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As Presbyterian School plans for an enrollment expansion in Pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten and Second Grade for the 2017-18 school year, we are making necessary plans for more (and different) spaces to accommodate the increase of classes and students. With this in mind, we are moving our Admission, Finance, Communications and Philanthropy offices out of 10 Oakdale to free up the building for additional classroom space.

Beginning August 2017, 4th grade will occupy beautifully remodeled learning spaces at 10 Oakdale. Remodeling in 10 Oakdale will begin mid-April and after renovation is complete, 4th grade will enjoy much more flexible space. A fully enclosed building dedicated to 4th grade will enable students to exercise their independence when switching classes and provide much needed space for individual and group projects.

Our Admission, Finance, Communications and Philanthropy departments will move their offices from 10 Oakdale to 1 Pinedale, an adjacent property located directly across from the North Parking Lot along the Middle School carpool route.

10 Oakdale will be closed from March 30 (at noon) through April 3 to accommodate this move.  The Admission, Business, Communications and Philanthropy offices will reopen on April 4 at 1 Pinedale. If you need assistance from these administrative offices between March 30 - April 3, please contact either Mary Elizabeth Borden in the Early Childhood/Lower School Office or Michelle Mota in the Middle School Office. Please note, the Uniform Resale Closet will be closed during the move.

 

Grade Levels Set to Expand, Effective 2017-18 

 

These are exciting times at Presbyterian School as we live into our Strategic Vision for the Future. First published in the Spring 2015 edition of the Window, our Vision addresses our desire to accommodate growth over the next five years, considering museum construction, Church programming, and planned school expansion.

In keeping with this Strategic Vision, Presbyterian School is excited to announce that next year we will begin this expansion by adding one section at each grade level in Pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten, and Second Grade. We recognize that PS is known for being a more "high-touch" and intimate program where our teachers know, love, and challenge their students.  Our plan to add these additional sections in Early Childhood and Lower School will enable us to accommodate current demand for our program while shrinking class sizes, giving our teachers the opportunities to connect even more closely with our eager learners.  

Our Early Childhood and Lower School class line-up for 2017-18 will include:

Beta: 3 sections
Pre-Kindergarten: 3 sections 
Kindergarten: 3 sections
First Grade: 2 sections
Second Grade: 3 sections 
Third Grade: 2 sections
Fourth Grade: 3 sections 

Our expansion in the 2017-18 school year will necessitate an additional section in each grade level of First and Third Grades in 2018-19. There are no changes to enrollment in the Middle School.

More information about our expansion will be shared with parents at our annual Sneak Peek/Step-up Meetings in May. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Kristi Brown, Director of Admission & Financial Aid or Christy Heno, Head of Early Childhood & Lower School.

 

Politics at Presbyterian School

While real-world politics rage across the United States, students at Presbyterian School are engaging in their own campaigning and election. In an effort to educate all Presbyterian School students about the unique electoral process that characterizes presidential politics in the United States, Presbyterian School will hold its second election in school history on November 8, 2016. 

During the 2012 presidential election, Presbyterian School initiated a plan to run Pizza (from the "Party" of savory, hearty, and greasy) against Cupcakes (from the "Party" of sweet, sugary, and sinful).  Over 600 faculty, staff and students two-years-old through eighth grade voted for their favorite choice on Election Day 2012.

While the 2012 PS election mirrored the Presidential election in scope and mechanics, PS made no pretense about its relative importance in the grand scheme of things.  Just don't tell that to the Pro-Pizza Super Pac called Students for a Tastier Tomorrow that formed in the Middle School who were aggressively lobbying for its candidate with advertisements such as, "Because this School Deserves More than Just Sugar and Flour," "So Much more than Just Cheese," "A Cupcake Win would be Tough to Swallow," and "Don't Let them Shove Cupcakes down Your Throats." Overnight, students turned into lobbyists and campaign strategists. 

Four years later, the lobbyists and political strategists have returned for PS Election 2016. While the electoral process hasn't changed, the candidates certainly have! A Creative Genius fine arts elective class composed of students from the Class of 2017 was created to put forth new candidates to consider.

