This morning marked the final Princeton Day School Lower School Assembly of the school year. This annual event celebrates the fourth graders, who will be rising up to the Middle School next year, and serves as the final send-off for all Pre-K through Fourth grade students.
Head of School Paul Stellato began the event with remarks for the LS students, families and faculty. Mr. Stellato praised LS students for demonstrating bravery and strength in the face of tough times and also lauded the faculty for guiding the Lower School through this year. In particular, Mr. Stellato praised Head of Lower School Dr. Sandy Wang for her leadership and grace in navigating the LS through great times and difficult times in this, her first, year at PDS.
Dr. Wang took the podium and began by thanking the PDS students for welcoming her this year and making it feel like she immediately had a new home. Dr. Wang thanked all of the LS students, families, faculty and staff for their resilience and industriousness in embracing the challenges of the last few months and creating an environment in which students could thrive this spring. Dr. Wang also shared encouraging messages to each grade, highlighting their achievements so far and expressing excitement for their next steps up in the Lower School.
To the LS students as a whole, Dr. Wang said, "On behalf of the faculty of the Lower School, I want to extend my gratitude to you all for inspiring us with the joy with which you consume your experiences, the grit you show when work becomes challenging, and the tenacity you show when unexpected obstacles suddenly block your path. I'm also grateful for the unwavering kindness and compassion with which you interact with us and with each other. Thank you for your daily reminders that a smile—especially the ones missing a few teeth—goes a long way."
- LS Music Teacher Julia Beckmann led the singing of "The Princeton Day School Song."
- A slideshow of 2019-2020 Lower School Highlight photos
- A Commemorative Slideshow for the 4th Grade Class (created by the 4th Grade teachers)
Dr. Wang thanked LS faculty and staff who will be leaving PDS next year:
- Assistant to the Lower School Aimée Nyce
- Retiring Head LS Librarian Jenny Mischner
- LS Librarian Deborah Keohler
- Class of 2028 Graduation from the Lower School
Dr. Wang commended the fifty fourth graders in the Class of 2028 for their achievements and for the next step they are about to take in their lives and PDS careers. She also provided the class with some advice to take forward with them into the Middle School: "T.R.Y."
"Try new clubs, try new friendships, try new books, try to get to know some people who are different than you are, try to be patient with yourself and with others, try to make someone smile everyday (including yourself), and try your best in everything that you do," Dr. Wang said.
The Class of 2028 graduation ceremony commenced as Dr. Wang read each graduating fourth grader's name while a slideshow played featuring each student's school photo.
- The Irish Blessing by Ms. Beckmann
The assembly closed with Ms. Beckmann singing the beautiful "Irish Blessing" to remind the fourth graders that the LS will always keep them in their hearts as they move up to the Middle School.
Photo at the top of the story of February's LS Mardi Gras Parade is courtesy of the PDS Flickr page, and all other photos are screenshots taken from the LS Final Assembly video.