Pennington Postings

Thursday, May 28th, 2015

News for Parents

  • General Information--May 29, 2015

    Help Haiti—and enjoy good coffee!: As part of its ongoing effort to raise money to help Harmony Ministries provide schooling, medical care, and spiritual support for the underprivileged of Haiti, the School is selling Haitian coffee for $10 a pound. This high-quality coffee is grown by Haitian farmers and is available either ground or as whole beans. If you are interested in purchasing some of this delicious brew in support of The Pennington School’s commitment to the people of Haiti, please contact either Marissa Tucci, Sabrina Tucci, or Mr. Thompson.

    Upper School art exhibit now on view: This year’s Upper School student art exhibit, The Ties That Bind Us, is now open for viewing. Stop in the Silva Gallery between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. to see the art work students have produced this year in drawing, painting, ceramics, and photography classes. A reception will be held on June 3 to celebrate all the fine work created this year.

    Score for the Cure set for June 15: As part of her senior Horizon project, Amanda Dafonte ’15 is organizing the seventh annual Score for the Cure 3 vs. 3 soccer fundraiser to help in the fight against pancreatic cancer. Dafonte, with Associate Director of Athletics and Varsity Girls’ Soccer Coach Patrick Murphy, will be hosting the event for girls 8–13 on Monday, June 15, from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. at The Pennington School.

    With more than 120 players signed up, ten sponsors secured, and tons of raffle items donated, including gear signed by the US Women's National Team, this year's Score for the Cure is bound to be one of the best ever. All proceeds go directly to the Lustgarten Foundation for pancreatic cancer research. This event is a fun evening of competition, prizes, and charity! To learn more about The Score for the Cure, visit

    Willing to host a class parent party in the fall?: It’s not too early to sign up to host a party in September or October for the parents of students in your child’s class. If you are interested or would like details, please email

  • Upper School--May 29, 2015

    Reminder about Parents Social tonight: After students board coach buses for the Prom tonight, May 29, parents are invited to remain for a Parents Social. There will be light fare, and it will be a great chance to connect with other parents before the summer.

    All Upper School students to attend Commencement: Beginning this year, Dr. Hawkey would like to start the tradition of having the underclassmen join the Commencement exercises. In a small, tight-knit community like Pennington, students may enjoy the opportunity to support their friends whom they have known for years and see firsthand this special event that they will be part of one day. All Upper School underclassmen should meet at 9:45 a.m. in the Buck Circle on Saturday, June 6, and check in by class. Formal dress is required.

    Transport offered to WAC-Philadelphia Global Leadership Seminar: Co-presented by the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia and the Wharton School, the 2015 Summer Global Leadership Seminar is a week-long summer institute open to all rising high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors. This year’s Seminar will focus on China’s pivotal role in reshaping international relations and world order in the twenty-first century. The Seminar will meet at Wharton from 9:00 a.m. to noon July 20–23, with a full-day field trip to Washington, DC, on July 24, where students will meet with policy makers and receive a behind-the-scenes tour of the Chinese Embassy. The total cost is $150, and more information is available here.

    For the benefit of students attending the seminar, the School will be sending a bus from The Pennington School to Wharton and back each day. It will leave TPS at 7:30 a.m. Monday, July 20, through Thursday, July 23, and will return by 1:15 p.m. On Friday, July 24, the day of the full-day field trip to Washington, the bus will leave TPS at 6:00 a.m. and will return by 8:00 p.m. The cost is $65 for the week. If you are interested, please send in a check made out to The Pennington School by June 6; it can be dropped off in the Global Studies mailbox in the Campus Center. For more information, contact Dr. Sisserson.

    Spring Break 2016 trip to London planned: “By seeing London, I have seen as much of life as the world can show.”—Samuel Johnson. Students are invited to discover the art, theatre, and history of London, England with Ms. Hall and Ms. Houston. Tentatively scheduled for March 12-22, the trip will allow students to tour world famous museums and theatres, see multiple theatrical productions, visit English schools, collaborate with art/theatre students, and, it is hoped, perform their own short production and create original artwork inspired by the journey. The trip is open to interested Art and Drama students/performers/technicians. Estimated cost: $3800. Students should mail Ms. Hall or Ms. Houston to reserve a place. More detailed information and a meeting will follow before school lets out for the summer. Payments will not be needed until school resumes in September.

