Athletic News and Announcements

Faculty Attend Project Zero Conference At Harvard

For the third consecutive year, The Pine School sent a group of faculty to participate in and benefit from the renowned Project Zero Classroom Conference at the Harvard University School of Education. To date, over half of The Pine School’s faculty have been fortunate enough to attend this ground-breaking Education Conference.

Meeting in intimate workshop groups, Pine School teachers had the hands-on chance to work with educators from around the world. Sessions focused on the principles of making learning visible, deeper understanding, and cross-curriculum collaboration - all focused on asking what constitutes an effective and powerful learning experience in the 21st century.

Founded by the philosopher Nelson Goodman in 1967, Project Zero faculty focus their investigations and research on education in the arts, the nature of intelligence, understanding, thinking, and creativity. The organization has published over 90 books and hundreds of articles on these subjects and, in addition to online courses, hosts the annual Project Zero Classroom Conference at Harvard to bring together educators from all over the world.

The following are brief reflections from this year’s participants.

Robert Ankrom, Director of Communications - As someone who doesn’t teach, I knew I’d be exposed to a range of language and ideas at the Conference, but wasn’t exactly sure how the experience would inform my approach as a member of the Senior Administrative team. I am returning to The Pine School invigorated for the coming school-year in very profound and exciting ways. My deeper understanding of the Project Zero approaches will serve as an important tool in better recognizing and sharing the many practices that our teachers have already begun to put into effect.

Kristin Davis, 2nd Grade Teacher - The knowledge that I gained from the faculty and educators from around the world not only confirmed my beliefs regarding education, but created a renewed sense of excitement and clarity for the upcoming school year.  I intend to continue to develop  a culture of thinking in my classroom in which my students are aware of multiple perspectives and learning is deep, mindful, relevant, and long lasting.  I am looking forward to sharing thoughts and ideas with colleagues throughout the year as we continue to build a "Culture of Thinking" within our school community.

Kathy Moormann, History Teacher - Empowering today's learners evolved as the focus of Project Zero for me this week.  Extended reading and reflection on the wealth of information shared is essential but I am dedicated to incorporating the routines, frameworks, and purposeful thinking activities to nurture a culture of thinking and understanding in my classes.  

Steve Naumann, Fine Arts Department Chair - I've spent quite a bit of time, since returning from Project Zero, reflecting on the experience. Project Zero has helped give a tangible identity to the qualities of teaching that I have always valued and that have always been present in my work, yet never in as clear of a manifestation as I'd like. I look forward to reworking how I ask my students to think and encourage inquisition above production of an "end product" in my classes. The value of reflection as an essential tool to understand stood out to me above all else at Project Zero, and is the main element I will work to ingrain in my classroom.

Nathaniel Osborn, History Teacher - Project Zero is not one thing, but an entire ecosystem of interrelated initiatives and projects all based on the simple question: "How do we help our students really, deeply, understand?" Rather than simply offering some formulas and methods, Project Zero promotes a very simple mindset. As teachers, we can rush to "cover" our curriculum, and the onslaught of topics can sometimes leave true understanding by the wayside. Project Zero Classroom 2017 stressed that messy process of critical thinking is the goal of education, not simply capturing a body of content. 

Suzanne Otero, Lower School Coordinator - I feel that this year's program brought new insight into my practice as an Administrator as we seek to create a School that values and seeks to embrace a Culture of Thinking. Our Pine School team spent time in conversation and discussion surrounding our learning - deepening our thoughts on what it means to build our practices around a culture of thinking and learning. Our energy and excitement were palpable.

Jaimal Page, Spanish Teacher - I am excited and optimistic about starting a new school year after being given an amazing opportunity to attend Project Zero. My mindset has evolved substantially and I look forward to the discussions and collaboration which will occur throughout the year with all my colleagues at The Pine School. I am dedicated to making sure all learners learn everyday in my classroom, see the purpose in their learning, go in depth about topics they value, and reflect on their experiences in order to become better students and better citizens.

Maryese Peressin-Hay, French Teacher - I can’t think of a better gift you make to an educator than to enable him/her to access a haven of knowledge such as Project Zero. I am eager to pass it on further to our community of learners and parents. Being surrounded by so much brain power in action that ignites continuous sparks in an educator's mind is a unique experience. It triggers myriads of new ideas ready to be shared and enjoyed together in our classrooms. Our team of colleagues left Project Zero full of excitement, hope and curiosity - with renewed energy and passion for our jobs. We are ready and eager to take our stakeholders on board with us and continue the journey through Project Zero together.

Greg Squier, English Department Chair - As someone who is dedicated to fostering innovative and effective thinking, I would encourage everyone in our community to read Ron Ritchhart's book, Creating Cultures of Thinking. This book is at the center of the Project Zero solar system and it is a powerful tool for empowering thought.  These ideas, along with the abundant energy, diversity, and knowledge brought by teachers from around the world, made for an inspiring week at Project Zero.

All faculty expressed extreme gratitude to the generous anonymous gift to the School which has allowed The Pine School’s continued participation in this important and prestigious conference.


Be Part Of Our Summer Of Service

Last summer The Pine School started a new tradition of having members of our student body (and their families) share opportunities they had to give back - here at home or elsewhere. The response was so tremendous and was such a strong catalyst for a great year of Learning Through Service, that we have decided to make it a regular thing.

Be sure to share any photos of you participating in any kind of service project. We will post to social media throughout the summer. Those can be emailed to #PineSummerOfService


Ali Walker Named FL Student-Athlete Of The Year

Recent Pine School Graduate Ali Walker '17 has been selected as the Florida High School Athletic Association Student-Athlete of the Year for the state of Florida. This honor was given for her achievements both on the athletic field and in the classroom throughout her high school career.

This is the first time that a Pine School student has received this award.

“I am extremely honored and honestly shocked to have received this award,” shared Walker. “I could not have done it without the incredible support and understanding of all my teachers and coaches. I am so happy to bring this honor home to The Pine School!”

In addition to being honored at a special June banquet ceremony in Gainesville, Walker will receive a generous scholarship.

