Spokesman Volume 59 Issue 4

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Gallery end-ofyear


Page 6


pep rallies?

Page 8


New Jersey

Page 12

The Spokesman

MAY 2023

The PDS Mock Trial Team Has

Taken On Little Rock, Arkansas!

PDS Mock Trial heads to Little Rock, Arkansas for the

National Mock Trial Competition



On March 20, the PDS

Mock Trial team, of which

this writer is a member, made

school history by defeating

West Morris Mendham High

School in the state finals of this

year’s Vincent J. Apruzzese

High School Mock Trial

Competition. This qualified

the team to compete in the

National High School Mock

Trial Competition. Following

the state championship,

the team received a brand

new case, the scenario that

teams play out in Mock Trial

competitions. In addition to the

new case, there was a whole

New Year, New Student Council

Updates on recent structure change of the Student Council



For the upcoming school

year, the faculty and students

of Student Council decided

to decrease the number of

available positions and assign

more responsibility to each


Ater spring break, Director

of Student Life Michelle

Simonds approached

the Student Council and

proposed the idea of a

structure change. Sophomore

continued on page 2

new set of rules for the national

competition that is different

from New Jersey’s rules, so the

team needed to get accustomed

to them while they continued

to prepare.

The new case was a first

degree murder dispute case,

and the defendant’s name was

Scout Cumberland (played by

junior Adya Jha). The details of

the case were as follows: two

members of the Little Rock

school board (named Scout and

Riley), who were not on great

terms, got into an altercation

during a meeting. During said

altercation, Scout ended up

shooting and, consequently,

killing Riley but claimed

self defense as Riley was in

continued on page 3

(Artwork/Madeline Cook ‘25)

Class President Rohan Shah

stated that “Previously, the

Student Council body had

so many members that it was

hard to find common ground.

Additionally, the wide range

of positions tended to blur

the lines of responsibility.”

Adjustments have been made

to the number of members

in Student Council. These

changes will carry onto the

next year, as even more

alterations to administration

will happen, such as the


Panthers Celebrate Blue and White Day

White team takes the home the win on Blue and

White Day



May 8 was a perfect

spring day to have Princeton

Day School’s annual Blue and

White Day. Panthers entered

through the front doors dressed

in the colors of their respective

teams. From the Pre-K students

to the numerous seniors who

remained at school after senior

send off, a sea of blue and

white made its way from the

school building to the Pagoda

Students and faculty competing in a game of tug-of-war

continued on page 3

(Photo/PDS Flickr)

exciting tradition between

the blue and white teams has

been one that everyone looked

forward to all year.

Darius Young emceed the

morning activities with an

race,” in which every grade

is represented by two runners

from each team, received loud

cheers from the entire school.

As usual, the youngest runners

year, the great race was won

(Artwork/Hannah Park ‘24)

MAY 2023 VOL. 59, ISSUE 4

28th Annual

Program Has


Imagining The


The PDS community

brings three authors

literature to all three




Between April 3 to April

14, three authors were invited

to PDS for the program,

Imagine the Possibilities:

Georgia Heard, Oge Mora,

and Ruth Behar.

Imagine the Possibilities is

a yearly program that brings

authors, illustrators, and

other artists who work in the

field of literature to Princeton

Day School. The program

originally began in 1996 and

is sponsored through the John

D. Wallace Jr. ‘78 Memorial

Guest Artist Series Fund.

Since its inception, over 80

artists have come to PDS to

engage in school-wide talks

and classes.

Heard is a writer of many

books and works of poetry,

including Boom! Bellow!

Bleat!: Animal Poems for

Two or More Voices (2019).

Mora is best known for Thank

You, Omu! (2018), a 2019

Caldecott Honor Book. Behar

has written many awardwinning

books and is best

known for her story titled

Letters From Cuba (2020),

which won the Pura Belpré


Freshman Danny Rozenblat

has been attending PDS since

kindergarten and has seen ten

years worth of Imagine the

Possibilities. He explained,

“I enjoy hearing the authors

and how they write, because

coming up with innovative

ideas is something people

continued on page 3





The Princeton Day School Prom

was an enjoyable and classy experience

undoubtedly fun and well planned, a

sentiment shared by many including

junior Josiah Borges, who commented

friends.” Borges continued to say that

of the windows was crazy!”

For others, prom wasn’t all great.

One gripe was with the food. Junior

Harrison Leaver believed that it was

didn’t seem to be anything coherent

going on.” But Leaver and many others

still found a way to look past the food

and still have fun, keeping the dance

still loved dressing up and boogieing.”

Empty Bowls 2023

Junior Lea-Jade Richards, a member

of the prom planning committee, also

really enjoyed the night. She believes

planning committee had a lot of fun

committee worked well together, and

it really showed in the final product of

the night.” Many PDS students seemed

to love prom, and careful planning

combined with dancing and fun created

a great night that went smoothly.

Seniors Ziya Brittingham, Sahar Haris, and Madison Tucker with Upper School

History Department Chair Stefanie Santangelo (Photo/Steph.B.Photography)

Juniors Josiah Borges and Lea-Jade

Richards (Photo/Steph.B.Photography)



On Thursday, April 27, the

fifth year of Empty Bowls was held.

Teachers, students, and parents of

all three divisions came to help fight

food insecurity. Student volunteers

stood for four hours while attending

guests browsed the work of ceramics

students, finding a bowl to purchase

for the fundraiser. For the first year

since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic,

the event required no masks

nor social distancing.

Empty Bowls originated in

Michigan by high school art teacher

John Harton in the 1990s. Harton

thought of this idea to get his students

to creatively support a food drive.

He gathered his ceramics students

together to create bowls and reached

out to local restaurants to provide

soup. Harton understood that there

was a need in his community to

address hunger, and the proceeds

that Harton collected from the bowls

and soup helped his community in

Michigan. Harton’s idea quickly


Ceramics Teacher and Greenhouse

Manager Eric Rempe introduced

Empty Bowls when he first came to

PDS in 2018. He had run Empty Bowls

at his former school for seven years.

This year, he celebrates five years of

Empty Bowls at PDS. Mr. Rempe has

created connections with many local

restaurants and markets that have provided

soup year after year, including

Terra Momo, Olives, D’Angelo Italian

Market, Rocky Hill Inn, Brick

Farm Market, and Flik Dining.

