Monday Notes from the Head of School, 2/11

"Children learn more from what you are than what you teach." -W.E. DuBois

Dear Palm Valley Families,

One of the things I love most about Palm Valley School is seeing the hard work of our talented students come to fruition. Last week, we held our Honor Roll assembly for students in Middle and Upper School. Seeing them beam with pride in earning high marks is so powerful. I am so proud of all our students for their efforts. Last week, we also saw the 100 days of school celebrations in our buddy groups. Buddy groups are new this year, but what a great program it's become! Seeing our older students mentor the younger ones, and watching the younger students remind their big buddies why school is fun has been a highlight for me this year. Kudos to all the classroom teachers and advisors who are coordinating these meetups and activities throughout the year. It's been inspiring to see! Buddy relationships have become so important to our students. A few weeks ago, we even saw some of our senior buddies grant their younger buddies the ability to come to ring the gong at Friday assembly for them when college acceptances were announced - what a treat!

Nominations are still open this week for the Gail Gorden Kocen Volunteer of the year award. As many of you know, Gail Kocen was a pillar of our community. A long-time parent, she and her husband Bryan, have two sons (David '17 and Sam '15) who graduated from Palm Valley School as lifers. She was a former Room Parent, a Parent Association President, and most recently served as the President of the Board of Trustees. The impact of Gail's leadership and volunteerism at Palm Valley School will be felt for years to come. She was an inspiration to many, and a tireless volunteer to the school for many years and in countless ways. To honor her name and spirit, and to recognize the myriad other parents who give their all to support our school, we have established this award in her name. If you know someone who deserves to be recognized for all the volunteer work they do at Palm Valley School, you can nominate them here.

I am pleased to announce that we have put together a slate of parent and family offerings this spring for our own Palm Valley School community and the public. We began last week with the hosted viewing of "Won't You Be My Neighbor?" and we are continuing throughout the spring with some very exciting events.

Please save the following dates and times for these great parent and family events offered on our campus:

  • Family Diversity Night, by the Board of Trustees committee on Equity and Justice -  Thursday, March 7th, 5:30 pm MPR
  • No Bully Parent Night (How to "bullyproof" your kids)  -  Tuesday, April 2nd, 5:30 pm MPR
  • Educational Funding Solutions (financial advice for College Funding) -  Thursday, April 11th, 5:30 pm MPR (offered by Dennis Stewart)
  • Early Childhood Conference (for parents and educators) - Saturday, May 18th all day on campus
  • Raising Responsible Children, workshop from Carol Scott, certified parent educator - Thursday, May 28th, 5:30 pm MPR

With the exception of the all-day Early Childhood Conference, these events are offered to our families at no cost! Please join us for some important topics for parents who are raising children of all ages. If you have questions about these or any of our events, feel free to reach out to us. We have so much to celebrate and be thankful for at Palm Valley School right now! We are, as always, grateful for your support and presence at these and other important community events. I hope that you will consider joining us!

Lastly, there are a limited number of tickets left for our Puttin' on the Ritz Gala! Enjoy a sit-down dinner and dessert, signature cocktails, a live auction, casino-style gaming, and more! Put on your glitz, ritz, and glam for an evening to remember. The Puttin' on the Ritz Gala will be held at The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage on Saturday, March 2nd at 6 pm. Purchase your tickets at Don't miss it!


Susan Rice
Head of School