School News

School News

Accolades for Max Difazio '18 and Jerry Chen '18

Congratulations to Max Difazio '18, who was accepted into the New Jersey Governor's STEM Scholars program. This highly selective program accepts student leaders who are interested in STEM, and introduces them to STEM initiatives across all sectors in New Jersey – academia, industry, and government. Max was accepted as one of 77 Scholars from over 600 applicants. Congratulations also to Jerry Chen '18, who was accepted into the Governor's School of Engineering & Technology at the Rutgers University School of Engineering this past summer. As a result of his participation in this program, a research paper Jerry and his fellow students submitted to the MIT Undergraduate Research Technology Conference was accepted for presentation at the 2017 Conference. Click the headline to read more.

Join Us for the First Parents Association Meeting of the Year, 9/26

Please join the Princeton Day School Parents Association for the first meeting of the school year on Tuesday, September 26 at 8:15 a.m., in the McAneny Theater. At this meeting, parents will have the opportunity to hear from Head of School Paul Stellato on the state of the school and plans for the upcoming year. In addition, Upper School History Teacher and Global Studies Coordinator Maria Shepard will give a brief presentation about the School's Global Studies Program. Finally, Parents Association President Shari Phillips will offer information about upcoming events and ways to get involved with the Parents Association this year. All parents are invited and encouraged to attend.

Princeton Day School Announces Three National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists

Princeton Day School is proud to announce that Naveen Bhatia '18, Sophie Feldman '18, and Michelle Leung '18 have been selected as Semifinalists in the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program. These students were among the approximately 16,000 Semifinalists named in the annual National Merit Scholarship Program, and have the opportunity to continue in the competition for 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth about $33 million that will be offered in the spring. Congratulations!

Convocation 2017

It was a stunning morning with sunshine and blue skies as the entire student body and faculty and staff gathered on the Colross lawn for Convocation. After an invocation by Middle School history teacher Hank Bristol, and a lovely performance by the Madrigals, Head of School Paul Stellato introduced Rebecca Bushnell '70, our new Board Chair. Dr. Bushnell spoke about her experiences at Princeton Day School, her career at the University of Pennsylvania, and why she is serving as our Board Chair: "I've spent most of my life in school, I just love school, and I really love this school." In addition, she offered great advice to everyone for the year ahead: take care of each other. Click to headline for more, and a link to a photo album.

New Exhibit at the Art Gallery: Art Council of Princeton's 50th Anniversary Invitational

The Anne Reid '72 Art Gallery at Princeton Day School is pleased to present works from the Arts Council of Princeton's 50th Anniversary Invitational Exhibition, running from September 11 through October 5. There will be an opening reception on Saturday, September 23 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at the Art Gallery that is free and open to the public. Works from Invitational will also be on view in the Arts Council's Taplin Gallery, as well as on the second floor of the Princeton Public Library (for more, visit For more information, please click on the headline.

Spotlight on Community Service: Hurricane Relief

The Princeton Day School community is coming together to raise awareness and funds to support the relief efforts for communities recovering from Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma. Students in all three divisions are participating in a "Pay to PJ" Day on Monday, September 18, in which each student and faculty/staff member may donate a suggested amount of $2 to wear their pajamas to school and raise funds for a specific needed supply, such as blankets. Click the headline to read more.

Princeton Day School Unveils New STEAM Center

Princeton Day School is honored to announce the opening of a new state-of-the-art STEAM Center in the Upper School. The space, which is already being used by students and faculty for a variety of new science, technology, engineering, arts, and math interdisciplinary courses, is a top-to-bottom renovation of the former computer lab space in the Upper School, housed between the corridors that flank the math and foreign language classrooms (incidentally, these classrooms were also completely renovated). The STEAM Center is the fruit of the labors of the STEAM Committee, appointed by Head of School Paul Stellato and chaired by Dr. Leon Rosenberg, who worked last year to design both a new interdisciplinary STEAM curriculum and a space to house the new program. Click on the headline to read more.