Walker was a 4-sport Varsity Athlete (Volleyball, Soccer, Lacrosse and Track) during her Senior year as well as serving as the Ambassador Prefect and leading The Pine School’s chapter of Mu Alpha Theta - a national Mathematics Honor Society. She will be attending the University of Miami in the fall.


Final Message From Head Of School

Phyllis Parker has served The Pine School for 26 years, 5 of those as Head of School. On the occasion of her retirement, please enjoy this tribute video.

The following is Mrs. Parker's final Message from Head post:

Transitions and change are positive for an organization that has their eye on the future. The Pine School, over the past decade has endured and conquered, alongside the Martin and Palm Beach area, hurricanes, economic downturns, personnel upheavals, and physical moves, as well as enjoyed and thrived in a beautiful environment, an economic recovery, personnel changes, and overall growth.

The Pine School is welcoming a new Head of School July 1. Mrs. Binney Caffrey is an articulate, seasoned educator who is coming to lead a school in the area in which she grew up. We are all delighted with the choice of the Board of Trustees and we have embraced her and her family in her visits she has made to the school since her hiring in the fall. The school is poised for a new chapter of growth and excellence and the students and families who are a part of this school family should be excited and eager.

Working in education provides the opportunity to do far more than just teaching a subject.  It’s more than a job.  When education is your life’s work, you have the opportunity to make a lasting difference. You have the opportunity to make an important contribution. Your legacy counts.

I am proud to have been the 13th and first woman Head of School for The Pine School. During my five years as Head, we have accomplished much together as a school family. A dedicated Board of Trustees has successfully lead us all to a financially stable school that is poised for additional growth. I hope in my years here to have made a difference; to have my professional life to have counted for something bigger than me. My wish for the school is and has been for my twenty-six years, to be true to our mission of promoting academic excellence within a challenging, supportive and moral environment that fosters the development of mind, body and spirit.

Positive transition and change involves dedicated people.  What really matters is the people. If we each make a daily promise to treat people with all the care and concern we possibly can and stay true to our founding school mission, we will see progress and success like never before.

Best Wishes for the future of The Pine School.

Possunt Quia Posse Videntur


The Class of 2017 Celebrates Graduation

The Pine School celebrated the Class 2017 through its traditional Baccalaureate and Graduation ceremonies over the weekend.

Held in the beautiful St. Christopher’s Church in Hobe Sound, Baccalaureate featured United Way of Martin County Carol Houwaart-Diez, Academic Dean Sean Carlson, and Senior Cole Davies all delivered emotional and thoughtful addresses - each focused, in their own unique ways, on the great accomplishments of this diverse Class and the many successes they are sure to experience in their post-Graduation years.

The evening also included lovely and spirited musical performances by Seniors Samantha Meltzer and Nicholas Leonard.

Moving to the following morning, Seniors gathered for Graduation - beginning with the tradition of being pinned by Alums as a welcome into the family of Pine School Alumni. The Graduation Ceremonies, held on campus, saw all 44 members of the Class of 2017 receive diplomas with acceptance into some of the finest colleges and universities in the country.

Speakers included Command Master Chief (SEAL) Steven “Dutch” Van Horn and Seniors Ryan Chimelis and Maryn Washer. Each spoke from the heart on a recurring theme of using the opportunity the students have been given with their Pine School education to make their mark in the world.

As is The Pine School tradition, presentation of diplomas were followed with the Rose Ceremony - a touching opportunity for each Senior to offer special thanks to someone who has particularly played an important role in their lives by presenting a single yellow rose - backed by the fine musical accompaniment by the Pine School Chorus.

Graduation was closed with an emotional benediction by retiring Head of School Phyllis Parker.

Seniors and their families then gathered in the School’s breezeway/courtyard for the traditional throwing of the caps - a joyful and fine closing to another amazing Pine School year.

Photos of Graduation can be seen on our Flickr page.


Students Shine At Evening Of Academic Excellence

The Pine School celebrated the Academic achievements of its High School students during the annual Evening Of Academic Excellence. The evening provides a formal opportunity to highlight the many and varied honors our students have earned.

“Despite being a small school, we have much to be proud of and the scholarship and dedication of many of our students should be commended,” shared Academic Dean Sean Carlson starting the evening off. “Furthermore, it gives us an opportunity to recognize our student leadership positions and set the stage by naming next school year's leaders.”

Photos from the event can be seen on our Flickr page.

Congratulations to all of those students recognized:

Potsdam Award

Ali Walker

“This is the highest award given at The Pine School,” said Head of School Phyllis Parker. “Ali has made a positive impact in both academics and athletics - She approaches her academics with confidence and makes it all look incredibly easy.”

Headmaster Award

Clark Mortell

Academic Achievement Awards

9th Grade - Madeline McDonald

10th Grade -Noah Kalter

11th Grade - Samar Ahmed

12th Grade - Olivia Wilson

Community Achievement Awards

9th Grade - Hallie Isdaner

10th Grade - Aaron Chimelis

11th Grade - Melissa Coolidge

12th Grade - Maryn Washer

Service and Spirit Award

Samantha Meltzer

2017-18 Prefects & Deputies

Head Boy: Christopher Textor

Head Girl: Claire Barber

Ambassador Prefect: Melissa Coolidge

Outreach Prefect: Alex Wood

Student Life Prefect: Colby Mortell

Environmental Prefect: Drew Aaron

Communications Prefect: Alison McClimond

U-Knight Prefect: Claire Pittman

Athletic Leadership Prefect: John LaCorte

Fine Arts Prefect: Chloe Janson

Ambassador Deputy Prefect: Gabe Tettamanti

Outreach Deputy Prefect: Olivia Siegel

Student Life Deputy Prefect: Macy Washer

Environmental Deputy Prefect: Naia Mader

Communications Deputy Prefect: Logan Messer

U-Knight Deputy Prefect: Aaron Chimelis

Athletic Leadership Deputy Prefect: Grace Wilson

Fine Arts Deputy Prefect: Noah Kalter


“Book awards are for juniors and are given by colleges and universities to help cultivate interest and provide name recognition,” shared College Counselor Janet Pacifico. “Criteria vary from leadership, activities, writing, intellectual engagement and commitment to the community.”