Mr. Rempe hopes for everyone to

come together for the one goal of the

Empty Bowls program: to provide

meals for individuals who do not

know where their next meal is coming

from. Many PDS students have the

pleasure of not wondering the next

time they are going to eat, making

it even more important to stress the

cause. “Empty Bowls is an opportunity

to teach what food insecurity and

hunger really is to kids who may not

understand the extent of the cause,”

Mr. Rempe explained.

The Advanced Ceramics class had

the opportunity to talk to Charlie

Orth, the volunteer coordinator at the

Trenton Area Soup Kitchen (TASK).

One thing that Mr. Rempe heard that

stuck with him was, “If you don’t

know what hunger is, skip a meal,

and then skip another one, and skip

another one. That’s what real hunger

is.” TASK is one of the three charities

that receives proceeds from Empty

Bowls, alongside Feeding America

and the Chubbies Project.

(Artwork/Hannah Park ‘24)


welcoming of the new PDS Head of

School Kelley Nicholson-Flynn as

well as Head of Upper School Katie


Junior Aadi Shankar was elected as

President, sophomore Luke Haan as

Vice President, and freshman Charlie

Kaplowitz as the Secretary Treasurer.

Shankar is looking forward to the new

school year; he hopes to implement

some fresh ideas and new initiatives.

“Luke and I have already started to

devise a plan for what we hope to

work on next year,” he stated. “One

of the things I frequently brought up

in my campaign was to bring more

events to the PDS community and

foster a more productive Student

Council that can start to make real

change for the school community,”

he shared. Shankar’s other plans

include conducting council meetings

twice per cycle and creating the PDS

StuCo Instagram page, which will

share updates about everything that

happens during Council meetings.

He further noted, “We also hope to

have more students come and share

their opinions about what they want

improved in our school community.”

Kaplowitz added, “the officers and

I will work together to propose

and implement ideas that serve the

student body’s best interest.” Haan

says the Student Council is “working

on streamlining the council this year,

so [they] can increase productivity

and make the council a team effort.”

Already, many of these plans have

been implemented. Along with the

proposals made by Shankar, Haan,

and Kaplowitz, Student Council is

discussing how they will work to adapt

to changes in the Administration.




From April 21 to 24, the PDS

Model UN team traveled to the Cornell

Model United Nations Conference

(CMUNC) and had yet another

successful conference experience.

With over half of our delegates

earning awards and everyone enjoying

their friends’ company, CMUNC was

a great time for all delegates.

Entering this conference, many had

goals of awarding, but at the end of

the day, “every single person there

not only showed tenacity, but also a

fierce collaborative spirit,” according

to senior Akash Bhowmick, who is

Secretary General of the Model UN

team. The PDS MUN delegation acted

as a cohesive team, supporting each

other along the way. With excellent

mentors, we were able to perform at

our highest capacity.

Juniors Aadi Shankar and Adya Jha,

the newly elected Secretary Generals,

have visions and actions that will

create even more opportunities for

the MUN team. Freshman Charlie

Kaplowitz believes that “our team

did well as a whole, but in the future

we could make MUN more inclusive

with an A and B team, as in years

past.” As one of the new Secretary

Generals, Shankar stated, “next year

I want to try and make the team

bigger so that we can have a larger

talent pool for conferences.” In the

creation of rosters, many people

were cut, so expanding the team will

nurture a more inclusive environment

while maintaining the integral skills.

Whether it be starting a speech with

an entertaining hook or cutting

straight into the main point, everyone

has something to offer.

“Without having [senior Alex

McInnes] as a leader for next year,

the team is definitely going to lose

not just a mentor, but a binding

force that keeps us all together,”

Bhowmick shared. Although the

wonderful seniors will be missed, our

new Secretariat is ready to take us

on a journey to greater heights. The

current members of the Secretariat—

seniors Akash Bhowmick, Alex

McInnes, David Cohen, Albert Zhou,

and Arjun Kumar—are graduating,

but with our incoming leaders, PDS

MUN can continue to be propelled to

even greater success.

Students travel to their final conference of the year. Pictured, from left to right, are

Arjun Bhardwaj ‘26, Harrison Bagga ‘26, Adya Jha ‘24, Riya Mani ‘26, and Emmy

Demorre ‘24. (Photo/PDS Instagram)

possession of a knife. Senior Akash

Bhowmick said, “I honestly like this

case a lot better than the ones we’ve

done in the past, since a murder trial

allows for a lot of courtroom drama.

There’s a lot more overall material

to go off of than our state’s cases

usually offer, so teams will have

varied and interesting theories as to

what happened, alongside having

more fleshed out ‘characters’ for their


Bhowmick was excited about the

tournament: “I feel pretty amazing

[about going to nationals], especially

because it’s my first time representing

New Jersey at any sort of national

competition. But even more than

that, I feel incredibly happy for our

four attorney coaches [Kathy Flicker,

Mike Rosenberg, Lisa Warren ‘71,

and Scott Rosenberg ‘04] who . . .

are finally seeing their constant hard

work and dedication pay off.”

Prior to Nationals, senior and

fellow student attorney Arjun Kumar

spoke of his excitement as well:

“The state tournament forced us to

constantly improve and match the

level of our next opponents as we

advanced. It was extremely exciting

for all of us!”

The competition began on

Wednesday, May 17 and concluded

on Sunday, May 21. Due to the

competition’s COVID-19 guidelines,

a last-minute decision to attend

virtually. As a result, the team missed

out on several of the bonding activities

they were looking forward to, such as

the pin exchange.

The team participated in two

28th Annual Program Has Students Imagining the Possibilities

scrimmages on Thursday and

competed on Friday and Saturday

from the Lambertville Station Inn.

PDS chose this location because of

its great facilities and the ability for

students to walk into Lambertville

and New Hope for meals and breaks.

During breaks, the team would often

walk into one of the towns to get food

and drinks from places such as the

New Hope Ferry Market, Starbucks,

Dunkin, ice cream from Moo Hope,

and more. Even though the team

competed virtually they still did well,

going 2–2 and placing 20th.

struggle with. So, when authors go

through their process of how they

[do this], it is really interesting.”

