Cancer Awareness Week at Princeton Day School officially begins on Tuesday, January 22. Follow all of the initiatives and coverage on our Cancer Awareness Week landing page and join us to help spread the message of love, hope and support for all those touched by cancer in the PDS community and beyond.
"The big difference between selfies and self-portraits," Middle School art teacher Deva Watson explains, "is that, in general, we create a self-portrait that reflects how we see ourselves." Rather than focusing on others reacting to how we look, Watson adds, the process of creating self-portraits allows us to explore and reflect on the concept of self, personal self-expression and what makes us truly unique and special. Watson's reinterpretation of the School's traditional 8th Grade self portrait assignment has produced thoughtful reflections on identity among her students along with some impressive work.
A reception was held at Hopewell's Gallery 14 on Friday, January 11, 2019, to present featured works of Princeton Day School's advanced photography students. Dozens of PDS students, faculty and parents attended the opening. Check out Gallery 14 while the show remains there this month!
Princeton Day School is shaping a week of events to acknowledge all those in our community who have been impacted by cancer. Cancer Awareness Week, which will occur January 22-25, is the School's opportunity to welcome back Head of School Paul Stellato, to raise awareness about cancer's reach, and to demonstrate our support for everyone who has been touched by this disease. Among the cross-divisional and student-driven Cancer Awareness Week efforts in the works: PDS students, adults and sports teams will wear lavender cancer-awareness laces in school and at sports games held the week of January 22-25, including the annual Boys Varsity Ice Hockey game against rival Lawrenceville at Princeton University's Hobey Baker Memorial Rink on January 24.
The PDS K-9th Grade tournament chess team that competed last weekend at the 53rd Annual Kasparov Chess Foundation Greater New York Scholastic Championship Tournament tied for second place among Junior High teams. The longest-running scholastic tournament in the U.S., the Greater New York Championship event brings 1,500 of the best scholastic players in the nation together for two days of challenging competition.
On Thursday, January 10, PDS competed in the regional Science Olympiad at Camden County Community College. The Upper School team placed third in a field of 20 schools, the highest PDS has ever placed in this event and the first time since 2010 that PDS has won a team award. In just its second year competing in the Science Olympiad, the Middle School team placed eighth, an improvement over last year's 11th place showing.
Middle and Upper School students partnered to host a bake sale to benefit the Herculaneum Conservation Project, which included educating the PDS community with a series of videos and fact-filled posters displayed throughout the School. This is the first of several PDS service learning partnerships across divisions being planned this month.
Tracy K. Smith, the 22nd Poet Laureate of the United States and Director of Princeton University's Program in Creative Writing, visited Princeton Day School on Friday, January 4, 2019 for a day of readings and conversations with Lower, Middle, and Upper School students. Smith's visit was the first of this year's Imagine the Possibilities events, made possible by the John D. Wallace, Jr. '78 Memorial Guest Artist Series Fund.
Congratulations to the mix of new and experienced Princeton Day School Model UN student delegates at last weekend's excellent conference in Edison, NJ. Eyal Yakoby '20, won Best Delegate representing China in the committee on Narcotic Drugs control. Newcomer Lexie Hausheer '20 earned a Verbal Commendation award for her work in the Disarmament and International Security committee representing Belgium. Aidan Njanja Fassu '20 won an Honorable Mention for his role representing the UK Space Agency.
U. S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith will host poetry readings and presentations for Lower, Middle and Upper School students and faculty throughout the day on January 4 thanks to PDS's signature Imagine the Possibilities (ITP) visiting artist program. The School's ITP program, which typically features multiple artist visits each year, has been made possible since 1995 thanks to the John D. Wallace, Jr. '78 Memorial Guest Artist Series Fund. Smith has been traveling the country to often out-of-the-way rural areas to champion poetry and the cultural curiosity, connections and honest conversations it can foster about societal issues, such as racism, that often divide.
Val Radvany '19 signed a letter of intent to play Division 1 field hockey at Michigan State University. The scholar-athlete has enjoyed a stellar four-year varsity career at PDS, scoring 27 goals and 52 assists in that time for a total of 108 points during her PDS career as a back/midfielder. Varsity Field Hockey Coach Heather Farlow has high praise for Radvany, stating, "Val has been a vital component of our success and is one of the most decorated PDS field hockey athletes in recent history. She never shied away from an opponent and made big plays in big games. It's been an absolute honor working with Val during her high school career and I wish Val continued success."
Fifth Grade science teacher Jessica Clingman wrote the following blog, published on December 13 by the Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning (CTTL, at http://www.thecttl.org/), where she participated in a mind-opening teaching and learning experience last summer. It's the perfect introduction to her phenomenal 2018-19 curricular work and a signature example of how the power of a teacher's growth mindset can enhance the learning experience for students.
This news story is Part 1 of a series revealing some of the highly engaging and competency-based ways Ms. Clingman is making a year-long study of brain science immediate, relevant and a critical means of self-understanding for her students.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.