Brown University - Alex Starkand

Dartmouth College - Christopher Textor

Sewanee University - Sophia Siegel

Johns Hopkins University - Celia Walsh

Penn University - Melissa Coolidge

Harvard University - Samar Ahmed

Agnes Scott College  - Drew Aaron

Rollins College - Maddy Minelli

Boston College - Claire Barber

National Merit Recognition

Ali Walker and Olivia Wilson

Treasure Coast Singers Scholarship

Greyson Phillips

The Benacquisto Scholarship

Hannah Oenbrink

Isaac Bashevis Singer Scholarship

Ali Walker

English Awards

Pat Stuart Award - Greyson Phillips

9th – Chloe Munson

10th – Olivia Siegel

11th – Sophia Siegel

12th –Emma Berkenblitt

Fine Arts Awards

John Philip Sousa Band Award - Samantha Meltzer

Louis Armstrong Jazz Award - Nic Leonard

Ernie and Helen Berlin Award for Excellence in the Performing Arts - Nic Leonard

High School Drama Award - Samantha Meltzer

Publication Award - Savanah Wilshire

Digital Art Award - Sabrina Matos

9th grade Kate Aydlette

10th grade Macy Washer

11th grade Chloe Janson

12th grade Philippa Parnevik

History Awards

Hugh Willoughby Award - Alexandra Cleveland

9th – Maria Di Egidio

10th – Anna McGovern

11th – Claire Barber

12th – Olivia Wilson

Math Awards

Euler’s Award of Achievement – Juliette Afshar

9th – Lucas Pereira

10th – Grace Wilson

11th – George Ma

12th – Alison Walker

Science Awards

Jonas Salk Award – Isabella Fucigna

9th – Aliya French

10th – Gabriel Tettamanti

11th – Melissa Coolidge

12th – Chris Hong

World Language Awards

José Martí Award - Celia Jean Walsh

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Award - Jacqueline Rouse

9th – Analise Lichten

10th – Logan Messer

11th – Christopher Textor

12th – Kaili Sherman

“Studying at The Pine School is not easy and we expect much from each of you.  Thank you for giving your best,” summed up Parker. “I hope that this school year made a difference in your education and in the direction of your life.”


Grades 3-8 Honored At Special Assembly

In advance of the end of the school year, Grades 6-8 and 3-5 celebrate various achievements in individual Honor Assemblies. Held in the gym, both assemblies were attended by students as well as parents and friends.

Photos of both assemblies can be seen on our Flickr page.

“This is about celebrating our passion for educating these young men and women who carry our collective hopes and dreams for the future,” shared Lower School Coordinator Suzanne Otero. “We are filled with gratitude for the opportunity to become a part of their lives."

Congratulations to all of those students recognized:

Headmaster Award

Dylan Tuchon

“This is the highest award given in middle school,” shared Head of School Phyllis Parker. “Dylan has been selected because he is always kind and respectful to students and teachers alike, is described as a hard working quiet leader, a friend to watch your back, and an individual of great character. He has also been a student at The Pine School since first Grade.”

Cornerstone Awards
Academic Maturity - Faith Hill
Athletic Maturity  - Tyler Markulics
Arthur A Smith Spiritual Award - Aubee Billie

Dale Hudson Community Service Award
Stephen Weller

Ashley Carroll Writing Award
Nell Hutchinson

Middle School Environmental Steward Award
Matilda Small

Jeff Bruner Athletic Award
Jack Squier

Pine Scholarship -
Faith Hill

This full tuition scholarship continues until the recipient graduates from The Pine School.

“Faith is a straight-A student, a member of the National Junior Honor Society, a student council representative and was recognized earlier this year as a Knight of Character,” shared Director of Admission Beth Lettengarver as she announced this scholarship.

Exceptional Student Award
6th Grade - Lily Parr
7th Grade - Hannah Squier

Spirit of Learning Award
Matthew Sorarelli

English/Language Arts     
6th Grade - Kate Parr
7th Grade - Michael Di Egidio.
8th Grade - Caroline Rouse

3rd Grade - Morgan Ferrera
4th grade - Luke Altschuler
5th Grade - Adelaide McKeon

3rd Grade - Audrey Gordon
4th grade - Madeline McElroy
5th Grade - Bella Krastel
6th Grade - Jenny Roberts
7th Grade - Andie Smith

Social Studies
3rd Grade - Emma Montie
4th grade - Brody Metzger
5th Grade - Haven Stroh
6th Grade - Shiv Patel.
7th Grade - Diego Chacon.
8th Grade - Faith Hill

3rd Grade - Ethan Murray
4th grade - Christina Shute
5th Grade - Clark Stroh
6th Grade - Sandy Hardin.
7th Grade - Hannah Squier.
8th Grade - Stephen Weller

3rd Grade - Luke Parr
4th grade - Isabela Adler
5th Grade - Jack Meads
6th Grade - Brett Sarcia
7th Grade - Andie Smith.  
8th Grade - Sam Levine

3rd Grade - Pippa Hilton-Green
4th grade - Gabby Benedetti
5th Grade - Jason Hayes
6th Grade - Brennan Troup
7th Grade - Carolyn Smith.
8th Grade - Teagan Habicht

3rd Grade - Ty Schoppe
4th grade - Lili Krastel
5th Grade - Caroline Smith

World Language    
6th Grade - Lilly Parr
7th Grade - Reece Slater
8th Grade - Acklen Howell

3rd Grade - Liberty Landeros
4th grade - Shelby Carlstrom
5th Grade - Emmie Jacobson

3rd Grade - Maddie Parr and TJ Kelly
4th grade - Ryann McLeod and Connor Hampton
5th Grade - Shaina Lee and Grant Torchia
6th Grade - Mac Cummings & Lauren Duke
7th Grade - Jake Schoonmaker & Celia Wilson
8th Grade - Liam Fitz & Olivia Bertolo