Rozenblat explained that he enjoys

listening to the guest artists of

Imagine the Possibilities and learning

from them.

Similarly, Freshman Armaan

Singhal has learned from guest

authors. He shared, “[Imagine the

Possibilities] introduced me to a lot of

books I probably would not have read

otherwise.” Singhal’s input highlights

another key aspect of the program:


Artists and authors come to the

school, allowing students to be fully

immersed in all forms of writing and

art. Upper School history teacher

Sam Hunt suggested that even if “[the

program] inspires even a handful of

kids to read more and write, that is

awesome.” Imagine the Possibilities

brings multiple artists from all walks

of life and from all realms of writing

to educate each and everyone PDS

student about the important role

literature and art play in the world.

Panthers Celebrate Blue and White Day

captured several wins in the grade tug

of war, capture the cones, potato sack

races, and water wars.

the day to help everyone cool down.

Freshman Beth He remarked that her

great community bonding experience.

Freshman Sara Nadwana exclaimed,

School.” Freshman Kara Vandal

was an exciting way to de-stress after

sentiment was shared by not only the

ninth grade, but by many students of all


Student Life, Michelle Simonds, says

that she was pleased operationally with

Blue and White Day. She hopes to be

able to include musical entertainment,

student performances and a lunch

service for all students in the future.

Paul Stellato and Chris Devlin (Photo/

PDS Flickr)

Darius Young kicking off Blue and White Day (Photo/PDS Flickr)



Keeping Up With the Advanced Computing Projects



I n their Advanced Computing

projects, Senior Caden Bialow and

Junior Shivani Manikandan made two

projects that they felt would change

the world. Using Python Flask and

web development tools, each project

aimed to solve a problem that they

themselves had: gripes with college

information and their allergies


Bialow, who wanted to positively

impact the PDS community by

providing useful and easily accessible

information, shared, “one thing I

noticed is that all of our college

information was heavily localized to

a small infographic that was located

next to reception, and there wasn’t

much else. There was a small list

online, but it was hard to find and

not fully up to date.” He observed

this problem and decided to try and

remedy it, contacting the College

Counseling office and accessing a

decade’s worth of data about college

admissions at PDS. He then started

coding a visualization of this data in

Flask, a web framework written in

Python, to make this visualization

appear on the web. He also used

JavaScript, HTML, and CSS for

styling purposes. It took four months

to create, but it may not be available

for the community to view simply

because of the security implications

of hosting such information on a

public website.

Manikandan designed her project

to attempt to remedy a problem she

has personally experienced. When

Manikandan accidentally consumed

a contaminated drink outside of

school in August 2020, she had to

visit the emergency room as she

was allergic to dairy. A week later,

she went to the ER again because of

another cross-contamination incident

involving cheese in her fast food. She

commented, “I realized that change

must be made. And so, when the

opportunity presented itself, I knew

Yearbook and Cymbals: Behind the Scenes



T he publication of PDS’s

yearbook Link and the arts and

literature magazine Cymbals are

highlights of PDS students’ year.

The production of Link started in

September, with formatting beginning

in early October. The members of the

Yearbook Club work over the course

of the school year to produce the book

by June. They choose which sections

they would like to format. Once the

different sections are completed, the

co-heads edit and perfect the pages.

Cymbals showcases the works

of writing, photography, fine arts,

architecture, ceramics, wood,

and more. The submission form

opened early in the school year and

closed in April. Upon receiving the

submissions, members of Cymbals

discuss every piece and select the

ones that best represent hard work

and talent, as well as its theme for

the school year. After the magazine is

formatted in April, the final copy is

produced and distributed in late May.

The production of Link and

Cymbals is no easy feat. Link

co-head senior Jenna Galla stated

that one issue they encountered was

“[they] had a lot of difficulty getting

everyone to participate when it came

to submitting materials.” However,

she also stated that while “it took

months of (friendly) harassment to

get the participation [they] needed,

the end result made it worth it.”

Cymbals Editor-In-Chief, senior

Ava Daniel, also noted that “one

of the issues [they] encountered

throughout the year was the lack of

submissions.” Junior Hannah Park,

who serves as an editor, stated that

this was because “not a lot of people

know about Cymbals.” Although they

faced a lack of submissions initially,

they received more photography and

art submissions closer to the deadline.

One of the most important aspects

of the two clubs is the communities.

Link co-head junior Angela Cerna

stated that she enjoyed working on

the yearbook with other people the

most, and that “it was great getting

to meet freshmen who are new this

year, and seniors that I haven’t talked

to much before.” She also expressed

that “the most rewarding part has

been seeing the book come together

and seeing everybody work together

on it.” Completing the yearbook

requires time and hard work, and it

would not have been possible without

Senior Projects: What are they up to now?

this was exactly the kind of project I

wanted to pursue.”

Manikandan partnered with Flik

on her project, which is an app that

provides a day-to-day schedule with

teamwork. Galla also stated that

“the most rewarding part of having

a significant role in the group is

watching the newer members become

more comfortable throughout the

year,” and that “it is comforting to

know they will be the next people to

continue the club.”

This sentiment is also echoed in

Cymbals. Daniels said that “[she] got

to meet new freshmen and become

(Image/Negative Space)

meals and a customizable profile,

telling you what you can and can’t eat

based on your settings. Manikandan

says that the project will be available

for the public in the near future.

Editors and Editor-in-Chief of Cymbals

(Photo/Amy Lin ‘26)

friends with different sophomores

and juniors.” Similarly, Park stated,

“it’s really fun to be around people

who appreciate art and writing and

want to work on making Cymbals the

best it can be.”

Although both Link and Cymbals

encountered challenges along the

way, the two clubs were able to

produce books that everyone will be

able to read at the end of the year.



A s the Seniors’ time at

school comes to a close, they still

have a lot of work to do with their

senior projects. Senior projects give

departing students the freedom to

create or research something of

their choice before they leave. The

students are given until the end of

May to complete their project.

Senior Oliver Silverio is creating

a podcast about the New York City

subway system. His podcast will

contain information about how to ride

the subway as well as some unique

destinations along the lines. Silverio

says: “I think senior projects are a

great idea as it gives us students a

unique outlet to explore our personal

interests that we don’t usually get to

in school.”

