In a presentation that she described as "a letter to my 17 year-old self," Dr. Weiss reflected on the career and life choices that brought her to the stage that day.
The winner of Pingry's fifth annual New Year's greeting card design contest, Sheryl Chen '26, employed a bit of whimsy—the Basking Ridge and Short Hills Campus buildings holding hands—in her nod to the holiday season and "the unity of our school."
Using colored pencils and washable markers diluted with water—a "watercolor" technique she uses when drawing comics, one of her favorite past-times—the sixth-grade student explains that she began her design with just the iconic clock tower and various inanimate objects representing the School floating around it. Wanting to include both campuses, she then decided to add the Lower School. But an obstacle presented itself: New to Pingry, she needed to visit the Lower School to see what it looked like. Her parents gamely agreed to drive her to the Short Hills Campus one weekend so she could make some sketches.
Still, she wasn't completely happy; one final improvement remained. "To make it more fun, I decided to animate all the objects with faces and limbs so the card is lively and not so rigid and serious," she explains. She added a "2020" sign to signal their collective march toward the new year. A not-to-be-missed detail: See if you can locate the School's cuddly canine, Finn!
Creative submissions from all three divisions of the school were received this year. Selecting the card contest victor was no easy task for the panel of Pingry faculty and staff judges from both campuses. For this reason, with her beautifully simple, falling white snowflakes—rendered in blue watercolor and pen—Sienna Patel '25 earned Honorable Mention; her artwork (below) serves as the background for the card's interior.
Sheryl's festive card and its New Year's wishes were delivered to nearly 3,000 mailboxes, just in time to ring in 2020! We wish the entire Pingry community a very Happy New Year!
Photos: Sheryl Chen '26 (top) poses with her winning design; Sienna Patel '25 (right) stands with hers, the full version of which is displayed below.
Contact: Andrea Dawson, Senior Writer, email@example.com