The short list *
CONTENTS 3: The Short List • 18: The Academic Experience • 20: The Community Experience • 22: Before and After • 24: Facts
This is only the beginning. Welcome to the short list: 15 ideas that make Peddie what it is today— an uncommonly diverse, hard-working, high-impact independent school in the heart of New Jersey. We’re in love with ideas; we see opportunity everywhere; we take the kind of risks you take when you know you’ve got a whole community of people behind you.
We believe that the future is built on ideas. It’s built by people from around the world getting together and talking, debating, growing, being inspired, putting their best ideas to work.
The future looks a lot like us. It starts now.
The Short List *
WORKING IN A LAB SO FABULOUS, IT HAS TO BE CALLED THE FABLAB
It’s an engineering lab, a programming lab, an advanced fabrication lab. It’s a place where students and teachers work together on robotics, architectural and mathematical models, large-scale art installations. It’s also the home of Peddie’s robotics team, which students run like a small business. Mr. Meredith: “The beauty of the FabLab is that there aren’t any limits on what you can produce. But no matter what we’re making, we’re working across disciplines, using industry-standard tools, and adjusting to new information and new technologies. That’s how the world works. So that’s how we work.” Scott Meredith teaches robotics and other related fabulous things.
LOVING WHAT YOU DO
And doing a lot of things you love. Like, say, editing the school paper, or starting a Red Cross Club to support communities that have suffered natural disasters, or conducting independent research in brain networking at the University of Pennsylvania. Caroline: “I love being part of a creative process. I love the feeling that I’m making a difference. And I love exploring completely new fields. Peddie made me feel like there were no limits.” Caroline Casey is a senior; she’ll attend the University of Pennsylvania, where she plans to pursue a double major in biochemistry and economics and get involved on campus in too many ways to list here.
LEARNING FROM EXPERIENCE
More than 200 Peddie students teach English one-on-one to local residents in our free English as a Second Language program in Hightstown. The residents are native speakers of French or Spanish or Mandarin Chinese; our students are learning those languages at Peddie. Each session includes conversation, instruction, connection. Mr. Middleton: “This is learning by experience—for our students and for the adults they work with. This is what it means to take an active role in your education—and in your community.” Claudio Middleton, a native of Chile, teaches in the arts department and the language department.
FINDING PEOPLE WHO ALWAYS HAVE YOUR BACK
People who start as teachers or coaches or advisors and then, after graduation, keep being an important part of your life. Ms. Loughran: “Annie was in my class as a new sophomore. She was intellectually engaged from the start. She asked to meet after class to improve her writing— which led to conversations about other courses, social life, adjusting to Peddie. Eventually she asked me to be her advisor. It was a great match. After graduation we’ve always made time to catch up, check in. The people you meet here, the experiences you have here—those things stay with you.” Annie: “Ms. Loughran was the first person I’d turn to with any kind of problem. Her support and love meant everything to me. She’s my mentor for life.” Jan Loughran ’77 teaches English. Annie Chen ’11 graduated from Princeton (like Ms. Loughran!) and works at Tencent, China’s largest Internet company.
TEACHING ENGLISH LIKE IT MATTERS (BECAUSE IT DOES!)
Our English classes engage with great literature, analyze the way a text works, and explore the human questions it raises. Mr. Roach: “We also give assignments that have creative, dynamic options—making an animated film based on a scene from Hamlet, or maintaining Twitter handles for characters in Anna Karenina. Or we critically examine nontraditional texts, like a podcast. This is the best time in human history to be in an English class. There are more ways to access texts; more ways to connect literature to experience; and more ways to share and refine your ideas about a text. We take full advantage of that opportunity.” Matt Roach teaches junior and senior English.
SEEING THE BIG PICTURE
Most of our coaches are also teachers, or dorm parents, or advisors. So they see sports in the context of a student’s full life. Mr. Bennett: “In sports, there are always short-term distractions: your record, your stats. But what matters in the long run is the character you develop, the friends you make, and the culture you create on the team. When I’m coaching, I look at the big picture. Let’s be the best people and players we can be—in that order.” Kurt Bennett is an assistant coach for varsity boys basketball and junior varsity baseball; a dorm parent; and an English and humanities teacher.
