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This month, at our Seven Virtues of Manhood Breakfast, we talked about what it means to be a Pacesetter. We said Pacesetters are driven by values, not by their own ambitions or desires. True Pacesetters see the world as God sees it. Pacesetters see what should be rather than what is. They know God made all humans in his image. Pacesetters are not deterred by false barriers or excuses about why something can’t be done. Pacesetters fight for what God calls them to do—no matter what opposition stands before them.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was that kind of man — a true Pacesetter. He believed all men and women are created by God and in the image of God, and he believed that standing up for the oppressed and marginalized was worth dying for.

Have you ever played rock-paper-scissors to see who gets to go last—or to see who gets to sit in the backseat?

My college roommate would yell “backseat!” every time the two of us rode with another diver. He also had the unique custom of tipping the ice cream server for his milkshake at Baskin Robbins. He explained, “Think about it…you tip the bartender, and all they do is knock the top off of a bottle. The person making your milkshake spends so much more time with your order.” He was a strong, yet empathetic leader in college and continues to be one now. I think that growing up in a household of four kids taught him that life was about much more than him—and these lessons have had a great deal to do with his success.

Dear Members of the PDS Community,

On behalf of the PDS Search Committee, I am pleased to report on our progress in the search for our new Headmaster as well as provide you with an overview of the next steps in this process. Following the Board of Trustees’ formation of the Search Committee to lead the process of finding the next Headmaster, we have finalized the Search Committee’s membership to include the following Trustees.

  • John Alexander, Chairman of the Board of Trustees (Managing Director, Raymond James)
  • Michael Davis (Pastor, Downtown Church)
  • Earl Houston II (Shareholder, Martin Tate Morrow & Marston P.C.)
  • Susan Patterson (Community Volunteer)
  • Michael Stockburger (Senior Vice President, Westchester Group Investment Management)
  • Hunter Witherington ’92 (Partner, SSM Partners)
  • David Work ’67, Alumni Board Chair

Search Firm Selected

I am also excited to announce that the Search Committee has engaged The Education Group (TEG), a nationally-recognized search firm based in Nashville, to assist it in the search process. TEG was established in 1988 and provides search and executive coaching services specifically to independent schools. After interviewing numerous nationally-recognized search firms, we were impressed by and selected TEG based on its knowledge of PDS and our region, their experience and understanding of single-sex education, and their commitment of three consultants, including the firm’s president, to our search. A brief overview of the TEG team is below and I encourage you to learn more about the firm at www.educationgroup.com.

Overview of The Education Group Team

Dennis Campbell, Dave Davies, and Katherine Moncure Stuart will assist the Search Committee’s work. Dennis served as Headmaster at Woodberry Forest School, an all-boys middle and high school, for seventeen years and is the former Dean of Duke University Divinity School. Dennis is a senior consultant with TEG and has led multiple searches. Dave has served as Head of School at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School in California and at Deerfield-Windsor School in Georgia. Dave has led national searches for sixteen senior administrative positions including four Heads of School, chaired the search for executive director of a symphony orchestra, and served on search committees for the Rector of an Episcopal Church and a University President. Katherine is the president of TEG. As a resident of Nashville who is married to a Head of School, she has a great understanding of and appreciation for Tennessee independent schools. As President of TEG, Katherine has been actively involved in both Head of School and senior administrative searches.

The Search Process and Timeline

Dennis, Dave and Katherine will be on campus November 12th and 13th to visit PDS as well as meet with the Board and Search Committee to plan the next steps of the search. Those next steps will include several additional visits to campus by the TEG team over the next few months to assist us in gathering input from all PDS constituencies. Your feedback and participation will be critical to the success of the search process, and I encourage you to take advantage of these future opportunities as they are scheduled. We will use the rest of 2019 to gather information, collect feedback, and determine the profile of the candidates we would like to identify and then expect to begin formal outreach to candidates in January which is the beginning of the typical season for recruiting a Headmaster / Head of School. Given that most candidates will be required to provide a one-year notice to their existing school (a standard practice in the independent school industry), an interim Headmaster may be required for the 2020–2021 school year. The Search Committee has taken this consideration into its broader planning and preparation steps for the full-time Headmaster search. Please be on the lookout for periodic future updates on the search process via e-mail and the PDS website.

The Board is committed to a thorough, communicative, and inclusive process. As such, your constructive feedback and ideas are welcomed throughout our search. It is a privilege to have the opportunity to steward this process on behalf of PDS, its amazing leaders and faculty and the broader PDS community. Thank you for your trust and support.

Michael Stockburger
Search Committee Chairman

Published in News

At Presbyterian Day School, we know how to teach boys, reach them, and channel their energies in positive and productive ways. And we know from research that boys and girls develop language and writing skills on different timetables, it’s just how God created us.

Research also teaches us that boys need extra time to develop fine motor skills, one of the key components of writing. If you visit one of our Early Childhood classrooms, you just might spot one of the two in-classroom teachers breaking crayons or pencils. Now, why would they break a perfectly good crayon? Check out this video:

Want to learn more about what we teach our boys? Check out our online curriculum guide.

Want to see HOW we teach our boys? Please register for our Early Childhood Open House on November 7 at 9:00am.

Monday, September 30, 2019

Chapel and a Tour - Friday, October 18

A PDS boy will attend 525 chapel services during his 10 years at the school. Join us for our main Friday Chapel service and a tour of the school.

We'll meet in the PDS lobby at 8:00am and finish up by 9:30am.

Join Us!


For more information, please contact Rachel Bishop, Director of Admission at 901-842-4695

Over the past weeks, we have explored how to help our children grow up like Jesus—“in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man” (Luke 2:52). We have seen how to help our kids grow in wisdom and stature. Now we turn our focus to growing in favor with God and man.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

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

Published in PDS Spirit Magazine

Last month, PDS had a parent seminar on social media, smartphones, and other technology for kids. Parents raised great questions, and many of the best solutions came from other parents. This blog is our attempt to share the best of that meeting with you and to answer some of the follow-up questions.

The Problem We All Face

By God’s design, our kids desire community and connection—and in their purest forms, smart phones and social media can help create community and connect people. We see that good as parents, but we also see the dangers in technology. We’re all in the struggle to figure out the right thing for our children based on their age, their maturity, and God’s unique design of them.

A Snapshot of Learning

How does PDS compare with other schools?

PDS boys outperform other independent schools and the best public schools on ERB tests.

Make sure your son gets a good night’s sleep. Eat a hearty, healthy breakfast. Encourage your son to do his best. Suggestions like these usually mean one thing: It’s ERB week at PDS.

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