School News

School News

Curtis McGraw Webster '75 Challenge Grant a Success

Princeton Day School is pleased to report that due to the generosity of Curtis McGraw Webster '75, who offered a challenge gift of $50,000 if the School could successfully recruit 75 alumni to make Annual Fund gifts at the leadership level this year, we have successfully reached—and surpassed—the goal, making the challenge grant a success. Director of Alumni Giving Kaylie Keesling reported, "We ended the year at 81 alumni leadership donors, 6 over our goal and 37% over last year's participation level." Please click the headline to read more.

Princeton Day School Welcomes Five New Trustees

Princeton Day School is delighted to welcome the following new trustees to our Board: Ashley Aitken-Davies, Lucy Englander van den Brand '78, Karen Law, Oye Olukotun, MD, MPH, FACC, and Lorraine Sciarra. Click the headline to read about our new trustees. The Princeton Day School Board of Trustees promotes the school's mission, appoints and oversees the head of school, establishes broad policies, plans strategically for the school's future, and develops and stewards the school's financial and capital resources. For more information, please visit

Panther Athletics: Post-Season Accolades

Congratulations to the following student-athletes and coaches for achieving post-season recognition:

Boys Lacrosse

1st Team
Nick Day '17
Jack Amaral '17
Will Brossman '17
Elon Tuckman '18

Click the headline for the full list. Go Panthers!

Panther Alum Davon Reed '13 is 32nd NBA Draft Pick

Davon Reed '13, a PDS legend and a four year standout of the Miami Hurricanes program, was selected 32nd overall by the Phoenix Suns in the National Basketball Association draft yesterday. The PDS community has followed Davon's success on and off the court since he left Princeton Day School for the University of Miami in 2013. Now we will watch him on an even larger stage as a player in the NBA.

PDS Theater Performs at Edinburgh Fringe Festival

This August, Princeton Day School is excited to return to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival to perform Qui Nguyen's "She Kills Monsters," a contemporary play set in the pre-internet 90's and filled with physicality and dramatic combat scenes. The PDS production will be the first licensed production of "She Kills Monsters," professional or amateur, to be performed in the United Kingdom.

Congratulations to the Class of 2017!

On Friday, June 9, Princeton Day School's commencement ceremony took place on the broad Colross lawn under picture-perfect weather—bright sunshine, blue skies, and a light breeze. Head of School Paul Stellato gave a poignant keynote address and offered sage advice to our graduating seniors. The two student speakers, Peter Shannon '17 and Alex Neumann '17, gave wonderful speeches filled with fond and humorous memories of their time at PDS.

Photos from the Middle School Final Assembly

On Wednesday, June 7, the Middle School celebrated the end of the school year in the Lisa McGraw '44 Skating Rink with a jubilant final assembly. Head of School Paul Stellato opened the assembly with his remarks by wishing congratulations to the 8th grade class and recognizing departing MS faculty Nichole Foster-Hinds, Leslie Hagan, Lauran Hocquaux, Drew Lloyd, Carolyn Salgado, and Sylvia Strauss-Debenedetti. Head of Middle School Renée Price opened her speech with a chant ("I say Middle, you say School!"), and relayed some great experiences from this year, including a momentous trip to Echo Park.

Charlotte Williams '12 Wins Prestigious Dodds Prize at Princeton University

Princeton Day School is proud to announce that alum Charlotte Williams '12, a senior at Princeton University, was awarded the prestigious Harold Willis Dodds Achievement Prize at Class Day. The award recognizes the senior who best embodies the qualities of Princeton's 15th president, Harold Dodds, "particularly in the qualities of clear thinking, moral courage, a patient and judicious regard for the opinions of others, and a thoroughgoing devotion to the welfare of the University and to the life of the mind."

Photos from the Lower School Final Assembly

The Lower School celebrated the end of the academic year with a final assembly at the Lisa McGraw '44 Skating Rink on Tuesday, June 6. Head of School Paul Stellato began the assembly talking about the accomplishments of the past year, and the eternal lure of summer (even if the weather wasn't entirely cooperating). All LS students performed memorable musical selections: "Viva la Vida" by the LS Orchestras; "Yellow Bird" by PreK, K, and 1st grade; "Cotton Eyed Joe" by 2nd & 3rd grade; and a rousing medley from the 4th grade operetta, "Peanuts Wanted."

The Second Grade Class Adopts 3 Zoo Animals!

Second grade teacher Susan Ferguson announced that the proceeds from this year's calendar sale would be used to adopt three animals at the Philadelphia Zoo: a polar bear, a jaguar, and a king cobra. The calendar sale is an annual community service project for the second grade: they create the calendars by hand, using their own original artwork, and sell the calendars to faculty, staff, and parents to raise money for a worthy cause.

