Pine Crest School

Recent Posts

The Hudson Library: Reenvisioned as a Space of Inspiration

Posted by Pine Crest School on May 25, 2021 at 12:51 PM

A transformation of the Hudson Library is underway on Pine Crest School’s Fort Lauderdale campus. Used by students from pre-kindergarten through fifth grade, the modernized space will soon be as inspiring and engaging as the instruction that happens there. 

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Topics: Lower School, Student Life, Giving, Pine Crest Fund, Social and Emotional Learning, 2021

Motivating Through Math: Ms. Maria Marcello's Passion for Teaching

Posted by Pine Crest School on May 5, 2021 at 11:34 AM

By: Courtney Klar ’22

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Topics: Faculty, Middle School, 2021

Soundtrack of an Educator: A Q&A with Choral Director Mr. Michael Testa

Posted by Pine Crest School on May 5, 2021 at 10:23 AM

By: Sabrina Kreiss ’21

Originally from Vineland, New Jersey, Pine Crest School Choral Director Mr. Michael Testa moved to Florida in 2001 to work with the Florida Grand Opera.

During that time, a former faculty member introduced him to Pine Crest where he became a member of the Fine Arts faculty in 2005. Now, almost 20 years later, Mr. Testa oversees and teaches chorus for students in the Lower, Middle, and Upper Schools on Pine Crest’s Fort Lauderdale campus, in addition to Advanced Placement (AP) Music Theory.

After graduating from Rowan University with his bachelor of arts in music education, Mr. Testa began performing all over the United States as an opera singer.

Mr. Testa began graduate school at West Chester University shortly after earning his bachelor’s degree. There, he studied music performance. Feeling drawn to education, he began teaching extracurricular classes in music throughout his collegiate studies. He landed his first teaching job at a K-8 public school while studying for his master’s degree.

I had the opportunity to meet with Mr. Testa to learn more about his career at Pine Crest and his passion for music and singing.

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Topics: Student Life, Faculty, Fine Arts, Music, 2021

Barbara Becker: Teacher, Parent, and Beloved Member of the Pine Crest Community for 25 Years

Posted by Pine Crest School on May 3, 2021 at 11:42 AM

Kindergarten teacher Mrs. Barbara Becker has been a valued member of the Pine Crest community since her eldest child walked on campus more than 25 years ago. 


She served as a parents’ association volunteer for many years before joining the Fort Lauderdale campus Lower School faculty in January 2007 as Mrs. Patty Schimpf’s teacher II in pre-kindergarten. 

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Topics: Lower School, Faculty, 2021

Pine Crest Upper School Student Helps Pandemic-Affected Fort Lauderdale Residents

Posted by Pine Crest School on March 29, 2021 at 12:04 PM

Alexis Peddy ’22 loves to read. As an avid reader, encouraging and helping children access books has been a longtime interest of hers.

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Topics: Upper School, Student Leadership, 2021, Community Service

Pine Crest School Announces East Campus Athletic Complex Renovation

Posted by Pine Crest School on March 22, 2021 at 4:01 PM

Pine Crest School is pleased to announce the completion of renovations to the East Campus Athletic Complex, which includes Banks Field and the Elliot Family Track.

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Topics: Athletics, Giving, Pine Crest Fund, 2021

Learning Human-Centered Design in Pine Crest Middle School

Posted by Pine Crest School on March 12, 2021 at 11:12 AM

by Ivy Pisani, Innovation Instructor

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Topics: Innovation, Middle School, Design Thinking, Computer Science, STEM, Social and Emotional Learning, 2021

Taking an Inquiry-Based Approach to Civics in the Classroom

Posted by Pine Crest School on February 16, 2021 at 4:12 PM

In the early afternoon of January 6, 2021, students in Mrs. Trish Everett’s Post-Advanced Placement (AP) Political Science Seminar cast C-SPAN to the smartboard and began watching the joint session in the U.S. House of Representatives chamber. As lawmakers made their way through a count of Electoral College votes in alphabetical order by state, students were enthusiastic about experiencing their classroom lessons coming to life. 

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Topics: Upper School, Student Life, Faculty, Academics, 2021

Improving Machine Learning One Word at a Time: Joseph Tepperman ’99

Posted by Pine Crest School on January 27, 2021 at 9:14 AM

When Joseph Tepperman ’99 started college at the University of Southern California (USC), he dreamed of working in a recording studio. However, he soon realized he was more interested in what was going on under the mixing console. He decided to change majors and began to focus on electrical engineering.

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Topics: Alumni, 2020, The Magazine

Panthers, Piety, and Portfolios: A Conversation with John Mann ’77

Posted by Pine Crest School on January 27, 2021 at 8:59 AM

By Nina Hamuy ’21

Many Pine Crest School alumni get an early start at Pine Crest. Some even spend 14 years at the School, but John Mann learned a lot in one year transferring for his senior year in the Upper School.

As a graduate of the Class of 1977, John Mann looks back, takes us through his time at the New York Stock Exchange, and offers tips to students along the way.

John Mann’s grandfather began his career as a member of the “New York Curb Exchange” in 1933, which he renamed the “American Stock Exchange” when he became the Chairman. John’s father began his career at the Exchange in 1958, so becoming a clerk at the age of 14 came naturally to John, and he fell in love with his family’s history and dedication to the Exchange.

Working his way up in the family business, John became the Exchange’s youngest member in 1979. The camaraderie and excitement on the trading floor were a fascinating experience that compares to the way John felt about his senior year at Pine Crest.

“I made friends instantly with my classmates, and I remain friends with them to this day,” said John. “My classmates supported me even though they had only recently met me, and I was elected to the Disciplinary Committee.”