    Grand Canyon exploration offered in June 2016: Students with a sense of adventure and who want to see one of the seven wonders of the natural world may take a journey of a lifetime to Arizona’s Grand Canyon. While most people view the Canyon from atop the rim, this group will explore 187 miles of the canyon aboard a fifteen-person raft. The expedition will gather in Las Vegas and quickly launch their six-day/five-night river journey. “Adventure and tranquility coexist in the Canyon; experience cascading waterfalls and thundering rapids,” says chaperone Robbi Uzupis. “Snuggle into your bedroll beneath the silence of a star-studded night sky, and wake up to the fresh wilderness air.” The estimated cost is $4,000 (includes flights, hotel, and food), and the trip will qualify as a Global Experience for Global Studies students. The group will leave Saturday, June 18, 2016, and return Friday, June 24, 2016. Justin Langlois and Ms. Uzupis will chaperone the trip; Arizona River Runners will be the guides. For more information, contact Ms. Uzupis or Mr. Langlois.

    Visit Peru during Spring Break 2016!: Ms. Jones is calling all Upper School adventurers, hikers, astronomers, naturalists, archaeologists, cultural anthropologists, and historians to consider the following: “Explore the Amazon rainforest by boat and from hanging, treetop bridges! Climb the Incan ruins of Machu Picchu, one of the seven wonders of the ‘new’ world! Tour the colonial ‘urban’ architecture of Lima and Cuzco! Ride the Orient Express! Visit the floating island of Uros on Lake Titicaca, South America’s largest lake, and the highest navigable lake in the world! Buy souvenirs at a traditional Andean market! Along the way, learn about rainforest ecosystems and endangered rainforest species, southern constellations, pre-Columbian archeology, and traditional weaving techniques. You also can practice your Spanish, catch a fashion show, and listen to traditional music performed while you dine.” If this sounds like something your child would like to try, he or she may join Ms. Jones and Ms. Clancy-Healy on a fabulous, eleven-day trip to Peru from March 12 to 22, 2016. Estimated cost of the trip is $4,500 per person, including international and internal flights. The trip will accommodate only twelve students, however, so act quickly to reserve a space. To find out how, contact either Ms. Jones or Ms. Clancy-Healy via School email: or Click here to see the trip itinerary.

  • Middle School--May 29, 2015

    Gently worn Pennington polos to be collected: The Parents Association will be collecting any gently worn Pennington School polo shirts that your child has outgrown. Please send in clean polo shirts during the last week of school. There will be a designated drop bucket in Stainton Hall. The polo shirts will then be made available at the beginning of the school year during Middle School Launch.

    Don't forget Pennington Summer Camps: Sports, arts, and academic enrichment camps for rising fifth- through ninth-graders will begin June 29 and end August 14. Please tell your friends! Information is available by clicking here. Several camps are close to capacity, so be sure to register as soon as possible!

School News

  • Underclassman Awards


    The annual Underclassman Prize Chapel took place on Thursday, May 28, at the Pennington Methodist Church. We celebrate the achievements of all of the students who were acknowledged during the ceremony:

    The Edgar B. Roesch Award to the Freshman Excelling in English: Matthew Paragamian

    The John J. Burns Memorial Award to the Sophomore Excelling in English: Chelsea Vickers

    The Pennington School Award to the Junior Excelling in English: Terrence Kane

    The Stephen Crane Writing Contest Award for Poetry: Nicole Adabunu

    The Stephen Crane Writing Contest Award for Short Fiction: Thomas Reilly

    The Stephen Crane Writing Contest Award for Personal Essay: Emma Bouton

    The Pennington School Award to the Freshman Excelling in Spanish: Victoria Gassmann and Hannah Bradshaw

