Phoenix Country Day School celebrates First Friday traditions

Reister (Submitted photo)

Eight-grader Finn Reister (Submitted photo)

On Friday, Aug. 28, Phoenix Country Day School capped off its first week of classes with a few favorite annual traditions.

It convened as an entire school community, filling its gymnasium with all of its 750 students, grades pre-kindergarten through high school, along with 130+ faculty/staff, and the PCDS Board of Trustees for First Friday—an all-school assembly highlighted by speeches from three students and Headmaster Andrew Rodin.

The event began with the traditional procession of Senior-Kindergarten Buddies, according to a press release. Each year, the members of the PCDS senior class walk their kindergarten “Buddies”—members of the PCDS kindergarten whom each senior will mentor throughout the school year—into the gym.

Following the procession, Headmaster Rodin introduced the newest members of the Phoenix Country Day School community, the pre-kindergarten classes that make up the PCDS Class of 2029, stated the release.

K-12 Buddies (Submitted photo)

Oliver Marsden (12th Grade), Harlow Levy (Kindergarten), and Sofia Shah (12th Grade) enjoy the Senior-Kindergarten Buddies tradition at PCDS. (Submitted photo)

Three student speakers addressed the crowd at the event: Fourth-grader Serena Fechtmeyer, eighth-grader Finn Reister, and high school senior Jillian Gilburne.

“With the help of my teachers and all the time I have put into my work, I am a confident student. Every experience, every moment, every lesson has been a little piece of a big picture,” Ms. Fechtmeyer stated during her speech.

The First Friday assembly is an annual tradition that spans over two decades. As the only pre-kindergarten through grade 12 independent school in the Valley, experiences like this are invaluable for our students and faculty. They represent the school’s commitment to students through every stage of their learning experience, from early childhood to college preparedness, and beyond, stated the press release.

It is through traditions like First Friday and the Senior-Kindergarten Buddies that PCDS warmly embraces its strong sense of community across the generations, according to the release.

Mr. Reister, who was new to PCDS last year in seventh grade, shared his experience as a new Eagle: “I have always liked school, but something about PCDS made me like it even more. I think it is because PCDS is more like a neighborhood than a school… and I would like to welcome all new students to our PCDS neighborhood.”

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