Pennington Postings

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

News for Parents

  • General Information--September 12, 2014

    OneCall Now test today: This afternoon, Friday, September 12, at 3:00 the School will conduct a test of the OneCall Now phone system. The School uses the OneCall Now system to alert parents, guardians, and students of any School-wide cancellations during inclement weather, and to deliver important announcements and other information that pertains to the entire community. If you do not receive a call from the OneCall system today, please send an email to Maureen Iorio at We must have this information in writing, so please do not call us with updates. If you would like to remove a number from the OneCall system, please listen to the options at the end of the recording and follow the prompts.

    Silva Gallery reception this evening: All are welcome a reception to meet artist Ken McIndoe, whose work is currently on exhibit in the Silva Gallery of Art, this evening, Friday, September 12, from 5:30 to 7:30. Receptions at the Silva Gallery are always open to families, and you may come when convenient and leave as you please. Click here for further information or contact gallery director Dolores Eaton at

    First Friday event tonight: The inaugural First Friday event of the year will be a “drive-in movie” tonight, September 12, at 7:00 on O’Hanlon Green. The featured film is Grown Ups, starring Adam Sandler. All students are invited! Bring blankets, chairs, and your friends.

    College Guidance presentation for senior parents Sunday: Members of the College Guidance staff will present a program for parents of seniors about the college application process on Sunday, September 14, at 6:30 p.m. in the Stainton Hall Lecture Center. Senior parents, please notify Barbara McQuade at or 609–737–6130 about whether you plan to attend.

    Important safety notice: As you know, construction of the new Kenneth Kai Tai Yen Humanities building on campus has begun. The entrance near Stainton Hall and the gravel lot behind Stainton Hall are for construction vehicles and workers only and cannot be used by anyone as a means of access to campus. This includes pedestrians who may want to use that area as a shortcut from the campus to neighboring retail establishments. The safety of our students and the School community is of the utmost importance to us, so this rule will be strictly enforced. A gate will be erected shortly at this entrance, but it will be open during school hours for construction traffic only. Thank you for adhering to this important safety requirement.

    Schoology info coming soon: A message from Director of Technology Kenneth Coakley: Your children have been using a Learning Management System (LMS) called Schoology since the beginning of the school year. Schoology is a powerful tool that allows teachers to post assignments and class materials, communicate with students, host online discussion groups and quizzes, and much more.

    You will soon be receiving an email from Schoology with log-in information so that you can gain access to your parent account. When you log in for the first time, the site will lead you through a brief description of the features to which you have access as a parent. We encourage you to go through the site with your children, as they will be able to further explain how each of their courses is structured in Schoology.

    For a brief overview of Schoology, please watch this short video for parents: Schoology Parent Overview. You can also view more in-depth articles for parents in the parent section of the Schoology Help Guides found here: Parent Help Guide.

    If you have any questions regarding Schoology and its use at The Pennington School, or if you do not receive your log-in information by Monday, September 15, please contact us at

    Buzz from the Snack Bar: Parents, please come in and check out the new look at the Snack Bar in the Campus Center—and feel free to shop around! The selection has been expanded, with breakfast items, pizza, burgers, gluten-free snacks, soft pretzels, fresh fruit cups, freshly made Greek-yogurt parfaits—and more is coming soon! The snack bar is open Monday through Friday, 7:30–10:30 a.m. and 1:00–6:00 p.m. For the First Friday event tonight, the Snack Bar will be open until 9:00 p.m. Get a free bag of popcorn with every purchase!

    Sustainability Round Table Sept. 24: This could be the year that Sustainability gains a real, broad, lasting presence in life at The Pennington School, and you could play a big role in helping it happen. Please consider joining us for an open Sustainability Round Table meeting on Wednesday, September 24, during which we will lay out current plans and open the discussion up for your ideas and input. The meeting will run from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m.; location to be announced. Come anytime during that time period and as long or as briefly as your time permits. If you plan on coming, or if you cannot come but want to share your thoughts via email and/or be put on the Sustainability email list serv for future communications, please email teacher Andrew Lloyd at

    Katie Koestner to address social media: 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 and one called “Cyber Smarts” to Middle Schoolers, in addition to smaller breakout sessions with boys and girls in same-gender groups. Topics discussed will be “Gaming and Addiction” and “Cyber-Niceness.”

    Ms. Koestner has appeared on the cover of TIME Magazine, The Oprah Winfrey Show, NBC Nightly News, CNBC Talk Live, CNN, Larry King Live, Good Morning America, Later Today, Entertainment Tonight, and other national television programs. She is the subject of an HBO movie and has lectured at over 1,600 schools in North America. Her audiences include the incoming classes at MIT, West Point, the U.S. Naval Academy, Brown University, Amherst College, Williams College and many other top universities. Her testimony on Capitol Hill was instrumental in the passage of federal student safety legislation. At Pennington she will address the area of cyber-dangers and other technology concerns. 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.

  • Upper School--September 12, 2014

    Deposit for Spring Break Italy Trip due today: The deadline to sign up for the Spring Break trip to Italy should email Mrs. Morris today at There are very few spots left. The trip, which will take place March 7–16, 2015, will cost $3,600; a deposit of $300 is due today, September 12.

