The instrumental music program at Peck is in full swing and the anticipation of our Lower and Upper School Music teachers (as they awaited the opening of the new Peck Commons) is being energetically rewarded.
It started with a crinkled coat. When Joaquin Stevenson ‘21 was a sixth-grader at The Peck School he discovered the challenge of trying to keep his required school blazer wrinkle-free while traveling to and from sports matches after school. Stuffing it in his sports bag was the only option and neither he, nor his mom, were pleased with the results.
Joaquin wondered why girls at Peck get to switch to their winter uniform on Nov. 1 after fall sports are largely over, but boys have to switch a month earlier? He decided to investigate the matter as the inspiration for a speech in his sixth-grade Public Speaking class. As an added incentive, he thought he might qualify to read his speech to the whole school during Peck’s annual sixth-grade speech competition.*
Generations of Peck alumni will proudly report that they are either Downy or Redhead, two school clubs that have been rivals for more than 70 years, resulting in a deep and lasting sense of school spirit. Many years ago, the annual Downy vs. Redhead competition spanned the entire school year and took place both on and off the athletic fields. Since the latter part of the 20th century, however, the tradition was eventually distilled into a single action-packed day of school spirit known as the Downy/Redhead Field Day. This year, we restore a beloved timeless tradition and reinstate the yearlong Downy/Redhead festivities.
Traditionally, at the end of the first week back to school, Peck faculty, staff, and parents gather for a celebratory kick-off dinner and the opportunity to acknowledge key accomplishments in the community, including the school's highest honor for faculty: the Disciplina Ad Vivendum award for teaching excellence. This year’s Welcome Back festivities were unusually exciting, however, and the tone at the event, one of historic significance.
On Tuesday, September 3, 2019, students of The Peck School – Morristown’s prestigious Kindergarten to Grade 8 co-ed independent school - returned to campus to witness a historic moment in the school’s 127-year history.
As students return for the 2019-20 school year in September, they will notice a few new faces around campus. New faculty will be joining our Upper School science and math teams, six individuals will be joining our Lower School Associate Teachers program, and two new members of the administrative staff join Peck.
Andrew Schneider put his ideas into action recently by holding a weeklong workshop during Peck’s Summer Program entitled, “Shark Tank.” Based on the popular TV series, where actual entrepreneurs enter a room full of potential investors and make a pitch for funding in exchange for ownership stakes, this scaled-down version shared basic business principles with students in grades 5 to 8, and then set them loose to incubate ideas for their own businesses.
On June 7, in their traditional formal attire, The Peck School’s Class of 2019 accepted their diplomas from Head of School Andy Delinsky and President of the Board of Trustees Edward James Foley IV ‘85. Forty-four eighth-grade students from towns across several northern New Jersey counties participated in the commencement as they formally graduated from Morristown’s historic K-8 independent school.
Lisa Wichman, Peck’s Lower School Music Teacher, received a New Jersey Governor’s Award in Arts Education on May 14, 2019. She was nominated for the award by the executive board of the New Jersey Music Educators Association.
Eighth-grader Isabella DiPasquale took first place at the National History Day® (NHD) state competition in the Individual Website Junior Group category. Her website, entitled “The Radium Girls: Get a Job, Lose a Life,” explores the plight of American female factory workers who unknowingly contracted radiation poisoning in the 1920s from their work painting watch dials with self-luminous paint.
On March 9, several Peck students from Grades 6 to 8 traveled with members of their families and Peck faculty advisors to Kean University to showcase their National History Day (NHD) projects at the regional competition. These students were chosen to exhibit in the regional event from the whole of their respective classes that created a wide variety of projects for the annual Peck NHD competition earlier in the year.
English Department Chair Sarah Chan has been awarded an Individual Artist Fellowship by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts for a work of prose. The piece was written during the summer of 2018 while on a trip taken through Peck’s Ben Alexander Grant for Faculty Enrichment.
At The Peck School, perseverance goes hand in hand with design thinking and student-centered learning. Nowhere is this more evident than in the annual bridge design and bridge-breaking unit of instruction in Tim Loveday’s Grade 8 physics class.
Students are in the thick of Peck’s 4th annual Mini-mester this week. Mini-Mester—a weeklong design-intensive learning experience stimulating creativity, resilience, collaboration, and critical thinking—engages students in a variety of project-based activities. During Mini-Mester week, students take shortened classes in their regular subjects in order to accomodate a long period each day immersed in a world of inquiry, inspiration, trial and error, and fun.