April 12, 2012                                                                                             Pulaski Academy

The Wizard of Oz Opens Tonight

Seventy-six Kindergarten through 12 grade students are anxiously awaiting the debut of the musical they have been rehearsing for months. After 100 hours of rehearsal time, this year’s musical production of The Wizard of Oz is sure to entertain. With 14 musical numbers and the largest cast in the school’s history, the PA production of Frank Baum’s classic will be an unbelievable showcase of PA talent. Dorothy, Toto, the Scarecrow, Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion, the Munchkins, Glenda, and of course, the Wicked Witch, will all make appearances.
The Wizard of Oz set was made entirely by parent volunteers who have spent the last three Saturdays and many hours after school perfecting. “This is the greatest set of parent volunteers we have ever worked with and they certainly deserve a pat on the back for all of their unbelievable work,” said Drama Director Hollie Shepherd.
All the hard work will pay off tonight when The Wizard of Oz debuts in Connor Performing Arts Center (CPAC) at 7 p.m. Performances will also be held Friday and Saturday night at the same time in CPAC. Adult general admission tickets are $10. Student general admission is $8. For reserved seats, contact Gina Rafferty at grafferty@bellsouth.net.
ECS-12th grade students saw a preview of the musical on Wednesday, April 11.
Photo: Jordan Crites as Tin Man, Sarah Wood as Scarecrow, Anna Robbins as Dorothy and Joel Irby as Cowardly Lion. Photo by Melisa Smock.

Walsh Family Looks Forward to Life at PA

Incoming Head of School Matt Walsh and his wife, Janet, arrived at Pulaski Academy Wednesday, April 11, for the first of several welcome events with parents. About 25 parents attended an afternoon reception in Murphy Theater in the Meyer Student Pavilion Wednesday, and another 25 turned out for a 7 a.m. breakfast this morning to get to know the school’s new leader.
Photo above: Matt Walsh (far right) visits with Gina Rouse (2nd from right) and other parents at a reception Wednesday afternoon in Murphy Theater.
While the Walshes spent most of their time talking one on one with parents, Matt Walsh made some brief formal remarks. He told parents that he and his wife, Janet, and their three children, were very excited about coming to PA. After 21 years in independent school education, Walsh envisions PA and Little Rock as a place where his family can "settle and the children can graduate. That is our plan," he said.
Walsh said that his first order of business will be to work with the PA community to assess the school’s strengths and weaknesses. That assessment combined with the results of this year's ISACS study will identify the priorities of the school for the next two to three years.
"You have a great mission here," he said. "Excellence is seen throughout the program. But the ISACS study doesn't evaluate PA based on how it’s doing compared to other schools." He explained that the year-long study evaluates the school against its stated mission.
"As a candidate, I felt like this was a place that lived its mission, but we always have to make sure that our practice on the ground matches our stated philosophy."
While in town, the Walshes also attended a reception for leadership donors and volunteers at the home of Chris and Terry Jones.
Matt Walsh will begin his duties as Head of School and CEO on June 30, 2012. He was selected as the school’s leader after a six-month nationwide search.

PA Sounds, Bella Voce Choirs Receive "Best in Class" Award

Connections is so proud to announce that in addition to receiving superior ratings, the PA Sounds and Bella Voce choirs received the “Best in Class Award” out of all of the 4A schools in Arkansas at the State Choral Festival this week. Our choirs scored the highest in their categories among the other 4A schools. This is quite an accomplishment for our students and for PA!
Photo above: Bella Voce performs at the state choral festival

Juniors Cross Country in Search of College Dreams


2012 Junior College Trip

On March 11, 47 PA Juniors departed the Upper School parking lot to get a glimpse of life after PA on the annual Junior College Trip. This yearly trek is one that Cheryl Watts, PA Director of College Counseling, knows all too well. She has gladly given up her Spring Break for the last 21 years to lead students on this 12-day, 4,000 mile tour of some of the top college and universities in the U.S. PA Social Science Department Chair Bill Topich has served as Watts’ sidekick for the last 17 years, helping chaperone and coordinate meetings and tours with alumni at the schools they visit.
This year, students visited 16 schools: Vanderbilt University, Washington & Lee, Georgetown University, Vassar University, Middlebury College, Dartmouth College, Bowdoin College, Tufts University, Harvard University, Barnard College, Columbia University, Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania, University of North Carolina, Emory University and Rhodes College. Students traveled by chartered bus across Tennessee, Virginia, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Philadelphia, North Carolina and back through Tennessee.
The purpose of the trip is to expose students to a variety of educational settings and geographies so that they can choose the right school for them. “It’s not about choosing the best school, or the school with the right pedigree or reputation,” said Watts. “It’s about helping these kids find the right school for them. Not every student is going to thrive in a large university setting. They need to see and feel it sometimes before they realize that,” she said.

