important to the Sureaus. “We are an active family,” says Melanie, “and we love the outdoors. The barn is situated perfectly to view nature and to integrate with the garden and the outdoor spaces.” Our students can create obstacle courses for their robotics competitions, study birds from the porch, attend morning yoga classes, prepare for hikes and pond study, and explore rhythm and improvisation in a space created to maximize program flexibility and connection to nature. As a launchpad to the School’s outdoor learning spaces, the barn enhances students’ skill development as stewards of the natural world.
Highlights from the event included piano performances by Emma Wonsey ’20 and Sophie Sureau, both of whom started their piano lessons at Nashoba Brooks with Ms. Demayo; and the unveiling of an oil painting of the discovery barn by Kathryn Moriarity ’03, which was given to the Sureau family in thanks for their inspirational gift.
Head of School Danielle Heard noted, “This is a space with strong roots in our School’s history and in our vision for the future. From the beginning, Nashoba Brooks School has been a place that has embraced exploration, connection with the natural environment, extension of learning beyond the classroom, and simple elegance. This building is a perfect reflection of our values, our vision, and our commitment to creating inspired education through innovation, inclusivity, and impact. It is flexible, it is dynamic, and it is inspiring. I want to extend my deepest gratitude to the Sureau family and to everyone who made this project possible.”
The Sureau Family Discovery Barn marks the completion of the second phase of The Campaign for Our Future. The campaign is dedicated to transforming campus community spaces to better serve the School’s vibrant program. After the great success of the first two phases, we look forward to the focus on the arts platform, and the enhancement of communal spaces in the Middle School, that will come with phase three.
Photo credit: Joe Wallace P’22 PTG’16