During April, Phoenix Country Day School was honored to host world chess champion and political activist, Garry Kasparov, for an insightful chat with students. In a conversation moderated by Upper School history teacher (and former chess coach) Matt Guthrie, Mr. Kasparov enlightened students with stories of escaping Russia, his views on Russia’s influence in the recent U.S. election, and what is was like to be the first human to successfully defeat a supercomputer (Deep Blue) in chess, according to a press release.
A few school administrators are one step closer to moving out of a trailer they have called an office, at the Phoenix Country Day School in the Town of Paradise Valley. Proposed plans to refurbish the Phoenix Country Day School administration building have passed through the first step of the Paradise Valley Planning Commission after a Jan. 3 study session at Town Hall, 6401 E. Lincoln Blvd. The commission took its first look at the plans to replace the 2,700-square-foot building with a more inviting building, proponents of the plan contend.
The Phoenix Country Day School is requesting a Special Use Permit in hopes of building a new administration building on its campus at 3901 E. Stanford Drive in Paradise Valley. The Town of Paradise Valley Town Council will discuss the request during the study session of its Thursday, Dec. 1 town council meeting. The town has issued a statement of direction regarding the project, saying the Planning Commission will further review the project for specified criteria.
Phoenix Country Day School has been ranked the top private school in Arizona by Niche.com, and has been recognized in the top-50 of private K-12 schools nationally. “Once again, we’re proud to be the No. 1-ranked school in Arizona, as we take great pride in our offering,” said PCDS Head of School Andrew Rodin, in a press release.
On Tuesday, Nov. 22, Phoenix Country Day School held its annual Turkey Drive to benefit St. Mary’s Food Bank. Led by the PCDS Middle School student council, families were encouraged to bring in a frozen turkey to be donated to St. Mary’s, according to a press release.
During November, Phoenix Country Day School celebrated one of Arizona’s and PCDS’ finest leaders, Gay Firestone Wray. “For over 50 years, the Firestone family has been instrumental in shaping our image, shifting our culture, building our buildings, and establishing a philanthropic community at PCDS,” said Head of School Andrew Rodin, in a press release. Generations of Firestones have attended Phoenix Country Day School, and there has been one constant since the beginning: the family matriarch, Ms. Wray.
In September, Phoenix Country Day School celebrated the official grand opening of the Shin Center for Art, Science and Innovation, the campus’ new state-of-the-art, collaborative academic space. At the dedication, donors Christopher and Jennifer Mee Cole spoke with members of the PCDS Board of Trustees, Advisory Trustees, and Campaign Ambassadors, who are THRIVE Campaign leadership donors, about the role that educational institutions play in a city’s ability to draw top talent from around the country and globe.
The Phoenix Country Day School Middle and Upper School Speech & Debate teams traveled to Salt Lake City, Utah to compete in the National Championships of the National Speech & Debate Association’s National Forensic League, where they brought home individual and team titles. The Upper School team featured three national finalists—Jason Greenfield (senior, attending Amherst College this fall); Jillian Gilburne (senior, attending Northwestern University this fall); and Olivia Najafi (sophomore) at the tournament.
On June 20, Phoenix Country Day School hosted over 30 teachers from 13 schools for a free professional development opportunity– sharing best practices for Jolly Phonics, the early childhood reading program utilized by the school. Led by PCDS kindergarten teachers Julie Fine and Pam Gagner, it was a hit for the visiting teachers and a great opportunity for PCDS faculty to share their expertise with the Valley education community, according to a press release.
Phoenix Country Day School recently celebrated the 10 members of its class of 2016 that have committed to play sports at the NCAA level next year.