Senior Joshua Chu is creating

“how to” videos about tennis. He

is teaching beginners or those

interested in tennis the fundamentals.

Each video will go over one basic

skill with in-depth explanations as to

how to fully complete the stroke. Chu

says, “I chose to make tutorial videos

about tennis because it is what I love

to do. As I continue to learn, I also

want to help others progress as I do.”

Other projects range from

cooking, cookbooks, and

documentaries to podcasts, tutorial

videos, and infographics. Seniors

love the freedom they are given to

explore whatever they are interested


Upper School Physics teacher

Brian Mayer oversees the senior

projects. “Senior projects give seniors

the autonomy to do something they

are excited about,” he said. It gives

them responsibility that they have

not had before, as they “keep track

of their own time and meet the goals

that they set for each week,” which is

a very different process for students.

Through senior projects, many

students have found areas of passion

that they would like to pursue in

college. “You get out what you put

in,” Mr. Mayer stated.


Mining History and Storytelling: Dance Concert 2023



On Tuesday, April 14,

Princeton Day School Dances held its

annual dance concert in the McAneny

Theater. The audience was introduced

to the dancers’ stories through

cultural, lyrical, and contemporary

interpretations. In keeping with the

concert’s theme of mining history and

storytelling, dancers choreographed

their experiences and emotions into

dances under the guidance of artistic

director, Ann Robideaux. From a

tribute to the Williams sisters to a

humorous commentary on ballet, the

dancers explored different aspects of

history as it is reflected in dance.

The process of creating the concert

dates back to last summer. “I thought

of choreography ideas for my dancers

to explore. My main goal was to give

inspiration for the dancers to discover

where things would unfold,” Ms.

Robideaux articulated. As a result,

the dancers took the starting point

and developed dance pieces with

their own poise.

Among the dances created, Grand

Slam was a dance inspired by tennis

champions, the Williams sisters. By

watching videos of the Williams

sisters, as well as advertisements

and news stories, the dancers pieced

together a style of dance. “Venus

and Serena are a huge example of

what every girl should strive to

be—the best. Watching the elegance

in their movements throughout

tennis matches heavily inspired and

influenced the making of the piece,”

freshman Kendra Daley explained.

Along with inspirations from

famous figures throughout history,

other pieces focused on the sensations

that each dance will bring to the

audience. The dance Lover, Where

do you live? features an array of

asymmetrical group poses, paired with

live vocals and music. “Unique to this

dance concert is having live music

and live tap dance. I really enjoyed

the live interplay,” Ms. Robideaux

mentioned. The live vocals, present in

parts of the concert, were a change to

the experiences of the audience. The

audience was able to sense themselves

and their feelings in the dance,

being provided a multi-dimensional

experience throughout the concert.

Junior Amanda Chen exclaimed,

“it was really interesting that I was

able to be the accompaniment for

some of the dances, because I have

never collaborated with live dancers


This was the second year that

PDS dance teams have performed

live since the COVID-19 pandemic.

PDS’s dance community hopes to

bring more meaningful dance pieces

with their endless parameters of


Senior Lizzy Ma (Photo/PDS Flickr)

Upper School Dance Team (Photo/PDS Flickr)

Summer’s “It” Show



When I look back to last

summer, my mind immediately turns

to three things: studying for the ACT,

getting COVID-19 in London, and

watching The Summer I Turned Pretty

while in quarantine. It should come

as no surprise that when this school

year is finally over, the one show

that will be occupying all of our time

and attention will quite obviously be

Season 2 of The Summer I Turned

Pretty. There were many loose ends

to Season 1, and I am not ashamed to

admit that I have no idea what will

Sophomores Cynthia Shen and Elle Haan (Photo/PDS Flickr)

happen because I have adamantly

avoided reading the book series. This

has left me (and most people like me)

wondering the following questions:

Will Belly end up with Conrad? Will

she end up with Jeremiah? Will she end

up with both? Which Fisher boy will

win? Will Susannah survive? What is

happening with Taylor? Is she going

to start dating Belly’s older brother?

I simply will not be able to wait

and pace myself when these questions

start to be answered. I definitely

will watch all of the episodes in one

sitting; and while word on the street is

that season 2 will be releasing in mid-

Freshmen Kendra Daley and Ariyah Lamin, Senior Laurel Masciantonio, and Sophomores

July, I can assure that many people,

including myself, will be filled

with building levels of anticipation

until the day finally comes.

I will not deny that there are plenty

of other shows out there that are worth

a summer binge, but I will say with

certainty that The Summer I Turned

Pretty will once again be THE show

of the summer. There is no comparing

the plot of any other show to the

magic that surrounds Belly’s summer

in Cousin’s Beach, which is why The

Summer I Turned Pretty will be the

best use of leisure time this summer

for any burned-out student.

Cynthia Shen and Elle Haan (Photo/PDS Flickr)

(Image/Sunswept Entertainment)



End of Year Exhibition of Passionate PDS Artists



On May 4, the Anne Reid ‘72

gallery opened with an end of year

exhibition featuring the artwork from

students in photography, ceramics,

painting and drawing, architecture,

and woodworking classes. Senior

Elizabeth Sun commented that, “As

a student from Advanced Fine Arts,

I really cherish the opportunity of

having my work featured in the

gallery. I worked really hard on some

of the projects and the exhibition

made me feel very accomplished.”

In her class, the Advanced Fine

Art students created collages based

on dreams, nightmares, and fantasies,

and painted them with color matching

in acrylic. They also had a series of

written exercises discussing color,

emotion and form. Sun stated that

she “really enjoyed working on

things that [she is] passionate about

in Advanced Fine Arts.”

“The first piece is a table inspired by furniture with hand-cut joints, where

the legs of the table go through the top part of the table. Also, if you look

at the piece closely in person, there are some hidden hand-cut joints. The

second piece is an Akari Light sculpture, I wanted to make something with

a more abnormal shape, so I chose to make it longer and skinnier, whereas

traditionally, most of them are shorter and rounder.” —Lindsay Newman

(Photo/Lindsay Newman ‘25)

“My artworks shown in the gallery were inspired by my dreams and nightmares

as well as what the inside of my head feels like. The five different pieces all

flow together and build upon each other.” —Riley Welles

(Photo/Gwen Shockey)

Senior Haley Schragger and Junior Anvika Vasireddy with Upper School Architecture

Teacher David Burkett (Photo/PDS Flickr)

Sophomore Carter Bergstein and Upper School Fine Arts Teacher Gwen Shockey

(Photo/PDS Flickr)

Upper School students admiring the works of their peers

(Photo/PDS Flickr)



A s the NBA enters the 2023

postseason, rising superstars,

mind-blowing performances,

and astonishing game-winners

will grace the spotlight.

