Presbyterian Day School | News
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Student Directory App for Mobile Phones

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The Fall 2019 Issue of PDS Spirit is Here

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Steve Hancock

Steve Hancock

PDS Lunch Program for 2019-2020

Dear Parents,

With the start of school right around the corner, I wanted to share some exciting news regarding food service for the 2019–2020 school year.

This year, all food will be cooked on campus with the freshest of ingredients. Overseeing the menu planning will be Rachel Berry. Rachel has a strong nutrition background and knows how to plan delicious meals that boys love. Each lunch will include an entree paired with a fruit or vegetable. Other options will consist of fresh fruit, raw vegetables, salads, and turkey and ham sandwiches. Our goal is to create meals that will have our boys looking forward to lunch each day. Portions will be “boy-friendly,” and there will be plenty of food for everyone on the program. In addition, we will designate days for catered meals to be served from favorite local restaurants.

Our own Lyssa Fisackerly will be administering the lunch program. She will be our onsite manager and your first contact for anything related to lunch. You can reach Lyssa at or 901–842–4609.


Lunch Program Details 2019


Sign-Up for Lunch Program

It is time to sign-up for the PDS Lunch Program! We will be offering a vast menu of hot lunches cooked on campus. The cost for the 1st Semester Lunch Plan will be $505. The cost for the 1st Semester Drink Plan will be $95.

Lyssa Fisackerly will be administering the lunch program. She will be our onsite manager and your first contact for anything related to lunch.

Overseeing the menu planning will be Rachel Berry. Menu items will be made from fresh and wholesome ingredients. There will be many options available and each boy should be able to choose a balanced meal even if he does not choose the hot lunch on any particular day.

These items include cheddar and mozzarella cheese portions, yogurt, fresh fruit, raw vegetables, and pudding to name a few. Salads and turkey and ham sandwiches will also be available on a daily basis as well. Ice cream will be offered on Wednesdays and Fridays. A catered meal from favorite local restaurants will be served on designated days about once a week.

You can feel sure that the PDS lunch program will provide a balanced and healthy lunch as well as the convenience of not having to pack a lunch!


Please note that if your son is enrolled in the 1st Semester Lunch/Drink Plan, he will be automatically enrolled and billed $505/$95 for the 2nd semester. Please let us know by December 1, 2019 if you do not wish to be billed for the 2nd semester.

PDS Spirit - Fall 2019


  • Write On!
  • How We Integrate Technology into the Classroom
  • Teacher Feature: Merideth Arnold

Presbyterian Day School is proud to be celebrating 70 years of dedication to the education of boys in Memphis and beyond. During those seven decades, our mission has never wavered. We always seek to glorify God by developing boys in wisdom and stature and favor with God and man. Our approach to the spiritual development of boys was highlighted in our last edition of the Spirit Magazine. The issue before you highlights some of the incredible academic programs at PDS.

We are constantly looking for ways to improve both our curriculum and methodologies. Our commitment to the teaching of reading and writing has never been stronger. From the formation of letters and sounds in early childhood classrooms to research papers and speeches in the upper grades, our boys shine when they write. On page 10, you can learn about how we teach the writing process and the goals we have for all of our boys.

As we look forward to our next 70 years, we know our commitment to teaching young boys will never change. Our boys are thinkers, explorers, mathematicians, writers, athletes, musicians, and dreamers. We will continue to provide a strong foundation of both faith and academics to help them thrive for decades to come.

Steve Hancock

PDS Spirit - Spring 2019


  • Building Boys, Making Men
  • ERB Results - A Snapshot of Learning
  • Teacher Feature: Brooke Haley

One of the most important things I do each week is to connect with the boys in my Mentor Groups. By the end of sixth grade, we have formed a special bond, one based on trust and developed through God’s Word. Pouring into these boys is a special privilege and one I share with eleven of my colleagues. Together we seek to show and share God’s love and to develop these boys in wisdom, stature, and favor with God and man. PDS’ mission comes alive every time we meet together.

Five years ago I was called to PDS. The call came from a search committee, but I know it was God’s plan. I felt certain that I was being called to participate in a school that valued high academic standards but also wanted to work on the spiritual development of each boy. Schools that concentrate on both academics and character are rare indeed.

