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One of the most important things I do each week is to connect with the boys in my Mentor Groups. By the end of sixth grade, we have formed a special bond, one based on trust and developed through God’s Word. Pouring into these boys is a special privilege and one I share with eleven of my colleagues. Together we seek to show and share God’s love and to develop these boys in wisdom, stature, and favor with God and man. PDS’ mission comes alive every time we meet together.
Five years ago I was called to PDS. The call came from a search committee, but I know it was God’s plan. I felt certain that I was being called to participate in a school that valued high academic standards but also wanted to work on the spiritual development of each boy. Schools that concentrate on both academics and character are rare indeed.
This past summer, I had the opportunity to watch God at work in Howard Graham’s life. The passion, humility, and entrepreneurial spirit that Howard brings to the position of Chaplain and Executive Director of the *Building Boys, Making Men *program is inspiring to me. The world would have told Howard not to make a move to PDS from a successful corporate career, but God had different plans. I know you will enjoy reading his story.
I am excited for the vision of how this program will continue to grow. We have great plans to create more content for boys and to encourage parents through programming. We know sharing the love of God will eventually bring the Building Boys, Making Men program to a wider audience. Please join me as I pray for this program and for God to reveal all he would have us do.
On behalf of the faculty and staff of PDS, thank you for sending your sons to our wonderful school. This time of year can be cold outside, but there is an incredible spirit and warmth inside our building. Not only are the boys working hard to be critical and creative thinkers, but they are also building their character. I get to see this character in action on the basketball courts, in the hallways, and at recess. Our students are gearing up for future success in Lego Robotics, Destination Imagination and an amazing series of After-School Adventures. I believe our school is stronger than it has ever been.
Each year we deliver standardized testing to our students in second through sixth grade. While these tests only provide a snapshot of how a boy is doing on a particular day, as a school we look at these scores and are able to see trends of how our school is doing in comparison to strong public schools and independent schools from around the country. While this year’s results are not yet available, I am pleased to report that year after year PDS exceeds the local, state and national norms for both public and independent schools. We are a school that is recognized around our country for strong academics and a commitment to character education. Just last week I had requests from schools in Colorado, Ohio, and Maine to visit our school and learn about our unique and signature programs.
This Friday our re-enrollment contracts will be distributed electronically. We would love for you to return these contracts by Friday, February 1. The Board of Trustees has recently met to determine tuition for next year. During my tenure, we have been careful to cut costs and to keep tuition increases to a minimum. Our budget is largely based on personnel costs and an increase in salary for our teachers creates an increase in tuition. Please CLICK HERE to access the tuition costs for next year.
Thank you for your steadfast commitment to PDS. As we continue to grow boys in wisdom and stature and favor with God and man, we know how important it is to partner with families. I am hosting a parent coffee on Wednesday, January 30 from 8:00–8:45 am in the Campbell Board Room. There will not be an agenda for this meeting as it will be an opportunity to discuss whatever is on your mind.
All the best,
We have had such a great start to this school year. It's hard to believe we are half way through. Our school year began with faculty and staff gathering to focus on community. We spent time together playing and learning. One of our inservice sessions was devoted to social equality and prejudice. Led by two board members, Todd Erickson and Michael Davis, we explored multiculturalism and the potential blind-spots we may have as a faculty. The conversations were powerful and have charted the work we will continue to do this school year and beyond..
As you read this issue of the Spirit magazine, I hope you will look for themes of diversity, social justice, and academic pursuits. At PDS we are not content with resting on our past successes. We are interested in creating a school that glorifies God in all that we do. This ideal takes effort and perseverance. Our boys are the beneficiaries of this commitment, and I thank you for your investment.
Thank you to all of our donors for supporting Presbyterian Day School this past school year!
Together, through our Annual Giving Fund, March Mania auction, and Strategic Initiatives, we raised an amazing $1,128,334 to support the boys and faculty of PDS. Thank you so much for your continued support.
These gifts have made an incredible difference at PDS. With our renewed commitment to customization, creative and critical thinking, and experiential learning, we have watched our boys grow and thrive. From our Early Childhood STEAM days to our Sixth Grade service projects, these gifts change lives at PDS. Our faculty is given the opportunity to always dream about what is best for boys.
When you support our school, you help put these dreams into action.
Thanks you donors!Annual Giving Report 2017-2018
Presbyterian Day School is excited to announce that Howard Graham has agreed to serve as the PDS Chaplain and Executive Director of Building Boys, Making Men.
