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February 2, 2016 Facebook Twitter Instagram School Seal
Getting to Know Dr. Edwin Gordon

Jessica Lahey Palm Beach Day Academy parents and members of the community attended a cocktail reception and luncheon recently at the home of Frances and Jeffrey Fisher. The two events were hosted as another opportunity to welcome Dr. Edwin Gordon, incoming head of school.
“Tonight marks a vision of excellence for both Palm Beach Day Academy and our broader community,” said Frances Fisher as she welcomed more than 100 guests to her home for the two days of events. “As we look to the future of the oldest independent school in Florida with almost a century of time-honored tradition in meeting the needs of its students, we recognize its growth and importance as a national leader in the field of education and the vital role it has played in serving one of the most beautiful and unique communities in the world.”
In addition to Palm Beach Day Academy board members, building campaign advisory committee members and other parents, representatives from the Center for Family Services, the Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens, the Literacy Coalition, the Flagler Museum, the Historical Society of Palm Beach County and the Fellowship of Christians and Jews had the opportunity to meet the school’s incoming leader.
“Edwin is a man of vision, authenticity, integrity, and rare humility,” continued Fisher. “His personal and professional journey are a remarkable testament to his commitment to fostering the best atmosphere possible for the academic and personal development of our children. He truly recognizes that the next generation of leaders depends on early experiences that influence direction and shape values, and I know the educational landscape of PBDA and its impact on our growing community are in the best of hands with Edwin.”
Dr. Gordon addressed the group with his vision to take Palm Beach Day Academy to its next level of excellence.
“It is truly exciting to be a part of a community where the Palm Beach Day Academy parents, board members, administration, faculty and community members believe in possibilities and continuous growth, along with facilities to match the rigor of our programs,” said Dr. Gordon. “The way we design our programs and the way we design our facilities around a shared vision will continue to underscore one of the unique things I have found at PBDA – a school that really does practice its mission of preparing students today who can lead tomorrow.”
For more information about the building campaign, or ways to engage with Dr. Gordon, please click here ( or call Director of Development, Cynthia Kanai at 561.832.3308.
Click for photos posted on the "New York Social Diary" website. Scroll to the bottom for PBDA.

Jessica Lahey New York Times Bestselling Author, Jessica Lahey

Jessica Lahey, author of the New York Times Bestseller, The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed, spoke to PBDA parents in the Smith Family Theater on January 26. Her message was clear. Many modern parents are doing too much of what their children could do for themselves, and, in the process, are creating children who are less prepared for success than children who have greater responsibility for themselves are. She went on to make the point that forty years of studies have shown that people, children and adults alike, respond positively to "intrinsic motivators," but are harmed by "extrinsic motivators." Ms. Lahey described the damaging extrinsic motivators that many parents implement as things such as unearned praise, rewards for good grades, and punishments for poor performance. She claims those things, which appear helpful to many, are a "disaster for learning." Instead, Ms. Lahey suggested that parents and schools create environments where intrinsic motivators are allowed to take hold. People are intrinsically motivated, she says, by three things — Autonomy: freedom to be in charge, Competence: genuine abilities acquired by personally overcoming challenges without unnecessary assistance, and Connectedness: the positive meaningful interactions a person has with others as a result of his or her competent contributions.
Relying on intrinsic motivators requires parents to "let go," as Jessica puts it, and trust that those motivators are working, even in moments of failure. Those moments are necessary, she says, and parents who do too much to avoid them are doing more harm than they realize.
Jessica's presentation was part of PBDA's Parent Lecture Series, organized by the Parent School Council, PSC. School parents Cindy Sulzberger and Steven Green underwrote Jessica's appearance at PBDA.

