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School Zone Driving Safety

August 31, 2021
By Daniel Shirley

Driving safely is important anywhere, but especially in a place with children around. School zones have lower speed limits to reduce the probability of a wreck occurring, causing an injury, or worse. Pinewood's on-campus deputy, Deputy Dunn, has given some general rules to follow to make sure we are all driving in a safe way to prevent any injury to our students or staff.

  • Be on the lookout for school zone signals and ALWAYS obey speed limits
  • Always stop for school busses that are loading or unloading students
  • Check for school crossing guards and obey their signals
  • ALWAYS be on the lookout for children
  • NEVER pass other vehicles in a school zone
  • NEVER make U-turns in a school zone
  • Avoid changing lanes in a school zone
  • Come to a complete stop at stop signs and crosswalks
  • Avoid using a cell phone unless it is hands free, and NEVER text in a school zone
  • Unless licensed to do so, NEVER use handicap or emergency vehicle lanes or spaces to drop off and pick up children at school 

Understanding and adhering to these rules is crucial for the safety of all students and staff. Help make sure Pinewood stays safe!

Pimento Cheese: “The Caviar of the South”

July 30, 2021
By Daniel Shirley
Recipe by Chef Herman McNeill
Pimento Cheese is a staple in the south, from sandwiches to burgers to crackers, it is the best complement to so many dishes. Pimento cheese is easily bought from a store, but nothing compares to homemade. It is a simple dish to make and it will impress all of your friends and family! Our chef, Herman McNeill, has his own simple recipe for “the caviar of the south!” This tasty dish only takes a few ingredients:
  • 8oz of softened cream cheese
  • 1 small jar of smashed pimentos
  • 3-4 handfuls of shredded cheddar/jack cheese blend   
  • ¼ cup of mayo
  • 2 dashes of garlic powder
  • 2 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 drops of yellow food coloring
  • 1 drop of red food coloring 
The directions are simple... Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix together. Feel free to make the recipe yours! Add bacon bits for some flavor or chopped jalapeno to add some spice. The possibilities are endless. Enjoy!

New Director of Development

May 10, 2021
By Abby Parks

Hi! I’m Abby Parks – the new director of development at Pinewood Preparatory School. Here’s an about me in a nutshell…I went to UGA for my undergrad and CSU for my master’s. July marks 10 years living in Summerville. I love pineapples and monograms. My husband, Chris, and I have two children, Conley and Wilson.

I am beyond excited to be here! This move was very serendipitous, and all signs were pointing to choosing Pinewood. My husband and I brought our daughter to tour the school, and we all absolutely fell in love with it. We knew instantly Pinewood was the right choice for our daughter and it was obvious she was excited about it too. However, we were struggling with how to make it work logistically for our family. I told my husband, “I wish there was a development job, so I could work there too.” Fast forward and the next thing I know, I am the new director of development at Pinewood! 

Pinewood has long been known for its institutional excellence by providing an amazing education and a plethora of opportunities. I am looking forward to growing and enhancing the school for our current and future students.

One of the facts about Pinewood that excited me the most is that almost 40% of our students are on some sort of financial aid. Why do I love that? It’s simple...It helps make this educational environment affordable to approximately 250 students who would otherwise be unable to attend. It allows our students to have a more diverse learning environment. It allows our class sizes to still be reasonably sized, but not too small that it becomes mundane. It also demonstrates how many other people love Pinewood and see the value in the education provided here and want to share it with others. The fact that we can support that many students on financial aid and still provide a stellar education and experience is just amazing.

In my short three weeks here, I’ve been so impressed by my colleagues and their commitment to our students. A simple thing that has left a lasting impression is everyone I’ve spoken to has known just about every student’s name. When we pass someone in the hall, they greet the students by name. I didn’t have that when I was in school. My teachers knew my name but that was it. If someone in administration knew your name you were either always in trouble or your parent was a teacher. Not here. It’s just so evident how much everyone wants to be here and the passion they feel for the students. I have a LOT of names to learn!

I am confident this will be an excellent choice for our daughter too. She has a September birthday, and I was worried about her being bored in public school by having to delay a year. While the birthdate cut-off at Pinewood is July, I would be shocked to hear she’s bored here! The curriculum is challenging but engaging and the smaller class sizes will allow her more interaction and one-on-one time. She is so excited to start in the fall and I can’t wait for her to join me.

We have a lot of exciting projects on the horizon that will make the school better than ever before. Stay tuned for more details.

Next time, you’re on campus, please don’t be a stranger and stop by to introduce yourself!

The Lessons Learned in "Option B"

August 24, 2020
By Dr. Angie Ringley

A few years ago, I heard Adam Grant speak at a NAIS conference. He is a psychologist, a professor at Wharton, and had recently published a book titled “Option B – Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy” co-authored with Sheryl Sandberg.  The book explored recovery from traumatic events, such as the one Sandberg experienced when her husband died suddenly at the age of 47. It would take a much longer post to write a full review of the book but essentially its message was when Option A isn’t available, you make the most of Option B. Grant’s book explains how to accomplish that and then find joy. 

Although the subject matter was not the same, I have thought a lot about this book in the last few difficult months.  So many plans have changed and so many "Option A” things that we used to be able to do are not available to us right now. I miss going to concerts and Broadway shows. I miss going out to dinner or to a movie and watching sports on TV. I missed the summer vacation. As school started two weeks ago, I missed the beginning-of-the-year excitement and seeing the kids’ smiles that are now hidden under masks.  This morning, however, I was reminded again about the lessons in “Option B.”

We have four houses in our Middle School. The Middle School houses build connections and community across grade levels and give students opportunities for leadership, a higher level of engagement, and to have fun. The houses offer students and teachers the opportunity to work with one another outside of the academic arena, promote a healthy sense of school spirit, and enable students to establish connections that transcend classrooms and grade levels.  

At the beginning of each school year, we host a sorting day for all of the students that are new to Middle School. In a typical year, the whole Middle School will go to the gym for part of the day for sorting and then house activities. It is a fun, loud, spirit-filled day to kick off the new year and it also gives our new students a sense of belonging in those early nervous days at a new school. We could not use the gym this year due to social distancing guidelines so Option A wasn’t available. We planned Option B, which was to use the outdoor stadium that has plenty of space for socially distanced activities. We were trying to make the best of Option B….and then it rained at 4 a.m. on sorting day. Option C, created between 4 and 6 a.m. that morning, had the kids split into small groups in classrooms to virtually watch the sorting in the cafeteria and participate in virtual team activities throughout the morning.  I was sad we couldn’t do Option A and was worried when Option B fell through, but, as they always do, my teachers found a way to make Option C fun and joyful. We made quite a ruckus most of the morning but oh, how good it was to hear that excitement, spirit, and happiness! I watched as the anxiety melted away from some of the kids and there was a happy buzz for the rest of the day. We found some joy in Option C.  

While I wait for a time when we aren’t worried about the social distance between students, staggered class dismissals, scheduled times for locker visits, wiping desks and hand sanitizer, I am going to continue to look for ways find the joy in the Option Bs (or Cs, or Ds!) when they come my way.

Recent Posts

8/31/21 - By Daniel Shirley
7/30/21 - By Daniel Shirley
5/10/21 - By Abby Parks
8/24/20 - By Dr. Angie Ringley
7/10/20 - By Pinewood News