When Patrick Roberts first became head of school at Palmer Trinity School 8 years ago, he already had extensive experience in the educational field. For 27 years, he has taught students of various ages on topics ranging from world history to Shakespeare and continues to teach to this day.
His broad educational background was a perfect fit for Palmer Trinity School, a private institution that has educated students in South Florida since 1972. It’s the only Episcopal middle/high school south of Boca Raton, and it has survived and thrived through the years due to the unique resilience and soulfulness of the school community.
According to Roberts, what sets the school apart from other private schools in the area is the people: both the staff and faculty who work at the school and the students and families who support the school. “I work alongside incredible people who are truly committed and dedicated leaders. They are creative, capable and compassionate individuals,” he says
Roberts believes that this hard work and dedication to the school community also pays off in the attitudes and behaviors of the students. “Every day, I am inspired by our students helping students,” he says. “This is shown in our honor societies, students who tutor other students, our writing center, homework café and peer counseling program. Our students consistently act as mentors to other students.”
Opportunities That Are Second to None
The reasons that families are so passionate about their school — and students continue to perform so well — are due in large part to the opportunities created by Roberts and the rest of the school faculty. Palmer Trinity is an IB World School and part of the Round Square international network of schools. This allows both teachers and students to meet with other schools around the world in virtual gatherings, student workshops, international conferences and more to broaden their horizons.
“We are part of a group called Global Connections, and before COVID changed the landscape of the world in March 2020, we hosted a group of heads from 30 different countries,” says Roberts.
The school’s curriculum also has opportunities for students that are not found at many other schools, such as a robust independent study program. “Independent study is sanctioned by Palmer Trinity School as a way to respond to student initiative to seek advanced, specialized and, in some cases, background education in topics not ordinarily available in the school’s standard curriculum,” says Roberts.
Resilience Throughout Its History
In the spring of 2022, Palmer Trinity School will be hosting a gala to celebrate 50 years in the community. Roberts says that the characteristics that have made this school thrive throughout the decades really come down to dedication, hard work and resilience. “The resilience, the vision and the community at work supporting this school the last 50 years have allowed for the future to be incredibly bright,” he says. “We say in our theme: ‘Bold Past, Bright Future.’ We have a bright future ahead. I am an optimist, and we are coming into our own.”
In terms of what that future might hold, Roberts sees a lot of opportunities for the school in the years ahead. For example, he is seeing interest in the school not only from the community but from families around the world. The school has been featured in both national and global publications. Roberts envisions Palmer Trinity School becoming larger, more cultured, more diverse and, as a result, more well-rounded as they continue to grow and evolve for the future.
“The spirit of the school is only getting stronger,” he says. “We have established a firm, strong identity; and yet we are still a young school and are still excited, optimistic and eager to move forward. We are still working through the pandemic like everyone else, but our “core” is getting stronger. That core focus is on student development of mind, body and spirit and our mission as ‘an Episcopal school dedicated to promoting academic excellence and inspiring students to lead lives of virtue, humanity and spirit.”