From the Head of School
I am sending you a distant and echoing “hellooooooo” to wherever you might be right now, physically or mentally, as the summer vacation begins to break into its full glory. Of course, I hope you are at a serene and peaceful place in all regards. However, the end-of-year sprint for those of us still at school has us panting, with one arm up against the wall for support!
The Benjamin School experiences such tremendous success in all areas of its program that a wrap-up letter such as this one is fraught with the possibility of becoming so long that many of you might choose not to read all the way through it. Personally speaking, I am so immeasurably proud of all we have accomplished this year that I cannot even imagine some of our parents not choosing to boast with pride over the successes of our student body.
So, you will notice that this year, given the potential enormity of a letter reflecting our multitude of achievements in every area, I am choosing to identify specific categories of accomplishments and use as minimal language as possible in order to ensure each of you the “full blast” you deserve as parents who invest in their children’s future at a school like Benjamin.
As an introduction, and as a means to affirm objectively the excitement in the hearts of all of us who hold our School so dear, I am proud to relay that the Accreditation Visiting Teams here for our five-year review for four distinct regional school accreditations reported superb results for Benjamin in areas including financial stability, financial planning, strategic planning, program development, programmatic additions, stabilized and growing student enrollment, and more. The team of fourteen professional independent school representatives, including several heads of school, spoke specifically about the strength of our faculty and the uniquely warm relationship observed between teacher and student! This was, above all, the most rewarding component of our evaluation.
Below you will find relatively few of the wide range of student accomplishments that have distinguished The Benjamin School during school year 2013-2014.
Seventeen student-athletes signed collegiate commitments to play their sport at some of the most prestigious universities in the country.
Palm Beach Post and Palm Beach Daily News full-page announcement
TBS was named Sun Sentinel Small Athletic Program of the Year.
Teams won district and regional championships, going on to compete for state titles.
Individual student-athletes were named district champions, state runners-up, as well as Players of the Year and as members of All-Star, All-American, and All-Conference Teams.
Football was named Sun Sentinel 1st Team All-Area.
Lacrosse Magazine named Girls Lacrosse #5 in their South Region Preseason Top 10 and placed one of our female student-athletes on the South Region Player of the Year Watch List.
Boys Varsity Lacrosse went all the way to the state finals and won FHSAA runner-up!
Senior girl wins FIAAA (Florida Interscholastic Athletic Administrators: Association) Female Scholar-Athlete for the entire state of Florida!
Middle School Girls Soccer and 8th Grade Boys Basketball went undefeated this year!
Our Upper School TV news program (BTV) has been recognized two years in a row as the BEST School News Program in the State by Florida Scholastic Press Association’s Gold Medal for 2013 and 2014.
Twenty-eight Regional Scholastic Art Awards were won by students in grades 9 through 12.
The Pharcyde Upper School student newspaper received a Gold Medal with two marks of distinction from the Florida Scholastic Press Association as well as several awards by the Palm Beach Post, including 1st place for our faculty advisor!
Lower School strings students and Middle and Upper School strings, band and choral students won only the top two designations of Superior and Excellent in Palm Beach County competitions.
Two 4th grade students made it to the top 20 in the Palm Beach County Spelling Bee.
Our Upper School Spanish students took 1st Place in their competitive division at Conferencia.
Our Upper School French students took 2nd Place in their competitive division at Congres.
Two Upper School students won medals at the National Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, with only 1% of the 255,000 submissions receiving national recognition!
Nine Upper School students won Congressional Awards.
A new Science Lab program has been instituted in the Lower School with hands-on experimentation and inquiry-based learning.
Our unique Lower/Middle/Upper School STEM effort is underway in each of the three divisions, and an engineering component has begun in the Upper School with an option for an engineering certificate upon graduation.
The Middle School Science Department as well as the Upper School Computer Science Department are proud owners of 3-D printers, new to TBS this year.
All three divisions continue to focus on the importance of our Character Traits with speakers, programs and a Middle School Book Club for students and parents.
Benjamin’s AP Examination scores for 3, 4 and 5 were at 85% compared to those of Florida at 48% and of those nationally at 59%. Ninety-one percent of our AP students received a grade of 3, 4 or 5.
Students of the Class of 2014 were rewarded over $2,386,000 in college scholarships.
Students of the Class of 2014 completed 21,768 hours of community service.
Click here for the remarkable college matriculation list for the Class of 2014. The linked announcement was a full-page display published in the Palm Beach Post and Palm Beach Daily News. Please check our web site for even more impressive late arriving news on matriculation. Congratulations to all of our graduates on their acceptance to so many of the country’s most prestigious and competitive colleges and universities!
Again, a TBS academic year is abounding with opportunities by which all of our students are enriched and prepared to be the most successful citizens of this rapidly changing and complex century in which they will live and thrive. On behalf of all of my colleagues who work with your children, thank you for allowing us to do the best we know how for the best young people we could ever hope to have in front of us. Our strong and productive partnership with you, their parents, provides them the greatest gift of all—the Benjamin experience.
Please accept my sincere wishes for peace, tranquility, relaxation and the warmth of family.
With deep appreciation for allowing us to join you in the journey,
Robert S. Goldberg
Head of School