    The Pennington School Award to the Sophomore Excelling in Spanish: Annie Brunner

    The Pennington School Award to the Junior Excelling in Spanish: Diana Bonilla and Karolina Zachor

    The Dr. E.F. Hann Memorial Award to the Freshman Excelling in French: Madelyn Seibel

    The Pennington School Award to the Sophomore Excelling in French: Siyi Li

    The Pennington School Award to the Junior Excelling in French: Alexandra Zimmer

    The Pennington School Award to the Freshman Excelling in German: Victoria Gassmann and Sydney Faber

    The Pennington School Award to the Sophomore Excelling in German: Kathleen Bree Seiler

    The Pennington School Award to the Junior Excelling in German: Audrey Plimpton

    The Pennington School Award to the Freshman Excelling in Latin: Ryan Totaro

    The Pennington School Award to the Sophomore Excelling in Latin: Ian Gregg and Kelly Clark

    The Pennington School Award to the Junior Excelling in Latin: Audrey Plimpton and Kerry Runkle

    The Pennington School Award to the Freshman Excelling in Mathematics: Xin Yi Zheng and Jared Panson

    The Pennington School Award to the Sophomore Excelling in Mathematics: Zonghao Gao

    The Howard Cressman Memorial Award to the Junior Excelling in Mathematics: Alexandra Zimmer

    The Pennington School Award to the Freshman Excelling in Science: Matthew Paragamian and Hannah Bradshaw

    The Pennington School Award to the Sophomore Excelling in Science: Kelly Clark

    The George Parnos Award to the Junior Excelling in Science: Duncan Zavanelli

    The Pennington School Award to the Freshman Excelling in History: Ryan Totaro

    The Pennington School Award to the Sophomore Excelling in History: Nina Fitzgerald

    The Dr. Ralph Appleton Memorial Award to the Junior Excelling in History: Emma Bouton

    The Pennington School Award for Excellence in Religion: Kira Botelho

    The Pennington School Award to the Student Excelling in Video Production: Daniella Giancarli

    The Pennington School Award for Excellence in Health and Wellness: Michelle Lazzaro

    The Pennington School Award to the Freshman Excelling in Theatre: Sydney Faber

    The Pennington School Award to the Sophomore Excelling in Theatre: Isabella Iorio and Liam Krivcov

    The Pennington School Award to the Junior Excelling in Theatre: Madison Coyle

    The Pennington School Award to the Student Excelling in Art: Qiwei Bao

    The Pennington School Award to the Student Excelling in Photography: Katharine Quinn

    The Pennington School Award to the Student Excelling in Ceramics: Jin Woo Kim

    The Pennington School Award to the Freshman Excelling in Music: Zhehao Tong

    The Pennington School Award to the Sophomore Excelling in Music: Siyi Li

    The Pennington School Award to the Junior Excelling in Music: Abigail Burke

    The Pennington School Award for Bridging Cultures: Terrence Kane
    This award is presented to a student who has developed friendships and helped to foster the attitudes of respect, tolerance, and social justice in our multicultural community.

    The Pennington School Award to the Student Outstanding in Volunteer Service: Nancy Santarsiero

    The Ryan M. Fesko Award to the Junior who demonstrates a positive outlook, the ability to promote friendship and teamwork, and a commitment to physical fitness: Satchel Cortet and Olivia McCutcheon

    The Robert Young ’70 Memorial Award for Scholar-Athlete: Morgan Pinado
    To the student who integrates the hard work, personal interaction, and spirit of the athlete into the classroom and into every aspect of her life.

    The Terry William Weiler '66 Memorial Scholarship: Duncan Zavanelli
    To the student of solid character, academic potential, and participation in the School’s extracurricular activities.

    The Mount Holyoke Award to the Student Who Displays Outstanding Scholastic Achievement: Quincy Huang

    The Wellesley College Book Award: Emma Bouton
    To a student who displays outstanding scholastic achievement

    Yale University Book Award: Matthew Celentano
    This award is endowed for a Pennington Student by Dr. Guy Fried, an alumnus of Yale University Medical School, a member of the Yale Club of Philadelphia, and a Pennington parent.

