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February 22, 2022

Dear PDS Community:

This second trimester has been filled with many exciting moments. I hope you and your family have returned from the short winter break energized, and your sons are looking forward to this final trimester of experiences.

My Message from PDS Sunday
The weekend of the recent ice storm, I had the honor of speaking at Second Presbyterian Church (2PC) for PDS Sunday, a school tradition. I commented briefly about how PDS is giving expression to its mission to "glorify God by developing boys in wisdom and stature before God and man." We are deeply grateful to 2PC that in 1949 founded PDS and has remained such a committed partner ever since. While 2PC and PDS share a campus, they are distinct institutions but are strengthened by one another because of our relationship.

At PDS, we believe that we have a powerful opportunity to shape a boy's heart and mind through one of the most formative times of his life. The ten years that our boys spend at PDS set the paths not simply of their educational careers, but they set the trajectories for their lives: they help determine the sort of men they will become; and set the paths for the way they will serve and lead among their families, and friends, in their communities and churches, and their workplaces. We want our boys to have the skills and habit of mind to lead, but we want them to have hearts of compassion and service flowing from the gratitude they have for God's love for them.

PDS is about shaping head and heart. Boys need a framework, and a foundation for life, that helps them make sense of the knowledge they acquire and the world they can help shape through the responsibilities and opportunities they are given in life.

We desire to set the foundation that as they grow older and gain new freedoms, they understand their responsibilities should increase; that as they have the freedom to speak, they should speak carefully and judiciously. As they gain freedom to make decisions, they will be responsible for thinking carefully about those choices and making good decisions. We want them to understand that to follow God means that one should be responsible and do good to everyone around them. As we train these and future boys, we will continue to fulfill the mission of this school and strive to understand what is best for boys in education.

So many factors have impressed me about my first six months at PDS. What has been singularly most impressive to me is the quality of education offered to PDS boys. Our boys are receiving a foundation of educational excellence that is weaving together threads of academic preparation, emotional intelligence, and the right balance of challenge and opportunity appropriate for their development.

Secondly, I'd say this is the happiest environment for boys that one can imagine. As I greet boys every morning, walk hallways, and see them engaged in learning, I think they are the happiest boys I've ever encountered in an academic environment. The exceptional and talented faculty of PDS make the school distinctive. They have a proven track record of loving, nurturing, and knowing how to shape a boy. They understand boys and lead boy-friendly classrooms. They know how to balance fun-filled boy classrooms with humor, high academic standards, and memorable moments.

The last point that has greatly impressed me about PDS is its commitment to mission. Institutions morph and change over the years, and organizations may sometimes drift from their original mission; PDS has remained passionate and committed to its founding mission. We are two years from celebrating our 75th year as an institution, and we are still passionately pursuing our mission as it was at our founding.

As change and adaptation are always before us, PDS will continue to build upon our past that is distinctly Christian and warmly welcoming of boys from all backgrounds; one where boys will not simply grow in their intelligence but in wisdom. We will keep focused on building these boys to lay a foundation for life.

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