School Pride
6th Grade - Aidan Skelly & Fiona Ankrom.
7th Grade - Lawson McLeod & Kendall Eaker
8th Grade - Tate Small & Matilda Small

3rd Grade - Jules Giambalvo and Max Brodie
4th grade - Kinslee Ewing and Jace Jodzio
5th Grade - Reese Habicht and Cameron Tuchon
6th Grade -  Jack Vrana & Allie Smith
7th Grade - Michael Di Egidio & Kiele Mader
8th Grade - Kevin Guidoboni & Grace Hampton

Outstanding Safety Patroller
Harbour Dollinger

Citizenship/ Honor Code
3rd Grade - Isabela Belani and Joey Falcone
4th grade - Alice Villalba and Reagan Fowle
5th Grade - Campbell McCarthy and Teddy Thompson

“While striving to achieve their best, these students discovered the commitment of their teachers, parents, as well as themselves, to accomplish their goals, and today we celebrate their achievements,” summed up Middle School Coordinator Sarah Visagie.


Senior Class Receives Royal Treatment

The Class of 2017 received the royal treatment as the School community (plus parents and guests) gathered for what is sure to become a new Pine School tradition - the Senior Collegiate Pep Rally.

The day started with the Seniors being guests at a special breakfast that was served by Junior Prefect Deputies.

The Pep Rally took time to individually recognize the wide and impressive range of schools our Seniors will be attending in the fall. Dean of Academics Sean Carlson shared fun facts about the colleges each will be attending as seniors entered the gym, greeted by their 6th Grade Buddies.

The event closed with a showing of a video documenting the year made by Senior Ryan Chimelis as part of his Capstone Project.

“As proud as we always are of our Seniors and the colleges they are accepted into each year, we wanted to really highlight what is the ultimate return of a Pine School education through this special event,” shared Assistant Head of School Nathan Washer.

Photos of the day can be seen on our Flickr page.


Pine School Tops Great Give Leaderboard

The Pine School topped the Leaderboard for the 2nd year in a row during the Great Give hosted by the United Ways of Martin and Palm Beach Counties. The event, which lasted the full 24-hours of May 17th, allows area non-profits to appeal to donors for support, with an opportunity to get a percentage of matching dollars from a bonus pool.

"It is great raising awareness and funds for such an amazing school,” shared Director of Development Kelly Hilton-Green. “Our family of supporters made a huge impact and this certainly speaks to the generous nature of our School community."

Before bonus dollars, the School raised $83,775 from 138 individual gifts - 24 donations more than last year’s event. In the process, the School received the “Be Seen” Award for raising the most money out of over 400 area non-profits.


Senior Chase Hyland Wins Track State Championship

The Pine School’s Varsity Track and Field team closed a strong season with Senior Chase Hyland earning the State Championship Title in the 16oom run. Senior Bella Fucigna brought home 2nd place in the pole vault. Additionally, three additional Knights (Senior Annelise Romero and Juniors Luke Denney and Christopher Textor) also competed.

This follows an impressive showing at the Regional Championships with 8 top-five finishes including Hyland winning all three of his races (800m, 1600m, & 3200m).

“The amount of dedication, sacrifice, and effort displayed by the team was incredible,” shared Coach Ashley Jenkins.

Varsity Track photos can be seen on our Flickr page.


Field Day Triumph - School Spirit At Its Best

The Pine School’s annual Field Day is all about spirit. We bleed blue & gold and each year - just prior to Graduation - the entire School community comes together for a full morning of friendly competition pitting Blue versus Gold. All congratulations go this year to the BLUE team for their points win.

Students battle on many fronts - from tricycle races and sack races to obstacle courses and the infamous tug-o-war.

“This is the sort of event that really defines The Pine School experience,” summed up Head of School Phyllis Parker. “To see everyone gathered together to enjoy the competition while also appreciating our special school community is a really beautiful thing.”

The day also presents the opportunity for the Parent’s Association to award funding for faculty professional development. 18 such grants were given this year - allowing faculty to attend the finest educational workshops and conferences offered around the country. Additionally, another group will, for the third year, attend the Project Zero workshops at the Harvard School of Education this summer.

Finally, the Teacher of Excellence honor was awarded to 2nd Grade teacher Kristin Davis. This coveted prize is given each year to the faculty member who shows exceptional commitment and dedication to both their students and the School.

All is all, a very special day. Go Knights!

Photos can be seen on our Flickr page.


Student Athletes Honored At Annual Banquet

The Pine school’s Athletic Department hosted its annual Athletic Banquet - a formal opportunity to recognize those students that have excelled in the areas of performance and sportsmanship as well as their coaches. The Banquet, with 283 guests, was the best attended to date and the invaluable contributions of the parent-led Booster Club played a key role in making the night the huge success that it was.

While all Varsity teams and Captains were honored, the following represent the list of those student, by grade, that were honored as well as the recipients of the Booster Club $1,000 Scholarship winners.

Athlete of the year and Sportsmanship award for each grade:

9th Grade Male - Addison Textor

9th Grade Female - Hallie Isdaner

9th Grade Sportsmanship - Lindsey Bruns

10th Grade Male - Matthew Powers

10th Grade Female - Grace Wilson

10th Grade Sportsmanship - Noah Kalter

11th Grade Male - Christopher Textor

11th Grade Female - Claire Barber

11th Grade Sportsmanship - Melissa Coolidge

12th Grade Male - Chase Hyland

12th Grade Female - Annelise Romero

12th Grade Sportsmanship - Clark Mortell

Booster Club $1000 scholarship winners:

Clark Mortell

Chase Hyland

Annelise Romero

“It was a great evening that wrapped up a tremendously successful sports year in which our student athletes shined across many levels," summed up Athletic Director Matt Sofarelli.

Photos from the evening can be seen on our Flickr page.