In 1986, John became Senior Partner of the Exchange at the age of 28 with a staff of 44 brokers and clerks. He in part credits members of the Pine Crest faculty to his success saying, “How could I have obtained my degree in Economics had it not been for Dean Ring and his dedication to his math students? I could make a very long list of how each teacher kindly and tenaciously sought to make their students succeed.”

John continued to pursue academic goals thanks to his love for Pine Crest. He obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Economics, Master of Arts in Religious Studies, and an MBA from Rollins College, the latter of which he received at the age of 48!

“[The Pine Crest] education enabled me to have successful careers in finance, theology, non-profit organizations, and my current role as Trustee [of the John Jay Mann trusts],” said John. “My relationship to my alma mater is very dear to me, and I strive to keep active in the Pine Crest community.”

John notes how much Pine Crest’s campus has changed over the course of time, but the dedication of students, faculty, staff, parents, grandparents, and alumni remain a cornerstone to Pine Crest’s success.

When I asked John to share something he learned from his career in finance that a student would not be able to find in a textbook, he referred to what he calls “American University” also known as the “School of Hard Knocks.” John went on to explain, “Nothing in a book can ever replace your own personal hard work and effort in whatever career that you choose. You will discover challenges and opportunities in ways that can only be experienced.”

John left me with some life advice like learning to balance a checkbook, keeping track of your expenses, and shared that the “the world changes; you have to continuously be learning.”

Today, John and his wife, Sandi, look forward to permanently living in their newly-renovated condo on the beach.

“Retirement is not attractive for me,” said John. “I really enjoy teaching theology, and I love my work as Trustee.”

John’s enthusiasm and work ethic have led him to receive three papal honors for his service to cardinals and bishops throughout the country via the John Jay Mann Foundation, a philanthropic organization established to serve charities throughout the world, for which he serves as treasurer.

As a final tidbit of advice, John reminds students that every interaction with teachers, staff, and fellow students will have an enormous positive impact that may not be apparent at the time.

“The interactions and classes that you have today are already shaping your future!”

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Topics: Alumni, 2020, The Magazine

Building a Legacy of Excellence in College and Academic Advising: Marcia Hunt ’12H

Posted by Pine Crest School on January 22, 2021 at 8:47 AM

By Danielle Weisfisch ’20

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Topics: Upper School, Alumni, Academics, 2020, The Magazine

10 Questions with Upper School Head Joseph Walters ’95

Posted by Pine Crest School on November 5, 2020 at 4:39 PM

Pine Crest Head of Upper School Joseph (“Joey”) Walters ’95 wears many hats: he is an alumnus, the proud parent of two Panthers, Leah ’24 and Nathan ’31, an educator, and a member of the senior administration team.

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Topics: Upper School, Alumni, Faculty, 2020, The Magazine

Triple Threat: The Abeles Siblings

Posted by Pine Crest School on November 5, 2020 at 4:13 PM

By Emily Roy ’20

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Topics: Alumni, Fine Arts, Music, 2020, The Magazine

Empowering Young Dancers: Emily Bufferd ’07

Posted by Pine Crest School on November 5, 2020 at 10:10 AM

Emily Bufferd ’07 has been dancing since she was a toddler.

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Topics: Alumni, Fine Arts, Dance, 2020, The Magazine

Ten Questions with Tara McGinn ’88: Alumna, Parent, Volunteer

Posted by Pine Crest School on November 5, 2020 at 9:36 AM

Tara (Monteleone) McGinn is a Pine Crest School alumna from the Class of 1988 and parent to three Panthers: Megan ’20, Ashlyn ’22, and Caitlin ’25.

Beginning her Pine Crest career as a freshman in the Upper School, she returned when her oldest daughter was ready for pre-kindergarten.

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Topics: Alumni, Admission, Pine Crest School, 2020, The Magazine

Supporting Pine Crest Over Three Generations: Steve Hudson ’87 and Holly Bodenweber ’88

Posted by Pine Crest School on October 22, 2020 at 3:10 PM

The Hudson and Bodenweber families have deep roots at Pine Crest School. The parents of third generation legacy students, alumni Steve Hudson ’87 and sister Holly (Hudson) Bodenweber ’88 are the nephew and niece of the late H. Wayne Huizenga ’55.

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Topics: Alumni, 2020, The Magazine

Serving Our Country For Peace And Security: Captain Michael Zequiera ’08

Posted by Pine Crest School on October 19, 2020 at 4:31 PM

Captain Michael Zequiera ’08 is a decorated Battalion Intelligence Officer for the United States Army.

Serving several tours from East Europe to Afghanistan, Michael’s career today is not exactly what he thought he would be doing.

After graduating from Pine Crest, Michael attended Anderson University in South Carolina where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Finance and Economics in 2011.

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Topics: Alumni, 2020, The Magazine

On Self-Discovery and Women Empowerment: The Kuel Life of Jack Perez ’82

Posted by Pine Crest School on October 19, 2020 at 4:26 PM

It is never too late to find your passion. Just ask former “hummingbird” Jacqueline, or Jack, Perez ’82.

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Topics: Alumni, 2020, The Magazine

Leveraging Social Enterprise to Improve Lives in Developing Countries

Posted by Pine Crest School on October 19, 2020 at 4:16 PM

During her time in Upper School, Pine Crest alumna Hanna Colin ’10 was passionate about social advocacy, serving as a member of student government and volunteering across Broward County.

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Topics: Alumni, 2020, The Magazine

Strength Training Ushers in a New Era of Pine Crest Athletics

Posted by Pine Crest School on September 23, 2020 at 12:17 PM

Sports programs in independent schools have changed a lot over the years, and Pine Crest School is no exception.

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Topics: Upper School, Athletics, Middle School, 2020