Tuesday, April 17, 2018

7th Grade Field Trip to the Herpetological Society! Thursday, May 10th 2018


  Students will leave at the end of 1st period and return during 4th period

Field trips to the Phoenix Herpetological Society include a behind-the-scenes look at a reptile sanctuary and its inhabitants. On the tour, students will learn about over 1700 reptiles including:

  • tortoises, like our native Sonoran Desert Tortoise as well as the three largest species of tortoises in the world
  • large lizards such as iguanas and the carnivorous monitors and tegus
  • venomous snakes (safely within their habitats/enclosures) such as rattlesnakes, cobras, and mambas
  • 22 species of crocodilians (the second largest collection in the country) with alligators, crocodiles, caimans, and gharials
  • non-venomous snakes such as king snakes, ball pythons, and gopher snakes
  • small lizards like bearded dragons and chuchwallas
PHS Field Trips are very hands-on and interactive; we give students the chance to meet, touch, and interact with as many animals as possible while teaching about adaptations, life histories, and considerations that we must take into account by having them in our sanctuary. We also teach about desert safety and what to do if they ever see a rattlesnake in the wild. 

It is definitely a unique experience that students will not forget. They get the chance to hold a lizard and a snake...for many kids, this is the first (and maybe the only!) time they will ever do that. They learn about safety and responsibility of having a reptile as a pet and they learn why reptiles are such amazing animals. 

Support the Art Department! Fundraiser Saturday April 28th at Savers

Monday, April 16, 2018

Teacher Feature: Mr. Pagani

We are delighted to announce that Mr. Sebastian Pagani is joining our faculty next year!

Mr. Pagani has been with Great Hearts since 2008. He obtained his first BA from St. John's College in Santa Fe, NM. He holds a second BA in Classical Philology from the University of Cincinnati, where he took multiple graduate level courses and was welcomed directly into the Ph.D. programme in Classics at the University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. In addition to Ancient Greek and Latin, Mr. Pagani had also taught Spanish and English before joining Great Hearts. He also served as the head Cross-Country and Track & Field coach at Scottsdale Prep, before he joined Veritas, where he helped to coach the Cross-Country team in his first year.

Mr. Pagani loves and continues to cultivate his knowledge of classical philology, literature, languages, and linguistics. He has created and led student & faculty clubs focussed on Old English, Old Norse, Old Irish, J.R.R. Tolkien's Linguistic Creations, Classical Hebrew, Conversational Latin, and Classical Latin verse composition. He is particularly fascinated by ancient languages, literatures, and music.

Our students prepared a few questions for Mr. Pagani:

When did you decide to become a teacher and why?
I always loved being in school, and I loved learning. Life is rich and beautiful when I am learning and discovering new (or very old) things. In college, every subject fascinated me, and I loved the structure that the academic life provided. I always enjoyed learning together with others and helping them with the languages. Joining Great Hearts only defined and formalized my vocation. At first, I did this because I loved the languages and the literature; I soon discovered that I loved spending my days with the students. The chance to continue pursuing the things I love and to share them with others has kept me in the profession.

How did you become interested in languages?
I discovered foreign language very early in life. My mother-tongue is Spanish, but I heard a lot of Italian and Portuguese as well before I even realized that these were different languages. When I finally arrived on north-American shores, I really could not speak English, and could not go to school until I had learned it a year later. At the age of nine, I decided I wanted to learn German; this was the first language that I tried to learn from books. In school, I was given French, Latin, and more German. I went on to study more of these and other languages on my own from books and in my travels, and I never stopped.

The reason I love them so much is that each one is a different way of thinking or speaking; each has its own intellectual flavor and beauty, its own melody, rhythm, and musical quality; each is a different way of considering and experiencing the world. Languages make it possible for the student to travel through books to distant times and places.

How do you best connect with students?
Through the great literature that we read together; or through the languages we are studying. I like to run philological clubs that have focussed most recently on medieval languages: Old English, Old Norse, Old Irish, but also classical Hebrew, and Middle Egyptian (that’s hieroglyphic). I have also run clubs on Tolkien’s linguistic inspirations, conversational Latin, and Latin verse composition. I have thought about starting a creative writing club because I don’t think we do enough creative writing. I also like chatting with the students during lunch. 

