Pennington Postings

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

News for Parents

  • General Information--September 26, 2014

    Guest chefs kick off special dining events: Sodexo brought two guest chefs to the dining hall on Wednesday, September 24. Chef Ken Liu and Chef Bob Parrinello served delicious Asian specialties to happy students, faculty, and staff. Click the link to see pictures from that lunch, and be sure to check the Sodexo's Pennington dining website to see what fun events are coming up next!

    Katie Koestner to discuss social media on Thursday: Katie Koestner, a national expert on student safety and teen relationship culture, will spend all day Thursday, October 2, providing age-appropriate presentations on social media to Pennington students and, in the evening, to parents. Her parents presentation, “A Cyber World of Trouble,” will be held at 7:00 p.m. in the Stainton Hall Lecture Center. She will present a program entitled “Digital Dossier” to Upper School students, in addition to smaller breakout sessions with boys and girls in same-gender groups. Topics discussed will be “Gaming and Addiction” and “Cyber-Niceness.” Please contact Director of Counseling Services Stephanie DeSouza with questions at or 609–737–6118.

    Pennington Parents Social in the Stacks Oct. 10: Save the date. All Pennington parents are invited to an evening social in the “stacks” of Meckler Library on Friday, October 10. It’s Homecoming weekend, so come as you are and meet other parents while the students are at the Pep Rally. No agenda, no RSVP, just friendly conversation. Refreshments will be served. Hope to see you there! Email with any questions.

    Save the date for the Red and Black Bash!: The RED AND BLACK BASH Parents Party and Silent Auction will take place on Saturday, November 15, at Cherry Valley Country Club, 125 Country Club Drive, Skillman, NJ, from 7:00 to 11:00 p.m. This is a great opportunity for the entire Pennington community to come together for a fun evening out and support our wonderful school at the same time! The Pennington School Parents Association (TPSPA) will be selling tickets to this event tonight at Upper School Back-to-School Night . Tickets are $75 per person.

    If you have any questions regarding this event, please contact the Parents Association ( or the co-chairs, Donna Chance Dowdie ( or Lori Washton (

  • Upper School--September 26, 2014

    Tonight is Upper School Back-to-School Night: Parents and guardians of Upper School students are invited to the annual Upper School Back-to-School Night on Friday, September 26. The Pennington School Parents Association will provide a picnic supper from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., followed by the Headmaster’s welcome at 6:40 and classroom visits from 7:05 to 9:30. If you arrive late, please go to the Campus Center to pick up your child’s schedule. For more information, please click here to read a letter from Dean Peeler. Please note that your children, other than ninth-graders participating in Freshman Fun Night, should not be on campus.

    Freshman Fun Night tonight: The Peer Leaders invite the Class of 2018 to the annual Freshman Fun Night tonight, September 26, from 7:00 to 9:30 p.m. They have been busy planning a night of activities and games. This annual fall event, highly recommended for all freshmen, is conveniently scheduled to coincide with Back-to-School Night. The evening is a great opportunity for freshmen to continue to get acquainted as well as have some fun. Freshmen are welcome to have dinner on campus in the small gym this evening following their after-school commitment; they should gather there at the start of the evening’s activities. Dress is casual, and students should wear sneakers. For further information contact Erin O’Connell ( or Rick Ritter (, directors of the Peer Leadership program.

    School Year Abroad rep coming Monday: A representative from School Year Abroad will be in the dining hall next Monday, September 29, to meet with students during lunch. SYA is a high school study abroad program in China, France, Italy, and Spain for eleventh- and twelfth-grade students. Through their fully accredited high schools, students are immersed in language and culture, live with a host family, engage in an exciting global curriculum, and travel extensively in each country. To learn more, see or contact Director of Global Studies Kendra Sisserson at

    Class parents parties coming soon: The Parents Association has scheduled the following dates for parties for parents of students in various grades. Invitations will be sent out shortly; please reply to the invitation, and sign up to bring something so that hosts can prepare best for their guests. (Reminder: the Grade 12 parents party is tomorrow, September 27, 7:00-10:00 p.m.)