Preceding the playoffs’ tipoff,

the teams with the seventhhighest

through the 10th-highest

winning percentages in each

conference participate in Play-In

Tournaments to determine

who will fill the seventh and

eighth playoff seeds. This year,

the Atlanta Hawks, Miami

Heat, and the Minnesota

Timberwolves have conquered

their successors, in order to

advance.” Ironically, the Los

Angeles Lakers and the Miami

Heat, two of the teams that

had to compete in the Play-In

Tournament to even qualify for

the playoffs, have made it to the

conference semifinals. In the

Western Conference Semifinals,

The Lakers eliminated the

Golden State Warriors, the 2022

NBA Championship Winners;

totaling this series’ record at

4-2. Avid NBA-follower junior

Mia Hartman is extremely

excited about this, stating: “The

Lakers have been bringing the

fire they have needed all season.

It’s crazy to see Golden State

out on the court, you know they

have always been the dominant

‘team to beat’, but not this year. I

enjoy watching the NBA, it’s fun

to see the competition from the

athletes, especially the rookies.”

Junior Sara Appleby’s

observations aligned with

Hartman’s as she shared, “the

Warriors’ performance has really

changed from last year, because

they won the championship

in 2022, but this season went

44-38 and barely beat the Kings

in the first round of playoffs.”

The future of this series was

very uncertain, but one thing’s


for sure, watching two of the

league’s most renowned players,

Lebron James and Stephen

Curry, fight for their position

in the Western Conference

Semifinals was a major headline

during this postseason.

The Miami Heat have

illustrated their perseverance in

the quest for the championship

ring. Their star player, Jimmy

Butler, might not have a title just

yet, but he is definitely a threat

to the league’s best players, one

that hasn’t been easy to avoid.

He has, time and time again,

demonstrated his persistence as

Looking Back On the Rise and Fall of PDS Football



L ike many schools in

Mercer County, PDS is known for

academic excellence and staterecognized

achievements in the

classroom and on the field. What

sets us apart from many local

high schools is that we currently

do not have a football team,

although our middle school does.

However, there were days in the

past when our high school football

team was a local powerhouse.

Between 1973 and 1980,

the Panthers won four State

Championships, including a threepeat

in ‘73, ‘74, and ‘75. After a

PDS Middle School football team in their 2022 fall season (Photo/PDS Flickr)


few dull decades, the team revived

in the early 2000s to have multiple

winning seasons, including a 7-1

record in 2005, the Panthers’ best

season since 1981. PDS Football

was back, or so we thought.

The football program played

its final game on November 6,

2009, which ended as a brutal and

controversial loss against Tower

Hill in Delaware. Buildings &

Grounds Manager, Cross Country

Assistant Coach, JV Hockey

Coach, Head Assistant Baseball

Coach, and Former Special Teams

Coach Chris Devlin reminisces on

the vibe surrounding the program

in its final year, “we could see

the writing on the wall,” he said,

“we knew this was going to be

our final season. Our final game.

We didn’t blatantly tell them, but

the players could sense it too.

They wanted to win the last game

more than anything.” The Panthers

ended up finishing 3-6 that year.

So how did a team riding high

five years prior suddenly fall

apart? Devlin says, “There just

wasn’t enough interest the final

few years. As a result, we had to

travel to schools in Delaware and

Pennsylvania constantly because

an underdog, which particularly

activates during the postseason.

Butler’s leadership on the court

led the Heat in defeating the

No. 1 seed in the first round

of the playoffs, concluding the

series at 4-1, against the Bucks,

who have the best record in

the league. They continued

their success during The

Eastern Conference Semifinals;

securing their position in the

East Finals, after winning 4-2

against the New York Knicks.

“The playoffs this year are

very interesting because you

have victorious teams that

didn’t even expect to make it

to the playoffs; it’s going to be

very interesting watching the

journey to find out which teams

we’ll see in the championship,”

Assistant Tennis Coach Jon

Brown stated. With the immense

talent, and passion channeling

through each player in the

NBA, it truly is unpredictable

where the postseason will take

us. Head Tennis Coach Micheal

Augsberger leaves us all with a

prediction: “You heard it here

first: the Denver Nuggets will

be the 2023 NBA Champions.”

However, the past has proven

that certainly anything is

possible in the NBA playoffs.

we weren’t big enough to match up

against local private schools.” In a

sport that is so contact-heavy like

football, having depth is essential

for wins and, most importantly,

player safety. “11 guys on offense,

11 guys on defense, and three

more on special teams. We had 28

players our final year, so most kids

had to play all four quarters which

sometimes resulted in injury,”

recalls Devlin. In addition, interest

in the team among the student

body declined compared to a few

years prior. However, Devlin says,

“Popularity wasn’t really a factor.

At the end of the day, it’s football;

there will always be people at games

whether the team is good or bad.”

Overall, a lack of players,

injuries, and brutal travel schedules

resulted in the downfall of PDS

Football. But no matter how well

the team played or the gray cloud

that hovered over them those

final few years, Coach Devlin

still says, “Coaching football

was amazing. When we walked

off the field for the last time, I

remember just looking around,

reminiscing on this program’s

great moments. I know there were

some tears shed that night.”


Internship or Job: Which is Better?



Summer break: It can be a

time to relax, catch up with friends,

or enjoy some much needed rest.

But with the end of the school

year fast approaching, many PDS

students are planning on spending

their break at internships or jobs.

The question arises: which is

better? While internships and jobs

are similar in nature, there are also

key distinctions between the two.

Internships and jobs require

similar skill sets, such as time

management, project development,

and communication. Additionally,

both internships and jobs typically

have employee training and an

overview of expectations at the

beginning of the position. Over the

course of the internship or job, one

can be expected to be assessed by a

boss or the company manager.

