From the Head of School


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Alfred F Dugan III

“One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings.” - Carl Jung

Dear Princeton Academy Community,

Today, my day started with the greatest gift.

I was standing on the front steps for Morning Handshake when PASH Alumnus Caleb H. ‘19 (Pennington ‘23) approached with a shoebox. I was, first and foremost, moved as I always am when an alumnus shows up on campus (which is often), but especially before school has started for the day. 

After welcoming Caleb home, he handed me the box, which I opened with excitement and anticipation. In the box was a pair of custom-designed Vans, Princeton Academy #HeCanBe Hawk originals designed by artist and entrepreneur, Caleb. They were one of the most beautiful pieces of artwork I have ever seen. I was moved to tears and filled with blessings.

You see, it’s not just that the shoes are a masterpiece beyond belief and will be treasured forever. It’s who created them and what he represents that moved me to the core. Caleb is #HeCanBe exemplified; a true Gentleman Scholar-Athlete Artist. Yes, he is a top student, he is a superior athlete and he is, of course, a uniquely gifted and talented artist. But more than that, he is one of the kindest human beings I have ever met. Caleb is a humble role model which was affirmed as he said “good morning” to all of the young men that he met on the Front Steps who looked up to him in admiration.

In that way, Caleb represents the Gentlemen of Princeton Academy, all of whom, in their own way, with their own gifts and talents and identities, epitomize the idea that #HeCanBe. This is the image of what we strive for on behalf of each and every one of our young men. Caleb, like all of our current students and alumni, reminds us why we do what we do, joyfully, tirelessly, relentlessly, with love and with heart.

And so as we come to Friday of Faculty & Staff Appreciation Week, I dedicate my Friday Thank You to the Faculty & Staff of Princeton Academy of the Sacred Heart who devote themselves to this very real ideal: #HeCanBe. Our Team of Educators of the Sacred Heart dedicate themselves fully to bringing out the best in our boys in body, mind and spirit. Thank you, Princeton Academy Faculty & Staff, for showing up for our boys and for our families. Thank you for prioritizing the wellbeing of the whole child in all that you do. Thank you for fulfilling the mission of Princeton Academy to develop young men to be creative, compassionate and courageous leaders of a just society. Thank you for seeing, hearing, knowing and cherishing each and every young man and for meeting our students right where they are on their journey. Thank you for forming our students as Gentlemen Scholar-Athlete Artists in the spirit of the Sacred Heart, revealing the love of God in our world every day through the Sacred Heart Goals and Criteria. Thank you for ensuring that #HeCanBe.

As was evident this morning, thank you, Team, for contributing to the development of so many Princeton Academy graduates who go on from Princeton Academy to lead and serve others with heartfelt purpose and care; who discover their passions and make our world a more beautiful place. These same men come home to Princeton Academy frequently, without invitation, because this nest is their safe space of belonging; it is here where their life journeys brilliantly began and it is here where their foundations were built. Princeton Academy is family and I know that they are grateful for you, too. 

This is why we do what we do. 

Thank you, Caleb. Thank you, Gentlemen. Thank you families for sharing your sons with us. Thank you Faculty & Staff for ensuring that #HeCanBe.

Thank you, Team, today and every day. 

With gratitude,

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