Pennington Postings

Thursday, November 20th, 2014

News for Parents

  • General Information--November 21, 2014

    Although school is not in session next week, here are a few pertinent reminders.

    Meeting for boarders’ parents today: Just a reminder about the first-quarter wrap-up session today, Friday, November 21, at 3:30 p.m. in the Stainton Hall Lecture Center of Stainton Hall for any parents of boarding students able to attend. Dean of Students Chad Bridges, dormitory heads, and other members of the residential community will be present to give an overview of the first quarter and answer questions.

    Poinsettias to be delivered Dec. 2: Poinsettias ordered from the French Club will be available for pick-up on Tuesday, December 2, after 1:00 p.m. on the Campus Center’s lower level outside the Diane T. McLarty “Black Box” Theater.

    College financial planning workshop Dec. 7: There will be a presentation by Vincente DiPietro, Little-Known Secrets of Paying for College, for parents of students in grades 6 through 12 on Sunday, December 7, at 6:30 p.m. in the Stainton Hall Lecture Center. RSVP to Barbara McQuade by December 2 at or 609–737–6130 if you plan to attend. For more information about the workshop, please click here. For a biography of the presenter, Vincente DiPietro, please click here.

    Thank you from TPSPA: The Pennington School Parents Association (TPSPA) would like to extend a big thank you to the Red and Black Bash co-chairs, Donna Chance-Dowdie and Lori Washton, for throwing an amazing party and auction. We are grateful to all the volunteers, family and business donors, and, of course, the attendees for making our first Bash a huge success.

    Health history updates needed: Please fill out the health history update form. This form needs to be filled out if your child’s physical was done prior to 90 days before the first day of practice. It is NJ state law. The form does not require a physician’s signature. It is just a simple nine-question form asking about your child’s health in the last 90 days only. Please click here for the form.

    Holiday wreath and centerpiece sale: This sale is sponsored by the Latin students traveling to Italy over spring break. Purchase these beautiful wreaths for friends and family for the holidays. It is easy to order and you can have them shipped directly to everyone on your holiday gift list! Use this link to order. Direct any questions to Mrs. Wendy Morris,


    Coming your way by mail: Information from the Parents Committee of the Pennington Fund! Gifts to the Pennington Fund provide direct and immediate budgetary support benefiting all Pennington students now. Gifts to the Fund make possible field trips, activities, professional development—a host of things that help make Pennington the great school that it is.

    Parent volunteers will be writing soon to encourage you to join them in supporting the Pennington Fund. Your gift—of any amount—is appreciated and makes a difference. Please read their note and make a gift or pledge (payable by June 30, 2015) to the Fund.

    If you’d prefer to make a gift or pledge now, please go online or call Rob McClellan, director of the Pennington Fund, at 609–737–6126.

  • Upper School--November 21, 2014

    Upper School Coffee Dec. 4: The Pennington School Parents Association (TPSPA) will host an Upper School Coffee on Thursday, December 4, at 8:00 a.m. in the Silva Gallery of Art in the Campus Center. We are looking for volunteers to stay after the coffee to help with holiday decorating on campus. Email TPSPA with questions at

    Israel internship opportunity: The Bronfman Youth Fellowships in Israel (BYFI) is now accepting applications for its summer 2015 fully funded five-week summer internships in Israel. This opportunity is open to all Class of 2016 students who self-identify as Jewish, whether religiously observant or only marginally affiliated with Judaism; no Jewish educational background is required. The Bronfman Foundation seeks intellectually curious applicants of strong character. Fellows will engage in discussions of Jewish identity and Jewish ideas and will interact with other young Jews from both Israel and America. The Office of Global Studies will assist any interested Pennington students in preparing their application, which is due January 6. Please contact Dr. Sisserson at with questions, and be sure to visit to learn more.

School News

  • Upper Schoolers take math contest--for fun!

    A group of students from Upper School mathematics classes volunteered to participate in the Canadian Intermediate/Senior Mathematics Contest, writing a two-hour examination after school on November 20. The students, classified as intermediate or senior based upon their age, chose to participate, says Mathematics Department Chair Catherine Haines, "for fun." Some are members of the Math Club; others are not.

    Participating in the senior category were Cedric Abano '15, Zonghao Gao '17, Rahul Kumar '16, Samir Navani '16, Lingxi Shang '17, Yulun Wang ;16, Nathan Zavanelli '15, Haochen Zhang '17, and Ali Zimmer '16. Intermediate participants were Duncan Zavanelli '16 and Linxuan Zhu '17.

    The examination is not a multiple choice test but an open-ended problem set for which the students must show their solutions. Ms. Haines says that in the days that follow the test there is "much discussion and debate over the problems and their possible solutions." The contest and solutions are later published on the website of the Centre for Education in Mathematics and Computing (CEMC), the sponsoring organization. Participating students may earn a certificate, and the top-scoring student in the School receives a medal.

    The CEMC is based at the University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.

  • AP Government explores third parties


    During its examination of party politics, Mr. Marc Epstein's AP Government class discusses third parties and the reasons that they have comparatively little impact. The students then form third parties that agree with their political views; they must develop and write up the party's philosophy, platform, and fundraising strategy. The students then move to a more dynamic stage, when candidates from the various parties engage in debates.

    Students in Chaplain Aaron Twitchell's Religion in America class acted as judges for a recent debate, filling in a ballot as they watched and "voting" at the end. Pictured are Ali Zimmer '16 (l) of the Pyramid Party and Tom Cosgrove '15 of the United for Freedom Party.

  • Eighth-graders compete in national math contest

    Ten eighth-grade students competed in the American Mathematics Contest by taking a written examination on November 18. The ten were selected to represent Pennington in the national conest after demonstrating a high ability in mathematics. The students were Kevin Durfee, Qiutian Gao, Yang Gu,Amira Henry, Jonathan Lai, Casey Ort, Austin Shah, Chenglang Tian, HanFei Wang, and Yushan Zhang.

    Results from the contest will be sent to the School in January. Says teacher Ms. Susan Wirsig, "we are very proud of these students for their ability in mathematics and their willingness to prepare and enter the competition.

  • Dontae Johnson '10 shines vs. Giants


Issue: Thursday, November 20th, 2014

Upcoming Events

Thu Nov 20

Parent/teacher conferences

Thru: 11/22/2014
Fri Nov 21

End of Middle School Trimester I