    The Capria DeVenuto '04 Award to the student who is the most outstanding and devoted swimmer at The Pennington School: Shanna Colyar

    Rensselaer Medal Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement: Quincy Huang
    To a student who displays outstanding achievement in mathematics and science

    One faculty award was also presented at the Chapel ceremony.

    The United Methodist Church Exemplary Teacher Award: Wendy Morris
    This award is presented annually to a Pennington School faculty member who exemplifies excellence in teaching; civility and concern for students and colleagues; demonstrates a commitment to value-centered education; and service to students, the institution, and the community.

  • School closed May 29 for Kingswood Day


    Headmaster William Hawkey has declared Friday, May 29, as Kingswood Day. Classes will not meet, and School offices will be closed. In 1963, Pennington welcomed Dr. A. B. Sackett, headmaster of the Kingswood School in Bath, England, to campus. During his visit, Dr. Sackett told students about his school's tradition of declaring surprise one-day holidays. In his honor, the tradition was started at Pennington, at first as a School holiday declared at breakfast by the headmaster. For a period of time Kingswood Day was scheduled on the School calendar, but for the past few years, Kingswood Day has once again become a special headmaster's holiday that may occur as a surprise at any time during the academic year. Dr. Hawkey surprised the students at Community Meeting today with the announcement that Friday will be Kingswood Day. The Junior/Senior Prom, the preceding Promenade, and the Parents Social that evening will, of course, go on as scheduled.

  • Students visit National 9/11 Museum and Memorial


    Mr. DiGiacomo's AP U.S. History class took a break from their post-exam studies to visit the National 9/11 Museum and Memorial in NYC on Wednesday, May 27. After spending some time viewing the two reflecting pools at the memorial, the students took part in a two-hour classroom workshop entitled "Events of the Day." First, students were given a chronological overview of the events on 9/11/2001. Once they created a list of questions they had about the event, the facilitator took them onto the museum floor to analyze different artifacts. Students shared their findings together and were then asked to choose three artifacts that they would "take home" to tell the story of the events of the day. Themes of survival, memorial, and perseverance all emerged from their studies. The experience was somber but very enlightening, placing this horrific day in US history into the context of its time as well as into the context of today. It was a day that the students, Mr. DiGiacomo, and Ms Jones will remember forever.

  • Odyssey of the Mind team goes to World Finals


    The Pennington Middle School Odyssey of the Mind team packed up their props and traveled to East Lansing, Michigan to compete in the World Finals the week of May 19. The team, made up of eighth-grader Kevin Durfee, seventh-grader Abigail Bulger, and sixth-graders Mason Brown, Jack Craig, Sahil Navani and Joshua Song, enjoyed a fabulous opening ceremony on the MSU campus along with 800 other international teams, ranging in age from elementary school to college. These teams came from all over the world including Singapore, Korea, China, Germany, Poland, Togo, Kazakhstan, and Mexico. All students compete in and are scored on both a short-term and a long-term problem. The short-term problem is one which is analyzed and solved on the spot.

    The Pennington School team has been working on their long-term problem since January. They worked hard designing, building and revising a performance within the guidelines of the problem. Elements included a magnetic levitation train, a rubber band power train, tracks with numerous obstacles, a humorous conductor character, and a creative angel costume. These Middle School students performed their problem in front of a large audience with grace and style. Overall, the team came in twenty-sixth in their division of fifty-four teams. A remarkable achievement on the world stage! Coaches Susan Wirsig and Stephanie Heyeck especially enjoyed seeing the team members engage with students from around the globe during the World Finals events. Eighth-graders Jonathan Lai and Harry Wasnak and seventh-grader Bradford Shoemaker were the student coaches.


Issue: Thursday, May 28th, 2015

Upcoming Events

Thu May 28

General Meeting of The Pennington School Parents Association

Dining Hall
Fri May 29


Campus Center Plaza
4:00pm - 5:00pm

Parents Social

Campus Center
5:00pm - 7:00pm

Junior/Senior Prom

The Franklin Institute, Philadelphia
7:00pm - 11:00pm