The Pine School Selects Hughes Umbanhower As Architect For Campus Expansion

The Pine School has announced, two years after consolidating all grades to its Hobe Sound Campus, that it has commissioned Hughes Umbanhowar Architects to design a campus expansion. The scope of the project includes the design and construction of a LEEDS-compliant, multi-purpose building, and will include new gymnasium and theatre spaces as well as band and choir rooms. The project will also include construction of additional outdoor athletic seating, improvements to the School’s outdoor athletic fields, and evaluation and changes to optimize campus traffic flows. Hughes Umbanhowar Architects has a long history of working with the Pine School, having designed the original upper campus, which was completed in 2008.

“Hughes Umbanhowar Architects, and Scott Hughes in particular, has been a great partner throughout the School’s expansion in Hobe Sound,” said Phyllis Parker, Head of School. “They’ve previously shown us a tremendous ability to handle the scope of this project in an efficient and timely manner, and we look forward to working with them on this phase of the School’s growth. Of course, none of this would be possible without the incredible support and generosity of our parents, alumni, and friends.”

The Pine School has served as Martin County’s only independent Kindergarten through Grade 12 college-prep day school since 1969. The School’s relationship-based education has consistently returned SAT & ACT scores higher than National and State averages and 100% of all graduating classes earning acceptances to some of the Nation’s finest colleges and universities (with an impressive 92% attending their first-choice schools). In addition to challenging academics which are uniquely documented through individualized digital portfolios, the School offers competitive athletics (with multiple students celebrating signings to Division I schools each year) and inspiring arts (with honors being bestowed county and statewide). All of this is is provided on a beautiful 142-acre campus (the largest of any school in Martin County) which serves as a living classroom promoting ecological and sustainability awareness.

Hughes Umbanhowar Architects ( and its principals, Scott Hughes and John Umbanhower, have offices in Hobe Sound, Florida and Los Angeles. The Firm, recipient of over 30 design excellence awards, specializes in buildings, objects and planning for residential and institutional clients throughout the United States and abroad. The Firm excels in incorporating state-of-the-art materials and technology into practical and unique solutions benefiting their clients and the broader community.  Their new monograph “21 Projects”, published by Design Media Publishing, will be available in early May through Amazon.


Phyllis Parker Day

In a School as closely connected as The Pine School, it is no small feat keeping a secret from the Head of School. However, when you are planning a celebration of twenty-six years of service, the element of surprise plays a crucial role.

Somehow, students, faculty, Administration, parents, family & friends did just that - and caught Head of School Phyllis Parker off-guard as she was walked into the gymnasium to find everyone gathered and ready to honor her years of dedication - especially those as Head of School - in a special Phyllis Parker Day ceremony. Parker will retire at the end of the current school year.

“How do you sum up twenty-six years into a brief address?” asked Assistant Head of School Nathan Washer, who opened the program.

In addition to a special musical number performed by The Pine School’s combined Concert Band and Chorus (which included students presenting roses, Middle School Coordinator Sarah Visage reflected on fond memories and legacy, and a reflection video created by Director of Communications Robert Ankrom and parents John & Renay Rouse was shown.

Current Board of Trustees President Debbie Textor presented a beautiful Head of School Emerita award along with a diamond pendant necklace.

The whole event closed with a specially written version of The Twelve Days Of Christmas - with the new words reflecting on items Mrs. Parker can enjoy in retirement - as a salute to the Holiday tradition started by Mrs. Parker of each grade level singing the different lines. A reception closed the day.

“How lucky am I to have something that I will miss so badly,” Parker said as a closing remark - sharing a favorite quote from A. A. Milne’s Winnie-The-Pooh.

The Pine School will certainly miss Phyllis Parker but look forward to enjoying the remainder of the current school year with her every step of the way.

Photos from this special day can be seen on the Flickr page.


Ali Walker Named To Academic All-State Team

Senior Alison Walker has been selected to the Academic All State Team by the FHSAA (Florida High School Athletic Association). Ali is one of only twelve girls in the State to receive this honor - given to those students with exceptional achievement in both academics and athletics.

Ali becomes just the 4th Pine School student to receive this award (following Emma Akrawi ‘10, Matthew Edwards ‘13 & Rachel Gilbert ‘12). Ali will be attending University of Miami on a full academic scholarship.

"I could not be more happy and proud of Ali for receiving this award,” shared Athletic Director Matt Sofarelli. “It shows her dedication to her studies while also being a three sport athlete. She is a fantastic representative of the Pine School and great example of a true student-athlete"


Celebrating National Girls In Sports Day

The Pine School celebrated and observed National Girls & Women In Sports Day with Paralympian and World Champion Jacqui Kapinowski.

Kapinowski, who lost use of her legs following a battle with Bacterial Meningitis and resulting neurological complications, has competed in over 80 marathons, 6 triathlons (she holds the record in the New York City Olympic-distance triathlon), and countless other races. In 2013 she competed at the Paratriathlon National Championship and won the National Title, which led to competing in the World Championships at the ITU Paratriathlon in London, England where she earned the Bronze Medal. She has also competed in the Vancouver and Rio Paralympics.

"National Girls & Women in Sports Day is a great time to recognize and encourage the participation of students in competitive sports,” shared Athletic Director Matt Sofarelli. “The percentage of girls and women participating in sport is growing every year and opportunities like this spark interest in young women to use sports to prepare for challenges and successes later in life."

In addition to an inspiring keynote from Jacqui, girls in grades 4-8 had the opportunity to try their hands at a range of sports led by high school members of the Athletic Prefect Committee. The Pine School boasts an impressive 11 Varsity teams for girls to participate in.

“Athletics has always been an integral part of being a Pine School student and our girls teams are great examples of that,” summed up Admission Director and long-time Varsity Cross Country Coach (recently named “Coach Of The Year”) Beth Lettengarver. “Because of our no-cut-policy  and our small school atmosphere, all of our girls are encouraged and welcomed to participate in as many athletic activities as they want.”

Photos can be seen on the School's Flickr page.


The Hobe Sound Campus Turns Ten

Please join me in celebrating the anniversary of being on the Hobe Sound campus for ten years this week!  What a roller coaster decade it has been and we are at the top of our ride this year.

