On February 6, the PCDS Parents’ Association welcomed journalist Brad Edmondson, author of Ice Cream Social: the Struggle for the Soul of Ben & Jerry’s. He spoke to the students about the company’s 3 missions (product, economic and social) and then returned at lunchtime to gather ideas for new flavors while everyone enjoyed samples. He capped off the evening with a talk to parents and alumni, as well! Special thanks to Mr. Edmondson for spending your day with the PCDS community!
On February 4, the PCDS Math Club drove up to Prescott to compete in the Northern Arizona High School Math Championships, and we were very successful! The results are as follows:
- Caden Mikkelsen - 1st place in 9th grade
- Sky Travis - 1st place in 10th grade
- Nicholas Currault - 1st place in 12th grade
- Alex Reaves - 11th place in 12th grade
- TEAM: 1st place overall, qualified for states
This is especially impressive because many schools there had 10+ members, and the PCDS 4-person team competed against 6-person teams from other schools. We’re tiny but mighty, for sure! Great job, everyone!
On February 4-5, nine PCDS students went through the rigorous audition process for selection to the West Regional Music Festival. All nine students from PCDS that auditioned were selected! Congratulations to the following musicians:
- Annalise Bracher—Violin–Orchestra
- Evan Pittman—Violin–Orchestra
- Shea Tomlin—Violin—Orchestra
- Zoe Bienert–Violin–Orchestra
- Angie Anaeme—Violin—Orchestra
- Francesca de Marneffe—Cello—Orchestra
- Katie Dean—Flute—Band
- Alicia Wu—Flute—Band
- Sam Yuh—Choir
On February 2 and 3, the PCDS community began celebrating Lunar New Year, the Year of the Rooster, in the Lower and Middle School. Celebrations included traditional lion dance performances in the Lower School and presentations from 7th graders in Mandarin to a modern qiang wei dance performance by 10th grader Chloe Chodorow in the Middle School.
On January 31, the Middle School hosted its Geography Bee. Congratulations to Alexander Ashman (Winner), Enzo Acharya (Second Place), and Pierce Florey (Third Place) and all of the competitors! Below, the boys are pictured with 5th Grade Social Studies Teacher Kelsey Knutson and Middle School Head Mr. Sullivan. Great work, everyone!
Check out the latest “mini-release” of the PCDS student-led newspaper, The Quill. The issue features student voices about the inauguration, music, and politics.
On January 23, the Upper School hosted mystery/fantasy author Matt Bell as a Writers’ Workshop speaker, sponsored by the PCDS Parents’ Association. Mr. Bell is a creative writing instructor at ASU and is the author of several novels and collections of short stories. He read short excerpts from two of his books and described his start as a fan fiction writer, the importance of having a constant influx of good art to stay inspired, and how poetry recharges his love of language. Thanks to Mr. Bell for engaging our students and for signing copies his books for the Upper School library!
On January 13, PCDS Head of School Andy Rodin announced that, after 29 incredible years teaching physics at PCDS, Mike Swingler will retire at the end of the school year to spend well-deserved time with family. We’re thankful for all of the great work Mr. Swingler has given to the PCDS community over the years and wish him the best in this next chapter!
Congratulations to Alexander Ashman for winning the 2017 PCDS Middle School Spelling Bee, and to Benjamin Lewis for finishing Runner-Up! Today’s winning word was UNCOOPERATIVE, and these young men are anything but that! Great work to all who participated today!
Check out the profile of 8th Grader George Nassar in the recent issue of In The Zona!
On January 9, the PCDS 8th Grade helped the 5th Grade with the annual Magazine Project— an interdisciplinary project done by all PCDS 5th Grade students going back over twenty years. We’re proud to have traditions and mentorship across grade levels at PCDS— it’s part of what makes this a fantastic community!
Congratulations to the four Upper School students recognized in the New York Times Student Review Contest! This contest asked students to experience cultural works and write a review for submission. Of the over 1,250 entries from students around the country, FOUR PCDS students were recognized! Charlotte Robbins was a Runner-Up, while Jackie Ayers, Ava Rossides, and Skye Richmond were each lauded as Honorable Mentions.
On December 16, a group of Middle School students visited St. Mary’s Food Bank to support needy families during the holiday season! Great work, students and teachers!
On December 9, in Mr. Martin’s Comparative Genocide course, Holocaust survivor, author, and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient Gerta Weissmann Klein joined students to discuss her experiences. One piece of advice to the students: “Live your life joyfully. Treasure your freedom to live your life, and to do your best, without discrimination.” We are honored to have welcomed Ms. Klein to PCDS, and thankful for the opportunities for our students to be leaders for a better tomorrow.
On November 15 in the Lower School and November 17 in the Middle School, PCDS celebrated Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights. The celebrations included a harmonium player at drop-off, student-led presentations, and Bhangra dancing at Morning Meeting. A community rangoli was set up in the Lower School Courtyard for the students to contribute to throughout the day, and Indian cuisine was served at lunch. Happy Diwali!
On November 14, PCDS celebrated one of the school’s trailblazers, Ms. Gay Firestone Wray. She is a former PA President, former President of our Board of Trustees, current Advisory Trustee, and long-time advocate for PCDS. Joining the celebration were former trustees and friends of the school, many members of the Firestone family that have attended and supported PCDS, Ambassador Barbara Barrett, and former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. We’re proud to stand on the firm foundation built by visionary leaders like Ms. Wray.
Once again, PCDS has been ranked as the #1 private school in Arizona! New in this year’s rankings, and perhaps more significant: We’ve been ranked in the top-50 of all K-12 private schools in the nation (#48 out of 1500+ schools ranked)! We’re in esteemed company, and ahead of many other nationally known independent schools in New York, Boston, DC, and San Francisco. We firmly believe that the PCDS experience, from age four through high school, is invaluable and unlike any other opportunity in the Valley. We’re proud of this national recognition and our wonderful community. Go Eagles!
On November 14, the PCDS Parents’ Association hosted the first BEAM (Bridging Education, Ambition, and Meaningful Work) presentation during Upper School Morning Meeting. Special guests included Adam Goodman, President/CEO of Goodman’s Interior Structures; Heidi Jannenga, Co-Founder/President of WebPT; Brian Mohr, Managing Partner of Y Scouts; and Daehee Park, Co-Founder of Tuft & Needle.
The speakers addressed profit & purpose: how companies can make a difference in the community, how you can find your purpose and your passion through your work, and how jobs can help you find personal meaning and satisfaction.
Many thanks to our guest speakers and the PA for putting this fun career-oriented event together!
On Saturday, November 12, the MS and US Speech & Debate Teams competed in the Mountain View Tournament. The Upper School team finished in third place in the Mountain View Tournament, with Sammy Dady, Will Porter, and Max Montrose all winning individual category championships and Will Porter winning the Individual Sweepstakes Championship, as well!
The Middle School team competed in the middle school division of the tournament, and the team finished in first place! Individual category champions included Ethan Lambert, Alexander Ashman, Emory Murff & Ella Wanebo (public forum debate), Bennett Montrose & Jaden Grossman (duo), Darwin Harriss, Bennett Montrose, and Yash Wadwekar!
Great job, everyone!
This past week, Lower School music teacher Dr. Carla Cose-Giallella presented “Let’s Play Orff!” at the American Orff Schulwerk Music Conference in Atlantic City. Dr. Cose-Giallella taught other music educators from around the country how to utilize musical play for young children. “Dr. G” is an early childhood specialist, active clinician, and teaches the Orff Schulerk level courses at ASU and FSU. We’re proud to have a national leader in early childhood music education supporting our PCDS Lower School students!