“I’m not done yet”—Bernie Noe Announces Dramatic Return to Lakeside School

On a cold Tuesday morning in early January 2021, Lakeside students, faculty, alumni, and families received the shock of a lifetime: Bernie Noe was retiring as head of Lakeside School. The news spread like a wildfire: phones dinged, and group chats buzzed with students trying to confirm the authenticity of the news. Tears were shed, and many were in denial. It seemed like the day would never come, but Bernie Noe, centerpiece of Lakeside’s identity, was finally leaving. “Who’s going to take over?” “What’s going to happen to our competencies and mindsets? “Will we make a Bernie statue in Red Square?”—all questions that circled in the aftershocks of the news. But a year or so later on March 13, 2022, all questions were laid to rest when a Tatler inside news analyst discovered that Mr. Noe and the Lakeside Board of Trustees were finalizing a one-year deal to reinstate him as head of school; on March 16, the contract was signed, confirming the legendary return of Bernie Noe.

Tatler requested a short interview with Mr. Noe regarding his decision to return to Lakeside and is thrilled to share inside details on what many consider to be the greatest comeback story in modern history.

AB: Mr. Noe, can you just tell us, in all honesty, what inspired you to make this dramatic return?

Sitting poolside in my suit and tie, I thought to myself, ‘I belong in Bliss Hall! Not the Bahamas!’

BN: The idea came to me during midwinter break when I took a vacation to the Bahamas to enjoy the white sand beaches and warm weather. While it was relaxing, I just couldn’t get Lakeside out of my mind. Sitting poolside in my suit and tie, I thought to myself, “I belong in Bliss Hall! Not the Bahamas!” So I packed my bags and left my vacation three days early. I didn’t even go home from the airport; I dragged my suitcase through Red Square right to my office in Bliss and immediately got to work. I fashioned an email to the Board of Trustees reading, “I’m not done yet” and then promptly got to work with my plans for 2022-23.

AB: That is some serious dedication to this institution, but what’s going to happen to your supposed replacement?

BN: No comment.

AB: Many believed that your decision to un-retire is similar to Michael Jordan’s return to basketball and back-to-back-to-back NBA titles with the Chicago Bulls in the ’90s. In your return, do you hope to have as big of an impact in the Lakeside community as MJ had for Chicago?

BN: Well, I don’t compare myself to others too often, but I don’t think Michael Jordan’s return will even be in the same conversation as mine when it’s all said and done. I mean, look at my friend Tom Brady! Didn’t even take him a day to come back to football after he heard I was coming back to Lakeside.

AB: Tell us more about your relationship with Tom Brady; it seems like you two have an interesting connection.

BN: Well, I’m sure you all know Tom well. He won six Super Bowls in 20 years with the Patriots; I fought with the Patriots during the Revolutionary War… so we definitely have this natural bond. After his first Super Bowl, we made a deal that he could only retire from football when I was no longer head at Lakeside. He regretted that decision pretty quickly as he was nearing 15 years in the league, and I was showing no signs of stopping at Lakeside. He started telling the press that he was “planning on playing until 45,” but in reality, he was just stuck because of our bet.

AB: Well, that is certainly a fascinating story. Before we go, would you like to give our readers a sneak peek into your plans for the upcoming year?

BN: Yes—Proficiencies and Mentalities: a completely new system of re-envisioning at Lakeside.