Announcing the 2017 Miss Fine's Center Fellows

Tara Quigley, director of the Miss Fine's Center at Princeton Day School, has announced the 2017 Miss Fine's Center Fellows. Through the generosity of the Center, the Fellows engage in interdisciplinary work and share their findings with their faculty colleagues, as well as in forums beyond the school community, including national independent school conferences and other discipline-specific professional gatherings. Click the headline to read about this year's Fellows.

Welcome to Our New Faculty and Staff

Princeton Day School faculty and staff were back on campus this week for orientation and opening meetings, and we are delighted to welcome the following new members of the Princeton Day School team. In the Upper School:

Thatcher Cook will teach photography to Upper School students this year. A professional photographer and published author, Thatcher has a portfolio in documentary and commercial photography, and experience as a teacher and mentor. He has studied at the University of Southern Maine, Bowdoin, and NYU.

Alison Distefano will teach chemistry in the Upper School. She earned her BS at Gettysburg College and a PhD in chemistry at Rutgers University. Most recently, Alison taught chemistry and biology to upper school students at the Ranney School, and has served as an adjunct professor at Kean University.

Click the headline to read more.

Panthers Are...

Princeton Day School welcomed back our Upper School student-athletes on August 21 to kick off pre-season sports. After practice, our student-athletes from all teams and all grades in the Upper School, as well as student-athletes from the 8th grade class, were invited to the campus center for lunch and a special presentation about promoting character through athletics called "Panthers Are." Director of Athletics Tim Williams, who hosted the event, noted "The goal of this seminar is to promote character through athletics and, more specifically, create leaders who promote character, leadership, and respect through participation in athletics both on our teams and beyond." Click the headline to read more.

Chase Fleming '17 and Christopher Kiel '18 Receive Athletic Accolades

Congratulations to recent graduate Chase Fleming '17, who played with his American Legion team this summer and won the State Championship and Regional Championship. The team is now competing at the American Legion World Series in North Carolina. Rising senior and competitive fencer Christopher Kiel was named to both the All American First Team and the All Academic First Team from USA Fencing. He has been named to the All Academic Team for three years in a row. This is the first time USA Fencing designated an All American team for high schoolers.

Jason Robinson Appointed Headmaster of St. Alban's School for 2018-19 Academic Year

Head of School Paul Stellato announced this morning that Jason Robinson, Head of the Upper School and Assistant Head of School for Academic Life, has been appointed Headmaster of St. Alban's School in Washington, DC. Mr. Robinson's appointment is effective July 1, 2018. During his four years at Princeton Day School, Mr. Robinson has led a series of ambitious school-wide efforts, including a new academic schedule, to be introduced this fall, as well as an integrated core curriculum program for all ninth graders. Click the headline to read more.

Three Princeton Day School Students Win Awards at Woodworking Competition

Congratulations to Walter Emann '19, Giulia Gerschel '19, and Chris Klein '19 for winning awards at the AWFS Fair Fresh Wood Competition. The AWFS Fair is the pre-eminent biennial woodworking show in North America, and attracts more than 15,000 attendees and hundreds of exhibitors from the U.S. and abroad. This year, the show was held in Las Vegas from July 19 through July 22, and had a record-breaking 195 entries from schools in the United States and Canada. Only 27 students won awards. Giulia Gerschel won first place in the special theme of lighting and Walter Emann won second place in the same theme. Chris Klein won second place in the seating category. For more information about the competition, read this article in Woodworking Network. Congratulations!

Renita Zaparde '18 Receives Prudential Spirit of Community Award

Rising senior Renita Zaparde '18 was honored with a bronze medallion for being named a Distinguished Finalist in the 2017 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards for her work with Pedal2Prosperity, a nonprofit that she founded that has provided 510 bicycles to orphaned girls in Africa and India to help them stay in school. As the Prudential website notes, "Inspired by a girl she met in India who had to walk three miles each way to get to school, Renita is also working to raise awareness amongst U.S. high school students about the struggles orphans face in developing countries; so far, her group has conducted more than 140 school Skype sessions." Click the headline to read more.

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.

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