    •October 5: Grade 11 parents party, 4:00–6:00 p.m.

    •October 18: Grade 9 parents party, 7:00–10:00 p.m.

    •November 1: Grade 10 parents party, time TBD

    Upper School Parents Coffee Oct. 8: Mark your calendar. The first Upper School Parents Coffee will be Wednesday, October 8, at 8:00 a.m. in the dining hall. Following a brief update from the Parents Association, School Chaplain Aaron Twitchell will be the special guest. There will be time for questions and socializing afterwards.

    Bird Feeder update for parents of seniors: The Bird Feeder currently has enough water and soft drinks to sell at the next football game on September 27. However, we expect that we will need more for the following game on October 11, which is Homecoming. As always, donations can be brought to Mr. Russo’s classroom, CCB14, in the Campus Center lower level during school hours. Again, thanks to all of you who have already donated to the class.

    Hosts/chaperones still needed for French exchange: Pennington’s French exchange program is taking place this school year. The French students will arrive on Sunday, October 12, and leave on Saturday, October 25. Another host family is needed, as well as some parents able to accompany the French students on their excursions to New York City, Princeton, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC. Your son or daughter does not have to be a French student in order to host, and you don't have to know French. (Although of course it never hurts!) If you would like to volunteer or get more information, please email Madame Pat Zema at

    2014 literary magazine gets top ranking: Pennington’s 2014 art and literary magazine, Ignis Fatuus: Foolish Fire, has received a first-place award from the American Scholastic Press Association. The award is an early recognition that will be posted on the association’s website in December. Pennington shares this award with other secondary schools in the U.S. Congratulations to the publication’s students for their fine efforts. Submissions are now being accepted for this year’s “LitMag” at

  • Middle School--September 26, 2014

    Fall Retreat next week: Sixth- and seventh-graders will go to Camp Mason October 1–2, and eighth-graders will go to Worthington State Park October 1–3. Here are links to details:

    Sixth- and seventh-grade retreat:

    Eighth-grade retreat:

School News

  • Middle Schoolers connect the dots!


    The Pennington School’s Middle School students and faculty celebrated International Dot Day on September 15. In response to The Dot, a story written and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds, educators around the world celebrate International Dot Day on September 15, taking time to foster creative endeavors by their students. According to his website, Reynolds wanted The Dot to connect with those who have “been afraid to express themselves—from a child in art class to an adult whose fear has shut down a long-held dream.” The Dot intends to remind everyone to “Make your mark, and see where it takes you.” Teacher Lisa Fitzpatrick says that the story teaches us to have the courage and confidence to try, and to begin with even the smallest of dots to start our journeys.

    Peter Reynolds’s story begins when a frustrated young student angrily makes a dot on her paper in art class because she believes she cannot draw. That dot leads her to learn more about herself and how creative she can be.

    Mrs. Fitzpatrick introduced The Dot to her sixth-grade Humanities students four years ago and invited the entire Middle School to “make their mark.” Students and teachers created their own dots, which are on display in Stainton Hall. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for everyone to design and share a little piece or dot of themselves,” she says. The seventh-grade students created “characterization dots,” which are based on their assigned reading of Sharon Creech’s book Chasing Redbird. For the first time, Ms. Caroline Hall’s Upper School students participated in this event. What a wonderful way to connect-the-dots!


Issue: Thursday, September 25th, 2014

Upcoming Events

Thu Sep 25

No Classes: Rosh Hashanah

Fri Sep 26

Upper School Back-to-School Night Parents Picnic


Upper School Back-to-School Night

6:30pm - 9:00pm

Freshman Fun Night

Small Gym
7:00pm - 9:30pm
Sat Sep 27

Twelfth-Grade Parents Party

7:00pm - 10:00pm
Mon Sep 29

Senior Portrait Retakes

Tue Sep 30

Senior Portrait Retakes

Sixth-Grade Parents Coffee

Art Schalick Conference Room, 201 Campus Center