This past summer, I had the opportunity to watch God at work in Howard Graham’s life. The passion, humility, and entrepreneurial spirit that Howard brings to the position of Chaplain and Executive Director of the *Building Boys, Making Men *program is inspiring to me. The world would have told Howard not to make a move to PDS from a successful corporate career, but God had different plans. I know you will enjoy reading his story.

I am excited for the vision of how this program will continue to grow. We have great plans to create more content for boys and to encourage parents through programming. We know sharing the love of God will eventually bring the Building Boys, Making Men program to a wider audience. Please join me as I pray for this program and for God to reveal all he would have us do.

Steve Hancock

PDS Spirit - Winter 2018


  • Father and Son Find Heroes in Memphis
  • Where Did the PDS 2012 Go to College?
  • Teacher Feature: Coach Palmer Albertine
  • da Vinci Days - Fall Breakaway 2018

We have had such a great start to this school year. It's hard to believe we are half way through. Our school year began with faculty and staff gathering to focus on community. We spent time together playing and learning. One of our inservice sessions was devoted to social equality and prejudice. Led by two board members, Todd Erickson and Michael Davis, we explored multiculturalism and the potential blind-spots we may have as a faculty. The conversations were powerful and have charted the work we will continue to do this school year and beyond..

As you read this issue of the Spirit magazine, I hope you will look for themes of diversity, social justice, and academic pursuits. At PDS we are not content with resting on our past successes. We are interested in creating a school that glorifies God in all that we do. This ideal takes effort and perseverance. Our boys are the beneficiaries of this commitment, and I thank you for your investment.

Steve Hancock

Thank You Donors - Annual Giving Report 2017-2018

Thank you to all of our donors for supporting Presbyterian Day School this past school year!

Together, through our Annual Giving Fund, March Mania auction, and Strategic Initiatives, we raised an amazing $1,128,334 to support the boys and faculty of PDS. Thank you so much for your continued support.

These gifts have made an incredible difference at PDS. With our renewed commitment to customization, creative and critical thinking, and experiential learning, we have watched our boys grow and thrive. From our Early Childhood STEAM days to our Sixth Grade service projects, these gifts change lives at PDS. Our faculty is given the opportunity to always dream about what is best for boys.

When you support our school, you help put these dreams into action.

Thanks you donors!

Annual Giving Report 2017-2018

Howard Graham Hired as Chaplain and Executive Director of Building Boys, Making Men Program

Presbyterian Day School is excited to announce that Howard Graham has agreed to serve as the PDS Chaplain and Executive Director of Building Boys, Making Men.

Howard is no stranger to our school. He has been a parent at PDS continuously since 2006 and currently has a son in both the Early Childhood and Elementary Divisions. He has served the school as a trustee since 2013 and been Board chair for the past two years.

While he has spent the last 30 years building businesses, developing leaders and helping companies communicate their value, his main purpose and passion has been serving God. His experience with mentoring fathers, coaching boys and leading ministries places him in a perfect position to serve the PDS community. His forward-thinking, entrepreneurial spirit will help us take our Building Boys, Making Men program to even greater heights.

Wilson Orr, former Board chair, will assume the duties of acting Board chair. We are blessed to have many who are willing and able to serve our great school.

Please welcome Howard to PDS.

PDS Spirit - Spring 2018


  • Stephanie Taylor - Making Homeroom Feel Like Home
  • Steve Nash - A PDS Parent Moving Memphis Forward
  • Teacher Feature: Lili Frye
  • Strategic Initiatives - Honoring Our Teachers

The single greatest asset of Presbyterian Day School is the dedicated and talented faculty. I find myself repeating this message nearly every day as I speak with prospective families, donors, alumni, and friends of PDS. It seems fitting that we would devote much of this issue of the Spirit Magazine to the life-changing work of our faculty.

When I interview potential teaching candidates, I am always listening for a few key items. First, I want to hear that the teacher senses a calling from God to do this important work. I want to know if he or she loves working with boys and how teaching boys can and should be different than teaching girls. Teachers need to have a passion for their subject area and know many ways to teach the same skills and concepts. The “bag of tricks” must be deep.