PA 3rd Grader Helps Students Celebrate National Pi Day

Eight-year-old Haddy Alchaer is fascinated with Pi – not the kind you eat i.e. PIE. Haddy knows just about everything about the mathematical symbol Pi, so much that he delivered a 20-slide power point presentation on the topic to his 3rd grade classmates on National Pi Day last month.
Pi is the symbol for the ratio of circumference of a circle to its diameter and equals 3.1415926535. It is celebrated by math enthusiasts on March 14 each year, which is also Albert Einstein’s birthday.
After the Pi presentation, Haddy shared homemade apple PIE with his classmates in Mrs. Perry’s 3rd grade class. We are told that this is not Haddy's first power point presentation. He delivered another one to the class earlier in the year on the topic of electricity. He is also interested in chess and robotics. Haddy is the son of Drs. Elie and Nada Alchaer.

4th Graders Conclude Study of West with Dress Up Day

Teachers at Pulaski Academy are known to encourage hands-on, experiential learning, so it was no surprise to learn they had given 4th grade students a special “dress-up day” to conclude a special study of the Southwest Region. Fourth graders came to school on Friday, April 6 dressed like they were going to rope cattle - wearing blue jeans, boots, cowboy hats and bandanas. As the culmination of their study of Southwest culture in Social Studies, they enjoyed a day living a little bit of it. Students played Western games, ate cheese dip and chips for snack, and learned to line dance at the end of day. Yee Haw! Many thanks to our creative and fun 4th grade teachers for coordinating this great experience for our kiddos: Tiffany Knight, Monica Christenson, Lauren Patterson and Dorcas Baumgardner.
Photo above: Mrs. Knight's 4th grade class on Western Day.

Amnesty Screens Award-Winning Film, Kinyarwanda, April 22

Proceeds benefit Lighthouse Children’s Home in Rwanda
The PA Chapter of Amnesty International will host a screening of the Sundance Film Festival’s World Cinema Selection Kinyarwanda the Movie in Langford Special Events Center Sunday, April 22 at 6:30 p.m. Admission is free but donations will be taken to benefit Lighthouse Children’s Home in Rwanda.

Bruin Babies

PA Coaches Catherine and Brad Wood welcomed their first child, a daughter, on April 10 at 4:32 p.m. Future Bruin Natalie Kate Wood weighed 7 lbs. and 1 oz. and was 19 3/4 inches long. Mom and baby are healthy and doing great!  

Uniform Resale Coming in May

Volunteers Needed and Will Be Rewarded With Early Shopping!
The PA Parents’ Association will host the 11th Annual Uniform Resale May 19 – 20 in Murphy Theater in the Meyer Student Pavilion. All shopping hours are on the weekend this year and are as follows:
Saturday, May 19, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday, May 20, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Parents will be getting instructions and an inventory and price list in their child’s backpack in the coming weeks, and via Connections. Per changes to the 2012-13 dress codes, ECS, Lower School and Middle School clothing with the old “bear” logos will not be sold at this year’s sale. Per the Middle School dress code, skirts, skorts, and shorts should come to the top of the kneecap. Please buy them long enough and allow for your child to grow.
Drop off times will be Friday, May 18 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday, May 19 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Watch your child’s backpack and the newsletter for more updates.
If you can volunteer to help with the Uniform Resale, please contact Melissa Meador at pigtailslittlerock@hotmail.com.

Get Ready for Boosterthon!

An exciting new program is coming to our school this month and all of our students will be involved in this campus-wide event! The Boosterthon Fun Run is a healthy alternative to traditional fundraising which combines fitness and an outstanding character program for our students. They will get to be a part of an EPIC Adventure which focuses on teamwork and leadership values while engaging them in fun fitness activities. Students will be collecting pledges (which are tax-deductible!) for laps they will run at the Fun Run, and every student gets to participate just by being part of their classroom's team. All of the school divisions are setting goals and creating wish lists to which funds from this program will be applied.
The Boosterthon team will be on our campus leading the students through the program and would like to encourage everyone to support the students throughout the fundraising process and to attend these important events. Some dates to look forward to are: Monday, April 30 - Upper School/Middle School kick-off & Tuesday, May 1 - ECS & Lower School kick-off; Wednesday, May 9 - MS/US Fun Run & May 10 ECS/LS/US Fun Run. More details will be coming soon. Please look for flyers and information in upcoming Connections, Facebook and other school announcements.
Please contact Carra Sawyer if you are interested in assisting with this program rcsawyer@sbcglobal.net.

Dine at Cantina Laredo April 16 and Support PA Fine Arts


Summer at the Academy Class Closings

Week 1: Camp PATV a.m. class (p.m. class still open)
Week 2: Scooby Doo & You;
Sizzling Science Adventures
Week 5: Kids Cook Cafe
Week 6: Harry Potter's Summer Camp at Hogwarts a.m. class (p.m. class still open)

Register Here to Attend, "Bullying and a Proactive Approach to Helping Your Child"

Presented by PA on April 17, 7 p.m. in Connor Performing Arts Center.

Middle School Announces Cereal Drive

Middle School students are participating in the Today’s THV Summer Cereal Drive now through Friday, April 27. Students should bring the following to their X-period teacher: dry cereal, cereal/breakfast bars, Pop Tarts, oatmeal, or Cream of Wheat. The winning grade will receive a casual day! For more information, visit Today's THV.
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Connections is published weekly on Thursdays for parents and friends of Pulaski Academy by the Office of Advancement, 12701 Hinson Road, Little Rock, AR  72212. If you have comments, questions or story ideas, please contact Marty Trieschmann at 604-1953.