DOING THINGS NO ONE (INCLUDING YOU) EXPECTED YOU TO DO
Like taking art in your first year (a requirement). Or extracting DNA in a science lab in your sophomore year. Or auditioning for the musical and getting a huge role. Tessema: “When I got the role of Daddy Warbucks, I was shocked. I didn’t know how I was going to remember all my lines, or react to the big crowd, or get over my stage fright. But the rest of the cast was my support team. The thing is, at Peddie, labels don’t mean much. I play football, I play basketball— but when I was on stage, I just wanted the audience to be proud of me.” Tessema Haskins is a first-year student from Georgia; he plans on not being a stranger to the theater program.
GETTING INTO THE WORLD
Our Modern India class spent two weeks in northern India—a chance to see how culture and history and politics work in real time, for real people. Sophie: “My roommate in sophomore year was Punjabi; I always loved hearing about her life in India. The trip made the whole country come to life. And then we met the Dalai Lama.” Amina: “He said that one of the most important things you can do if you want to have a positive impact on the world is get enough sleep. Which is true, if you think about it.” Sophie Kennedy is a senior; she’s planning to attend the University of Miami, where she hopes to be pre-med, study marine affairs, and work with a women’s health program in Tanzania founded by her grandfather (Barry Goldsmith ’62). Amina Bright is a senior; she’s planning to attend Rutgers and major in computer engineering.
SETTING HABITS THAT WILL LAST A LIFETIME
Like Study Hall—two hours on weekday nights when students are required to be working at their desks. Or talking to adults as if they were real people (which they are!). Brad: “I still study every night from 8:00-10:00 p.m., just like I did in my first year at Peddie. Everyone at Peddie took Study Hall seriously—and so it became second nature. The same thing applies to engaging with teachers. At Peddie that was the norm. Everyone has a voice. Your ideas count. That’s how I approach my experience at Columbia.” Brad Davison ’13 is a political science major at Columbia University, where he’s a member of the Men of Color Alliance and a writer for the Columbia Spectator.
APPRECIATING THE VALUE OF SWEAT
Our athletic training staff serves the entire Peddie community, because we believe that making your body work helps make your mind work. Mr. Roca: “I’m a strong believer that athletics is an extension of the classroom. The values we teach in athletics—teamwork, commitment, resilience—apply to every aspect of a student’s life.” Mr. Volkmar: “Our fitness program is a learning environment. Fitness can give a student the confidence to try new things, on and off the field. It can change lives.” Jose Roca is Peddie’s head athletic trainer. Mike Volkmar is Peddie’s strength and conditioning coach.
BEING A HUMAN SWISS ARMY KNIFE
Our dorm parents are like extremely friendly Swiss Army knives: They can do everything. Ms. Crider: “I’m a cheerleader for my residents, I’m their advocate. I want to be open to who they are, to the experience they bring to Peddie. I want to push them to think of themselves as citizens—of the dorm, of the campus, of the world. I want my girls to be advocates for themselves. And, yes, I want them to do their own laundry.” Mr. Onion: “The essential dynamic of dorm life is to set clear expectations. Pizza helps, too. In the end, I want my residents to have a powerful sense of self and a firm belief in their potential to solve problems.” Sarah Crider is a dorm parent in Masters South, home to the now-famous Tone-Deaf Karaoke Night; she teaches science. Marc Onion is a dorm parent in Kerr South; he teaches English and is the 9th grade dean.
KEEPING A MOTTO THAT YOU CAN ACTUALLY LIVE BY
Ours is Finimus Pariter Renovamusque Labores. Which translates to “We finish our labors to begin them anew.” Which means: We work hard, we love what we do, we see it through— and then we look for the next great thing to do. The world doesn’t stop. Neither do we.
GOING FARTHER (AND REACHING OUT)
We want to help students pursue their passions. Sometimes that pursuit takes them around the world. JR: “In my first year, I took Chinese on a whim—but that led me to travel to Beijing and Shanghai and connect with students at Peddie’s sister school in Shanghai. For my Signature Experience, I traveled to the Philippines to examine the microfinance industry and its impact on local entrepreneurs and businesses—which influenced my decision to study economics and business in college, with the aim of using my education to serve others. Here’s what Peddie taught me: Always search for opportunities to learn something new. Use your education to make the world a better place. And no matter where you come from, your best asset is your ideas.” JR Rodrigo ’11, who was a Morehead-Cain Scholar at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is an analyst at Brown Advisory, an investment management firm based in Baltimore, Maryland.
