Junior John Catherman takes a nap in his adorably decorated new dorm room. Photo: Meghna Singha

In an exclusive interview with an anonymous Pace insider, The Knightly News has uncovered a big secret: Pace will convert to a boarding school starting with the 2021-2022 school year. This plan has been in the works since February when Pace administrators decided it would be safest for all students and faculty to live on campus together, effectively creating a Pace COVID-19 bubble. Since then, The Knightly News has learned more about how Pace will make this change.

In order to house all 1,200 students and faculty, Pace will redirect the lower school construction to build new coed dorms instead. The girls’ halls will be monitored by Middle School English Teacher Pete Pope while fellow Middle School English teacher Katharine Norton will have the privilege of watching over the boys. 

However, many teachers and faculty opted out of moving away from their families and were promptly fired by Head of School Fred Assaf. With so many teachers gone, Pace needed to fill many roles. For example, Aman Hashim ‘20 will get to relive his Co-Editor dreams on the newspaper staff as a teacher, and former upper school history teacher Helen Smith will take over as head of upper school. “My first order of business is to require all students to participate in Model UN,” said Ms. Smith. “Next, I will personally expel all Republican students for being heathens.”

Upper school students will be sorted into four different groups based on where they hang out during frees. The magic sorting ping-pong paddle will place each student into their new house: Upper Library, Lower Library, Commons or Inman. Or in simpler terms: nerds, geeks, athletes and freshmen, respectively. Within each house, seniors will be chosen to lead. Junior Jake Buffenbarger has been chosen to monitor the geeks. “I’m here to make sure that no funny business goes on between the stacks,” said Buffenbarger.

Pace will also be changing many of their sports to fit a boarding school persona. The varsity girls volleyball team, after winning four state titles, will be replaced with a fencing team. Captain and junior Harper White said, “I have been practicing this intense sport since age three, and I could not be more excited to teach young children how to viciously sword fight.”

In addition, football will be replaced with squash and basketball with polo. Junior Maryam Dandashly, who has now performed her horse-riding skills for the Queen of England, will lead the coed polo team as its first captain. “I always knew that my horse-girl skills would come in handy one day,” said Dandashly.

All students must participate on the school’s new quidditch team and controversy has arisen over who will lead the team as the “seeker.” Rumor has it that eighth-grader Stephen Yang and junior Jack Siegenthaler are currently battling for the position and will engage in a head-to-head math competition to determine the winner. “My money is on Siegenthaler,” said no one.  

To further their boarding school assimilation, Pace will be enforcing a strict dress code. During the day, all female students must wear plaid skirts with white button-downs and blazers, while boys will don three-piece suits daily. In addition, all female students will be required to wear Love Shack Fancy dresses with Golden Goose sneakers on the weekend and Aviator Nation sweatpants or Roller Rabbit pajamas at night. Failure to follow these rules will result in immediate expulsion and being “sent to purgatory,” according to Ms. Smith. 


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