In the fall of 2006 we were extremely busy helping to put the final touches on our Hobe Sound campus to receive the CO from the County in order to  move our grades 7-10 from Stuart to Hobe Sound.  As the new year began, items that were scheduled to move from Stuart to Hobe Sound started leaving the Stuart campus.  The smart boards in the middle school building and high school village were taken down first. Library books followed, and then any extra chairs and tables and even desks in the last few days!  The final day arrived, a Friday.

We began in Stuart with packing of personal belongings and cleaning out lockers. We ate lunch from a small catering wagon in the pavilion and then the County loaned buses arrived and we piled everything onto the buses; students, backpacks, sports equipment and more.  The filled to capacity busses rolled into Hobe Sound and  the real work began. That afternoon and weekend happened in fast motion as desks were arranged, lockers were filled, more trucks were loaded and brought to Hobe Sound, the endless moving of books and desks. Parents, students, faculty and friends were here over that weekend.  We got lost learning our way around the campus.  We felt exhilaration for a job well done and excitement for the coming day of our first classes on this campus.  

On Monday, February 12 classes began on a campus that had pure white sand everywhere, no blinds to block the sunshine, (landscaping and blinds came in the first year) tables and utensils that had never been used in the sparkling dining hall, expanses of seemingly empty halls and the same wind we continue to feel every day on the courtyard.

As we celebrate our anniversary of ten years on the Hobe Sound campus, do not let this week go by without appreciating the beautiful school we enjoy and the friendships we have made.  I congratulate every student and teacher who has passed through these halls. We have learned and lived together for ten years and will continue to do so for many more to come.

Phyllis Parker
Head of School


Athletes Honored By TC Palm Panel

A number of Pine School student-athletes have been recognized by the TC Palm’s Fall Season Sports Awards.

“All of our athletes awarded represent The Pine School with class on and off the playing field,” shared Athletic Director Matt Sofarelli. “The work ethic portrayed by these young men and women let them shine through as leaders on their respective teams and in the classroom.”

Annelise Romero All-Area Honorable Mention

Girls Cross Country:
Claire Barber - Runner of the Year Finalist

Boys Cross Country:
Chase Hyland - Runner of the Year Finalist
Christopher Textor - All Area First Team
Beth Lettengarver - Coach of the Year

Boys Golf:
Garrett Barber - Player of the Year Finalist
Prescott Butler - Player of the Year Finalist
Christopher Hecht - All Area Honorable Mention

Girls Golf:
Andie Smith - All Area First Team

Girls Swimming and Dive:
Olivia Wilson - All Area Honorable Mention

“I am extremely proud that our athletes represent The Pine School so well,” summed up Sofarelli. “Congratulations to all of them.”


Senior Commits to Run XC At Northeastern On National Signing Day

Today is Early Signing Day across the country for student-athletes.

Senior Chase Hyland has signed his commitment to run Cross Country and Track & Field at Northeastern University. Chase is one of the top recruits in the State of Florida and the Country.
Many of the top High School athletes in their sports will be signing their National Letter of Intent (NLI) to play collegiate sports. Division 1 recruits sign this NLI this week to make their collegiate sports decision official.

"The Pine School is very proud of Chase and his accomplishments and wish him nothing but the best in the years to come," shared Athletic Director Matt Sofarelli.

Photos can be found on our Flickr page.


Varsity Boy's Cross Country Top Pine Invitational

The Pine School's Varsity Boys Cross Country team once again placed 1st over-all at the annual Pine Invitational Cross Country Meet, hosted on The Pine School's beautiful 142-acre campus.

The meet, which attracted over 260 runners from 14 different schools, benefitted from beautiful weather and challenged runners throughout the course that took full advantage of natural rolling hills found on The Pine School campus.

Congrats to all - most notably, Varsity runners - Boys / Chase Hyland 1st, Christopher Textor 2nd, Lawson McLeod 6th. Girls / Claire Barber 2nd, Erin Spellman 3rd. JV runners (Boys JV team placed 1st overall as well) / Addison Textor 3rd, Philip Upton 5th, Luke Denney 6th, Gabe Tettamanti 7th, Noah Kalter 9th, Aaron Chimelis 11th, Matthew Lynch 12th. Middle School Race / Ryann McLeod 5th, Stephen Weller 6th, Dylan Markulics 8th, Aiden Skelly 9th.

Districts on Wednesday, October 19th are up next.

"The compliments on our course, our community, and how the overall race was managed were overwhelming - thanks to everyone's efforts," shared Cross Country Coach and Director of Admission Beth Lettengarver.

Photos of the Varsity Cross Country teams can be seen on our Flickr page.


18th Annual Booster Club Golf Tournament

The Pine School hosted its 18th Annual Knights Booster Club Golf Tournament at Abacoa Golf Club. A special mention goes to Old Cypress Pointe and PB Built as our Title Sponsors for the event. A huge amount of effort went into this event and thanks are also extended to Tami Skelly, Sydney Walker and other members of The Pine School’s Booster Club for the time and energy they put into arranging this tournament. Everyone looked great in our attire thanks to the The Sofarelli family and all Golf Carts were charged and ready thanks to Matilda’s of Stuart.

"Although mother nature did not cooperate, the golf tournament again this year served as a much needed support system in attaining the needed uniforms, equipment and miscellaneous items that our Athletic Department and Fine Arts Department depend on for operation and success," said Athletic Director Matt Sofarelli. 

The tournament did experience an incredible amount of rain just prior to tee time but Abacoa Golf Club were gracious hosts and served players a wonderful lunch and refreshments as they waited to make the decision about golf for the afternoon. Sadly, golf was cancelled but much  thanks still goes out to all hole and driving range sponsors:

The McLane Family, The Martin Family, Nancy Smith - Style Encore, The Lichten Family, Dr Ian Murray and Family, Ian’s Tropical Grill, HUUM, The Afshar Family, Jupiter Auto Spa, RJS Racing Equipment, The Walker Family, The Mekled Family, and Florida Living Realty

“On behalf of the Booster Club we would like to thank all that volunteered their time and efforts that go into organizing an event like this,” added Director of Development Kelly Hilton-Green.  “Thanks again to all the golfers that came out as well. Everyone was very generous and understanding of the inclement weather challenges that we faced during the event.”

