School News

School News

Why Service Learning Matters

Head of School Paul Stellato created the position of Director of Service Learning in October 2017 to renew and strengthen the School's commitment to service in the 21st century. The School's work to re-envision Community Service as Service Learning truly began to blossom a year later, in 2018, when the PDS community collectively chose Service Learning to be our Middle States Focus for sustaining excellence.

Here, Director of Service Learning Margie Wallace Gibson '84 outlines the successful and purposeful rollout so far, with examples of how tweaks in the Service Learning approach are transforming outcomes across the School. She offers must-read insight into our Service Learning model that's relevant now and throughout the year.

PDS Soccer Standouts Named Three of Mercer County's Top Girls Soccer Players

Congratulations to Riley Felsher '20, Ariana Jones '20 and Jules Romano '21 for being honored at the 25th Annual Awards Ceremony last month by Mercer 33 as three of the top Mercer County High School girls' soccer players. All three players were also named to the All Prep first team by the Trentonian and were instrumental in the Panther Girls Varsity Soccer team's continuing reign as Prep B State champs. At the ceremony, Coach Trombetta described the character and skills of each of these stars and highlighted their accomplishments. The team has earned five NJISAA Prep B State Championships and one Mercer County Championship over six consecutive seasons and is poised to continue its winning ways with these returning players.

It's Pretty STEAMy in the Art Gallery Now Through January 11!

Come see the student exhibition of STEAM innovations now through January 11 in the Anne Reid '72 Art Gallery -- and if you can't get to PDS, check out the Flickr album and summary highlights of these impressive exhibits here! User-centered design thinking is at the heart of the innovations on display, which were developed to solve real-world challenges and user needs in multiple STEAM courses offered at PDS (along with a few independent projects submitted by students). The Gallery is free and open to the public during school hours on days when school is in session.

Musicianship at PDS Is Reaching New Heights

Don't miss the tantalizingly brief video included in this story! Dr. Rzeczycki reveals why instrumental music in the Middle and Upper Schools keeps getting even better and how the expansion of the US orchestra has influenced his choices of some signature symphonic experiences at the Instrumental Winter Concert on December 11 at 7pm in McAneny Theater. Virtuosic band and orchestra performances of works that cross cultures, time and genres will provide sensational musical experiences for everyone. The Upper School band, directed by Channing McCullough, will open the instrumental program with rhythmically irresistible arrangements from samba to what is arguably considered the most lyrical heavy metal composition of all time. Closing the evening, Dr. R.'s Upper School orchestra showcases works by some stellar symphonic composers, including a spine-tingling overture by Mozart; an enigmatic variation by Sir Edward Elgar, part of a group of compositions believed to involve a hidden melody thread; an atmospheric theme by contemporary film score composer Alan Silvestri, a frequent collaborator with film director Robert Zemeckis; and a gorgeous duet by master of the tango Carlos Gardel, featured in films including Schindler's List and Scent of a Woman, performed with dance and violin.

PDS Faculty and Students Attend NAIS People of Color Conference

The PDS contingent at this year's NAIS People of Color Conference and Student Diversity Leadership Experience included six students: Benjamin Bigdalle '21, Sophia Chaves '21, David Coit '19, Skylar Hall '19, Fechi Inyama '20 and Jomar Meekins '20; and 14 faculty across all three divisions: Alana Allen, Victor Cirilo, Daniel Cohen, Laurence Farhat, Margie Gibson, Tarshia Griffin-Ley, Alex Lasevich, Caroline Lee, Amy Matlack, Anthony McKinley, Elizabeth Monroe, Jason Park, Michelle Simonds and Chandra Smith.

This conference is an unparalleled opportunity to network with other students and faculty from independent schools across the country and access resources and shared learning across areas ranging from self-advocacy and leadership development to inclusion and equity support systems; understanding the process of identifying bias to facilitating conversations about current events across developmental ages and stages; and how to integrate diversity, inclusion and equity into existing programming.

