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photo of Mayor Mark Freda cutting ribbon at the new courtyard

The official dedication of the revitalized courtyard space at Princeton High School was held recently, on May 17, a beautiful day for an outdoor ceremony.

The gathering provided an opportunity to thank the Princeton Education Foundation, Princeton High School teachers, including Bryan Hoffman, Joseph Gargione, Bridget Schmid, RS Land Design, and many others, as well as the Princeton High School students, who participated in the renovation. Mayor Mark Freda officiated at the ribbon cutting ceremony.

Working together, PEF, the teachers, students, and RS Land Design, conceived, funded, created and developed the elegant and verdant courtyard space near the Numina Gallery. Students in art class with Ms. Schmid created the sculpture and other students painted the colorful murals which adorn the walls and fence. The colorful "shade sails," conceived by Richard Snediker of RH Land design, add a unique element to the space.

Entitled ‘The natural wellness project’ teachers Bryan Hoffman, Keith Dewey, Paula Jakowlew, Bridget Schmidt, Cynthia Bregenzer, and Joseph Gargione worked with students to create a space where students can have a moment in a natural environment, outside of the constraints of the corridors and classrooms.

With the warm weather, the courtyard has become a popular place for classes to meet, for students to study, and for both staff and students to enjoy the lush landscaping, trees, flowers, art and meditative spaces.

"The project aims to give students the opportunity to step away, reflect on their studies and situations, reduce their stress levels and enhance their mind-body wellness," said Amanda Botwood, president of the Princeton Education Foundation, a non-profit group.

In 2022, The Princeton Education Foundation received two teacher mini-grant applications, from teachers at Princeton High School who saw the need for a transformation of the courtyard spaces within the building to better serve the social and emotional needs of the students.

The Princeton Education Foundation felt it was a great opportunity to better support the Princeton High School by expanding this to a larger grant, done in stages, allowing for greater improvements in the courtyard and an option to do other courtyards at Princeton High School, said Ms. Botwood.

Starting with the central courtyard, to which all students have access, PEF funded the teachers and their students to design, orchestrate and implement a transformative project over the next few years.

The brick fundraiser, which paid for some of the courtyard expansion, is ongoing for future installations in the courtyard at

photo of PEF fundraiser bricks
photo of Mayor Mark Freda cutting ribbon at the new courtyard
Photos of the PHS courtyard
photo of ribbon cutting at PHS courtyard


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