Howard is no stranger to our school. He has been a parent at PDS continuously since 2006 and currently has a son in both the Early Childhood and Elementary Divisions. He has served the school as a trustee since 2013 and been Board chair for the past two years.
While he has spent the last 30 years building businesses, developing leaders and helping companies communicate their value, his main purpose and passion has been serving God. His experience with mentoring fathers, coaching boys and leading ministries places him in a perfect position to serve the PDS community. His forward-thinking, entrepreneurial spirit will help us take our Building Boys, Making Men program to even greater heights.
Wilson Orr, former Board chair, will assume the duties of acting Board chair. We are blessed to have many who are willing and able to serve our great school.
Please welcome Howard to PDS.
The single greatest asset of Presbyterian Day School is the dedicated and talented faculty. I find myself repeating this message nearly every day as I speak with prospective families, donors, alumni, and friends of PDS. It seems fitting that we would devote much of this issue of the Spirit Magazine to the life-changing work of our faculty.
When I interview potential teaching candidates, I am always listening for a few key items. First, I want to hear that the teacher senses a calling from God to do this important work. I want to know if he or she loves working with boys and how teaching boys can and should be different than teaching girls. Teachers need to have a passion for their subject area and know many ways to teach the same skills and concepts. The “bag of tricks” must be deep.
PDS is filled with faculty who inspire me every day. Collectively, they are constantly learning and trying to be better at the craft of teaching. I am in and out of classrooms every day. Within the walls of the classroom I see creativity, compassion, collaboration, and a love for the boys that is deep and wide and simply inspiring.
If you know a teacher who is inspiring, I encourage you to write a note of thanks. Teachers love knowing they have made a difference in the life of a child. Please enjoy these inspiring stories.
Thank you! I am so thankful for the PDS community and as a faculty and staff we have been trying to let you know how very much you are appreciated.
Our school would not exist without the generous support of generations of PDS graduates and their families. In this issue, we are thanking and celebrating many who have given to our school. On behalf of a grateful student body and faculty, thank you for all you have done to help PDS thrive.
As a school, we are excited to welcome two new strategic partners to the Memphis community. Pete Sanders recently began his tenure at Memphis University School. Our strong partnership with MUS has only been strengthened during the short time Pete has been onsite. We know that the vast majority of our students matriculate to seventh grade at MUS, and in recent years we have made certain they are ready for the next step in their education through a solid partnership.
George Robertson is the new senior pastor at Second Presbyterian Church. We are excited for his experience and vision for Christian education. He brings a wealth of knowledge and an eagerness to support PDS. There is no more important partnership for PDS than 2PC, and we are looking forward to this next chapter with eager anticipation.
Once again, thank you for your continued interest and support. May God continue to bless PDS.
The 2016–17 school year is now complete and offers us the opportunity to reflect on all that was accomplished this year at Presbyterian Day School.
I began the school year with a goal for our faculty to dream about STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) education in our classrooms. The teachers rose to the challenge and created many hands-on activities for the boys. We had many firsts at PDS this year. From our Early Childhood STEAM DAY to putt-putt and arcade activities, the boys had a blast creating and exploring outside the classroom. This issue of PDS Spirit features information about our boys using EDGE Design Thinking for a community service project and you will see many of our STEAM activities in action.
The launch of our new and improved website took place at the beginning of the school year. If you have not visited pdsmemphis.org lately, I invite you to visit and keep track of all the amazing things that take place at PDS.
Looking toward the future, I hope you enjoy learning about the mission of PDS and how we plan to continue building better boys. God has given us a great opportunity in Memphis and I look forward to seeing all the ways we will live out our mission in the years to come.
Over the past three years, I have had the opportunity to work with many groups at Presbyterian Day School. From students to parents to faculty, I have learned volumes from people who truly love our school. The Board of Trustees is a dedicated and generous group of men and women who have set about to ensure the future of PDS. Together we have studied our mission and our programs. We have reevaluated our budgets and expenses, and we have dreamt about the future of our great school. The Board has been answering five critical questions to guide us as we seek to champion our mission.
According to Psychology Today, in almost every major study involving parenting, mothers were the only ones interviewed. This comes from an assumption that mothers were the key or more important parent for upbringing.
Unfortunately, it is hard for fathers to challenge the assumption since they only spend an average of 1 hour a day with their sons. In a survey by Bandai toys, they found that all the fathers they interviewed said the pressures of work cut down on their time with their sons. Of those fathers, 84% felt they spent too little time with their sons and 79% wanted to strengthen the father-son bonds.