PDS is filled with faculty who inspire me every day. Collectively, they are constantly learning and trying to be better at the craft of teaching. I am in and out of classrooms every day. Within the walls of the classroom I see creativity, compassion, collaboration, and a love for the boys that is deep and wide and simply inspiring.

If you know a teacher who is inspiring, I encourage you to write a note of thanks. Teachers love knowing they have made a difference in the life of a child. Please enjoy these inspiring stories.

Steve Hancock

PDS Spirit - Fall 2017


  • Railgarten - Are These Guys Having Too Much Fun?
  • Kyler Herring - Profile of a Young Scholar
  • Teacher Feature: Darilyn Christenbury
  • Report of Annual Giving: 2016-2017

Thank you! I am so thankful for the PDS community and as a faculty and staff we have been trying to let you know how very much you are appreciated.

Our school would not exist without the generous support of generations of PDS graduates and their families. In this issue, we are thanking and celebrating many who have given to our school. On behalf of a grateful student body and faculty, thank you for all you have done to help PDS thrive.

As a school, we are excited to welcome two new strategic partners to the Memphis community. Pete Sanders recently began his tenure at Memphis University School. Our strong partnership with MUS has only been strengthened during the short time Pete has been onsite. We know that the vast majority of our students matriculate to seventh grade at MUS, and in recent years we have made certain they are ready for the next step in their education through a solid partnership.

George Robertson is the new senior pastor at Second Presbyterian Church. We are excited for his experience and vision for Christian education. He brings a wealth of knowledge and an eagerness to support PDS. There is no more important partnership for PDS than 2PC, and we are looking forward to this next chapter with eager anticipation.

Once again, thank you for your continued interest and support. May God continue to bless PDS.

Steve Hancock

PDS Spirit - Spring 2017


  • Doug Carpenter ’76 on the Rebirth of Memphis
  • Looking Ahead - Advancing Our Mission
  • Teacher Feature: Tony Ruzena
  • Using EDGE Design Thinking to Bring Relief to Food Deserts

The 2016–17 school year is now complete and offers us the opportunity to reflect on all that was accomplished this year at Presbyterian Day School.

I began the school year with a goal for our faculty to dream about STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) education in our classrooms. The teachers rose to the challenge and created many hands-on activities for the boys. We had many firsts at PDS this year. From our Early Childhood STEAM DAY to putt-putt and arcade activities, the boys had a blast creating and exploring outside the classroom. This issue of PDS Spirit features information about our boys using EDGE Design Thinking for a community service project and you will see many of our STEAM activities in action.

The launch of our new and improved website took place at the beginning of the school year. If you have not visited lately, I invite you to visit and keep track of all the amazing things that take place at PDS.

Looking toward the future, I hope you enjoy learning about the mission of PDS and how we plan to continue building better boys. God has given us a great opportunity in Memphis and I look forward to seeing all the ways we will live out our mission in the years to come.

Steve Hancock

Looking Forward: Advancing Our Mission

Over the past three years, I have had the opportunity to work with many groups at Presbyterian Day School. From students to parents to faculty, I have learned volumes from people who truly love our school. The Board of Trustees is a dedicated and generous group of men and women who have set about to ensure the future of PDS. Together we have studied our mission and our programs. We have reevaluated our budgets and expenses, and we have dreamt about the future of our great school. The Board has been answering five critical questions to guide us as we seek to champion our mission.

On theCalendar

Hussey Commons at Presbyterian Day School
9:30 am - 10:15 am

Presbyterian Day School’s Toddler Time events are geared towards boys and girls ages 2 to 4. These free educational opportunities are offered a number of times throughout the year, These events and fill up fast so register your kids today.

Free! RSVP


B100 (Church)
8:15 am
Meets on 2nd and 4th Wednesdays. Join other moms in praying for our boys, families, faculty, and school.

1:15 pm - 2:15 pm
Parents welcome




The home of Lindsey and Rob Tayloe
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

PDS boys share their musical talents. Singers, musicians, even full bands! More Info

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