On April 27, the Princeton Day School Upper School gathered together for the final time as a full division before seniors depart campus tomorrow to focus on their Senior Projects. For this last full gathering, the Student Council organized a Teacher's Awards ceremony, in which the student body voted on a set of affectionately inspired awards to recognize PDS faculty members. Over 100 written nominations were received and approximately half of the students in Grades 9-12 voted on the final ballots.
"Teachers devote their entire days to us, but we, as students, rarely have the opportunity to recognize them for all that they do. Student Council decided to change that," Class of '23 Community Council rep Jai Kasera '23 shared as he introduced the ceremony. "Teachers, we know that having to deal with us is probably not the easiest job in the world. So, we want to thank you for everything that you do. You truly make learning exciting and fun and we look forward to seeing your faces every day," he added.
Best Zoom Background: US Math teacher Chip Cash
"Mr. Cash knows his way around a Zoom filter and his backgrounds always correspond to what is happening in the world. He's been described as both the actor of the math department and the king of impressions," Kasera said.
Most Likely to Schedule a One-on-One Meeting: US English teacher Thomas Quigley, aka Q
"Any student who has had Q knows that they aren't only signing up to read books like 1984 and The Road, but to also have regular in-depth discussions about anything and everything from writing style to the inevitable apocalypse to how your day is going," Kasera stated.
Most Tech Savvy: Director of Academic Technology Lauren Ledley
"Students can always count on Ms. Ledley if they need any help with tech. Not only does she know the ins-and-outs of Apple Macbook, she also manages the webinars for our US gatherings. She has almost single-handedly kept the school running this year," Holly Teti '21 said.
Best-Dressed: English Department Chair Dr. Karen Latham
"Dr. Latham is always up with the latest trends and she always brings her A-game to school every day. Whether it's her shoes, hairdo or jacket, she has a sense of style only rivaled by a few," Teti noted.
Most Likely to Stay in Touch After Graduation: US Science teacher Dr. Kelley Bethoney
"Dr. Bethoney is known to help her students both inside and outside of the classroom, showing not only her expertise in the field of biological science, but also her ability to form special connections with her students. She truly understands the difficulties high school students face and she is always willing to check in on her students to make sure they are doing well," Alex McInnes '23 said.
Most Athletic: US English teacher Seraphine Hamilton
"Ms. Hamilton not only reads Shakespeare, but the game of basketball as well. She never misses shots in practice and always creates an encouraging environment for her students," McInnes shared.
Fairest Graders: US Science teacher Dr. Steven Gadd and US English teacher Jessica Manners.
"While the material he instructs is notoriously difficult, Dr. Gadd never fails to provide timely criticism and plenty of feedback on every lab, test and assignment," Kyler Zhou '24 remarked. "Ms. Manners always encourages her students to express their opinions by writing what they believe in and care about. She always grades based on how well a student supports their arguments rather than just the mechanics of an essay," he added.
Best Explanation: Science Department Chair Jason Park
"In the class that Mr. Park instructs, the material that students must learn is hard to understand. However, Mr. Park, like an enzyme, helps us break down the information so we can digest it easily," Zhou said.
Funniest Jokes: US Science teacher Anthony Lapinski
"Mr. Lapinski's jokes have been described as indescribable by his students. Whether he's walking through the halls, talking on a banana phone or making jokes with 'you had to be there' punch lines, he always puts smiles on students' faces," Student Council President Alex Hollander '21 shared.
Most Engaging: US Science teacher Dr. Charles Alt
"All students can agree that Dr. Alt somehow made Ninth Grade biology fun. Whether it's his funny attitude or unending liveliness, he is always able to make his class interesting, leading to an enjoyable and productive lesson for his students," Hollander concluded.
Grid photo (from top, l to r): Dr. Charles Alt, Dr. Kelley Bethoney, Chip Cash, Dr. Steven Gadd, Seraphine Hamilton, Anthony Lapinski, Dr. Karen Latham, Lauren Ledley, Jessica Manners, Jason Park, Thomas Quigley