Despite these similarities, a

PDS Pep Rallies: Yay or Nay?



Hundreds of enthusiastic

PDS students fill the bleachers of

the Upper Gym three times a year.

Athletes bubble in anticipation for

their upcoming games, pushing any

worry aside. Our lovable mascot,

Paws, bobs their head through

the bleachers, inviting all to “get


Pep rallies offer students a

chance to come together and

rally behind their school spirit. It

enables students to feel a sense of

belonging within their community

and offers a reprieve from the math

key difference between jobs and

internships is that jobs for high

school students are usually in

the hospitality or service sector.

For example, summer jobs for

PDS students can include being

a cashier, as well as a server or

barista at a local food or drink

joint. Alternatively, internships

are usually in a more corporate or

career-oriented setting, such as in

financial services, consulting, or

technological industries.

Sophomore Amy Lauer said,

“if you want to build a strong

work ethic, I recommend you get

a small job.” Lauer further noted,

“Internships are better to work

for a company right after college

and are more ‘serious.’” While

summer jobs offer money and can

help develop interpersonal skills,

internships are more important for

securing long-term employment.

Junior Natalie Willner has a

similar view. “I think internships

test they have tomorrow or the

history project due next week.

This spring’s pep rally was

filled with musical chairs, balloonpopping

relays, promposals, and

captivating dance performances

that entertained the Upper School


Freshman Charlie West believes

that these pep rallies are effective,

claiming that “they allow students

an opportunity during their busy

weeks to feel free and bond with

their friends and upperclassmen.”

Zoo leader and senior Sophie Jaffe

agrees with West’s claims and

adds, “I think they increase school

spirit because it allows the entire

Upper School to get together in


are more beneficial in the long-run

for future jobs and experience,”

she explained. For example, some

students can get a return offer

for a specific summer internship,

meaning they would be asked

to return to the company for

another internship or full-time job

placement the following summer.

Lauer has personal experience

with a babysitting job. “Babysitting

5 to 10 year olds for eight hours

a day is very time consuming and

one space.” Jaffe elaborates on the

additional pride she feels when the

pep rally comes together, sharing

that “it is so much fun to see smiles

in the stands and people cheering

on their friends.”

Sophomore Parth Khera is not a

big fan of pep rallies. He explains

that while pep rallies may increase

school spirit, “they are lacking

and not always fun to go to.”

Khera continues, “I would be more

excited if there were more events

and more hype.” Khera suggests

incorporating dances, fun games,

and better team introductions to

make the pep rallies more exciting.

Sophomore Michelle Xu,

reflecting on pep rallies of


requires patience,” she shared.

The type of job and its difficulties

are important to note. While both

internships and jobs are essential

ways to hone certain skills, the

corporate nature of an internship

and the challenges a job may

present are factors to consider.

I believe that internships are

more beneficial for high school

students, as interns learn skills that

can be applied to many fields, such

as tech, journalism, and law.

past years, commented, “[its

effectiveness] depends on how

much energy everyone else has.

Sometimes, pep rallies have high

energy and they are super fun to

be a part of. Other times, not so

much. Usually, however, they are

an amazing experience and I am

happy to have attended them.”

The goal of PDS pep rallies is

to create an atmosphere where

students feel proud to wear the

colors blue and white. The zoo

leaders for the 2022–23 school

year have done an amazing job of

cultivating community and building

relationships through their fun

events and positive personalities.

Paws cheering on spring sports teams as athletes run across the Upper Gym (Photo/Umang Sharma ‘26)

Sophomores to Receive College Counselors



Every year in November,

juniors receive a college counselor

who will guide them in the college

process. This year, the process

changed, and the Sophomore class

received their college counselor

assignment the week of May 8.

This came about for a few reasons.

Associate Director of College

Counseling Allison Anderson

says that the main reason for this

change is a rise in questions from

students and families. Assigning

counselors at this stage is “in

order to respond to the perception

that there were families out there

who didn’t feel as supported as we

wanted them to be.” This change

allows college counselors to have

better communication with parents

about their students’ preparedness

The Blemish They Can’t Conceal

for college; however, Ms. Anderson

emphasized, “We don’t want

students to feel pressure to turn their

attention too much to college when

they are still a sophomore.”

As a sophomore myself, I

believe that this new change will be

extremely beneficial to my grade and

future sophomore classes to come.

This new change will give us and

our families a point person to reach

out to with questions. To make the

best use of this time, Ms. Anderson

encourages us to start the “getting

to know you” process, stating that

“this change will let sophomores

have another caring, trusted adult

on campus who is starting to learn

about their values and their journey

through high school.” This aspect is

vital to the PDS College Counseling

program as we will need all the help

we can get and a supportive team

behind us will allow for that.

Sophomore Sarah Adler agrees.


She states, “At the end of sophomore

year, you are picking classes to take

in junior year, which is a crucial time

for the college application process.”

Ms. Anderson noted that our advisors

know a lot about this and should be

the ones mainly involved in course

selection. The college counselors are

always there to answer questions and

tell us how things would look from a

college standpoint.

Overall, I think sophomores

receiving college counselors in the

second semester is beneficial, as it

allows students to enter the mindset

of the college proccess earlier.

PDS College Counselors (Photo/PDS Instagram)






The term “animal testing”

is often thrown around in regards

to animal rights activism, but the

specifics of animal testing tend to

be glossed over. The ethicality of

testing products on animals should

be self explanatory, right? Well,

not exactly. Animal testing includes

using various types of animals

to test whether or not specific

chemicals or medicines are safe

for humans. In scientific research,

animals are only used when there

are no effective alternatives for what

is being studied due to how complex

biology can be. In the commercial

cosmetics industry, however, these

tests are almost always cruel and

unnecessary, including procedures

such as lethal dose tests, which

involve forcing rats to swallow large

doses of a chemical to determine

the lethal dose, and Draize tests,

which involve putting the chemical

on the eyes and skin of rabbits and

then checking for redness, swelling,

bleeding, and many other painful

side effects.

But why is it worse in cosmetics?

In scientific research, ethics

committees oversee the process of

research requiring animal testing,

and other methods are constantly

being developed. PhD student

Dorenda Schoorl told us how her

work at Institut Pasteur in Paris had

to be approved by Pasteur’s ethical

committee and how she had to take

a course to work with animals and

learn the proper handling of mice.