The event still managed to raise an impressive $15,000 for the Booster Club. These funds will go towards much needed equipment, uniforms, and miscellaneous items that our Athletic Department and Arts Department count on to operate. The Booster Club is already looking forward to working on next year’s event and extend an early invitation for everyone to be a part of this annual tradition in the fall of 2017.


Summer Of Service

During her Annual Meeting address, Head of School Phyllis Parker stressed the importance of Learning Through Service - a trait that Knights take seriously. The Pine School has a long-standing tradition of giving back and this summer will be no exception.

Call it "The Summer of Service"! #TPSSummerOfService

So, instead of the normal summer vacation photos, we are asking everyone to share photos of you and your family participating in any kind of service project - here in the Treasure Coast or elsewhere. Email photos & info to Director of Communication Robert Ankrom -

We will post to social media throughout the summer. We will also share information about opportunities to participate in service projects that are happening in our community.

We wish everyone a safe and relaxing summer vacation and look forward to being inspired by all the ways our School community helps make the world a better place.


Athletics Honored With A Number Of Recognitions

The Pine School recently received an impressive range of Athletic honors including three student-athletes being named as TC Palm’s Athlete of the Year.

“I cannot express how ecstatic I am over the fact that a small school like ours can produce so many fine student-athletes,” shared Athletic Director Matt Sofarelli.

Senior Ali Denney (Volleyball) and Sophomores Claire Barber (Cross Country) & Garrett Barber (Golf) each earned the title of being named Athlete of the Year by TC Palm PrepZone while two additional Pine School athletes were nominated for this honor - Bella Fucigna (Girls Track) and Chase Hyland (Boys Cross Country).

Additionally, Seniors Niya Adlersberg and Bobby Camp were both also selected as All-Around Athletes of the Year for The Pine School.

The announcement was made during a special awards ceremony held in Fort Pierce and included nominees from all Treasure Coast schools regardless of size.

Additionally, Middle School was awarded the MCAC Championship trophy which is based on a point system between schools in the Mid Coast Athletic Conference.  The winner is calculated through standings for every sport at the Middle School level. 

“I am extremely proud of the success that The Pine School has had athletically and look forward to even more success in the future,” summed up Sofarelli.


Honors Assemblies Recognize Student Achievements

The Pine School celebrated all of the various academic, artistic, and athletic achievements of students through individual focused Honors Assemblies for 3-5 Grade and Middle School.

“We take this time to celebrate our collective passion to educate and raise young men and women, who will become our hope for the future, and ultimately, adults that the world can and will depend on,” shared K-12 Director Nathan Washer. “Honor, integrity, accountability, a strong work ethic and the encouragement to achieve one’s personal best are all  important parts of our core curriculum and everyday activities at The Pine School.”


3rd Grade - Shelby Carlstrom

4th Grade - Clark Stroh

5th Grade - Mac Cummings

6th Grade - Riley Van Suetendael

7th Grade - Rachel Goldman

8th Grade - Toby Tettamanti


3rd Grade - Madeline McElroy

4th Grade - Philip Harris

5th Grade - Lilly Parr

6th Grade -  Ava Burke

7th Grade - Ana Torchia

8th Grade -   Zachary Ehrlich

Language Arts

6th Grade -  Stella Betancourt

7th Grade - Liam Fitz

8th Grade - Maddy McDonald


3rd Grade - Christina Shute

4th Grade - Reese Habicht

5th Grade - Fiona Ankrom


3rd Grade - Ryann McLeod

4th Grade - Bella Krastel

5th Grade - Kate Parr

6th Grade - Ava Burck

7th Grade - Jack Squier

Social Studies

3rd Grade - Brody Metzger

4th Grade - Brock MacArthur

5th Grade - Grace Kennedy

6th Grade - Lawson Mcleod

7th Grade - Gracie Hampton

8th Grade - Chloe Munson


3rd Grade - Lili Krastel

4th Grade - Caroline Smith

5th Grade - Derek Paredes

World Language

6th Grade - Carolyn Smith

7th Grade - Faith Hill

8th Grade - Maria Di Egidio


3rd Grade - Gabby Benedetti

4th Grade - Jackson Smith

5th Grade - Sterling Pearson

6th Grade - Kiele Mader

7th Grade - Teagan Habicht

8th Grade - Emma Subin

Instrumental Music

6th Grade - Hannah Squier

7th Grade - Dylan Tuchon

8th Grade - Gabriela Keys


7th Grade - Carly Collins and Aubee Billie


3rd Grade - Isabela Adler

4th Grade - Campbell McCarthy

5th Grade - Sandy Hardin

Physical Education

6th Grade - Reece Slater and Celia Wilson

7th Grade - Jack Stracuzzi and Ashley Duke

8th Grade - James Hemmes and Claire Schirmer


3rd Grade - Ryann McLeod & Jace Jodzio

4th grade - Reese Habicht & Teddy Thompson

5th Grade - Lauren Duke & Shiv Patel

6th Grade - Michael Di Egidio and Andie Smith

7th Grade - Liam Fitz and Olivia Bertolo

8th Grade - Addison Textor and Aliya French

Outstanding Safety Patroller - Julia Glasco (5th Grade)


6th Grade -  John Killgore and Lily Cave

7th Grade - Finley Foster and Teagan Habicht

8th Grade - Jet Jones and Callie Hardin

School Pride

6th Grade - Eva Sullivan and Joshua LaCorte

7th Grade - Aubee Billie and Tate Small

8th Grade - Anna Karavangelos and William Baratta

Honor Code Award

3rd Grade - Luke Altschuler & Kinslee Ewing

4th grade - Jake Kroeger & Bella Krastel

5th Grade - Aiden Skelly & Sandy Hardin

Spirit Of Learning Award - Zoe Freedman (5th Grade)

Middle School Environmental Steward Award - Allison Sanchez

Pine Scholarship - Lucas Pereira

“Pine Scholarships have been offered to new and returning students in the rising 9th grade since 2008,” shared Director of Admission Beth Lettengarver. “ Award winners must be capable of exceptional academic work, have a strong track record of achievement, and distinguish themselves in the arts, athletics, community service and leadership.”