Debate Team Bulldog Debaters

PBDA's fledgling Debate Team left for Jupiter Middle School and their first official competition on January 20th, unsure and inexperienced. Head Debate Coach, Jan-Marie Cook, and her fellow coaches Sarah Kemeness and Richard Tummon had watched the group prepare diligently, and had provided what advice they could. But, until the students were before the judges and/or across from opponents, they were a completely inexperienced team.
When the evening was over, all of that had changed. Apart from the fact that five of the twelve team members placed in their divisions, the whole team left the meet as veterans. Now, our twelve debate pioneers have become our resident experts, ready to pass tips and tricks to those who come after them. That's the way debate teams work. Much is self-taught and shared by students, for students, and then put to the test at meets.
Our brave first-timers included 6th Place Impromptu winner, Danielle Weitzmann, 3rd Place Public Forum Debate Team of, Grayson Costa & Zane Ice, and 4th Place Public Forum Debate Team of Adin McAuliffe & Harrison Schram, along with Isabel Carden, Gray Foster, Martina Gil, Sydney Kosoy, Nicholas Lorentzen, Caroline McCann, Ally McGivney, Isabella Pargiolas, and Amelia Pottash.
Congratulations to all. Next debate is February 24, right here at PBDA.

National Junior Honor Society National Junior Honor Society

Eighth and Ninth graders may qualify for membership in the National Junior Honor Society. The NJHS is a service organization that recognizes outstanding middle school students who have demonstrated excellence in Scholarship, Leadership, Service, and Character. To become a member and maintain their NJHS standing, students must earn and maintain: a 90 average, all ones and twos in Effort, and 10 hours of Community Service during each trimester. In recognition of this honor, a luncheon is scheduled for qualifying students during the second trimester at which time they will receive their certificates and pins. Seventh Graders may also qualify for NJHS based on meeting the criteria during the third trimester.
Click for the list of National Junior Honor Society inductees.

Roots n Shoots Jane Goodall Institute Mini-Grant to Fund Primary 3 Project

Primary teachers Courtney Ellender and Joy VanDyke earned a mini-grant from the Jane Goodall Institute for a Roots and Shoots project that is happening in their classroom. Roots and Shoots projects involve students identifying a need in the community, working collaboratively, and taking action. The project was developed during a thematic unit on Community in the fall. Primary 3 students created a community map of their school environment. They used photographs of school buildings and drew in the landscape and surrounding topography together. The children noticed that we didn’t have a lot of plants and green space around our playground and building and the project took off from there. They also came up with a concept for an outdoor learning space adjacent to their classroom. They have begun planting in containers and creating exploration opportunities using recycled materials and natural elements. They will use the grant funds for vertical gardening materials, mosquito repelling herbs ad butterfly plants, and to implement any other ideas that the children come up with to support the project.

Roots n Shoots Community Garden

Fourth graders are participating in a fun, hands-on, learning experience in the Upper Campus Community Garden. They are following the journey of food “from seed to plate,” and concentrating on what it takes to grow sustainable food and how food production affects them. Integrating the gardening activities with classroom instruction has helped the fourth graders realize that the choices they make about food do have an impact on their lives and the environment.
The students are excited about the cucumbers, squash, and tomatoes that are nearly ready to be harvested, and other produce will be ripening soon. Future plans include replanting the areas where the original seeds were unsuccessful and enhancing the butterfly and native habitat right outside the fourth grade pod.

Field Day Field Day Captains

7-9 Flamingos: Kasen Jones, Elena Scheffler
7-9 Pelicans: Sayge Chiquito, Gus Maduro-Vollmer
6th Flamingos: Bridget Burt, Carter Levine
6th Pelicans: Seray Ozgenc, Teddy Tarone

Congratulations and Good Luck to all captains and their team members.

Kiwanis Kiwanis Student of the Month - January

Shane Knopp has been selected by the faculty to receive the Kiwanis Student of the Month Award for January. The Student of the Month is chosen by the faculty from the 8th & 9th Graders. The decision is based on the faculty's judgement of each student's contributions as a scholar and school citizen.
Congratulations, Shane.


#pbdadifference1 from Palm Beach Day Academy on Vimeo.

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