In the case of her research, and the

research of many others, system

biology is essential, and other

methods are not currently advanced

enough to replicate this outside of

living animals. In cosmetics, though,

the alternatives do exist. The issue is

that there aren’t regulations to make

companies use them.

The Food and Drug Administration

is the organization that regulates the

safety and efficacy of our medicines,

and that ensures the safety of

our food and cosmetics, but their

approach focuses on humans, not

animals. While they “consistently

advise” cosmetics companies to find

replacements for animal testing, they

only advocate for and against what is

already written in laws. All of their

language surrounding the topic is

passive, further demonstrating their

unwillingness to fully denounce the

practice as regulators in many other

countries have.

On the medical side, the FDA

recently stopped requiring animal

testing on new medications to prove

efficacy, which allows for the many

alternatives already available to

be used to test toxicity. However,

there isn’t a need for innovation in

cosmetics when there are hundreds

of chemicals that have already

been deemed safe for humans.

Additionally, there has been a

movement to switch from harsh

chemical products with ingredients

most people can’t pronounce to

more natural substitutes. This means

that companies should not be trying

to find more chemicals to force onto

people for the sake of their looks or

hygiene. Especially not when this

“innovation” is at the expense of

the lives of hundreds of thousands

of animals each year. Unnecessarily

testing helpless animals with

harmful chemicals is not the way

to make advances in the cosmetics

field, especially when testing on

animals fails to flag chemicals toxic

to humans extremely often.

Unfortunately, this problem is

not one that can be easily fixed,

especially without the support

of those directly affecting the

regulations and legislation around

cosmetic safety. There are ways to

help, though. For example, a good

way to know if a brand is crueltyfree

is to look for the Leaping Bunny

logo on its products, or to find the

brand on the Leaping Bunny website.

An example of a cruelty-free brand is

Lush, which specifically states they

only test on human volunteers and

have been advocating against animal

testing for decades. Another way is

to buy cosmetics from small local

businesses, soap being the easiest to

find this way. Contacting lawmakers

is a good and accessible way to

help get to the root of the issue and

promote the safety of animals to the

people in power. Lastly, the most

important step towards cruelty-free

cosmetics is to make others aware

of the realities of animal testing in

cosmetics, which is why we wrote

this article.

To learn more about the fight for

cruelty-free cosmetics, check out the

posters put up around the school,

or visit the Humane Society of the

United States’ website.




The Myth of College Rankings: Unraveling Their True Worth



In the competitive world

of higher education, college

rankings have become a prominent

and often controversial subject.

Students and parents eagerly pore

over lists, hoping to identify the

“best” colleges and universities.

However, it’s time to question the

relevance and true value of these

rankings. Are they indicative of a

students’ success and educational

experience, or just an arbitrary

number associated with prestige

and nothing else?

College rankings typically rely

on a combination of factors, such

as academic reputation, faculty

resources, student selectivity, and

financial resources. However,

these metrics often fail to capture

the diverse and complex nature of

educational institutions. This onesize-fits-all

approach disregards the

unique strengths and qualities that

different institutions offer. Most

rankings are often biased towards

Ivy League schools and other wellknown

institutions, making them

seem more desirable to students,

while lesser-known schools are left

out of the conversation. Moreover,

some rankings may place too

much emphasis on factors such as

selectivity and financial resources,

while ignoring other important

factors such as student satisfaction

and diversity. As David Kirp, a

professor of the Graduate School

at the University of California,

Berkeley points out in a 2022 article

in The Nation, “[college rankings]

would give a shout-out to colleges

where the teaching is first-rate, the

students are engaged in learning,

and the alumni describe themselves

as living a fulfilling life.”

College rankings can be harmful

to both students and institutions.

In particular, students may feel

pressure to attend a highly ranked

college even if it may not be

the best fit for them. Colleges,

meanwhile, might be incentivized

to prioritize rankings over other

important factors such as student

success and satisfaction, leading to

a culture of competitiveness rather

than collaboration.

College rankings often emphasize

research output and faculty

qualifications and undervalue the

quality of undergraduate teaching

and student support systems. In

her 2022 article on Prepscholar,

Samantha Lindsay, a Dartmouth

College graduate, explains “Even

though focusing on outcome does

make sense to a certain degree,

it also fails to fully evaluate the

quality of the student experience.”

It is crucial to consider the

holistic development and academic

growth that a college provides

beyond what can be measured by

numerical metrics.

While college rankings might

provide a quick glimpse into

the perceived prestige of an

institution, they fail to capture the

nuanced elements that truly matter

for an individual’s education and

personal growth. As admissions

officers and college advisors

emphasize, students should look

beyond the rankings and focus on

factors like academic fit, student

support, and career opportunities.

It is crucial to approach college

selection as a personal journey,

seeking an institution that aligns

with one’s unique aspirations and

goals. By doing so, students can

discover a college experience

that is meaningful, fulfilling, and

tailored to their individual needs.

In the end, it’s important to

remember that the true value of

a college education lies in the

knowledge gained, the experiences

lived, and the personal growth

achieved, rather than a mere

number on a ranking list.

(Image/Roger W)

Security at Princeton Day School



One key issue preoccupies

schools all around the nation:

school safety. In the United States

this year, there have been 24

school shootings. Homeschooling

and online education programs

are becoming more popular among

parents who believe that this is

“the answer to protect children

from violence.” Princeton Day

School has put a lot of effort into

keeping trespassers from entering

the building. PDS has implemented

a wide range of security measures,

including security guards, cameras

and training sessions. So the

question arises: is the school doing

enough in terms of school security?

Michael Cifelli, who is part of

the school’s security team, said,

“security is an ongoing process.

Training and constant evaluation of

the building and personnel helps us

keep ahead of the game in terms of

security.” Mr. Cifelli believes that

this school has accomplished much

in terms of school security and that

everything is being done to ensure

the safety of students and faculty

alike. However, there is always

room for improvement, as he notes

that it’s an ongoing process. Mr.

Cifelli said, “If someone sees

someone coming and doesn’t

recognize them, the biggest thing

a student can do is help secure

the building.” He elaborated that

the DoorDashing culture at this

school is quite problematic. With

unidentified people entering the

building whenever and wherever,

security becomes a problem.