Several PDS attendees offered powerful reflections that reveal the impact of this conference experience and the energy it promotes to continue implementing best practices throughout our learning community.

In Memory of Kay McClure: Gathering on Campus, Saturday, December 8

A gathering to remember Kay McClure, wife of Princeton Day School's founding Head of School, Doug McClure, will be held at Princeton Day School on Saturday, December 8, at 2pm. Location: David Mathey '47 Arts Atrium in the Edward and Marie Matthews Arts Wing. After parking, please enter via the School's main entrance.

Eye-Opening Peer Leadership Evening for Parents and Students:

This week's Peer Leadership evening for Upper School parents and students exemplifies the best in pro-active, student-led community-building at PDS. Director of Wellness Services Dr. Candy Shah, who was tasked by Head of School Paul Stellato with a leading role in coordinating leadership programming, shares about the School's distinctive and highly intentional student leadership efforts. "Student leadership at PDS is probably one of the biggest mission skills we try to impart on our students to prepare them for the world beyond graduation," notes Dr. Shah.

Princeton Day School Earns Coveted Four-Star Green Restaurant Award

PDS joins an elite group of only three other secondary schools in the nation to have achieved four-star status from the Green Restaurant Association for their demonstrable efforts to provide sustainable food service. Congratulations to PDS Sustainability Coordinator Liz Cutler, Flik Director Brian Mochnal, Chef Mason Irving, the Flik team and the PDS community for their ongoing commitment to dining green! Learn more about sustainability programming at PDS here.

How the Thrill of Stage Combat Begat This Year's Middle School Play

There's nothing better than stage combat when you're a Middle School actor, and the upcoming performance of The Trials of Robin Hood has plenty of opportunities to showcase safe stage combat skills. What's even more exciting, though, are the many ways this whole-body learning and performance experience challenges students to go beyond memorization and become ultimate problem-solvers. Middle School Theater Director Jonathan Martin reveals the genius of theater for Middle Schoolers as a thrilling source of teamwork, identity development and a commitment to the art of the story as well as the audience. Don't miss the show on Friday, December 7 at 7:30pm in McAneny Theater! (No ticket required!)

Three PDS Field Hockey Players Named to First Team at Central Jersey Field Hockey Coaches Association Banquet

A trio of PDS field hockey award winners PDS seniors Gwen Allen and Val Radvany and junior Lexie Hausheer were awarded first team selections at the Central Jersey Field Hockey Coaches Association banquet that was held at Mercer Oaks Country Club yesterday afternoon, making PDS the only school bestowed that honor in Mercer County. Senior Sasha Sindhwani received CJFHCA Honorable Mention honors. Congratulations to the players and their fantastic coach, Heather Farlow!

Wesley Leggett '19 Signs with UCONN to Play Division 1 Men's Soccer

Wesley Leggett '19 signs with University of Connecticut, flanked by his parents, Terrence and Latrice Leggett. Back row left to right: Associate Head of School Lisa Surace, Varsity Boys Soccer Assistant Coach Bonniwell Graham, Varsity Boys Soccer Coach Ollie Hilliker, Associate Director of College Counseling Cynthia Michalak, Head of Upper School Trixie Sabundayo and Director of Upper School Athletics Tim Williams.

Poet Deborah Landau Discusses Her Craft with Students

Acclaimed poet Deborah Landau recently hosted the combined Upper School Poetry and Gender and Lit English classes, then led a second session with the student NOW group, interested students and the English faculty.

An author of four collections of poetry and winner of numerous awards, Landau was funny, engaging, candid and thoughtful as she read from her work and shed fascinating light on her subject areas and process.

Next up: The 22nd Poet Laureate of the U.S., Tracy K. Smith, will visit the School on January 4 as the first artist visitor of the 2019 Imagine the Possibilities program, made possible thanks to the John D. Wallace, Jr. '78 Memorial Guest Artist Series Fund.

