Pace Academy To Be Limited to High School
Pace Academy’s recent athletic successes resulted in hundreds of applicants for the rising ninth grade class. ”We are overwhelmed by the massive influx of applicants this year and we have decided that the best course of action is to make Pace exclusively a high school,” said Headmaster Fred Assaf. From now on, each grade will have over 250 kids, much larger than any class in Pace history. The change will also expand students’ class options and opportunities at school because the sole focus will be on high school.
Admissions staff in the Upper School are thrilled with these new changes. They will now have the liberty to accept a wider variety of students. The teachers will have more of a say about which classes they teach as well. Pace can finally bring in professors who can solely teach one area of math, one type of English, one history, etc. “As a teacher, this newfound liberty will allow me to focus on what I studied during and outside of college,” said English teacher Don DuPree. The teachers and classes will now be divided among different buildings to make use of the extra space. To accommodate for the longer walk, there will now be a 10-minute gap between classes instead of five.
According to Director of Facilities Dave Fortier, the Lower School will be allotted to all incoming ninth grade students. The playground next to the Lower School will be expanded and transformed into more field space for JV and ninth grade athletic teams. The lower school classrooms and other spaces will be converted to learning areas more befitting of Upper School students. Unfortunately, we will have to say goodbye to many faculty in the Lower School and the Middle School. The Upper School elective teachers will move some of their classrooms into the excess space in the Lower School.
While the sophomore class will enjoy the open space of the current middle school building, juniors and seniors will both have to fit into the Upper School. “It will be a tight squeeze, but I think we will be able to fit around 500 students into the Upper School,” said Mr. Assaf. Head of Upper School Michael Gannon is pleased with the decision. “I think that these changes are the best for our school and they will provide the Pace Upper School with the recognition that it deserves,” said Head of Upper School Mike Gannon.