Uplifting the Voices of Princeton Day School

The Spokesman

Uplifting the Voices of Princeton Day School

The Spokesman

Uplifting the Voices of Princeton Day School

The Spokesman

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Global Studies Filled with Camaraderie and Learning

(Photo/Courtney White)

Two groups of Princeton Day students were fortunate enough this past March to continue learning in far-off locales, namely Rome and Eleuthera Island. These overseas programs are enrichment learning experiences that have become part of the school’s tradition, with students applying for both programs through a selection process that begins in the fall. Currently, the Rome trip is only open for students taking Latin, while the Island School in the Bahamas seeks applicants with strong backgrounds in science, sustainability, and ecology. Global Studies Coordinator Josie Crafford spends much of the academic year coordinating these travel programs. This year, the two trips were led by an amazing team of teachers: Upper School STEAM Coordinator Matt Tramontana and Director of Sustainability Courtney White. Latin teachers Nicole Mangino and Amanda Gregory accompanied students throughout their stay in Rome.

The Island School, founded in 1999, conducts world-renowned research in native ecosystems and environmental sustainability. Students had the opportunity to connect with the local environment daily. Beginning at pre-dawn hours, they conducted hands-on research, snorkeled, explored caves, and brainstormed real-world solutions regarding sustainability. Everyone agreed it was a life-enhancing educational experience, and they brought back amazing memories. Sophomore Ian Latanision recalled, “We woke up early in the morning with the sun just rising over the horizon and took a bike ride over to a cliff not far from the Island School, then jumped off of High Rock and rock climbed my way back up to see the sunrise.”

Interestingly, science and engineering teacher Mr. Tramontana remembers the origins of the Island School through his association with members of the Lawrenceville School. This year was his second time chaperoning the trip, while it was the first year for Director of Environmental Education Courtney White. Mr. Tramontana observed that at the onset of the trip, “students [did not] know each other well, but eventually grew bonds and by the end of the week, everyone had stories about one another and newfound friendships and could be vulnerable…with each other.” Sophomore Alex Chia agreed that his favorite part was “getting to grow close with the group.”

On the other side of the Atlantic, a dozen Latin students spent the first week of spring break in Rome with a day trip to Florence to see Michelangelo’s “David” and the Uffizi Gallery. Ms. Mangino shared her enthusiasm for the trip and enumerated their many activities: “We climbed the Janiculum Hill, saw the Roman Forum, visited St. Peter’s [Basilica] and the Vatican Museums, went to the Colosseum, traversed the Tiber River many times, went into the Domus Aurea, saw beautiful art at the Borghese Gallery and the Capitoline Museum, and made a trip to the American Academy to touch artifacts from their archaeological collection!” Students were able to burn off the pasta and bread they consumed by walking almost eight miles every day in their exploration of the city and its artifacts. Ms. Mangino explained, “Everyone was very excited to hold and touch the ancient artifacts and truly shocked by how well preserved it all was!” Senior Adya Jha thought the best part of the trip was “visiting St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City. It was beautiful inside, and the nearby Vatican museums had some of the best art I have ever seen.”

Global Studies are an important and valuable tradition at Princeton Day School. These trips created wonderful learning and bonding experiences for everyone involved. All agreed that these are memories that will last a lifetime.

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