GOING DEEPER (AND MOVING FORWARD)
Our Signature Experiences allow you to design your own intensive project and take it as far as you can go. Katie: “My Summer Signature program was an attempt to find answers to a simple, incredibly complicated question: How has my life been affected by witnessing 9/11 as a fouryear-old growing up in lower Manhattan? I found and interviewed about a dozen students from my preschool class. Then, in an art honors thesis, I documented their responses to that question in photography, sound design and sculpture. I was able to confront an internal struggle in a meaningful, creative way. That says a lot about the inspiration and support I got from Peddie.” Katie Fenlon is a senior; she’ll attend Lafayette University, where she plans to study history, government and law.
SEIZING EVERY OPPORTUNITY
Because every day is a new beginning. Uzo: “You have so many opportunities here. You meet so many inspiring people. Everyone here—teachers, friends, parents, staff—plays an important role in your life. Here’s my advice: You get one chance to be a Peddie student. Take advantage of it. Don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone. The impact lasts a lifetime.” Uzo Achebe is a junior whose short list of activities (sample: chorus, orchestra, mock trial, golf, soccer, co-president of the student body) is always expanding—which, at Peddie, is the point.
The Short guide *
THE ACADEMIC EXPERIENCE THE SHORTEST POSSIBLE GUIDE TO OUR ACADEMIC EXPERIENCE
It’s designed to develop the kind of young people the world needs most: flexible, collaborative, entrepreneurial. It’s rooted in an intellectual community as diverse as the world and a school culture that rewards hard work, respects every voice, and embraces the unexpected. It features intensive coursework that expands to fit our students’ ambitions; open-hearted, broad-minded, student-focused faculty; and spectacular opportunities on and off campus. This is an inspiring, demanding, fully engaging intellectual experience, built for people who will build the future.
is grounded in foundational work in the major disciplines (arts, English, history, language, math, science)—and then it takes off: new offerings in neurobiology, robotics, genetics. A world-class Asian Studies program. Classes like Arts and Archaeology, Financial Markets and Investment, Modern India. Or Green Architecture, Biochemical Forensics, Unheard Voices in Literature. It’s guided by faculty and staff who are deeply attuned to the intellectual and developmental needs of adolescents. It’s connected to the civic and cultural life of two astonishing cities (Philadelphia and New York). It’s a curriculum that knows where it stands—and adapts to the needs of the endlessly new world.
THE SIGNATURE EXPERIENCE
A Peddie innovation: an
opportunity for juniors or seniors to design their own program of independent research or creative work and pursue it at length, under the guidance of faculty mentors on campus and at organizations and institutions around the world. Subject areas include arts, Asian studies, creative writing and research science—but we encourage students to cross boundaries, work in unclassifiable new ways, surprise themselves. A sample of recent Signature Experiences: developing microfinance projects in the Philippines; creating an on-campus aquaponics system; designing a bionic ear in a lab at Princeton; studying rural poverty in Maine; composing music in a cabin in the woods. Important note: The culmination of every Signature Experience is sharing what you’ve discovered—in a performance, a presentation, a panel—with the Peddie community.
A few ways in which the
academic experience gets bigger: We offer exceptional facilities in the arts (the Mariboe art gallery, a black box performance space, a 535-seat auditorium, music and visual art studios), the sciences (the striking, fully contemporary Walter and Leonore Annenberg Science Center), and 21stcentury research (the Walter H. Annenberg Library, home to 21st-century staff and technology). We make an ongoing investment in relevant, appropriate technologies, starting with SmartBoards and high-res interactive LCD displays in every classroom. We’re a member of School Year Abroad (current sites: France, Italy, China, Spain) and have a direct-
It’s hard to explain all
exchange partnership with No. 2 High School of East China
the ways in which our faculty are more than what you
Normal University. And we think of our nearby cities—
think of when you think of “faculty.” They’re people who
Philadelphia, New York and Princeton—as world-class
understand—really understand—what it means to be young
extensions of our classrooms.