Exceptional Student Award -

6th Grade - Hannah Squier

7th Grade - Dylan Tuchon

Ashley Carroll Writing Award - Sarah Abraham

Dale Hudson Community Service Award - Ryan Renz

Jeff Bruner Athletic Award - Jack Posey

Cornerstone Awards

Athletic Maturity - Hallie Isdaner

Arthur A. Smith Spiritual Award - Gabriela Keyes

Academic Maturity - Lucas Pereira

Headmaster Award - Maddy McDonald (8th Grade)

“This award is given to that 8th grade student who is an outstanding role model in academic, spiritual, and athletic areas, and who positively influences both faculty and students alike on a daily basis,” shared Head of School Phyllis Parker.

Photos can be seen on our Flickr page.


Booster Club Golf Tournament Success

The 17th Annual Pine School Booster Club Golf Tournament was recently held at the Hobe Sound Golf Club.

A total of 60 golfers teed up and were treated to some amazing weather.

“We had an incredible day and it was wonderful to have Freddie Jacobson play in support of the School,” shared Director of Development Kelly Hilton Green.

Winners included:

Winning Team (Low ​Net Score) - ​Ed Armstrong, Michael Ferrera Snr.​, ​Mike Ferrera, & Tony Kalil

Winning Team (​Low ​Gross Score)​ - Wendell Cave, Ralph Dakin, Sean Dakin​, & Andie Smith

Longest Drive - ​Ed Armstrong​

Closest to the Pin - Andie Smith

Putting Contest - Ralph Dakin

Thank you to Title Sponsors Florida Living Realty and The Jacobson Family. The Parnevik family generously sponsored golf carts for the day. Thanks also to Tom Yeager and his team at Hobe Sound Golf Club for their incredible hospitality.

Enjoy photos from the event on our Flickr page.


Track & Field Wins Big At District Championships

Varsity Track & Field had another big at the District Championships!

Competing against schools that have thirty kids, the seven-strong Boys Team earned a District Runner-Up Title.

Team members shined in snagging Individual District Championships as well -
Kurtis Thornton '16 won every event he competed in - Long Jump, Triple Jump, 100m Hurdles, & 300m Hurdles
Chase Hyland '17 won every event he competed in - 800m, 1600m, & 3200m
Bella Fucigna '17 - Pole Vault
Claire Barber '18 - 1600m
Annelise Romero '17 - 300m hurdles

"Despite some challenges this small but mighty team once again showed up in force," shared Coach Ashley Jenkins.

Enjoy photos on our Flickr Page.


Pine School Announces Million Dollar Gift

The Pine School is excited to announce that it is the recipient of an anonymous $1,000,000 gift towards the Capital Campaign. The School’s uKnight Campaign continues to be successful in efforts to complete a multi-use space.

The gift moves total donations and pledges to nearly 70% of the Campaign Goal.

"The best part of reaching this benchmark is that we hope to begin the long, involved process of adding to our site plan with the Martin County Board of Commissioners as early as this summer," shared Director of Developmet Kelly Hilton-Green.

"I know I speak for Chairs Don Mader and Ramsey Small when I say that we are feeling extremely positive about the efforts so far and thank those families that have stepped forward to support the vision of the School," added Head of School Phyllis Parker.


Track Team To Compete On ESPN

Eleven members of The Pine School’s track team have qualified to participate in the prestigious Pepsi Track Relay Track & Field Meet held at the University of Florida March 31st-April 2nd.

Those competing are Niya Adlersberg, Jonathan Atz, Claire Barber, Callum Brown, Bella Fucigna, Chase Hyland, Tori Melby, Annelise Romero, Erin Spellman, Christopher Textor, and Kurtis Thornton.

"I am very excited for these athletes to be selected for such an incredible opportunity," shared Track Coach Ashley Jenkins.

The entire meet will be available on the SEC ESPN network. While there isn’t an available breakdown of exactly what events the network will air, all event times are listed below.

Junior Chase Hyland will compete in the Elite Invite Mile - with only 18 chosen to compete from hundreds of entries. This race is Friday @ 8:10pm and will be aired in it’s entirety.


5:00pm race time: Claire Barber (1600m)

5:30pm: Christopher Textor (1600m)

6:00pm: Annelise Romero (100m)

6:30pm: Kurtis Thornton (110mH)

6:50pm: Claire Barber (800m)

7:20pm: Chase Hyland & Christopher Textor (800m)

7:50pm: Erin Spellman (3200m)

8:30pm: Chase Hyland (3200m)


10:00am start time: Kurtis Thornton (Triple Jump), Jonathan Atz (High Jump), Bella Fucigna (Pole Vault)

1:00pm: FINALS of 110mH - If Qualifies

1:15pm: FINALS of 100m - If Qualifies

8:10pm: Chase (Invite Elite 1600m) **Race will be fully covered on ESPN**


9:00am start time: Girls 4x400m Relay (Tori Spellman, Annelise Romero, Niya Adlersberg, & Claire Barber)

9:45am: Boys 4x400m Relay (Chase Hyland, Callum Brown, Kurtis Thornton, & Christopher Textor)

5:25pm: FINALS of Girls 4x400m Relay - If Qualify

5:35pm: FINALS of Boys 4x400m Relay - If Qualify


The Pine School Announces New Athletic Director

The Pine School is pleased and excited to welcome Matthew Sofarelli as the School’s new Athletic Director.

Matthew Sofarelli has a BA from Syracuse University and his Masters in Educational Leadership from American College of Education. He is a Florida certified teacher in Social Studies for grades 5-12 and English 6-12.  Currently, in addition to being the Head Coach for Jensen Beach High School’s Lacrosse team; he serves on numerous school and countywide committees. 

Mr. Sofarelli was on the NCAA Division I Men’s Lacrosse Team for Syracuse University from 1996-2001.  Mr. Sofarelli lives in Palm City with and his wife and two children.