 

Meet the Candidates 

Studying the concept of creative genius, eighth grade students examined the following questions: What does genius look like?  What does genius sound like? With the resources of the School and city at the class' disposal, eighth grade students met with experts and conducted interviews, listened to great music, examined masterpieces, and embarked upon in-depth research to define genius and identify individuals who could fit into this category. The class brought up many notable individuals including Jim Henson, Walt Disney, Shel Silverstein, Michael Jackson, and Whitney Houston.

The Creative Genius class voted to elect Dr. Seuss as the creative genius to represent the "Visual Arts" party and Elvis Presley as the creative genius to represent the "Performing Arts" party.  Dr. Seuss and Elvis Presley are now going head to head for the title of Creative Genius in the PS Election 2016.  

Different people use different criteria to describe genius. Exceptional originality, superior intelligence and expert creativity are just some of the facets of genius. Students in the Creative Genius class had to create candidate profiles to best present their candidate's platform as the greater creative genius.

 

Performing Arts Creative Genius Nominee
Candidate endorsement written by Nora Lawless (Class of '17)

Elvis Presley, also known as the King of Rock and Roll, was perhaps the most influential person in the history of that genre. Presley, a significant icon in American culture during the 20th century, came from a humble background yet managed to steal the hearts of his generation. This rock and roll musician captured the attention of onlookers with his own flair and dance moves. Elvis’ unique rhythms were a result of many styles of music he was introduced to as a child. One man, Elvis Presley, created a foundation for musical artists to come.

What is a creative genius? Most believe that being creative is thinking outside of the box. A genius is generally someone with a high IQ. So how does Elvis Presley, a man without an extremely high IQ, fit the title of being a creative genius? As Nancy Andreasen, the chairwoman of the Department of Psychiatry puts it, “Some people see things others cannot, and when they are right, we call them creative geniuses.” Elvis, in his own right, saw something that the rest of his generation could not.

The majority of the white population in Elvis' time period was blinded by prejudice and shunned anything that was related to African Americans. Elvis Presley may have had some prejudice against another race, but he lifted his blindfold enough to see the value of a different viewpoint. The African Americans had a contrasting style of music that Elvis introduced to his generation by combining African American jazz with what was contemporary at the time. The product of this fusion was the foundation modern singers would build upon.

So was Elvis right? Yes, I believe he was.

 

Visual Arts Creative Genius Nominee
Candidate endorsement written by Robert Gonsoulin (Class of '17)

Dr. Theodor Seuss Geisel, commonly known as “Dr. Seuss,” was a famous author and cartoonist, who wrote children’s books. He was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. Seuss’s illustrations appeared on different ads, and as time passed, his artwork began to appear on magazines, such as Life and Liberty. In 1956, Seuss was awarded a doctorate from Dartmouth University. He pursued his writing career and wrote many successful books such as The Cat in The Hat, The Lorax, and How The Grinch Stole Christmas.

Dr. Seuss is a creative genius because he wrote multiple books that have been translated into twenty languages and have sold over half a million copies. His books are used every day to help young people, including toddlers, learn how to read. Overall, Dr. Seuss is a creative genius because he made children’s literature and reading fun, and he gave people a good laugh.

   

Campaigning in the School

 

Students received valuable campaign and marketing help from Harris County District Attorney and PS Parent, Devon Anderson, her campaign manager, Sara Kinney, and former White House Director of Policy Planning and PS Parent, Austen Furse. With help from these expert professionals, students put together a campaign strategy with corresponding marketing materials and honed their public speaking skills. 

The Creative Genius class also created class activities about the candidates to share with every grade level. Students distributed flyers, commercials, endorsements and other promotional materials. Faculty even got in the spirit of the election and gave candidate endorsements. Lower and Middle School students had the opportunity to hear from the political parties representing Elvis and Dr. Seuss during campaign rallies, debate assemblies and speech conventions.The Creative Genius class targeted classrooms through a "block walk"  for more informal campaigning.

Early polling was conducted to gauge the temperament of the School and students hit the hallways to promote their candidates. All students engaged in grade-level appropriate activities targeted at learning more about each candidate. Each grade had the opportunity to not only learn about what a genius is (as citizens evaluate what a president/leader should be), but to also learn more about the two candidates running for the title of Greater Creative Genius.