and smart and hungry, to be astonished by the world, to be in love with possibility, to be willing to work until your hands ache. They are those people, only slightly less young. They work on innovative projects, they bake fabulous cupcakes, they care about your head and your heart, they listen, they laugh, they write detailed recommendations. They’ll most likely be part of your life for the rest of your life. 19
THE COMMUNITY EXPERIENCE THE SHORTEST POSSIBLE GUIDE TO THE COMMUNITY EXPERIENCE
The community experience at Peddie is exactly that: a community and an experience. You can tell it’s a community because everyone throws their backpacks in a pile by the entrance to the Dining Hall before lunch, because the crowd went crazy when the shy girl from that one class gave a knockout performance in the declamation contest, because the people in line at the food truck after the show by the comedian were almost as funny as the comedian. You can tell it’s an experience because it doesn’t start or end at a particular time, it’s always happening, it’s always connected, and it’s always with you.
LIFE ON CAMPUS
Most of our faculty
live on campus; most of our day students stay on campus long after classes have ended; many of our boarding students come from around the world and across the country. We have family-style dinners twice a week; we have regular presentations by renowned artists and thinkers and entrepreneurs; we have Chapel talks, in which community members share stories, songs and ideas that matter to them. Our dorm parents develop programs that can
CLUBS AND ORGANIZATIONS
The list changes
every year, depending on student interest, but it includes dozens of clubs, and it usually only gets bigger. Student clubs are the source of some of the most inspiring ideas on campus—service projects, social events, performances. Students establish new clubs every year. The big idea is to try as much as you can and see how far you can go.
be serious (a debate about ethics and leadership) or nutty
A SHORT LIST OF STUDENT CLUBS
(a party built around the movie Elf). And part of being on
campus is having access to amazing things off campus—
Amphion (literary journal) Anime Club Atheneum (cultural society) Chinese Culture Christian Fellowship Creative Writing Club Current Events Club Debate Club Digital Video Club Drama Club Dynasty (dance) Engineering Club Environmental Club Fashion Club Film Club French Club Gay-Straight Alliance Jewish Heritage Club Korean Club
Chinese New Year in New York’s Chinatown, or a local place that serves a cheap, excellent slice of pizza. In short, being on campus feels like being part of an exceptionally smart, endlessly surprising, happily ingenious global family.
We win league and state cham-
pionships, our alumni go on to become Olympians or pros, and we have astonishing athletic facilities (small sample: a state-of-the-art 35-meter pool; a 9,500-square-foot fitness center; an 18-hole golf course; a bay at the Finn Caspersen Rowing Center on Mercer Lake, the home of US Rowing). All of these things are excellent—but they’re only part of
Latin Club Mock Trial Model UN Multicultural Alliance My Brother’s Keeper Old Gold and Blue (yearbook) Outing Club Parikrma Club (service) Peddie ESL Peddie News Poetry Out Loud Republican Club Spanish Club Ultimate Club Young Entrepreneurs Club Young Feminists Young Philanthropist Club YUGA (global engagement)
the story. To us, athletics is a chance to experiment, to test yourself, to learn about courage, respect, self-discipline,
setting goals, and being part of something bigger than
yourself. In other words: The trophies are big; the people are bigger.
varsity sports also have JV teams; a few have thirds or
shopkeepers, to pizza and bagels and food from Jamaica and India and Japan. It’s home to a farmers market and the Hometown Harvest Fair (which includes ponies and chili
WINTER Basketball (boys, girls) Indoor Track (boys, girls) Swimming (boys, girls) Wrestling (boys)
of the heart of New Jersey. It’s home to 6,000 hardworking people, to national franchises and independent
VARSITY SPORTS Important note: Most of our
FALL Crew (boys, girls) Cross Country (boys, girls) Field Hockey (girls) Football (boys) Soccer (boys, girls) Swimming (boys, girls) Tennis (girls)
Hightstown is located in the heart
SPRING Baseball (boys) Crew (boys, girls) Golf (boys, girls) Lacrosse (boys, girls) Softball (girls) Tennis (boys) Track and Field (boys, girls)
and pedal boats). It’s close to several malls and shopping centers; it’s close to the beach. It’s close to the intellectual supernova that is Princeton (the university and the town). It’s equidistant from Philadelphia and New York—which means field trips and cultural events and internships and research opportunities that are available nowhere else on the planet. It’s ours, it’s home, and it’s close to everything that can take you very, very far.