    Bird Feeder seeks beverages from senior parents: Many thanks to the parents of seniors who have donated soft drinks and water for the class to sell at the Bird Feeder! They sold very well this past Saturday. For those of you still wishing to donate, we will be open this Saturday, September 13, from 3:30 until the end of the football game. Currently, we especially need bottled water, although we will happily accept soda and Gatorade. In addition to this Saturday’s game, we will be open for the football games on September 27, October 11 (Homecoming), and November 1.

    Donations can be delivered to Jerry Russo’s classroom, room CCB14, in the basement of the Campus Center. Thank you for your generosity!

    Driver education, fall session, begins Sept. 21: Driver Education will be offered in the fall and spring. The fall session will begin on Sunday, September 21, and run through Sunday, December 14. Classes are 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. in the Art Schalick Conference Room (Campus Center 201). Students interested in participating should email Mr. Liwosz at The fee is $175. Checks should be made payable to Princeton Driving School and brought to the first class.

    Upper School Back-to-School Night is Sept. 26: 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. 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.

  • Middle School--September 12, 2014

    Middle School Back-to-School Night Sept. 18: Back-to-School Night for parents and guardians of Pennington students in grades 6–8, is Thursday, September 18. The Pennington School Parents Association hosts a picnic in the Campus Center from 5:30 to 6:50 p.m., followed by introductions and a welcome by Mr. Paige. Classroom visits begin at 7:00 and last until 9:15. For a full rundown of the evening’s events, please click here.

    More Pennington polos welcome: The Pennington Polo Swap was a great success at Middle School Orientation on Wednesday, September 3. If you have any outgrown Pennington School polo shirts in good condition that you would like to donate, please bring them to Middle School Back-to-School Night on Thursday, September 18. There will be a bin for donations in the Stainton Hall lobby or outside Judy Clark’s office. Thank you!

School News

  • Bill Hawkey installed as 23rd Headmaster


    The warm spirit of the Pennington School community was on full display on Saturday, September 6, under a beautiful white tent decorated with spectacular flowers and foliage. Following the academic procession of students and faculty, Chaplain Aaron Twitchell gave the invocation as the Convocation ceremony began.

    The audience of about a thousand people was quiet as Stephanie Tabas '15 sang the national anthem, after which Chair of the Board Peter J. Tucci '79 P'16'16 welcomed the assembled guests. He spoke about the importance of loyalty, and how Dr. Hawkey has exemplified that virtue over his thirty-two-year career at the School. Following Mr. Tucci's address, Dr. Hawkey was greeted by several friends of The Pennington School.

    The first speaker was the Reverend David C. Mertz, who welcomed Dr. Hawkey as 23rd headmaster on behalf of the Greater New Jersey Conference of the United Methodist Church. Then Diane P. Monteleone spoke as the representative of the entire faculty of the School. She was moved to tears as she acknowledged the faculty's support of "one of their own." Gregory Oldsey '15, chair of the Senior Class Committee, explained how "Pennington has changed my life." Next on the agenda was T. Sandberg ("Sandy") Durst '90, who earned an appreciative laugh from everyone when he began his speech by saying, "It's hot out, and I'm dressed like Harry Potter, so I'll be brief!" He spoke about a number of Pennington alumni who have returned to the School as faculty members, and he reminded the students that although they will leave Pennington, Pennington will never leave them.

    Jane Celentano P'12'16'17 is co-president of The Pennington School Parents Association, and she introduced new families as the heart of the School community, and mentioned all the ways in which they can be connected to the School through TPSPA. She also shared an anecdote about her elder daughter's first visit to the School, and how a meeting with Dr. Hawkey was the decisive factor in her coming to Pennington. Katherine Reim '19 was up next as the Middle School Representative, and she talked about her experiences in the Middle School and how the decisions she has made have shaped her academic career so far. The last speaker before Dr. Hawkey's address was Headmaster Emeritus Lyle D. Rigg, who was himself installed "like a refrigerator," he said, sixteen years ago.

    Dr. Hawkey's address focused on "The Pennington Experience," which he defined by three characteristics: Community, and how the School enjoys a culture of generosity and real caring about one another; Collaboration, embodied by a faculty that is unrivaled in its commitment to individual excellence; and Respect, which is a central value for everyone on the campus and underpins the motto of "honor, virtue, and humility." Dr. Hawkey remembered first coming to campus thirty-two years ago and soon telling the headmaster at that time that his dream was someday to be the headmaster himself. And now, with his loving family beaming from the front row, he reminded us all to always "Work hard. Dream Big. And your dreams will come true, too."

    Congratulations to Dr. Hawkey and his family from everyone at The Pennington School!

    Photos from the day's events can be viewed and downloaded HERE.

    A video of the event can be viewed HERE.


Issue: Thursday, September 11th, 2014

Upcoming Events

Thu Sep 11

Individual Yearbook Photos, Grades 6-11

Gym stage, Sparks Gymnasium
Fri Sep 12

First Friday Drive-In Movie: "Grown Ups"

O'Hanlon Green
Sun Sep 14

College Planning Night for Senior Parents

Stainton Hall Lecture Center