 

Endorsements for Elvis

Dr. Seuss Commercial

Elvis Presley Commercial

Mr. Adams Endorsement of Dr. Seuss

Dr. Carleton Rebuttal of Dr. Seuss Endorsement


Mr. Adams Rebuttal of Elvis Endorsement

 

Elvis Presley Speaks

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The Presbyterian School Electoral Map 

Each homeroom, advisory group and school office has been assigned a state with the requisite number of electoral votes-e.g., a Beta class could be assigned Alaska with three electoral votes, a third grade class might be Louisiana with eight electoral votes, etc. 

In this manner, students will get a true understanding about how the electoral process works, the impact of campaigning and the differences between electoral college votes and popular votes.

See below for a chart detailing the Presbyterian School electoral college and how many electoral votes have been assigned to each homeroom, advisory group or department office.


Alabama/Robertson 9 Indiana/Dabney 11 Nebraska/Washington 5 S. Carolina/Stuckey 9
Alaska/McConn 3 Iowa/Bunting 6 Nevada/Stoessel 6 S. Dakota/Geiger 3
Arizona/Rucker 11 Kansas/Hereford 6 N. Hampshire/Advancement & Comm 4 Tennessee/Harrison 11
Arkansas/Druke 6 Kentucky/Fox 8 New Jersey/Bracewell 14 Texas/Headmaster 38
California/Business & Facilities 55 Louisiana/Lucker 8 New Mexico/Raish(Bell) 5 Utah/Filardo 6
Colorado/Singer 9 Maine/Applewhite 4 New York/Burgess 29 Vermont/Kinder M/S 3
Connecticut/Reynolds 7 Maryland/Drake 10 N. Carolina/Hughes 15 Virginia/Burgy 13
Delaware/Flores 3 Massachusetts/Hall 11 N. Dakota/Tech Team (Cov. & Carla) 3 Washington/Martin 12
Florida/Renken 29 Michigan/Webb 16 Ohio/Sanchez 18 W. Virginia/AET & Mouton 5
Georgia/PE-Wellness 16 Minnesota/O'Gorman 10 Oklahoma/Head 7 Wisconsin/Adams 10
Hawaii/T. Smith 4 Mississippi/Specialists & Fine Arts 6 Oregon/OEC 7 Wyoming/Div. Heads 3
Idaho/Babers 4 Missouri/Admin. (Mota/Borden) 10 Pennsylvania/Walker 20 Wash. D.C./Admission 3
Illinois/Hanold 20 Montana/Hemenway 3 Rhode Island/Kinder C/M 4    


Every Vote Counts

On Election Day, Tuesday, November 8, 2016, all students, Beta-eighth grade, and faculty will vote for his or her choice of creative genius. The results will be announced Wednesday, November 9, and the winning campaign will host an inauguration celebration in December.

 
Talk to your son or daughter about the Presbyterian School Election 2016.  It is our hope that students will gain an appreciation for the peaceful transition of power in the United States and why participating in elections are so important.  Mostly, though, we hope students will think deeply about exactly what makes a genius, just as we hope voters think about what will make a good leader.


Cross Country Team lives out core values


Presbyterian cross country runner, Paige, has had a tough start to the season. She was plagued with an injury that forced her to sit out the first few cross country meets. At this weekends meet, she was feeling good and wanted to run. Three fourths of the way through the race she was really feeling it.

Then this happened...(see video below)

What an amazing example of our students living out our Core Values!


 

 

14-0 JV Football win against St. Michael's

 

This Tuesday, the JV football team had a phenomenal game against St Michael's and went home with a 14-0 win. The offense, led by Caden Rice at QB made a vast improvement from previous games. Running back Todd Hunt helped move the chains with great runs to get the offense moving. Caden Rice scored two touchdowns with Bonner Johanson and George Still each adding extra point scores. 

Leo Filardo and Nicholas Oldham both added an interception to help the defense hold St Michaels to a scoreless game. George StillCharlie Funderburk and John Patton had standout games on defense with several open field solo tackles. The boys had a great game and made tremendous progress so if you see them, be sure to congratulate.

The Full Roster 

Bonner Johanson
Lawton McLemore
Todd Hunt
Matthew Godinich
Evan Wray
John Patton
Matt Lewis
Hutch Coward
Luka Ljuboja
Harrison Henke
Charlie Funderburk
Nicholas Oldham
Caden Rice
Leo Filardo
George Still

An independent, co-ed day school for students 3 years old through 8th grade

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