From the Head of School
Headmasters all over the United States would be jealous of the letter I am writing to you today. The Benjamin School has grown to be viewed as among the very finest independent schools in the country. We have been admitted into the prestigious Cum Laude Society this year, aligning ourselves with independent schools of the highest academic rigor, exceptional standardized test scores, admission into the most revered colleges and universities, a broad range of enrichment opportunities in athletics and the arts, and providing a strong foundation in good citizenship. By its Mission Statement, “The Cum Laude Society recognizes academic achievement in secondary schools for the purpose of promoting excellence, justice and honor.” In turn, it is the responsibility of these schools in the Society to “honor the world’s high school scholastic leaders.” Seventeen members of our Class of 2013 were inducted on May 11.
Most noteworthy regarding this selection of the strongest scholars in our senior class was their highly disproportionate membership in the “Fourteen Year Club,” marking fourteen years at The Benjamin School from the Pre-K year through Upper School graduation. The majority of our Cum Laude inaugural inductees spent all of their school-age years with us at TBS. This demonstrably speaks to the advantage to our students of the longest possible immersion in Benjamin’s uniquely rich, rigorous and rewarding program. However, regardless of the number of years spent with us, you will find that the Benjamin experience inevitably moves young people toward coveted and enviable opportunities. Please peruse the linked document for the level of colleges and universities that have embraced our graduates this year. I am certain you will be extremely proud to know that your children attend a school like ours.
From 15 years of study in a Western or Asian world language from 3-years-old to graduation; to 23 Advanced Placement offerings in our Upper School; to Middle School enrichment classes in literature; to Lower School awards in math; to top prize in Florida for video production news in the Upper School; to a Middle School advanced science elective program; to nationally recognized methodologies in Lower School reading, writing and mathematics; to over $3 million in college scholarships to our senior class—The Benjamin School engages its students in more options for growth and success than could ever be included in this letter. The Upper School Spanish students won the Florida Conferencia competition this year! Our latest Advanced Placement Test results are among the very top scores in Florida and the nation! Twenty student-athletes signed commitments to play their sport in college!
I am not capable of speaking conservatively about The Benjamin School. Our students have accomplished so much in so many ways that not to take this victory lap at the end of the school year would be unfair to them. The Pharcyde, our Upper School newspaper, wins top awards both in Florida and nationally time-after-time. This year, we are the extremely proud recipients of a national 1st Place Award and Special Merit by the American Scholastic Press Association. The Palm Beach Post heralded the paper with four 1st place distinctions. Middle and Upper School band and chorus programs win almost entirely “Superior” ratings each year, as was true for 2012-2013. Visual arts and photography awards were prevalent again this year in all three divisions of the school. Breathtaking theatrical performances and band and strings concerts across the grades of the school regaled Benjamin audiences.
Our varsity football team won the SFC Championship title. Six teams won their district championships. Girls Soccer, Boys Lacrosse and Girls Lacrosse won their regional championships and advanced to State Final Four or FHSAA Championships. Boys Golf won 3rd in State, and Boys Tennis made it to the State Championships. Seventeen teams advanced to FHSAA State Series Competition. We had 15 individual qualifiers for FHSAA State Championships. Also very impressively, four TBS students were named Player-of-the-Year in their sport, and three of our coaches were distinguished with Coach-of-the-Year designations!
The time-honored independent school model finds a foremost example in The Benjamin School. Your children simply could not be better served now, better prepared for their future or more successfully nurtured to be kind and generous citizens of the world than here at this school. Independent schools of our caliber require a partnership with home to achieve our goals. In fact, it is this component of our program that best promotes our distinctiveness. You are here with us in support of your children. We are on the same side of the effort to groom your son or daughter for success, leadership and impeccable character. Teachers and administrators of Benjamin choose to pursue their calling here because we are convinced not only of your willingness, but of your determination, to partner with us to help influence the future we all foresee for these young people. As school professionals, we are proud and grateful for that alliance.
Please review the linked document with pride over the environment you have chosen for your children. As you may be able to discern, I am bursting over the year we have had. I speak for the entire faculty and administration when I express our extreme gratitude for the opportunity to work and grow with your sons and daughters.
I send my very best wishes to all of you for a peaceful, enjoyable and memorable summer with your family.
Robert S. Goldberg
Head of School