Middle School Students Learn about Climate Change via the Southern Ocean

On Friday, Middle School science teachers Ron Banas, Jack Madani, and Alli Treese welcomed Greta Shum of Climate Central and video journalist Ted Blanco to campus to talk to students about their recent trip on a ship in the Southern Ocean near Antarctica to study the ancient ocean and its effects on global climate change. Ms. Shum has visited PDS before to talk to students about the Princeton-based Southern Ocean Carbon and Climate Observations Modeling (SOCCOM) project.

Middle School Students Receive Accolades for Math and Poetry

In this week's Middle School Focus assembly, Head of Middle School Renée Price announced that a group of Princeton Day School students were recognized at both a Regional and National level by the Continental Math League (CML), an organization that helps students improve their reading comprehension and problem solving skills. The students recognized at a Regional level missed one question out of all five meets: Jai Kasera '23, Samuel Tang '22, and Gavin Yang '23. The students who received National Awards got every question correct in all five meets: Aaron Phogat '21, Navaneeth Rajan '23, and Liz Zhao '24.

Princeton Day School Announces New Greenhouse on Campus

Head of School Paul J. Stellato recently announced that plans are underway to construct a new greenhouse on campus this summer. The new greenhouse, to be completed in September 2017, is envisioned as a project-based, interdisciplinary classroom for grades PreK-12. Sized to hold a full class, a permanent plant collection, and rotating projects, this space will be a winter classroom for the school's PreK-4 garden program, as well as a research area for all three divisional science classes.

Spring Sports Awards Announced

The spring athletics season is a wrap! Two PDS teams, Varsity Boys Lacrosse and Varsity Girls Lacrosse, picked up Prep B Championship titles, and the Boys Lacrosse team clinched the Mercer County Tournament. On May 25, our Upper School athletes were honored at the Sports Awards ceremony. Here is a video from the ceremony. The following student-athletes were recognized for their accomplishments this past season:

Varsity Girls Lacrosse
Coaches Awards – Madison Mundenar '18 and Abby Atkeson '17
Varsity Award – Morgan Mills '17

Varsity Boys Lacrosse

[ ... ]

The Class of 2017: Matriculation List

Princeton Day School is pleased to post the matriculation list for the Class of 2017. It is an impressive list that includes a broad range of some of the finest schools in our country. It is also worth noting that many of the seniors were awarded generous need and merit-based scholarships to attend college. In announcing this news, Director of College Counseling Sarah Graham remarked: "The Class of 2017 represents a group of spirited, unique, and talented individuals who have taken full advantage of the resources available to them at Princeton Day School. As they enter this next chapter of their lives, they will be enrolling at some of the most highly selective schools in the country."

PDS Students Win an Impressive 69 Scholastic Writing Awards

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards were announced this year, and US English teacher Tom Quigley announced that 29 Upper School students won a total of 69 writing awards. Please see the full list of the award winners below. A special congratulations to Emily Trend '18, who won a National Gold Medal in Poetry for her piece "What I Know." Emily joins senior Shana Levine '17, who won a National Silver Medal in Photography. In the announcement, the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards materials state, "More than 330,000 works of art and writing were submitted by students in grades 7-12 this year, and receiving a National Medal places you within the top 1% of all submissions." Congratulations!

Princeton Day School Welcomes Upper School STEAM Coordinator, Jonathan Tatkon-Coker

Princeton Day School is pleased to welcome Jonathan Tatkon-Coker as its first Upper School STEAM Coordinator for the 2017-2018 academic year. After earning his B.A. in German and Art History, and his B.F.A. in Painting and Photography at Rutgers University, Mr. Tatkon-Coker earned his M.I.D. in Industrial Design at the Pratt Institute. He has worked on multi-disciplinary teams at Cornell University, Nike, Beats by Dre, and Apple, where he developed expertise in industrial design, product development, and mechanical engineering.

Third Grade Class Skypes with Students from Kabul

Third grade teacher Margie Gibson shared that her class has been skyping with a group of students, aged 8-10, from Kabul as a culminating activity for the class's book club. Both groups of students had a shared reading experience, and both groups skyped from their respective libraries. (See photos here.) Mrs. Gibson explained, "Before we read the book, we created a video of our kids speaking their name, their family situation, their favorite animal, and color; and in return, the Afghani children did the same. Both groups then read the wordless book Journey by Aaron Becker. We emailed our book reflections and pictures back and forth." She continued, "This kid-to-kid connection has been pure and wonderful."

Boys Varsity Lacrosse Caps Winning Season with Prep B Crown

Congratulations to the Boys Varsity Lacrosse Team for their 11-2 win over Rutgers Prep to secure the NJISAA Prep B Championship title for the second year in a row. The game, the last of the season, was played on Baker Field yesterday afternoon, with many fans in attendance. Scoring for the win were Elon Tuckman '18 (4), Will Brossman '17 (3), Peter Shannon '17, Tyler Birch '17, Jack Konopka '18, and Coby Auslander '19. Goaltender Connor Green had seven saves. This concludes yet another outstanding season for Coach Rich D'Andrea and PDS boys lacrosse, with a record of 15-2, and two championship titles. Go Panthers!

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