With a similar team to last year's, Big Blue has high expectations and will not only look to regain the #1 state ranking, but also win the county and state championships.
Pingry's fifth-grade students were recognized for their achievements and began their transition to Middle School when the Lower School held its annual Moving Up Day outdoors on June 11.
Acknowledging the challenges that need to be overcome this year, Lower School Director Dr. Thu-Nga Morris said, "Pingry is a community that is greater than the sum of its parts. In the Lower School, we pride ourselves on being a community where we all care for one another, in addition to being a community that provides a strong foundation in academics and, most importantly, the Honor Code . . . the strength of our community lies in the good will of people."
On this special day, the faculty commended students for participation in visual arts, drama, the Math Team, music, the Presidential Physical Fitness Challenge, and Student Council.
In particular, Lower School Math Specialist Verna Lange P '23, '24, '26, '28 commended Aashritha Kolli and Madeline Zhu for qualifying for the Math League National Championship, taking place online later in June. Mrs. Lange also spoke about students' participation in the Mathematics Olympiads for Elementary and Middle Schools (MOEMS)—five monthly tests with five problems each, taken this year by more than 100,000 students around the world. For the "Highest Team Achievement" award, the qualifying score was 180—Pingry's Lower School Math Team scored 208, which is 16% higher than the cut-off. And, Madeline Zhu was one of about 100 students around the world who achieved a perfect score (25/25) on the MOEMS.
Lower School P.E. Coordinator and Health Teacher Leslie Miller P '29, '31 presented on the Presidential Physical Fitness Challenge (five tests that measure cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility, and agility), and its award for students who score in the top 15 percent in the nation in all five categories. Three fifth-grade students achieved this standard: Colton Gedroic, Max Levinson, and Madeline Zhu. She also announced that the Blue Team won Field Day (a day of games and activities with students split into Blue and White Teams).
Addressing the students, Head of School Matt Levinson compared this school year with his own experiences in Grade 5. That year, he broke his leg while scoring a run in a baseball game, requiring him to wear a full-length cast for six months. "In thinking about this school year, in some ways it felt like wearing a full-length cast . . . a 'huge cast' that we put on you, but it didn't slow you down at all." His recommendation to the Class: consider and thank the adults who have helped them reach this point.
The celebration included three annual honors that are named for former Lower School teachers and families:
Auchincloss Award (showing the most concern for others)—Ryan Kaufman and Lauren Lance
Evelyn M. Chester Achievement Prize (amount and quality of sustained effort dedicated to both academic pursuits and personal growth)—Dylan Alston
Joann M. Jackson Citizenship Award (exemplifying the Honor Code through actions)—Rishi Gajjar
Contact: Greg Waxberg '96, Communications Writer, Editor of The Pingry Review