BEFORE AND AFTER
We want students who say
Nearly all of our graduates enroll in
yes to the world. We want students who know enough to
highly selective colleges and universities. This is a good
know that there is always more to know. We want students
thing—but it’s not the only thing. Our college counseling
who are happily exhausted when they go to sleep at night
office starts working individually with students (and their
because they have done everything they could possibly do
families) during junior year; we offer five on-campus college
to squeeze the life out of their day. We want students who
fairs every year; we make sure the college search process
might be all-stars or prodigies or people who are outra-
is sane, sophisticated and strategic. Most of all we make
geously talented in some way—and who want to be part
sure the process is humane. We treat each student as a
of a community, who want to contribute meaningfully to
complete human being with a range of passions and talents
that community, who understand that individual achieve-
and aspirations—because that’s exactly what they are. We
ments are, in the end, part of a collective enterprise. We
help our students know themselves well enough to make
want students who are defined by excitement, curiosity and
their own brilliant way in the world. And that, really, is the
character—words that come straight from Peddie’s mission.
If that sounds like you, we hope you’ll apply.
A SHORT (AND PARTIAL!) LIST OF Here’s a story. In 1921
which five or more Peddie graduates have matriculated
admission at other schools, sometimes because of his reli-
over the past five years
gious and ethnic background. Peddie saw promise in him. He went on to lead one of America’s most influential media empires. On Father’s Day, 1993, he gave $100 million to Peddie, in large part to endow financial aid for deserving students. Today 40 percent of our students receive financial aid—including merit-based awards like our Armellino Scholarships—which makes Peddie one of the most accessible outstanding private schools in the country. This story makes us proud. It also makes a Peddie education possible. And—because our students come to Peddie with a spectacularly diverse range of ideas and histories and ambitions—it makes a Peddie education feel more 22
COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES at
Walter Annenberg enrolled at Peddie. He had been denied
innovative, more alive, more like the world.
Brown University Carnegie Mellon University College of William and Mary Dickinson College The George Washington University Haverford College Johns Hopkins University Kenyon College Lehigh University New York University
Princeton University Stanford University United States Naval Academy University of California at Berkeley University of Chicago University of Michigan University of Pennsylvania Vanderbilt University Washington University in St. Louis Williams College
A SHORT LIST OF RECENT ALUMNI Chris Tomson ’02 is the drummer for Vampire Weekend. Three recent alumni are on Forbes’ “30 Under 30” list of game-changing young people, including Aarti Kapoor ’03, an investment banker with Moelis & Company in New York City, where she founded and runs the health and wellness industry coverage platform. Haley Peters ’10 majored in political science at Duke, wrote a thesis on humanitarian intervention, and captained the Blue Devils women’s basketball team to two conference championships. Sangu Delle ’06 enrolled in a joint JD/MBA program at Harvard University, is a Soros Fellow, and co-founded a venture capital firm that invests in entrepreneurial ventures in Africa. Juanita St. ThomasGrimes ’13 is co-leader of Haverford’s Black Students League and an intern at the college’s Women’s Center. Chris de Leon and Vladimir Olchanski ’12 launched a wireless startup called Greenlight Technologies. These are people who wake up every morning and think of ways to push the world forward. This list is short because this book is short, because life is short, and you don’t need to know everything all at once, you just need to know that the list keeps growing—that the list is, in fact, infinite, and our hard, urgent, thrilling work is to add to it, every morning, every day.
FACTS 548 students from 25 states and 38 countries Grades 9â€“12, postgraduate program 2/3 boarding, 1/3 day Top 10 endowment among U.S. boarding schools 12 students in the average class 6:1 student-to-faculty ratio 75% of faculty hold advanced degrees 90% of faculty live on campus 150 academic courses 34 subject areas for AP and honors 42,000-square-foot Annenberg Science Center 12 musical performance groups 7-day sophomore bike trip from campus to U.S. Capitol 56 interscholastic teams in 17 sports Dozens of student-run clubs 40% of students receive financial aid 58 buildings on 280 acres in Hightstown, New Jersey 8 miles from Princeton, New Jersey 50 miles from New York City and Philadelphia 1 sparkling lake
TWO EXCELLENT BONUS IDEAS! Explore Peddie: peddie.org Apply to Peddie: admission.peddie.org
201 S. Main St. Hightstown, NJ 08520 (609) 944-7500
An overview of the Peddie experience