Princeton Day School is shaping a week of events to acknowledge all those in our community who have been impacted by cancer. We are thrilled that Head of School Paul Stellato has rejoined us on campus and are taking this moment as an opportunity to welcome him back, to raise awareness about cancer's reach, and to demonstrate our support for everyone who has been touched by this disease. Our goal is to offer a message of love, hope and caring for every cancer journey.
Mr. Stellato inspired students across the School after his official return to PDS on January 2, when he shared at Upper and Middle School student assemblies about his medical leave for cancer treatment this fall. His story about cancer's impact was personal, powerful and inspiring. As Mr. Stellato said, he wanted to tell students his story because cancer touches us all, including the many incredibly brave adults and children he saw during his treatment who are struggling with the disease. As Mr. Stellato said, "Every effort to eradicate this disease is an effort behind which there are stories as well."
The other reason for telling his story, he explained, was to thank everyone. "I kept in front of me several images, several of which were the McAneny Theater filled with students. So while the effort was my own, each of you was with me every day. You have given me a gift without knowing it, that I will always remember," Mr. Stellato shared. Continued recovery, celebration and remembrance, he concluded, constitute his efforts to honor everyone's cancer story and all of the lives touched by the disease.
Lavender for Cancer Awareness
As Upper School Student Service Learning Leaders Zaiya Gandhi '20 and Krithika Vasireddy '20 explained to students when they announced Cancer Awareness Week student-led initiatives, lavender is the universal color of cancer awareness. All PDS students and faculty are invited to wear lavender shoelaces, which will be distributed on January 18.
In addition to collectively wearing lavender laces, PDS Middle and Upper School sports teams are wearing these laces during games happening the week of January 22, and the whole community is encouraged to attend these sporting events to support cancer awareness and show their Panther pride. We appreciate everyone in the PDS community coming together and embracing this important message.
Among the School's 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. This traditionally well-attended ice hockey fan-fest will be held this year at the Hobey Baker Memorial Ice Rink at Princeton University on January 24 at 6pm. (See sports schedule, below.)
- Upper School student-made posters highlight cutting-edge breakthroughs in cancer research
- Healthy Choices Snacks: on January 25, Upper and Middle School students will make and serve healthy snack choices
- In the Lower School: 4th Grade service leaders are making a video, which will be shown to all LS classes, to raise awareness about cancer and to help LS students understand why they're getting the laces and should wear them
- Upper School pep rally: on January 22, a pep rally for Upper School students will kick off the week of athletic games and help raise awareness about cancer as fans and sports team members wear lavender laces
Upper and Middle School Sports at home (and at Princeton University) January 22-25:
Tuesday, January 22
- Boys and Girls Varsity Fencing v. Hun at home 4:30pm, Mathey Lower Gym
- Middle School Fencing v. Gill St. Bernards at home, 4:00pm, Gymeteria
Wednesday, January 23
- Boys Varsity Ice Hockey v. Wyoming Seminary at home, 4:15pm, Lisa McGraw '44 Skating Rink
- Girls Varsity Basketball v. Princeton High School at home, 4:30pm, Varsity Upper Gym
- Boys Varsity Basketball v. Princeton High School at home, 6:00pm, Varsity Upper Gym
- Boys JV Basketball v. Princeton High School at home, 4:30pm, Mathey Lower Gym
- Girls JV Basketball v. Princeton High School at home, 6:00pm, Mathey Lower Gym
- Middle School Blue Ice Hockey v. Pingry at home, 2:45pm, Lisa McGraw '44 Skating Rink
Thursday, January 24
- Boys Varsity Ice Hockey v. Lawrenceville away at Hobey Baker Memorial Rink, Princeton University, 6:00pm
Friday, January 25
- Girls Varsity Ice Hockey v. Immaculate Heart Academy at home, 5:15pm, Lisa McGraw '44 Skating Rink
We invite the Princeton Day School community to join in sports game opportunities throughout the week to raise awareness for cancer and support our Panthers! -Melanie Shaw
Photos: Head of School Paul Stellato sharing with Middle School students on January 11. Student Service Learning Leaders Zaiya Gandhi '20 and Krithika Vasireddy '20 announce initiatives for Cancer Awareness Week. Photos by Monica Grey McInnes P '23, '24.