If you could have dinner with anyone from history or literature, who would it be?
Ah, but I do this all the time! I have the books, and when I sit to read I enjoy the thoughts and company of ancient minds in their own languages. A book is like a ship that carries a writer’s thoughts down along the streams of time until they should wind up upon our shores. When we open one of these books, we board that ship and find ourselves in other times and places. 

The answer to such a question for me always varies according to my mood at any given moment, or perhaps depends upon what I am reading or studying at the time, but why limit this to a dinner? Let us spend a bit more time and see what we could do. Here is a brief list of possibilities that suggested themselves to me this time: Jesus, Charlemagne, Vergil, Ovid, Caesar, Cicero, Scipio Aemilianus Africanus, Livius Andronicus, Sophocles, Euripides, Aristophanes, Clodia, Tolstoy, Herodotus, Albert Schweitzer, an Anglo-Saxon bard, J.R.R. Tolkien, Erasmus of Rotterdam, and St. Exupéry.

Welcome to North Phoenix Prep, Mr. Pagani!

Spirit Week! 4/30-5/4

April 30-May 4 
NPX Spirit Week!! 

Monday, 4/30- Mayhem Monday: Wear your crazy socks and your most outrageous hair! (Wear uniform top, bottom, and shoes)

Tuesday, 5/1 - College Day:  Gear up for National College Decision Day.  At NPX and around the country, seniors will be making their final decisions for where to go to college!  Wear a college t-shirt to represent your favorite school!  (Wear uniform bottom and shoes)

Wednesday, 5/2 -   Where you at? Wednesday:  Dress in camouflage so your friends can't see you! Or, dress as the most hidden character around...Where's Waldo?!  FULL DRESS-OUT DAY! See guidelines below. 

Thursday, 5/3 - Fast Forward to the Future!  From future careers to future grandparents!  Dress as you see your self 20... 40....60....80(!) years from now!  
FULL DRESS-OUT DAY! See guidelines below. 

Friday, 5/4  - Field Day Spirit Wear:  Come to school dressed in your athletic Gladiator wear for Field Day.  Please see the Family Handbook for guidelines regarding athletic wear.  

 Spirit Week Guidelines
Spirit week is an opportunity for students and staff to enjoy shared experiences centered on generating excitement for our school. As exciting as we would like it to be, there are also clear expectations that are to be strictly adhered to. Anyone not in compliance will be removed from the activity. 

All Spirit Days are still considered regular academic school days. In general, students should refrain from wearing items that would call undo attention and create distraction. Attire cannot interfere with your or another student's learning - no distractions or obstructions, and must be completely functional for the school day. 

Students must wear uniform shoes all week, and all spirit wear must comply with length, fit, and function of the uniform. Bottoms must meet uniform requirements on length and fit (see Family Handbook), tops must have sleeves with appropriate necklines. All clothing must be clean, neat, reasonably pressed, and in properly fitting condition, and free of messaging (small logos, e.g., Nike, are okay). If it is questionable, do not wear it. 

Please do not try to bend, twist, stretch or otherwise modify these guidelines or otherwise take advantage of the Spirit Week opportunity. Any imitation of a faculty or administration must receive consent in advance. 

If students choose not to participate in the theme of the day, they follow the regular dress code as listed in the Family Handbook.

Hats, gloves, and wigs are allowed outside of the classroom and must be removed in class. Tasteful, relevant costume makeup is allowed, though the entire face may NOT be covered. No masks. No color in hair. Nail polish guidelines are the same as in the Family Handbook. No fake weaponry. 

Faculty and administration will make the final determination regarding appropriateness. Students will be asked to change or parents will be called to bring in appropriate clothing if applicable. 

All Spirit Wear attire must be free of pop culture, postmodern media, and/or contemporary politics, and culturally sensitive and appropriate.

Please help us keep the positive spirit in Spirit Week! 
Go Gladiators!