PDS Model UN Delegation Named Outstanding Large Delegation at Princeton University Conference

"Model UN has become an extremely important activity at schools across the country in recent years" says longtime MUN faculty advisor Eamon Downey, adding, "Today it's akin to an interscholastic sport in terms of the strength of the delegations and level of commitment required. Princeton Day School has developed a reputation right up there with the best schools, and in fact last summer we were named among the top 25 best in the country for Model UN." Here, Downey reveals the inner workings of Model UN at PDS and how the key to its continued success has been student-led leadership and commitment combined with a self-perpetuating student-mentoring model.

Founding group of PDS REx Students Celebrated at Reception This Week

A Monday evening reception capped off more than a year of work for each of the seven seniors selected last year for the Research Experience Program. REx is a groundbreaking STEAM program that started in the classroom with independent research studies and extended this past summer to university lab experiences the students pursued. , the School's twice yearly magazine (at the printer now!).

Kindness Day Is Every Day at Lower School

For the month of November, ushering in the season of giving, gratitude is the theme actively being practiced across the Lower School. Pointing out the wealth of scientific research on the physical and psychological benefits of practicing gratitude, Ms. Klein emphasized that "Gratitude jars, gratitude journals and gratitude circles are just some of the ways we help our students take time to reflect on what they are thankful for and reap the many benefits of this practice . . . even thinking about the small things for which we are grateful each day can increase one's happiness, empathy, compassion, achievement and one's physical well-being.

On Veterans Day, Holocaust Survivor Speaks to Upper School Students

On this Veteran's Day roughly marking 80 years since Kristallnacht, Ms. Trudy Klein Gompers told her experience of the Holocaust with profound clarity and directness to a silent theater filled with Upper School students and faculty. Her visit was made possible through the Holocaust Council. Ms. Gompers' message was both a gripping remembrance and a plea "not to lose sight of our common humanity, our common values and our common decency" as she encouraged students "to find beauty in our differences. It's up to you. It's up to all of us. We have to learn to listen instead of reacting."

Fall Sports Awards Presented This Week

Panther pride and big cheers for all 2018 Upper School Fall Sports players and coaches, celebrated this week at the Upper School gathering, which ended with the always-entertaining Fall Sports video slideshow. Students and faculty enjoyed the opportunity to show their appreciation for the dedication and accomplishments of the varsity and junior varsity tennis, cross country, boys soccer, girls soccer and field hockey teams as highlighted by Upper School Athletics Director Tim Williams. Special shoutouts were in order for all of the individual award winners on the teams.

Spotlight on New Student Jenny Fan '22

New freshman Jenny Fan '22 was looking for a school that had it all: an inclusive and warm community, top course options, and strong performing arts all happening in an environment that offers the flexibility to remain actively involved in regional pursuits she also cherishes. She has found that and more at Princeton Day School, while the School also recognizes the potential it finds in Jenny.

Solebury School, Springside Chestnut Hill Academy Tournament
Springside Chestnut Hill Academy
Springside Chestnut Hill Academy Tournament, Friends Central
Springside Chestnut Hill Academy

In the Spotlight

Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith on Campus Jan. 4

Imagine the Possibilities

Lower School Holiday Concerts Dec. 18 (PreK-2) & 19 (3rd-4th)

8:30am in the McAneny Theater

Middle School Strings Concert

 Dec. 17 at 7pm

Come to the Upper School Instrumental Concert

 Dec. 11 at 7pm

Hanukkah Latkes Celebration 12/6 at 7pm

Join Us in the Campus Center

First Year of Innovation: STEAM Gallery Reception

Join Us 12/4 at 12:30pm

Join Us for the Next PA Meeting Nov. 8

Learn About Special Guests

Come Celebrate Diwali Together at PDS!

Learn More and Register

Best Harvest Festival Ever!


10/3 Parents Association Meeting to Feature Guest Speakers

Learn More

Community Garden Day 9/22

Photos from the day

Fall Weekend is Sept. 22

See What's Happening!

2018 Matriculation

See Where We're going!

Back to School Information Posted!

Read Now

Summer Reading!

assignments by grade

Celebrating the 2017-18 Retirees

Video & Remarks