Students can help contribute to the

acknowledgment of security by

being wary of who they open the

doors for.

Freshman Grayson McLaughlin

feels good about school security.

He said, “I think our school is pretty

secure. Having an ID card ensures

that only authorized individuals

can get into most entrances.”

Funnily enough, McLaughlin

changed his mind about a potential

lack of security in the event of

students losing their IDs after

realizing, mid-interview, that he

had misplaced his own ID card.

It is safe to state that the school

is doing its best when it comes to

security. They have kept us safe and

still watch out for the community’s


Mr. Cifelli (Photo/Jamie Creasi ‘24)

Last Words: Advice from the Class of 2023



September feels like it was just

yesterday, but the Class of 2023 has

already left to work on their senior

projects. The feeling of emptiness

in the halls is a bittersweet reminder

of the friendly, fun-loving class.

Though the Seniors had many of

their high school years disrupted

by COVID-19, they still managed

to preserve their remarkable sense

of humor while achieving social,

extracurricular, and academic

excellence. During their time at

PDS, the Seniors learned invaluable

lessons that they hope to share with


“Enjoy the small moments,”

remarked senior Blake Carmody.

“I woke up yesterday and realized

the Spokesman



it was my last week of high

school.” People tend to focus so

much on end results—receiving

the award, obtaining the A, getting

into college—that they ignore

moments of happiness during

the process. Relish the moment

of understanding a new concept.

Reflect on a good book. Value

conversations with friends. Savor

the sea of blue and white while

watching a sports game. Senior

Jenna Galla recalled, “Some of my

fondest memories happened in the

stands of a PDS game.”

Most advice for Freshmen

centered around social life. Senior

Ava Fong believes that struggling

to fit in is normal. “You’ll find

your niche naturally as you grow

older,” Fong explained. Fong also

mentioned that trying to act cool

will only backfire because friends

should accept who you truly are.

To Sophomores, both Fong

and Carmody recommended that

academics should be taken more

seriously. Additionally, it was

commonly recommended that

rising Juniors should take an

elective taught by English teacher

Jessica Manners.

The Class of 2024 will soon

begin the college application

process. “Start early!” Galla

emphasized. Carmody, who wrote

his application essays during the

summer and will be attending the

University of Rhode Island in the

upcoming school year, advised, “If

[the college] has the option, apply

early action or early decision.”

After years of hard work, the

Seniors will have the freedom

to pursue their dreams, whether

it be in college or elsewhere. “I

see myself traveling the world,”

Galla said. “I want to explore and

create a future filled with exciting

adventures.” Carmody hopes to

work in marine biology, while

Fong is excited to surprise herself.

“I have no idea where I’ll be in the

future, but I like it that way,” she


Although it is sad to imagine PDS

without these Seniors next school

year, completing high school is a

huge milestone that is worthy of


Thank you and goodbye, Class

of 2023.

Summer Crossword



Jamie Creasi, XI

Adya Jha, XI

Sam Elkin, XI

Arun Patel, XI

Ben Masia, XI




Cynthia Shen, X

Michael Arnwine, XI

Ruth Mehreteab, X




Gloria Wang, XI

Michelle Xu, X

Parth Khera, X




Cyril Pandya, XI

Hart Nowakoski, X

Laasya Kanumuri, XI




Clara Shin, X

Ethan Wang, X

Ronin Bae, XI




Anagha Konakanchi, XI

Justin Elkin, XI

Amy Lin, IX


Hannah Park, XI

Ashlyn Du, XI


Amy Matlack

Michael Kideckel


NJ Roomba Massacre




Spring Highlights

I ’m sitting in my room at my aunt’s place

after a long and grueling week of APs, trying to

finish this article, when I suddenly hear this strange

whirring noise. At this point, I’m all alone in the

house because my aunt and my cousin stepped out

for his tennis lesson. I chalk the sound up to the

A/C or washing machine and get back to work.

Spring Athletics Senior Days (Photo/PDS Flickr)

Sometime later, I hear the whirring get louder

and nearer, and suddenly there are sounds of

violence being committed against a nearby

doorframe. A lump begins to form in my throat as

the bad ending to every horror movie plays out in

my mind. I clutch my phone—open to my mom’s

contact—in my hand, ready to say my prayers and

bid the world my final farewells. Soon, the source

of the dreaded noise pushes open the door and

looks at me with its singular, great, green, flashing

eye like a predator that finally cornered its prey.

Tauntingly, it roves around the room smashing

loudly into walls and attempting to climb the legs

of my bed. I realize quickly that it can’t. The

ghastly creature leaves, seemingly bored. I think

I’m safe, but then realize that this was all part of

its dastardly plan. It hovers over to the lamp and

starts running over the wires, chewing them up.

They’ll fray if the metal beast goes at them for

long enough. And if they fray, they’ll start a fire.

And if a fire starts, I’ll be forced to get off the

bed where the abomination will get to me. Just as

I start to think that I’m done for, my aunt swings

open the door and steps into my room, and the

Roomba innocently turns to look at her.

Alumni Weekend (Photo/PDS Flickr)

US Figure Skating Showcase (Photo/PDS Flickr)

Varsity Baseball (Photo/PDS Flickr)

STEAM Night (Photo/PDS Flickr)

Jacobson Recitals (Photo/PDS Flickr)

MS Musical - Matilda Jr. (Photo/PDS Flickr)


100 Day Senior Lunch (Photo/PDS Flickr)

Advice Column



(Image/Vector Portal)

H ow to have a good summer:

Folks, summer is sacred, a time that must be

savored. Every day is a privilege, do not waste

your time! First, make sure that you are spending

a minimum of five hours outside. Whether it be

playing or eating grass you must have a tan that

junior Sam Elkin would approve of. Next, ask

junior Hutch Henderson for dating advice. He is

handsome, charismatic, and has quite the summer

bod. So if you are looking for summer love … he

is your man! It’s gonna be hot, so make sure that

you are drinking plenty of water. If you hate the

taste of water then try something more flavorful,

such as goat milk or apple cider vinegar. Finally, be

sure to keep in touch with your friends at school.

They will forget you, with time.

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